Posts Tagged ‘Roof’

Four Tips for Burlington Homeowners Bracing for Winter

Officially, it may not be winter in Burlington yet, but the end of November is more than a signal to turn to the last page in 2017’s calendar. It’s definitely time for Burlington residents to secure their domiciles against the mercury drops Mother Nature will be providing sooner or later.

Even in places where a November heat wave makes it hard to focus on the inevitable onslaught of chilly weather, there are some household winter preparation tips that apply equally to all areas of the country. Here are four tips to benefit just about every Burlington household:

  1. Tune up the heating system. Instead of hoping that the heat pump or furnace will make it through another year on its own, a preventive tune-up will result in lower fuel bills all winter—not to mention saving you from becoming 15th in the repair line when it fails on the coldest night of the year (when else would that happen?).
  2. Check the “overhead” (that is, the roof, gutters, vents, and chimney). Clearing leaves, pine needles or anything else up there can reveal spots vulnerable to leaks—or breaks in flashing seals. Water damage is much more costly to correct than are small-area roofing fixes.
  3. Mow any remaining leaves. If your yard still has leaves, mow rather than rake them. University studies have proved that leaves cut into dime-sized pieces (which takes several passes) will settle among the grass blades, nourishing them throughout the winter.
  4. Eliminate drafts. Every winter, Burlington homeowners lose truly astonishing amounts of heat due to air leaks. In addition to testing windows for rattles and door jams for gaps, the Department of Energy recommends an exterior walk-around to inspect all areas where two different building materials meet. With a caulk gun handy, also check cable and phone line entrances and where dryer vents pass through walls.

Based on a prediction for low sunspot activity, this year’s Farmers Almanac calls for a chilly winter—while NOAA concentrates on the 70% chance for a La Nina (which might bring normal precipitation except in the drier South).

In other words, Burlington’s winter weather outlook is anybody’s guess.

The foolproof solution is, as always, to be well prepared. In addition to anxiety relief, a side benefit of a consistently well-maintained home becomes evident when you put it up for sale—which is also when you should give me a call!

Joan Parcewski, Realtor & Notary

LAER Realty Partners           http://www.JoanParcewski.LAERRealty.com

JParcewski@LAERRealty.com    cell 978-376-3978

 

Laer Realty PartnersJoan Parcewski Full Picture 102017

 

It’s Ice Dam Season – An overview from Housemaster!

Ice Dam Overview
Often when homeowners experience water leakage and damage around exterior walls and ceilings during the winter months, they think they have a faulty roof, when actually the culprit is an ice dam. Ice dams are caused by melting snow that refreezes along the lower edge of a roof, blocking the run-off from subsequent snow-melt.

 

ice Dam

The heat within an attic that develops as a result of radiant heat from the sun or heat loss from the living areas of the house due to inadequate insulation is a contributing factor in the formation of ice dams. This heat typically rises to the higher points of the roof causing the snow cover to begin melting at those areas. As this melting snow runs down the roof surfaces below the snow, it contacts the colder areas of the roof along the edge or eave. Once it reaches this point, the cold roof surfaces cause the water to refreeze. The continuous freezing of the melting snow forms a noticeable dam of ice. As the water from the subsequent snow melt higher up on the roof arrives at the ice dam, it is blocked and begins backing up. Eventually it can seep in under the roofing materials, leaking through the roofing and sheathing into the attic and then to the living area where it causes stains and damage to the walls and ceilings below  (click this link for for the rest of the article

http://library.housemaster.com/article.asp?a=35)

Thanks to Dave Cobosco for his article.

David M. Cobosco    DMC Inspections, LLC  dfba HouseMaster
Home Inspections, Done Right   409 Middlesex Turnpike  Billerica, MA 01821
Cell: 508-479-1773   dave.cobosco@housemaster.com  www.billerica.housemaster.com

If you should run into a problem with an ice dam, immediately call someone.  The damage created if not taken care of can be extensive

Joan Parcewski, Realtor      Woods Real Estate

Joan@woodsre.com     c 978-376-3978     o 978262-8665

http://www.JoanParcewski.com            https://justforseniorsrealestate.com

Joan_Parcewski (1 of 1)

 

 

Now’s the Time to Prevent Ice Dams – guest blogger Dave Cobosco

 

Often when homeowners experience water leakage and damage around exterior walls and ceilings during the winter months, they think they have a faulty roof, when actually the culprit is an ice dam. Ice dams are caused by melting snow that refreezes along the lower edge of a roof, blocking the run-off from subsequent snow-melt.

The heat within an attic that develops as a result of radiant heat from the sun or heat loss from the living areas of the house due to inadequate insulation is a contributing factor in the formation of ice dams. This heat typically rises to the higher points of the roof causing the snow cover to begin melting at those areas. As this melting snow runs down the roof surfaces below the snow, it contacts the colder areas of the roof along the edge or eave. Once it reaches this point, the cold roof surfaces cause the water to refreeze. The continuous freezing of the melting snow forms a noticeable dam of ice. As the water from the subsequent snow melt higher up on the roof arrives at the ice dam, it is blocked and begins backing up. Eventually it can seep in under the roofing materials, leaking through the roofing and sheathing into the attic and then to the living area where it causes stains and damage to the walls and ceilings below.

There are many suggested solutions for eliminating ice dams, but many do not work, or will not work in certain situations. Removing accumulated snow or ice from the roof is the ultimate approach, but unless the removal is total, the melting process will begin and ice dams will eventually form. Attempting snow removal is also dangerous for inexperienced homeowners and expensive if a contractor is used after each snowfall. Also, the snow removal equipment can easily damage the surface of the roofing. Using steam or high-pressure water can also cause collateral damage as the water leaks into the house or refreezes on shrubs and walks.

Electric heating cables along the roof edge or in roof valleys have been employed as an attempted solution to ice dams for many years, but the heat pattern is usually irregular and secondary ice dams often form above the line of cables. Even the installation of two or three feet of metal flashings under the roof materials at the eaves has not solved the dilemma of ice dams in some cases, as once again secondary ice dams can occur above the level of the eave flashing.

Most roofing experts now agree that the only feasible solution to ice dams is the development of a “cold roof.” This solution involves a two-step approach. First, the amount of heated air reaching the underside of the roof must be minimized. Providing a full-thick and uniform layer of insulation (no voids) in the floor of an unfinished attic, particularly near the eave areas, will reduce the amount of heat seepage from the living areas of the house. The second step involves providing adequate attic ventilation at the eaves as well as upper areas of the attic. With good insulation and ventilation in place, the attic and roof sheathing stays cooler and snow-melt occurs more uniformly. This helps prevents the thaw-freeze cycle that leads to many ice dam problems.

Remember, these tips are only general guidelines. Since each situation is different, contact a professional if you have questions about a specific issue. More home safety and maintenance information is available online at housemaster.com.

HouseMaster

Dave Cobosco

Owner/Operator

409 Middlesex Turnpike

Billerica, MA  01821

C:  508-479-1773

O:  866-313-7732

dave.cobosco@housemaster.com

http://www.housemaster.com

Difference between “Actual Cash Value” and “Replacement Cost” – guest blogger Tony Lucacio

Most policies covering property value the damaged property at either its Replacement Cost or its Actual Cash Value. But most people don’t read their policy to understand what these two property valuations mean to them, or the impact it can have on their settlement.

I will attempt to simplifiy these valuation for you over the next few paragraphs. Let’s start with a very basic definition of each. “Actual Cash Value” is the cost new of the item less the item’s depreciation. “Replacement Cost” is the cost to replace that damaged item at todays cost with an item of like, kind, and quality.

So what does all this mean? Let’s tackle Actual Cash Value (ACV) first. Let’s say that a building policy has a valuation using ACV. That property sustains damage by fire to a roof that is 10 years old. Let’s further agree that the useful life of that type of roof is 30 years. At the time of a loss the cost to replace that roof was $50,000. Let’s look at how this claim would be settled, remembering that ACV is the item cost less depreciation. The depreciation on this item is 10 divided by 30, or 1/3. A 30 year life that has already used 10 years. Therefore payment for this $50,000 roof would be $33,333 ($50,000 replacement less 1/3 depreciation. The rationale behind this settlment is that the insured party has enjoyed 1/3 of the benefit of this roof prior to the loss.

That same loss that is settled on a replacement cost basis would be valued at $50,000. The cost to replace that roof at the time of the loss.

So, why would anyone want ACV? Well, usually you would not want ACV. Price is always a consideration and on some older properties it may be difficult to get an insurance carrier to agree to a Replacement Cost valuation. This also gives the insured person a stake in keeping the property safe from claims because they would share some in any loss.

Check your policy, and if possible ask about getting Replacement Cost valuation. Of course if you have any questions we are here to help. Visit our website or call (877)608-3708.

Don’t Forget Your Gutters This Fall – guest blogger Dave Cobosco

Don’t forget your gutters this Fall

As the leaves fall most of us clean our yards, but many of us forget to clean our gutters.  Clean gutters are critical in controlling the water around your house.  Properly functioning gutters and downspouts direct water away from the house and preventing many of the following problems:

ñ  Water in the basement

ñ  Rotting wood trim

ñ  Roof leaking due to ice dams

ñ  Slippery sidewalks

ñ  Washed out landscaping

ñ  Wood Destroying Insects

To avoid these potentially serious and costly problems, make sure you have your gutters cleaned every Fall when you clean the leaves from your yard.  If you are not comfortable with heights or don’t use tall ladders regularly, cleaning gutters is not a job for you.  Consider hiring a handyman to help. If you decide to do the gutter cleaning job yourself, watch out for hidden hazards like electric lines and bee’s nests.

Once the gutter system is cleaned, consider installing gutter guards to avoid a repeat performance in the future.  There are many types of gutter guards available. Screens can be effective in the short run but eventually allow debris to get through.  Clogs will reoccur and can be even harder to clear since the screens will need to be removed first.  Leaf blocking guards, which look like metal covers that are installed above the gutter, are a more costly but more effective option at keeping leaves out of gutters.  The slotted covers allow water to leak into the gutter while washing leaves over the side.

No matter what gutter product you choose, it is important that you check gutters periodically as well as be mindful of signs of clogging like over-flowing in a rainstorm.

Remember, these tips are only general guidelines. Since each situation is different, contact a professional if you have questions about a specific issue. More home safety and maintenance information is available online at housemaster.com. Or contact:

HouseMaster

Dave Cobosco

Owner/Operator

409 Middlesex Turnpike

Billerica, MA  01821

C:  508-479-1773

O:  866-313-7732

dave.cobosco@housemaster.com

http://www.housemaster.com

 

 

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