One of the most potentially damaging forces of nature is rain. If your home is not ready for the rain that Mother Nature can dish out during the fall and winter months, you may find yourself dealing with a lot of damage. The first line of defense your home has when dealing with rain is the roof. In order to get your roof ready for the rain, you will need to invest some time and effort. Read below to find out some tips on getting your roof ready for the rainy weather of fall and winter.
You Need Clean Gutters
The main area you need to check when trying to get your home ready for rain are the gutters. The gutters on a home are designed to filter the water produced by hard rains away from the roof and the foundation of the residence. Over time, the gutters on the side of your home will fill up with leaves and other debris. Cleaning them out before the rainy weather moves in is a great way to avoid flooding. By maintaining this part of your roofing system, you will have no problem keeping rainwater away from your home.
Inspect Your Skylights
One of the best ways for you to get natural light into your home is by having skylights installed. These fixtures are both very appealing and functional. The seals that go around these lights are designed to keep rain from penetrating these fixtures and making its way into a home’s interior. As time goes by, these seals may begin to crack and leak. The best way to get a jump on this type of repair issue is by taking the time to inspect these lights on a regular basis. If you detect that there are problems with the skylight seals, you will need to call in a roofing professional to fix them.
Check Out Your Roof After the Rain
When trying to surmise whether or not your roof is having repair issues, you need to conduct a post-rain inspection. Once the rain has fallen, you will be able to tell whether or not there are leaks. If leaks are detected, you will have to get them fixed quickly to avoid water damage. The longer you allow a leak to persist, the higher your risk will become for the development of mold or mildew. If you are unsure about where your leaks are coming from, then you will need to hire a contractor to assist you. The roofing contractor will be able to troubleshoot your leaks and get them fixed. A DIY roof leak repair will usually create more damage.
Before you decide on which roofing contractor to hire, you will need to get a few onsite estimates. These estimates will give you all of the information you need to figure out which of the contractors is the right fit for your needs. If you’re ready to start your roofing project, please don’t hesitate to call Frost Roofs for any help we can provide you.
Architectural shingles are a premium grade of asphalt shingle roofing. The shingles are thicker and have a distinctive, textured appearance. They are sometimes called dimensional or laminate shingles, and were introduced in the 1970s in an effort by manufacturers to create a higher-end product.
Regular roof shingles are called “3-tab” in the trade, for the 3 tab/flaps with quarter-inch grooves between them in each panel. They run in flat, even rows as opposed to the textured and layered look of architectural shingles.
Regular shingles have an average 15 to 20-year life. An architectural shingle roof has a 24 to 30-year life, with some super-premium grades rated for up to a 40-year lifespan. And architectural shingles come in wider variety of colors, subtly variegated color patterns, have greater resistance to uplift in a windstorm, and have a heavier granule covering.
All of this comes at a premium price, of course. Typically, an architectural shingle roof will cost about 25% more. But you are rewarded for the extra investment with a 50% longer lifespan and a better looking roof.
Architectural shingles start with a heavier mat base, typically fiberglass that has been coated with asphalt. Multiple layers are then overlapped and laminated together to create the distinctive texture. The finished product weighs about 100-lbs. more per “square” (a roofer’s term for 100 square feet of roof area) than regular shingles. Builders also like them because minor imperfections in the roof deck are concealed by the texture.
If you currently have a regular shingle roof, most realtors we know recommend upgrading to architectural shingles when it’s time for a roof replacement, because of the all-important curb-appeal boost it gives an older home.
Fall is a good time to take care of big home repair projects before shorter days (and in many areas, ice and snow) make outdoor work too difficult. And if you do live in an area with cold winters, take some time this fall to boost energy efficiency throughout your home, and prevent damage from winter storms with proper tree care (we spoke with an expert to find out what you need to do). Tick these 15 items off your list this season, and you can rest easy knowing that your home and yard are buttoned up and ready for winter.
1. Care for trees and shrubs. If you have trees on your property, consider hiring an arborist to care for them — these pros can spot signs of poor health early on to prevent tree loss, and know how to prune properly to avoid falling limbs in winter storms.
“The most important maintenance for a homeowner to do in the fall would be trimming [the] dead out of trees,” says Bryan Gilles, owner and arborist at Arbor Doctor in Calabasas, California. “Trees are going dormant at this time, and are less likely to get a disease.” Because trees are slowing growth in the fall, it’s not an ideal time to plant a new tree, as the roots may have trouble getting established. For treatments, Gilles recommends fungicide injections in the fall to prevent diseases such as diplodia, which can affect pine trees.
It’s also a good idea to observe your trees throughout the fall, keeping an eye out for signs that signal a need for intervention. “Early change in leaf color, pines looking thin and/or needles turning brown, and dead branches are all signs of diseases,” Gilles says. “Ash trees spotting yellow sporadically around this time of the year is a bad sign of a disease called ash yellows, since ash trees are one of the latest to turn.”
2. Rake leaves. Leaves look beautiful blanketing the ground, but leaving too many leaves on a lawn over winter in a snowy area can inhibit spring growth. To make the job easier, choose a lightweight rake, wear gloves to protect your hands and use handheld “leaf scoops” to bag leaves quickly.
3. Clean gutters and downspouts. Once most of the leaves have fallen, clean out gutters and downspouts (hire a helper if you are not comfortable on a ladder). Clogged gutters during rainstorms can cause water to pool and damage your roof or siding.
4. Make exterior repairs. Take a walk around your property, looking for signs of damage to the roof, siding and foundation. If you spot anything that needs repair, schedule it before winter weather hits.
5. Seal gaps where critters could enter. Mice need only a tiny gap to be able to sneak into your house and raid your pantry — and with colder weather coming, all of the little critters out there will be looking for warm places to make a home. Fill small holes and cover any larger gaps securely with heavy-duty hardware cloth to keep the wildlife outdoors.
6. Check walkways, railings, stairs and the driveway for winter safety. When the landscape is covered in ice and snow, just walking from the driveway to the front door can be quite a challenge.
Make navigating around your home safer by checking that all stairs are in good shape and have sturdy railings, and that the driveway is in good repair to make for easier shoveling.
7. Stock up on winter supplies. If you live in a region with cold, snowy winters, fall is the time to prepare.
-Check the condition of snow shovels and ice scrapers; replace as needed
-Pick up a bag of pet- and plant-safe ice melt, if needed
-Restock emergency kits for car and home
-If you use a snow blower, have it serviced and purchase fuel
With the dog days of summer behind us, fall is the perfect time for home maintenance.
A few weekends of work before the weather really turns will help you get ready for winter and avoid any nasty surprises—and big repair bills—the cold might bring.
Here’s your must-do checklist for fall.
1. Gutter Maintenance
Clogged gutters can allow overflowing water to damage walls, spark a rodent infestation and erode your landscaping. Worse, the water can leak through your foundation, causing a flood in your basement.
A minor flood could cost $500 to $1,500 to repair, if you catch the problem quickly. If you don’t, there could be mold, damage to the sheet rock and ruined installation to repair as well, pushing the cost up to $10,000 or more.
To prevent a problem before it starts, clean and repair your gutters early in the fall. Once cleaned and repaired, consider adding a layer of waterproof mesh over your gutters to keep leaves out.
2. Protect Screen Doors
Winter’s harsh weather can rip holes in screen doors or cause the metal to rust. Replacing a damaged screen door in the spring will cost you from $150 for a lightweight model to $225 for a heavy-duty model.
To keep your screen doors intact, remove the door, clean the screen and store it in a dry place until spring.
Scaling your roof to check for loose or broken shingles may not seem like the ideal Saturday, but if left unattended, small problems in your roofing can lead to major leaks during the winter as rain, hail, sleet and snow pound your home.
Professional repairs on a 10-by-10-foot roof cost an average of $630. Save yourself money and make the small repairs now.
4. Winterize Your Pipes
Burst pipes are a costly problem. A non-urgent call to a plumber can cost up to $250, while an emergency pipe repair can cost up to $600. Repairing the damage from the resulting flood could costs thousands more.
In cold climates, you need to winterize your pipes to protect your home. Outdoors, shut the water off to any spigots and drain any remaining water by briefly turning on the spigot. Indoors, locate any exposed pipes that may get cold in the winter. Wrap the pipes in foam or vinyl insulation to prevent freezing.
5. Mind the Gap
Gaps in your window or door frames let in cold air, causing your heater to work overtime all winter long, but these have an easy fix.
Start by running your hand over windows and doors. If you feel a draft, apply weather stripping around the frame to create a tighter feel. Sealing up those leaks can reduce your utilities bills by up to 10%.
6. Call the Chimney Sweep
Your fireplace should be inspected and cleaned once a year, even if you don’t use it much. While a professional may charge up to $350, it is worth the cost.
The most minor potential problem is that the lining of the chimney could crack, costing $2,000 to $4,500 to repair. At worst, the chimney could force carbon monoxide into your home or cause a fire.
7. Test Your Heater
Before the cold sets in, fire up your heater.
After your home starts to warm up, walk from room to room. If you notice cold spots, loud screeching sounds or strange smells, you may have a heating problem.
If the furnace stops working, repairs could cost $325 to $475. And if you wait until the busy season, technicians may raise their prices.
Selecting the right roofing materials makes a dramatic difference in the lifespan of your roof. This includes, but is not limited to, underlying and unseen elements as well. When selecting your roofing materials, there are many things to consider. As an article on This Old House points out:
As well as keeping the house dry, the roof contributes greatly to the look of the house, so when building a new house, adding on, or re-roofing, it may pay to consider the options.
So where do you begin when you select roofing materials? With the shingles, of course.
Because not every roofing shingle can be used on every type of roof, it’s important to select a shingle that works for your structure.
For example, a roof with a lot of slope and sharp angles will need a different material than a flat roof. Similarly, structures that can’t handle the load of slate or tile could collapse over time due to their extreme weight.
Also, while most people choose single-thickness asphalt shingles, they aren’t always the best option for a property. Yes, it’s true that they are the least expensive, but their lifespan differs from the laminated, thicker asphalt shingle by nearly a decade.
Further, it’s not always wise to select simply on price alone. You should also consider how long you plan to remain in your current residence as well. In which case, given its lifespan, a metal roof might benefit your situation more than asphalt ever will.
Last, materials like flashing shouldn’t be ignored. A quality roofing job will never ignore proper flashing installation. When installing all exterior work, it’s just as important to a roof’s life that all abutments are water-tight and sealed, no matter their location on the home.
If you would like additional information on how we can help you with your roofing project, please contact Frost Roofing today to schedule an appointment.
Frost Roofing wants to teach you the fundamentals of how to inspect your roof for hail damage. We will inspect your roof for free also, but watch this video to find out what we look for during these inspections.
The summer days are cooling off, the kids are starting a new school year and we are reminded that the long rainy season is about to return. Fall is a magical season, and it’s the time of year when we should button up our homes as well as our jackets. Between now and the first freeze of winter, there are four things you can do to prepare your roof for bad weather.
CLEAN THE GUTTERS
When leaves and debris collect in your gutter system, eventually, it will create a clog in the downspouts. Rain water will overflow the gutters, damaging your roof, trim and siding. The added weight of the wet leaves and water could also cause your gutters to pull loose from the anchor point or collapse.
To prevent these problems and unforeseen repair costs, make sure to keep your gutters relatively clear through the fall. And, once the trees around your home are bare, do a thorough cleaning. You can also get out ahead of the fall season and have gutter screens or guards installed to prevent the collection of debris in the first place. We recommend Master Shield gutter protection system.
Clear Off Debris
It’s important to remove leaves, pine needles, and other debris from the surface of your roof as well as your gutters. Even small bits of debris will hold moisture and possibly rot or mold, which will break down your roofing material.
If you’re confident and experienced in walking on your roof, get up there and broom or blow off the debris that has collected on your roof, paying special attention to the valleys, which are most vulnerable to water damage. Make sure they are free and clear of debris so as to allow water to flow.
As part of our roof evaluation and maintenance services, we also treat roofs for moss, which is certainly not a bad idea in our moist climate.
CHECK FOR DAMAGES AND DETERIORATION
With a clean roof, scan the surface for missing shingles or ones that have cracked curled or frayed edges. You can use binoculars to inspect from the ground or climb up to the roof to have a look.
Also check for damaged flashing around vent stacks, chimneys, and skylights. These areas are the usual suspects when you have a leak. Repairing flashing yourself may not always provide the results you expect, so give us a call and we’ll make sure everything is sealed properly before the rain hits.
ATTIC INSULATION AND VENTILATION
Without adequate airflow in your attic, you could be looking at higher-that-necessary energy bills and roof leaks emerging in a snowstorm. During the day, sunlight hits your roof and heats up the air in your attic. Without vents located at the soffits, ridges, and/or gables of your roof, the hot air condensates, causing moisture damage and possible mold or rot in your roof’s supports.
This heat can also cause ice dams in higher elevations, inviting leaks when snow accumulates on your roof.
Additionally, when that hot air has nowhere else to go, it will seep into and overheat your living space, asking you to use your AC more than you have to. This is one of the reasons why insulation is so critical to an energy efficient home.
To evaluate your attic insulation and ventilation, you can hire an energy auditor or weatherization contractor to do an inspection and make modifications. And, if you make these changes before the end of 2013, you could be eligible for an energy efficiency tax credit.
Need a roofing evaluation or repair? Contact Frost Roofing.
Choosing a color for your new metal roof is an exciting process, especially today, when you have more options available to you than ever before. It is important not to get lost in this sea of choices and keep in mind that the color you choose will greatly affect the overall look and feel of your home. Therefore, take your time and research a variety of color options, as well as consider a number of practical and aesthetic factors that are associated with various colors.
Sample Chart of Kynar 500 Metal Roof Colors
Here are a few considerations to keep in mind to help you successfully navigate all your metal roof color options, and pick the one that will be the best fit for your home:
Quality of Paint Finish: Kynar 500 vs. Acrylic Paints
It is crucial to select a high quality paint for your metal roof that will stand up to the elements, while looking fresh and new for years to come. Make sure to choose a paint that has been treated with a special acrylic resin that blocks ultraviolet light. It will help prevent premature fading, peeling, corrosion, rust and water infiltration. It is also possible to apply different types of coatings and sealants as an additional protective layer, which will make the paint last longer, and will protect the metal from sun rays, moisture and mildew. The current industry standard is “Kynar 500” paint finish that comes with a 30 year warranty. You will probably discover other paint finishes that don’t have the Kynar 500 or Hylar 5000 label. — If you don’t see the EnergyStar and Kynar 500 label or its equivalent, then you are probably looking at lower quality acrylic paint finishes that should be avoided for residential applications.
Style of Your Home
The color of metal that you choose for your roof needs to match the overall style of your home. Choose a color based on all the elements of your home’s exterior design, such as the color of the siding, doors, windows, landscape, etc. Remember that a metal roof will keep its original color for years, so you should choose a color that you will be pleased with for many years down the line. As a general rule of thumb, it is best to go for a roof color that complements your home’s existing colors, creating a unified and balanced look. Take a look at different color samples during different times of the day to make sure that you like a particular color both during bright light hours, as well as when the sun is going down and colors look more subdued.
Today, color choices available in metal roofing are virtually limitless, so it is up to you to decide what effect you want to achieve with the color of your roof. Choosing a color for your roof that contrasts with your home’s siding or brick color will instantly help your home stand out and command attention. On the other hand, choosing complimentary colors will create a monochromatic scheme that will convey a more classic look and feel.
Another option is to go for an ultra-modern look of bare metal. Steel, aluminum, copper, zinc and other exotic metals all have a natural distinctive color that sets them apart, and can create a beautiful and unique look for your home.
It is also important to know that dark vs. light colors have a tremendous impact on the look of your entire home. Having a lighter color roof will make your house appear taller and may be a great option if your home has a low roof, or if it has a shallow pitch. By contrast, darker color can make a tall roof seem less overwhelming.
Sample Charts for Standing Seam Metal Roof Colors:
Englert Custom Colors
Englert Metal Coils
Englert Light Color Standing Seam
Englert Architectural Steel Standing Seam
4. Drexel Metals
5. Affordable Metal
Trends in Your Neighborhood
While you want the overall look of your home to reflect your personal aesthetic taste, it is also important to consider the general trends of roof colors in your neighborhood. Walk around and get a sense for the “unwritten aesthetic rules” of your neighborhood. Certainly you should pick the color that you like the most, but also make sure that your home does not become an eyesore on the block.
The color of your roof plays a major role in helping make your home more energy-efficient, so taking this into consideration will help you save money on your monthly electric bill. Lighter color roofs reflect sun’s heat much better than darker colors. In fact, a white metal roof is Energy Star rated as a cool roof, and can be 50 to 60 degrees cooler than a dark color asphalt shingles roof. It is best to choose a light color metal such as white, light bronze, beige, peach, light green or blue, if you live in a region that has a lot of sun and a hotter climate.
A lighter color of the roof will protect your home from unpleasant heat, as well as help lower your monthly energy expenses by as much as 20-30%, as well as help reduce the load on your AC systems in the summer. On the other hand, if your home is located in a cooler climate or you happen to live in a house that has a remarkably well-insulated and ventilated attic space, then choosing a darker color won’t have an impact on your home’s energy performance.
Did you know? Many modern metal roofs boast high energy efficiency and CoolRoof ratings even for darker colors. 😉
The beauty of metal roofing is that it comes in a virtually limitless variety of colors and profiles. If you want to achieve a highly sophisticated and original look for your home, it is possible to order custom colors in just about any profile that will match a specific palette. You can even order custom levels of gloss or shininess for your metal roof. In addition to custom, solid colors, new technology makes it possible to produce a number of two-tone and variegated colors that can add a lot of aesthetic appeal to your roof.
Custom colors cost more and there are minimum quantities of material that a manufacturer or supplier will require. However, the larger the job, the more reasonable the price for customization will be, and in this case the extra cost may be well worth the premium, custom look you will get.
Gutters and downspouts are installed along a roof’s edge to capture and direct runoff. A clogged or damaged gutter often fails to move water away from the structure efficiently and can lead to puddling, leakage and even structural damage. Clean out and inspect gutters at least twice a year or more frequently if damage is suspected or nearby trees lose enough leaves to potentially clog up the gutter or downspout. Always use caution when working on a ladder. Make sure the ladder is firmly planted on even ground and use a spotter.
1. Scoop leaves and major debris out of the gutter. Either place removed materials in a bucket securely attached to the ladder or drop them onto a tarp on the ground.
2. Flush smaller debris out of the gutters with a hose. As the fine materials move with the water, watch the underside of the gutter for leaks and make sure water exits freely through the downspout.
3. Unclog the downspout if water is not flowing freely. If the downspout connects to an underground pipe, remove it from the pipe. Use a strong spray of water to loosen debris. If the hose fails to clear the downspout, use a plumber’s snake to break up the clog.
4. Check for standing or extremely slow-moving water in the gutter. If water fails to flow toward the downspout efficiently, the slope is inadequate. Spikes or hangers require relocation up or down to create a slight slope toward the downspout.
5. Look for space between the gutter and wall or fascia, especially if water runs down the side of the wall during rain events. The spikes or hangers can work themselves loose over time and may require replacement or resecuring so the gutter is securely attached to the structure’s rafters through the fascia, if present, and the roofing material overhangs about one-third of the gutter.
6. Identify seams, ends or other parts of the gutter where sealant is missing or leaks are observed. Leaks along the seams or end caps are repaired by removing old sealant and applying new material. Holes in the body of the fiberglass or aluminum require more extensive repairs or replacement of the section.
Things You Will Need
Tarp or bucket
Plumber’s snake, if needed
Tip: It is often easier and less messy to clean out gutters when no rain events have occurred for several days and debris is dry. If debris is soggy, wear latex or rubber gloves under regular work gloves.
Warning: Always use caution when working on a ladder. Make sure the ladder is set on level, firm ground and have another person hold the bottom steady.
Whether you’re putting a roof on a new home, or your existing roof requires a total makeover, there are many materials available. But no matter what roof style you have, metal roofs can be an attractive option because of their longevity, minimal maintenance, and energy efficiency. And you can choose from tin, zinc, aluminum, copper, or galvanized steel — just make sure your metal roofing material is tested and labeled by UL, FM Global, or the equivalent, and that you check with your local building department for any code requirements.
Advantages of metal roofs
Metal roofs offer many benefits, including:
Longevity. Metal roofs can last 40-70 years, depending on the material. Traditional asphalt roofing materials have an estimated life expectancy of roughly 12-20 years.
Durability. Some metal roofs can sustain wind gusts up to 140 miles per hour, will not corrode or crack, and may be impact-resistant (depending on which metal you choose). In addition, metal roofs don’t need the periodic costly maintenance that other roofing materials often require. However, they should be inspected periodically to make sure no repairs are required.
Safety. Metal roofs will not spark and ignite into flames during a wildfire or lightning strike.
Energy efficiency. Metal roofs reflect solar radiant heat, which can reduce cooling costs by 10-25%.
Environmentally friendly. Metal roofs not only have 25-95% recycled content, depending on the material used, but are also 100% recyclable at the end of their life as a roof. In contrast, most shingle tear-off waste ends up as part of the building-related waste stream — up to 20 billion pounds per year.
Disadvantages of metal roofs
Despite their many advantages, metal roofs have some potential drawbacks.
Affordability. Metal roofs can be as much as two or three times more expensive than other roofing materials. While the life of a metal roof is much longer, investing in a metal roof only makes sense if you plan to stay in your home long enough to enjoy the cost benefits.
Noisiness. Metal roofs can be noisy, especially during a heavy rain or hailstorm. Adding more insulation during installation usually solves this problem, but that may increase costs.
Expansion and contraction. Metal roofing materials that are attached as large panels tend to expand and contract. If they are not properly installed with fasteners that allow the metal to ‘breathe,’ the panels may loosen.
Inconsistency of color match. If a repair is required or a home extension is added years later, it may be difficult to find an exact match to the existing metal.
Performance. If water accumulates anywhere on the roof because of poor-quality installation or repair, it can eventually cause serious damage. Low-grade metals may also be thinner and less durable. Some metals rust in certain climates or dent more easily than others during hailstorms or installation.
Call Frost Roofing Today to get a quote for a roof upgrade to a metal roof.