Archive for the ‘weather proofing’ Category

How to Prepare Your Windows for the Winter

Window

Open Window

It is extremely important to prepare your whole house, along with the windows, for the winter months. When working properly, windows allow the warmth and light of the sun to fill your home as they show you what is going on in the outside world. If your windows are improperly insulated, they allow the warmth inside your house to get out and end up raising your utility costs. Depending on the severity, your windows could be costing you hundreds of extra dollars every year in the Baltimore area. Continue reading

What is a Roof Made From?

Roof Sagging

Sagging Roof

There are many different types of materials from which a commercial roofing contractor in New Port beach can make a roof from. They each have their own advantages as well as disadvantages. If you are wanting to use the same material that your roof now uses it is quite possible. It is also possible to view some alternative materials that will last a long time, have low maintenance, and are friendly to the environment. Here are some of the materials that roofs use today, what style of house they are usually used on, and the advantages and disadvantages of each. Continue reading

How to Protect Windows from Bad Weather

Weather proofing

Weather Stripping

By keeping your windows protected during bad weather, you are also protecting yourself from things like broken glass. You must have your Baltimore home ready for bad weather long before it is at your door. Figuring out ways to protect your windows from mother nature can make a big difference in the damage a storm can do to your home.

If a vicious storm hits and throws something into your window, breaking it, the wind will start wreaking havoc on anything that it can blow around inside your home. If the storm is bad enough, it can end up putting pressure on the roof and pushing it up until it comes off completely. Continue reading

When to Replace My Roof

Roof Sagging

Sagging Roof

This is a question every home owner will ask themselves at least once in their lifetime.  Sometimes more depending how many houses you have owned.  Don’t wait until you see water spots or stains in your house to consider that it may be time to replace your roof.  If you wait that long, your costs of repairs will increased.  Be pro-active and keep an eye on your roof at regular intervals.  One easy way is to pick a holiday(s) during the year and ear mark that time to do a visual inspection.  This is an easy way to keep a regular schedule.  If you find a leak, don’t immediately decide that you need a new roof.  Put on your inspectors hat and start looking for compromised area.  Finding water leaks can be very difficult because water “travels”.  This means that water rolls on the surface below it.  You need to follow the trail backwards until you find the point of origin.  This is often frustrating and sometimes impossible for the DIYer because there are areas where you do not have access to the roof from the inside. Continue reading

Tips for Remodeling a Historic Home

Roofing a historical home

Historical Home’s Slate Roof

To remodel a historic home, you have to be extremely dedicated to this project and be interested in the history behind the home and the time era it was built and maintained.  Research other homes of that era.  This will take research on the internet or by talking to historians.  It’s not like you can take a drive and look at homes built within the past 20 years.  If your house is historic, chances are there are other ones in the neighborhood that are very close to yours.  After all, the people that bought the other historic home have the same goal as you do………to preserve and restore.  That being said, talk to your neighbors and share ideas. 

Home Interior

 Get to know what makes the home unique in terms of architecture, materials used, and design of construction. Be realistic about the costs you will incur.  If it truly is historic, chances are that many of the crucial necessities to live in it may be damaged or not work at all.  Assess heating, plumbing and electrical first, since these are likely to be outdated and costly to replace.  Updating the electrical wiring and HVAC are 2 items that will certainly require attention to your budget.  You will need to install wiring that meets current building code.  Best to get a license electrician in Atlanta to perform this job.  To get to your wiring you will have to take down the walls to the studs or lath.  Be mindful of the walls you are taking down as you want to make them look as close to what they originally looked like. Do your best not to use drywall.  If you must, use wall board and consider adding a texture to it simulating the old surface.

One of the most unique characteristics of a historic home is its woodwork.  The moldings and staircases were beautiful pieces of art in the older homes.  This is truly the signature of a skilled carpenter.  Try to find a cost effective way to get the woodwork looking as close as possible to the original design.  It will be very costly to have a woodworker create an exact replica of the wood designs used during that time period so use current wood moldings in a way that are reflective of the ones used at that time. 

Home Exterior

When new homes are built, it’s planned by an architect and a builder at the same time.  That part hasn’t changed whether it is new or ones from 100 years ago.  When restoring your old home, everything should remain to scale the way it was originally built.

When looking to replace a slate roof, do some research on the expected longevity of the tile used on the roof?   Do regular maintenance.  Maintenance in this case would be close visual inspections.  Since you DO NOT want to climb on the roof, you may want to use a pair of binoculars to get that close up look.  If you see signs of deterioration or broken slates, get in touch with a roofer who specializes in slate roofs.  Get multiple quotes and inspections.  Shop around for a slate restorer.  Some will be cheaper than others.  Ask your neighbors how they restored theirs and who they used. 

Try to re-use the old wooden windows.  You will probably have to replace the glass (which is an easy fix and not extremely expensive) but will not be able to find a new frame built with the same style as the wooden one.  Use the wooden frame as long as possible.  Only you can be the judge on when to replace them with ones built with new material.  If you have a window with leaded glass, check to make sure all the mosaic pieces are solid and held in place.  If one piece of glass comes loose the rest of the pieces may also shift making the window irreplaceable.

New Jersey’s Historic Preservation Office, located within the Department of Environmental Protection, brings expertise in a variety of fields essential to preserving historic resources.  You can contact them for rules and guidelines to follow in your preservation.

How to Reduce Utility Bills

Weather proofing

Weather Stripping

Whether it is extremely hot or cold, homeowners and renters alike can face very large utility bills. As energy costs continue to increase we can anticipate that our costs are likely to continue in an upward trend. With utility costs increasing and the troubled economy everyone is looking for ways to save money. There are a few ways that may be effective at reducing home utility costs. Here are a few ideas on ways to save on utility bills without making huge investments of time or money.

Adding Insulation and Weather-stripping

Whether it is summer or winter the home can be more comfortable for less money if it is well insulated. Energy Star has estimated that about 20% of your heating and cooling costs can be saved by adequately insulating the home. Adding insulation is a relatively easy task which you can do yourself and almost immediately start realizing savings. Don’t forget that you can also insulate your water heater and help save some on water heating costs. Light switches and electrical outlets can also be insulated to prevent leakage of air. This is especially useful if they are on an outside wall. Weather-stripping is also an easy do-it-yourself project that will not require a lot of time or expense. Weather-stripping around doors can help keep indoor air inside and outdoor air out which means your heater or air conditioner will not have to work as hard to keep you comfortable. Continue reading

Reduce the Risk of Mold

Bathroom Mold

Bathroom Window Mildew

When mold grows in a home it can be very damaging to the property as well as cause a wide variety of health related problems. Exposure to mold can cause respiratory problems as well as allergic reactions and skin irritation. For the home it can mean unsightly stains and in many cases irreparable damage. The best option for homeowners is to prevent incidents of mold growth altogether so that there is no threat of health related problems or damage to the home. By being proactive a homeowner can many times prevent the growth of mold altogether. The primary contributors to mold growth are water leaks, condensation and high humidity. Here are some tips on how to reduce the risk of mold growth. Continue reading