Categories
Chimney Repair

What to Look For in a Chimney Service Company

Does your chimney need a clean? Perhaps a much-needed repair? Read below to find out, what to look for in a chimney service company.

If you have a fireplace in your home, you need to take good care of it. Not only does it make it as effective as possible, but it makes it safe too. Part of maintaining your fireplace is hiring the right chimney service to clean and repair your chimney regularly. Here’s what you should be looking for when you look for a chimney service company near you. 

Good Reviews And Recommendations

The very first thing you should be looking for is recommendations as to which chimney service to hire. There are most likely a few near you, so how do you narrow down the search? If you know anyone who hires such services, you can simply ask them. They’ll be able to tell you what they think of them, and what they can do for you. 

You can also check out reviews online. You’ll see reviews on the websites of these services, but if you want to get a more rounded view, check out independent review sites. This will let you see both the positives and negatives of a given service. You’ll also be able to see more about them on sites like the Better Business Bureau, so make sure you check them out. Look Into

Accreditations

Working on your chimney is a crucial job, and it has to be done right. That’s why you should be looking into services that have the right accreditations to get it done. Typically, you want to find a service that’s certified by the CSIA, or the Chimney Safety Institute of America. That shows that they’ve been audited and found to be a legit and trustworthy business. 

If you’re considering a service, take a look at the site to see if they’re certified. You’ll also want to take a look at the CSIA site and look them up on it. If they’re listed there, then you know that you can trust them. Also, any good service will be more than happy to show you their certifications themselves.

Ask About Their Experience

Experience is everything when it comes to taking care of your chimney. You’ll want to see that the service you’re considering has a long track record in the business. The longer they’ve been working, the more experience they have in what they do. 

When looking, check that these years in business have been under the same management. Some businesses may say that they’ve been around for years, but at some point, they were bought out by someone else. As such, they’ll only have been a business as they are now for a shorter amount of time. 

Years in business won’t tell you everything about how experienced a chimney service is, but it’s a very good place to start when looking into them.

Check That They Have Proper Insurance

Like any business that works in your home, you need to know that a chimney service has the right insurance needed to work on your chimney. In this instance, they need to have business liability insurance and worker’s compensation. Having these policies in place means your home and property are protected, as well as the people working on your chimney. 

Again, any good company should be happy to have a certificate sent to you from their insurers, to show you that they’re properly covered. You want to see that it comes from the insurers and not the company themselves, as it’s so easy for them to send an out-of-date document.

How Will They Inspect Your Chimney?

When considering a chimney service company, you want to see how they would come and inspect your chimney, before working on it. They need to be able to comply with the rules set out by the NFPA regarding chimney cleaning, so they can carry out work that makes the fireplace safe to use. 

Typically, they should use camera equipment to fully get a view of what your chimney looks like, and what work needs to be done. They should create a full report on both the structural makeup of your chimney and any safety concerns that there may be. If they can do that, they’re following the guidelines correctly.

Check For Proper Identification

When a team comes to inspect your chimney, you’ll want to see that they offer proper identification. There are plenty of people who’ll attempt to scam homeowners into believing they’re the service you asked for, so they can get into your home. Ask the team to show their identification. They should be wearing ID badges, and genuine teams will always be happy to show you them. 

Also, ensure that they’re wearing marked uniforms and that they come in a marked vehicle. That should identify the company and show you that they’re the real deal.

Look For Transparent Pricing

While it’s tempting to try and save money on getting your fireplace inspected, you don’t want to skimp on a chimney service. If you do, you’re not going to get the best service, and it can leave it unsafe to use. Plus, if a company is offering rock bottom prices, it’s often too good to be true. They may be offering something low as they’ll tack on more later when they already have you booked in. 

Look for companies that are more upfront about their pricing. When they come to take a look at your chimney, they should then walk you through their pricing and what you should expect. If you agree to them working with you, then you’ll get the price in writing so you know exactly what you should be paying. Everything is clear, and there shouldn’t be any nasty surprises with extra prices being tacked on when you least expect it.

Concluding Your Search For A Chimney Service Company

When you’re looking out for these things, you’ll see that it’s easier than you’d think to find the right chimney service. You want a service that’s certified, experienced, and ready to help you. Look out for the signs of a good company, so you ensure that you hire the right people to help.

 

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Categories
Roofing

6 Ways A Clay Tile Roof Benefits California Homeowners

How much do you know about a clay tile roof and its benefits for California homeowners? It’s very little then read below now.

There are so many different roofing materials out there now to choose from. When there are so many different options out there for you, you can pick the one that’s best for your home. In California, many are choosing to go with clay tiles when its time to replace their roofs. What makes it the best option for you, and why should you consider it?

1. An Attractive Look For Your Home

You will of course consider the way a roofing material looks on your home, and how it will blend in with the rest of the building, and the other buildings in the area. You want it to look good, and that’s something you can achieve if you pick clay roof tiles.

You can go with the original terracotta look, and that will blend in seamlessly with lots of California homes. However, it’s not the only color that you have to go with. You can have them in a different color, if you want to get a certain look.

To color clay tiles, color enamel is added to them before they are baked in the kiln. That bonds the enamel to the tile, which means it shouldn’t fade, break or chip off. It’s great for you if you’re worried about the color fading in the sun.

As well as the color, you can pick the shape of them too. The S-shaped tile is the most popular, but you can go with different shapes and styles. Your roofer can even get tiles that are embossed with patterns, so you can have a look that’s very unique.

As such, clay roof tiles allow to add a lot of curb appeal to your roof and make it one of a kind.

2. Long-Lasting Roofs

A really important factor when replacing your roof is the longevity of the materials. You’ll have to balance the price against the longevity of them, as there are more pricey options that can last for decades. Clay roof tiles are certainly more expensive than other options, but it’s well worth the money.

If you take good care of your roof, you can expect those clay roof tiles to last for up to 60 years or more. Essentially, once you’ve replaced them, you shouldn’t have to worry about replacing the roof again. That’s pretty incredible when you compare that to asphalt shingles, which can last for up to 25 years when well cared for.

Of course, you’ll need to take care of the clay tiles too if you want to get the best out of them. If you do though, it takes a worry off your shoulders as you won’t have to think about having to replace that roof again. What could be better than that?

3. Resistant To Many Types Of Damage

Why is it that a clay roof can last so long? It’s because it’s resistant to so many types of damage. As they’re made of clay, insects like termites aren’t going to get into the tiles and cause damage. They are also highly impact-resistant, so even if debris falls on the roof during a storm, it shouldn’t be a problem. Plus, they’re corrosion resistant too.

This is a huge plus, as roofing damage can lead to an earlier replacement if you don’t catch it quick enough. If you’re keeping an eye on your roof and ensuring that any damage is repaired as and when you find it, you’ll be able to get the full lifespan from it.

4. Little Maintenance Needed

One reason why clay roof tiles are so popular is that they just don’t need a lot of maintenance. It’s the bane of a lot of homeowners, as doing things like replacing roof shingles can be time-consuming and dangerous if you’re trying to do it on your own. If you have a clay roof installed though, there’s very little you’ll have to actually do.

There’s not much you’ll need to do here to take care of them. Doing biannual roof inspections and cleanings, and having roofing teams repair damage if you find it, will go a long way.

5. Excellent Fire Resistance

Every homeowner should think about fire resistance when picking a new roof, but that’s especially true in California. When there’s the risk of wildfires, you want to keep that in mind for your home improvements. Protecting your home is important, and if you pick the right materials then you can do that. A clay roof is an excellent option here, as you’ll see they have one of the best fire resistance ratings out there.

Like metal roofs, this is because clay can’t catch fire. As such, there’s no risk of an errant spark catching the roof on fire. As such, you should see your clay tiled roof has a class A fire-resistance rating.

6. Resistance To UV Rays 

This is something else that you need to consider in California. As the hot sun beats down on your roof, it can do damage to it unless you’ve picked the right materials. Clay tiles are UV resistant, so they can take a lot more from the sun than other materials out there.

Depending on the grade of clay tile you choose, they can also withstand freezing temperatures too. Grade I tiles are non porous, while Grade III tiles are more porous and so will absorb more water. If you live in an area with more freezing temperatures, you’ll want to go with Grade I tiles. Grade III tiles can break when the water they’ve absorbed freezes, so keep that in mind when you’re shopping around.

Clay Tile Roof Conclusion

There are so many reasons why clay roof tiles are the best option for a California home. They look great, with customization options that you may have been aware of. There are lots of practical reasons too, such as high fire resistance, long lifespans, resistance to UV rays, and more. As such, you’ll be able to get a lot of benefits with a clay roof tile on your home.

 

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Categories
Deck Coating

Do You Need Wood Deck Coating? Why It’s Essential

How do you choose the best wood deck coating? Here’s all the information you need to know.

A wooden deck in your garden can add a whole new level of polish to the area. It’s always great to have somewhere to sit and enjoy the outdoors or entertain friends. Like everywhere else in your home though, you’ll need to take good care of it if you want it to last.

Here’s why you’ll need to coat your wood deck, and how to find the best coating for your needs.

Why Wood Deck Coating Is Essential

Firstly, let’s look at why you need that wood deck coating. If you install a stone or slab patio in your yard, then that won’t need to be coated. A wooden deck, on the other hand, is going to need some more care.

Wood will be vulnerable to the elements, as well as any pests, like termites, that want to attack it. When you have a deck built, the wood used should have been pressure treated to ensure it will last for a long time. However, you’ll need to do more than that to protect the deck when you’re using it.

A good coating will seal a deck up against water, one of its main enemies. When water can’t get into the wood, you’ll see that it can’t get damaged by mold or fungal issues. That prevents the wood from splitting and cracking, keeping the finish looking good. It also makes it safer, as rotting wood will be unsafe to walk on.

As such, you’ll want to find a wood deck coating that suits your needs. Luckily, there are a lot of options out there.

Picking The Right Wood Deck Coating

How do you know which coating is right for you? Firstly, you’ll need to know what’s out there. There are three main types of coating that you can choose from.

Paint: This is an opaque sealant, that lets you add color to the wood itself. This sits on top of the wood and creates a seal.

Stain: Rather than changing the look of the wood, a stain will create a new tone in the wood’s color. It will sink into the wood and protect it.

Oil or clear preserver: This is something that you’ll want to use if you want a more natural look for your wood deck.

Which one should you choose for your deck? It all depends on the finish and level of protection that you want for your deck. The look of the deck will have the main deciding factor. If you want it to stand out, painting it with a deck paint will get what you want. If you want to keep the grain of the wood, then staining will be your best bet. 

You’ll also want to think about the upkeep of the sealant, too. Typically, paint will need more upkeep as it sits on top of the wood, so it’s liable to flaking off. As stains and oils sink into it, they’ll need redoing less often. 

All are reliable options for your wood deck though, so once you pick one you’ll be ready to apply it.

Tips For Sealing Your Wood Deck 

Now you’ve picked a sealant product, you want to ensure it’s properly applied. That way, you won’t have to worry about it needing to be redone before you’re ready to come back to it. You’ll also ensure that you’ll get the proper level of protection for it.

Pick the right time to seal your deck: Sealing your deck is all about picking the right time. If you seal it at the wrong time, you won’t get the best results. Luckily, it’s not too hard to pick the right moment for you. Firstly, you’ll need to give your deck 30 days after being installed before you can seal it. This will let it dry out, so you can properly seal it. You can test this by pouring some water on the deck. If it beads up, then you’ll need a few more days until it’s ready. 

You’ll also want the right weather to seal your deck. Wait for a run of dry days, so you can seal it without the rain getting into your deck.

Check for broken wood and other issues: Now you want to check for any issues that would get in the way of you sealing the deck. For example, if you find any broken boards, replace them before you get started. You’ll also want to look for mold or signs of pests such as termites. Deal with these issues first, so you don’t undo all your hard work in sealing the deck.

Wash the deck down: Before you can seal it, the deck needs to be fully washed down. Sweep it down, and then wash it with a power washer to clean it off. Let that dry for 24 hours, so it’s fully dry. Then use sandpaper to sand the surface, which removes any barriers to the sealant you’ll use. This is especially important when you’re resealing a deck, as you’ll want to remove any previous sealant before you put more on.

Apply your sealant: Now you’re ready to apply the sealant to the deck. You can use a paintbrush or roller for the job, or even use a paint sprayer. Work from one corner and go slowly, to ensure that every part of the deck is covered.

Typically, you’ll only need one coat of sealant. Any more than that and the sealant could start chipping or flaking off. If you do need a second coat though, wait at least 24 hours between coats so you can be sure that it’ll stay in good condition. 

Stay off the deck: Finally, you’ll want to stay off the deck for at least 48 hours. This gives the sealant enough time to cure before you can start moving furniture back on it and using it. If you do this though, you should get a year of strong protection from it.

Conclusion

Now you know just why sealing your deck is so important. Seal it now, and you’ll stop a lot of common deck issues in their tracks.

 

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Categories
Roofing

Guide to Flat Roof Material Types

An informative guide to flat roof material types. Read below for more.

If you have a flat roof that needs to be re-roofed, then are some things you’ll have to consider that you wouldn’t with other roofs. One of those is the materials that are used in their construction. The right materials will help avoid water getting into your roof and causing damage long term, so you’ll need to pick carefully.

Here are the roofing material types that are available to you right now, so you can pick the right one for you.

Built-Up Roofing (BUR)

This is the traditional option when it comes to flat roofing materials. This setup allows flat roofs to take on what the elements throw at them, in a way that asphalt shingles can’t on a flat surface. 

The material gets its name as the roof is built up in several layers. What exactly is used depends on the roofer, but usually, you’ll see they use several layers of felt that have been impregnated with asphalt and embedded in bitumen. 

The felt is rolled out across the roof, and then asphalt is applied hot to the surface. This creates an unbroken surface, one that ensures that water can’t get in through it. This is done in several layers to create a strong surface. 

Once this has been done, the top will be covered in a layer of finely crushed stone granules. This protects the felt from UV rays and keeps it in good condition overall.

Modified Bitumen Roofing

This is a newer version of built-up roofing, made to improve upon the techniques used in flat roof applications. It was created in the 1960s to use polymer reinforced roof layers, to reinforce the roof further. 

There are lots of different ways that these roofs can be installed, and you’ll see roofers either apply them hot, using torches or with self-adhering sheets. The way they’re applied depends on the kind of polymer being used. 

As there’s polymer used in the construction of the roof, there’s more elasticity involved. That allows the roof to expand and contract without breaking apart, especially in lower temperatures.

Single Layer Membrane Roof

This is one of the newer roofing technologies out there and is commonly used on newer buildings. You’ll usually see it being used on commercial properties, as it offers a lot of benefits. It comes in a range of different materials, such EPDM or rubber roofing, PVC, Neoprene, and so on. EPDM is the most commonly used option right now. 

These materials are applied to the roof in a single layer, and they can be as thin as 0.030 inches thick. As they’re rubber, they’re much more elastic than other roofing types and can handle temperature changes better. 

Depending on the type of roofing you’re using, it’ll be attached to the roof in different ways. EPDM and neoprene can be attached with adhesive, while PVC seams are sealed with heat or solvents.

Metal Roofing

This is an option that’s popular for both residential and commercial buildings, as it’s very versatile. A metal roof can be made of a variety of different metals, such as zinc, copper, and aluminum to name a few. Each gives you its own benefits to protecting your roof and making it attractive too. While some metal options are more utility-based, you can get attractive styles too depending on your needs. You can even get metal roofs that are designed to look like shingles. 

Metal roofs are usually installed in large sheets, and screwed down. The seams fit together to create a watertight seal and will be able to last for up to 70 years. It’s a good option for you if you’re looking to install a roof that will last for a long time.

Green Roofing

One option that’s becoming more popular is green roofing. This is when you install a layer of vegetation across the roof, making it ‘green’. There are all kinds of reasons why you may want to do this. Firstly, they’re very attractive and different looking. If you want to create a habitat for insects and birds to use, then this is a good way of doing so. It can also be used as an outdoor area to enjoy if the roof is well reinforced. 

One of the biggest benefits of a green roof is that they’re more ecologically sound. That’s thanks to the extra habitat space for animals, as well as the insulating effect they have on your home. They have been shown to help absorb heat rather than letting it into your home. That allows you to reduce HVAC costs, and keep your energy costs down. They also absorb water, so they can prevent flooding

As you’d expect, a green roof will take a bit more work to keep in good condition. However, it has a lot of benefits so it’s something you’ll want to consider.

Which Roof Is Right For You?

These are some of the main roof materials that you can use on your flat roof. Which one should you use? They all have their advantages and drawbacks, so the best thing to do at first is talk to a roofing service. They’ll be able to run you through your options and help you see which one is right for you.

If you want something that’s more ecologically sound, then this will have to factor into your decision. Again, your roofer will be able to help you work out which one is right for you. 

Price will also be a big factor when choosing a roof. All these options will give you what you need, but you’ll need to have a budget in mind. If you’re trying to save on costs, some of these options will be out of your reach. 

There are lots of options available to you when it comes to flat roofing materials. Take a look at what’s available, and talk to your roofer. They’ll be able to help you find something that works for you and your building.

 

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Categories
Roofing

Understanding The Process Of A Tile Roof Installation

What’s does a tile roof installation involve? There are many factors to know. Read now!

A tile roof is a great option for many homes. When installed correctly, they work well to ensure that your home is fully protected as well as being attractive. They do take some work to install though, and understanding the steps will show just how it should be done.

Here’s the process of installing a tile roof, and how each step works.

Picking The Right Tiles 

The first thing you’ll do when planning your roofing project is to pick the right roofing tiles for you. There are many different options out there, and typically you’ll have a choice between clay and concrete tiles. There will be several things that will impact the decision that you make.

For example, clay tiles are known to be more durable than concrete tiles. A concrete tile can last anywhere from 30 – 50 years, while a well made clay tile can last up to 100 years. Also, price is a factor. As you’d expect, clay will be more expensive than concrete, so if you’re trying to save money going for concrete may be the best option. You’ll also want to think about the color of the tiles. Typically, concrete tiles will fade over time, so that’s something to think about as this roof should last for a good few decades.

Considering Weight

Weight is going to be an important factor when installing a tiled roof. Asphalt shingles are very popular as they’re inexpensive, as well as being very light. If that’s what your roof has now, then your roof may not be able to take the added weight as it’s designed now.

To check this, you’ll need a roofing expert to come and take a look at your roof for you. When they do this, they’ll be able to see how much weight the roof can take, and advise you on what can be done to adapt it for clay or shingle tiles.

It’s worth noting that clay tiles are usually heavier than concrete tiles. If weight is an issue, then concrete tiles will be the way to go.

Hiring An Expert 

There are lots of guides on how to install a tile roof yourself online, but it’s usually much better to hire an expert to handle the job for you. Installing a roof is not only complicated but potentially dangerous too. As such, you want someone with experience to do the job for you.

Do your research, and find a roofer that you can trust with your roof. A well-trained roofer will be able to install the roof correctly and carefully the first time, so you won’t have to worry about issues later down the line.

Preparing The Roof

Now that your roofers are ready to start, they’ll begin by preparing the roof ready to be replaced. They’ll remove any old roofing if needed. This will need to be removed if the new roofing is to be placed on top of it. Then, they’ll carry out any repairs that need to be done. That ensures that there’s a good structure for the new roof to go on top of.

This part of the process can take several days, depending on how much needs to be removed, and how many repairs need to be done. At this point, the roofer may also reinforce the roof to take the added weight of tiles.

Installing Underlayment

Now your roof is prepared, the roofer will start the installation process. The first step is to install the underlayment. This is what creates the first barrier between your roof and the elements. Once the roof is fully installed, you’ll find that it’ll be the last line of defense if your tiles were to fail.

The underlayment is installed by being rolled out first at one side of the roof, along the lower edge of it. This is secured into place and then repeated until the whole roof is covered. Sections of underlayment will be overlapped to create a seal against water.

Installing Battens 

This may not need to be done on all roofs, but your roofer will let you know if you need them. These are thin strips of wood that are installed if the roof has a steep slope, and they’re designed to hold tiles in place. These will be installed at intervals along the roof, and once they’re in place, you can install tiles that have lips or hooks. These are designed to hang on the battens and stay in place.

Installing The Tiles 

Now, your roofer is ready to install the tiles themselves. If you didn’t need battens on your roof, then you’ll see that they nail the tiles directly into the roof itself. If there are battens, the tiles will be nailed into those. Some tiles are designed to interlock, and in these cases, they may not all need to be nailed into place.

To install the tiles, the roofer will start at one side of the roof at the top of the ridge, and work their way down. If any tiles need to fit around tight spots, such as the chimney, then they’ll cut them in order to fit. Tiles that sit at the end of a tow may need to be cut too.

Once all the tiles have been installed, the ridge tiles will need to be installed. These are what sit at the top of the roof and cap it off. Once they’ve done that, the roof has been fully installed.

Taking Care Of A Tiled Roof

Once the roof has been installed, you’ll need to take special care of it to ensure it lasts for its entire lifespan. Doing regular visual checks for anything that’s out of place, such as broken tiles, will be helpful to this end. You can also ensure gutters are clean to avoid water damage to your tiles. Hiring a roofer to inspect your roof annually will be your best option here.

Tile Roof Installation – Get It Today!

Now you know the process of installing a tiled roof. If you think it’s the best option for your home, call your roofer today to start the process.

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Categories
Roofing

Why It’s Important To Understand The Different Roofing Layers

What are the different roofing layers and why do they play a major part in keeping you safe at home? Learn more below.

Think your roof is just the shingles that you can see from the outside? Think again. Your roof is actually a complex system, made up of several different roofing layers. These layers all work together to keep your roof safe from the elements and protect your home.

Here’s how your roof is constructed, so you can know exactly how it works.

Roofing Layers

Firstly, let’s look at the makeup of a typical roof. Your roof is going to be made of the following layers:

Decking: This is the lowest layer of your roof, being installed directly over the roof framing. It will ensure the integrity of the structure, by holding the trusses and joints together. Usually, your decking will be made out of plywood. This plywood is what you can see when you’re in your attic.

Ice and water barrier: Ice and water and the number one enemy of any roof. If water is able to get in, it’s going to cause leaks, lead to mold growth, and start contributing to wood rot. Leave it long enough, and it’s going to damage the entire structure of the roof.

That’s where the ice and water barrier come in. This is applied on top of the roof decking. It’s a self-adhering membrane, that protects against any water that gets into the roof.

Flashing: This is a thin metal material, and you’re typically going to see it where the roof and roofing elements, such as chimneys, intersect. They’re designed to direct water away from these joins, as they’re a vulnerable spot for leaks.

Typically, they’ll be made from metal like copper, galvanized steel, or aluminum. These need to be inspected along with the rest of your roof regularly, as they can start to wear out or fail before the shingles do. If that’s the case, they’ll need to be replaced quickly.

Starter strip: The starter strip is a line of specialized shingles, designed to sit along the edge of your roof. They go on before the underlayment and seal it against the weather. They can help stop leaks in their tracks, and stand up to strong winds.

Underlayment: Next on your roof the underlayment will be installed. This is typically made of felt or rubber, and it’s extra protection between the shingles and the roof deck. It’s also useful as it helps shingles lay flatter and uniformly, stopping them from being ripped off by strong winds. It’ll also help stop water from getting through to the roof structure.

Shingles: These are the part that all homeowners know about. As well as being the last layer of protection, they’re also going to be the aesthetic part of your roof. There’s a vast array of colors, shapes, and styles that you can get these days, so you can be sure you’re getting a roof shingle that suits your home.

There are different styles of asphalt shingles to be aware of. The most traditional style is the 3-tab shingle. These are less expensive, but they have less wind resistance and are less durable. There’s also the architectural style, that’s becoming more popular. These have a stronger design and aren’t much more expensive than the other styles that are out there.

Ridge caps: A ridge cap is a specialized type of shingle that sits along the ridge of your roof. It essentially looks like an extra long shingle and will work to seal the roof against wind and rain. It will also be able to allow ventilation for the roof, too.

Maintaining Your Roof

Now you know how your roof is made up, you’ll have a better idea of how to maintain it. Maintaining your roof is essential. Even with all this protection, the weather can take its toll.

Here’s how to check your roof over and keep it in good shape:

Take a look: You can do a visual inspection from the ground, and that will show you a lot about the shape of the roof. For example, you’ll be able to see if any shingles have been pulled loose, or are missing. Look for granules on the ground too, as that’s a sign that the roof is losing its protective coating.

Take a look at the roof from the inside too. You can check for any mold or moisture, as well as any sunlight making its way in. If you do find any of these issues, you’ll want to call in the experts.

Replace any missing shingles: If any shingles are damaged or missing, they can be replaced. You can do this yourself if there are only one or two missing. If there is a lot missing, you may want to call the experts to help you. 

When you first have your roof installed, it’s a good idea to have an extra box of shingles that you can store away. That way, you can ensure that you have extras that match the color of your existing shingles, should you need them.

Clear the gutters: The guttering is essential for keeping water off your roof. When they’re clear, they can direct the water away and ensure that it makes its way to the drains. When they get blocked by leaves, or by an ice dam, then that lets water overflow back onto the roof and cause leaks. 

It’s easy to avoid this, though. Simply use a trash bag to scoop any debris out, and clear them out. You also have the option to add a gutter guard in, to help keep everything but water out of the gutter. 

Call your roofer: In some cases, you’re going to need some extra help. That’s especially true if your roof is nearing the end of its lifespan, or has sustained major damage. Always call if you’re unsure, and they’ll be able to help you.

Conclusion 

Now you know exactly what your roof is comprised of. There’s more to it than you’d think, and all those roofing layers are working together to keep your home safe from the elements.

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Home Improvement

7 Energy Efficient Home Improvements To Consider

Looking for the top energy efficient home improvements? Here’s a list to get started on the decision process.

Energy Efficient Home Improvements

When it comes to home improvements and renovations, many homeowners are looking to make improvements that improve their home efficiency. There are two main benefits to this.

  1. You’ll be able to make your energy bills lower, something that all homeowners would love to do.
  2. You’ll be able to reduce your impact on the environment.

If you’re ready to make some changes to your home, here are some improvements that you’ll want to consider.

1. Insulate Your Attic

This is one of the most important things you can do for your home. You’d be amazed at how much energy you lose through your roof. When heating your home, that heat rises and if the attic isn’t insulated, you’ll see that the heat simply leaves through the roof. That way, you’ll be spending more on energy just to keep the house warm.

If your attic isn’t insulated, you’ll see that it isn’t as costly as you’d think to have it done. Once you have insulation in place, you’ll see the savings as soon as you need to heat or cool your home again. As such, if your attic isn’t insulated this should be something you do as soon as possible.

2. Installing Solar Panels 

In the past, installing solar panels would be a costly job and one that wouldn’t be worth doing for the average homeowner. Now, though, it’s something that you should think about. Solar panels are around 70% cheaper than they were when they were first introduced for residential homes, and they can offer a lot of return.

For example, did you know that a larger solar system can generate around 4kWp? To put that into context, that’s enough to power a home for a family of four. As such, you’ll be able to make real savings when you have solar panels installed.

3. Switch Out Your Lightbulbs

This is a very small and easy change you can make, but it makes all the difference. If you’re using older style incandescent bulbs, they’ll be using up more energy than you’d think to light your home. That’s why a lot of homeowners are making the switch to LED bulbs.

Modern LED bulbs give out the same amount of light as an old-style bulb while using much less energy. They’ll cost less in energy bills, as well as need to be replaced less often. It’s a win-win all around.

4. Use Smart Tech To Track Energy Usage

This is a great way to track your energy usage, and really see where your money is going. There are lots of different gadgets out there that you can use to maintain the energy usage in your home, and you can find some that will show you where you can reduce your usage.

Some energy companies will send out or even install smart devices for you, so you should give them a call and see if they can send one out for you. Some will even send meter readings to the company for you, so you won’t have to do it yourself. That’s something that will save you time and money on bills, so look into this for your home.

5. Replace The Windows

You may not realize it, but there can be draughts coming through your windows and the gaps between them and the wall. This is especially true if you have older windows. If you have the budget for it, replacing the windows with newer models can make the world of difference. New windows are typically energy efficient as they’re double glazed, helping to keep the home warmer or cooler as needed.

If you’re not able to do that, you can go around and check for any gaps in the frames and the walls around your windows. These can easily be sealed up with caulk. It’s not a permanent fix but will go a long way to stopping energy from leaking out.

6. Upgrade Your HVAC System

Your HVAC system is vital to your home, as it’s what helps regulate the temperature all year round. You need it to be working at peak efficiency, in order to work with the least amount of energy loss. If you don’t feel you’re getting the most from it though, you can do some maintenance to keep it in top shape. For example, simply changing the air filters out will allow it to work better, and will ensure that no allergens make their way into the ducts.

At some point though, your HVAC system will need to be replaced. All systems have a shelf life, so you’ll want to talk to an HVAC repair service. They’ll be able to inspect the system and let you know if it needs replacement. Once it has been replaced, it will save you a lot of money in the long run.

Once you have that new HVAC system, ensure that you’re having it inspected by a professional once a year. They’ll be able to spot issues before they crop up, and so replace parts to prevent bigger issues. If the HVAC system has to work harder due to mechanical failure, it’ll use more energy, so keep this in mind.

7. Change Out Your Home Appliances

Your home is full of appliances that you use every day, and they all have an effect on your energy bills. When it comes time to replace them, take a look at getting more energy efficient models. There are lots of appliances out there that are rated as energy efficient, and will use much fewer resources.

For example, it’s a good idea to get newer, more energy efficient appliances when replacing a bathroom or kitchen. A new washing machine, dryer, or dishwasher can make all the difference when it comes to your energy bills.

Conclusion

These are just a few ideas for you when you’re renovating your home. There are lots of ways to make your home more energy efficient, and save money. Use these tips to get started, and see what you can do to improve your own impact on the planet.

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Categories
Maintenance Tips Rain Gutter

Why Is Gutter Cleaning And Repair So Important?

What is there to know about gutter cleaning and repair? For one, the fact that it’s super important in order to properly maintain your home.

There’s so much you have to do in order to keep your roof in good repair. You’ll need to replace roofing shingles, watch for leaks, and more. The one thing you may not have thought about is your gutters. They’re an essential line of defense for the roof, and if they’re blocked or broken, it can spell disaster.

Here’s why taking care of the gutters is so important, and what you can do if anything goes wrong.

The Importance Of Your Gutters

Your guttering is designed to redirect rain water away from your roof and down into the drains. As you already know, water is the number one enemy of your roof. If it gets in, it can cause water damage like leaks, mold, and rot. If left for long enough, it can necessitate you having to replace the entire roof itself.

Usually, your gutters will be able to handle anything the weather throws at them, but over time they can start to encounter problems. Like the rest of your roof, problems can build up and worsen, so be sure to keep an eye out.

Here are the two biggest problems and how you can solve them.

Blocked Gutters 

The most common issue homeowners will have to deal with is blockages, when it comes to their gutters. This typically happens when debris is swept into them, and builds up over time. Usually, these will be things like fallen leaves, swept in by the wind.

You wouldn’t think this would be a problem, but over time that debris will pile up and start to block the gutters. If it’s blocked enough, the water will spill over back from the gutters onto the roof. That will allow it to stand and seep into the roof itself, causing problems such as the ones described above.

There’s also the issue of ice dams. These happen when snow melts off a roof because heat is escaping the home through it. Once it rolls down to the gutter, it’s stopped by blockages and refreezes. That ice dam builds up over time, again allowing water to sit on the roof rather than flow away.

How To Deal With Blocked Gutters

If your gutters are blocked, what do you do? It’s not too difficult to handle, luckily. All you need is a ladder, a pair of gloves, and a trash bag. Simply scoop up the debris sitting in your gutters into the trash bag to unblock it. Don’t forget to check your downspouts too, to check if anything got in there.

There are ways to avoid this from happening, so you won’t have to unblock the gutters manually again. One of the best ways to solve the issue is to use a gutter guard. These are usually a mesh or a brush that sits in your gutter. They allow water to move through, but they won’t allow anything larger in. They’re a good way to protect gutters and something that a lot of homeowners are using right now.

Also, take a look at the trees on your property. Are any of them close to the house? If so, they can easily lose leaves on the roof and in the gutter. A good way of stopping this from happening is to prune the branches back, to keep some distance between them. If the trees are too close to the house, you also have the option of removing them entirely. That will not only stop the issue with the blocked gutters but also remove the risk of the tree falling on the roof itself.

Damaged Guttering

You may also experience issues with your gutters as they age, or take on damage during storms. The gutters themselves can take on cracks and holes, allowing water to run through. The brackets holding the gutters onto the soffit may also start to come away or break entirely. These are things that you should be looking out for when you’re checking your roof during maintenance checks.

If you do see these problems, you’ll need to solve them right away. Again, because water can’t flow down the gutter as designed, it’s going to cause more problems. It may run down the walls or onto the soffits, again leading to mold, rot, and water damage.

How To Fix Broken Guttering

There are several ways to fix damaged gutters, depending on the problem at hand. If you find any leaks or holes in the gutter itself, they can often be patched up with caulk. This works best with smaller cracks and holes that can be easily sealed. If they’re larger, then it’s best to replace that section of guttering entirely.

As for guttering that’s coming away from the wall, you’ll need to check the brackets and the soffit that they’re connected to. If the soffit hasn’t taken on water damage, then you’ll be ok to refasten the gutter to it, to put it in the right place. If the soffit is suffering damage, then it may need to be replaced.

As for the fasteners on the brackets, they will need to be replaced in order to firmly connect the gutter to the wall. You can find guides as to how to do this online, or you can hire a roofing expert to take care of it for you.

Calling For Help

Are you unsure as to how to care for your gutters? Maybe you can see what the problem is, and you’re not sure how to fix it. If this is the case, then you can call on an experienced roofer to help you out. They’ll be able to diagnose the problem, and then help you put it right. It is worth having an expert on hand to help you with your gutters.

Conclusion

Gutter cleaning and repair are so important when it comes to the health of your roof. Keep an eye out when doing roof checks, and if you see any problems with them, correct them as soon as possible.

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Categories
Roofing

3 Reasons Why You Need Roof Insulation

Why is roof insulation so important for your home? We have three reasons to learn about. Read on.

Your roof is one of the biggest investments that you’ll make into your home. Once you’ve had a new roof installed, you’ll want to take good care of it. If you don’t, you run the risk of it falling apart and getting damaged over time. One excellent way to take care of it is to have it properly insulated.

Here’s why you should have your roof insulated sooner rather than later.

1. Save On Your Home Energy Costs

This is one of the biggest reasons why homeowners should have their roofs insulated. When you do, you’ll be able to save a substantial amount on your energy bills.

If you live in a climate that’s particularly cold or hot, then you have to have an HVAC system that will keep your home comfortable all throughout the year. They’re an excellent invention, but the problem is that all that energy can easily make its way through the roof and into the atmosphere. When that happens, the HVAC system will have to work harder to keep your home at a reasonable temperature. That will affect your energy bills, making them higher than they should be.

When a roof is properly insulated, you’ll be able to see a significant drop in those bills. The energy is kept in the house rather than leaving through the roof, so your HVAC will have less to do overall. It’s good for your budget and the environment, too.

2. Manage The Heat In Your Home

As well as saving on bills, that insulation in your roof will help stop heat from escaping your home or coming in through the roof, as needed. As mentioned above, insulation will keep heat from escaping through the roof in the winter months. That helps you keep more in the house, making it much more comfortable overall.

In the warmer months, you’ll be trying to keep the heat out of your house. The sun will be beating down on the roof, and without insulation, it will heat the house up quickly. That way, your HVAC will have to run more often to cool the house down. With insulation, the roof will actually be able to deflect more heat, making the house cooler.

3. Help Reduce Wear On The Roof

Even the newest roofs will start to experience wear and tear from the elements. The wind and rain can take off roof shingles and create leaks, but you’ve got to look out for the sun, too. UV rays can do their part to damage the roofing materials, breaking down its protection.

There are lots of different ways of tackling this, such as picking the right roofing materials and doing regular inspections. As well as this, you can insulate your roof. An insulated roof will be able to protect your roof from extreme temperatures, which take their toll. With that protection, the roof will last longer as a result.

Types Of Roofing Insulation

So as you can see, there are lots of different reasons why you should insulate your roof if it isn’t already. Now you’ve decided to do so, you’ll need to pick the type of insulation that’s right for you. Here are the different types that are currently available to you:

  • Spray Foam Insulation

This is the most common form of insulation out there right now. This is polyethylene foam spray, and it’s highly effective. It works by bonding tiles and shingles together, creating a seal that keeps the weather out of the roof.

There are two different types of spray foam insulation, and you need to be sure that you’re picking the right one. Closed cell foam has closed cells that are pressed close together, which makes the foam more stable. That makes it better for keeping moisture out of your home. Open cell spray, on the other hand, is better for indoor applications, like soundproofing.

  • Rigid Insulation Boards

This insulation type is made of boards of closed cell foam, which can be installed almost anywhere in your home. These are an environmentally friendly option with a high R value, so they’ll work hard to protect your roof. There are different types of board you can get, depending on the climate and your own needs:

Polyiso: Has a foil facing as a radiant barrier. Is the most expensive but has the highest R value.

XPS: These boards have a plastic surface and are highly water resistant. They use polystyrene though, which is flammable.

EPS: Very similar to XPS, but it has a lower R value. It does still work well, and its lower price makes it a good budget option.

  • Batt Insulation

Batt or batt blanket insulation is created in sheets, which are pre-cut and then installed in your roof. It’s blown into hard to reach areas in order to give you full coverage.

There are two different types of batt insulation. Fiberglass is the one that’s most commonly used, as it’s flame retardant and resists moisture. However, it has been found to cause skin irritation. That’s why some have chosen to go with cellulose instead. It’s highly eco-friendly as it’s made from recycled materials, but it isn’t fire retardant like fiberglass is.

  • Structural Insulated Panels

These are the newest type of insulation out there, but it’s already being installed in homes all over the country. These panels can insulate your roof, as well as offer support and replace wooden frames. They’re very durable, but their one weakness is moisture. They can be used with vapor barriers to combat this, however. As such, they are worth looking into when you come to insulate your roof.

Conclusion

Insulating your roof is more important than you may think. It will help keep the elements out, keep the roof in better condition for longer, and ensure that you keep your energy bills down. Talk to your local roofer today to get a quote on insulation. It’ll be a worthwhile investment in keeping your home safe and comfortable for a long time to come.

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Categories
Roof Repair Roofing

Roof Wind Damage: A Guide For Homeowners

Do you have roof wind damage? It’s unfortunate but it does occur. Here is a helpful guide to follow.

Your roof is what stands between you and the elements, so of course, it’s going to take a lot from the weather. One of the most common ways it gets damaged is from high winds. What does the wind do to your roof, and can you avoid roof wind damage?

Here’s your guide to help you minimize the wind’s effects.

How Strong Do Winds Need To Be For Roof Damage?

Firstly, it’s a good idea to understand just how strong the winds need to be before they start damaging your roof. What you’ll find is that they do need to be fairly high before your roof starts seeing the effects. At 45 mph or below, you shouldn’t see any damage to your roof. It’s a strong wind, and it will impede you if you try to walk through it, but your roof should hold strong. Even though you can hear the wind outside, you shouldn’t have anything to worry about.

However, once winds hit around 55 mph and above, that’s where you’ll start seeing structural damage. If you have a shingled roof, the shingles can start to lift off at this speed. When winds get faster, the damage to your roof will mostly come from debris hitting it. For example, loose branches from trees can come off and hit your roof, causing damage.

What Damage Can You Expect From High Winds?

Once a storm has passed, you can inspect your roof if it’s safe to do so. You’ll need to check for any downed power lines or loose items on your property that would make inspection unsafe. Look for the following, as the sooner you catch the damage, the sooner it can be repaired.

Missing shingles:

This will be common if you’ve had severe winds and have an asphalt shingle roof. If they’ve been lifted off, then they’re leaving gaps in your roof that water can get through. That can lead to leaks over time, so have the shingles replaced ASAP.

Lifting or curling shingles:

The shingles may not be missing, but they can take damage during a storm. Most commonly, they can start lifting up or start to curl. Either way, they won’t be protecting your roof anymore, so you’ll need to replace these, too.

Leaks:

If there was rain during the storm, take a look for any leaks in your home. These can show up in a variety of different ways. For example, you may see water stains on the ceiling, or water dripping from wet spots. Get into your attic and check for wet spots, as that shows that there’s some damage to the structure of the roof.

Damaged gutters:

This is something that should be easy to spot from the ground. High winds can pull gutters away from the building, That will, of course, let water run down the roof and the sides of the building, which can lead to water damage.

Even if the gutters themselves aren’t damaged, you’ll want to take a look at them. If there’s a large number of granules in them, that’s another sign that the roof is at risk of leaks and further damage. If you do see this, you’ll need to get help as soon as possible.

Damaged flashing:

Flashing is what protects the joins in your roof, but it can take damage in strong winds. This is especially true around the chimney, which is a high-stress point during high winds. Look for flashing that has separated or started to crack. It won’t be able to protect your roof if another storm comes through, so it needs to be replaced.

What To Do If You’ve Had High Winds

What should you do when you’ve had a storm come through your area? It’s important that you check your roof as soon as you can while still being safe. Firstly, go out and check the area is safe, as described above. Inspect the roof from outside, on the ground. You can pick up on most damage this way. While you’re outside, pick up any debris you find.

Go inside, and look for any signs of water damage. If you do find signs, take photos of them. Then, call on professional roofers to take care of it for you. The sooner you do this, the better.

How To Minimize Roof Wind Damage

If you do get regular storms, you’ll want to minimize the roof wind damage during them. There are some steps you can take to ensure that these storms won’t cause overt amounts of roof wind damage:

Select your roofing material carefully:

If you’re having your roof replaced, think about the material you use. Asphalt shingles are great because they’re a budget friendly option, but they’re not great when pitted against the wind.

Instead, you can pick a material such as metal roofing. These are installed in large sheets, so there’s less place for the wind to get under them and cause damage. You can have metal roofs that are made to look like tiled roofs, too. They have a lot of other benefits, so it’s something to consider.

Remove and trim trees:

Trees can do a whole lot of damage when there are high winds. If the storm is severe enough, the wind can still blow tree branches onto your roof, but you can still minimize the damage. Remove any trees close to your home, and trim back branches. If you’re removing the loose branches before a storm, there should be less that blows onto the roof.

Protect your gutters:

Finally, it’s a very good idea to protect your gutters from storm debris. It can build up and cause blockages, leading to overflowing water and ice dams in the winter. You can insert gutter guards onto the gutters, which will stop the debris in its tracks.

Conclusion

With this guide, you’re now ready to protect your roof against high winds. Choose the right materials, and correct any damage to your roof as soon as you see it. If you’re prepared, roof wind damage can be kept to a minimum.

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