RE/MAX 440
John F. O'Hara

John F. O'Hara
731 W Skippack Pike  Blue Bell  PA 19422
Phone:  610-277-4060
Office:  215-643-3200
Cell:  267-481-1786
Fax:  267-354-6973

My Blog

Thawing Temps Can Lead to Water Damage at Home

March 11, 2015 1:51 am

While most of us are anxious to emerge from our self-induced hibernation for warmer spring temperatures, thousands of homeowners will be facing floods and property damage as a result of ice dams. Homeowners should look for the telltale warning signs of ice dams, such as sheets of ice along shingles and icicles along the edge of eaves, and check the attic for frost accumulation.

Ice dams are partly the result of heat that escapes from inside a home into the attic, which then warms the roof during the winter months. When combined with the sun and fluctuating temperatures, this causes the snow on the roof to partially melt and then accumulate at the edge of the roof or overhang. Once eaves are full, the ice begins to expand under the shingles, causing them to separate.

Before this ice melts, homeowners are urged to call a certified roofing professional. Homeowners that take the unnecessary safety risk of trying to remove ice dams themselves can only remove the superficial ice, and end up causing far more damage to the shingles and eaves.

To prevent ice dams entirely, have a roofing inspection to ensure your attic is well ventilated. If the attic is cold, there will be less melting and refreezing on the roof. Ensure your attic is properly insulated in addition to the attic floor to minimize heat from rising from the house and causing snow to melt, which will reduce the risk of dangerous mold. Install an ice and water shield membrane under your roof covering at least six feet from the eaves line, and remove leaves from eaves regularly so melting snow and ice can flow.

Source: Integrity Roofers

Published with permission from RISMedia.


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Seven Costly Mistakes New Homeowners Make

March 11, 2015 1:51 am

Owning a home for the first time is exciting, but that excitement can fade quickly if faced with extensive (and expensive) damage. New homeowners often inadvertently cause damage that can cost thousands of dollars or more in repairs.

The Home Book authors David MacLellan, George Wolfson and Douglas Hansen recommend steering clear of these common first-time homeowner mistakes.

1. Overloading Upper Cabinets in Kitchen

Avoid stacking heavy dishes in an upper cabinet, which is only supported by the wall behind it. Shelves may begin to sag if the cabinet struggles to bear the weight. At worst, your cabinet can detach from the wall completely.

2. Using Attic or Garage Trusses as Storage

Despite many homeowners doing otherwise, storing items on top of garage or attic trusses can lead to sagging, increasing the possibility that the roof may collapse. If you truly need the additional space, consult a structural engineer who can advise you as to the best course of action.

3. Tinting Dual-Pane Windows


Many new homes have dual-pane windows, which help insulate a home by sealing ‘dead air’ between two panes. Tinting can disrupt the reflection of the sun’s rays, trapping hot air in the dead air space. Heat can cause the elastic seal to rupture, eliminating insulation.

4. Disconnecting Bathroom and Laundry Vent Fans


The noise may bother you, but disconnecting a bathroom or laundry vent fan can increase water vapor, adversely affecting drywall and electrical outlets and leading to damages from dry rot, mold and mildew. Turn the fan on during each use of the room.

5. Irrigating against the Home

When installing an irrigation system, ensure that irrigation spouts spray away from the home and add-on structures. It seems like a no-brainer, but it can happen in places where you least expect it, including the posts of an overhead deck.

6. Altering Finished Grades

If you’d like to install a walkway, patio, drainage system or even a pool, make certain that your contractor doesn’t just pour concrete over the existing finished grade. Doing so can result in water flow towards the home, which can cause the foundation to shift. A shifting foundation can lead to both interior and exterior damage – a costly, and preventable, repair.

7. Improperly Installing Add-on Structures

Before installing any structure, such as a trellis, sun screen or lanai, check with your municipality for any building codes that may apply to your situation. Do not nail or bolt the structure directly the exterior wall. Homeowners who do so run the risk of dry rot from rainwater collection.

Source: RISMedia’s Housecall

Published with permission from RISMedia.


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