homeowners

9 DIY Roof Repair Tips For New Homeowners

In every house, the roof is the most crucial aspect as it protects the entire structure. A roof has to withstand harsh weather conditions like heavy rainfall, winds, snowfall, heat, etc. A loud gush of rain can damage the ceiling and result in water oozing down to the house. This damage can destroy the plaster and paint of the house and can also cause mold. Especially when you shift to a new place, and the roof has visible damage, you might need to call someone to fix it. But, sometimes, the harm is minor, and you can repair it with a little guidance. Visit rooferthousandoaks.com if you have roofing related queries. Their able and experienced workers deal with roofing-related issues like commercial roofing, repair work, maintenance, etc.

Let us go through a few DIY tips that will help you in repairing your roof

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1. Installing vents: One of the essential aspects of the roof is the ventilation system. During the summers, ventilation will provide ample air to cross inside the attic. Similarly, in the wintertime, proper airflow will not let the roof to freeze, and the snow would melt quickly. Installation of the ventilation system must be the priority as any other reparation work can happen around it.

2. Wear appropriate gear: While working at the top of your house, make sure that you are using proper safety equipment. Cover your hands with rubber gloves. These gloves will protect you from sharp objects like nails. If there is any live wire at the workplace, then rubber will act as an insulator. It can be risky working at that height, so wear a helmet. Knee guards will save your knees if you experience a fall. Wearing rubber shoes will create friction with the roof and make it easier for you to move on the ceiling.

3. Maintaining shingles: If you find some damage in your roof’s shingles, then you can replace them on your own. These overlapping coverings sometimes break due to heavy rains or winds. Most of the time, the damage is visible in a particular patch. Remove the pieces from that patch and, to be sure, take away some pieces from its surroundings as well. Replace the shingles with brand new parts, and you will have a new rooftop in no time. In the case of curved or bent shingles, you can bend them in the opposite direction to get back to the original shape. Doing this will save you the time and cost of purchasing new pieces.

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4. Repairing flashing: Once you have adjusted the shingles at their place, you will need something to keep them at their site. Use flashing to put the pieces together. Flashing is essential as it acts as a shield that does not allow the rainwater to enter your house. Sometimes, flashing might break from certain places. There can be visible cracks in the flashing if you experience water entering your home. You can use caulking to repair such cracks. Caulking will fill the gaps and will stick like glue on the flashing.

5. Repairing gutters: The gutter is essential to maintain water flow and collect the dirt on your rooftop. Sometimes, these channels attract a lot of dust and debris in the form of leaves. These leaves get stuck in the gutter and clog them, resulting in the collection of rainwater in it. You must take care of this part of your ceiling as it is essential for cleanliness. Use a ladder to reach the top and, with the help of a small tool, collect the debris and throw it away. Unclog the mouth of the gutter and clean the rest of its part also.

6. Avoid rusting: The parts of your ceiling that use metal must be protected. To put various pieces at a place, use aluminum or stainless steel nails. If you can not find a steel or aluminum nails, then cover your iron nails with some other material. As shingles overlap, you can place your nails in a way that the other piece engulfs it. Iron will rust easily, and that can make the parts lose. You can also cover the nail-heads with caulk or cement to avoid rusting.

7. Repairing a flat roof: Flat roofs are easy to maintain. Usually, rainwater gets collected on a flat roof after a rainfall. Use a broom or a viper to get rid of the water. Let the water dry, and you are good to go. Any damage that occurs on a flat rooftop will require a few easy steps. If you find damage, you can fill it with cement that is available exclusively for the ceiling. If the loss is significant, then tiles are available that you can apply on the roof. Replace the damaged area with new flooring. You can also use roofing nails for a stronger hold.

8. Consult the professionals: You can fix minor damages on your own, but if a significant problem occurs, feel free to call for professional help. Fixing a roofing issue requires time and skills. When you think that you cannot adhere to the fixation and it is out of your expertise, it is the perfect time for expert consultation. You must keep your local roofing company’s contact number handy.

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9. Understand when not to interfere: There are times when you should not take the matters in your hands. Do not climb the ceiling if it is sinking or hanging by small pieces of nails. Sometimes, moss can accumulate on the rooftop. Do not climb a mossy roof as it can get slippery. During the winters, when the rooftop is icy, avoid getting on top of it. Follow the same instruction during heavy rains as a wet rooftop can be very slippery.

In conclusion, everyone aspires to have a perfect and damage-free new home. If you face a minor roofing problem, then you can fix it on your own by following the tips mentioned above. Still, consider calling the experts for a better result.

5 Spring Backyard Cleaning Tips for New Homeowners

Having a house with a big backyard that is filled with all kinds of trees, flowers, and plants is something that many people dream of. If you are one of those people that finally managed to achieve this dream, you are in for a treat. All you have to do is sit, relax and watch all those trees bloom during springtime, right? That’s what most new homeowners think, but it is not that simple. Assuming that you do not want your backyard to turn into some wild jungle, you will need to do some cleaning.

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Since spring is when most plants start blooming or producing and its finally starting to get a bit warmer, you will get to spend a lot more time outdoors. Most of that time you will be outdoors will need to be dedicated to your spring yard clean up.

At first, it might seem like a daunting task, but if you take everything slowly, you will be done in just a couple of days. There is no need to rush it and overwhelm yourself. To help you keep track of the process and keep everything steady, we have made a list of several backyard cleaning tips that are especially good for new homeowners.

Start raking

One of the first things you need to do after the snow has finally melted and grass has started showing is to rake everything. Your yard will probably be riddled with all kinds of fallen leaves or dead plants that dried out during the winter season. Not everything can survive the cold temperatures of that season.

After going through the lawn with the rake several times, most of the land should be clear of debris. Although, there are probably larger objects such as dead tree branches or anything similar that you will have to pick up. Grab a nice pair of gloves with enough protection and start picking up stuff that you couldn’t with the rake.

Try composting

Once you have collected all of that debris, you are probably thinking about throwing it all away. Why should it take up any more room from your lawn after you have spent so much time clearing it from the ground? Well, there is actually quite a good use of all those dead leaves and other parts of dead plants. You can put everything you found into one giant pile and leave it there to compost.

As a newcomer, you probably do not have a place where you can keep this pile safe, but if you have some extra wooden or wire fencing, you can make a small cube with that. Stick everything in there and then pour some water in it. Make sure you place the cube somewhere on the side, away from where you will be sitting most of the time because composing leaves can get a bit smelly.

To speed up the process of composting, make sure to pour water every few days.

Trim trees and bushes

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After last year’s spring, all of the trees and bushes in your backyard have probably doubled in size. Well, at least the bushes probably have. While it is great to have big healthy-looking bushes and trees to give your yard an authentic look, it is still best to prune them once in a while so they can have some kind of form.

We recommend that you start trimming all of those dried out branches that you can find and those that are severely damaged too. You can do most of this with handheld shears. Although, you might even find some big dead branches which means you will either need a folding or a bow saw. If you feel comfortable working with power tools then a chainsaw will be able to cut through anything.

If you do not want to invest a lot of cash in a chainsaw or maybe you do not feel comfortable using one, you should consider calling professional services that can easily deal with the trees in your yard. For example, this site offers stump or tree removal, pruning, and trimming.

Pressure washing

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When talking about a yard, it is not always just about the flower beds and the trees. Assuming that you truly want to make everything look good, you will need to take care of your pathways and your patio too. I would suggest that you first start with a simple brush and start scrubbing away any debris such as dirt, pebbles, and leaves.

It might take a bit more effort while scrubbing because all of that dirt that has been sitting there throughout the entire winter season will not give up so easily. Spray a bit of water with your hose to make it easier for yourself. Once you have cleared up most of the debris from your pathway, it is time to pull out the pressure washer. Check out gardeningstuffs.com to learn how to turn garden hose into a pressure washer.

A pressure washer is a must-have for every homeowner. It allows you to clean everything in a matter of minutes or even seconds.

Once you have plugged it and put the appropriate attachment start spraying away. Start washing every single bit of concrete to make it shine like the first day you installed it. Once you are done working on the pathways, you can continue on the patio with the same steps. First, brush then do the pressure washing.

Fix fence damage

Most of the time, fences can get a bit damaged after a winter of heavy snow and very low temperatures. All of that moisture from the snow has probably done damage to the paint which means you will have to do some repainting if you truly want to get your backyard to its former glory.

Don’t worry, this won’t take up a lot of your time. I’m sure that you probably have a couple of backup paint cans in your garage ready for use. Apply paint only on those beams on the fence that have been damaged, you won’t have to go through every single one.

Once you are done with this, your backyard should look great and ready for use.

Why Home Warranties Are Getting Big in the USA

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Home warranties already are a $2 billion industry, reports IBISWorld.com, and that number is steadily growing. These businesses are booming all across the USA, although they are most popular in the south. Is this because they provide truly high value or is it just very good marketing?

What are home warranties and why are they popular?

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Home warranties are a type of service that covers your home appliances and systems and will pay for whole or part of the repair cost in case they break down. The idea is similar to insurance, but instead of your home, it covers individual appliances and systems like plumbing and electrical wiring.

Homeowners pay a set amount in annual premiums (about $600 on average) and for this, if any of the covered items break down, they get assistance and compensation from the home warranty provider. The assistance is as valuable as the compensation for some people because home warranty companies serve as a middle-man between the homeowner and contractors. This means that you have only to contact the company if something happens and they take care of everything else.

The point of this protection is to help homeowners avoid big unexpected repair bills, which can throw your budget or severely dent your emergency fund. The majority of home warranties only pay for a fraction of the bill, but it’s usually enough to take off the bulk of the financial strain that can occur if some expensive appliance breaks down.

As the number of such appliances increases and the costs of repair for them climbs up, it’s not a surprise that home warranties are becoming more popular in America. Frontdoor, the owner of the biggest home warranty provider, reports a 9% rise in profits in 2018. The most lucrative areas for these businesses are the southern states.

That’s because more people in the south of the country own their houses, and those houses are bigger. For example, Arizona is one of the “hottest” states for home warranties. According to ReviewHomeWarranties.com, 64% of the state’s residents own their own homes in Arizona, and the median size of a single-family home is 2.598 sq. feet states Money.CNN.com. Now, consider the fact that new houses in Arizona are bigger than the national average.

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Moreover, the majority of them are equipped with expensive AC systems, fans, refrigerators, and freezers. Many of those houses also have a variety of modern appliances. Plumbing and electrical systems go without saying.

All those things run the risk of breaking down. In fact, it’s higher in the south because the environment puts more strain on appliances and even house integrity. But repair services aren’t easily available in some more remote communities.

Enter home warranty companies, which do not only help reduce the cost of fixing expensive home systems and appliances. These companies also provide a quick connection to all contractors. They serve as a single point of contact for homeowners who get to save time and money because they don’t have to look for a suitable contractor on their own.

The situation is similar in Texas, and in California, there’s also the issue of extremely high contractor fees. Considering all these facts, it becomes obvious that home warranty companies strive in the southern states because they offer the most value there. However, they offer high value everywhere else as well, and that’s why this industry is getting bigger every year.

Are home warranties infallible?

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Home warranties are useful, there is no doubt of that. However, they aren’t infallible. In fact, companies providing them often face criticism and some of them were even involved in major scandals. For example, the Wells Fargo and Trucoat scandals where AHS was involved, or a $780,000 settlement that Choice had to pay for misleading advertisement.

Consumer forums are full of stories from angry homeowners who were failed by their warranty providers. The most common complaints from them are:

  • The company not honoring its promises.
    Many a customer has suffered from the home warranty company not paying out the money they should have. The providers are creating contracts with loopholes and using other tricks to avoid paying both legally and not so much. That’s why it’s essential to choose the provider carefully and research their reputation online. You should study independent reviews as well as consumer portals like Yelp and Google Reviews to understand is the company can be trusted.
  • Bad contractors.
    Home warranty companies work with specific contractors, so you won’t be able to choose experts who will repair your appliances. Objectively, sometimes these contractors won’t be the best skilled or affordable. Prior research will help you learn what exactly you can expect when buying a warranty from a specific provider.
  • Avoidance of replacements.
    While your home warranty plan might cover appliance replacement, you should prepare that the chance of it actually happening isn’t big. Replacements are expensive and home warranty providers want to save money whenever they can. It will be more cost-efficient for them to pay for contractors to fix some recurrent issues every few months than to replace an expensive appliance.
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You also need to be aware that all home warranty contracts have a maximum payout limit. This means that this plan won’t cover expensive repair in its entirety. You should research which parts of your appliances are most likely to break down and how much the repair will cost. Then, make sure that the warranty you buy has a high enough limit to pay for this.

And most importantly, study the contract to the letter. Hiding some hidden fees or clauses in the fine print is a common issue for this industry. This means that you should be on the lookout for the most honest and transparent home warranty provider you can find. They might not offer the best terms, but trustworthiness is a priority in this business.

With the rising popularity of home warranties, the number of companies offering these services is growing as well. It’s getting harder to choose the best and most reliable option as many new providers have very little public information. Customers should be extremely careful when buying plans from these businesses. Being a veteran of the industry is a good endorsement for home warranty providers.