Over the years codes and siding installation techniques on homes in the portland & southern washington areas have changed. The biggest places for leaks are generally around windows and some technical measures can be taken to lower the possibility of rain getting in. First thing to know is that every vinyl window has “weep holes” at the bottom of the window frame. These weep holes MUST be blown out periodically to make sure bugs or debris have not blocked water drainage and evacuation. If the window has a center mullion this is even MORE important. Its easy. Just make sure to do it. You can use any can of compressed air like what is used to clean computer keyboards. When Superior Exterior Systems installs Hardi Plank, cedar or vinyl siding, we always overlap the house wrap to the point of overkill. Think of your house wrap as a raincoat. If the wall is over 9 feet tall and needs multiple pieces start from the bottom moving horizontally then upward so the layers above overlap the lower section. Just think always run the overlap facing down so that rain can drip out and away instead of in towards the subwall. A few years ago, we were chosen to redo an entire condo complex in which another company overlapped the house wrap upside down. They basically started installing the wrap at the top and then over lapped as they went down. Rain had been getting in for a long time and the homeowners were furious when they found out. Also, flash the nail flange on each window - run a wide strip of rubberized water membrane flashing across the bottom past the edges of the window - then down the sides overlapping the bottom - then across the top overlapping the sides. It is also good on new construction or if installing new windows to use the membrane style rubberized flashing as a gasket inside and around the entire window itself. Superior Exterior Systems also runs flashing under corners for extra protection since that is where gaps exist in the plywood although house wrap should also run consistently around corners. I could go on because there is no way I could explain every method but these are a few that will help reduce the possibility of a leak. This should give you the idea. When wind blows the rain hard in Gresham and Troutdale this can save your home from costly structural rot repair. Obviously caulk around the finished product but remember no caulking will last forever and needs to be redone AS OFTEN AS NEEDED! If that means after 1 year then do it. This is very important: remember MANY leaks are NOT caused by the siding or flashing or lack of flashing but may actually be the double faced tape holding the actual glass pack (the 2 layers of glass) which can be pulled out by a professional and re-sealed. This has absolutely NOTHING to do with the siding but with the window. I have had this happen on my own personal home a few years ago. The glass pack seal failing was the cause of a few window leaks. I definitely caught it before it did any structural damage but then had to repaint my interior widow trim high gloss white to match the rest. For more technical information feel free to visit http://superiorexteriorsystems.com/ Thanks for your interest and I sincerely hope this helps.
Archive for December, 2010
Over all the years, I’ve noticed that Lp siding in Gresham & Troutdale seem to have more problems mainly due to the excessive strong winds constantly driving the rain into places it generally wouldn’t go. Normally rain would simply drip off the bottom horizontal “drip edge” of lap siding. We just finished another home in Gresham Oregon where the sheathing underneath should have been perfectly dry. It wasn’t. The home owner didn’t know that every time it rained hard and was windy, they’re siding wasn’t protecting the sheathing and studs underneath. There was structural rot and alot of it since the home was built 16 years ago. I must admit, at first I was a bit puzzled. How could rain get THIS far up under the siding and not dry out? The answer is that it was getting in often and that’s the problem. The house wrap under the siding was the black tar paper which I never recommend since it isn’t waterproof enough for our climate. It was used by “old school” builders because it was so cheap during the building boom in the 80’s & 90’s. Here’s the BIG question. If you live in Gresham or Troutdale, how do you know if the subwall & studs under your Lp or Omniwood siding is getting wet? The problem is we simply don’t. Painting wont protect IF the wind is driving the water up underneath through small openings like butt joints. To become dry rot it has to be getting in often. It won’t rot if it only gets in a few times. The best thing is to simply look REALLY closely all around your siding but you need to do this more than once while it is windy. When Lp siding or Omniwood was installed back in those days, nobody was installing flashing between the butt joints. It just wasn’t thought of yet. If your original caulking is cracking, that could be a clear sign of potential water underneath. We have used high end moisture meters for years that can tell us exactly how much moisture content is UNDER the siding and can inspect for free. For more info or a free estimate log into http://superiorexteriorsystems.com/ . Thanks for looking.
With 19 years of experience I often get asked which roof should I choose? It really depends on your budget and goals. Are you selling? Don’t order anything too high end. If you aren’t selling and like original colors we are able to special order colors that aren’t too crazy but much more unique than your average grey or brown roofs. There are also colors like green or blue which are extremely strong and may be an eye soar OR you may get tired of it after a few years. This is the reason why alot of people go more conservative with the colors they choose. Dimensional shake is ALWAYS better than simple 3 tab and only costs a bit more as you increment up in thickness and length of warranty. The labor is where the bigger expense is. For example: is the old roof being torn of and disposed? Also, a 40 or 50 year roof wont necessarily last 40 years but has more density in the product so it will last longer than a 30 year. Are you SURE you’re going to stay a long time? When choosing a new roof always take into consideration how many trees are close to it as this will definitely affect the longevity. Ask yourself how will the color you choose look when its wet since it will be wet most of the year from the rain. This is REALLY important. For example, my roof is a really dark grey but looks very black when its wet which is most of the time. On a previous home I built myself I put a high density 40 year dimensional shake roof on thinking I would never sell. Yep, it’s for sale. But a 40 year doesn’t cost much more than a 30 year material wise so I’m good with that. You also want to go outside and look at all the other colors in your area. Don’t out up green or blue if nobody else has. The design team at Superior Exterior Systems is here to answer any of your questions. For more info and lots of roof pictures log into http://superiorexteriorsystems.com/ or call (503) 285-0875 in portland oregon or (360) 687-8937 in Vancouver washington and thanks again for listening.