Being A Contractor

I hope everyone enjoyed their Independence Day Holiday. We enjoyed a few days off and got to catch up with friends and family. While coming back from the holiday we had a few appointments and it amazes me still how some people think they are a contractor. I wanted to share this blog with you. So lets begin.

While doing estimates in the Lutz and Land O Lakes, Florida area a few clients had called previous people for estimates. Some were we can start tomorrow. Some told my clients sure I can take that for you and then show up and the ladder does not reach the window. Come to find out these are just jobbers being recommended on social media. This actually makes me mad. We have companies out there that are completly legit and then the ones who operate sneaky.  Who is going to select a contractor that does not have correct references, license, insurances, and most of all proper tools. If saving a few dollars is one thing but is that jobber or handyman going to be there when stuff fails that they did. NO!  They will address it once, maybe then ignore you, run, hide, change their number or worst leave the state. Now you the consumer are stuck with a messed up job, out of money and hurt. a

The reason for this blog is 2 of our clients almost got scammed. We get it save some money but when you have a small bathroom remodel and the handyman or jobber says we can start tomorrow. I would run. This also concerned our client.

So, to all our followers and future clients make sure you ask the proper questions.

  1.  Do you have pictures and references of your work?
  2. How long in the trades?
  3. What is your schedule like?
  4. Do you have insurance and license and can you provide a copy?                            (this stops the handyman rip offs!)
  5. And lastly, what type of warranty do you provide?                                                          (by law 1 year. PHRR we provide 2 years)

So in closing do not get hoods-winked by people that think they are a contractor. Instead go with one that can properly answer the 5 basic questions to any client.

Remember, at Pasco Home Remodeling & Repair, we provide all types of home remodeling, repair, and renovation in the Zephyrhills, Holiday, Dade City and Wesley Chapel Florida areas all the time. For more info, contact us at 352-322-2700 or http://www.pascoremodel.com

Thank You.

Gutters

Sunday’s blog is about gutters. It seams that down here a lot of homes do not have gutters installed or are installed later. Gutters are the number one way to stop land erosion, flooding, and inconvenience. Additionally an improper gutter system is more defective then none at all. So lets begin about this theory of transferring rain water to a different location.

The main purpose of gutters is to direct the rain water off the roof and discharge to an area away from the foundation. This may sound simple. But if you have a gutter system installed and it is not the appropriate type you are wasting your money. For a typical residential home, a lot of gutters are 5 or 6 inch. The 6 inch gutter is definitely ideal for areas that get some rain but not a lot. 5 inch gutter I would recommend if you live Southern California or Arizona where the rain is very small amount. Living along the east coast like Florida, Maryland, Delaware there is a lot of precipitation that gets in the gutter. In certain states they work constantly from rain to snow. Here in Land O Lakes Florida the rain season constantly works the gutter. So you may ask what is the answer. Its easy.

If you have a gutter system installed it has to contour with the roof. For example you should not install a 5″ gutter on a church roof that is 12-12 pitch. Totally defeats the purpose because of the roof pitch. The gutters are over loaded. But for a single family home like in Clearwater Florida a 6 inch gutter may work for a single family home with a small pitch. Then you have the down spouts to discharge the water. Again, you do not want water going back toward the foundation. Why? Erosion, leaks, issues, and just a plain headache.

The best way to discharge water off the roof is to have the rain water discharge away from the property. Sounds easy but you do not want the rain water discharging in front the garage or your side entrance. Additionally, you can have a #frenchdrain installed as well for your gutter systems. So lets think about this. Do you want to have a system that does not work properly but say we have gutters. NO. If the pitch of the roof in #Florida is above 4-12 pitch then you need at least a 6 inch gutter. If not the water when it rains down here will defeat the purpose. A lot of manufactures will use a 7 inch gutter with a leaf guard so you do not need to clean anymore. This is good, but check other manufactures too.

Make sure if you want to do the investment of gutters they are seamless and check the warranty. Also ask about the gutter covers. Trust me. For more information check our website at; www.pascoremodel.com or call us anytime at 352-437-5300

The Toilet Operations

This weeks blog is about the commode. Ever wonder how it really works? Do you think its a science by itself or just by imagination everything goes together. What if it does not flush properly or the toilet rocks. The tank or the bowl. Do you know the difference. Did you know that the parts of the toilet assembly are very economical to replace and maybe done yourself. So lets talk about the commode or as some call it the porcelain king/queen.

Your typical toilet consist of the bowl and the tank. The bowl is the part that has the water and holds the seat. The tank is usually the part that has the mechanisms to operate the toilet. The bowl has a trap to flush the entities out into the sewer pipe. At the bottom of the bowl you have a flange which needs a wax ring to secure to the flange and prevent sewer gas coming from the sewer. The tank is the essential part of the appliance. In the tank you have a flush mechanism, a flapper with water fill tube and the handle. Under the tank connected to the bowl you have gaskets at various locations to seal the water. Then you have the water supply line.

{Some new tanks have items such as air tanks and different flush mechanisms that will depend on the need of the visit of the commode.}

The tank and bowl can be a very complicated process if you do not understand the process. For example, ever hear the toilet fill up in the middle of the night? Did you ever see small water behind the toilet and not know why? Or. All of sudden the toilet starts to rock, literally like in a rocking chair.. Wonder what causes this? This is caused by failure of the mechanisms and fasteners. The toilet that fills itself is due to the fact that the flapper needs replaced. The time you flush the toilet and the water takes forever is caused by the flush mechanism failing or the supply line has debris in the line. The water that seeps mysteriously is usually due to the gaskets in the tank, the supply line failing or condensation of the bowl. And if you ever see water on the floor when you flush, the wax ring has expired.  These are simple items that can be replaced at a very economical cost. We perform these a lot and still charge our clients a small amount.

But then is the biggy, the rocking of the commode. When this happens its usually 2 things. It maybe the fact that the tank is loose and you need new tank bolts. But if the entire commode rocks, its failure of the bowl bolts. The entire toilet has to be removed from the flange on the floor. A new wax ring is needed with bolts and the flange needs to be inspected. The flange can not have any cracked or missing areas. The bolts need to secure to the flange. If not you will not secure the toilet to the flange properly. Sometimes you have to replace the flange and this will need to be done by a licensed plumber.

So in closing, a leaky or rocky commode is an issue. Some maybe that small job or some you need to consult with a plumber. We have done this type of repair for a lot of clients in Dade City, Richland, Holiday and Wesley Chapel and referred plumbers as needed. For more information call our office anytime at 352-437-5300 or visit our website at; www.pascoremodel.com

Moisture Intrusion

With the rain storm we are experiencing in Florida this week, I wanted to share about water leaks and what you can do to prevent and/or repair the area.

Water leaks are a mess, this we all know. It cost money, time, aggravation and most of all it can ruin some family heirlooms.  So you may noticed water getting in crevis and cracks that you never thought of.  So if you notice after the rain, the water getting in thru windows, maybe water stains on the drywall, or into the garage. Also, if you have a modular home the crawl space is very important to make sure that that area is dry. So, lets begin about this topic.

If you notice water getting in the windows when they are closed there is likely the window seals have expired or the window is not closing all the way. Some windows with the balances control the window to stay closed and used to keep up. The balances may need replacing, the tracks need cleaning, the caulking on the exterior needs to be re-done. This is just few examples of what is occurring. Now if the that is not the case, there is times where especially on modular/mobile homes the water gets behind the siding and can cause damage to the framing and drywall. If that is the case, then normally there is no flashing around the windows or moisture barrier on the sheathing.

So, with heavy rain, we also get roof leaks. If the shingles are about to expire and heavy rain is occurring  this will be a sign to replace the shingles. Additionally, the vents and the flashing on the roof may need to be re-tarred or replaced. Alot of times, with heavy rains, the drip edge and soffit is not secured to the home.

Lastly, we all will experience some water entering the garage. This can be prevented with either sand bags, a drain in front of the door, or the rubber seal not being dry rotted.  Also, gutters on homes will assist with land erosion around the foundation and diverting the water away from the foundation.  Making sure the gutters are not clogged is essential for this rain season.

So, I hope this helps with any issues. Of course feel free to call my office if you notice any issues with your home. We always provide free estimates and schedule our work in a timely manner. www.pascoremodel.com or 352-437-5300 We service areas from Zephyrhills to New Port Richey. From Holiday to Dade City. We are centrally located in Land O Lakes, Florida.

Water Damage

This weeks blog is about water damage and what to do if you have a flood or moisture intrusion. Water damage can be very costly and doing some preventive maintenance around the home can save you time, money and headaches of costly repairs. So, lets begin.

When we have a flood say maybe from an appliance in the kitchen or the toilet leaks water goes everywhere. The biggest thing to do is shut off any water supply and then get all the water up that you can. Next is to dry the area with fans. Now keep in mind that you want to try keep the area dry and a fan maybe need to run for a day or so. But if you start to see buckling or stains in the floor product, then you want to call a contractor immediately.

When having to remove the product due to water damage, then this may add some cost to your budget. But noticing it immediately, the contractor may save some of the floor, if possible. But now lets talk about some preventive maintenance measures that may help you identify if there is an issue and some tips.

First, did you know that any shut off valve should be replaced after 5 years of service. Yes that is true. Another tip, once a month it is a good idea to inspect the underside of cabinets for any moisture stains. A small drip noticing know from the drain pipe or valve will save you costly repairs down range. Its also a good idea to check the piping at the shower faucet. This is an area that is always over looked. Some of this can be done when you are doing the monthly major clean of your home.

So, you may say ok, great advice. But what about water entering the home from the exterior. These few good tips may help you as well. If you experience a heavy rain then it maybe advisable to enter the attic. Take a look around where there maybe vents or nails penetrating the sheathing. Wet spots will be noticeable immediately. Another area, check the exterior walls around the windows and doors. You may notice a small water stain that could be a minor re-caulk around the window. Or the gutters are clogged and water ran into the soffit.  Moisture intrusion will start immediately if there is a gap or hole. Small notices of this may not be seen for a while. But there are always a sign that this happened.

So, if you think you see a small stain that just appeared for no reason or want us to check certain areas please give us a call or email. We perform these type of repairs all the time in Land O Lakes, Zephyrhills, Trinity, and Hudson Florida. We are always here for you. 352-437-5300 or pascoremodel@gmail.com    Thank You.

#wood damage, #wood, #rot

Wood Damage

This weeks blog will be about how people will know if they have wood damage to their homes and what to do when this occurs.

Alot of us will have some type of wood damage when they own a home. The very minor damage is when your fascia boards will be warped or sun burnt and will cause minor splitting and burn spots in the wood. Not a major thing but here in the Florida sun compared to Maryland winters the fascia will get more sun. This is an easy fix of either enclosing it with p.v.c. wrap or replacing. But now lets talk about the major framing in your home and the differences.

Your exterior of your home will get sun on most sides or is blocked by trees. The wood trim if not properly maintained and will eventually decay and deteriorate. When we look at wood rot, a lot of us think, #omg, termites. This is not true in a lot of cases. For example, wood rot will just decay and fall apart. If over years of neglect then it will be destroyed. This is also true for interior grade wood trim. The biggest part of wood rot is when the Dry rot is spread by spores which are present in most buildings. The minimum moisture content of timber for spore germination is 28–30% (lower than other rots), and the relative humidity must be in excess of 95%. Spores are resistant to desiccation and may still be viable for germination when they are several years old. Typically speaking the wood rot for relative humidity begins when lower then 35%.

So, you may now be asking, OK, my south-side of the home is shaded and the trim stays pretty much in tact, but my west side does get beat by the sun and can see fading more. What can I do? Well we can’t have our home on a rotating table. So, what I suggest is as time goes by on the sides of the sun and after the paint is not protecting the trim as much, replace it with a vinyl product or enclose the trim as time goes by. Alot of contractors will be like we can do this entire home for ????.. Not at Pasco Remodel. We want to be your contractor and keep within your budget. We will be more then glad to do the West Side of the home then come back in a year to do another side. Why, because we want to build relationships and not short big sales. Besides, another issue on your home may come up and we want to be that first call.

Now as far as wood damage with insects, these are caused by wood destroying organisms. Commonly known as termites or my favorite, #carpenter ants. Any wood eating bug will cause damage to the home. They will enter cavities in the home and get into the wood framing members. However, you will not know this until its too late. Alot of times its caused by moisture in the area of the home in one part or you may have some dead membranes and the bugs will go after them for ease to eat and tunnel. For this part, stay tuned to next weeks blog about wood destroying organizms and what to do.

Feel free to contact us anytime at Pasco Home Remodeling & Repair for us to come to your home for a free in home consultation on wood replacement and wood rot. We gladly service, Bayonet Point, Hudson, Lakeland and New Tampa within a 2 day window for free estimates.

352-437-5300 or pascoremodel@gmail.com  www.pascoremodel@gmail.com

#RoofLeak, Roof Leaks, Moisture Intrusion

Moisture Intrusion

This weeks blog is about Moisture Intrusion and inspecting.  Since we are about to enter the rain season here in Tampa Florida this I felt would be a great source of information
Moisture intrusion can be the cause of building defects, as well as health ailments for the building’s occupants. Pasco Home Remodeling & Repair, LLC have an understanding of how moisture may enter a building, and where problem areas commonly occur. This is mainly true about older homes such as the ones along the beach area of Largo Florida.
Some common moisture-related problems include:
  • structural wood decay;
  • high indoor humidity and resulting condensation;
  • expansive soil, which may crack the foundation through changes in volume, or softened soil, which may lose its ability to support an overlying structure;
  • undermined foundations;
  • metal corrosion;
  • ice dams; and
  • mold growth.  Mold can only grow in the presence of high levels of moisture. People who suffer from the following conditions can be seriously (even fatally) harmed if exposed to elevated levels of airborne mold spores:
    • asthma;
    • allergies;
    • lung disease; and/or
    • compromised immune systems.

Note:  People who do not suffer from these ailments may still be harmed by elevated levels of airborne mold spores.

How does moisture get into the house?

Moisture or water vapor moves into a house in the following ways:

  • air infiltration. Air movement accounts for more than 98% of all water vapor movement in building cavities. Air naturally moves from high-pressure areas to lower ones by the easiest path possible, such as a hole or crack in the building envelope. Moisture transfer by air currents is very fast (in the range of several hundred cubic feet of air per minute). Replacement air will infiltrate through the building envelope unless unintended air paths are carefully and permanently sealed;
  • by diffusion through building material. Most building materials slow moisture diffusion, to a large degree, although they never stop it completely;
  • leaks from roof;
  • plumbing leaks;
  • flooding, which can be caused by seepage from runoff or rising groundwater; it may be seasonal or catastrophic; and
  • human activities, including bathing, cooking, dish-washing and washing clothes. Indoor plants, too, may be a significant source of high levels of humidity.
Climate Zones
 
In the northern U.S., moisture vapor problems are driven primarily by high indoor relative humidity levels, combined with low outdoor temperatures during the winter. In the southern U.S. (especially the southeast), the problem is largely driven by high outdoor humidity and low indoor temperatures during summer months. Mixed climates are exposed to both conditions and can experience both types of problems. Humid climates, in general, will be more of a problem than dry climates. Wind-driven rain is the main cause of leaks through the building envelope.

Inspectors can check for moisture intrusion in the following areas:

Roofs

A roof leak may lead to the growth of visible mold colonies in the attic that can grow unnoticed. Roof penetrations increase the likelihood of water leaks due to failed gaskets, sealants and flashing. The number of roof penetrations may be reduced by a variety of technologies and strategies, including:

  • consolidation of vent stacks below the roof;
  • exhaust fan caps routed through walls instead of the roof;
  • high-efficiency combustion appliances, which can be sidewall-vented;
  • electrically powered H.V.A.C. equipment and hot water heaters that do not require flue; and
  • adequate flashing. Oftentimes, inspectors discover missing, incorrectly installed or corroded flashing pipes.

Plumbing

  • Distribution pipes and plumbing fixtures can be the source of large amounts of moisture intrusion. If the wall is moist and/or discolored, then moisture damage is already in progress. Most plumbing is hidden in the walls, so serious problems can begin unnoticed.
  • One of the most important means of moisture management in the bathroom is the exhaust fan. A non-functioning exhaust fan overloads the bathroom with damp air. If the exhaust fan doesn’t turn on automatically when the bathroom is in use, consider recommending switching the wiring or switch. The lack of an exhaust fan should be called out in the inspection report. The fan should vent into the exterior, not into the attic.
  • The bathroom sink, in particular, is a common source of moisture intrusion and damage. Although overflow drains can prevent the spillage of water onto the floor, they can become corroded and allow water to enter the cabinet.
  • Use a moisture meter to check for elevated moisture levels in the sub-floor around the toilet and tub.
  • Bathroom windows need to perform properly in a wide range of humidity and temperature conditions. Check to see if there are any obvious breaks in the weatherstripping and seals. Are there are stains or flaking on the painted surfaces?
  • Check showers and bathtubs. Is the caulking is cracked, stiff or loose in spots? Are there cracked tiles or missing grout that may channel water to vulnerable areas? If some water remains in the bathtub after draining, it may be a warning sign of possible structural weakening and settlement in the floor beneath the tub.

Utility Room

  • The water heater tank should be clean and rust-free.
  • The area around the water softener tank should be clean and dry.
  • Check that all through-the-wall penetrations for fuel lines, ducts, and electrical systems of heating system are well-sealed. All ducts should be clean and dust-free. Inspect the air supply registers in the house for dust accumulation.
  • Filters, supply lines, exterior wall penetrations, vents, duct work and drainage of the cooling system must all be in good working order to avoid moisture problems.

Attic

  • Look for stains or discolorations at all roof penetrations. Chimneys, plumbing vents and skylight wells are common places where moisture may pass through the roof. Any such locations must be inspected for wetness, a musty smell and/or visible signs of mold.
  • Are there areas of the insulation that appear unusually thin?
  • Rust or corrosion around recessed lights are signs of a potential electrical hazard.
Foundations

Model building codes typically require damp-proofing of foundation walls. The damp-proofing shall be applied from the top of the footing to the finished grade. Parging of foundation walls should be damp-proofed in one of the following ways:
  • bituminous coating;
  • 3 pounds per square yard of acrylic modified cement;
  • 1/8-inch coat of surface-bonding cement; or
  • any material permitted for water-proofing.
In summary, moisture can enter a building in a number of different ways. High levels of moisture can cause building defects and health ailments.
If you like to know more about this subject feel free to contact us anytime at 352-437-5300 or email; pascoremodel@gmail.com