Posts made in September 2018

Chat with a Contractor: What Did He Find?

What Did the Contractor Find During My Roof Replacement Quote That Might Affect My New Roof Installation?

The last thing any of us would want is a service professional providing us with a quote and finding a bunch of issues or problems that we were not prepared to address or spend money on. However, allowing yourself to be convinced by those who are just looking to do the minimum and cover over issues which will cost you thousands later is insane.

Take it from me, we see this every day when we do our initial inspection for homeowners and provide them with a bid. Here are some tips that will help you make sound decisions and point you in the right direction when they are presented to you.

  1. Get explanations on problem areas that you know of or don’t know of. Missing shingle areas, existing leaks, etc. may be damaged beyond what is seen.
  2. If you are shopping for a new roof expect to have some issues pointed out. You must realize you may have a problem sooner than later. So what are they? Get answers.
  3. Sometimes it’s just not the roof. It could be the chimney, siding, gutters, etc. that’s actually causing the problem. Distinguish those problems so that the same problem does not exist once the new roof has been installed.
  4. Update to modern technology. If tin is found, you need to replace it with aluminum. Your installation should always include all new flashings. (Pipes, chimney, valleys, etc.)
  5. Unlike duct tape, caulking does not fix everything. Caulking is designed to make things look pretty and “aid” in the performance of the installation, not be the determining factor. Having caulking issues pointed out could be the difference between a new roof now and a new roof 5 years from now.

Knowing what the real problems are vs. letting someone tell you what you want to hear will be the difference in getting a project installed the correct way. The good roofing contractors will let you know what needs done to do the job the right way. The bad ones will try and convince that you just need what they want to do. In most cases that’s just pound shingles on your roof.

Chat with a Contractor: It’s Not Just The Shingles Part 2

Part 2: The Percentage of Roof Leaks Not Associated with the Shingles

Broken Shingles

In our last blog we touched on the premise that roof shingles rarely are the problem when roof leaks develop. Feeling that we did not provide a complete list, we wanted to finish our thoughts on that. Here are some other situations that should be looked at before you blame your roof leak on the shingles.

 

Gutters:
If not routinely cleaned and maintained, they can cause serious problems and allow water infiltration when you least expect it. Back up or overflow issues may penetrate through fascia boards or into window head areas. Having the proper apron system installed would alleviate a lot of these issues as well as a good cleaning each year.

Ridge Vents:
New ridge vent technology is pretty sound with shingle caps being installed over top of them. Old style ridge vents, because of design and age, cause more problems due to wear and tear than anything. Something a lot of roofing contractors do not take into consideration when installing ridge vent cap is the direction that the weather comes from. You should always install your cap shingles away from the weather so that the open end is opposite the driven weather.

Fascia and Siding Meeting Areas:
Back in the day, siding manufacturers’ accessories were not much bigger than your average ¾ inch fascia. Not many issues could be pointed to what I am about to tell you. Today’s sidings and accessories used to usually extend past the average fascia board, leaving a lip above the J channel and can allow water to infiltrate. In this case, bigger is not always better and can present a problem.

Items Not Related To Your Roof At All:

Do you have an AC unit located in your attic? Is there duct work or exhaust fan piping running across the attic floor? These are just a couple of things that we have run across over the years. AC units and condensation speak for themselves. Duct work or piping can also create a condensation pool that will leak out of the pipe, through the insulation and into your living area. You might want to consider a routine inspection or an overview of a qualified individual or company to get an honest and fair assessment of what might be at risk there.

Siding Maintenance By Material

House Siding

As a homeowner, home maintenance likely takes up a lot of your time, as housekeeping and yard trimming tend to be pretty time-consuming chores. Luckily, siding by nature is durable and doesn’t require that much upkeep. That being said, a little TLC here and there to preserve the longevity of your siding never hurts. Here are some ways to maintain your siding, in accordance with its material.

Vinyl Siding

Vinyl siding is strong enough to the point where it is meant to be left alone, but it is still good to check to make sure that the siding is tightly secured, as even a little bit of looseness can spell trouble for the integrity of the siding. It also helps to give your siding a good power wash either before or after summer, as insects and dirt tend to cling to it during the summer months. Keeping the surface clean will give your home that fresh, newly installed appearance that will make you feel like you just installed them.

Wood Siding

Wood is more sensitive to the elements, and therefore requires treatment every 4 to 6 years, depending on the rigorousness of the climate of your area. Again, a decent pressure wash can do wonders for your home, and will keep away any dirt and insects that would infect and degrade the siding.

Fiber Cement

Fiber cement is one of the strongest and low maintenance siding materials out there, especially the ones that we work with from James Hardie. That being said, low maintenance doesn’t mean no maintenance, and there are still a couple things you can do to keep your siding in the best shape possible. One of them would be to inspect the caulking holding the siding in place around once a year. Check for any cracks and openings that would let moisture inside and risk warping and mold. And just like the previous ones, a solid pressure wash will only help even more.

Cellular PVC Trim

Last but not least we have PVC trim. Again very low maintenance and again will benefit from a pressure wash, a more unique factor is that PVC tends to be more sensitive to temperature, and will expand/contract in accordance to temperature changes. If not sealed correctly the sealant can crack as it fails to expand along with the trim, leaving gaps for insects and debris. Check to make sure that all of your surfaces are sealed tight.

Overall, siding is resistant and low maintenance, but when it comes to what is essentially shielding for your home, it’s never a bad idea to make sure that everything is in tip-top shape. If you are still unsure about the state of your siding, and/or have questions on maintenance, reach out to us over at Doing It Right to schedule an inspection. We have experienced contractors who are experts in siding, and will know exactly what will be the best course of action for you.