Top 5 Coolest Things Found in an Attic

It can be boring and a little disgusting up in the attic because you never know what you might find. On the other hand, treasures lurk around every corner as some people find unique, priceless items one can sell for a fortune or an unexpected blast from the past. You should go up and check in your attic to see what you might discover!

attic grenade

ATTIC FINDS: 4 deteriorated grenades

I mean you can’t sell these unless you’re looking to go to jail, but these grenades were found in a Milwaukee home around March 18, 2014. Luckily, the family called the bomb squad and they detonated safely in two large blasts.

attic superman

ATTIC FINDS: 2 expensive comic book collections

Okay, now onto the money! This particular fine happened twice, but only one was in the attic, and another was behind a wall. The former happened in Dallas, Texas when he cleaned out his aunt’s attic and got prizes like a Batman No.1, an Action Comics No. 1, and Captain America No. 2. On a different note, the latter occurred in Elbow Lake, Minnesota, when David Gonzales found an Action Comics #1 in a collection after he bought a fixer-upper home for $10,100 dollars. The first went for 3.5 million dollars at auction, while the second fetched $175,000.


attic violin

ATTIC FINDS: 1 stolen Stradivarius violin

This Stradivarius violin was stolen from Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra’s top violinist Frank Almond. He walked to his car at the end of a performance and his assailant tasered him. While the Stradivarius valued at $5 million dollars, the musical significance of the violin makes it a greater loss. The criminal’s plans weren’t foolproof because the police tracked them down through the taser gun and found the violin in a Milwaukee attic.

attic interview

ATTIC FINDS: 1 lost audio interview with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr

Steven Tull’s father interviewed Martin Luther King Jr. and his father for a book but never published the work. While Steve shuffled through his father’s boxes, he found the artifact on tape marked “Dr. King Interview Dec. 26, 1960.” This historical contribution to society shows plenty on King’s views of non-violent protest and the significance of his civil right’s work.

attic van gogh

ATTIC FINDS: 1 unsigned Van Gogh Piece

This couple found The Sunset At Montmajour by Van Gogh in 1991 in a Norwegian home, but authorities on the artist believed it to be a fake until recent times. After innovations in chemical analysis and x-ray research occurred, they managed to authenticate this masterpiece for the ages. While it’s not on sale, I imagine it going for a pretty penny


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Stuff You Didn’t Know About Insulation

Insulation is the solution for air escaping in or out of your home. Hot air in summer months seaping into your home and warm air you’re paying for in winter months escaping out of your home are both costly problems to have. 10% or more of your energy bill can be recovered by sealing all air leaks in your home with inexpensive products such as caulk, seal, and weatherstrips.

The most common air leaks are occurring as a result of drop ceilings, recessed and other lighting, the entrance to the attic, where electric wires and boxes are located, plumbing and furnace cavities, air ducts, doors and their frames, chimneys, and electric outlets and switches.

The most important placement of insulation is going to be in your attic. Adding or replacing insulation in your attic is the most cost-effective way to increase the energy efficiency of your home. To measure whether you have enough insulation, measure its thickness and if it is any less than R-19 (the most recommended value for new construction in the United States), you should add more. R-value is how all insulation is measured and although new construction is recommended to have R-19, it can go all the way up to R-49. The region in which you live will have its own specific recommendations for R-value, so be sure to research the recommendations, codes, and policies of your area.

If after you’ve added insulation to your home’s attic or elsewhere and you still feel a draft in the winter, or sweat in the summer, you might have to take the more expensive measure of adding insulation to the exterior walls. This measure will require a contractor and although it may cost you, it will be worth the investment in energy bills if you live in an extreme weather climate, whether hot or cold.

One way to test your home for air escape is to light an incense stick and carry it around the home on a windy day. Walk near all the previously mentioned common places of air leak (windows, doorways, electric boxes, plumbing cavities, around lighting, the chimney, etc) and notice the way the smoke from your stick travels. The stick smokes vertically naturally, so if it begins to smoke horizontally in front of any of these spaces, you have an air leak in need of caulking, sealing, weatherstripping, or insulating.

Only 20% of home built prior to 1980 were insulated as much as they should have been.

There are 4 material types and they are meant for different parts of your home: batts, rolls, loose-fill and rigid foam boards. One by one, batts are meant to fit between the studs in your wall or between the sections of your ceilings/floors. The second type, rolls (or sometimes called blankets), are laid on the floor of an unfinished attic. The loose-fill type insulation is blown into the attics or walls with a device. Rigid foam boards are another form of insulation that gets installed into the walls of the home. All types of insulation are made of different materials, some made of recycled materials, treated with fire retardant chemicals, fiber glass, wool, and more.

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Sounds Coming From Your Roof?

Are you hearing sounds coming from your walls or roof? Most of the time, the cause will be nothing too serious and can be easily remedied on your own. Here are common sounds that you might be hearing above you, in your roof or attic.


Hearing your roof “pop” or “crack” is common and not necessarily something to worry about. This usually happens around winter time, at night as the temperature cools. The most common reason for the popping is because the house’s components are contracting and expanding. It’s usually not serious or a reason to believe there is undue pressure on the house. If you’ve recently added an addition to the home, it will take time for the structure to settle. To be sure there’s nothing serious going on you can further examine the exterior of the roof to make sure there is no puckering or the gutters aren’t protruding from where they should be. Removing excess ice or snow will alleviate some of the noise. To further prevent the noises from becoming bothersome you can re-insulate your roof to buffer some of the change in temperature causing the popping.

Squirrels Running

If you are hearing squirrels running across your home and dropping nuts down the sides, you first have to be sure that they aren’t doing more on that roof. The worst case scenario would be that they are dwelling inside your attic. In this case you can either trap them yourself with supplies from the hardware store or hire a professional. The attic needs to be decontaminated, the insulation replaced, and any holes they’ve been entering filled afterward. If you trap them yourself, you need only drive 10 minutes from your home and safely release them. Be careful because they will bite and scratch if they come in close proximity to you. The next possible worst scenario would be that the squirrels outside are eating rotting would attached to your home. This, however, is easier to deal with. Replace the rotting wood and experience relief from the squirrels. Your local animal control facility can further assist you with questions or services. Squirrels can cause considerable damage to your home and should be addressed immediately.

Nuts Falling

In addition to squirrels are nuts falling from their little hands or trees overhanging your home. Consider trimming or removing trees that hang over the home to provide safety against the falling nuts, squirrel, and potential damage caused by storm.

Bats and Birds Nesting

The first sign of bats and birds nesting will probably be noises within the walls or above you, the roof or attic. Inspect the outside of your home to find out where they’ve gotten inside or if you are only hearing a nest that’s attached to the outside of the home somewhere. Your local wildlife agency can assist you in removal of nests or tell you how you can safely do the same. Be sure you aren’t tampering with any wildlife that is protected by law in your city or state. Once the animals are relocated, you can evaluate the damage done, decontaminate, and board up any points of entry. Chimneys are very common points of entry and it’s helpful to top your chimney with a chimney topper product meant to keep larger animals out.

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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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The Progression Of Building A Brand New Home

The process of building a home might be different if you ask several different home owners or builders, but the outline for building is generally the same. Experiences might be different across the board because of re-arrangement of tasks due to weather, changes in blueprint or design, or challenges that arise.

Laying The Groundwork

A crew will clear the site for the home to be built; clear the trees, rocks, and sometimes an existing septic system. After that, the ground should be made level and the framework of the foundation and footings of the home are built. If a well will be put in, this is the time the foundation and footings are made for this structure as well. Concrete is poured and left to cure, and any basement plumbing has been put in. Waterproofing measures are made at this time. All construction up to this point will need inspection before carrying onto the next step.

Rough Framing

Rough framing is the skeleton of the house. After the framing is put up it’s covered by plywood or “sheathing” that keeps water from infiltrating the structure and causing the wood to rot or mold while it’s being finished. This is when all the plumbing, bathtubs and shower units, and HVAC (heating, venting, and air conditioning) duct work and vents are put in. Once the roofing is complete, the structure is considered dry and the electrical “guts” can be put in. More inspections will take place on these systems.

Insulation and Walls

Insulation is added to the walls, dry wall is put up, and the rest of the internal fixtures continue to be finalized. Then the exterior walls can begin getting finished. Brick, stucco, and siding is put on the outside of the home.

Finishing Touches

The last of the tasks it takes to build a home can happen almost in any order. This is the time different companies and servicemen can be working on installing driveways and walkways, flooring, countertops, and the last of the bathroom fixtures.

Landscaping and Curb Appeal

If seed needs to be planted for grass, rock beds installed around the home, small bushes and trees planted for growing this will be the last thing before a final walk-through with the homeowner is done.

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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.


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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?


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.


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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What Is Wind & Hail Roof Damage?

As a property owner, you understand that the integrity of your roofing system is key. There is no bigger threat to your roof than storm damage. This means that wind and hail can potentially be the biggest causes of damage to your roof. Your roofing system is designed to be durable and withstand some weather-related punishment, but there is some wind and hail damage that is just too overpowering and severe to be combated. The type of shingles that you have installed on your roof makes a difference because each can be rated differently. This means that you need to know what hail and wind damage can do to your roof and how you can prevent against it. Hail and wind damage is unavoidable in most areas, but you have the ability to be prepared for any storm damage that occurs to your roof by being better informed and proactive about roof maintenance.

The Dangers of Hail

Knoxville Hail Roof Damage-2-2You might think that hail storms are not all that common, but you would be mistaken. When hail storms do hit, they often wreak havoc on a large area and can cause roof damage to many surrounding homes. This means that you need to be aware of how damaging hail really can be to your roof. Hail storms happen a lot more frequently than most people realize and they can be devastating. The roofs that are most prone to damage due to hail are those that are worn. This means that you need to make sure that the roofing system on your property is not too old that it is more vulnerable to hail damage.

However, it is even possible for new roofs that have just been installed to also be damaged due to a hail storm. It is possible for hail that is big in size to actually go through the surface of the shingle if there is enough force. If you are looking to evaluate roof damage after a hail storm, it is a good idea to be on the lookout for dark marks on the surface of the roof. These are the spots that have been hit by the hail and have been compromised. When parts of your roof have been it by hail, this makes them more prone to leaking. If you do not want to have to deal with leaks on your roof, it is a good idea to get your roof inspected after a hail storm. This will enable you to see if any parts of your roof have been compromised in any way.

Wind Storms Can Also Wreak Havoc

A little wind might seem like no competition to a roof, but wind can actually cause much more damage than you realize. The most common damage done to your roof by wind is damage to your shingles. Not only can shingles be removed, but it can make certain parts of your roof more vulnerable than others. A wind storm features winds that can gust at a high rate. You are most prone to wind related damage occurring to your roof if you live in regions that experience tornadoes and hurricanes. These are storms that feature winds that gust at very high rates. This has enough force to actually blow shingles off of the roof altogether. If you want to prevent against wind damage occurring to your roof, the only thing that you can do is make sure that it is maintained properly and that there are not any vulnerable areas on your roof. This is really the only way to prevent wind from causing extensive roof damage. Not only can the wind itself cause damage to your roof, but wind storms also result in objects that could be blown onto the surface of your roof and cause damage.

Roof Wind Damage Knoxville -2As you can see, hail and wind can be pretty damaging to your roofing system. You might think that the storms passing through will be minor, but you never know the type of long-term damage that can be done to your roof. This means that after a storm of any type occurs, it is always a good idea to have your roof evaluated to make sure that it is not vulnerable to any more damage in the future. You should always act fast at the first sign of storm damage to your roof. It is important to remember that storm damage to your roof will only worsen with time and it is unavoidable that another storm will occur again shortly. Having your roof inspected by roofing professionals after a wind or hail storm is ideal. This will enable you to have the necessary repairs completed in the shortest amount of time and increase the integrity of your roof before another storm blows through your region and causes even more damage.

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Reasons Why Should Have The Roof Inspected Before Purchasing

Knoxville Roofing: The Significance of Home & Roof Inspection while Buying a Property!

It is obvious that you would inspect a home and all its structural components and even the aesthetic elements before you make a decision to purchase it or to discard it. Here, we are not talking about the usual site visits wherein you simply check out the home and develop the first impression. That can be called an inspection but we are talking about a technical inspection.

Roof Inspection in KnoxvilleWhen you look at the walls of a room, they may appear to be strong and healthy or they may be well painted and might appeal to you. It is not very easy to spot the structural issues unless you hire a professional. The walls may be damaged from within and you wouldn’t know that unless there are visible signs. The same applies to the roof. A roof may appear to be strong or it may appear to be dated, aged and fragile. The latter would obviously discourage you from considering the property. But even an apparently appealing roof may have underlying problems.

Home inspection is imperative and you should get a property inspected even before you consider buying it. Here are just a few reasons why you should inspect a home including its roof before buying and preferably do it with the help of a professional.

  • You don’t want to buy a property that has a leaky roof. You want strong decks, sturdy roofing materials, no moss or mold, it should be properly insulated and there should be an appropriate weather guard or coating that will ensure optimum durability of the roofing material. Poorly insulated roof will defeat the objective of energy efficiency in your home. A roof with no waterproofing or lack of coating will not only be vulnerable to leaks but would also fail to bear the brunt of the weather. From the quality of sealants used to the expected life of the roof, you need to know the finer details. This will help you to make an informed decision, it will save you money as unexpected repairs or replacements will cost you dearly and you can also negotiate the price of a home depending on the condition of the roof and other components.
  • You don’t want damaged plumbing or a burst pipe in the basement. You don’t want to see termites gorging on your furniture or mold and mildew affecting the health of your loved ones. From the roof to the basement, the driveway to the garage, the yard to the landscaping, the sewer lines to the gutters, the flashing and the chimney to the vents and the water line, everything should be inspected thoroughly.