What is the best way for locating a roof leak?

Ask a Contractor Average read time: 2 minutes
water stains on ceiling

There are watermarks forming on the ceiling of my mother’s house. Would this be because of a roof leak and if so, how can I figure out where it is?

Sarah L. – Ferndale, MI

Hey Sarah, Spring in Michigan means rain which means if you have any leaks in your roof, they will begin to make themselves known. The watermarks you notice appearing somewhere on your ceiling are a clear sign of a leak. However, because of insulation or other diversions, the source of the leak may be far away…

Replacing Exterior Caulking on Windows

Your windows let in beautiful views and sunlight, but they can also lead to leaking and draftiness if they aren’t caulked in properly. Caulk is used around the exterior joint between your windows and the exterior siding or brick to fill in the gap. If a gap were to remain, bugs, water, and wind could get inside.

Caulk is important because it keeps that gap closed. However, all caulk will eventually shrink and possibly crack. So what, is this another costly fix? No, it’s something you can do yourself with some time and a caulk gun.

What You’ll Need

  • A Caulk gun
  • A putty knife
  • A utility knife
  • Tubes of caulk
  • Some rags and some water
  • Your hands

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Checking Your Home’s Foundation

Spring Maintenance Average read time: 3 minutes
Spring Maintenance Tip: Checking Foundatio

Foundation problems are a big deal – they can lead to some of the most costly repairs you could ever make to your home. Potential buyers will surely steer clear of any house that has foundation problems, so what can you do to prevent issues with your foundation from arising and how can you check…

Repairing a Door With Stripped Hinges

Ask a Contractor Average read time: 2 minutes
Fixing stripped door hinges

Hey Pro,

I recently had my kids swinging on the back door of my home, and they ripped the screws holding the door hinges up right out of the wood! Is there a way to remedy this without replacing the door frame?

Sharon Miller – Westland, MI

Sharon, Stripped hinge holes on door frames are a common occurrence. Especially when there are kids in the homes, I have two myself and I know they are not delicate when it comes to using handles. After years of stress, hinges can come right out of the wall! It can be frustrating, but it doesn’t…

Replacing The Screen in Your Door

Springtime is coming! We are less than a month away from the first day of spring, and with it come all of the amazing smells of budding trees and flowers. Your sliding screen door or screen patio door is a great way to be able to enjoy the upcoming weather, but not if it has a hole. Holes are common in screen doors, but they tend to let in bugs and other critters.

Luckily for you, fixing a hole in a screen is not too difficult – it is definitely something you can do yourself with a quick trip to the hardware store.

What to Buy

Most hardware stores have rescreening supplies and door hardware for you to use, but you need to be aware of manufacturer specific parts. Anderson only sells parts through Home Depot due to an agreement. But, if your door is not Anderson, generic parts will probably work just fine.

Buy enough screen so that you can overlap the frame of the door by at least 2 inches on each edge. You will also need a new spline, which is the rubber tubing that holds the screen in a groove surrounding the frame. Spline tends to become brittle and break over time, so replacing that can be a good thing.
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The Facts About Ice Dams

Roofing Maintenance Average read time: 4 minutes
Ice dams can damage gutters

What Are Ice Dams? Ice dams are formed when heat from the inside of a home escapes into the attic and warms the roof decking during the winter. This heat, combined with heat from the sun, can melt snow on the roof. Melting snow on the upper roof and in the valleys then runs down…

7 Questions for your Insulation Contractor

Insulation Advice Average read time: 3 minutes
Attic Insulation

Hiring the best insulation installer can provide a huge relief to your budget, your comfort and your peace of mind. Why? Because insulation installation is complicated, but if done right, can provide you with years of increased energy efficiency, savings and better comfort in your home. Most contractors will say they install insulation, but it’s…

Preparing to Insulate Your Attic

Insulation Advice Average read time: 3 minutes
Attic insulation

Rather than giving a specific “how-to”, we’ll just lay out the fundamentals. From there, you can apply these concepts in a manner that makes the most sense for your specific home.

The Pro Home Fall Guide to Gutters

Gutter Maintenance Average read time: 2 minutes
Fall guide to gutters

If you are not prepared for the fall season in Michigan, your gutters could be in trouble. Gutters are a necessary part of making sure your home’s foundation stays as dry and stable as possible. They aren’t just for keeping rain off of your head. But gutters installed without excellent gutter guards can be a…

The True Cost of Cheap Roofing

Roofing Replacement Average read time: 3 minutes
shingles falling off roof

Competition is usually a good thing when it comes to getting services for your home as it forces companies to compete for your business, driving costs down. Unfortunately, it can also promote the “race to the bottom” where someone is always ready to accept a lower fee for a service. This causes many to only…