Solar panel maintenance

Post-Storm Solar Panel Maintenance for Homeowners

Solar panel maintenanceSolar panels for the home are growing in popularity and have become increasingly affordable since they first became available for widespread use in the 1970s. Another data point for homeowners to consider when choosing to utilize solar panels is both the time and cost required to maintain them, especially after a storm. There are a few general cleaning tasks that homeowners can perform autonomously but knowing what can be completed on your own and when to call in a professional is essential in maintaining the functionality of your solar panels after stormy weather.

Inspect Your Solar Panels After a Storm

Dirty and cluttered solar panels are less effective in gathering energy, so making sure to inspect them after a storm is critical. Rain is useful in clearing loose dirt and pollen, but if mud and debris land on your panels, they will need to be cleaned as soon as possible. If you’re not sure your panels need to be cleaned, monitor their performance and make sure they are working at full capacity. If not, then cleaning your panels is likely required.

How to Clean and Remove Debris

If you notice that your panels need cleaning after a storm, start by removing debris and checking for damage. Make sure that your manufacturers’ cleaning and maintenance standards are reviewed to see if there are specific requirements for cleaning agents or brushes for your specific solar hardware. If nothing specific is recommended, then using a regular dry brush to lightly sweep away debris and choosing a clarifying soap that won’t leave residue should be sufficient. You can then use a light spraying function on your hose (do not powerwash) to rinse off the panels and dry them with anything that works well on glass. Never step directly onto solar panels when cleaning them, as this can cause micro-breaks in the glass and cause further damage.

Here’s When You Need to Call a Professional

If you’ve removed debris, thoroughly cleaned your panels, and noticed any cracks or severe damage, then it’s time to call a professional. Never attempt to fix any damage on your own, and if no damage is found, but your solar panels still aren’t working at peak performance, that’s also a sign that they may need professional servicing. Solar panels will save homeowners money by reducing energy costs, and there are multiple tax credits and rebates that homeowners can leverage. Panels are easy to maintain and require little maintenance overall but paying particular attention to panels after a storm will ensure that their performance is not interrupted.

Abigail Baker is a writer from Happy Writers, Co. in partnership with FedSteel, a heavy-walled steel vendor.

Tornado

How to Storm-Proof Your Home Entryways

TornadoDepending on where you live, there are some serious precautions you need to take against hail and other debris scattered around by storms and tornadoes. If you live in a state prone to tornadoes, hail or other extreme weather events, you would be wise to check the durability of your doors and other entrances.

The main factor to ensure is that your door or window is strong and can stand up to an impact. For example, there is impact glass used in sliding doors or fiberglass entrances that is capable of resisting a 2×4 piece of wood hurtling into the material at 30 miles per hour.

Which types of windows and doors might give you the best protection against hail and other debris associated with stormy weather?

Stainless steel and aluminum metal

This kind of metal is a tough material that stands up well against tornado-force winds and flying debris caused by tornadoes. They require little upkeep and also are popular due to their aesthetic qualities. Steel can often be molded to mimic the appearance of natural wood, making this a great choice for those who want storm protection alongside a pleasant-looking material.

Fiberglass and sliding glass doors

As touched upon, fiberglass makes a super strong protective entrance when made with impact glass. This kind of glass is designed to withstand forceful impacts from large objects, making them perfect for storms and tornadoes.

Also, fiberglass can be easily molded into a variety of shapes, as well as being paired with realistic wood frames that can add a touch of class to your impact door.

Impact glass can also be used in sliding doors. This is perfect in regions with tropical climates that need plenty of air flow in the home, and where residents regularly spend time outdoors.

windload compliance

Wind-rated garage doors

It is not only your front door that needs protection – your garage is also left vulnerable during a storm or tornado. High wind is capable of pushing your garage door inward, creating potential structural damage to your home if your garage is attached to the rest of your building.

Check your current garage door for a wind compliance label, shown below. If you do not find evidence that your garage door is wind-resistant, it might be best to purchase a new door that can withstand high winds. Alternatively, it is a good idea to reinforce your garage door with metal stiffeners or metal bracing.

Wrought iron doors

Doors made from wrought iron are naturally heavy-set to protect against storms. They can be fashioned into all sorts of patterns by designers, but the most important thing is that they are tough and wind-resistant.

When to call Classic

If you are in need of storm repair or remediation, or you’re simply doing a renovation, call Classic Construction for a free estimate. We’re a team of highly trained professionals ready to help you! We now offer financing through our partners, Heath, and work alongside your insurance company.

 

cracked Spanish tile roof with hail damage

Hail – When to worry!

Hail happens and you’re often wondering “What the HAIL do I do now?” First take a look at the hail that is falling: the smaller it is the less you have to worry about. However once it hits a certain size your home or business will begin to get damage. Taking a good look around your property to see if there is any obvious damage. Any signs of damage means you should call a professional to come out. Read on to learn about the size of hail and its relation to damage, tips for quickly identifying damage, and on when to call in a professional for inspection and repair!

hailstorm in front of a house

Size Matters!

The damage that your property can receive during a hailstorm is not always dependent solely on the size of the hail, wind has a huge factor to play as well. Though small hail sizes have a less chance of causing serious damage, when the wind speeds increase, these smaller sizes can end up bringing minor damages to window screens and vinyl siding. The severity of your property damage increases as the size in hail does as well—usually ranging from 1-2” and in some cases even above that! When the hail reaches the size of 2” or above is when you have to start figuring out not “if” there is damage to your property but “where” the damage is.

 

Take a Look Around.

You may not have the safety equipment to get onto your roof, but there are ways you can survey for damage from the ground.  Here are some quick tips to safely scout for hail damage:

  1. Do you see damage that seemingly has no discernible pattern? Especially after a storm, random spotting on your roof is a good sign you have damage.
  2. Black spots on shingles, “bruising” of shingles, or shiny spots on shingles. This means the granulated coating has been knocked off, exposing the felt underneath.
  3. Spots on shingles that are soft to the touch, if you’re able to get on the roof yourself.
  4. Cracked tiles on a Spanish-tile roof.
  5. Splits in wood on your roof, shingles that appear split or torn, and dents in metal flashing around chimneys and vents.
  6. Water spots or leaky ceilings inside your home or building.

Why a Hire a Pro?

Roof Hail Damaged Shingles InspectionAfter reading all of the above you’re probably now wondering why to call a professional. The answer is simple, we have the know how to not only identify damage that you can’t easily see but we can also help you navigate the insurance companies red tape to get your business or home repaired faster. Classic Construction is also Master GAF Elite certified (learn more about why this is important ) and can ensure that your roof, where the majority of the damage takes place, is repaired correctly and to code to keep you safe. Knowing why to call a professional is going to be your best defense when it comes to getting any hail damage repairs completed. Classic Construction offers a free inspection of your property after a hail storm hits. You can reach us 24/7 by calling(link to phone number if possible) or contacting via our website (link to contact form on website). 

Conclusion

Storm season in North Texas can be severe, at times, and can last from spring through the fall. In addition to water damage, wind damage, and fallen trees, hail can cause major worries for homeowners and commercial or multi-family property owners. Classic Construction has over 85 years of experience and can get your home or business back to normal in no time. On time, on budget, that’s Classic!

Contact us today for a free estimate or call (469) 290-8980!

Slate roof

Hiring a GAF SlateCrafter Specialist

Slate roof

Finding a reliable, timely, and trustworthy slate installer can be nearly impossible with so many contractors available, but our SlateCrafter Specialist team at Classic Construction can make it easy. Classic Construction is one of the top 2% of contractors who are GAF Master Elite Certified and now also SlateCrafter Specialists, which helps ensure that only the best quality and installation practices are being used.   

What GAF SlateCrafter Certified means to me

Being GAF Master Elite Certified and GAF SlateCrafter Specialist is more than just a title; it’s a promise and commitment to get the job done On Time and On Budget. Gaining our certification means that you are selecting a safe choice from the top 2% of roofing contractors with hours of training and a warranty to guarantee our workmanship.

Safe Choice

Being a GAF SlateCrafter Specialist is a safe choice for you. When you choose a SlateCrafter Specialist, you are guaranteed the best quality slate; a real hand-split quarried slate. You are also ensured an installation system that requires less slate for every net square. One of the most important promises that our team at Classic Construction can guarantee as a SlateCrafter Specialist is affordability. 

Our Training 

To become GAF Elite Certified and GAF SlateCrafter Specialists, our team has dedicated hours to slate installation training in the classroom and in practice. Aside from training, our crew is also tested to ensure that we can perform premium, high-end slate applications. Because of all the hours dedicated to slate installation, our team has diverse capabilities. 

Warranties 

To guarantee peace of mind, GAF SlateCrafter Specialists offer a lifetime limited warranty with coverage on workmanship and manufacturer defects. 

Why It Matters

Becoming a capable and knowledgeable slate installer can take years. Locating a company that cares about the quality of material, quality of the installation, and affordability is rare. GAF SlateCrafter Specialists have trained, learned, and been reviewed to ensure experienced installation. You will be guaranteed the best quality installation done by a knowledgeable crew member and the best possible quality slate, which will have been tested using the standard American Society of Testing and Materials. If you want a slate roof that will last you years for a reasonable price, choose quality and reliability by selecting a GAF SlateCrafter Certified Specialist. If you want a family that also cares about you and your project, who is On Time and On Budget, choose Classic Construction.

Three Classic Construction managers on site after a storm which caused severe damage to the homes behind them

Good Contractors in My Area: What Makes a Contractor Stand Out From His Competition?

When you have a construction project that needs to get done, you want to hire a contractor that can get it done on time, on budget and on a high-quality level. That’s just common sense. But what makes a roofing contractor, a restoration contractor, or really any kind of contractor better than his competition?

There are three key traits that set the great contractors apart from the ones you never want to hire again, and they are:

Likeability

The most enjoyable contractor to work with is the one that you as a property manager, or maybe your HOA Board, actually likes. Construction projects can take a long time and it’s very likely that at least one thing will go wrong, causing problems for you and your residents. Make your job easier by picking a contractor you enjoy speaking with and receiving phone calls from. Most of the time, you’ll find it easier to do repeat business with a contractor you like than one you dread calling, whatever the reason. If you find yourself a contractor that you or your Board “just clicks” with, make sure you also vet them for this next trait.

Excellent Communication

Have you ever met a person you really liked who just never called you back? It’s such a shame when that happens. But this disappointment can quickly become a much bigger issue when it comes to construction. The best contractors will be the ones who take your calls, even when – no, especially when – things have gone wrong. This is a sign of trustworthiness and accountability that you might take for granted until you realize too late how important it is. If you’ve found yourself a contractor you like who answers your calls and emails, hooray! You’re 2/3 of the way to being sure you’ve got a great one. But can he meet the trifecta?

Professionally Knowledgeable

You might think this trait should come before communication skills, but if you can’t get the guy to talk to you, you’ll never get a chance to find out if he knows what he’s talking about. And you definitely want your contractor to know what he’s talking about. A likeable guy can con you into hiring him with his charming tongue, then leave you hanging out to dry when the project goes south. The best contractor for the job will be the one you like who communicates well with you and can demonstrate his professional knowledge for you before, during and after the project is complete. And if he truly is the trifecta of contractors, he’ll be able to explain the trickiest parts of the job to you in a way you can actually understand.

Here at Classic Construction, we believe in the importance of each one of these traits not just individually, but as a combination as well. If you’re looking for the trifecta of contractors, reach out for a free quote for your next project!

Classic Construction employee standing next to a ladder outside of a brick Texas home which is going through a roof inspection due to heat damage.

The Top 3 Ways the Texas Heat and Humidity Can Cause Damage to Your Home

heat damage to Texas home going through inspection with brick layer, Classic Construction employee standing next to a ladder outside of the homeIt’s no surprise to anyone who’s lived here from May to August that North Texas summers are hot and humid. What might surprise you is the damage that the summer heat and humidity can cause to your home. That’s why today, we’re going to share with you the top 3 ways that heat and humidity damage your home – and what you can do about it.

Foundation Damage

Perhaps the biggest threat the Texas heat poses to your home is the threat of foundation issues. Your foundation is designed to gather moisture from the soil around it to help it maintain itself. In the heat, the soil around the base of your home dries up and shrinks away from the foundation, causing an imbalance in the delicate foundational support system. Furthermore, having large trees with large root systems near your home can cause further foundation damage as the roots spread out in search of water. A good way to keep your foundation damage-free is to make sure the soil around your home is continuously moistened by a sprinkler system and to remove any large trees from near your home. You might also consider bringing in more soil if you find that the soil or mulch around your home is already receding.

Roof Damage

heat damage to roof, cracked shingles Here at Classic Construction, we are unusually passionate about regular roof maintenance, and for good reason. Your roof is your first line of defense against the elements, and the heat and humidity in summer can cause damage to your roof that can affect other areas of your home as well. The heat can cause shingles to crack, making them more likely to leak. A good summer shower can come along and then cause unbearable humidity in your attic which, when combined with the heat, can cause the shingles to deteriorate at an even faster rate. The humidity can also cause the insulation in your attic to breakdown. To help prevent damage to your roof, we suggest scheduling regular roof maintenance to keep it properly maintained.

Sealant Damage

heat sealant damage to home roof flashing damage causing the roof to lift up from heat damage to the home. Roof raised a bit to see damageSealant essentially prevents moisture from entering your home or escaping your plumbing. Areas in your home that require sealant include your roof, pipes, windows, doors, tubs, and any openings that lead to the exterior of the home or are near the plumbing. Sealants typically have only a 6-month shelf life before they start peeling or become cracked enough to become ineffective. With the Texas heat and humidity, this shelf life becomes even less. Once moisture enters your home, you can have interior damage from the leaks such as stains on your ceiling or even more serious damage such as rotted wood or buckling hardwood floors. Furthermore, the humidity created by the combination of the leaks and the Texas heat can cause mold and mildew to grow. To prevent any of this from occurring in your home, we (again) suggest regularly scheduled maintenance and a healthy dose of vigilance.

If it’s been a while since you had someone come out and inspect your home for signs of heat damage, reach out to us here at Classic Construction today for a free quote!

Summer home maintenance on a home with the sun shining down on home roof.

Maintenance Tips to Prepare Your North Texas Home for Summer

summer home maintenance, sun shining down on home roof Summer is here! As exciting as warmer weather is, it’s essential that we make sure our home is ready for the change. Below are some of Classic Construction’s top tips to help you prepare your home for Summer.

Inspect your roof

For your safety, you should perform this inspection from the ground to the best of your ability, possibly with binoculars. Check for dents, loose or torn off shingles, and obvious nails sticking out.

Change all your filters

This includes your water, range hood and air vent filters. Summer brings with it all the allergens, so this will help keep your family safe from these annoying particles.

Additionally, you should make sure to clean out your dryer vent. This is massively important to do because it can help you prevent a fire from destroying part or all of your home. Fire restoration services are expensive and time consuming but cleaning your dryer vent is free and takes about an hour.

Check all window and door seals

Summer is a dry season; checking your caulking will help you catch any areas for potential leaks before they cause damage to your home. Consider looking into weather-stripping.

Clean out your gutters

If you didn’t do this between autumn and winter, chances are your gutters are chock full of leaves and debris. When the spring showers hit, your gutters could overflow and cause damage to your home. They could also detach completely from your home from the weight filling them up.

Inspect your foundation

If you have a crawlspace, make sure to clear out and repair your foundation vents as these will prevent mold and critters from taking up residence beneath your home. Look for any visible cracks or shifting.

Inspect any brick or concrete surrounding your home

Moisture is the enemy of brick and concrete. If it seeps beneath your driveway, it can cause cracks and splitting. If water sneaks its way into the mortar between your brick walls, they could crumble and fall apart as well. Check for any signs of moisture seepage in these areas around your home and shop around for an estimate for repairs if you think it’s necessary.

Service your HVAC unit

Despite the costs, we all know our HVAC units are the real MVPs of our homes. They’ve kept us warm all winter and we’ll be expecting them to keep us cool during the summer. Therefore it’s essential to have them serviced by a licensed HVAC professional. You don’t want to wait until the heat of summer to find out you have an AC problem.

Inspect your wood siding, decking, and railing

Winter is harsh on wood. Look for any signs of wood damage or deterioration. If any of your wood is rotted, it needs to be replaced. Also be on the lookout for any signs of termites or other critters. It’s better to have these removed or exterminated before acquiring further damage.

Prepare your pool

If you have a pool, you’re probably already looking forward to using it again. I’m sure you know about the usual cleaning, brushing, chlorinating and debris removal; these are what you usually handle yourself. Make sure you also clean the filter, check the conditioner levels, test your pool equipment, run the pump during the warmest part of the day, and clean your salt cell (if you have a saltwater pool).

two GAF Certified quality roofing contractors on the roof taken from arial view of the roof

What does GAF Master Elite™ Certification mean for our customers?

two GAF Certified quality roofing contractors on the roof taken from arial view of the roofHere at Classic Construction & Restoration, Inc. we take pride in being among the top 2% of roofing contractors in North America. How did we achieve this lofty goal? 

We went through the process of becoming GAF Master Elite® certified!

GAF is an acronym for General Aniline & Film, which is the leading manufacturer of roofing and waterproofing materials in America. If you have a roof over your head, there’s a 1 in 4 chance that it was built with GAF’s materials. 

The Master Elite® Certification is GAF’s factory certification program that provides ongoing training to roofing contractors and assurance to you, the homeowner, that the roof will be completed well and professionally. This is a highly prestigious award because only 2% of all roofing contractors in the country have qualified as Master Elite®. 

What does this mean for you as a homeowner?

Choosing a GAF Master Elite® contractor is your assurance that you will be dealing with a quality, dependable and professional contractor. In order for a roofing contractor to qualify for the certification, they must meet the following standards:

  • A+ BBB rating
  • possess an established license for the state they work in
  • be current with distributor partners in receivables
  • have been in business for at least 3 years
  • consistently show ethical contracting in their service area
  • be adequately insured
  • show a commitment to ongoing professional training

two classic construction GAF master elite certified contractors on the roof examining roof material

A certified GAF Master Elite® roofer is the only contractor that can offer 2 of the best warranties in the industry, Silver Pledge and Gold Pledge, both backed by GAF. GAF also covers a Master Elite’s workmanship. Approximately 95% of the issues that arise on a roofing project are related to the installation of the product, not the product itself. With a Master Elite® roofer, you can be sure that they have been trained to install the materials correctly and have the ethical wherewithal to make sure that your home is protected. 

As a full-service general contractor proudly serving North Texas for over 90 years, and one who qualifies as a top 2% roofing contractor, you can rest assured that your roof is in good hands with Classic Construction & Restoration, Inc. 

If you find yourself in need of a new roof, call Classic Construction today for your free quote!

GAF Master elite logo

Empty apartment turnover maintenance

Preparing for Tenant Turnover: What Major Maintenance Items Should Be on Your Checklist?

Tenant turnover is a year-round problem for property managers and landlords. But with the warmer weather on the horizon, turnover rates will be on the rise. According to the National Apartment Association, turnover expenses have the potential to reach up to $162,000 or more annually, depending on the property’s location and turnover rate. 

With that being said, here are 3 of the top turnover maintenance tips to help you manage this busy season more effectively and save money in the process.

Begin the process before your current tenant moves out

As long as your resident has given you written notice of their intent to vacate, you can start the turnover process by scheduling a pre-inspection at any time before the current tenant moves out. During this time, you’ll be able to assess the condition of the flooring, the blinds, the appliances and any other big-ticket items that you might need to order in advance. 

Speak with your vendors about availability of materialsa kitchen with with stainless steel fridge, black stove and a black over the range microwave. White cabinets and black countertops. Kitchen receiving maintenance and being cleared.

Because you were smart and started the turnover process early, you now have the opportunity to make sure that your vendors have what you need in stock, or place your order for the materials so that you receive them in a timely manner. 

Additionally, your maintenance team will be able to prepare for whatever make-ready responsibilities they will be handling after the tenant is gone. These can include, but are not limited to, replacing window screens, air vents, appliance upkeep and cleaning. 

Prepare for both major and minor renovations, if necessary

If during your pre-inspection you realize the unit is overdue for a light remodel, you will be able to assess what items need replacing. Simple renovations such as new light fixtures, additional electrical outlets, or new paint can potentially generate a higher rent and depending on the skills your maintenance team possesses, can be done by them for a relatively low cost.

However, if you or the property owner have been going through the process of completely updating units and this one needs a major remodel, this is the time to request contractor bids and estimate the costs. Doing this before the current resident is gone will help you when looking at your turnover budget and you will be able to then determine an accurate timeline for when the unit can be rent-ready.

Empty rooms with clean wood floors a fireplace receiving maintenance. Room has white walls and a white ceiling fan with three lights turned on. Empty room maintenance managing tenant vacancy

Fortunately for you, Classic Construction handles everything from general maintenance to full remodels to large insurance claims. If you find your maintenance staff overwhelmed with their turnover responsibilities, give us a call or contact us today for a free estimate!