Siding Replaced and Painted

2021Sep15

 

2020 Update: Exterior Repairs (Regular Maintenance)

Every structure has maintenance requirements. Repairs aren't very exciting to anyone but the person needing them done; but they need to be done if you want your home to retain it's value.

A good rule of thumb is to set aside (save up) at least 1% (1/100) of your home's value every year for home maintenance. As an example: for a $360,000 house, set aside $300/month or $3,600 per year.

Part of the decision process in the Green Building Project includes reducing the amount of maintenance needed or, if that is not possible, expanding the amount of time between maintenance expenditures.

  • The TPO roof should need no maintenance beyond pressure washing (to remove lichen and dirt) and the frequency of that is determined by when the effectiveness of the Energy Star(R) Grey color is lost because it no longer reflects the rays from the sun. (This is not to say that severe weather could not cause damage, but that is not part of regular maintenance.)
  • Likewise, the Azec fascia boards that were replaced at the same time the roof was don't rot because they are made from PVC and are unlikely to need replacing. However, they are not unaffected by weather and time (faded paint, wind causing vibrations that either pull nails out or cause the material to break, etc.). Fascia and soffit boards that were NOT replaced with the roof are affected by rot and weather and time.
  • The fiber cement siding also should need no maintenance beyond pressure washing for algae and painting (which is why we chose Sherwin Williams Duration paint: it carries a 20-year guarantee).
  • We did not cover the composite siding under either of the porches with fiber cement because the areas are small and highly protected from weather. Which is not to say they do not get rained on when we get storms that blow rain sideways. Therefore, these areas require special attention when it comes to paint and our choice of Sherwin Williams Duration paint with the 20 year guarantee was especially important.
  • The way the house is designed creates very little run-off from the roof on the outside of the east and west gables and so we have not needed gutters there. However, that means the inside of those east and west gables sends water onto the center roof where it is split to the north over the north porch and to the south over the south porch. Gutters are definitely needed on the porches to minimize the damage from excessive water on the steps of the north side and the deck of the south. (A separate page has been set up for the gutter installation.)
  • The decking of each porch is moderately well protected under their respective roofs, but both need to be treated regularly to minimize rot. And when rot does occur, those affected boards need to be replaced.
  • Any other exposed wood (railings, ceilings and such) need to be protected as well to reduce rot and keep insects from moving in. (All the painting maintenance is included on the Siding and Painting page, 2020 update.)

Major Life Change in 2019 and the 2020 Pandemic Complicate Things

We had hoped to get the needed maintenance done on the house in 2019 but the hubby suddenly found himself becoming self-employed. Not to worry, we weathered it fine and it turned out to be the best possible thing to happen and at EXACTLY the right time because by the time the Pandemic hit in March 2020 we had a year of experience with him working from a home office all set up for video conferencing etc.

The change did, however, push back our plans regarding the house maintenance repairs and we were finally ready to hire contractors at a time when we weren't sure anyone would be able to work on the house due to the Pandemic.

Luckily for us, all of our repairs at this time were external and need only a few people on a crew at any given time. Each crew understood that we require social distancing and masks to be worn when in our proximity (both because we are 60-ish and the farm is considered an essential business so we have to keep ourselves and our customers safe).

It turned out that lots of people decided to have their homes worked on during this time and all of the contractors I wanted to work with had their crews working. Since I was not under a time crunch, it was not a problem to schedule them over the summer and into the fall.

I started with the roof...

Roof Cleaned and Fascia/Soffits Repaired (Sep 2020)

By 2020 the roof was definitely ready to be cleaned. It was rather ironic that the effectiveness of the very light-colored roof was being reduced by a living thing: lichen. What is lichen?

"A lichen is a composite organism that arises from algae or cyanobacteria living among filaments of multiple fungi species in a mutualistic relationship. Lichens have different properties from those of its component organisms." Wikipedia

Why ironic? Because I have always wanted to have a "living" roof (which traditionally is made up of plants growing in a shallow substrate of soil, gravel, etc.) and here I had a volunteer organism growing on my roof that I needed to remove so that the roof would not become a heat sink.

I was nervous about having the roof cleaned and so I contacted Jerry from Kansas City Roofing Services, LLC to see if he had a crew that would do it. I really didn't want to void the warranty of the roof and I also wanted someone who understood just how SLIPPERY that roof is when it has any amount of moisture on it.

I also wanted Jerry's crew because they had installed the Azec fascia boards and are familiar with that product. So I was thrilled when Jerry came out to give me an estimate and told me that he would send his crew out between commercial jobs to do the cleaning and repairs. That meant the timeframe was all dependent on when he had a couple of people free and it would help him keep those people busy when they would otherwise not be able to work. Since I was willing to be flexible about this, he gave me an estimate that would basically cover the cost of materials and labor (translation: very little mark up for him and big savings for me).

When the time arrived, Jerry and I toured the exterior with the two-man crew and everything was pointed out with instruction about how it was to be done. Before he left, Jerry also instructed the guys to do whatever additional repairs I asked them to do. Nice. This turned out to be very helpful, because the patio french doors had been delivered and the handyman I had planned to have do the installation became unavailable. The guys helped us pull the old door out and slide the new door into it's place (we took over the rest of that installation... it is a separate project).

It was difficult to get pictures of the roof without being up at roof level.

These two (2) images are a fair representation of what the lichen growth on the roof looked like.

The top image is the north side of the center roof. The peak runs east to west. That means this side of the roof is NOT in direct sunlight most of the time. It turns out lichen LIKES shade.

The lower image is the south side of the center roof. There is a peak going north to south just behind the chimney to divert water away from the chimney. You can see how much less lichen there is because it gets full sunshine except for when the chimney's shadow is across it.

The east gable (the 2nd story side, peak runs north to south) had minimal lichen because it is rarely in shade.

The west gable (the ground floor side, peak runs north to south) had minimal lichen on the east side and a great deal of lichen on the west side because there are trees to the west of the house that shade it most of the day.

These two image show the roof AFTER it had been cleaned.

The guys had harnesses and a ladder that hooked over the peak so they always had a secure place from which to work. One basically worked the pressure washer while the other weighted the ladder as a counter balance type of thing.

They were so quick, I never seemed to get out there in time to take pictures of them in the process. And when I did see them, I was so fascinated that I forgot to go get the camera.

The images also show the new fascia board along the roof of the porch. I decided not to show you what it looked like before... actually, I decided not to show you ANY "before" shots of the spots that needed repair.

All the rest of the images are AFTER pics.

The only thing that isn't represented is the decorative corbels under the bow window. Forest (the senior crew member) did a fantastic job recreating the two outer corbels that had rotted because the original owner had not set them back from the edge of the window; meaning water constantly ran down the window and onto the corbels. The replacements are about 1.5 inches shorter depth-wise so they are sheltered from the edge.

There are even better pics of the clean roof on the 2020 Painting page.

These three (3) image show the floodlights on the corners.

I suppose these areas rotted out because the fascia boards don't extend below the soffit on all sides. Because they are even on at least one side, the water can follow along the bottom of the fascia directly into the soffit.

You can see the difference of the fascia boards on the top image. I'm sure the reason the original fascia boards are not deeper has to do with not blocking the lights. Not the best design... something we will have to keep an eye on.

Also, because these corners had rotted, various types of wasps had made their homes inside the soffits.

Thankfully, the hubby is a beekeeper and we have several beekeeper jackets/veils that the crew used to spray the areas before they went about their repairs.

We don't like to kill things here, but there is a time and place to do so and we needed to make sure that no humans were stung during these repairs.

Same issue on the corners of the top two (2) images even though they don't have floodlights.

On the middle and lower images you can see the fascia boards that came loose/broke from wind vibration. These are both on the west side of the 2nd story.

Strangely enough, the corner on the lower image did not have any repair needed even though it is configured the same as the rest of the corners.


 

Window Repair (Aug 2021)

Have you ever had an issue in your house that you know needs to be dealt with but there are just so many other more important things that you leave that one thing for later and get annoyed every time you see it? Well, unfortunately, there are SEVERAL of those things in my house and we are FINALLY able to get started on them; the first one being the replacement of a double-paned window in our "bow window" that had condensation between the panes.

There are many repairs we can make ourselves, but this window repair was not one of them. So I looked for a professional glazier in the area and was pleasantly surpised to find one! Robie Elliott of Elliott Glass LLC returned my call in a timely fashion and was able to come out to check on what we needed and give us an estimate (which was provided in writing, nice). He also was fine wearing a mask while either inside or outside our house. In addition to replacing the bad window, I asked him to also replace the mechanisms that operate the two (2) openable windows in that bow window. Only one had a stripped mechanism, but in case the entire unit had to be replaced, might as well do both to make sure they match.

The window pane was available very quickly but the handle mechanisms were back ordered, so it was a few weeks before Robie came out to make the repairs. (This was not a problem for us.)

Before he could remove the window pane, he had to remove the interior "stops" which look like trim to me but is obviously more important than decoration. He was very careful to remove the wood stops without damaging them so he could reuse them. One section -- at the bottom of the bad window -- was water damaged and came away in pieces regardless of the care he took. Heavy sigh - it's always something. He was very careful with the pieces and we decided that with my wood glue and some paint, the pieces could be switched with and used at the TOP of the new window.

I'm out of practice and forgot to have my camera at hand when Robie arrived, so you aren't being subjected to a bunch of boring pictures this time. LOL

In this photo, you see Robie has finished removing the interior stops and has moved on to cutting the seal around the window pane on the outside. It turns out (and I did not know this) that the exterior side of this bow window is vinyl and a solid construction. So the panes themselves are installed from the interior side with a sealant between the pane and the exterior vinyl.

You can also see just how bad the condensation is in this window pane.

The dark circle isn't to protect his identity but is the suction cup device used to manuever the window pane.

You might need to look closely to see Robie's hand partially on the inside of that window pane.

Once the seal was broken he used the suction cup device and his hand to push it inside and then angle the pane so he could remove it from the opening through to the outside.

In the process of removing the pane, he was able to determine WHY there was condensation and water damage to the interior bottom stop. Not only had the wrong type of sealant been used but the old pane had been a wrong-size replacement! There was a 1/4 to 1/2 inch gap on the left side (as seen from the inside).

I was not surprised. This was the window pane that had condensation in it when we were buying the house and the previous owner had to have it repaired as part of the purchase deal. He obviously used a cheap pane and didn't care that it wasn't the correct size held in place with the wrong sealant. Ugh.

After removing the old pane, Robie was meticulous in cleaning the entire opening and all the pieces that he would be putting back in with the new pane.

He has this great little portable shop-vac that I was lusting over, LOL. (You can see it in the photo at left by his feet.)

Then it was a matter of removing the sticker (as you see at left), applying the sealant to the outside edge of the new pane and maneuvering it into the opening before replacing the inside stops.

I was impressed that he simply cut off the nails in the stops so he could nail them without trying to fit the old nails into their former holes. (Yes, little things do impress me. LOL)

He was also successful in shifting the undamaged top stop to the bottom and the damaged bottom stop to the top. All I had to do was add a little wood glue filler several days later. Once I paint it, I won't even notice it.

After he finished inside, he went outside and cleaned off the excess sealant. Then he cleaned both sides of the window so well that I had to clean the other windows to feel less ashamed of myself for letting them become so dirty, LOL.

The mechanisms were pretty straight-forward and he was able to replace the moving parts without having to replace the interior covers (which means he didn't have to pull out the stops on either of the moving windows).

The window on the right end had always been really difficult to open (probably the reason the mechanism got stripped) and Robie spent some time getting that window adjusted so that it opened smoothly (not part of the estimate, but he didn't charge us more -- very nice).

The photo at left shows the finished window. It is so nice to not be distracted by the window when I'm trying to see the view.

Be forewarned, the cost to repair that window with mechanisms was in the $500 range. Worth every penny.






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