Category Archives: Home Maintenance

Dry Rot Basics

Filed under Home Maintenance
Tagged as

What is it? Dry rot is a phenomenon that can impact all varieties of wood.  When this fungus spreads throughout the interior of wood, it becomes weak and will start breaking apart.  When dry rot occurs in a building, the structural integrity often becomes compromised.

What are signs of dry rot?  Dry rot is such a nuisance because the early stages are difficult to identify to the untrained eye.  Adding to the confusion is the fact that it can vary in appearance. Identifiers include darkened or shrunken wood.  Coloring is typically off-white or gray.  Wood affected by dry rot will shrink and crack.  It becomes soft to the touch and warp.

How does it spread?  Dry rot is fed by moisture inside the wood and in order for it to spread; it needs a source of moisture.  Because dry rot causes the affected wood to crumble and separate from the unaffected wood, the unaffected wood becomes exposed and soon becomes infected.

Why does it happen?  There are lots of occurrences that result in dry rot, though most have to do with proper management in the home.  Clogged or broken gutters and downspouts can increase the likelihood of dry rot, as can improper flashing on your roof and around your chimney.  Inadequate ventilation can also contribute to dry rot.  It’s a common misconception that dry rot only occurs in older buildings.  This couldn’t be further from the truth. For example, if siding isn’t installed correctly and water is able to permeate through the siding, it’s only a matter of time before thousands of dollars of damage is caused.  For this reason, it’s crucial to work with a reputable licensed and insured company who know what they’re doing and is willing to stand behind the work they perform.

How do you eradicate? Full eradication of dry rot is crucial because failure to do so can result in it reappearing.  The only way to kill dry rot is to kill its source of moisture.  Once this has been accomplished, the affected areas must be dried completely.  From there, the fungus that caused the dry rot must be treated.  The final step is repairing the damage.  This process should be completed by a licensed professional who can effectively determine the full extent of the dry rot.  Failure to fully complete any of the steps listed above can result in the dry rot manifesting itself once again.

Lindus Construction is a full-service remodeling company specializing in LeafGuard Gutters, GAF Asphalt Roofing, SeasonGuard Windows/Siding/Insulation, Decking, Home Remodeling & New Construction. Call us at 1-800-873-1451 for a free no obligation estimate or check us out on our new website at www.lindusconstruction.com. Tune into 830 WCCO every Saturday from 9a-10a with Denny Long & Andy Lindus for our Home Improvement Show.

houzzzillow 1

Home Upkeep Myths

Filed under Home Maintenance
Tagged as ,

Every Saturday morning, we do a live radio show on WCCO AM 830 where we answer home improvement questions from those in the Twin Cities.  There’s never a shortage of calls; oftentimes people end up following up with us after the show if they weren’t able to get on the air.  One thing we’ve learned from this is that homeowners really do want to be educated when it comes to home upkeep.  Here are some prevalent misconceptions that we’d like to clear up.

1. Go with the Lowest Bid: Rarely is the lowest bid your best option.  Lower quality materials have a much shorter shelf life and may lack the warranty that its competitor of superior quality has.  Contractors can also save big bucks by not carrying adequate insurance, which means if there’s an accident on the property during construction, you’re the one liable.

2. Any Upgrade Will Add Value to the Home: In order to add value, the enhancement has to be something that another homebuyer will see as an asset.  Things like outdoor tennis or basketball courts can be appealing to the right buyer but may not cause your home to sell at a higher price tag because they aren’t an improvement everyone wants.  Items that add value include high quality, maintenance free features such as roofing, siding, windows and gutters.

3. Bath Fans are Optional: Oftentimes, bath fans are not required by building codes, especially if there’s already a window in the bathroom.  (Friendly reminder: building codes are to enforce the bare minimum.)   The intent of a bath fan is to prevent moisture problems, such as mold.  While windows can be a beneficial tool for this as well, we can safely say that there are easily six months in the Midwest that a home’s windows are never open.

4. You Don’t Need a Permit for a DIY Remodel: The need for a permit depends on the municipality that you live in, not on who is performing the work. Failure to get a permit on work that needs to be performed can result in fines and even having to remove the improvement and start over.

5. You Need to Have a Complete Vision Prior to Hiring a Contractor: False!  While it’s good to be in touch with personal preferences and tastes, it’s the responsibility of the contractor to put together a realistic plan that encompasses your needs.  This can be done after meeting with you to learn more about the project.  Working with a contractor from the beginning is a big time and money saver; they have access to pricing the general public does not and also aren’t starting from ground zero because they’ve overseen many similar projects.

Lindus Construction / Midwest LeafGuard are a full service contractor specializing in LeafGuard Gutters, GAF Asphalt Roofing, SeasonGuard Windows/Siding/Insulation, Metal Roofing, Decking, New Construction & Home Remodeling. Call us at 1-800-873-1451 or check us out on the web at www.lindusconstruction.com. Tune into WCCO 830 every Saturday at 9am for our Home Improvement Show with Denny Long & Andy Lindus.

houzz

 `

Ramifications of Remodeling Without a Permit

Filed under Construction, Home Construction, Home Maintenance, Lindus Construction, www.lindusconstruction.com
Tagged as , , , , , , , , , ,

Contrary to what you may have heard, the “p” in the word permit does not stand for “pain”.  While it may seem like one more thing on a seemingly endless laundry list of tasks when it comes to a home construction project, it’s vital that a permit be secured when required by your local jurisdiction.  Failure to do so can have some ugly consequences which can vary greatly, depending on local ordinances.  Here are just a few:

Cease & Desist Order: If you’re caught red-handed in the middle of a project that requires a permit and you failed to secure one, you may be issued with a cease & desist order.  This means that all work must be stopped until a permit is acquired and the work already completed is inspected.  If the project is found to not comply with building codes, you will be forced to spend extra money and time to bring it up to code.  Quite likely, you’ll be forced to undergo re-inspections and pay a stiff fine.

Forced Removal: In some cases, a homeowner who completes a project without the proper permits can be forced to remove it at their own expense, pay fines and be required to redo the work with a permit.  This can include projects as substantial as a deck or addition.

Rewinding Portions of the Project: Let’s say you have electrical work completed but close off the wall before an inspector is able to check out the work.  Some municipalities may force you to open the walls up, at your expense, so that the inspection may occur.

Obstacles Selling Your Home: Let’s say that you add onto your home without getting a permit.  When it comes time to sell your home, an appraiser may not have to add in the new square footage in their appraisal, which means the home very likely will appraise for less than others of the same size.  This means a lowered asking price and can cause trouble for those trying to secure financing to buy the property.

Insurance Issues: If a permit is not pulled, your insurance company may not legally have to pay for any damage that occurs.  (And yes, this could include a house fire that occurs as a result of your “creative” electrical wiring.)

The Bottom Line: Local municipalities vary in the type of project and pricing for permits.  Before commencing a home improvement project, do your homework and find out if a permit is needed and how the inspection process works.   Because at the end of the day, regardless of who you hire to complete the work, the ultimate responsibility of ensuring the correct permits are pulled falls on the homeowner (though a reputable contractor should assist you in completing the process).  Claiming ignorance will not get you out of any of the above situations.

Lindus Construction / Midwest LeafGuard are a full service contractor specializing in LeafGuard Gutters, GAF Asphalt Roofing, SeasonGuard Windows/Siding/Insulation, Metal Roofing, Decking, New Construction & Home Remodeling. Call us at 1-800-873-1451 or check us out on the web at www.lindusconstruction.com. Tune into WCCO 830 every Saturday at 9am for our Home Improvement Show with Denny Long & Andy Lindus.

houzz

FAQ’s About Building Inspectors

Filed under Home Construction, Home Maintenance, Lindus Construction, WCCO Home Improvement Show, www.lindusconstruction.com
Tagged as , , , , , , , , , , ,

What’s the Role of a Building Inspector? A building inspector’s role is to survey completed construction projects to ensure that they are in compliance with building ordinances.

Who Do They Work For? Most frequently, building inspectors are affiliated with regional governmental agencies & planning offices.

What’s Their Purpose? Building inspectors are there to verify that a minimum level of quality and safety are being followed at the construction site.

How Do They Know That Work is Being Performed? Once a construction permit is pulled, a building inspector will be informed.

How Much Does it Cost to Hire One?  The funds to pay them come through construction permits.

What Happens if My Project Passes Inspection and a Safety Issue Occurs Later? The building inspector, along with the government agency they represent, could be held responsible.  This is part of the reason building inspectors have a reputation of being meticulous.

How Often Will They Visit the Jobsite? The answer to this is all dependent on the scope of the work being performed.  If it’s a new construction project, they may come out at various checkpoints to make sure the work is being completed in alignment with building codes.  If it’s a one day job, such as new roof, they may only visit when the work is finished.

How Does an Inspector Know the Work Has Been Completed? The contractor who pulled the permit calls the issuing agency and lets them know that the project has been completed and that they may visit the jobsite.

How are Jobs Graded? Jobs are graded on a pass/fail basis.

Who Needs to Be Present for an Inspection? This varies by project, but if the inspector does not need access to the interior of a home (think siding or a roof) they can simply visit the sitewithout supervision after they have been notified the project is finished.

How Do I Know if My Project Passed Inspection? The inspector will sign off on the building permit.  They do not call the contractor to inform them that they passed.

 Lindus Construction / Midwest LeafGuard are a full service contractor specializing in LeafGuard Gutters, GAF Asphalt Roofing, SeasonGuard Windows/Siding/Insulation, Metal Roofing, Decking, New Construction & Home Remodeling. Call us at 1-800-873-1451 or check us out on the web at www.lindusconstruction.com. Tune into WCCO 830 every Saturday at 9am for our Home Improvement Show with Denny Long & Andy Lindus.

houzz

Are Your Contractor’s References Legit?

Filed under Home Construction, Home Maintenance, Lindus Construction, Midwest LeafGuard, WCCO Home Improvement Show, www.lindusconstruction.com
Tagged as , , , , , , , , ,

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again, “Life’s too short to make all of the mistakes yourself, so learn from those others have made.”  One area this mentality especially holds true is when hiring a contractor.  Any one of us can put on an angelic face for a short period of time. (Ever tried to talk your way out of a speeding ticket?)  But you can’t truly know the type of company you’re working with until you do a little bit of detective work.  The best way to know who you’re signing with is to request references from previous customers.  Mind you, no contractor will willingly provide you anything except glowing reviews.  However, there are a few things you can do to verify that the references they provide you are from legitimate, previous customers and not something they cooked up on to have you sign on the dotted line.

Speed Counts: Every contractor expects to be asked for a list of references.  It shouldn’t take days to produce…unless they’re writing it themselves.  In most cases, they will have them available upon request at your initial meeting.  Exercise extreme caution with anyone that does not.

Type of Reference: While it’s all fine and dandy that the contractor you’re interviewing has installed hundreds of windows since their company’s inception, if they can only provide window references and you’re looking for a gutter installation, it may be best to look elsewhere.  Construction is a very broad field and you’ll have the best results working with someone that regularly performs the type of work you are requesting.  You’ll also likely get better pricing since suppliers often offer volume discounts to contractors they frequently work with.

Age of Reference: It’s nice to hear from customers who just had jobs installed.  They can provide an accurate picture of how your job will go which definitely can offer peace of mind.  It can be tempting to ignore older references due to age.  DON’T!  Homeowners from jobs installed a few years back can shed light on how the installed products are holding up as issues may not be immediately evident.  They can also testify to the company’s responses to any issues that occurred after installation.  We recommend following up with a combination of new installations and older ones to ensure you’re getting the full story.

Type of Relationship: Be sure to confirm the reference actually had work performed by the contactor and isn’t just a friend or family member vouching for them.  Just because someone is a “good guy” doesn’t mean that they’re the right person for the job.

Lindus Construction / Midwest LeafGuard are a full service contractor specializing in LeafGuard Gutters, GAF Asphalt Roofing, SeasonGuard Windows/Siding/Insulation, Metal Roofing, Decking, New Construction & Home Remodeling. Call us at 1-800-873-1451 or check us out on the web at www.lindusconstruction.com. Tune into WCCO 830 every Saturday at 9am for our Home Improvement Show with Denny Long & Andy Lindus. 

 houzz

Dos & Don’ts of Homeowners Hail Insurance Claims

Filed under Home Maintenance, Lindus Construction, Roofing, Storm Damage, WCCO Home Improvement Show, www.lindusconstruction.com
Tagged as , , , , , , , , ,

Thankfully, most of us don’t often have to deal with filing a homeowner’s insurance claim due to storm damage.  However, the consequence of this is that when the need arises, the learning curve can be steep.  Having been in business for nearly 35 years, we’ve helped countless homeowners with such claims and we’ve seen firsthand the consequences of failing to act appropriately after a hail storm.  Because life’s too short to make all of the mistakes yourself, allow us to share the dos and don’ts of homeowners hail insurance claims.

Do contact both your insurance company and a reputable contractor as soon as possible after the damage occurs.  This holds true especially if a large geographical area was affected as most contractors and insurance companies operate on a first come, first serve basis.  In the Midwest, where winter affects the ability to safely install a roof, this can mean the difference between getting your roof installed in the fall or the following spring.

Do arrange a time for you, your spouse, a reputable contractor and the insurance adjuster to meet to discuss the claim.  In cases where large geographical areas are affected, some insurance companies bring in adjusters from out of state.  It’s a lot easier for a contractor to voice any concerns with the adjuster’s findings face to face than it is to do so via phone after they’ve returned to their home office in another part of the country.

Do keep a copy of your homeowner’s insurance policy and carefully consider the coverage you need before purchasing.  Should you need to file a claim, have the policy handy so that you understand what you are entitled to in terms of compensation.

Do know that the manufacturer’s warranty on items such as gutters, roofing and siding are typically voided if you experience hail damage and do not have the affected portions of your home repaired or replaced.

Do not sign with the first company that comes knocking at your door offering to assist you.  Once massive damage occurs, storm chasing contractors from all over the country set their GPS systems for the affected area and start going door to door trying to sign as much business as quickly as they can by promising potential customers the world.  Oftentimes, they disappear before work has been finalized or perform subpar work that may not be evident until a couple years down the road when you have no way of contacting them again…if they are even still in business.

Do not accept the insurance adjuster’s initial offer if it does not fully encompass the scope of work that a contractor informed you needs to be performed  or properly compensates for premium improvements you have made to your home.  If the insurance adjuster’s amounts do not correlate with the improvements that need to be made, you have the right to hire an independent adjuster and submit their findings to your insurance company and ask for a new payout amount.  If these efforts do not produce results, you have the option to hire an attorney or contact your state’s insurance commissioner’s office to file a dispute with them.

Do not feel forced to use a contractor referred to you by the insurance company.  Oftentimes, their motivation is to complete the work as cheaply as possible, slightly the homeowner through subpar materials and shortcuts.  Hiring your own contractor means that their incentive is to satisfy you over your insurance company.

At Lindus Construction / Midwest LeafGuard all of our estimators go through extensive training and possess the knowledge to identify storm damage to your home. We are able to help you work with your insurance company to get you home restored as soon as possible. We are a full service construction companies ready to help you with your storm damage needs. Call us to set up a free no-obligation estimate at 1-800-873-1451 or check us out on the web at www.lindusconstruction.com. Tune into 830 WCCO radio every Saturday from 9am-10am for our Home Improvement Show with Denny Long & Andy Lindus.

houzz

Home Improvements That Attract Generation X Homebuyers

Filed under Construction, GAF, Home Construction, Home Decor, Home Maintenance, Lindus Construction, Roofing
Tagged as , , , , , , ,

Every generation has its own set of unique characteristics and values.  Understanding this information can give you a leg up against the competition in a housing market that still favors the buyer.  In a recent blog, we discussed how to position your home to the millennial buyer and this week, we’ll take a look at home improvements that can attract buyers from Generation X.

Who is Generation X? Those born between 1965 & 1977 (currently 48 to 36).

Generation X Key Features:

  • 75% have children and most of those children are currently living at home
  • Most work full-time and are part of a dual income household
  • 82% are currently homeowners

Attracting Generation X Home Buyers:

Move in Ready: Generation X is drawn to something that’s move-in ready, preferring to allocate their precious time to their families and their careers, rather than fixing up a home.

Modern Kitchens: If there’s one improvement you can make for this generation, it’s a high end kitchen with stainless steel and energy efficient appliances, generous counter space and high end countertops.  Generation X sees the kitchen as the nucleus of the home and considers a high end kitchen a point of pride.

Size Matters: This group, in particular, is prone to buying the largest home their money will buy.  Make your home appear larger, and more functional, by staging rooms that can serve multiple purposes (think of a current playroom that can later be converted into a fitness room).  Eat-in kitchens, rather than formal dining rooms appeal to this demographic for this reason.

Fireplaces: In a recent survey performed by marketing company, GFK Roper, Generation X listed fireplaces rounded out the top 3 home amenities that they seek out in a home.  Fireplaces provide warmth and aesthetic appeal.  A fireplace can evoke a feeling of warmth and comfort and for a generation that cherishes family, a room with a fireplace promotes congregating.

Decking: Decking provides a place for a family to enjoy the outdoors together.  Score extra points with Generation X by having a deck that is compromised with low maintenance materials that are surrounded by a pool (another major must for this demographic).

Storage: Having come to age in the days of Madonna & “Materials Girl”, this generation values their possessions.  Whether it’s usable attic space in the home or garage, built-in closet shelving, walk-in closets, not having enough storage can be a factor that allows other homes to get chosen ahead of yours.

Maintenance Free Living: Generation X places a premium on their free time, preferring to spend it with their family, rather than on household chores.  Feeling content with the amount of time they spent on them as a child, they’re attracted to household features such as: composite decking, durable siding and clog-free gutters.

Lindus Construction is a full service construction and remodeling company boasting LeafGuard Gutters, GAF Asphalt Roofing, SeasonGuard Windows/Siding/Insulation & decking just to name a few. Give us a call at 1-800-873-1451 or check us out at www.lindusconstruction.com to set up a free no-obligation estimate. Tune into 830 WCCO every Saturday from 9a-10am with Denny Long & Andy Lindus for our Home Improvement Show!

 houzz 

 

 

 

 

Slashing Summer Energy Costs

Filed under Construction, Home Maintenance, Insulation, Lindus Construction, Windows, www.lindusconstruction.com
Tagged as , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

With energy costs ever on the rise, it’s not a bad idea to thoughtfully examine your home to see how you can save without having to forego air conditioning. In this blog, we’ll give you some tips on how keep your summer energy costs in check while helping the environment, since the Department of Energy speculates that half of a household’s energy consumption is from heating and cooling.

INSULATION- Insulation in your attic acts as a preventative to keep the sun’s heat that hits your roof, especially in the summer, from filtering into the rest of your home, which in turn, will make your air conditioner work harder.  According to ENERGY STAR, the proper amount of insulation that is installed correctly can lower your energy bills by as much as 20%.  Insulation shouldn’t be limited to your attic.  Your walls and basement also benefit from insulation.  (Learn more at: http://www.lindusconstruction.com/blog/2012/03/insulating-your-home-will-insulate-your-pockets)

WINDOWS- All windows are NOT created equally, particularly when it comes to energy efficiency.  Windows best suited to provide insulation and increase your home’s energy efficiency are those that are triple paned. This means they contain 3 panes of glass that are separated by air spaces. They’re a great way to save on your energy bills because they have more surface area, which is used to absorb both warmth and cold putting less stress on your home’s furnace and air conditioner. Lindus Construction is the exclusive home of the SEASONGUARD window.  The SeasonGuard window’s patented design allows for solar heat gain in the winter which naturally keeps your home warmer.  In the summer, SeasonGuard windows deflect sunlight, lowering your energy costs.Vinyl and wood frames will work much better than those made of metal because metal is a conductor, which means it will increase the sweating issue since it will transfer the cold air indoors.  And while we’re on the topic of windows, drawing the shades during the daytime, will also keep your home cooler.  Federal Tax Credits are available on energy efficiency windows, with a maximum credit of $200.  To learn more, visit: http://www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?c=tax_credits.tx_index

PREVENT AIR LEAKAGE- Did you know that a duct leaking air in your home wastes between 10-30% of cooling energy and it may require as much as one ton of AC just to overcome that leak?  Save your money and do the planet a favor-contact a RESNET EnergySmart Contractor who can give you an analysis on where & how energy is being lost in your home and which systems are operating efficiently.  They’ll also be able to suggest customized, cost saving measures that can be implemented to make your home more comfortable and energy efficient.  (Want to know more?  Visit: http://www.lindusconstruction.com/blog/2013/04/increase-home-energy-efficiency-with-a-resnet-assessment/)

HOME APPLIANCES- Your oven uses 2/3 more energy than a microwave so bear that in mind when you’re preparing your meals, or even better yet, grill out.  Plus, oven use raises the temperature of your home which will, in turn, make your HVAC unit work harder, raising your energy costs.  Other appliances such as a dishwashers, washers & dryers also raise your home’s temperature and your cooling costs so it’s best to use them either early in the morning or later at night when the warmest part of the day has passed.

THERMOSTAT- Control your home’s temperature while you’re at work with a programmable thermostat by setting it to revert back to your desired temperature about a half an hour before you are scheduled to arrive at home.

Lindus Construction is proud to now be RESNET certified and would like to help you in your quest for energy efficiency in your home. Give us a call at 1-800-873-1451 or check us out on the web at www.lindusconstruction.com  to set up a free no-obligation estimate. Make sure to tune into WCCO 830AM every Saturday from 9a-10a for the Home Improvement Show with Denny Long & Andy Lindus.

  houzz

More than Just Shingles-The Components of an Asphalt Roof

0
Filed under Construction, GAF, GAF Roofing, Home Construction, Home Maintenance, Lindus Construction, Uncategorized, WCCO, WCCO Home Improvement Show
Tagged as , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

When researching what you need to know before hiring a professional to assist in a home improvement project, you’ll oftentimes find that it’s recommended that you contact at least 3 companies to give you an estimate.  Price is one of the driving factors many homeowners consider when choosing whom to hire.  It can often be a cause for bewilderment when an estimate for a project such as a roof, varies widely between companies.  Unless you encounter storm damage, it’s unlikely that during your tenure as owner of a home, you’ll replace your roof more than twice.  So it’s no wonder that confusion is likely to arise when bids come in vastly different.  It’s important to take to heart that your roof is more than just shingles.  When installed correctly, your roof is an entire system that has several layers in order to maximize the system’s lifespan and protect your home from Mother Nature.

Here, at Lindus Construction, we have chosen to align ourselves with GAF which is North America’s largest manufacturer of residential and commercial asphalt roofing.  We appreciate the thoughtfulness behind their approach to roofing and the fact that they lead the industry with a 50 year non-prorated warranty on labor & materials. Here are the elements contained in a GAF asphalt roofing system:

Weather Watch Leak Barrier Ice & Water Shield: This is the first thing to be installed.  All leak barriers have a backside that is tacky which helps it adhere to the roof decking.  An advantage of the Weather Watch system is that it contains a special adhesive that allows for one-time repositioning, something not commonly found in other brands.  It aggressively adheres over time.  The advantage of having the adhesive take time to adhere is that if the underside is too sticky from the get-go, air pockets can occur during the application process.  Eventually these air pockets will be punctured which creates an opportunity for a leak.

Tiger Paw Roof Deck Protection: The purpose of this product is to provide a crucial additional layer of protection between your shingles and your roof deck.  It assists in deterring water, ice and snow from penetrating the underside of your shingles which can compromise your roof’s structure and your home’s interior.  Typical “felts” are less thick and are susceptible to tearing while workers are hammering on your roof.  This can cause tears which are prone to leaking.  Tiger Paw Roof Deck Protection will also assist in shingles being laid flat and uniform which will give your roof more aesthetic appeal.

Flashing: Flashing is metal that aids to protect your roof from water intrusion where your roof meets a wall in your home.  The intention of flashing is to defer the flow of water away from the home, rather than allowing your roofing and underlayment to absorb it which can cause water damage.  There are several different types of flashing including: kickout, valley step, etc.  Failure to utilize the correct amount, placed in the right areas can lead to leaking in your home, mold and a shortened lifespan of your roof.

Venting System: Without adequate ventilation, heat and moisture can build up in your attic which can cause your heating and cooling bills to increase.  Another side effect of inadequate ventilation is ice dams.  Ice dams usually occur after a heavy snowfall and several days of freezing temperatures. Warm air inside your home leaks into the attic and will warm the underside of the roof causing snow and ice on the roof to melt. The melted water will drain along the roof, under the snow, until it reaches the cold overhang. The overhang tends to be at the same temperature as the outdoors and the melted water will refreeze and form an ice dam and icicles. The ice dam can cause damage to the roof, which will result in water leaks to the inside. Frequently the result will be a water spot on the ceiling under the roof damage.  It’s also important to note that many roofing manufacturers will not warranty a roof that is not ventilated correctly.

Lindus Construction offers both asphalt and metal roofing options. In 2011, they were named the #1 Roofer in the United States by GAF, which is North America’s largest manufacturer of residential and commercial roofing. Call us now at 1-800-873-1451 or check us out on the web at www.lindusconstruction.com to schedule a free in-home estimate today. Tune into AM 830 WCCO on Saturdays from 9:00-10:00am hosted by Denny Long and Andy Lindus to ask questions regarding your home improvement projects.

 houzz

How “Green” are Your Bamboo Floors?

0
Filed under Bamboo, Building a House, Flooring, Home Construction, Home Maintenance, Laminate flooring, Remodeling, Uncategorized, Wood Flooring
Tagged as , , , , , , , , ,

If you perform a quick internet research of the greenest flooring materials on the market, bamboo is likely to pop up at the top of the list.  There are several reasons for this.  First of all, bamboo is a grass that grows much faster than trees do.  This makes it a renewable resource.  Another plus is that unlike trees, bamboo does not need to be replanted because the harvesting procedure leaves the plant’s roots intact.  A benefit to the plant’s root system is that it holds the soil in place, preventing erosion.  If grown in its natural habitat, the need for watering, fertilizer and pesticides is minimal, if not nonexistent.  In addition, bamboo absorbs carbon at a higher rate than most trees tend to.

As you likely realize, Bamboo is a plant that is not native to the United States.  In fact, the vast majority of Bamboo that is used in flooring is grown in China.  A disturbing trend has been deforestation to accommodate the growth of more bamboo.  This means that animals that rely on the forest for food and habitat are displaced.  While bamboo does not require fertilizer, some growers are turning to it as a way to increase their crop size.  Another hush-hush topic surrounding the growth and manufacturing of bamboo is worker treatment.  Because the bulk of bamboo is shipped in from overseas, there is no fair trade certification to guarantee that workers are paid equitably and that conditions are safe.  In most cases, bamboo flooring is priced similarly to hardwoods even though bamboo grows much faster in rural China, which indicates that a profit is being made, though it’s unclear if the workers are getting a share of it.

Once the raw material arrives at the factory, the bamboo undergoes a manufacturing process to transform it into flooring.  As part of the production process, the bamboo is laminated and sometimes the adhesive used in the process contains formaldehyde.  This creates a problem for the environment because some of the formaldehyde is emitted into the air causing pollution.  It’s vital that the final product is tested to ensure that it meets the Greenguard and LEED standard of no more than .05 parts per million of formaldehyde or your home’s indoor air quality is at risk.  Some companies use volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in place of formaldehyde which can also have detrimental effects to your health, as VOCs have been proven to cause cancer in animals and the same is believed to be true in humans, though further research is required.

Once the product is finished, it is transported to the US (usually via boat) and then trucked to a supplier or big box store.  Stop and think for a moment about the amount of fuel and carbon emissions it takes just to get this far in the process.  The material itself is recognized by the Forest Stewardship Council as meeting the criteria for social responsibility and sustainability, but one must question themselves, is the transportation required truly classified as “sustainable”?

To conclude, if you’re choosing to go with bamboo floors in your home exclusively because of their green benefits, it’s vital that you research where and how it is being grown and manufactured both for the vitality of the environment and of your family.

Lindus Construction offers free no-obligation estimates on home remodeling projects. Call us now at 1-800-873-1451 or check us out on the web at www.lindusconstruction.com to schedule a free in-home estimate. Tune into AM 830 WCCO on Saturdays from 9:00-10:00am hosted by Denny Long and Andy Lindus to ask questions regarding your home improvement projects.

houzz