The Good and Bad of Fiberglass Insulation in the Attic

Posted by on Jan 20, 2017 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on The Good and Bad of Fiberglass Insulation in the Attic

After installing or repairing your roof, insulation is the next important step. Insulating your attic against the elements is important to keep your home dry and warm. Some types of insulation are easier to install, less expensive, and more efficient than others. One popular choice in most newer homes is fiberglass insulation. This insulation has many pros and cons when it comes to using it in your attic. Pros: Costs: Compared to some other types of insulation, fiberglass insulation materials are considered less expensive. Labor costs for installation vary depending on how easy it is to get in and around your attic and any unusual circumstances such as insulating around wires and outlets. Easy installation: Fiberglass is often sold in large blankets that can be cut into smaller pieces and shaped as needed. It can also come in loose fill form for other applications such as being sprayed on a ceiling. It usually doesn’t take long to install as well, so you won’t have a lot of people working on it for a long period. Very efficient: Fiberglass has a good insulation rating and can be ordered in different densities based on your local climate and needs. The blanket version also resists shrinking over time, though the loose version may settle. Mold resistant: Properly installed, fiberglass is mold and mildew resistant, especially in drier climates. This is a plus if you have mold-sensitive family members. However, fiberglass can get dirty, and that dirt can attract mold in wet, humid climates. Cons: Requires protective gear: Even though fiberglass insulation is easy to install, it is still made of small fibers that can easily be inhaled or cause skin irritation. It’s best to have a professional to install it if you haven’t done this type of work before. When the roofer installs this insulation, keep out of the attic unless you have protective gear. Sometimes less than airtight: Fiberglass doesn’t always create a tight air seal, and this might limit some of its insulating effectiveness. This happens mostly when it is not properly installed in odd-shaped corners or around boxes or outlets. An experienced installer should be able to keep this at a minimum. Fiberglass is a common and mostly inexpensive way to insulate your attic and keep your home dry. If you’ve recently had work done on your roof, then you may need to replace your current insulation. Have a roofing company inspect your roof and give suggestions before you decide to insulate or re-insulate your attic. They can help you determine whether fiberglass is the right type of insulation for your climate and roof...

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How To Remove An Ice Dam

Posted by on Jan 4, 2017 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on How To Remove An Ice Dam

Ice dams are a common roofing problem that can develop during the winter months. Ice dams occur when snow on your roof is melted by hot air in your attic. The water runs off partway down your roof before freezing into ice, creating a solid barrier that blocks further water from flowing properly off of your roof. This water will sit on top of hot pockets of air in your attic, and will begin to soak through your roof, resulting in structural damage and leaks. Thankfully, if you have an ice dam on your roof, you can remove it yourself with a few simple tools. Before You Start Before you begin, gather all of your tools and materials so the process goes by as quickly as possible. You’ll need a roof rake (though a traditional rake will work in a pinch, it is also much more likely to damage your roof), a powdered commercial ice melting product, a nylon stocking, a ladder, and tarps. All of these items can be found at most hardware and grocery stores. Removing an Ice Dam First, use the roof rake to remove the snow from the edge of your roof below the ice dam in question. Be sure to knock off any icicles that are hanging from the eaves and to stand far back from the edge of the roof so as to not injure yourself. Then, get up on the ladder and locate the exact position of the ice dam. It is important to have someone spot you while you are working, as the icy conditions make it much more likely that you’ll fall off the ladder if you’re alone. Fill the nylon stocking with the commercial ice melting product, and lay it over the middle of the ice dam. The nylon stocking will hold the ice melting product in place over the ice even as the water begins to run off, and melting the middle of the dam will ensure that the vast majority of the water held on your roof will begin to run off. Then, inspect your gutter system and make sure that there are no blockages in the gutters or downspout. If there is organic debris stuck in there, simply remove it by hand. Finally, get down off of the ladder and cover any plants near the edge of your roof with a tarp to ensure that they are not poisoned by the chemical runoff from the ice melting product. For more information contact a company like Columbia Roofing...

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Solar Shingles: A Convenient Roofing Alternative For Energy-Conscious Homeowners

Posted by on Oct 27, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Solar Shingles: A Convenient Roofing Alternative For Energy-Conscious Homeowners

If you’re trying to keep energy costs down, you probably focus on using as little energy as possible. But there’s another way to reduce the amount of power you draw from the grid: making some of your own energy. While putting solar panels on the roof is a common choice, another newer option is growing in favor among homeowners. Solar shingles, which are put on your roof in place of regular shingles, are a good solution for many homeowners. Here’s a look at their benefits. They don’t weigh much. Solar shingles don’t weigh any more than typical roofing materials. So there’s no worry as to whether your home’s foundation and roofing underlayment can support them. This is not always the case with solar panels. You’d definitely need to have your home looked over by a structural engineer before having solar panels installed, and if your home’s walls are older or not built properly, the panels might not be an option. You only have to purchase one “item.” With solar panels, you have to purchase the roof materials and the solar panels. With solar shingles, you only have to purchase the roofing materials (the solar shingles). This often makes solar shingles the less costly option if you do a price comparison. Plus, there are often tax rebates available for solar shingles; make sure you take these into account when getting estimates from roofing companies. You can connect your solar shingles into the grid. Many times, homeowners assume that they will directly use any power their home generates. While it is possible to hook a solar shingle system up in this manner (and this is what “off grid” homes require), most homeowners stay connected to the power grid when they have solar shingles installed. When your home generates energy, it is fed into the grid. When your home uses energy, it is drawn out of the grid. The power company keeps track of your net energy use/production overall and either pays you or charges you accordingly. So even on cloudy days, you still have power. If you happen to generate more power than you use in a given month, the energy company will send you a check rather than a bill! If your home needs a new roof and you want to be as energy-efficient as possible, look into having solar shingles installed. They can be connected to the grid, used in place of regular shingles, and are compatible with most any home...

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Answering Common Questions About Getting The Most From Your Home’s New Roof

Posted by on Sep 28, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Answering Common Questions About Getting The Most From Your Home’s New Roof

The roof is easily one of the largest parts of your home, and it is an unfortunate reality that you may not have a very thorough understanding about this part of your home. To help you avoid problems while getting the most from your roof, you may benefit from learning the answers to some of the more routinely asked roofing questions. Is It Harmful To Have Moss Growing On Your Roof? There are some homeowners that might enjoy the sight of having beautiful green moss growing on their roof. However, it is an unfortunate reality that moss can be extremely damaging to your home’s roof as it will keep the surface of the roof damp. For this reason, you will want to have any moss that is growing on your roof removed. If you are wanting to have live plants on your home’s roof, you will need to upgrade to a green roof. These roofing systems are designed to withstand the moisture rich conditions that plants can create. Are There Any Steps To Reduce The Heat Absorbed By The Roof? On a hot summer day, the roof of your home can quickly reach sweltering levels. Sadly, this heat can start to radiate towards the home’s interior. When this occurs, it can cause the interior temperature to become rather unpleasant. To help prevent this source of heat gain, it may be worthwhile to apply a reflective coating to your roof. These coatings prevent the roof from absorbing the sun’s most intense heat and light, which can dramatically lower the temperature in your home’s interior. What Should You Look For To Know When To Replace Your Roof? One of the more expensive and important types of maintenance that your home may require will be needing to have a new roof installed. Unfortunately, it can be extremely difficult for homeowners to know when this type of work is required, but there are a couple of warning signs. An obvious sign that this work is needed may be many missing shingles or tiles. Another warning sign may be noticing an increase in small black granules around your gutter system’s drains. These granules wash off of the shingles, which can compromise the protection they offer your roof. By having your roof serviced by a professional each year, you will be able to help extend the life of your roof, and these professionals will be able to let you know when the time is approaching to replace the roof. These two benefits may make it more than worth the added expense of hiring roofing professionals from a company like Empire Roofing for this...

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Moss On The Roof? Oh No! Here’s How To Handle It

Posted by on Sep 23, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Moss On The Roof? Oh No! Here’s How To Handle It

If you’re seeing green when you look up at your roof, that’s not good news! Chances are, the greenery is moss. Its short, barely existent roots allow it to grow on and between shingles where other plants would surely languish. Moss is not just ugly, either. It can cause your shingles to break down prematurely, leading to leaks and the need for extensive roof repairs. Don’t just ignore the moss and hope it goes away on its own. Take action with the following moss eradication steps. Step 1: Moisten the roof. The moss will be easier to remove when its roots are moist. You can wait until after a rain shower to start the removal process, or you can moisten the moss yourself by spraying the roof with a garden hose. If you have a very large roof, you’ll want to opt for the hose method and wet only one section of the roof at a time so you can climb up on the still-dry sections safely. On smaller roofs where you can pretty much reach the peak from your ladder, you can wet the whole roof at once. Step 2: Scrape off the moss. The goal here is to scrape off as much moss as possible without scraping off the shingles. Start with a kitchen broom, as these tend to be pretty gentle. Rub it back and forth over the moss, loosening the moss and then sweeping it off the roof. If there are stubborn chunks of moss that don’t respond to the broom, you can use the end of the broom to push them off more aggressively. Just don’t scrape too roughly against the shingles, as you don’t want to damage them. Step 3: Spray the roof with bleach water. There may still be some little bits of moss and moss root matter left after you’ve swept the roof. To kill and keep the moss from growing back, fill up a big garden sprayer container with a 50/50 mixture of laundry bleach and water. (Use plain, regular concentration laundry bleach, not the super-concentrated or gel kind). Spray the roof starting at the peak and working your way down. Step 4: Address any shade issues. If there are any tree branches shading your roof, cutting them back will help keep the moss from growing back. This is because moss loves shade, but won’t last long in the sun.  If the overhanging branches are large, be sure to hire a professional to trim them for you as they may cause damage if they fall onto your roof. For more information, contact Ray’s Accurate Roofing or a similar...

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How Poor Ventilation Can Lead To Roof Damage

Posted by on Sep 16, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on How Poor Ventilation Can Lead To Roof Damage

Poor roof venting leads to several problems, including poor energy efficiency for the HVAC, but did you also know that it can lead to roof damage? Here are four ways in which poor ventilation can cause roof damage: Roof Material Damage Due To Overheating As you probably know, poor ventilation places more stress on your air conditioning system since the house will be overheated. However, this isn’t the only effect of overheating; it can also lead to roof damage. When the roof overheats, its materials weaken and become susceptible to damage. For example, wood shingles may crack, asphalt shingles may melt, and roof trusses may warp if exposed to too much heat. Rust Due To Too Much Moisture Poor venting may also cause the metallic parts of your roof to rust. If your roof isn’t properly ventilated, moisture may collect on the underside of the roof during the cold season. This happens when the hot air inside the house rises and meets the underside of the roof, which will be cold due to the snow or ice on the roof. The moisture-laden hot air then condenses and affects the metal on your roof, which may then weaken and give way prematurely. Moisture Damage Due To Ice Dams Ice dams form when the hot air inside the house rises and warms the roof. The snow or ice above the roof then melts and runs down to the edges of the roof that are still cold, where they refreeze. The frozen water then traps more water behind it forming a dam. The weight of the ice dam may damage your gutters or cause water to backup and penetrate the roof. Roof Damage Due To Mold Mold on the roof is another thing to expect if you don’t ventilate your roof properly. This is because poor ventilation increase the amount of moisture on the roof, and mold thrives on moisture. Most people find moldy roofs unsightly, but that isn’t the only disadvantage associated with mold on the roof. The mold acts like a sponge and soaks up water, which may then wick its way under the shingles and damage the underlayment. By trapping moisture, the mold will also make your roof (the parts made from wood) more susceptible to rot. Therefore, you should consult your roofing contractor if you suspect your roof is poorly ventilated. Don’t delay until the roof becomes too damaged and necessitates a serious repair or replacement...

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Tips To Help You Prepare For A New Roof Installation

Posted by on Aug 30, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Tips To Help You Prepare For A New Roof Installation

When the time comes for you to get a new roof on your home, make sure you and your environs are prepared. Your roofers will need access to the roof and you will want to make sure nothing inside or outside of your home suffers any accidental damage. The following tips can help you prepare for the arrival of the roofers in advance. Tip #1: Mow your lawn Nails and other hardware are often dropped during a roof installation. If you don’t want these to end up in a tire or foot, take the time to mow your lawn a little bit lower than usual the day before the roofers arrive. It’s also a good idea to rake up any leaves or other yard debris. After each work day, your roofing crew will use a magnetic sweeper on the lawn to attract any fallen nails. The sweeper is more likely to collect all the nails if they aren’t lost in tall grass. Tip #2: Clear the area The roofers don’t just need access to the roof, they also need access to the ground area around the roof so they have space to walk around, set up ladders, and place roofing materials. Plus, materials can fall off the roof while they are working, and you don’t want falling objects to damage any of your belongings. Move planters, furniture, outdoor toys, and other items so they are at least a couple of yards away from the home. Tip #3: Empty the driveway Your driveway will likely be the preferred staging area for your work crew. This is where they will want to back in the tear-down haul-away truck, which is what will take away your old roofing shingles. They may also use it to stage the shingle bundles before moving them to the roof. Park on the street for the couple of days it takes for your roof to be completed. Also, make sure your vehicle isn’t in the garage, since this may be blocked off for the entire roofing period. Tip #4: Secure your home’s interior Roof installation will result in some vibrations and shaking inside your home. For this reason, take the time to remove fragile pictures or glass frames from the wall so they don’t fall and break. You may also want to remove nick-knacks and other fragile items from display shelves just to be safe. For more help in preparing for your new roof installation, contact a roofing contractor in your area or visit a site like...

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Special Considerations When Choosing A Roofing Material For A Queen Anne Bungalow

Posted by on Aug 16, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Special Considerations When Choosing A Roofing Material For A Queen Anne Bungalow

Queen Anne bungalows combine the asymmetry of Victorian homes with the smaller, often one-storied bungalow style. Features of Queen Anne bungalows include stained glass or decorative paned windows, a long roofed porch, an offset chimney, and the possibility of dormers. The home is topped off with at least one medium-pitch gable roof with possible secondary gables on the porch and dormers. Understanding the style of both the Queen Anne bungalow and its roof can help you determine the best roofing material when making repairs or replacements. Here are a couple of considerations to keep in mind when meeting with your roofing services contractors. Do You Want to Match the Siding and Accents? Queen Anne Bungalows often either have wooden siding, vinyl siding disguised as wood, or wooden accents along the eaves. You can replicate that building material on the roof with the use of wooden shake or shingle roofing. Shakes and shingles both come cut from cedar trees and are available in several naturally beautiful stain colors. The main difference is in the texture. Shakes are left fairly rugged and natural looking while shingles are pressed to have a sleeker, more fabricated look. Note that even wood shingles have more texture than a composite material like asphalt. With all of its natural beauty and charm, wood roofing does have some downsides. Wood isn’t the most durable or low maintenance roofing material around, mostly due to the potential for elemental damage. Wood has natural properties that cause the material to expand in heat and contract in cold. If you live in an area where the temperatures jump back and forth between hot and cold, the changing cycles can cause the wood to become bowed or warp over time. Does Your Roof Need Immediate Replacement and Do You Have a Tight Budget?  Is budget a primary concern and do you need to install a new roof as soon as possible? Asphalt shingles have a low cost and a lightweight, easy-to-install design. The composite material comes in several different colors and can be pressed in textures to somewhat resemble wood shingles. The main weakness of asphalt shingles is the potential wind damage since the shingles are so lightweight. On a traditional, high-pitched gable roof, this weakness can be a major warning sign of potential damage down the line. But the moderate-slope on the Queen Anne gable can mitigate some of this potential damage especially if you also have windbreaks around your home that could partially block any oncoming...

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The Step-By-Step Process Of Professional Leaky Shingle Roof Repair

Posted by on Jul 27, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on The Step-By-Step Process Of Professional Leaky Shingle Roof Repair

Is your shingle roof suddenly leaking water into the home? While this may have come as a surprise to you, it is important to take swift action to protect your home and fix the problem before it has a chance to get any worse. A leaking roof that does not get repaired could turn into a massive problem the next time a storm occurs. Contact a Contractor to Perform an Inspection Once you have taken precautionary measures to keep the water from damaging your home by placing canvas tarps on the floor and using buckets to collect any water that is dripping into the home, it is best to call a contractor who can inspect the roof and determine the cause of the problem. In most cases, the shingles are damaged because they are old and were installed decades ago. If those shingles were already installed when you bought the home, you may not even know how long the previous owners had them, and that means it may be time for new ones. If you need to have your shingle roof replaced, there is a step-by-step process involved. The contractor may take the following steps to complete the replacement process: Inspect the roof and the quality of the shingles to determine the extent of the damage. Carefully remove each of the shingles from the roof using a shingle remover tool and then place them off to the side or into a trash bag. Remove the nails that were once attached to the shingles and are still stuck to the roof. The best way to remove the nails is to carefully pull them out with the end of a hammer. Carefully remove flashings if they are installed around any pipes that may be on the roof. Look around for any damage underneath the shingles and then remove any buildup of dirt and debris that may be found, including wet leaves. Attach felt paper to the roof using a handheld staple gun to keep the rain from seeping through the new shingles and into the home. Install an aluminum drip edge directly against the baseboard to get water to run down instead of staying on top of the shingles. Install shingles of your choice on top of the home using a roofing nailer. There are several styles available, but asphalt options are one of the most commonly used shingles. Once you have water leaking in your home, acting quickly is important because additional damage could occur. You can quickly prevent the water from making its way on your floor and belongings by using buckets and canvas tarps while contacting a contractor to inspect and replace the...

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Weathering Your First Big Severe Thunderstorm in Your Midwestern Home: Tips for You

Posted by on Jul 26, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Weathering Your First Big Severe Thunderstorm in Your Midwestern Home: Tips for You

When you move from another area of the country to the Midwest, you may not fully know what to expect from the unpredictable weather. Severe thunderstorms are a relatively common occurrence during the Midwestern summers and can do major damage to your home. To be sure that you take the best possible care of your home when severe thunderstorms hit, get to know some of the steps that you can and should take to maintain and repair your home in case of storms. Then you can be sure that your first year in your new Midwestern home is successful and as safe as possible. Make Sure Your Rain Gutters Are Always Clear and in Good Shape The rain gutters on your home are a vital component during any storm, whether it is severe or not. However, in severe storms, rain gutters can mean the difference between staying safe and dry in your home and having a flooded basement and a severely damaged roof. When you know that severe weather may be coming your way, it is important to get up on the roof (assuming you have time before the storm hits) to check your rain gutters for debris. Any leaves, branches, or other muck and debris should be removed from those gutters before the rains start. This will help to prevent overflowing, which can cause that debris to get pushed up under your shingles and cause rot and other damage as well as flooding and water pooling around the foundation of your house.  Periodically, as well as after storms, you will also want to inspect your rain gutters for any signs of damage. This can include gaps between the edge of the gutters and the structure of your roof as well as sagging or holes in the gutters themselves. Check and Repair Your Roof and Siding Your roof and your siding are two of the aspects of your home that will suffer the most extreme damage during a severe thunderstorm. As such, they are two areas that you will want to focus much of your attention on to prepare for storms and during your storm-damage repairs. Damage to your roof and siding can cause serious structural damage to your home if it is not repaired quickly. When it comes to your siding, look for cracks, bulging or warping, and (of course) missing panels. Even a small crack can be serious if you do not address it right away, as water or storm debris can get inside or underneath your siding. Similarly, minor roof issues can cause leaking and flooding that could cause serious damage in your attic and the rest of your home, even causing total roof collapse. After every storm has passed, remove debris from your roof and inspect it from both the exterior and interior of your home. From the inside, you can look for signs of water damage as well as for any light that might be seeping through your roof. Outside, you can look for missing or broken shingles, warping, bulging, or shingles that are curling up around the edges. The sooner you repair these issues, the better your home will fare the next time bad weather rolls around. Now that you know a few of the steps that you can take to keep your...

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