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.

Many exterior remodeling upgrades can get you a 100% return on investment. So not only will you get the benefit of curb appeal, it’s also financially beneficial. Older homes often require upgrades to keep looking nice and structurally sound. Sometimes these can be minor, but you may eventually need to do something significant. Here are some ideas for major exterior upgrades that will turn your home from meh to yes!

Focus on Efficiency

Updates to make your home more efficient are great ways to boost your initial financial investment. Consider upgrading your insulation throughout the home. Maybe it’s time to jump in on a solar power system, which can save you money on your electricity bills and often adds value to your home’s worth. Doors also are an eye-catching upgrade that will improve the efficiency of your home, too. Replace your old windows with high-grade windows, which improves both looks and efficiency. A lot of older homes were built without the openness of today’s designs, but adding windows to a home is not as complicated as you may think and drastically changes an outdated home.

Siding, Stucco, and Brick

Old siding can show its age. Consider installing new, higher quality siding that has a better record for longevity. If your stucco is starting to crack or discolor, you can often remedy it with a new paint job. But if there are other issues, you’ll want to fix them before repainting. Brick homes are a bit tougher to change, but consider painting the brick, which is a popular option. If you’re not ready for that leap, the windows and doors mentioned above will likely bring you that change you crave while also keeping the brick untouched.

Add (or remove) a Deck or Porch

Adding a charming deck or porch can do wonders for curb appeal, plus you’re sure to enjoy evenings relaxing outside on your new space. On the flipside, maybe you have a deck or porch already that is run down and not getting used. These often become collection spaces for debris or toys and can be an eyesore. Either fix them up and make them usable again or get rid of it and plant some maintenance-free landscaping instead.

An Inviting Entryway

Whether you love to entertain or not, having an inviting entryway is key to curb appeal. If your home doesn’t have an adequate entryway feel and you’ve always wanted that, there are probably options that you haven’t thought of. Get a professional to come out and give you ideas—you might be surprised about what can be done.

Don’t Forget the Landscape

Your yard doesn’t need to be expertly landscaped to be beautiful. If you have time to get your yard Better Homes and Gardens worthy, we applaud you! But if you don’t, make sure you’re planting low-maintenance plants and that your sprinkling system works well so you don’t have to hand water what’s dying.

If you’re ready to make some amazing exterior changes to your home, put your 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.

Exterior upgrades go beyond the structure of your home. This summer, consider investing in some various exterior projects that will bring you a good ROI. Here are some ideas.

  1. Outdoor entertaining areas – Create a fun space for all your entertaining needs. A fire pit for roasting marshmallows, a covered cooking space with a high-end grill and some countertops, or a pool area with loungers are all great ways to bring excitement to your home.
  2. Add some outdoor lighting – Outdoor lighting can really spruce up a home. You can add lighting on the actual structure of your home and/or opt for landscape lighting. Be mindful of what you want to highlight and where the lights will go best to accentuate those areas. Plus, a well-lit home deters burglars all while creating a lovely ambience.
  3. Replace garage door and/or front door – You may be surprised to know just how different a new garage door and/or front door will make your home look. With the many styles and colors today, new doors on your home can pack a big punch. Remodeling Magazine came out with a cost versus value report and said that garage door replacements recoup almost 98% of the upfront cost, and front doors recoup about 76%. Instantly boost your curb appeal by upgrading your doors.
  4. Lawn care maintenance – Last year, many Utahns had to forego watering due to our extreme drought. Even if we have similar restrictions this year (not likely), implementing a good yard care regimen can improve the value of your home. Even if you have some brown grass, you can still keep the yard tidy and clean.
  5. Plant trees and update landscaping – If your yard needs a little more than just better maintenance, it may be time to bring in a landscape professional to help you map out a better look. Planting trees that look nice with your home and offer shady spots will create a more comfortable and put together yard.
  6. Sprinkling systems – Hand watering is not something many of us have time for. If your property doesn’t have a sprinkling system, installing one is a great way to bring convenience to your schedule and is a good return on investment. If you have one, it’s a good idea to check it out each year to make sure everything is running smoothly.
  7. Update the façade – Replacing siding may sound extensive and expensive, but it’s actually one of the most cost-effective ways to improve the value of your home. Updating your stucco, whether it needs repairing or a new color, is also a great way to improve the look of your home while also building value.
  8. Add a deck or patio – Consider adding a deck or patio to add value and character to your home. A functional outdoor space creates an extra spot to entertain or relax, and homes with these added spaces typically see about a 76% return on investment.

For professional exterior projects, trust the work to the experts at RAM Builders Stucco & Exteriors.

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.

The summer months call us to spend time outside enjoying the lovely weather and soaking up some Vitamin D. As you’re enjoying your outdoor time, maybe you’ve noticed a few issues with the exterior of your home that need to be addressed. Here are seven signs that your home could use an exterior renovation:

  1. You feel like your home is looking dated – If you continually pull up to your house feeling out of place from the rest of your updated neighborhood, it may be time to give it a refresh. To keep your house feeling current and well loved, some exterior renovations may be necessary. It doesn’t always have to be a huge project, even adding some shutters or updating the address numbers is all it takes.
  2. The paint is starting to chip or flake – If you’re noticing paint chipping or flaking, or maybe faded sections, this is a sign that your home is asking for some TLC. Often this is just a cosmetic issue and is relatively simple to fix. Before issues get worse, consider getting a quick coat of fresh paint on there.
  3. The landscaping doesn’t match the home – If you’ve spent a lot of time and money on a beautifully landscaped yard, you’ll feel even more satisfied with the project if your home matches that look. If you’re home looks run down but your yard looks immaculate, it’s going to feel unbalanced.
  4. You plan on selling the home sometime soon – The first impression of your home is the exterior. Realtors and buyers may not remove a home from their list because of an unattractive exterior, but they’ll definitely think twice about it. Even if you don’t plan to sell right away, if you know it’s in the cards sometime in the future, start with little renovations now and keep up on it so you can enjoy the upgrades before you put the for sale sign up.
  5. The inside doesn’t match the outside – Many of us are guilty of spending a lot of time and money on interior updates while forgetting about the outside. If you’ve upgraded several areas of your home but have neglected the outside, now’s the time to remedy that. Curb appeal matters, so avoid putting the exterior on the backburner.
  6. Pests or insects are getting in – Bugs do find a way to get into homes regardless of exterior quality; however, if you start to notice a shift and you’re seeing more pests or bugs than normal, it may be time to consider an assessment on the openings of your home like doorways, windows, or chimney crowns.
  7. Your roof is leaking – Homeowners should never ignore a leaking roof, and it won’t simply go away or get better with time. We know that roof repair or replacement is intimidating but ignoring the problem will only create bigger issues.

Renovating the exterior of a home doesn’t have to be a dreaded project. Make it a rewarding and positive experience by using the experts at RAM Builders Stucco and 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.

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.

Ironically, waterproof decks are where we find the worst dry rot in the shortest amount of time. There is a huge variety of waterproof decks offered by manufacturers and contractors. In Utah, every tile exterior deck that we run into has failed. Water gets in through the grout joints and into the grout bed under the tile. With Utah’s freeze thaw cycles, major failure can happen very quickly. Other waterproof deck systems that we see fail regularly are pre-manufactured sheet products that are installed directly over the deck substrate. These types of products have a seem in them every 4′ and the joints usually fail within a couple of years. The best waterproof decking systems are wet applied products that are mixed and applied on site and no joints are created. Unfortunately, even good decking systems fail when the product is not properly tied into the adjacent exterior cladding.

The reason for failure- Its not the way the deck product was installed, or bad material, its the failure to properly tie into the adjacent exterior cladding on the home or building. All exterior cladding products have a moisture barrier behind it. If the waterproof deck coating does not tie into the moisture barrier correctly, water will get under the deck coating. The waterproof qualities of the deck will keep it from drying out, water is trapped, and the wood framing will rot.

These pictures are a example from a job we did in June 2014 on a home that is 5 years old. For more information and examples of waterproof deck, go to this page of our website-


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