Shingles That Stand Up Against Hail

Posted on: July 8th, 2017 by Lori Smith
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Depending on where you live, hail can be a big problem when it comes to protecting your property. A bad hail storm can wipe out a whole neighborhood, damaging windows, plants, siding, and, of course, the roof.

Along the Front Range of Colorado, we have plenty of weather extremes. Even though you hear a lot about the crazy weather in Texas, our state came in right behind the Lone Star State for highest number of hail damage claims for 2016, according to the Denver Post:

Colorado ranks second to Texas for number of hail-damage claims – The Denver PostShingles that stand up to hail

Colorado ranks second only to Texas for the number of insurance claims filed due to hail strikes on homes, property and cars the past three years, according to the National Insurance Crime Bureau.

Hail-related insurance claims in Colorado numbered 182,591 between 2013 and 2015, accounting for 9 percent of the U.S. total. That’s high for a state with only 1.7 percent of the country’s population.

Texas, which could fit three Colorados within its borders, had 394,572 hail-related claims, or 19 percent of the U.S. total, making it the top state.

Read the original post here:  Colorado ranks second to Texas for number of hail-damage claims

With this in mind, it would be wise to find the best shingles that stand up against hail. There are a number of options that will fit the bill, but it does depend on how much you want to spend.

Shingles made of clay and concrete are higher in cost, partially due to the necessary infrastructure to support their weight, but are extremely durable. Dimensional shingles, also known as architectural or laminated shingles, are becoming more popular because of their wind, fire, and hail resistance, but again they cost 20 – 40% more than 3-tab asphalt shingles.

Metal is another good option for hail resistant roofing, but it really comes down to initial cost vs durability. Insurance companies, such as the one in the next video, report that impact resistant roofing materials, sometimes referred to as Class 4 materials, will not only last longer but they can save you money with potential insurance premium discounts:

So let’s get down to the bottom line, which is the cost based on your insurance policy.  Will your insurance company pay for the damages? There are some factors that will influence the answer.

Events such as disastrous “acts of God” like tornadoes or hurricanes are usually covered along with unpreventable issues like vandalism and fires. However, hail and wind can be a little different, as there are outlying components that will decide the percentage of damage that is covered.

One big factor is the age of your roof. If your roof is older than 10 years, then you need to have regular inspections to check for problems, and more than likely you may only be reimbursed for the depreciated value of the damaged roof.

The following post discusses how depreciation works:

Does My Insurance Policy Cover Roof Damage? | Homesite InsuranceHome Insurance

Some policies take the age of your roof into account at the time it is damaged. For example, if your roof is under 10 years old, you may be covered for the full cost of repairing or replacing the damaged section of your roof at the time of the claim. If your roof is over 10 years old, you may only be reimbursed for the depreciated value of the damaged roof. The depreciated value takes the aging and wearing of your roof into account, meaning its value has decreased prior to any damage occurring. Depending on where you live, some policies will only offer roof damage coverage up to the depreciated value, regardless of the age of your roof. Other policies will cover the full cost of repairing or replacing the damaged section of your roof at the time of the claim, regardless of the age of your roof.

See more here:  Does My Insurance Policy Cover Roof Damage? | Homesite Insurance

No matter what, your insurance provider will send an inspector to your property to verify your claim and give you an estimate of the damages. You’d be wise to take some before and after pictures of your roof as proof.

 

Do All Buildings Need A Gutter System?

Posted on: June 30th, 2017 by Lori Smith
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Building a home is a humongous undertaking. There are so many details to contemplate and decisions to make that it can make your head spin.

One component that might be lost in the confusion is whether you need a gutter system for your property. It’s not a glamorous part of your home, but it has an essential function that can mean major problems if it isn’t included in the planning.

gutters on a new home

Pixabay

If water collects at the base of your home and seeps down into the foundation, it can lead to some big concerns for your real estate. A gutter system is there to help divert the water away from the foundation, potentially saving you thousands of dollars in home repairs.

Some of the complications with water permeating the base of your home are expansion and contraction of the soil, leading to problems like cracks in your sheet rock, doors and windows that don’t close right, and uneven floors.

This post explains more about this issue:

Foundation Issues from the Outside – What Causes Them

Backfilled soil around the foundation is looser than the natural soil, meaning it’s more porous than the surrounding area and collects much more water.

Additional water will collect around your foundation if it’s located near bedrock. Bedrock naturally drains water to springs and other water sources but can be blocked by the presence of your home, causing it to collect around your foundation.

As the backfilled soil settles around your home, it can create a dip in the area where water will pool and collect. If the soil is not regraded so the water runs downhill away from your house, the pooling water will drain into the soil around your home

Read the original post here:  Foundation Issues from the Outside – What Causes Them

If you live in an area that gets quite a bit of precipitation, rain gutters can prevent some of these headaches. With a properly installed gutter system, the water is channeled off the roof, into the downspout, and away from your property.

On the other hand, if your gutters don’t have the correct slope toward the downspout, which is 1/2 inch for every 10 feet, then you are asking for problems. They also require some maintenance to keep them functioning properly.

This video shows a gutter system that isn’t installed or maintained correctly:

The amount of water pooling at the foundation of the house in the above video is a nightmare waiting to happen. That area of the home could have problems with soil deterioration and settling, causing the foundation to shift.

Do all buildings need a gutter system? You can probably get away without one if you live in a location that has a very dry, arid climate. In the Denver Metro area, even though the average rainfall is only 8 to 15 inches, you are still going to want some sort of drainage to direct water away from your home or business.

What does it cost to have gutters installed? If you are willing to do it yourself, the materials aren’t overly expensive. Most people, however, don’t have the time or knowledge for installing a rain gutter correctly.

The following post gives a general idea of the expense:

Cost to install gutters – Estimates and Prices at Fixr

Rain gutter

Wikimedia Commons

The average cost to install galvanized or aluminum gutters is approximately $4 to $9 per linear foot. There are also vinyl gutters which are much easier to install, and which run at roughly $3 to $5 per linear foot. Therefore, installing from 125 to 200 feet of gutters will cost $1050-$2400.

These prices, however, tend to apply strictly to the DIY homeowners. When a professional gutter company is hired for the work the prices will climb a bit with averages ranging from $1050 and $2400, and with separate prices assigned to downspout installations.

See the full post here:  Cost to install gutters – Estimates and Prices at Fixr

You are always wise to consult with a Front Range builder to get their opinion. Another consideration is whether there are specific codes in a your location for what is allowed and what isn’t.

Commercial vs Residential Roofs – How Are They Different?

Posted on: June 24th, 2017 by Lori Smith
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Most people think that a roof is a roof, whether it is a commercial building or a home.  However, there are some fairly big differences between the two.

It mostly comes down to the sheer size of the building itself and how much more area the roofing structure has to span. Also, commercial buildings many times have either a flat roof or a low pitched roof line, so this requires more maintenance and inspections.Commercial Building

The amount of load a commercial roof can handle is another factor when considering the distinctions.  The following post gives a good explanation of the contrasts of commercial vs residential roofs:

What Is the Difference Between Commercial and Residential Roofing?

First, the structural needs of a commercial roof are different than a residential roof. Obviously, commercial roofs may be considerably larger – imagine the size of a roof on a shopping mall compared to the size of the roof on your house and you’ll get the picture. In addition, the load requirements, fixtures, and even materials will vary significantly between commercial and residential roofs. For example, commercial roofs must have a larger load-bearing capacity than residential roofs often just because of the materials involved in their construction. Similarly, installation of a commercial roof requires a much larger crew than residential roofs simply because it’s a bigger job.

See the original post here:  What Is the Difference Between Commercial and Residential Roofing?

The formula used to calculate the span of a roof and what type of support is needed is rather complicated. This is what a structural engineer is trained to understand, and commercial construction plans start with this expert analyzing, predicting, and calculating the stability, strength and rigidity of a structure.

In this video, the structural engineer discusses load bearing and how to calculate it:

As a business owner living on the Front Range of Colorado, the weather can sometimes be harsh. Because of this, your commercial  property takes a beating by the sun, wind, moisture, fallen trees, etc. Knowing this, it is important that you protect your investment.

Regular inspections are essential in guarding against the extreme heat and cold. Also making certain that you have a good warranty on the new roof of your commercial building will save some headaches.

Roofing materials and installation may be covered by product warranties, but your property insurance is a different subject altogether. There are some factors that you need to stay on top of  so your insurance company can’t claim negligence, as noted in the next quote:

Make Sure Your Insurance Covers Your Commercial RoofCommercial Roof

No insurer will pay out on a claim if negligence on your part caused the damage. This means you must keep careful records demonstrating:

  • Annual or semi-annual inspections
  • Routine maintenance and repair
  • Logs of visitors to the roof and their purpose
  • Due diligence in addressing problems
  • Warranties for existing materials and labor

See the original post here:  Make Sure Your Insurance Covers Your Commercial Roof

Make sure any updates on the building are added to the insurance policy so that are covered as well, such as a new sign or HVAC components. Check your policy regularly and ask questions to assure that the entire roofing system is covered, what damages it will guard against, and that it will be completely replaced if something happens.

Cost of Rent in Denver CO

Posted on: June 16th, 2017 by Lori Smith
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I haven’t written about the housing market in Denver and all along the Front Range area for quite some time, so I thought it might be time to post an update on what the prospect of renting a home or apartment in the metro area might entail.

Downtown-Denver-Skyscrapers

Wikimedia Commons

If you own real estate, the news is great, but for the average population in Denver as well as the whole state of Colorado, the outlook is bleak. In fact, when compared to all the states, Colorado is 12th on the list for the amount of income a person needs to make in order to pay their rent.

This report from Channel 7 News provides the details on what to expect with the cost of rent for a 2-bedroom apartment in Denver CO:

Report: Minimum wage workers have to work 95 hours a week to make rent in Colorado

With a statewide fair-market price of $1,143 per month for a 2-bedroom apartment, a person would need to make $21.97 per hour, working 40 hours each week, in order to avoid spending more than 30 percent of their income on rent, according to the report.

The 30-percent threshold is important because that’s the point at which the federal government considers someone to be “cost burdened,” meaning they will have difficulty paying for other important expenses like food, transportation and medical care.

Read the full post here: Report: Minimum wage workers have to work 95 hours a week to make rent in Colorado – Denver7 TheDenverChannel.com

The fair-market rent in the Denver area is significantly higher than the state, at more than $1,300. This means that a minimum wage worker in Denver would have to work 95 hours a week to pay their rent.

To work that many hours per week means that you have to work more than 18 hours a day in a 5-day week or more than 15 hours daily for 6 days a week. Let’s say you just decide you need to work every day, but even then you would still have to work more than 13 hours to make ends meet.

The next video points out how much the cost has increased from this time last year:

What is the reason for the excessive cost of rent in Denver CO? A big component is the booming economy, in part due to the legalization of marijuana. Then you take into consideration the 300 days of sunshine, the beautiful Rocky Mountains that outline the horizon, and the fact that it has been on the Forbes’ list as one of the best places for business and careers, and you can see the attraction.

Denver also supports a number of growing industries in technology and telecommunications, which is high on the list for millennials in the job market. An additional bonus is that you are only an hour away from some awesome snow skiing.

The following post provides some additional insight on the growing Denver economy:

19 Things You Need to Know About Moving to Denver | SmartAsset.comCost of Living

It is the engine of a booming regional economy, with strong job and income growth in recent years. Plus, it’s home to the 2016 Super Bowl champions. Here are a few things to consider if you’re thinking about moving to Denver.

1. The Cost of Living Is Going Up

Among major U.S. cities, Denver’s cost of living is somewhere near the middle of the pack. It’s not nearly as expensive as Los Angeles or Boston (not to mention San Francisco or New York) but it isn’t as cheap as the big cities in Texas. That being said, housing costs have been rising rapidly in recent years, so this could be changing.

See the full post here:  19 Things You Need to Know About Moving to Denver | SmartAsset.com

Another obvious area of growth in Denver is the construction industry. Jobs in this area are plentiful as there is a lack of skilled laborers. Companies are hiring with no experience needed for anywhere from $12 to $45 per hour, but with the cost of renting or buying at an all-time high you better hope for the mid to upper end of that amount to avoid a long work week.

Fixing a Leaky Skylight

Posted on: June 10th, 2017 by Lori Smith
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The addition of a skylight in any room of your home not only provides natural light and brightens the space, but it adds an architectural element as well. There are even skylights that can be opened to provide air flow, especially handy in a room where there are no exterior walls for a window.

Skylight

Wikimedia Commons

The biggest complaint of people who have a skylight, though, is that they can leak if not installed correctly. This can turn all of the positive traits into a nightmare situation as a leak can cause problems like insulation damage, mold, and eventually structural deterioration.

One of the main culprits is that the weatherproofing or flashing around the skylight is damaged due to deterioration or has been improperly installed. Flashing is used to prevent water from seeping into a junction of your roof with another surface feature such as a chimney, vent pipes, along walls, and, of course, skylights.

This post offers an explanation as to why a skylight might leak:

Why do Skylights leak? | AskARoofer.com

With different types of roof pitches and style of roofing materials are used, the skylight flashing has to be right for the application or you have the possibility for a leak, when a rain storm hits. When using shingles, shakes and slate type materials, a upper and low saddle with step flashing is the rule of thumb. Tile with a profile uses a lead upper and lower saddle, then a pan flashing down the sides. Low slope roofs can use a solid flashing { no steps } or cant strip at the base of the curb, with the low slope roofing sealed at the corners and rolled up the curb. In most cases a fixed skylight flange will cover the metal or roofing, making a good water proof skylight.

Read more here:  Why do Skylights leak? | AskARoofer.com

Skylight Flashing

Wikimedia Commons

That’s a pretty technical description of how to properly install flashing, but the point is that you have to know what you’re doing when putting in a skylight. Usually you are best to consult with a reputable Denver commercial roofer to do the job.

However, if you want to try your own repairs and feel safe being on your roof, first you need to figure out where the leak is. Chances are good that the problem is the seal between the flashing and the roof.

When fixing a leaky skylight, you may need a couple adhesive products: roof cement and clear silicone caulking. Use the roof cement under the flashing as close as possible to where it meets the roofing felt.

Seal up any obvious holes or open seams in the flashing with the same product. Then, clean along the area where the skylight glass meets the frame and use the clear silicone caulk to seal that area.

If you are still experiencing leaks, you may have to replace your skylight, which is shown in the next video:

At 3:40, he shows how to flash the window to make it water tight, which we mentioned is the usual offender of leaks. Managing the step flashing and counter flashing makes the skylight sealed and waterproof.

If you are planning to have a skylight and want to know what type of cost to expect, the prices vary depending on the area. The following graph from Home Advisor shows the average price as well as the potential low and high amount.

 

 

If you want to know the price to expect in your specific zip code, you can enter it in the above graph. Choosing the right skylight for your home is part of the equation, as there are three main types:

  • Fixed Skylights
  • Ventilating Skylights
  • Tubular Skylights

Each has it’s own unique features, but tubular is the most affordable option. One thing to keep in mind is that all require more materials than just the skylight, as you will need lumber, drywall, paint, as well as some roofing materials.

Will Metal Roofing Make My Home Hotter?

Posted on: June 3rd, 2017 by Lori Smith
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It is a well known fact that the most popular roofing material in the U.S. is asphalt shingles. They are relatively light, easy to install, and best of all they are affordable.

However, there is another option that, even though the initial cost is high, it has a ton of perks—metal roofing.

Metal Roof Being Inspected

Wikimedia Commons

Let’s look at some of the advantages to using metal roofing panels:

  1. Their life expectancy is above and beyond most other types of roofing.
  2. Sheets of metal roofing are extremely light weight, so the structural support is minimal.
  3. Metal panels are fire resistant, which is also a plus for your home owner’s insurance.
  4. They are quick and easy to install.

Another pro that many consider a con is heat conduction of a metal roof. Even though many people may wonder, “Will metal roofing make my home hotter?”, this is a total myth.

Metal reflects radiant heat from the sun, minimizing heat gain and air conditioning costs. Ironically, asphalt shingles absorb heat, causing the indoor temperature to rise.

The following post reiterates this fact:

What’s more energy efficient for warmer climates: shingles or a metal roof?

Both metal and asphalt roofing get the job done when it comes to sheltering a building, but they really part ways when it comes to durability, energy efficiency and cost. Asphalt shingles absorb a lot of heat, and that heat doesn’t stop at the roofline; it streams into the structure and increases the indoor temperature by 20 to 25 degrees [source: Florida Solar Energy Center]. Metal roofs, on the other hand, reflect the sun’s heat away from a building, leading to energy savings of about 50 percent, and they can be about 100 degrees cooler on the surface than traditional asphalt roofs [source: MRCA].

Read more here:  What’s more energy efficient for warmer climates: shingles or a metal roof? | HowStuffWorks

When you discuss metal roofing with a contractor, they will tell you that the advantages far outweigh the disadvantages. One point any unbiased roofer will bring up is whether you or not plan to stay in your home for a long time, as most metal roofs have a 50 year warranty.

If you are planning to sell your home in the near future and just want a less expensive option, that also has to be considered. However, a metal roof can increase the value of your home, making it sell quicker and at a better price.

The question of whether a metal roof is energy efficient is answered at around 35 seconds, but  the contractor in the video goes on point out more benefits of installing a metal roof:

The point that metal roofing can be made to imitate other types of roofing materials such as slate, wood, clay, and even asphalt shingles makes them even more versatile. The belief that they are only used on a barn or shop has changed as metal roofing has evolved.

Two important terms when determining whether a roof is going to be energy efficient are refectivity and emissivity.

Reflectivity – The roof surface’s ability to reflect rays from the sun.

Emissivity – The ability of a roof to re-radiate any energy absorbed back to the sky.

A cool roof will usually have a reflectivity rating of higher than 65% or .65 and an emissivity of as close to 1.0 as possible. Studies done on these two factors show that apparently a white metal roof has the best rating, but in general light-colored roofing is better:

Staying Cool with a Metal Roof | GreenBuildingAdvisor.com

Sun Reflecting on a Roof

Wikimedia Commons

EPA Energy Star bases its ratings on initial and aged reflectance but also reports emissivity values. Not surprisingly, the best performers are white metal roofs (ACM Regal White metal roofing with initial reflectance – 0.68; emissivity – 0.86) with some asphalt shingles qualifying, but with much lower reflectance values and similar emissivity (CertainTeed Star White shingles with initial reflectance – 0.29; emissivity – 0.90). You can download a pdf or excel file for all qualified products with their performance properties.

Read the full post here:  Staying Cool with a Metal Roof | GreenBuildingAdvisor.com

Outside of the importance of color,  the pros of metal roofing far override the cons. Consulting with a Denver commercial roofer that has experience with a multitude of different roofing materials will give you more insight on what is best for your situation.

Evidence of Foundation Issues

Posted on: May 27th, 2017 by Lori Smith
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The infrastructure of a home is critical, and the foundation is the core component. The foundation has two main purposes: to withstand dead load and live load.

Dead load refers to holding up the weight of the structure, which is generally a constant load. The live load, however, concerns the people living in the building and all of their stuff.

Home Foundation

Wikimedia Commons

The weather is the biggest factor that can be tough on the base of your home or business. When the weather is too dry, the water evaporates out of the soil and it can shrink, causing the foundation to settle.

With a wet climate, the ground can shift and become unstable. Over saturation of the soil can also put hydrostatic pressure on the foundation, resulting in walls that bow or lean in and eventually crack.

The top signs that your foundation is in trouble are mentioned in this article:

Top 10 signs of Foundation Problems

  1. Uneven Or Sloping Floors
  2. Cracks In Exterior Or Interior Brick
  3. Displaced Or Cracked Moldings
  4. Wall Rotation
  5. Cracks In Walls Or Bowing Of Walls
  6. Cracks In Floor, Floor Tiles, Or Foundation
  7. Doors & Windows Won’t Open Or Close Properly
  8. Separation Of Doors, Windows, & Garage Doors
  9. Spaces Between Wall And Ceiling Or Floor
  10. Walls Separating From House

Read more here:  Top 10 signs of Foundation Problems

If you see some of the above-mentioned issues, you need to contact a company that does foundation repairs. There are a number of ways any foundation problem can be fixed, so be sure you check into what each company has for alternatives.

Some solve the problem with external methods, but some use a less invasive approach, utilizing wall braces and anchors. The next video highlights the general manager of a foundation repair company discussing what to do if you see any issues, and especially when buying a home:

When you are home shopping, foundation problems should send up a lot of red flags. If repairs have previously been done, find out what company did them to be sure they are still in business.

In the above video, he mentions four documents that a home buyer needs to acquire from the current owners:

  1. The original contract
  2. The scope of work
  3. The engineer’s report
  4. The warranty

This documents are essential when negotiating terms for purchasing the home. The cost, time and stress to fix foundation cracks could be a deal breaker.

Any cracks smaller than 1/4 inch aren’t usually a problem, but the cost of bigger repairs are significant. It does depends on where you live, as most construction costs are generally higher on the west and east coast.

In the following graph from Home Advisor, it shows the average price as well as the potential low and high amounts. You can also enter your own zip code and get prices in your location:

 

 

When you find evidence of foundation issues and are looking for someone to do the repairs, be sure to ask around for referrals, check online reviews, and get several estimates. The length of time a company has been in business can also indicate whether they have the knowledge and experience to manage your home foundation issues.

Removing Your Own Asphalt Shingles

Posted on: May 19th, 2017 by Lori Smith
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Having your house or business re-roofed is a pretty big deal. Most people don’t usually decide to change the look of their roof for aesthetic reasons. It is most likely done out of necessity.

An asphalt shingled roof lasts about 15-20 years on average, so the age of your roof is a big component for a re-do. Other reasons are:Damaged asphalt shingles

  • Missing shingles or shingles that are curling and buckling
  • Leaks from wear and tear or storm damage
  • Upgrading to sell your home

It is an expensive investment, so if you don’t mind some hard work you can save money by removing your own asphalt shingles. Roofers refer to it as tear off, and the next post gives an idea of how much you can save:

Roof Removal: How To Tear Off Roof Shingles | The Family Handyman

Before you take on this big chore, get a bid from a contractor to make sure the savings are worth the strain. The cost of professional roof tear-off varies widely, depending on where you live, the style of the roof and how many layers of shingles it has. In most situations, you can expect to save at least $1,000 by doing it yourself. In some situations, you’ll save $3,000 or more.

Roof Removal: How To Tear Off Roof Shingles | The Family HandymanTearing off shingles

Since you can save a pretty good chunk of money, it might be something to consider. The technique isn’t necessarily difficult, but it is a lot of work and you can’t have a fear of heights.

It also doesn’t require a ton of tools. You mostly just need either a pitchfork or a flat edged shovel, a broom to clean up, and something to haul the shingles away in. You’ll also want good gloves, some sunglasses and proper clothing.

Safety is paramount, as you will be working on a pitched roof and at times close to the edge. Use a safety harness or scaffolding to keep your footing solid.

This video gives awesome tips for home improvement projects. The creator, Shannon from House-Improvements.com, is a really good teacher:

There are times when it makes sense to re-cover your existing shingles. Every city has its own code for how many layers are allowed, but most allow for two layers before tearing off and starting fresh. You would be wise check with your local government to be sure.

As mentioned in the video, you might want to get either a dump truck or trailer to get rid of the shingles after tearing them off or consider renting a dumpster, which the company will haul off. If you use a flat trailer or a pickup bed, you are going to have to unload it by hand after a long day of working on a roof.

The following site offers a table to use as a guide for the size of dumpster needed:

Dumpster Sizing For Roofing

Use the table below to determine what size container you will need for asphalt shingles. Make sure to factor in the number of layers to be removed. For example 20 square X 2 layers = 40sq.

Dumpster Size for Tearing off Shingles

See more…

There are a couple ways to dispose of used asphalt shingles, but a lot of people take them to the local landfill. A better option if possible is finding a recycling center in your area to allows them to be reused in a different product.

 

 

 

Best Way to Ventilate Your Attic

Posted on: May 13th, 2017 by Lori Smith
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When the heat of the summer hits here in Colorado, most people rely on a fan or air conditioning to stay cool. There are other things you can do to help keep your house more comfortable, such as keeping your blinds closed, setting your ceiling fans to rotate counter-clockwise or closing doors to rooms that you aren’t using.

Fan

Pixabay

Strategically planting trees to shade your home is another idea to beat the heat. If you can afford to spend more, upgrading your windows to more energy efficient, insulated glass will provide benefits year around.

Another possibility is installing a fan in your attic. There are a number of options, but two of the best are powered attic ventilation and whole house fans. There is some confusion on which is better, and the following post offers some clarity:

Fans in the Attic: Do They Help or Do They Hurt? | GreenBuildingAdvisor.com

Whole-house fans are sometimes confused with ventilation fans that provide fresh air. Unlike a ventilation fan, a whole-house fan — an attic-mounted fan that exhausts air from a home at night — is designed to cool a house (that is, to lower the indoor temperature).

A powered attic ventilator has a different purpose: it is designed to lower the temperature of an attic by exhausting air from the attic and replacing attic air with outdoor air.

Read more here:  Fans in the Attic: Do They Help or Do They Hurt? | GreenBuildingAdvisor.com

Installing a whole house fan isn’t easy, but it is possible for an individual to do it without hiring a professional. However, you don’t want to take a chance the fan is not properly set up to do its job. There is also going to be some electrical work as part of the process and that is something an amateur shouldn’t mess around with.

Since I am a visual person, the explanation in the following video helps to see how a whole house fan can lower the temperature in your home and bring down your electric bill:

Whether you choose a powered attic ventilator (PAV) or a whole house fan, the goal is to save money and be more comfortable. The cost for either fan are reasonable, but the PAV fan is less expensive.  Depending on the model, a whole house fan goes for around $300  – $500 where a PAV averages under $200. If you hire it done, then figure at least double the amount.

Installing your own fan doesn’t require a lot of tools, but you will have to calculate the square footage of your home to estimate the necessary fan size. The following post from Lowe”s gives guidelines for how to calculate the size of the fan you’ll need:

Install a Whole-House Fan

Whole House Fan

Wikimedia Commons

1. Calculate the interior square footage of your home’s living area. Don’t include the garage, attic or basement.2. Multiply this number by 3 to obtain the fan size. Example: 2,000 square feet x 3 = 6,000 CFM (Cubic Feet of air moved per Minute).

Because a whole-house fan exhausts stale, warm air into the attic, a properly sized attic ventilation system is also required to exhaust that air out of the attic.

Read the full post here:  Install a Whole-House Fan

Even though the best way to ventilate your attic is with a whole house fan, they can be somewhat noisy depending on the type that you purchase. A belt driven fan is usually quieter than a direct drive fan. Keep in mind that  a large capacity fan running at a lower speed is usually softer sounding than a smaller fan running on high.

Types of Roof Support Issues

Posted on: May 6th, 2017 by Lori Smith
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When you have a new home built, you get to watch the step-by-step process. However, the average person never sees the inner structure of the roof.  Honestly, most people probably don’t really care and just want the roof to provide cover and not leak.

Roof line

From Pixabay

Since this is a construction blog, though, and I’m a fan of architecture and how homes are put together, this is a topic close to my heart. The process for framing a roof really comes down to assuring it is designed to maintain the structural load, which includes its own weight, the weight of the roof covering, and any environmental load such as snow and wind.

Roofs that are well supported have a complicated system of rafters and trusses, which are the main two components of roofing systems. The following post highlights the main difference between the two:

Difference Between Rafters and Trusses | Difference Between

Roof Truss

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Rafters and trusses are those that support the roof. Though both rafters and trusses are triangles in shape, the trusses have more triangle webs inside the principle frame. Rafters consist of sloping outer beams which provide support.

As the trusses come with a web of triangles inside the main frame, they provide more support than the rafters.

Trusses and rafters are both assembled ahead of being installed onto the roof. Trusses are assembled in a factory using pre-engineered structures and joints. On the other hand, rafters are assembled at the construction site. As trusses are assembled in a factory, a lot of time can be saved.

Read the original post here:  Difference Between Rafters and Trusses | Difference Between

If you buy an older home and want to renovate it, there are specific issues that need to be taken into consideration. Many people want to knock out walls to open up an area and make it bigger. However, you have to first decide whether the wall is weight bearing or not.

You’re best to speak with an architect first, but the man in the following video provides some good information on whether it is safe to take a sledge hammer to a wall:

Sagging walls many times originate with the horizontal ceiling rafters. To make the material span the entire area, you have to join together two rafters, which are typically lapped and toe-nailed together in the center to achieve the necessary strength. If too much weight accumulates, the joint can pull apart and the ridge line can sag.

Other reasons for problems can consist of a construction defect, a leak that is neglected, or just normal wear and tear. The next post describes the main two types of roof support issues:

Trusses

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3 Common Roof Support Problems

1 Sagging Roof

Roof sagging is a common problem found in both old and new properties. When you look at a house from outside, the roof appears wavy and not straight. The use of incorrectly sized strutting beams or the incorrect strutting or even the absence of struts to the underpurlin can be causes of roof sagging.

2 Sagging Floor

A structural analysis will usually show that the roof-bracing system picks up most of the roof load (weight). Hence, it is very important that the roof braces land (rest) on only designated interior “load-bearing” walls. Unfortunately, many builders/framers often support the roof bracing systems on the closest or most convenient interior room partition wall. This can lead to long-term floor sagging because most floor joists are not sized for roof loads.

Sagging roof

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Read more here:  3 Common Roof Support Problems

As mentioned before, these types of weight bearing and load problems need to be addressed by a professional. It is possible it could be a fairly simple fix with jacking up loose rafters and adding some extra strut support. However, it could also be a serious issue that could require a major overhaul, putting you and your family at risk.