, , , , ,

How to choose the best Roofing Company

Repairing or replacing your home’s roof can be one of the most daunting home repair projects a homeowner can face. On the one hand, you’re probably not qualified to do the job yourself, so you’ll have to hire a professional roofing company to do it.

One of the most important things to do to find the best roofing company is to ask around for recommendations. Some of the best advice you will get will come from local friends and family. Here are some questions you should ask every potential roofing contractor:

Do you offer the services that are required to do the job that I need?

It’s not enough to assume that every roofing company can tackle every roofing job. Be specific about what you need (ideally by showing the roofer where the damage is) and ask whether the company feels they can handle the job. If you detect hesitation or get a vague answer, move on to another candidate.

Do you offer a free quote?

You should never have to pay for a quote or sign anything up front to get a quote. Reputable companies will be confident enough in the quality of their work that they will happily provide you with a free quote.

What kind of warranty is offered on the job?

Does the warranty cover labor and products use? Get this information in writing, too.

When can you start the work?

If your roof is leaking, you need it fixed urgently. But what if the company you are considering does not have an opening in their work schedule for another six weeks? Be sure they can tackle the job on the timetable you require.

How long have you been in business?

It may be a good idea to do business with a company that has been established for a while rather than a new start-up.

By taking the time to ask for recommendations from people you trust and by asking the right questions, you should be able to find the best roofing company.

, , , ,

Gutter Cleaning Products You Need To Know About

There are many times of gutter products that are meant to make their maintenance easier for you and allow you to clean them out less. These products include systems of gutter covers, gutter guards, and heating systems for colder climates. Other products for making cleaning easier include tongs, vacuums, sprayers, and more. There are many factors to consider here. First you have to consider which products will actually work with your current home or gutter system. Not all products will fit your home’s design and current gutter structure. Some solutions might even suggest you replace your entire gutter system like a gutter and cover in one product. The next thing you need to consider is your budget. Are you willing to spend less and clean more? With any solution you consider, you should thoroughly research and review products before purchasing. Most professionals can agree that there are pros and cons to every single option and you should weigh them heavily before deciding. To make things easier, you might make an appointment for your trusted roofer to assess your situation. They might be able to help you with other roofing recommendations, installation, or gutter cleaning if you choose to put off making the decision. Here are 4 of many really good products to consider.

Bottle Brush Gutter Guard

A bottle brush gutter guard is a less expensive option to consider making your gutters efficient longer between cleanings. The brush product you insert into the gutters collects debris and keeps it from clumping and preventing the passage of water. It seems to work really well for people who’ve chosen to use this product. Just like gutters, it needs to be cleaned out periodically, but less than gutters usually do and it shouldn’t cause you any problems (clogging) in the mean time. Other gutter guards are made of a mesh or foam material that catches debris as well, but getting the proper fit for your gutters might be problematic and each product seems to be hit or miss about doing its job.

Gutter Cover and Heat Cable System

Only homes in cold climates will need to consider this option. When ice and snow build on the eaves of the home, it can cause icicles and build up and potentially damage the home. The gutter cover and heat cable system will heat the ice and snow and send the melted water away from the home, preventing water or damage from the heaviness of sitting snow. If sitting ice and snow has been problematic for you in recent years, you may consider installing this system to prevent the costly damages in the future. The only con is that the installation is best done by a professional. Ask your roofer if they recommend the system and if they are able to order and install it.

Gutter Tongs

Cleaning your gutters is recommended twice per year. If you don’t mind doing it yourself, there are products available that can make your life easier. Many people just climb a ladder and use their hands to remove debris that has clogged their gutter system. Gutter tongs can save your hands and prevent you from injuring yourself by being an extension of you and preventing imbalance and falling from the ladder. Extensions of the tongs might be available to keep you from even having to climb a ladder, but seeing if you’ve removed all the debris could be problematic if you don’t get up there yourself.

Gutter Vacuums

Again, if you clean your own gutters and have a shop vac, you can purchase a gutter vacuuming extension. This might do a better job than tongs can do and make the task easier for you. There is definitely an extension for this product so you won’t have to climb a ladder to do it, but you run the same risk of not seeing whether you’ve removed all the debris.

If money is a non-issue, support your local roofing company and employ them to clean your gutters the twice per year that’s needed. The average cost is 175.00-275.00 and depends usually on the size of your home and gutter system. Don’t forget that properly maintaining your home will prevent costly damage later on and can improve resale value in the future.

, ,

What Is A Living Roof?

A living roof, or sometimes called a green roof, is a roof covered by a waterproofing membrane and then covered partially or completely by vegetation and growing mediums that retain water and transfer it back into the atmosphere through natural means. Installing green roofs conserve a notable amount of energy, but have additional benefits such as beautifying a building and increasing it’s value and improving the air quality around it, among other things.

Benefits

Commercial building owners as well as homeowners can benefit from installing a green roof. Aside from being a green concept that keeps other roofing materials out of landfills and has its own recycled products, the green roof can save you money on your energy bill. Roofs are the main culprit for retaining unwanted heat in the summer and letting wanted heat escape in the winter. With a green roof, you can expect a significant drop in your air conditioning needs (up to 75%) and heating as well. This is because the plants absorb the heat. Rain and storm water is also absorbed by the substrate, then sucked up by plants that need it, and evaporated back into the atmosphere. This reduces the risk of water damage, and slows the run off process and purifies the water naturally on the way down. Having a green roof also improves the air quality and reduces electromagnetic radiation tremendously (some studies report up to 99.4%). The plant matter acts as a natural fire retardant and can save a home significant damage if this unfortunate event occurs. The attraction of the green roof for commercial buildings is on the rise, due to city planning trends and goals. The industry could expect a lot more jobs made to meet the demand of people wanting these energy efficient and meaningful statement roofs.

Types

A living roof or green roof goes by even more names. You might hear it being called a roof garden or a garden roof as well. Like the tiny house movement, there are endless possibilities for design. Roofs can be designed with aesthetics heavily in mind, or made of plants chosen for different purposes. Some look covered in strictly grass, others spotted with flowers, some even have small trees. Some look tightly groomed and others, wild. In some cultures this clever roofing is as old as the 19th century. Sod roofs were the most common roof type in Scandinavia at the time. They were made of loose roof boards covered in layer upon layer of birch bark and sod as the final layer. Green roofs today might employ additional modern technologies to care for the roof such as drainage and irrigation systems.

Additional Information

Unlike a traditional roof, the green roof when properly cared for, can last you 35-50 years or more. If you’re interested in green roofing, you should know that in most cases you will need a permit to make one. Some people require the guidance of a landscape architect or architect and a pre-evaluation to determine whether your roof is strong enough to support a living system. You’ll be happy to know that you can start small. Many people try it first using a small building such as a garage or shed. If you try it out and decide it’s not for you, you’ll still have a beautiful sight to see on your property.

, ,

What Happens When Gutters Aren’t Maintained

Gutters are channels added to the perimeter of your home’s roof to carry water and any environmental debris to a safe drainage area, away from the home and its foundation. If you don’t maintain your gutters they might fall apart themselves, but that damage can be easier repaired than the damage it can cause to your home. Here are the most common threats posed by under-maintained gutters.

Damage To The Foundation

If gutters aren’t cleaned out, they can build up with debris and overflow in places. The water and moisture build up will flow onto the roof, down the home, and eventually to the basement and foundation of the home since it is not being directed away from the house. If too much moisture sits near the foundation of the home, the surrounding ground can become soft, and the foundation can form cracks. Even worse, if cold weather ensues the water can freeze and cause the structure to contract and expand, causing cracks.

Damage To The Basement

If water is sitting near the foundation of the home over a long period of time, it inevitably will seep directly into the basement walls themselves. The moisture is hard to get rid of and will cause unpleasant odors and mold. In more severe cases the water can cause flooding and permanent damage.

Damage To The Roof

Overflowing gutters is the worst problem to have when winter is coming. It causes ice and snow to sit on the home, rather than falling or melting off of it. The additional weight and moisture on the roof can cause holes and penetrate the attic, ceilings, and walls.

Insect Infestation

The ideal home for an insect is in moist places where organic debris is rotting. The gutters are a great home for many critters to eat and nest. If winter is coming, the warmth of the home will be attractive and they will move inside. Termites and carpenter ants are some of the biggest potential threats.

How And When To Clean Your Gutters

Just as you’d inspect your roof once a month and after storms, you should check your gutters at the same time to look for obstruction of drainage. Clean out any debris you can and then take a hose to the inside to remove as much dirt as possible. If you are physically unable to perform the task or don’t have the supplies to do it, you can call your local roofers for gutter servicing.

, , ,

Wildlife That Damages Roofs and Homes

Animals need shelter, just as humans do. When a creature is enticed by the warmth in your home and the food you might provide through garbage, per food, and bird seed they will find a way to nest in or around your home. The extent of damage these pests can do might be the least of your worries when animals can diseases, rabies, and parasites like fleas and ticks into your home. Damage can include ruined electrical wiring, insulation, damaged wood, infestation and feces. Here’s what you need to know.

Common Threats

Depending on where you live, different creatures will prefer dwelling in homes. Your State Wildlife Agency can be a resource for information about which animals to look out for and how to prevent them from being attracted to dwelling in or around your home. Common animals that can hurt your home are bats, birds, rats, raccoons, rodents, skunks, snakes, and squirrels. Common bugs that can affect your home are termites, carpenter ants, bees, wasps, and anything that nests.

Precautions

Occasionally inspect openings under your porches, basements, and your attic. If you find any evidence that an animal has been there, research further prevention and seal any openings as best you can. Keep tight fitting lids on your garbage cans and pet food containers if they are kept outside. Clean your pet’s bowls after feeding. Maintain your roof well. This includes trimming nearby trees so their branches don’t puncture the roof and allow an opening for creatures, and purchase a chimney topper that makes it difficult for animals to get in through the chimney.

After Infestation

If an animal has made a habit of coming and going from the home, has made it a permanent dwelling place, or has raised young there it’s time to get serious about preventing this problem from getting worse. Many cities and states have strict enforcement to protect certain wild life and endangered species, so check with your Wildlife Agency if you are thinking about capturing, poisoning, or killing any wild animal in or around your home. Also do proper research about your options with pesticides if you’re thinking about calling a pest control company. If at all possible use the lowest toxicity products possible first, and gradually introduce stronger product if necessary. Read labels and instructions thoroughly before handling any pest control situation on your own.