How to repair chimney leak

damaged chimney

Should unused chimneys be capped?

Well, folks, we have survived another winter! Well, some parts of the country are still in winter mode, but for the most part, it is over, and summer is barreling down on us like a rodeo bull. So why are we talking about chimney repair?

Who uses their chimney during the spring or summer? Probably nobody, and that makes it a good time to do things like chimney repair and cleaning. Only after you have done chimney repair and inspection though should you worry about cleaning it.

There are benefits to be had by capping an unused chimney:

  • It keeps water from coming into the house every time it rains. Besides having a fireplace full of rain, the moisture that gets inside your house and attic isn’t good for the ceilings, floors, walls, and if anyone has breathing issues, that moisture makes it hard.  When the chimney gets too moist too often, the structure gets weak and then you need chimney repair service by a professional.
  • Without a cap on the chimney, you’ll experience downdrafts that will fill your house with smoke.
  • On a windy day, or in areas that are windy most of the time, a capped chimney cap helps with energy efficiency by keeping those cold blasts of air out.
  • Chimney caps with netting prevent animals and critters from getting in the chimney and into your house. Or worse, getting stuck in your chimney and dying, then you have an odor to deal with. Another time that you must call a professional chimney repair service to come to retrieve the dead animal and attempt to remove the odor.
  • The wire mesh that comes with chimney caps will keep sparks from flying out when you’re burning your fireplace.

Does a capped chimney need to be vented?

Yes, you need to vent your capped chimney so it can breathe, even if you aren’t planning to use the fireplace anymore. Moisture is a big problem with chimneys that aren’t maintained properly.  They get moisture trapped in them which causes them to deteriorate the structure of the chimney, then you need professional chimney repair service. That moisture also gets into the house, creating mildew, mold, and more problems. 

Seal your chimney either at the bottom or the top, but not both.  Air needs to pass through to keep that moisture to a minimum. Installation does well in sealing a chimney or a hydrophobic mineral wool insulation, a trading name is Roxul, used by almost all professional chimney repair contractors, which dries out should it get wet, as regular insulation will not.

How do you seal a chimney?

A chimney may be one of the most neglected parts of a home. Most homeowners won’t even think about maintenance and upkeep until they have a problem, then they are in a rush to find a chimney repair contractor. Like your roof, the chimney is exposed to the climate and elements 24/7. From rain to snow to sunshine, then back to ice. So, it is important to make sure it has a good sealant to keep it stable and strong. 

You can purchase the sealant materials and do the job yourself. Keep in mind, the chimney is higher than the roofline, so if heights are not your thing, sealing the chimney may not be.  This penetrating sealer is an excellent protector for chimneys from severe weather like rain, snow and hot sun rays. It also provides some protection from moisture. 

This siloxane-based sealer also creates a protective barrier around the chimney surface to prevent moisture without changing the chimney’s appearance. A bonus, it prevents mildew and mold from forming in the chimney too.

How do you repair a chimney mortar?

Mortar is the material that holds the bricks of your chimney together, and when it is fresh and new, it is smooth and solid. As time goes by, the mortar takes a beating and starts crumbling. A professional chimney repair contractor can fix this for you, or you can attempt to do the job yourself. Remember, the chimney is taller than the roof! 

We refer this chimney repair service as repointing and comprises scraping the crumbling mortar out then placing a new mortar in its place. These are the basic steps:

  1. With a joint raker, scrape out all the loose mortar.
  2. For difficult crumbling mortar, use a chisel and hammer and gently tap till it comes out.
  3. Using a wire brush, clear out any remaining bits and pieces of mortar.
  4. Spray the chimney with the garden hose, then wait 30 minutes.
  5. Mix a batch of mortar until you have a stiff peanut butter type of consistency.
  6. Using a pointing trowel, press the mortar you made into areas where you removed the old mortar, making effort to get to match the existing mortar.
  7. With the tuck-pointing tools, smooth the joints.
chimney in great condition

Can crumbling bricks be repaired?

To fix chimney repair for a brick chimney, you want to determine what caused it to crumble and if it was moisture, fix that before you do anything else. Using the same steps that we described above for replacing mortar, do the same around the crumbling bricks. 

After you have all the old mortar cleaned out and removed all the crumbling bricks, spread a layer of mortar where the bricks came out, then a layer on one side of a brick and put in place. Continue this process, staying in the same pattern as the existing bricks until done. 

A chimney can be a great feature for a home’s exterior, but if it is cracked and crumbling, it can be an eyesore.  Unfortunately, most chimney repair jobs are at the homeowner’s expense.  If there is damage caused by storms and winds, and there is proof the chimney was in good condition, then chimney repair home insurance will probably cover the repairs. For your chimney repair needs in McKinney, TX, call (214) 612-6696 today.

Architectural Shingles Installation

architectural shingles

Choosing architectural shingles for your home

The shingles on your home’s roof provide a waterproof barrier that protects your home’s structural integrity and your family and belongings. There are multiple types of roofing shingles available and which one your home has will depend on the style of your house, where you live, and if there are local restrictions. Architectural shingles are common in higher-end homes.

Architectural shingles are made of high-quality material and are dimensional or laminated shingles. They add beauty to your home to give it individuality while still matching the surrounding homes. Manufacturing of architectural shingles begins with a fiberglass mat base with minerals that are ceramic coated and embedded in water-resistant asphalt.

If they blend in with historic districts and used on homes of a certain age and style, then Who makes architectural shingles today? There are many manufacturers, some are well-known brands and others that are just as good quality, but not as well known.

The more popular Architectural shingles brands are: 

  • Atlas Roofing
  • Building Products of Canada
  • Certainteed
  • GAF
  • GCP Applied Technologies
  • Interlock
  • Malarkey Roofing Products
  • Owens Corning

Architectural shingles installation 

Architectural shingles, also referred to as designer shingles, have a three-dimensional design and construction. There are several thicknesses to these shingles that create a shadow line, giving the appearance of slate shingles or wood shake shingles. This three-dimensional design enhances the appearance of a roof and provides extra protection. 

 While this can be a DIY project for any homeowner that has construction, craftsman abilities, we always recommend them professionally installed. The reason being, by having a professional roofing contractor install your architectural shingles, you’ll have a guarantee and warranty on the workmanship. They have the proper equipment, supplies, and tools to do the job correctly, including the experience of working on rooftops. 

Architectural shingles colors

The roof of your home should match the style of your home, which extends your own personality. The color of the architectural shingles that you choose will be the welcoming you want to extend to visitors.

It can create a statement that is bold and dramatic. Or perhaps your home is of traditional elegance, ultra-contemporary, or urban chic. Whatever your home’s design is, the color of your architectural shingles should blend, contrast, or match accordingly.

A large part of achieving these looks is choosing the right color. A new architectural shingles roof is a large investment, which can bring a high ROI. It is also something that you’ll see every day for the 20 to 30 years, and so will your neighbors. It is important to choose a color that is you and yet matches the surrounding houses.

Color recommendations for a red house would be black, dark brown, green, or grey architectural shingles. A light grey house would be accented nicely with black, blue, green, grey, or white shingles and a house with white as the primary color would be set perfect with any color of architectural shingles.

Architectural shingles cost

When you have electrical work done, like extending wiring to a garage, or plumbing work is done, like sewer line repairs, you get several estimates.  You should do the same when shopping for a roofing contractor to install your architectural shingles.

The cost for purchasing and having architectural shingles installed on your home will have several factors including:

  • Size of your house
  • The height, slope, and pitch of the roof
  • The brand of shingles 

On average, for a single-story home, architectural shingles on a roof can range from $14,000 to $22,000 depending on the slope, pitch, and size of your roof. For a multi-story home or a home with various rooflines, the cost to base your budget starts around $2.00 per square foot and goes up to $200 per square foot. These prices are based on basic asphalt shingles.

For 50-year architectural shingles, the cost is significantly more, ranging from $500 per square foot to $785 per square foot. However, real estate experts confirm that architectural shingles will give the homeowner a 6% ROI and will have a longer lifespan than the traditional shingles.

Architectural shingles warranty

Architectural shingles come with a warranty of 30-year, a 40-year, 50 years or lifetime. Some manufacturers of architectural shingles have changed their warranties. Among them are Atlas, CertainTeed, GAF, Owens Corning, and Tamko. Check each of their websites for more details or ask the roofing contractor that you choose to go with.

Can you use architectural shingles for the ridge?

Quality architectural shingles and quality installation are the only way to get a high-quality roof. With this style of roofing shingles growing in popularity, more roofers are accepting jobs to install them, but they aren’t all experienced and trained with architectural shingles, thus, they install them as they do asphalt shingles.

Thicker shingles are not meant to be used for ridge caps because they don’t lay flat, and when forced to fit ridge caps, they break or crack. For a roof with architectural shingles, using 3-tab shingles for the ridge that matches the architectural shingles.

Architectural shingles on mobile home

Roofing for a mobile home differs from for a site-built home, primarily because of the weight.  A mobile home is designed to be moved, thus the roofing, siding, and other components of the home need to be lightweight. With that in mind, we do not recommend architectural shingles for a mobile home because they do weigh more than traditional shingles. The other options besides traditional asphalt shingles are aluminum or TPO.

You can find architectural shingles for sale at any big box home improvement store or from roofing contractors that sell to the public.  When you choose a roofing contractor to install your architectural shingles, you can request a quote with and without the contractor furnishing the shingles for the job.  Keep in mind that the contractor’s guarantee and warranty may vary if you supply your own shingles. Dial (214) 612-6696 today for your architectural shingle installation in McKinney, TX.

What Type of House Siding is the Best?


What Type of House Siding is the Best?

The exterior siding of your house plays a dual role. Firstly, it protects your home from debris and the elements. Secondly, it adds an aesthetic flair to your home. The siding of your house can say a lot about you as the owner. It can make or break your property’s curb appeal. It even has an impact on the home’s value. Whether you are buying a new home, preparing to sell your home or need to make some improvements, you may be wondering what kind of exterior siding is the best.

To help you answer this question, we have composed this post that will answer some of the most common questions when it comes to exterior siding. Luckily we have a lot of experience in this department here at Nimbus Roofing, LLC because we install exterior siding in McKinney, TX almost every day. In fact, you can call us at any time for exterior siding services. Our number is (214) 612-6696 so call us if you have any questions!

There Are Many Factors When Deciding On Siding

Before we get into the details of exterior siding, the answer to the question “what type of siding is the best” will be a subjective one. It will depend on the style of property and your personal preferences. With that caveat out of the way, let’s begin with the most basic question.

What is Exterior Siding

As stated earlier, siding has two important functions: to protect the structure and evoke a certain style. Siding is installed on the exterior of a structure in a variety of ways depending on the materials used. You can also install exterior siding with insulation to help prevent heat from escaping your home so it stays warm in the winter. Now let’s get into some specifics.

What Materials are Best Used for Exterior Siding?

The answer to this question will depend on what you value most. For instance, if you want a siding that will last a really long time, brick siding would be a good option. If termites are a concern for you, fiber cement siding may be the best choice. However, the most popular types of siding these days are stucco, vinyl, and metal. Stucco is affordable and allows for the absorption and transfer of heat. Vinyl is easy to install and is easy to clean. Metal offers great protection and is fireproof.

Still, there are many more options when it comes to exterior siding materials such as:

  • Stone Veneer
  • Aluminum
  • Stone
  • Engineered Wood
  • Wood
  • Glass

What is the Cheapest Siding for a House?

You have to consider both materials and installation costs. While vinyl is typically the cheapest material you can find, metal roofing is often the cheapest to install. Overall, metal siding may be the cheapest since the materials themselves tend to be very affordable as well. Just not quite as affordable as vinyl.

What is the Best Low Maintenance Siding?

In our experience, steel siding requires the least amount of maintenance. Other types of siding like wood and vinyl are prone to chipping and warping. Steel is not. In fact, many people install steel siding specifically because they don’t want to have to deal with siding maintenance and repairs.

What is the Most Durable Siding?

Fiber cement, brick, and steel siding tend to be the most durable. Brick can last for centuries if it is undisturbed. But masonry can crack in an earthquake or under other extreme circumstances. Fiber cement can also last for a very long time but it is very heavy and expensive to install. Steel is also very durable and doesn’t crack. It is also light enough so that installation prices don’t skyrocket. We would have to give steel the upper hand in this department.

Steel siding and gutter.

Other Considerations

There are other important things to think about when weighing your exterior house siding options. For instance, exterior siding and trim should be considered at the same time. For aesthetic sake, you should choose a siding that will complement our exterior trim. You should also consider your gutters. Gutters and drainage can interfere with siding installation and they may also clash with the style of the material you choose. Then, of course, there is the little matter of your budget Siding installation projects can blow up very quickly if you choose the wrong material. Durable and long-lasting materials like brick and fiber cement are very expensive to install upfront but they are a sound investment in the long-run. Vinyl is cheap to buy and install but it can chip, it shows seams and is prone to warping. in our opinion, steel is a happy medium when comparing price and longevity.

Again, if you have any questions about siding or want to talk to someone about your project, we would be more than happy to help. We know a lot about exterior siding in McKinney, TX so call us at (214) 612-6696 today!