How to Repair Vinyl Siding

DIY home repair is one of the most popular methods of improving or maintaining your house. Very few people truly enjoy having to call a contractor for every little mishap that could happen around the home, so it makes sense why at least one member of the family should have a handyman of some sort. Even for mundane tasks like repairing siding or replacing a shingle, it’s quite nice to have one around.

The fact of the matter, though, is that DIY home repair is not as difficult as you might think. Sure, some home maintenance projects might require some outside help, but for the most part anybody with some steady hands and good set of eyes can fix issues with the home. This is especially the case with vinyl siding, which is quite easy to repair even if it is unappealing to look at. So here is the definitive guide to helping you repair your vinyl siding.

The Tools of the Trade

Before you even start DIY home repair on your exterior wall, you are going to need a few things to help you work. You will need adhesive caulking to secure the piece and wood shims to close it up. You will also need a zip tool, tin snips, and a standard table saw. We also recommend that you keep a spare panel or two around from initial installation to give you pieces to perform the patchwork.

Step One: Remove the Old Piece

The first thing you want to do is use the zip tool to unlock the panel from its neighbors. If you start at the bottom edge, you will find your job goes a lot easier. Once the edge you are working on is loose, insert a wood shim to keep the older panels in place. Then use the snips to cut the damaged area out. Use the wood saw to cut a piece of good vinyl out. Of course, you need to make sure that the replacement piece is just slightly longer than the damaged piece so you can just tuck it nicely under the good sections.

Step Two: Replace

When you are ready to apply the replacement piece, use a thin bead of adhesive caulk along the back side. Remove the wood shims and slide it underneath the pre-existing piece. Once you have it in line, press down and lock it into place.

And that’s how you fix vinyl siding. This particular DIY home repair method is fantastic if your wall has suffered burns or water damage as a result of a bad gutter. However, it does have its disadvantages, such as your siding looking worse than it already is.

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So you may want to use this accident as an excuse to get some better siding for your house. We know all about different kinds of materials and how to properly install them. Be sure to contact us if you ever have any questions.


Insulating Your Windows for Next Winter

March is here and the annual thaw has begun. At last, you get to see what the damage is to your house and find out the best ways to combat the problems of last year before the next winter begins. Minneapolis construction companies spend thousands of dollars to build the perfect home but not every contractor is perfect. Some things slip through the cracks and it’s up to you to find them and fix them.

Winter Windows—Big Problem

Now, we are willing to bet that one of the problems you encountered from this past winter was the biting temperatures outside managing to get inside through drafts. Believe it or not, drafts occur dominantly around windows rather than doors. This is mostly because windows are not as big (in most cases) as doors and are typically opened up on occasion rather than on a daily basis. But you also must keep in mind that there are more windows in a house than exterior doors. So drafts can make life miserable when the Minnesota winter rolls around.

Dealing with the Issue

There are several ways you can deal with drafty windows, however, and most of them are quite inexpensive. Whether you bring in a Minneapolis construction company or just do it yourself, these solutions will help you control internal temperatures most effectively.

Set Up Curtains.

One of the trendiest and most effective ways you can deal with a drafty window is by simply putting up a curtain. Curtains do more than just preserve your home’s privacy when drawn. They also insulate the glass and prevent cold air from getting inside. But not just any curtain will do. You need something heavy. Think of the window as a person and the curtain a blanket. A light blanket never keeps you warm. The same concept can be applied here. While heavy curtains will block out any views of the outside, we get enough snow in Minneapolis anyways that it probably doesn’t matter.

Install Rubber Sealing.

The one thing which is more effective at preventing drafts than a heavy curtain is rubber sealing. Rubber sealing is available at virtually any home improvement store for extremely cheap prices. Rubber sealing is also known for being quite simple to apply and lasts a long time. While curtains are more concerned about blocking chill on the glass from getting inside, sealing prevents cold air from getting in through the cracks at the side and bottom. Just be sure that you use rubber sealing with caution as it can damage paint if you don’t get your measurements right.

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Both of these methods will help you insulate your windows and keep the next winter away from your home. It does not require the assistance of a contractor familiar with Minneapolis construction, though there are many things you can do from a building standpoint to prevent drafty windows. Be sure to contact Coty for more information.

Construction in Minneapolis and Temperature Regulation

When you’re in the process of constructing an energy-efficient house in Minneapolis, there are many things you need to consider. Where is it located? What kinds of materials are being used? Are they being harvested locally or trucked across the country? But one of the most important questions you need to ask is: How do they perform with regulating temperature?

Temperature regulation is one of the biggest factors in determining how big your carbon footprint is and construction in Minneapolis, especially, needs to consider this. With the harsh winters we get up here and the wealth of natural life, we have to consider how much heat escapes the house and in what ways you can combat the problem. So here are some suggestions you should take up with your contractor about how you can more easily regulate the temperature of your home.

Make Changes to Your Roof

The biggest place where heat escapes the house is through the roof. Because heat rises rather than drops, a tremendous amount escapes from the attic. In addition, because cold air drops, you will find yourself a lot chillier in the cold months than you would be without a couple of key enhancements.

Use Wood Shingles.

Construction in Minneapolis has lately been using wood shingles in tremendous numbers again. This is because wood shingles are excellent at regulating heat and making sure it stays inside the house. This is due primarily to the shingle’s effects as a natural temperature regulator.

Install a Radiant Barrier.

Another enhancement you can make on the roof either during or after construction is installing a radiant barrier. On the surface, they just look like large sheets of tin foil. But radiant barriers are more than just this as they actually serve as permeable membranes for heat. They are literally able to trap heat on the inside during winter months and repelling heat during the summer.

Both of these roof enhancements will help you reduce your carbon footprint substantially and also drive down your energy expenses because your air conditioning system will not be working as hard.

Look at a Good HVAC Unit

That actually segues nicely into the other thing you can do to reduce your energy expenses: invest in a great HVAC unit.

Now, we are not exactly air conditioning specialists. We know how to build great houses. But according to this pamphlet from the Energy Star program, you will want to find a system that has a strong Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER). The SEER basically tells you how much energy the unit uses to operate at normal levels during seasonal extremes. What’s more, they also recommend you change the unit every fifteen years.

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So those are all the best ways you can more effectively regulate your home’s internal temperature and keep it from impacting the environment too much. If you want to know more about energy-efficient construction in Minneapolis, be sure to contact us and ask for more information.

DIY Roof Repair: How to Replace Damaged Wood Shingles

Minneapolis roof repair is something which should not be taken lightly. The condition of your roof is very much linked to the condition of your house in general. If there is a leak, mildew and mold are growing. If there is a hole, you will find yourself in a flood from above. So it is extremely important that you regularly check on your roof, especially following severe weather.

Now, most types of shingles require a contractor to come out and replace them. This is especially the case with asphalt and metal roofs as both require some expertise to make sure they are properly in place and do not cause injuries. However, there is one type of shingle you should be able to fix yourself: wood shingles.

The Benefits of Wood

Wood is a popular alternative for many people in need of quality roofing as it is not only a renewable resource, but it can also make for a quick and easy repair. You will find that many folks who prefer DIY roof repair in Minneapolis will turn to this source as they can easily replace one or two shingles without ever having to call a contractor. So if you are one of these folks, here is how you can easily replace a wood shingle.

The Step-by-Step Guide

Keep It Clean. To pull off this DIY roof repair, you will need a prybar, a slater’s ripper, hammer and nails, and a wood block. The first thing you need to do is clear the roof of all debris, including pine needles. You don’t want to have anything from the outside getting trapped in the shingles as they bring moisture with them—moisture that leads to leaks.

Prepare for Removal.

You will then need to use the pry bar to carefully loosen the nail of the damaged shingle as well as the nails of the two shingles above it. Be careful you don’t remove it, however! If you use the pry bar to remove the nail, you could cause damage to the good shingles, thereby resulting in more costs for you.

Get Rid of the Broken Shingle.

Removing the nail is left up to the slater’s ripper, which is the most important tool you can have for Minneapolis roof repair. This tool will enable you to grasp the nail safely and more easily prevent damage to the other shingles. If the nail won’t budge, feel free to use a hacksaw to remove the head and then pound the point out with your hammer. Once again, be careful about damaging other shingles. Once the nail is gone, you should be able to carefully lift the damaged shingle out and dispose of it.

Put In the New One.

In the new shingle, hammer a pair of nails into place at a forty-five degree angle, point aimed towards the ridge. When you slide the replacement into place under the existing shingles, then you will be able to hammer it into place. If the shingle is not quite aligned with the rest of the row, use the wood block and hammer against the bottom edge to gently force it into place.

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Once you hammer in those two nails you loosened earlier, your DIY roof repair is done! Contact Coty if you have more serious roofing issues or if you have a few more questions.

Finding the Right Roof Contractor

Picking the right roofing contractor in Minneapolis can be a tedious and long affair. With the Internet being as big as it is, there are many folks out there who claim to be professionals without actually being one. It is up to you to decide which one to go with, but we are sure you wouldn’t mind a way to figure out which one is the right one for you. So here is an effective method to help you find a legitimate contractor who will give you a roof which works.

Look for Documentation

When you find a contractor who looks good to you, the very first thing you should ask for is their official documentation. Ask to look at financial records to prove they keep a payroll. See if they will provide contact information to some of their previous clients. Also look for proof of insurance, which is further evidence they are a legitimate business.

See Their Official License.

But the most important form of documentation you need to ask for is their license. Every professional roofing contractor in Minneapolis and beyond possesses a license for work either from the state or federal government. Licenses do not come cheap and require an exhaustive exam of practical construction knowledge to be passed before they can be issued, so not any old schmuck can get one. Always ask to see their license before you continue with negotiations.

Get the Project Outline

If you find out they are legitimate, then you need to ask for a detailed project outline. Ask about what kind of materials they use and how many people they will bring to the project. Find out from the start if their vision is the same as yours—the last thing you want is a roofing contractor to have free reign on your home. If they have a plan in place, be sure to get a copy of that plan in writing for your own records in case something happens which conflicts with your interests. The same goes for the contract of employment, as well. Do not trust the contractor to not make you pay more than what you agree on.

Dig a Little Deeper

One other thing you can do to check on a roofing contractor in Minneapolis is to call up your Better Business Bureau representative or the local Chamber of Commerce. Both of those bodies will possess records which could cast a business in a negative light—the stuff they do not want you to see. Be sure to peruse their records to find out if there have been any issues in the past either with previous clients or with the bank.

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By following these steps, you will be able to figure out if a roofing contractor is the right fit for you. Most of these do not require much time and are even common sense. If you want to learn more, feel free to contact Coty or check out our e-book.