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Remodeling and Home Design


Tuesday, May 27 2014

Unless there is a major storm that results in serious damage, or you notice some leaks coming through your ceiling, it is easy to forget about your home’s roof. Your roof falls under the “out of sight, out of mind” category of home maintenance, so it often goes without the periodic checkups that it deserves. Without checking your roof on a regular basis, you could have a problem that goes unnoticed for an extended period of time, resulting in a major disaster that could end up costing much more than fixing the problem earlier on. For example, a roof failing due to a problem that went unnoticed could lead to damage to the interior of your house, as well as further damage to the roof itself.

Note: If you are of able body, then grab a ladder, otherwise find someone to check your roof for you, and never attempt to inspect your roof by yourself. Always have another person with you as a safety precaution.

Typically, the first place to check on your roof is from within your house. Study the ceilings in every one of your rooms for signs of leaking. You’ll see darker areas of the ceiling in a concentrated area where a leak has occurred. If you see a leak, then you know for sure you have a problem with your roof. Either way, you should continue up into your attic to check for additional leaks, as well as visible holes in your roof or flaws in the framing. If you notice that parts of your roof look saggy or wobbly, then you have a problem on your hands. It’s also a good idea to see if you can detect sunlight coming into your attic from the roof, as that could mean there is a gap in your roofing or perhaps a roof vent, pipe, or chimney is not properly sealed off with metal flashing.

The next place to inspect is on the roof, itself. First, scan for areas that might be sagging or uneven. This could be an indicator that there is an issue with your roof’s structure and is a major red flag. I would not recommend walking on your roof any further if you see something like this, and immediately call a professional to come and look at it. Next, take a look at your gutters. Make sure they are clean and clear of any debris and will route water away from your house to where it needs to go. Also, make sure your gutters are tightly in place. As stated before, double check all of your roof’s fixtures for metal flashing, as that can easily lead to a leak. Of course, you want to make sure the entire area of your roof, with all its nooks and crannies, is completely clear of any sort of debris.

The final step in checking your roof is taking a close look at the shingles. Shingles can be an easy indicator of your roof’s condition. For example, if you notice that some of the shingles are curling or have darker areas on them, you could be due for a new roof. 

Posted by: AT 05:16 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Monday, May 05 2014

Your kitchen and bathrooms take a beating. Water is flying everywhere in both rooms, all kinds of soaps and chemicals are spilling on the floor, and both get their share of various stains and scrapes on the flooring. So, when faced with having to put in a new kitchen or bathroom floor you might have narrowed your replacement materials down to either ceramic or vinyl tile. Here are some advantages and disadvantages to both materials that should give you some direction in your decision making.

Vinyl Tile

Ok, so first off let’s start with the advantages of vinyl tile. Given that vinyl tile is synthetic, it is much easier to nail a particular look or style that you may be looking for. Your options in color and design will be much greater, thus finding something that fits in with your vision will be easier. Given that it is flexible, and often comes in a peel-and-stick format, you can install it much easier than other types of tile without have to do as much tearing up or demolition before your begin your project. Also, if you live in a house that has a foundation that shifts frequently, you are much less likely to end up with cracks in your flooring with vinyl, whereas a hard material such as ceramic, stone, or porcelain would break. Lastly, the price of vinyl is going to be much less than the other available materials, both in materials and labor.

The disadvantages of vinyl tile are mostly in the durability and appearance categories. Vinyl tile will usually not look quite as good as its harder contemporaries. As far as durability goes, vinyl has a tendency to rip and tear more easily. Sometimes the color might fade over time, giving it a dull appearance. Also, vinyl tile will not increase the value of your property as much as putting in a harder alternative would. Some people argue that it is not as easy to clean and can harbor more germs than a hard tile alternative, such as ceramic.

Ceramic Tile

Ceramic tiling typically looks better than vinyl tiling, and brings with it more durability than vinyl. It is so durable, in fact, that there is still ceramic tile from ancient times in various Roman and Egyptian ruins. Given how easy it is to clean, it is an excellent flooring choice for bathroom and kitchens. Ceramic tile can also be used for your walls and backsplashes throughout your kitchen and bathroom. Whereas you generally don’t want vinyl tile to be exposed to a lot of water, ceramic tile can handle plenty of it without peeling or fading/wearing out. Generally, ceramic tile is a better investment, albeit more pricey for installation and materials than vinyl.

As stated in the last paragraph, ceramic will be a bit pricier than vinyl. You also need to pay attention that all of the tile you are getting is from the same lot, as sometimes the colors and sizes will vary from lot to lot, even if you are purchasing the same brand and style of tile. If you have a foundation that moves a lot, it can cause large cracks to appear in your tilling. Also, if a crack appears in your tiling, it is a much bigger ordeal to replace ceramic tile than vinyl.

The Verdict

While both types of tiling prove to be worthy investments of time and money, if you have a house that is on sturdy ground and the available cash, ceramic tiling would be the better investment of the two. Now, this is just my personal opinion and it is always wise to consult different contractors, real estate agents, and interior designers if you want a really well-informed opinion from someone that is more familiar with your area and type of house. There are probably plenty of situations where the vinyl might be a better choice. As with any type of renovation or repair in your house, you should do plenty of research before shelling out ANY cash. 

Posted by: AT 11:40 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
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    Montgomery Winslow Roofing Experts
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    Phone: 239-694-1056
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