Trim problems on your home or commercial facility? Consider composite materials
By Bryan Kelly
President, Kelly’s Property Services
Southborough – Summer is almost here, and many of us will be outside inspecting our homes or businesses for storm damage or aging problems. Mild weather was the rule during the past winter, but other issues may be impacting our homes and business facilities. The first one being, of course, what will repairs cost, if needed? Then comes the question of selecting a qualified vendor. And finally, how can we be certain we’ll get value for our dollar while ensuring quality work?
Here are some potential problems and solutions about what needs to be done:
My personal inspection of new home and business properties built over the last 20 years has uncovered many situations where rotted trim, window sashes and doorframes are all present. On examination, it often appears that the pine used in installations was of a grade unsuited for exterior use. Much of the wood used was primarily intended for interior use. Often stock was selected on the basis of economy, not quality.
You will find many contractors still using similar pine stock for trim board replacement. This is often done on the erroneous assumption that pre-priming will ensure the durability of new materials. Our findings reveal this type of material when installed out of doors represents a lifecycle of no more than five years.
Beginning a decade ago, when inappropriate materials first were being installed in newly constructed homes and commercial buildings, our firm began looking for alternative products and solutions.
We start by recommending a solid PVC material (a close-celled polyurethane, similar to the density of wood that performs well in any temperature and is impervious to mildew, rot and insects). Exterior trim made from PVC can be expected to last ten times longer than pine, without distortion. It also holds paint much longer.
We also adopted a work rule to always install exterior trim boards with stainless steel, ring-shanked nails. This prevents corrosion and eliminates the chance of nails popping out as a result of temperature variations.
A full decade after adopting a PVC standard, we believe trim boards are living up to expectations. Additionally, manufacturers are now supplying more shapes and sizes than ever in order to match a variety of exterior standards. When it comes to rotted trim on your home or commercial building, our advice is straightforward: fix it now and fix it right with PVC.
There are now many outstanding composite alternatives for decks, porches, siding and other exterior areas. One may have cost or use advantages over another. Porticos, patios and other exterior architectural elements can now be replaced or built entirely with materials that have the look of real wood while remaining impervious to weather and rot.
Similarly, PVC pediments and arches installed over windows and doors really do increase the appeal as well as the value and weatherproofing of your home. Your vendor should be able to fabricate and install even hard-to-match shapes.
Quality and value
As the principal of a company specializing in painting, roofing and carpentry for both residential and commercial clients, I urge you to do the work required to qualify the best source available to meet your needs for quality and value. In other words, contact a proven provider, or qualify more than one firm by asking for a competitive bid.
Experience, high quality standards and no-nonsense guarantees should be your first consideration. Second, be sure your vendor is well-established and reliable. Meanwhile, good luck in all your efforts to ensure your property looks its very best and maintains its true value.
Kelly’s Property Services has been serving home and business owners in Southborough and surrounding communities since 1989. Learn more about Kelly’s at www.kellyspropertyservices.com or call 508-958-2196.
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