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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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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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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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Should a Mossy Roof be a Reason for Concern?

Knoxville Roofing: The Unpleasant Reality Of A Mossy Roof!

Moss is not good for your roof. Some homeowners like the green tinge and may think that there is nothing more to it than just a cosmetic hue. Some people like the rustic feel of the roof. The truth is that moss doesn’t enhance the curb appeal of your home, neither does it impact the resale value nor does it augur well for the roof itself. Moss is a threat to your roof.

Moss will obstruct the natural flow of water down a slope. When there is too much moss on the roof, it would hold enough moisture or water that there can be severe leaks. It can also lead to decaying of the roof. As moss prevents the water runoff down the slope, it either holds onto the moisture or forces water to runoff sideways. At times, moss can do both. With accumulated water and moisture laden moss the weight or pressure exerted on the roof increases. Accumulated water then starts to seep through the shingles or membranes. In effect, you have a leak.

Moss alone isn’t responsible for leaks. There are many other factors. While those factors such as a broken or missing shingle, gapped flashing and others can cause leaks on their own, the trouble becomes much more serious when moss adds to the problem. If moss starts to cause a leak in your roof, it needs to be checked immediately and not only should you fix the leak but also get the moss removed. Allowing moss to accumulate on your roof will cause leaks eventually and in the process will facilitate roof decay. You should not allow structural damage to your roof, which will cost you more to repair than fixing a leak.

Moss has the ability to invade the roofing materials. You may have shingles or planks. Moss would wheedle its way into the materials, creating leaks, gaps, small cracks or dents. In effect, moss would make your roof vulnerable to mold growth as moisture would seep into these dents and holes. You may eventually have to get your roof replaced if you don’t get rid of the moss.

You can remove moss with the help of a garden hose that has a spray nozzle and a scrub brush with a long handle. You may be tempted to use a pressure washer but that is unwise. If you are uncertain whether or not you can pull off the job, then just hire a professional.


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Do You Know What Your Roof Is Made Of?

Knowing What Your Roof is Made Of

The first step to knowing how to take care of your roof is to first know what it is made out of. There are several different materials that are used for roofing throughout the world and they each have their own set of care instructions. It is our job to make sure that we not only maintain, build, and restore your roof over the years, but to also let you know what it’s made of so you know how to preserve the most important part of your home.

The following 7 categories are the most common types of roofs that you will find on homes in your general area.

  1. Shingles

Shingles are by far the most popular choice for residential properties since they are cost efficient and durable. The majority of shingles are made out of wood fiber, cellulose, and a foundation of paper. They are then covered in asphalt to help make the materials waterproof and they are finished with an adhesive coating that includes ceramic granules to help provide an aesthetic appeal.

  1. Thermoplastic Polyolefins (TPO)

These roofing materials are a blend of polypropylene plastic and ethylene propylene rubber. They are available in several different types of thicknesses and they are generally the roofing material of choice for commercial properties. They may also be seen on residential roofs that do not have slopes. They are incredibly durable and resilient against weathering.

  1. Metal

Metal roofs are one of the most resilient materials that you can install on both commercial and residential properties. In most cases they will be made out of steel or aluminum and are seen as a specialty material for luxury homes or architecturally pleasing houses. It is more expensive than other types of roofing but it is considered as the most durable material available.

  1. PVC

PVC is an inexpensive roofing membrane that you will see on commercial buildings as it is flexible and UV-resistant. In most cases it will contain several materials including pigments, resins, and fiberglass.

  1. Composite

Composite materials are used to mimic the appearance of real tile roofs but they are more environmentally friendly and sturdy than the real thing. You generally won’t be able to tell the different between composite materials and real wood or slate.

  1. Modified Bitumen

As another type of material commonly used on flat surfaces, modified bitumen is applied by using a torch, asphalts, or adhesives. It will be applied to a roofing system by rolling it out and overlapping the edges with another roll.

  1. Slate

Slate has a natural and beautiful appearance making it a great addition to modern homes. Since it naturally occurs in the earth, it is long lasting though it may be incredibly expensive to maintain over time.

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Before You List Your House For Sale Should You Replace the Roof

Before You List Your House For Sale Should You Replace the Roof

The market is still pretty tough for sellers. It is absolutely a buyers market. There are a few things that you can do to attract buyers and beat out the competition. Buyers are savvy and they know what a value it is when they get a home with a new roof.

Homeowners make some major mistakes when they are trying to enhance their property to entice buyers. They focus their attention on the wrong things. It is fine to fix up, paint and add some attractive landscaping but when you have stiff competition it is important that you really put your best foot forward with your house and stand out from the pack.

A new roof can do that for you!

Home Warranty

How much do you think it would improve your chances of selling your home if you could transfer over a roof warranty that would give the buyers peace of mind? In all likelihood it would be a huge selling point.

Having a new roof means that your buyer will not have to worry about repairs or replacement for years and years. This can be a huge selling point and it may also be a necessity.

Your Liability

If you sell a house and do not disclose structural issues or roof damage you may be held liable for the repairs. If you try to sell the house “as is” to avoid disclosing that there is a problem with the roof, good luck.

The market is such that buyers do not need to resort to “as is” condition. It is also a huge turn off to anyone that is looking for a house to buy to have to consider what is wrong with an “as is” property. Most people will not even look at a property that has that terminology listed in the ad because they are afraid of what they are getting into and rightfully so.

When you put your money where it will make the most difference and do the most good it will help you to sell your home at a higher price with the peace of mind to know that you are not passing on any issues to the buyer.

Get the Full Value

Why settle for less than you property is worth because you are having some roofing issues? You will easily make back the investment of a new roof when you sell your home.

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4 Things to Avoid When Buying a Roof

Roofing No No’s

Every home owner will experience a time when they need to evaluate the condition of their roof, whether they live in a newer home or an older one. At times we can find ourselves asking if we should choose the less experienced but less expensive contractor or if we’re even able to save money by trying to repair or install the roof ourselves. It is always important to remember that even though hiring a professional may be the more expensive option, it is the best option available to you. Below are 4 things that you need to avoid when you’re making decisions about your roof.

  1. Repairing or Replacing a Roof with No Experience

Having little to no experience when you’re working on your roof is the worst thing that you could do. It is far more beneficial to leave it up to the professionals as you could find yourself spending thousands of dollars and doing the job incorrectly. You will also be putting yourself and your family at risk. There have been numerous times where our team has been called in to repair a do-it-yourself job at home and the previous work isn’t only a waste of the home owner’s time, but their money as well.

  1. Buying the Materials Yourself

There’s a reason as to why our team works with a certain materials as their durability and integrity has been tried and tested over many years of use. Finding the best deal for roofing materials is always a good thing, but it can also be advantageous to rely on the prices that your contractor can get. You won’t have to worry about buying the wrong amount of materials and in most cases your contractor will have access to better ones that will last a longer period of time.

  1. Installing the Wrong Products

It is important to note that not every roofing product is good for your roof, in fact there are plenty of products that might be easy to use at first but will cause a significant amount of damage over time. Relying on the professionals will help to make sure that the right components are installed in the right way.

  1. Hiring the Wrong Contractor

Making sure the job is done right is just as important as making sure the right materials are used. Take the time to find a reputable contractor in your area that has an extensive list of references that you can contact. Talk to friends and family members to see if they know anyone that would be able to help you with your roofing needs.

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A Few Things to Consider When Replacing Your Residential Roof

Things To Consider For The Roof Of Your Home

There is a number of factors that will determine how and when you are going to need to replace your residential roof. These are the things to consider when you are going to need to repair or replace your roof.

Location, Location, Location

Is your home near the water or near an open field? Are you living in an area where there is a lot of high winds? If so, then you will want to consider the higher level or grade materials for your roof instead of the standard basic shingles. If you reside near an ocean, salt water can also play a role in how your roof holds up. The salt in the water can affect the metal of the roof so if the roof is made from metal, have it inspected regularly.

Money for your Budget

Your money should be counted and spent according to how much you have, it is an object therefore should be spent according to as such. The residential roof of your home should be ecological as well as well cared for. The roof goes up in levels from a basic roof to a 3 tab shingle roof. The 3 tab shingle roof is made to withstand a wind speed of up to 60 miles per hour. It is a good, quality roof but the architectural roof is made to hold up to 130 miles per hour. The main difference is the price between the different levels. The value of your home is shown through by the way you care for it therefore if at all possible, make the decision to accommodate your budget for the better roof.

Slope of The Roof

The slope of your roof can play a major role in the style of roof you need for your home. There is a flat roof and a 3:12 pitch that is considered to be a low slope roof which will require a membrane roof system in order to perform at its best.

Rental or Home?

The people who choose to live someplace for long term reasons are the ones who will typically spend the much needed money on the roof system. They look at their home as an investment and not just someplace to live. They take pride in what they own so therefore will spend more money on keeping their home safe. For this reason, if you plan on staying longer, spend more money on your roofing system to keep it intact and for as long as possible before you need to make more repairs or replace.