Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Mike's 3 P's to Make it Right

When it comes to building the right way, Mike Holmes has three P's  -- Protection, Products, and Procedures. What do these mean? In the article below, Mike describes protection as all the things on the outside of the home that protect the inside, such as the roof, the foundation, doors, windows, and the like. The outside should be built from the right products, which is Mike's second "P." On his shows, Mike uses the right materials for the job, such as PinkWood (a coated lumber that resists burning and molding) and ice and water shield. A properly protected outside always starts with the right products, but those products are only as good as the person who installed them, which leads us to Mike's third "P," procedures. New technologies in building are changing the way people think about renovation, but not everybody is properly trained in how to install or utilize these great new products. When renovating or building a home, its important to find people who know how to follow the right procedures, because "if you put good products in a house the wrong way, you’re going to have issues."
From the Montreal Gazette:

Mike Holmes: My 3 Ps to make it right

Repair job typifies why a home needs proper protection, products and procedures

After a decade, Mike Holmes still cares because he knows the work he, his crew and others do makes a real difference to the people they help.

Photograph by: Alex Schuldt/The Holmes Group, Postmedia News

To make a home right you need the right protection, the right products and the right procedure.
What does it mean to have the right protection for your home? A strong and durable building envelope that is also watertight; that includes your roof, exterior walls, foundation, windows and doors.
There are materials and products that help you achieve this, such as PinkWood, ice and water shield, insulation, house or building wrap, siding and so on. These are the right products, but if you put good products in a house the wrong way, you’re going to have issues. That’s why you must follow the right procedure. Let me give you an example.
I was on a job where the cladding on the outside of a home was letting water penetrate through and it was getting into the basement. The house was only seven or eight years old. Finally the homeowner thought it was time to pull back the vapour barrier and see what was going on.
What he saw no homeowner ever wants to see — a rim board that was completely rotted with black mould. It looked like crumpled-up toilet paper — and provided about the same amount of protection.
After we started pulling back the cladding on the outside we discovered the rot was all over the exterior sheathing, below the cladding and making its way into the subfloor. At that point the sheathing was basically a sponge. I could literally push my thumb through it.
A home’s exterior cladding has a sheathing layer underneath it that is attached to the exterior structure. This sheathing is usually made from aspenite, OSB (oriented strand board) or plywood. I prefer plywood because in general, it holds less water than OSB and it doesn’t swell as much either.
To protect the house and keep the elements out we wrapped the entire house in a superior weather-resistant wrap over the sheathing, including all of the window and door jams. On the sheathing we use a house wrap that is vapour permeable, so any moisture in the wall cavity can escape. We then wrap window and door jams with building wrap that is impermeable, so if there is any moisture it can’t permeate through to the windowsill.
After we’ve wrapped the house we install vertical strapping to give space between the siding and the sheathing. This allows air movement, so any water that gets in behind the cladding can escape and dissipate. Then finally our exterior siding or cladding goes up.
But in the case of this house, there was no vertical strapping. The cladding was installed directly to the sheathing. So any water that got in behind the cladding had nowhere to go. It just sat there and it was rotting all the wood.
On top of that, the house wrap stopped at the windows and doors — it wasn’t wrapped around the window and door jams. So water was penetrating through the windows — thanks to cracked or missing caulking — and getting to the sheathing. And because there was no strapping it couldn’t dry.
The siding was a great product that we’ve used for years. But for any product to do the work it was designed to do it must be installed properly.
The builder on that home actually seemed like a good builder. But remember: builders hire all kinds of companies out there to do some of the work. Sometimes, the sub trades they hire aren’t as good as they should be.
In truth, the cladding company was responsible for installing this mess. But the reality is that after these guys leave, it can take years before the problems they cause make their way to the surface. And by the time they do it’s too late — they’re now your problem, your responsibility. So you better make sure you know what it takes to make it right.
Catch Mike Holmes in an all-new season of Holmes Makes It Right, Tuesdays at 9 p.m. on HGTV. For more information, visit hgtv.ca. For more information on home renovations, visit makeitright.ca.

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