Fall exterior home maintenance

Fall Exterior Home Maintenance Tips

Save Money with Fall Exterior Home Maintenance

Do you pay attention to exterior home maintenance? You should. Taking care of small repairs as the need for them arises makes your house look nicer and helps to make it more livable. It also heads problems off at the pass and avoids big, expensive repairs down the road.

Fall exterior home maintenance tips

Fall is an excellent time for exterior home care. The summer heat that can make it a trial has passed, and you’re battening down the hatches for winter, when snow, freezing temperatures, and high winds can stress a house and turn any existing vulnerabilities into full-fledged expensive repair issues.

Here, then, are three fall exterior home care tips to help you put your house in good shape to withstand the rigors of the season to come.

Fall Exterior Home Maintenance Tip #1: Clean the Rain Gutters

Fall brings the leaves falling from the trees around your home. You see them on your lawn every day and likely get rid of the pileup there. But because you don’t see them, you may well be less conscious that autumn leaves are also collecting overhead in your rain gutters.

That’s a problem because once gutters get clogged with debris, they don’t function as they’re supposed to conducting rainwater and melt water to their intended destination. The water accumulates to ultimately spill out and collect around the base of the house. From there, it can seep through cracks in the foundation. Additionally, gutters that are holding water can be a source of rot, compromise the roof, and form ice dams when the temperature is low enough.

Happily, the answer is relatively simple if not the pleasantest task in the world. Someone needs to climb up on a ladder and clear away the accumulation of leaves from the rain gutters.

Or, as an alternative, you can invest in a gutter guard. This is a protection system that keeps leaves from collecting in rain gutters in the first place. Thus no gutter cleaning is necessary.

Fall Exterior Home Maintenance Tip #2: Check Your Window and Door Seals

You have window and door seals partly to hold warm air indoors when it’s cold outside. When they leak, they don’t do that, and then you wonder why it’s so chilly in the house and your heating bills are so high.

To spare yourself this sad fate, inspect the caulking and weather stripping on your windows and doors. If they’re no longer intact and doing their intended job, replace them before autumn turns to winter.

Fall Exterior Home Maintenance Tip #3: Check the Roof

Somebody should get up on your roof and inspect it twice a year, one time in the fall. It’s highly desirable to catch any problems before winter snows cover the roof and make it difficult to repair.

Not everyone is comfortable with heights or physically able to perform this exterior home care task him- or herself. But if you can’t attend to it yourself, it’s important that you find a trusted friend of an exterior home maintenance professional to attend to it for you. Problems that go unattended can worsen und spread until you need a complete roof replacement, and that’s expensive.

When checking a roof, you should look for rotten, damaged, or missing shingles, loose flashing, and signs of water damage. Some of these may be problems you’re willing and able to fix yourself. But if they aren’t, you can once again turn to the pros.

The experts at Stay Dry Roofing will be happy to help you with this or any of your fall exterior home maintenance needs. We offer free inspections and guarantee our work. Contact us today if we can be of assistance.

 

 

Roof leaks in Indianapolis

What to Do When Your Roof Leaks

When the Roof Leaks, Don’t Panic

When you notice the roof of your Indianapolis home leaks, it at the very least will seem like a significant inconvenience. If a lot of water is coming in, it can seem like a catastrophe. The water can damage the items inside the house and the floors. It can collapse a ceiling. Dampness can even promote the growth of toxic mold.

But don’t lose your head. There’s plenty you can do to keep roof leaks from becoming unmitigated disasters, especially when you catch them early. When you’re watching out for them, be aware that the first sign might not be water on the floor. It could just be a discolored spot on the ceiling that reveals the presence of water above the ceiling.

Roof leaks in Indianapolis

When you’re vigilant enough to detect roof leaks early, follow these steps in order.

When the Roof Leaks, Catch the Dripping Water

If water is coming through a ceiling leak, put a bucket under it. Scraps of wood inside the pail will quiet the irritating drip-drip-drip sound. If your problem is more severe, and you’ve got more than drips to deal with, get as many of your possessions as possible safely away from the water and cover the things that are too heavy to move with sturdy plastic sheeting.

When the Roof Leaks, Drain the Water

Climb up a ladder or onto a sturdy, stable chair and poke a hole in the wet part of the ceiling with a screwdriver or similar implement. You may feel reluctant to inflict any sort of damage on your own ceiling, but the fact of the matter is, failure to take this action can make things a lot worse. More moisture could seep in, or the weight of accumulating water could even make the entire ceiling fall down. At which point you’ll have to confront the fact that replacing all of it is far more expensive than just patching a little hole would have been.

When the Roof Leaks, Get Busy Investigating

See if you can figure out where the water is coming from, and be aware that water flows down flashing or trusses until it finds a weak point. That means the actual breach in the roof could be far away from the spot where the water is falling in to the living area of your home.

If you can get into your attic space, you’ll find it easier to search for roof leaks during daylight hours. Then turn off the lights. If you see a place in the roof where sunlight’s shining in, that’s where the roof leaks, too.

When the Roof Leaks, Use More Water to Find the Problem

If the turning-off-the-attic light technique doesn’t work, have someone else (preferably someone surefooted) get on the roof with a hose and spray the surface one small section at a time. When he or she reaches the right spot, you should have water coming in just as it does when it rains.

When the Roof Leaks, Call the Professionals

Sadly, the hose technique isn’t 100%, either. When all your efforts to find roof leaks yourself prove unavailing, it’s time to consult a professional. The expert can both isolate the problem, explain what must be done to fix it, and schedule repairs when you give your okay.

When the Roof Leaks, Spread a Tarp

Regrettably, even after you’ve found the source of roof leaks, it’s not always possible to fix the problem the same day. Until it is fixed, make sure the roof is dry enough to climb on safely, then spread heavy plastic sheeting or a tarp at least six millimeters thick over the compromised section of roof.

Spread your covering of choice at least four feet from the edge of the problem, continue past the ridge of the roof, and go at least four feet down the other side. That ensures you really have covered the roof leaks adequately. Use 2×4’s to weight the starting and finishing edges of the covering down and hold them in place. Fold the edges of the covering over the boards and use a nail gun to attach them securely. You can weight the other edges as well if wind is a concern.

Proceed carefully. You don’t want to tumble off and hurt yourself or to make new leaks by nailing or screwing the 2×4’s onto the roof.

Roof Leaks: A Final Word

Roof leaks require prompt attention to keep them causing significant damage to your Indianapolis home and the items inside. So address them promptly, and if you need assistance, we invite you to call Stay Dry Roofing. We’re here to help you.

Roof stains in Indianapolis

Identifying and Removing Roof Stains

The Annoyance of Roof Stains

Because roofing materials wear out due to time and exposure to the elements, sooner or later, every Indianapolis home needs roof replacement. Events like high winds and falling trees can also result in the need for roof repair.

Luckily, the problem isn’t always quite that drastic. Roof stains for example, may at least seem like a less serious issue. But even so, you’ll want to get rid of blemishes that spoil the appearance of the house. And in fact, some roof stains are symptomatic of another problem requiring attention.

Roof stains in Indianapolis

Here, them, is a guide to roof stains explaining the various kinds, how to remove them safely, and what to do to keep them from coming.

Identifying Roof Stains

To differentiate among roof stains and determine their causes, start by looking at the color. Additionally, check the location, and relation between the color and roof conditions like pitch, shading, debris, roofing materials, and nearby trees to glean further information.

Black or Dark Brown Roof Stains

Black of dark brown roof stains on shingles are often produced by black algae, fungal growth, lichens, extractive blending of asphalt, dirt, or organic debris, or bleed-through. When they’re near a chimney, soot is a likely culprit.

It’s also possible the roof stains are the result of tree debris.

Green Roof Stains

Green roof stains can also indicate the presence of algae. Or, they may be due to moss.

Red Roof Stains

Red roof stains nearly always indicate rust. Naturally, the rust is found on metal like, for example, rusty chimney flashing.

White Roof Stains

White stains often indicate that pigments are washing down from above.

Eliminating Roof Stains

The method for eliminating a particular type of roof stain depends on is nature and its cause.

Algae, Fungal, Moss, and Lichen Roof Stains

Raking or gentle washing with a brush is often the best way to get rid of these roof stains (and other sorts as well.) You may be temped to resort to power washing instead, but this is riskier. Even gentle treatment can further damage asphalt shingles that are old and fragile, Power washing is very likely to.

Since shade is conducive to the growth of algae, fungus, moss, and lichen, check to see if nearby trees are providing it. If so, you may want to trim back the offending branches.

Extractive Bleeding Roof Stains

Extractive bleeding is essentially a fancy way of saying that asphalt shingles were either defective to start with or have become so. It often gives the roof a streaked appearance.

To permanently solve the problem, you’ll need to replace the defective shingles.

Rust Roof Stains

To stop rust from leaking onto the roof, you’ll need to replace rusty components like, for example, the drip collar of a chimney cap. Check the construction of the overall system of which that component is a part as well. Perhaps the drip collar was vulnerable to rust because it didn’t fit the way if should have.

Sooty Roof Stains

Soot stains result from problems with chimneys, fireplace flues, or oil-powered heating flues. They can also indicate a serious safety risk. Soot stains around a gas-powered appliance flue reveal the very real possibility that fatal levels of carbon monoxide are building up inside the house. Should you discover them, take immediate action.

Roof Stains from Other Deposits

The remedy depends on what substance is leaking onto the roof and what the roof is made of. White or pale-colored stains may result from air-condition condensate, hared water calcium, lime, or scale among other possible causes.

Root Stains and Debris

You may have roof stains because debris is falling on the roof from tree limbs overhead. Naturally, you need to sweep away any debris that’s already on the roof, and this is another instance where you may want to trim overhanging branches back so they won’t drop any more.

All Kinds of Root Stains

Anytime you’re on your roof inspecting or fixing anything, there’s a certain danger of falling off and hurting yourself. The steeper the slope, the more challenging the roof structure is in some other way, or the more difficult your task, the greater the hazard. So be careful, and know your limits.

Roof Stains: Final Thoughts

Clearly, there’s a lot to understanding any stains that may appear on the roof of your Indianapolis home and a lot to know what to do about them. Fortunately, you don’t have to do it yourself. The professionals at Stay Dry Roofing will be glad to help you. Call us today for an inspection.

Roof color in Indianapolis

What’s the Best Roof Color for Your Home?

Your New Roof Color

When it’s time for roof replacement at your Indianapolis home, or to decide on the specifics of a roof for a new house, roofing companies ask you to decide on a variety of options. One of these is the color. Whether you’re opting for roof singles, roof tiles, metal roofing, or some other roofing material, suppliers offer any number of choices.

With so many parameters to consider, color may seem like the least important. Your inclination may be to jump at the first one that looks good to you and let it go at that. But in fact, roof color warrants a little more thought. Specifically, you may want to think about the following.

Roof color in Indianapolis

Your New Roof Color: Points to Consider

How would this roof color complement (or clash with) the rest of the house?

 Colors can blend, or they can create contrast. More traditional (which is to say, blending) choices for roof color include black, gray, and brown. Lighter tan and reddish-brown hues tend to provide contrast. A mix of colors gives a staggered effect. Whichever way you go, it’s helpful to understand that certain combinations just naturally tend to go well together.

  • White, gray, blue, or yellow houses look good with gray or black roofs.
  • Red or yellow brick houses go well with brown, gray, or black roofs.
  • Stone and earth-tone vinyl siding look good paired with tan or brown.

Do you want a roof color that will make the house look bigger?

 A lighter color will do the trick, particularly if it blends with the siding.

What roof color goes with the architectural style of the house?

You may not be an architect and feel yourself woefully unqualified to make judgments about architectural style. But by driving around Indianapolis and looking at homes like yours, you can see what looks good and what doesn’t. It’s not hard to observe, for example, that Spanish-style houses often have reddish clay-colored roofs (and look good with them), traditional colonials look good with a single color, and ranch houses can look good with a combination of colors.

Do you want a roof color that makes a statement or something more low key?

The bolder and more distinctive your choice, the likelier it is that your house will catch the eye of every passerby. You have to decide if that’s what you want.

How will this roof color affect your cooling and heating costs?

As you probably remember from science class, lighter colors reflect heat. Thus a light roof color can help keep your air-conditioning bill down. Conversely, darker colors hold heat, and therefore a dark roof color can help with your heating costs.

What roof color (or colors) do the neighbors have?

You probably aren’t under any obligation to match your neighbors’ choices exactly. But it’s worth noting that a roof color radically different than any of theirs can make your home look peculiar and as if it doesn’t belong in the neighborhood.

Depending on where you live, your homeowners association may even have rules that place limits on your choice of roof color. It’s worth checking before you proceed with a choice you don’t see reflected in any of the houses around you.

Is the roof color you like actually available in roof shingles, metal roofing, roof tiles, or whatever type of roofing material you’ve chosen?

As noted above, in today’s market, it very likely is. But if it isn’t, you’ll have to go with a different option.

Roof Color and Roofing Contractors

Finally, when it’s time to choose a roof color, know that you don’t have to go it alone. The professionals from roofing companies are happy to share their expertise and explain, for example, how you can use roof color (or colors) to accent elements like dormers and other distinctive architectural features.

Roof vents in Indianapolis

Do You Want Roof Vents?

Roof Vents: Two Types of Roof

Your Indianapolis home may be in need of roof replacement. You may be considering the advisability of adding additional insulation. Or perhaps you’re building an entirely new house and wondering what sort of roof will suit you best.

Modern construction techniques afford you a variety of choices. Broadly speaking, your home can have either a “hot roof” or a “cold roof.”

Roof vents in Indianapolis

A hot roof isn’t ventilated. It has foam insulation attached to the roof sheathing. The underlying concept of a hot roof is that it doesn’t allow heat to escape through roof vents into the outside world. Instead, heat stays trapped in the attic space, and that in turn should reduce the cost of heating the hous

A cold roof is the more old-fashioned roof with roof vents.

Hot roofs and cold roofs each have their advantages and disadvantages. By understanding these and talking to your homebuilder or roofing professional, you should be able to choose the type of roof that’s right for you.

The Hot Roof: Doing Away With Roof Vents

First off, it’s important to understand that a hot roof isn’t really all that hot. It’s not in constant danger of bursting into flame or anything like that. The lack of attic ventilation only makes the attic space a few degrees warmer than would be the case if you’d opted for roof vents, and that comes with a number of benefits.

  • As alluded to above, without roof vents, you can anticipate reduced heating costs in the winter.
  • If you have water and/or air ducts running through the attic, they’re less likely to experience the effect of extreme temperatures. This too should translate into savings on your utility bills.
  • Provided they’re installed properly, hot roofs aren’t prone to excessive moisture accumulation.
  • The Homeowners Trade & Resource Center (HTRC) reports that hot roofs guard against the formation of ice dams.

But it’s not all good news.

  • A hot roof can create what’s called a “stack effect.” This phenomenon occurs because an attic space without roof vents experiences positive air pressure. That in turns means the lower reaches of the home, where you and your family actually live, are under negative pressure. As a result, outside air will flow into the house wherever it can, for instance, under doors or through leaky windows.
  • A roof that experiences more heat is a roof likely to wear out and need roof replacement sooner.
  • Roofs without roof vents are prone to failure if the house lacks a high building envelope including vapor retarders and air barriers.

The Cold Roof: Keeping the Roof Vents

With a cold roof, insulation goes under the ceiling. That means it’s under the attic space, which is therefore not insulated. This provides the following benefits.

  • Your Indianapolis house stays cooler in the summer heat.
  • Because the roof sheathing stays cooler, it lasts longer.
  • The roof vents remove moisture from sheathing, structural members, roof cavities, and insulation.
  • Provided it’s properly installed and insulated, a cold roof also protects against ice dams.

But once again, there are potential drawbacks to consider.

  • More heat will escape when you’re trying to heat your home.
  • If persistent weather conditions are such that the outside air doesn’t absorb moisture as fast as it accumulated, or if the cold roof simply wasn’t installed or insulated properly, it could fail.

Roof Vents: The Takeaway

Perhaps the most important piece of information here is that whatever type of roof you choose for your Indianapolis home, it absolutely must be installed properly to avoid serious headaches and costly repairs down the line. We invite you to contact Stay Dry Roofing to handle all your roofing needs. We’ll get the job done right.

Roof replacement in Indianapolis

What is the Roof Replacement Process?

Why Choose Roof Replacement In Indianapolis?

When we think of the need for roof replacement, we’re apt to think of high winds or some other dramatic weather event or accident destroying the old one. But the fact of the matter is, no roof lasts forever. Even the best ones deteriorate over time, and that means that eventually, everyone needs a new roof.

Roof replacement in Indianapolis

When that moment arrives for you, you may well find the roof replacement cost expensive and the process itself more time-consuming than you’d like. But it will help your peace of mind if you understand the roof replacement process going in.

Roof Replacement: The Preliminaries

When it’s time for a new roof, you’ll have to decide what company is going to do the job. Before settling on one, it’s a good idea to get several quotes from several companies that are licensed, local, and have good reviews online. You want to get the best bargain on your roof replacement cost than you can so long as it’s coming from a reputable, professional outfit.

Roof Replacement: Out with the Old

Before your roof replacement company of choice can put on a new roof, the workers generally have to get rid of the old one. (The exception is discussed below.)

If you have shingles, they’ll pry them loose with a tool called a shingle fork.

In the case of a metal roof, the workers remove it panel by panel using a full-size pry bar or perhaps a drill if the screws aren’t too weathered to make this impractical.

Roof Replacement: Check the Flashing

Once the top layer is gone, workers inspect the flashing, the aluminum or galvanized steel that prevents water from seeping through joints. It protects the roof’s chimney, valleys, and vents with different sorts of flashing in different areas. Chimneys, for example, need step and counter flashing.

Flashing sees a lot of hard use, and it’s likely the inspection will reveal that parts of it are rusty and cracked. But if the flashing is in good shape, it can stay. Otherwise, the workers will replace it with modern flashing and seal their handiwork.

A coating of roofing cement on the edges of flashing helps keep water out.

It’s particularly important to have good flashing underneath the roofing covering the valleys, if any, on your roof. You really need it here to send water off the roof and into the gutter system.

Roof Replacement: The Underlayment

Even a well laid roof lets a little water seep through its surface layer. The underlayment’s job is to keep this water from penetrating any deeper. It catches and sheds the water to prevent it from rotting the sheathing and framing underneath.

Before the underlayment proper goes down, the roofers install an ice and water barrier. They tuck it under the drip edge and then nail it down securely. The underlayment’s rows overlap to maximize protection.

Roof Replacement: The Layering Alternative

In certain cases, rather than go through the steps above, a homeowner may opt to put on a new roof consisting of a new layer of shingles on top of an old one. That’s assuming this alternative is allowed in the homeowner’s jurisdiction; it isn’t always.

When you put on a new roof with layering, you reduce the work involved. This isn’t much of a consideration for professional roofers, who can generally dispose of an old roof in a morning, but it can be more important for do-it-yourselfers.

Layering has two disadvantages that may make a professional roofing company advise against and that contribute to it not being permitted in certain localities.

One is that layer upon layer of shingles is heavy. A triple layer of asphalt shingles weighs as much as a single layer of slate shingles, which are quite heavy. Piling on too much weight can result in too much stress on the structures that support the roof and damage them. This is especially prone to happen in older houses.

The other problem is telegraphing. The new layer of shingles follows any irregularities present underneath, and if bumps, waves, and bubbles contributed to your decision to put on a new roof, there’s a fair chance you’ll end up with them again, and your roof will look unattractive as a result. Correcting as many problems with the old layer as possible before putting on the new shingles may prevent or at least minimize flaws in the new roof’s appearance.

Roof Replacement: The New Roof

After all the preparation, it’s time to install the new roof itself. The roof replacement process varies somewhat depending on the type of roof you decided on. There are a number of types available. You may make your selection based on cost, overall durability, fire resistance, appearance, a desire to have your home blend in well with other houses in the neighborhood, suitability for the essential shape of your roof, or some other factor. These are some of the roofs that are available:

Roof Replacement: Types of Roofing Material

  • Asphalt composition shinglesare the most common choice for a new roof, probably because they’re readily obtainable, cheap, and keep the roof replacement cost down. Most people consider them the least visually appealing option, however.
  • Wood shakesare a more expensive but also more attractive type of shingle. They’re generally quite durable but have relatively poor fire resistance.
  • Metal roofscome in a number of varieties including raised-seam panels and products made to look like composite shingles. They’re durable, long lasting, fireproof, and common considered quite attractive. Given their many virtues, it’s no surprise that, whether made of steel or aluminum, they’re expensive. They also require workers with special tools and expertise to install them.
  • Slate roofingis another expensive option. It’s attractive but also heavy, slippery to walk on, and tricky to repair if it gets damaged.
  • Composition slate tilesare synthetic tiles made of 95% recycled materials, notably rubber. So they can be an appealing choice for people concerned about the environment. They look a lot like stone or slate but are lighter and less easily damaged.
  • Clay or ceramic tilescreate the red-tile roof many of us associate with Spanish-style architecture, Florida, and Southern California. True ceramic tile is going out of fashion now, replaced by materials that look like it, have its resistance to fire, but are lighter. Whether real or imitation, these tiles are called half-barrels because each comes in the form of a cylinder sawed in half lengthwise.

As you’d expect, each type of roofing material requires a somewhat different method of installation. Here are two examples:

Roof Replacement: The Shingle Roof

Workers replacing roof shingles will use starter shingles at the bottom and sides. The nails go in just under the tar strips on the shingles, and staggered rows protect against leaks.

Roof Replacement: The Metal Roof

When installing a metal roof, the workers will be careful to get everything square and then start screwing the new roof down by going up the vertical edge. They’ll put the screws into the ridges, never the flats, and as a result, the roof will go on flatter and the screws will be better protected from pooling water. This method also helps to keep water away from the fasteners. Screws with rubber washers yield the most satisfactory results.

Roof Replacement: Final Thoughts

That’s all a lot to take in, but at Stay Dry Roofing, we can answer all your questions about roof replacement and put on a new roof anywhere in the Indianapolis area. Check our reviews and references online, get a quote on our site, or give us a call. We’ll do a skilled, professional job at an affordable price.

 

avoiding roofing contractor scams

Warning Signs to Help You Avoid Scam Contractors

If you need work done on your home, whether it is roof repairs or installations, remodeling work, or some other project, you are going to need to find a reliable contractor to do the work. It is important to stay vigilant because there are people out there today who will take advantage of you in your time of need. Scam contractors are everywhere and it is important to stay vigilant and to know the warning signs that can help you avoid becoming a victim of a scam. Here at Stay Dry Roofing, we wanted to help you recognize the most common warning signs that you might be dealing with a scammer:

Lack of licensing. Ask for proof that the contractor has a license to work in your area and has the necessary paperwork to legally work in the area and on the type of project you need them to do. Contractors coming door to door may not be from a local, established business, and many state licenses do not permit them to work out of the state the license is issued from. Of course, there’s always a risk even with a fully licensed contractor, but the risk is much less than just working with anyone who shows up at your door. “Just because someone has a license and insurance doesn’t always mean they’ll do the best job,” says George “Geep” Moore, remodeler chairman at the National Association of Home Builders(NAHB). “But it does mean they’re a legitimate contractor and they’re doing the right thing.” You can avoid many of the scam contractors out there by doing this one basic thing before hiring anyone!

Much lower bids. Before hiring a contractor to do any kind of work on your home you should get quotes or estimates from at least three different companies or contractors. “Have your choices in mind before you get your estimates,” says New Jersey contractor Lucy K.H. Kalian. The more specifics you can give a contractor, the more likely it is that you’ll get an accurate estimate. The Better Business Bureau(BBB) suggests: If you get a bid that’s a lot less than the others, there’s usually a reason for it. The cheapest deal is rarely the best deal.” Think of it like this- if the job will cost a contractor $3,000 for supplies and $10,000 for time and labor, if someone gives you an estimate of $8,000 there is a strong chance they are cutting corners on the quality of the work and the materials they are using. This out you at risk for problems later on after the work has been done and starts to fail.

Roofing Contractors

Requiring large upfront deposits. Each state has different regulations that govern how much a contractor can ask for up front. In most cases, it ranges from less than 10 percent to around 30 percent. Upfront payments are needed so the contractor can buy materials and supplies that are needed to get started with the project. So, legitimate contractors will ask for some kind of upfront deposits but if your contractor is asking for what seems like an exorbitant amount upfront tack it as a warning sign that you are likely dealing with scam contractors.

No permanent business location. “
Not every contractor who might come knocking on your door will have a scam — some may have the skills to repair your home, but they may not know how to deal with all the complications that come with a natural disaster and water damage. Be extra careful and make sure that anyone who helps you after a natural disaster is qualified and state licensed” (Houzz). If you call a contractor and they do not answer with the name of the business or you ask for their office location and they give you a mailing address or a PO Box then use caution. They may not necessarily be scammers but if something does go wrong during or after they work on your home you will want to be able to track someone down and speak to someone about your concerns. You cannot do this if all you have is a phone number or mailing address and you end up falling for one of the scam contractors in the area.

No contract. The most important part of your negotiation with a contractor is developing the contract and signing it. You should always steer clear of contractors who says a contract isn’t necessary, especially after any type of natural disaster. A contract is a paper that outlines what work will be done, how long it should take, how much it should cost, the pay schedule, the materials that will be used, and other important information regarding the work that needs to be done. While some smaller subcontractors may not work with contracts on a regular basis, is something you still ask for. Even a basic contract is better than nothing because it will help you avoid being taken advantage of and gives you a legal basis in the event the contractor doesn’t finish the work or they do not uphold their end of the contractual agreement.

scam contractor warning signs

No insurance. Every general contractor that does work on your home or property must be properly insured. It is the contractor’s insurance policy that will protect their workers in case they’re injured on your property. If they do not have the right type of insurance or worse no insurance coverage at all, you are the one who will be responsible for any damage or injury. If someone falls off your roof or gets hurt while working on your property you could be held liable for their medical bills if the contractor did not have the right insurance. If a contractor is moving equipment or cutting branches from trees around your home and something falls and damages your neighbor’s property you also will be liable for those damages when the contractor did not have sufficient insurance coverage. You should always as for a potential contractor’s insurance policy number, then calling the insurance company to make sure the policy is still valid, what the coverage limits are, and make sure the contractor has every single employee covered.

Inadequate references. Get at least three references for each potential contractor and actually check them. Make sure they are referenced from previous clients that your contractor has worked within the recent past. These are important to get and consider because they can help expose possible scam contractors. Once you have the references, you can then call them yourself to verify that what your contractor is telling you is true. Your insurance company can provide recommendations for local licensed contractors. It is important to never trust someone who shows up on your door saying they are representing your insurance company when you were not expecting someone to show up. It is important to do your research through outside sources as well such as the BBB and local review sites and social media pages like Yelp! As they can offer great insight that you would not have otherwise.

working with a roofing contractor

Special deals. Avoid working with a contractor who offers you “special” pricing, particularly if you agree to work with them and sign a contract right then and there. You don’t want to rush into an agreement until you know exactly what you’re getting yourself into. Scam contractors will often offer great deals and discount to entice people to agree to work with them without taking the time to think about it, compare rates, and check the contractor out. This should be a major red flag to anyone approached by a contractor in this manner. A legitimate contracting company may have specials and discounts that they can offer but they will have a ‘valid only today’ clause attached to them.

Mechanic’s liens.“Legally, an unpaid contractor, subcontractor or supplier can file a mechanic’s lien against your property, which can eventually force the sale of the property in lieu of compensation. It’s a way for professionals to guarantee they get paid…Make sure you have a list of all the subcontractors, laborers and materials suppliers that your primary contractor will be using, and ask for proof that everyone has been paid before releasing your final payment — otherwise you could be held liable. Homeowners can end up paying for supplies twice otherwise — both to a subcontractor and to a supplier who ended up not being paid by said subcontractor” (Houzz).

roof work and roofing contractors

Contact Us Today

To learn more about avoiding scam contractors and how to make sure you are finding the right contractor for your roofing needs, contact us today at Stay Dry Roofing. We can help you take care of any roofing needs you may have from repair and general maintenance to a full replacement or a new construction installation. Call now to speak to our team or to schedule a consultation appointment. We look forward to working with you and helping you with your roofing needs!

What You Should Know About Ice Dams

As much as people like the colder weather up North and no matter how much fun the snow can be to play in and look at during the winter time, it can cause a wide range of issues for your home, especially the roofing system. When the snow on your house begins to melt, it flows off like rain. However, if the temperatures drop again after the snow starts melting, you face a new problem: ice dams. The formation of ice dams on your roof can cause major damage to the roof and other parts of your home and can lead to extensive and costly repairs in the winter as well as in the spring when the snow and ice all begins to melt. Here at Stay Dry Roofing we have experience with winter roof care and maintenance and can assist you so you know everything you need to know about ice dams this winter.

What Exactly Are Ice Dams?

“There is a complex interaction among the amount of heat loss from a house, snow cover and outside temperatures that leads to ice dam formation. For ice dams to form there must be snow on the roof, and, at the same time, higher portions of the roof’s outside surface must be above 32 degrees F while lower surfaces are below 32. For a portion of the roof to be below 32, outside temperatures must also be below 32. When we say temperatures above or below 32, we are talking about average temperature over sustained periods of time. The snow on a roof surface that is above 32 will melt. As water flows down the roof it reaches the portion of the roof that is below 32 and freezes. Voila! – an ice dam” (University of Minnesota Extension).

ice on the roof

The dams form and can quickly grow because it is being steadily fed by the melting snow above it. However, the ice will only form in areas of the roof where the roofing material reaches 32 degrees or colder. When the water hit this area, it will refreeze and form the ice dam and stop the water from flowing any farther off the roof’s edge.  So, the water above the dam backs up and stays in a melted liquid state because it is in contact with roofing material that is above freezing. This water finds cracks and openings in the exterior roof covering and flows into the attic space. From the attic, it could flow into exterior walls or through the ceiling insulation and stain the ceiling finish.

This is why it is important to be mindful of ice dams this winter and why you need to be mindful of how well your roofing system is insulated and if any known damage is present before the snow and ice begin to accumulate.

Do Ice Dams Cause Damage to Homes?

Ice dams are a common cause for roof leaks, and if your roof is leaking you could end up with expensive interior damages. Leaks can lead to wet and infective insulation which only worsen the heat and air exchange between your home and the outside air. Water that gets into your home can ruin ceiling and walls and even reach to your floor where it can rot floorboard and ruin carpeting. All of this wet material can cause mold and mildew to form which can not only worsen the decay and staining but it can put you and your family at risk for health issues.  Individuals who have allergies or who are sensitive to things like old can become very sick and even be hospitalized because of the mold. Other conditions can be made worse and many people experience sinus infections, chronic coughs, and other problems because of the mold caused by a leaky roofing system.  Ice dams can make existing damage worse and can cause even more damage which is why you must be mindful of them and be vigilant during the winter and understand how these ice dams form and lead to damage.

snow on the roof

“Heat from the house travels to the roof surface in three ways: conduction, convection, and radiation. Conduction is heat energy traveling through a solid. A good example of this is the heating of a cast iron frying pan. The heat moves from the bottom of the pan to the handle by conduction. If you put your hand above the frying pan, heat will reach it by the other two methods. The air right above the frying pan is heated and rises. The rising air carries heat/energy to your hand. This is heat transfer by convection…In a house, heat moves through the ceiling and insulation by conduction through the slanted portion of the ceiling. In many homes, there is little space in regions like this for insulation, so it is important to use insulations with high R-value per inch to reduce heat loss by conduction” (University of Minnesota Extension). R-value is how well the material will insulate so three inches of insulation with a 25 R-value is better than three inches of insulation with a 15 R-value. A local roofing expert, like our team here at Stay Dry Roofing, can assist you with finding the best insulation for your attic and roof so you can prepare for the coming snow and ice and so you can work to prevent ice dams this winter.

Can Ice Dams be Prevented?

The best strategy for preventing ice dams is to keep your roof cold. First, make sure you have the right kind of insulation installed, using R-38 at the very least. Next, it is important to inspect your roofing system inside and out at least once a year but two or more times a year is ideal. This will ensure you are noting any and all changes and can detect problems and damages when they are minor. Dealing with them before they have the chance to get out of hand is critical! You also should do routine checks of your roof to look for leaks where air can move between your home and the outside. These are known as energy leaks and are a prime place for roof damage to occur, especially if you do get ice dams forming. Your best bet is to work with a roofing professional to come in and test your home for energy leaks, particularly up to the roof, after which they can recommend the best course of action.

If your home is due for some remodeling or repairs involving the roof or siding, take the opportunity to find and seal air leaks and upgrade your insulation.  You may also want to consider a new roof or a major upgrade to ensure your roofing system is ready for the winter cold ahead. Preventing ice dams from forming will save you money overall, by increasing the lifespan of your roof, keeping your roof in good condition, maintaining the integrity of your home’s structure, and keeping insulation in peak working condition. For a professional inspection or for emergency help in the event of an ice dam, contact Stay Dry Roofing today and let us help you with the best local expert roofing care available. Call now to get started and protect your home from ice dams this winter!

Basic Roof Maintenance Tips for the New Year

The roofing system of your home or business is the first line of dense against the elements and helps protect you and your family and your possessions from weather-related damages. It is important to take care of your roofing system and to be sure you are choosing the right roof and care routine for your roof and your area. To make the most of roof maintenance tips for the new year you need to understand what your roof does and how it reacts to weather events in your area!

“Extreme weather was a major factor in raising roofing sales and production numbers in 2016. Keith Lowe, Vice-president of Sales for IKO, said, “This was one of the largest storm years we’ve had in the past four years, and the demand for roofing was definitely up. We anticipate this momentum to continue into 2017, as we don’t expect storm activity to slow down.” Storm data statistics from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) concur noting that 20,237 significant storms were recorded in 2016. While that’s a slight increase from 2015 (19,172), it represented the highest number in about three years and it was sufficient to cause disruption in the asphalt shingle supply chain. If you’re planning to replace your roof, please consider the climate changes you’ve experienced lately in your area and select the right asphalt shingles for those evolving conditions” (IKO)

roof inspections

Roof Maintenance Tips for the New Year

There are many things you can do to prolong the life of your roofing material and prevent leaks, additional damage or even the dreaded replacement. It is the start of a new year so we here at Stay Dry Roofing wanted to share some basic roof maintenance tips for the new year!

 

Inspect Your Roof
You should be inspecting your roof at least twice a year. You also should be doing some kind of inspection and check up on your roof after every major storm to check for damage. Use a pair of binoculars to conduct this twice yearly exam. Avoid walking on your roof unless absolutely necessary because you can damage the shingles, panels, and tiles of your roof by walking on them. If you must get on the roof, wear rubber-soled shoes, secure the ladder so it doesn’t slide, and use caution so you do not slip and fall.

tips for good roof care

Replace Missing Materials
To prevent additional damage like leaking water damage, further wear and tear, and damage to the lower roofing supports, you need to do everything you can to replace broken or missing roofing materials as soon as possible. This is one of the most important things you can do to keep up with roof maintenance tips for the new year. A weak spot will allow the elements free access and most likely more material will break loose. Without it being taken care of, small damage and quickly grow into bigger and more severe issues that cost more to replace!

 

Do Not Power Wash
Many homeowners make one big mistake when it comes to roof maintenance tips for the new year. They think that getting rid of mold and mildew and stains from their roof with a pressure washer is a good idea. This, however, is not a good idea at all, and it will often lead to bigger problems and even worse damage. The pressure from a power washer can cause unseen damage and drive water in under your shingles or tiles, blazing a path for future problems. It’s best to talk to the roofing experts at Stay Dry Roofing for ideas on how to clean your roof.

 

Remove Debris
Another way to get started with the best roof maintenance tips for the new year is to tackle the debris outside of your house as well as inside. Clear the roof and gutters of leaves, branches and other debris. Gutters and downspouts need to be kept clear so the water can flow off your roof freely. If they are clogged with leaves and sticks the water can back up and pool on the roof where it can leak into the home as it soaks into the shingles. Leaf debris the accumulates on the roof can hold water and can cause mold and moisture to begin rotting the roofing material.

 

Trim Trees
Trees and branches are serious culprits for roof damage so another one of the important roof maintenance tips for the new year is to address issues with your trees and landscapes. Branches leaning over the roof can break and fall during a heavy snowfall or during a bad storm. Branches rubbing against the root and eves and tear off shingles and fascia and damage the roofing system. Having a lot of trees around your home can also lead to a lot of work removing leaf debris every week. If you need help call in roofing professionals or tree care experts to cut your trees back.

 

Talk to the Experts
If you spot potential roofing problems, call the experts at Stay Dry Roofing as soon as you can. Our professional team brings years of experience working with tile, shingle, shake, metal and other popular materials on everything from residential to commercial projects. No matter how big or small your roof is or how big or small your needs are we are here to help!  Call us today to get started and to see for yourself what we can do for your roofing system and to see how we can make roof maintenance tips for the new year a simple task to check off your to-do list!

 

Roof Snow Removal Tips That Work

Any homeowner who has spent more than one or two winters in the North knows how much snow can accumulate on a roof and how fast it can build up. Chances are anyone who lives in the North also knows how devastating snow and ice accumulate on the roof can be for the structure below. If you are looking for some roof snow removal tips that work then this is the article you do not want to gloss over! The team of roofing experts here at Stay Dry Roofing have years of experience working with winter roof care and maintenance including snow and ice removal. We have seen first hand how damaging winter weather can be for the homes and businesses in the area and we are here to help!  If you have any concerns at all about your roof this winter or you have questions about to care for your roof, give us a call.

Why do I need to get the snow removed from my roof?

The main reason you should keep your roof as snow-free as possible during the winter is that this is a crucial step in preventing ice dams from forming on your roof. Ice dams can’t form without snow because they rely on snows melting and re-freezing on the roof.  If you’re able to prevent ice dams, you’re far more likely to prevent your roof from leaking and damaging the inside of your home. And this all starts with keeping the amount of snow on your roof at a minimum.  Another reason roof snow removal is so important is that it’s a good idea to keep all that excess weight off your roof.  Snow can get quite heavy and ice that forms from refreezing snow melts can be even heavier and put a lot of stress on the support structures of your home. As a rule of thumb, one square-foot of snow that’s one-inch deep weighs about a pound.  If your roof has 12 inches of snow on it, that could easily amount to thousands of pounds of stress on your roof, which is much more than most roofs are rated to safely support for long periods of time. That’s not even counting the weight of any ice dams that may form as a result of leaving the snow on your roof; just one cubic foot of ice weighs 57 pounds, and a typical ice dam can weigh thousands of pounds.  So, finding and implementing roof snow removal tips that work is one of the best things you can do to protect your property this winter.

How do I know when roof snow removal is necessary?

There is some debate among roofing contractors and homeowners as to how much snow and ice is too much to have building up on a roof. It depends partly on the age of the roofing system, they style roof you have, the materials used, how well the roof has been maintained, and the environmental factors that are at a play. Here at Stay Dry Roofing, we think a good rule of thumb is to get your roof cleared after every 6 inches of snowfall.  If you prevent too much snow from piling up on your roof, it’s much harder for ice dams to form and you can certainly stop worrying about any sort of roof cave-in. If you know your area is prone to massive snow dumps over a short period of time with winter storms, or you have had issues with ice dams and heavy snow loads in the past, you are going to want to stay on top of snow removal and do it more often.

When deciding the right time to get roof snow removal, it’s also important to take into account how heavy the snow is.  Snow can vary in its weight by quite a bit. Wet, heavy snow can weigh 6 or more times as much as lighter dryer snow.  One cubic foot of snow can typically range in weight from as little as 0.26lbs (light, dry snow) to as much as 1.66lbs. (heavy, wet snow).  Wet snow that seems damp and leaves your gloves or clothes damp may indicate a need for more routine snow removal. Soft, light powdery snow can accumulate more without being too heavy. Though it is important to note that 12 inches of light fluffy snow can get wet and heavy if there is a small period of thawing temperatures or heavier wetter snow falls on top of it. How often you need to get your roof cleared also depends partly on the weather forecast and what the weather is like, how much snow is predicted to falls, and what the temperatures for the next few days look like.  Stay Dry Roofing knows snow and winter roof care and we can help you with roof snow removal tips that work and roof care services that take care of all the hard stuff for you.

The Do’s and Don’ts of Snow Removal

We have seen homeowners try with the best of interests to deal with snow and ice accumulation on their own but many times it does not work out too well. It is always best to trust the experts with  your roofing needs, but if you want to do what you can to take care of your roofing system this winter, here are a few “do’s and don’ts” of roof snow removal you need to know:

  • Do remove the snow either by shovel or by rake, whichever is easiest and safest for you, so that you reduce the chance of ice dams forming.
  • Don’t use salt products on your roof because it can damage your roof materials and damage your yard and driveway, and anything located below on the ground.
  • Don’t use heat cables as we have found them to be fairly expensive and not all that effective once the snow has accumulated past 6 inches deep.
  • Do remember to reduce ice dams, snow should not accumulate past 6 inches and to reduce the chance of roof collapse, snow should not accumulate past 12 inches.
  • Do be careful to avoid any overhead power lines, cables, tree limbs or anything else hanging over your property when you are raking your roof.
  • Do make sure you clear the overhangs and eves and all areas of the roof to ensure snow and ice loads do not grow too heavy.
  • Don’t try to remove the snow yourself if you are unsure as it is best to call in the experts to handle heavy snow and ice removal safely and effectively.
  • Don’t use a shovel with a metal edge or shovel your entire roof more than a handful of times each winter, as it can gouge and damage roofing materials.
  • Don’t leave any snow pathways on your roof—caused by walking back and forth through the snow as this can lead to uneven weight distribution.
  • Do be very wary of any roof snow removal companies whose rates are surprisingly low as they are usually doing a half-assed job and it will show.
  • Do realize that the best snow and ice dam removal teams will be thorough, communicative, and honest with you about the cost of services and what you need.

ice and snow on the roof

Contact Us Today

To learn more about roof snow removal tips that work and to find the best roofing contractors in the area to work with this winter, give us a call here at Stay Dry Roofing. Our team of experienced roof care experts are ready to help you get through this winter without incident and if something should arise, we will be there to help you through it every step of the way.  Call now for a consultation appointment and no obligation estimate!