ROOFING

Do it yourself roof repair can be a dangerous job if you don’t know what you’re doing and if you have no experience, especially on rooftops. I strongly suggest having any repairs done professionally for the obvious reasons mentioned. Several questions arise and will affect the cost. First, do you want to do the entire roof, or just repair what needs it right away?

If you are lucky, your neighbor is doing his/her roof and their house is the same age as yours. Carefully look at what they find and expect a similar situation at your house. In any case, it is certainly much better to check and repair a roof before it leaks, not after. If you delay, you may find yourself repairing not only the roof but also the interior walls. How do you identify roofing problems? Some things can be seen from a distance. Look for problems with flashing around vents and at chimney bases. Frequently, worn shingles can be seen without getting on the roof. Look for visible cracks or loose shingles. Most of the time, looking to repair the roof is prompted by leaks inside.

If you want to put yourself in a position not to have to think about the roof for awhile, invest in the highest quality materials available from your roofer. There are several types of roof coverings used. The most popular are architectural shingles which give a textured appearance. In years past, they were made of asbestos but that has been eliminated due to the danger of asbestos. An aside: if your house has asbestos roofing and it has to be removed for some reason, it can get very expensive because there are rules almost everywhere about how to dispose of asbestos. In many cases, that reason alone can prompt re-roofing over old roofing. Then there are cedar shakes and shingles which generally last longer than architectural shingles. Add to that clay and/or terra cotta shingles which became popular here in the late 1800’s because of their popularity in Europe. Repairing existing terra cotta shingles can sometimes be difficult because matching the shape and color is not easy. Most often, clay shingles have to be imported which adds to the expense.

Slate roofs are supposed to last a long time, over a hundred years is claimed. If you want a slate roof or if you have one that needs repair, make sure you get a contractor with experience on slate roofs. Slate is not only very expensive, it is very heavy and requires special equipment. Finally there are metal roofs which are also quite varied and extremely durable/

How To Clean Your Door and Window Screens Properly

No matter how much we try to prevent it, dust and dirt will always be present in our homes. If you fail to clean your residence, you can expect these harmful elements to accumulate to your detriment. Once this happens, your health will be exposed to a wide range of diseases and ailments. That’s why you need to invest an ample time and effort in keeping your house clean. You have to go and get rid of all the dirt you see in every area of your beloved home. One of the many tasks you need to do is ensure your screen door and windows are clean.

The use of screens in your doors and windows are a great way to improve air flow into your house. These screens allow the passage of air for better ventilation while keeping dust and dirt from entering your lungs. At the same time, the presence of screens can also filter out these harmful elements and prevent them from affecting your belongings.

Before you start cleaning the screens, you will need a screwdriver to take out your screens. You will also need large towels, multi-purpose cleaning products, and a vacuum machine. Of course, you’ll also need an area with no obstruction to better clean the screens.

First and foremost, take your screwdriver to take the screens out. Keep in mind where’ll place those screws because they can be easily lost. It’s recommended to keep them in a small plastic container and out of reach from children. After you have taken the screens out from your door and windows, bring them to an area where no one will be affected by this task.

Now, get those towels, lay them on the ground, and place the dirty screens on top of them. Turn on the vacuum machine to suck all of the visible dirt and dust stuck in them. The towels will help prevent these harmful elements from spreading and keep them concentrated in one area.

Next, get a basin and pour around ¼ of a cup filled with a multi-purpose cleaning product. Afterwards, fill the basin with water until the mixture feels soapy enough for your preferences. Keep in mind to mix the whole thing up so the cleaning product will properly combine with the water. Otherwise, you won’t be able to clean your screens well.

Get your hose and wash the screens first with water to eliminate any remaining dirt and dust. Set your hose nozzle at a medium setting to prevent destroying your screens. If you set it at a powerful setting, the fragile construction of the screens will give way to your hose’s water pressure.

Once the screens are wet, you can dip a sponge or microfiber cloth into the soap mixture. Use this sponge or cloth to wash off your screens and bring them back to their original condition. Again, be careful when you perform this step because of your screen’s delicate nature. One wrong move and you might punch a hole in it. It’s better to use a soft stroke as you clean every inch of these screens.

When you are done washing them with soap, you can start rinsing the screens with your hose. Again, use a medium setting to wash the soap away from your screens. Use a different towel or piece of cloth to dry off your screens. Leave them in a place where they can dry under the sun.

Before you reinstall them, take your vacuum out again and use it on your screens one last time. This should be done to eliminate any trace of dust that got stuck while you left the screens to dry. Find those screws and attach the screens to its corresponding doors and windows. After you have reinstalled them, you’re as good as done.

 

Read This Before Fixing A Leaky Roof

The roof is a fundamental part of a house. Without it, we will be drenched in water once it is raining. That is why it’s troublesome once our roof is damaged and water starts to damage our ceilings, walls, and other things inside our homes.

If you noticed that you have a roof leak, it is advisable to fix it immediately no matter how small it is. Even for a short time, small leaks can lead to bigger problems – it can cause the spread of molds, rotten framing and may lead also lead to more damage to your ceiling.  Fixing the damaged area immediately may even save you tons of money and time for repairs.

The hardest part in fixing a damaged roof is locating the damaged area. Once you have located the area, it will be easier for you to do the repairs. You can even do it yourself without the help of any professional roofers. That’s how easy it is!

The most common source of roof leaks are usually items that penetrate on the roof. These can be roof vents, dormers, chimney or anything that can be projected through the roof. When you are trying to track down where the leak is coming from, it is best to look for any stains like black marks, water stains or molds. Once you notice these marks, the damaged area will most likely be just above it or can be a few distance to the left or right.

There are many ways on how to repair a leaking roof but the fastest way to repair it is by patching the hole that is causing the leakage with a piece of galvanized sheet metal flashing. You can easily find this type of sheets at any hardware or home depot center.

If you decide to do the repairs on your own, remember to always be cautious because it could also lead to a severe to life-threatening injury especially when it is your first time doing it. It is advisable to fix your roof when it is completely dry because a wet roof is slippery and could be very dangerous for you. It is also best to use rubber-soled shoes because they provide the best traction when working on a roof.

 

BUILDING CODES

If you’re a do-it-yourselfer and are doing anything significant to your home, make sure you check the local building codes. They are always changing and usually to make something safer, not necessarily better and rarely easier. This is particularly true if you live in an old house. The older the house, the more changes are likely to be required. Lets start with electrical codes. The evolution of electrical wiring from early “nob and tube” is one significant item. Fuse boxes almost always have to be replaced with circuit breakers. The location and number of electrical outlets is a code item. If your house is an old one you can be sure you don’t have enough outlets. Moreover, they have to be grounded. Kitchen and bathrooms require GFCI (ground fault circuit interrupter), sometimes called GFI outlets, which have a breaker built right into the outlet which will pop if there’s a short circuit or overload. Remember, water is an electrical conductor. Plumbing is another code item. Lead pipes can be a problem and they are not a cinch as the cliché says. Asbestos associated with the heating system will usually have to be removed if you are making any major changes to the system like replacing the burner. A word about asbestos: it should be removed professionally if you don’t know how to do it safely. Dry asbestos flakes and becomes dangerous dust. If you are doing anything to exterior walls, consider the code for insulation requirements, which will invariably require increasing it or in some cases putting it in where it never existed. I strongly suggest you get a building permit for the work you are going to do and be sure you have it inspected to be sure you conform. The cost for the permit is usually nominal. It’s not the cost of the permit that bothers DIYers, it’s the cost of bringing things up to code and the bother of dealing with the inspection process. Some towns are easy to deal with. Others are impossible. But if you do work without a permit, you are in danger of being forced to undo your work if you’re caught. It’s not usually worth the risk. If you are doing major work, ripping it out can be very expensive not to say aggravating. A word to the wise…