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Choosing the Right Contractor

Spring is in the air. Often when the weather warms we tackle home projects. Often it may be a job too large to handle ourselves or call for a professional in that particular trade. Here are some ideas to help choose the right contractor.

Where to find contractor:

o   Call your local city hall and ask for reputable contractor names.

o   Ask a reputable company for a suggestion (perhaps your plumber knows a great roofer).

o   The phone book offers several options.

o   Web search are great for finding local companies that often showcase photos of their work online.

After selecting contractors to provide proposals it is important to interview your contractor to see if they are a right fit for your family. Your contractor will be in your home around your family a certain level of trust is a necessity.

How to “background check” of your contractor:

o   If it is an Illinois Licensed Professional a license can be looked up to be sure it is valid and does not have any actions against them.

https://www.idfpr.com/LicenseLookUp/LicenseLookup.asp

o   Do a background check on your contractor. If you find several lawsuits this can be a red flag. It is quick, easy, and free.

http://www.co.madison.il.us/CircuitClerk/eMagnusLite.shtml

o   The Better Business Bureau is also a great place to look up your contractor.

http://stlouis.bbb.org/Find-Business-Reviews/

TOP 6 Fall renovation projects 2016

If you see winter as a time for staying indoors and celebrating the holidays, then the fall season is a perfect time to get started on the home improvement projects that will help you enjoy your winter festivities.

In fact, if you wait until winter to start your renovation project, you may run into some serious roadblocks, says George “Geep” Moore, a contractor and chairman of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) Remodelers.

“Particularly in areas with ice and snow, you want to get your [renovation] materials delivered and stored early in the season, because once the weather turns bad, it could make it tough or impossible to get them,” he says.

So before Old Man Winter comes to your town, you might want to consider the following home improvement projects.

Fall Project #1 – Roof Repair or Replacement

Let’s face it, there’s nothing that kills the holiday spirit quicker than the drip, drip, drip of a leaky roof. And the last thing you want is Santa and his reindeer (or a snow pack) falling through the roof. So, before the heavy winter weather comes pouring down, you might want to think about a fall roof job.

Moore says the fall timing couldn’t be better. “For one thing, the heat of summer is gone and it’s a whole lot easier on the guys doing the work. Roofs can get incredibly hot in summer,” he says. Moore adds that extreme heat could also increase the time frame of the project, as workers’ pace may be affected by the heat.

As for a winter roof project, it’s doable – but potentially difficult. More says that roofs can be repaired or replaced in winter, but in most parts of the country, the weather is simply not conducive to it. And if your roof is leaking or not up to holding the weight of snow, roof replacement or repair could be dangerous, he says.

“For those reasons, fall is a good time to do roofing projects,” he says.

Fall Project #2 – Flooring

There’s nothing like new flooring to bring a room or home to life. Whether it’s new wood, carpet, or even tile, your winters will likely seem a bit cozier with a fresh floor. And fall might be the perfect time to install it.

Here’s why: “Some types of flooring adhesives need the temperature of the house to be between 75 and 80 degrees. It’s for that glue to adhere properly,” says Moore. “Cold air can be a little more damp and can stop the glue from drying properly, so you could have a bonding problem.”

This means that the cold winter months might not be the best time to install flooring, depending on where you live.

And even if you have central heating, the risk of any cold air coming into your home is still something to consider.

“You wouldn’t want to be opening and closing your door in winter if you live in a very cold climate. That could let in a lot of cold air,” says Moore.

So, unless you want the sound of loose tiles or other type of flooring to accompany your holiday tunes, you might want to give a contractor a call and get started on this project during the fall.

Fall Project #3 – Window Replacement

Can you imagine having rain, snow, or hail pouring into your home through a series of large holes in your walls? Probably not. So, if you want new windows for your holiday season, now – while the weather is mild – might be the time to get on it.

In fact, according to Moore, fall is a lot easier than winter to do window installation.

“You can replace windows in winter, but you may have to control the elements,” he says. “By that I mean building a temporary wall, so to speak, with poles and polyethylene to keep the walls and interior protected.”

And that’s not all. “Then you might have to build a small frame on the outside as a shield from the elements to be able to work,” adds Moore. “As you get further and further north, where it gets colder, it’s going to be tougher.”

If you want to avoid this trouble, calling a contractor and planning your window replacement(s) during the fall might be smarter. It can also protect you from potential damage to your home’s interior in the event that rain or snow gets blasted inside, says Moore.

And we don’t know about you, but being showered with rain or snow, while inside your home, doesn’t exactly sound like holiday fun. Well, maybe a little.

Fall Project #4 – Heating Systems Check

If there’s one thing you want your home to be in winter, it’s warm and cozy. And a key ingredient to being warm and cozy is heat – as in hot water and warm air. So before the chilly weather comes wandering in, it’s important to make sure these things are in good working order, says Moore.

Let’s start with the water heater. “You want your water heater completely protected from the elements. They can be put in the attic, or further north, in the basement. You also want the water pipes completely protected and insulated from the cold,” says Moore.

Next thing to take care of? Your heating unit. “Every fall you should fire up your heater to make sure it’s in working order,” says Moore. “Check the filters, the gas flow, and the flame. Make sure you have a proper flame, with the right amount of gas and oxygen.”

If you aren’t sure how to do this, call a pro. Often, you can get a yearly contract for this service, Moore says. “With a service contract, if they do have to replace or repair any parts, you usually get a break on the rate. And it doesn’t cost near as much to make a repair during a service call as it does if it breaks down in winter,” he says.

And really, isn’t the holiday season filled with enough extra costs?

Fall Project #5 – Concrete and Mortar

Have you been meaning to pour a new concrete patio or driveway or build a new fireplace, but haven’t quite gotten around to it? Well, you might want to take advantage of the fall weather, otherwise the cold dampness of winter may make these projects more difficult, says Moore.

“We use the rule of thumb that we want [the weather] to be 40 degrees and rising. If it’s not 40 degrees, including at night, we don’t pour concrete,” says Moore. “It’s due to the fact that there’s moisture in the concrete and it can freeze.” And if it freezes, it won’t set properly.

The cold air also doesn’t play nice with brick work that uses mortar.

In fact, when it comes to anything that uses a water solution with mortar, the colder it is, the slower it’s going to set up, explains Moore. He adds that “the damp cold air won’t hold much more moisture, so the moisture just won’t leave the concrete to let it set up.”

Fall Project #6 – Painting

There’s nothing like a fresh coat of paint to bring a fresh new feeling to your home. Whether it’s inside or out, new paint can really make for a warm and fuzzy holiday season.

But what doesn’t go down well with the holiday meal is a side of paint fumes or dripping walls. And those are just two reasons you may want to get on this project in the fall – especially if you live in a part of the country where the temperature drops dramatically, day or night, says Moore.

“Most paint products will want the temperature to be between 70 and 90 degrees to dry properly,” says Moore. And while you can control the inside temperature, Moore warns that if a lot of cold air comes in through the doorways or windows, it could adversely affect the paint job.

The real concern, of course, is exterior paint. “You probably want above 40 degrees, not dropping below 40 at night. There are some paints that are made for that, but most of the paints we use today are latex or acrylic and are temperature sensitive,” says Moore. The problem arises, he adds, when the paint freezes, and as a result does not dry properly.

2017 Color Forecast is in!

http://www.sherwin-williams.com/wcm/idc/groups/public/@swpublic/@sherwin-williams/@content/documents/webcontent/mdaw/mdg4/~edisp/sw-pdf-cm17-fandeck.pdf

 

The state of color has never been more restless. New spirituality, cultural flux, feisty self-expression and soulful nostalgia are combining to paint an emerging portrait of our shared future.

Tips for filing a roof claim

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Finding out that your roof needs to be replaced or repaired can be troubling for many homeowners. Dealing with insurance claims, talking to adjusters and making sure you get reimbursed for all covered damages is a daunting process. Many homeowners are simply unsure about how to file a claim, where the process can be problematic, what types of documentation they need, or what to expect.
To a home insurance company, the roof is the most important part of your house. It’s the gateway to far greater damage claims once it’s damaged. In more than 90 percent of hail or high-wind claims, there is a payout relative to the roof cover, according to the Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety. Insurance companies review roofing claims very carefully and they expect you to provide proper documentation and other information in order to process your claim.
FIND OUT WHAT YOUR POLICY COVERS

The easiest way to know what’s covered or what’s not, is to contact your insurance provider.
Some policies take the age of your roof into account at the time it is damaged. For example, if your roof is less than 10 years old, you may be covered for the full cost of repairing or replacing the damaged section of your roof at the time of the claim. If your roof is more than 10 years old, you may only be reimbursed for the depreciated value of the damaged roof. The depreciated value takes the aging and wearing of your roof into account, meaning its value has decreased prior to any damage occurring.
Some policies will only offer roof damage coverage up to the depreciated value, regardless of the age of your roof. Other policies will cover the full cost of repairing or replacing the damaged section of your roof at the time of the claim, regardless of the age of your roof. In most cases, your insurance company will send an inspector to your home to investigate and verify your claim. If the damage is determined to be from aging, wear and tear, or poor condition of your roof, it will typically be considered normal maintenance, and will not be covered under your policy.
PROVIDE DOCUMENTATION FOR YOUR CLAIM

To ease the experience of the claims process and to help you receive proper settlement for your loss, take a set of “before” photos of your roof and exterior property. Update the photos whenever you have maintenance or repairs done. After damage occurs, take a set of “after” photos. Document and record the damage as well as any estimates, invoices and bills you receive. Having all of this information on file will help ensure a smooth and hassle-free claims process.
CHOOSE A CONTRACTOR WITH INSURANCE EXPERTISE

Before you can get work done on your roof that will be covered by insurance, you will need to get an estimate from a professional roofing contractor. In most cases, you can use the roofing company of your choice. Your roofing contractor should be able to help you navigate your way through the roof insurance claims process. Some roofing companies employ Certified Public Adjusters who will deal with your insurance company on your behalf. Look for contractors with extensive experience in providing roof estimates for insurance claims and helping clients navigate the process of getting their roof repair or replacement covered by their insurance company.
The most important thing to remember is that, if you suspect your roof has been damaged, you shouldn’t wait to get it inspected by a roofer. Find out the extent of the damage as soon as possible. This will help expedite the process and also help you avoid further damages that might not be covered under your policy. Tips for filing a roof claim.

Do I have hail damage? Simple steps to check for hail damage

Simple steps to check for hail damage… Free hail checks (618)558-2675 Ryterski

Identifying hail damage on your belongings, such as patio furniture or your car, is relatively straightforward. The round dings in metal are obvious signs of hail damage. However, determining whether your roof has sustained damage from a hailstorm may be a little more difficult. It’s important to keep your roof in top condition to avoid structural deterioration that may cause leaks. Many insurance companies will consider paying for a roof that has been damaged by hail, but it must be correctly assessed. Insurance adjusters will require the opinion of a professional roofing contractor before they will consent to the work being done, but you can also check for hail damage yourself before calling a roofer by following these tips.

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1
Search for damage on the metal. Check metal roof vents, flashing or metal valleys on the roof to see if there are any dents. Soft metal will show dents, and also indicate the size of the hail.

2**********CAUTION*****Do not get on the roof unless you are a licensed roofer******
Check the ridge cap of the roof for dents. This area of the roof will receive the most damage from hail since it is flat and will take a direct hit in a storm.
Look at the shingles. Check the whole shingle, as well as the edges, for signs of damage.

3
Identify the types of damage caused by hail. The 3 major signs of hail damage include bruising, cracking and granules missing from asphalt.
Check for missing pieces in the asphalt of the roof. Look for areas on the shingle that have exposed, black substrate. This means the granules of the asphalt have been compromised or knocked off by something.
Search for bruising in the shingles. Dents from hail are not always completely visible. Run your hand over the shingle to feel for small dimples in the surface. Press 1 of the dimples to see if it has any give. If it does, this is a sign that the shingle has begun some deterioration.
Look for cracking in the shingle. Large hail can make a circular crack if the hail hits it hard enough.

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Tips
Hail that is less than 1 inch (2.54 cm) in circumference will be more difficult to identify. Hail that is 1 to 2 inches (2.54 to 5.1 cm) will be visible on the soft metal and most likely on the singles themselves, and 2-inch (5.1 cm) hail will be visible throughout the roof.
Your insurance company will require an inspection of your roof by their adjuster. A contractor may claim there is hail damage to your roof, and in reality he may not be familiar with what hail damage looks like, or may just be trying to get a job to make money.

October is Energy Awareness Month

October is Energy Awareness Month – The Perfect Time to Increase Energy Efficiency in the Home

With the colder temperatures of winter fast approaching, October — the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Energy Awareness Month — is an ideal time for homeowners to take steps to prepare for a more energy-efficient heating season. October leaves us with only two short months left to take advantage of federal tax credits for energy-conserving home improvements. These enhancements can also benefit homeowners by reducing their utility and maintenance costs, increasing occupant comfort and making a smaller environmental footprint.

Increasing energy efficiency can be as simple as using electrical appliances and light fixtures more conservatively or as involved as a large home improvement project. As a leading building products manufacturer, CertainTeed Corporation offers the following tips to help homeowners increase comfort and reduce utility costs, as well as qualify for up to $500 in tax credits.

•    Conduct an energy audit.  Home energy audits are an important first step, as they help locate areas where energy-conserving changes are most needed. The audit should be conducted by a professional that is certified through the Residential Energy Services Network (ResNet). You can search for a ResNet certified energy auditor in your area at www.resnet.us.

•    Add insulation to reduce heating costs and increase comfort. If you can see the tops of the ceiling joists when you look in your attic, then it is wise to add more insulation to attain the recommended R-value for your home’s specific geographic area. This will help the home retain more warmth during colder months, consequently increasing occupant comfort and reducing heating costs. CertainTeed offers a wide array of insulation products, including fiberglass batts, blow-in insulation and spray foam insulation to meet the specific needs of your home. For more information on the minimum levels of insulation in your area, additional state and local rebates and incentives, and an estimate of your potential savings, visit www.certainteed.com/itools.

•    Don’t overlook the foundation. The EnergyEdge® system from CertainTeed provides increased comfort and a new way to reduce energy bills. When the system is installed on the exposed slab edge of the home, homeowners can save 10 percent or more in heating costs.

•    Increase energy efficiency on your rooftop.  Photovoltaic roofs can generate electricity by harnessing solar energy from the sun’s rays. The EnerGen™ photovoltaic roofing system features thin-film solar laminates that seamlessly integrate with traditional asphalt roofing shingles, creating a streamlined, visually appealing appearance.

•    Install insulated siding. One of the best ways to impede the loss of heated air through exterior walls is to install insulated siding, such as CedarBoards™ Insulated Siding, which feature a custom-contoured foam insulation backing.

•    Turn off appliances when not in use. Be sure to turn off and unplug appliances around the house, such as televisions and computers, when leaving a room and unplug coffee makers, toasters and other appliances when not in use. Plug home electronics into power strips and turn off the power strip when the equipment is not in use.

•    Revisit your lighting options. For significant energy savings, replace standard incandescent light bulbs throughout the home with ENERGY STAR certified compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs), which use up to 75 percent less energy. Energy savings can be taken a step further by replacing standard light bulbs with light-emitting diode (LED) bulbs. Though more expensive upfront than CFLs, LED bulbs use only 2-17 watts of electricity, last up to 10 times as long, and are more durable than CFLs.

For more energy saver tips for the home or information on federal tax incentives for energy conservation, visit www.energysavers.org or www.certainteed.com/energytaxcredit. Images, product samples and industry comments are available upon request. To speak to an expert, contact Mike Loughery of CertainTeed Corporation at mike.b.loughery@saint-gobain.com or 610-341-7328.

About CertainTeed

Through the responsible development of innovative and sustainable building products, CertainTeed, headquartered in Valley Forge, Pa., has helped shape the building products industry for more than 100 years. Founded in 1904 as General Roofing Manufacturing Company, the firm’s slogan “Quality Made Certain, Satisfaction Guaranteed,” quickly inspired the name CertainTeed. Today, CertainTeed® is North America’s leading brand of exterior and interior building products, including roofing, siding, fence, decking, railing, trim, foundations, pipe, insulation, gypsum, ceilings and access covers.

A subsidiary of Saint-Gobain, the world’s largest building products company, CertainTeed and its affiliates have more than 6,000 employees and more than 65 manufacturing facilities throughout the United States and Canada. Recognized as a 2009 and 2010 ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, CertainTeed earned the 2011 ENERGY STAR Sustained Excellence Award, the highest level of recognition for outstanding contributions to protecting the environment through energy efficiency. The group had total sales of approximately $3 billion in 2010.

Roof Leak?

9 Reasons your roof is leaking

Let’s face it: No one wants to have to go running for a drip bucket every time it rains. Not only is having to stay on top of the weather forecast annoying and impractical, but that one small drip symbolizes a larger roofing issue – and we all know that roofing issues mean an investment of time and money.

In an effort to save you that investment, we’ve compiled a list of The 10 Most Common Causes of Roof Leaks. We’ll tell you what they look like, why they happen, and how to fix them.

Whether your roof is two years old or twenty keep this list handy. You never know when it could mean the difference between doing a quick repair or a major remodel.

  1. Flashing

What Does It Look Like: Flashing are thin pieces of metal that are installed under shingles and on the joints of your roof in order to create a water-resistant barrier, which can be concealed or exposed. If exposed, they will look like long runs of sheet metal and, if concealed, they will have a rubberized coating overtop. Broken flashing will feature large cracks

Why It Happens: Roofers often use tar to seal the flashing together and that can corrode over time. In the event that your flashing is left exposed, elements like wind and rain could be the reason behind its crack.

How To Fix It: Once you locate the source of the leak, pry up the nails used to secure the old flashing. Lift any shingles out of the way and remove the cracked segment. Gently put a new run of flashing in its place, fasten the new flashing in the same pattern as your old piece using roofing nails. Then, apply a coat of roofing sealant to the nail heads.

  1. Missing Shingles

What Does It Look Like: Look up! This one is easy to spot. Since shingles are the exterior layer of a roof, you should be able to identify missing shingles by seeing different-colored patches on your roof. Alternatively, you may find the shingles themselves littering your yard after a heavy storm.

Why It Happens: Again, weather. High winds and heavy rains.

How To Fix It: Slide a pry bar underneath the row of nails that connects the damage shingle to the one below it. Lift up until the nail pops and then press down on the shingle while you remove the nail. Repeat for the remaining nails. Pull out the damaged shingle, replace it with a new one, and secure it with four new nails.

  1. Your Valleys Aren’t Properly Sealed

What Does It Look Like: An area where two planes of roof come together. Since, these areas of the roof are usually sloped, if the valleys are not sealed together properly, rainwater can get inside as it runs down the roof. You can detect a problem by searching for wet spots that run along the seams of your roof.

Why It Happens: A variety of reasons – the sealing may not have been done properly in the first place, it may have cracked when being stepped on, or an excess of rain and ice may have caused it to erode over time.

How To Fix It: This is one of those things that needs to be done by a professional because of its complexity and we do not recommend attempting it on your own. However, your roofer will likely fix the problem by laying a new leak barrier along the valley and shingling overtop.

  1. Your Vent Booting Is Cracked

What Does It Look Like: Roof vents are those things that look like small pipes sticking out of the top of your roof. They’re used to expel excess moisture from the inside of the house. Leaks from this area will likely leave corresponding dark spots (and mustiness).

Why It Happens: Roof vents are often sealed by placing some flashing around the opening and slipping a tight, rubber boot over the area where the pipe peeks out of the roof. Over time, the flashing can break or the roof can decay.

How To Fix It:Hire a licensed roofing company to rec=ve and replace with a

  1. Ice Dam Buildup

What Does It Look Like: An ice dam is a ridge of ice that forms at the edge of a roof and prevents melting snow (water) from draining off. The combined weight of the ice itself can damage the roof, as well as the water just sitting on the roof’s surface.

Why It Happens: The heat from your attic (and the rest of your house) is above freezing, which causes some of the snowfall to melt, despite the cold temperatures outside. The water will then run between the roof’s surface and the snow and will refreeze into ice once it hit’s the roof’s exterior edge.

How To Fix It: Invest in a roof rake, which looks like a sideways shovel with a long handle, and use it too reach up onto the roof and remove at least the lower four feet of snow from the roof edge. If you see an ice dam forming, consider treating it with an ice melt product, according to manufacturer’s directions.

  1. Your Skylights Were Improperly Installed

What Does It Look Like: Leaks from this kind of problem should be super easy to spot. If you find yourself noticing wet spots or consistently needing to place drip buckets around the sides of your skylights, you’ve found the cause. However, leaks and wet spots near the top of the skylight may be a flashing issue instead.

Why It Happens: There are two main causes for this type of leak. Improperly measuring and fitting the skylights upon installation or decayed insulation along the skylights edges.

How To Fix It: Clear any debris off of the skylight and check for cracks in the window itself. Seal any cracks with a layer of clear silicone along its length, if necessary. If that is not the cause, check the surrounding flashing and replace as needed.

  1. Your Gutters Are Clogged

What Does It Look Like: You may be able to see the leaves sticking out of the gutter when you look up onto your roof. But, if not, you should notice the lack of water trickling out of a downspout during a rainstorm.

Why It Happens: Your gutters are meant to help water travel away from the roof. When a blockage forms and they get clogged, that travel stops. Rainwater will then pool in one area of the roof and have more of an opportunity to seep through cracks.

How To Fix It: Sorry, there’s no easy answer to this one. Get up on a ladder, and get in there with your hands. Many recommend placing a large tarp underneath the area where you are working. That way, you can drop any debris as you go and wrap it up for easy disposal later.

  1. You Have A Cracked Chimney

What Does It Look Like: Most often, you can look for signs of wear and tear along the mud cap, or mortared area around the top of the chimney. You should also look for any holes in the mortared joints where the chimney connects with the roof. Also, be on the lookout for loose flashing and shingles in the surrounding area.

Why It Happens: Mortar is essentially just a thick mixture of water, sand, and cement. It erodes easily in harsh weather conditions.

How To Fix It: Hire a good masonry company. Give me a call I have a great referral! 618-558-2675

  1. There’s Condensation In Your Attic

What Does It Look Like: A leak is most likely coming from your attic if the space shows signs of mold growth or mildew. A strong, musty odor emanating from the attic is also a key that water has gotten inside.

Why It Happens: As the uppermost part of your home, the attic is trapped between indoor and outdoor temperatures. When those clash – think hot summers and cold winters – condensation will form and moisture will follow.

How To Fix It: First, treat any mold growth. Then, take the time to isolate your attic to prevent large fluctuations in temperature. Make sure that all of the roof vents are clear from the interior end and install a large ventilation fan, if needed.

Finally Its time for a new roof!!

What Does It Look Like: Unfortunately, there is no way to differentiate if this is the cause of the leak. However, all homeowners should be careful with how often they venture out on to their roofs.

Why It Happens: As you can see from the other causes in this post, a lot of roofing material is very fragile. You may accidentally step on a crucial element or crack an already precarious seal.

How To Fix It: Avoid walking on your roof whenever possible. Let that Frisbee go and buy a new one. Hire a professional roofer to do your fixes, since they are trained on how to avoid the most easily-damaged areas.

Whether you have an old roof or new roof wear and tear is unavoidable. There will be rainstorms, long winters, hail, and heavy winds. But, roof leaks? They are a different story. With the right care regimen, every roof should have the ability to keep your family warm and dry for decades. As you work on home maintenance, refer to this list of the 10 most common causes of roof leaks. You’ll be glad you did when catching a leak early saves you time and money.

Have you ever had a leak in your roof? If so, what did you do to fix it? If not, do you have any home maintenance tips that you use to keep the roof in good shape? Share your stories with us in the comments.

Why is my roof leaking?

9 Reasons your roof is leaking

 

Let’s face it: No one wants to have to go running for a drip bucket every time it rains. Not only is having to stay on top of the weather forecast annoying and impractical, but that one small drip symbolizes a larger roofing issue – and we all know that roofing issues mean an investment of time and money.

In an effort to save you that investment, we’ve compiled a list of The 10 Most Common Causes of Roof Leaks. We’ll tell you what they look like, why they happen, and how to fix them.

Whether your roof is two years old or twenty keep this list handy. You never know when it could mean the difference between doing a quick repair or a major remodel.

 

  1. Flashing

What Does It Look Like: Flashing are thin pieces of metal that are installed under shingles and on the joints of your roof in order to create a water-resistant barrier, which can be concealed or exposed. If exposed, they will look like long runs of sheet metal and, if concealed, they will have a rubberized coating overtop. Broken flashing will feature large cracks

Why It Happens: Roofers often use tar to seal the flashing together and that can corrode over time. In the event that your flashing is left exposed, elements like wind and rain could be the reason behind its crack.

How To Fix It: Once you locate the source of the leak, pry up the nails used to secure the old flashing. Lift any shingles out of the way and remove the cracked segment. Gently put a new run of flashing in its place, fasten the new flashing in the same pattern as your old piece using roofing nails. Then, apply a coat of roofing sealant to the nail heads.

  1. Missing Shingles

What Does It Look Like: Look up! This one is easy to spot. Since shingles are the exterior layer of a roof, you should be able to identify missing shingles by seeing different-colored patches on your roof. Alternatively, you may find the shingles themselves littering your yard after a heavy storm.

Why It Happens: Again, weather. High winds and heavy rains.

How To Fix It: Slide a pry bar underneath the row of nails that connects the damage shingle to the one below it. Lift up until the nail pops and then press down on the shingle while you remove the nail. Repeat for the remaining nails. Pull out the damaged shingle, replace it with a new one, and secure it with four new nails.

  1. Your Valleys Aren’t Properly Sealed

What Does It Look Like: An area where two planes of roof come together. Since, these areas of the roof are usually sloped, if the valleys are not sealed together properly, rainwater can get inside as it runs down the roof. You can detect a problem by searching for wet spots that run along the seams of your roof.

Why It Happens: A variety of reasons – the sealing may not have been done properly in the first place, it may have cracked when being stepped on, or an excess of rain and ice may have caused it to erode over time.

How To Fix It: This is one of those things that needs to be done by a professional because of its complexity and we do not recommend attempting it on your own. However, your roofer will likely fix the problem by laying a new leak barrier along the valley and shingling overtop.

  1. Your Vent Booting Is Cracked

What Does It Look Like: Roof vents are those things that look like small pipes sticking out of the top of your roof. They’re used to expel excess moisture from the inside of the house. Leaks from this area will likely leave corresponding dark spots (and mustiness).

Why It Happens: Roof vents are often sealed by placing some flashing around the opening and slipping a tight, rubber boot over the area where the pipe peeks out of the roof. Over time, the flashing can break or the roof can decay.

How To Fix It:Hire a licensed roofing company to rec=ve and replace with a

 

 

  1. Ice Dam Buildup

What Does It Look Like: An ice dam is a ridge of ice that forms at the edge of a roof and prevents melting snow (water) from draining off. The combined weight of the ice itself can damage the roof, as well as the water just sitting on the roof’s surface.

Why It Happens: The heat from your attic (and the rest of your house) is above freezing, which causes some of the snowfall to melt, despite the cold temperatures outside. The water will then run between the roof’s surface and the snow and will refreeze into ice once it hit’s the roof’s exterior edge.

How To Fix It: Invest in a roof rake, which looks like a sideways shovel with a long handle, and use it too reach up onto the roof and remove at least the lower four feet of snow from the roof edge. If you see an ice dam forming, consider treating it with an ice melt product, according to manufacturer’s directions.

  1. Your Skylights Were Improperly Installed

What Does It Look Like: Leaks from this kind of problem should be super easy to spot. If you find yourself noticing wet spots or consistently needing to place drip buckets around the sides of your skylights, you’ve found the cause. However, leaks and wet spots near the top of the skylight may be a flashing issue instead.

Why It Happens: There are two main causes for this type of leak. Improperly measuring and fitting the skylights upon installation or decayed insulation along the skylights edges.

How To Fix It: Clear any debris off of the skylight and check for cracks in the window itself. Seal any cracks with a layer of clear silicone along its length, if necessary. If that is not the cause, check the surrounding flashing and replace as needed.

 

  1. Your Gutters Are Clogged

What Does It Look Like: You may be able to see the leaves sticking out of the gutter when you look up onto your roof. But, if not, you should notice the lack of water trickling out of a downspout during a rainstorm.

Why It Happens: Your gutters are meant to help water travel away from the roof. When a blockage forms and they get clogged, that travel stops. Rainwater will then pool in one area of the roof and have more of an opportunity to seep through cracks.

How To Fix It: Sorry, there’s no easy answer to this one. Get up on a ladder, and get in there with your hands. Many recommend placing a large tarp underneath the area where you are working. That way, you can drop any debris as you go and wrap it up for easy disposal later.

 

  1. You Have A Cracked Chimney

What Does It Look Like: Most often, you can look for signs of wear and tear along the mud cap, or mortared area around the top of the chimney. You should also look for any holes in the mortared joints where the chimney connects with the roof. Also, be on the lookout for loose flashing and shingles in the surrounding area.

Why It Happens: Mortar is essentially just a thick mixture of water, sand, and cement. It erodes easily in harsh weather conditions.

How To Fix It: Hire a good masonry company. Give me a call I have a great referral! 618-558-2675

 

  1. There’s Condensation In Your Attic

What Does It Look Like: A leak is most likely coming from your attic if the space shows signs of mold growth or mildew. A strong, musty odor emanating from the attic is also a key that water has gotten inside.

Why It Happens: As the uppermost part of your home, the attic is trapped between indoor and outdoor temperatures. When those clash – think hot summers and cold winters – condensation will form and moisture will follow.

How To Fix It: First, treat any mold growth. Then, take the time to isolate your attic to prevent large fluctuations in temperature. Make sure that all of the roof vents are clear from the interior end and install a large ventilation fan, if needed.

 

Finally Its time for a new roof!!

What Does It Look Like: Unfortunately, there is no way to differentiate if this is the cause of the leak. However, all homeowners should be careful with how often they venture out on to their roofs.

Why It Happens: As you can see from the other causes in this post, a lot of roofing material is very fragile. You may accidentally step on a crucial element or crack an already precarious seal.

How To Fix It: Avoid walking on your roof whenever possible. Let that Frisbee go and buy a new one. Hire a professional roofer to do your fixes, since they are trained on how to avoid the most easily-damaged areas.

 

Whether you have an old roof or new roof wear and tear is unavoidable. There will be rainstorms, long winters, hail, and heavy winds. But, roof leaks? They are a different story. With the right care regimen, every roof should have the ability to keep your family warm and dry for decades. As you work on home maintenance, refer to this list of the 10 most common causes of roof leaks. You’ll be glad you did when catching a leak early saves you time and money.

Have you ever had a leak in your roof? If so, what did you do to fix it? If not, do you have any home maintenance tips that you use to keep the roof in good shape? Share your stories with us in the comments.

 

 

Architectural vs 3 Tab Comparison Side by Side 2017

Architectural vs 3 Tab Comparison Side by Side

 

Architectural Shingles 3 Tab Shingles
Architectural Shingles vs 3 Tab Shingles
 
1. Architectural Shingles or a.k.a dimensional or laminate shingles differ from the traditional 3-tab asphalt shingle look. They differ because the actual shingle tabs have various sizes and shapes. These various sizes and shapes give them a more “dimensional” look to them and can actually make a shingle roof look more like shake. vs 1. 3-tab shingles have only 1 shingle tab size and shape.
2. Architectural shingles weigh more than 3-tab shingles. In fact, they weigh around 50 percent more than the asphalt 3-tab shingles. vs 2. Architectural shingles are composed of one flat layer and do not have a dimensional look to them. Because they are more simple and are made up of less material they weigh less than architectural shingles.
3. Because architectural shingles are thicker than 3-tab shingles they have a longer warranty than most 3-tab shingles. Architectural shingles almost across the board have a minimum 30 year guarantee and are rated to resist higher speeds of wind. vs 3. 3-tab shingles are less thick than architectural shingles and almost always have a shorter year guarantee. Because of this 3-tab shingle roofs need to be replaced sooner than architectural shingle roofs.
4. Architectural shingles cost more than 3-tab shingles. vs 4. 3-tab shingles cost less than architectural shingles.
5. Architectural shingles help maintain or raise the value of the home as long as they are properly installed. They are a preferred shingle for homeowners because they help the homes value. vs 5. 3-tab shingles are still preferred among residential rental properties and lower value homes where the initial higher cost can not be met for architectural shingles.
6. Architectural shingles are constantly becoming more and more popular in the roofing market. vs 6. 3-tab shingles are on the decline in popularity.

Roofing in cold weather

Cold Weather Roofing:

Snowy roof

Cold Weather Roofing:

Winter roofing is not for the faint of heart. Nonetheless, roofing can be done in cold weather, but be prepared for the extra hassle and expense. Illinois does not contend with many severe winters so roofing can be installed nearly all year round.

Roofing in winter weather is not ideal and can be quite complicated. Almost all types of roofing material utilizes adhesive during the installation process, and almost all adhesive requires warm temperatures (heat source) to properly cure and fasten. A roof that is not properly fastened will often fail quickly, if not immediately. During the summer months, the sun is an adequate heat source for the proper adhesion of most roofing materials: asphalt shingle, EPDM (rubber) single-ply membrane, roll roofing, and peal and stick roofing. These materials cannot be applied in cold weather without a great deal of added effort and expense.

Asphalt (Composition) Shingles:

The ideal temperature range to install asphalt shingles is between 40 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit. Colder than 40 degrees and the adhesive will not reach the ideal elasticity and will not create a perfect seal. In weather warmer than 80 degrees, asphalt shingles can become overly pliable and are susceptible to damage during installation. Roofing nails can be easily overdriven, and foot traffic can erode the protective granular layer quite easily in extremely warm temperatures if the roofer doesn’t use preventative measures.

If asphalt shingles are installed during colder than ideal temperatures, the shingles will not seal adequately and are vulnerable to high winds and rain. An improperly sealed shingle can be blown off by the wind or allow rainwater to seep underneath an into the roof decking. In addition, asphalt shingles installed in winter often have edges that appear raised or curled. Warm temperatures are required to keep the shingle pliable enough to consistently lay flat against the previous course.

Nonetheless, many roofers will take the chance in cooler spring weather to go ahead and install the shingles knowing warm summer weather is just around the corner. In most cases, asphalt shingles will eventually reach a high enough temperature to properly cure the adhesive, and the roof will function properly. In other cases, a storm producing high winds or driving rain could damage a shingle before it has a chance to seal properly.

Asphalt shingles can be installed properly during cold weather (late fall and winter) only if additional, costly measures are taken. Most asphalt shingle manufactures require that a specialized adhesive is manually applied the each shingle if temperatures are below 40 degrees Fahrenheit. If shingles are applied below 40 degrees without the specialized adhesive, the manufacturer will void any warranty.

EPDM (rubber) Single-Ply Membrane:

EPDM (rubber) membrane roofing is even more temperature sensitive that asphalt (composition) shingles. EPDM is joined together using an extensive amount of adhesive. The adhesive must have high temperatures to be pliable enough to install and cure. EPDM adhesive is very thick and hard to work with even at high temperatures. Manufacturers recommend temperatures be above 45 degrees Fahrenheit for installation. From experience, 45 to 55 degrees is not very practical unless a warm storage area is made available to keep the adhesive warm until the moment it is used.

Similar to asphalt shingles, there are ways to install EPDM in winter, but it will significantly add to the costs. Emergency situations where EPDM has to be installed in cold weather will require building temporary, movable, tent-like structures in which portable heaters could be used to keep a small area at a time warm enough for installation. Extreme caution must be used in this circumstance since propane heat sources and flammable adhesive could result in a catastrophic explosion or fire.

Other types of roofing mentioned earlier (roll roofing, peal and stick, and modified bitumen) simply should not be applied in winter. Added expense and effort will likely outweigh any benefit.

Cold Weather Friendly Roofing Materials:

There are roofing materials in existence that can easily be installed in winter without much added expense. Low technology roofing materials such as cedar shakes or metal roofing can be installed safely and without any compromise of quality during cold weather. Metal and cedar are not as susceptible to temperature fluctuations, and very little, if any, adhesive is necessary for the proper installation of the material. Even so, there may be added expenses to consider since clean up can be difficult if snow is on the ground, or if snow has to be removed from a roof before installation can commence. These items will add man-hours and increase your costs.

In closing, cold weather roofing is almost never ideal. No matter which roofing material you choose, there will likely be added expense and compromise of quality. Consumers should try to avoid extreme winter roofing if at all possible. If cold weather roofing cannot be avoided, hire a well-seasoned professional who understands how to properly overcome the difficulties.