Tag: Roofer Lansdale Pa

  • 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!

     

  • 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!

  • 6 Tips to Avoid Bad Contractors

    Shopping for the right contractor is extremely important when you are going to have work done on your home.  Check out these 6 question(courtesy of Yahoo! Homes)s to ask prospective contractors in order to avoid a massive headache later.

    Question #1: What's Your Business History (and Much More)?

    You wouldn't hire a surgeon without knowing how many surgeries he or she has performed, would you? Well, your home is about to go under the knife, so you'll want to evaluate contractors with the same level of scrutiny.

    Kruse suggests first asking questions about a company's business practices and experiences with the remodeling project you need. Find out what kind of procedures and rules this contractor would follow to meet your demands.

    Here are a few other things Kruse thinks you should ask contractors:

    • How long have you been in business?
    • Are you licensed by the state?
    • What percentage of your clientele is repeat or referral business?
    • Are you a member of a national trade association?
    • Do you have a list of references from past projects similar to mine?
    • Have you or your employees been certified in remodeling or had any special training or education?

    [Ready to put a contractor to the test? Click here to find one today.]

    Kruse also recommends contacting a client with whom they are currently working. "This way, you can see how things are conducted on a day to day basis," he says. "You can find out if there are problems or issues that have arisen, and ask how well they communicate throughout the project."

    Question #2: Do You Provide a Detailed Written Contract?

    Misunderstandings happen. People forget. Things change. But a contract helps both you and the contractor know what is expected from both parties.

    Every job, no matter how small, should have a signed contract by the contractor and customer, Kruse says. Seems like a no-brainer, right? Not so fast - the devil is in the details.

    "A contract should be very specific and point out step by step what will be going on throughout the project and before it even begins," he adds.

    Some things that should be on a contract - all written in great detail - include:

    • Names, addresses, and phone numbers of all parties involved in the project, including vendors
    • Detailed list of the work to be completed
    • List of each product along with its price and model number
    • Who is responsible for pulling permits
    • Where deliveries will go and where the dumpster will be placed
    • What time the workers begin and end their day
    • Project's start and completion dates plus payment schedule
    • All work carried out by subcontractors

    [Ready to look for a home contractor? Click here to find one in your area.]

    Anything that changes along the way must be written and signed in a change order, which makes sure everyone is in agreement on the change, price, time, or anything else that is adjusted from the original contract.

    Question #3: How Much Do I Need to Put Down?

    If the contractor asks you to pay for all of the project's cost upfront, it's time to find another contractor. An unreasonable deposit is the first sign something is fishy, Kruse says.

    The Better Business Bureau's website suggests going by the rule of thirds: Pay one third at the beginning of the project, one third when work is 50 percent complete, and one third after it is final and you are satisfied with the outcome.

    But chances are your contractor will have a formula to determine how much money is needed to get the job started. "Most contractors go with a 15 percent down payment on larger projects," Kruse says. "My clients usually give me the 15 percent deposit at the same time they hand me the signed contract."

    [Ready to start your home remodel? Click here to find the right home contractor today.]

    Keep in mind that if the job is a small one, it's okay to provide money for the cost of materials - which might be 50 percent of the job or a little more, he says.

    Question #4: Can I Get Itemized Price Estimates?

    Some contractors like to hand you a bid with one price estimate for the entire project because it's less work on their end. Don't let them. You will need details on all the costs associated with the project and each item purchased.

    Here's why an itemized estimate is essential: If midway through the project you decide to put in a less expensive countertop than the one originally discussed, you need to know the exact cost of the first countertop. Without it, you have no way of knowing how much of a credit you should receive.

    An itemized price list should detail the cost of labor, demolition, materials, electrical, plumbing, permits, and more.

    Kruse explains how an itemized estimate is better for client and contractor: "It just makes it easier to track work, and it's transparent to both the client and I of what is expected on the job. I also offer my preferred vendor list to our clients so they know who we are buying their products from."

    Some contractors use their estimates as proposals, but these might be very inaccurate and could mislead the homeowner, Kruse says. Don't assume anything. Be certain that once you sign a contract, what you see on paper is what you will be paying.

    Question #5: Who Will Be at the Site?

    Just hiring your contractor doesn't ensure he or she will be the one hammering and sawing. They might only show up to sign the contract and present the finished product. It's important to know that certain contractors manage their companies by getting bids or supervising many job sites at once and are not hands-on people.

    How do you find out which one you have? "Ask potential contractors who is going to be in charge of your project at all times," Kruse says. "You need to meet with that person, get a feel for what he/she is like and get acquainted a bit. Go check out that person at one of their current jobs."

    [Ready to get started on your home remodel? Click here to find a contractor in your area.]

    In their "Home Sweet Home Improvement" guide, the Federal Trade Commission urges homeowners to ask if subcontractors will be used on the project. If so, homeowners should ask to meet them to make sure they have insurance coverage and proper licenses.

    When meeting the subcontractor, ask if the lead contractor pays them on time. Why is this little detail important? According to the Federal Trade Commission, "A 'mechanic's lien' could be placed on your home if your contractor fails to pay subcontractors or suppliers," who, in turn, could take you to court to retrieve their unpaid bills.

    Question #6: Do You Think We Can Get Along?

    Just like any good relationship, the one between you and your contractor should have harmony, communication, and collaboration. Some personalities and styles just don't mesh, so don't pick someone just because their bid is the lowest, says Kruse.

    Your contractor will be part of your daily existence for quite some time. They will see how your children behave, how you don't water your plants, and how your breakfast dishes sit in the sink all day.

    Hiring a contractor without much thought can be a big mistake, says Kruse. "Sometimes [homeowners] end up with work that is less than adequate, or they give these shady contractors a large chunk of money upfront and then they never show up again."

    Protecting yourself from these nightmares means knowing exactly who your contractors are before you hire them. After all, it doesn't hurt to ask - but it sure could hurt if you don't.

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

  • Corbett Announces No Insurance Deductibles Applied to Sandy Damage

    Courtesy Pennsylvania Office of the Governor

    Pennsylvania homeowners will get a little bit of relief from the costs of repairing damage to their homes from Hurricane Sandy.

    According to the Perkiomen Valley Patch, "Governor Tom Corbett advised insurance companies that deductibles, which can be up to five percent of the insured value of a home, should not be applied to any Hurricane Sandy homeowner insurance claims."

    Here are some tips courtesy of Patch to help you file a claim:

    • Before calling your insurance company, try to locate your policy number and other relevant information. Your company representative will prepare a "Notice of Loss" form and an adjuster will be assigned to assist you.  Ask for a timeline on when your agent can help you.
    • Take photographs/video before clean-up or repairs. If you have already taken your damaged items out of the house, take pictures of the debris. After you’ve documented the damage, make the repairs necessary to prevent further damage, but do not make any permanent repairs until an adjuster or company representative is able to inspect the damage and your carrier approves the repairs.
    • Save all receipts. Keep a diary of all discussions with your agent or carrier. Cooperate fully with the insurance company.  Ask what documents, forms and data you will need to file the claim.

    If you have any other questions, visit www.pa.gov or www.insurance.pa.gov. Consumers with insurance questions or complaints can call the Insurance Department’s toll-free, consumer hotline at 877- 881-6388.

  • How Passive Roof Vents Can Help Your Home

    Passive roof vents provide ways for stale, moist air to escape from your roof.  According to Houselogic, "vents encourage natural air flow and work without the aid of motorized fans."

    Here is an overview of roof vents courtesy of Houselogic:

    How much roof ventilation?

    The rule of thumb for proper attic ventilation calls for a minimum of 1 square foot of vent area (openings) for every 300 square feet of attic floor space. If you have asphalt shingles, you must have some kind of attic ventilation or you’ll risk voiding the warranty.

    Check your roof vents

    You or a professional roofer should check your roof vents annually.

    • Periodically clear vent screens of dirt, leaves, dust, pollen, spider webs, bird nests, and other debris that impedes air flow.
    • Repair screen rips or tears and damaged flashing.
    • Check for rust or rot around the framing or flashing.
    • Clear insulation from soffit vent openings. You’ll need to inspect from inside your attic. Make sure attic insulation stops clear of the under-eave area.

    If you’re having problems with ice dams, mold, and damaged shingles, have a ventilation or roofing professional evaluate whether you have adequate ventilation and need to retrofit exhaust or intake vents.

    Roof vent options

    • Ridge vents run along the peak of the roof. They feature an external baffle to increase air flow and protect your house from snow, rain, and dust. They’re usually capped with a material that blends in with the roof. It costs about $245 for a professional to install a 40-foot ridge vent.
    • Static vents have no moving parts. They’re basically protected holes in the roof that allow air circulation. They come in various designs—roofline, dormer, roof louver, or eyebrow vents—and are installed in an even line across the roof. Some pros swear by them; others think they tend to leak. They cost between $35 and $50 per vent to install.
    • Gable vents, or wall louvers, are placed in the gable ends of the attic and can be used in combination with other vents. The higher they are, the more effective. However, the airflow from gable vents is limited because they’re under the roof deck, resulting in hot spots. Professional installation costs about $185 per vent. Or, buy a set yourself and install them for $45 apiece.
    • Wind turbines are mushroom-shaped caps atop roofs designed to catch natural wind currents, which spins an internal fan and propels hot air out of the attic. Wind turbines are most effective in areas where winds average about 5 mph.

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

  • Gutter Styles -- Which Should I Choose?

    After making (the great) decision to get seamless gutters for your home, another important question immediately arises -- which gutter style is best for me?

    There are many different options, ranging from materials (stainless steel, alumnium and even wood can be chosen) to color to it's shape.

    Now, while material and color are easy to envision, specific gutter shapes tend to be harder. There are a ton of specific shapes, which range heavily.

    Rutland Gutter Supply wrote up a great post explaining most of the gutter styles available. This diagram below does a good job at illustrating many of them:

    There are even more types of shapes available, and all have their advantages and disadvantages. When selecting your gutter style, Exterior Specialties of PA will gladly show you each and every style, to help make the descision that makes you the happiest.

    Call for your free estimate today!