Tag: Winter Roofing

  • 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!

  • 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!

     

  • When to Remove Excess Snow From Your Roof

    Courtesy of HouseLogic

    Before the winter starts, it's best to have a game plan for what to do when it looks like you have excess snow on your roof.  And, according to House Logic, "Calling in a professional to remove ice and snow from your roof is the smartest — and safest — option."

    How to tell is you have too much snow on your roof?

    The most important factor in whether or not you have too much snow on your roof it not how much appears to be on the roof, but how much that snow weighs, according to HouseLogic.

    That’s because wet snow is considerably heavier than dry, fluffy snow. In fact, 6 inches of wet snow is equal to the weight of about 38 inches of dry snow.

    The good news is that residential roofs are required by building codes to withstand the heaviest snows for that particular part of the country.

    It's pretty easy to tell if it's wet or dry snow just by shoveling a bit of it in your driveway.  Wet snow will be much heavier by the shovelfull than dry snow.

    You should also check your local weather forecasts. They should alert you if snow may be excessive.

    How to tell if the snow should be removed

    According to HouseLogic:

    An indication that the accumulated snow load is becoming excessive is when doors on interior walls begin to stick. That signals there’s enough weight on the center structure of the house to distort the door frame.

    Ignore doors on exterior walls but check interior doors leading to second-floor bedrooms, closets, and attics in the center of your home. Also, examine the drywall or plaster around the frames of these doors for visible cracks.

    Homes that are most susceptible to roof cave-ins are those that underwent un-permitted renovations. The improper removal of interior load-bearing walls is often responsible for catastrophic roof collapses.

    What to do if snow is excessive

    According to HouseLogic, "Most home roofs aren’t readily accessible, making the job dangerous for do-it-yourselfers."

    Calling a professional for snow removal is your best option.

    Also, don't expect your roof to be completely snow-free after the contractor comes. According to HouseLogic:

    Don’t expect (or demand) a bone-dry roof at job’s end. The goal is to remove “excessive” weight as opposed to all weight. Plus, any attempt to completely remove the bottom layer of ice will almost always result in irreparable damage to your roofing.

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

  • 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.

  • Roof Maintenance in the Winter

    We are about to begin another winter and it is important to keep up with proper roof maintenance.  The effects of water on your roof can be very damaging and they are even worse in the winter.  The threat of snow and ice accumulating on your roof can be a cause for concern.  When the temperature falls below freezing there is a strong possibility that this accumulation will occur.

    It is important to look out for ice build up in any area of your roof because it could cause immediate damage, or stress components of the roof.  There could also be spots where the snow accumulates higher than others because of the way your roof is configured.  It is essential that you take care of these spots as quickly as possible in order to maintain your roof.

    Facilitiesnet describes that one of the best ways to protect your roof during these times is to create a tracking system of everything that is happening to your roof.  This can be as simple as writing down what the weather is like and what the effects are on your roof.  It can be easy to overlook this process as part of roof maintenance, but detailed records of the past and present will only help your roof in the future.

    So, remember to take the winter weather seriously and track EVERYTHING that happens to your roof!

    At Exterior Specialties of PA, we are always ready to help you protect and maintain your roof.  Call us today for a free consultation and we'll help you prepare for the winter weather!