What began as repair work to the stone facing on a concrete front porch, ended up a complete facelift with a beautiful finish. Our initial plan was to repair the original limestone facing that had cracked or fallen from the sides of the front porch. Once we were able to take a close look at the displaced stones and concrete, we found that there was more damage to the concrete behind the stones than was originally anticipated. The original limestone facing could not be repaired, so we removed the old stone and repaired the structural concrete of the porch. The facing was replaced with a phaux decorative stone layed in a brick pattern. The lighter color and smaller size of the decorative stone brighten the facing while also providing a more clean, modern look to the entire front porch.
This is a Customer that has been experiencing roof leaks in blowing rains. This picture shows that there is no drip edge on the roof at the gutter. There is supposed to be a metal drip edge flashing that holds up the edge of the shingles at the gutter and prevents water from running under the roof shingles. Without the drip edge rain water from blowing rain will get under the shingles and into the house. This flashing should always be installed when a roof is installed. In this case we have to install it under the existing shingles which is more of a challenge and increases the cost. This is another example of trying to save money that ends up costing much more in the long run. The first picture shows how a roof drip edge is supposed to be installed.
We were asked to repair a dropped ceiling in a bathroom in an older home. It appeared that the ceiling had gotten wet at some time and was sagging because of the moisture. When we started opening the ceiling to do the repair, the whole ceiling fell in. A lot of debris was piled onto the dropped ceiling. We removed all the debris from the bathroom and cleaned up the mess. What we found in the debris was a section of an old cast iron plumbing stack. Apparently the stack was replaced at some time and whoever did the work left a section of the stack along with other debris sitting on top of the suspended ceiling. It’s fortunate that nobody was hurt when the ceiling fell in. It just made a big mess.
This was some plumbing that we recently repaired. The customer had a leak in their kitchen ceiling whenever the bathroom upstairs was used. What was baffling was that the bathroom had been remodeled about five years ago. We made some initial repairs that we felt would solve the problem. The commode was loose because the wax ring had lost its seal, and the tub spout line was cracked leaking into the wall. Those repairs were completed. The customer called us back saying the leak was still there. We opened the ceiling of the kitchen to further investigate and found a mortar base under the ceramic tiles in the bathroom. The ceramic tile was fairly new and a mortar base is not a traditional method for installing tile these days. It was done many years ago in older homes. This house was not that old. Whoever installed the mortar base got carried away and the water lines were encased in the mortar base. Not being able to do much from underneath, we had to open the bathroom tile floor and break out the mortar base. We found this plumbing mess encased in the mortar and it was leaking. The piece of hose on the plastic line is not anywhere near close to a proper installation and would never have passed an inspection. Having this all encased in the mortar base just made the whole project to repair this quite expensive. This shoddy work ended up costing the customer several thousand dollars to get repaired properly.
In the current economy it can be very difficult to justify the investment in getting home repairs done properly, but the cost of not getting the work done correctly can be disastrous to your wallet and potentially can cause someone to get hurt or die. Going with a reputable contractor is the best way to insure that the work gets done properly, safely, and up to code. If you are unsure of a contractor, get references and ask for proof of insurance, and Workers Comp. Check on Angie’s List. Any reputable contractor will be more than happy to meet your request for this information. In the City of Cincinnati, a Contractor has to be registered to get a permit, do the work, and get it inspected. If work requires a permit and you don’t get one, you may find yourself having to pay to undo the previous work and pay to have it done again. There is no savings in that. A reputable Contractor will be able to tell you about getting a permit and help you through the process.
We have been getting a lot of calls lately regarding ice dams, roof leaks, and excessive icicles. We are experiencing our greatest snow fall since 1914. The large amount of snow on our roofs is causing issues that we normally don’t see in this area. A lot of what is happening is just the nature of the beast. The snow melts at the roof, runs down the roof, and has nowhere to go because the gutters are frozen solid with ice. The water is running over the gutters and forming icicles, or finding its way back under the shingles and leaking into the house.
These problems can be caused by many factors. Clogged gutters, roof damage, and insufficient insulation are some causes. If your gutters have not been cleaned in several years, be sure to get them cleaned when the snow and ice is melted before the Spring rains start. If you have roof damage from the Ivan wind event from several years ago, you need to get that repaired this year. Insufficient insulation in your attic can cause too much heat to escape from your house and melt snow at the roof under the snow pack. The water that melts this way has no place to go but into your house by backing up under the shingles.
Check with their insurance company to see if ice dams are covered in your home owners insurance policy.
There isn’t really much that can be done until all the snow and ice melts. Once it is melted, give us a call and we can help determine any corrective action you might need to help prevent these issues in the future.
Be careful of the large icicles. If they fall off the roof, they can cause an injury. I’ve seen some icicles around town that are 8 to 10 feet long. Those will be pretty heavy and will hurt someone if they fall on them.
This porch was re-built because the deck was rotting, the steps were in very bad shape, the structure was inadequate, and the concrete outside the steps was rough and uneven. The handrail on the steps is close together to accommodate a member of the household that has issues walking. Now she can hold onto both handrails going up and down the stairs.
You can easily conduct a home energy audit yourself. With a simple but diligent walk-through, you can spot many problems in any type of house. When auditing your home, keep a checklist of areas you have inspected and problems you found. This list will help you prioritize your energy efficiency upgrades.
Locate Air Leaks
Check for indoor air leaks, such as gaps along the baseboard or edge of the flooring and at junctures of the walls and ceiling. Check to see if air can flow through these places:
- Electrical outlets
- Switch plates
- Window frames
- Weather stripping around doors
- Fireplace dampers
- Attic hatches
- Wall- or window-mounted air conditioners
Radon is a colorless, odorless, soil gas that can seep into homes through small spaces and openings, such as cracks, concrete, floor drains, sump pump openings, wall/floor joints in basements, and pores in walls. Radon can also enter a home through well water.
According the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Radon is a cancer-causing natural radioactive gas that you can’t see, smell or taste. Its presence in your home can pose a danger to your family’s health. Radon is the leading cause of lung cancer among non-smokers. It is the second leading cause of lung cancer in America and claims about 20,000 lives annually. Some areas in the U.S. have a much higher concentration of Radon than others. The EPA estimates that nearly 1 out of every 15 homes in the U.S. has an elevated level of Radon.
A simple and inexpensive test done by a professional home inspector can determine if Radon is a problem in your home.
Visit Home Team Inspection to learn more!
This door was installed as part of a bathroom remodel in a converted upstairs attic. Because of limited space, we had to fit the door to the odd shaped opening. This door separates the bathroom from a bedroom in the attic. After a shower unit was installed, this was all the space left for the door. The old door was a standard door that was taken apart, milled, and put back together to fit the opening. A rather creative solution to an odd shaped opening.
This customer wanted to have her outdated bathroom completely updated. She hated the old tile and tub colors. She wanted the tub/shower, vanity, commode, and wall tile removed and new fixtures and wall tile installed. She choose to go with brushed nickel fixtures that give the bathroom a classy look. The old wall tile was removed and replaced. A bathroom remodel is a good investment in a home. You can enjoy the bathroom while living in the house, and then get a better price when it is time to sell your home.
This tile was done in a complete bathroom remodel. The tub/shower tile and the wall tile was all done as part of the bathroom remodel. The added trim tile requested by the customer added a nice touch and really makes the bathroom look good.
We were asked to replace a stair and handrail system on the back porch of this house. The old wood stair unit was angled down causing an unsafe condition and only had a handrail on one side. The customer was a senior and was concerned about safety when using the stairs. We removed the old stair unit, installed a concrete pad for the new stair unit to keep it stable, and installed a new custom built pressure treated stair unit. The handrails on both sides make it much safer to go up and down the stairs. There is an concrete porch under the wood stairs. The new stairs were built over the concrete porch. There was no reason to remove the concrete porch as it was still viable.
This porch roof had water damage, as well as evidence of carpenter ant activity in the area just over the post.
Here is the same porch roof with the structural repairs made. The vinyl ceiling covering and aluminum covers are yet to be installed.