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You Don’t Live in the House of Falling Water: Water, Basements, and Winter Repairs

This year, winter weather has driven even the hardiest Utahan to seek shelter at times. While being snug in your home is one of the perks of this time of year, it can also call to light some interesting issues. We at First Call Construction have worked hard to make our mark as trusted Salt Lake and Utah county roofing contractors. But did you know we also have experience working on basements and tackling all sorts of general redesign and construction projects in and around the home? In today's entry, we'll talk about the problems you might notice in your basement during the cold season and how we can help remedy them.

The Persistent Presence

In any home with a basement level, moisture will be a continuing concern. Even if standing water or persistent leaks are not a common problem in the particular basement, the fact that its partially or fully subterranean means moisture. This is because, as an underground story, your basement is at least in the path of surface water seeking the water table, responding to gravity and percolating downward through the soil strata. In houses with persistent leaks or issues with water accumulation, a sump pump is usually installed. Maintaining this will keep your basement dry, except in the most extreme cases of precipitation or flooding. However, what about the occasional or long-term slow leaks? These are often innocuous in and of themselves. Yet, they do have some unpleasant problems associated with them.

Water is Life

Refinished BasementEven organisms that live in extreme environments, in which water is almost entirely absent, need it to survive. That goes for the flora and fauna that make your basement smell musty, too. Whether you've designed a comfortable retreat or are content to leave the basement level unfinished, any incursion of water invites mold, mildew, and dust mites into your home. Incidental leaks or slowly developing flows also damage the fabric of your foundation and your home. Because it's the universal solvent, water can break down drywall and widen cracks almost as effortlessly as it can carry salts and other minerals into the walls of your basement. This leads to ugly, stained drywall or salt efflorescence on your concrete. Just as paint will chip if wetted repeatedly, concrete erodes under the influence of salts, powdering and fragmenting. Small cracks in any surface will widen over time unless they are adequately sealed. Whether you have a finished or unfinished basement level, First Call Construction wants it to be safe, dry, and stable. If you think you may have a leak or have located the source of the problem and require expert repairs, we are pleased to be of service. Just contact us at 801-830-4642 and we will provide a quote free of charge.

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The Life of Water: Roof Ventillation and Damage Prevention

Repairing Roof | Roofing in Lehi UtahUtah roofers know that, as a part of your home’s insulation, the roofing structure is critical. It must play to the delicate balance of heat retention and moisture dispersal. Especially in the winter months, ensuring that your roof has adequate ventilation while also helping to keep you and your family snug and dry is an important consideration. In today’s article, we’d like to address some of the potential issues that result from inadequate ventilation and how we at First Call Construction can help mitigate them.

That May Not Be a Leak

While minor roof damage can lead to slow leaks that permit water to infiltrate the structure of the roof, appearances can be deceiving. If you’ve noticed evidence of what seems to be a leak, roofing repair may be in your near future. However, our experts will thoroughly evaluate the situation to be confident it isn’t merely an issue of moisture build up in the attic space. Slow leaks are sneaky. Water can infiltrate the insulation, which will conceal it until it becomes saturated. This development provides time for moisture to inflict damage on the structural elements, such as beams and supports, and often necessitates some intense roofing repair by the time you notice it. But if it isn’t a leak, what can you do?

Living the Humid Life

Roof Replacement | Roofing in Lehi UtahWhile water trapped in insulation also becomes water vapor when exposed to heat in your attic space, there are other sources of humidity. Merely occupying a home can create an issue if the problem is with ventilation. Hot showers, running the dishwasher and breathing or sweating release moisture into your home atmosphere, which rises with heat. It then becomes trapped in your inadequately ventilated attic, surrounded by insulation, which partially absorbs it. But water expands in two ways. With the introduction of heat, either in the summer or during winter when central heating is employed, it expands and places pressure on your roofing structure. If there is no escape provided for this vapor, it can create breeches, which will allow water into your home at a later point. It can also condense again as the air around it cools. This brings us to another means of expansion. As the water cools and freezes, it also expands. When you have excess, trapped moisture in your attic, it responds to the cooling temperatures of winter nights, by freezing. Ice is accretive, which means it builds upon itself, becoming more difficult to melt as it grows. Ice dams develop over time and can create disastrous pressures on roof structures. When things warm up again, they also create internal leaks that can damage your home. If you are in need of roofing repairs, or just want to ensure the integrity of your roof this winter, First Call Construction is at your service. Contact us at 801-830-4642 for a free quote.  We are here to help.

Don’t Let Minor Problems Snowball: The Importance of Roof Integrity in Winter

The year is nearly at an end. Darkness falls early and is slow to give way to dawn. Perhaps most significant, the weather forecast calls for increasing cold with winter precipitation, which can make travel hazardous. Most of us just want to curl up in our homes with a warm, comforting drink and read a book or watch a movie. But did you know that a damaged or aging roof impacts your home’s energy efficiency? In today’s article, we’ll discuss why the roof of your domicile is so vital to maintaining a cozy and safe winter dwelling.

Not Just for Summer

Checking RoofMuch of the literature that addresses energy efficiency and roofing systems pertains to heat absorption during the summer months. Summer is a time when dark roofing materials soak up a great deal of sunlight and can take a toll on cooling costs. While that is important to keep in mind, as the northern hemisphere tilts away from the sun, there are other considerations. As one of the best Salt Lake City roofing contractors, we at First Call Construction know that a sound and well-insulated roof will keep your energy bills low during the winter, too. As the structure of a house settles over time, roofing materials are often subject to unusual strain. Therefore, it’s crucial for homeowners to keep an eye on this vital part of their dwelling. Many roofs are intended to last between 10 and 20 years, and maintaining the integrity of the structure ensures that lifespan.

Common Issues

Roof DamageSome of the most common problems that require immediate attention before winter reaches its height can seem minor. Gaps or upraised portions of shingling material can allow moisture into the interior, which can cause severe problems if not remedied. This and breaches of the fabric of the roof are two of the most common minor issues we see that are easily fixed. However, especially in regions that experience heavy snow, proper ventilation of moisture and excess heat from your home will save time, resources, and a significant headache. Have you ever noticed that some roofs don’t accumulate snow? This isn’t just a matter of roof pitch, which can help shed the excess weight of heavy winter precipitation. It can often indicate a poorly insulated roof. Heat and moisture from the home build up in the space beneath the beams and escapes through the fabric of the roof. Why is this potentially a problem? Beyond higher heating costs, this can presage ice dams, which can be disastrous. Proper ventilation paired with a sound and well-insulated roof prevents this. The expert team at First Call Construction has seen many small problems snowball into more substantial issues. Minor roof repairs can help avoid these and ensure a warm, worry-free winter. Whether you’re in need of small or large repairs or want to be confident of your roof’s winter readiness, contact us at 801-830-4642 for a free quote.

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Making Your Basement into a Cozy Winter Retreat? First Call Construction Can Help

Post-ReplaceIt’s no secret that we at First Call Construction pride ourselves on being premier roofing contractors in the Salt Lake and Utah counties. But did you know that our skills extend to other areas of your home? With autumn in full swing and a cold winter predicted this year, staying snug and dry is more important than ever. A sound roofing structure is, of course, vital. However, in the article below, we’ll discuss the crucial role your basement space plays in the energy efficiency and comfort of your home.

From Shingles to Sub-Levels

It’s true that now is the time to tend to necessary roofing repairs before we feel the chill of winter and the precipitation that accompanies the season. We at First Call Construction are happy to help by providing assessments and recommendations for priority projects. Whether you just need a roof patch or are in the market for a new roofing structure, our skilled team will ensure that your roof is weatherproof. What about your basement? Is it an unfinished space you utilize for storage of family heirlooms and hand-me-downs or lawn equipment dreaming of the spring? Have you turned it into functional living space as an entertainment room or living suite? Are you somewhere between these two poles, with an underutilized area that you want to remodel? First, no matter what your needs, our team is qualified to efficiently transform your space. Whether you’re in the market for functional maintenance, a total remodel or bringing to life your basement living space dreams; we will consult with you and provide ample information to help you finalize your needs. Second, any basement space should be a sealed space. Many lower levels are partially or fully subterranean. This means that it is the chilliest space in your home all year round. While that may seem fantastic in July, come December, the cold will creep into your home through poorly insulated walls and floors. Roof RepairPutting in highly rated, efficient insulation and drywall is a simple task. However, we also advise sealing any cracks and replacing faulty wiring or unstable support beams before you take this step. Not only will it ensure a safe, dry, and warm home this winter, but it will prevent pests seeking shelter from the weather from finding it in your house. Whether you’re seeking a reliable and highly qualified roofing contractor in the Salt Lake City area or you’re ready to work on your basement, contact us at 801-830-4642 for a free quote. First Call Construction is proud to be Salt Lake and Utah counties first call for home renovations and roofing repairs.

All Under One Roof: Understanding the Layers of Your Roof

When it comes to maintaining your home’s integrity and beauty, there are two areas no homeowner can afford to ignore. Both the roofing structure and the basement are integral to a sound structure that protects you from the elements and stands firm against the march of time. That’s why we at First Call Construction pride ourselves on being the ultimate Salt Lake City roofing contractors. Below, we’ll explore why roof repairs can be intricate considerations and explain the elements that constitute this important aspect of your home.

More Than Mere Shingles

The roof of your home is more than a single layer of shingles or tiles. To protect your loved ones and personal possessions from the elements, retain heat or deflect it as the seasons turn, and offer structural protection for the rest of your home, an elaborate structure is essential. This structure includes rafters and other construction elements, with several additional layers of protection. If you’ve ever seen a home being built, you know how rafters and beams fit into the rest of the house. This skeletal framework is made up of beams, hip joints for peaks and corners in the roof, load dispersing rafters, and soffits. The fascia and sub-fascia layers act as a sort of outer cap for eaves, where the roof extends beyond the walls of the home to channel precipitation away from the structure. Soffits enclose the underside of this additional overhang and are equipped with vents to mitigate moisture and heat buildup. Shingled roofs are made up of three primary layers. Each is carefully installed and overlapped to ensure a watertight roof. First, you have roof sheathing. This layer is installed over the foundational roofing structure, and insulation is applied or installed from the inside. It is either made of plywood or oriented strand board (OSB), depending upon your home's construction date. Atop the sheathing, we apply an underlayment layer made of felt or another material. This acts in a similar capacity to a ground cloth in a camping tent—keeping moisture and other undesirable elements from infiltrating the structure—and is secured in an overlapping pattern. Finally, shingles or tiles we apply shingles or tiles, which are then fastened atop the other layers. Roofing repair in Utah doesn’t always necessitate complete roof replacement. In many cases, it’s a simple matter of repairing or replacing one of these elements. We are proud to bring more than 20 years of roofing repair experience to Salt Lake and Utah counties because it makes us a part of those communities. If you’re in need of roof repair or replacement, contact us at 801-830-4642 for a free quote. We are here to help.

Winter Weather and Roofing Materials: Forewarned Is Forearmed

Roof of a House | Roofing Lehi | First Call Construction Most homeowners are taken by surprise when roof damage makes its presence known. Of course, in many cases, the dramatic event is not their only worry. There are a few common problems for which roofers in Utah are constantly vigilant. However, they may not be common knowledge. We at First Call Construction believe that forewarned is forearmed, especially since many of these issues can grow worse over time. In the article below, we’ll discuss a few of the largest problems and how we can help.

The Toll of the Seasons

As a company that specializes in home renovation and roofing replacement or repair in Salt Lake and Utah counties, we’ve seen a number of these issues develop. Utah, especially in the Salt Lake area, is graced with clearly defined seasons. Late autumn and winter can place quite a strain on even a well-maintained roofing structure. However, it’s often the case that these issues hide until a later season. Roof repair in the Salt Lake City area is often necessary to fix problems that have a few major roots. We receive a bounty of snow in the winter, and while our roofs may keep us snug and comfortable, something may be happening in the attic space of which we are blissfully unaware. The most obvious issue is that all that snow is heavy. The persistent weight of winter precipitation can damage even newer roofs.

How We Can Help

A less well-known problem is moisture buildup. During the day, even a snowy roof will absorb UV radiation from sunlight. Insulation or heat shields designed to maintain the interior temperature of the home year round is typically installed just beneath the structure. This can cause moisture build up as insulation, roofing materials and structural elements warm. If there’s no natural outlet for this humidity, it can result in condensation or ice dams. Ultimately, this can worsen existing breaches or open new ones in your roofing structure that will allow snow, rain, and pests to infiltrate your home. Our expert teams of roofing specialists are well-versed in dealing with the woes of roofing damage. We will assess the situation, confer with the homeowner, and offer detailed explanations of both the problem and the potential solutions. As with any structural consideration, catching the problem in the early stages of development makes the task less onerous. If you’re seeking a roofing contractor in Salt Lake or Utah counties to inspect your roof before winter, contact us at 801-830-4642. We offer free quotes and assessments, so you’ll be ready for whatever the season holds in store.

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