Many times construction defects are not an easy fix. AMEK Exteriors’, a Minneapolis construction defect company, aims to genuinely take care of the problem that caused the damage and not just the easy cover-up “fix”. We value providing homeowners, attorneys, engineers, and homeowner associations with detailed explanations on how we are going to rectify problems and provide estimates on what it takes to eliminate the trigger that led to the problem as well as put things all back together – either matching to what existed or improving the exterior materials and appearance. We have our own process to calculate estimates, so they are accurate and competitive.
Two AMEK Exteriors’ employees recently received their certified vinyl siding installer certificates from the Vinyl Siding Institute (VSI). Jim Hansel and Brent Ficocello attended the course on proper installation techniques for vinyl siding, soffits, and framing and passed the examination in January 2017. Based in Washington DC, VSI is a national organization representing manufacturers of vinyl and other polymeric siding and suppliers in the industry.
“This certification adds to their credentials making them more valuable to our company and ultimately to our homeowners we serve,” said Andrew Schmidt, co-owner and CEO of AMEK Inc.
Decades of Experience
Brent and Jim both bring decades of experience in the construction industry to AMEK. In his 25 years in the construction business, Jim has worked in all phases of construction and thoroughly understands how important scheduling, proper installation, and communication are to his clients. Jim is also a Certified Remodeling Project Manager (CRPM) with the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI) and is Lead Certified with the EPA. Brent has been around construction since he was a kid with official jobs starting in 2001. Brent has a solid background in exterior storm restoration as well as new home construction from start to finish. He is extremely knowledgeable about exterior product choices and design options. One of Brent’s strengths is his high client satisfaction ratings.
“A lot of people underestimate how critical it is for siding to be installed and integrated properly with other products like stone, windows and decking,” according to Paul Schmidt, AMEK Co-owner.
“A lot of people underestimate how critical it is for siding to be installed and integrated properly with other products like stone, windows and decking,” according to Paul Schmidt, co-owner and VP of AMEK Exteriors. “That’s why our company regularly provides training and continuing education courses for our employees.”
Preventing Construction Defects
One of the key areas Paul specializes in is fixing construction defects caused by water intrusion due to improper installation techniques used by other construction companies. Water and moisture that enters the wall cavities can cause extensive structural rotting and mold formation.
“AMEK’s goal is protect your investment in your home and your family’s health with very specific installation techniques,” Paul said.
Overview: Initially, performed destructive testing in St. Paul to assist engineers. Did an estimate for the scope of repairs for the litigation case. Hired to do remediation work.
Original Built Date: 2006
General Description: Five-story mixed-use retail and condominium space in St. Paul along a light-rail corridor.
Initial Analysis: Water damage around windows, doorways, and decks on all sides of the building. Trapped moisture also found in areas designed for ventilation. Litigation based on construction defects caused by improper architectural design and installation.
Scope: Determine extent of damage and propose remediation process and cost.
Remediation Scope: Removed brick work and siding around window and door openings and inspected for rot damage, which was extensive in some areas. Reinstalled current windows or installed new windows/doors. Reflashed correctly, reinsulated wall cavities, and redid brickwork and siding on more than 80 openings. Sealed and insulated areas to separate cold and warm areas to prevent more ventilation problems. Removed decking and roofing material for patio areas to assess and repair as needed.
Challenges & Solutions: Intense proactive communication between association board, management company, tenants and residents due to the required access to interior spaces. Managed a sliding schedule required our team to shift as needed to keep the project moving forward. In-depth repairs required our team to be highly versatile and experienced. Determining priorities and developing cost-effective, long-term solutions for remediation work were based on a holistic approach. Analysis of decking material replacement options generated the benefit of cooler materials making the decks more usable on hot days.
Additional Project Notes: Flexible with financial aspects to allow association to undertake such a giant project outside the insurance coverage. Outlined to homeowner association future maintenance and relating schedule needed to maintain a healthy building
Completion Date: 2016
Door and frames were damaged by moisture causing peeling painting and wood rot. Replaced with metal doors and frames which were properly integrated into the water management system to prevent future problems.
Improperly integrated vapor barriers caused rot below the windows and doors. Decking areas were all damaged from moisture. Action plan: Remove the deck, flat roof and all components down to the floor trusses. Remediation plan: Add spray foam to ceiling below to stop the vapor transmission coming from the warm side of the home. We then added blown insulation to fill the remaining space in the truss cavity. Next, installed new gray-colored TPO roofing system to replace the black EPDM. The gray reduced the sun absorption to allow more enjoyable use of the rooftop patios. Another failure was the original deck patios were attached in approximately 46 places penetrating the roofing membrane for each patio deck causing framing members under the roofing to deteriorate. Created a new solution only involving 6 points of penetration which were each completely sealed to avoid water intrusion.
When the building was constructed, the windows were not installed correctly for a water management system. This failure allowed water to get behind the weather resistive barrier (WRB) causing rot. Remediation plan: Remove bricks around the perimeter of windows, remove windows from their opening, reinstall window property tying it into the water management system and into the WRB of the brick, and then installed new brick around the windows.
Construction techniques and materials when building and installing a new deck are important considerations according to AMEK Exteriors’ Co-owner Paul Schmidt. Schmidt was recently featured in the From the Expert section of the April/May 2016 edition of Midwest Home magazine.
A: Having a deck is prime real estate when the weather warms up. If your old deck is deteriorating – or if are you thinking of adding a deck to a new home or remodeling project – make sure your deck is designed correctly and built with quality materials to withstand our sometimes harsh Midwest weather elements.
Fortunately, there are some products on the market now that can endure this climate – plus look great – for years to come. While clients request a range of materials, AMEK regularly uses AZEK, a PVC material that resists stains, scratches, and mold, and is available in a wide array of colors. It looks great and requires minimal maintenance.
If you want a beautiful, durable, well-built new deck in Minneapolis, do your research and hire a company that understands how your deck needs to integrate with the house. Every year, we are hired to fix defective decks, windows and doors because of poor installations and safety concerns. Get started with your new deck installation by contacting us today!