Annoyed? We may be able to help.

Hi there! We were recently in Jim Falls, WI to help someone remove a chimney from the upstairs hallway. Can you imagine trying to get around THIS every time you wanted to get from one end of your home to the other?

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What made it even more frustrating is that it wasn’t even being used AND it was the reason there was a leak in the home. But, in just one day, we made his life easier and drier when Tyler was sent to Chippewa County to help this homeowner out.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After covering all of the surrounding areas with plastic, he got to work removing this eye sore down to the floor of the second level.

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Once the chimney was removed, Tyler filled the cavity with insulation. Then he went to the basement to air seal the chimney opening with pink board and one part spray foam to prevent cross ventilation. To finish up the floor, he installed sheathing over the hole and made it flush with the existing floor sheathing.

 

 

The roof needed to be mended, too, so sheathing and new Certainteed Landmark shingles were installed. Then the cavity on the inside was filled with plywood and R30 batting.

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Lastly, Tyler replaced the damaged and wet drywall from where the chimney had been leaking. This included fixing the cracks that had formed near the chimney, installing tape, finishing, and a fine orange peel texture. Though he did the priming, the homeowner decided to paint it himself.

Here’s a look at the finished hallway. Do you have something in your home that always seems to be in the way? When is the last time you allowed yourself to imagine what it would be like to be free of it? Rock and Tait Exteriors offers many services, but we can’t help you unless you ask us to. Go ahead and dream! And then let us make your dream a reality. Just like we did here for another very happy owner!

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Not only does the inside look amazing now, the exterior looks very modern as well. Great job, Tyler! We’re glad you’re part of the Rock and Tait Exteriors Team!

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How do I know I picked the best construction company for my home?

There are many factors that you’ll need to consider when you choose a construction company to do work on your home. Our best advice is to do your research!

Here are some ways to help you learn more about Rock and Tait Exteriors and what others say about us: 

  • Check us out on social media sites! 

Facebook-Like2Twitter      Google-plus

 

  • Please check us out on “Guild Quality”, who surveys our customers! http://www.guildquality.com/RockAndTait 

  • Ask around and talk to our past customers to get it straight from other homeowners who’ve done business with us. It’s tough to know what the outcome will be when you sign a contract since you can’t see the finished product and know how the experience will go. We do everything in our power to help you understand what we plan to do and how it’ll all go from start to finish. Personal testimonials from past customers are so nice to hear so you know how they have been treated and what to expect! 

 

 

 

A garage can bring happiness *^v^*

Have you ever experienced the happiness that comes with more space? Like how it feels to lose weight and have more space in your clothes, or moving from a tiny apartment into a spacious home, or taking a long trip in a cramped vehicle and finally getting out into the wide open countryside? Those are good feelings! For this Chippewa Falls resident, that happy feeling came when she got her new garage! This is what the original garage looked like:

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Our job was to build a bigger, better garage in front of the old one. Before we started, we carefully took off the siding from the front of the garage and the side of the house so we could possibly use it on the new garage. Once that was done, we demolished the concrete driveway and began excavating for footings and frost walls which included all back filling, compacting of soil, and rough grading for a new concrete floor. After we completed the concrete portion of this project, we got to work framing.

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We were asked to make the peak of the garage match the peak of the home and to connect the addition to the home. To do that we had to do a little roof work on the home as well, but that was no problem since they were already upgrading their roof to a GAF Timberline roofing system with a 50 year, non-prorated warranty. We also had to tie the new addition to the old garage and move the original garage opening to the back of the garage. We did electrical work, insulation, windows, doors, gutters, Tyvek wrap, ventilation, cleaning, installing the sheathing and all the steps that make those projects possible.

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Here’s a picture of the almost finished project. We have yet to put the siding on as well as the GAF roofing system over the garage and part of the home. I’ll post a final picture once the project is completed in the coming week.

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This Chippewa Valley resident is going to love her finished garage and feel that happy sigh moment that always accompanies more living space. It’s so refreshing! What a lovely Christmas present to one’s self! Here’s hoping you have something that refreshes you, too, this holiday season!

Is your roof safe for Santa?!

Santa

Of course you really don’t need to make your roof safe for “Santa and his reindeer”… but even when it’s covered in snow it’s very important to think about.

It’s only the beginning of winter, but it’s a great time of year to plan for those projects that need to get done around the house. And by around the house I really mean on top of your house. ~Your Roof~ I know this last Summer and Fall you looked at it every day thinking to yourself…..

“I should really get that replaced”

“I hope my roof holds up just 1 more season”

“Oh man, the neighbor got a new roof, now mine looks even worse”

If this is you, make sure you don’t let it go another year without a free estimate from us. We can still do roof estimates during the winter so you can have us all lined up to get to you in the early spring before the rainy season lets loose on your old roof. Water is the #1 cause of house damage and you really want to make sure you don’t have leaks finding their way in your home. If you sign with us this winter you can know you’re on the schedule to get your roof done in early spring!

Call us to set up a free estimate appointment where a typical visit from one of our home improvement experts usually takes about 1 ½ – 2 hours, so we can allow plenty of time to get all the details correct.

During this meeting we will:

  • Determine your specific wants and needs
  • Get any necessary measurements
  • Look at different options for design & materials
  • Print out your estimate on the spot and go over it all with you so you can ask and get answers to all your roofing questions

Before that appointment I urge you to read our Reviews and Testimonials on our website along with Guild Qualitywho surveys our customers for us so it’s unbiased responses and ratings.

Plus, you can have some fun this winter looking at shingle designs and colors on your own home! All you need is a picture of the house and upload it to the GAF Virtual Home Remodeler, then you just make a free account on their website so you can save some ideas you have and let the expert that comes to your home know what you like so they can assist you better. 

So feel free to call us for a FREE estimate anytime! 1-800-519-9894 or fill out a quick form Online!

 

 

A key that can’t be touched

Hi there! Can you think of a key that can’t be touched, but still needs to utilized? Take a look at these pictures and see if you can guess it:

Roof d 1 roof d 2

The answer I am looking for is ventilation. Ventilation is the key that unlocks a roof’s potential to protect your home during the winter, lower the cooling load in the summer, and reducing moisture from the attic. However, not all roofs need or are able to have a venting system; it’s best to discuss with a professional what will work best with your particular style of home and roof.

In these pictures, this Hudson home is undergoing a complete roofing system makeover, which makes it the ideal time to insulate. But notice how the insulation isn’t built up to fill the entire space? That empty space is being used to ventilate the roof. But, for this to work, there must be good air intake from the soffit and enough space for the air to exit somewhere on the roof as well. Now, during the winter, the cold air being sucked in will keep the underside of the roof the same temperature as outside, and thus reduce or even eliminate ice dams. In the summer, venting will help expel the built-up solar heated air, which will help lessen moisture buildup and how hard the air conditioning in your home has to work.

So what about moisture and condensation in the attic? How does it get there? In a perfect home, the ceiling would stay intact and be perfectly flat on the attic side; the insulation would be perfectly installed with no pressed areas, gaps, or structures to work around; and the attic would be isolated from disturbance and air tight. But the truth is, it’s hard to find a home like that. Today there are lights being pushed through ceilings, heating ducts get installed, insulation does get compressed, and folks like to stash belongings up there. Because of these reasons and more, moisture will enter the attic and if there is no ventilation to evaporate it, the moisture will settle on a surface and cause it to rot.

During this roofing project, the sheathing needed replacing and the new sheathing needed to be protected so foam insulation was installed and a venting system was put in place. Then the new boards were fastened on and a GAF Gold Pledge roof covered them. If this homeowner has any troubles with his roofing system in the next 50 years, his non-prorated warranty will be his best friend. It’s offered exclusively through our GAF Master Elite Intense Training Certification.

I hope you stay warm this winter and that your home is working as a whole to keep you comfortable and dry. If not, you know where to find us!

Does my homeowners insurance cover winter storm damage?

House in Alaska

Whether or not winter storm damage is covered by your homeowners insurance policy will depend on the type of policy you have and the type of damage that occurs.

Most standard homeowners insurance policies provide coverage for winter-related storm damage that occurs as a result of wind, snow, ice, freezing rain, and severe temperatures. You’ll want to review your homeowners policy to find out which wintertime perils are specifically covered.

It is important to note that standard homeowners insurance policies do not provide coverage for flood damage. So if your home has suffered damage from winter-related flooding (e.g., a heavy snow melt), you generally won’t be covered unless you have a separate flood insurance policy in place.

Finally, if your home suffers damage while you leave it unattended during the winter, you’ll have some additional issues to consider. For example, certain homeowners policies have exclusions for damages that result from a home not being properly winterized (not shutting off the water and draining the pipes) or a home being left unoccupied for a long period of time (more than 30 days).

While your insurance may provide some coverage for winter storm damage, the best option is to take steps to prevent winter-related damage from occurring in the first place. The following are some tips to help protect your home from harsh winter weather:

  • Clean your gutters and downspouts so that melting snow can flow freely away from your home
  • Inspect and repair roof shingles and flashing to prevent water damage
  • Trim tree branches on your property that hang over the house
  • Apply weather stripping and caulking around doors and windows and inspect storm doors and windows for broken glass
  • Drain water from pipes leading to exterior faucets and remove garden hoses
  • Insulate pipes that are susceptible to freezing like dishwasher and ice maker lines that may not be properly insulated
  • Have your heating system cleaned and inspected

If you unfortunately end up with winter storm damage we can help with steaming the ice dams off the roof safely. Also snow removal is recommended along with the ice dam removal to have a clear roof to prevent them from forming again. That is sometimes covered by insurance, but not always. Last winter (2013-2014) we saw some companies that did pay for the service and some that did not depending on the specific situation. You’ll need to double check with your company to be sure.

Snow and Ice removal

We can also help with the interior damage that may occur. We have professional dry wall experts who can replace wet and broken drywall and blend in with proper texturing techniques to look new again.

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Keep Rock and Tait Exteriors in mind this winter if you experience winter storm damage to your home.

Contact us with a call 1-800-519-9894 or with an emailed request at www.rockandtait.com 

 

Put a cricket on your roof for protection *chirp chirp*

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Hi there!

Have you ever followed the ancient Chinese tradition and kept a cricket for protection and good luck? If so, have you ever put a cricket on your roof to make sure that nothing ever goes wrong up there? At Rock and Tait Exteriors we’re experts at catching the little insects and putting them on the roof to fix all sorts of bad luck.

I’m just kidding! We do use crickets, but not that kind of cricket. The crickets that we build are ridge structures that are designed to make water flow around an object instead of pooling behind it. You could think of it as a little roof behind the high side of the chimney.

These Chippewa Valley residents didn’t have a cricket behind their chimney and the flashing was so worn out that a nasty leak formed.

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The thing about leaks is that they don’t always behave. Water can enter through one part of the roof, but it can travel to another area of the home before it becomes clearly visible. For this home, the damage became evident in this room:

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When a leak is left alone for a while, as it was in this home, it is common to find out that the water ruined more than just what meets the eye such as the sheathing, insulation, framing, paint, and electrical system. A water leak can be a fire hazard, a catalyst for mold growth, a health hazard, and can rot the structure’s framing. Although a complete ceiling collapse is unlikely, there is usually very little indication that it is about to happen. I lived through one – I should know!

At this point, these homeowners wanted us to simply patch up the leak and deal with the rest of the issues at another time. Of course Wisconsin decided to snow the week before we were able to address the issue!

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One of our professionals, Tyler, who’s pretty great with these projects, braved the slippery roof and removed the snow build-up from the chimney. He then began taking off the surrounding shingles and the old flashing.

After the area was clear, Tyler installed an Ice and Water shield around the chimney so if driving rain ever gets past the shingles again, the barrier will prevent it from entering the home. Shortly thereafter, the new flashing was installed and a cricket was constructed on the upper side of the chimney.

 

 

 

The project was completed by fastening the new shingles in place. Though there is work yet to do inside the house, this Chippewa Falls home is now safe from the intruding power of water and further related damage. Great work, Tyler! Another project done well!

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So, the next time bad luck hits your home, you could go to the pet store for a cricket and hope that turns around for the better. Or for an even safer solution, invite us over at the first sign of trouble to fix it and prevent a catastrophe!

Do you feel like we are all living in a huge snow globe?!

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There is quite a bit of snow already this season and it’s not quite Thanksgiving yet. Homeowners call us with questions about snow and ice on their house roof and I’d like to take the time to answer some of the common worries now before we are trapped in this snow globe for the next 4-5 months. 

  • Will my roof collapse if there is too much snow up there? 

Not normally, but we do recommend snow removal when it gets above about a foot or more of snow. For a few reasons, first the weight can be stressful on the structure of the home and secondly due to the increase risk of ice dams forming under the snow and cause interior and exterior damage to your home. 
 
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  • How do I remove the snow safely myself? Should I do it myself?

You may use a plastic roof rake to get as far as you can reach, but be VERY careful not to scrape the shingles. Also, it’s important to then move that snow you took off the roof and get it all away from the house foundation area so to not cause basement moisture issues come springtime. 
 
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  • Should I hire a snow removal company?

It’s best to have insured pros to go up on your roof and shovel off the entire thing so they can reach it all. They wear safety harnesses and are used to walking around on roofs in any weather condition. It’ll be done quickly and you can sit inside and stay warm with some hot chocolate! 
 
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  • What about those pesky ice dams that formed under the snow?

Well, that is quite a big topic to discuss how they form, prevention, etc. Check out this past blog posting for more info on prevention.
 
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But, if you already have them formed and need safe removal please hire a pro with a safe ice steaming machine.  We have 7 machines and can help remove ice dams safely with steam (not just a pressure washer). It’s much safer and quicker than pounding on your roof/shingles with a hammer/mallet to break the ice. That has damaged many roofs that then the homeowners call us to replace the shingles and a repair can end up being pretty costly. 
 
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So with all of this info I hope you can relax and just enjoy this snowy winter in this wonderful snow globe we live in! 

 

To sing, “Rain, rain, go away,” or call Rock and Tait?

Hi there! We were recently at a home in Chippewa Falls that was having quite the time with water. It seemed that whatever these homeowners did, water was still making its presence known. Here’s what they did to try to control it:

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But, it didn’t work. Soon, the foundation was leaking and they knew they needed a professional’s opinion on how to solve this problem for good. Enter Rock and Tait Exteriors. The best way to handle these kinds of leaks is to remove the landscaping down to the problem areas and seal them. So, after removing the concrete and dirt, we fixed the cracks and put all the dirt back. Then we laid new cement.

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In the pictures above you can see one of our crew members dusting some powder over the cement. It’s actually a releasing agent. It’s what gives the nice accent color to low spots and makes it easy to remove stampers after pressing them into the cement. Which is exactly what we did. These Chippewa residents wanted a brick patio look, so we decided on an appropriate stamp and began the next portion of the project.

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The finished concrete work will help carry water away from the home, but it’s not having to do all the work by itself. We installed 6″ gutters for better water control, too. Plus, we added a Perma Flow gutter guard to make sure there is as little obstruction as possible from debris, animal nests, and the like. Look closely at the picture below of our job well-done and see if you can spot another difference:

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Do you see the gutter going straight into the ground? We eliminated the need for the black tubing by making the downspout connect to underground piping. This will be a huge step in preventing water (and ice) on the concrete.

It’s been a month today since we finished this project and the homeowners say there haven’t been any more leaks! Plus, they aren’t feeling the stress of winter’s cold inside their home because we installed a lot of much needed insulation. As we all know, insulation is pretty good at preventing air leakage while increasing comfort.

What can you learn from this adventure we had in Chippewa Falls? Hopefully you’ve learned that you should call Rock and Tait Exteriors instead of serenading the leaks in your home with the familiar song, “Rain, rain, go away! Come again…never!” We have options that you may not have thought of!

Do you know what it costs to remove ice dams from your home? Or do you want to prevent them instead?

Ice removal can be very costly and damaging if not prevented with proper insulation. Last winter this homeowner called us and had our crews do snow and ice removal for him as the ice dams had gotten so bad. I want to give you an idea on how costly this type of service runs on average since most homeowners don’t know what that costs, as I didn’t know what to expect either. It’s charged at $130 Per Man Hour for the steaming of the ice dams and $95 Per Man Hour for getting up on the roof to shovel off snow. We have a standard trip charge of $75 and also for safety precautions and laws we install D-Rings to the roof to use safety harnesses at $30 each (normally 2-3 needed). As you can see this can really add up quickly- this home was $2,472.50 for the snow and ice removal last February. Here is a quick video about doing ice removal with steam safely.

 

 

 

This homeowner is fed up with trying to take care of the problem after the ice dams formed and wanted prevention instead. Here are a few pictures of his home’s project getting done by our  expert crews. There needed to be a lot in spray foaming done to help insulate this home. We had to remove the old roof decking to access these areas which worked out well for timing to do this project as they needed a new roof and we are doing that as well.  It really makes a difference when you can have one company take care of multiple aspects of construction for your home.

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Before this last summer

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Our experts opening up the home to insulate properly.

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The home opened to insulate properly.

 

 

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Before

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The side attic wall opened to spray foam this area.

 

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Removing the old batted insulation that was not effective so we can seal it with spray foam insulation.

This is going to make a world of difference with preventing ice dams for this past customer of ours! Get on our schedule today for your home by starting with a free estimate appointment with our very knowledgeable product specialists.

If you need our services for snow/ice removal or more importantly to start with preventing the ice dams with insulation get a free estimate appointment.

Just call 1-800-519-9894 or online and we’ll contact you!