Tag: pa roofing repairs

  • Spring Home Maintenance Checklist

    swingset-seasonal-maintenance-getty_4789224da6ff8136c3972c29b0a033cc_3x2_jpg_300x200_q85

    Courtesy of House Logic

    It's March! You know what that means, right? It's almost spring and with the spring comes the dreaded spring maintenance and cleaning.  But, just because these chores aren't exciting doesn't mean they have to be miserable.

    To make your spring list easier to handle, here is a spring home maintenance checklist, courtesy of House Logic, to help you figure out when plan your maintenance and keep you from leaving it all until the last minute.  That way, you can keep your home in tip-top shape and enjoy the nice weather.

    Spring Home Maintenance Checklist

    Inspect your roof and chimney for winter damage. Shingles may need repair after a rough winter. Look for loose chimney bricks and mortar, rotting boards if you have a wooden chimney box, or rust if you have a chimney with metal parts and flashing. Inside the house, check your skylights to make sure there are no stains that indicate water leakage. If you suspect a problem, call a roofing contractor or a chimney sweep certified by the Chimney Safety Institute of America for an estimate for repairs. Minor roof repairs run from $100 to $350.

    Examine siding for signs of winter damage. Check for loose or rotting boards and replace; inspect the areas where siding meets windows and doors and caulk any gaps. Give your siding an annual cleaning using soap and water, a brush, and a garden hose. Also, make sure your house number hasn’t been damaged or obscured by dirt and is easily visible to emergency personnel.

    Schedule your spring air conditioning service. Get ready for the air conditioning season with your spring tune-up. If your system wasn’t running well last season, be sure to tell your contractor, and make sure he performs actual repairs if necessary rather than simply adding refrigerant. Follow your contractor as he works to get an idea of the maintenance checklist he uses and ask questions about what he’s doing. Your contractor’s checklist should include inspecting thermostats and controls, checking the refrigerant level, tightening connections, lubricating moving parts, checking the condensate drain, and cleaning the coils and blower. Expect to pay $50–$100 for a tune-up. Meanwhile, make sure your air filters are changed and vacuum out your floor registers.

    If duct cleaning is part of your scheduled service, make sure you aren’t charged extra for it. Some contractors may try to convince you to let them apply antifungal/antibacterial chemicals to the interior surfaces of the ducts; this isn’t usually necessary and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency says research has not yet confirmed its effectiveness or potential to be harmful. Any chemicals you add to your ducts will likely become airborne, so exercise caution.

    Check kids’ outdoor play areas. “Swingsets tend to get funky over the winter,” Gladstone says. “Tighten bolts and make sure things are still properly put together and safe to use.” Make sure no sharp edges or splinters are sticking up, and clean off any mold growth with a household-strength 1:9 solution of bleach and water.

    Check your GFCIs. A ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) protects you from deadly electrical shocks by shutting off the power anytime even a minimal disturbance in current is detected. They’re the electrical outlets with two buttons in the middle (“test” and “reset”) that should be present anywhere water and electricity can mix: kitchens, bathrooms, basements, garages, and the exterior of the house. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commissionrecommends monthly testing, which you’re likely to remember if you incorporate it into your spring routine.

    To test a GFCI, plug a small appliance (a radio, for example) into each of your GFCIs. Press the test button, which should click and shut off the radio. The reset button should pop out; when you press reset, the radio should come back on.

    If the radio doesn’t go off when you press the test button, either the GFCI itself has failed and should be replaced, or the outlet is wired incorrectly and should be repaired. If the reset button doesn’t pop out, or if pressing it doesn’t restore power to the radio, the GFCI has failed and should be replaced. These distinctions can help you tell an electrician what the problem is—neither job is one you should attempt yourself if you don’t have ample experience with electrical repair.

    Pay a visit to the attic. During a spring rain, check for visible leaks, water stains, discolored insulation, and rotting or moldy joists and roof decking. If detected, call a handyman or roofing contractor for an estimate for repairs. If you have areas of rot or mold exceeding 10 sq. ft., call an indoor air quality inspector or mold remediation company for advice. If you have an attic fan, make sure it’s running properly and that the protective screen hasn’t been blocked by bird nests or debris.

    Clean dirty windows. This is a good task for the end of summer, when it’s still nice outside. Clean windows allow more solar energy into the house in the cooler months to come, which will help you save on your heating bill. For streak-free glass, use an eco-friendly solution of one part vinegar to eight parts water, with a few squirts of dish soap; apply to window with a sponge or soft mitt, scrubbing any tough spots. Rinse with clean water and then squeegee the surface dry.

    Exterior Specialties of PA is here to help with all of your spring maintenance checklist tasks.  Whether it's gutter repair, siding installation, or roofing repair, we've got you covered.  Call us today at (215) 453-9180 for your FREE estimate!

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

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    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!

     

  • Choosing an Exterior Door

    Courtesy of House Logic

    Courtesy of House Logic

    Replacing your front door is money well spent.  It can not only improve the value of your home, but it can also save you energy costs.

    House Logic weighs in on the pros and cons of the three main materials available for exterior doors:

    Steel

    If you’re looking to save money, a steel door may be a good choice, particularly if you have the skills to hang it yourself. A simple, unadorned steel door can sell for as little as $150 (not including hardware, lock set, paint, or labor) and typically runs as much as $400 at big-box retailers. Steel offers the strongest barrier against intruders, although its advantage over fiberglass and wood in this area is slight.

    Even better, replacing your entry door with a steel model preserves home value. Remodeling Magazine’s Cost vs. Value Report estimates the total project cost of installing a 20-gauge steel door at about $1,200—and the project, on average, returns about 73% of cost.

    Still, the attractive cost of a steel door comes with an important caveat: Its typical life span under duress is shorter than either fiberglass or wood. A steel door exposed to salt air or heavy rains may last only five to seven years, according to Bob Bossard, general manager of 84 Lumber in Clarksville, Del. Despite steel’s reputation for toughness, it actually didn’t perform well in Consumer Reports testing against wood and fiberglass for normal wear and tear.

    With heavy use, it may dent, and the damage can be difficult and expensive to repair. If your door will be heavily exposed to traffic or the elements, you may be better off choosing a different material.

    Fiberglass

    Fiberglass doors come in an immense variety of styles, many of which accurately mimic the look of real wood. And if limited upkeep is your ideal, fiberglass may be your best bet. “Nothing is maintenance-free,” Bossard says, “but fiberglass is pretty close. And it lasts twice as long as wood or steel.”

    Fiberglass doesn’t expand or contract appreciably as the weather changes. Therefore, in a reasonably protected location, a fiberglass entry door can go for years without needing a paint or stain touch-up and can last 15 to 20 years overall. Although it feels light to the touch, fiberglass has a very stout coating that’s difficult for an intruder to breach; and its foam core offers considerable insulation.

    Fiberglass generally falls between steel and wood in price; models sold at big-box stores range from about $150 to $600. Remodeling Magazine lists the cost of a fiberglass entry-door replacement project at around $3,600. Although a fiberglass door doesn’t generate as high a return as a steel door, it recoups about 56% in home value.

    Wood

    Wood is considered the go-to choice for high-end projects; its luxe look and substantial weight can’t be flawlessly duplicated by fiberglass or steel, though high-end fiberglass products are getting close. If your home calls for a stunning entry statement with a handcrafted touch, wood may be the best material for you.

    Wood is usually the most expensive choice of the three—roughly $500 to $2,000, excluding custom jobs—and requires the most maintenance, although it’s easier to repair scratches on a wood door than dents in steel or fiberglass. Wood doors should be repainted or refinished every year or two to prevent splitting and warping. (Remodeling Magazine’s Cost vs. Value Report doesn’t include a wood entry-door replacement project.)

    Another tip: "Because efficiency depends on a number of factors besides the material a door is made of—including its framework and whether it has windows—look for the Energy Star label to help you compare doors. "

    Exterior Specialties of PA is here to help with all of your pennsylvania siding, pennsylvania roofing and pennsylvania window installation 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.

     

     

  • Preventing Ice Dams

    Courtesy of HouseLogic

    The winter is probably one of the roughest times for your roof.  And, while icicles can get you in the holiday spirit, they could be a sign of some costly roof issues.

    According to HouseLogic, "Often lurking behind that thick ridge of ice on your roof is a pool of melted water, hence the term ice dam. That accumulated water can work its way under roof shingles and into the home, causing significant damage to ceilings, walls, and floors. Additionally, the sheer weight of the ice dam often causes gutters and downspouts to pull away from the house, sometimes bringing the fascia boards with them."

    So, preventing these from happening in the first place may help prevent costly repairs.

    According to Claire Wilkinson of the Insurance Information Institute via HouseLogic, "Over the five-year period leading up to 2007, water damage and freezing accounted for the second largest share of homeowner insurance claims, according to Claire Wilkinson of the Insurance Information Institute. The average homeowner claim for such damages was $5,531."

    Here are some preventative measures you can take, courtesy of HouseLogic:

    Preventing ice dams

    Homeowners can’t control the weather, but they can do something about heat loss. “The main goal is to keep heat from reaching the roof, thus preventing snow melt in the first place,” explains Doug Bruell, president of Cleveland’s 25-year-old North Coast Insulation. Proper insulation and ventilation of the attic space is intended to keep the roof surface at or near outdoor temperatures.

    Typical steps include insulating the attic floor and installing soffit, gable and/or ridge vents to expel heat. Folding attic stairways and recessed light fixtures also need to be insulated. “All penetrations into the attic from the heated living space need to be addressed,” adds Bruell. Homeowners can expect to pay $800 to $1,500 to insulate the attic, plus another $300 to $600 for the installation of vents.

    The process is a bit more involved for homes with finished attics, says Bruell. To facilitate sufficient cold air flow from soffit vent to ridge vent, baffles or tubes are installed between the ceiling insulation and the underside of the roof. This might involve opening up the ceiling.

    Insulation means savings

    According to the U.S. Department of Energy, adding insulation to an unheated attic will have a greater impact on energy consumption than placing it anywhere else in the house. A properly insulated and ventilated attic not only reduces winter heating bills, it will trim summer cooling bills by expelling heat buildup. You can expect to save 10% to 50% on your heating and cooling bills.

    In addition, you may qualify for a federal tax credit of up to $500.

    Deicing alternatives

    In theory, roof rakes, brooms, and other long-handled devices can be used to remove snow before it has a chance to melt. In practice, however, the scheme is difficult to pull off, considering that most homeowners can’t reach all areas of the roof.

    Electrically-heated deicing cables, which install along eave lines to inhibit water freeze, are only moderately effective, says Bruell. “These heat cables often just back up the problem, forcing the dams to form higher up the roof.” In addition to the purchase price ($150 to $300), and installation ($300 to $500), these cables require electricity to run. They also can shorten the life of roof shingles.

    Ice dam removal

    Homeowners suffering the effects of an ice dam—or those who fear a leak is imminent—can hire a roofing company to remove the ice buildup. Rather than employ hammers, chisels, and salt, which can damage the roof and gutters, technicians will steam away the ice and remove any remaining snow. Expect to pay around $500 or more for the service. It goes without saying that do-it-yourself removal can be dangerous when it involves ladders, heavy ice, and slippery roofs.

    Exterior Specialties of PA is here to help with all of your roofing repair, gutter repair, gutter installation and roofing installation needs. Call us today at (215) 773-9181 for your FREE estimate!

     

  • Types of Roofing Materials

    Here is an interesting video from Roofing FAQ on different types of roofing shingles.

     

    Exterior Specialties of PA is here to help you with all of your roofing maintenance, roofing installation and roofing repair needs. Call us today at  (215) 773-9181 for a FREE estimate!

  • What to Consider When Buying a Roof

    Courtesy of metalbuilding.com

    When choosing a new roofing system for you building or house, all the aspects of a roofing system might be difficulty to analyze. Here is a checklist, courtesy of FacilitiesNet, for you about important things to consider when buying a new or replacing a current roofing system.

    • 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 you with all of your roofing installation, roofing repair and roofing maintenance needs. Call us today at (215) 773-9181 for a FREE estimate.

  • Emergency Roofing Repairs

    As the winter weather is fast approaching, there may come an unexpected time when you will need to get roofing repairs.  These repairs are necessary and you cannot just avoid the problem.  Water leaks will cause major damage to any damage if they are not repaired quickly and properly.

    It is important that you have emergency repair procedures to stop any problems with your roofing system.  These repairs will mainly be temporary, as it is vital that you solve any problems before they expand.  As soon as the weather permits, you should contact a professional who will be able to make a permanent repair.

    The first thing to remember before performing your roof repair is to wait until the severe weather is completely through your area.  Once started, it is important to make these repairs in a relatively timely fashion.  This means that you should be sure to located the source of the leak very quickly.  This will allow you to make an emergency, temporary repair before too much interior damage occurs to your building.

    Facilitiesnet reminds us that keeping a work log of everything that you do during these repairs is vital.  This will not only be helpful for yourself, but can also be referenced before and during the permanent repair.

    Contact Exterior Specialties of PA today for a no-obligation, free consultation to prepare for the winter weather.