Shingle underlayment protects both structure and shingles -

Shingle underlayment protects both structure and shingles -

Shingle underlayment protects both structure and shingles

Q. Architectural shingles were installed over bare roof boards on our house four years ago. Will the absence of felt underlay affect the shingles’ life?

Contact information ( * required )

Success — request sent close

A. All shingles should be installed over some underlayment. Felt is still used, but there are a number of newer underlayments that offer considerable improvements over felt.

Installing shingles directly over bare sheathing exposes them to thermal stress and chafing, which can shorten their life.

Other reasons for having felt or equivalent applied on the sheathing, besides providing a cushion against thermal-induced friction for the shingles, are to protect the structure from the weather before the shingles are installed and in case of a shingle blowoff.

A metal roof can be installed over shingles if the roof structure can take the extra weight. A structural engineer should be consulted to make sure it is OK.

My own personal belief is that metal roofing is more environmentally friendly because shingles are a petroleum product. But I am not a metallurgist, so I don’t know what is required in the production of metal roofing.

You should ask your insurance company if it has a preference.

Q. We have a problem with bees. They drill holes in the treated wood on our porch and back deck. They also build nests.

The porch and deck have been treated with water sealant and stain, using brand names.

These are different from regular bees and wasps. We were told that if we painted everything it would eliminate the problem. If true, what kind of paint should we use: oil, latex?

A. The perpetrators are carpenter bees. Carpenter bees drill perfectly round holes and excavate tunnels to lay their eggs and raise their young. They can do considerable damage over time, depending on the extent of the tunnels they have drilled. They prefer unpainted and weathered wood, but usually stay away from pressure-treated wood. The treatment of your porch and deck is not effective.

A good control seems to be to apply fresh paint to wood that has been attacked. Stains and other preservatives are not as reliable, but offer some protection. You can also spray an insecticide on all affected areas in the spring before they start looking for places to drill for their nests.

Here is a reprint from the University of Kentucky Entomology Department, which you may find helpful in controlling carpenter bees:

«Liquid sprays of carbaryl (Sevin), chlorpyrifos (Dursban) or a synthetic pyrethroid (e.g. permethrin or cyfluthrin) can be applied as a preventive to wood surfaces that are attracting bees. Residual effectiveness of these insecticides is often only one to two weeks, however, and the treatment may need to be repeated. Tunnels that have already been excavated are best treated by puffing an insecticidal dust (e.g. 5 percent carbaryl) into the nest opening. Aerosol sprays labeled for wasp or bee control also are effective. Leave the hole open for a few days after treatment to allow the bees to contact and distribute the insecticide throughout the nest galleries. Then plug the entrance hole with a piece of wooden dowel coated with carpenter’s glue, or wood putty. This will protect against future utilization of the old nesting tunnels and reduce the chances of wood decay.

«Although carpenter bees are less aggressive than wasps, female bees provisioning their nests will sting. Treatment is best performed at night when the bees are less active, or while wearing protective clothing.»

A word of caution: The insecticides mentioned may not be approved in your state. Please check with your local extension service to find out which products are approved in your area.

Q. Please help me! We have bats in our attic, and sometimes we see one. What can be done?

A. Bats are one of our best defenses against mosquitoes, eating an enormous number of them in a night. Bats have been decimated by the white nose syndrome and are having great difficulty recovering. Without them, we would be overwhelmed with insects.

They need to be protected at all costs and their survival encouraged. This being said, I understand that people do not like to have bats in their houses. They also can carry diseases, and contact with their guano is to be avoided.

If you have one or more lights in your attic, turn them on and leave them on for as long as it takes to discourage the bats. They don’t like light and will leave.

Try to locate where they come in, and once you are sure that they are gone, seal these places with stainless steel wool or Xcluder Rodent and Pest Defense, a kit that includes several pieces of a mesh material to seal entry points, as well as gloves and a pair of scissors to cut the mesh as needed, www.buyxcluder.com, (847) 495-4730. I have used this kit and found it very practical.

But I also urge you to buy a bat house from Bat Conservation International, www.batcon.org, (512) 327-9721 or (800) 538-2287 for general inquiries. Install it as directed for maximum effectiveness.

The bat houses I have checked out in hardware and other stores do not measure up to bats’ needs.

Q. We have a solid oak hardwood floor in our bedroom that is finished with three coats of satin Minwax for floors. The polyurethane was sprayed on and sanded lightly between coats before installation. Overspray from my wife’s hair spray has left a rough spot on the floor about three feet in diameter. I have tried to remove it with mineral spirits, acetone and alcohol without success. I am afraid of lacquer thinner, as it will also dissolve the polyurethane. Do you have any suggestions on what I can do to remove the overspray?

A. Hair sprays can contain a variety of compounds, since CFCs have been removed because of their contribution to CO2 levels in the atmosphere. These compounds adhere to hair and any other surface they settle on, the volatiles evaporate, and the polymers harden.

I am surprised that acetone did not work. It does not harm polyurethane finish, and should have removed the hair spray.

Here are several suggestions: Try a solution of white vinegar, water and dish detergent. If this does not work after several attempts, try rubbing alcohol. Lacquer thinner may also work, and if it affects the floor finish negatively, the finish can always be reapplied.

If all of these suggestions are ineffective, removing the spray with a sander and light grit paper followed by a buffing machine may be the best way. Reapply the original Minwax finish.

Q. I was reading a column of yours that appeared in the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review and I was wondering where I could find loamy clay soil. I did an Internet search and was unable to find a supplier.

A. Contact landscaping firms and garden-supply houses. Also try local excavators. Local farmers may also have some for sale, but it is likely to contain weed seeds.

Q. I have landscape timbers, approximately 3 inches by 3 inches by 6 feet, in my backyard that are 25 years old. They are the edging in front of a long row of privets and also encase a 14-inch by 10-foot area of stone near the house. They are looking very «tired.» What product would you suggest I use to freshen them up? I don’t believe my late husband ever stained them. They definitely are not painted, and I don’t think paint is the answer now. Attached please find two photos — I hope these will help to determine what product would be best, and I appreciate your expert advice. I look forward to your column in the Daily Herald every week!

A. You should be able to get copper-based preservatives in well-stocked paint and hardware stores.

You may also use Amteco TWP, www.amteco.com. On the company’s website, you can check all its products and decide which is best for your logs. Amteco offers clear preservatives as well as several hues. Amteco TWP would be my first choice. You can order it on the website.

Q. I recently asked for your advice on repaving my driveway. After gathering several estimates, I became aware that the project will be costly and I will need to wait two to four years to fund this project.

I am wondering if it makes sense to have my old driveway sealed by professionals. My hope is that it will delay the erosion of my driveway for at least three years, give it a fresh look and give me time to save money.

My driveway has many small cracks (less than one-quarter inch) and stress lines. The previous coats are peeling off, and there are two sections where the driveway is buckling.

Does it make sense to have my driveway sealed based on the condition of my driveway and my goal to slow down the deterioration process to allow time to save money? Is it a waste of money? How long does a driveway seal coat last? Any other alternatives?

A. I don’t think it makes sense to have the driveway seal-coated at this time. Seal-coating would not fill the cracks without repairing them first. The money saved is best applied to a new driveway when you can afford it.

Meanwhile, you can fill the cracks with QPR Pourable Crack Filler, which you can buy at Lowe’s. It can be used for cracks as wide as three-quarters on an inch. Wider cracks, up to 3 inches, can be filled with QPR Stone Grade Crack Filler, also available at Lowe’s.

The cracks will need to be thoroughly cleaned by removing all loose dirt and gravel with a brush, screwdriver or other appropriate tool followed by a good flushing with your garden hose. Don’t use a pressure washer, as it is likely to break the asphalt in chunks. Allow the cracks to dry thoroughly and apply the appropriate QPR product, following the directions carefully.

The buckling is probably not fixable; can you wait until you can afford the new driveway?

Seal-coating should not be done on new asphalt until it has turned a light gray, indicating that the oils have evaporated. This may take two or more years depending on the driveway’s exposure to the sun. Seal-coating is best done in a thin application, and should not be done again until signs of wear are apparent.

Henri de Marne was a remodeling contractor in Washington, D.C. for many years, and is now a consultant. Email him at henridemarne@gmavt.net.

2014, United Feature Syndicate Inc.

Shingle underlayment protects both structure and shingles

Q. Architectural shingles were installed over bare roof boards on our house four years ago. Will the absence of felt underlay affect the shingles’ life?

Contact information ( * required )

Success — request sent close

A. All shingles should be installed over some underlayment. Felt is still used, but there are a number of newer underlayments that offer considerable improvements over felt.

Installing shingles directly over bare sheathing exposes them to thermal stress and chafing, which can shorten their life.

Other reasons for having felt or equivalent applied on the sheathing, besides providing a cushion against thermal-induced friction for the shingles, are to protect the structure from the weather before the shingles are installed and in case of a shingle blowoff.

A metal roof can be installed over shingles if the roof structure can take the extra weight. A structural engineer should be consulted to make sure it is OK.

My own personal belief is that metal roofing is more environmentally friendly because shingles are a petroleum product. But I am not a metallurgist, so I don’t know what is required in the production of metal roofing.

You should ask your insurance company if it has a preference.

Q. We have a problem with bees. They drill holes in the treated wood on our porch and back deck. They also build nests.

The porch and deck have been treated with water sealant and stain, using brand names.

These are different from regular bees and wasps. We were told that if we painted everything it would eliminate the problem. If true, what kind of paint should we use: oil, latex?

A. The perpetrators are carpenter bees. Carpenter bees drill perfectly round holes and excavate tunnels to lay their eggs and raise their young. They can do considerable damage over time, depending on the extent of the tunnels they have drilled. They prefer unpainted and weathered wood, but usually stay away from pressure-treated wood. The treatment of your porch and deck is not effective.

A good control seems to be to apply fresh paint to wood that has been attacked. Stains and other preservatives are not as reliable, but offer some protection. You can also spray an insecticide on all affected areas in the spring before they start looking for places to drill for their nests.

Here is a reprint from the University of Kentucky Entomology Department, which you may find helpful in controlling carpenter bees:

Shingle underlayment protects both structure and shingles -

«Liquid sprays of carbaryl (Sevin), chlorpyrifos (Dursban) or a synthetic pyrethroid (e.g. permethrin or cyfluthrin) can be applied as a preventive to wood surfaces that are attracting bees. Residual effectiveness of these insecticides is often only one to two weeks, however, and the treatment may need to be repeated. Tunnels that have already been excavated are best treated by puffing an insecticidal dust (e.g. 5 percent carbaryl) into the nest opening. Aerosol sprays labeled for wasp or bee control also are effective. Leave the hole open for a few days after treatment to allow the bees to contact and distribute the insecticide throughout the nest galleries. Then plug the entrance hole with a piece of wooden dowel coated with carpenter’s glue, or wood putty. This will protect against future utilization of the old nesting tunnels and reduce the chances of wood decay.

«Although carpenter bees are less aggressive than wasps, female bees provisioning their nests will sting. Treatment is best performed at night when the bees are less active, or while wearing protective clothing.»

A word of caution: The insecticides mentioned may not be approved in your state. Please check with your local extension service to find out which products are approved in your area.

Q. Please help me! We have bats in our attic, and sometimes we see one. What can be done?

A. Bats are one of our best defenses against mosquitoes, eating an enormous number of them in a night. Bats have been decimated by the white nose syndrome and are having great difficulty recovering. Without them, we would be overwhelmed with insects.

They need to be protected at all costs and their survival encouraged. This being said, I understand that people do not like to have bats in their houses. They also can carry diseases, and contact with their guano is to be avoided.

If you have one or more lights in your attic, turn them on and leave them on for as long as it takes to discourage the bats. They don’t like light and will leave.

Try to locate where they come in, and once you are sure that they are gone, seal these places with stainless steel wool or Xcluder Rodent and Pest Defense, a kit that includes several pieces of a mesh material to seal entry points, as well as gloves and a pair of scissors to cut the mesh as needed, www.buyxcluder.com, (847) 495-4730. I have used this kit and found it very practical.

But I also urge you to buy a bat house from Bat Conservation International, www.batcon.org, (512) 327-9721 or (800) 538-2287 for general inquiries. Install it as directed for maximum effectiveness.

The bat houses I have checked out in hardware and other stores do not measure up to bats’ needs.

Q. We have a solid oak hardwood floor in our bedroom that is finished with three coats of satin Minwax for floors. The polyurethane was sprayed on and sanded lightly between coats before installation. Overspray from my wife’s hair spray has left a rough spot on the floor about three feet in diameter. I have tried to remove it with mineral spirits, acetone and alcohol without success. I am afraid of lacquer thinner, as it will also dissolve the polyurethane. Do you have any suggestions on what I can do to remove the overspray?

A. Hair sprays can contain a variety of compounds, since CFCs have been removed because of their contribution to CO2 levels in the atmosphere. These compounds adhere to hair and any other surface they settle on, the volatiles evaporate, and the polymers harden.

I am surprised that acetone did not work. It does not harm polyurethane finish, and should have removed the hair spray.

Here are several suggestions: Try a solution of white vinegar, water and dish detergent. If this does not work after several attempts, try rubbing alcohol. Lacquer thinner may also work, and if it affects the floor finish negatively, the finish can always be reapplied.

If all of these suggestions are ineffective, removing the spray with a sander and light grit paper followed by a buffing machine may be the best way. Reapply the original Minwax finish.

Q. I was reading a column of yours that appeared in the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review and I was wondering where I could find loamy clay soil. I did an Internet search and was unable to find a supplier.

A. Contact landscaping firms and garden-supply houses. Also try local excavators. Local farmers may also have some for sale, but it is likely to contain weed seeds.

Q. I have landscape timbers, approximately 3 inches by 3 inches by 6 feet, in my backyard that are 25 years old. They are the edging in front of a long row of privets and also encase a 14-inch by 10-foot area of stone near the house. They are looking very «tired.» What product would you suggest I use to freshen them up? I don’t believe my late husband ever stained them. They definitely are not painted, and I don’t think paint is the answer now. Attached please find two photos — I hope these will help to determine what product would be best, and I appreciate your expert advice. I look forward to your column in the Daily Herald every week!

A. You should be able to get copper-based preservatives in well-stocked paint and hardware stores.

You may also use Amteco TWP, www.amteco.com. On the company’s website, you can check all its products and decide which is best for your logs. Amteco offers clear preservatives as well as several hues. Amteco TWP would be my first choice. You can order it on the website.

Q. I recently asked for your advice on repaving my driveway. After gathering several estimates, I became aware that the project will be costly and I will need to wait two to four years to fund this project.

I am wondering if it makes sense to have my old driveway sealed by professionals. My hope is that it will delay the erosion of my driveway for at least three years, give it a fresh look and give me time to save money.

My driveway has many small cracks (less than one-quarter inch) and stress lines. The previous coats are peeling off, and there are two sections where the driveway is buckling.

Does it make sense to have my driveway sealed based on the condition of my driveway and my goal to slow down the deterioration process to allow time to save money? Is it a waste of money? How long does a driveway seal coat last? Any other alternatives?

A. I don’t think it makes sense to have the driveway seal-coated at this time. Seal-coating would not fill the cracks without repairing them first. The money saved is best applied to a new driveway when you can afford it.

Meanwhile, you can fill the cracks with QPR Pourable Crack Filler, which you can buy at Lowe’s. It can be used for cracks as wide as three-quarters on an inch. Wider cracks, up to 3 inches, can be filled with QPR Stone Grade Crack Filler, also available at Lowe’s.

The cracks will need to be thoroughly cleaned by removing all loose dirt and gravel with a brush, screwdriver or other appropriate tool followed by a good flushing with your garden hose. Don’t use a pressure washer, as it is likely to break the asphalt in chunks. Allow the cracks to dry thoroughly and apply the appropriate QPR product, following the directions carefully.

The buckling is probably not fixable; can you wait until you can afford the new driveway?

Seal-coating should not be done on new asphalt until it has turned a light gray, indicating that the oils have evaporated. This may take two or more years depending on the driveway’s exposure to the sun. Seal-coating is best done in a thin application, and should not be done again until signs of wear are apparent.

Henri de Marne was a remodeling contractor in Washington, D.C. for many years, and is now a consultant. Email him at henridemarne@gmavt.net.

2014, United Feature Syndicate Inc.


Leave a Reply