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Most of us, if we think of roof soffit vents at all, or even know the word, see them as mysterious and maybe unnecessary vents dotting the underside of our eaves. We shouldn’t be so dismissive. Roof soffit vents are critical to maintaining proper temperatures in attics, and failure to install enough or maintain them is the most prevalent cause of premature roof failure.
Besides roof failure – curled shingles are a telltale sign of attics overheating in the summer – inadequate soffit ventilation can cause wood rot, discolored or stained interior ceilings, peeling paint, energy loss and rusting nails.
Fortunately, most soffit vent repairs and installations are fairly straightforward and inexpensive, and the investment is money in the bank in terms of preventing more costly future troubles.
Soffit vents serve two main purposes – cooling in warm months and moisture control in colder months.
Attic temperatures in summer can reach 150 degrees in poorly ventilated homes, which not only causes roof deck and shingle problems, but also greatly increases cooling costs inside the home. Properly installed and maintained soffit vents greatly minimize the temperate and the damage.
In winter months, and this is counterintuitive to the temptation to close vents in cold weather, proper soffit ventilation controls moisture that, left unchecked, causes damage. Indeed, a cold and drafty winter attic is a sign of a healthy house. Insulation – add more if you need it – is used to keep the interior warm and control heating costs.
Many older homes will have nothing more than soffit vents, or eaves vents – which often look like small grates or heat duct covers – on the underside of the eaves. Those should be checked periodically to make sure they are not blocked by insulation or other debris.
Many newer homes get better ventilation by adding a roof vent, often running most of the length of the home at the peak of the roof. Older homes can be retrofitted to add one, and doing so will greatly improve attic ventilation and lessen the chance of serious damage.
If you are experiencing roofing concerns related to moisture or ventilation issues, contact the friendly staff at NuBilt Restoration & Construction for professional advice on your roof.
Photo credit: GreenYour.com and OdorXit.com
A homeowner should take steps to protect his or her property from the winter weather. When taking a few hours to get ready for the cold season, the residents will feel warm, the head of the household will have a lower energy bill, and the property can be prepared to withstand the harsh effects of winter. With that being said, here are three ways to prepare for the winter.
- Wrap pipes: In extremely cold areas, people have to take time to cover their pipes. When insulating them properly, residents will enjoy water during the cold months. Otherwise, when a person does not protect their pipes, they may burst in poor weather and leave the residents without water for a week. Moreover, repairing a frozen pipe burst claim is an expensive and time-consuming fix. Luckily, a homeowner can, with ease, wrap the pipes and prevent this issue from occurring in the first place.
Bottom line: Insulated pipes help reduce frozen pipe bursts occurrences.
- Plug holes: In cold climates, residents can feel the draft and cold air seeping through the poorly insulated and sealed windows and doors. To combat this, a homeowner should buy caulk and a caulking gun. Then, he or she should fill any holes that allow cold air in the building. With this quick step, the residents can enjoy cooler air and the owner will not have to waste money on electricity.
Bottom line: Minimized heat loss can reduce ice damming occurrences and expensive heating bills.
- Clean gutters: When the gutters fill up with debris, they will not function properly. This can become the starting grounds for damming, flooding and roof damage. With a 10-15 minute job, homeowners improve the chances of the gutters performing as they should–to remove melted water off the roof.
Bottom line: Clean gutters help reduce roof ice damming occurrences.
With these three tips, a homeowner can help reduce severe and costly problems during the winter. For more information on Winterization techniques or help, contact your friendly team at NuBilt Restoration & Construction in Denver, CO (303-368-4688).
There are a lot of things that homeowners should be keeping an eye on, with one of the most important ones being the potential pest problems in their home. Especially in Denver, Colorado, it is very common for pests to live in a home, which can case several different issues.
Rodents are one of the most well known pests that plague homeowners in Colorado. Once mice and rats choose a home as a reliable food source, they will hole up and stay there for as long as that food and easy lodging is available. Rodents can cause many different types of damage to a home, as well as potentially spread diseases to the people who live in it.
Ants are another common pest in homes in Denver and the surrounding area. This is especially true during the spring and summer months, as the warmer temperatures bring the ants out of hiding and into homes looking for food. Certain types of ants can actually eat at the wood that makes up the structure of a home, which is the biggest reason why they should be removed quickly once they are identified on a property.
Bees are another type of pest that can be particularly annoying and even dangerous during the warm Colorado springs and summers. Once bees begin to build a nest in or outside of a home, it does not take long for them to have a large and thriving colony up and running. Bees move fast, just as homeowners should when they determine that they have a bee problem. Bees can deteriorate the structure of a house over time, as well as be a health hazard to those who are allergic to their stings. Bees should be removed from every property to keep everyone, both residents and visitors, safe at all times.
Spiders are a type of pest that absolutely everyone wants out of their homes. Spiders can not only be seen as being unpleasant because of their appearance, but also because they sometimes have the potential to be poisonous to people they bite. This is especially critical for Colorado residents to realize, as the state has several types of poisonous spiders, including both the brown recluse and black widow species.
These are just a few of the pests that are most commonly found on properties in Denver, Colorado and the surrounding area. As long as a homeowner reacts quickly when they notice any pest problem, they should not run into any major issues and have a home that is pest free.
If you think you’ve experienced damage due to pests in or around your home, contact the friendly team at NuBilt Restoration and Construction to mitigate and restore any property damages.
Photo credits: Voxphoto @ Flickr
While there is plenty of accurate information about mold problems available online, there are still some myths that persist, causing confusion among homeowners everywhere. Here are some of the most common ones:
Myth: Mold can easily be killed with bleach.
Bleach is very misleading. While bleach will whiten the color of the mold, it will not kill the mold. However, the physical wiping of the non-porous surface will actually remove the mold.
If certain porous surfaces are infected with mold such as wood, upholstery or drywall, they cannot be safely and effectively treated so generally they will be discarded.
Myth: Mold is always visible.
The best way to detect the presence of mold is by smelling it, as it has a characteristic musty odor. You will actually be able to smell mold long before you see it.
It is also important to note that if you are performing demolition work in which mold is present, the mold spores can become air born and may promote cross contamination to other unexposed areas of the property.
Myth: Mold is always dangerous, no matter where it is found.
In reality, mold is mostly found outdoors and is an important component of the planet’s ecosystem. Various species of mold exist in nature and have a very useful role: they help break down many kinds of dead organic matter, like dead trees. When found outdoors, mold is usually not dangerous to humans, as the spores that it releases to reproduce are diluted in the atmosphere.
Myth: Any type of indoor mold will be toxic.
There are millions of different mold species, but only a couple of them could be considered toxic. The most common toxic mold is called Stachybotrys, also referred to as “black mold.” Stachybotrys can make people sick by releasing mycotoxins into the surrounding air. It is difficult to identify the exact species of mold just by looking at it, as there are many kinds of mold that are black in appearance but are actually not toxic.
But any kind of mold growing indoors can have negative health effects, since the released spores may cause allergic reactions in some people. Therefore, no matter what kind of mold you see, it is better to take action to eliminate it.
In conclusion, mold in the home is something not to be taken lightly. If you’ve undergone a water damage loss, be sure to seek professional help in removing the sources and signs of mold. Proper mold removal can save your property and health.
One of the most devastating natural disasters is flooding. For its victims, they can do nothing but watch a lifetime of hard work and memories get swept away in mere minutes. Unfortunately, many people think their homeowner’s insurance will automatically cover their losses from a flood. By the time they find out otherwise, it’s too late. The answer is to purchase residential flood insurance to cover any losses stemming from these disasters. However, before doing so there are many points to take into consideration. (more…)
There are six ways that thermal imaging cameras detect problems that damage a property, or contribute to energy inefficiency. An inspection by home inspectors is essential to detect these unwanted conditions.
A real time color scheme of hot and cold areas emerges in the scanned section. The hot sections look brighter and the cool sections look darker. The camera find inefficiencies and damage in seconds. The inspection is done without physical contact, so physical harm to the inspector is null.
Using the cameras, the inspector can conduct a detailed analysis of homes, apartments, and commercial real estate that isn’t possible using the human eye. The camera measures thermal energy and the temperature is calculated derived from the energy output. The condition of the structure and its insulation specifications are verified.
The camera scans the property quickly voiding any damage to the property while detecting the issues. The old school method of detection sometimes caused property damage.
- Thermal imaging cameras detect energy loss. For instance, a leakage of heat in the winter caused by poor insulation. The thermal imaging survey finds heat loss in ceilings, floors, and walls.
- The cold spot patterns are found by the cameras which the eye can’t see. The air leaks are measured, the data collected, and reported.
- It finds water leaks such as leaking plumbing and water draining off the roof and seeping in through the windows. It finds water damage and pools collecting in the property’s ceiling, or walls.
- Faulty wiring is detected which could cause a fire.
- Mold growing in the building, or home is found by the camera. Thus it can be eradicated preventing health issues from developing.
- Pests like rats, raccoons, and termites are located by body heat.
A thermal image scan can save the property owner money and protect the householder’s property and health. If you think your property is suffering from heat-loss, water leaks, rodents or something else behind the walls, contact NuBilt today to setup an appointment to fix the matter.
Photos courtesy of: HowStuffWorks.com, HobartBuildingAssessmentservices.com.au, EnvironmentalPestmanagement.ca
There is a good reason that insurance agents, adjusters and property managers typically head to the crawlspace or basement of a home when they are conducting a property inspection. Beautiful roofing and exterior siding are easy to inspect. The area below includes pipes, conduit and a bevy of other structural components that provide paths for moisture and water to enter the home.
An inspection reveals the type of barrier used to prevent dampness from entering the home. A vapor barrier in the crawlspace is an efficient way to protect a home’s structural integrity. It significantly benefits the health of occupants by improving air quality within the home.
Crawlspaces and Environment
Some crawlspaces are covered with concrete. Most have dirt floors. Both types of covering are porous, becoming moisture magnets that allow the recommended crawlspace humidity of 20 to 40 percent to significantly increase.
Exterior drainage issues also affect the crawlspace. Examples include downspouts too close to the foundation and dirty gutters that prevent a proper flow of rainwater. The ground must be sloped away from the foundation to prevent pooling and encourage water to settle farther away from the home.
The combination of darkness and dampness creates an excellent environment for mold to thrive. Homes have been condemned because of the health problems produced by certain molds. Moisture also leads to rot and structural failure.
Protection with Vapor Barriers
Using a vapor barrier is an excellent way to protect homes from unwanted moisture. Advantages of properly installed vapor barriers in a crawlspace include:
- water vapors emitted from the soil are deflected from entering the crawlspace.
- the chance of structural damage is significantly reduced.
- a stable environment that discourages mold and wood rot.
Overlapping seams and proper sealing ensure that the vapor barrier guards the crawlspace and home from problems caused by moisture.
If you think you are experiencing moisture issues in your home due to the lack of a vapor barrier, contact your friendly team at NuBilt to setup an appointment to get the issue resolved.
When you have a small fire in your home, it’s one thing to put it out with a household extinguisher – but it’s an entirely different matter when it comes to the cleanup of the short instant fire. After the fire is out, you still have a serious mess to clean up, and as with any potentially hazardous mess, you should start by taking some precautions like wearing gloves and a mask while trying to clean it up – the last thing you want to do is make yourself sick.
After you’ve “suited up”, you need to clear out some of the stagnant air and the dust from the fire that has undoubtedly gathered in your home. The easiest way to do this is with a large fan in a window, but you can also use several smaller fans in a pinch. (more…)
Last week we had a great time with the MADD team. Hundreds joined in on the annual Walk Like MADD event at Sloan’s Lake Park in Denver. We thank all who came out and showed their support. Happily, we were able to raise some funds which aid MADD’s work in our communities.
See the rest of the album here.