Tag: Pennsylvania roofing

  • 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!

  • New Year's Resolutions for Your Home

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    Now that 2013 is almost here, discussion about New Year's resolutions and top-10 lists are right around the corner.  While you probably have more personal resolutions,  you can make the same type of resolutions for your home.

    Here is a list of New Year's resolutions, courtesy of House Logic, that are based on the top 10 resolutions gathered by Time magazine.

     

    1. Lose weight (cut energy use)
    2. Quit smoking (purify indoor air)
    3. Get out of debt (budget for improvements)
    4. Learn something new (educate yourself on home finances)
    5. Get organized (de-clutter)
    6. Volunteer (support your community)
    7. Drink less (curb home water use)
    8. Spend more time with the family (share home improvement projects)
    9. Get fit (exercise your DIY skills)
    10. Be less stressed (use maintenance-free materials)

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

     

  • Preparing Your Home for Winter

    Courtesy of Yahoo! Homes

    When cold weather hits, it's important to bundle up your home.  Here are some tips via Yahoo! Homes to prepare your house for the winter and keep your home cozy:

    Windows and doors

    If you've ever worn a thin shirt when cold winds were whipping around outdoors, you know that you're going to get sick if you don't cover up with a jacket. The same is true for your home. If we think of your home's exterior as clothing, windows and doors are like a thin shirt; they are sensitive areas that can easily be affected by the cold and cause the entire house to suffer.

    Sealing your doors and windows can be the best solution to preventing cold weather damages to your home. Doors and windows that have problems with air leaks can cause wood rot, increase energy bills, and be a catalyst for mold and mildew growth. How do you know if your home has air leaks? Turn off your heating system, close all the doors and windows tight, and turn on an air vent in the kitchen or bathroom; then light an incense stick and waft the smoke around the inside of your suspect windows and doors. Where the smoke from the incense begins to blow, you've got an air leak. Solve this problem by sealing the exterior and interior of the window or door frame with a paintable or appropriately colored latex caulk.

    Roofing

    From ice dams to snow mounds, winter weather can severely affect a shingle roof that is unprepared against the cold. If your shingle roof is more than eight years old, you should have it inspected by a professional shingle repair expert during the fall before the cold has a chance to affect it. Damaged shingles, poor attic ventilation, and decaying sealants can all create roof leaks that might not become visible until severe and costly damages have already taken place.

    Exterior walls, soffit, and fascia

    Gutters, soffit, siding, and fascia are all exterior elements of a home that are affected by wet and cold winters. Be sure to have your gutters cleaned thoroughly to prevent roof leaks or ice dams. Soffit and fascia should be given the once over and repaired when damages are visible. Soffit damages can increase heating bills and allow cold air to enter the attic, ensuring ice dams and damaged roof shingles. Don't forget to check your siding and have a professional painter seal and paint any damaged siding areas to prevent rot, mold, and high energy bills.

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

  • Roof and Gutter Winter Maintenance Checklist

    Courtesy of Stacy Gold/Getty Images via Houselogic

    It's very easy to keep putting off those home fall chores, but once winter hits, it's dangerous and almost impossible to get them done.  Here is a checklist of things to do (or, to be safe, have a professional do) before the winter weather hits, courtesy of Yahoo! Homes.

    1. Cleaning Gutters

    The first step in roof and gutter maintenance is to have the gutters cleaned out. You can do this yourself or hire a professional, but either way make sure this is taken care of late in autumn. Since leaves, acorns, and other detritus can accumulate throughout the fall, you don't want to take care of this too early and still have problems later on.

    Hiring a professional will set you back between $75 and $300, depending on the size of your home and the number of stories. The DIY approach is free unless you have to buy the materials required: ladder, bucket or pail, leaf scooper, and broom. The good news is that most people can clean out their gutters in just a few hours one weekend afternoon.

    2. Installing Gutter Covers

    Roof and gutter maintenance are always required at inopportune times. Kids are headed back to school, the holidays are fast approaching, and you don't have time to get up on the roof as often as you'd like. Gutter covers or guards are a convenient solution.

    Simply put, a gutter cover slows or stops the accumulation of debris in your gutters. They filter the leaves and dirt from the water so you don't have to clean them out as often. If you plan to do it yourself, set aside an entire weekend for the job. The process is time-consuming, and you might need to take frequent breaks.

    Again, you can find DIY materials at your local home improvement store. Gutter guards vary in price, but range from $3 to $6 per three-foot length of guard. Wider covers (five inches or so) cost more than narrower options (about three inches). It will be more expensive to hire a contractor, but the guards will be higher quality and will last longer.

    3. Trimming Trees

    Tree limbs that seem stable through the summer and fall might not be safe once they are burdened with a few pounds of snow. Winter maintenance requires trimming of all tree branches that could potentially damage the roof.

    Tree trimming prices vary depending on where you live, the height of the trees, and the complexity of the job. Get quotes from several different contractors, and look for quotes between $200 and $600.

    4. Repairing Leaks

    The final step in winter maintenance is roof repair. Any leaks, ventilation issues, or insulation deficiencies should be handled prior to the onset of winter. Look for stains on walls, missing roof shingles, and moisture accumulation around gaskets, gutters, downspouts, ridge caps, and dormers.

    Many contractors offer free inspections for those who are uncertain as to whether or not they have a leak. Remember that roofing contractors are busiest this time of year, though, so make sure to call well in advance.

    Exterior Specialties of PA is here to help with all of your gutter installation, gutter repair, gutter maintenance, roof repair and roof 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.

  • 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!

  • Advantages of a Roof Recovery

    The benefits of a roof recovery can sometimes eliminate the need for a total roof replacement.  The main two advantages are that recovering is faster and easier than replacing.  A roof recovery is also beneficial because of the lower risk involved with it compared to a replacement.

    There is not as much risk involved for a contractor when you choose to recover your roof.  This is a meaningful factor when it comes to making a final decision about what to do.  Add this to the fact that a roof recovery is faster and easier than a replacement, and you can see that a recovery is a very viable option.  This does not mean, however, that you should immediately rule out a roof replacement.

    Facilitiesnet reminds us that roof replacement will always give the roof a chance to be more sustainable.  You should only go with this option if you are entirely focused on getting a new roof.  If this is not the case, then a roof recovery may be the way to go for now and you can always replace in the future.

    These decisions are important for not only just your roof, but your entire home as well.  At Exterior Specialties of PA, we are ready to help you make these decisions correctly.  So, contact us today for a free consultation and we will answer any questions you have.

     

  • The Benefits of a Vegetative Roof

    The advantages of deciding to go with a vegetative roof can clearly outweigh the disadvantages.  It is necessary to fully understand these advantages, though, before you make your final choice.  You will be able to maximize the life of your roof by doing this, and keep it in the best condition possible.

    The largest benefit of a vegetated roof is the improved water control.  They easily reduce the stress on drainage and treatment systems by decreasing the amount of run-off water.  You can also improve the air quality by increasing the number of plantings on your vegetative roof.

    There are two other very important advantages that could effect your decision to choose a vegetative roof.  The possible energy savings are the first of these two.  The planting system helps to decrease the load on the mechanical heating and cooling systems, which is where the energy savings comes from.  The increased service life is another advantage, as vegetative roofs normally last longer than conventional roofing systems.  This is mainly the case because vegetative roofs are protected from UV rays.

    These facts are essential to know if you are thinking about going with a vegetative roof.  Your decision will be much easier if you understand the advantages of all of your options.  At Exterior Specialties of PA, we are prepared to answer any questions that you may have about this topic or any other.  So call us today for a free, no obligation consultation.