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How to Install Your House Gutters

How to Install Gutters

Gutters come in several different sizes although most people never notice. You may have become accustomed to seeing white and brown gutters on homes but in fact many custom colors are available today. I built a Marine barracks in New York that required all red trims. Louvers, vents, fascias and soffit materials and yes even the gutters and downspouts were a matching red color. As with window units, there are dozens of custom colors to choose from today.

Almost all residential applications use a four inch by four inch wide standard gutter and three inch downspouts or leaders. There are cases where due to a large expanse of roof area, a larger gutter may be required. Five inch gutters are available that resemble the four inch standard size. The downspouts are increased to four inch from three inch to accommodate the extra water flow. If the downspouts are undersized the water will wash over the outside lip of the gutter defeating the entire intent of the gutter and possibly damage the house or landscaping below.

Also available are gutters called “Yankee Gutters”. These are built into the roof itself and do not protrude from the roofs edges. Often used in the New England area it is rumored to help prevent damage from sliding snow, they became Yankee Gutters. These work extremely well and may be as much as twelve inches wide to catch all the water from the roof. They must be maintained however to prevent any leaks. Leaks will penetrate directly into the house itself since the gutter sits inside the exterior wall line. Properly installed and maintained by proper cleaning these gutters have lasted over a hundred years.

All gutters have downspouts of some kind. These come in ten foot straight lengths as well as elbows type A and Type B. Matching color gutter straps are also available. Downspouts must be secured firmly to the house as falling water places a heavy load on the pipe and fittings and can actually pull a downspout loose from the gutter or house.
Once I have the downspouts in a finished configuration that I like, I rivet each pipe and fitting together with two matching color rivets. Additional rivets used to secure the straps to the leader pipe leaves a nice looking end product that will not pull apart.

Also important to a good gutter system is to provide a way for the water to get from the end of the downspout away from the house foundation. There are commercial products that attach the downspout end that rolls out when water in the leader puts enough pressure on the inside of the roll. The plastic roll has holes to act like a sprinkler hose thereby letting the water out slowly causing no damage to plants or lawns below.

There are many types of after market gutter accessories to prevent leaves and other debris from entering the gutters and clogging them. Gutters must be cleaned at least once a year to prevent debris from clogging the downspouts and causing gutter overflows. There are also some quite good washer attachments that fit on the end of a garden hose that will let you wash out the gutters from the ground or a small ladder. There are many types of leaf guards that fit inside the top gutter lips to prevent leaves from entering the gutter. Some work quite well, some not at all.

There is one type of “gutter” system that in fact is not a true gutter at all These are called rain guards, rain splashers and so on. They are a series of finned sections that in cross section look like a louver blade. When rain water flowing from the roof strikes the guards the guards scatter the water over a large area thereby dissipating the force of the water falling directly onto the ground below the eave edges. They do not carry the water away from the foundation however which must be a consideration before installing them.

Pre-made gutter sections come in ten foot lengths. If you need a longer gutter you must use gutter splices and caulk to seal them. These splices tend to sag and leak over time so you should strongly consider having a one piece gutter made for you. Gutter companies will come to your home and using a special machine on a trailer, roll out any length gutter you need in one piece. They can install the end caps and outlet as well. Trying to handle a twenty, thirty or forty foot gutter is not an easy job by any means. If you purchase the gutter and decide to install it yourself, remember if it bends or kinks during installation, you own it. A really good idea is to have the contractor install it for you.

If you decide to install a gutter yourself anything over ten feet is a two man job in almost all cases. You will need ladders, a hammer, tape measure, four foot level, drill with metal bits, rivets and rivet gun, gutter caulking, gutter spikes and ferrules or roof gutter straps. I place one nail every two feet on center starting a couple of inches in from the ends and over the downspout outlet(s) openings. First install both the end caps with caulking and then add the downspout outlets, riveting each one in place. If you’re using a single ten foot gutter, a downspout at one end should be more than sufficient. Gutters may be hung using either nails and ferrules or roof straps. A newer mount fits inside the gutter, locks into the gutters lips and is screwed into the fascia with a power drill. This type leaves no exterior evidence of mounting. If you are using spikes and ferrules, placing a ferrules inside the gutter lips, Place a spike on the outside face of the gutter directly over the opening in the ferrule. Striking the spike with sufficient force, it will pierce the gutter and enter into the ferrule. Line up the gutter exactly where you want the finished elevation to be and drive the spike through the back of the gutter and into the fascia board. Do not drive the spikes all the way. Proceed along the gutter in two foot incremental spaces until reaching the opposite end of the gutter.

Get down off your ladder and look at the gutter. Does it tip ever so slightly towards the downspout hole? If it is really noticeable, it may be too much tilt. Now is the time to adjust the gutter slope before you drive the spikes completely into the wood. If you are happy with the gutter go ahead and drive the spikes flush with the gutter but do not compress the gutter or ferrules. Spikes come in both white and dark brown pre-finished head colors to match the gutters.

Roof straps are for me the least desirable mounting method. They are used when the fascia board is weak or non-existent. The strap is nailed down into the roofing under the bottom shingle and hangs off the edge of the eave. The gutter is placed inside the strap assembly and the strap is locked into place. I have seen these straps face nailed into the bottom course of shingles but this is highly undesirable and will surely leak as the year pass.

Once the gutter is mounted you can proceed on to install the downspouts. Downspout fittings come in what are called either A or B types. They are both approximately 45 degree elbows but one is on the flat and the other is curved. Using combinations of fittings and solid downspout piping, make up the entire downspout in one piece on the ground by trial and error fittings. You can bend the elbows slightly, and using left and right fittings to clear other obstructions until you have a finished length of downspout that will take the water directly to the ground or splash block below.

Attach the downspout to the gutter outlet with two small galvanized self tapping sheet metal screws. You may want to remove the downspout for cleaning one day. Now using the downspout bracket you riveted to the pipe earlier, bend the flat bracket tightly around the downspout pipe and bend the two ends outward flat against the house siding. Using galvanized roofing nails, nail the straps securely to the main building. A minimum of two straps is required with one at the top where the downspout first contacts the house and the other just above the bottom elbow. Tug on the downspout. Remember many pounds of water will be flowing through this pipe at one time during a storm and in winter areas, freezing rain or ice and can freeze solid in the pipe. If your wall brackets are not properly nailed or not enough straps are used, the downspouts will surely fail.

Lastly a good investment is to place splash blocks under the outlet at the bottom of each downspout. Even if the downspout exits onto an asphalt or concrete driveway, use a splash block. Rushing concentrated water from a downspout will quickly damage your driveway or patio surface. The splash block helps carry the water away from the foundation and prevents soil erosion alongside the foundation as well. Splash blocks are available in concrete, plastic and fiberglass. All function well so the decision on your part is price and final appearance.

I avoid gutters unless they are absolutely necessary or building code required. A door in the eave end of a building requires a gutter over the door. It does not require a gutter the entire length of the building. Gutters capture leaves and other debris, cause ice dams in snow areas and need constant cleaning. I avoid them whenever possible.

Good luck with your gutter installation.

For information on gutters Toronto click here.

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Different Kinds of Garage Door Repair

Eventually you will have need for garage door repair. How extensive the repair needed will vary but every garage door experiences some kind of wear and deterioration, whether it’s the panels or the hardware or springs. Some of it can be done yourself while other work, like replacing torsion springs, requires the work of a professional as deadly injuries can result. It also depends on the style of garage door you have. A manual garage door will be easier to repair than one that has a garage door opener.

One thing is clear: there is only so much that will need repair as there are only so many kinds of garage doors so the final cost will not be but so bad. These door styles include the retractable door, the canopy, side hinged doors and sectional doors which covers most automatic doors. Unless you have a bard, you won’t see many side hinged doors so I won’t go into that. All there is to mention there is that if the door itself is damaged, meaning the wood, you will have to replace the whole door. Otherwise the hardware is self explanatory. Modern garage doors open overhead.

The first kind of overhead garage door repair would be for retractable doors. These lift up and slide back into the garage on an overhead track using springs that are counter balance. This aids in the opening and closing of the otherwise heavy door. The door generally opens straight out and is framed as a single paned door. Canopy doors are retractable doors that can overhang the driveway to provide basic shelter. The kind of repair for these doors usually requires simple hardware replacement.

Sectional doors have their ups and downs. One good thing is it is made up of panels, meaning if one area of the door gets damaged you can disassemble that particular part of the door and replace a single panel. Hardware replacement becomes a little more detailed as each panel has its own hinges and bolts.

The springs on all of these doors are high tension coils that can easily snap or spring off during repair and can result in death. It is highly advised to seek professional help for this kind of garage door repair.

For information on Garage Door Repair Farmers Branch, TX, click here.

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Got Water Damage? Hire The Services Of A Professional And Reputed Fire And Water Restoration Company

If you have come in here to read this article, you are probably looking for a fire and water damage restoration company that will do a professional restoration job in your house or commercial property. This article will give you a few tips about picking the right Fire and water restoration company.

  • It is preferable that you only call for fire and water damage restoration companies that have a solid reputation in the field. Stay away from one man teams or free lancers who will promise you a great job only to give you a run around with poor results.
  • Look for a company that will offer 24/7 services. Damage restoration is essentially an emergency service and a company that offers that service should ideally have service availability around the clock.
  • Ask if the company has the latest equipment. Some small companies will often be short handed when it comes to quality equipment. A professional water damage repair company should ideally have state of the art commercial grade equipment such as dehumidifiers, blowers, truck mounted water extraction units, portable extraction units and other tools such as moisture gauges and humidity meters and emergency generators. If the water damage is significant, a good company will use a lot of equipment to bring about the best results in the fastest way possible. Hiring a small company that will have very limited equipment will mean longer water damage restoration times which will in turn greatly increase the related losses. When it comes to the effectiveness of a water damage repair company, their responsiveness and speed should be of utmost concern to you as it can save you a significant sum of money.
  • Help with the insurance process – Fire and water damage restoration companies are not just important to fix up your house. They in fact play a very important role in your damage situation by helping you with the insurance process. Insurance, as you might already know, can be a very daunting process when approached on your own. You might not know how to fill out the forms correctly or you might ask for too little when you file a form. A good fire and water restoration company will appoint an insurance specialist or insurance consultant to your case. This person will then work with the insurance adjustor appointed by the insurance company. With the insurance consultant on your side, you can relax and be assured that a professional is helping you.

Guarantee on the insurance claim – There could be a situation where you might commission water damage restoration work before being approved by the insurance company. It can be a rude shock to receive a check for an amount that does not cover all the expenses of the restoration work. A professional water damage restoration will help you avoid that pickle of a situation by putting out an estimate that will be accepted by the insurance company. Also, they will guarantee their repair estimates in such a way that they will not charge you personally if the insurance company’s check does not cover all of the expenses then the fire and water restoration contractor agrees to waive the additional expenses.

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What’s Over Your Head Is Important! Why Should I Care? Roofing

Why is Roofing important?

Keeping your roofs and guttering in good condition is very important. It is your property’s main defense against the elements, and a very important part of its overall value. Neglecting your roof will cause damp conditions that will quickly bring about decay and expensive structural damage, so it’s always better to be safe than sorry! We usually think of calling a roofing contractor when we notice a leak in the ceiling or some missing tiles, but they can also be hired to provide many other services.

Keeping a tight “lid” on your building is important for blocking out water and moisture infiltration that can quickly lead to costly repairs if left unchecked.

Assess your roofing materials and determine if they can make it through another winter. Inspect flashing and other points of entry where water damage can occur and where warm air can escape. Your roof can also be a good indicator for how well your home is doing with energy loss. One quick and easy thing to do is to clean out your gutters to ensure that water can flow off and away from your home.

Keeping a tight “lid” on your building is important for blocking out water and moisture infiltration that can quickly lead to costly repairs if left unchecked.

Assess your roofing materials and determine if they can make it through another winter. Inspect flashing and other points of entry where water damage can occur and where warm air can escape. Your roof can also be a good indicator for how well your home is doing with energy loss. One quick and easy thing to do is to clean out your gutters to ensure that water can flow off and away from your home.

Types of Roofing

Pitched roofs are the most common types of roofs. The pitch of the roof is a measurement of how steep the roof is which determines how quickly the water will run off of the roof. Roof pitches are typically measured by an equation called the “rise over the run” and is figured in the number of feet that the roof rises in a 12 foot horizontal run. A “12/12 pitched roof” means that the roof rises 12 feet in a horizontal run of 12 feet and results in a 45 degree angle. A 12/12 pitch is regarded as quite steep because it is impossible to stand on without some kind of support. A 3/12 pitch roof is regarded as quite shallow, and is the minimum pitch at which most roofing products will successfully shed water. Most pitched roofs are between 4/12 and 8/12 in pitch. At 1/12 pitch or less, a roof is considered to be “flat”.

The most common type of roofing material for pitched roofs is composition shingles. However, there are many other types of roofing available including wood shingles and shakes, metal, slate, tile and other more exotic materials.

Flat roofs are roofs with zero pitch or with pitches so low that the water runs off too slowly for overlapped type of roofing materials to successfully shed water. Because the traditional types of roofing materials used on pitched roofs are not effective, different types of roofing materials have been developed to deal with this problem. For many years, that was limited to tar and gravel and flat seamed soldered metal. However, in the last twenty years or so, many new types of flat roof systems have been developed, including plastic, rubber and modified bitumen roof materials. The most common of these in use today on residential homes is modified bitumen. This material is made by combining asphalt (bitumen) with various chemicals whose purpose is to prolong the viable lifetime of the asphalt product. These chemicals fall into two basic categories, the first of which is elastifiers, whose purpose is to keep the asphalt flexible, and the second, UV blockers, whose purpose is to stop ultraviolet light from degrading the product. In combination, these chemicals greatly extend the lifetime of the asphalt. This material comes in large rolls which are then melted together to form one uniform sheet of material across the flat roof. Although tar and gravel is still used to some degree, it is fast disappearing from use because the modified bitumen is both cheaper and more effective.

What to know about roofing materials…

Since the dawn of history, man has been attempting to protect himself from the rain and the elements. The first materials used were those that were readily at hand, such as slabs of rock, wood, and thatches of grass. In many respects, roofing today is not a lot different, except that basic improvements that have been made in these same materials. One of the best roofs available for using a house is slate. Similar in all respects to the slate that has been used to roof houses throughout Europe for hundreds of years. Houses are still roofed with wood shingles and fired clay tiles. Another basic roofing material, asphalt tar, has been refined into the composition shingle that is the most prevalent roofing material in America today.

Every roofing material has its own set of strengths and weaknesses. The proper material for your roof can best be judged by weighing those strengths and weaknesses against your particular needs and budget allowance. Composition shingles come in a variety of different styles, colors and warranties. The most common and least expensive shingle has a 20 year warranty and is known as the strip shingle or the 3-tab shingle. The second most common composition shingle is the 30 year dimensional shingle. This shingle is also referred to as the laminated shingle or the architectural shingle. It carries a 30 year warranty and is distinguishable from the 20 year shingle by its thicker, heavier look which was designed to imitate the appearance of wood shingles. The laminated shingle also comes in 40 and 50 year versions which are each slightly thicker than the 30 year shingle but are otherwise exactly the same in appearance.

Although the strip shingle and the laminated shingle account for 95% of all composition shingle roofs there are numerous alternatives including hail resistant shingles and specialty shingles.

3-tab composition shingles are by far the most commonly used shingle in America. They have a 20 year warranty and are the most inexpensive roofing material available. Their chief attributes are low price, ease of application and wide selection of available colors. Their disadvantages are relatively short life expectancy and their plain, unadorned appearance. This roof appearance consists of identical 5″ X 12″ rectangles repeating endlessly across the roof. This unfortunately tends to exaggerate and highlight any variation in the pattern caused by a high rafter or sag in the decking.

Laminated shingles start off with much the same construction as a 3-tab or strip shingle but then an extra layer of material cut into a saw-tooth pattern is glued on (or laminated) to the exposed portion of the shingle. This makes the shingle thicker and longer lasting. In addition, multiple variations in the saw-toothed give the shingle a varied thatched-like appearance so that the roof does not show any repeating pattern. This combination of extra thickness and random appearance is much more successful in hiding the defects in the roof deck and is one of these shingles main attributes. While these shingles are considerably different, as a class, from the 3-tab shingles there is little or no difference in appearance between the 30, 40 and 50 year versions.

Hail resistant shingles also come in both 3-tab and laminated styles. However the 3-tab style carries a 30 year warranty and the laminated style carries the 50 year warranty. These shingles do not appear any different to the naked eye from the regular 3-tab and laminated shingles. However they are manufactured using a special asphalt called modified bitumen, which contains 2 types of special chemical modifiers known as elastifiers and UV blockers.

Specialty Shingles – Although specialty shingles only account for 2-3% of the composition shingle market there is a large number of different types and styles to choose from. There are shingles embossed with a wood grain, shingles designed to look like slate, extremely heavy and thick shingles, shingles with multiple layers of laminate and even copper plated shingles. Because of the large number of available specialty shingles it is not practical to deal with all of them here.

Tile is the most common, prestigious roofing material used in Texas and the Southwest. Tile roofs can be divided into 2 basic subgroups; concrete tile and clay tile. Concrete is the most commonly used tile material in the U.S. today. It is extremely durable in comparison to composition shingles, And although not as durable as clay tile typically only costs half as much as a clay tile product.

Concrete tiles come in a variety of brands, styles and colors. Styles usually consist of several variations of 3 basic types. Those are large barrel, small barrel and flat, although some companies do make a fourth variation called a bar tile. The large barrel tile sometimes referred to as the Spanish or villa style, is meant to duplicate the Spanish barrel tile in appearance. The small barrel tile sometimes referred to as the Mediterranean style has 2 small barrels on each tile as opposed to the one large barrel on the Spanish style. The flat tiles typically come in 2 basic variations. The shake tile which has a very rough textured surface is meant to be reminiscent of wood shakes and the slate tile which had a smooth surface. All of these tiles come in a large variety of colors and mixture of colors. Most of these colors are produced by baking on a glaze. Some of the more natural colors are produced by dyeing the concrete. The dyed concrete tiles also known as color-through tiles are only available in a few colors. However these tiles are not as likely to change in appearance through weathering as glazed concrete tiles.

We hope that this article has been of some help in making your decision on roofing. Using a qualified Cypress roofing company is very important also so make your choices carefully.

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Tiling Your Home – Hiring a Tiler

If you are not one for DIY or simply do not have enough time to take on your tiling project alone, the best solution would be to hire a professional tiler to complete the job for you. By hiring someone, the only thing you’ll have to do is select and buy your tiles. Tilers will generally pick up the rest for you and take the stress away from having your home refurbished and when we lead busy lives, this is a great solution to our DIY problems.

Finding your tiler can also be easy. Asking around your friends or family should always be the first point of call as recommendation from people you trust is worth more for your piece of mind than hand picking a number from the phone book. Many of us have at some point had a professional in to do the odd bit of work so someone, somewhere will be sure to know of an ideal man for the job.

If you have asked around the people you know and are still at a loss as to hiring a tiler, the next step would be looking online for a reputable tiler working in your area. Once you have compiled a list of tilers from your area, give each and every one a call to get quotes for the job. Prices may vary dramatically so it’s a good idea even if it is a little bit time consuming.

Once you’ve decided on your tiler, invite him into your home to have a look at the area that requires tiling to give him an idea of the size of the job. This will enable him to give you rough time scale as to how long the job will take to complete and, of course, the cost.

Ensure you get a price for the job confirmed before work commences. This will alleviate any problems that may arise later when it comes to finalising your bill with your tiler. Some jobs can take longer than anticipated but so long as you’re not getting charged for the unexpected, it shouldn’t cause you too much distress.

Finally, if you are the one purchasing the tiles, make sure you buy enough to complete the whole job. There is nothing worse than hiring someone to take away the stress of tiling for you and then having to rush around collecting more tiles from your supplier. Also, a good point to remember is that tiles come in batch numbers and there is always a possibility that by the time you go back to the tile store, they will have your tile but in a different batch number to the tiles you have already purchased. Buying tiles from a different batch can result in the colours and textures slightly varying.

For information on a commercial tiller in London click here.

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In This Economy, Don’t Replace Your Roof If All It Needs Is Roof Repair

Let’s face it – the prospect of a leaking roof, particularly in the middle of winter, is a scary proposition. There is no arguing that a brand new roof will provide you with a greater sense of security than repairing a damaged roof far beyond its serviceable life. Because of this reason, many unscrupulous roofing contractors will use scare tactics to get homeowners to opt for a new roof replacement versus a repair on a roof that has much life remaining. A quick review of a few critical items will help you feel more confident if you should be seeking replacement or looking to repair.

First, you need to evaluate different criteria based on whether your suspicion that you need a new roof is based on either a roof leak or a roof that is dirty (stains, moss, etc.) If the primary reason you think it is time for a new roof is because of a roof leak, you need to clarify a few issues regarding that leak.

Determine whether or not the roof leaks in a single or multiple locations, and whether it is in a location that has leaked and been repaired repeatedly. A single location, leaking for the first time, usually is not by itself going to be an absolute indication of needing to replace the entire roof. More likely that not, a single component of the roofing system (flashing, vent, a mis-nailed shingle) has failed but the rest of the roof still could be in decent condition. Leaks in multiple locations bode more ominous results.

If multiple locations are having shingles loosen, nails rise, flashing fail, the chance of the roof being worn out are much higher. When the same location has leaked and been repaired repeatedly, it may never have been adequately addressed and the same mistaken repair may be continuing to be performed. It will be critical to get an assessment for a roof leak repair expert as to whether there is something un-repairable or if the past repairs addressed the wrong issue. Don’t let one bad spot to cost you an entire new roof!

Next, look at the roof leak location. Is it below, or in somewhat of a direct path below a skylight, vent, or pipe? Is it possibly at a valley or roof intersection where either on sections of roof meets another or where the roof meets a wall? Or rather is it out in middle of roof field? Leaks at intersections and valleys usually do not indicate by themselves that a roof is finished. More likely, there are flashing issues. Leaks in the middle of a roof field with no nearby intrusions into the roof can be a bad sign.

Remember, there are very few leaks that are un-repairable. The issue becomes whether the roof has adequate remaining life to justify the repair’s cost.

If an unsightly roof (fungus or mildew stains or moss growth) is what is making you think you need a new roof, you need to learn more about what is under the stains or moss. There is not always a correlation to a dirty roof and it’s life being over. There are most certainly roofs that will not withstand even the gentlest possible roof cleaning without sustaining damage that puts it in poor condition. Particularly with moss, as experienced in the Portland Oregon area, there are some moss types and infestations that cannot be properly dislodged without stressing a roof. If a roof is on the borderline to start with, such a roof is best left alone and the funds save for going toward a new roof.

That exception being made, most roofs that are simply dirty would benefit for the gentlest cleaning available to solve its particular issue. Cleaning the roof will most often help maintain roof life, specifically where growths such as moss could cause “micro-dams” on the roof and result in damage. Always be sure that the roof has adequate life remaining so that your maintenance dollars will not be wasted.

For composition roofs (the most common type), granules, or lack there of, are the primary indicator of remaining roof life, much like the tread on a tire. If a roof consistently has lost a lot of its granules it is definitely time to replace it. Without an adequate amount of granule, which helps reflect the UV rays and protect the more sensitive lower layers of the material, the roof will soon be leaking. However, if the roof has enough granules that you consistently cannot see the underlying composition layers, the chances are good that, withstanding other issues, it might have more life remaining.

Even with adequate granule, if the roof’s shingles are starting to cup or curl upward, it may also be time to consider replacing. Cupping and curling often are signs of interior ventilation issues that result in excessive attic temperatures. It is a problem you would want corrected with the new roof installation because it takes life off a roof that otherwise might have had more life remaining.

Loose or dislodged shingles may signal an unfortunate, premature death of your roof. Quite often this is a sign that the roofing material was victim of an installation faulty, even if the material itself has more life remaining. Similar to leaks, the number of trouble spots will tell you a lot. If it is only one trouble spot, you will likely only need to go with a repair. Multiple locations, however, indicate the bad installation mentioned above and you will need to get it replaced.

The majority of calls we receive thinking a new roof is needed as a result of homeowner diagnosed issues actually end up being repairs. However, if the homeowner has taken the roof’s age as part of equation (for instance, the roof is near or beyond the manufacturer’s age span,) then the results reverse and we see the majority of those roofs requiring replacement. Quite often, homeowners understandably don’t know age of their roof, for instance if they moved into a pre-existing home where the previous owners were not original owners. In that case, they are very dependent on an expert’s opinion, but it must also be an honest one! In the Tulsa area check out the experts in Tulsa.

Regardless of what is causing you to thing you may need a new roof, slow down. A day of two of analyzing these critical considerations may save you thousands of dollars.

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Formica Installed Over Formica Countertops or Cabinets

People always ask me; “Formica laminate sheets” For some reason they think the existing plastic laminate might need to be removed before a new color can be glued on. As long as the existing glue bond is in excellent condition, new plastic can be applied directly on top of the old plastic.

In this article I will explain how this process of recovering is supposed to be done. It is a popular method of remodeling old countertops and cabinets.

Once the color has been selected, the job has been measured and the materials are in hand, the new Formica gets cut a little bigger than the existing areas that will be covered over.

The entire surface where the new plastic will be glued is then thoroughly cleaned with lacquer thinner or a degeasing solution.

The next step is to sand every inch of the countertop or cabinet space where the Formica will be installed with forty grit sand paper. This can be done with a belt sander or hand block sander. Most professional installers use both.

A shop vacuum is used often throughout the entire process. All of the dust needs to be removed before any glue is applied. It is very important that the surfaces are continually checked for dust and chips of laminate before any glue gets applied to a surface.

The process of fitting the Formica begins now. Walls, floors and ceilings are never perfectly straight. The edges of the plastic are straight. Therefore, the Formica needs to be fitted to the humps and bumps in the walls, floors and ceilings. This fitting process is generally done as each piece is ready to be applied to the existing laminate.

So, the way this works is you fit a piece and then glue it down. Then select the next piece of Formica, fit it and glue it down. The laminate can be cut with tin snips along the scribe lines to make the plastic fit the walls, floors and ceiling.

Once a new piece of Formica is applied to the existing Formica it is rolled and trimmed flush with a high-speed router.

After a piece of laminate is trimmed off, it is either filed or sanded flush with the edges of the countertop or cabinet.

The final step in applying Formica over existing laminate is cleaning off the excess contact adhesive with lacquer thinner. This is done by dampening a cloth with the paint thinner and then wiping it on the glue that needs to be removed. The rag should be plenty wet, but not dripping wet.

Having old laminate covered with new will cost less than replacing your existing cabinets or countertops. It is a great way to remodel your kitchen or bathroom cabinets or counters.

This process of Formica being installed over Formica is called several different things. Some people refer to this as recovering and others call it re-laminating.