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Archive for the ‘Siding’ Category

Mitigate for Hail Damage by Summer Storms

The structural stability of your roof and the aesthetic appeal of your property are greatly affected by hail damage by summer storms in Colorado. Hail is created when raindrops are lifted by updrafts in thunderstorms into freezing temperatures, resulting in various sizes of hailstones ranging from tiny pebbles to large, destructive spheres. Although hail damage is a concern regardless of the weather, it is especially detrimental when it happens during scorching summer days.

HRTI Hail Damage by summer storms collage

Why is Hail Damage by Summer Storms So Destructive?

On a hot day, the hailstones that fall during a storm have a higher chance of causing severe damage to a roof. The reason for this lies in the difference in temperature between the hailstones and the hot surface of the roof. When hailstones make contact with a roof, the extreme temperature contrast can cause the shingles or roofing material to expand and contract rapidly. This leads to cracks or even complete breakage.

Also, the hot summer weather can cause the roof material to be more vulnerable to hail impact due to its softened state. The extreme heat causes asphalt shingles, for example, to become more pliable, making them more prone to denting and puncturing. This softening increases the likelihood of hailstones penetrating the protective layers of the roof and can cause damage to the underlying structure.

In addition to the immediate physical damage caused by hailstones, there can be long-term consequences for the roof’s longevity. Even seemingly minor hail damage, such as dented or cracked shingles, can compromise the roof’s ability to provide adequate protection against water seeping in. This can lead to outright leaks, rot, and further degradation of the roof. It could potentially result in expensive repairs or even the need for a full roof replacement.

To mitigate the effects of hail damage by summer storms, homeowners can take some preventive measures. Here are some recommendations:

  • Install impact-resistant roofing materials: Consider upgrading to materials that are designed to withstand hail damage. Materials such as impact-resistant shingles or metal roofs have a higher resistance to hail and will provide better protection for your roof.
  • Trim trees nearby: Trim back any branches that are close to or hanging over your roof to minimize the chances of them breaking or causing additional damage during a hailstorm.
  • Reinforce vulnerable areas: Identify places on your roof, such as valleys, flashing, or areas around vents and chimneys that may require a little reinforcement. Ensure that they are properly sealed and protected to reduce the likelihood of water infiltration and damage caused by hail impact.
  • Install protective barriers: Consider installing hail guards or screens over vulnerable areas of your roof. These barriers can help absorb the impact of hailstones and prevent them from directly hitting the roof surface which reduces potential damage.
  • Regularly inspect the roof: Schedule regular roof inspections by a professional to identify any existing vulnerabilities or signs of damage. A professional roofer can assess the condition of your roof, spot potential weak points, and recommend appropriate repairs or maintenance to strengthen your roof against hail damage by summer storms.
  • Monitor weather forecasts: Stay informed about weather conditions in your area, especially during the summer months when hailstorms are more common. If a severe storm is predicted, take precautions such as moving vehicles and outdoor furniture under cover to minimize potential damage from hail.

While these preventive measures can help reduce the risk of hail damage by summer storms, it’s important to have adequate insurance coverage for your home. Review your homeowner’s insurance policy to ensure it provides coverage for hail damage, especially here in Colorado.

Remember, you can’t protect your roof completely from what mother nature dishes out but, there are some precautions and preparations you can make. The best defense is always a good offense so keep up with visual inspections and tackle potential issues before they become huge problems. If you need a professional for a free, honest, no obligation visual inspection, contact HRTI today.


The Type of Sheathing Matters When Siding Your Home

Many houses built today have some type of sheathing used underneath the siding. Sheathing is the material installed directly over the studs and interior insulation of a framed house. Typically sheathing is then followed by a vapor barrier material and then the siding of choice. Sheathing is one of the layers used in the siding of the home no matter the substrate used.

The type of sheathing used on your home is important when determining what type of siding to use.

There are two main reasons to use sheathing: structural and non-structural. Non-structural sheathing improves insulation from heat, cold, and sound. Structural sheathing improves the building’s stability and keeps the wall from swaying or bending overtime. It also provides a base for the siding to be nailed into. Structural sheathing can also provide insulation from heat, cold, and sound.

Type of Sheathing Used on Older Homes

The year the house was built will dictate the most common type of sheathing used during the time. For example, in the 1970s and 1980s, a fiberboard sheathing material such as Celotex was used. Celotex is a black, fibrous material used for insulating against sound and heat. In the Denver Front Range today, homes needing new siding were typically built in the 70s and 80s and will have this type of sheathing present.

During this time frame the only options for siding were wood and aluminum. These substrates are not as heavy as others used today. A lighter type of sheathing was appropriate for the build then. Today, a stronger sheathing option is preferable to provide ample base for the heavier siding options. (While Celotex has become a structural sheathing option, it is primarily used in wood, plaster and stucco home applications.)

Today, the two most common siding replacement materials used in the United States are James Hardie fiber cement siding and LP SmartSide engineered wood siding. Both materials are offered in a pre-painted product; James Hardie Color Plus and LP Diamond Kote respectively. While engineered wood is relatively light like the wood and aluminum of old, fiber cement is heavier and will require a sturdier base to retain its shape over time.

At HRTI, we believe strongly that best practice dictates re-siding with a heavy-duty structural type of sheathing for James Hardie fiber cement siding. We prefer half-inch OSB (Oriented Strand Board) or 7/16-inch plywood anytime James Hardie fiber cement siding is being installed. Due to the weight of the product, the potential for missing a stud during hanging, though rare, can occasionally happen.

A missed stud can result in a situation where overtime the fiber cement siding can sag and break from its own weight. Due to this, we strongly recommend the installation of a heavier structural type of sheathing to eliminate this issue all together. The half-inch OSB or 7/16-inch plywood both fulfill that need. Missed studs become a non-issue when there is more to hammer the siding into than studs placed 16 inches apart.

At HRTI, we love and recommend both James Hardie fiber cement siding and LP SmartSide engineered wood siding and regularly install them in our exterior renovations. We find engineered wood is a better fit on the Front Range (LP), while fiber cement siding works better in the mountain communities (James Hardie). Both options provide stunning results and come in a range of colors and style options.

James Hardie fiber cement siding works well in mountain communities as it is fire resistant and well-suited to high wind areas. It’s virtually indestructible. LP SmartSide engineered wood siding is more popular amongst the Denver Front Range communities. It is easy to install, easy to maintain, and therefore very cost effective.

The type of sheathing that is right for your next project is wholly dependent on your choice of siding. Contact HRTI today for a free, no obligation consultation to determine the best siding options for your home.


Spring Cleanup Checklist

Spring Cleanup Doesn’t Have To Be Daunting

Spring cleanup always seems like a daunting task at the end of the winter. It seems to take forever and it isn’t the fun job. It is very beneficial though, it can make your home look picture perfect and ready to show off all summer long. It also can save homeowners money, depending on how much the homeowner checks the siding and windows for cracking or leaking they can either spend a lot of money or very little on repairs after a winter.

  • Checking regularly on the siding for splitting or rotting can help save a homeowner money because replacing siding can be pricey.
  • Check the bricks on your home and make sure nothing is loose that can cause injury or damage to the home.
  • Cleaning gutters and checking on their repair before the rainy season is a must. Proper draining can help prevent things like leaky homes and rotting siding.
  • Washing and treating the driveway helps prevent cracking and plants growing in it that can eventually decrease the integrity of the driveway
  • Clean the deck and make sure all of the boards are in good repair, stain and seal if it is needed.
  • Pull out all the furniture and make sure they are clean and in good repair. Make sure all of the decor is also in good repair
  • Weed the yard and treat it with fertilizer and treatments to make it grow healthy and strong all summer.
  • Ensure the sprinklers are working and reaching the entire yard. Sprinkler pipes are the easiest to crack during the winter so making sure they are in good repair is important.
  • Once you are sure the cold freezes are over plant the garden and trim the trees and shrubs for a healthy growing season over the summer.
  • Cleaning the front porch of cobwebs and dead bugs makes a big first impression to visitors.
  • Clean the garage door and remove the cobwebs to have a clean exterior

Spring cleanup can be daunting, but there are so many rewards to getting it done. Having a clean home is always a satisfying feeling and giving your home a face lift after a harsh winter is a great reward.


What siding is best for your climate?

Each siding type has its pros and cons, finding the perfect siding is a rewarding process. To determine what siding is best depends a lot on the geographic location of the home. Each region of the US has completely different weather patterns and you can’t always use the pretty siding that your friend has in California when you live in Colorado. It is important that each area has the proper choice for the weather patterns. Matching the architecture of the area is also important and siding can aid that process quite a bit. 

Vinyl siding is the least expensive of all siding types and comes in many colors and styles which is a selling point to most homeowners. Although it is a great product, vinyl siding is not as durable as some other metal sidings, so after large storms they have to be maintained. Vinyl siding is a lovely choice for places that are generally stable in weather, for they work well in hot or colder climates.

Stucco siding is generally found in places with dry climates. Because of the material, the siding isn’t greatly affected by the heat. Generally stucco siding has a great lifespan when maintained properly. Arizona is a great example of a place with a lot of stucco siding. It matches the style of architecture and meets the needs of the climate. Similar to stucco siding, stone or brick siding is generally found in really hot locations for they cool off quickly and in turn keeps the interior of the building cool.

Wood siding is a very traditional choice for homes, and with regular upkeep they have a very long lifespan. They come in all types of grains and grades as well as size, color, and shape. They have a traditional and classic look that makes a home look classy and aged even if it is a new build. People tend to steer away from wood siding if they live in a very humid or rainy area because the siding can warp and change shape.

Steel siding is the most popular in tropical climates because it has the ability to withstand the harsh winds and pressures of monsoons or hurricanes. It has the durability to hold up well to snow storms as well, which for some geographical areas is a noticeable issue for homes.

Fiber cement siding is a popular choice on the coasts of the US, for they can stand up to the moisture and the salt water. It is very sturdy but flexible enough to not crack or chip so the maintenance is very low.


Insulating a garage… Is it worth it?

Is Insulating a Garage Worth the Cost?

Insulating a garage is a bit pricey and homeowners don’t love to spend the money to insulate a room where you park your car. Although most people don’t spend tons of time in their garage, insulating it has a significant effect. Especially in climates that are very cold such as Colorado winters. When temperatures reach into the negatives during the heart of winter, having an insulated home is important to homeowners. People spend lots of money heating their homes to make it comfortable and warm to live in.

Insulating the garage may not seem like much, but when the door opens and shuts the cold air comes in and makes the interior of the home colder. Often laundry and storage is in the garage, so having a cold garage makes wintertime chores miserable.  Adding insulation also makes the rooms above and around the garage a little warmer. Generally the room directly above the garage is the coldest room in the house. So spending the money to insulate the garage can be justified by saving money on heating bills. Especially if the room above the garage is a bed room it may be beneficial to insulate it.

This also can benefit homeowners in the summer, because the AC bill will be lower, and the house will stay at a more comfortable temperature. If you spend a lot of time in your garage fixing cars, bikes, or playing games it may be worth insulating and heating your garage. It is usable recreation space that could be made comfortable with some minor fixes. If the garage is just the car’s home, still consider the positives of insulating and consider what rooms are around the garage that need to be warmed.


What type of wood is the best for siding?

Wood siding is a beautiful addition to any home, but it is very high maintenance. Some types of wood are much better than others when it comes to picking a wood siding. Cedar wood and redwood are generally the best for siding for it has natural elements that help it from rotting or decaying prematurely. Cedar wood siding is much more common for the type of wood is easier to find. Cedar siding is loved because of its beautiful colors and grains. It is durable and cedar is able to resist cupping and swelling in the siding. Redwood siding resists shrinking and warping which is a positive thing in climates that has moisture and rain. Wood siding can last a lifetime if they are cared for properly. They average around 75 years with the proper care.


Fiber Cement Siding

Is Fiber Cement Siding Right for You?James Hardie fiber cement siding is protecting this home

Is it time to replace the siding on your home?  If your home’s wood siding is rotting, damaged from a recent storm, and in need of replacement you are probably overwhelmed by the choices in siding.  Who knew homeowners now have to choose between natural products, manufactured products, color choices, etc, etc?  We’ve created a page with information on all different types of siding, but here we ask…Is Fiber Cement Siding Right For You?

A little background…

Fiber cement siding is quickly gaining in popularity, with James Hardie being the most popular brand. Fiber cement siding is made by combining cellulose fibers with cement. This creates a product that is moisture resistant, fire resistant, and insect proof. It is impact resistant and stands up well to severe storms. It is durable, not prone to warping or cracking and requires little to no maintenance. Fiber cement siding comes in a variety of colors and styles; anything from wood grain to brick to more modern styles.

If you choose fiber cement siding…

James Hardie Shingle Siding adorns the side of this houseInstallation of fiber cement siding is more labor intensive. This material is much heavier than other types of siding and can take longer to install. Before it is put up on the side of a home, it is also prone to breaking or cracking. If this material is installed after it has been cracked, it can leave your home vulnerable to moisture and insects thus removing many of the benefits. Anyone installing fiber cement siding needs to be very cautious when moving the materials around the worksite and during the installation process so make sure you hire qualified professionals to do the work . In most locations, after the old siding is stripped away, a vapor barrier such as Tyvek or Prime Grip, will be installed. This increases the moisture resistance and insulation of your home.

More on James Hardie…

James Hardie is by far, the most popular manufacturer of fiber cement siding. They offer a wonderful option for siding on anyone’s home. James Hardie siding comes in a wide variety of styles such as lap, cedar shingle, or panel (vertical), allowing any homeowner to find the look they want to achieve for their home. They also offer many different colors for your siding. When you choose your product and color, they apply multiple coats of paint and bake this on, allowing for a fade, chip, and crack resistant siding product. Hardie is not prone to warping or cracking and is moisture, fire, and insect resistant. James Hardie offers a 15 year warranty on color, 15 year trim warranty, and 30 year siding warranty.


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