Archive for the ‘Home Remodeling’ Category

Are Natural Roofing Materials Practical?

rooding in dallas

Since the very first houses were built, people have been looking to Mother Nature for the best possible roofing. Even with the vast number of manmade materials available today, there is a lot of be said about naturally occurring roofing materials. Among the most commonly used are clay, wood, and stone.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Clay These tiles, also known as Spanish tiles, have been used as roofing materials for centuries and they can last one hundred years or more when installed properly. Better yet, clay tile roofs require very little maintenance and even when some damage is sustained, it is usually possible to repair or replace a few tiles rather than the whole roof. The Dallas roofing repair team at www.dallasroofing.co can usually manage this process quickly and for much less money than it would cost to replace the whole roof. Resilient and beautiful, millions of people in the country and throughout the world have come to love clay tiles, but there are a few things to consider before installing them. They are much heavier and more expensive than asphalt shingles. The cost is high initially, but they also last longer than asphalt roofing, which generally justifies the upfront investment. The weight, however, is a serious concern. A professional roofer should evaluate the structure of your home before installing clay tiles. There must be a very sturdy base to support the significant mass.

Pros and Cons of Wood Shingles or shakes crafted of wood have been used on homes throughout the country for many years. The natural look and gorgeous grain make a definite impact on the curb appeal of the property and wood is another very durable choice in roofing. Cedar shake roofs allow for natural ventilation and hold up well against wind and rain. A testament to this is the fact that they are frequently used on ocean front properties. With proper sealing, the wood will hold up really well against years of rain storms and even fire. However, shakes do require a little more input than clay tiles. They must be inspected regularly to check for signs of damage caused by insects, rot, or mold. They should also be treated with water repellent and UV inhibitor from time to time.

The Good and Bad of Stone There is no need to bake, mold, or treat slate before applying it to the top of a house. These natural shingles are very durable and can last fifty years or even a decade with very little attention from the homeowner. They are naturally fire resistant; do not give way to rot, mold, insects or moss. Unfortunately, though, all of those advantages come at a cost and often a big one. Slate roofs are a sound investment, but you can expect to pay far more than you would for asphalt shingles and they should always be installed by the professionals. Handling or installing them incorrectly can result in irreversible damage. It is best to entrust them to well trained hands, like those at http://www.dallasroofing.co/plano-texas-roofing/.

Affordable Dallas Roofing Solutions
3102 Maple Ave #400-A1
Dallas, Texas 75201
(972) 351-8266

ceramic roof tiles | Flickr – Photo Sharing! : taken from – http://www.flickr.com/photos/sierrams/118660027/Author: slettvet http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/deed.en

Severe Storms and Roof Repair

As the country watches the onslaught of both summer and early winter storms, more homeowners are considering the steps they can take to ensure their home is well protected against severe storms and other weather events. While homeowners may be taking steps to stockpile food and other necessities in case of power outages, putting back a bit of cash or developing an evacuation plan, home maintenance issues should also be a part of the agenda. Severe storms can cause a number of problems particularly for the roof. Proper roof maintenance and vigilance after a bad storm can help keep damage from becoming worse. After all, the roof is the main defense a home’s occupants have against poor weather conditions!

One of the most common roofing problems resulting from storms is leaks to the roof in several common areas. Materials damage on the roof usually results after a storm. Blown off shingles or other damage can eventually lead to leaking or pooling of water. Steady rain can cause water to pool in flat areas eventually resulting in those tell-tale brown spots on the ceiling. Putting off dealing with what appears to be a small leak could turn out to be a costly decision. Just because a leak appears to be small from the vantage point of the ceiling doesn’t mean there isn’t a larger problem. Water may be seeping in from another area and simply running down and pooling in a visible spot. Professional roofing contractors can help determine the true source of a leak.

High winds during storms can lift the flashing (metal put down to safeguard rooftop edging) from the roof altogether! Besides blowing off or peeling up shingles, high winds can transport debris, slamming it into rooftops and damaging chimneys and other roofing materials. This type of damage is not unfamiliar to Houston roofers, who have seen their fair share of storms. Hail damage can pound shingles, weakening them and compromising their effectiveness.

After a storm, perform a damage assessment as soon as possible. Safely use a pair of binoculars, preferably from an adjacent property, to examine your rooftop. Look for buckling or structural sagging. Search the chimney for signs of damage. Scout out any peeling or blown off shingles. A good clue to roof damage is to check the surrounding trees. Broken or missing tree branches may also indicate similar roof damage. Go into the attic if possible or have your professional roofing contractor search for signs of damage, including water damage or stains, wet insulation or daylight peeking through the boards. This may indicate damage you cannot see from the outside.

If damage is found, it is important to schedule an appointment with a contractor to minimize the expense and damage done. Developing an ongoing relationship with a roofing contractor who understands the needs of the area and has valuable experience with the types of storms your area experiences should be a vital part of home maintenance. Whether you are looking for Cy Fair Roofing or other municipalities, you are sure to find experts with storm damage experience to meet your needs.

Affordable Houston Roofing Solutions
5100 Westheimer # 200-A1
Houston, Texas 77056
Phone: (832) 730-2500

Natural Light: Maximize the Solar Illumination in Your Home

Natural light holds so many benefits of humankind. It is a source of mood enhancement, immune system improvement, and, of course, it reduces the need for artificial light. For all of these reasons and far more, people have really embraced it in the design of their homes in Austin. Windows are one of the ways that natural light can be increased in a space, however there are many other methods, if you are not quite ready to invest in new window installation or if you simply don’t have the space for any more.

There are many ways that you can introduce more of the sun into your space and several ways to maximize the light sources that you already have to enjoy a lighter, brighter, healthier atmosphere. In order to do this, however, you must understand the principles of reflection and absorption. Dark colors absorb light. This is the reason why one feels warmer when wearing black in the summer. The same principles apply inside. Lighter colors reflect the light, so that it is free to bounce around the room. For this reason, it is always advisable to choose paler paint colors and airier fabrics when you are hoping to maximize natural light.

Are you finding that you can’t afford replacement windows in a darker area of the house? If so, then you might consider investing in a mirror instead. Light rays are easily reflected and enhanced with mirrors. Though highly functional, mirrors can also add something special to a décor. You don’t have to choose a basic rectangular mirror. There are many ways to welome the reflective surface into your design. Consider a collage of small mirrors, or choose mirror-plated furniture pieces rather than hanging anything on the wall. Mirror-backed display cabinets can give a new view of special collectables while encouraging natural light and large mirrors centrally located on a wall make a space look larger.

It is also important to choose the right windows, if you do decide to add more. Avoid tinted or colored windows that may limit the light allowed through. If you are a full house window replacement job, then you might consider installing larger windows where you are able. You may be surprised to find that the difference in cost to increase the size of your windows is not horribly significant in some instances. Yet, the added light will be substantial. Furthermore, it is important to place windows where they won’t be disrupted. That might mean moving them higher on wall, if you plan to place furniture on the same wall. The same principle is true for the outside of the home. Try to avoid placing windows where they may be blocked by large trees or trim back bushes that overhang windows.

Finally, understand the importance of direction. To place windows well within a room, you must know which direction the walls face. The most sun will be received from south-facing windows in this country. East facing windows will receive morning sun and west-facing windows will draw in the afternoon sun. When windows cannot be fit well within a room, consider a skylight instead. Skylights can be very energy efficient today, can provide necessary ventilation and are rather easy to install during roof renovations.

Low-E Coating: Do I Need it On My New Windows?

The 1970’s saw a lot of advancements in home construction. In 1978 a law was passed that forbade the use of highly toxic lead paint. This was also the decade that saw the public released of insulated glass, which has revolutionized private- and commercial use windows. Insulated glass is simply the use of two or more panes to trap a pocket of air. That air pocket slows the heat transfer that occurs between the outdoor air and that found inside.

Though it came a decade later, Low-E coating was also a giant step forward in window manufacturing and could be used with insulated glass to provide consumers with something energy efficient. In order to fully appreciate the benefit added by Low-E coating on replacement windows, one must first understand the breakdown of sunlight.

Of course, window replacements are made to allow light into the home. Natural light is a very desired commodity in the home. However, there are different waves of light that come from the sun and each has a different property. Some of them are very desirable and some are detrimental to the home.

There are three components of sunlight that are of varying wave lengths, which impact the average household. The first is visible light, which is made up of short wave lengths and that is the light that brightens a room. This is the desired wave length. The second component is UV light. This is what sunblock creams and lotions were developed to protect us from. It can be damaging to the skin and also causes fabrics to fade. Blocking UV means prolonging the life of curtains, carpets and other household items. Finally, there is infrared, or IR, light, which is a long wave. IR light is, essentially, heat. While colder climates might welcome it in the depths of winter, here in Texas there is good reason to keep it out of the home.

Because both UV and Infrared light waves are longer than those of visible light, it is possible to block them without blocking the shorter, visible waves. This is the job performed by Low-E when used on window replacement jobs.

There are two varieties of Low-E coating. Hard coat involves the pouring of tin while the glass is molten. As it cools, the two fuse together and the result is a coated window, capable of reducing UV and IR emissions into the home. Soft coat is added between two layers of glass (along with argon to reduce the chances of oxidation). You should talk to your Cy Fair window replacement contractor about the advantages and disadvantages of hard and soft coat.

Perhaps the best part about Low-E is that it can be adjusted to accommodate the intended audience. In the south both UV and IR are considered undesirable, but in the north infrared helps keep heating costs lower, so Low-E can be adjusted to address just the UV, while letting IR pass.