Kansas City Stucco Repair for a Good Cause

Christmas in October

Yes, you read that right- Christmas comes a little early here in Kansas City! At Bordner, we are committed to being a positive force in our community, so we were thrilled to partner with Christmas in October for a wonderful community service project.

Christmas in October

If you haven’t heard of Christmas in October (CiO), they are a great organization that rehabilitates houses of low-income homeowners in Kansas City- at no cost to the homeowners. By rebuilding and repairing houses, they revitalize neighborhoods and allow needy families, elderly or disabled residents, and veterans to live with dignity.

Winters can be cruel here in Kansas City, so CiO takes place on the first two Saturdays of October, making sure repairs are completed in time for the home to be warm and safe before winter weather hits.

Christmas in October

We were approached to help renovate the home of a 65 year old lady who could not afford to make the necessary home repairs. CiO volunteers were able to do much of the work on the home, but needed a skilled stucco installation team to ensure a good quality result for the homeowner. Our Kansas City stucco installation team was happy to help, replacing damaged stucco and creating a good seal to make sure the repairs will last for a long time.

It’s an honor for us to be able to help out with projects like this, so we were humbled to receive this note from the homeowner.

Christmas in October

If you would like to get involved and make a difference here in Kansas City, visit the Christmas in October site and find out how you can help.

I Am Looking to Have My Windows Replaced. What Brand of Windows Do You Recommend I Use?

Replacement Windows

We recommend the Infinity fiberglass window from Marvin.  The reason is, it is made from fiberglass and it out performs all other window materials that are used for making windows.  It cost a little more than vinyl and a little less that wood/aluminum clad, but will cost less money over time due to performance.

Jerry Fleenor, Window & Door Expert at Bordner

Attic Insulation & Gutters

Gutters
One way for homeowners to save money on heating and cooling energy is by installing attic insulation. This is a home improvement project that is relatively inexpensive and offers a good return on investment. The various types of insulation include blanket insulation using rolls or batts and loose fill which is blown into attic spaces through a tube. Common materials used are fiberglass, cellulose or mineral fibers. Combining home improvement projects often saves money as well. For instance, when roof repairs are needed or an interior wall is moved, that is an excellent time to add to insulation.

Rely on Professionals
Attic insulation generally lasts indefinitely and an upgrade usually means adding to the existing material. If it is very old and a complete change is desired, a professional installer will offer advice on how to proceed. They also know the type and amount of insulation needed using guidelines according to the recommendations by the U.S. Department of Energy, the home’s location and the present heating system. While a homeowner can add to or replace insulation, it is overall not a good idea for reasons of safety and efficiency. If insulation is not properly installed, the end result could possibly range from wasted money to the development of mold or risk of a fire.

Rain Gutters Protect Homes
All homes need a properly functioning gutter system to protect the siding, the foundation and the landscaping from excess water running off the roof. Without rain gutters, water will rush down the sides of the house to stain siding, cause damage to the foundation and allow water to seep into the basement or cellar where mold or mildew will develop. Gutters collect the rainwater and carry it through downspouts to an area far enough away from the foundation to prevent any of the aforementioned damage.

Rain gutters should be checked at least twice a year for leaks and clogs from leaves and other debris or sagging and loose or missing supports that hold the gutters in place. Strong winds during major storms can twist gutters and hail can make dents and even holes that cause them to malfunction. For this reason it is very important to assess the condition of the gutters after storms and have them repaired or replaced immediately to prevent damage to the home and property. Contact a professional gutter installer for advice on the type and style of guttering that is best for a particular property.

I Have Wood Rot on the Outside of My Windows. Do I Have to Replace Them, or Can They Be Repaired?

Wood Rot

It depends on where the wood rot is.  If it is just the brick mold, then it can be repaired for not a lot of money and will last for years to come.  If it is a part of the frame or the sash, then I would recommend replacing the entire window.  The reason is any repair work you do would be temporary and you would end up spending more money in the long run. Contact us today and we can help you with all your window needs.

Jerry Fleenor, Window & Door Expert at Bordner

Gutters – Repair, Upgrading, Installing

Gutters

Gutters are something that every building needs in good repair. The fact is that water can damage any building if not managed properly. Gutters help to divert water off of the roof and away from the building’s foundation. This prevents water from entering the foundation, flooding the basement, infiltrating wood infrastructure, and doing permanent damage to the structure.

For building owners who think that gutters are unnecessary, it is important to consider the cost of water damage to a foundation. When water infiltrates a foundation, it can begin undermining the underlay. This can lead to washout and crack the foundation. In areas where regular freezing happens during the winter, water in cracks can expand and contract which can create multiple cracks. It is better to have a professional keep your gutters in good shape that to fix a cracked foundation or basement wall.

When gutters are working correctly, you hardly notice them. However, it is important to keep an eye on them to prevent minor problems from becoming major issues. During a rainstorm, take time to walk around the house and see how well the gutters are doing. If you see water coming over the top of the gutter, you may need a clean-out. If you see water coming out of seams, you may need the seams resealed.

You may find that your gutters are at the point of needing replaced. If that is the case, professionals can come in, dismantle your old gutters, and put up seamless ones, all within a day. Your gutter problems can go away from the time you go to work until the time you get home. Having professionals installing gutter is the best option since DIY jobs can cause more harm than good. Call us when you need gutter help.

What Should You Consider for New Insulation?

New Insulation

When you are thinking about installing new insulation, it’s a good idea to hire a professional to do the job. Unquestionably, the benefits greatly outweigh any extra expense. In addition, the work that is done will have a guarantee and you will know that you’re getting the correct amount of R-value in each application.
How to Know You Need an Insulation Contractor
If your home has very little or no insulation at all, especially in the attic, you probably need to bring in a professional. Fully insulating house is a major job. Also, if you were planning any major structural changes, such as a room addition, you will probably want to hire a contractor for the insulation. In addition, some areas are simply too hard for the average homeowner to attempt to insulate. For example, insulating crawl spaces can be exhausting and very difficult.
Another reason to bring in a contractor for insulation work is if you have older wiring in your home, since this wiring can be extremely dangerous if mishandled. Also, if your current insulation is poorly installed, wet or otherwise damaged, you had best call a professional.
Choosing a Contractor
If you are looking for a qualified insulation contractor, you can try asking friends, family and your neighbors who have had work done recently. Another good source of information are local homebuilders who have to hire insulation companies as subcontractors. They should be able to provide you with a list of contractors they prefer to work with.
Questions to Ask
It is very important to get multiple estimates from several companies before you proceed. In addition, you should require a set bid from the contractor before you sign anything. Another important point is that while different contractors may suggest different kinds of insulation, the R-value recommendations should be the same. In addition to the cost, other questions you should ask include:

  • What different kinds of insulation will the contractor be using?
  • In each case, what R-value will he be aiming for?
  • Will vapor barriers be used, and what kinds?
  • What is the time estimate for the completion of the job?
  • Is the contractor bonded and insured?
  • What are his certifications?
  • Is his work fully compliant with local building codes?
  • Finally, what are the details of the guarantee he offers for his work?

Your home is an enormous investment, and you will want to make sure that any modifications or work you have done to it protects its value. By hiring a professional contractor to install your new insulation, you can ensure that the work is done right.

I Have Fogging Between the Glass on My Windows. Should I Be Concerned? Is There Anything I Should Do?

Fogging Windows

The fogging means that the seal between the two panes of glass has broken and moisture has gotten in between them.  The only real concern at this point other than the look is that the window has lost its energy efficiency.  Depending on the window, you may be able to replace just the glass, but more than likely you should replace the entire window itself.  By replacing the entire window, you will have a product with a warranty and won’t have to deal with this in the future.  If you just replace the glass, the odds are it will have again in the future.

Jerry Fleenor, Window & Door Expert at Bordner

I Need to Replace My Old Casement Style Windows Due to Rot. Can I Switch to the Double Hung Style, and Are There Any Benefits/ Advantages in Doing So?

Wood Rot

In most cases we can change the existing window style to a different style.

The biggest issue will be the height and width of the window, because each window style has a limitation on the size that it can be. There are pros and cons to each window style and the decision generally comes down to personal preference of looks and how you would like to ventilate.  One nice feature of Double Hung windows is that it is easier to ventilate when you have limited space on the outside to open the window.  You also get better ventilation since it will allow air in no mater the direction of the wind.

Synthetic Stone Siding and Faux Stone

Siding

Synthetic stone siding, also known as faux stone is a manmade type of stone that closely resembles real stones. Synthetic stone siding is created by using a high-density material such as polyurethane and pouring it over real rocks to mold it. The result is a stone panel that has a natural looking shape and texture. Faux stone can also be made to look like limestone or natural round stone in varying shades to mimic the color of the actual type of stone that is being replicated. Faux stone siding comes in panels that are usually installed similar to the way that vinyl siding is installed.

There are several different types of synthetic stone siding. Below we examine a couple.

Cultured Stone

Lightweight material is used to replicate real stone by casting aggregate materials with concrete and color pigments. It has the appearance and the texture of real stone but is lightweight. It is installed by pressing the panel over a layer of mortar. The grooves between the simulated stone can be grouted the same as real stone for a natural look.

Faux Stone Veneers

Faux stone veneers are made by pouring a liquid mixture into molds where it will set up into stone-like shapes. The resulting shapes have the appearance of real stone. The stones are installed individually by setting them in mortar.

Benefits of Synthetic Stone

Synthetic stone has many benefits.

  • It is much easier to handle because it is lighter than real stones.
  • Faux stone is impact resistant and virtually maintenance free and does not need to be painted. The best way to maintain it is to hose it down a couple of times a year to remove unwanted materials such as grass clippings and dirt.
  • Synthetic stone is just as durable as real stone but more affordable.
  • It has the added benefit of increasing the insulation value of the wall it is attached to. Higher insulation values translate to increased efficiency of the homes heating and cooling system. Not only will you save money, you will be helping the environment by using less energy.

There are many options to choose from so that you can create the perfect stone look for your home. The panels and faux stones can also be used to create fake stone pillars, garden walls and other decorative items around the house and yard.

Contact the Bordner team for additional information on synthetic stone siding for your home or ask the stone siding expert your questions right here.

The Importance of Proper Roof Ventilation for Your Home

Roof Ventilation

Roof ventilation, also known as attic ventilation can be one of the smartest improvements that you could make to your home. Proper ventilation on your roof allows for good air flow throughout your roof and within your crawl space or attic and provides various benefits based on the climate outside. The proper setup though is very important to in order to reap all of the benefits.

What are the Benefits of Proper Roof Ventilation?

In cold climates, roof ventilation helps to avoid ice buildup. The accumulation of snow on the roof coupled with the warm temperatures coming from within the home can cause snow to constantly melt and refreeze on the roof. This could create massive ice dams that could damage or even cause a roof to collapse.

In warmer climates, vented roofs are meant to cool down attics and crawl spaces and in extension help keep the rest of the house cool. This allows the homeowners to save money on air conditioning and stay more comfortable during the hotter days of the year.

Determining If You’re in Need of Roof Ventilation

If you have moisture buildup in your attic or crawl space that won’t seem to go away, it’s probably a good idea to rethink your roof ventilation system in order to effectively phase out the moisture  and prevent future buildup.

If you have a house that is consistently overheated on even moderately warm days, it would be beneficial to get roofing ventilation to cool down your home and save you money on your air conditioning bill.

If you have a problem with ice buildup on your roof, especially if the roof is too high to clear the snow off, it would be beneficial to install some additional vents on your roof.

How Much Ventilation is Enough?

If you already have some form of ventilation in your roof, you may be wondering if the ventilation that you currently have is sufficient. Roofs usually require at least one square foot vent for every 300 square feet of attic space. Too much ventilation can be more problematic than beneficial, so it’s a good idea to only install as much ventilation as you need.

Roof ventilation is meant to improve the health of your roof, the temperature of your home and your energy bills. It is beneficial to homes in any climate. If you have questions about your home’s roof ventilation system setup, need an extra opinion, more information or help with starting on your ventilation installation, contact the Bordner team today.

 

by Chris Larson