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Construction Roofing

Skylight Replacement: Everything You Need To Know as a Baltimore Homeowner

Skylight Replacement: Everything You Need to Know as a Baltimore Homeowner

Skylights – man, the team at Four Twelve gets a lot of questions on skylights and skylight replacement. What are my options? When do I know it’s the right time to replace my skylight? How do I know if it was installed properly or not? To help you get a better understanding Let’s start with the basics. What are the different types of skylights available to YOU as a homeowner in Baltimore? And how do you know it’s time for a skylight replacement? 

Velux VS. Pyramids

When opting to install or replace a skylight, it boils down to two options: a Velux skylight or a pyramid skylight.

A pyramid skylight installed by Four Twelve.
A pyramid skylight installed by Four Twelve in Charles Village on 2/5/19

So, Velux skylights are the modern, highly insulated, flat skylights available for flat roofs as well as shingle roofs. If you want a skylight that has higher insulative properties and a more modern look, this is an option for you. Additionally, Velux offers a special product called “solar skylights” which are remote operated, solar powered skylight option that comes with a 30% energy tax credit.

Meanwhile, Pyramid skylights are the historic, galvanized skylights available for flat roof home homeowners across Baltimore. These come in custom length and width sizes and have options for ventilated or unventilated. People love the ventilated option for creating airflow in and out of the top floor of your home to craft a more comfortable, better-circulated living environment.

When Is It Time for a Skylight Replacement?

There are several attributes of your skylights that may signal it’s time to consider a skylight replacement. Hesitating to replace your skylight can result in damage to the interior of your home, so it’s important to stay vigilant when looking for signs of damage.

Covered Weep Holes

an image of weep holes covered by a previous roofing contractor Four Twelve found upon roof inspection.
Weep holes covered by a previous roofing contractor Four Twelve found upon roof inspection.

Covered weep holes are one of the most common issues we see working in Baltimore City on pyramid skylights. This is often the result of other roofing contractors performing roof repairs, and in the process cover up the weep holes on the side of the skylight mount. One of the key functionalities of a pyramid skylight is the ability to shed water through weep holes at the base of the glass panes where it connects to the galvanized mount. Two things we see that signifies it’s time for a skylight replacement are when roof repairers have sealed up these weep holes with either a strip of membrane or roof cement. These weep holes must be opened in order for the skylight to perform properly.

Cracked Glass

A pyramid skylight with cracked glass found during a skylight replacement.
A pyramid skylight with cracked glass in Charles Village.

Another instance, which may seem obvious, is if your skylight has cracked glass, which is visible from the inside of your home. When these panes are cracked, the skylight becomes a vulnerability and the potential for water intrusion is high, leading to potential paint and drywall repairs down the line.

Rusting Metal

Another sign that your skylight is at the end of its life span is when the galvanized metal has corroded across the structure of your skylight. As a homeowner, one sign you can look for is orange or brown streaks coming down the glass panes of your skylight. Often times when we see this, it means that the galvanized metal of the skylight is disintegrating, and exposing itself to you as the homeowner from the inside. Most times when we see this from the inside and get up on the roof,  we discover that the protective metal structure has begun to flake and deteriorate. 

At Time of Roof Replacement

We also recommend a skylight replacement at the same time of a roof replacement. Often times, if your skylight is old or in disrepair, there is not much sense in keeping it in conjunction with a new roof. Additionally, there are savings in replacing your skylight at the same time as your roof. Once the construction team is at your property, the fixed cost of getting a team out to the site to replace the skylight is significantly lower. This is why we recommend rolling it up into the same project. On top of that, the flashing for your skylight is highly interconnected with the roof install, and ensuring that these are done in conjunction often leads to fewer leaks and less maintenance over the longevity of your roof system.

How Is a Skylight Properly Installed?

Skylights must rest upon a built-in wooden box connected to your roof decking. Often times, we do this with a 2×4 or 2×6 construction. After the box is in place, we will run our roofing underlayment up and over the box system to properly flash the opening. After that, the skylight is ready to be set on top of the box system. Once in place, the skylight will either be mechanically attached with screws or sealed in place with a weatherstripping system that is part of the installation kit.

A protective cricket built during a skylight replacement.
A protective cricket built against a new skylight installation by Four Twelve.

Another detail that Four Twelve folds into its skylight construction process is building a cricket (a water diversion system), on the uphill side of the skylight. We’ve found this detail to be incredibly important for the proper performance of your skylight system. Crickets allow for water to shed effectively downhill and around your skylight, minimizing the possibility of leakage over the lifetime of the skylight system.

Let Four Twelve Help You With Your Skylight Replacement

As roofing contractors in Baltimore, Four Twelve has seen just about every type of skylight damage there is. From cracked glass to covered weep holes, our team has the trained eyes to quickly assess and diagnose the issues plaguing your skylights. Whether you’re curious about a new installation, or simply need help figuring why there’s water leaking in from your skylight, let the team at Four Twelve assist you. Contact us today.

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Baltimore Construction HeatMap Roofing

HEATMAP (WINTER 2017-2018) | Four Twelve Roofing

 

When growing a small business, sometimes you have to “grind.”

This leaves you little spare time for fun side projects. But today, we’re getting back to the basics – having some fun with this thing.

To keep our friends and family, in the know, on what we’ve been up to over the past couple months, we put together this heatmap – showing all our project work over the course of Winter 2017-18.

The business is growing and so is the intrigue of our project load. Here are a couple of bullet points to summarize the activity we’ve seen over the last few months:

1. We’ve been awarded our first restaurant build out
2. We’ve begun construction on two townhome gut rehabs for an investor in Remington
3. We’ve performed multiple roof tear off and replacements, from Federal Hill all the way up to Hampden

The one commonality we are seeing in our project work, is that the majority of it is taking place in Baltimore City. If you or anyone you know has projects on the horizon, in Baltimore City, we would love if you thought of us. Feel free to visit our website, Four Twelve Roofing, and submit a contact form. We’ll be happy to come visit your home and see if we can be of help 🙂

Categories
Baltimore Construction Roofing

FOUR TWELVE ANNOUNCES THE LAUNCH OF ITS ROOFING DIVISION

That’s right folks, we are officially launching a roofing company. Over the last few months, we have noticed such a demand for roofing, siding, gutters and windows in Baltimore City and Baltimore County – that we have decided to grow out a roofing segment within Four Twelve.

We are not forming a new company – we will simply be doing more roofing, siding, gutters and window work within the purview of Four Twelve’s General Contracting business.

Four Twelve aims to provide our roofing clients with the same experience they have grown accustomed to, when working with our General Contracting team. Quality, timely customer service. And integrity in relationship management.

As we state on our website, and something that has come to be a mission statement for our company – “We aim to build quality homes and manage our relationships from a place of honesty and integrity.” When it comes to roofing, these principles certainly apply, and we think we can benefit our community tremendously through offering a quality product in the exterior home improvement and renovation sector.

Contact your local roofing contractor in Baltimore, MD – Four Twelve Roofing for an estimate today!

Categories
Construction Four Twelve Roofing Roofing

A YEAR IN VIDEOS (2017) | Four Twelve Roofing

In some of our projects were lucky enough to have the cameras rolling (and the batteries charged), so here is a look at a few of the projects that Four Twelve Roofing worked on this past year.


Ever wonder what it takes to build a new foundation for a home, well sit back and enjoy as we chronicle the start to finish.


Tiling, marble, vanity – watch as we take this bathroom remodel to completion from the ground up!

Categories
Construction Four Twelve Roofing

1600 BARCLAY MODEL HOME READY | Four Twelve Roofing

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After 6 months of construction, Four Twelve Roofing is happy to deliver its first home as a part of the 1600 Barclay development project. This home is a product of 1,000 hands, hearts and ideas throughout Baltimore. Thank you to everyone who met with us to discuss our project or who worked on it directly.

We will be hosting an Open House with wine, beer and small eats on Tuesday, October 3rd from 4pm – 7pm. Come by, hang for a bit and get a tour of our first finished home – it would be a pleasure to have you!

This home is also officially for sale (woooo!). For anyone interested in living in this wonderful space, please visit our MRIS listing to learn more. Below we have thrown in some finished photographs to give you a taste of how this home turned out.

Looking forward to seeing folks on October 3rd or any other time you would like to come by and visit!

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Categories
Construction

BRICK + BOARD ELEMENTS SHINE THROUGH

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Brick + Board is one of our favorite partners in the Baltimore building scene. Within 5 minutes drive of Greenmount West, Brick + Board operates a large warehouse that sells salvaged materials including bricks, boards and unique architectural elements. All of these salvaged pieces come from deconstructed Baltimore rowhomes, and Brick + Board has built a business upon hiring folks with barriers to employment, who take these homes apart piece by piece.

Since starting our project at 1600 Barclay, we have found numerous projects that allowed us to tap into Brick + Board’s stockpile of beautiful building products.

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Brick Accent Wall

As a prospective homebuyer in Baltimore, there are a couple things that are must haves – one of which is interior brick walls on the inside of your home. Baltimore is a city built of bricks, and while this is true of other cities up and down the East Coast – in Baltimore, the WHOLE city is built of bricks and it has come to define the aesthetic of residential architecture in this town. When starting our project at 1600 Barclay, we began excavating our lot and found a trove of old bricks underground. These were the original bricks from the homes that stood on our lots dating back to the early 1900s. As we dug up these bricks, we started stacking them to the side, with plans to find a place for them inside our new homes. As we got towards the finishing stage of our first home, we decided to install a facade wall of bricks at the back of the 1st floor – this way we could provide our homebuyers with that must have look of interior brick within this rowhome. To supplement the stack of bricks we had dug up, we called upon Brick + Board to provide a load of old common bricks, which would match with what we dug out of the earth. Matching the bricks to the ones we provided them, we now have a beautiful accent wall, which is a feature piece within our first home at 1608 Barclay St.

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Salvaging the original bricks from the homes that used to stand at 1600 Barclay. We used a mix of these bricks and salvaged common bricks from Brick + Board to construct the accent walls within the 1600 Barclay properties.

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Hemlock Stair Treads

As custom homebuilders in Maryland, Four Twelve has always felt that textures provide a sense of warmth and character to a space – and are critical to tying together the design of a home. For the staircases within our first home at 1608 Barclay, we chose to build the stringers and railings from black painted steel and the treads from reclaimed, sanded and polyurethaned wooden beams. In order to source this wood, we called up Brick + Board and they provided us with some gorgeous Hemlock boards from their warehouse. We had never used Hemlock before and this project came out beautifully.

Planing these boards on the top half, allowed for the wood grains to surface and a smooth texture to appear on the face of the treads. Leaving the underside in its natural state, these treads have a rough bearded texture with reddish hues.

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When receiving salvaged material, there is a chunk of work that goes into prepping them – to become installed pieces. Step 1 is running them through a planer.

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Marble Steps

Another design element that is uniquely Baltimore, is the use of marble steps leading up to the front door of a rowhome. There is nowhere quite like Baltimore – in that this city is chock full of marble slabs, sitting right out on the curb in front of thousands of rowhomes across town. Fortunately for us, this is one of Brick + Board’s specialties, procuring marble steps from rowhomes they deconstruct across town. These steps came from rowhomes deconstructed in East Baltimore on Federal St, not far from our building project in Greenmount West.

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