Tuesday, 15 November 2011

# 9 of 101 tips on house painting and building maintenance - temporary leak repairs

Sometimes you are just too busy to get that leak fixed
so in this case I will recommend a quick temporary repair.(just this once)
Here are a few quick building maintenance tips that will get the leak repaired until a professional building maintenance contractor or house painter can sort out the problem.

Uses- any dry solid surface, gaps and cracks up to 15mm
Choose a paintable product such as MS(modified sealant) Fix All or Blockade,
There is nothing worse than having to remove silicone residue for your house painting to be effective.
Mask the area first so you don't make a mess and have some turps and a rag handy.

Builders Foam
Uses - pipe penetrations and any gap over 10mm wide
Any brand will do, just get a small can as it does not keep well.
Once you have used the product don't touch it again untill it is hard ( 2 hours ) Then trim with a box cutter knife.
You can apply a layer of paintable silicone if you like or just paint over directly during your next house painting schedule, as it is waterproof and stable.

Plumbers Tape
Uses - roofs and gutters, clean and dry surfaces
If you get through this list and haven't solved your problem then call your house painting or building maintenance professional.
Happy home maintenance

Monday, 14 November 2011

# 8 of 101 tips on house painting and building maintenance - corrugated iron Roof repairs

The trusty old corrugated iron roof is synonymous with New Zealand architecture and of course they aren't all made equal. Along with the various gauges (or thicknesses) there are quite a few options in materials, coatings and colours. Like house painting do your research
Now by now you know I'm going to say -  buy quality.
In my experience its not worth going a mid priced job, you either do the whole job properly using quality long lasting products or you get your building maintenance company to perform roof repairs or house painters to sort out your roof.
A good  roof painting job will give you 10-20 years extra life where a re roof using at thick gauge galvanised steel, will give you at least 50 years if not more depending on the material used and how well the building maintenance is carried out.

The below list covers some of the corrugated roof range in New Zealand

Corrugated galvanized steel.
The original product  was wrought iron– sheet steel  zinc coated, then roll formed into corrugated sheets. This product is still commonly used today in New Zealand. Modern architecture and "green" thinking has made these products popular again.

Zincalume and Galvalume
A blend of zinc, aluminium and silicon-coated steel,  Sometimes left in the raw zinc finish, but more widely used as a base metal under factory coated colors and sold as Colour steel. No house painting required

Metal tile sheets.
These are usually painted or stone-coated steel. Previously sold under the name Decromastic

Stainless steel.
Available for harsh conditions and/or as a distinctive design element. Usually roll-formed into standing seam profiles; however, shingles are available.

One of the longest-lasting metals, but somewhat expensive compared to steel products. Aluminum roofs are very lightweight, corrosion-resistant, have high natural reflectivity and even higher natural emissivity, increasing a building's energy efficiency. Aluminum products with Kynar paints easily last over 50 years. The newest innovation is anodizing of the aluminium coil stock for use in architectural details and standing seam panels. The anodized layer is intimately bonded the metal and is not normally subject to weathering and wear.

Expensive for a roofing material. Usually used for flashing or smaller, highly detailed areas such as entrances of historical buildings and churches.

Stone coated steel.
Panels made from zinc/aluminium-coated steel with acrylic gel coating. The stones are a natural product with a colored ceramic coating.

Inverted Box Rib, Trapezoidal or IRB.
A low-cost corrugated square-fluted iron roofing material used mainly in the commercial market. It can be commonly found on anything from industrial sites to low pitched roofs.

In Short

A metal roof graded "AG" or "Utility" will need re coating (roof painting)once the factory finish wears off, or corrosion will occur. These paints are commonly acrylic or polyester based. Roof coatings are the preferred material since they are able to stay elastic and withstand the thermal cycling that occurs in metal roofs.

Roofing materials made from stainless steel, zinc or copper will rarely require maintenance over their lifetime. Any required maintenance is usually due to design or installation mistakes. Otherwise, these materials commonly last over a century.

Metal roofing with long life polymer coatings like Kynar should not normally require maintenance until the coating fails. These products have been used for over half a century now in the U.S. and few installations have failed. They should be considered lifetime products.

( Note some excerpts from Wikipedia)


Sunday, 13 November 2011

#7 of the 101 best House Painting and Building Maintenance tips - Steel Fastners

The lesson to be learned today is that quality is not too expensive, especially in my game of Building Maintenance, House painting and roof repairs.
All too often we see cheap and inferior building practices and materials with a planned obsolescence designed into them.
This is, of course, so more products and services can be sold to you when replacement time comes up.
Often we find good quality products will only cost 30 % more but last 200-300% longer.

Using Quality Steel materials such as nails, screws, hinges, flashings etc is as important as the quality of the house painting and roof repairs

However  deciding on "the correct materials" is not so easy, for instance stainless steel is not necessarily stain-less and comes in various grades depending on the recipe of the product.

In many instances hot dipped galvanised bolts, nuts and screws will last just as long as lower grade stainless steel when kept dry and painted, also the galvanised steel is 'softer', more flexible so performs better in areas of large temperature differences.
I have made a list below of a few facts to help you with your decision making when tackling building maintenance and roof repairs.

Make sure you use the same type of metal fasteners as the metal in the product you are using, otherwise the different metals create a very weak electric charge which will corrode the less noble metal

Zinc-chromate (This is a yellow/gold plating often seen with a pink and green rainbow effect visible on the plating surface. Items with this coating are first plated with zinc, then treated with a dichromate coating which gives it the yellow/gold appearance. )
Low cost fastenings, good for mainly dry areas where it may get wet or damp only occasionally, ie windows,framing, skirting, architraves where filling and painting.
Best suited for interior/sheltered exterior, screws, nuts, bolts, hinges

Zinc (electroplated) shiny silver in colour
Low cost fastenings, good for mainly dry areas where it may get wet or damp only occasionally, ie windows,framing, skirting, architraves where filled and painted
Best suited for interior/sheltered exterior, screws, nuts, bolts, hinges

Zinc (Galvanised Hot Dipped) dull silver colour with a crystal pattern on larger sheets
Medium cost fastenings and should be a minimun standard of rust protection for all exterior fittings and fastenings.
Best suited for exterior fences, roofs, structural beams and gate hardware
Note- when you are painting make sure you use a special primer if the product is new. Some corrosion takes place naturally and the product needs weathering or priming before house painting.

Stainless Steel(316 and 304 grade)
It is also called corrosion-resistant steel or CRES
For building and maintenance if you are going to use this product you may as well pay for the marine grade 316 steel,
Best suited for window hinges, exterior fastenings and hardware.
Stainless steel fixings are required by your local council if you live within the sea spray zone as laid out in the building code of New Zealand.

Monday, 31 October 2011

House Painting

Yes folks its a rainy day today so I'll take this as a sign to get in front of the computer as make some comments on painting your house.
If the only maintenance you do this summer is house painting then you are heading in the right direction. As with most things the longer you leave it to worse it gets.
Of course the most work is in the preparation and that just happens to be the most tedious boring part of the job. But the most important if you want all the effort you put into your house painting to last.
For this post I'll concentrate on the weatherboards.
Removing the old paint completely back to timber is the best way to go but unless your paint is blistering and flaking all over this is not really worth the effort. Its messy if you use a chemical stripper and a fire hazard if you try and burn it off.
For most house painting jobs its best is to use a tungsten scraper to get rid of the flaky stuff first.
Then hire or buy a belt sander and a box of sanding belts 80 or 100 grit and get in there with some manual labour to rough the surface up so the next coats have something to get a good grip on.
Fill any big holes and dents with Selleys Permafill or similar. On the parts where the bare timber is showing just spot prime with an oil based primer.
An orbital sander with some 180 to 240 grit pads is the best to finish the job so any large scouring from the bigger grit paper does not show through the top coats.
With all modern acrylic paints undercoating is not needed unless you can see bare timber, nails or filler.
You will need at and at least two top coats to finish but certain colours will need an extra coat to cover properly.
Sun has just come out so I'm off to check out some more jobs
Cheers Andre

Monday, 26 September 2011

Whats the difference between a Heat Pump and Positive Pressure Ventilation system?

Well the simple answer is ;

A heat pump is basically a air-con unit that can heat your home efficiently (up to 3-4 times more efficient than conventional heaters).

A Positive Pressure system draws fresh, drier air from the roof space or from outside and passes it through a filter before gently distributing it around the home via diffusers set in the ceiling.

Heat Pumps;
How it works.
In NZ, ductless heat pumps (also known as “mini split” heat pumps) are the most common types of heat pump units.
They offer better quality air conditioning than ordinary air conditioners.
Ductless heat pump uses technology similar to that of a refrigerator.
This type of heat pumps is chiefly used for heating however this can also serve as a cooling unit for your home.
The best benefit of having ductless heat pumps is its energy efficiency compared with normal electric heaters.
An extra benefit of ductless heat pumps is its versatility and flexibility in interior designing. A lot of variations and designs are available such as floor stand types, those that can be suspended over ceilings or walls,
Ductless heat pumps are equipped with options for indoor handling of air which allows you to adjust the heating and cooling thermostats for your own needs.  Installation of these units takes a little amount of time with less damage to your interior designs.
Installation of ductless heat pumps should be properly done by an appropriate person. .
The price range for these units starts from $2800, prices also vary depending on configuration and zones found in each unit. When purchasing ductless heat pumps you should opt for units with warranty; warranty varies with each manufacturer so be sure to check and ask for it.
There are also DIY systems available from Bunnings of you want to tackle the job yourself.

Positive Pressure Airflow systems;
How it works
In with the good, out with the bad.
This process positively pressurises your home, forcing out moist stale air through gaps in windows and doors or through special exhaust vents.
Continually cycling your home with fresh, dry air removes air borne toxins, harmful pollutants, dust and dust mites.
A filtration unit traps pollens, dust and allergens.
This filtered air is distributed into each room ducting.
Moist air is forced out around windows and doors, making your home drier, which makes it is easier to heat.
A professionally installed unit starts at around $2000 or you can check out the DIY Smart Vent units at Bunnings if you are game.

In my opinion you need both units to have a healthy efficient home.
However I started with a cost effective Smart Ventilation system as it costs only 20 cents a day  to run the fan and can be totally automated or have a control unit if you like.
The Heat pump is probably the best heating option available to New Zealanders at the moment.

Sunday, 25 September 2011

Why does the change in the weather cause my windows to stick?

When windows won't open, and the salt clogs the shaker,
The weather will favour the umbrella maker!
Lets face it Auckland and New Zealand is a pretty damp place.
The changing of the seasons for me is always highlighted by the way my home moves and that crack in the plasterwork above my lounge window disappears for the summer.
Moisture in the air causes wood to swell, making doors and windows sticky,
Most of us Kiwi's still have timber joinery so you will know what I'm talking about.
For instance my back door that has been jamming all winter long, now has plenty of room to close and even has a slight draft blowing through the gaps!
I have discovered some awesome products from Raven lately that can be installed onto timber joinery.
The most useful product in their range is called an RP7 draft strip.
Now I'm not talking about a piece of foam tape here, all that does is add to the sticky window problem.
The RP7 is a strip of aluminium with a small rubber stopper that can be fastened around the window or door jamb. If  installed with care it will sit snugly against the door and window frame when closed giving an airtight seal. The added advantage is that if you stop the wind blowing in the water wont follow saving you from any leak repairs in the future.
It is said that if you add up all the small gaps in the average kiwi house you end up with a whole square metre in total!
No wonder my power bill is so high.
If you are considering sorting this out yourself Bunnings stock a front door kit that can be easily installed.
Now that I have my windows and doors sorted my next post will be on cost effective ways to keeping your home warm and dry.

Monday, 19 September 2011

3 top maintenance tips for your home

Spring is here!
After a long wet winter, spring's bright sun and warm winds are.......... on the way I hope:)
well, we deserve a breath of fresh air in any case.
The only downside?
All that sunshine highlights my peeling paintwork, leaf-filled gutters, green moss covered decks, cracked sidewalks and the dead plants in last year's flower beds.
Yes I'm afraid its time for me to start organizing the big cleanup ready for those summer barbies and Sunday parties.
My list is starting to look like an inventory for some serious labour and effort, but I find the best way is to just start at the top and work my way down.

With anything to do with home maintenance, the best added value I will get other than mowing the lawns and putting out the rubbish is from the exterior painting, roof repairs and cleaning in-general.
These are the cheapest and easiest  to sort out and the finished result will add the biggest difference to the look and feel of my home.
My top 3 to-do building maintenance things on my list...
  1. Full house wash including roof, walls, windows, decks, driveways and fences. For me this is the best place to start. I'm just going to get my house wash guys on the job. Its relatively cheap and they will add a treatment to keep the moss and mold at bay for a few years. For good quality paint work, fencing timber and driveways a soft wash is best as it wont scour the top layer off, however it sometimes takes a while to work. A high pressure wash will highlight the areas in need of repair as it will flick the loose paint off.
  2. Painting and repairs  Use a screwdriver to probe the wood trim around windows, doors, railings and decks. Make repairs now before the spring rains do more damage to the exposed wood. Don't use builders bog! it doesn't like the wet, it will swell and fall out in no time flat. The best products are Selleys Permafill and Red Devil exterior fillers. Sand the patch and use an oil based primer (It is still the best) tinted to your house colour. Next I will apply two water based exterior top coats to seal the area.  I'll also seal up any cracks and gaps with a paintable sealant such as 'No more gaps' or a paintable MS modified silicone such as Sikaflex. Don't use standard silicone if you are going to paint the area, paint wont stick to it. I have lots more tips and tricks that I can include in later posts for this sort of work. 
  3. Roof repairs are best left up to the maintenance professionals as it is dangerous and requires some experience in finding leaks and knowledge in the correct materials to use for repairs. However I can do the basic things such as gutter cleaning as it can be done safely from a ladder or using an attachment for the hose. For the rest I get the pro's with Height and Safety training and equipment to sort the roof out. In my case I have an old state house with cast concrete roofing tiles, all I did to avoid a re roof two years ago was have my team re-mortar the capping, replace 20 or so damaged tiles which I found at the demolition yard and spray 4 coats of Paint/sealer on top, I saved about $6000 and gave the roof another 10 yrs life!