3 Steps to Overhaul Your Roof and Gutters Before Installing a Rainwater Collection System

Written by DS-Bahr on . Posted in Gutters, Roofing

Rain FallingHaving access to safe drinking water is a basic necessity in American homes. Yet, for an increasing number of homeowners, the rising costs of water are making this basic necessity seem more like a luxury that many people are struggling to afford.

In over 30 major cities across the country, water bills rose by over 40 percent between 2010 and 2015, and this upward trend shows no sign of abating. For this reason, a growing number of people are choosing to install rainwater collection systems to supplement or entirely replace their municipal water consumption.

Old House, Wooden Siding: A Maintenance and Care Guide for Homeowners

Written by DS-Bahr on . Posted in Siding

Homes With Colorful Siding

If you have an older, historic home, the original exterior finish is usually clapboard siding, wooden shakes, bricks, or stucco. Many modern homeowners who are used to low-maintenance siding options like vinyl and aluminum may not know how to care for old wood siding.

However, when cared for properly, old wood siding offers beauty and character that no other siding option can provide. If your siding is currently in good repair, you can keep it that way by following these care and maintenance tips. 

 

Winter Is Coming: 6 Ways for New Minnesota Residents to Ready Their Roofs for the Snow

Written by BooAdmin on . Posted in Decks, Gutters, Roofing, Siding

Winter is Coming

If you're new to Minnesota and snow storms, brace yourself. Legendary amounts of snow fall everywhere.

Brace your roof, too. This autumn, take the following six steps to winterize the top of your home and avoid winter home emergencies.

 

1. Inspect the Works Up Above

 

You'll soon be joining your fellow Minnesotans as they winterize their homes in the most vital of yearly survival rituals. Your roof should be one of your main areas of concern when winterizing.

 

Your roof must be able to valiantly support an insane amount of snow. If you come from Texas or California, you must experience this snow firsthand to understand the complexities of it. 

 

Snow is heavy and wet. If you have loose shingles or flashing on your roof, melting snow drains into the open spots directly onto the framing of your roof. Water can seep throughout the underlayment, soaking all of the decking. Eventually, the roof decking may rot or collapse.

 

It's best to let professionals inspect your roof. There are many components on a roof that you may not realize are missing or inadequate. You do not want to face 80 inches of snow with a "maybe it will work" roofing solution. 

 

Complex roofs with many dormers, gables or other features must be inspected thoroughly before winter comes. Other areas that must be checked include:

  • Plumbing vent stacks 

  • Chimneys

  • Skylights and sun tubes

  • Gutters

  • Roof trim

  • Attic vents

  • Attic insulation

 

It's a good idea to have your contractor check all of the gutters and trim. These features should be securely and properly attached to the roof framing. If not, icicles and ice dams can easily jar gutters and cause them to crash to the ground.

 

2. Have the Trees Trimmed for the Season

Check around your home for overhanging limbs or diseased trees that might not survive a heavy snow load. Large dead limbs wreak havoc on roofs during snow and ice storms.

Have your tree service trim any overhanging limbs. Have the trees checked for overall health. 

 

3. Clean Up the Messes on Top

The last thing you want on your roof is a pile of rotting leaves under a fat layer of seeping snow. Your roof should be swept clean prior to the start of snow season. Small branches, nests, Frisbees and other debris should be removed from the roof.

 

The gutters must be functioning at top capacity to deal with melting snow throughout the spring thaw. Have the gutters thoroughly cleaned so they flow smoothly. The pitch and connections of your gutters are also keys to reliable water diversion when the snow melts.

 

4. Repair the Openings for Optimum Survival

Wherever flashing is loose, bent or missing, have it reinstalled. Broken vents should be repaired. Any roof component listed above needs to be repaired if it's rotting or damaged. Pest damage due to chewing or pecking must also be dealt with, and some deterrent must be put in place.

 

Check all decking, rafters and trusses under the roof to be sure the wood is stable and fasteners are in place. The roof must be able to hold up a certain amount of weight to comply with most building codes. Damaged framing or decking must be repaired before winter.

 

Insulate your attic to keep heat from escaping off of your roof. Snow is less likely to melt and then refreeze. When the snow melts and refreezes over and over, ice dams and other problems result. 

 

The positive side to protecting your roof with attic insulation is the way your home will stay much warmer when the temperatures go low. Your contractor can suggest other ways to winterize your roof and help you stay cozier through a long winter. Each home has its own individual roofing quirks, but they must all be addressed before the cold season comes.

 

5. Seal Everything Well Against the Coming Flakes

Funny how delicate those lovely individual snowflakes are. When you throw a few of them together and they melt, snowflakes can invade the smallest leak or crack in your roof's armor.

 

All of the roofing components listed above should be sealed at the point where roof material meets component. There are all sorts of gaskets, glues and other materials to seal both the decking and the top surface of your roof. Products are made to work around chimneys, vents and skylights.

 

Your contractor has proven methods and materials to seal the vulnerable spots. Every place you have sealed before winter is a leak you won't need to fret over in spring.

 

6. Assemble the Tools to Fight the Storm

Most homeowners in snowy regions of the U.S. have tricks and tips to remove snow from their roofs and carports. Snow rakes, brooms and blowers are some of the tools used. These tools often have really long handles.

 

It's best to watch Minnesotans manage their roof snow and do as the diligent natives do. Ask advice about how to safely manage your roof snow and icicles when winter is here.

 

D.S. Bahr Construction, Inc. is ready to help new residents and native Minnesotans winterize their homes and their roofs. Survive the snow season in St. Paul and the Twin Cities by scheduling a complete professional roof inspection today.

Building a Deck? Consider These 10 Unique Upgrades

Written by DS-Bahr on . Posted in Decks

Deck Upgrades

A backyard deck can add immense value to your property, expand your outdoor living space and facilitate family bonding. While even the most basic deck can provide these benefits, upgrading your deck can make the space even more functional, beautiful, and welcoming.

The right features for your deck depends on the architecture of your home, the main purposes for the space, and your preferences, but if you're building a deck you should consider the following 10 upgrades.

What Problems Can a Too-Mild Winter Pose for Your Minnesota Home?

Written by DS-Bahr on . Posted in Roofing

Snow covered house

Despite the cool temperatures that persisted through late May, the winter of 2016 and 2017 was the mildest on record. While this fact can be good news for Minnesotans who depend on natural gas or electricity to heat their homes (or who just hate shoveling feet of snow to make it out of their driveways), it can also create some unexpected maintenance and repair issues for homes in the north central U.S.

Read on to learn more about a few of the problems that can result from an extraordinarily mild winter and what you can do to protect your home from damage. 

4 Reasons to Replace Your Home’s Siding

Written by DS-Bahr on . Posted in Siding

Residential Home Siding

Americans are big fans of home remodeling and renovation projects. In fact, homeowners spend over $300 billion each year on modernizing and modifying their properties. These projects range from small scale jobs, such as repainting a room, to larger scale projects, such as replacing the roof.

When it comes to deciding which project to tackle, a few different factors come into play. Your available budget is a big factor and will determine how large a job you can realistically take on. It's also important to consider what advantages you'll gain from the project, whether it's a project that will increase the equity in your home or whether it's strictly necessary.

Prevent Bird-Related Roof and Gutter Damage

Written by DS-Bahr on . Posted in Gutters, Roofing

Prevent Bird-Related Roof and Gutter Damage

While you may enjoy watching birds from your kitchen window, it can be frustrating to see new nests crop up in your gutters or on your roof. Spring is the most likely time for pest birds to settle on your property, since the birds will likely be preparing to lay and hatch eggs.

Unfortunately, these new nests can leave your home permanently damaged. In this blog, we list some of the most common types of damage left in the wake of flocks and how you can prevent birds from nesting in the most vulnerable areas of your home.

Types of Roof and Gutter Damage Caused By Birds

Hello Spring! Four Spring Maintenance Tasks To Protect Your Home Exterior All Year Long

Written by DS-Bahr on . Posted in Gutters, Roofing, Siding

Home that needs Spring maintenanceSpring is in the air. For many homeowners, this means it's time for cleaning tasks like scrubbing the floors and organizing closets. This year, why not take a different focus as the weather warms up? Taking the time to tackle a few home exterior maintenance tasks will protect your home and reduce the amount of work you need to put in through the rest of the year.

Snow-covered-roof

A Minnesota Homeowner’s Guide to Ice Dams

Written by DS-Bahr on . Posted in Gutters, Roofing, Uncategorized

Winter weather comes with many potential threats to the safety, warmth, and structural integrity of your home, from gale force winds to heavy snowfall. One of the most common cold weather hazards is the ice dam.

Ice dams are most likely to form when the temperature fluctuates. So while you may breathe a sigh of relief to have a break from Minnesota's well below freezing temperatures for a few days, higher temperatures do not negate the risks to your home. Ice dams are especially common in the late winter and early spring when the weather may warm up and then drop below freezing again unexpectedly.

In this blog, we provide the information you need to protect your home from ice dams and the damage they cause.

D.S. Bahr Construction, Inc.
612.722.1448
460 Hoover Street NE
Minneapolis, MN 55413