Caulking and paint need yearly maintenance to ensure that it is still protecting your house. A common spot to find hidden damage is at exposed wood trim, especially at areas that have a latex caulk sealing a gap. Caulking with a coat of paint is pretty good protection for wood, but once it fails water has an easy path to wood and can cause hidden damage.
Just a little bit of probing at a bubbling area reveals hidden damage. I used fairly light pressure here and the knife slid right in to the wood. You can see the hidden rot underneath. This has been going on for a while. It's likely that the previous homeowner painted over a failing area of paint without fixing the underlying damage.
Need to update your light fixtures from those boring contractor grade lights? Considering upgrading to a ceiling fan in a room? Follow along below for a step by step guide on removing an existing light fixture. If you are not comfortable working with electrical circuits consider hiring a professional for any upgrades or changes to your fixtures.
Turn off the power to the light fixture circuit at the main electrical panel (fuse box).
Remove the light cover. Remove the bulbs from the fixture.
Find the two machine screws holding the fixture to the junction box. They may be hidden under some insulation. Back the screws out about an inch. Rotate the fixture so the screws move in the slots to the point where the cutout allows the screw heads to slip through. Gently pull the fixture from the ceiling. The wires are still attached so don't yank anything at this point.
Use a non contact tester to ensure that there is no power at the black and white wires. If no power is present, unscrew the wire nuts from all three sets of wires. Carefully separate the wires and remove the fixture.
This junction box is now ready for a new fixture. Follow the directions that come with the new light for installation of the new fixture.
Sliding screen doors are great at keeping bugs out and allowing pleasant breezes in but they are prone to damage. Dogs trying to get in, cats trying to get out and children who try to grab on to the frame too enthusiastically can all be a problem. Follow this step by step guide to learn how to replace a damaged screen on a sliding screen door.
Choose a corner and start to remove the spline (rubber piece holding the screen in the channel). A slotted screw driver is a good starter to pry out the spline. Once it is started you can pull the spline out around the perimeter of the door.
Remove the damaged screen from the frame. The screen should remove easily once the spline is out.
Start at the top. Use the spline tool to pre-crease the screen in to the channel. Press the spline into place over the screen and in to the channel by hand. Follow up with the spline tool to roll along the spline and firmly seat in place.
I concentrate on the top of the door frame first and try to get everything positioned evenly along the width of the replacement screen. Don't be afraid to start over if you notice the screen isn't quite level with the frame. Just pull out the spline, reposition the screen and repeat until everything is nice and even.
Once you are happy with the top of the door move to the right side. Once again use the thin side of the spline tool to pre-crease the screen in to the channel. Place the spline and then use the concave side of the tool to seat the spline in place.
The bottom and left side of the door are a little bit tricky. You want to make sure to pull the screen tight before creasing the screen and placing the spline.
Hold the screen tight and work a few inches at a time with the spline to ensure that everything stays level and taut.
Once you reach the starting point with the spline you will likely have a bit left over. Cut to length with a utility knife.
Once the spline is firmly seated and the screen is to your liking it's time to trim the excess screen away. Using a utility knife, cut just outside the spline on the screen. Slow and steady will give you a nice clean edge.
Replace the door hardware. Adjust the door as needed and lubricate the tracks.
Have you ever noticed a white chalk like deposit on a brick wall or chimney? This is efflorescence - a salt deposit on the surface of masonry associated with water moving through the wall. This is usually just a cosmetic problem and can be cleaned off by light scraping. However, efflorescence can serve as a clue to an underlying moisture or water penetration problem in the surrounding structure.
The efflorescence deposits in this picture are on a chimney side just under the penetration through the roof. It is very likely that the flashing and water sealing of the chimney/roof joint are failing. This homeowner needs to take a closer look at the roof structure and shingles to see if there is further hidden damage that needs repair.
Brian Jovag, owner of Jovag Home Inspection.