Frequently Asked Questions – Home Repair

Home Repair Services

Serving The Pacific Northwest since 2005, SFW Construction has compiled a list of home repair FAQs (frequently asked questions). This list includes both common and detailed questions about our major repair services including; siding repair, dry rot repair, lead paint removal, windows and doors, weather-resistant barriers, roof repair, and interior and exterior house painting.

Siding Repair

Frequently Asked Questions Home Repair
Do I Need To Paint The Siding After It Is Installed?2020-10-28T13:57:27-07:00

Yes, except vinyl siding. Painting your siding with high-quality paint is an essential step to making your siding last and stay protected against the elements. SFW Construction uses pre-primed material and always makes sure to prime the material cuts so your new siding will be ready for paint.

I Have Louisiana Pacific (LP) Siding, And It Looks Ok; Do I Need To Replace It?2020-09-30T13:16:32-07:00

Louisiana Pacific (LP) siding manufactured between 1985 and 1995 was recalled and had a class-action lawsuit due to the product holding water and deteriorating. Suppose you can afford to replace the siding. In that case, this is a good idea, but if your siding is in decent shape and just small areas are failing, and you are trying to get a few more years out of your siding material. Simultaneously, you save up for a full reside, SFW Construction can do a targeted repair and remove the damaged areas.

Is It Essential To Hire A James Hardie Factory-Trained Contractor?2020-09-30T13:18:03-07:00

Yes, it is vital to use a James Hardie factory-trained contractor who has experience installing siding. These carpenters know the right way to install the product so that the homeowner can get the most out of their investment.

My Vinyl Siding Is Melting, With No Exposure To Any Fires; Why Is That?2020-09-30T13:16:02-07:00

Vinyl siding can melt, warp, or bubble if exposed to temperatures around 160 degrees. One of the more common reasons we see damaged vinyl siding without any apparent signs of heat or fire damage is the reflection of high-efficiency windows. At times, this light reflection can be over 200 degrees during peak summer months.

The Joints On My James Hardie Siding Are Not Caulked, Is This Ok?2020-09-30T13:12:45-07:00

James Hardie siding recommends not caulking siding butt joints, but to install a joint flashing commonly referred to as a bearskin. This is a small piece of metal flashing installed behind the siding where the two pieces join.

The Seams In My Vinyl Siding Aren’t Sealed. Is This Normal?2020-09-30T13:16:13-07:00

Yes, vinyl siding is not a waterproof siding. The seams and terminations should be fitted tight and cut precisely, but not caulked or sealed.

What Is A Targeted Siding Repair?2020-09-30T13:18:10-07:00

A targeted siding repair is cutting out the damaged areas, conducting a small repair, and tying the repaired area back into the existing material. This method saves homeowners time and money. Many contractors will recommend a full siding replacement or extensive repair when just a small space is affected, to secure a long, unnecessary, and profitable project at the homeowner’s expense.

What Is Siding?2020-09-30T13:13:46-07:00

Also known as wall cladding, siding is the material that protects the outside of a house or building by attaching to the exterior.

What Type Of Repairs Does SFW Construction Perform?2020-10-28T13:58:33-07:00

The type of repairs SFW Construction performs on a house is exterior. We specialize in siding, dry rot, roofing, flashing, windows and doors, leaks, painting, and structural repairs.

What Type Of Siding Do You Recommend?2020-09-30T13:13:07-07:00

In the Pacific Northwest, we get a lot of wet and cold weather, so it’s essential to choose a siding material that can stand up to the harsh elements. James Hardie siding is built to withstand the extreme Oregon and Washington weather. If Hardie is not what you are looking for, cedar is another great siding option. For our climate, we would recommend staying away from vinyl siding.

Dry Rot Repair

Frequently Asked Questions Home Repair
Can Dry Rot Be Covered, Or Just Painted Over?2020-10-28T13:58:53-07:00

No, dry rot can not be covered up or painted over it will continue to grow and eat at the affected areas until it is cut out and removed. Covering up dry rot damage is never a good idea, and all reputable and licensed contractors will advise their clients against this and refuse to conduct a dry rot cover-up.

Can You Do Siding And Dry Rot Repairs In The Rain?2020-10-28T13:56:53-07:00

Yes, SFW Construction conducts siding and leak repairs year-round, even in the rain. Our highly-skilled carpenters live and work in the Pacific Northwest and know how to perform repairs safely and correctly in inclement weather. The only part of the project that would need to wait for a rain-free day is any painting, but we only use per primed material to prevent any water damage to the product until paint can be performed.

Do You Need To Lift My Home To Repair A Sill Plate Or Joist With Dry Rot?2020-09-30T13:13:57-07:00

No, damaged sill or mud plates can be removed in sections with temporary support and replaced without conducting a costly home lift.

How Do You Identify Dry Rot? What Are Signs That You Have Dry Rot?2020-09-29T10:31:43-07:00

What Are Signs That You Have Dry Rot?

  • You Notice Wood Beginning to Shrink, Darken, or Crack
  • You Can Easily Penetrate Wood Surfaces with a Screwdriver
  • There is a Musty Odor Present
  • Bathroom or Kitchen Floors Feel “Springy”
  • Cracked or Peeling Paint Around Windows, Doors, and Trim
  • Wood Surfaces are Covered in Something Resembling the Skin of a Mushroom

What Are Common Areas For Dry Rot?

  • Siding, Trim, Windows, and Door Framing
  • Deck Framing and Boards 
  • Posts and Beams
  • Roofs, Eaves, and Near Damaged Gutters 
  • Kitchen and Bathroom Floors and Walls
  • Foundations, Sill Plates, Cripple Walls, and Crawl Spaces
How Do You Prevent Your Home From Getting Dry Rot?2020-10-28T14:09:14-07:00

Dry Rot occurs when the wood of your home exposed to moisture; in order to prevent wood rot, there are several things you can do around your house:

  • Properly ventilate and insulate your attic and crawlspace
  • Seal floors to reduce ground moisture in the basement and crawlspace
  • Confirm all the flashing in these area’s is correct and water is directed away from the wood including the deck, doors, porch, roof, wall, and windows
  • Keep wood away from high moisture places including the ground, masonry, and roof
  • Keep your painting and caulking up to date
  • Keep any areas where water builds up clear drains and downspouts
  • Please don’t leave any untreated, dry rot to cause damage to your home; treat it as soon as you can
How Would Having Dry Rot Affect My Property?2020-10-02T15:21:30-07:00

Having dry rot would affect your property if left untreated. Slowly the wood rot will cause weakening of the wood, which could compromise your house’s structural integrity. To avoid facing severe damage to your property, fix the issue before it gets worse.

I Have Dry Rot Under My Siding; Why Will No One Give Me A Firm Bid?2020-10-28T13:57:44-07:00

This is a common question we get when it comes to hidden dry rot damage as dry can be under your siding without you knowing. Since dry rot can travel, there is no way to see the damage’s extent without opening the material up and seeing what is under the siding. I would be wary of any contractor who appears the know the extent of the affected area just by looking at the outer material only. There are many factors to how dry rot spreads, amount of time, moisture levels, type of product affected, how the area was constructed, building defects, and animal damage. So, with all these factors to make a proper diagnosis, the affected areas need to be inspected and seen.

If You Discover Dry Rot, What Do You Do?2020-10-01T11:18:00-07:00

If you discover dry rot our recommendation would be to find a contractor that is experienced and knowledgeable in dry rot repair, someone who can resolve all your dry rot issues and eliminate the problem from the source. Your contractor should understand the skill, care, and work needed to inspect, locate, and effectively remove and remediate moisture along with making the necessary repairs caused by dry rot. If you do not want the structural support of your property at risk, do your research before hiring a contractor.

What Is A Targeted Dry Rot Repair?2020-10-02T15:20:52-07:00

A targeted dry rot repair is cutting out the damaged areas and conducting a small repair. After we tye the repaired area back into the existing material. This method saves homeowners time and money. Many contractors will recommend extensive repair, or guess how much damage is behind your siding when just a small space is affected, so they can secure a long, unnecessary, and profitable project at the homeowner’s expense.

What is Dry Rot?2020-09-30T13:14:24-07:00

Dry rot is the leading cause of damage in wood structures in the Pacific Northwest. Dry rot, which is sometimes called brown rot, wood rot, and wet rot, can lead to even more mold and mildew issues. This makes dry rot challenging to spot before it spreading—and nearly impossible to predict. As the fungi spread, they eat away at the wood, leaving it dark and crumbly. At that point, you can even crush the wood into small chips or powder with your bare hand. Unfortunately, once dry rot begins spreading within a structure, it doesn’t stop.

Windows And Doors

Frequently Asked Questions Home Repair
A Window In My House Is Leaking, Does It Need To Be Replaced?2020-09-30T13:11:57-07:00

If a window in your house is leaking you may not need to replace the window. In most cases, if you do not have any cracks in the glass or frame but still have water coming in near a window, it is most likely a flashing or weather-resistant barrier issue.

Does Adding A New Window Into An Existing Wall Compromise My Homes Stability?2020-09-30T14:10:53-07:00

No, if the window is installed correctly with the proper framing and headers it will not compromise the stability of your home. When doing this type of install it is important to only use licensed contractors who have the experience to install a window correctly.

If I Have A Door Leak Do You Have To Replace The Door?2020-09-30T13:10:57-07:00
My Glass Windows Are Fogged Up, Do They Need To Be Replaced?2020-09-30T15:00:36-07:00

In most cases, the glass that is fogged up does not need to be replaced. If the insulated glass unit seal has been compromised in your window it can allow moisture to get in between the glass and cause the window to fog up. Often, the window can be treated and resealed to remedy this issue without replacing the entire window unit.

My Siding Is In Great Shape, But The Trim Around My Windows Is Rotten, And Water Is Getting In. Why Is that?2020-09-30T13:12:05-07:00

Around windows and doors are common areas for dry rot to form. This is commonly caused by a flashing or a weather-resistant barrier (WRB) installation issue. The flat surface around windows and door trim allows water to sit and seep into the window’s structure is not flashed, or the WRB was not correctly installed.

Weather Resistant Barriers

Frequently Asked Questions Home Repair
My Siding Is In Great Shape, But The Trim Around My Windows Is Rotten, And Water Is Getting In. Why Is that?2020-09-30T13:12:05-07:00

Around windows and doors are common areas for dry rot to form. This is commonly caused by a flashing or a weather-resistant barrier (WRB) installation issue. The flat surface around windows and door trim allows water to sit and seep into the window’s structure is not flashed, or the WRB was not correctly installed.

What Is A Weather-Resistant Barrier?2020-10-01T08:51:08-07:00

The weather-resistant barrier (WRB) is a waterproof material located on top of your sheathing and underneath your siding. This material is one of the most critical systems in your home’s waterproofing system as it seals out water and moisture from entering into the vulnerable structural. The material could be black tar paper, Tyvek, or other waterproof material. 

What Is Flashing, And Why Is It Important?2020-09-30T13:12:13-07:00

Flashing is commonly a thin metal material installed to prevent water from entering a structure or assembly. You can find flashing at the top of windows, doors, hose bibs, or roofing transitions. This material is an integral part of your home waterproofing system. If your home is missing flashing, it can cause water damage and dry rot to form.

Why Is It Essential To Hire A Tyvek Certified Contractor?2020-09-30T08:32:47-07:00

SFW Construction is a Tyvek Certified Contractor in Oregon and Washington.

The weather-resistant barrier (WRB) is an essential waterproofing system, and Tyvek is an industry leader in the WRB market. So, if you are using the best material, you want it installed by a highly-trained and certified contractor with the experience to make your repair long-lasting and look great.

Roof Repair

Frequently Asked Questions Home Repair
How Do I Know What Type Of Roofing Shingle To Pick With So Many Different Options?2020-10-01T10:21:44-07:00

When deciding on roofing shingles, how do I know what type of shingle to pick? Especially with several different factors to consider, including; cost, weight, climate, style, and warranty.

SFW Construction recommends GAF roofing materials due to there durable products with many different style options at an affordable cost backed by a great warranty.

If My Roof Is Leaking Does It Need To Be Replaced?2020-10-02T15:23:21-07:00

If your roof leaking, but in general the roofing material is in good shape, or you just want to get a few more useable years out of it before going with a costly full replacement the leak can be fixed with a targeted roofing repair.

What Is A GAF Certified Roofer, And Why Is It Important?2020-09-30T15:13:23-07:00

Often customers ask us, “What is a GAF certified roofer?” GAF roofing products are America’s top-selling roofing shingle brand. And GAF certified installers know the correct way to install these great products on your home. GAF products installed by a GAF certified installer get you the most out of your roofing warranty, including a lifetime warranty on the shingles and 25 years on workmanship on GAF select products.

Where Do Problems On A Roof Commonly Occur?2020-10-01T09:44:17-07:00

Knowing where the common problems on a roof occur can prepare you for where to keep a lookout when doing your exterior repair checklist. Roofing issues typically materialize at or near roofing terminations. (vents, chimneys, dormers, etc.)

Lead Paint Removal

Frequently Asked Questions Home Repair
Can I Paint Lead-Free Paint Over Lead-Based Paint?2020-10-28T14:03:33-07:00

If your house was built before 1978, you may be wondering if you can use lead-free paint to paint over your existing lead-based paint. Well, it depends, if the house is fully encapsulated it is safe for you to live there, but once the paint starts to deteriorate, the risk of lead dust spreading is probable.

So, you can paint over lead paint with lead-free paint, but if the house is starting to show signs of paint failure, such as peeling and blistering, then the paint may be releasing lead dust influencing you to get the lead removed. Since we are dealing with a toxic chemical we must follow all EPA, RRP, and OSHA rules.

How Do I Know My House Has Lead Paint?2020-10-08T10:16:08-07:00

You can know your house has lead paint by learning how to identify it and where you might find it.

One way to tell is by knowing if your house was constructed before 1978, as most homes built before that year contain lead paint. Another way to examine if you are dealing with lead-based paint is to see if the sub-layers of paint are still present on the surface. A third way you could confirm that your home has lead paint is by using a lead paint test kit.

In What Year Did They Stop Using Lead Paint On Houses?2020-10-02T13:56:46-07:00

The EPA banned consumer use of lead paint in 1978. Lead from paint, including lead-contaminated dust, is one of the most common causes of lead poisoning.

What Is Lead Paint?2020-10-02T13:50:09-07:00

Lead paint contains a highly toxic metal (the lead) that can cause a range of health problems, especially in children.

What is RRP?2020-10-02T12:26:07-07:00

There is a big difference in Lead renovation and RRP (renovation, repair, and painting) activities. Lead renovation is a highly specialized process that is designed to offer a final solution to lead hazards. RRP activities include slightly disturbing lead paint in conjunction with a larger scope of work like painting, siding, siding, installing windows, and light renovation.

Renovation, Repair, and Painting (RRP) Activities

  • Projects are typically performed for aesthetic reasons or stop-gap control to minimize lead hazards.
    • Is NOT designed to permanently eliminate lead-based paint hazards
  • Minor renovations and modifications
  • Stabilizing failing paint in conjunction with a paint job
Why Is Lead Paint Dangerous?2020-10-02T12:37:38-07:00

Lead paint is dangerous because when it is absorbed into the body, either through inhaling fumes and dust of lead-contaminated objects, eating paint chips, or playing in lead-contaminated soil it can cause damage to the brain, organs, kidneys, nerves, and blood.

House Painting

Frequently Asked Questions Home Repair
How Do You Prepare A Room For A Good Paint Job?2020-10-02T10:36:05-07:00

Preparing a room for a good paint job is all about patience, knowledge, and experience. We take our prep work very seriously as it lays the foundation to start painting your home. Our preparation work includes, but is not limited to;

  • Inspection, Repairs, Washing, Scraping And Sanding, and Masking
How Many Coats Of Paint Do I Need To Apply To The Interior Of My House?2020-10-30T08:44:04-07:00

Often customers ask us how many coats of paint are needed to paint the interior of their home. Usually, two-three coats depending on the circumstances. The first coat is primer specific, including oil, latex, color blocking, odor-blocking, and shellac primer, which should be applied if the paint is anything other than latex. Also, if the current paint job is in good shape, two paint coats will do the job. Unless the new color is a brighter color, like yellow, red, blue, green, they generally require an additional third coat.

What Is The Purpose Of Primer?2020-10-30T10:14:48-07:00

The purpose of the primer is to prepare different substrates that can accept the topcoats of paint, solving the challenges interior and exterior painters face.  The challenges include sealing out moisture, resisting bleeding of stains and chemicals from inside the substrate, and locking down chalky surfaces.

What Is VOC? Low VOC? Zero VOC?2020-10-02T10:27:57-07:00

VOC: Volatile Organic Compounds are toxic chemicals that are present in the paint. They can cause respiratory and other health problems for occupants if the paint is used indoors. However, there are several reliable low and zero VOC products on the market that we use to keep our customers safe.