Tag: Lansdale Roofing

  • 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!

  • Energy Audit: What's Best For You?

    Do you think your home's inefficiencies are bumping up your electric bill? Why not do an energy audit and see where your home's efficiency issues are?

    Houselogic has some tips on choosing the type of energy audit that's right for you! Whether you do your own or hire a professional, it will give you a hint as to what needs to be repaired and/or replaced around your home. Houselogic says it can even save you 5-30% annually on your electric bill once you've made the changes needed after the audit. Here are some ways to approach an energy audit courtesy of Houselogic:

    Use an online energy audit questionnaire

    You can find them at the website for your local utility or municipality, or at government-supported websites such as Home Energy Saver or Energy Star.

    Online questionnaires immediately calculate areas where you can achieve savings. Be prepared to answer specific questions about your home energy usage and costs, such as:

    • Energy costs and usage for the last year.
    • The energy sources for your home (gas, propane, electric).
    • The square footage of your home.
    • The number of gallons of water your toilet tank holds (often stamped on the inside of the tank).
    • The R-value of insulation in your attic (sometimes printed on the paper bats), but you won’t have to climb into your attic or poke around behind the water heater.

    Cost: Free.

    Conduct a DIY energy audit

    Got a flashlight, ladder, measuring stick, safety glasses, dust mask, screwdriver, and a stick of incense? If so, you’re equipped to inspect your home. You’ll also need to dig out utility bills and do a little research about optimal insulation requirements for your area. Expect to spend 2 to 4 hours.

    Cost: $50 if you have to buy the tools; otherwise: no cost.

    Hire a professional energy auditor

    Even if you conduct a DIY energy audit, it’s a good idea to double-check your diagnosis with a professional energy auditor, especially if your audit reveals you have problems. An auditor knows homes well enough to advise you on how to get to the source of a problem, saving you a lot of trial, error, and perhaps unnecessary expense.

    There are two types of professional energy audits:

    • Visual inspection. Along the lines of DIY energy audit, this evaluation will give you the benefit of the energy auditor’s keen eye and experience. You’ll come away with plenty of ideas for improving your home’s carbon footprint. Cost: $150.
    • Diagnostic inspection. Using hi-tech equipment like thermal scanners and duct blasters, a professional energy auditor will shake down your house for air leaks, noxious fumes, and spotty insulation. Cost $400 to $600.

    Exterior Specialties of PA is there to help with any of you roofing, window replacement, and window repair needs. Call us today at (215) 773-9181 for a FREE estimate today!

  • How to Handle Emergency Roofing Repairs

    Courtesy of servicerunner.com

    Every now and then, you may encounter the need to make emergency repairs on your roof due to a large storm or other elemental changes.  Obviously you'll want a roofing professional to look at your roof to make further, more long-lasting repairs. These tips are for taking care of things in a pinch before you can contact the roofing contractor.

    If the damage happens during a storm, you shouldn't attempt any roof repairs until the weather stops because of risk of high winds and lightning.

    According to FacilitiesNet, there are several things you should keep in mind for emergency repairs:

    1. Protect the interior. Control the spread of water by collecting it in containers. Depending on how much water there is, you may also want to use plastic sheeting to protect objects in your home or building.

    2. Remove excess water from the roof.

    3. Check roof drains and scuppers to make sure they are working and draining water properly. If you see a clog, be careful. "Draining water can cause significant suction that can pull tools, hands, arms and ballast quickly into the roof drain."

    It is always best if you are unsure of something to contact a professional and have them handle all the repairs.

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


  • Roofing Warranties - Getting Down to the Nitty-Gritty

    It is uncommon for a roof to be installed without a warranty, but oftentimes these warranties go unread because they aren't exactly fun to read and are difficult to understand. However, these warranties are extremely important for homeowners and facilities owners because the fine print can be surprising.

    According to FacilitiesNet, there are two types of warranties:

    1. Implied
    2. Express

    Express warranties are:

    written documents issued by the roofing materials manufacturer or roofing contractor. They are contracts between the issuer of the warranty and the purchaser of the roof system that define the limits of liability that the issuer will assume if there are problems with the roof system.

    While the term of the warranty is important, there are many other aspects of a roofing warranty that are important to consider:

    The Issuer

    Roof warranties are generally issued by the roofing materials manufacturer and are written by the issuer’s attorneys for the issuer’s benefit. Sometimes, however, especially in less-expensive installation schemes, the roofing contractor provides a warranty for workmanship and provides a materials-only warranty from the manufacturer. It’s important to be aware of who has provided the warranty since the ability of the issuing entity to fulfill the terms of the warranty is directly tied to the solvency and strength of the issuer.

    A roofing contractor warranty is usually not as valuable as a manufacturer’s warranty because roofing contractors come and go much more quickly. Once the contractor’s corporation is dissolved, the warranty is worthless. So unless the contractor has been in business for a long time or has a lot of assets, be cautious about relying on the contractor’s warranty as the sole remedy for potential problems.

    Materials and Labor

    If the roof needs to be replaced, a materials-only warranty means the manufacturer will only supply the replacement material and the facility executive will have to pay for the cost of installing it. Because labor is usually at least half of the cost of a new roof, the facility executive ends up spending a lot of money getting the roof replaced.

    Facility executives should be wary of materials-only warranties that exclude or are in lieu of implied warranties, as such warranties may actually reduce the legal protection against problems.

    Even if the warranty is a materials and labor warranty, facility executives should still scrutinize the terms carefully. If the warranty does not specifically say that it is a no dollar limit (NDL) warranty, the remedy may be pro-rated over the life of the roof. In such cases, if the roof fails in the fifth year of a ten-year warranty, the manufacturer may only be liable for 50 percent of the roof replacement costs. The warranty may also limit the issuer’s liability to the initial cost of the roof installation, which means that after inflation, the facility executive is still liable for a portion of the roof cost.

    Other Side of the Coin

    Most facility executives fail to understand that once they have signed the warranty they are contractually responsible for regularly maintaining their roof. Every warranty stipulates that the roof requires periodic maintenance to keep the warranty in full force and effect. This is the most overlooked portion of a roof warranty.

    At a minimum, this means twice-yearly inspections, prompt repairs if defects are found, good records kept of the inspections and the repairs performed, debris removal on a regular basis, and maintenance of coatings and surfacings.

    In addition,  it is important to examine exclusions in the warranty as well as the notification procedures if you do end up having an issue with your roofing system.  Usually these warranties are provided for free, but there are some cases where you may have to pay in order to extend the term of your warranty or to cover more than the warranty covers.

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

  • Getting Cool Roof Rebates For Your Building

    If your building's roof is in need of replacing, a cool roof system should be a consideration. According to FacilitiesNet, some utility providers offer incentive for installing cool roof systems, and this alone should provide you with some incentive to look into cool roofing.

    However, if this hasn't sold you on it, "President Obama promising tighter efficiency standards for buildings and a system to cap carbon dioxide emissions, cool roofs are one way facility executives can ready their organizations," according to FacilitiesNet.

    In addition, you'll possibly get rebates from the gas and electric utilities of your building by going with a cool roofing system. The utilities usually pay back  a "certain percentage — usually about $0.20 on the dollar — after installation and documentation."

    Here is a list I compiled from FacilitiesNet of other rebate options for both commercial and residential buildings:

     In October of last year, President George W. Bush authorized the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008. Among the other legislation it contains, this law extends tax credits for use of ENERGY STAR-rated products — much like its predecessor — the Energy Policy Act of 2005 (EPACT).

    A tax deduction of up to $1.80 per square foot is available to owners or designers of new or existing commercial buildings that save at least 50 percent of the heating and cooling energy of a building that meets ASHRAE Standard 90.1-2001. Partial deductions of up to $.60 per square foot can be taken for measures that meet the criteria for any one of three building systems: the building envelope, lighting, or heating and cooling systems. These tax deductions are available for systems “placed in service” from January 1, 2006 through December 31, 2013.

    Another way facility executives may find some cash is some cities and states also award incentives to facilities that are voluntarily built to the rating systems for green or sustainable building systems — such as Green Globes or the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED)

    Many cities, Chicago among them, mandate minimum values. In Chicago’s case, however, the city government also provided grants to further spur cool-roof use. About a year and a half ago, the city announced $185,000 in grant money — equivalent to approximately 55 grants of $6,000.

     Exterior Specialties can help you with all of your roofing installation, roofing maintenance and roofing repair needs. Call us today for a 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.

  • How to Take Care of a Roof Leak Before the Contractor Comes

    Since there have been a bunch of thunderstorms in the area lately, you may have noticed a roof leak issue.  You'll want to get it looked at by a professional contractor, but before they arrive, here are some tips to keeping that leak under control, courtesy of eHow.com.

    1. The first and perhaps most obvious place to look for a roof leak is directly above the leak in a ceiling or exterior wall. Use a flashlight to inspect the attic floor over the leak while it's raining. Look for standing water, water stains, mold, wet insulation or other exposed insulation.

    2. Examine the underside of the roof for wetness or mold around points of penetration (plumbing vents, chimneys), wherever different roof planes intersect (valleys) and near dormers. These symptoms indicate holes in the flashing or faulty flashing installation.

    3. A leak away from such locations suggests a problem in the roofing material. Keep in mind that water may travel sideways before passing through a joint in the roof sheathing, and may travel in a horizontal joint before falling on the floor or ceiling.

    4. Take measurements from points inside that you can also locate from outside. Measure down from a ridge and horizontally from the center of a valley or sidewall; or measure distances from a chimney or other point of penetration.

    5. If your ceiling is attached to roof rafters, as would be the case for a cathedral ceiling, all you can do from inside is take the measurements that will help you locate the leak externally, and attempt to control the damage internally.

    6. Water can travel on the underside of sheathing or down roof rafters before dropping off in one or more places. To control where it falls, tack a piece of string into the stream of water and let it hang into a bucket. The water will tend to follow the string.

    7. Poke or drill a hole in your ceiling to let the water through. This technique prevents the water from spreading across the top of the ceiling to other areas; it prevents the ceiling from becoming saturated, eliminating the chance of collapse and often the need for replacement; and it allows you to collect water from below using the string-and-bucket method.

    8. Using any measurements or other information you gathered indoors, make your initial outdoor observations from a ladder and/or using binoculars. Do not walk on a pitched roof during rain or as long as the roof is wet. A wood roof is particularly treacherous.

    9. Look for leaves and other debris slowing the natural downward flow of water, as often happens in valleys and adjacent to or above any roof penetration or dormer. If there is snow on the roof, an ice dam may have formed at the roof's lower edge, causing water to back up under overlapping layers of roofing materials. Remove the obstruction if you can get to it safely.

    10. If or when you can safely get close enough, examine metal flashings for corrosion or open joints where they connect to a chimney or other roof penetration. You can temporarily patch metal flashings, but replacement is the only permanent solution. Typically, you can replace cracked or dried-out rubber gaskets on plumbing vents.

    11. Pay particular attention to any areas already covered with black flashing cement; these indicate locations of previously repaired leaks. Look for pinholes or cracks, which often occur as the material ages. Make temporary repairs by applying flashing cement with a putty knife.

    12. If or when you can safely get close enough, inspect attachment points for any antenna, satellite dish or other object screwed or nailed into the roof. A dab of roof flashing in good condition should cover each fastener. The best solution is to avoid mounting anything on your roof in the first place.

    13. If you determined from inside that your leak is midroof and therefore not related to flashing, look for damaged or missing asphalt shingles. On wood roofs, look for cracked or badly cupped or warped shingles or shakes. Look for joints in one course that fall less than 11/2 inches (4 cm) to the left or right of a joint in the course below. Flat or nearly flat roofs generally require very close inspection to locate damaged or badly worn areas.

    Exterior Specialties of PA is here for any of your leak repair and roofing needs. Call us today at 215-773-9180 for a free estimate!

  • 10 Roofing Tips to Stay Safe and Maintain Your Roof

    There are a lot of precautions you need to take when doing things like cleaning your gutters and inspecting your roof.  Here are the DIY Networks "Top 10 Roofing Tips"

    1. Think Safety First

    Fussing to try and find a leak as soon as it happens is something that could put you in the hospital. Meddling on a roof while it's raining or covered with ice and snow isn't the ideal way to find a leak. Trying to temporarily fix a leak could be highly dangerous. If you want to do it right, there is no quick-fix. Just take your time, and be very patient and careful to wait for Mother Nature to give you the green light.

    2. Take Precautions

    Being on a roof will put the body in positions that are not comfortable or safe. Make sure to wear rubber sole shoes to prevent slipping. Also use a harness and always work with a buddy.

    3. Spray the Roof

    Take a garden hose and go up to the roof and start spraying in different locations to find the leak. Wait if it's wintertime because it's not safe to run water on the roof when it's freezing out.

    4. Keep Gutters Clean

    One of the most common areas and causes for roof leaks are clogged gutters. Gutters that have not been cleaned can cause the water to build up during rain.

    5. Avoid Dry Rot

    Dry rot isn't related to any type of water damage, but lack of ventilation. If a roof repair is right in the middle of the roof, there is a chance that the plywood might be deteriorating. The roof will actually sag in and cause the roof shingles to get brittle, crack and then leak. Preventing dry rot consists of installing a ridge vent, which will only work if there is a soffit vent. Holes have to be drilled through the soffit vents so cool air comes in through the bottom and pushes the hot air out through the top.

    6. Prevent Ice Buildup

    In the wintertime, ice has no problem building up under the roof membrane, shingles and gutters. The ice builds back up when it reaches the wall line where the house is heated and it creates an interior drip. Proper ventilation, rain and ice shields along with installing a drip edge will help prevent this problem.

    7. Fix Roof Boots

    Flashing, roofing, ice damping and skylights are all obvious places for potential leaks. One thing people often miss is the rubber boots. It's where the roof fence comes up that you find roof boots. If they dry up they will cause major leaks. It's a quick fix; purchase a new roof boot in a local hardware store. You may have to remove some of the shingles, lay a better tar under it and put it back in place.

    8. Inspect Materials

    Sometimes shingles are faulty and will begin to crack after they've been nailed down. Faulty installation with nails and shingles can also play a big part in leaks. Nails could be nailed too low and it will start pushing back up. Make sure to always check merchandise before getting on the roof.

    9. Check Valleys

    A valley is where the intersection of two roofs comes together. It is also called the ridge, which is again where two roofs meet at the top. Valleys are very common places for leaks because that's where the water from the entire roof goes to and it will start sloshing back and forth.

    10. Eliminate Leaks

    It's important not to get discouraged when a leak can't be found. It's a process of elimination. You've covered one area, installed the shingles back and sealed it watertight so at least one spot is eliminated. Now, you can try other areas.

    Exterior Specialties of PA is here to handle all of your roofing maintenance needs. Call us today at 215-773-9180 for your FREE ESTIMATE!



  • Important things to know about flat roof coatings

    Flat roof coating can be a great way for facilities to save money because they can extend the life of a roof and coatings lower the roofs temperature, making your building cooler and more efficient. However, choosing from all of the different roof coatings isn't easy.

    According to FacilitiesNet, it is harder for coatings to stick to hard, smooth," chemically inert surfaces" and easier on rough, irregular, "chemically active surfaces." Often, coatings stick better if a primer or base coat is used first. There are many different primers and base coats that are recommended for this. However, only base coats and primers recommended by the coating's manufacturer should be used.

    Call us today at 215-773-9180 for a free estimate! Exterior Specialties of PA is always there to assist with your roofing needs.