Tag: PA roofer

  • Inspecting and Maintaining Your Pennsylvania Roof

    Courtesy of HouseLogic

    Courtesy of HouseLogic

    From pouring rain to high winds, your Pennsylvania roof faces a lot of wear and tear.  That's why it is important to inspect and maintain it regularly in order to avoid costly repairs.

    Here are some tips, courtesy of HouseLogic, on how to inspect and maintain your roof:

    Basic inspection

    Warning signs include cracked caulk or rust spots on flashing; shingles that are buckling, curling, or blistering; and worn areas around chimneys, pipes, and skylights. If you find piles of colored grit from asphalt roof tiles in the gutters, that’s a bad sign—those sand-like granules cover the surface of roof shingles and shield them from the sun’s damaging ultraviolet rays. Black algae stains are just cosmetic, but masses of moss and lichen could signal roofing that’s decayed underneath.

    Any loose, damaged, or missing shingles should be replaced immediately. Check for popped nails that need to be hammered back in place. Metal flashing around chimneys, skylights and attic vents that has separated needs to be resealed with caulk.

    Plumbing vent pipes are often flashed with a simple rubber collar that can deteriorate in the hot sun. Check closely for cracks and gaps. Make sure a chimney cap is present and properly installed. “Caught early, these are easy repairs,” says Beahm. “Left alone, they can turn into very costly problems.”

    If you’re comfortable working on a roof, then it’s not too difficult to replace shingles and caulk flashing yourself. Cost: $24 for a bundle of shingles, $5.75 for roofing caulk. Allow a half-day to make a few repairs.

    Be alert to early signs of a roof leak

    Check the condition of your roof at least once a year, and plan in advance for necessary repairs. Early signs of trouble include dark areas on ceilings, peeling paint on the underside of roof overhangs, damp spots alongside fireplaces, and water stains on pipes venting the water heater or furnace.

    If you’re inspecting on your own and find worrisome signs, especially if the roof is old or there’s been a storm with heavy wind or hail, get a professional assessment. Some roofing companies do this for free; specialized roof inspectors, like those who work through the National Roof Certification and Inspection Association, charge about $175.

    Remove leaves from the roof

    If you have a simple peaked roof surrounded by low landscaping, your roof probably stays clear of leaves on its own. But if the roof has many intersecting surfaces and dormers, or if towering trees are nearby, piles of leaves probably collect in roof valleys or near chimneys. If you don’t remove them, they’ll trap moisture and gradually decompose, allowing wind-blown seeds to take root.

    If you have a low-slope roof and a one-story house, you may be able to pull the leaves down with a soft car-washing brush on a telescoping pole. Or, you can use a specialty tool like a roof leaf rake, which costs about $20. A leaf blower gets the job done too, especially on dry leaves, but you’ll need to go up on the roof to use it. If leaves are too wet or too deep, you might need to wash them off with a garden hose. Don’t use a pressure washer, which can force water up under the shingles.

    Trim overhanging branches

    A little prevention in the form of tree-trimming goes a long way toward keeping leaves and moss off your roof, and it can also keep squirrels and other rodents from gnawing into your roof or siding. To keep critters away, remove branches within 10 feet of the roof.

    If that’s not possible, wrap a 2-foot-wide sheet-metal band around nearby tree trunks, 6 to 8 feet above the ground, so squirrels can’t climb up. Trimming branches that hang over the roof is a job for a pro, though, or you might cause more damage than you prevent.

    Prevent ice dams

    If you’re plagued by ice buildup on the roof, removing some or all of the snow between storms might forestall leaks into your house. Don’t try to pry off ice that’s already formed, since that could damage the roof. Use a roof rake to dislodge snow within 3 or 4 feet of the gutters. Get a telescoping pole and work from the ground, if possible.

    If you must be on a ladder, work at an angle so the falling snow doesn’t push you over. Inadequate insulation and air leaks into your attic greatly increase the risk of ice dams, so once the storms pass, address those problems, too.

    An alternative is to hire a roofing company to remove the ice buildup. Technicians will steam away the ice and remove any remaining snow. Expect to pay around $500 and up for the service.

    Clean the gutters

    When leaves collect in the gutters, the rainwater-collection system becomes clogged and roof runoff spills over the side. That can damage your siding and cause basement flooding. Worse, the water can back up into the structure of your home, where it leads to rot, infestations of wood-destroying insects, and interior paint damage.

    Forget about the various screens and covers marketed to keep leaves out—they don’t work and can actually worsen problems, says according to engineer Victor Popp, a home inspector in Hingham, Mass. Instead, just keep your gutters clean by reaching gloved hands into them and scooping out the muck—or hiring a gutter company to do the job (around $100 to $200). Clean gutters at least once each fall, plus once in the spring, depending on how leafy your property is.

    Clear the roof of moss

    “Neglecting moss can shorten the life of your roof by several years,” warns Jim Katen, a home inspector with Associated Master Inspectors in Gaston, Ore. “Moss keeps the body of an asphalt shingle soaked so it tends to get more freeze-thaw damage in the winter.” Added to that, it produces organic byproducts that make the shingles more brittle. Nor are shake roofs immune from moss damage. Moss holds moisture against the wood, speeding rot. Moss can even crack cement or ceramic tiles.

    Moss eradication should begin in the fall by applying a moss killer intended for roofs (granules for lawn use contain iron which will stain a roof). In the spring, use a broom to remove remaining dead moss. Spread moss killer along the ridge of the roof and on any remaining green patches. Cost: $20 for moss killer to treat 3,000 square feet of roof. Allow about 3 hours to sweep the roof, clear the gutters, and apply the granules.

    Replacing the roof

    If your asphalt roof is 15 years old or more, it may be due for replacement. The national average cost for a new asphalt shingle roof is $18,488, according to Remodeling magazine’s 2013 Cost vs. Value Report, of which you’ll recoup $11,633 at resale (62.9%). For high-end materials, such as standing-seam metal, the cost jumps to as much as $33,880.

    Exterior Specialties of PA is here to help with all of your pennsylvania roof inspection, roof maintenance and roof repair needs.  Call us today at (215) 453-9180 for your FREE estimate.

     

     

  • Save Money and Sanity With a Long-Term Roofing Plan

    about2

    After a new roof is installed on your home it is often ignored. Generally the furthest thing from a  homeowner or business owner's mind is the (literal) roof over their head.

    However, not having a proper maintenance plan for your roof will end up costing you more money and decrease the lifespan of your roofing system. By taking care of minor problems now, you will be able to avoid most big problems in the future.

    Here are some tips to monitoring your roofing system, courtesy of FacilitiesNet:

    Through regular inspection, facility managers can track the progress of roof issues, providing advance warning when the roofing system is approaching the end of its service life. Staying apprised of roof conditions may also save money by preventing damage to the building interior. By documenting deterioration and leaks, facility managers can respond promptly to repair needs and monitor emerging conditions. Looking back on past inspection logs, facility managers will then have the information to determine the best course of action. Otherwise, the roof may fail unexpectedly, requiring costly and disruptive emergency replacement.

    Roof inspection data may also be used to plan ahead for replacement. It's generally easier to budget for a planned reroofing project than it is to scrape together funds at the last minute to deal with sudden roof failure — and to clean up water damage to building envelope elements and interior finishes.

    Collecting roof condition information on a regular basis establishes a database of information on manufacturers, warranties, age of roofing assemblies and accessories, past repairs, and the success of maintenance efforts. Between inspections, facility managers can build on these inspection reports by documenting changes in conditions, including leaks and storm damage, on an ongoing basis. This information can prove useful when determining when and how repairs or replacements should be performed.

    In early spring, as the weather warms, check for damage from snow and ice. Remove any storm debris that may have collected over the colder months, and evaluate the roof membrane for signs of wear, puncture, or failure. Also include penetrations, flashings, drains, and accessories in your assessment. A checklist can aid in keeping written records of observations.

    Exterior Specialties of PA is here to help with all of your pennsylvania roofing inspection, roofing plans, roofing repair and roofing maintenance needs. Call us today at 215-453-9180 for your FREE estimate!

     

  • Dark vs. Light Roof Shingles

    Courtesy of Familyhandyman.com

    Courtesy of Familyhandyman.com

    There is not debating whether or not lighter colored roof shingles save on cooling costs for homes.  Lighter shingles help keep your attic temperatures down. However, when it comes to whether light roof shingles last longer than dark roof shingles, there is no definitive answer.

    According to Family Handyman:

    One major shingle manufacturer I spoke with said its tests showed no difference. Its position is that a properly ventilated attic provides enough cooling to offset the increased heat retention of dark shingles.

    But some studies dispute that. They claim that since heat always increases molecular activity, and since dark shingles always run hotter, the heat factor alone dictates a shorter life for dark shingles. Yet another study suggests that the sun's UV rays play a much bigger role in shingle degradation than heat.

    In a nutshell though, most experts agree that the most important thing when it comes to roof systems (and the longevity of its shingles) is proper attic ventilation.  So, make sure you have enough roof soffit vents and you should be fine, unless you want to save money on cooling costs, and then you can also pick the lighter colored roof shingles.

    Exterior Specialties of PA is here to help with all of your roof shingles, roof repair, roof installation and roof maintenance needs. Call us today at 215-453-9180 for your FREE estimate!

  • Criteria for Selecting the Right Roof

    courtesy of houselogic

    There are a lot of things to think about when replacing your roof or installing a new roof.  There are many different aspects of the home or building you have to think about when selecting the type of roof you need.

    Here are some criteria, courtesy of FacilitiesNet:

    Geographic Location:  This includes whether the property is located on the west coast or east coast, the north or south. But it also includes local considerations, such as the building's orientation and if there are nearby trees.

    Local Environmental Laws: What is allowed as far as applications, odors, VOCs.

    Building Characteristics: These include the slope of the roof, the shape of the building, the elevation and the level of accessibility to the roof.

    Appearance: Is the roof visible from the ground or visible from other buildings such that you have concerns about looking industrial or maybe want more of a green look to it with vegetation?

    Use of the Roof: How much foot traffic is going to be on the roof?

    Use of the Building: A hospital or a resort has different concerns with roofing and reroofing than an office building or a shopping center, as far as disturbance to the inhabitants. A library or a bank many times have concerns with the equipment set up, the noise, the disturbance to the customers. It's another thing to look at environmentally. One roof may be easier and quieter to install than another, all things being equal.

    Weather: Does a particular roof type have a vulnerability to hail, ice or snow damage? A particular type of roof may not be selected because of the incidence of hail in that area. Even if the owner is insured against hail damage, what is going to be effect of the inconvenience of having to go through a reroof?

    Quality of Maintenance: What is the quality of maintenance that will be available? Will there be an in-house maintenance crew that can be trained and is interested in the condition of the roof?

    Utility Costs: Is a reflective/cool roof important? For example, is the facility an office building where the owner is paying the utility cost or is the tenant paying the utility cost? It's a whole different animal. Some owners are very concerned about their tenant's utility costs as a selling point to keep their occupancy. Others don't care what their tenants have to pay; they just want a cheap roof.

    Exterior Specialties of PA is here to help with all of your pennsylvania roofing and siding, roofing installation, and roofing repair needs. Call us today at 215.453.9180 for your FREE estimate!

  • Power-Assisted Roof Vents Can Boost Energy Efficiency

    Courtesy of House Logic

    While Soffit and exhaust roof vents can protect your home (and especially your attic) from heat buildup, there are other ways that may be more effective.  According to House Logic, "A power-assisted roof vent uses a motorized fan to suck hot air out of your attic, keeping your house cooler and drier while reducing potential problems such as rot, mold, and ice dams."

    Check out the benefits and costs of roof vents in this helpful article from House Logic:

    Power up your attic ventilation

    Power-assisted roof vents work even in still air and ensure vigorous ventilation. They relieve heat buildup in the attic, where temperatures can reach 150 degrees or more in summer. Reducing attic heat buildup prevents trapped, hot air from warming ceilings and radiating back into your living areas—a problem that also is avoided with proper attic insulation.

    Mount power-assisted roof vents near the roof peak on the back slope of the roof, where they are less visible from the street, or high on a gable end wall.

    Typically, a single power-assisted roof vent will service an average-sized home.

    Costs for power-assisted roof vents

    Power-assisted roof vents cost between $70 and $300, plus labor to install, and $2 or $3 a month to operate. For another $90 to $150, you can include an optional humidistat and thermostat, which turn on the fan when excessive humidity and/or temperatures are detected inside your attic space.

    If your attic lacks electrical wiring, it may be necessary to have a licensed electrician run a circuit or line extension to power the fan. Depending on the complexity of the project, figure on paying $50 to $100 per hour for a job that may take 2 to 4 hours.

    Going solar

    Solar-powered roof vents have zero operating costs and sell for $350 to $600. Some are eligible for state tax incentives and local utility rebates.

    Some builders complain that solar-powered roof vents may not work properly when it’s cloudy, and that these types of vents don’t pull enough air.

    Drawbacks of power-assisted roof vents

    While roof vents definitely remove hot air from attics, their effect on air conditioning needs is disputed.

    Some experts believe that because power-assisted roof vents evacuate hot air, they create negative pressures inside the home, drawing in hot outside air and increasing the load on existing air conditioning systems. However, this potential problem typically is avoided with the addition of adequate soffit vents, which allow fresh air into the attic.

    Another concern is that a roof vent adds another penetration through roofing materials, and that the vibrations caused by the motorized fan made lead to the failure of caulks and sealants, increasing the risk of water leaks.

    Exterior Specialties of PA is here to assist with all of your roof vent installation, roofing installation, roofing installation and roofing maintenance needs.  Call us today at (215) 773-9181 for your FREE estimate.

     

     

  • Fire Safety

    When it comes to your home one of the first thing on your mind should fire safety since one mistake can ruin your home and everything inside.

    Make sure that when your roof is being built or replaces that all materials being used are fire resistant. You should also be aware of the safety and protection rating that the roof has.

    When is comes to fire safety ratings there are three different classes. Class A, B and C. Class A had the best and highest protection where Class C offers the least protection. These classes could be the difference from repairing your home and roof after a fire or having to rebuild it from scratch.

    When having work done on your roof make sure you are in conversation with your contractor and understand which type of class rating is best for your home situation.

    Exterior Specialties of PA is always here for your repair and needs. Call anytime for a free estimate.

     

     

  • How To Walk On A Roof Safely

    One of the most important things when it comes to roofing is safety. Being on top of a roof can be a very dangerous thing if the correct precautions are not taken.

    The first step is to make sure you have a safe access to the roof. If you are using a ladder make sure it is sturdy and reaches 3 feet above the roof line.

    Another thing to keep in mind is the type of shoes you are wearing. Shoes with rubber soles or gum sole work boots with give you the best traction. Never wear flip flops or sandals!

    Make sure while you are walking on roof tops to stay away from the edge line and do not look over to edge, this may cause someone to become dizzy.

    Avoid walking on shingled or tarred roofs in hot summer heat as well as roofs with snow or frost on them

    Lastly always have a partner. Someone who is on the ground that can call for help if needed. Never walk on a roof top by your self.

    As always Exterior Specialties of PA is here to help you with all your roofing problems.

  • Energy Efficient Windows

    Energy efficient windows have come a long way in helping home owners cut back on their electric bills. Today saving money with energy savings is easier than ever.

    When it is time to buy new windows one of the key things you want to think about is where you live. Do you live in a cooler climate where you want to cool out and heat in. Or do you live in a warmer climate where you want the heat out and cool in. Energy Star has a great map helping you figure out what climate zone you are in (See image below).

    Next you want to pick your window rating, U-Value is the measurement of how much heat escapes from your home. The lower the number the better is cooler climates. The other rating is the Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC), this measures how much solar radiation enters the home. Here the lower the number is best in warmer climates.

    With energy efficient windows you not only save money on electric bills but you can get tax benefit too. If your windows have a U-Value or SHGC rating of .30 or lower you are eligiable for a tax credit. So you are always saving money with energy efficiant windows.

    As always Exterior Specialties of PA is always here to help you with any questions, call us today for a free estimate.

  • How Often Should You Clean Your Gutters?

    Homeowners ask this question a lot, how often should you clean your gutters?

    The answer is very simple, you should clean out your gutters at least twice a year. You should clean them more if they appear dirty. The best way to clean your gutters is to hire a professional. This will ensure that your gutters are cleaned properly and safely.

    By having a professionally clean your gutters you can be certain that all the dirt, leaves and any other objects are cleared from your gutters. Also they will make sure your downspout is clear and draining properly.

    If you have a routine system in place to clean your gutters it will help the life span of your gutter and roof. The Spring and Fall months are the best time to check and clean your gutters since these are the months with the most leaves, rain and debris that may clog your gutters.

    If gutters are not cleaned properly it can result in mold, fungus and or bacteria to grow in your gutters and up in your roof. Thus needing to be replaced.

    As always call us for any gutter questions.

     

  • Is It Time To Replace Your Roof?

    Does your roof leak, does it look damaged, Has your roof hit its life expectancy. Having to replace your roof can be a stressful time on any home owner. Can your roof be fixed with repairs or does it need to be fully replaced? Here are some great tips on deciding whether or not it is time to replace your roof.

    The first thing to consider is how old is your roof, an average roof will last up to 15 years depending on maintenance. After this life time it is normal for leaks and missing or torn shingles. If this occurs your roof is beyond repair and it needs to be replaced.

    Another thing that needs to be checked are the interior walls that touch the roof. If there are watermarks or paint damage then this is a sign of water see page and the roof will need to be completely replaced.

    Weather is also a factor when it comes to your roof, this is what will take down a life expectancy. If your roof sees a lot of direct sunlight, snow, wind, rain and or hail your roof will need to be replaces quicker than a roof that doesn't encounter a lot of weather.

    Other factors that may cause you to replace your roof are, an improper design, the wrong materials being used to installation, and or external factors.

    The decision to replace your roof is something that is inevitable. The most important thing is do not wait. At the first sign of damage call a contractor to have them give you a quote.

    And as always, Exterior Specialties is here to help! Call us today for a free estimate!