roof installation contractor

When to Start Preparing for a Roof Replacement

Depending on the design of your home, you may not be able to see much of the roof from street level. As a result, it is easy to forget about the important role the roof plays in the day to day protection of your home. Your home’s roof is not something that should need to be replaced often – but it also isn’t going to last forever.

With this article, we are going to offer some tips on how you know when it is the right time to prepare for a home roofing replacement.

Take a Quick Look

As mentioned above, it might be difficult to see all of your roof from ground level. However, you should be able to see at least part of the roof, so take a look when you have a moment and see if you can spot any signs of trouble. Are your shingles looking a little worse for the wear? Are they broken, cracked, or are some of them simply missing? Problems with your shingles are the first sign that your roof may be headed toward needing replacement.

Of course, it is certainly possible to perform repairs on a roof, and that is probably where you will start if you are seeing issues with your shingles. However, it does need to be noted that you’ll likely wind up needing to replace the roof if you are consistently having shingle problems. It’s up to you to decide how long you want to keep investing time and money in repairs before you go ahead and have the replacement completed.

Check the Calendar

Beyond looking at the condition of your roof, you can simply look at your calendar and count how many years your roof has been protecting your home. If it’s more than 20, you can be sure that time is running out on this current roof. You probably aren’t going to get more than 30 years from a roof, and you may get as few as 15. Using time alone is not a good way to decide when roof replacement is needed, but it certainly can be a helpful gauge.

Attic Check

Perhaps the most important place you can go when trying to assess the condition of your roof is the attic. While in the attic, check for a couple of things. First, of course, are signs of water damage. If you see stains from leaks, or wet wood from a recent rain, it’s quite likely that you’ll end up needing to have the roof replaced. Also, if you visit the attic during daylight hours, pay attention to any spots where you may see light coming through the roof. The attic should be relatively dark even in the middle of the day, so light sneaking through the roof is a bad sign.

You don’t want to wait too long to replace your roof. Yes, this project is a significant expense, but your roof is responsible for the important task of protecting your home. You’d rather get the roof done right away so you can avoid the kinds of costly damage that can result from letting an old roof stay in place too long.

roofing vent

How Roof Ventilation Works for Your Home

It is amazing how many of the systems in your home you can simply take for granted, even if you have lived there for years. There are a variety of things which take place mostly ‘behind the scenes’ in your home, and those things are largely responsible for it being the comfortable, relaxing place that it is for you and your family.

Residential roofing ventilation is a great example of this concept. There is a good chance you have never before thought of roof ventilation, unless you had a specific problem with your roof that required you to address the ventilation system. With that said, proper roof ventilation is important for the overall functioning and well-being of your home.

Let’s take a look at the basics of how roof ventilation works in your home.

Natural or Mechanical

The two basic methods of creating airflow within an attic are mechanical or natural. As the names would indicate, natural air flow uses natural forces to circulate air effectively, while the mechanical option utilizes a power source to get the job done. It is generally preferred to use natural ventilation whenever possible. Fortunately, when designed and installed correctly, natural ventilation can work nicely in most homes.

When you utilize natural ventilation, you are taking advantage of the fact that hot air rises. The warm air in your attic is going to rise to the topic of the attic, creating higher pressure in those top sections. When there is cooler air at the bottom of the attic, and a pressure difference as a result, ventilation can take place.

It’s All About the Vents

When talking about natural ventilation, it is the vents which are key to the success of the system. Specifically, there are two types of vents to consider – exhaust vents and intake vents. Again, the names here say it all. Exhaust vents let the exhaust (warm air) escape the attic, and they are usually located at the ridges of your roof (and thus are known as ridge vents). Intake vents allow cool air to enter the attic, causing the warm air to move out the top of the roof through the exhaust vents.

If you don’t know what you are looking for, it can be hard to spot the vents on some roofs. Specifically, you may not notice the intake vents right away, since they tend to be tucked under the edge of the roof discreetly. In this way, intake vents are able to do their job nicely without detracting in any way from the visual appeal of the home.

It is important to understand that the ideal ventilation system for a given roof will depend on the specifics of the roof, the local climate, and other circumstances. This is not a case of one-size-fits-all, as homes are too varied to apply the same venting plan to each and every structure. We hope this quick look at roof ventilation has given you a new appreciation for one of the most important systems in your home.

roof vent

The Advantages of Having Proper Roof Ventilation

When you think of the key systems that keep your home running properly, what do you think of first? Most likely, you would like things like plumbing, the electrical system, your heating and cooling system, etc. And, of course, all of those items are extremely important. With that said, we would like to take time in this article to highlight another important system – roof ventilation. There are a variety of advantages associated with proper roof ventilation, and we are going to discuss some of those points below. Let’s get started!

Save on Energy Costs

Everyone likes to save money, and a properly vented home roofing system may be able to help you do just that. When your roof is vented correctly, that venting will help the air in the attic to remain at a lower temperature. The warmer air will work its way out through the vents, and cooler air will replace it. When your attic is cooler, your air conditioner won’t need to work quite as hard to keep the living spaces at a comfortable temperature. Good roof ventilation is not going to eliminate the need for an air conditioner on a hot summer day, but it can help to make the AC units job a little bit easier. And, of course, running your air conditioner less frequently will mean a lower energy bill at the end of the month.

Even Things Out

It can be rather frustrating to live in a home where one room feels dramatically warmer or cooler than another room. It’s hard to keep this kind of house comfortable, as you are constantly fidgeting with the thermostat to strike the right balance. When a home has a poorly vented roof, you may be more likely to experiences temperature extremes within the house. Work to improve your venting and you may be able to even out the temperatures between areas of your home.

Add Years to Your Roof

One of the most compelling reasons to concern yourself with roof ventilation is the fact that it may be able to help you to get a longer life span from your roof. The benefit of ventilation can be seen in both the summer and the winter. In the summer, good ventilation will help to keep your attic cooler than it would be otherwise, which will help to protect the condition of your shingles. Without sufficient ventilation, the significant heat buildup in the attic could damage your shingles from below, reducing the length of their effective life.

Once winter rolls around, the ventilation in your attic will pay off for another reason. In this case, we are talking about avoiding ice dams. If your attic is too warm in the winter, due to poor ventilation, that built-up heat can melt the snow and ice which may be resting on your roof. Water will then run down to the edge of the roof, where it may refreeze because it no longer as the warm part of the attic to keep it melted. You now have ice around the edges of your roof, and it can gradually build up farther onto the roof, potentially damaging the entire system in the process. With proper roof ventilation, you may be able to avoid this potentially serious winter issue.

leaky ceiling

How to Locate a Home Roof Leak

A roof leak is a serious problem in your home. With the record amount of rain we have had here in central Maryland here in May of 2018, many home roofing systems have sustained damage. In times such as these when water has access to a part of your home where it is not supposed to be, you need to take prompt action. If left unchecked, water can do serious damage, and you may wind up spending thousands of dollars to fix the problem. It should go without saying that roof leak is going to need to be addressed right away before any long-term damage is done to the structure.

At first, you will probably realize something is wrong because you are seeing small signs of water damage. Maybe there is a bit of mold growing, or maybe you see a couple of water stains on your ceiling. Those are possible indications of a roof leak, but what is the next step? Finding the leak might not be quite as easy as you would think at first. If you think that the roof leak is always going to be located directly above the signs of water damage you have spotted, you are in for a big surprise. In many cases, the water will have traveled quite a complicated route to wind up where you found it.

A Flashlight is Your Friend

As you might guess, you are going to need to visit your attic in order to look for the leaky point in your roof. It is almost certainly going to be dark in the attic, so bring a good flashlight with you for the visit. Of course, you’ll need to be careful while exploring the attic space, since you won’t have much headroom or a solid floor. Shine your light up at the underside of the roof to see if you can spot anything that doesn’t look right.

An Artificial Storm

Ideally, you will be able to spot the leaky spot in your roof during a period of dry weather. That will allow repairs to be made before rougher weather moves in, hopefully limiting the damage that takes place in your home. However, it’s hard to see the spot where a roof might be leaking when it is dry outside. There may not be much evidence to work from, which is why you might want to create your own storm. Have one person spray the roof with a hose while the other person uses a flashlight in the attic to watch for drips. If there is a leak in your roof, this method is likely to help you find it in short order.

Take Action

It’s not worth much to find a leak in your roof if you don’t bother to fix it right away. Once the offending spot is identified, you’ll have two choices – fix it yourself, or bring in a pro. When in doubt, bring in a professional to keep yourself safe and make sure it gets done right. Unless you have experience and know you can do your own repair safely, the cost of a professional contractor will be worth it to both stop the leak and avoid the potential for an accident if you were to climb up on the roof yourself.

damaged residential roof shingles

How to Tell if Your Roof Has Sustained Wind Damage

Even after the recent windstorm here in central Maryland, some wind damage to your roof can still be hard to spot. Depending on the design of your home, it may be difficult – if not impossible – to see all parts of the roof from the ground. Unless you have physical evidence on the ground that damage has occurred, such as shingles which have come down off the roof, you may be unaware that there is a problem. And, of course, that could mean trouble. If the damage is not repaired quickly, the long-term health of your home could be compromised.

If you think that your home needs to be physically hit by something in order to suffer roof damage, you are mistaken. While something like a falling tree or even just a branch can obviously do damage, it is possible for the wind alone to take its toll. Specifically, the edges and corners of the roof are most likely to be damaged by a strong wind, as they will usually experience the more powerful forces.

Take a Look

It may be obvious, but the easiest way to tell if your residential roof as sustained wind damage is to take a look for yourself. Start by seeing what you can see from ground level. Walk around the home and look up to the edges of the roof. Even if you can’t see the surface of the roof, you may be able to spot damage around the sides. For instance, you might be able to see that some shingles are missing or at least curled up on the edges. Also, you should be able to see the top line of the roof from ground level, so look over that area for damage as well.

At some point, it may be necessary to get up onto the roof, or at least a ladder, to get a better look. It should be noted that you should only take this action if you are comfortable doing so and have the proper equipment. If not, call in a professional for help. It is never worth risking your own personal health just to get a look at your roof.

Stay Inside

You can actually evaluate the health of your roof without heading up a ladder, or even going outside. Peek into your attic and shine a light up toward the underside of the roof. What do you see? If you notice discolored spots, those may be water damage. Obviously, this would be cause for concern, and you would want to take action right away.

In the end, any roof damage will likely need to be addressed by a trained professional. The health of your roof is not something you can afford to take chances with, since it is so important with regard to protecting your home as a whole. If you know that you have sustained wind damage on your roof during a recent storm, or even if you just suspect there is a problem, get help and restore your roof to proper condition as soon as possible.

March 2018 Maryland Windstorm Notice

We want our roofing customers to know that we are doing the best we possibly can to manage the number of phone calls and emails since the windstorm here in central Maryland. We are asking everyone to leave a voicemail and we will get back to you as soon as possible. Please do not leave multiple messages and emails as it makes it very confusing and harder for us as there are multiple people in the office trying to get back to everyone regarding roofing repairs. We appreciate your patience and rest assured everyone is working as quickly as possible to get back to you.

Thanks,

PJ

new home roof

How a New Roof Can Increase Your Home’s Value

Your home is the largest asset you own – at least, that is true for most people. To make sure you are doing everything you can to protect that asset, you want to watch carefully for important maintenance points as the years go by. It is easy to take the health of your home for granted, but doing so can be a mistake.

One of the most important pieces of the puzzle when it comes to your home’s health is the roof. The roof is the first line of defense against the weather – especially with the variety of temperatures and elements here in central Maryland – and even just a couple minor leaks can lead to major problems. If there are any issues with the condition of your current roof, having a new roof installed may provide a big boost to the overall value of the property.

So, how can having a new roof on your home help you extract more value from this asset when it comes time to sell? Let’s take a look at some of the key points.

Great Return on Investment

It shouldn’t be a surprise to learn that a home with a new roof is going to sell for more than a similar home with an old roof. In the same way that a car with brand new tires is worth slightly more than a vehicle with worn out tires, a new roof is going to add value. But, of course, there is a cost to having the roof installed, so is it worth it in the end?

The statistics say yes. You are likely to recover more than 60% of the cost of your new roof when you go to sell the home. That is an impressive number, considering you will also be able to enjoy the benefits of the new roof for the period of time you remain in the home. And, the roof will do a good job of protecting the house, helping to maintain its value as time passes.

Add to Curb Appeal

Selling your home has a lot to do with curb appeal, as many buyers will rule out a property as soon as they drive up, if it is not visually appealing. Naturally, a home with a new roof is going to look nicer than one with an aging top. If you pick out a roof which blends nicely with the rest of the home, and the surrounding neighborhood, you can do yourself a big favor from a curb appeal perspective.

Steer Clear of Inspection Problems

You don’t want to have problems pop up during the inspection process when getting ready to sell your home. If you have secured a good offer and you are trying to close the deal, the last thing you want to deal with is unexpected inspection problems at the last moment. With a new roof, you are much less likely to run into such issues.

Is it necessary to install a new roof in order to sell your home? Of course not. It can, however, make the process much easier, and you’ll likely come away with better offers in the end.

How Ice & Snow Can Impact Your Roof

snow and ice on home roof
As a homeowner, you may tend to think of your roof as being indestructible. Day after day, it does its job, keeping you warm and dry while the weather rages on outside. Unfortunately, your roof is not indestructible, and some of the more powerful elements can do serious damage over time. You need to understand what it is that can make your roof vulnerable, and what you can do to protect it effectively.

In this case, we are talking about ice and snow, and how they can affect your roof. As you might imagine, the presence of snow and ice can have quite a damaging effect over time, especially if you live here in Maryland and the mid-Atlantic, where these conditions can be quite common during the winter months. So, what can ice and snow do to your roof? Let’s take a look.

Ice Dams

These should be a point of concern for anyone living in a cold weather environment. An ice dam is a buildup of ice at the edge of your roof. When your gutters and downspouts fill up with ice – or a combination of ice and debris – you may not have anywhere for thawing snow to drain when temperatures start to rise. The snow is likely to melt faster than the ice, meaning water will be building up on your roof and it may not be able to escape. In the end, this water could work back up under the shingles, damaging in the inside of your home.

For most homeowners, the prudent course of action when an ice dam forms is to call in a professional for help. Unless you have the right combination of equipment and experience, getting up on a frozen roof is a recipe for disaster. A professional contractor will know how to handle this job safely, and will have the equipment to do so.

Regular Inspections in Warmer Weather

Keeping your roof healthy throughout the winter actually starts during the warmer months. If you can have your roof inspected for any signs of trouble while the weather is nice, basic repairs can be performed before the snow returns. You may not be able to see these problems when standing on the ground looking up at your roof, so calling a professional home roofing contractor to diagnose and potentially repair problems is worth your time and money.

Use a Roof Rake

As mentioned above, it is dangerous to get up on a frozen roof as an average homeowner. However, you can work to protect the condition of your roof in the winter by purchasing a roof rake. This is a product with an extremely long handle that allows you to clear some of the snow off of your roof while standing safely on the ground. Of course, even while doing this job, you need to take care to avoid falling snow, or icicles which may come off the gutters.

By being proactive about the health of your roof, you can be in a much better position to maintain the condition of your home over the long run. Prepare for winter well in advance, call in professional help when necessary, and always be careful when performing any kind of maintenance on your own.

How to Prepare Your Roof for Winter

snow on roof of maryland home
For a roof, winter is the toughest time of year in many parts of the country. If you live in a location that frequently sees winter storms, you should know that your roof is the first line of defense for your home. A healthy, strong roof can go a long way toward keeping that winter weather where it belongs – outside of your house.

But what can you do to make sure your roof is up to the challenge? With winter fast approaching, it is best to act fast. The tips below should help you get ready for the long, cold winter ahead.

Make Sure It Is Clean

One of the easiest things you can do to get your roof ready for the winter is simply to clean it of loose debris that may have built up over the year. Things like leaves and branches can allow mold or mildew to develop if they are left alone while the wet season arrives. Additionally, it is important to check your gutters and downspouts at this time. Those are the pathways used by water to get off of the roof – if they are clogged, the water will have nowhere to go, and it may pool up on the roof, causing serious damage. Of course, you should always exercise great caution when cleaning your roof, or turn the job over to a professional.

Check Around the Edges

If there is anything wrong with your roof, the first sign may come in the form of issues around the edges. Walk the perimeter of your home and look up at the edge of the roof for any signs of trouble. If you do see something that gives you cause for concern, call in a professional who can take a closer look and help you understand what the problem may be – if there is a problem in the first place.

Monitor the Condition of Your Insulation

It is a good idea to check inside the attic of your home to view the condition of your insulation. How does it look? Are there any obvious signs of water making its way into the home? If your insulation is wet, it is almost certain that your roof has sprung a leak in one or more places. With winter approaching, you will want to get this taken care of right away. Don’t just think you can replace the insulation and move on. Rather, it is just as important to address the root cause of the problem so you don’t find yourself right back in the same situation months from now.

Paying attention to the condition of your roof over time is the best way to make sure it can handle the harsh winter months. It is easy to take your roof for granted, but this part of your home can degrade just like anything else. With some simple attention and perhaps a little bit of repair or maintenance, you can brave the cold winter elements knowing that your home is ready for the challenge.