The roof is often overlooked until signs of wear and tear manifest. It is in these subtle signals that the need for roof repair begins to make its presence felt—and when that happens, Ram Builders Stucco & Exterior has you covered (literally). The exterior of our homes, exposed to the unrelenting forces of nature, bears the brunt of changing seasons, from the scorching sun of summer to the battering winds of winter. Amidst these natural rhythms, the roof stands as a stalwart guardian. However, as time weaves its tapestry, the roof may begin to unveil signs of distress, signaling the imperative for timely intervention.

One of the most noticeable indications that a roof requires attention is the presence of water stains on the ceiling. These subtle, yet insistent, marks are harbingers of potential leaks or water damage. The genesis of such stains can be traced to compromised roofing materials, worn-out shingles, or the insidious infiltration of water through unseen openings. Addressing these stains promptly is crucial, as unchecked water damage can lead to more extensive and costly repairs.

Do You Hear Something?

The auditory cues of a roof in distress often manifest as telltale sounds—creaking, cracking, or the persistent drip of water. These audible murmurs are not to be dismissed as mere background noise. Instead, they serve as a form of communication from the roof itself, signaling structural issues, compromised materials, or the encroachment of water into the interior spaces. Listening to these subtle vocalizations can be instrumental in identifying and rectifying potential problems before they escalate.

The exterior appearance of a roof can be a visual testament to its health or deterioration. Curling or missing shingles, sagging sections, or the presence of granules in gutters are visual cues that demand attention. Shingles, over time, may succumb to the elements, losing their grip and allowing water to seep beneath. These visual irregularities are not merely cosmetic; they signify vulnerabilities that, if left unaddressed, can lead to more profound structural issues.

Protecting Your Head

The ingress of daylight where it doesn't belong is a notable sign that a roof is no longer maintaining its impervious stature. If light penetrates through the roof boards or is visible in the attic, it underscores potential gaps or openings that compromise the roof's integrity. Beyond the aesthetic intrusion, this phenomenon can pave the way for water infiltration, escalating the need for comprehensive roof repair.

The state of the attic plays a crucial role in gauging the overall health of the roof. Dark spots, mold growth, or the presence of moisture in the attic are indicative of potential roof issues. Proper ventilation is essential to preventing the buildup of excess moisture, and any signs of imbalance in the attic environment should prompt a thorough examination of the roof's condition.

How High is Too High?

The emergence of unexpected spikes in energy bills can also be linked to a compromised roof. A well-maintained roof acts as an insulator, regulating the temperature within the home. When the roof is compromised, whether through leaks or inadequate insulation, the internal climate becomes less controllable, resulting in increased reliance on heating or cooling systems. Monitoring energy bills can thus serve as an indirect but significant indicator of potential roof issues.

Critters seeking refuge within the confines of your home are not just unwelcome guests; they may be signaling structural vulnerabilities in the roof. The presence of pests, such as rodents or insects, can be linked to openings or weaknesses in the roof that require attention. Addressing these vulnerabilities not only rids the home of intruders but also safeguards the structural integrity of the roof.

Staying on Top of Things

The importance of timely roof repair extends beyond the immediate need for structural stability. It is a proactive investment in the longevity of the home and the preservation of its intrinsic value. Delaying repairs in the face of evident signs not only exacerbates the extent of damage but also escalates the financial implications. What begins as a minor issue, if left unattended, can cascade into more extensive and costly repairs, affecting not only the roof but also the overall well-being of the home.

Your roof demands attention and care to ensure its enduring role in the story of the home. Signs of distress are not mere inconveniences; they are chapters that beckon proactive engagement. In deciphering the language of the roof, homeowners can respond to these signs as invitations to nurture and protect, thereby fortifying the very essence of the haven they call home. If you think your roof might need some TLC, contact Ram Builders Stucco & Exterior today.

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.

Soffit and Fascia are more than just a visual structure to finish off the look of a home. They also help to keep pests out of your attic and protect your home from water and weather damage. Soffit refers to the component underneath the rafter tails running from the side of the home to the edge of the eaves. Fascia refers to the exposed visible part at the end of the rafter that creates a barrier between the roof’s edge and the outside. Soffit and Fascia are typically made from wood, aluminum, or vinyl. We recommend using metal for this portion of the home because it’s durable in our climate, creates a tight yet flexible seal, and doesn’t require paint touchups like wood does.

Why Aluminum is the Best Choice

Aluminum is a great material for soffit and fascia because it’s lightweight, can be easily cut, is able to fit various angles, and is durable. It requires little to no maintenance for your eaves, and with baked-enamel paint, they won’t rust or need to be repainted every few years. Wood can get damaged easily and is vulnerable to moisture issues and leaking. Warping, rotting, and crumbling are all common problems with wood soffit and fascia, especially in our climate. Vinyl is a better option than wood, but it can crack due to temperature fluctuations or pull away from the home resulting in gaps that can let water in. If left untreated, the entire gutter system will eventually get loose and possibly detach from the roof, creating a safety hazard and an expensive fix.

Aluminum is hearty enough to remain durable and strong during Utah’s weather shifts while also being light and easy to work with. It’s a great choice if your home has an exceptionally high-pitched roof because it creates an airtight seal around areas where water leak potential is high. Aluminum is also non-combustible, meaning it isn’t going to catch on fire very easily, unlike wood. This adds another layer of protection to your home.

Your pocketbook will thank you, and not just because you’ll save money on unnecessary damage and repairs. The tight seal of aluminum provides a more efficient flow of air within your home, so your HVAC system will run more effectively. (This also helps prevent the formation of icicles and ice dams on your roof—see our other blog for why you don’t want these.)

This part of your home needs to be installed correctly. If soffit and fascia are attached too tightly, the aluminum can ripple or bow, or it can expand and break as temperatures fluctuate. Ensure your new soffit and fascia withstands the test of time by getting it installed by a professional company with experience in Utah’s climate. RAM Builders does all our work on-site which means we can customize as needed and make sure the job is done in a timely manner. For the best soffit and fascia work in Utah, reach out to us anytime.

Go to sleep Christmas Eve confident that Santa’s sleigh won’t crash through your rooftop. Utah’s winters are harsh on our homes, and the roof takes on a heavy toll. From wind to heavy, wet snow to freezing temperatures, your roof needs to be in tip-top shape. When that sleigh makes a clatter, you don’t want to see that a failing roof was the matter. Roof repairs and replacements should only be performed by highly trained workers. It’s common for people to repair roofs with replacing shingles only but a strong roof goes far beyond shingles.

Roof Underlayment

Underneath those pretty shingles is roof underlayment, which is a barrier material installed before shingles that protects the inside of your home. Usually, the material consists of step sheathing, OSB (boards made from ground wood stands with wax and adhesive), or plywood. No matter how great the installation of your shingles is, the roof underlayment should be installed properly to prevent leaks. This is not the place to cut corners. If you have a roof leak and you’ve been told you only need to replace your shingles, this is likely a mistake. Leaking is often caused by poor roofing underlayment conditions and incorrectly installed flashings. With something as important as the cover protectant of your home, the roof is not the place to sacrifice quality work.

Your roof connects to many features of your home, such as rain gutters, chimneys, and exterior materials like stucco or siding. Care must be emphasized at these connection locations. This can only be done with a team of professionals who truly understand the different elements involved in these processes. Every connection is a chance for a leak. If you’re concerned about the condition of your roof, getting a thorough analysis from a reputable company will be your first step. It’s usually good to get a few bids and keep in mind, the lowest number is not always the wisest choice. You want a roofer that will be up front about their costs and know that they’ll do the job right, not fast and cheap. Santa should be able to stop on your roof for more than 20 years with a good roof installation with asphalt shingles. For metal roofs with proper underlayment, he can feel confident landing his reindeer on them for over 50 years.

Being Festive and Safe

Roofs are often being decked out this time of year with lights and décor. Falls from hanging lights hit over 14,000 last year. Before hanging those lights on your roof, take precautions like getting a new, quality ladder, and don’t hang them while it’s icy out. We generally don’t recommend you getting on top of the roof and walking around to find that perfect placement for Santa’s beacon. In addition to fall hazards, walking on asphalt shingles can damage them, so consider a professional if you really want something on your rooftop. You also want to be careful not to damage your home with staple scars or holes while hanging lights; instead use light clips as a safer alternative.

Sure, icicles are pretty. And as kids it was fun to use icicles as swords or find the biggest one to see how heavy it was and show all our friends. But now that we’re the ones paying for roof repairs, icicles have lost their magical appeal. Icicles are a sign of poor drainage on your roof, possibly creating major issues such as an ice dam. Take note: you can still have an ice dam on your roof without the presence of icicles.

Factors such as the direction your home faces, the pitch and angles of your roof, and areas where it remains shady for a good part of the day can affect how the snow melts off your roof in the wintertime. The warmth from inside your home can seep out of the roof, which makes the snow melt and drip. You want the snow to melt and fall off your roof, but sometimes this doesn’t happen, and the water gets stuck at the eaves and refreezes. An ice dam forms creating a run-off and refreeze cycle that can cause damage to your shingles, gutters, and even inside your home.

If you see icicles forming, respond quickly. You can tap small icicles off your roof before they get too big but be gentle as to not cause more damage. Damage to your roof is an inconvenience, but a personal injury from falling icicles is far worse. Additionally, if you use a ladder to remove icicles, prop it up in a secure location, make sure you don’t step on any icy spots, and have someone below you to help out. You may also want to check the insulation inside your home to make sure everything is sealed well. In the fall, clear out your gutters for better drainage pathways.

It’s common in Utah to get a big storm with heavy, wet snowpacks. If it’s safe to do so, you can climb on your roof and remove the snow with a shovel or rake. Decide beforehand where you want the snow to land as you shovel it off your roof. Don’t use ice melt products or ice-breaking tools on your roof—these don’t just damage your shingles, they destroy them, forcing you to redo an entire roof.

Being proactive about icicle and ice dam prevention will save you money and headaches in the future. Here at RAM Builders, we can install a self-regulating heat tape on all the potentially problematic places on your roof. Our team knows where problems are typical and can place the tape only where necessary. Self-regulating heat tape turns on once temperatures fall below 40 degrees, which is much of the winter in many places around the Wasatch Front. We use commercial grade heat tape, which means it is GFI protected, doesn’t need to be always left off, and is durable. Most tape we see in hardware stores is poorly designed and doesn’t work until the temperature falls before 19 degrees. For all home related questions, reach out to us today.

Cracking and staining below a chimney cap

The red arrow shows where water is getting through the hole in the chimney cap. The hole was created by the fastener used to hold the cap down. This is a common problem that we have fixed on 100′s of home along the Wasatch Front. The green arrows show the staining and cracking that have been caused by water getting in through the hole in the chimney cap. The roof is also letting water behind the stucco system. This is evident by the staining and cracking that is shown by the blue arrows. Most contractors would just paint or install new stucco finish over the chimney, but without fixing the problem water will continue to get behind the stucco and rot out the 2x framing. In fact the additional layer of paint or stucco used to cover up the symptoms will accelerate the rotting process. Since another layer of paint or stucco will only keep the water trapped behind the stucco.

Failed Caulking

The yellow arrows show the common method used for chimney cap installation. A fastener (nail) is placed through the cap, then black caulking is applied over the fastener. This caulking fails and then allows water to get through the hole that the fastener created.
The orange arrow shows where black caulking is placed around the flu pipe that goes through the chimney cap. This black caulking will eventually fail and allow water to pass through the chimney cap and into the fireplace.

Properly installed chimney cap

This picture show a chimney cap that was properly building installed. The fasteners were placed through the side of the cap and collar was welded to the chimney cap. No sealant is relied upon to keep water from getting through the cap.


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