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Blog Deck

5 Wood Deck Maintenance Tips For Summer

The summer is the best time to be out on your deck. Place some lounge chairs out there, along with maybe a table and a cold drink, and you’re all set. To properly enjoy the sunshine though, you’ve got to ensure your deck is in peak condition. Here are some wood deck maintenance tips to help you get your deck ready for the summer season.

The Importance Of Wood Deck Maintenance

Like most things in your home, your decking needs to be taken care of. This is especially true as it’s outdoors, exposed to the elements. It takes a battering over the winter, and so in the summer it’s going to look a little sorry for itself.

Luckily though, it’s fairly simple to spruce it up and get it ready for the summer, when you’ll be using it most. Use these tips to clean it up and get it looking and performing at its best. 

 

1. Inspect Your Decking

Before you can do anything else to your decking, you need to thoroughly inspect it. You’re looking for any signs of wood rot, as they need to be addressed first before the rot spreads. If the deck has been well maintained, this shouldn’t be a problem. When inspecting your deck, don’t forget to check underneath it too. Wood rot can take hold in areas that aren’t easily seen, so ensure that you check everywhere. 

If you do find some signs of wood rot, you’ll need to replace that wood before it goes any further. It may mean taking out some planks and replacing them, or cutting out areas of wood underneath the deck. Measure the area to get the right size wood to replace it, and then have the new wood installed. 

 

2. Wash Your Deck

Over the colder months, dirt and other debris can start to build up on your deck. Now that the sun has come out, you can start to clean it off to make it look its best. To start, you’ll need to give the decking a good sweep, to get rid of any loose dirt. Use a putty knife to go in between the boards and ensure that nothing has been missed.

The best way to clean your deck is with a pressure washer. This helps blast the dirt off, and lets you get in between the cracks too. If there are any tough stains, you can treat them with chemical cleaners, but you’ll need to be careful to choose the right one for your deck. If you’re not sure how to do this, you can call in professionals to help.

Once the deck has been cleaned, allow it to dry out thoroughly before you start on the next step. 

3. Replace Loose And Popped Nails

Loose and popped nails are annoying, as they’re able to snag feet as you walk over them. Also if they’re loose, they’re not holding the wood down securely. If you’re seeing these problems with your deck, you’ll need to replace those nails. Many choose to simply hammer them back down, but that’s not enough to properly mend them. A hammered down nail will simply pop back up at a later date, so it’s much better to replace them.

When you do this, ensure you’re using a nail the same size as the one you’re replacing. Hammer it in close to the original hole to replace it, and then place a deck screw over the top of it. This is designed to hold the nail in place and stop it popping back up again. If you want, you can cement it down with putty to make it extra secure. 

 

4. Sand And Seal Your Deck

Now you’ve taken care of all the hard work, your deck is ready to be sealed. There are several types of sealant, so you’ll need to find the one that works best for you. For example, clear sealants will be able to keep the wood sealed, while still showing off the wood beneath. Semi transparent sealants will do something similar, but they’ll add a touch of color to the deck. It will still show off the grain, but it will also sink into the wood, protecting it. 

The last option is a solid sealant. These are a good option if there are marks on your deck that you want to cover, as the color will block out the look of the wood entirely. These sealants also allow you to bring a pop of color to your yard if you’re looking for something different. 

Whichever one you choose, now’s the time to pick one and seal your deck, ready for the summer. 

 

5. Routine Wood Deck Maintenance is Key

Now that your deck has been fully cleaned up and sealed, you’ll need to do routine wood deck maintenance on it. The good news is because you’ve done the hard work, you won’t need to do so much hard work when you’re keeping up with it. 

You’ll need to sweep the deck regularly, to remove any debris that falls on it. Debris will stain the deck if left there for long enough, so ensure that you’re removing it regularly to avoid this. You’ll also need to keep inspecting the deck, looking for any signs of damage, such as wood rot or loose nails. Replace wood and nails as and when needed, and you’ll stop damage from spreading.

As you work on the rest of the garden, you’ll need to consider your deck too. For example, if you’re spraying chemicals on your lawn, they may damage your deck if it comes into contact with it. Check the packaging of any chemicals you use, and ensure that they don’t touch your decking.  

Conclusion

With these wood deck maintenance tips, you’ll be able to get your deck looking amazing for the summer. It doesn’t take much work to get even the most tired looking deck looking like new again, so now is the time to get started. Take good care of it now, and you’ll be ready to use it all summer long.

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Blog Roof Repair

Why You Need Termite Repair If You Live in California

Termite repair is crucial to protect your roof and other portions of your house from the damaging effects of termites and prevent future infestations.

No one wants to think about having pests in their home. But if you’re a homeowner, you must take care of infestations when they happen. Termites are common, and they will do lots of damage if you ignore them in your home for too long. Here’s why you need to be vigilant against them, how to receive termite repair for the damage they cause, and how to stop them from coming back.

Termites In CA

Termites are a serious problem in California, as they find the climate agreeable and food is plentiful in many areas. Every kind of termite feeds on cellulose-based plant material, including wood. With so much of your home made up of wood, if they get into your home, they can cause serious damage.

There are three different types of termites you need to be on the lookout for:

  • Firstly, there are  Drywood Termites. As the name suggests, they get into the dry wood in your home, especially in the attic and rafters. These termites enter through vents and small cracks in the wood, creating nests.
  • Next, there are Subterranean Termites. They get in your home through cracks in the foundation, creating tunnels called ‘mud tubes’ to make their way to the wood.
  • The last, and most destructive, type of termites are Formosan Termites. They create large colonies compared to other types of termites, and they can also eat their way through wood much quicker.

How to Know You’ve Got Termites

It’s hard to spot termites as opposed to other pests, as they don’t leave a lot of evidence that they’re there. In some cases, you won’t know you have them until the damage is already done. Don’t despair though – if you are vigilant, you will be able to spot the signs that termites are getting comfortable in your house:

  • ‘Mud tubes’ running up your walls. These look like pencil-thin extrusions from the ground, and they are the tunnels that termites are using to get into your home.
  • Peeling paint on wooden surfaces.
  • Wood rot, or wood that appears to have been eaten away.
  • Termite feces, which looks like tiny wooden pellets.
  • The presence of winged termites, which may be alive or dead.
  • Roof damage, such as slipped or missing shingles, or water stains on your ceilings.

If you’re not sure, a pest control operative or a contractor can come and inspect your home for you. They’re experts in seeing the damage termites will do, so they can tell you if your home has termites.

The Damage Termites Do To Your Home

Termites will damage any wood in your home. If a termite infestation is left unchecked long enough, those wooden sections of your home will take major damage. Termite repair will help restore your wood patios, decks, and roofs as well as other wood surfaces.

The biggest danger of termites is the threat to your roofing. Your roof is shingled on top, but underneath it’s comprised mostly of wood. Termites will get into those rafters and eat away at them, until they’re almost hollow and can’t take the strain of holding up your roof. If left long enough, the rafters will collapse – leading to the roof collapsing and needing replacement ASAP.

As you can see, it’s essential that you get on top of termite infestations and get termite repair as soon as you see them. Left long enough, they will cause damage that makes termite repair more and more expensive.

How to Get Termite Repair For Your House

There are two ways you can repair damage caused by termites in your home. You can replace the section of wood that was eaten away, or you can add a section of wood to support the damaged part(s). If the damage was extensive, then you’re better off replacing that entire wood section. If you caught the damage early on, then it may be possible to add more wood to support the structure.

Either way, it’s often best to call a professional to handle it, rather than trying to fix the damage yourself. Of course, you’ll also want to call in pest control first to drive out the infestation, so the termites won’t cause more damage after termite repair is made.

Controlling Termites

When you call a pest control company, they’ll first do an examination to ensure that you are dealing with termites. If they see that they are present, they’ll then recommend a course of action to you.

This usually comprises of a barrier insecticide treatment. This stops termites from entering and prevents termites in your home from getting back outside. If they can’t get out, they can’t reach the moisture they need to survive.

How to Prevent Termites in Your Home

Now that you’ve got rid of the termites and got termite repair for the damage, you need a way to keep the termites out of your home for good. There are ways you can ensure that they won’t come back:

  • Seal up gaps around your home, such as gas and water lines. Termites can use those spaces to get into your home – remove the access so they can’t get in.
  • Wood-to-ground contact around your home gives termites an easy way into your home. Look around your house and see if there’s any wood contacting the ground; a contractor can help you address the problem and remove that access.
  • Remove food sources for termites to make your home less attractive for them. If you use landscaping mulch, use a cellulose-free version, and keep it at least six feet away from your home.
  • Fix any moisture problems in your basement or roof. Water helps termites live, so fixing this problem makes your home much more hostile to them (therefore not worth infesting).

Termites are a real problem. You need to be on guard to ensure they don’t find a way into your home. Following these tips will help you keep them out, and keep your woodwork safe from these persistent pests.

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Blog

7 Things To Avoid When Installing A Roof

When replacing a roof, there are many things to consider. Avoid these 7 errors when installing a roof to improve your home’s lifespan.

Your roof is arguably the most important part of your home. It’s what keeps the wind and rain out, and protects you from the elements, which is why your roof installation is imperative.

When time comes to replace it, you want to be sure that you’re doing it properly. Here’s what you need to avoid when you’re installing a roof, to ensure it’ll stay strong for years to come.

1. Picking The Wrong Kind Of Roof For Your Home

Every home is different, and has different needs when it comes to roofing. For example, if you live in a wet climate, you need a roof that can keep that amount of rain and water out of the eaves without effort.

Many first time home owners will assume that all roofs are very much alike, and that just isn’t the case.

When picking a roof, you can easily pick the wrong one for you. If you go ahead and install it, you could end up having to deal with issues that cost you a lot more in repairs. It’s much better to install the right roof first time, and not have to worry about it again.

2. Trying To DIY The Installation

There’s nothing wrong with replacing a few shingles yourself, or repairing some flashing if you’re safe and have the know-how. These are fairly simple jobs and you can maintain your roof by handling them yourself, as soon as you’re aware there’s a problem.

Some home owners, though, will then think that they can handle installing a whole new roofWhat’s the difference?

There’s actually a good reason why you should only hire professionals to handle installing a roof.

They have the expertise needed to do the job safely and effectively, so you’ll have a roof that will last you a long time to come.

In these cases, it’s much better to bring in an expert.

 

3. Installing A Roof Over Multiple Layers Of Shingles

You’ll see in some cases that roofers have laid a new layer of shingles over the old layer. This is quite common as it saves them time and money; but should you do it?

Sometimes this will work, but if you already have two layers of shingles, don’t be tempted to lay more over them.

This will affect the water tightness of the roof, and it’s essential that you keep the water out.

If you are laying a new layer of shingles over the old, it’s a good idea to lay a waterproof layer between the old and new shingles to avoid roof leaks and ensure no water can come through.

4. Cutting Corners To Save Money On A New Installation

There’s no denying that re-roofing your home is an expensive job. It’s very tempting to cut corners and buy the cheapest materials when installing a roof. This is a bad idea.

Using cheaper materials means you probably don’t have the right materials for the pitch and style of your roof. You want to be sure that you’re buying materials that are going to last you for a long time.

If you buy the cheaper materials, it’s unlikely that your roof is going to last the 20 years that’s recommended by manufacturers.

5. Not Cutting Back Trees

If you have a new roof, you want to ensure that it’s going to stay in good condition for a long time to come.

That means picking the right style of roof and getting in a team to install it for you, but it also means looking at exterior issues.

For example, if there are trees growing near your roof, you’ll want to prune the branches back to ensure that they’re not touching the roof.

If branches are left to grow near or even over the roof, they can cause problems later on. For example, you can get storms that pull branches off trees, and drop them onto the roof.

This can pull shingles off, or even punch a hole in your brand new roof. If you’re cutting them back regularly, then this can’t happen.

6. Not Overlapping Tiles Properly

This very much depends on the type of tiles you use when you’re roofing, but if you don’t overlap your tiles properly, you can run into problems.

When installing a roof, overlapping tiles help to seal off the roof from the elements. If there’s a gap between the tiles, you can find water getting in between them, and getting into the wood beneath. When this happens, you’ll see rot and mold start to form in the attic. This is the last thing you want, as it’s difficult to treat.

Ensure you’re overlapping tiles properly, and you’ll be able to ensure your home is safe against the elements.

7. Picking Tiles That Won’t Keep Their Color

Some home owners won’t worry about the color of their tiles when installing a roof.

They know that some tiles, such as concrete tiles, will fade over time and appear to be a different color to the one they started out as. However, others will want a specific color for their roof.

That’s why you need to be very careful when picking out the tile color for your home.

Check the tile type that you’re looking at using, and see if they’re prone to fading in sunlight. If that’s a problem for you, you’ll want to find a different tile to use on your roof. As well as this, remember that some tiles will have variances in their colors from batch to batch.

That means that you may see different shades of color on your roof when it’s finished. The best way to avoid this is to buy more tiles than you need for your roof, to ensure you’re using all tiles from the same batch. You’ll also have spares that are the same color, should you need to replace some later down the line.

Conclusion

Installing a roof consists of much deliberation.

These are just a few of the mistakes you need to avoid making when you’re installing a new roof. You can avoid most of them if you hire in a team of experts to handle it for you.

Ask for their help and your roof will be perfect.

 

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Blog

Selling Your Home? Your Roof Matters.

When you’re selling your house, it’s important to think about your roof. Should you replace it before you sell? Is your current roof acceptable? Use this guide to determine what you should do.

Those who are looking to sell their homes have lots they need to think about.

How does their home look on the inside? What maintenance do they need to do? Are they in a good area, and can they attract buyers?

These are all important questions, but one thing sellers often don’t think about is their roof.

Here’s why your roof is so important when you’re selling a home, and how you can improve it.

Your Roof And Your Home

Your roof is arguably one of the most important aspects of your home. It’s what’s keeping the elements out and the heat in your home.

A good roof is often forgotten, as its doing its job and protecting your home. You only notice your roof when things go wrong.

When something goes wrong though, you’ll know it.

Water will come in, heat will leak out. If you’re very unlucky, parts may even collapse in on themselves. If your roof is looking worse for wear, buyers will notice and it will affect how they view your property.

Your Roof Is Part Of Your Curb Appeal

As you’re selling, you’ll probably have heard the phrase ‘curb appeal’ before.

This refers to the look of your home from the outside, which potential buyers will take in before they even get to your front door.

It’s amazing how much the curb appeal of a property will affect how and when it’s sold.

If the buyer doesn’t like the look of the home before they come in, that’s going to affect what they think of the property.

There’s a lot of things you need to think about when improving your curb appeal.

Your driveway needs to be clean and free of weeds. The front door should be neat and secure. Your windows need to be clean. Any plants need to be tidy and well kept.

What homeowners often miss, though, is the roof.

Your roof can say a lot about your home before the buyers even set foot indoors.

A clean roof with all tiles intact will show that you take care of your home. If the roof is damaged or even sagging, it can make it look unloved.

The Importance Of Roof Maintenance (Selling Your Home Or Not)

Whether you’re selling your home or not, you need to be maintaining your roof. If someone agrees to buy your home, they’re going to be checking out the state of yours.

This can affect the price of your home, so taking care of your roof ensures you’ll get a fair price when you move.

Normally, checking on the state of your roof a couple of times a year is a good way to ensure that it’s still in good condition. The best place to start is from the outside.

You’re looking to see if the gutters are clogged at all, as this can cause water to overflow onto your roof, causing damp and mold problems. Also, ensure that any flashing is still in place, and that there are no roof tiles missing.

Then, head inside and climb into your attic. This can tell you a lot about the health of your roof. Can you see daylight through the roof up here? Are there any damp or mold spots on the timbers in here?

If you have spotted any of these problems, now is the time to address them before they get any worse.

Depending on your level of DIY expertise, you could make some repairs yourself. If the job is larger than you thought it would be, or you’re not sure about it, then call in a roofing company to see how they can help you.

How To Spruce Up Your Roof

Have you inspected your roof, and found that it needs some TLC? There are plenty of things you can do in order to make it look new and well cared for, reader for viewers to come.

Here are some maintenance jobs you can take care of yourself:

  • Clean out the guttering: This is a simple job, but it’s often not done enough. Get up on a ladder and simply pull out anything clogging it with your hands. The clogs are often leaves that are blown into the gutters. You can stop it happening in the future by adding gutter guards, that stop debris landing in the gutter.
  • Clean your shingles: Moss or algae on your tiles or shingles isn’t often a big problem, but cleaning it off can make it look better. A basic mix of bleach, detergent and hot water can clean it off nicely. Be careful when you’re doing so, as it is a slippery job.
  • Replace missing tiles: If you have a couple of roof tiles that have gone missing, you can replace them yourself. If there’s a lot missing, or you’re unsure of how to do this, you can call in a contractor to help you.
  • Trim overhanging branches: Tree branches near your roof can cause damage by dropping their leaves into the guttering. They can also fall in bad weather, damaging the roof further. It’s best to cut these branches back so they’re not hanging over the roof.

A Good Roof Means A Good Price

The state of your roof says a lot about your home, and how well it’s taken care of.

Any potential buyer who comes along will be looking to see how well you take care of yours. If you keep up inspecting your roof, and taking care of any problems that arise, your roof will be in good hands.

Look after your roof, and you can guarantee a good price on your home.

Not sure how? Call on a contractor to help you out.

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Blog

Why Are Roof Cleaning Services Essential In Southern California?

Your home’s roof is one of the most important parts of the residence; it plays a pivotal role in keeping you and your family safe and comfortable. The roof protects you from the elements, and also stabilizes the temperature inside the residence. Damage from neglect is costly to repair but regular maintenance and roof cleaning services will go a long way towards preventing such future problems.

Regular Roof Maintenance

Ideally in California, you should clean and inspect your roof at least twice a year- spring and fall– when the seasons change.

If you live near trees, are in an area prone to storms, or experience large temperature fluctuations then you’ll want to clean the roof more frequently.

Due to the extreme heat that California sees, it’s important to check your roof regularly. Depending on your maintenance, the roof cleaning services you use for your roof will vary.

Here’s what roof maintenance tips to keep in mind:

– RAIN

Rainy winters and extra shade are factors that increase how frequently you should clean your roof. Rain allows water to accumulate on the roof.

Large trees or nearby buildings that provide lots of shade prevent water from evaporating and letting the roof thoroughly dry. These conditions make your roof become a prime breeding ground for moss and fungus.

– PLANT DEBRIS

Plant debris is a major culprit of roof damage because it not only clogs drains and adds weight, but it also causes the materials underneath to deteriorate faster, and allows fungus, mold, and algae to develop.

Leaves clogging the gutters and downspout keep water from draining off the roof. That water accumulates and seeps between broken tiles or missing shingles eventually causing lots of problems that are invisible until they become serious.

– INSPECTIONS

Physically inspecting the roof for structural and cosmetic blemishes make up a large portion of the roof cleaning routine, but that’s not the end of it.

You’ve probably noticed a dark green or black film on your roof; chances are you thought it was a natural part of the aging process or maybe a stain. That’s actually mold or algae growing up there, and it can do as much damage as the physical debris.

– MOLD AND ALGAE

Algae is a living organism that feeds on your roof material. It breaks down your roof as food causing it to deteriorate, leak, and otherwise not perform as well or for as long as it should. Other living organisms like fungus and moss impede the roof’s ability to block UV rays and cause temperature disruptions like increased power bills.

Roof Cleaning Services Based On Your Roof Material

Once loose debris such as brush and trash have been removed from the roof then one of two roof cleaning methods will be used to clean the area: pressure washing or soft washing.

1. PRESSURE WASHING

Pressure washing, sometimes called power washing, uses a high-pressure jet of water is sprayed on the surface to remove dirt, stains, and algae.

Chemical additives or heat can be used in conjunction with the high pressure to facilitate cleaning action, but pressure is largely responsible for removal of any debris.

2. SOFT WASHING

Soft washing, sometimes called chemical cleaning or chemical washing, uses a mixture of cleaning and microbial agents to produce a clean surface. Water still plays an important part of the process, but the additives are responsible for the final clean.

It’s common for the solution to include a chemical that leaves a residue on the surface that kills or slows the growth of new algae.

Both roof cleaning methods do a good job of removing build-up, stains, and other residues but they’re not equally appropriate for all roofing systems.

For example, you would never pressure wash a roof that has asphalt shingles. The high pressure damages the shingles by lifting them away from the roof and removing its protective granules. Pressure washing an asphalt roof would cause more damage than it would help.

CHEMICAL CLEANING

Some chemical cleaning systems can be just as dangerous to asphalt roofs. Applying a solution containing sodium hydroxide or potassium hydroxide will deteriorate the asphalt and significantly decrease their life.

Asphalt roof material isn’t the only condition that requires individual treatment; moss is treated differently depending upon the roofing material. Tile roofs should be treated with zinc-based solutions while copper-based solutions are for cedar shake roofs.

Even household bleach can have a negative effect on the wrong materials. It causes lower grade metal screws to rust resulting in loose sections of roof. Loose sections allow water to penetrate the surface and damage the roof’s substructure.

Consult your manufacturer’s warranty or your original contractor if you’re not sure which roof cleaning services are appropriate. They’ll have the most current information about your roof’s proper care and maintenance. Also, sometimes regular cleaning is part of a maintenance package that can be purchased when your roof is originally installed.

Do-It-Yourself Or Hire A Professional

While it’s possible to clean the roof yourself, you may not want to. And, in fact, there are quite a few advantages to hiring a professional for your roof cleaning services instead.

For most homeowners cost is the limiting factor that determines whether or not to hire a professional; it’s a common belief that doing something oneself is always less expensive than hiring someone to do it for them. In reality, though, that’s not the case.

Unless you possess advanced maintenance skills then it’s likely that you’re not too familiar with your roof. But professional roofers are accustomed to being up there.

The service hours they’ve spent working on different roofs means that they’re supremely equipped to handle whatever comes their way.

Professional roofers will complete the work quicker and safer than most homeowners. Additionally, certain guarantees are inherent when hiring a professional.

You can be certain that a professional will use the correct roof cleaning solutions and machinery for the work, and a professional usually offers extra peace-of-mind in the form of warranties.

Before having the work done, or doing it yourself make sure to check your manufacturer’s warranty or the warranty issued by the original contractor. Some warranties require that work be performed under specific guidelines or the warranty is invalidated.

Final Thoughts

Routine roof maintenance that includes cleaning is an important aspect of protecting your home’s investment. A clean well-maintained roof is key to its longevity and strength.

Find and correct potential problems through regular cleaning so that they don’t turn into a costly mistake. Whether you do it yourself, or have it cleaned professionally, make sure that the most appropriate roof cleaning services and methods are used for your specific roof.

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Blog

How to Protect Your Roof From Summer Heat Damages

Summer heat can be hard on any surface that’s exposed to it for too long, and your roof is no exception. Just think of the beating it takes day after day exposed to the harsh sun, UV rays, heat, and humidity–not to mention any summer storms that may bring strong winds and rain. This is why you must protect your roof from the elements.

Summer can certainly take a toll on your roof in a number of ways. Understanding the ways that summer heat can negatively affect your roof can help you protect your roof from further damage while addressing existing problems. Consider the following in terms of roof care throughout the summer:

Summer Heat Damage to Roofs

 

Your roof is exposed to direct sunlight for most, if not all, of the day. Temperatures of asphalt roofs can reach well into the mid-100s on the hottest of summer days; UV rays and heat can affect your roof even on days that are cool and cloudy. That inevitably spells trouble for your roofing materials. Harmful direct sunlight can dry out untreated wood and make it even more brittle, causing it to eventually disintegrate when it’s been exposed for too long.

What’s worse, summer heat can also cause major problems down the line in terms of water damage and leaks. High temperatures can damage waterproofing by drying up oils that keep the roof protected. Few roof types are exempt from this damage, as even the tar paper underneath terracotta tiles can dry out leaving the roof even more susceptible to water damage and leaks.

In general, asphalt shingles are made more brittle by constant sun exposure, making them more likely to break and crack, which will lessen their ability to protect the roof from water. Asphalt shingles can lose granules, making them less waterproof, and also begin curling or become discolored. Even further, once your shingles are in a relatively weakened state, summer storms have the potential to tear shingles off your roof and hit your home with torrential downpours.

Thermal Shock

 

One particular threat to rooftops in the summertime is called “thermal shock.” This is when the roof and roofing materials expand and contract constantly as the air around them and the roofing materials themselves increase in temperature during the day and then drop at night or when wet weather comes. This can damage the roofing materials and make them weaker in general.

And lastly, protect your roof from from rot and wood by properly ventilating your attic which keeps out moisture.

Therefore, it’s very clear that roof care in the summer can be a bit of a complicated process since there’s so many things going against the homeowner during hot weather.

Protect Your Roof

 

Learning how to protect your roof in the summer perhaps requires a bit more attention and awareness than it does during other months simply because there are so many constant factors attacking the durability and longevity of your roof. The first step to avoiding summer heat damage to your roof is by scheduling regular inspections by a licensed roofing professional. Doing so at the beginning of the summer and in all the other seasons–and perhaps even more than once during the summer–will ensure that a set of professional eyes inspect your roof. These professionals will catch potential problem areas in advance so you can begin working on a fix rather than wait for it to get even worse.

A good method for preventing water damage and other similar consequences like mold growth is to install a vapor barrier. A vapor barrier is essentially a way to decrease moisture in the frame of the home, usually in the form of a plastic sheet installed underneath the roofing material. It is impermeable to water and will help add a second layer of protection should your shingles incur any damage through the summer.

Your roofing material also makes a difference, so if you’re in the market for a new roof, consider one that will be able to stay cooler and may be easier to maintain in the changing of the seasons, like clay tile or metal. A choice other than asphalt may be wise, as asphalt often takes more damage in hot temperatures than a sturdier material does.

If replacing your roof with an alternative material is not an option, coating and sealing your asphalt roof to protect it from harmful rays and heat will help reflect some of the sunlight off the roof itself. Sealing your roof will also help protect your roof from water damage.

If you’re not attached to having a black or colored roof, some folks paint their roofs white to help reflect harsh sunlight. This can also help keep your home cooler, in contrast to a black roof which will absorb light at a much higher rate.

Most importantly, self-inspect your roof regularly and especially after thunderstorms. Be aware of any potential or necessary repairs and maintenance needs and be ready to fix them yourself or hire a professional as problems arise, rather than leaving them to get worse throughout the summer.

Conclusion

 

Summer heat can wreak havoc on your roof and cost you quite a bit of money at the same time. Summer heat can negatively impact your roof by first making your asphalt shingles brittle and weak, causing them to eventually curl up, crack, and leave room for water damage. Summer thunderstorms can further exacerbate this problem. Thermal shock is a particular threat that is hard to address without entirely replacing your roofing material as the constant fluctuation of the temperatures of both the air and roofing materials can cause swelling and contracting that can result in long-term, expensive-to-repair damage.

Being aware and focused on maintaining a strong roof is the best way to avoid roof damage during the summer. Consult with a professional to regularly inspect your roof, and consider installing a vapor barrier before sealing your asphalt roof with a waterproof, reflective sealer. Doing so will ensure you’ve got a strong, healthy roof by the time fall rolls around.

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Blog Roofing

Energy Efficient Roofing Materials to Save You Money In The Long Run

Energy efficient roofing and home improvement is a hot topic as homeowners attempt to lower their expenses and decrease the size of their environmental footprint.

The Department of Energy estimates that nearly 20% of consumers’ annual energy expenses goes to waste through leaky and outdated systems. And, in the face of global warming, homeowners are increasingly looking for ways to use less fuel to run their homes.

One of the biggest contributors to cost and resources is temperature control.

Instrumental to that is the roofing and insulation of the building. As one of the home’s largest systems it can lead to significant energy savings, or expenditures.

With today’s technological advances it’s easier than ever to get the design and durability you want without adding to your utility bill, or damaging the environment.

Quite a few energy efficient roofing options exist that will save you money down the road.

 

What Are the Most Popular Energy Efficient Roofing?

Depending on your location and environment, some energy efficient roofing materials are better suited for you.

However, with the advancements of technology and the eco-friendly movement, there are more options available than ever before.

Some of the most popular energy efficient roofing includes:

  • Clay and Slate Tiles
  • Metal Roofs
  • Spray Polyurethan Foam (SPF)
  • Concrete
  • Living Roofs

We’ll discuss each one of these eco-friendly and sustainable roofing options below.

 

Clay and Slate Tiles

One of the most energy efficient roofing available is clay and slate tiles.

By some estimates a properly installed tile roof can cut the amount of heat in a building’s attic by almost half.

There are two reasons that tile roofs are so energy efficient:

  1. The raw materials are naturally resistant to heat.
  2. They’re installed individually rather than in sheets creating ventilation around each one.

Tile roofs can be used in warm or cold climates. They reduce ice damming in cold climates, and naturally shed water in warm climates.

Manufacturers produce tiles to match any architectural style and shape. They can mimic wood shaker-style or historical materials as well as Spanish, Colonial, or contemporary styles.

They’re color-fast with some manufacturers guaranteeing the color for fifty years.

Clay and slate tiles are economical due to their longevity and need for minimal maintenance. Tile roofs have been known to withstand hundreds of years of use. And unlike other roofing materials, there’s no need for regular painting, coating, or sealing. Repairs are easy because a single tile can be replaced at a time instead of an entire section.

Adding to their appeal, clay and slate are biodegradable, and can also be reclaimed then recycled.

 

Metal Roofs

Metal roofs are an exceptional energy efficient roofing choice for homes in warm climates. They owe their energy efficiency to the fact that they don’t absorb heat very well.

They can also be coated to reflect thermal energy and add additional savings.

Most are constructed from aluminium, steel, or copper. These roofs are lightweight, durable, and long-lasting. They’re available is a variety of colors and shapes to match any architectural style: flat tile, wood shaker-style, barrel tile, traditional metal seam.

Metal roofs require no more roofing maintenance than regular shingled roofs.

Debris should be removed from the area, and gutters need to be kept clean. Seams and fasteners should be inspected regularly.

Care should be taken when walking on the roof though because the thin sheets can easily bend.

The upfront cost of a metal roof is sometimes more than other options, but it really depends upon the shape of the building and details such as drip edges, coatings, and flashing.

 

Spray Polyurethane Foam (SPF)

Spray polyurethane foam (SPF) roofs have been around for about forty years and are another type of energy efficient roofing.

They are great at resisting heat, and add virtually no weight to the existing structure.

SPF roofs are comprised of two layers: a rigid foam applied to the surface of the roof, and an outer protective coating.

The first component is a two-part material applied using a spray gun. The liquid quickly expands and chemically bonds to the roofing surface.

It can accommodate any slope and any thickness making it a very versatile material. This layer provides the insulatory value of the roofing system.

It’s a waterproof barrier between the roofing substrate and the environment.

That base foam layer can, however, be degraded by UV rays, and damaged by trees or other debris so a second protective layer must be applied on top of it.

This layer is a tough, rubberized coating applied by hand or power-roller.

SPF roofing systems are good in areas of severe climates or where high winds are expected. It’s also good for roofs that are oddly shaped.

This roofing system contributes very little waste to the environment. Application releases few emissions, and manufacturing it uses less energy than other insulation materials.

 

Concrete Tiles

Concrete tiles have been around since the middle 1800s with some of those original tiles still in use today.

Manufacturing processes have changed, tiles are no longer stamped by hand, but the overall durability and aesthetics of this material has not.

Concrete tiles are an extremely durable, energy efficient roofing material.

They can resist winds over 125 mph, and are highly resistant to fire and hail damage. Additionally they stand up well to earthquake activity.

They can be made into virtually any size and shape to match any architectural style. The base color of the cement is grey or white but pigments are added to achieve any shade possible.

Roofs made of concrete tile do benefit from regular debris removal and power-washing. They’re prone to developing algae growth.

Tiles made of concrete resist heat transfer in a couple ways.

First, they’re reflective.

Second, their structure allows for lots of ventilation to keep them from heating up.

Those two characteristics help keep the underlying building cooler and more stable so that less energy is required from the air conditioner.

 

Living Roofs

Sometimes called green roofs, this trend of deliberately installing plants atop a building roof began in Germany sometime in the 1960s.

It’s been a popular covering for countryside homes in other European countries for quite a few centuries but has recently seen a surge of interest in urban areas.

A Canadian study showed a significant reduction in energy requirements to buildings that have a living roof.

It insulates well, and protects the underlying roof structure from UV and weather damage.

 

Conclusion

Energy efficient roofing and home improvements will continue to peak the interest of homeowners searching for ways to reduce their environmental impact and reduce energy expenses.

While roofing is a large contributor to those expenses, many material options exist that will save you money in the long run.

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Blog

Common Roofing and Skylight Problems (and How to Fix Them)

 

All householders know that sometimes things break and you have no idea how to fix them. Who would know that your brickwork needs to be redone, or that your windows could need replacing so quickly? There’s always something to take you by surprise. The same goes for roofing and skylight problems.
These work perfectly, until something goes wrong and you need to make some fixes.
Here’s some of the most common roofing and skylight problems you may come across as a homeowner, and how you can fix them.

 

3 Common Problems With Your Roofing

The roofing is one part of your home that you probably never even think about. Why would you? You literally can’t see it properly unless you get up on a ladder and take a look.
Here’s some of the problems you may come across, and how you can fix them.

 

1. Leaks and moisture:

Leaks and moisture problems are probably one of the biggest ones a homeowner can face. You start noticing damp spots growing on the ceiling, or down the walls.
If you’re really unlucky, you’ll see water start dripping through, too. You don’t want to think about where it’s coming from, but you’re going to have to do so, quickly.

The likely reason there’s leakage is that moisture has got under your shingles or flashing, ruining the watertight seal.
This means that water is getting in and causing damage to your home. Left unchecked, it can and will rot away timbers and cause other costly work to your home.

How to fix this:

If you find that your home is developing roof leaks and problems, it’s best to bring in an expert right away. They’ll get on the roof and look for the source of the leak, and make repairs to stop water from getting in again.
They’ll also be able to make repairs, or advise on repairs, that need to be done to anything in the home that’s been damaged by water.

 

2. Animals in the roof:

Another common roofing problem can be those cute furry friends you often see outside. You hear scurrying feet in your attic space, and you know that it’s already too late. There are animals taking up residence in your roof, and you need to get them out, pronto. Leaving them there can cause more damage than you can think of, but getting them out sounds like a real Herculean effort.

How to fix this:

This job is one for the pest control company. Bring them in, and tell them about what you’ve heard or seen in the attic. They’ll determine what’s there, and depending on what they’ll find, they’ll have a plan for removing them. There are even pest control people who’ll remove them humanely if you ask. When they do this, ask where they have been getting in from. You’ll then know where you need to make repairs.

 

3. Overhanging trees:

Those trees on your property may look fantastic, but they can be causing you problems that you hadn’t even thought of. If the branches are too close to your roof, then they can be rubbing against the shingles, abrading them or even pulling them off.

How to fix this:

If there’s trees that are too close to your roof, then they’re going to need to be cut back so they’re not interfering with it.
A tree surgeon or tree cutting service should be able to do this for you. They’ll be able to remove branches without causing damage to your trees, too.

 

 

3 Common Skylight Problems

A good skylight is a real boon for your home. They let in lots of natural lighting, lighting your home wonderfully and making it bright and airy. Being in the roof though, they can be prone to similar issues as the roofing itself. Here’s what skylight problems you should be looking out for:

 

1. Leaking skylights:

Around 90% of skylight problems are due to leaks that form around them.
You’ll soon see if a problem is occurring, as water or moisture will start to collect around the edges of the frame. This is most often due to improperly installed or damaged flashing, the seal around the outside of the skylight that diverts rain water away.

How to fix this:

If you’re quite handy, you can replace your own flashing.
If you’re not sure though, call in a roofing professional and they can diagnose your skylight leak and solve the problem for you quickly.

 

2. Broken glass:

Another one of the most common skylight problems occurs when the glass cracks. Being on the roof, your skylight can be prone to having the glass shattered or even broken. Falling tree limbs, hail, or even an errant bird can all cause damage to the glass.
Whatever broke it, you’re going to need to get it fixed, and quick.

How to fix this:

If your window has been broken, you’re going to need to get the glass replaced whatever you do.
If you’re doing this, you should consider getting a plastic, shatter proof version on the skylight installed. These can take a lot for impact than a regular glass window, so are great for skylights.
Ask your window installer about plastic windows and see if they can install one for you.

 

3. Sticking motors:

Most skylights will open a little, to allow air in. Sometimes the gears that allow them to open can get stuck, meaning the window jams either in an open or closed position.

How to fix this:

For these skylight problems, you may need to check the manual for your skylight if you have one, as it may be a jam you can fix yourself.
If you’re unsure though, it’s best to call in the installer, especially if they’ve given you a guarantee on it.
If the issue is electrical, as some skylights are these days, again you may want to call in the installer before attempting repair yourself.

 

Conclusion

These common problems are something that all homeowners will come across from one time or another.
If you know what to look out for though, you can catch most roofing and skylight problems before they become a real issue.
Follow these tips and you’ll have a healthy roof for years to come.

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Blog

3 Types of Roof Flashing: Which Is Best For You?

 

You probably are familiar with the shingles on your roof, or whichever other type of covering keeps your home dry and safe. However, amidst these popular materials is the perhaps less popular but equally important roof flashing material.

Flashing is usually a different material from your roof, but it plays an important function to your home by keeping the more vulnerable spots of your roof safe from the weather.

Since flashing is a necessary component of your roof—it can often be found in the spots of your roof where two surfaces meet, such as your roofing and siding, around places like your windows and skylights.

Roof flashing protects the smaller spots that shingles or other covering cannot entirely protect—these spots are especially susceptible to water damage, so it is important that you keep your flashing fresh in order to keep your home dry.

 

Types of Roof Flashing

There are a number of different types of flashing that you can choose from when either updating your roof or sealing it for the first time.

Selecting the flashing that is right for your home comes down to your budget and the investment you are willing to put forth for a better and lasting material. Here are just a few of the most common options:

 

  • Aluminum: While some materials are stronger and others cost less, aluminum remains the most popular choice of flashing among most homeowners. Aluminum makes a good balance for flashing material if you are on a budget but still want quality.
  • Copper: Copper flashing is notoriously the most expensive option of the various flashing materials, but for a good reason. Besides being the strongest of the various types of roof flashing, it is perhaps also the most eye-catching—copper is a great color to match the style of most homes.
  • Membrane: Flashing Membrane is a drastically different look than the metal options. It is basically a very strong tape that comes on a roll that can be stuck around windows and more the protect against the elements. It is a relatively cost-effective option as well.

 

Who Needs Roof Flashing?

Flashing is a necessity around several parts of your roof—any one of these areas could be vulnerable to serious leaks and expensive damage from weather problems.

There are several parts of your roof that you may not even think about that require flashing, such as around your chimney or around your windows and skylights. Here are some of the main parts of your roof that you should consider applying flashing to:

 

  • Dormer Flashing: The term dormer refers to the part of your home that sticks out of the roof for the placement of a window. It is important to have flashing around the section where the siding of the dormer meets the roof below.
  • Skylight Flashing: The area around your skylight is additionally susceptible to damage, so flashing this border is an important consideration. If flashing is done improperly, it is very likely that water will drip through to the room below.
  • Chimney Flashing: If your home has a brick chimney, then the space where the brick meets the rest of your roof is a prime location for water and weather damage. Applying flashing in this area is a must to keep the rest of your home dry.
  • Other Areas that need Flashing: Roof flashing should be applied to many more places than those listed above—most notably, perhaps, is the valleys of your roof. A comprehensive checkout of your roof by a trustworthy roofing service will help you better understand which parts of your home are susceptible to damage from the weather and should receive special treatment.

 

 

Signs The Flashing On Your Roof Should Be Repaired

You are probably aware of the status of your roof’s lifespan—however, your flashing’s lifespan should be considered as well.

In fact, the status of your flashing could be an indicator of the state of your roof. If your flashing is damaged, you can bet that it has sustained the same weather damage that your shingles have.

If you notice any damage on your flashing, it means that your roof might be exposed to serious threats from the weather in these specific areas. Additionally, you can assume that this is not the only damage that your roof has sustained—there is likely damage to the shingles or roof covering that you cannot see from your perspective on the ground.

Flashing damage is, without a doubt, an indicator that you may need roof repairs or an update, so regularly monitoring the quality of your flashing might save you big down the road.

 

In Conclusion

Roofing material is an important consideration, but one thing you additionally must consider is your flashing material. You have a number of types of roof flashing to meet a variety of needs and budgets.

Copper is the highest quality and likely the best looking, but additionally costs the most. Aluminum is a good middle of the road option, while flashing membrane is a lower quality but much cheaper if you are repairing on a budget. When considering what you are going to spend on your material, you need to think about the amount of flashing your house needs in total.

If your roof has many peaks, dormers, skylights, and chimneys, then you know that you need a considerable amount of flashing that will cost more than average.

Regardless of your selection, keep an eye on the state of your flashing as it will prove to be an excellent indicator of the general status of your roofing. Flashing is vital to the protection of your home—by selecting the proper material and keeping tabs on your flashing’s quality, you make an excellent investment in avoiding serious damage and major costs for repairs down the road.

When it comes time to repair your roof, make sure you keep your roof’s flashing at the forefront of your future projects and home maintenance.

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Blog

Do You Actually Need Waterproof Deck Coating This Spring?

 
 
Depending on your location, Spring may already be throwing you some interesting, or at the very least, damp, weather. In many areas, Spring means an increase in rain and thunderstorms. Spring is also the time to pick up on spring cleaning and maintenance. But does this include waterproof deck coating? Do you actually need to waterproof your deck?

Yes.

Waterproof deck coating is a crucial part of your Spring housework because it will not only protect the investment that is your deck, but it will ensure that it is able to better respond to the moisture in the air from humidity, rain and hail, and the water it will be exposed to from gardening projects either on or around it from hoses and sprinklers.

Regardless of where you live, you’ll want to make sure that you apply a waterproof deck coating to prepare for this wet weather, as well as the beating that your deck will take as the weather gets more tolerable and more time is spent outside.

Consider the following reasons why waterproofing your deck this spring is an essential part of a homeowner’s responsibility, and take into account a few ways to make that process go smoother and easier.

 

What is Waterproof Deck Coating?

Waterproofing your deck refers to a sealer or stain that is applied like paint with a roller brush on a clean surface. If you have a wood deck, this is something that will be necessary at some point in your deck’s lifespan to keep the wood protected and strong.

A variety of different stains and sealers are available, having numerous beneficial features and colors.

 

How Do You Know When to Waterproof?

If you’ve never applied stain or a sealer to your deck before, you may be wondering how to know when this is a necessary step. You can either be proactive and stain it long before any problem areas begin to show up (most professionals recommend restaining your deck at least once a year, preferably in the Spring as you prepare the rest of your home and yard for the summer months).

Or, you can wait until the wood begins to illustrate that it needs a protective stain or sealer; and these signs will be quite obvious to you.

You likely need waterproof deck coating if, for one thing, you notice water stains or other unsightly, potentially damaging symptoms like mold and mildew, as these can turn into wood rot.

Your deck also may need this extra layer of protection if it begins to fade, or if the wood begins to become noticeably dry, cracked, or brittle.

These are indications that the environment is starting to take its toll on the wood’s quality, and you need to take steps to protect the deck surface very soon.

 

Why Waterproof Your Deck?

There are a number of reasons why homeowners should seriously consider waterproof deck coating. Most of these have to do with the fact that its simply a good idea to take the necessary steps to protect your investment from the elements.

 

  • Obviously, waterproofing your deck will make it resistant to water. As Spring rains and summer storms become more frequent and intense, you run the risk of allowing mildew or worse, wood rot, to form on your deck. You also may expose your deck to moisture with any gardening projects on top of or around the deck (with gardening hoses or sprinklers), and social gatherings.

 

  • Waterproofing your deck will cause water droplets to bead up and run off, rather than sink in and cause problems down the road. Excess moisture can lead to mold, mildew, and worst of all, wood rot. There is no fix for wood rot other than entirely replacing your deck, so this is perhaps the best reason of all to make sure your deck is water resistant. Many stains and sealers will also keep termites and other critters out that may do damage.

 

  • Waterproofing with a quality sealer will also help keep your deck from fading. Many decks are in at least a little bit of direct sunlight; a sealer will keep the natural look of the wood or the desired stain color fresh despite the harsh rays of sun that beat down on it constantly.

 

 
 

How to Waterproof Your Deck

Waterproofing your deck is much more simple than you may realize.

Be sure to consult with a professional if you have questions about the safety or condition of your deck, and always carefully consider the manufacturer’s directions on deck sealer or stain before using it to ensure the best result.

 

1. Prepare your deck.

Remove all objects like furniture or plants from it.

 

2. Clean the surface well.

Start with a light sandpaper to help the stain or sealer adhere better; remove dust and dirt with a hose and make sure that the surface is entirely dry. This may take several days.

 

3. Deck Coating.

Wait for a day that isn’t rainy or windy or too hot or cold, and then you can apply your sealer. Ensure that you use a long roller brush and try to avoid getting too much sealer on the brush to avoid making the surface uneven when you apply it to the wood.

 

4. Second Coats.

You may need to use a second coat; also make sure you apply sealer in the corners and on steps, for which you may need a smaller brush.

 

5. Wait Patiently.

Allow the sealer plenty of time to dry completely before walking on it or putting furniture back on the deck.

 

That’s it. That’s how simple it is to waterproof your deck! Now, can you see why it would be silly to not put on a waterproof deck coating?!

 

Conclusion

Sealing your deck to make it waterproof is an excellent decision for any homeowner as the importance of making your deck resistant to water cannot be understated. If you have a deck, you obviously want to protect this investment the best way possible.

A waterproof deck coating will help you make sure it is protected against wood rot, water stains, mildew, mold, and the problems these will cause in the long run. The process of waterproofing your deck is simple, and can be completed in just a few days; and it will pay dividends for you not just in the Spring, but throughout the rest of the seasons of the year as well.