Thursday, August 27, 2009

Finding a Roof Leak

Roof leaks can be frustrating. The good news is that you don't have to call in a roofing contractor right away to find it. As long as you're handy and don't have a fear of going on your roof, go for it!  - Make Money From Your Exit Traffic!Different roofers and handymen have their own methods for finding roof leaks. Myself, I like to start at the bottom and work up. In other words, I begin my sleuth work by examining the ceiling inside the home.

This can give valuable, time-saving clues. If the stain evidence is close to the chimney or a skylight, chances are it's a flashing issue. I'll check in the attic to make sure. If so, it's an easy fix to replace the flashing, or just slather on some roofing cement. It all depends on the particular situation.

If it's not that obvious from first glance inside the home, I fall back on my steps for finding a roof leak. Being methodical is key.

Don't get me wrong. I am not a roofer. I'd rather take a whipping than do a tear-off and re-roof. I did it once and that was it for me. Then again, I love to tape and float drywall and paint. Those two things will make most roofers gag!

If you don't want to do the investigative work and repair yourself, be careful in picking your contractor or handyman. Sometimes, tracking down the actual leak is an art form because for the hard ones, you really have to know framing structure and the mechanics of shingles, flashing, etc.

Prior experience is invaluable. After a few years of doing this detective work, a real sense of "Oh, I remember how I solved this one before," intuition is developed. And if you're paying by the hour, this is important.

If you have to hire someone, I recommend Angie's List. highly. Their ratings come only from feedback from homeowners in your community, not simply a claim in the phone book or newspaper.

Did this post help you? If so, get more. Just email me at In the body of the email, give me your name. Then you'll get an automatic email that asks you to confirm your subscription.

Be sure to add to your email white list or address book, because some email clients will put unknown mail in the junk or spam filter file.

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Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Launch of the Home Improvement Newsletter

I've gotten around to launching the newsletter feature for my I Can Fix Up My Home site (ICFUMH, or Ick-Fum ;-). Would have gotten it done sooner, but it took a while to find software that I liked.

In addition to this blog, there's also a separate home improvement blog over at ICFUMH. The two blogs aren't identical, but I see the newsletter as something in size between a blog and the site itself, which already has over a year's worth of free articles with new ones being added all the time.

It's also a great platform to share information that I get from my partners about new tools, materials, and building practices. And when they inform me of tool specials and promotions, it's a great way to pass that information on to you. If I put it on the blogs or elsewhere, it would just be too static.

I'd hate for anyone to try to get in on a great promotional deal that happened a couple of months ago. Those kind of things have a short window of opportunity. But in this recession economy, I've been seeing some very good deals.

If you would like to subscribe, welcome! Just email me at In the body, give me your name and your location as well, if you feel comfortable with that. Then you'll get an automatic email that asks you to confirm your subscription. This is not mere jumping-through-hoops; it just makes sure that nobody is goofing on you. It happens.

I mean, who hasn't sent in 100 bill-me-later, postage-paid subscription cards to Playgirl magazine for the ex-boss after being laid off?

Be sure to add to your email white list or address book, because some email clients will put unknown mail in the junk or spam filter file.

If you would like to virtually join me training for the Chevron Houston Marathon, check out my online marathon training schedule. That link is for week 1, and we are now in week 4. Just follow the links at the bottom of the pages.

It's not too late to jump on the bandwagon, even for a first-time marathoner. For example, this week's total mileage is just 19.4 miles. If you are planning a different marathon on a different date, feel free to print out my schedules and do them on your schedule. Stay motivated!

I post the next week's schedule every Friday or Saturday. Since it's a 26 week schedule, we've got a way to go. Pun intended!

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Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Preparing for Hurricane Season

It's been a quiet hurricane season so far; not a hint or whisper of a Katrina or Ike. Unfortunately, most of out memories are short-lived.

Don't fall into this trap, folks. Prepare now, now, I tell you! Don't be one of the Gomers standing in line at Home Depot.

There are many things you can do to prepare now. First and foremost is getting your supplies together for protecting your windows.

For most folks of frugal means, this means 1/2" plywood. The best way to secure them is with Plylox hurricane clips.

Need tools for storm-proofing your home? Take 10% off all new Porter-Cable tools and accessories. No coupon code required. Discount will be applied automatically at checkout.

Those of you with deeper pockets might choose to go with metal storm shutters.

That done, focus on these items:
  • Flashlights
  • Batteries
  • Canned food and bottled water
  • Emergency medical kit
  • Weather radio with a hand crank

With luck, we'll dodge the bullet this year. Statistically, this is a good probability. But like the old commercial says, "It's not nice to fool with mother nature!"

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