We recently performed some closing punchlist work for a new customer through a referral from a real estate agent in Wake Forest, NC. We did a good job, and the customer asked us to come back to repair all of his rotted trim.
This house was foreclosed on a few years back, and sat idle for quite some time. As a result there were, and still are (but we're working on them) a lot of repairs!
One particular repair I wanted to show you is the chimney corner boards on the highest roof. Chimney corner boards are notorious for being rotted. I've yet to meet a chimney that was made out of wood or some wood-type product that didn't have rot on it. If you know of one, I'd like to meet it. Make an introduction, will you?
Anyway, we found when we began removing the corner boards on this particular chimney we weren't able to keep it together. No, not our emotions, but the corner boards! They literally fell apart as we pulled them off by hand!
This house had more than one chimney, three to be exact (yes, it's a BIG house). Here's a photo of another chimney once the corner boards are off. We've got a couple of the new PVC corners assembled (cemented together with PVC cement) and ready to go in. They fit tighter and stay together better if they are pre-assembled and cemented.
PVC expands and contracts much more than wood, and the manufacturer recommends to cement them together and hold them together and in place with strong fasteners, such as stainless steel screws. We don't have a supplier for stainless steel screws, so we use epoxy coated deck screws. They're steel, just not stainless, but the epoxy coating protects them from the weather.
As a side note, we really don't like to do any other material than PVC on trim anymore, as homeowners don't seem to be able to keep up with the maintenance that wood requires. Not that you should ignore maintenance with PVC trim, but it at least gives them a fighting chance. Especially on chimneys and other out of sight, out of mind places. You can see other examples of places that PVC trim can be installed in our previous post "You Know You Need to Repair Your House When..."
We got the corners back up on all the chimneys, and caulked it with a clear caulk designed for high joint movement. The customer is hiring a paint professional to stain the siding and paint the trim, so we just had the trim portion of the work. But the trim portion was a lot!
So with the new PVC trim in place, no more trim rot, no more carpenter bees (bumble bees), and no more worries! Ok, so there are still worries, as PVC is not a panacea for your house. Yes, I did just use that big word, and no, I didn't have to look it up first.
So the next time you need chimney corners replaced, or any other trim or siding in the Wake Forest or Raleigh area, give us a call! We're well versed in correcting what time, weather, neglect (and often bad installation) can do to a house!