Top 10 Factors affecting your roof

Even the most well-built, durable, high quality roof will only last for so longer before repairs or a replacement is required. While there are many factors that can lead up to this situation, including lack of regular maintenance, there are 10 factors that are considered the top culprits affecting your roof today. Learn how to identify each.

Sun

Sunlight is not just detrimental to the human skin. The UVA and UVB rays can also degrade and deconstruct roofing materials over time. Add in heat and in time shingles will begin to deteriorate.

Rain

Rain will affect a roof if it is not properly maintained by seeping into cracks and crevices and damaging the interior.

Wind

High wings are a major culprit in tearing off or damaging shingles. Even if shingles are not completely torn away, debris can collect beneath damaged shingles and in time degrade the quality of the roof.

Snow and Ice

As snow and ice accumulates during the winter season, the sheer weight can cause cave-ins. As well, ice and snow can block debris, which can then block gutters and drainage pipes, leading to the need for gutter cleaning and sometimes shingle replacement.

Condensation

Condensation forms in humid conditions and can lead to wood rotting. The moisture really affects shingle wood and compromises its integrity.
Moss and algae

Trees and leaves

Trees and leaves can cause degradation of the roof’s integrity in more than one way. The weight of falling tree limbs or branches can damage or tear away shingles. Leaves and debris can also collect and build up, leading to dangerous blockages.

Missing/torn shingles

Missing or torn shingles will cause leaks in the roof and in time will cause adjacent shingles to also begin to tear away.

Shingle deterioration

As shingles get older, moisture, the elements, and other causes can create weakened wood. Affected shingles may curl, tear, break, or even fall off.

Flashing deterioration

“Flashing” is the sealant material used to ensure no cracks or fissures between the roof and ducts, vents, and other pipes can create leaking. As the flashing material ages, it degrades and pulls away from the roof, creating dangerous situations where moisture and debris can contact wiring, insulation, and interior spaces.

When these situations occur, the best solution is to contact roofing specialists to advise and guide you. Click the button Contact Us

How to clean your skylights

By their very nature, skylights are always on prominent display in your home, often right above your breakfast table or even your bed itself. As such, it is vital that you keep up their appearance throughout the year. Some of the common culprits are mildew, grime, acid rain, and even pigeon droppings. If the appearance of your skylights isn’t up to par, it essentially defeats the whole purpose of having them installed in the first place. Thankfully, anyone can clean their own skylights, and it’s quite easy to do so.

Prep Work

Cleaning your skylights is easy, so there isn’t much prep work involved. As skylights are often out of reach, you will need to use a ladder and take the proper safety precautions with that. Furthermore, you should move any furniture in the room so that it does not get in the way. If you are cleaning during the summer, try not to start cleaning until the evening or night time, when it’s much cooler. Remember to always use caution if you are using a ladder or are working on the roof, and ideally you should have someone with you at all times.

Caring for the Frame

The frame, being made from aluminum, is often low maintenance. When you clean the skylight glazing, of course, you will have to wash it, and if there is a painted finish, you should check up on it every now and then to cover up bare spots as needed.

Dealing with the Plastic

Plastic is susceptible to scratching, so you must be careful. Do not use abrasive cleaners or abrasive pads. Use something gentle clean. A weak solution of soap and water should do the trick. Using a soft cloth, gently clean the plastic, and then rinse well with water. Blot it dry, gently again, to prevent water spots. You can protect the plastic with a thin coat of either floor wax or automobile polish. This will help maintain the luster of the plastic.

Cleaning the Glass

For the glass, the same solution of soap or ammonia and water should be enough. However, you can also use commercial glass-cleaning solutions for this. It important to protect the glass from scratches and deterioration, so you should never use any abrasive materials or cleaners at any point when you clean your skylight.

Preventative Maintenance

As with anything, prevention is better than cure. By keeping an eye on your skylight windows throughout the year, you won’t have to make any heavy repairs or have them replaced altogether. By maintaining and cleaning your skylights just once or twice a year, you will be able to enjoy them to the fullest for years to come.

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How To Extend The Lifespan Of Your Roof

What do all living human beings have in common? They all have to breathe. There will be no attempt here to try and prove that your roof is alive, but it does need to breathe.

Proper home ventilation is a vital aspect of the design of your home. When done properly, It will significantly extend the life of your roof and make for a healthier environment inside, due to the reduction of mold and mildew which is a result of warm moist air not having a way to escape. Yet, attic ventilation is overlooked many times in new home construction. This is usually a result of the builder cutting costs.

At temperatures greater than 150°, your improperly ventilated attic can become a pressure cooker of problems. This kind of heat is like turning up a stove underneath your roof. It can seriously damage roofing materials by prematurely aging them and causing them to breakdown. To add insult to injury, inadequate ventilation often voids the roof’s warranty. Sometimes, this has the homeowner paying for a new roof when they should have had 10 to 20 years left under the terms of the warranty agreement.

A ridge vent is important in ventilating your attic. This will allow hot air to escape the complete length of your roof. But, this is not the only consideration that needs to be made. Proper ventilation is a result of multiple exhaust points. The solution for each roof varies due to factors such as the size of the roof and home, the type of roof, and if there are any old layers of roofing underneath the newest one.

Another problem that homeowners can experience is improperly installed ventilation points in their roof. This can allow snow and water to come inside the home. This opens up a whole new set of problems such as water damage and rotting of wood.

There are many reasons to make sure your roof is properly ventilated, inspected, and maintained. Not the least of which is the potential to save thousands of dollars throughout the life of your roof. The only way to do this is through the help of a qualified roofing contractor. Your roof may not be alive but, with the right care, it can give you great service for many years.

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Outdoor Patio Furniture Trends For 2014

Image via Wikimedia Commons

As the weather starts to warm up more and more people are getting out their outdoor patio furniture or buying new furniture for their decks, patios and porches. Outdoor furniture is great for relaxing and entertaining guests and there are colors and prints to make everyone happy. If you are planning to buy new furniture this spring or want to give your old furniture a makeover, you may want to let one of the 2014 patio furniture trends inspire you.

Furniture Pieces

This season, outdoor sectionals and conversation sets are more popular than ever. These pieces are perfect for large families or people who have a lot of parties, cookouts or get-togethers at their home. Since these pieces can tend to be expensive, it is best to choose a neutral color or pattern so you can add small details and bursts of colors with throw pillows or other accessories and easily change them when you are ready for something new. You can expect to find outdoor sectionals and conversation set prices starting at around $1200.

Colors

If you want to make sure your deck or patio is decorated with the most modern furniture, choose one of the hot colors of 2014. Black and white is always in style and a safe choice. Bold colors like teal and dark purple are also hot this year. You can even mix and match colors to make a statement on your deck or porch.

Patterns

If you aren’t a fan of the chevron pattern, you may be in trouble. Chevrons are everywhere this spring from clothing to wallpaper and even patio furniture. There are numerous colors to choose from and you can always accent your pattern with a solid colored throw pillow. Large floral prints, stripes and paisley prints are also in style, along with bold, solid colored pieces. The 2014 spring outdoor patio furniture trends are all about being bright and bold and making a statement. Of course, you can always choose to come up with your own trend or combine your own tastes with current trends to come up with something fun and unique. Mannering Ellisha (2014 March 30) Outdoor Patio Furniture Trends For 2014 Retrieved on March 31,2014 From Webpronews.com  

Enjoy spring on a new porch

More and more home owners are using their front porches for traditional outdoor purposes and enjoying the increased interaction this creates with their community.
(Photo: Getty Images / iStockphoto)

Outdoor living spaces are one of the most popular design trends of the past few years in both new home construction and remodeling, and it’s a trend that looks like it’s going to be around for many years to come.

Judges for the recent Best in American Living Awards, an annual National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) competition, noted outdoor spaces as an essential design trend that has expanded to homes nationwide and is at the top of many home buyer and renters’ must-have lists.

Whether you’re remodeling to make your home better suited to your family’s current lifestyle or sprucing it up to be more attractive to potential buyers, adding a porch can be a great option.

Here are some things you should think about when planning your new porch, whether you plan to build it yourself or hire a contractor:

Size matters

The porch is an accessory, so it shouldn’t overwhelm the main structure of the house. It should, however, be large enough to look like part of your home instead of an afterthought.

“Think about the activities that might take place in this space and the ways you’d like to use the porch,” says Jason Broderick of Broderick Builders, a Nashville-based remodeling company. “If you envision dining al fresco with your family during the warm weather months, you’ll want a porch that’s at least eight to 10 feet deep to accommodate a good-sized table and chairs. Six feet or so should be sufficient if you just want to place a loveseat or a couple of chairs outside.”

All about location

If your home has the flexibility, what side of your home your porch is on also can be an important factor. A south-facing porch will take advantage of the sun’s heat, but also could get uncomfortable during the summer. If the idea of cocktails at sunset is appealing, place your porch facing west. Early risers may want maximum light to read the paper and sip coffee with eastern exposure.

A current trend finds more people opting to use the front of their houses, a custom with deep historical roots that once was considered standard practice for most homeowners.

“In the 19th century the porch was always located on the front of the house,” says Nancy Moore, president and founder of The Porch Company. “The backyard contained the barn, the chicken coop, the kitchen garden and other practical resources of the day. It wasn’t until the advent of electricity that we moved indoors and the front porch became a forgotten piece of architecture.

“When people did return to the outside of their homes they naturally gravitated to the large, vacant spaces now available in their backyards. Decks and screened-in porches followed and the popularity of outdoor living spaces flourished.”

Now it seems people are rediscovering the spaces in front of their homes.

“In recent years the front porch has been making a comeback,” Moore says. “It’s still primarily a façade, more pleasing to the eye than functional. But more and more home owners are using their front porches for traditional outdoor purposes and enjoying the increased interaction this creates with their community.”

Consider features

To ensure aesthetic continuity, try to use the same materials to build your porch as are used in the home, especially the exterior surfaces. This includes coordinating millwork and other design motifs so your new porch integrates smoothly with the rest of your home.

Also take into account other factors that could affect your enjoyment of your new porch.

“Consider installing screens if you live in an insect-friendly area, or glass windows so you can extend the days of the year you can use the porch in cooler climates,” says Broderick, current president of the Home Builders Association of Middle Tennessee’s Remodelers Council. “If you plan to use the porch during the night hours, make sure you install either sufficient lighting or outlets for lamps. A ceiling fan is a good idea to make the space more comfortable in warm temperatures.”

Before you know it, you and your family can begin to relax and enjoy the summer season from the comfort of your new porch — or an attractive feature to offer to would-be buyers.
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Dillon Mike (2014 March 29) Enjoy spring on a new porch. Retrieved on March 31, 2014 from Tennessean.com

What’s up with those colorful roofs?

When a 2011 storm destroyed their black shingle roof, Carol and Ray Knoff of Vinton, Iowa, opted to replace it with a roof in vintage Victorian colors: a claylike red and gray.

Victorian homes typically had red slate roofs, which weathered gray over time, so the blend worked, says Carol Knoff.

“It took Vinton a while to like it,” she says, but the neighbors have since come around. The 1901 house is among several Victorians built when Vinton housed one of the world’s largest canneries.

Many homeowners these days are shunning monotone roofs of brown, black and gray and perking things up with color — blues, reds, purples, greens or combinations of those hues.

“A lot of people are going with roofs that stand out on their own,” says Kate Smith, a Newport, R.I.-based color consultant. “They want something different that expresses them and expresses their personality.” Which could be a tricky proposition, says Smith: “You want to stand out while still fitting into your neighborhood,” she says. She admits to being taken aback herself when colored roofs first came into vogue several years ago.

Exterior home color should always be used judiciously, she says. But it is even more crucial to use it correctly when you’re adding it to a large fixed feature, like a roof, that is not easily changed with a fresh coat of paint.“ Anything that’s permanent needs to blend,” she says. “You don’t want to have too many colors that aren’t working together.”

One trick for doing that, Smith says, is to select roof colors true to your home’s history and architecture, and in natural shades.

For instance, Victorian homes originally had colored roofs — reds, orange, purple and green were typical — because the color of the slate varied so much, she says. Homeowners wanting to restore that look should match those subtle tones.

“When you saw purple, it was not a bright Barney purple,” she says.Bright metal roofs — most often red or green — are better suited for farmhouse-style homes, or used over small structures such as porticos or bay windows. Steel blue is more European.

Colored roofs are also starting to crop up on “new American-style” homes, which Smith describes as combining popular styles and materials — perhaps, say, a stone and brick exterior with a copper roof.

The demand for colored roofs led DaVinci Roofscapes of Kansas City, Kan., to create faux slate and shake (wooden shingle) roofing in 49 colors “so homeowners can mix and match those if they want to get really creative,” says Wendy Bruch, the company’s marketing manager.

DaVinci’s palette is based on the naturally occurring colors seen on historically accurate roofs, she says. But custom colors are increasingly popular, too.“There can be some crazy things going on because we can create new colors,” Bruch says.

DaVinci has worked with customers to create colors ranging from a château blue for a French provincial-style house to a green that matched the color on a metal roof with weather-related damage.

Many customers appreciate help picking the right shades, Bruch says. “It can make it confusing for the homeowner when you have too many options,” she says.For Knoff, the risk of installing a colored roof was well worth taking.“We absolutely love it,” she says. “When you see our house, it really stands out. But Victorians are supposed to be homes that stand out.”

Marzsalek Diana (2014 March 28) What’s up with those colorful roofs? Retrieved on March 30 2014 From seattletimes.com