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The Beauty of Log Homes & Cabins

2018-04-13T13:43:27+00:00

Log homes and cabins are unique in the real estate world. People either enjoy the novelty of a log cabin as a vacation home or find them truly appealing and purchase them for a main residential property. Over the past twenty years, log cabins have progressed to be much more than the small log cabins we are accustomed to seeing at summer camps or in the movies. Now, some log cabins are insulated multi-million dollar homes with all of the amenities of a typical home but with a true rustic appeal. Log homes and cabins are some of the most popular homes in Minnesota and other parts of the country as well.

Types of Wood

As with any exterior addition to any home, certain types of wood are more suitable for a log home or cabin than others. There are specific features that must be considered to determine which wood would be best suited for your home. Features such as durability, resistance to decay, insulation value, stability, and overall appearance are key factors when choosing your wood. Wood that is not stable and durable may warp, twist, and even shrink over time. Therefore, you need to find a wood that is less likely to have this type of issue or takes a longer period of time before this issue occurs. The insulation value will help ensure that your house or cabin does not allow heat or cool air to escape easily, raising your energy costs and lowering your quality of living. Finally, appearance, while a matter of taste, is essential to ensuring you will love your log home for years to come.  Some of the most preferred woods for log cabins include Atlantic White Cedar, Northern White Cedar, Western Red Cedar, Bald Cypress, and Douglas Fir, to name a few; however, there are numerous species that would be a great fit, depending on your desires and needs.

Maintaining Your Log Cabin

Log homes and cabins must be maintained just as most other wooden features would be maintained. Before pressure washing the home, your professional maintenance crew should check for log rot or wood damage. The wood should also be checked for insect infestations, which may cause unseen damage. If this step is ignored, pressure washing damaged wood will cause additional damage, which can ruin your home.

Should your log home or cabin require a bit of restoration, there are a few key steps that need to be included in the process. First, any old sealer or stain should be removed from the wood with an environmentally friendly stripping solution. Then, the home should be washed with low pressure and treated with an agent that will prepare the wood for a new treatment of sealer or stain. Once this process is completed, the wood must dry to 12% moisture or less. While the wood is drying, make sure your team checks the caulking around the windows and doors and fixes any areas with issues. Finally, stain with an oil-based sealer for a beautiful finish and increased durability.

If you are in need of maintenance regarding your log home or cabin, call the experts at Roof to Deck Restoration at (651) 699-3504.  One of their skilled wood experts will be happy to help bring your log home or cabin back to its original splendor.

The Beauty of Log Homes & Cabins2018-04-13T13:43:27+00:00

Looking Bad is Just the Beginning: The Problems with Damaged Wood Fences

2018-04-13T13:43:27+00:00

As homeowners, we take great pride in our home’s exterior, including the deck and even our wooden fences. Our pride in our home is why we often hire people for things like landscaping, power washing, and refinishing projects. And we should care! Our homes are probably the largest purchase we will ever make, and how we care for them says a lot about us as people. However, beauty is not the only reason we should care about our exterior. Damage to any piece of a home’s exterior can cause long-term damage to our home, property, and even potentially to our family and pets. For the purposes of this discussion, we will focus on the issues surrounding a damaged wood fence.

A Fence’s Purpose

Fences serve two purposes for most homeowners. They are designed to keep some people and animals in (such as kids and pets) and keep other people and animals out (such as unwelcomed visitors, pests, and rodents). A wooden fence serves these purposes while keeping the look of the home beautiful and appealing to the neighborhood. However, if the wood begins to rot, crack, or even bend, the effectiveness of keeping some in and others out disappears. As the wood weakens, it becomes easier for rodents and small animals to get through the fence without much effort. Eventually, as the wood deteriorates, small children and dogs – who are both often very determined when they are curious – can eventually break the wood and no longer be protected in the safety of the backyard.

What to Look For

Typically, weather is the main cause for deterioration.  A wood fence is not meant to last forever, but in normal conditions, it can last quite a while if properly maintained. There are several key issues to look for when making sure your fence is secure.  Even the casual observer can easily see issues such as wet or dry rot and sagging posts. These problems are typically easy to fix, as long as you know your way around wood. If you maintain your wood properly and repair it as needed, you will likely only need restoration through the years, rather than a total replacement – at least for a decade or so.  

When it comes to the initial installation of the fence, if your wood is not properly treated or installed at the onset, you will have numerous problems for years to come. For instance, if your lumber is not properly dried, it will warp sooner rather than later. If you are using lumber that is not moisture-resistant, you will find you need repairs or replacement within one or two rainy seasons. Even the percentage of wood underground versus above-ground can make a huge difference when it comes to protecting the fence’s overall integrity.

Proper installation and proper maintenance of any wood is key to making the structure last. Wood fences are no different, and due to their structure, they may actually require more maintenance than other outdoor fixtures. Ask the experts about maintaining and restoring your fence by contacting the experts at Roof to Deck Restoration at (651) 699-3504.

Looking Bad is Just the Beginning: The Problems with Damaged Wood Fences2018-04-13T13:43:27+00:00

Public Opinion and Your Home

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In many areas, contractors may be a dime a dozen. There are roofers, wood contractors, power washers, builders, painters, repairmen: any type of contractor for home repair and construction you can think of, and some you may not have known existed!

Many times, we turn to family and friends to recommend their preferred contractor to get a job done, like fixing a wooden deck or maintaining a cedar roof. Sometimes those referrals are the best option because we trust our family and friends. However, sometimes our circle of influence does not have a good referral, has never had to deal with that problem, or does not live in our area – especially if we recently moved. In those cases, how do you choose a reliable contractor to help fix your home?

Websites

Roof RepairsThankfully, the Internet has provided options that people did not have even twenty years ago. Unfortunately, it also provides a lot of bad information. As a consumer, it is our job to weed out the good from the bad. Websites that allow the contractors to advertise for themselves are often extremely biased and therefore not trustworthy. However, there are websites that promote contractors, such as Angie’s List, that only allow reviews to come from customers. Not only is it less biased than other types of contractor advertising sites, but Angie’s List also offers awards for trusted contractors.

Another website that is helpful when choosing the right contractor for your home is The Better Business Bureau.  Members have to pay to belong; however, customers can review and rate the business and those with the best business practices and good reviews will receive high ratings from the organization. Most contractors who are rated with an A+ rating are reliable and worth interviewing for your project.

Realtors and Neighbors

If you are new to an area and notice you need some repairs to the roof, fence, or deck – or even simple maintenance of your exterior or interior property – there may be other options besides asking friends and family. Speaking to your realtor about their preferred contractors is a great way to get an honest referral that you can trust. Realtors want repeat clients. They will not get repeat clients and client referrals if they refer contractors who are not trustworthy or reliable.

Neighbors are also a great source for recommendations. Neighbors have a vested interest in your property to help maintain their own property value.  Therefore, they will likely refer someone they have used who provided wonderful results. Contractors who do a great job for one home in a neighborhood will likely receive the business of the entire neighborhood.

If you are in need of a contractor to take care of your roof, fence, or deck maintenance or repair, or other services such as gutter cleaning or exterior power washing, contact the experts at Roof to Deck Restoration at (651) 699-3504. Besides having an extremely satisfied client base, they have won numerous awards for excellence in their field from Angie’s List and maintain an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau. These awards and accolades show just how much pride they take in their work, which is equal to the pride and care they will take with your home.

Public Opinion and Your Home2018-04-13T13:43:27+00:00

Autumn Is Coming…

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Most people understand the importance of winterizing their home and doing an annual spring cleaning. But what about getting ready for autumn? Autumn preparation is a wonderful opportunity to pre-game winterizing your home, making home maintenance around the holidays a bit less strenuous and cumbersome. It is also an opportunity to clean up part of the mess that summer made of your exterior – before the mess creates actual damage. Utilizing the more neutral weather season as an opportunity to get outside and do some work and maintenance on your home is a great way to keep your home beautiful and damage-free all year round.

The Roof

Because the effects of winter can put a lot of pressure on your roof, it is essential to check your roof between seasons to ensure it is up to the task at hand. One obvious place to begin your inspection is your attic. Since your attic is the first layer of protection between the rest of your home and whatever is on your roof, it will exhibit many of the
first signs of a problem. Make sure there are no leaks, wet spots, or watermarks.

Once you have checked the attic for signs of a problem, it is time to get up on the roof and check for any issues. Remove all of the debris and leaves that the summer has left on your roof. It is also a great idea to look for missing or loose shingles and inspect the flashing and caulking that keep the water out of your home.

Finally, clean those gutters.  Summer rain can bring high winds, leaving debris in your gutters. Make sure you get in there and remove any leaves and debris that may clog your gutters, causing issues such as ice dams or damage to your home in the winter months.

Your Siding

In addition to your roof, you should be checking the siding of your home as well. When siding develops a problem, your interior walls and wiring are no longer protected, creating a larger issue for you and your home. Therefore, power washing your home after summer and before winter is a great way to remove all of the dirt, debris, and overall junk from your home. Not only does power washing help your home stay beautiful, but it also makes it easier to check for problem areas. Once your home is clean, begin looking for cracks or loose panels and make the necessary repairs. If left unattended, these issues can cause costly damage to your home.

By taking care of these exterior issues in time for autumn, you allow for a break with winterizing your home, so that you may only have to ensure your windows, doors, and overall insulation is intact during the busy holiday season. To learn more about the importance of these home inspections, contact the experts at Roof to Deck Restoration at (651) 699-3504. Their friendly and knowledgeable staff will be happy to answer your questions and provide the professional help many of these tasks may require to get your exterior ready for the colder months ahead.

Image courtesy of: https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-RjzniXCffn4/VdXzGAKb7KI/AAAAAAAAEc8/dzNFRZNjCFs/w500-h250/tumblr_ma616lnJXK1qjjtnco1_r1_500.png

Autumn Is Coming…2018-04-13T13:43:27+00:00

The Issues That Are Destroying Your Asphalt Roof

2018-04-13T13:43:27+00:00

A well maintained asphalt roof is a beautiful finish to your home, especially since your roof is 40% of what people see of the exterior of your home. However, if you allow your asphalt roof to be ignored, it will quickly become an eyesore. Over time, this eyesore will begin to break down, leading to damage to your home, both inside and out. While asphalt is a sturdy material, if left untreated, it can begin to decay.

 

Evolution, For Better or For Worse

As the price of asphalt began to rise, manufacturers began mixing in crushed limestone as filler in the shingles to cut down on the amount of asphalt used and the associated cost. While this allowed the costs to stay relatively affordable, it brought new issues along for the ride. Limestone, while overall a durable material, is a natural fertilizer, especially for algae. Therefore, algae will slowly gravitate to the roof, starting with the north side where it is shady, because sunlight inhibits its growth.

Combine this addition of limestone with the evolution of gloecapsa magma, the type of algae typically found on roofs, and the problem begins. This type of algae was prevalent in the South for a very long time, until more areas of limestone (its natural fertilizer) were found in the North. This evolution gave the algae the food source necessary to migrate north – and eventually to our rooftops. This algae actually grows a dark protective layer over it to protect it from the sun, since the sun slows its growth. This is why the average person sees black streaks on your roof.

One Thing Leads to Another

Moss follows algae the way a dog follows a scent. If your roof is infected with algae, moss will surely find its way to your roof and cause an even bigger problem. Moss will literally raise the granules which will result in the granules falling off and affecting the sturdiness of the shingle.  As the shingles begin to fall off, your roof is unprotected, which leads to leaks and other damage in your home, creating a whirlwind of issues that any homeowner would love to avoid.

As a result of these issues, your roof can sustain damage that not only is costly in roof repairs, but can also cost much more in actual home damage. For example, failing to maintain your roof can allow mold to grow inside your wall spaces and throughout your home. Once the roof starts to deteriorate, you permit a fair amount of moisture into areas that would otherwise be protected. These areas do not have natural drainage systems and can eventually become a haven for mold to grow in. Mold is not only costly to repair in your home, but it can also create horrific health issues for anyone living in your home.

To learn more about the issues that may be affecting your roof and what you can do to prevent these issues from causing damage, contact the experts at Roof to Deck Restoration at (651) 699-3504. Their skilled employees will be happy to help you maintain the beauty of your roof for years to come.

The Issues That Are Destroying Your Asphalt Roof2018-04-13T13:43:27+00:00

After the Storms

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In the past, April showers brought May flowers. It seems as though this past year it has been May showers brings June flowers. Either way, these showers have always been more like storms leaving, at worst, severe destruction, or at best, some displaced leaves and other debris in their wake. Now that the worst storms have seemed to pass (or at least subside for a week or two), it may be time to check the perimeter of your home and see what, if anything, needs to be fixed, cleaned, or cleared. More than likely you will at least find your gutters filled with debris and foliage that could cause an issue now or in the future.

What is the Issue?

Most homeowners do not realize the importance a gutter system actually brings to protecting the home against water damage. Gutters are an integral piece of protecting your home against flooding, moisture damage, and even advanced settling. Here is how it all works- a clear gutter allows water to flow from the roof and onto the ground in a strategically placed location by going through the entire gutter system. As a result, water does not sit on the roof or in the gutter, damaging shingles or rusting the gutter causing it to collapse. Sometimes, if the gutter is too clogged, water can actually seep into the home and therefore allow water to seep in through the foundation or basement. Another issue that may occur from the water sitting in the gutters is oxidation. Rust from standing water will weaken the gutter system and cause a collapse. As a result, the water may then enter your basement through the windows and cause them to dampen, leaving a ripe breeding ground for mold and mildew.

The Fix

Homeowners have two options in dealing with gutter cleaning: the first option is to do it themselves. The problem with this approach is it can be dangerous, grueling, and even tedious work. If you do not have the proper ladders or equipment, you can actually get hurt cleaning your gutters.

The second, more plausible option is to hire a professional to clean your gutters. If you choose to hire a professional keep the following information in mind; a reputable company will have the proper insurance and be willing to show you the insurance coverage upon request. Additionally, this type of company should put your agreement in writing so there is no miscommunication surrounding the scope of the work. Finally, it is better for the homeowner to hire a company that supplies its own staff, as opposed to hiring subcontractors to complete the work. The staff of a company is more willing to follow the promised guidelines of the company and typically has the interest of the company at heart. Additionally, the company’s employees are there until the job is done and will make the same amount of money whether it takes them three hours or ten.

To learn more about gutter cleaning done right, contact the professionals at Roof to Deck at 651.699.3504 for your gutter cleaning needs.

After the Storms2018-04-13T13:43:27+00:00

Cleaning and Sealing Tips for Your Log and Cedar Siding

2018-04-13T13:43:27+00:00

Your log or cedar siding makes a beautiful first impression to your home; however, it is forced to withstand the elements year after year, which in Minnesota can be brutal. As the weather gets nice, it is time to think about the job ahead of cleaning and staining your log or cedar siding and making it beautiful once again. Of the tips discussed, it is important to remember that log and cedar siding should be handled with care, and it is always best to hire an expert to clean and maintain the beauty of your log or cedar siding.

Preparation

Before you begin the actual act of cleaning your siding you must prepare your home for the job.  Remove any plants and lawn ornaments from the perimeter of your home to make sure they do not get dirty or damaged.   Cleaning cedar siding is a very messy job.  Also, clear the area of any lawn furniture and move your vehicles. Sometimes the spray can be quite extensive and cover a broader area than intended. To avoid damage to anything, move it away from the home. Please, do not forget to close the windows and doors. You do not want the interior of your home sprayed with water or stain.

The Process

When you begin the process of cleaning your cedar siding, make sure to remove any old sealer/stain with a stripping solution.  Then, using low pressure, power wash your home. Make sure you use low pressure because high pressure can damage the wood. Once you have stripped your log or cedar siding with a power washer, it is important to neutralize the wood with oxalic acid, a neutralizing agent.  This will bring the pH balance of your wood to a neutral 7 on the pH scale.  then let it dry until the moisture content of the wood is 12% or less.  If the wood is not properly dry, the sealer/stain will not properly bond, causing a bigger headache in the long run.

Once the wood is thoroughly dry, it would be a great time to check your windows and doors and make sure everything is well caulked and re-caulk as needed. Then, apply the sealer/stain. Make sure to use an oil based product so it never cracks or peels.  Oil based sealer/stains are also maintainable in the future.  Water based products are not able to be resealed or stripped in the future.  In addition, this type of product will protect the wood of your home from the sun and other harmful elements.

While it may seem like a job you would want to attempt on your own, rest assured, cleaning and sealing/staining your log and  cedar siding is a job best done by the experts to avoid chipping, peeling, or other types of damage to your home.  One wrong move and the wood may be permanently damaged. To speak to the experts, contact Roof to Deck at 651-699-3504 and receive a written quote that details all the work necessary and the costs to get it done.

Cleaning and Sealing Tips for Your Log and Cedar Siding2018-04-13T13:43:27+00:00

Restoring Your Painted Deck

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You purchased your home for numerous reasons, one of which included the beautiful deck at the back of the home, where you could envision sitting with your morning coffee, reading the newspaper, and watching your kids play. After three years, you step outside of your home onto your beautiful deck and realize it is not so beautiful anymore. The paint is peeling and chipping, and in some areas turning black from algae. You know Minnesota winters can be brutal and your deck has surely paid the price. To truly restore your deck to its original beauty, it is best to hire a professional who will not only remove the paint from your horizontal surfaces of your deck, but will treat and care for the wood to allow its natural beauty to shine through.

The Cause

What most people, unless they are in the business, do not understand, is that paint and solid color stains are not meant to be applied to horizontal surfaces. The nature of wood makes it virtually impossible for paint to adhere to horizontal wood for any real period of time.  A deck floor that has been painted will start peeling within months, meaning that over a relatively short period of time your wood deck will need to be restored. This happens because the side exposed to the sun and elements is typically 50 degrees warmer than the underbelly of the deck, causing the warmer surface to contract while the cooler surface swells. The wood is, as a result, constantly twisting, turning, and essentially restructuring itself, causing the paint to peel easily.

The Answer

Now that the cause and problem has been established, it is time to consider the solutions. For the horizontal part of the deck, it is recommended to clean and stain the surface every two to three years with an oil based, penetrating stain.  Oil will soak into the wood meaning it will never crack and peel.  The vertical areas of the deck will need to be painted.   The horizontal painted surfaces of the deck floor, steps and top of handrails will need to be sanded.  Decks that have been painted with a water based stain can not be power washed and stripped.  The surface must be sanded with a number of different types of sanders.  Vertical areas of the deck are extremely difficult or impossible to sand in a cost effective way.  Those areas of the deck must be repainted.  Since those areas are vertical, they will not peel like a horizontal surface.  Finally, to get the most beautiful finish possible, an oil based stain will be applied to the sanded, horizontal surfaces.  Oil stains never needed to be sanded are easily maintained into the future.

The experts at Roof to Deck have perfected the method of restoring painted decks to bring them back to their natural beauty and splendor. To learn more about how they can help your deck regain its beauty, contact them at 651-699-3504.

 

Restoring Your Painted Deck2018-04-13T13:43:27+00:00

The Beauty of Cedar Roofs

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Cedar roofing is among the most beautiful roofing available on the market, if properly treated and maintained. A beautiful cedar shake or shingle roof on your home can be seen from miles away. Cedar roofing has been used on home for centuries.  Cedar roofing has both a high insulation value as well as being long lasting if cared for properly.  Like all outdoor wood, cedar roofs will need to be maintained and cared for to extend its life.

Durability

Properly maintained cedar roofs can last for up to thirty years. However, if left unclean and unfinished and not maintained, the roof risks warping, cupping, cracking, splintering, rotting and other issues that result from weather and algae damage. Therefore, it is important to have your roof sealed and treated against moss and algae soon after the wood shake is installed. Therefore, once your roof is installed, it must be properly sealed to protect it from the elements the seasons can bring. If properly sealed and maintained, your roof will remain beautiful and secure longer than expected.  However, if left untreated and poorly maintained, the elements will get the best of your roof.

Maintenance

Because wood is unprotected the moment it is removed from the tree, it is important to seal the wood to ensure it is not weathered and does not damage quickly or easily. Once you have installed your roof, it is important to select a finish that will not only provide the added benefit of beauty, but also protect your cedar shake roof from moss and algae.

To maintain your roof, protect it from weathering, damage, algae, and moss, it is important to perform a roof inspection annually and clean it accordingly. This means making sure to clean off any leaves and twigs that have fallen on your roof. The steps that should be taken to maintaining your roof and keeping it beautiful are simple. First, apply a proper cleaning solution that will loosen and lift the moss, algae, and dirt from the roof. Then, power wash with low pressure to remove the now loosened elements.  Third, neutralize the roof with oxalic acid to get the Ph. level to a base of 7.  Then your cedar shake roof must dry to a moisture content of fewer than 12%.  This is also when missing shakes and shingles are replaced.  Then seal/stain your cedar shake roof with a preservative to protect it from the elements and to prevent moss and algae.

Beauty

The beauty of a cedar roof is in the wood, first and foremost. That being said, it begins with the quality of the wood.  When choosing to apply a cedar roof, make sure you are utilizing a high quality wood that is thick and well treated. Remember, this is the roof to your home, and the more time and effort you put into the quality of your roof, the less time and money you will have to put into repairing water and wind damage to your home. Beyond durability, however, the high quality will add to the beauty of your roof, raising your property value and overall aesthetic appeal.

To learn more about cedar roofing and its maintenance, contact the experts at Roof to Deck at 651-699-3504.

The Beauty of Cedar Roofs2018-04-13T13:43:27+00:00

Tips for Power Washing Your Home

2018-04-13T13:43:27+00:00

Power washing your home is not often the first chore people consider when conducting spring cleaning and home maintenance. Therefore, several years can go by before you even consider washing your home’s exterior. At that point, your home’s exterior has faced years of weather damage, mildew buildup, and overall wear and tear. And, if you are like most people, you may think that a simple paint job will fix your exterior and make it look like new. However, that is never the case, and may even cause damage by covering up the damage that leaving your home unwashed may cause. Here are some tips about power washing your home that will help its beauty shine again.

Before You Paint

Painting is never the first option, and sometimes, after the preparation work is completed, it is often unnecessary. Just like your favorite piece of furniture. Your home gets dirty. And when left unwashed, the dirt piles on top of dirt changing your home’s color, or so it seems. Before a painter will even begin to paint your home’s exterior, he will insist you get your exterior power washed, to remove the buildup of dirt, algae, moss and grime. Once you have successfully washed your home’s exterior, depending on how harsh the elements have been. You may find the beautiful siding with which you fell in love and no longer need it to be painted.

The Benefits to House Washing

Power washing your home helps bring out the beauty of your exterior. However, the other benefits to power washing can save your home. The exterior of your home battles the elements of each season and works to protect your home’s interior from dealing with these elements.  However, if left untreated and allowed to build up, these issues can seep into your homes interior causing deterioration, excessive damage, and even health issues. Mold, is one issue that if allowed to grow, can be costly and dangerous to our home and family. It can not only build up on the outside, but it can begin to eat away at your home’s structure. Algae is another issue that, if left untreated, can eat away at the wood of your home. Therefore, washing your home is a necessary step in maintaining its structure and well-being.

Other Helpful Tips

Power washers can be used to wash almost any outside object, whether it is a house, fence, deck, or even a car. When washing your home, however, it is important to use a low pressure setting with an environmentally friendly detergent that will not harm your family, pets, or plant life. Wash the home from top to bottom in a smooth, even movement. Once you have completely washing the siding of your home, it is a good idea to wash the walkway and other areas that may lead to the home to rid those areas of mold and algae that may grow and creep back up to your home.

To learn more about your options for power washing your home, contact the experts at Roof to Deck, the experts in exterior home maintenance, at 651-699-3504.

Tips for Power Washing Your Home2018-04-13T13:43:27+00:00