December 30, 2016
How to Prevent Ice Dams This Winter
An ice dam is a ridge of ice that forms at the edge of your roof, preventing water from draining.
This can lead to leaks that can cause damage to your roof, walls, ceiling or insulation as the backup behind the dam forces water inside your home rather than draining from the roof as it should.
In order to prevent damage to the interior of your home, you need to understand how to prevent ice dams.
Keep Your Roof Cold
It may seem counterproductive, but one of the best ways to prevent an ice dam is to keep your roof cold. The underside of your roof should not be higher than 30 degrees Fahrenheit in order to allow snow to dissipate without creating large amounts of water. Check to be sure there is adequate insulation and sealing gaps that allow warm air to exit the attic. Your attic also needs ventilation so that heated air escapes rapidly when cold air enters. The problem with a warm roof is that snow melts rapidly, but once it reaches the eaves, which are colder, the water freezes leading to ice dams.
If your furnace is in your attic, it may be difficult to prevent ice dams. One of the best methods for preventing an ice dam if your furnace is in the attic is to add extra insulation between the roof rafters. Keep air space between the roof deck and the insulation to avoid condensation. Before adding insulation, install polystyrene rafter air channels that are available at home centers. Lay insulation batts or blankets over the heating ducts to help reduce heat buildup. If your ridge vents and gables do not dissipate the heat enough, add a motorized vent at one end to remove heat and another vent on the other end to draw in cold air.
Signs of an ice Dam
Even if you take all the precautions mentioned for how to prevent ice dams, it is still possible that one could develop. If you notice dark lines on the ceiling, it is possible you have an ice dam. Even with insulation in your attic floor the bottom of your trusses are often bare. Because they are exposed to low temperatures, they create a cold strip on the ceiling that allows condensation to form. The moisture traps dust and can lead to mold growth creating the lines which are called shadow lines. You can clean the mildew by washing the area in a bleach solution of one part bleach to three parts warm water. Rinse and allow to dry.
Learning how to prevent ice dams is critical to keeping your home from damage due to leaks. For more information about preventing ice dams, contact us by phone or visit our website to speak to one of our knowledgeable staff members.
November 18, 2016
What is a Roof Drip Edge and Why Is It Necessary?
Almost every shingle manufacturer shows a metal roof drip edge in their installation instructions. The Asphalt Roofing Manufacturers Association “Residential Asphalt Roofing Manual” indicates that roofing drip edge be included in the construction of a shingle roof. Yet, many residential roof installations do not have them installed.
Unfortunately, the drip edge is often omitted from a bid unless the scope of work specifically requires it, normally as a money-saving tactic. When the drip edge is included, the type of metal, gauge and dimensions are rarely included.
Many roofers believe the roof drip edge is unnecessary as long as the shingles are extended far enough over the edge of the deck into the gutters, something that is not true. The fact is you need a drip edge on roof edges for many different reasons.
Critical at Eaves
The most critical location for a roofing drip edge is at the eaves of your house as this is where the most drips occur. Rake edges should also get drip edge as well as at the edge of the felt underlayment. Felt can be installed on top or underneath the metal.
The edge of the roof that catches the most water needs the best protection possible. Shingles that are extended more than three-quarters or one-inch over the edge of the roof will bend, eventually fracture and break. If there is no metal drip edge, water may not cascade off the eaves into the gutters, allowing water to get into the substrate by turning up under the shingle.
Damage Under Shingles
If water gets under your shingles, it can cause short-term staining, but more importantly, it can cause long-term deterioration of the roof deck and along the fascia board.
If the water damage is allowed to exist for a prolonged period, it can also affect the ends of the roof joists and trusses. Eventually, you may develop leaks and damage inside your home that could be extremely costly to repair.
Not a Money Saver
Ironically, not including a drip edge on roof bids is often done as a money-saver but can lead to catastrophic damage later. This leads to extensive repair costs both inside and outside the home.
In some cases, a builder may rush the roof and cover it with felt in order to speed the interior work. In these cases, the builder may hurriedly run a cutter along the roof deck, but because they are rushing, they often do not do so in a straight line. This causes the edge of the felt short of the edge and, when fascia board is added later, the felt is even further from the roofing drip edge.
If you are in need of a new roof or are planning to build a new home, contact us to learn more about roofing, shingles and drip edges. You can speak to one of our knowledgeable customer service representatives by calling or completing the easy form online.
February 23, 2015
Does Your Roof Need To Be Repaired?
I just bought a house with a roof that has seen better days. The shingles are worn and cupped, and there’s lots of rough-looking flashing. Anything I should worry about before I start interior repairs?
“The roof comes first” is an old expression, but it remains as meaningful as ever. The roof is your home’s first defense against the elements, so don’t tackle any interior remodeling projects until you evaluate what’s above the eaves. “If the roof is bad, everything below it gets wet: walls, ceiling, insulation, electrical wiring, floors, carpets, furnishings, and heating and cooling equipment,” says Jason Joplin, program manager of the Center for the Advancement of Roofing Excellence, which offers professional courses under the aegis of GAF, the nation’s largest roofing manufacturer. “If any of this stuff stays wet, mold can formand there’s a real danger of structural deterioration.”
If a roof inspection reveals problems serious enough to warrant repairs, the next step is to decide whether to fix it yourself or call a professional. In most cases it’s better and safer to hire a pro. Still, it’s important to educate yourself before making the call so you know what to expect.
If your roof is shallow and low to the ground, and you’re confident you can walk on it safely, climb up there and start inspecting. Watch your step and avoid low-hanging electrical cables. If it’s too steep or high, inspect it from the ground using binoculars.
Start by checking the roofing material. Look for loose or missing shingles, as well as those that curl up, cup down, are chipped or torn, or have lost their granule coating. Generally, if more than one-quarter of the shingles are bad, it’s time to replace them all. That can cost as much as $10,000, though the bottom line depends on the type of roof, its size, its pitch, and the number of valleys it has.
Next, inspect the roof deck for sagging areas that could indicate a compromised structure beneath. Then note any loose, damaged, or previously repaired flashing, and check the valleys for cracked roofing material. Look for severe weather deterioration or previous repairs around skylights, vents, and chimneys. While you’re up there, check that the gutters are well secured.
Finally, head into the attic and inspect the underside of the roof deck. Mold or water stains on the plywood sheathing and the insulation could mean that moisture is coming in through the roof or that condensation is forming inside the attic.
Staff Writer (2015 January 14) Does Your Roof Need To Be Repaired? Retrieved on February 7, 2015 from PopularMechanics.com
December 12, 2014
5 Tips for Holiday Decorating Without Damaging the Roof
It may be the most wonderful time of the year, but installing festive lights on a home can be a headache and potentially cause damage to your roof. Avoid the hassle and make decorating more enjoyable with these tips for contractors to share with their customers to avoid roof damage.
- Don’t let your shingles jingle. Never hang Christmas lights from your shingles. To properly put up lights, they need to be secured to something (that’s why it’s so easy to wrap them around trees). Making even the tiniest of holes in a shingle or roof component will let moisture or leaks in and potentially rot the roof. The best way to put up lights is with clips that hang from the gutter or eaves. Also, before you even climb up to work, untangle the strands and test them to make sure they all light up.
- Don’t let ‘er rip. We know you don’t want to be that house that leaves decorations up until summer, but don’t dissemble hastily either by pulling lights off the roof from the cord. This can cause damage to the gutter or potentially your shingle if you didn’t clip them correctly in the first place. Take the time to remove each clip individually. It’s cheaper than replacing gutters or shingles.
- Avoid the shock. Make sure decorations, including inflatable items, are away from power lines and plugged into a portable outdoor circuit. In addition, don’t overload the breaker, which can be a potential fire risk.
- Bring a buddy. Another person should be on hand to help secure the ladder, carry items, or to help in case of an injury or emergency.
- Call a pro. We know most people don’t have extra money lying around during the holiday season, but if you want elaborate decorations, are not comfortable on a ladder, or have areas that are hard to access, it’s best to leave it to a professional to install lights properly without risking damage to the roof—or yourself.
By sharing these tips you can help protect a homeowner’s biggest investment from damage and allow them to safely bask in the season’s glow.
5 Tips for Holiday Decorating Without Damaging the Roof. Retrieved on December 10, 2014 from GAF.com
November 21, 2014
How to Identify Hail Damage
You may think that just because you can’t see any signs of damage, or because your roof isn’t leaking, you don’t have damage. Remember, hail damage can be particularly difficult to identify and many homeowners discover major roofing damage years down the road, after it’s too late to file a storm damage claim with their insurance company. If you have any reason to suspect hail damage after a storm, you should have a full property damage inspection performed by a reputable contractor, right away.
Roof Hail Damage – Roofs are the most commonly damaged part of a home or business in hailstorms. A damaged shingle may allow water to seep through the roof causing additional damage to the roof deck, support structure, interior walls, or windows, and can cause leaking, staining on walls and flooding inside your home. Leaking roofs lead to costly damages and many insurance policies have strict time limits on submitting claims after hailstorms, so it’s in your best interest to act fast after hailstorms and start the repairs process, if necessary.
Asphalt Shingle Damage: On an asphalt roof, hail damage looks like a dark spot, or bruise, where the roofing granules have been knocked away (look in gutters for accumulation of granules). In some cases you may find holes, cracking, or missing shingles on roofs with hail damage. This can result in leaking and serious water damage, which can lead to mold formation and wood rot, which can compromise the structural integrity of your roof resulting in collapse. In severe wind storms, it is common for shingles or sections of the roof to be missing altogether.
Other Types of Shingle Damage: Shake (wood), metal, tile, and slate roof shingles can all suffer damage from hailstorms. Due to the materials, each type of shingle shows unique signs of damage from hail. If shingles are cracked, missing, torn or split at seams, you should definitely have a damage inspection performed. Similarly, if you notice leaking inside your home after a hailstorm, get an inspection right away.
More about Shingle Damage
Siding Damage often results from wind-driven hail. The three most common signs of damage to siding are cracking, chipping and holes. Read more about siding damage here.
Window Damage is similar to siding damage, but usually more obvious to identify. Wind-driven hail can strike windows and break the glass itself, or cause damage to the seals on windows. Read more about window damage here.
Exterior Appliances can also sustain damage in hailstorms. Denting and intake of excessive amounts of water often affect AC / HVAC units after severe hail. Read more about exterior appliance damage here.
How to Repair Hail Damage
Hail damage can be very difficult to detect and often occurs to roofs, siding and windows, all of which are difficult DIY repair projects that could void your homeowners insurance or manufacturer warranty, if not performed by a licensed contractor. Due to the risks associated with hail damage, it is recommended to cut to the chase and have a storm damage repair contractor inspect your damages right away.
Staff Writer (2014 November) How to Identify Hail Damage. Retrieved on November 17, 2014 from the National Storm Damage Center
May 27, 2014
A new Roof May Be Cheaper than Roof Repair in the Long Term
The roof is one of the most vital parts of a home, providing protection from the elements. If the roof is damaged, this is not a repair that homeowners can afford to postpone. A leaky roof, for example, can cause untold damage throughout the home. If roof leak repair is not done promptly, the problems will only get worse. When considering any type of roof repair, the option of replacing the whole roof should be considered. In some cases, this is the more sensible and economical course of action. While repairing a roof will cost less in the short run than replacing it, this may not be the case when you consider the long term.
When to Repair a Roof
If a roof is basically in good condition, but has a small area of damage, repairs make sense. The cost will depend on the extent of the damage, and can run anywhere from a few dollars to fill some gaps to over $1,000 to repair a major leak. Repairs will often be covered by your home insurance policy. On the other hand, if the roof is old or worn out, insurance may not cover the repairs. Homeowners are expected to perform regular maintenance on their homes, and this includes replacing the roof when this becomes necessary.
When to Replace a Roof
There are certain signs that it’s time to get a new roof.
- Roof is Nearing the End of its Expected Lifespan -Whether a roof is constructed with natural slate, asphalt shingles, metal or another material, it’s expected to last for a certain number of years. Beyond this point, spending money on repairs may not be the best option.
- Recurring Problems -If roof leak repair is needed on a regular basis, this is a sign that the roof may need replacing.
- Damage is Widespread -If multiple areas of the roof are damaged, it may be more economical to replace the entire roof.
- Shingles are cracked or Fall Off Easily -When shingles show signs of serious wear, roof repair may be a futile endeavor.
Although the cost of a new roof can range anywhere from $20,000 to $40,000, depending on the type of materials used, there are definite benefits to replacing a roof rather than repairing it. For example, homeowners enjoy the peace of mind that comes with knowing that the roof construction is solid and they won’t have to worry about it for many years.
For homeowners that want to increase the value of their homes, a new roof is one of the best ways to do this. Even for those who plan to live in their homes for a long time, there is a dramatic improvement of curb appeal with a new roof. The decision whether to repair or replace a roof must be made carefully. It’s best, however, for homeowners to consider all of the options and think about the long term advantages of a new roof.
Contact TriCounty Exteriors for your free consultation today!