Archive for June, 2011

What is Deck Flashing?

Thursday, June 23rd, 2011

Decking flashing is the barrier that prevents moisture from entering the house through the openings which are created when a deck is built. Flashing is a deck building material that’s affixed to the exterior of the home where the deck meets the house and comes in a variety materials including aluminum, stainless steel, copper and vinyl.

If a deck is not properly flashed, water penetrates into the house framing, which can result in severe mold, decay, and overall serious and expensive damage. To support the goal of keeping moisture out, it’s critical to ensure deck flashing runs the entire length of the ledger board (the ledger board extends from the house and is responsible for jointly sharing support of the deck’s joists along with the deck posts). As part of proper flashing installation, silicone caulking seals the end butt joints and any places where water might intrude.

What happens when a deck is not properly flashed? Take a look at these photos to see!





































If you have any questions or comments about proper deck flashing, reach me today at (301) 946-2356 or

David Merrick

A Note of Caution: Unlicensed or Uninsured Workers and Contractors

Wednesday, June 15th, 2011

When undertaking a home remodeling project, you may want to hire a “handy” friend or acquaintance or the high school kid from down the block instead of contracting with a licensed professional for the job. While this may seem like a great way to save money, doing so could also end up costing a lot of money and cause untold headaches if things go wrong.

Case 1: What if the neighbors’ son falls off the ladder while painting the exterior of your home? Since he’s not a licensed or insured contractor he (or more likely, his parents) may be entitled to sue you for his medical bills and related expenses. Chances are that not only will your homeowner’s insurance policy not cover this accident because most companies’ demand that all work is carried out by licensed personnel, but they may cancel the policy as well. When you hire a licensed and insured contractor, any injuries they incur would be covered by their worker’s compensation policy.

Case 2: You could find yourself in hot water if your “handy” friend accidentally damages someone’s property while he’s working for you. Something that seems insignificant, like accidentally chopping down a tree that appears to be on your property, can lead to a costly lawsuit and some hard feelings. Again, your homeowner’s insurance policy will not likely help because the person performing the work was unlicensed and uninsured.

Whatever remodeling project you undertake, protect yourself, your bank account and your biggest financial asset – your home – by hiring a reputable, licensed and insured contractor. It may cost more up front, but you’ll have the peace of mind of knowing that you won’t be left holding the bag if something goes awry.

If you have any questions or comments, reach me today at (301) 946-2356 or

David Merrick

Improve Your Indoor Air Quality This Summer

Tuesday, June 7th, 2011

As the summer months heat up, we’ll spend more time indoors, so now is a great time to improve your indoor air quality. Here are a few tips to achieve your quest for cleaner air:

  • Properly ventilate your attic and crawl spaces to prevent moisture build–up.
  • Keep a healthy level of humidity. Dust mites and mold love moisture. Keeping indoor humidity around 30%-50% helps keep them and other allergens under control. Air conditioners reduce the indoor pollen count – another plus for allergy sufferers.
  • Keep your floors clean by vacuuming and mopping up dirt to reduce the dust and chemicals in your home. Also, use an entry mat to trap dirt from shoes or, even better, ask all residents and visitors to remove their shoes in the foyer.
  • Avoid synthetic air fresheners. You might associate a lemony or piney scent with a clean kitchen or clean clothes, but synthetic fragrances in laundry products and air fresheners emit dozens of different chemicals into the air. Conventional fabric softeners, dryer sheets and air fresheners may also release such gasses.
  • Carefully seal paints, solvents, pesticides and chemicals of any kind in your home. Keep quantities to a minimum and, whenever possible, keep these items stored in your garage or shed.

If you have questions or comments, please contact me at (301) 946-2356 or

David Merrick