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Preventable Aging of Home Improvement Products

Preventable Aging of Home Improvement Products
October 25, 2011 SNH Editorial Team

Your brand new home is already starting to show serious aging.  Some types of patina are nice – say on wood flooring, for example.  However, streaks on your beautiful and expensive new slate or wood roof from your chimneys are not. Can it be prevented?Yes, it can to some extent.  The white streaking is composed of minerals.  They are hard and essentially impossible to remove / clean off.  The process is impossible to stop. It comes from two sources: (1) minerals in today’s mortar mixes, and (2) from the copper used to flash chimneys as it interacts with surrounding materials.  Some builders may say that lead coated copper will not react as much as regular copper. Unfortunately this is NOT so.

That said builders who are experienced and are truly detail oriented know to set up a temporary copper funnel to collect the fall out.  The funnel is connected via a copper pipe down to the ground.  Estate type homes tend to have a longer build period, which means this temporary collector can be set up and have plenty of time to do its work during construction.  Remove it just before move in. This “trick” or shall I say extra bit of care will make a huge difference!

If this short window right after the initial installation is missed mineral fall out will build up on the roof and eventually show up as white steaks. Give it about a year and you will see ugly white streaking.

The photo shows a “spec – built” house.  It makes the point around hiring an experienced & caring builder matters.  Since it is a relatively common sight you likely never thought there are ways of mitigating such streaking.  It is a good example of the many ways in which hiring a builder who knows and  who is committed to going the extra distance matters when it comes to installing home improvement products the right way.  It’s worth so much in the long run!

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