Earning the title of homeowner is a big financial step, so as a new owner, you’ll probably do anything in your power to protect your investment. Homeowner’s insurance covers certain types of weather-related damage, wind damage associated with hurricanes or tornadoes, but it only kicks in after the damage has been done. So why not prevent these hazards from damaging your property in the first place? These tips can help you plan for extreme weather all year round.1. Most Common Extreme Weather Threats
Knowing what to expect from the weather — and when to expect it — is the first step in prepping your new home. However, a recent Esurance report found that only 25 percent of people proactively prepare for potentially damaging weather events. Before you start stocking up, be sure you’re preparing for the right type of weather.
Your home’s location plays a big part in what type of extreme weather you need to prepare for. If you live along the eastern or gulf coast, for example, summer and fall may bring hurricanes. Summer in the Midwest could mean tornadoes, while winter serves up extreme cold. And if you live out west, wildfires and hail might be the status quo.2. Start With the Roof
Your roof can be a prime target for wind damage caused by hurricanes or tornadoes. If a major storm loosens your shingles, leaks can add to your list of repairs.
Your home inspection most likely included your roof, but if you’re worried about extreme weather, it’s a good idea to give it a second look. Specifically, check for loose shingles, soft spots and loose or overfull gutters, all of which could cause problems if the weather brings strong winds or heavy rains. If you spot any of these issues, get them repaired ASAP.3. Get Ready for Winter Freezes
Extreme cold can wreak havoc on your plumbing if frozen pipes burst. Heading off damage to exposed pipes inside or outside your home can be as simple as wrapping them in foam insulation. If you’re expecting a freeze, turn off the water to outside faucets and open the valves so any water left inside can drain. You’ll also want to disconnect and drain off any excess water from in-ground irrigation systems.
Make sure the inside of your home stays warm to help ward off frozen pipes. Check around doors and windows for leaks, and replace worn-out weather-stripping or use caulk to fill in gaps that may be letting cold air in.4. Check Your Heating System
Your HVAC system and fireplace (if you have one) also need a thorough heating system inspection to prep for extreme weather. If you’ll be cranking up the heat to fight off the winter cold, replace the filters in your heating system and make sure your thermostat’s working properly. If you have a fireplace, look for loose connections in your gas lines or obstructions in your chimney. And be sure to have your chimney cleaned each autumn.5. Check Your Landscaping
Tornadoes and extended rainfall can uproot your trees and other plants. Take time to check out the trees on your property and look for loose or overhanging branches that need to be trimmed or removed.
If you’re not comfortable handling this job, hire a professional to do it for you. While they’re at it, have them check your trees for signs of disease or rot that could make them unable to stand up to a strong storm.6. Consider Upgrading Shutters and Doors
If you live in an area that sees hurricane action during the summer and fall, reliable storm shutters are a must. But don’t forget to check your doors and garage door as well. If they’re too old or worn out, you may want to think about replacing them with something that can stand up to a fierce storm.7. Plan Now to Avoid Disaster Later
Weather may be unpredictable, but dealing with it will be easier if you’ve already taken steps to protect your home. Covering all your bases will help you minimize the risk of extreme weather damage to you your new home.
Eric Brandt has more than 25 years’ experience in the insurance industry. Eric currently serves as Chief Customer Advocate for Esurance, where he leads the customer experience, including claims fulfillment. Prior to joining Esurance, Eric led customer-centered transformations in the areas of claims, risk management and relationship management for carriers offering personal lines, commercial lines and employee benefits protection. To learn more about Esurance’s homeowners and auto insurance options, visit their website.
The post The New Homeowner’s Guide to Preparing for Extreme Weather appeared first on The Money Pit.
From Source Article: moneypit.com
Repairing broken concrete edges and corners requires a special fast-setting repair material that can be molded and shaped to match the contour of the surrounding concrete, without sagging. QUIKRETE Quick-Setting Cement, along with QUIKRETE Acrylic Fortifier, is designed specifically to repair broken edges and corners on concrete steps, curbs, slabs and walls, quickly and permanently, without the use of forms.
The first step in achieving a successful concrete repair is proper surface preparation. A solid, clean surface is necessary so that the repair material can permanently bond to the damaged area. It is extremely important to remove any unsound or flaking concrete from the repair area. This can be done using a hammer and chisel or with a masonry grinding disc and a portable drill.
When working with cement-based products, always wear eye protection and waterproof gloves. Once the unsound concrete is removed, the surface should be cleaned of any loose material, dirt, oil and grease, prior to the application of quick-setting cement. Using QUIKRETE Concrete and Asphalt Cleaner, scrub and clean the surface of the repair area with a stiff bristle brush.
Concrete and Asphalt cleaner is a concentrated detergent that is effective and safe for use on any concrete, asphalt, paver, brick, masonry and stone surface. It can be used in full strength for heavy duty cleaning or diluted for general cleaning. Thoroughly rinse the repair area after cleaning. Mix quick-setting cement at about five parts cement to one part acrylic fortifier.
QUIKRETE Acrylic Fortifier is a polymer resin that improves the bond strength of the new quick-setting cement material to the existing concrete. Using a margin trowel, mix the quick-setting cement for three to five minutes, until a lump free consistency is achieved. If the mix is too wet, add additional quick-setting cement and mix thoroughly.
If the mix is too dry, add small amounts of acrylic fortifier, sparingly. QUIKRETE Quick-Setting Cement is a rapid setting material, so mix only as much as can be used in about five minutes. It is important not to add more water or acrylic fortifier after the material has begun to set. If you do, this will weaken the mix and can cause shrinkage cracking.
Before applying the quick-setting cement, dampen the repair area with water. Enough water should be used to saturate the surface. Although, any standing water should be removed. Quick-setting cement should be built up in layers using a margin trowel. The first layer should be pressed into the repair area using firm trowel pressure.
Continue to build and sculpt quick setting cement up, so the surface of the repair is above the surrounding concrete. In about five to ten minutes, when the patch has become thumbprint hard, use the edge of the margin trowel to mold and shape the repair to match the contour of the surrounding concrete. No special curing is required under normal conditions. Although, in temperatures over 90 degrees, keep the patch damp for 24 to 48 hours with a fine water mist.
When working with cement-based products, always wear eye protection and waterproof gloves.
Step 1 Clean the surface of the damaged area by removing any loose material such as dirt, oil, or grease and unsound or flaking concrete.
TIP: unsound or flaking concrete can be removed by using a hammer and chisel or with a masonry grinding disk and a portable drill.
Step 2 Scrub and clean the surface of the repair area with a stiff bristle brush.
Step 3 Thoroughly rinse the repair area after cleaning.
Step 4 Mix the Quick-Setting Cement using a margin trowel by adding 5 parts Cement to 1 part QUIKRETE Acrylic Fortifier until a lump-free, putty consistency is achieved. It is important not to add more water or Acrylic Fortifier after the material has begun to set.
TIP: if the mix is too wet, add additional Quick-Setting Cement and mix thoroughly; if the mix is too dry, add small amounts of Acrylic Fortifier sparingly.
Step 5 Dampen the repair area with enough water to saturate the surface (any standing water should be removed).
Step 6 Use a masonry brush to apply a thin coating of the Quick-Setting Cement and Acrylic Fortifier mixture.
Step 7 Using a margin trowel, press the cement into the repair area using firm trowel pressure.
Step 8 Continue to build and sculpt the Quick-Setting Cement so that the surface of the repair is above the surrounding concrete.
Step 9 In about 5 to 10 minutes once the patch has become thumbprint hard, use the edge of a margin trowel to mold and shape the repair to match the contour of the surrounding concrete.
From Source Article: moneypit.com
Building a stucco wall has proven to be one of the most enduring, versatile, and weather-resistant exterior wall finishes available. With its variety of colors and textures, stucco continues to be one of the most popular wall systems.
Stucco can be applied over standard, wood frame walls in a three-coat process and over masonry and poured concrete walls in a two-coat application. Before starting your project, check local building codes for wall assembly and moisture barrier requirements in your area.
A weather-resistant stucco wall requires the use of two layers of grade D waterproof building paper over the wall sheeting including plywood, OSB, exterior gypsum board and concrete board, before the application of the base coat stucco. When attaching the waterproof building paper, vertical seams should be overlapped by 6 inches or more and horizontal seams should be overlapped by 4 inches, in shingle fashion.
The building paper should also extend 16 inches around all corners. Once the water resistant building paper is in place, all trim accessories should be installed. Trim accessories can be cut to size using metal snips. Cut edges are often very sharp, so always wear gloves when working with these materials. A weep screed is a typical excess that will be required by code.
Weep screeds are installed along the bottom edges to allow any water that has entered the wall to escape. Casing beads should be installed to neatly terminate stucco at the end of the wall. Casing beads also act as a guide to help maintain a consistent stucco thickness. Casing beads, for a three coats system, should be three quarters of an inch thick.
Casing beads for use in a two-coat system over masonry or concrete should be 1/2 inch thick. Then, galvanized expanded metal lath or 1 inch woven wire stucco netting is installed over the entire surface, overlapping by one inch on the horizontal seams and two inches on the vertical seams. Galvanized nails or staples should be used every six inches, both vertically and horizontally.
Make sure that the nails or staples penetrate the studs a minimum of one inch. The lath or stucco netting should also extend 16 inches around all corners. If the base coat stucco is applied to a clean unpainted concrete or masonry surface, waterproof building paper and metal lath are not required.
Then, control joints should be placed to create wall panels no larger than 144 square feet, keeping the panels as square as possible. Stucco will shrink as it hardens and cures. Control joints help reduce the potential for shrinkage cracking. Expansion joints are required anywhere there are existing wall expansion joints and at inside corners and changes in substrate.
Expansion joints are designed to allow for the expansion and contraction of the stucco wall panels with changes in temperature. Corner trim should be used on all outside edges, to protect the exposed stucco and to provide clean finished lines. Now that the substrate is properly prepared, it is ready for the base coat stucco application. QUIKRETE Base Coat Stucco and QUIKRETE Base Coat Stucco with Water-Stop are recommended for use in a traditional three coats system over wood sheeting and as the base for a two coat application over masonry or concrete.
These pre-blended stuccos are extremely workable for hand applied stucco applications and have the high bond strength required for a successful project. Mix the base coat stucco to a workable consistency. The proper consistency is achieved when the stucco will hang on a trowel held at a 90 degree angle. Stucco that is mixed too wet will sag. Stucco that is mixed too dry will not adhere properly to the metal lath.
One bag of 80 pound base coat stucco will cover about twenty seven square feet at three-eighths of an inch thick. Using a square trowel, held at a 45 degree angle, apply the base coat stucco using firm trowel pressure to force the stucco into the lath. Work from the bottom of the wall up and apply at a thickness of about three-eighths of an inch over the entire area.
Then, using a straight edge or darby, screed the stucco to a uniform depth of 3/8 of an inch thick. Once the stucco has become thumb print hard, scratch horizontal grooves, 1/8 of an inch deep, into the base coat, across the entire area with a raking tool. This is why this step is commonly referred to as the scratch coat. Allow the scratch coat to cure for 24 to 48 hours.
Keep the surface of the stucco damp with a fine water mist. This step will help reduce shrinkage cracking, especially in hot dry conditions. Now, mix and apply another 3/8 inch layer of base coat stucco directly to the scratch coat. This step is called the brown coat. Using a straight board or darby, screed the brown coat surface to a true even 3/8 inch thickness.
Fill any surface boards with additional base coat. The total combined base coat depth should be three-quarters of an inch thick. As soon as the stucco has lost its sheen, float the surface uniformly. Then, cure the base coat with a fine water mist for 24 to 48 hours. For two-coat applications over masonry block walls and poured concrete walls, the scratch coat step is eliminated from the process. Simply dampen the wall.
Apply the brown coat. Then, screed and float the surface to a uniform 3/8 inch thickness. Now that the base coat is complete, QUIKRETE Finish Coat Stucco can be used to provide numerous decorative color and texture options for your stucco wall. Finish Coat Stucco is available in both white and gray formulations and can be combined with more than 20 standard QUIKRETE Stucco & Mortar colors. Popular textures, such as heavy lace, light lace, dash, sand float and smooth finishes are easy to achieve with a little practice.
Working from the bottom of the wall to the top, apply a consistent 1/8 inch thick coating of Finish Coat Stucco. Then, use a whisk brush to lightly dash finish coat stucco onto the wall. Then, use a trowel to knock down and flatten the stucco. If you prefer a heavier texture, first spread the finish coat stucco in a thin application to achieve good color coverage, and then, double back with a heavier uneven application.
Once the heavy coat begins to harden knock the finish down with a trowel, creating a heavy lace finish. If a smooth finish is your preference, simply use a trowel or sponge float in a circular motion. It is important to complete the entire wall in one application. This will help limit any color inconsistencies from batch to batch. Then, keep the surface damp for several days by applying a fine water mist.
Step 1 Attach two layers of Grade D, waterproof building paper using galvanized nails or staples in a shingled fashion over the wall sheathing extending 16 inches around all corners.
TIP: vertical seams should be overlapped by 6 inches and horizontal seams should be overlapped by 4 inches.
Step 2 Install trim accessories.
TIP: trim accessories can be cut to size using metal snips but are often very sharp, so always wear gloves when working with these materials.
Step 3 Install casing beads.
TIP: casing beads for a 3 coat system should be 3/4 inch thick; casing beads for a 1 or 2 coat system should be 1/2 inch thick.
Step 4 Install a galvanized, self-furring, expanded metal lath or 1” woven wire stucco netting over the entire surface also extending 16 inches around all corners. The lath or stucco netting should over-lap by 1” on the horizontal seams and 2” on the vertical seams.
NOTE: galvanized nails or staples should be used every 6 inches both vertically and horizontally and should penetrate the studs a minimum of 1 inch.
Step 5 Place control joints to create wall panels no larger than 144 square feet. Keep the panels as square as possible.
Step 6 Place expansion joints anywhere there exists wall expansion joints.
Step 7 Install corner trim on all outside edges to protect the exposed stucco and to provide clean finished lines.
Step 8 Mix the base coat stucco to a workable consistency.
NOTE: the proper consistency is achieved when the stucco will “hang” on a trowel held at a 90 degree angle – stucco that is too wet will sag; stucco that is too dry will not adhere properly to the metal lath.
Step 9 Apply the base coat stucco using a square trowel held at a 45 degree angle. Use firm trowel pressure to force the stucco into the lath. Work from the bottom of the wall up and apply at a thickness of about 3/8 inch over the entire area.
NOTE: for one coat stucco systems, apply QUIKRETE One Coat Fiberglass Reinforced Stucco in a single application at ½ inch thick.
Step 10 Screed the stucco to a uniform depth of 3/8 inch using a straight edge.
Step 11 Scratch 1/8 inch deep horizontal grooves into the base coat with a raking tool once the stucco has become thumb-print hard.
Step 12 Cure the scratch coat for 24 to 48 hours.
Step 13 Mix and apply another 3/8 inch layer of base coat stucco directly to the scratch coat.
Step 14 Screed the surface using a straight board or darby to 3/8 inch thickness and fill any surface voids with additional base coat. The total combined basecoat depth should be 3/4 of an inch thick.
Step 15 Float the surface uniformly once the stucco has lost its sheen using a wooden trowel and cure the base coat with a fine water mist for 24-48 hours.
Step 16 Apply a 1/8 inch thick coating of QUIKRETE Finish Coat Stucco in the preferred application working from the bottom of the wall to the top. Complete the entire wall in one application.
NOTE: it is important to keep the surface damp for by applying a fine water mist over several days.
Step 17 Fill all control joints, expansion joints and gaps with a backer rod and QUIKRETE non-sag Polyurethane Sealant.
From Source Article: moneypit.com