A new Roof May Be Cheaper than Roof Repair in the Long Term

The roof is one of the most vital parts of a home, providing protection from the elements. If the roof is damaged, this is not a repair that homeowners can afford to postpone. A leaky roof, for example, can cause untold damage throughout the home. If roof leak repair is not done promptly, the problems will only get worse. When considering any type of roof repair, the option of replacing the whole roof should be considered. In some cases, this is the more sensible and economical course of action. While repairing a roof will cost less in the short run than replacing it, this may not be the case when you consider the long term.

When to Repair a Roof

If a roof is basically in good condition, but has a small area of damage, repairs make sense. The cost will depend on the extent of the damage, and can run anywhere from a few dollars to fill some gaps to over $1,000 to repair a major leak. Repairs will often be covered by your home insurance policy. On the other hand, if the roof is old or worn out, insurance may not cover the repairs. Homeowners are expected to perform regular maintenance on their homes, and this includes replacing the roof when this becomes necessary.

When to Replace a Roof

There are certain signs that it’s time to get a new roof.

  • Roof is Nearing the End of its Expected Lifespan -Whether a roof is constructed with natural slate, asphalt shingles, metal or another material, it’s expected to last for a certain number of years. Beyond this point, spending money on repairs may not be the best option.
  • Recurring Problems -If roof leak repair is needed on a regular basis, this is a sign that the roof may need replacing.
  • Damage is Widespread -If multiple areas of the roof are damaged, it may be more economical to replace the entire roof.
  • Shingles are cracked or Fall Off Easily -When shingles show signs of serious wear, roof repair may be a futile endeavor.

Although the cost of a new roof can range anywhere from $20,000 to $40,000, depending on the type of materials used, there are definite benefits to replacing a roof rather than repairing it. For example, homeowners enjoy the peace of mind that comes with knowing that the roof construction is solid and they won’t have to worry about it for many years.

For homeowners that want to increase the value of their homes, a new roof is one of the best ways to do this. Even for those who plan to live in their homes for a long time, there is a dramatic improvement of curb appeal with a new roof. The decision whether to repair or replace a roof must be made carefully. It’s best, however, for homeowners to consider all of the options and think about the long term advantages of a new roof.

Contact TriCounty Exteriors for your free consultation today!

Types of exterior siding

Hot sun, bitter cold, rain and snow — your home’s exterior is under constant barrage from the elements. Choosing the most appropriate exterior siding for your environment is crucial. Siding can be durable and tough without being ugly. Modern siding materials feature both longevity and looks for this key aspect of your dwelling. There are numerous factors that determine which type of siding is best, including eco-friendliness, maintenance requirements and price.


Durable and tough, available in countless colors and styles, vinyl siding is a highly popular material that maintains shape and retains color despite extreme weather. If the home has pre-existing siding, a vinyl installation can retrofit over it. Depending on the brand, this siding has a lifetime guarantee that is transferable. Vinyl is easy to install and lasts more than 30 years.


Steel or aluminum siding is becoming somewhat “old-fashioned.” Modern installations are fireproof, dent-resistant, bug-proof, and require zero maintenance. Metal siding can endure 50 years or longer. Dents in this type of siding are somewhat difficult to remedy.


Portland cement, wood fibers, sand and clay are mixed together to create this type of siding. Fiber-cement is weather-resistant, fire-resistant, bug-proof, low-maintenance and extremely durable. This type of material can be molded to look like stucco, wood or masonry; it does not require painting yet can easily be repainted if desired. Fiber-cement typically lasts 30 years or more.


There are various grades and selections of wood for siding. An expensive grade with a semi-transparent finish will show wood’s desirable natural beauty. If the siding will be painted, a cheaper grade of wood is acceptable. This type of material is easy to cut, easy to install, and can last centuries. However, wood can require frequent re-finishing and repainting.


Also known as masonry, brick siding is highly aesthetic and therefore quite popular. Masonry is extremely durable, but can deteriorate slightly at the joints (mortar-filled gaps in between each brick). A dwelling surrounded by masonry veneer can be markedly cooler during hot weather compared to other types of siding.

A choice of the right exterior siding material entails numerous variables. With so many options to consider, you would be wise to consult a contractor like the professionals at Tri-County Exterior. Siding contractors and siding manufacturers are good sources of information and documentation.

Deck Safety and Maintenance Tips Before Summer

Summer is approaching quickly, and before it arrives is the best time to take care of deck maintenance and deck safety. The first thing that should be done to get ready for the warm weather is a deck inspection, which will determine any potentially hazardous problems that may be looming on the horizon.

Deck Failure

There’s a common misconception that decks are easy to put up and don’t require a lot of careful construction. Because of this, deck failure is very common, and summer is the time when most collapses occur. A deck failure is hazardous and can cause harm or fatality from things such as rail failures or collapse. Deck failures are frequently due to separation from the house wall, although they may be caused by heavy snow or excessive occupation. Rail failures are more common than actual total collapse; however, they cause a lower level of harm and so are frequently not reported. Because deck failure is a dangerous issue, it’s important to have an inspection performed in order to determine deck safety and prevent unnecessary injuries or fatalities. A good deck builder will be key in preventing failures.

Common Deck Problems

When it comes to deck construction, there are some common problems that a deck builder may overlook. One of the first to consider when getting a deck inspected is the condition of all boards. All deck posts and other boards should be checked for deterioration. If there is any softness, sponginess, or rotting, the affected boards should be removed and replaced with wood that is in the best of condition. Otherwise, there is a high risk of collapse. All hardware should be regularly inspected, and anything that shows signs of rust or excessive wear should be replaced. This includes all nails, screws, bolts, hinges, or other connectors. Faulty hardware can cause rails to fall out, or boards to come loose, or compromised support of the deck. Failures commonly result in a detachment from the home structure, so all connections should be properly stabilized with bolts and flashing. A shaky deck is another frequent ailment, but it can be prevented by additional support from a diagonal wood brace.

These are some of the things that are important to address before the summer season arrives and deck usage is in full swing. Contact www.tricountyexteriors.com for a deck that is safe and will last.

Vinyl Siding vs. Fiber Cement: Which Is Right for Your Home?

Photo: Vinyl Siding Institute

Choosing the cladding material for the exterior of your home involves the careful evaluation of several factors. Of course, there’s the look. Cedar shake shingles will create a different look than aluminum siding, which will look different than painted wood planks. But there are also other factors to consider. First is the durability of the material. Second is the amount of maintenance your siding will require to keep it looking fresh and tidy. Third is the cost. And finally, consider the siding’s energy efficiency and eco-friendliness, and how well it will insulate your home from both heat and cold.

Two of the more popular siding choices for today’s homes are vinyl and fiber cement. To figure out which siding might be right for you, read this quick guide to each material’s characteristics and qualities.

Fiber-cement siding is made from a mix of wood pulp and Portland cement that’s formed into long boards or shingles. It’s attached to your home directly with nails.

Vinyl siding is made primarily from PVC, a rigid plastic material, and is securely affixed to your home’s exterior in a manner that allows it to expand and contract with changing temperatures. According to U.S. Census Bureau data, vinyl is the number-one exterior wall material—and has been for 20 years.

Cedar-Discovery-HandSpltWeb1-298x300 Hand-Split Cedar Vinyl Siding
Hand-split cedar vinyl siding. Photo: Vinyl Siding Institute

Both fiber-cement and vinyl siding have come a long way from their origins. It’s possible to buy fiber-cement boards as half-round, staggered, or square shingles as well as in long plank boards. It can be painted or stained, which means you can make it any color you’d like, and it’s also now possible to buy prepainted fiber cement siding in a range of colors so that you can eliminate this step.

Vinyl siding offers a much greater variety of decorative options, from maintaining the appearance of an historic home to creating a clean and modern facade. In fact, no other siding option offers such a range of styles and colors. Available are not only the shingle and plank looks of fiber-cement siding, but also a variety of panel designs including clapboard, board and batten, and Dutch lap. Among the most popular vinyl siding products are those with a grain-finished surface that mimics real wood, or those that look like cedar shake shingles. Certain vinyl siding panels can even be hung vertically for a unique and eye-catching look.

On their own, both vinyl and fiber-cement siding are relatively thin products that aren’t particularly good insulators, although they are both effective at keeping the elements away from your home.

Where vinyl siding takes the lead is that it is available in an insulated version in which there is a layer of foam adhered between the siding and the walls of your home. This type of vinyl siding increases the insulating ability, or R-value, of the walls by blanketing the house’s studs, which are poor insulators and a source of heat loss through a process known as thermal bridging. Insulated siding also helps keep your house cool in summer by preventing the sun’s heat from toasting the walls of your house.

In addition to the energy benefits you can get for your home from vinyl siding, it’s also a lightweight product. This means that it doesn’t take as much fuel to move the siding from its manufacturing facilities to your house, which ups the material’s eco-friendly factor.

CTcedarimpressionssterlinggrayWeb12-300x189 Vinyl shake siding. Photo: Vinyl Siding Institute

Compared with wood, both vinyl siding and fiber cement are very durable exterior cladding options. Vinyl siding, however, edges out its heavier cousin because fiber cement has been known to absorb water, which can cause it—and the walls of your home underneath—to rot.

Because of vinyl siding’s flexibility, it’s also virtually impervious to chips and cracks. That’s not the case for fiber cement, which is so rigid that it can easily crack both during the installation process and after it’s hanging on your home.

Vinyl siding, including insulated siding, is the only exterior cladding with a product certification program administered by an independent, accredited quality-control agency that ensures products and colors meet or exceed the industry standard for performance.

Here’s where vinyl siding pulls way ahead of fiber cement. When fiber cement is installed, it needs to be caulked and painted (unless you opt for the prepainted version), unlike vinyl siding, which needs no additional work before or after installation. Over the long haul, you’ll need to paint fiber-cement siding periodically because it will fade due to the demands of Mother Nature. Likewise, you’ll need to ensure that the caulking in the joints maintains its integrity to avoid water intrusion.

Vinyl siding, on the other hand, needs little more than a periodic spray cleaning with your garden hose and some soapy water to retain its vibrant look.

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Half-round vinyl siding. Photo: Vinyl Siding Institute

According to the RSMeans 2014 Residential Cost Data report, the installed cost of vinyl siding is, on average, $201 per 100 square feet, while fiber cement totals $300 for the same area. The installation costs alone for vinyl are also lower, at an average of $104 versus $124.

In addition to saving on the initial cost of purchasing and installing vinyl siding, you’ll also save money over the lifetime of owning your home as it needs no painting or recaulking, unlike fiber cement. Plus, if you choose to use insulated vinyl siding, you’ll save additional money on your heating and cooling costs.

Finally, according to Remodeling magazine’s 2013–14 Cost vs. Value Report, vinyl siding and insulated siding will recoup more than 78 percent of their installed cost when it comes time to sell your house—a house whose siding will likely look just as good when you sell as the day you put it up!

Franco Michael (2014 May) Vinyl Siding vs. Fiber Cement: Which Is Right for Your Home? Retrieved on May 6, 2014 From Bobvila.com


Spring cleaning tips: It’s easy to keep vinyl siding looking new

Just as your car gets dirty, so does your home’s siding. The good news is that if your home has vinyl siding, it’s almost as easy to clean as your car.

Imagine, with nothing more than a hose and water, mild soap and a long-handled soft bristle brush, you can keep your home looking its best.

Vinyl siding is the exterior cladding that demands the least amount of time and resources to maintain. And for time-starved homeowners, that’s one less thing to worry about.

Compare that to other exteriors:

•Brick requires re-pointing of mortar.

•Fiber cement siding requires periodic painting and caulking.

•Wood siding requires frequent painting and staining.

•Stucco requires painting and sealing.

Cleanings steps

First, mix the cleaning solution in a large bucket. Four gallons of water and ¼ cup of dish soap should do the trick.

Start at the top, and work your way down to prevent streaks; hose off a section to remove any loose debris, then wet your brush in the cleaning solution and scrub the siding.

Be sure to rinse away the soapy water before it dries, or it will leave marks on the siding.

Small spots of mold and mildew can be cleaned with common cleaners such as Fantastik or Windex.

Have stains? Try a solution of 30 percent vinegar and 70 percent water.

Be sure to spot check any general or stain-specific cleaner before using it on a large section of siding. After removing the stain, rinse thoroughly with water. Do not use cleaners containing organic solvents, undiluted chlorine bleach, liquid grease remover, nail polish remover or furniture polish or cleaners. They can affect the surface of the siding.

If using a pressure washer, be sure to keep the stream at eye level and pointed straight at the siding, not at an angle. That way, you won’t drive water in behind the siding, which could cause mold to develop. Also, use caution when using a pressure washer around openings like windows, doors and plumbing connections.

Take note that some manufacturers don’t want pressure washers used on their products at all. Others allow them, but have limitations on the amount of pressure and the cleaners that can be used.

Staff writer (2014 April 6) Spring cleaning tips: It’s easy to keep vinyl siding looking new. Retrieved on April 17, 2014 from telegram.com

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4 Ways to protect yourself from bad roofing companies

In Texas, Oklahoma, and other states the treat of bad storms brings out the worst in some companies. If you have roof damage or need a roof replaced make sure you know what to look for to ensure you get a reputable company and a quality roof. Here are the top four ways to choose a quality Roofing Company for your home.

1) Don’t use storm chasing companies- The most important thing to consider when choosing a roofing company to roof your house is to make sure they are local. When storms strike in your area storm chasers will come from out of state to try and make a quick buck. They great warranty they talk about doesn’t mean a thing if they are off to the next storm. These companies typically roof as many houses as they can and then move on to the next community.

2) Check the businesses Better Business Bureau Record- Just because a business is a member of the BBB doesn’t mean they have a honorable record with the BBB. Check their report and rating on the BBB site to see if they have had any complaints. You should also make sure the business is a member of your local BBB. The storm chasers might be members of the BBB but they could be members of the BBB of San Antonio or Minnesota or anywhere. You should again make certain they are local and have been with them for more than a couple months.

3) Solid References- Checking out the references of a business you’re looking to hire is a great way to make sure they are a respectable contractor. Most roofing companies will have plenty of references in your area.

4) The no leak warranty- First of all make sure that you get a no leak guarantee from your roofing company. The standard for the industry is 3 to 5 years. The no leak warranty is only as dependable as the company who gives it. A RED FLAG is when a company offers you anything more than a 5-year no leak warranty. Many storm chaser offer a 10 year no leak warranty making you think that is a honorable deal but they will be gone within a year so it won’t do you any good. When you think about it, if your roof is going to leak because of workman ship that will normally happen in the first year, probably the first honorable rain.

I hope this article will help you select a superior roofing company, so you can get a quality roof. For more information click the button below Contact Us

Staff writer (2014 March 26) 4 Ways to protect yourself from bad roofing companies Retrieved on April 17, 2014 From CCFConline.org