Archived Building Services Blog Posts
5 Tips for Maintaining a Healthy Roof
Most homeowners know that repairing or replacing a roof can be quite expensive. That is why it's important to keep in mind things you can do to maintain the quality of your roof. If you are willing to set aside only a couple hours here and there each month, you can end up saving yourself a large amount of money.
Below are a handful of different ways to maintain a healthy roof:
1.) Keep an eye on your shingles.
A lot of roof problems can be traced back to damaged or missing shingles. If you set aside a little bit of time to clean the dirt from your shingles every few months, this can greatly improve the lifespan of your roof. If you see that shingles are damaged or missing, you should repair it as quickly as you can. Replacing a single shingle is inexpensive and could save you a lot of money down the line.
2.) Make sure your roof sealant isn't cracked or worn.
You should check your roof sealant periodically and make sure that it isn't cracked or worn. If you see any areas where your sealant is cracking or wearing off, you will need to remove it completely and replace the affected area.
3.) Clean your gutters.
Cleaning your gutters periodically throughout the year is essential to preventing damage to your roof. Clogged gutters can cause serious damage from water accumulating and eventually seeping underneath your roof. This can eventually soak into the walls and ceilings of your home.
4.) Trim branches overhanging your roof.
If you have any trees near your home, you should make sure that none of the branches have grown to overhang your roof. If any branches are overhanging, you should trim them to prevent leaves from falling on the roof. Leaves retain a lot of water, so over time they can end up rotting your tiles.
5.) Inspect your roof for rust.
If your roof has any metal, you will want to check for rust. If you notice any rust forming, you can use wire-brush to remove it. Once you are finished brushing the rust off, you can prime the area and paint it to prevent it from re-forming.
If you have any questions about your roof, please do not hesitate to call the SERVPRO of Bend office at 541-385-7044.
Renovating with Green Perspective: Tips for Keeping an Eco-Friendly Mindset
Renovating with a green perspective presents a unique set of considerations and challenges. However, for those passionate about taking charge of their effect on the environment, doing so is well worth the effort. If a budget allows, focus on including green systems and materials into the structure of your home. While these types of additions may come with a larger cost upfront, they have the largest environmental and financial impact over time.
With a little forethought, green renovations can come out just as stylish as their traditional counterparts. Not to mention they come with the added benefit of helping the environment
We utilize a combination of skilled in-house personnel and fully licensed subcontractors to get your job done quickly and correctly the first time.
SERVPRO of Bend, CCB#203503
Tips for Finding and Using Reclaimed Wood for Home Decor
Reclaimed Wood mantel from Shaniko, Oregon
Tips for Finding Reclaimed Wood
Reclaimed wood is increasingly being specified and used in in Central Oregon lodgings of all types, whether in flooring, doors, mantels, paneling, menu covers or other fixtures or accessories. Many of our customers request information on reclaimed wood. Here are some tips and information about finding and reclaiming wood.
Best Type of Structures to Reclaim
Look for homes built between 1910 and 1920 for the best wood. That’s really the sweet spot in terms of desirable woods because of the harvesting of old growth forests. Old-growth wood is trees/lumber that was grown naturally in vast virgin forests in the 1800’s. By 1940, however, most of this lumber was depleted.
- Look for homes and sheds rather than barns. Barns are great for an intensely rustic look, but “Barn wood typically was a cheaper wood. It tends to be more uneven, and is better suited for exteriors, or interiors where the owner wants a heavy rustic feel.”
- Look for structures that are still intact, or mostly intact. What is the condition of the roof? If a structure is falling down, or the roof is gone, most of the wood inside is more likely to be rotten. An old farmhouse with an intact, pristine tin roof is an excellent find.
Recommended Tools Needed to Harvest Old Lumber
With any structure, Safety is always first. If a structure doesn't look structurally sound, then a professional should be consulted before attempting to reclaim any of the structure. If the structure is save, here are some tools needed to harvest old lumber:
Nail Kicker. A nail kicker is a pneumatic tool that looks a lot like a nail gun. Rather than shooting nails, it shoots compressed air at the head of a nail, forcing it through the lumber. That way your saws, drills and other tools won’t hit a buried nail and destroy your saw blade or cause serious damage to you or your tools.
- Crowbars. An assortment of crowbars, from small to large, will help you get into tight spots and get the leverage you need to remove even the most stubborn planks.
- Hammer. Most folks have a good hammer, and even if you don’t, it’s not a huge financial investment, but it will help you free both tin roofs and wooden boards from their foundation.
- Metal detector for wood workers. These metal detectors can pinpoint a nail, piece of metal, bullet, barbed wire or other metal debris in the wood to the exact location.
Using reclaimed wood, and galvanized metal, is easier and more cost effective than most homeowners realize. Besides the more luxurious look and feel of the wood, there’s just the fact that you’re living with a piece of history – whether it’s a tobacco barn, an old mill, part of a southern plantation or mountain cabin.
Paint a Piece of Poster Board Instead of Your Wall to Test Out Colors and Finishes
Painting a little square of color on your wall is a good way to test out potential wall colorings, but you only get to see how it looks on that particular patch of wall in that particular lighting situation. To see how it would look in any part of the room, paint a piece of poster board and move it around.
This idea from Food 52 is super clever. Not only does it let you see how a color and finish looks in every single corner of a room, it saves you the trouble of having to go back and cover up colors that didn’t make the cut. You can also test out a whole bunch of samples at once, and move them from room to room if need be, making sure you pick the perfect shade for every wall in your home.
Tips During a Remodel
Allergies will most likely be triggered when construction dust is everywhere in your home during a remodel. Demolition and drywall sanding can cause airborne dust that can be hard to keep under control. If you are planning on living in your home during a remodel, you must be prepared for due diligence and what you are willing to tolerate.
Unless you are tearing your home down to the studs, most people who choose to live in their house during construction can survive the process with careful planning. Don’t wait until the job starts to assign your designated living space and get situated within your home. You also have to be prepared to get ahead of the dust before the remodel begins. Here are the ways I help contain the dust and keep my clients’ homes clean. Use these tips and pass them onto your general contractor.
1. Pack Like You’re Moving: Your house should be clean before the remodel begins. Get rid of everything except the things you want to keep. Pack like you’re moving. Wrap and store belongings such as knick-knacks in boxes, because if construction dust gets on them, they are a nightmare to clean. They will feel like new again once the remodel is complete and they are unpacked.
2. Create a Zone: During a remodel, homeowners and pets must stay away from the construction area. People often forget that a railing is not there anymore and they can accidently fall. For the safety of the homeowner, the work area should be blocked off. We create a zone by building temporary plywood walls with doors on them. We build a separate entrance so that the crew is not crossing paths with the residents and we also blow the dust off the workers clothes with an air hose before and after they enter the home.
3. Zip The Walls: Since the workers have to walk in and out of the room being remodeled during construction, I find that using a zipper instead of a tape entryway is better. We attach plastic sheets to painter poles and place a long zipper at the opening. This creates a re-sealable entrance and exit. The crew can enter the construction area easily through a zipper entrance and it will keep the dust contained in the work area. When the homeowner comes to check out the construction progress, we supply them with a mask and stop work immediately.
4. Set Up a Temporary Kitchen: When doing a kitchen remodel from scratch, I help homeowners set up a temporary kitchen somewhere else in their home. I have seen people do this in the living room, den or garage. Set up a table with your microwave, toaster oven, toaster, coffee maker and a small refrigerator.
5. Broom Sweep Clean: Each day at the end of the job, we make sure that the rooms that were worked in are clean and spotless. We also clean as we move from room to room after completing the work. We use sawdust with light oil called ZEPs HD Sweeping Compound. This compound stops small dust particles from flying around while sweeping. We put it on the floor before we sweep. Once the dust is swept into a pile, it can be vacuumed with a Shop-Vac or shoveled away.
6. Spray Down The Dust: Once the sawdust in the house has been contained, we put it into buckets. When transferring the buckets to a dumpster or trash truck outside, dust can get everywhere as the workers walk through the house. It can also blow around in the air outside and get on everything, including a neighbors’ car. We take careful steps to contain it by using a fine mist spray pump to apply water on top of the dust after its put into the buckets.
Easy Home Upgrades
Whether you recently purchased a new house and are looking for ways to add your own style and personal touches or are looking to upgrade your longstanding home, it’s essential to add style and function when completing any home improvement project. From adding light and ventilation to updating your home’s safety, closets, facade or backyard, you can take advantage of these ideas to enhance the aesthetics of your house and improve its livability and capabilities.
There’s no better way to breathe new life into interior spaces than decorating with light. Velux Energy Star-qualified, solar-powered fresh air skylights bring natural light and ventilation into the home and carry a 10-year, no-leak installation warranty. Along with available solar powered blinds, the skylights operate by remote control, closing automatically in case of rain. Costs will vary, but a new solar skylight installation typically ranges from $1,800 to $2,400 after a 30 percent federal tax credit
What Renters Can and Cannot Change Around the Home
A home isn’t just a place to live, it’s a canvas for personal expression, a showcase for your unique style. But as a renter, you simply don’t have the carte blanche that homeowners enjoy.
Still, there are plenty of things you can do to spruce up your living space. Follow these tips and you’ll be able to make your rental feel like home sweet home, without getting into hot water with your landlord.
Check Your Rental Agreement
Before you start getting too excited about home improvement projects, it’s best to peruse your rental agreement to see what sort of alterations it allows. Some landlords are rather strict about what changes they will permit while others take a more laissez-faire approach.
Talk to Your Landlord
If your rental agreement allows you to do the projects you have in mind without consulting your landlord, then go right ahead and do them. If not, you may still be able to make improvements, so long as you discuss them with your landlord first.
You never know – your property owner might be willing to make an exception if you sit down with them and present the changes you’d like to make, especially if you can convince them that your improvements will bolster their property value. You might even be able to convince them to deduct labor and materials from your rent