Thursday, November 5, 2015
Monday, March 10, 2014
The siding panels may have pulled a little during the cold and allowed moisture to wick in and cause damage. A little caulk goes a long way towards avoiding siding replacement.
Cedar decks will be showing rot, especially on the ends and knots of the decking boards. Replacing a few boards and keeping the deck sealed saves money in the long run.
Make sure the shrubs are trimmed at 12" away from the home. You need that space for air flow to keep windows and siding dry, which prevents rot. You might want to wait a bit to trim the flowering shrubs such as lilac, however.
It doesn't take much effort or time to prevent large repair bills down the road.
Sunday, July 14, 2013
Tuesday, February 19, 2013
Something I saw far too often was evidence of "six pack construction" where a homeowner brought in his buddies who KNEW construction and they went after it. The most frequent mistake I saw was electrical fires waiting to happen. Now that the sheet rock is off we can find all the hidden junction boxes or splices just wrapped in tape. If it sounds as if these scenes scared me, it's because they did. If the power had not been turned off when the salt water got into these connections it could have spelled disaster. Copper and salt water (well, any water, but especially salt water) do not mix. The connections will quickly corrode. Some of the homes racked in the high winds. A house that literally twists in the wind can torque a bad connection, which will make it arc, spark and burn.
Some homeowners told me they had friends ready to come over and help out again. These folks are truly convinced they know what they are doing and that they are doing these folks a favor by helping out. In reality this free help may well end up costing them their homes and their lives.
Please remember that this type of work is best left to those with a license and the background to do it correctly. It is very unlikely that the well-meaning friend really knows the code. By the way, new code went into effect in many areas as of January 2013.
The second most common problem was decks. Those that were installed correctly seemed to come through the flood in good condition. Those that had the posts barely into the ground floated and warped and need to be replaced. The few dollars saved by not setting posts deep enough will now cost them thousands of dollars to replace the deck. Again, the code is there for a very good reason.
Tuesday, August 7, 2012
Tuesday, January 17, 2012
Monday, January 9, 2012
When building or remodeling you need to watch every dollar to make you spend it wisely. There are very few people who are a bigger fan of saving money than I am, but sometimes saving a few dollars now can cost you dearly later on. This is very true when it comes to garage doors. You can be penny wise and pound foolish here. Although current code requires bracing many older or inexpensive doors do not have the angle iron bracing that keeps them from buckling or breaking in high winds. When I survey damage after a natural disaster and see bowed or missing garage doors caused by straight-line winds I can’t help but feel sorry for the homeowner. The original savings of a couple hundred dollars is wiped out by the deductible (if they even have insurance) when the door gives way. The worst case I saw was a home that apparently used the less expensive doors (this was new home). Every other home on this cul-de-sac was fine, but this home was missing the entire left half of the structure. It had literally exploded. While we were trying to figure out the cause, someone suddenly said “garage doors.” The straight-line winds came into the area, built up against the doors and broke them. When the doors gave way it pressurized the garage and “exploded” the whole left side of the home, taking out the garage and bedroom above it. Every other home in the cul-de-sac was fine. Sad to say, the couple of hundred dollars they saved on the original cost of the doors cost about $100,000 in repairs.
If you have older doors that do not have angle iron bracing you add it for a very low cost. Companies such as Overhead Door are glad to do it if you are not comfortable doing it yourself.