Do’s, don’ts, and
Home Maintenance Tips

Real-World advice and application from over 40-years of experience


Home Maintenance Tips

The “Do’s & Don’ts” to consider with and around your home


The number one problem in housing repairs today is water damage due to improper flashing procedures. This includes flashings found on and around shingles and roofs, windows and doors, and foundations.

One of the biggest misconceptions in roof flashing is using a one-piece flashing along adjoining walls verses step flashing. The problem with the single piece flashing is the water can catch the top of the shingle then travel back along the roof until it finds a way in and causes a leak. So people say to either tar down the shingle or trim the top of the shingle back on an angle so the water cannot travel back along the top.

Both of these “solutions” have their problems – TAR IS ONLY TEMPORARY! The problem with tar is that it dries out and cracks, causing a place to catch and hold water and debris, thus causing a leak.

Trimming the shingles has drawbacks because of different rain conditions. Under certain conditions where there is a slow rain, the water has time to pool and as a result, will back up over the area that was trimmed.

By using the step approach to flashing, the step-flashings are installed over the shingle below and under the shingle above. This causes the water to run out onto the shingle below and then out and down the roof.


FOUNDATIONS: Do you have a damp or even a wet basement?

Again, TAR IS ONLY TEMPORARY when it comes to waterproofing or damp proofing a foundation. By applying spray-on, roll-on or even trowel-on tar to a foundation is now considered old school technology and practices. And there are numerous articles written to substantiate this claim. Tar is made from petroleum, a bituminous product, that breaks down and decays over time from the natural gases in the soil.

Think about this: You or your neighbor have an asphalt driveway. After 2-3 years that driveway has to be re-coated with another application of what? TAR! Do you apply tar to your basement every 2-3 years? I didn’t think so.

There are concrete sealers, spray-on polymers, and even sheet membranes that will do a much better job in sealing your foundations.


We all need to stay within a budget. The caution to take with buying materials is a lot of the time you get what you pay for. The materials may not be the same at both places you are comparing. Some supply companies shop around to find the cheapest product, although maybe not the best. One of the problems is the next shipment of that material may not be the same as it might come from a completely different source. It is extremely hard to match your previous order when this happens.



You probably have heard at one time or other the saying, “SPEED KILLS.”

This is especially true in the building process. There are too many small details to look over like taking the time to put in a few extra nails to secure the job or sealing up the smallest holes. After all, you aren’t building a colander are you. Seal everything starting at the foundation and continuing up through the roof. This ensures to keep out not only wind and water but insects and rodents as well. Keep it tight! Then let the mechanical contractor do his job.



Hiring a licensed and insured contractor gives you a piece of mind knowing the contractor has invested the time and money in themselves’ and business to be professional. This should be some piece of mind knowing with this investment they plan on being around at the end of the project. The person that doesn’t make this commitment would be questionable.



First of all, no one bats 1000 every time. With this being said, let me explain.

Due to most of the building materials today still being made from natural materials and fibers. This presents its own challenges Mother Nature and all. Also the climate changes in Michigan wind, humidity, temperature.

Next is personal differences – not only in contractors but customers, too. DO YOUR HOMEWORK! The contractor should have experience and references to back it up. The contractor should provide references with pictures and contact information so make the call. Also, it is important to discuss payment procedures, repair procedures, and the home owner’s responsibilities.



Would you replace a door without replacing the jamb and the weather-stripping along with resealing and proper flashing? I didn’t think so!

How about a window? The “norm” is to remove the sashes then install a new replacement window. Did you really gain much? Let’s take a look. First, your window’s glass area just got a lot smaller and so did the view. Next, the frame was not replaced so chances are the air is still coming in around the frame and the rough opening because no insulation was replaced.

Without removing the frames and siding, chances are no flashing can be added to eliminate water from entering. This will lead to the window failing and even the structure below the window causing more damage in the future, along with added expense.

By all means, stay within your budget. If necessary, just replace one wall at a time and add 1” of foam – not beadboard. By doing this, you will stop the rest of the air infiltration and add an R-5.5 to your insulation. The return on your investment will be realized immediately.



“To provide complete, thorough service from start to finish with quality materials and workmanship in a professional manner. All the while keeping customer satisfaction a high priority.”

Contact Info

(989) 644-5262

1 1 1  S. Coldwater Rd.
Weidman, MI 48893

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Al Davis Construction

111 S. Coldwater Rd.
Weidman, MI 48893