Categories
Deck Coating Deck Water Proofing

The Dos And Don’ts Of Sealing A Deck

Are you aware of the proper process of sealing a deck? In order to make your deck look outstanding for the upcoming outdoor summer plans, read below for what you need to know.

Your deck is the best place to relax and enjoy the good weather during the summer. If you want to get the most out of it though, you need to take good care of it. There is so much information floating around about deck care though, you don’t even know where to start. Here are some dos and don’ts of sealing a deck, so you know where to get started.

Do Seal Your Deck At The Right Time

Timing is key when sealing your deck. You need to ensure you’re applying product in the right time frame, so you can get the most from it.

If you’re looking to seal a brand new deck, you’ll need to give it at least 30 days before you start sealing it. That’s because a brand new deck is still too wet, and will need some time to dry out. The best way to see if your deck is ready for sealing is to pour some water on it. If the water beads up, then your deck is still too wet. If it soaks it up though, it’s ready for sealing.

The time of day and weather will also dictate when you should seal your deck. You want a clear, dry day to seal it so the seal can get dry and cure. It’s best to apply it during the day too, as the sealant won’t evaporate in the hot afternoon sun.

Don’t Apply On Damp Or Frosty Decks

If your deck is damp or frosty, it won’t be able to properly take on the sealant you want to use. At best, you’ll end up with a blotchy-looking deck, and that’s not what you’re going for. At worst, you’ll see the sealant start to bead up instead of being absorbed, so the wood won’t get the protection it needs.

Do Pick The Right Sealant

This is where many homeowners slip up. There are so many different options, which one should you choose? This very much depends on what you’re looking for from your sealant. You can choose from any of the following:

Sealant: This is what will protect against moisture damage. They have waterproof or water repellent properties and are usually thicker than wood stains. They don’t have any pigmentation though, and won’t provide as much UV protection as other products on the market.

Stains: These will always have pigmentation in them, which will add color to your deck as well as adding UV protection. However, they only offer moderate protection against moisture.

Paint: There are several deck paints on the market, and they are usually oil or latex-based. Be aware that if there’s any moisture left in your deck, the paint can bubble or chip away. Paint will offer UV and moisture damage but doesn’t last as long as stain or sealant.

Many homeowners choose a combined stain and sealant, as this gives the wood color while protecting it. It’s up to you, so choose the option that works best for you and your deck.

Don’t Start Without Preparing Your Deck

You can’t head out as soon as you have your sealant and apply it right onto the deck. You need to prepare the wood first, so it’s ready for sealing.

First, inspect the deck. You’re looking for any problems with the wood, such as cracking, splitting, or pest damage. Termites are the most common pest issue with decks but don’t discount the fact that animals can nest under there, too. If you find any damage, have it repaired before you get started.

Next, wash the deck to remove any grime. A power washer is best to scrub the deck clean, ready for sealing. Finally, after 24 hours of drying, sand the wood to create the best sealing surface. Sand the entire surface, even if there are sections that are still sealed. Any previous sealant will stop the new sealant from penetrating the wood.

Finally, sweep the deck thoroughly to remove any dust and dirt. Once you’ve done that, you’re ready to begin.

Do Use The Right Tools

There are several tools you can use for your deck, to ensure that the sealant is applied in an even layer. You can choose between a paintbrush, a roller, or a paint sprayer, so pick the one that’s right for you. You can use a pole so you can apply from a standing position, or on your hands and knees; if you do that, knee pads are very much recommended.

Don’t Apply A Thick Layer

When applying sealant to the deck, the thickness of the application is important. You’ll usually only need one layer, and it needs to be fairly thick. This allows it to be absorbed by the wood and get full protection. Laying the sealant on too thick will result in peeling and chipping.

If you need to apply a second layer, it’s best to do so only after you’ve allowed the first layer to dry for at least 24 hours.

Do Leave Your Deck For 48 Hours

Now you’ve got a full layer of brand new sealant on your deck, you don’t want to disturb it. You want to stay off your deck for at least 48 hours, which gives it enough time to dry and fully protect your deck. You may need to block entrances from the house, to remind family members not to step on it. After 48 hours, the sealant should be fully dry.

Don’t Forget To Seal The Deck Every Year

This is a general rule, to ensure that you keep your deck in good condition. If you live in a sunnier area, you really need to seal your deck every year. If you live in colder climates, you can get away with resealing the deck once every two or three years.

Conclusion

Now you know exactly how you should go about sealing your deck. And if you ever need assistance, it’s ideal to call in the professionals. Take care of it, and it will be able to last for decades into the future.

Categories
Roof Repair Roofing

Loose Roofing Granules: What Does It Mean?

Roofing granules play an important role when it comes to roof protection, which is why it’s ideal to take action if you notice granule loss. Read below for more.

There are many parts that make up your roof, and granules are just one of them. They have an important part to play in protecting your roof, and ensuring it lasts for as long as possible. If you start losing roof granules, what does that mean? Is it a problem? Here’s everything you need to know about your roofing granules, and what to do if you are losing them.

What Are Roofing Granules?

Roofing granules are one of the three layers of roof shingles, and are important in protecting them. They sit on top of the fiberglass and asphalt layers. They’re usually made from crushed stone and minerals. They can be almost any size, shape, and color as different manufacturers can offer different styles to you.

Granules are used for several different reasons. Firstly, they protect the roof against UV light. That helps the roof avoid heating up, and so making it more energy efficient. They also contribute to the overall color of the roof.

What’s interesting is that roofing granules can also include copper as part of their make up. This helps reduce the growth of algae for a while after installation. This helps the roof keep its color, and stops water from getting trapped against the shingles.

Should You Worry About Granule Loss?

You may see some granules washing off the roof, especially after a rain shower. Some loss is normal, as the layer won’t last forever and will come away over time. However, if you’re seeing more granules coming away than normal, then you’ll need to look into the cause of it. There are several reasons why you may be losing granules, so look out for the following.

Reasons You’re Losing Roofing Granules

The roof is aging: This is the most common reason why you’re losing granules. For most of your roof’s lifespan, the granules will stay on the roof. There’s a bond that’s holding those granules onto the roof shingles. Over time, that bond will wear out, and the granules will become loose and fall off the roof.

This is usually a good sign that your roof is getting old. An asphalt shingle roof will last around 15 – 30 years, so if you see this happening, it could be nearly time to have the roof replaced. It’s a good idea to inspect the roof, and see if you can find any other signs of wear and age.

The shingles are defective: This doesn’t commonly happen, but it’s something to look out for. Your shingles could experience blistering, where moisture forms in the asphalt layer and expands, forming the blister. As this happens, the roofing granules will become loose and begin coming off the roof. 

Again, you’ll need to inspect the roof and see if there are any instances of defective shingles. If it’s only a few of them, then you can easily replace those shingles yourself. If there are large patches that are blistering, then it’s time to call in a roofing professional.

You’ve had storms recently: Storm damage is a common cause of roof granule loss. If you’ve had heavy storms recently, look out for granule loss. If you’re seeing more than usual, that’s a sign that the shingles have been damaged by the storm. This is is especially true if you experienced hail. With that damage, water can start getting into your roof and causing all sorts of problems.

The roof wasn’t cleaned correctly: When cleaning your roof, there are some rules that you must follow. If you don’t clean it correctly, then you run the risk of damaging the roof and leaving yourself open to further problems.

If you’ve cleaned your roof with a pressure washer, you’ll start to see the granules coming away. This happens even if you use the washer on low power. Instead, look into gentler ways of washing the algae and moss off your roof.

Physical damage in a specific location: Your roof isn’t designed to be touched or walked on often, otherwise those granules will start coming away. If you’re seeing roof granule loss, take a look at the shingles as there may be a physical cause. 

For example, there may be a tree branch rubbing against the roof, pests may be getting into the roof, or you may have gone up to the roof one too many times to fix the satellite dish. You’ll need to correct these problems so you won’t see that loss.

Bad ventilation: Another cause of roof granule loss is poor ventilation in your roof. You may see that your attic gets hot, especially in the summer. If the roof wasn’t installed correctly to the right calculations, then it creates a ‘convection oven.’ This overheats the shingles, leading to granule loss.

How To Avoid Roof Granule Loss

Are there any ways you can avoid losing the granules on your roof? While some loss is to be expected, there are some ways you can slow it down.

Cut back trees: Keep all tree limbs at least five feet away from the roof of the house. This stops from them getting blown into them during storms, causing damage.

Remove debris: After a storm, look for any debris that has been left on the roof. Remove it as soon as possible, so it can’t cause any damage. 

Perform regular inspections: Regularly check your roof for any issues, including granule loss. The quicker you catch a problem, the easier it will be to fix.

Call the experts: If you’re ever unsure what’s causing the problem, make sure you’re talking to a professional about it. They will be able to come and diagnose the issue for you.

Conclusion

The roofing granules on your roof are more important than you know. While some loss is normal, extra loss is a sign of damage or of age. Keep an eye out for this, and get help if you see it.

Categories
Deck Water Proofing

How Deck Waterproofing Protects Its Surface

Deck waterproofing is a vital part of maintaining your outside deck space. As summer nears, it’s important to keep a few things in mind when it comes to protecting your deck.

If you enjoy using a home deck for entertaining friends, then it is important to waterproof the surface to prevent damage to the materials. There are easy-to-apply waterproofing chemicals that are designed to protect decks made from cement, stone, or wood. A deck located in Oxnard, California should require protection against these types of moisture:

Morning dew
• Rainfall
• Overflow from broken plumbing or sewer lines
• Mud located underneath the deck
• Water used to irrigate flowers, shrubs, and grass

Decks that touch the ground or have sides near damp soil are especially susceptible to damage from constant contact with moisture. There is a good chance that the materials and labor of a home’s deck are valued at thousands of dollars, and the only way to protect this investment is by applying waterproofing substances to the structure.

Deck Waterproofing

Ultraviolet radiation, moisture, and changes in weather and temperature can wash away your deck’s natural resins, color, and finish. This will cause your deck to look weathered and dull. In addition to being an eyesore, a deck that is damaged by the elements can also be a hazard if part of the deck has rotted away. Due to this, it’s becoming more and more important to engage in deck waterproofing.

While it is not possible to completely prevent your deck from exposure to wind, rain, and snow, there are some things that you can do to help sustain your deck’s natural beauty.

How Waterproofing Protects Decks

Homeowners can choose to apply waterproofing chemicals directly to a deck’s surface to have a natural appearance or might prefer to paint the cement or wood first. Additional options include staining the wood or applying waterproofing chemicals that have coloring agents. Sealing a deck’s materials with waterproof applications of chemicals provides other benefits, including keeping away pests such as termites or ants.

Deck waterproofing can protect it from frequent foot traffic and spills from beverages or foods. If you have parties on a deck, then waterproofing the surfaces with a thick layer of coating can help to prevent damage from shoes, tables, and chairs. Instead of finding deep scratches on a deck’s materials after a party, the surface will look brand-new.

How Do I Know If My Deck Needs Waterproofing?

There are several ways that you can tell if you need deck waterproofing. Try dropping a couple of drops of water onto the deck. If a drop of the water soaks into the wood, it means that the old finish has worn away and your deck needs waterproofing. Another way to tell if your deck needs waterproofing is to firmly stick a piece of tape on the surface of the deck. If you notice wood fibers or old stains on the tape, then you have a problem with moisture. This indicates that your deck needs to be waterproofed.

Prevent Cracking, Splitting, and Warping 

A professional company that provides deck waterproofing services for decks is also able to apply chemicals to other surfaces at the same time. Homeowners might want to have pathways, driveways, and porches sealed with waterproof chemicals to prevent damage such as warping, splitting, and cracking. While most decks are located in the backyards of private residences, some decks are part of commercial properties or are located on balconies or rooftops.

Should I Hire a Professional?

You may be wondering if you should hire a professional for waterproofing or try to DIY it. For the best results, it is best to hire a professional company. The initial investment is worth the cost, as a professional can save you time and money in the long run.

Experts have specialized equipment, tools, and resources to provide superior service. In addition, professionals typically use high-quality, durable waterproofing deck systems. It is important to find a company that has experienced deck installers that are fully insured, bonded, and licensed.

Conclusion

Waterproofing your deck can provide long-lasting protection against the elements, recover your deck’s natural beauty and add value to your home. Although it might be more of an initial investment, it is best to go with a professional company that specializes in deck waterproofing to ensure the durability and quality of the waterproofing.

 


Read More:

5 Reasons You Should Waterproof Plywood Decks

Categories
Chimney Repair

Chimney Leakage: Common Causes And How To Fix It

Chimney leakage is unfortunate and will cause damage to your roof and inside the home if not repaired. Read below on the causes, what to look for, and how to fix it right away.

Are you seeing water coming into your home through the chimney? Whether it’s condensation, rain water or another leakage, that water damage is going to cause you problems. If you want to correct it, you’ll need to locate the source of that leak.

Here are the most common causes of chimney leaks, and how you can fix them.

Chimney Leaks That Originate Elsewhere

Firstly, let’s cover chimney leaks that aren’t actually chimney leaks. If you are finding water rolling down the chimney, it’s always a good idea to check the attic. If there’s a bad enough leak in the roof, the water it lets in can make its way into your chimney. The stringer in your roof, the long piece of wood that spaces out the roof trusses, allows water to run down it and end up in your chimney. It’s a good idea to regularly inspect your roof from the inside out, so you can often stop this from happening.

If you’re getting a lot of condensation in your attic, that can also cause water to come down the chimney. It has to be a lot of condensation though, such as from a dryer that’s venting into the attic rather than outside.

Chimneys That Are Open to the Elements

One of the most common causes of chimney leaks is the fact that they’re open to the elements. Does your chimney have a cover on it? Then rain water just falls right into the chimney, leading to water issues. When you have a cover fitted, you’ll stop this from happening.

Also, be aware that a chimney’s greatest benefit is keeping out animals that may choose to nest in your chimney. When they do this, they cause blockages that are seriously dangerous for you. These blockages lead to CO poisoning, which is potentially fatal. Have a cover put on your chimney if you haven’t already, to ensure this isn’t happening.

Condensation Leaks 

Many people have spent thousands trying to fix a leaky chimney, but nothing works. If this is happening to you, that leak can actually be condensation. In these cases, the water isn’t actually coming from outside. The condensation happens because the gas fumes from your fire are low temperature and contain a lot of moisture. When this meets the cold brick of the chimney, it creates condensation.

This could be the cause of your water leak if you have an older home. There are many chimneys and fireplaces that used to be wood or coal burning, but now are set up for gas. If a proper chimney liner hasn’t been installed, then condensation will occur. Having one fitted now will help stop that condensation from happening again.

Cracked Chimney Crowns

The crown on your chimney is the cement top on it, which is designed to stop rain and snow coming in. When these are brand new, they can do the job admirably. After a while though, they will start to develop cracks. These usually come from the building shifting or shrinkage. Once those cracks appear, water can get right through them.

It’s important to address cracks as soon as they appear, even small ones. Over the winter, water will freeze in those gaps and make them larger, allowing even more water in. If you suspect that there are cracks, you’ll want to call on a roofing company to check it out. They will be able to patch any cracks to stop the leak.

Be aware that in some cases, the cracks will be too severe, and the crown will need to be reinstalled to fix the problem. You can avoid this happening again by using a chimney crown coating material. These are designed to prevent small cracks from appearing, allowing the crown to last longer without cracking.

Leaking Bricks

The cause of your leak could be the bricks of the chimney itself. Bricks and mortar are both porous, allowing water to pass through. If the bricks get wet in the summer, they will typically dry out again fairly quickly. The problem is that some bricks can’t dry out. If you live in a wet climate, or the bricks are on a side of the house that doesn’t typically get sunlight, then they’re going to stay wet. That water will need to find a way out, and so will fall down. If it gets inside your house, it’s going to start causing problems.

To stop this from happening, you can waterproof the bricks to ensure they can’t get wet in the first place. If you’re considering this, ensure you’re using the right waterproofing materials. Silicone waterproofing will trap water inside the bricks, and make things worse. A polysiloxane sealant will be best here.

Broken Flashing Around Your Chimney

Finally, a common reason that your chimney is leaking is because the flashing on it is damaged. Flashing is what protects the joints in your roof from water, such as the join between the chimney and the roof. It’s usually made from aluminum and is applied by inserting it between bricks and then laying it on top of the shingles. They’re then sealed into place. This has been done with tar in the past, but it’s not known for being long-lasting. Roofers are now using other materials that have a longer life.

The leaks happen because the sealant has worn away, or the flashing itself has seen damage. This most often happens after storms, where it’s had to withstand high winds or hail damage. To stop the leak, you’ll need to replace the flashing. This is something best left to professionals, as roofing jobs are dangerous. Plus, they have the know-how to install flashing that lasts for a long time.

Conclusion

These are some of the most common reasons for chimney leakage. Look for these issues in your home when you have a leak, as it’s very likely one of them will be the cause. Once you know, the solution is often simpler than you’d expect.

Categories
Deck Coating

How Deck Coatings Add Style and Sensibility

If your deck is beginning to look like it needs repair or a replacement, then deck coatings may be the best option to save the day. Read the details below.

The warm, sunny weather that is prevalent in Ventura can take its toll on wooden decks and concrete patios. When sun damage occurs, wooden decks are especially vulnerable to wind and rain. Replacing the surface of a deck or patio can cost thousands of dollars. Because of the steep price, many homeowners opt for deck coatings to re-coat their deck instead of replacing it.

If your home or business has a wooden deck or porch, then an application of protective deck coating sealants is essential to maintain its materials. Wood surfaces will not last without high-quality sealants that repel moisture and prevent infestations of insects. The wood materials on your home or business’s porches will swell and warp due to the absorption of moisture from rain and dew, leading to an uneven walking surface.

Benefits of Deck Coatings

There are a variety of benefits to coating your deck, which include:

  • Changing the look, style, or color of a deck or patio.
  • Saves money versus replacing a deck or patio.
  • Surfaces can be coated with a waterproof material, reducing the risk of slips and falls.
  • Makes cleaning easier.
  • Protects the investment of a deck.

Sealing Wood Helps to Prevent Insect Infestations

You can request deck coatings for wooden surfaces that you have already stained or painted to prevent fading or peeling of the substances. A thick coating of protective liquid that dries and seals wood will prevent invasion by insects such as termites that consume cellulose fibers. The application of deck sealants is vital to avoid attracting termites that can also invade a building, leading to extensive structural problems.

Choose Sealants that Provide Ultraviolet Light Protection

For buildings in year-round sunny climates, an ultraviolet light liquid deck coating can protect wooden surfaces from the damages caused by dangerous rays. You can decide when to have new deck coating applied that depends on the amount of pedestrian traffic that wears away the original application or how weather conditions have affected the materials. A professional contractor can repair damaged surfaces by sanding the wood to repair unevenness.

Deck Coatings Can Protect Tile, Stone, and Concrete Materials

When a porch or deck does not have good drainage, a contractor can fix the problem to prevent water from pooling. A contractor can repair decks located on rooftops or balcony surfaces on multistory buildings. There are also specialized coatings available to protect tile or stone porch or deck surfaces and pathways. While applying urethane or acrylic coatings to exterior walkways, decks or porches, it is also possible to cover concrete surfaces such as driveways.

Process of Coating a Deck

After deciding on your deck coatings, the damaged wood or concrete will first need to be repaired. Repairing the deck or patio first will ensure that the coating will go on smoothly and will prevent the deck or patio from becoming ruined.

After fixing the area, the deck will be sanded until it is smooth and ready to receive the coating. The entire area is then be swept to remove any remaining debris or sawdust. The coating will then be applied to the area and allowed to dry.

Variety of Colors, Styles, and Finishes

Many people with a cement patio or deck feel frustrated at its lack of aesthetic appeal. Deck coatings come in a variety of colors to fit the theme of any home. Additionally, there are a variety of styles and finishes that can mimic the look of tile, flagstone, or sand. The result is a deck or patio that looks modern and beautiful.

Again, waterproof finishes can also be applied that reduce slips and falls. This is especially important if children play in the water during the summer days on the deck or for seniors who may slip when coming inside from the rain.

Conclusion

If your deck is beginning to look worn or no longer fits in your style, applying a coating can save you money while helping you to get the look that you’ve always wanted.

Categories
Chimney Repair

7 Signs You Need Chimney Flashing Repair

It may not be obvious right away, but you may need chimney flashing repair if you’re seeing damage to your roof. Here are the signs to look out for and keep in mind.

It’s important that your roof is as watertight as possible, to avoid issues with leaks and roof damage over time. If you have a chimney, it is a weak point against water damage. That’s why chimney flashing is used on roofs, to minimize the risk of leaks.

Here are some signs you need to look out for, as they’re indicators that the chimney flashing needs to be repaired.

What is Chimney Flashing?

First of all, what is chimney flashing and how does it work? Essentially, it’s weather stripping for your chimney. It’s placed around the base of the chimney, where it meets the roof. It’s designed to create a seal so water can’t get into that joint and start causing damage.

Flashing is made up of two different parts, step flashing, and counter flashing. The step flashing is an L-shaped piece of metal, which is placed under the shingles and along the brick of the chimney. Counter flashing is another L-shaped piece of metal that’s designed to go over the step flashing, and it’s placed into a groove that’s cut into the chimney. These are caulked together, and once they’re in place, they create a watertight seal.

Flashing is usually made out of copper, steel, aluminum, or vinyl. The material you use will depend on your roof and the local climate, so it’s best to talk to an expert roofer to see which one is best for you.

Signs Your Chimney Flashing Needs Repair 

Now that you know what chimney flashing is, you need to be able to see signs of damage. Here are some signs that the flashing needs to be repaired.

1. Rust Stains in the Firebox

When using your fire, are you seeing rust stains inside it? That’s a sure fire sign that water has made its way into the chimney.

2. Water Stains on Nearby Walls

If water gets into your home through the roof, it causes all kinds of damage. With chimney flashing failures, don’t look just at the chimney for water damage. If you’re seeing water stains on the walls surrounding the chimney, that’s a sign the chimney flashing, in particular, has failed.

3. Water Leaks

Water leaks are always a sure sign that there’s damage to your roof. Are you seeing leaks coming from inside the chimney, or in surrounding areas? Then you’ll want to check the flashing as it’s most likely in need of repair.

4. Drips and Puddles

It’s not just your eyes you need to use when looking for evidence of chimney flashing failure. You’ll also need to listen for any signs of drips and leaks. You can often hear dripping inside the chimney, or see puddles forming at the bottom of the firebox.

5. Discolored Bricks

The bricks in your chimney will start to become discolored if they’re coming into contact with water. If you see this happening, you’ll need to address the problem.

6. Musty Smells 

As well as your ears, use your nose to detect failed flashing. Is there a musty smell coming from the firebox? Does it get worse after it rains? If so, then there’s probably a leak in the roof.

7. Broken Caulking

This is a sign that a professional roofer is more likely to find, rather than a homeowner. However, it’s still a way you can tell that your flashing has failed. If the caulking has broke, then the watertight seal is gone and water will be able to get in.

Repairing Broken Chimney Flashing

In most cases, it’s usually best to have roofers mend your chimney flashing for you. This job can only be done by getting onto the roof, and that’s a dangerous job. They have full training, so it’s usually better to let them handle the job for you.

If you’re seeing any of these signs of damage, call your local roof repair service right away. They’ll be able to get up there and check the issue out. If they see the flashing has broken down, they can then repair it for you.

In most cases, the flashing will be repaired by replacing the caulking around it. Most roofers now use long-lasting caulks, so you won’t have to worry about it failing again for a long time. In cases where the flashing itself is damaged, they may need to replace the whole thing to protect your roof.

It’s important to call in the experts the moment you suspect your roof is leaking. The quicker they can solve the problem for you, the less you have to worry about.

Preventing Roof Leaks 

The best way to stop chimney flashing from failing is to perform routine inspections and maintenance on your roof. This helps you catch any issues before they become worse, and lead to a full roof replacement. If you’re checking your roof regularly, you can avoid having to do a costly replacement.

Firstly, look for any broken or missing shingles. If they’re broken, they’ll allow water through so replace them right away. Then, check for moss or lichen that’s growing on the roof. That can be a sign that the roof is suffering damage underneath, as they need moisture to grow. You’ll also want to look for any rust or broken caulk on your flashing.

Most of this can be done from the ground, and it’s even easier if you use binoculars to get a closer look. That makes it much safer to inspect your roof.

Don’t forget to look in your attic for signs of damage too. Can you see daylight through the roof? That’s another sign that shingles are broken or missing. Also, look for signs of moisture, as they’re a sign that water is getting in.

Conclusion

If you’re having any issues with your chimney flashing, always call on an expert to help you out with it. They will be able to diagnose the problem and fix it for you. The quicker you get help, the better for the health of your roof.

Categories
Home Improvement

Essential Improvements for Your Home

It’s fun to plan and design improvements for your home. But when it comes to essential improvements, here is helpful information to know and our top ideas.

If you are addicted to home improvement shows, you probably dream of open-concept kitchens and luxurious en suite bathrooms. While these rooms can definitely add value to your home, the most important home improvements you can make are slightly less glamorous, but likely more necessary to the long-term health and safety of your home. Taking care of these essentials first helps you avoid unpleasant surprises when you are ready to move on to home improvement projects that you might consider more exciting.

Also, one of the keys to successful home improvements is choosing a project that will add value and functionality to your home. Not all additions or renovations actually increase your home’s value. Before you commit to a project, understand how it will affect your home’s resale potential.

Roofing

Having a solid, well-maintained, quality roof helps you avoid problems like leaks and pest damage. If your roof is more than 20 years old, it is probably time to consider replacing or repairing it. At the very least, have it inspected. Making roof repairs early is key to preventing long-term damage to your home. Upgrading your roofing can even improve your home’s energy efficiency.

Electrical

If you live in a home built in the last 30 or so years, you probably do not have to worry too much about electrical. But if your home is more than 40 years old, replacing the electrical should be at the top of your list. Doing so can avoid power surges, give you increased efficiency, and prevent the possibility of an electrical fire.

Appliances

The biggest source of energy usage in your home is your refrigerator, and other high-use appliances include your heating and air conditioning and your water heater. Having Energy Star rated appliances saves you money on your electric bill by being more efficient and better insulated. They are also more appealing to potential buyers if you are in the market to sell.

Solar

Adding solar panels can cost you a little upfront, but give you savings for decades. Look for rebates and incentives in your area to help subsidize the cost. You will appreciate the difference in your electric bill. Solar is also appealing to home buyers and may help your house to sell faster.

Once all of the important working parts of your house are in order, you can confidently move on to other home improvement projects. Keeping your home safe and up-to-date is essential to living comfortably and makes it easier to sell.

Replace Your Front Door

Surprisingly, the simple task of replacing your front door yields a 98% return on your investment. Plus, this is also one of the cheapest and easiest home improvement projects you can do. It greatly improves curb appeal without adding to your existing home maintenance.

Upgrade Your Siding

Siding has the most impact on your curb appeal because it covers most of your home’s exterior. Old and worn siding can knock up to 10% off of your home’s overall value. You can choose from vinyl, fiber-cement, wood, and other materials. Each siding type has its own pros and cons regarding design, durability, and cost.

Remodel Your Kitchen

When you hear kitchen remodel, you probably imagine a home improvement show where the entire space is gutted and redone. However, your transformation does not need to be so dramatic if you do not want it to be. An upgrade in appliances, countertops, cabinets, etc. can go a long way in adding resale value to your home.

What if You Live Near the Coast?

If you live near the coast, you might be wondering how you can get the most out of your wonderful location. There are a number of home improvements that can turn your ordinary home into a beach abode. Whether you recently purchased a run-down beach condo that needs some major TLC or own a lovely Cape Cod that could use a little sprucing up, here are some easy ways to transform any home into the perfect coastal retreat.

Open It up

Open floor plans are perfect for coastal homes, especially if you have postcard views of the ocean. An open floor plan makes the home seem much larger and lends a light, airy feel to any space. Combine the dining, kitchen, and living areas into one bright, large room and allow cool sea breezes to waft through the area from open windows. Use a casual, neutral palette to create a relaxed atmosphere.

Bring in the Light

Skylights are perfect for coastal homes. They can transform any dark, stale room into a bright, sunny space. Use skylights to flood your interior spaces with plenty of natural light. Strategically placed skylights can give a home a breezy feel and highlight stunning water views. In addition to diffusing your home with natural light, operable skylights can also help allow warmer air to rise and escape to the outside.

Create a Cozy Backyard Sanctuary

With gorgeous outdoor coastal scenery, you want to make the most of your outdoor space. Make use of your outdoor space by transforming it into a comfy living area. If your deck is not very large, extend it to allow for extra seating for parties and outdoor gatherings. Use durable, lovely outdoor fabrics to make your outdoor space both useful and stylish.

An outdoor deck, especially one that has an unobstructed view of the water is the perfect place for a summer bash or a quiet drink. If you live near the coast, it is important to maintain your deck to prevent sun damage and moisture problems. Periodic waterproofing and deck coating will ensure that your deck stays in top shape for many years of use.

Give Your Landscaping a Makeover

Updating your landscaping will help boost your home’s facade and add curb appeal. Use native plants in your landscaping design, as these plants require less maintenance and enhance your natural surroundings. Low-lying plants are perfect for coastal settings as will not obstruct gorgeous ocean views. Wide-leaf plants and delicate flowers add beauty to the landscape without being too distracting and taking away from the natural surroundings. A water feature is a great way to enhance the coastal feel of your yard. It can provide tranquility and drown out nearby noise.

Build a Party Dock

If you live right on the water, it is almost imperative to have a boat dock. Instead of a traditional dock, consider building a party dock. A party dock combines a floating lounge with a boat dock. These versatile docks are perfect for docking your boat and throwing huge summer bashes. You can outfit your floating dock with a swimmer’s platform, wet bar, television, and comfortable lounge chairs for the ultimate in fun.

Conclusion

As you pursue your home improvement options, do not forget to consult with professionals to get a realistic idea of the possibilities. Especially if you are looking at an invasive procedure like roof replacement, you will likely need to contact a contractor.

Categories
Roofing

How Sustainable Roofing Materials Saves You Money

Whether you are thinking about replacing your roof entirely or simply upgrading to sustainable roofing materials, keeping energy efficiency in mind could save you a great deal of money down the road.

There are many benefits to both you and the environment when you choose to update your home with sustainable roofing materials. There are also many sustainable options available. You can select features to bring in natural light to your home and eliminate the constant need for electric light. Living in a warm climate, you can select features to naturally keep your home temperature controlled.

You can opt for an entirely new style of roof to help keep energy costs low. Or, you can simply add on new features to the roof you already have. When you choose to install or upgrade to sustainable roofing materials, not only will you be helping the environment, but you will be using less energy and saving your money every month.

Sustainable Roofing Material Options

There are a number of ways that cool roofs can be developed into any type of roof, made from most materials. Choose the one that works best for you to save a bundle. Some of the most popular sustainable roofing materials options include:

  • Installing a cool roof, or re-painting with cool roof coats
  • Light colored shingles
  • Installing a skylight
  • Installing solar tubes

Regardless of which type of sustainability you opt for, you can rest assured knowing that you can save money, and help the environment.

Cool Roof Coats

Cool roof coating is typically a paint-like substance that can be applied to the surface of your existing roof. This transforms the usually dark covering of your roof. Which is a magnet to heat from the sun, into a white or lighter color to avoid the excess heat. Cool roof coating is an excellent way to save money on more than just your energy bill.

While this method is sure to save you a bundle by keeping the sun’s heat from thoroughly absorbing into your roof, experts say it is likely that coating will also make your roof last longer. Cool roof coatings will help your roof resist damage from water and the intense heat of the sun. So, it will take longer for it to need immediate replacement.

Additionally, you may be eligible for a rebate from the government to reward your home’s energy efficiency with sustainable roofing materials—check EnergyStar’s database to find out. This option is usually best for solid roofs made from metal or similar material, rather than shingles. But if you like the look of shingles, there is also a sustainable option for your taste as well.

Light Colored Shingles

Though sustainability is one of many factors when it comes to choosing a roof color, it is wise to consider the potential savings that you will enjoy when you select a lighter shade of shingle. Lighter shingles help your home’s efficiency the same way that cool roof coating does. The lighter the surface, the less energy will be absorbed from the sun.

Shingles are traditionally a dark asphalt material, which is the most likely surface to attract intense and relentless heat from the sun on a hot day. Choosing a lighter color of shingle will provide your home with a new and unique aesthetic while helping keep the energy costs of your home lower. The less heat absorbed by your roof, the cooler your home will be. And the less you will spend on your air conditioning bill.

This simple superficial alteration will have a major effect on your monthly bills. So consider lighter sustainable roofing materials if you are planning for a new roof.

Skylights

If you’re satisfied with the efficiency you are deriving from your existing roof, the addition of a skylight may be just the thing to help you save money while adding an interesting new design element to your home. A skylight is basically a window set into your ceiling to allow natural light in. Not only is it a great design feature, but it is also an excellent way to introduce sustainable roofing materials to your home.

For example, with a skylight, you can easily reduce the amount you spend on electric lighting every month. Natural light is a much more efficient alternative. Skylights are notorious for leaking or similar problems as they age. Therefore, it is crucial to select a trustworthy roofing contractor for installation to avoid these problems down the road.

Solar Tubes

solar tube is basically an alternative to a skylight that you may opt for to combat design issues with your roof or home. Unlike the traditionally square skylight that allows light to directly enter your home, the light in a solar tube typically travels from your roof through a type of tubing, then acts as a light to any room, regardless of the space that sits above it.

Along with the benefits of this type of sustainable roofing material, a major benefit of solar tubes are the endless opportunities for design. These can be a much more stylish alternative to a skylight, since there is more freedom to alter the light before it enters the room. However, the benefits to your wallet are just the same—more solar light mean less burden on your electricity bill every month.

Conclusion

There is a myriad of benefits to installing sustainable roofing materials to your home. These accessories improve the energy efficiency of your home and can have a positive impact on your community and your environment. It provides you with unique and rarely encountered design options that enhance your quality of life. 

However, perhaps the biggest draw to these benefits is the potential financial savings each month. From improving the durability of your roof to saving on your monthly air conditioning or electricity bills, the numerous benefits are a reminder of why sustainable roofing materials are an absolute must. You can save enormous amounts every month by making simple decisions to greatly improve the functionality of your roof.

These decisions may not be something you think about on a daily basis. However, a little consideration and a small investment can make a large difference down the road. Consider changing up your roof’s color, or adding touches of the outdoors with skylights or solar tubes—you will find yourself with a generous amount of savings every month!

Categories
Roof Repair

5 Signs Of Roof Storm Damage And What To Do Next

If you suspect roof storm damage, then you’ll need to handle it right away as having a secured roof for your home is important. Here are 5 signs to look out for and what steps to take next.

Your roof is one of the most important aspects of your home, and one that you need to take good care of. If your roof sustains damage, then the rest of your home is at risk. How can you tell when a roof has been damaged in a storm, and what should you do if the damage has already occurred?

Here’s everything you need to know.

5 Signs of Storm Damage to Your Roof

After any storm, you’ll need to go out and check your roof. In most cases, you can do your inspection from the ground or in the attic. If you’re unsure of anything though, it’s always a good idea to call a professional and have them take a look for you.

Here’s what you should be looking for when you do your inspection:

1. Broken or Missing Shingles 

This will be the most common sign of damage on your roof. In bad storms, those shingles can come loose and even come off entirely. They could also start to cup or buckle as they become saturated with water. Either way, that is now leaving a chink in your roof’s defense, where water can get in.

2. Broken or Missing Flashing

This is a similar sign that you should be looking out for. Flashing is strips of material that cover t5he joins in your roof, especially around areas like your chimney. Again, if that’s broken or missing, it can be letting water in.

3. Water Leaks in the Home

Did you develop a leak somewhere in your home after a storm? That’s a sign that there’s damage to the roof somewhere. You may see dripping water, or a water stain appear on the ceiling.

4. Clogged or Broken Guttering

When inspecting your roof, make sure you check the guttering too. During a storm, debris, such as leaves, gets blown around. They will end up in your gutters, clogging them up. You may also find broken guttering if it was a bad storm. This is something that you’ll need to handle quickly, as that guttering won’t be able to direct water away from the house.

5. Moisture in the Attic

Make sure you’re checking your attic as well as outside the roof. If you find there’s moisture in there after a storm, that shows you that water is making its way in somewhere. Moisture is also a sign of other problems, such as poor ventilation. If you’re inspecting your roof regularly, you should be able to tell if this is a new problem after bad weather.

Types of Storm Damage

There are a few different types of storm damage that your roof can sustain. It pays to be aware of this, so you know what you’re looking for during an inspection:

Wind damage: Storms usually come with high winds, and these cause havoc on your roof. That wind can get under shingles and pull them loose, as well as blowing away granules and blowing that debris into the gutters.

Hail and snow damage: If you have a snowstorm in your area, then this can bring a whole new set of problems. If the gutters are clogged, this leads to ice dams that then allow water to back up onto the roof. The hail can also ‘bruise’ your shingles, rendering them less likely to protect your roof from water.

Water damage: This is a big danger when it comes to storm damage. With storms come rain, and that rain can get into your roof through several different avenues. Once the water is in, it creates leaks, mold, and wood rot among other issues.

What to Do Next 

Now you’ve done your inspection of the roof, what do you need to do next? The golden rule is to address the problem as quickly as possible. The longer damage is left, the longer it will allow the roof to fall into disrepair.

Next, you’ll need to consider whether you’ll need to call in professionals to help you correct the damage. There are some smaller jobs you can do yourself, but remember that roofing is a dangerous job. If you’re ever unsure of what to do or feel that you don’t have the skills to take on a role, then you should always call on the professionals to help.

Replace shingles and flashing: If any shingles or flashing are missing, then they need to be replaced right away. Remember, the longer they’re missing, the longer water has a way into your roof. This is something you can do yourself if you’re confident, but it’s usually best to have roofers do this.

Clear out gutters: This is a simple task and one you can do right away. Grab a trash bag and start pulling any debris you find out of the gutters. This will allow water to flow through, so it won’t back up on your roof. Consider installing a gutter guard to help with this.

Brush snow off the roof: If you’ve had a snowstorm, then you won’t want water sitting on your roof for too long. You can use a roof rake to safely brush that snow off, all from ground level.

Ask for a professional inspection: If you haven’t already, make sure you call in a professional roofer to take a look at the roof for you. They will inspect it from the inside and out, and recommend any repairs that need to be made. With their help, they’ll be able to get your roof in top condition so it can weather more storms in the future.

Conclusion

If a storm blows over your area, there’s no need to worry too much. If you get out there as soon as it’s over and see what needs to be repaired, then you can avoid most large repair jobs. The key is to address it quickly, so you won’t have to worry about the roof getting more damaged over time. Call the professionals, and they can do all the right repairs for you.

Categories
Roofing

How to Find the Best Roofing Company

It’s obvious that your roof is an important part of your house. So when planned or unexpected roofing needs come up, it’s crucial to find the best roofing company. Read more.

It happens to many homeowners. Their roof turns twenty-one and, unlike the thrill that they got from becoming adults, they’re seeing their roofs starting to sag, leak, and lose their shingles. In other words, they have a roof that’s entering old age.

If you’re one of those homeowners, you know there is a substantial expense awaiting you. One thing is for certain—you want the job done right so that you won’t be regretting your decision a few years down the road.

Finding the best roofing company can be challenging and confusing. After all, it’s not something you do very often. Once you have found the right roofing company, you shouldn’t have to do it again for many years.

Here are some suggestions for taking the guesswork out of finding the best company for your new roof.

1. Eliminate Any Roofing Company Not Insured

While not every state or municipality requires roofing contractors to have workers’ compensation and liability insurance, you need to demand it. It protects you and the work being done. Any credible roofer will be able to supply you with proof of coverage, and if you have any doubts, call the insurance carrier to confirm it.

As you’re sending out requests for quotes for the roofing work, make insurance a prerequisite for bidding on the job. That way, you maintain a level playing field and keep out the low-ball bidders that may cost you more in the long run.

2. Choose an Established Contractor

Examine the track record of any contractor you’re thinking of hiring. It’s imperative that you choose an experienced roofer with a clean reputation in your community. Get references and don’t give anyone a deposit until you are confident that they are reputable.

Verify that the roofing company you’re considering has the required applicable business licenses for your state or local area. Confirm that the contractor is legitimate by asking for a tax identification number, a business address or website, an email address, and a contact phone number.

Ask the roofing company for a list of references and former clients. Call them to find out if they were satisfied with the work done on their roof.

Remember, any warranty is a piece of paper that’s only as good as the contractor who is behind it. If you have problems within the warranty period, you’ll be very disappointed if the company that installed your roof has gone out of business, moved, or is nowhere to be found.

3. Don’t Use Price as Your Only Criteria

It’s always tempting to take the lowest estimate when you put a job out for bids. However, it’s a temptation you should resist. The lowest-priced roofer might not be able to give you the same value as one with a higher price.

Those who work on the side or out of a van will usually come in with a lower estimate. However, the adage – you get what you pay for – often rings true. After the cost of repairs to the original work is factored in, that lower initial price may end up costing you more than one of the higher estimates from a reputable roofer. That’s because any problems with their work would have been covered under a workmanship guarantee.

Don’t fall for cheap bids. Contractors with overhead and proper insurance have to establish pricing to cover such costs. They usually also end up being the most economical choice.

4. Stay Away From Storm Chasers

Be wary of any roofing company that is soliciting door-to-door and promising insurance compensation for repairs to your roof.

Be careful with a company that puts emphasis on how the homeowner can get a new roof paid for by the insurance company. Phrases like “we were in your neighborhood” and “many homeowners are unaware of the storm damage on their roof” should set off alarms in your head.

Pick your contractor from a referral from friends, relatives, neighbors, insurance agents, claims adjusters, or a sign on the lawn of a satisfied customer. If you are confronted by someone canvassing your neighborhood, don’t give in to their pressure tactics and sign a letter of intent. Most of them will tell you they have noticed storm damage to your roof. Call your agent before doing anything.

Once again, you can always check with the local Better Business Bureau and Home Builders Association to see if complaints have been lodged against any contractor you’re considering.

5. Get It in Writing

Make sure you get a contract or detailed proposal in writing that provides explicit information regarding the project. The contractor should include in the proposal all of the following:

  • The length of the project
  • Daily start and end times
  • Type of materials to be used
  • Safety procedures
  • The total price
  • A payment schedule
  • Clean-up methods

Don’t rush into signing the contract. Read it carefully and ask a trusted friend to read it to make sure you haven’t missed anything. Get a copy of the signed contract before work begins.

6. Good Communication

Communication is important in any business. If the prospective roofer isn’t good at it in the early stages, he will probably be frustrating to work with after you hire him.

Here are a few questions you should consider:

  • Is the contractor returning your calls?
  • Are they sending the documents you requested?
  • Are they following through with information and prices?

If you can’t answer “yes” to all of these, you might want to keep looking for a contractor. If you aren’t getting what you want up front, it’s not likely to improve after you’ve committed to working with them.

Why the Need For Professionalism?

If you have an older home that requires exterior remodeling, then you need to contact a professional company for home improvements. Making improvements to your home is necessary to prevent damage to its exterior materials, but you may also need to modernize certain features.

Instead of attempting to make changes yourself, a contractor will have the equipment and tools required to complete home improvements correctly.

  • Have Downspouts and Rain Gutters Repaired

Exterior repairs definitely require the expertise of contractors with extension ladders and bucket trucks. In California, many families spend a lot of time outside on their wooden decks. However, these structures will degrade without a new application of coating that repels water.

In addition to deck coatings, a roofing company can repair a building’s downspouts and rain gutters. If you have a skylight in a roof that is leaking moisture, a roofing company is able to fix the frame and other materials to avoid additional moisture damage.

  • Total Roof Replacement

The most important part of a home is its roof, but it is often ignored until there are extensive problems with underlying structures. Homeowners should have their home’s roof inspected every three years or after severe weather occurs.

A roofing contractor can repair small problems such as missing shingles to prevent structural damages from moisture that leaks into attics and wall spaces. When a home’s roof is 20 years old or older, you might need to have a total replacement with new materials.

  • Have Solar Panels Installed

A total replacement of a home’s roof is a wonderful opportunity to install energy-efficient shingles and insulating layers to keep a building cooler in hot temperatures. At the same time, if you are tired of paying huge electrical bills to cool a home, then it is time to have a roofing company’s technicians install lightweight but durable solar panels.

Today, adding solar panels to a home during a roofing repair or replacement is a fast and simple process. It can save you a lot of money in the future.

Don’t Leave Anything to Chance

Do your homework and protect yourself when you shop for a roofing company. Legitimate roofers have nothing to hide and will be happy to answer all of your questions.

If you deal with a top-notch roofing company, it’s more than likely that’s the kind of workmanship you’ll get.