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Adding Architectural Interest To Your Roof

There are a few very important details to consider when adding additions to your roof to add interest to the design. Roof extensions, shed roofs, gable roofs, and dormers are all types of architecture that add interest to the home, but they aren’t create equal in cost and effectiveness.

Cost/Effectiveness

Adding additional roof peaks and masses will only complicate your design and cost you more to install and maintain it in the future. You can add interest with minimal additions, so edit and simplify as much as you can to get the effect you want without jeopardizing the efficiency of your roof. You will want as big of roof masses as possible, for the point of having a cost effective, quality roof.

Design

Some design elements are better than others in general and even the way they are executed matters. To discuss this matter, its pertinent to look at each of the design concepts for further information to consider.

Roof extensions can be effective at adding interest to the roof or home, and add space as well. Roof extensions are usually added because an addition of space has been made to the home. The visual appeal is only an added bonus. It doesn’t take much consideration when the addition is made to the front or back of the home. Adding a roof extension to the front or back is pretty easy and visually may look natural, like it was part of the original design. A roof extension added to the sides of the home is where the design gets tricky and may look re-worked, not ideal for re-sale.

A shed roof is roofing that is attached to a high point of the existing roof and slants downward, covering additional space added to the home. Unfortunately, this design element looks less natural and usually looks like there’s obviously been a modification to the home. Submitting your design to your city or homeowners association is a must. Some places have included a shed roof ban because of its perceived tackiness, but in all honesty, the element can “dressed up” and look quite modern. Using the same siding, roofing materials, gutters, and finishes will assist in making the whole picture look uniform.

Roof gables are roofs that run in the opposite direction of the current two sloped roof. One gable can add a ton of interest, but more than one gable are able to be installed. It’s common to see a gable or two facing the front of a home with a window. The original sloped roof then faces front and back, rather than a traditional home which has a roof that slopes on either side. Gables can be as large as the top floor of the home, just additions to the attic space, or other small storage additions in rooms of the home on the top level. This is a natural looking element that easily adds value and interest to the roof.

A roof dormer is like a roof gable except that instead of being an additional space, its much smaller. It usually is just a structure that fits only a window. Like the roof gable, it typically looks natural and adds value to the home.

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Caring For Your Home’s Foundation

The foundation of your home is everything. It’s the base of your entire home. Repairs can cost as little as 500.00, go as high as 10,000.00, and average 4,000.00. Don’t find yourself in a money pit situation by knowing what to look for, and how to maintain your foundation with these 3 considerations.

Consider Exposing Your Foundation

Because material that is right up to your home’s foundation, like a flower bed or just ground with grass seed on top of it, it encourages the holding of moisture near your foundation. This also encourages ground dwelling creatures and bugs to access your home more than if you had your foundation exposed. Exposing your foundation is more healthy for it, allows it to breathe, and there are ways for you to hide it or make it more attractive if you consider it an unappealing option. What is important is that your home maintains its resale value and integrity while you’re living in it. 6 inches of exposed foundation is the minimum amount for adequate breathing.

Water The Foundation In Times If Drought

Yes, it’s true. Most foundation problems are caused by too much moisture causing movement and damage, contracting and expanding. The opposite has its place in reality as well, a foundation that is too dry can also cause damage. During droughts, the surrounding trees and plants will suck up moisture from the ground, including the moisture in your home’s walls and foundation. Too much moisture or not enough moisture can cause movement and damage. This type of damage is hard to detect. The best thing you can do it times of drought is to actually water the home’s exposed foundation as if you would your grass. If you have any questions or concerns about either condition, consult a professional service for an expert opinion such as a licensed home inspector.

Carefully Inspect and Repair Roof and Gutters as Needed

The most important thing to maintaining a healthy foundation is repairing cracks and leaks before they cause considerable and costly damage to your home. Potential issues are from sitting snow and ice on the roof and gutters not performing their job of bringing water away from the home. The added weight on the roof of too much ice and snow, either melting or sitting, can be too much weight to bear on the walls, and further, the foundation. Falling rain, and melting ice and snow should travel through the gutters and at least 6 feet away from the home’s foundation. Inspect the roof and gutters monthly and after storms to catch any damages early. Another inspection necessary to the process of protecting the foundation is getting your plumbing inspected because leaks here can damage the foundation as well.

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Common Roofing Materials

 

  1. Asphalt Shingles

Asphalt shingles are still the number one choice for homeowners across the U.S. They are the most affordable, accessible, and aesthetically pleasing, coming in a variety of colors. Even within this category are a high end and low end choice. Most roofs are made of fiberglass shingles. The sheets are less durable than the next option, but get the job done. Organic shingles are more expensive and are made of recycled felt paper. Both are coated with asphalt to water proof the shingle and potentially the home, then sprinkled with ceramic granules to reflect the sun’s UV rays.

  1. Cedar Shake Shingles

If you can afford the investment on cedar shake shingles, you will make your money back in energy conservation. These shingles are made of cedar and look like your roof is made of wood! The wood is a natural insulator that does a great job of keeping the home hot or cool. The roof is extremely durable and does well in high heat and places with unpredictable weather patterns (hurricanes, tornadoes, storms, etc). Some manufacturers coat the wood with a fire resistant coating for an added benefit of fire resistance. The cedar shake roof is less common and needs special installment, so before you make this choice be sure you’ve found a reputable roofing company that has experience with this type of roof.

  1. Tile

Tile roof shingles are made of ceramic or slate. When I was a child, I referred to them as “nacho roofs”. They usually look a little bit like sun chips. They are highly durable and can last you 50-100 years or more. The material proves a great natural barrier from the sun and is popular in the hottest climates, on the west coast. It, too, will be conservative on your heating and cooling bills and is cost effective in that regard. It’s most often chosen in a reddish orange, terracotta pot color, but is available in a wider variety and should be chosen based on your home’s color palette.

  1. Metal

Metal roofs are most employed in the South, due to harsh weather patterns that can cause a lot of water damage. It is an investment, but can pay for itself over time. It would last you up to 60 years if chosen. In climates where water is a constant factor that damages other types of roofs, the metal roof is a winner. Water is less likely to penetrate it because it has less cracks and crevices, but should be inspected monthly and after storms just as you would any other roof. Because metal is a lighter weight material, it can enhance the life of your home’s structure and walls.

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Avoid Roofers Who Make These Mistakes

Roofers Who Are Unreliable or Can’t Keep An Appointment

If a representative of a roofing company rubs you the wrong way in any way, it should be noted, but keeping an appointment means more than words can say. If your roofer is late to scheduled appointments, seems unorganized, or can’t give you a decent estimate of when the project will be finished, you might want to get out while it’s still early. Repairing or replacing a roof is a costly and time consuming job that you should feel comfortable handing off to a professional. Voice your concerns as soon as they arise, and check in with your contractor along the way. A good company will care about your concerns and address them as efficiently as possible.

Roofers Who Grossly Underbid

It’s estimated that 90% of roofers underbid jobs. This is not to go as far as to say they don’t know what they are doing in the roofing business, but because they aren’t good at estimating the cost of the job including labor and time, materials, the possibility of hiccups, and clean up. Many companies are simply bidding per square, a good place to start, but not where a bid should end. Unfortunately this mistake could not only cost them, but you. A company may come back to you with a new number, not agreed upon at the beginning, which can be especially frustrating if no contract or agreement has been signed and the work has been started. An even worse scenario would be that a company cuts corners on your project, if even subconsciously, because they aren’t being fully compensated, although it’s not your fault. You want a roofer to estimate the costs right the first time, and put their pride into their work from start to finish. You can avoid this problem by researching companies based on a review and meeting with several to get comparable estimates. Don’t go with the lowest bid! Instead, ask the companies how they arrived at them and their answers might surprise you.

Roofers From Out Of Town/State Companies

When it rains, it pours and for the roofing industry, storms are very profitable; so profitable in fact, that roofers from out of town or even out of state might come to the site of a storm to profit from home owners. They can take advantage of these homeowners who might be left with no other choice due to the demand on local companies at the time. More than anything, the reason you should avoid using even the best out of town contractor or company is because they won’t be around in five years when your roof may show considerable wear and tear and the company will have less responsibility to you than another company would.

Among these things, follow your gut and ask as many questions as you can. Don’t be afraid to ask if changes to the plan or contract will be welcome, if even mid-project.

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How To Make Your Roof Last You Years and Years

Whether you are inheriting a roof of a newly purchased home or have just replaced a roof entirely, you will want to maintain the integrity of what you have. Like keeping your car maintained, all that is truly required is a little extra attention to it. Take the following 4 steps regularly to keep your roof doing its job efficiently and most cost effectively.

Monthly Visual Inspection

You don’t have to be a professional to view potential problems with or risks to your roof. Taking time monthly to step outside and note any excess debris, damage, gutter condition, and fungi or growing plant life can insure you catch and fix any issues as early as possible.

Make Repairs Early

Some home repairs can afford to wait. This is not the case with roofs. Damage can spread quickly when the integrity of a roof is made vulnerable, so you’ll want to make repairs or schedule an inspection with a professional as soon as you see a risk during your monthly visual once-over. Even small things such as misshapen shingles should be replaced as soon as it’s seen.

Trim Nearby Trees

Large trees near a home pose a threat to the roof because strong winds and storms can cause a tree’s branches to puncture the roof. Trees pose threats to other parts of your property as well like sheds and vehicles. You’ll want to trim any large outward limbs regularly or call your local tree trim service to ask questions or schedule an inspection. It’s always a great idea to form these relationships early and have their numbers on hand.

Take Care Post-Storm

It’s just as important to inspect your roof after a storm to look for damage caused by wind, debris and tree limbs. Damage can be symptom-less for some time indoors, so it’s important to get outside and see for yourself the condition of your roof regularly and after storms. As previously stated, even the smallest of repairs should be made. Be sure you are seeing the entire roof at each angle so you don’t miss anything! This is how your roof will cost you as little as possible and last you years and years to come.

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Is Your Roof Protected? You Should Consider Investing in Protection…

Top Reasons Why You Should Consider Investing In The Roof Protection Membership

A roof is very essential to your house. You will realize that your roof normally serves many purposes. It normally protects you from rain, snow and so on. It also provides shade during the hotter months. As a homeowner, you should protect your roof all the time. You should ensure that it is in a good condition all the time. However, most roofs are not well taken care of. You will find most of them leaking and so on. This can be detrimental. This can be detrimental. This is the reason why you should join the roof protection membership. Once you join this membership, your roof can be well taken care of. It can be replaced by professionals, thereby giving you some peace of mind. The following are some of the reasons why you should join this membership:

1. Gutter cleaning

Gutters normally get dirty from time to time. They can also get blocked if they are not cleaned in good time. This can damage the walls of your house in the event of rain. However, you can mitigate this problem by joining this membership. You can be assured that your gutters will be cleaned every year by professionals. This can help you a great deal.

2. Discount on repairs.

Roof repair can actually be expensive. This means that you have to dig deeper into your pockets. However, once you join this membership, you can be assured that you will get discounts on repair. You will enjoy 10% repair discount.

3. Priority guaranteed appointments.

If you have a roof problem, you can always contact us and book an appointment. Once you call, you will be served within 24 hours of your call. You will realize that your guaranteed appointment is normally scheduled in one hour’ time-frames. This can help you a great deal.

4. Skylight cleaning

Most homeowners have installed skylights in their houses. You will realize that these lights normally allow natural light to get into their house during the day. However, these lights normally get dirty from time to time. You need a professional to clean them for you. Once you join this membership, you can be assured that they will be cleaned thoroughly. In addition, your skylights be inspected if they have a problem.

5. Large debris removal

You will realize that sticks and large debris on your roof can be destructive. You need to remove them from time to time. However, climbing up there can put you at risk. You require a professional to do the job for you. This is the reason why you should join this membership.

Membership Costs

There is an annual service membership and bi-annual service membership. For annual service membership, you need to pay $17 per month. However, for bi-annual service membership, you need to pay $30 per month. Consider investing in the roof protection membership today and you will enjoy the results.

FOR MORE INFO ON MEMBERSHIPS CLICK HERE

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Something Your Home Inspector Won’t Tell You

Home Inspectors Are Not Roof Inspectors

Getting a home inspector to assess the state of your home doesn’t include him or her going overboard to look for more like roof problems and plumbing or even your AC system. Their list doesn’t cover all that; theirs is just to identify the problem and the rest is left for you to reach out to a relevant repairing company.

deal-breakers-home-inspection-1A home inspector checks the roof from a distance

A roof inspector will do all the dirty work and even risking it to go atop the slippery and collapsing roof. The home inspectors will not do all that. They will just place themselves at a safer distance and let binoculars do the job for them. So, who would you rather, a home inspector or a roof inspector to repair your roof?

Expertise

A home inspector doesn’t go in-depth with learning how to repair some parts of the house like roofing. This is for those looking forward to repairing roofs in the future. This is where the level of expertise differs and the best person for this job should be called upon to check on the roof. Professionalism matters in this field of roof repair lest you want shady job.

Their liability is limited

A home inspector takes the necessary precaution to ensure he or she is not entangled with problems of some areas of the house outside their jurisdiction. They will do everything possible to exclude liability if they render roofing services and the same does not work out. So what’s the benefit? Don’t assume that a home inspector knows everything. Just use that high amount of money to get your house repairs done to perfection by skilled professional.

Job difference

Home inspectors are only meant to put you in the spotlight of how your house condition is and how long it will take before it finally breaks down. Once the home inspector lets you know all that, it is upto the roof inspector to also come to the rescue and repair some damages pointed out by the home inspector. This way, both parties work hand in hand to ensure the roof remains stable and strong to prevent water, cold or snow from dripping into the interior of the house. Home inspectors inspect almost all parts of the apartment while a roof inspector will only pay attention to the roof hence finding it easier to repair and revive it back to normalcy.

Shallow research

Home inspectors also do not carry out a deep study on the roof but instead look for minor rectifications. This is where the problem arises. But for a roof inspector, he will dig deeper to find out the sole reason affecting the effectiveness and efficiency of the roof. Having done so, he goes ahead to do the necessary repairs on it; that is their job. This saves you from lots of money as this has been done with hence will not require the client to seek help one week later just because the roof inspector didn’t do so because the home inspector provided assumptions that the roof is good to last 2 years more.

Scams

Some home inspectors are scams and if you fall into their trap, as you bounce back, you will have to start over. The best way to evade all this is to assign each expert to carry out the tasks. Let the home inspector do his job and the roof inspector too so that incase one turns out to be a scam, both areas are not affected because one person did both jobs. Each party did its own responsibility hence reducing any loss that could be incurred.

Waste of money

A home inspector could charge more for a roof inspection and in turn produce a less valuable job. But for a roof inspector, the price might be standardized and even go ahead to do more than the money paid which is a lot better. This way, you get to have quality and value other than the other way round. Roof inspection helps your roof to last longer since the necessary repairs are done promptly hence maintaining its original form.

Home inspectors should do their job and leave the roof for the roof inspectors to do the necessary repairs. This way, all the parts of the house are repaired as they should be. Also, you won’t have to experience the above shortcomings simply because you chose to let the home inspector to do all that for you even though you knew he is not good at some areas.

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Roof Holiday Decor Safety

As the holiday season draws near, we flock to the local store to purchase our favorite decorations to bring the spirit of Christmas alive. We purchase lights, or inflatable figures. When we get our decorations home, it is time to start installing them. It is this time of the year that we are at a higher risk of bringing harm to ourselves. Accidents do happen and it is wise to maintain a safe work environment when installing your decorations. Below you will find a list of tips that will help you stay safe this holiday season.

holiday_safety_preventing_hazards_from_christmas_lights-2No shock

That’s right, as the name says. “No shock.” Far to often we are at risk of being electrocuted and or worse our loved ones being electrocuted. This can be prevented with some basic preparations when we lay out our lights, or extension cords. Let’s focus on these two more closely.

Power

It is no shock, or surprise that the power may vary depending on the item in use. Example the lights or extension cords may be limited to a certain power or amperage. It is also wise to make sure each set of lights, or extension cords are marked for outdoor use. If you look at the label of each item, it will give the amperage, as well as the location it is meant to be used.
It is also wise to know your environment and proceed with the understanding of how one will effect the other. Example, a location that experiences snow, is likely to present a risk of electrical shock if exposed to the melting ice. Another common risk is the overloading of electrical outlets. We all want to be able to use all out favorite decorations, but we must do so wisely.

Will it fail you?

The power alone is not the only risk. We are always faced with dangers and a lot of the time, we wander blind and are unable to see them for what they are. Example, a ladder that is old and well used. These may appear sturdy and have never failed you before, but you should be sure it does not have any cracks in the legs. This is part of what supports you high above the ground. This risk is far higher when you are using a wooden or fiberglass ladder. The most wise choice is an aluminum ladder. This can hold up to the elements and secure your safety long after the neighbors have crumble beneath their own less sturdy ladders. Don’t laugh, they could be very hurt.

High above

The risk is far greater the higher you are from the ground. Some have gone to lengths of safety preparation, such as tying a robe around their waste of anchoring themselves to the roof to prevent sliding or stop themselves from plummeting helplessly back to Earth. It is wise to anchor all decorations to the roof as well. This will prevent any risk of harm when others walk below.

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Advantages of Metal Roofing 

Metal roofing is a very important aspect of house construction. In fact, some houses need renovation and replacement of the roofing. There are many types of metal roof that one can go for. Metal roofing materials can be chosen based on the advantages, the budget and the overall look. There are quite a few sites where you can get in touch with metal roofing manufacturers and use their roofing calculator to estimate the cost of roofing as per your requirements. Here are some of the advantages of metal roofing:

advantages-of-metal-roofing-2Eco-Friendly

Metal roofing is a green and environment-friendly option. This is why many new builders and home-owners are going for this option. The first reason is that they help reflect the sunlight and heat during summers and also retain the heat during winters. This way they save around 25 – 40% of the energy costs. These energy savings are massive not only for the cost but also in an environment friendly way. Another reason why they are called environmental friendly is because most of the metal roofing materials are 100% recyclable. Asphalt shingle roofs usually need renovation every 10 – 15 years. The materials are dumped in landfills where they stay there for hundreds of years. However, metal roofing need not be replaced for up to 50 years.

They make the house look attractive

Even if you are planning to sell your house, metal roofing is a very good option to make your house look more beautiful. You can use a whole lot of metals like copper, aluminum, and zinc or even steel. Although it is more expensive that asphalt, you will more than recover your costs in the long term in terms of energy savings and longevity of the roof. There are many metal roofing styles and systems like the standing seam metal roof and metal shingles, shakes, and slate which are available to the homeowners.

Individual metal benefits

Each of the metal roofs has its own benefits. Aluminum is one of the most popular metals used as it is not affected by natural corrosion due to salt or oxidation. The aluminum roofs are also known for their longevity. Copper roofing is more expensive but it has a traditional attractive look. Sometimes copper roofing can last as long as a century. The high cost of the copper roofs is because the soldering and mechanical installation processes are slightly more difficult. The weathering process of copper causes the deposit of a green layer called patina. Zinc too has the same advantages and costs around the same as copper roofing. Steel roofing is used extensively because steel is strong, flexible and easily available at a decent cost too. Steel is protected too through coatings. Hence steel comes in the form of galvanized steel or galvalume coated oils.

Metal Roofing types and colors

There are many types of metal roofing. Standing seam roofing with panels whose width ranges between 12 – 18 inches is mostly used in commercial and residential constructions. Corrugated metal roofing and stone coated steel roofs are the other types available in many colors like red, gray, green etc.

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How to Handle a Roof Emergency?

How to handle an unexpected roofing repair

Roofs in good condition are necessary to protect you and your family from harsh weather conditions. Imagine a situation where a tree fell on your roof in the middle of the night, what actions would you take to deal with the unexpected occurrence?

How will you tell that your roof requires a repair?

A compromised roofing system will allow the infiltration of water whenever it rains outside. You should consider going for a quick roof repair whenever the roofing system gets compromised unexpectedly. Another option is to use a protective cover on the damaged roof to prevent further damage to the roofing structure and property damage inside the house. The quickest way to salvage the situation involves tapping the hole in the damaged roof. When the weather passes, you can go ahead and look for a permanent solution to the damage. Another sign that indicates your roof requires repair is when shingles are missing. Missing shingles commonly occur after a massive storm or high winds. When you notice the shingles are curling and buckling, you should consider repairing your roof. The curling and buckling shingles are a sign of a damaged roof. It is advisable that you contact a licensed roofing contractor to find out if you qualify for a possible reimbursement. Calamities such as rain and high winds may also cause roof shingles to fall apart or miss in certain areas on the roof. Such cases are definite signs that your roof requires an immediate repair. A compromised roof valley may make you susceptible to roof leaks.

Situations that require a roof leak repair

Roofs get compromised by several factors including fire, animals, and inclement weather. Natural disasters are the key players when it comes to damaged roofs. High winds exceeding 50 mph have the capacity to temper with shingles from the roof exposing the substrate to other threats. Sharp objects such as tree limbs that are torn off trees will penetrate the structure and cause more destruction. A lightning strike also can tear the roof and form of a hole on the roof. Animals such as squirrels and Raccoons are fond of residing on the roof. The animals chew through the rotted wood which may lead to the formation of sizeable holes on the roof. Fire outbreak is capable of burning the whole roofing system into ashes.

Tree trimmer

Actions that are taken by roofers whenever they are called for an emergency roof repair

The measures adopted by the roofer depends on the timing of the call. For example, when you call the roofers in the middle of a storm, they will have to wait until the storm subsides. Immediately the wind calms down, the roofers will be dispatched to your place of residence without any further delays. Torrential rains and high winds make it difficult to repair a damaged roof. Roofs that are damaged by fire outbreak can be mobilized to get back to its normal condition. Accessing all areas of a roof that has been damaged by fire can be difficult because fires interfere with the structural integrity of the roofing system. In such cases, the safety of the roofing experts, as well as the homeowners, is prioritized.

Actions to be taken by a homeowner when they encounter an unexpected roof damage

The first thing is to remain calm and relaxed. Instead of panicking, you should contact the roofing experts for assistance. Ensure to contact professional roofing contractors to avoid being conned by storm chasers who want take advantage of your fears. You can also visit Angie’s List to get references of certified roofing contractors. You should also remember to contact your insurance company for possible compensation. Once the roof has been secured and protected from further damages, take the time to think through the repair or replacement options available. It is not recommendable to fix the roof on your own. You may end up injuring yourself or even worsening the damage. You do not have the professional skills to assess the actual damage and come up with a long lasting solution. It is also advisable to document the loss encountered in writing and with photos.