Roof inspection

What Happens During a Roof Inspection?

The Need for Roof Inspection

You should make a roof inspection of your home a couple times a year. Or, if you’re physical unable to get up on the roof or feel unsafe up there, you should send somebody else up there to do it for you.

When you get up close, you may be able to see signs of damage, cracked or curling shingles for example, that weren’t visible from farther away. That in turn may enable you to make repairs before small problems develop into big expensive ones.

But you aren’t an expert, and a certified roof inspector can find problems you weren’t able to pinpoint. Such an inspection is an indispensable part of almost any real estate sale. Similarly, a professional roofer will need to make a thorough roof inspection as a preliminary to giving you an estimate for a job.

It’s helpful for you to know what goes on during a professional roof inspection. It will help you see that the inspector is doing a thorough, competent job and also help you make sense of the findings when they’re reported to you. Here, then, is a guide to what goes into a roof inspection.

Roof inspection

The Roof Inspection: Leaks and the Likelihood of Future Leaks

This, of course, is the most obvious thing to check for when evaluating the integrity of a roof. Leaks make it unpleasant to be in a house when it’s raining, and the water coming in can damage your possessions and structural elements of the house. Over time, the damage gets worse and worse until the homeowner is facing huge repair costs. Finding future leaks may seem trickier than hunting down existing ones, but shifting of cracking shingles are a pretty good clue that leaks are on he way.

The Roof Inspection: Insulation and Ventilation

A roof needs good insulation and ventilation. When it doesn’t have them, it costs the homeowner money. If the insulation is inadequate, the house responds to changing weather in a less than optimal manner, and cooling and heating costs go up. Poor ventilation lets in moisture, and in time, the moisture can damage your possessions and the structure of the house itself just like the more obvious water admitted by a leak. So a certified roof inspector will be sure to check the insulation and ventilation.

The Roof Inspection: Moisture, Mildew, and Mold

A competent professional roof inspection will check for the presence of moisture in the roof even in the absence of any perceptible leaks or ventilation issues. The inspector will check for mildew and mold as well. Moisture gives rise to mildew and provides the proper conditions for the growth and spread of mold. Mold can spoil the appearance of the part of the home where it’s flourishing, but the consequences of its presence can be even worse than that. Some mold is hazardous to your health. It can bring on allergenic reactions and respiratory distress, and mold mitigation can be involved and expensive once the nasty stuff has taken hold.

The Roof Inspection: Prior Roofing Maintenance

What roof maintenance and roof repair have taken place in the past? Do you know? Even if you do, do you know if this work was done properly? One benefit of a thorough, competent professional roof inspection is that it will tell you. The certified roof inspector will check on the maintenance of chimneys, eaves, and any additions that may have been made to the roof.

If you have a house that’s in need of a professional roof inspection, please get in touch with the experts at Stay Dry Roofing and make an appointment today. We provide comprehensive roofing services throughout Indianapolis and the Midwest, and those services include free inspections.

You Need a Professional Roofer Before Winter Comes

Autumn Means It’s Time for a Professional Roofer

No part of your home is more important than the roof. It protects you, your possessions, and the house itself from rain and snow. It keeps out insects and larger pests like squirrels. It holds in the warm air the furnace makes to keep your home comfortable and your heating bills low.

There may be some obvious damage or deterioration up on your roof. You may be able to see some cracked or missing shingles or have discovered a leak. But even if you haven’t spotted any trouble, it’s a good idea to contact a roofing company to come out and make an inspection.

Professional roofer from a professional roofing company

The inspection can discover problems that weren’t apparent to you, problems that need attention before they get worse. It might even point up the need for roof replacement although you naturally hope not (Roof replacement is pricey, but weather and time deteriorate every roof over time. Depending on the particular material, local weather conditions, etc., a roof lasts 15 to 25 years.)

Fall is the perfect time for a roof inspection because winter comes after fall, and winter with its snowfall and cold, gusty winds will stress the roof considerably. Roof repair now can eliminate vulnerabilities and keep the roof from failing you in a big way just when you need it most.

Once you decide you need to contact a roofing company, the issue then becomes, how do you make sure you’re doing business with competent, ethical professionals?

How to Choose a Professional Roofer

HomeAdvisor, HomeFlock, and comparable services provide lists of professionals in your area who have been vetted via a screening process.

Angie’s List, sitejabber, and other sites provide customer ratings and reviews.

They’re well worth consulting, but you won’t necessarily have to go online to find information on roofing companies. Do you have family members, friends, or coworkers who had occasional to hire a professional roofer? If so, ask if they’d recommend that roofing company, and why or why not. You’ll get a better sense of whether you’d want that roofing company working on your house if you obtain detailed information.

Similarly, you can talk to former and current customers assuming the professional roofer is willing to make their names and contact information available to you.

There are certain attributes and qualities you should look for as you evaluate whether a particular professional roofer is the right choice for you.

Attributes of a Trustworthy Professional Roofer

The roofing company should be well established in your area. You want one that’s local and, ideally, has been around for a while. If a roofer isn’t local, or if the business is here today and gone tomorrow, you might have a lot of trouble getting defective work corrected or a warranty honored.

Professional roofers should have the training and experience to provide roofing services well. They have the certifications that attest to their abilities.

A good roofing company provides safe working conditions for all its workers and protects them all with worker’s comp.

A professional roofer is knowledgeable about permits and will secure any necessary ones prior to beginning a job.

A reputable roofing company will provide an estimate before you agree to a job and confer with you if they see a need to revise that estimate as the job proceeds. The point of the discussion will be to demonstrate to your satisfaction that any increase is necessary and reasonable and to ensure that the work remains within your budget. You naturally hope the original estimate will stand, but unforeseen circumstances can arise that increase costs.

A reputable professional roofer will not ask for full payment up front although you should anticipate making a down payment of no more than 10 perfect.

A professional roofer should set a completion date for a job and, as with changes to the estimate, talk with you to explain any delays and establish a new date.

A good professional roofer will guarantee the work and provide an industry-standard warranty. For example, if you’re actually getting a new roof, the roofing company should guarantee installation and workmanship for five years. The roofing materials themselves should come with a 20 to 40 year warranty.

At Stay Dry Roofing, we pride ourselves on being a roofing company that meets all the standards above. Call us when you’ve made the wise decision to engage a roofer before winter arrives.

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 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.

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!

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!

 

Understanding the Risk of Snow and Ice Accumulation on the Roof

Extreme winter weather is bad for people but is also poses a serious risk for your roofing system as the risk of snow and ice accumulation grows the deeper into a brutal winter we get. Roof care for the winter months is critical to keeping your roof in good shape all year round. It is also the biggest contributing factor to prevent roof damage and roof collapse due to snow and ice accumulation. “Snow and ice can collapse roofs, especially on older buildings. Older buildings have a greater risk of corrosion, which can weaken its structural integrity. Newer buildings that have roofs made of light-weight metal, roofs that are flat, or roofs that do not have a lot of supports are more likely to give-in under the pressure of excess snow and ice. Snow drifts on a flat roof that have projections, a lower roof, or other equipment can accumulate snow that has drifted with the wind. This can cause vulnerability unless additional strengthening supports are added. One should contact a professional about safely removing excess snow and ice from a roof” (Polygon Group).

winter roof care in Indianapolis

Prepare Before the Snow and Ice Hits

“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…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…The dam grows as it is fed by the melting snow above it, but it will limit itself to the portions of the roof that are on the average below 32” (University of Minnesota Extension).

You can make sure your roof is in the best shape possible to handle the snow and ice that is coming by inspecting it now and taking care of any damage or issue before winter hits. To help keep ice off roofs that are sloped, and to reduce the rate at which the ice accumulates on the roof, it is important to make sure attics are well ventilated so the snow won’t melt and refreeze as ice. When the attic isn’t properly ventilated the hot air of the home accumulates and causes the melting and freezing that creates dangerous ice dams. Melted snow and ice can enter a roof via the eaves and flat roofs can experience water damage if ice dams form and prevent water from flowing into drains on a roof. Gutters can also fill with snow and melt that refreezes into ice which can weigh down the eves and cause problems when the weight load gets too heavy. Preventative maintenance is crucial during the winter months to help avoid costly repairs and one of the biggest examples of the risk of snow and ice accumulation that exists is the sheer weight that can accumulate on the roof!

preparing for winter roofing needs

 

Estimate How Much Weight Your Roof Can Support

Snow may seem light and fluffy, but if you have ever been trapped under snow or have sunk to your waist in a snow drift than you know how heavy it can be. Now think about 5-10 feet of that sitting on your roof after a few months of weekly snow storms and snowfall. It is easy to see how the weight can get a bit excessive, but just how heavy can it get? Here are some figures to help put it in perspective:

  • Unless the roof has been damaged or weakened somehow, most modern roofing systems 10 years old or younger should be able to support 20 lbs of weight per square foot of roofing space before it gets to a dangerous level.
  • In some areas of the country where heavy snows and long brutal winters are common, the snow loads used in home design may be considerably higher and can withstand a much larger load before becoming stressed.
  • If you live in a high snow area, you can probably check building codes and look up the reports for when your home or office building was built and see what the specs were for the roofing system that you currently have.

risk of snow and ice accumulation

Evaluate Your Risk of Rooftop Snow/Ice Accumulation

  • Melting snow will drip off steeply sloped roofs faster, giving it less chance to refreeze as ice and build up under the snow load. This is why the roofs of many northern homes and those in high snow areas are usually built with a steep slope.
  • Ice and snow will accumulate much faster on low slope and flat roofs because it has a much longer time in contact with the cold snow and can refreeze before it all has the chance to run off the rooftop and will build thick layers of ice.
  • Poor ventilation of the home and attic will also make you more prone to ice and snow load damage. Heat from the home can melt the snow so it liquifies or turns to slush, but it will quickly refreeze when temperatures dip at night.
  • Older roofing systems are at an increased risk of snow and ice accumulation because older roofs are not often designed to withstand heavy loads. They also may not be designed to reduce the chance of ice accumulation and snow load.

Estimate How Much the Snow on Your Roof Weighs

Using these guidelines from The Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety you can use the following to see if your roof is supporting too much snow and ice weight:

  • Fresh snow: 10–12 inches of new snow is equal to one inch of water, or about 5 lb per square foot of roof space, so you could have up to 4 feet of new snow before the roof will become stressed.
  • Packed snow: 3–5 inches of old snow is equal to one inch of water, or about 5 lb per square foot of roof space, so anything more than 2 feet of old snow could be too much for your roof to handle.
  • Total accumulated weight: 2 feet of old snow and 2 feet of new snow could weigh as much as 60 lb per square foot of roof space, which is beyond the typical snow load capacity of most roofs.
  • Ice: 1 inch of ice equals 1 foot of fresh snow.

winter roofing experts

Snow Removal May be Necessary to Avoid Roof Collapse

“If you are in the “danger zone” …or if the loads you estimate based on the thickness of the various types of snow and ice exceed 20–25 psf, you should consider removing snow from your roof. For safe removal that won’t endanger you or damage your roof, use a snow rake with a long extension arm that will allow you to remove the snow while standing on the ground or hire a snow removal contractor” (Disaster Safety). The risk of snow and ice accumulation and the danger it poses to your roofing system is not something to ignore or take lightly. A roof collapse is a serious event and can lead to loss of property and possessions and can even result in loss of life!  It is not a risk that you should take!

Stay Dry Roofing is Here to Help

To get the best wintertime roofing care and to find out more about what you can do to reduce your risk of snow and ice accumulation this season, contact us today!  Stay Dry Roofing is ready to help you with all of your roofing needs and now is the time to have your roof inspected and damage dealt with before the winter chill sets in and the snow and ice begin to accumulate. Contact our team now for a consultation appointment and to learn more about protecting your roofing system from snow and ice damage this winter!

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Get Rid of Roof Mold Once and For All

Most of us who own a home, have a hard time not getting freaked out at the sight of mold. Its nasty, its ugly, and in some cases, it can even make you sick! The stuff grows everywhere and can be found in many areas of the home- old food in the fridge, the drains in the bathroom, the mulch in the garden, and yes, it can even grow on your roof! Thankfully, if your roof gets moldy you don’t have to throw it out like the food in the fridge and you can clean it up unlike the mold in the garden.  You can take back your roof and get it back to a beautiful look easily if you know what to do. Here’s how to get rid of roof mold,  clean your roof, and keep that nasty stuff from coming back.

get rid of roof moldRoof Mold- What’s in a Name

A lot of the dark blotches and streaks that can be seen running down the shingles of roofs in the area is not actually mold, but is usually a form of algae. Chances are though you could care less what it is, you just want it gone and off your roof! Mold also can grow on the roof when plant materials and dirt accumulate in the cracks and crevices of the shingles or tiles. Thankfully there many cleaning products available that can get algae and mold off your roof safely and effectively. You can’t do anything to prevent algae and mold spores from getting thrown around in the air and landing on your roof.  You can slow down the growth however by keeping your roof clean of leaf debris and organic matter so there is less for it to grow on!

Get Rid Roof Mold Easily

Traditional cleaning methods for dirty roofs involved using a bleach and water solution that was sprayed on the roof and allowed to sit for 10-15minut sand then rinsed off. This can get your roof clean but it can damage your roof if the bleach concentration is too strong or harm plants and grass under the roof when the solution is rinsed off. There are natural organize cleaning solutions on the market today that can be used to get rid of roof mold safely without the risk to your home, plants, pets, or family. One drawback of these cleaning solutions is that because they are not using chemical cleaners, they take a little time and repeated use to get full results and they have to be reapplied on a regular basis every few weeks or months.

A Better Way to Clean Your Roof

roof system maintenance

The best option for cleaning off mold and algae is to call in the professionals and let them take care of things for you. They have the tools, equipment, products, and skills need to get rid of roof mold safely and effectively.  You will not have to worry about doing something wrong that damages your roof or fighting a constant battle of trying to get rid of roof mold. The experts can handle everything for you and you will have more time to enjoy your home rather than sweating away for hours on end up on the roof. DIY projects are popular for around the house projects but work that involves the roof is best left to the professionals and the experts who have the experience needed to do it right.

Prevent Roof Mold Down the Road

There are some simple steps you can take to get rid of roof mold and keep it from returning and causing problems. The simplest option is to apply a cleaning or treatment product that is made for long-term mold killing. Another popular trick homeowners have used as a preventative measure is to install zinc or copper strips on the top ridge. You simply slip the strips under the shingles, leaving the metal partially exposed, and nail the strips in place. These metals have natural elements that fight old growth and kill organic compound that can lead to mold and algae growth. You can also work to keep your home from being overly shady and damp by trimming back tree branches so the sun can reach your roof and dry it out.

roof moldsContact Us Today

Most homeowners get a little sick to their stomach at the sight of mold, whether it is in the kitchen, bathroom, garden, or the roof. Thankfully, if your roof gets moldy you have options and don’t have to throw it out like moldy food or replace it like moldy potting soil. Today we have gone over some of the ways you can get rid of roof mold and keep it from coming back. For professional help and assistance with all of your roof maintenance, care, and replacement needs, contact us today at Stay Dry Roofing. Our team of experts can get to the bottom of your mod issues, find effective ways to remove and prevent mold growth and keep your roof looking great all year round.  Call us now and get rid of roof mold once and for all!

 

roofing care and maintenance

Six Ways Trees Can Cause Roof Damage

We all know that the roof is a key component of any building and it is essential to the overall integrity and beauty of your home. And naturally, we want to preserve it in any way we can. One surprising source of roof damage, however, are trees. To keep your roof in the best possible shape and to reduce the impact the trees in your landscape have on your roof, be mindful of these dangers:

Dangling and overhanging limbs. 

Obviously, a large tree leaning over your home or a giant branch from an old oak tree reaching across your home is a threat to your roof and your home in general.  You run the very real risk of limbs breaking due to age and weight or being snapped off during a storm. In bad weather or when a tree starts to die the entire thing can fall over, crushing anything in its path- including your roof. In order to avoid this, be sure to keep limbs cut back away from your home as much as you can and have weakened or dying trees removed as soon as possible to avoid major roof damage!

damage from tree limbs

Clogged gutters and downspouts. 

Leaves, sticks, twigs, moss, and dead plant matter can quickly accumulate in your gutters. Sometimes with a lot of trees around your home and bad winds or rains, enough leaf material can fall that your gutters can clog up in a single day. When they are clogged, your guttered are basically useless and cannot drain water away from your home. This can allow water too pool on the roof and seep into your home where it can do massive amounts of damage very quickly. Gutter guards can help a lot but there is no replacement for good ole routine cleanouts every week to keep guttered clear.

Leaves and needles and debris.  

Leaf material and other bits and pieces of the trees that fall can clog your cutters, but they can also directly affect your roof and can lead to significant damage. Dead plants will decompose as moisture is trapped in the accumulating leaf litter. This can cause rot and decay of your roofing shingles and if it progresses the decay can spread into the deeper components of your roofing system. Left alone for too long, your entire roof can be compromised as the decay spreads and the weight of the accumulating leaf debris gets heavier and heavier with every storm. This ultimately causes severe roof damage.

Too much shade in the yard.

Trees are wonderful in a landscape and many homeowners love large shady trees. However, too much of a good thing is a bad thing and this is true for shade as well. Too many large trees around your home will shield fallen mold spore from the UV light of the sun. This allows them to grow rapidly and spread, which can cause problems with the structural integrity of your roof. Roofs that stay too damp and shady because of the trees are at a higher risk for experiencing roof damage caused by mold and mildew. Thinning the trees or removing some of them is the only way to remedy this problem.

roof damage from trees

Critter and pest infestations. 

Most people understand that trees are part of nature but this means that animals will be living in them and the closer the trees are to our home the closer the animals are as well. Birds, squirrels, bugs, all have trees as their chosen abode. If they can easily get from their home to your home they may decide to move in because your home offers more food and shelter choices for them. Pests can chew their way into your roofing system and cause damage both to the exterior and interior of your home. This is why keeping branches away from the home is something that must be done.

Trees in danger of falling over. 

While not a common occurrence thankfully, a fallen tree is without a doubt the most damaging and disastrous. This type of roof damage can be catastrophic so it is essential to keep an eye on the health and integrity of trees that are close enough to hit your home if they were to fall. If the tree begins to sag, lean, or shows signs of disease or an insect infestation, it’s wise to look into having it removed altogether. It is a pain can be expensive but it better than the alternative to be sure and will be the best choice to protect your home and your family.

Contact Us Today

To learn more about how to avoid rood damage from the trees in your yard and to find out what you need to do to stay on top of roof maintenance, give us a call today at Stay Dry Roofing. Our team of roofing experts can help you with all of your roofing needs. We can help with design and new installation projects, roof replacements, storm clean up and repairs, roof inspections, and basic maintenance and repair work. No job is too big or too small for the Stay Dry Roofing team!

roof repairs

Whether you have a commercial or residential property we can take care of you and roofing system. Call now for a consultation appointment or an on-site evaluation and estimate. You don’t have to go at it alone. Call the roofing experts of Indianapolis that residents and businesses owners have trusted for years- see the difference for yourself!

roof perpetration

Fall Roof Preparations For Roofing System

As the hot summer days begin to cool off at long last, the kids are now beginning a new school year, and we are seeing signs that the cooler wetter weather is on the way. Fall is a special time of year and it is a favorite time of year for many residents in the Indianapolis area. Between now and the first freeze of winter, there are four things you can do to prepare your roof for bad weather. It is often overlooked until the truly chilly weather hits and we know winter is not far behind, but it is important to deal with fall roof preparations now so you are ready for whatever winter throws your way.

roofing care tipsClean Our Your Gutters

You should be doing this on a regular basis anyway to ensure they can do their job and keep water drained. However, as the leaves begin to fall it is important to clean the gutters out often, especially if you have a lot of trees around. When leaves and debris collect in your gutter system, eventually, it will create a clog in the downspouts. When this occurs, the water cannot drain away fast enough and can get backed up and pool on your roof. The added weight of the wet leaves and water could also pull your gutters loose and damage your eves and roofing shingles.  Standing water is also more likely to seep into the shingle sand leak into your attic and into your home. To prevent these problems and unforeseen repair costs, keep your gutters clean and inspect them at least once a month while the leaves are still falling.

Clear Off Debris

It is also very important to remove leaves, pine needles, branches, moss and any other debris that has collected on your roof. Even small bits of debris will hold moisture and possibly rot or mold, which will break down your roofing material. Additionally, the added weight can weaken your supports and damage interior opponents of your roofing system. Make sure they are free and clear of debris so as to allow water to flow. If you are confident in your ability to do so you can clear off the debris yourself but it is highly advisable to call in roofing professionals to clean your roof for you. This is an important part of the fall roof preparations that you need to take time for now before the cold weather truly sets in. You should do this several times during the fall to keep your roof clean and free of debris and trash.

Roofing damageCheck for Signs of Damage

Once your roof is clean of all leaf litter and debris, you should be able to easily scan the surface for missing shingles or tiles that are cracked and broken, or other signs of wear and tear damage. You can use binoculars if you need to do your inspection from the ground or if you are able to do so safely, you can climb up to the roof to have a look. Be sure to look at any flashing around vent stacks, chimneys, and skylights to make sure they are in good shape too. These areas are common problem areas that can lead to leaks when the flashing cracks and warps away from the roofing. Even seemingly small damage can quickly lead to major issues if left unaddressed. Even the best DIY individuals often find it is easier to call in roofing experts to help with fall roof preparations and repairs to the shingles and flashing during this time of year.

Check Insulation and Ventilation

The final part of fall roof preparations you need to check off your to-do list this season is to get into the attic and check the ventilation and insulation there. Without adequate airflow in your attic, temperatures can fluctuate greatly in the colder seasons, causing you to use more energy to keep your home comfortable. During the day, sunlight hits your roof and heats up the air in your attic which warms up the house but can also cause condensation to occur when the attic gets a lot warmer than the cooler outside air temperatures. This can lead to water and moisture and rot, mildew, and even water stains can occur if the condensation gets bad enough. And if your ventilation system is not functioning as it should all the hot air has nowhere else to go, it will seep into your home and make things too hot and stuffy.

Fall Roof PreparationsContact Stay Dry Roofing

To learn more about fall roof preparations give us a call today and let our team of experts take care of your roofing system for you. We are here to help you and are ready to assist with any inspection, repair, or maintenance work you may need ahead of the winter weather. So, call today to schedule an appointment or to speak with one of our friendly and knowledgeable staff members.