Common Home Exterior Issues in the Winter

Common Home Exterior Issues in the Winter

As winter hits, you might begin to notice certain issues with your home’s exterior. Your roof seems to have sustained damage and there are other problems that need fixed as well. Some of the causes may not be clear, so you might not know what to repair. You don’t want to have to endure these problems the whole winter, so you should know what some of the most common home exterior issues are and how to fix them. Ice Dams This problem is one of the most likely during the winter and potentially the most damaging. Ice dams are formed when melted snow collects along valleys and gutters on your roof and then refreezes. The frozen water creates a dam for water that seeps into your roof, damaging your shingles and flashing and causing leakage inside your home. Periodically clear your roof of snow by shoveling or raking it off to prevent this. This can be a pretty dangerous job, so we recommend calling a professional to help you with it. Clogged Gutters Another major problem that must be addressed during the winter is clogged gutters. Ideally, your gutters should be cleared of all leaves and debris before it snows, but unfortunately, that doesn’t always happen. If your gutters are clogged, the snow and melted water will collect in them, potentially causing ice dams and other roof and gutter damage. To prevent this, you’ll want to have your gutters cleaned out. You can do this yourself, but make sure you take the proper safety precautions. Have someone hold the ladder for you, dress warmly, and use lightweight tools. If...
Tips for Hanging Outdoor Christmas Lights Like a Pro

Tips for Hanging Outdoor Christmas Lights Like a Pro

Christmas is just around the corner and those who are looking to get the most out of their holiday season may already be considering putting up their Christmas lights. It’s a dangerous job, but you can get it done like a pro by following a few simple tips. Design Planning You could just start stringing up your lights and see how it turns out, but you’ll get better results if you attack this project with a plan in mind. Some design aspects to consider before you climb up on the roof include: Where you will hang the lights from: You will need to employ different securing hardware and methods for shingles, gutters, deck railings, trees, bushes, etc. The number of lights needed: The number of lights you need for your project depends on how much ground you want to cover and how dense you want the lighting to be. A good rule of thumb is to have 100 lights for every 1 ½ feet. Take measurements, and add more if you’re looking for a brighter display. Highlighting a focal point: If you’re looking to illuminate a wreath, Santa display, large pine tree, or any other star attraction as part of your display, you’ll need to plan for extra lighting, varying colors, blinking lights, or other design features for this area. Adding variety: The roof line is a classic spot for hanging Christmas lights, but you may be looking to add a little variety to your display. Consider lining doors and windows, bordering driveways and walkways, surrounding posts, pillars and railings, and atop bushes, hedges, and trees. Hanging Without a...
Stone vs. Brick: How to Choose What’s Best for Your House

Stone vs. Brick: How to Choose What’s Best for Your House

You’re considering stone and brick sidings for the siding project on your home. These two types of siding are both stunning and can add a lot of personality to your home. They also add a lot of aesthetic appeal and increased value. Stone and brick can both help your home match the natural landscape and the architectural atmosphere in the place you live. Before you make your decision, here are some pros and cons of stone and brick that will help you become more informed. Stone Pros Stone is maintenance free and very durable. It is a good thermal protector, meaning it will keep your house warm in the winter. Stone can be salvaged, cleaned, and reused on other structures making it recyclable and better for the environment.  It’s also safer than many other sidings because it’s fireproof. Stone comes in many different colors, styles, and cuts so you can easily customize your home with it. Cons Stone is very expensive, in fact, it’s the most expensive siding on the market. If you want the look of stone, but don’t want to pay a fortune, you could use a lightweight veneer product. Stone is also heavy and can cause your mortar joints to deteriorate. These joints and the stone need to be inspected regularly, which also increases costs. Brick Pros Like stone, brick is maintenance free, lasts for many years, and is recyclable. It is also a thermal protector and holds up well in harsh climates. Brick comes in many beautiful colors other than the classic red. Brick is typically less expensive than stone. Cons Brick is expensive, but...
Vinyl Siding Versus Composite Siding: Choosing What Is Best for Your Home

Vinyl Siding Versus Composite Siding: Choosing What Is Best for Your Home

When building or renovating a home, it’s important that you pick the right siding. You want to choose something that’s durable, cost-effective, and will add to the aesthetic quality of your home. You may be torn between vinyl siding or composite siding. Here is a little information about both options that will help you decide what’s best for your house. Vinyl Pros Vinyl is a very attractive form of siding that comes in many different styles and colors. Vinyl is relatively low-maintenance compared to other sidings because it doesn’t need any paint. All a vinyl needs is a basic annual cleaning with a spray or power washing. Vinyl siding is typically durable and will last for many decades. Vinyl protects the house from the elements and isn’t affected by dry rot or insect infestation. Additionally, it’s great for the environment because it can be recycled and it provides insulation, thus helping with heating and cooling costs and offering an energy-saving tool. Vinyl is much more cost-effective than wood siding because it doesn’t need to be repainted or touched up. Cons The downside of siding is that the color can fade over time because it’s exposed to sun and outside elements. Vinyl is sometimes not watertight either. Water can sometimes get between the siding and the surface of your home, causing mold problems. Composite Pros Composite is a newer form of siding than vinyl. It doesn’t need to be painted, making it fairly low-maintenance for the home owner. It also comes in many different colors and styles. You can mix these colors and styles on the surface of your home,...
Your Summer Maintenance Checklist for the Exterior of Your Home

Your Summer Maintenance Checklist for the Exterior of Your Home

The summer is a great time to tackle the maintenance on the exterior of your home. The warm weather and long hours of daylight make these tasks easy to do after work or on the weekends. By keeping up with a regular maintenance schedule, you can ensure that your home stays in good repair and that you spot any potential problems before they get too big (or expensive!). To help you keep on target, here is a quick to do list of four summer maintenance items for the exterior of your home. Check for insects. The warm weather will draw out all sorts of creepy crawlers, including ants, moths and spiders. If you use an exterminator, schedule your regular visit to spray your home. Otherwise protect your home by using an ant poison or spray around the edges of your home and the doors. Check for cobwebs in the corners of your roof or patio and remove any you find with the swipe of a broom. Clean your deck or patio. Before you bring your friends and family out for a backyard BBQ, make sure that you give your deck or patio a good, thorough power washing. Restaining your deck will also make it come alive. During the cleaning process, check for loose boards, large cracks, or unsafe railings or posts. Make sure you get them repaired as soon as possible. Inspect your roof. The winter and spring elements (including the wind and rain) can cause all sorts of havoc with your roof. Prepare for the upcoming fall and winter by having your roof inspected while the weather is...