Ice dams, roof leaks and water damage
For those of us living in central Indiana, we know that our weather changes often, sometimes daily and even hourly! So far this winter, we have seen a few unseasonably warm days, some rainy days, a bit of snow and lately, very cold temperatures!
As an Indianapolis area contractor, we receive a variety of service calls during all seasons. In the spring and summer months, most calls concerning damage to homes is due to storms, mainly wind and hail damage. However, in the winter months, it usually from snow and ice. One of the biggest culprits of damage to our homes in the winter is snow dams.
A snow dam is a mass of ice that usually forms at the bottom of a roof, most particularly the intersection of the bottom of the roof and the gutter. To learn more about ice dams, check out the University of Minnesota's Housing Technology extension article on Ice Dams. (Photo, right- University of Minnesota Housing Technology Extension)
In a nutshell, the ice dam forms and restricts the flow of melting snow above it. This blockage forces the water back up underneath shingles and roof felt and enters the nearest penetration. Usually, this is our roof sheathing. Once melting water enters our homes, it travels across our ceillings and presents itself as a wet spot.
Unfortunately, most do not notice the initial water spotting. During colder temperatures, the water is slow to thaw and water spots begin gradually. Usually, by the time you notice the spot, it's fairly large!
Sometimes, ice dams just happen due to the conditions. Other times, ice dams can be a sign of inadequate air flow and insulation in our attics which lead to different temperatures on the underside of the roof. If you find ice dams regularly on your home, give your favorite contractor a call and request an inspection of your roof and your attic.
Another important note is the presence of ice and water shield. Ice and Water shield is a rubberized roof membrane that adheres to the roof decking. Is a great defense against water leaks on roofs. It seals penetrations and even seals around nail heads. Thankfully, most new roofs use ice and water shield to help prevent against ice dams. If your home is getting close to needing new shingles, be sure that ice and water shield is installed in all roof valleys, up roof and wall intersections and along the bottoms of the roof. The extra cost is minimal and worth having peace of mind that your home will stay dry.
If you have questions about your roof, or need a roof inspection in the Indianapolis area, give Gettum Home Exteriors a call, or click below:
Termite Damage: Signs, Solutions and Prevention
Finally, you've begun the remodeling project you've been saving for. You break ground only to find what appears to be termite damage—a homeowner's worst nightmare.
Are the insects still present? What are the next steps to take to secure your home?
In an interview with MSN, Mike Potter, a professor and urban entomologist at the University of Kentucky and author who wrote the chapter in the definitive "Handbook on Pest Control," explained the types of termites that infest homes.
“Broadly speaking, three groups of termites in the U.S. that damage homes: subterranean, drywood and dampwood termites. The first two are the most damaging to buildings. Subterranean termites are the most widespread, so the advice here focuses on them. (Drywood termites, which live above ground, are mostly a problem in coastal areas, especially in parts of states such as Florida, California, Louisiana and Texas.)”
Signs You Have Termites
According to the MSN article, you may find the bodies of termites who fled their colonies near windows and entry points of the home. Another sign of infestation is “pencil-thick tunnels of mud and earth across exposed areas.” To see if the tunnel is active, break it and wait to see if it is rebuilt. Hollowed wood and dirt in wood are other signs of termite damage, if you have mulch or rotting wood near your home, pick through it, termites will be visible if present.
What Attracts Termites
Wood and moisture are the two factors that attract termites. Exposed wood, cracks and holes where the home meets the the foundation, wood and debris, and openings near plumbing are all major entry points for termites.
Resolving the Problem
The severity of the problem depends on the location of the damage and the type of termites residing in your home. If you have found signs of termite damage and are unsure if the insects are still in your home, it's best to call a professional. Many offer free termite inspections. CNN Money reports that a “typical homeowner pays $8,600 to repair and prevent future (termite) attacks.” Although it can get expensive, it isn't advised to attempt to fix termite problems yourself.
Ohio State University's department of Entomology expresses that three major problems that invite termites into a home are items containing cellulose, moisture and cluttered crawl spaces, luckily there are easy solutions to managing these problems yourself.
Cellulose found in wood, dead plants and paper "in contact with soil" creates an entry point via food for termites. OSU suggests keeping the wood of a home at least six inches above the earth and keeping wood, debris and mulch away from possible entry points of the home. Because termites travel through subterranean systems, it's important to remove possible infested items like dead trees and rotting wood from your property. The University also suggests to eliminate high-level moisture areas around the home's foundation. Divert all water from the home's foundation by sloping soil around the home, channeling rain water, and directing sprinklers away from this area. Last, make sure the crawl space below your home is clean, uncluttered and dry.
About The Author:
Penny Juarez Penny is a freelance editor and writer who works at home with her dachshunds Lucy and Dezi.
Gadgets That Protect Your Home Wherever You May Roam
Your home should be a safe place, your sanctuary from stresses of the world, a cherished place to hang your hat. It may be awhile until we live in futuristic, entirely self-protected and self-cleaning “home pods.” But for now, science, technology and some really fantastic inventors have been doing their best to keep your mind at ease when it comes to safe-guarding your home.
From New York to Houston, home security protection against potential threats is one of the most important factors to consider. Whether the damage is elemental or from home invaders, these nifty new gadgets are worth taking a gander at. Check out these top 4 home security gadgets listed below.
Hurricane Proof Fabric
Storm-A-Rest! As it's called, is truly the super hero of the fabric world. This magnificent material was designed to protect you, beloved ones and your property from the formidable terror that extreme weather such as hurricanes cause. This magical stuff is made from a substance called Spectra fiber, and it's so remarkably light that it can float on water, yet it's actually fifteen times stronger than steel. Storm-A-Rest™ is currently available in 300 different colors and designs, and provides complete water-proof protection. Style and function . . . it's truly the Batman of fabrics.
Motorized shades may seem like luxuries for the superior-lazy types, but they're surprisingly simple to acquire and maintain, and they're perhaps an even more effective deterrent to intruders than timed lights.
When you're home, motorized shades save you the time and effort of manually fussing around with shades, and they easily add warmth while open during the day and keep warmth in while drawn at night. While you're away, motorized shades can be operated both by a timer and sun sensors at the same time. And be set to open one shade at a time, or an entire room, as to keep your house perfectly acclimated to the elements, and give would-be burglars the impression that you're home while away.
Gutter Cleaning Robot
This little fellow, created by iRobot, could very well be your home's new best friend. Gutter-clogging debris has a new worst enemy. The robot is water-proof, made of durable rubber and plastic blades, and operates with a remote that can be used within a 100 foot radius. While it might sound too good to be true, it's specifically designed to be flexible enough to reach all corners of a gutter while removing stubborn dirt and leaves like your own personal gutter butler. When moving from one to another gutter, simply attach the remote to the top of the robot and it forms a handle that allows it to be moved with ease.
Have you ever wanted to know who showed up at your door unexpectedly while you're getting ready for bed? Or gotten a call from your security company while away, you desperately want to check your home to make sure it's OK, but it isn't worth hopping on a plane just to take a quick look. Surveillance systems aren't just for government agencies and paranoid techies anymore. They're easy to find, set up and monitor from wherever you are.
Cameras can be purchased for less than $100 a piece, and can be monitored wirelessly from wherever you are. This can be helpful as a deterrent for burglars, and also provide you peace of mind while you're at home or away.
About the author:
Carmen Diego is a guest blogger for Gettum Associates, Inc. and writes relevant articles for her clients readers. Carmen brings her Mac wherever she goes and loves everything Apple. She is crazy about the new ipad mini.
Two things to consider for starting that DIY remodel project
Replace a toilet, check! Fix the faucet, check! Replace that old light fixture, check!
Sure, you might be willing and able to do just about any home improvement project around your house, but before you tackle any major work, consider two things:
First, ask yourself if you can do the job right.
Saving money is one thing, but are you knowledgeable enough about the task at hand so you don't encounter major (and costly) problems?
Second—and perhaps more importantly—put yourself in the shoes of a potential buyer, even if you're not likely to sell for years.
You might be proud of all your home improvements, but the homebuyer may ask lots of questions about the work. Like it or not, there is an inherent skepticism about homegrown handymen, no matter your talents. There are safety concerns and potential legal issues. You did get permits right?
Professionally done work, on the other hand, tends to have a certain "seal of approval" that assures the job was done properly. Plus, most pros guarantee their work for an extended time, which gives buyers even more confidence.
Sure, there are a few bad apples out there, but if you do your homework, you will find a reputable, professional contractor that will do what they say they will do. Ask your neighbors, friends and family for recommendations. Or, consult an online resource such as Angie's List or CustomerLobby which list reviews of local area contractors.
How to remove toilet stains
I have ugly water stains in my toilet. Can you suggest a solution for removing them?
- Michelle Stewart
There are several commercial, products that would do the trick. However, there are other, eco-friendly solutions that can be done with simple, inexpensive products rather than harsh chemicals. Follow the steps below.
Steps to clean stains from a toilet-
- Drain the water from your toilet bowl
- Pour a 2 liter of cola the affected area and allow it to set for 4-6 hours
- Use a pumice stone to scrub away the loosened deposits. The pumice stone should not scratch the surface as long as you do not scrub too hard.
If deposits or stains remain, simply repeat these simple steps until they are gone.
Ask the Indianapolis home expert your question!
Increase Your Home’s Value by Adding a Deck
A lot of home improvements are designed not only for comfort, enjoyment or convenience, but also to increase the value of one’s home. Given the fall in home prices, this is the case now more than ever. Of the many home improvement options out there, building a deck is one of the most efficient and cost-effective ways to add value to your home.
Outdoor living spaces add additional room to your home without having to worry about many of the expenses involved with building an additional room. Depending on where you live, your house value may increase by anywhere from 85% to 95% of the deck’s cost. Not to mention, it will leave a good impression on prospective homebuyers as they imagine relaxing and entertaining guests outdoors.
The added value from a deck will diminish over time, but the rate at which it diminishes can be influenced heavily by the type of decking material you use. Wood decking carries cumulative maintenance costs and deteriorates much faster than alternative materials. Composite decking also contains wood, so it will eventually suffer many of the same problems. Cellular PVC lasts the longest and keeps your deck looking new longer, helping to maintain its value for a future sale. Beware, though, that not all cellular PVC is created equal. Do a little research to find out how different brands are holding up over time. The most weatherable boards are finished with high performance acrylics to prevent fading and staining.
As wood and composite alternatives continue to grow, more and more prospective buyers will be interested in decks constructed with cellular PVC. When compared with the alternatives, building a deck is clearly one of the best options for those seeking to add value to their home for immediate or future sale.
This is a guest post from Anthony Esh. Anthony writes about outdoor living spaces for Gossen Corporation in Milwaukee, WI. Gossen Corporation produces cellular PVC home exterior products. More of Anthony’s writing can be found on Gossen Corporation’s Blog.
Looking for a deck for your Indianapolis are home? Want more information?
If your in the Indianapolis Indiana area, contact Gettum Associates, an award-winning Greenwood Indiana remodel contractor located in Greenwood Indiana. Gettum Associates has completed hundreds of projects and has been awarded the Angies List that has completed hundreds of projects around the central Indiana area.
5 Ways to Improve the Appearance of Your Property
Improving the appearance of your home can pay off big-time. You may be able to sell your property faster if it is in the market and receive better profits or appreciation because improvements increase the value of your property. If your property is not on sale improving its appearance gives it some self-esteem and helps in keeping your home in good condition and running effectively. Improving as a future investment may be beneficial in that when you decide to resell your home you can have greater marketability. Updating, upgrading or completely remodelling your property makes your home more comfortable and reduces maintenance and utility costs.
Use roof blinds for your home office to improve how your property looks. Every room in your house can have different roof blinds that bring out the best appearance and your home office is no exception. There are many styles, designs, materials and colours that can suit your home office and provide the privacy you require while bringing aesthetic value. Various types of roof blinds include pleated, pinoleum, venetian, roller and wood weave.
You can use light designs to bring out different moods, seasons and personalities. Accommodating different lighting requirements can easily help in enhancing the value of your property. Light is easy on the eye and can give out a warm feeling because it makes a room feel sunny inside. You can also decorate sash windows to improve your property's aesthetic value by glazing, colouring the frames and panes, glass painting, placing flowers on the front windows and using drapes. Using modern curtains can also enhance the look of the different windows in your home. For privacy purposes or to block out light you can purchase curtains with inner lining or sheer. You can choose other curtain types that bring other styles to your property windows such as tab top, sash, and ring top, rod pocket, solid and patterned.
Repainting your property can bring a fresh look. Choose colours that define the surface you are painting. First, you need to identify appropriate colour combinations to accent and complement each other, décor and furniture. You can paint the interior and exterior of your home using varying colours that will make your home look nicer.
Maintain landscaping to improve the appearance of your property. The first thing that persons see is the exterior of your home. Maintain the lawn by mowing, reseeding, watering, weed control, pruning, trimming, raking and fertilizing. Your landscape can be more appealing when it looks healthy and well maintained. If you have a garden ensure it is also in its top shape.
For more advice on maintaining your home, sign up for the Home Front newsletter, click below:
Choose the Perfect Gate for Your Home
Are you planning a home-remodeling project? Do you have a garden in front of your home? Then, the one thing that you must include is a gate. It not only ensures the safety and security of your house, but also enhances the beauty. Gates have enamored us for a long time. A mansion with an imposing gate in front of it has never failed to impress us.
There are several kinds of gates available. The two basic models are slide gates and swing gates. If you can manage the space in front of your home, then the swing gates are a good option. A swing gate is something that comes to our minds when we think of gates. But, if you do not have the space then a slide gate is a good option too. They are very good if your home is of a modern design. The swing gates have fewer mechanisms compared to a slide gate and so they are expected to develop fewer glitches in them.
The gates can be made out of various kinds of materials. They include, wrought iron, wooden picket, vinyl, etc. the material that you choose will depend on the kind of climate you have round the year, the maintenance cost and the safety that it will provide. The most popular are wood and iron.
They can either be simple or ornate. Simple gates are of course easy to maintain and they are cheap. Also, if you are installing a simple wooden swing gate then you can do it yourself on a weekend. Gates with complicated patterns on them look very grand and add to the beauty of the house. But, you have to work really hard to keep them clean. Besides, they must be compatible with the house and the gate of your neighbors, if any. A grand, imposing gate in a row of simpler ones looks very odd.
If you have seen a spy movies or a horror movie, a gate opening by itself is something that must have attracted you. You can also have a gate like that at your home that opens automatically. A manual gate has to be opened either by you or by your guests. Also, it becomes difficult sometimes to open the gate. In such cases an automatic gate is very helpful. They provide better security than the manual ones as they are not so easy to break-in. they also provide you with the added facility of installing a burglar alarm that you can activate at night or when you are not at home.
There are several kinds of automatic gates and you must consult an expert before you invest in one. The perfect kind of electric gates Surrey home owners should install depends on the owner’s needs and affordability.
The author Eve Warner has a deep interest in home remodeling. She has written many blogs on the same. Here, she shares some tips about installing http://www.geminigates.co.uk/electric gates Surrey residents will find helpful.
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Expand over your garage to add a walk in closet
One of the biggest deficiencies of homes is a lack of storage space. This is especially true with a master bedroom. Many homeowner's complain there is not enoguh adequate space for clothing storage. For those homes with two professional's this is even more challenging. Where do you hang and store professional clothing, as well as everyday casual clothes? For most, this is a problem.
For those whose master bedroom is on the second floor, and who are lucky enough to be over, or right beside a garage underneath you may be in luck! Sometimes, you may be able to expand over the existing garage and add the storage space you and your spouse needs. The project may not be as hard as you think. It may only mean some demolition work, the addition of a floor system and wallls and tie-ing the new space into the existing structure.
To find out your options in expanding your master bedroom space to include a larger walk in master closet, consult your local experience remodel contractor. If your in the Indianapolis area, take a look at www.Gettum.com, which is one example of a local, full-service design-build remodel contractor that can help. You can contact Gettum Associates by scheduling a remodel consultation at http://info.gettum.com/remodel-consultation-request/.
If your just beginning your research on your Indianapolis remodel contractor options, be sure to check out our FREE guides for all things home improvement and home remodeling at:
Four Apps Every House-Hunter Needs
Note: The article below is a guest blog post, written by Ryan with HomeCity who writes guest blogs about real estate and home improvement in the Austin area. From time to time, Gettum Associates includes articles which we feel would benefit our readers, from outside sources.
They don't call them “smartphones” for nothing. Your mobile device is useful for time wasters like showing you cute pictures of cats and imitating flatulence but it also has a slew of very practical applications. The world of real estate has been changed forever because of smartphones. Now you can conduct your entire house search from the palm of your hand (although I still recommend going on an actual tour of your prospective home). Here are a few of the best apps out there for those who are house-hunting.
This app boasts the largest selection of properties in the world. According to the company's claim, they have more than 3 million listings. With that many options, you're pretty much guaranteed to find the place that's right for you.
Zillow is so on top of things that they created their own non-binding house appraisal system. Users can get Zestimates using Zillow's proprietary formula which takes a myriad of details into account when assessing a property's value. The app also allows you to search for homes by area code and gives you user reviews and pictures.
The Mortgage Calculator
Does anyone else remember sitting through accounting classes hearing them talk about amortization tables? The very word makes me tense up because it's a hard concept to wrap your head around. Fortunately, there's an app for that. The Mortgage Calculator allows you to calculate your amortization, monthly rate and price per square foot. An extremely useful app for the mathematically challenged.
Evernote is a handy little app that basically acts as a multi-platform note-taking system. This app stores all of your notes in the Cloud so notes taken on your phone are automatically basked up in the Cloud so they show up on your computer and tablet as well. You can take a picture of a great looking house that is out of one-sheets and geo-tag it so that you're able to find your way back at a later date. The app allows for picture messages, voice memos and text notes.
About the author:
Ryan is a guest blogger who writes about Austin homes for sale, Cedar Creek homes for sale and double hung window prices for that next big home makeover.