How to Protect Your Siding from Moisture
The siding of your home serves as the primary defense against all manner of weather, pests, wind, mold, and mildew – but moisture is something that can quickly compromise even high-quality siding. This means that you need to do everything possible to protect your siding from moisture, so that your siding can continue to protect you from all those other things.
Since your siding also acts as a kind of external skin to your house, you could very easily miss any damage which may have occurred beneath the skin. Here are some steps you can take to shield your siding from moisture damage, so it can continue to effectively perform its intended function.
Keep nearby shrubbery trimmed
While everyone can appreciate the aesthetic value that trees and shrubs bring to a home’s exterior, any of them which are planted too close to the house can potentially lead to moisture damage. Leaves and branches retain water, and when they brush up against the siding, they can drop that moisture off on your house, where it can seep in. Leaves also release water vapor into the air via tiny pores, and proximity to the house can cause that moisture to be released right into the siding.
Direct sprinkler heads away from the house
This might sound obvious, but you should be careful about the direction of sprinkler heads as they water the lawn or the flower bed. Make sure that even at its furthest point of projection, the sprinkler can’t reach the siding of your home, because if it does, that water will be absorbed into the siding and damage may occur.
Keep gutters clear
If your gutters become clogged with debris, they won’t be able to carry out their primary function, which is to direct water away from your house’s siding and foundation. Check for debris every couple months, and clean the gutters when any kind of debris begins accumulating. This is especially important in the fall, when trees begin to shed their leaves.
Don’t let snow or ice pile up
In the winter time, snow can accumulate into piles wherever it gets directed, and if that happens to be up against your house, some of it will melt and seep in. If snow piles up against the house itself, make sure to gently shovel it away, so no scraping or scoring occurs to the siding.
Differences Between Horizontal and Vertical Siding
Though it may seem as if the differences between horizontal and vertical siding are incredibly simple and obvious (i.e. one runs horizontally along the lines of a building and the other runs vertically), there is a lot more to the story. Let’s take a few minutes to understand these differences and recognize which is the best solution for your building or remodeling needs.
While you may be in the very earliest stages of a project, such as just now beginning to plan a remodel or construction, you still need to consider all of the variables. As a simple illustration of this, just ask yourself if your siding is to be wood, vinyl, or another material. What sort of insulation and R-value will it have? What about colors and textures?
As you already see or know, deciding how to hang the siding is just one of the options. It may, initially seem like a minor detail, and yet it does make a big difference in the appearance of the property.
Horizontal siding is the iconic or “classic” way to for builders and homeowners to position the material. Simple, fast and easily done, it can save a lot of time and money. Yet, there are a few downsides that most don’t hear much about. For example, it is more prone to water damage over time, and it can also become dislodged more easily and allow water and damage. It is not as easy to clean as vertical siding, though both involve a time-consuming process.
Vertical siding gives a property a more modern and edgy appearance, and is possible with almost any common siding material. As indicated, it is easier to clean but it is a bit more complex to install and usually requires furring strips that create a water tight mount.
So, if you are curious about the differences between horizontal and vertical siding, they are simply that vertical can take more time and have more material costs. However, vertical siding gives a property a unique look and is far more waterproof and easier to clean. If you are going for “classic” and affordable, go with horizontal, but if you want edgy and easy to clean, vertical may be for you!
5 Signs that You Need New Gutters
Gutters are extremely important to your home. Not only do they prevent water damage to your roof by directing rainwater to the ground, but they can keep water from seeping into your home’s foundation by directing it away from your home. Sadly, like all other structures, gutters do not last forever. They are susceptible to damage and need to be replaced over time. Here are some signs that will tell you when that time has come.
You See Any Kind of Cracks
Small cracks in your gutters may not seem like a big deal, but they can turn into larger cracks if they are left unchecked. The same goes for any split seams where the gutter sections fit together. In any case, these openings are signs that your gutters should be replaced, no matter how minor they may seem.
You See Peeling Paint or Signs of Rust
Reddish brown flakes on your gutters are signs of rust, which will turn even the sturdiest of structures into a corroded mess. If you don’t have metallic gutters, you might still notice paint peeling or flaking off if you look closely enough. Both of these are signs that your gutters are old and should be replaced before it is too late.
You Notice Pools of Water by Your Foundation
Gutters are meant to direct water away from your foundation; this is why they have spouts that extend several feet away from your house. If you notice pools of water or signs of mildew near your foundation, your gutters are not doing their job. There is most likely a leak somewhere, which will call for a replacement.
You Notice Water Damage Near or Underneath Your Gutters
Just like the pools of water that are not supposed to be near your home’s foundation, water damage directly underneath your gutters means that they are leaking. Replace your gutters before the damage gets any worse.
Your Gutters are Sagging
Finally, gutters that are sagging or pulling away from your house are definitely in poor shape. This is actually the easiest sign to look for since you will be able to notice it clearly from the ground. In any case, call a roofing professional to have a new gutter system installed when you notice this or any of these other signs.
How to Clean and Maintain Your Siding
Well maintained siding gives your home a cared-for look. It also reduces repair costs and the time needed for upkeep. Just like your car, your siding benefits from preventive maintenance, which can extend its lifespan by many years.
Here is an overview of how to clean and maintain your siding.
Every type of siding, whether it is made of wood, vinyl or aluminum, needs to be inspected at least once a year. Check for cracks, holes, worn spots and loose boards. Does it look faded, rusty or warped? Are some sections dirtier than others?
If you’ve had a major storm, especially high winds, inspect the siding as soon as you can. This can result is serious damage, which can cause cracks that let in moisture. These need to be repaired as quickly as possible to save your home from future problems, including mold, insects and rot.
The Importance of Cleaning
Siding should be cleaned twice a year, whatever it is made of. Normal wear and tear and the effects of weather and the environment can hasten deterioration. Cobwebs collect, dirt sticks to the surface and mildew can set in.
When you clean you siding, you are protecting your investment in your home. Replacing siding is expensive. It is always cheaper and less complicated to clean what you have.
Maintaining Your Vinyl Siding
The big advantage of vinyl siding is how low maintenance it is. Power washing it twice a year is all it needs. If you’re a do-it-your-selfer, this is an easy project.
Maintaining Your Wood Siding
Wood siding needs regular upkeep, beside twice a year cleaning. Every 5 years or so, the boards need to be treated. If you live in an area of weather extremes, it could need it every 2 to 3 years.
Maintaining Your Aluminum Siding
Metal siding needs cleaning every six months or so. One danger to look out for is rust. Scrape it off and add sealant. If your metal siding is painted, you will need to repaint the spots that are chipped or peeling.
Window Condensation: What Your Windows Are Telling You
Condensation is normal on windows for short periods, especially when winter starts. But ongoing moisture on your windows can be a sign of trouble.
If you don’t deal with prolonged moisture problems, you can end up with mold, mildew and rot. This harms the window frame and trim, and your home’s air quality.
Here is an overview of what your windows are telling you when condensation forms.
Too Much Moisture
If condensation regularly forms around the corners and bottom of your windows, you have a humidity issue. You need to let the moisture out and let in dry air. Two ways to fix this are:
- Turn on an exhaust fan, like the one in your bathroom
- Or open one of your windows for 15 to 20 minutes a day
If you have dual pane windows, you shouldn’t see moisture collect between the two sections of glass. It indicates that the seal has broken down, letting in air from outside. The trapped air causes moisture, which leads to a foggy appearance on the glass.
Leaking Gas in Double Pane Windows
Do you notice condensation in the center of a double-pane window within your home? Most likely, argon gas is leaking between the two panes. This makes the glass bend inward. It can even cause the two panes of glass to touch.
Argon is an insulating component. Since it is leaking, your windows are no longer effective and they need to be replaced.
If you have difficulty opening or closing a window with a wood frame, it’s probably because the wood is swollen with moisture. Reduce the humidity in your home. Over time, the wood will shrink to its normal size and the windows will be easy to open and close.
Leak in Your Roof or Siding
Does your window shut firmly but you see water inside? Is the water at the top? The trouble is probably caused by a leak in your roof or your siding. Water is dripping down and entering at your window.
Summer Storms and Roof Damage
Summer will be here in Billings before you know it, and while the warmer days and longer night make such an appealing daydream, it also means that dramatic hail storms, violent lightning storms, and even possible tornadoes are upon us. It may not be all that bad, unless you are someone who has had to struggle with an insurance company to cover your end of a replacement roof.
If you are concerned about damage to your roof from a storm, give Lynnrich a call to evaluate your roof for you, and Lynnrich can even help you to take the next steps with your insurance company to ensure that your home stays protected from the elements with a functional roof. Document, document, document… Document the damages to your roof , so that your insurance company can’t question the how or when damage happened.
Determine if your roof has been damaged
You should be able to check the majority of damage from the street or yard of your home. Obviously the best thing would be to walk the roof and check for damage up close. But the roof can be a dangerous place, and you may just want to call Lynnrich for an up close inspection. But, if you want to do the preliminary check on your own, head out to the street or backyard—if you’re in the street please be sure to check for cars—and inspect the roof.
With all of the hailstorms that we’ve encountered in the past few years, check to if the hail has taken out entire sections of asphalt shingles. Also, shingles will bruise or dent from hail, although these dents or bruises are not always visible. A set of binoculars to check the roof can be beneficial. Don’t forget to check the downspouts of gutter for grit that has been pelted from the shingles during the storm.
Even if you cannot see damage from the street, in the event that there is grit from the shingles either in the downspouts, on the ground at the base of downspouts, or in the gutters, it may be time to call a professional to check your roof. If you have spotted damage to your roof post-storm, make sure to document the damage, if possible, with photographs.
If your home or business suffered damage in any hail storm, please contact Lynnrich today!
Steel Siding Cleaning Tips
Steel siding has so many benefits, and one, which is often overlooked, is its ability to clean up well, with little effort. Vinyl siding shows signs of weathering and wear, and it’s difficult to clean, because it’s not the most durable material. Right now, here in Montana, we’re coming out of the winter months into spring, into the months when weather is unpredictable and storms can bring huge wind gusts that feel as if they will shake the house from the foundation. In that weather, not only will steel siding protect your home, but it can also be cleaned easily (consider all that debris—dirt and grime—being tossed against your house in spring winds). Here’s the best way to do it.
Cleaning Steel Siding
Steel Siding is more durable than, say, vinyl, so using a power washer is recommended—considering you have a power washer at the ready. A power washer may put holes in vinyl siding, the pressure may break free the panels from one another. The best part is that there are no chemicals needed (in fact, the chemicals used to clean vinyl or even wood sidings, can damage steel siding) and just a simple solution of warm, soapy water will work best.
Obviously, a power washer works well, because its direct spray can be angled and concentrated on areas. Go over a section of the siding with the power washer, then use a long-handled broom to scrub free the dirt and debris. Once the siding has been scrubbed well, simply turn back on the power washer. Continue to work this way: breaking the entire house into small, manageable sections, and then, once a section is cleaned, you can leave it to air dry.
A few tips for using a power washer
If you have never used a power washer, try it on an area that you won’t damage: concrete on the driveway, for instance. Because power washers live up to their name—power washer—understand that it may be difficult at first to control. Keep practicing, and make sure you feel comfortable using the power washer, before you turn its spray loose on the house.
Rain Gutters Care Tips
Rain gutters are one of the most overlooked and undervalued protections on your home. You don’t notice them, they work unfailingly (that is until you don’t maintain them and they fail), and they protect your home by carrying water away from the home’s foundation. Water that drains into the home’s foundation can cause damage. Water damage can be extremely expensive.
Rain gutters can become damaged when they are improperly installed, or when they are left unchecked and uncleaned for lengths of time. Oftentimes, rain gutters that are not cleared of leaves in the fall, can back up with un-drained water, and that water can freeze and refreeze in the winter months, damaging the gutter systems and sparking the potential for the devastating ice dam. Rain gutters should be installed with downspouts that progress to elbows which move the water out and away from the home.
If your home’s rain gutters are damaged, or have just survived one too many Montana winters to be effective, it may be time to consider a new gutter system at Lynnrich.
Lynnrich sells seamless rain gutters that seemingly blend into the home’s façade. These gutter systems carry water effectively from the home’s foundation, and maintain a home’s curb appeal in the process. Because the gutters are installed by professionals, and heavy duty hardware is used to attach the gutters to the home, there is little chance for sagging. Seamless gutters also use seamless hangers, so the old, more invasive and noticeable, method of hanging gutters is obsolete. Also, certain products such as gutter guards, which prevent leaves and grass from going into the gutters and clogging them, while, at the same time, allowing water through, make the gutters practically maintenance-free.
The gutters sold at Lynnrich come in numerous color choices to match or contrast with your home’s siding. Also, even though the gutters are seamless and maintenance free, gutters will still include elbows, downspouts, and miters that travel water away from the foundation.
If you have any questions about a new gutter system for your home, call Lynnrich Siding today.
Winter Roofing Care Tips
Icicles hanging from the roof can appear beautiful, like a nostalgic image of winter. But icicles, especially an abundance of icicles are also a sign of a poorly ventilated roof. And an ice dam on the roof can be a big problem. Ice dams can damage the roof shingles, the siding, the soffit, tear out the gutters, even drip down water into your home, drip water into the walls, through electrical wiring, etc.—it’s a big problem. But, there are ways to fix an ice dam, having quality venting at the eaves, and properly insulate the attic spaces. Lynnrich Siding offers several products which work in combination with a properly insulated home to ensure that there will virtually never be an ice dam on your roof. And Here’s how to make sure that an ice dam never appears on your roof.
While the products at Lynnrich are wonderful to look at, and add real beauty to the outside of your home, the soffit/fascia/gutters systems are also designed to move water away from your home properly, and also to properly vent the ridge line of the house, where it’s possible for hot and cold zones to meet. An ice dams develops when the warm air inside the home heats the underside of the roof, causing the melt to then trickles down the roof to the cold eaves, where it then freezes; the water continues to melt, freeze, backs up beneath the shingles, leaking the melt up and beneath the shingles and down into the home. Soffit vents circulate cold air beneath the entire underside of the roof, thereby keeping the roof at a constant temperature.
In addition to the soffit/fascia/gutters systems Lynnrich offers, you can also add insulation to the areas of the attic that most need it. Ice dams are also a sign of an improperly vented attic. Adding proper insulation keeps the heat retained within the home where it belongs.
If you have any other questions about ice dams, or how Lynnrich’s products will protect your home from the elements, while also contributing greatly to your home’s curb-appeal, call Lynnrich today.
Infinity Windows Are An Investment
New windows are an investment, an investment both for the long-term beauty of your home and also for the energy efficiency of your home. Thankfully, Infinity windows do both. Infinity windows have the traditional beauty of wood windows with modern features.
Quality windows work as great insulators of your home. One way that quality windows, like the Infinity windows, accomplish this is by allowing less heat to escape through the glass. Another way to think about the qualities of well-insulated windows is to consider the draft you feel when you’re standing next to a poorly efficient window. The draft you feel isn’t a draft of air at all, but the cold from the outside pulling your body heat through the window.
Obviously to replace inefficient windows throughout your home would be very beneficial. The trouble areas, however, are where there is warm, humid air (think rooms near or inside bathrooms), or kitchen areas, or areas where there is a woodstove or a fireplace constantly at work. The warm, wet air will come into contact with the colder surface of inefficient windows and cause condensation problems. Condensation can freeze windows shut, or drip down into window trim and soak in, grow mold, etc. Oftentimes today’s modern construction is built with a bathroom included within the master suite, and, oftentimes in these master suites, there isn’t enough ventilation in the bathroom to adequately clear the humid air from the shower. Oftentimes a high efficiency window will help to control the amount of condensation on the window pane, because the inside of the window pane will in fact be warmer than a lower efficiency window.
A higher efficiency window can have as much as a ten-degree greater temperature on the inside of the glass panel than a lower efficiency window. Conversely, in the summer time, this translates to less transferred in through the window, and therefore cooler temperatures.
Infinity Windows at Lynnrich can be purchased in most any size and shape, with numerous trim packages and colors, hardware packages ranging from quiet and sophisticated to antiqued brass.