Have Raccoons Moved into Your Roof?

Sure, he may look cute, but he'll also cause damage and spread diseases.

On occasion, we have had customers that were concerned our painters’ ladders had damaged their roof.  Upon close inspection, however, it was evident that Raccoons were the culprit.  Raccoons, sometimes called “the masked bandits,” are clever creatures, but a nuisance to homeowners. Their manipulative claws can open garbage cans, jars and door latches and tear off roof coverings. Roof damage is a common occurrence with raccoons because of the attractions a home and attic present.

Damage

  • Female raccoons tear the shingles off roofs in an effort to get into the attic or wall space, places where they love to make their dens. They will also tear off fascia boards, rooftop ventilators, aluminum and other roof coverings, creating frustrating and expensive damage in addition to the destruction and noise they make inside the attic. As nocturnal creatures, raccoons run around at night in the attic while you are trying to sleep.

Purpose

  • Raccoons see homes and gardens as a source of food and a place to establish a den. Attics offer all the requirements a raccoon needs: safety from predators, shelter from the elements and nearby food (your garbage can or pet food left outdoors). A raccoon that arrives in the attic in the springtime, between February and June, is most likely a mother with a litter of pups that wants to make a nest in an attic. Raccoons also create dens and nests in wall space, roofs and chimneys.

Prevention

To prevent damage to the roof and the rest of a home, reduce the attractiveness of a home as a raccoon habitat. Use metal garbage cans with secure lids and place them in a rack or tie them to a post to prevent tipping. Remove pet food from outdoors before nightfall and whatever you do, avoid intentionally feeding raccoons. Control access to the roof by cutting back tree branches that raccoons can use to climb onto the roof. Leave a gap of at least 5 feet between roof and tree, says the University of California Statewide Integrated Pest Management Program (IPM) website.

Management

It’s difficult to get rid of raccoons, particularly a female raccoon that has made a nest in a home. Mother raccoons become very attached to the den site. Raccoons separated from their young will do anything to get back to them. According to the University of California IPM website, gadgets designed to frighten raccoons and wildlife repellents are ineffective. Ordinary fences won’t keep the raccoons out and adding electric wire requires some consideration and isn’t always appropriate. A professional wildlife control service, however, can remove raccoons from a house and seal it up against re-entry. Professional services also find and remove any babies, which can otherwise be left to starve. Consulting a professional service may be the best solution to raccoon infestation.

Before repairing the damaged part of your home, be sure the raccoons are gone.

Raccoon damage may never be found until it rains or you have a contractor working on your home.

Read more: Roof Damage From Raccoons | eHow.com http://www.ehow.com/about_6544244_roof-damage-raccoons.html#ixzz1ZH3eCbbP

Creativity Bound in Iron

Creativity is part of a great painter’s core – one has to love taking something damaged or “missing” and enjoy redefining it to either its former glory or new design.  We appreciate taking something mundane and making it into something of wonder.  With this in mind, we have enjoyed the art of Tom Hill, from the U.K.  For only three years he has been taking ordinary horseshoes and makes them into animal sculptures.  Check out his website:  http://www.tomhillsculpture.co.uk/horses.php to view his creations.

Tom Hill's Pegasus

Saving Your Siding

Siding covers a large percentage of our exterior homes’ surfaces.  When you begin to notice damage or discoloration, understanding the type of siding you have can help you determine what to do.  Here are some suggestions.

 

Press Board/Composite Siding– This is like compact cardboard.  When it becomes wet it will expand and eventually rot.  This is especially noticeable at the vertical joints once the caulk lines fail.  Also, along the horizontal edges you may find these expanding and cracking open which indicates that moister is entering the siding.

Solution: If moister damage is noticed, replace these areas as necessary and then apply a coat of primer and then a top coat of high quality latex paint.  * Point sprinkler heads away from siding.

 

Hardy Siding is actually a masonry composite product.  Hardy-type siding needs to be painted just like any other painted surface.  Hardy siding will fade, become stained, and possibly “chalk” (painted surfaces fail and develop a chalky substance that will literally rub off on your hands.). 

Solution: If siding is chalky or faded, then I would suggest cleaning it first with Tri-Sodium Phosphate Substitute.  Following this; apply a full coat of primer, and then top-coat with a high quality latex paint.

 

Stucco is a masonry surface that is either applied by a machine or hand floated on the exterior surfaces at the end of the home’s construction.  Stucco surfaces, in many instances, may not be sealed properly.  You will begin to notice hair-line or larger cracks on the surfaces.  Also, if your stucco has a patchy wet/dry look after a rain storm then you can expect that moister may be absorbing through the thin masonry layer.

Solution: Apply one or two coats of a high build elastomeric paint on the stucco surfaces. 

**Suggested Paints: (Sherwin Williams- Duration; Pittsburg- Timeless; Home Depot- Behr Premium Plus Ultra)

Whether your home's siding needs repair or replacement, proper preparation (including caulking) before painting is key to protecting your home.

SOLUTIONS for Avoiding Painting Traps

While painting is one of the most inexpensive ways you can remodel and protect your investment, a quality  job does not come cheap.  There are some painting traps that if you fall into could lead to a paint job lasting only 5 years.  However, avoiding these traps and finding a company built on integrity will lead to a paint job that will last 10 to 12 years, and cost you less in the long run.  How can you ensure you’ll be paying for a high quality job at the best possible price?

Sure he may look like a painter, but there’s more to painting than “looking” the part.

 Trap #1:     Temptation may be to go for the least costly painting estimate; however, you will have to consider what you are paying versus what you are actually getting.

Solution:    Ask questions about what they will be doing, what type of paint they’ll be using, get many references, and check the Better Business Bureau.

Trap #2:     Very little is in writing on the estimate, so what you get may be a mystery.

Solution:    Be sure everything is in writing; remember if it is not, it doesn’t exist.

Trap #3:     Switching paint materials and / or watering down the paint.

Solution:    Ask how many gallons will be used, inspect paint materials, and ask for copies of the receipts.

Trap #4:     The cover up: hiding with caulk or cheap wood filler damaged/rotten wood that should have been replaced.

Solution:    Visually inspect your home with binoculars for damage prior to asking for estimates.  All wood repairs need to be in writing.

Trap #5:      Using a cheap caulk that will crack open in a short period of time, thus allowing rain to get behind the painted surfaces.

Solution:    It’s your home that is being painted.  Ask the painter to show you the caulk that will be used.  It should say at least 50+ years of life.

Trap #6:     No close inspections at the end of the job—they just “take the money and run.”

Solution:     A Service Manager or company owner should inspect your home with you at the end of the job.  Grab a pair of binoculars and carefully inspect the surfaces the exterior.  Be sure you have sufficient lighting, and maybe get a flashlight, for dimly lit areas on the interior and/or exterior of your home.

Trap #7:      Their primary experience is in new construction or low/moderate-end apartments.

Solution:     Painters in these settings aren’t as concerned with the non-painted surface. Interview the painter before hand, to determine their experience.  Check with at least five past customers for their satisfaction.  Finally, be sure they are protecting the non-painted surfaces during your project (roof, brick, trim, windows, fans, etc.).

Trap #8:    Painting Contractor has too many projects going on at once, thus neglecting your project resulting in not finishing in a timely manner.

Solution:     While interviewing the painter get a definite start and completion time. Additionally, get a commitment as to what time they will arrive and leave during each day.

Call RENOVATE PAINT AND DESIGN, 210-403-3232, to receive a FREE estimate to find out how we stand out above the rest, and how we’ll ensure that you’ll be one of our many satisfied customers.

The Changing Colors of Fall and Your Home

Fall colors will be creeping all around us soon! Consider colors for your home.

Fall brings about many changes.  It’s also a time when homeowners consider improving the look of their home as they prepare for holiday entertaining and family gatherings.  Choosing colors when repainting the interior or exterior of your home can be complicated, but rewarding when the right choices and combinations are used.  Working as a color consultant on our projects we have found that when considering colors, homeowners typically will either want to stay in a safe range of color selection or be more adventurous with multiple and/or dramatic colors.

The exterior selection of colors is less complicated than interior selection.  Basically, we, at Renovate Paint and Design, visualize the overall design of your home, the siding and roof colors, and the colors of homes around the property.  One of the most important tools we use is listening to the customer and asking questions.  When a general direction on color selection is determined we then choose two to three color combinations that work well with the home, thus taking much of the complication out of the decision process.

 Whether painting for the first time or updating the interior of your home, the selection of colors will transform it into an environment that reflects the personality or interests of the homeowner, such as: warmth, tranquility, vibrancy, elegance, modernism, drama, or passion.  Most homeowners are fleeing from the monotone off white or beige walls that were standard when the home was built.  They are becoming more educated in their choices by reading home magazines, visiting color visualizers on the internet, going to the Parade of Homes, or by stopping to look at model homes in new subdivisions.  Renovate Paint and Design compliments this knowledge by bringing years of experience with colors and textures into the homeowners’ environment.  They have established that the best way of helping customers in choosing the right colors is to envision the desired outcome.  When considering color changes, focus on the furnishings, floor coverings, architecture design of the home, and the desired effect.  Renovate Paint and Design gives a free color consultation during the estimate for painting your home to assist in the overall transformation that you desire.  Call us at 210-403-3232 to set up your appointment.

Smart Choices for Interior Painting

3 Considerations:  ATMOSPHERE, FUNCTIONALITY, EFFECTS.
When choosing the right paint for your home you will need to consider the mood you wish to create, how functional it is (washable), and health concerns about painting.

Changing from off white or light beige to a richer/warmer color affects the whole atmosphere of each room.  The color brings together the furnishings, both highlighting and complementing your décor.  The choice in adding color begins with a little boldness from you and in seeking help from professionals so that you can enhance your homes appearance.

The functional benefit of a washable paint is obvious if you have young children or pets.  Paints that have a satin sheen tend to be washable and there are a few paints such as Duration Home (Sherwin Williams) that have a mat (flat) finish with the same claim.  The only negative aspect about a satin sheen is that it does not create as warm of an environment as does a mat finish.  Making a choice for satin paints in high traffic areas, children’s bedrooms, and baths can give the walls more life with less frequent painting.  However, I would suggest in low traffic areas (ex., master bedrooms, dining rooms, living rooms) you choose a mat finish paint to enhance the warmth/mood.

Families with young children & pets often consider low- or no-VOC paint options

Oftentimes customers are concerned about the smells and fumes coming from paints.  Paints do, over time, release what is known as Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) into the home environment.  There are many warnings on the labels of paint cans that speak about the harmful effects of VOCs.  In particular, if you have respiratory problems, allergies, young children, pregnant, or if you are concerned in general about environmentally friendly paints, then those with low or no VOCs are right for your home.