Decks are in charge of extending homes into the great outdoors—and RAM Builders Stucco & Exteriors can make sure yours is safe. Whether it's a morning cup of coffee as the sun rises or a starlit dinner under the night sky, decks offer an unparalleled connection to nature. Yet, beneath their charm lies a vulnerability – the constant battle against the elements. Rain, sun, and snow, the very elements that make our world beautiful, can wreak havoc on a deck's integrity. That's where the art and science of deck waterproofing come into play, preserving our outdoor sanctuaries and ensuring they stand the test of time.

Deck waterproofing is not merely a functional necessity; it's a testament to human ingenuity. It's the craft of protecting our outdoor spaces from the relentless onslaught of moisture – the silent adversary that can lead to rot, decay, and structural damage. The process involves applying specialized coatings and sealants to create an impermeable barrier, shielding the deck from rainwater, snowmelt, and morning dew. It's a meticulous process that demands attention to detail and an understanding of the unique characteristics of the deck's material.

Wood, a popular choice for decks due to its natural beauty, is particularly vulnerable to moisture. When exposed to the elements, wood absorbs water, leading to swelling, warping, and eventual decay. Waterproofing wood decks involves the application of sealants that penetrate the wood's fibers, creating a shield against water intrusion. These sealants not only protect the wood but also enhance its natural color and texture, ensuring that the deck remains visually appealing for years to come.

Composite decks, crafted from a blend of wood fibers and plastic, offer durability and low maintenance. However, even composite materials are not entirely immune to moisture. Water can seep into the gaps between composite boards, leading to mold growth and structural issues. Deck waterproofing solutions for composite decks often involve specialized waterproofing membranes that are installed between the boards, creating a seamless barrier against moisture infiltration.

Beyond the functional aspects, deck waterproofing is an opportunity for creativity and customization. Waterproofing materials come in a variety of finishes, from clear sealants that preserve the deck's natural appearance to tinted coatings that add a touch of color. Homeowners can choose from matte, satin, or glossy finishes, tailoring the deck's aesthetic to complement the overall design of the home and the surrounding landscape. It's a chance to transform the deck into a visual masterpiece, enhancing its allure while ensuring its longevity.

In addition to protecting the deck's structural integrity, waterproofing also safeguards the investments made in outdoor furniture, grills, and other accessories. Moisture can seep into furniture cushions and upholstery, leading to mold and mildew growth. Waterproofed decks provide a dry environment, ensuring that outdoor furnishings remain comfortable and inviting. Moreover, a waterproofed deck is easier to clean and maintain, reducing the time and effort required for regular upkeep.

The benefits of deck waterproofing extend beyond immediate advantages. A well-maintained, waterproofed deck adds significant value to the property. In the real estate market, outdoor spaces are often a deal-breaker or a deal-maker. A meticulously waterproofed deck enhances the home's curb appeal, making it more enticing to potential buyers. It's an investment that not only pays off in the short term by ensuring the deck's longevity but also in the long term by increasing the property's market value.

Furthermore, deck waterproofing contributes to sustainable living. By preserving the deck and its accessories, homeowners reduce the need for replacements, minimizing the demand for new materials and the environmental impact associated with their production. Waterproofing also prevents water damage, which can lead to the growth of mold and mildew – environmental hazards that can affect indoor air quality. By protecting the deck, homeowners are indirectly safeguarding the well-being of their families and the environment.

In essence, deck waterproofing is a harmonious blend of artistry and functionality. It's a meticulous process that transforms vulnerable outdoor spaces into resilient sanctuaries. It's the fusion of science and creativity, ensuring that our decks not only endure the elements but also captivate the senses. The preserved deck becomes more than a mere extension of the home; it becomes a testament to human craftsmanship and a sanctuary where memories are made, and moments are cherished.

As we revel in the splendor of our outdoor havens, let’s not forget the silent guardians – the waterproofing coatings and sealants that work tirelessly beneath the surface. They are the unsung heroes, preserving paradise against the whims of weather and time. Deck waterproofing is more than a practical necessity; it's a celebration of the enduring bond between humans and nature, ensuring that our outdoor spaces remain vibrant, inviting, and resilient, standing as testaments to the artistry of preservation in the face of the elements. Contact RAM Builders Stucco & Exteriors to schedule your consultation and quote.

Your home is a sanctuary, a place of comfort and security. Ensuring its structural integrity and aesthetic appeal is essential, and this often involves paying attention to elements that might go unnoticed, such as soffits and fascias—that where RAM Builders Stucco and Exteriors comes into play. Soffits and fascias are not just functional components of your home; they are integral to its overall well-being. In this comprehensive blog, we will delve into the importance of soffit and fascia, understanding when they need installation, removal, or replacement, and why entrusting this task to professionals is paramount.

Understanding Soffits and Fascias

Soffits: Soffits are the underside of an architectural structure, such as a beam, arch, or overhanging eaves. In the context of homes, soffits are the boards that bridge the gap between the exterior wall and the roofline. They serve both functional and aesthetic purposes. Functionally, soffits provide ventilation for the attic, preventing moisture buildup and ensuring proper airflow. Aesthetically, they create a finished look, concealing the roof rafters and adding a polished appearance to your home's exterior.

Fascias: Fascias, on the other hand, are the vertical edges linked to the ends of trusses, rafters, or the area where the gutter is attached to the roof. They protect the wooden board from the elements and enhance the visual appeal of your home. Fascias play a crucial role in supporting the lower edge of the roof tiles and the guttering system, ensuring proper drainage and preventing water damage.

When Installation is Necessary:

New Construction: During new home construction or when adding an addition to your existing home, installing soffits and fascias is a standard procedure. Proper installation at this stage ensures your home starts with a solid foundation, both structurally and aesthetically.

Home Renovations: If you’re renovating your home and notice signs of damage, such as rotting wood or pests in your existing soffits and fascias, it’s an indication that new installations are necessary. Modern materials like uPVC and aluminum offer durability and low maintenance, making them ideal choices for replacements.

When Removal is Essential:

Damage Beyond Repair: Over time, soffits and fascias might suffer from wear and tear due to exposure to weather conditions. When the damage is extensive and beyond repair, removal becomes necessary to prevent further complications such as water seepage and structural deterioration.

Outdated Materials: Older homes might have soffits and fascias made from materials that are no longer viable. Asbestos, for example, was once a common material but is now recognized as hazardous. Removing these outdated materials is crucial for the safety and well-being of your family.

When Replacement is Vital:

Visible Signs of Wear: Cracks, peeling paint, or visible rot are signs that your soffits and fascias need replacement. Ignoring these signs can lead to more extensive damage, impacting not only the aesthetic appeal but also the structural integrity of your home.

Pest Infestation: Soffits and fascias, especially if made of wood, are susceptible to pest infestations. If you notice signs of termites, ants, or other pests, it's essential to replace the affected sections promptly. Pest damage weakens the wood, compromising its strength and stability.

Why Professional Assistance is Crucial

Expertise and Experience: Professional contractors bring a wealth of expertise and experience to the table. They can assess the condition of your existing soffits and fascias accurately, determining whether repair, removal, or replacement is necessary.

Safety Measures: Working at heights can be dangerous, especially without the right equipment and safety measures. Professionals are trained to handle such tasks safely, ensuring not only their well-being but also the integrity of the work.

Quality Materials and Workmanship: Reputable professionals use high-quality materials and employ skilled workmanship, guaranteeing the longevity and functionality of your new soffits and fascias. Quality installations protect your home for years to come, providing peace of mind and value for your investment.

Remember, soffits and fascias are not merely functional elements of your home; they are vital contributors to its structural integrity and aesthetic charm. Whether you're building a new home, renovating, or addressing wear and tear, understanding the significance of proper installation, removal, or replacement is crucial. Entrusting these tasks to experienced professionals ensures that your home receives the care and attention it deserves, preserving its beauty and strength for generations to come. So, if you find your home in need of soffit and fascia services, don’t hesitate to seek the expertise of the professionals at RAM Builders Stucco and Exteriors. Enhance your home's beauty and integrity, and let it stand as a testament to your commitment to quality and excellence.

Roof leaks are frustrating, and the often can be costly repairs. Sometimes, they’re obvious, such as seeing water spots on the ceiling, but other times it may be trickier to notice a leak. Plus, even if you notice the damage, finding out where the leak is coming from is another mess of its own. Here are a few signs of a roof leak you should not ignore:

If leak repairs aren’t tackled quickly, even small leaks will lead to huge problems. From mold, rotted framing, destroyed insulation, and damaged ceilings and walls, the repair bill will only get higher and higher. Plus, the damage water does to a home can become a safety hazard. RAM Builders Stucco & Exteriors has handled some of the most complex roofing repairs in Utah. With something this important, only trust skilled professionals to make sure the repairs are complete.

Water getting into your home is typically not a good thing. Water leaks can cause damage to attic ceiling and floors and can trickle down into you walls or framework. Additionally, this water can pool and settle causing discoloration, mildew, dry rot, and harmful mold growth. It’s important to make sure your house is sealed up tight. Part of the proactive care involved kickout flashing, also called diverter flashing. Kickout flashing is a special type of flashing (thin material, typically galvanized steel) that is installed on roofs to divert rainwater away from cladding and into the gutter where it can drain safely. When kickout flashing is installed properly, it is excellent for protecting against the penetration of water into your home.

Potential Problems

Some homes that see rainwater issues simply never had kickout flashing installed in the first place. Kickout flashing should be installed in places where a roof and exterior wall intersect or in locations where the wall continues past the lower roof edge and gutter. If this wasn’t done, rainwater may miss the gutter completely and instead penetrate the exterior and become trapped inside the wall. Kickout flashing should also be installed where getters end at the sign of a chimney. If you suspect water damage and don’t see these areas with kickout flashing, contact us for help.

Some homes may have kickout flashing but it was improperly installed. You can usually tell if this is the case if you notice water leaking through the seam. This usually is an indication that the bottom seam of the flashing is not sealed tight. Another sign of poor installation is if the angle of the diverter is less than 110 degrees. We’ve often been called out for repairs because a homeowner modified the flashing. Some homeowners find them unsightly, so they will shorten the kickout flashing to less than the recommended six inches (although some manufacturers will allow four inches). Doing this greatly reduces the effectiveness of the kickout flashing. You can check yours by making sure they are the same height as the side wall flashings. Sometimes homeowners will also cut them to be flush with the wall so they’re less noticeable, but this will also create water issues.

The Importance of a Quality Job

At RAM Builders, we use methods designed by scientists and engineers to ensure our kickout flashings are tried and true. Some contractors install or repair kickout flashings on the job by cutting and bending a step shingle into a diverter without sealing the cut. Doing this will cause the diverter to fail and allow water to get into the home. Fixing it correctly requires much more. Even small amounts of water can get behind stucco, which is moisture-resistant, eventually causing the wood framing to rot. Water issues can sometimes take years before they’re detected. Keep your eye out for discolorations, cracking, a stagnant water smell in your home, or rainwater pooling in unwanted areas. For the best kickout flashing installation and repair, only trust in the experts at RAM Builders Stucco & Exteriors.

Many people get worried when they are considering a home renovation project, and that’s usually because they’ve heard some horror stories from friends of family. But, with a good general contractor, the issues should be minimal, and the process will end up being enjoyable. Here are some common renovation frustrations and how to avoid them:

  1. Going way over budget. This one happens way too often, and it’s really the result of poor communication and planning. Defining your budget with the contractor is imperative to the entire project. There are cases where contractors will get into a job and there is a major issue lurking below that wasn’t known before, which may require additional funds to correctly address. But, if you’re open with the contractor with what you expect, what you need done, and how much money you have for it, they will be able to estimate the costs and let you know if it’s feasible. Every project needs a little wiggle room, but it shouldn’t come out thousands of dollars more than initially discussed.
  2. Discovering your renovation isn’t up to code. It’s frustrating to finish a huge project just to find out it isn’t compliant with city regulations. Minor projects don’t generally need a permit to complete or an inspection when it’s done, but if for major projects, you must make sure you check off all the boxes before, during, and after it’s completed. A reputable, licensed general contractor will know the importance of this and will make sure to plan for approvals and verifications.
  3. Living in a construction zone for months. Some extensive projects may require you to relocate for a while, and if this is the case, you’ll need to be prepared before starting the job. However, we’ve heard stories of smaller to mid-sized projects taking over the entire house because the crew was inefficient and messy. This is understandably frustrating and not good practice. Discuss with your contractor beforehand your expectations for living within the project mess and make sure you feel good with their approach. You can check reviews, too, to see what others say about their work area.
  4. Not being able to track down the contractor and crew. Many crews are likely working on more than one project at a time, but that doesn’t give them the excuse to start demoing then not show up for several day while you’re in a mess. You need a contractor that is reliable and will put your project on top of their priority list. Communication needs to be easy, the workers need to show up as expected, and the project needs to be completed in an appropriate time. You’ll know right away if the contractor is responsive and easy to communicate with, but you’ll want to take some time vetting their work before hiring them.

We know house projects are important, both financially and emotionally, and you want to ensure you feel good about a contractor before committing. Contact RAM Builders Stucco & Exteriors with any questions or concerns.

Even if you are an animal lover, you probably don’t want wild creatures to make your home their home. Wild animals and critters can do some serious damage to our homes, and it typically ends up a very expensive and frustrating repair process. It’s common in Utah for rodents and small animals to get into homes, and if this is something you suspect is happening at your property, RAM Builders Stucco and Exteriors can help you repair the damage appropriately.

Adorable Animals, Yet Problematic Pests

Rodents such as mice and rats can damage many areas of the home including electrical wiring and our belongings. But even more concerning is that they are also health hazards, leaving their dropping all over and carrying dangerous diseases. If you have a skunk stopping in, the smell can permeate drywall, furnishings, and the entire HVAC system. Racoons are common throughout Utah, and in your home, they will damage insulation, wiring, and ducts. They also carry similar diseases as mice and rats. Deer are also familiar faces throughout the Wasatch Front, and with the many heavy storms this winter, they’re staying down from the mountains more often. They may be cute but you don’t want to encourage them to get too friendly or rely on you as a food source. Deer often accidentally break through doorways and windows, causing damage to your home and to themselves. Squirrels and chipmunks are small and can easily get through gaps in your foundation, chimney, or ductwork. They will quickly burrow into your home and make a little nest for themselves and possibly new babies. These little guys carry diseases too and cause damage quickly. Birds, especially woodpeckers, are very hard on siding and shingles. When birds make nests in your gutters or on your roof, this can create damage, leading to leaks and drainage problems which only get worse over time.

Prevent and React

To make sure animals aren’t getting into your home, trim any trees that are close to your roof, inspect your roof periodically, and keep your gutters clean. Install chimney caps and seal up any openings or gaps around your home’s exterior. If you have an attic or crawl space, check it out a few times a year to see if there are any animal droppings, torn insulation, moisture or mold growth, or signs of nests. If you suspect an animal has welcomed themselves into your home, call pest or animal control to get the resources your need to address it correctly.

Once the animal, or more likely animals, have been addressed, you want to be sure to handle the repairs appropriately so that the problem doesn’t happen again. Our team at RAM Builders can come to your property, assess the damage, and provide you with a quote for the repairs. Repairing animal damage should be done carefully to make sure there are no other access points for the animal or other animals to get in again. Exterior issues eventually affect the inside of your home too, so don’t ignore concerns for long.

A deck is a practical and beautiful way to provide extra entertainment space for your home. A deck can serve many purposes, from a quiet relaxation spot to all-night parties to a play area for the kids. To keep this space usable, it’ll need a little TLC. Utah’s weather extremes can damage decks, but with the right protection, you can enjoy your investment for years. Here are some reasons to waterproof your deck:

If offers protection from elements: Waterproofing your deck provides a layer of protection from rain and hail in spring and fall, the beating sun in summer, and heavy snow and freezing temperatures in the winter.

It helps keep the framework solid: Water on decks can turn to mold and rot the wood. Over time, this will erode the deck. If this happens on support beams or joists, the entire integrity of the deck becomes compromised. Not only will you have more maintenance requirements, but you’ll also likely need to replace much of it to make it safe again. It’s not a matter of if your deck will be problematic, it’s when.

It reduces maintenance needs: All decks will need some maintenance over the years, but an uncoated deck will need much more. Sanding, repainting, or structural repairs are costly and time consuming. Waterproofing a deck minimizes these needs.

It looks good and saves you money: A properly waterproofed deck looks great. It provides a finished look that says, “we take good care of our property.” Waterproofing will help prevent fading or discoloration of the wood as well. A run-down wooden deck that is full of splinter hazards and soft spots is not only unsightly but unsafe. It takes a good deal of time and money to bring a dilapidated deck back to life. Stay ahead of the game by waterproof sealing your deck every year.

It ensures a longer lifespan: A deck with waterproofing applied each year will last much longer than an uncoated deck. A little annual investment will bring many years of enjoyment.

To check if your deck needs a new coat of waterproofing, pour a little water onto the wood. If the water beads up, the deck is protected. If you see the water soak into the wood, it’s time for a new coat. Decks should receive two coats of sealant, applied in thin coats one at a time with a stain brush, being mindful to stain in the same direction of the wood grain and plank. Allow for the deck to fully dry, at least 48 hours, before walking on it or putting furniture back out there.

Water will find its way through a flat surface at some point, which is why we use a special application technique that creates a small slope so water can’t puddle and sit on the wood. Our waterproofing skills provide a quality end product that ensures your deck stays protected better and longer. To ensure your deck is properly sealed, trust RAM Builders Stucco & Exteriors to handle the task.

Building your dream home or remodeling should be a positive experience. The contractor you choose will be one of the most important decisions you make on this journey. Your contractor should be excited to assist you in making your dream a reality. When you’re assessing contracting companies, here are some red flags to look out for:

  1. Contract issues – A good contractor will have you sign a contract that is clear and fair. This protects them, which shows they care about their employees, but it also protects you, which shows they care about your relationship. The contract shouldn’t be confusing or rushed, and if you have questions, they should answer them honestly.
  2. A very low estimate – Some contactors give estimates that sound too good to be true just to get work. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t go with a lower bid, it just means to ask about the quality of their products and workmanship, to read their credentials and references, and to make sure they know your expectations.
  3. They ask you to handle the permits – Getting the permits for your project is their responsibility. They should get all the permitting handled before they start the project.
  4. No proof of insurance – A good contractor should be insured to protect their employees and their clients. If they can’t prove they have insurance or they expect you to be liable in any accidents, this is not good practice.
  5. Cutting corners – Make sure your contactor doesn’t take shortcuts or buy inferior materials. Ensure they follow codes and the guidelines necessary for your project. We know no one likes to be stuck in construction mode for too long, but a rushed job is much worse.
  6. Their homes haven’t lasted – If you’ve seen their work and it hasn’t held up, chances are they aren’t providing quality work with quality products.
  7. Poor communication – Your contractor should be reasonably available to you and your calls. If you’re brushed aside or feeling like a constant bother to your contractor, they’re not treating your job as a priority. Be sure they’re communication is honest, clear, and open.
  8. Large upfront payments – Most contractors require an upfront payment, but if it’s more than about 20% of the job, that’s a bad sign. Also, if they only deal in cash, that may be a red flag.
  9. Their job site is not maintained – If they’re working in a mess and it’s looking hazardous, that’s a sign of sloppiness, but more seriously it means they may not be following OSHA guidelines for safe practices.
  10. Poor reviews and complaints – Check online reviews and make sure the good reviews far outweigh the bad. If they don’t have any reviews to show, ask them. If they won’t provide any, be wary. You can also check the BBB to see if there are unresolved complaints against the contractor.

At RAM Builders Stucco and Exteriors, we take pride in our ethical practices and always strive to achieve exactly what our clients have envisioned. For quality work, reach out to us today.

Windows are often an overlooked upgrade, but they shouldn’t be. Windows are like the eyes of your home, welcoming in visitors and bringing openness and light into your space. It’s shocking how much windows can do to the look of your home, and many customers are surprised to see the dramatic improvement when their project is complete. Here are eight reasons to upgrade your home’s eyes:

  1. Helps with curb appeal – Boost your curb appeal by replacing old, outdated, and unattractive windows with new, contemporary, clear windows. This is even more important if you have broken windows, which screams deferred maintenance to all who drive by. New windows are worth the investment just for the curb appeal boost alone.
  2. Increase energy efficiency – Get rid of draftiness and air leaks with new, energy-efficient windows. Not only will it feel nicer in your home, but you’ll save money on heating and cooling bills throughout the year. And, bonus, they’re better for the environment because you’re not wasting energy on cooling/heating the neighborhood.
  3. Control outside noise – If you’ve ever lived in an older home on a busy street with original, single-paned windows, you know how loud it can be inside. New windows are designed with noise-control features and make a world of difference to the peace and quiet inside your home.
  4. Enjoy the new view – Even if you clean old windows often, they are likely still covered with scratches, foggy sections, or hard-to-remove dirt. New windows will be clear and bright and makes the view of the outside world much more beautiful. Often, new windows will make the space feel bigger because of the natural light streaming in.
  5. Increase security – Break-ins are generally easier with older windows. New windows are stronger and can come with double locks and interlocks to maximize safety. Intruders will have a harder time breaking high-impact resistant glass on modern windows.
  6. Safer and easier to use – New windows have many options. Some have a tilt-in feature or easy-removal capabilities so cleaning them becomes a breeze. They’re also easier to get open in case of emergencies such as a house fire. (Don’t worry – we mean easier to get out of the house, but not so much for an intruder to get in.)
  7. More comfortable indoors – Newer windows will make a drastic difference in the temperature of your home, especially if you’re going from very old single-paned windows. If you replace your windows and still feel unusual draftiness, you may need thermal imaging services to see what else is going on.
  8. Adds value to your home – Whether you plan to sell your home or not, new windows will add value to your home’s worth. And if you are planning to list your home, many realtors and appraisers will suggest replacing windows if they’re outdated enough because buyers will likely ask for replacements as a concession in their offer.

Window replacement may not be the most inexpensive choice, but the benefits pack a punch. For the highest quality work, trust in RAM Builders Stucco & Exteriors.

Spring has sprung, and it’s the season of rebirth and regrowth. Continue the feeling by bringing the new to the exterior of your home, too. The exterior of your home is the first impression everyone gets, and you want to spend some time working on the curb appeal. Here are some suggestions for some spring updates for your home:

Architectural Accents

Adding some architectural accents can be as budget-friendly or extensive as you want. With durable foam options, you can choose any design and style you want. Create an appealing style upgrade around your windows, add some decorative columns along a porch or patio, or bring a customized casting design to explore a variety of creative options. Accents can bring a whole new level of sophistication to a home’s exterior.

Updating Paint Colors

Painting portions, or all, of your home can dramatically change the look of your home. Painting brick has been popular for a while, and we don’t see it going out of style ever. Brick homes are beautiful, but if you hate the color, it’s not as big of a project to change as you might think. Painting old brick can freshen up a home in a big way. Stucco is very easy to repaint and looks amazing. Whatever the exterior of your home is, if you want a color switch, it’s doable. And spring is just the time to do it.

Repair and Patch Stucco

Stucco is a popular material in Utah, and it’s a great product. When taken care of, it can look beautiful for a very long time. Take some time to assess your stucco and see if there are any problems arising. Patchwork is relatively easy and doing it before anything major happens will prevent you from having to spend a lot of money later for problems that eventually lead inside, too.

Replace Wood Siding with Stucco

If your home has old wood siding, consider replacing it with stucco, which is easy to maintain. Wood siding is lovely, but it requires quite a bit of care and maintenance. If you’ve had enough of that, replacing it with stucco can update your home while also making it easier to maintain for throughout the future.

Waterproof Decks and Make Repairs

You’ll soon be gathering outside now that warmer weather is upon us. Wooden decks require some annual maintenance to keep them looking great and lasting a long time. With Utah’s weather patterns, you want to stay up on the maintenance for your wood decking. Keep up on repairs and you’ll have a useable deck for years to enjoy.

Consider Your Concrete

If you currently have concrete areas of your home, check them out and see if they need any overlays, lifting, or repairs. If you’d like to add some concrete space in your yard, now is a great time to get your project on the books. RAM Builders is happy to address concrete projects large and small. This spring don’t forget the exterior of your home when you start the spring cleaning process.


American Architectural Manufacturers Associationexterior home remodel and repair contractorHome Builders AssociationMember NFIBAWCI member