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Replacing a roof isn't something a homeowner does that often. Glenn Haege's Roofing Replacement Guide gives you the steps to follow in order to find a contractor, select the correct roofing materials and make sure that you are protected with the right warranty. It’s free!
While we were fortunate to have avoided the big snow and ice storms this past winter, weather during the spring and summer can have even more serious consequences for a home's exterior due to the extreme winds. It doesn't matter if it's the wind from a blizzard or a thunderstorm, you should always consider products that are wind resistant when either remodeling or building a new home.
You don't need to live in a hurricane zone or tornado alley to appreciate the impact high winds can have on your home. If you live in an area where wind gusts are common, or have already had damage, consider upgrading your home's "wind resistance" the next time you remodel and prepare to deal with the outages that the wind causes.
Here in Michigan it's not uncommon to see gusts that reach 60 mph or more. And if you have a cottage or home on one of our Great Lakes, straight-line winds can reach 80 or 90 mph, which happened last summer in Manistee. These winds can easily tear off roofing shingles and break window panes.
Roof shingles are often susceptible to high winds, but fortunately most manufacturers offer lines of roofing shingles that have earned the Miami/Dade County Seal of Approval. The seal mandates that building envelope components have resistance to structural wind loads with a minimum wind velocity of 100 mph. This building code was designed to mandate that products used on Florida homes could withstand hurricane-force winds.
"If homeowners want a roofing shingle that can withstand high winds, all the GAF Timberline shingles we recommend are Miami/Dade approved," said Gary Kearns at Kearns Brothers, (888) 355-6700,www.kearnsbrothers.com. In addition to GAF, other popular brands of roof shingles, including CertainTeed and Owens-Corning, also have products that have earned the Miami/Dade County Seal of Approval.
When it comes to windows, Kearns said the key is the wind resistance of the glass. There are plenty of window manufacturers, such as Anderson, Jeld-Wen, Pella, and Weather Shield that offer Miami/Dade approved products, but they usually need to be special ordered in this market and are quite expensive.
"If people want a more wind resistant window without paying the premium for a Miami/Dade approved product, they can get a window with a thicker glass laminate," Kearns said.
The main benefit of a glass laminate is that when it is broken, the glass shards will remain stuck to the plastic interlayer rather than cleanly breaking apart to possibly do a lot more damage.
Along with a higher cost, products with Miami/Dade County Seal of Approval are not always readily available. They can be special ordered from building products distributors like Siding World, www.sidingworld.com, with locations in Detroit, Livonia and Madison Heights.
While storms and the accompanying wind can damage your home's exterior, it obviously also contributes to the large number of power outages we experience this time of year. You have heard me talk a lot about standby generators for your home, and many people are starting to look at these systems as the price has become more affordable.
"Now that the spring and summer storm season has arrived, we get a lot of calls to install standby generators, and I always remind people to only buy what they need to keep the cost down," said Mike Bratcher of Bratcher Electric, (734) 722-0037, bratcherelectric.com.
Bratcher said many people only need back-up power for some key appliances, lights and a sump pump, so buying a smaller stand-by generator that powers 10 to 12 circuits will suffice and be more price competitive.
One smaller stand-by generator Bratcher has been installing lately is the Milbank 7000 watt mode, www.milbankpowergen.com. This unit has a smaller footprint than most stand-by generators (about the size of a central air conditioner) and Bratcher said it costs around $4,000 installed. This unit will power 12 standard circuits and runs on propane or natural gas. While it can't handle a larger 220 line for central air or a clothes dryer, Bratcher said it is perfect for people who just want to ensure they have automatic standby power for their emergency needs.
If you would like to suggest a question for this column, email@example.com. If you want to talk to Glenn Haege personally, call his “Handyman Show” on WJR-AM (760) at (866) ASK GLENN, (866) 275-4536 between noon and 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. The “Handyman Show” can be heard on more than 130 radio stations nationwide.
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