How To Know When Your Porch Needs A New Roof

The roof of a porch takes damage from wind and water throughout the year, but that damage often goes unnoticed until a leak or other similarly serious problem develops.

Naturally, you want to replace your porch’s roofing material before it starts allowing water in or otherwise loses structural integrity. But how do you tell when the roof has entered the “danger zone” and the cost of replacement is justified?

A realistic maximum life expectation for a standard porch roof with shingles is about two decades from installation. That’s the point at which even the sturdiest materials will generally degrade to the point that you’ll see leaks and serious damage develop. If you live in an area where you endure heavier rain, wind or snow than usual, however, you can knock up to five years off that expected lifespan. Poor ventilation will also decrease the life expectancy of a roof significantly.

If your roof is entering the danger zone in terms of age, or if you have reason to suspect it’s been damaged, look for the following signs:

  • Look for indentations or concave spots in the roof. These are signs that an unseen leak has been rotting away wood in the roof for some time. If you see these, you should discontinue use of the porch until the roof is replaced as it could potentially fall apart on you.
  • Dark streaks or trails on the underside of the porch roof are usually a sign not only of water damage, but that mold is growing in the area.
  • Look for problems with the shingles. The most obvious signs would be shingles that are completely gone or that are showing obvious signs of damage like missing chunks, being broken in half or turning up at the edges. Also check your downspouts for bits of shingle, however, as that’s a good “early warning” sign that there’s trouble in that area.
  • Slate tiles will last longer than standard tiles, but they do decay and fail eventually. A quick check to see what condition a slate tile is in is to simply knock on it with your knuckles. A tile in good condition should have a bit of a vibration or echo to the sound it makes; a tile that is aged past usefulness will sound more like rapping on concrete.

A porch roof failure represents not only a much greater expense than replacing it before things get out of hand, but also a serious safety issue as well. If you have any doubts about the integrity of your roof, it’s best to contact a qualified professional to verify.

Contact Bruce Tall Construction today for all of your roofing needs.

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Replacing Vinyl Siding Panels

Vinyl Siding is the most ubiquitous siding material covering today’s modern home.  It’s popular because it’s made in a variety of colors, and it’s easily reproduced.  Also, when vinyl is damaged it can be easily replaced.

Repairing damaged vinyl siding is an easy job that most any homeowner, with an hour or two of free time in a day, can do.  To start, go outside and look at how the panels of vinyl lock together: the siding’s strength is in it’s simple click-together design, connecting with the panel both above and below it.  The panel itself is anchored to the wall with nails. 

When you determine the area that encompasses the entire damaged panel, you will need to remove that panel from the panel below it.  To do this, you will need a toll called a zip tool, which is a thin piece of metal with a hook at the end.  This hook grabs the connection point on the siding, separating the panels.  Pulling the zip tool along underneath the panel of siding, the panel will separate from the one below it.  When the bottom of the panel is free, use the zip tool to separate the damaged panel from the panel above it.  Then remove the nails holding up the panel.

Once the panel’s free, it’s time to make a decision: will you use a brand new panel fresh from the store to fill the gap, or will you use a panel from an inconspicuous location on another wall of the home?  Most likely that will be determined by the age of the siding and just how weathered the colors are.  A new panel will still be vibrant with color from the factory, so it might stand out against an older set of weathered panels.  Removing a panel from somewhere else on the home—think a side yard that no one sees directly—will increase the chance that the colors will match.  Then, use the new panel as a replacement to the replacement, and most likely no one will ever know.

Putting in a new vinyl panel is as simple as removing the old one.  To start, connect the bottom of the old panel to the panel below it.  You should only have to pull up on the panel for it to lock into place.  Then lift the panel into position and anchor it to the wall with nails.  With the panel anchored, use the zip tool to pull down the lip of the panel above it, and lock the two in place.      

Contact Bruce Tall Construction today for all of your roofing and siding needs!

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Siding Billings MT

Your home’s siding protects the home from the elements. Regardless of the material used to side the house that siding will handle the brunt of wind, rain, hail, ice and snow. And, while it’s protecting the home, it’s also got to look nice. All siding materials have pros and cons when you compare the strength and durability, or the concept in which the siding is easily put-on, cleaned, or replaced. And, with so many choices of siding—way too many to commit each one to a blog post—we’re going to examine and stick-with vinyl siding, because vinyl is the most widely used siding type in building today.

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Vinyl siding is durable, it’s cheap, and it’s easy to hang to the side of the house, and it’s easy to replace a panel when one is damaged or appears more-weathered then the rest. Different things can weather vinyl panels which makes the color of the panel fade. Consider errant garden or lawn sprinklers, peppering the siding with water, daily. That area will look considerably more-weathered then the rest of the home. But, what if the area in question is at the front of the house? And it’s faded look is destroying the curb-appeal of the home? You’ve got options. You can replace the siding with new panels. The only problem with doing this, however, is that the new panel didn’t weather with the rest of the home, and, most likely, it will look overly bright against the other panels. Your only other choice then is to swap panels out from a different area of the home. Look around the home and find an inconspicuous spot at which people rarely spend time. Take those panels, which probably wont have weathered identically to the surrounding panels where your making your patch, but it will still be considerably closer to the look then a new panel, and just swap the panels.

Replacing vinyl siding panels is a relatively simple process. And, if you’re a DIY’er at heart, it’s a job you can easily tackle in a weekend. For those of you concerned with your abilities to do the job, call a professional. It’s a quick-and-simple job for a professional.