Tag: pennsylvania roofing and siding

  • Exterior Remodeling 'Value' on Upswing


    If you have been working on home improvement projects recently, you will be glad to hear the ROI is coming back up when it comes to home remodeling.

    There have been tax benefits for homeowners, most notably energy tax credits, PMI deduction and mortgage debt forgiveness that Congress and the President extended through 2013.

    According to HouseLogic,"After several bruising years, spending on remodeling projects is up and so too is your return on your remodeling dollars. The national average percentage recoup on all 35 projects in Remodeling Magazine’s 2013 Cost vs. Value Report rose since last year."

    Obviously what you will be able to get depends on what types of projects you undertake, your market and when you decide to sell.

    Which projects offered the best ROI? Exterior remodeling projects.

    According to HouseLogic, "Exterior projects like siding, window, and garage door replacements took seven of the top 10 spots in this year’s list."

    Exterior Specialties of PA is here to help with all of your exterior remodeling, roof repair, window installation and deck construction needs.  Call us today at (215) 453-9180 for your FREE estimate.


  • How to Care For Pennsylvania Brick Siding


    Brick has been, and still is a popular building material.  The fact that it's energy efficient and it looks nice doesn't hurt either.

    It is important to know how to care for your pennsylvania brick siding because how you maintain it will greatly affect its longevity.  Here are some tips from Bob Vila on how to keep your brick looking nice:

    The least aggressive approach should be your first plan of action when it comes to cleaning brick. Just like soiled clothing, different types of dirt on your home's exterior will require a different cleaning agent. Once a year use a garden hose, with a spray nozzle, or a spray bottle to remove any loose dirt.

    If a particular side of your home receives little to no sunlight and the nearby vegetation is damp, be on the lookout for moss, mold, or mildew growth. A solution of one cup of bleach mixed with a gallon of water can be applied with a scrub brush can be used to clean most problem areas. Use a natural or synthetic bristle brush — wire brushes leave traces of steel behind that will rust and discolor the bricks. Before applying a bleach solution to brick, give the area a thorough soaking. This will help prevent the brick from absorbing the bleach.

    Avoiding Water Damage 
    Water damage is caused by one of two conditions: splash back or rising damp. In splash back, the continually of rain beating against the brick soaks into the mortar, causing the mortar joints or the bricks to crack. Rising damp results when ground water seeps up from below, leaving behind what is called a tide line. The moisture above the tide line will eventually evaporate, but the salt crystals that remain will, over time, cause the bricks and mortar to break down. Freezing and thawing cycles can accelerate damage to water-soaked brick, so repairing problems early will prevent more extensive repairs in the future. Look for water damage on an annual basis, and budget for some possible repointing every five to ten years.

    Repointing is necessary in places where the mortar joints have become soft or the mortar itself is cracked or damaged. The damaged mortar is removed carefully so as not to disturb the surrounding brickwork. Fresh mortar is applied in layers. When repointing, the depth of the new mortar should be twice the width of the mortar joint. Mortar applied directly to the damaged surface will not hold up.

    Owners of historic or older homes will want to make sure that the fresh mortar matches the original. Acontractor will take a sample of the mortar, crush it, and dissolve it in acid. This process removes the binder and leaves behind the sand aggregate, making it easier to identify the proper shade.

    Paint Removal
    Painting a brick facade was first in vogue in the early 1800's. Removing that paint can be a painstaking process. Chemical treatments work best for paint removal, and are best left to professionals. Sandblasting should never be the remedy for paint removal, as it causes lasting damage to the beauty and integrity of brick. The remaining brick will be rough in texture, and since sandblasting removes the kiln-hardened outer fire-skin of the brick, it will become more susceptible to dirt build-up and moisture penetration. This is especially true of bricks made before the turn of the century.

    Aggressive treatments, like chemical applications used to remove chalk, calcium carbonate, and rust, are best left to a professional. Chemicals must be spot tested in various concentrations. Too high of a concentration can etch the surface of the brick, damage window glass, or cause discoloration.

    Exterior Specialties of PA is here to help with all of your Pennsylvania Brick Siding, exterior siding, and siding repair needs.  Call us today at (215) 453-9180 for your FREE estimate!

  • New Year's Resolutions for Your Home


    Now that 2013 is almost here, discussion about New Year's resolutions and top-10 lists are right around the corner.  While you probably have more personal resolutions,  you can make the same type of resolutions for your home.

    Here is a list of New Year's resolutions, courtesy of House Logic, that are based on the top 10 resolutions gathered by Time magazine.


    1. Lose weight (cut energy use)
    2. Quit smoking (purify indoor air)
    3. Get out of debt (budget for improvements)
    4. Learn something new (educate yourself on home finances)
    5. Get organized (de-clutter)
    6. Volunteer (support your community)
    7. Drink less (curb home water use)
    8. Spend more time with the family (share home improvement projects)
    9. Get fit (exercise your DIY skills)
    10. Be less stressed (use maintenance-free materials)

    Exterior Specialties of PA is here to help with all of your pennsylvania roofing, siding, gutter repair and window needs. Call us today at 215-453-9180 for your FREE estimate.


  • Criteria for Selecting the Right Roof

    courtesy of houselogic

    There are a lot of things to think about when replacing your roof or installing a new roof.  There are many different aspects of the home or building you have to think about when selecting the type of roof you need.

    Here are some criteria, courtesy of FacilitiesNet:

    Geographic Location:  This includes whether the property is located on the west coast or east coast, the north or south. But it also includes local considerations, such as the building's orientation and if there are nearby trees.

    Local Environmental Laws: What is allowed as far as applications, odors, VOCs.

    Building Characteristics: These include the slope of the roof, the shape of the building, the elevation and the level of accessibility to the roof.

    Appearance: Is the roof visible from the ground or visible from other buildings such that you have concerns about looking industrial or maybe want more of a green look to it with vegetation?

    Use of the Roof: How much foot traffic is going to be on the roof?

    Use of the Building: A hospital or a resort has different concerns with roofing and reroofing than an office building or a shopping center, as far as disturbance to the inhabitants. A library or a bank many times have concerns with the equipment set up, the noise, the disturbance to the customers. It's another thing to look at environmentally. One roof may be easier and quieter to install than another, all things being equal.

    Weather: Does a particular roof type have a vulnerability to hail, ice or snow damage? A particular type of roof may not be selected because of the incidence of hail in that area. Even if the owner is insured against hail damage, what is going to be effect of the inconvenience of having to go through a reroof?

    Quality of Maintenance: What is the quality of maintenance that will be available? Will there be an in-house maintenance crew that can be trained and is interested in the condition of the roof?

    Utility Costs: Is a reflective/cool roof important? For example, is the facility an office building where the owner is paying the utility cost or is the tenant paying the utility cost? It's a whole different animal. Some owners are very concerned about their tenant's utility costs as a selling point to keep their occupancy. Others don't care what their tenants have to pay; they just want a cheap roof.

    Exterior Specialties of PA is here to help with all of your pennsylvania roofing and siding, roofing installation, and roofing repair needs. Call us today at 215.453.9180 for your FREE estimate!