Rainy Day

Roofing Blog

Should You Trust Contractors with Your Period Roofs?

Does your house have a beautiful period roof that needs repairing? If so, then I believe the title of this article says it all. Would it truly be wise to trust contractors when it comes to your period roofs? The smart money, in my opinion, would be to answer yes. Although your roof is understandably precious to you, especially period roofs, contractors are safe bets to make. The real thing you need to consider is whether or not you’ve hired the right ones.

Be sure to remember that contractors are people too. They can be quite skilled and highly trained, but mistakes are more than possible. If you’re going to get contractors to repair or help you with an issue that concerns your roof, then you need to make sure that the professionals you get are trustworthy. But how do you find out for sure if you can rely on a particular contractor? Well for starters, you can always ask other people if they have any good recommendations. Friends, family members, co-workers, and the like are bound to have a good answer for you, so you can start things off by asking them.

For those who succeeded by asking whom they know, then great job! However, if you need a greater scope, you can just head online and see for yourself. Look for professionals with the best credentials. Inquiring about the training they’ve undergone is also a very good idea to know if they are prepared to tackle any of the issues you may be having about your period roofs. If you think a particular contractor doesn’t have what it takes, then you may be right about that fact. Be sure to trust your instincts and be very careful about your choices. Besides their skills, you should also be on the lookout for those with positive reputations. Never allow yourself to be taken advantaged of.
The process of finding the right people to help you may be long and trying. There are several considerations to take, after all. If you do it right, then you’ll find that it will all be worth it in the end. It’s never a mistake to place your faith in professionals, no matter what type of roof you have over your head. The only mistake would be whom you choose to trust, so constant vigilance is advised.

Is It Time to Re-Roof?

There may come a time when you look up at your roof and think to yourself that it might be time to replace it. For some people, it’s not a question of if it will ever happen, but when will it happen. To answer that question, you need to know what signs to look out for. Below are a few examples of what you may want to be on the lookout for:

Shingles that buck and curl

When you look up, do you see shingles that buck or curl? If the answer to that is yes, then you may want to look into getting yourself a new roof. Look closely at the part of your roof that is directly exposed to sunlight. That’s the best way to find shingles that are losing granules and, well, curling up. Once your shingles move past their life expectancy, it’s best to move on as well and replace them.

Shingles that go missing

Well this is awkward. It’s one thing to look up and see your shingles curl and all that, but what if they’re not there at all? Suppose a fierce storm took place the previous night. A strong roof will be able to withstand it, no problem. But if a few shingles go missing after that, then it might be a pretty strong indicator that you need to do something drastic and replace it ASAP.

When daylight goes through your roof boards

You may want to check your attic from time to time. If you find daylight coming through your roof boards, you may be in for some trouble. Be sure to check for moisture in your insulation. Weakened decking can be a serious cause for concern, so stay vigilant!

When your roof has lasted more than twenty years

Okay, sometimes you don’t need a visual clue. You just need to know when a roof is most likely to throw in the towel. Most experts agree that a typical roof’s lifespan is between twenty- to twenty-five years. Even without visible signs of decay, if your roof has managed to last that long, maybe it’s time to consider re-roofing anyway. Would you prefer to wait until something goes missing or breaks down? I didn’t think so.

Knowledge truly is power. With your newfound know-how of the signs that can affect your roof, you can rest easier knowing that you are better prepared now than you were before you read this article. At least know you are better aware of when you need to re-roof your home.

What to Do About Pipes Freezing and Thawing

Texas weather can go from one extreme to next within a matter of a couple of hours. In fact, the temperature recently dropped from a balmy 70 degrees to a glacial 35 degrees. This sudden change and very cold temperature can lead to a messy and expensive pipe problem. According to the Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety, damage from a frozen pipe bursting can cost $5,000.

When water expands when it freezes. If you put a full water bottle in the freezer, it stretches the plastic to the max and could potentially blow its lid. This can happen to your pipes. Water freezes in the pipes and expands. In some cases, it can cause a tiny leak or crack. IBHS says that a 1/8-inch crack in a pipe can spill 250 gallons of water in a day.

And that leads to a rough day for a homeowner or a business.

Drastic drops in temperatures to below freezing puts the pipes at the highest risk for breaking. This tends to affect the following pipes the most:

  • Water sprinkler lines
  • Swimming pool lines
  • Outdoor hose bibs
  • Pipes in unheated areas like attics, garages and basements
  • Pipes in exterior walls with little insulation

If little or no water comes out of your faucet or the water doesn’t refill the toilet, it’s likely that your pipes froze.

How to Prevent Pipes From Freezing

The weather professionals have warned us that extreme temperature changes were coming. While predictions can be wrong, this is one area where you don’t want to leave things to chance.

One thing you don’t want to do is use antifreeze in swimming pool and water sprinkler lines. It’s not only dangerous to pets, humans, wildlife and landscaping, but also it can affect the environment.

As soon as you know colder temperatures are coming, do the following:

  1. Follow manufacturer’s directions to drain the water sprinkler supply lines and water from the swimming pool.
  2. Remove, drain and store outdoor hoses.
  3. Insulate water supply lines in unheated areas such as garages, basements and attics.
  4. Use a pipe sleeve, UL-listed heat tape or 1/4-inch of newspaper on exposed water pipes.
  5. Open faucets vulnerable to freezing to a very slow drip to prevent excessive pressure build-up. If the dripping stops, leave it open for pressure relief.

If no one will be home for a few days during a cold spell, drain the water system before leaving. Emptied water pipes won’t freeze. To do this, turn off the water main and turn on every faucet including both hot and cold lines. Once water empties, you can turn off everything. Upon returning, turn on the main valve and let all fixtures run until pipes fill back up.

Be Prepared for Thawing Frozen Pipes

The worst part of the whole process is after a thaw. Think of the frozen water plug as putting a finger in the dike to prevent a dam from flooding. Once the plug melts, it’s like removing a finger from the hole and flooding follows.

Trying to thaw pipes yourself can be unsafe as an improperly heating it could cause a fire. Furthermore, you don’t want to put yourself at risk for electrocuting in using an electrical appliance around water. This is the time to call for a professional.

If you need help with your pipes or they burst, call us now: 972-747-7734. The sooner your pipes get proper treatment, the more likely your property can be saved and restored.

A Look at Some of the Most Durable Roofing Materials

slateIf you’re in the market for brand new roofing materials, you’re going to have to consider numerous options based on even more numerous factors. Should your main priority be the durability and longevity of your roof, then you’ve come across the right article. Here, we discuss the basic pros and cons of the most durable roofing materials.

Generally speaking, the worst thing about durable roofing is that it initially costs you significantly more than traditional options. However, most experts agree that durable roofing also save you a lot of grief in the long run. Most of them last for several years, while others are even considered maintenance free. How’s that for a selling point?

If you’re still interested in learning more about your options, here are some examples of highly durable roofing materials that you may want to look into.

Aluminum

Aluminum roofing can come in styles that look similar to others, such as slate. If you want, you can also buy bare aluminum, which can come in different colors. As a lightweight material, there will be no need to build more support and reinforcement. Another great thing about this material is that it is easily recycled. Aluminum roofing can last for as long as fifty to a hundred years, but it also costs as much as $300 per square foot.

Asphalt

Asphalt roofing installations are usually made of a mixture of glass and fiber. This results in excellent waterproofing, insulation, and durability. What’s even better is that it is also relatively inexpensive, comes in a wide range of colors, and can be quite easy to install. An excellent choice overall.

Steel

Steel roofing is often coated with aluminum, which acts as an additional protective layer. This is another material that tends to consist of recycled metals. A steel roof will effectively absorb the heat of the sun, which in turn keeps your home a lot cooler. Roofs made of this material may be expensive, but they make up for it with their incredible longevity. In fact, some steel roofs have been known to last for more than a hundred years.

Slate

Slate often comes in the form of roofing times. It is known for its extreme durability, high quality, and amazing aesthetics. If you live an eco-friendly lifestyle, the you might be pleased to know that the process used to create these tiles doesn’t produce any toxic chemicals whatsoever. Slate commonly lasts for as long as two hundred years but will cost you as much as $1,200 per square foot, so be sure to think carefully if you want to go for this premium option!

Where Leaks Are Most Likely to be Found

Roof VentilationI don’t think you need to be told how much of an annoyance roof leaks can be. If you deal with them frequently enough, then you probably have a good idea of where some of them usually turn up. The upside here is that some of these leaks are predictable. This is particularly true as your roof ages.

As long as you are aware of areas that are prone to developing issues, then you can easily prepare for them in advance. Doing so might reduce roof repair costs significantly. Here are the areas that you might want to pay closer attention to:

The Perimeter

Leaks tend to occur near the edges of roofs due to the transition from membrane flashings to sheet-metal flashings. If you’re going to check this area in advance, then it’s highly recommended that you take note of two particular issues. First, the sheet metal flashing should shed the water. Second, the sealants which hold the pieces in place tend to deteriorate over time.

Water problems also tend to develop around the perimeter expansion joints. You may want to consider pre-manufactured roof accessories to address the areas where both contractions and expansions are going to occur. Keep in mind that you also need accessories that are compatible with the roof membrane.

The Penetrations

Having sealants and flashings at penetrations through roof membranes are common areas of concern. Penetration flashings are usually made from the same materials as roof membranes when it comes to single-ply roofing systems. Be sure to inspect the laps, the sealants, and the seams at these areas on a regular basis.

You may even want to consider avoiding penetrations altogether. Conduits, ducts, and other pipings that run horizontally across roofs are usually placed on solid supports that penetrate and are anchored to roof membranes. To avoid penetrations, get products with adjustable heights as well as soft feet that can rest on the membrane. If a horizontal element is truly needed, then build curbs and secure the element supports there.

Considering Condensations

Your roof may seem like leaky during months like January, when the temperature dips below freezing. However, that’s not actually the case. What’s really to blame is the condensation that occurs when cold air leaks through the structure’s exterior. This problem exists due to the lack of sufficient ventilation. To fix this problem, you can have a fan installed to move moist air out of these cold spaces.

Are Green Roofs for You?

green-roofRight now, green roofs have yet to achieve mainstream appeal, but one can’t deny that they do catch the attention of many out there who wish to be more responsible when it comes to the environment. While green roofs are mostly used by buildings and various complexes, it’s more than viable to have them for homes, especially in roof decks.

Contrary to popular belief, the concept of using green roofing isn’t anything new. It’s been around since the mid-1900s and it continues to persist up to this day. However, it’s not until recently that green roofing has achieved this level of popularity. This is mostly due to the increasing environmental consciousness of the general populace. In short, green roofs aren’t really new and experimental, but have always been an essential part of certain communities.

It’s also a common misconception that green roofs are suitable only for non- or semi-residential structures. That’s not necessarily the case. In fact, installing a green roof for your own abode is actually more feasible, considering how it promotes sustainability and eco-friendliness. Since you essentially have grass as part of your roofing, you’ll be able to filter pollutants, control heating and cooling, prevent rain or storm water from overrunning your home, and increase space for small-scale agricultural needs.

So, are green roofs the next big thing? Perhaps. But you need to take note of the potential disadvantages, before you seriously consider going green. For instance, green roofs often require more upkeep and are significantly more expensive to install than most conventional roofing systems. Considering also that green roofs accumulate more water, they could attract pests and unwanted wildlife to your home, which may most likely pose a problem for you and your family.

Green roofs may also require you to reinforce your home further, as they can get quite heavy, especially when you decide to pile it up on an existing roofing system. For the most part, green roofs require a lot of work, and could potentially cost you more than what you bargain for if improperly installed or maintained.

Regardless, one can’t deny the aesthetic value of green roofs, as they can make the entire neighborhood look and feel much more alive. And in a state such as Texas, homeowners can receive great benefits from what green roofing has to offer. So, if you want to live a more eco-friendly and sustainable lifestyle, then you might want to start your own green roof.

Common Roof Problems You Should Never Miss

roofBy now you should be quite familiar with numerous problems that you’re likely to encounter with your roofing system. Be warned though! You shouldn’t get too ahead of yourself. If you do, you may end up like many other homeowners who over-prepare for major problems, but overlook more common issues that could easily get you into hot water down the line. What are these issues, you say? Listed below are five of the most common roofing problems you’re likely to run into — and miss — if you’re not careful.

Concerning Flashings…

Flashing is what’s used to seal roof system walls, drains, perimeters, penetrations, and other areas where the roof cover is interrupted or abruptly ends. If this isn’t checked regularly, you may experience some leakage since flashing is there to seal off any potential points of entry that water could use to get penetrate your roof.

On Gutters…

Everybody knows what gutters are; they’re the parts of your roof that keep water away from the building’s foundation and protect its structural integrity. You should always try to keep your gutters in tip, top shape. Any debris and water buildup may eventually cause mildew and mold under your roof. Fortunately though, most gutter problems can easily fixed by homeowners through either DIY or professional help.

Looking at Shingles…

Shingles make up most of your roof, so they’re obviously a critical part of your system as a whole. However, shingles also tend to be neglected and taken for granted by most homeowners. It’s important to keep in mind that despite their impressive durability, shingles are also prone to curling and discoloration. Moreover, missing and broken shingles can even expose the underlying wood and leave it susceptible to rotting, holes, and a slew of other problems. As if this wasn’t enough, poor installation can also cause them to buckle prematurely. Be sure to check your shingles often and repair or replace them, as the need arises.

Regarding Fascia…

Chances are that you’ve never heard of fascia before. Not to worry though, you’re definitely not alone! Fascia is an architectural term that refers to the horizontal bands that are visible along the edges of your roof. Its primary function is to offer protection by acting as a layer between the roof’s edge and the outdoors. The number one problem you’ll encounter with fascia is moisture, so be on the lookout for water damage, especially signs of rot.

The Thing About Soffit…

A soffit is the exposed surface beneath your fascia and rafters. These things help regulate your home’s overall temperature, making it much more comfortable to live in. In terms of potential problems, keep an eye out for cracks, rotten wood, and holes that are easy entrances for insects, water, or even small animals. As always, it’s usually better to be safe than sorry with these things.

How to Clean Up After a Flood

Flooding can be a real problem in some states, especially during the rainy season, or in places where hurricanes are common. Floods, of course, can cause serious damage to one’s home and should be taken seriously whenever they happen. This means that even in the aftermath of a deluge, you should always be ready to deal with the issues it leaves behind.

Don’t underestimate the problems that floodwater can cause! Remember: it’s better to be safe than sorry, especially when it comes to your home and family. So, even when the flooding seems light, be sure to check for any damage. The longer you leave these problems untreated, the more serious the risk of long-term damage. In fact, cleaning up should always be on your list of top priorities.

Unfortunately, the average homeowner, especially one that isn’t used to flooding, will likely have some major questions about how to clean up after a flood. But no need to fret! You’ve stumbled across the right article. Here are a few practical tips on how to clean up after a flood:

  1. Shovel out mud – Mud can contain numerous contaminants which can be harmful to you and your family’s health. To remove wet mud, simply shovel it out of your home and wash out the rest. Dry mud is a bit tricker though, since you first need to use a hose to deal with the dried up areas.
  2. Disinfect Utensils – Floodwater contains bacteria and parasites that could make their way to your kitchen or dining area. Before using your utensils, be sure to disinfect them. The best way to do this is to submerge them in hot water, just to make sure all the contaminants are eliminated. Alternatively, you may also use bleach.
  3. Clean surfaces with bleach – Using an adequate amount of bleach, be sure to also disinfect surfaces such as walls, kitchen counters, and anything that’s been touched by floodwater. Direct contact with such surfaces can be harmful if they’ve been contaminated by the bacteria in floodwater.

Check your home’s sewage system – A backed up sewage system is one more common, yet serious issue that flooded homes usually experience. If you’re experiencing this problem, the best way to deal with it is to have your system drained by a specialist. You definitely shouldn’t underestimate the complications this issue can cause. Remember that a backed up sewage system can easily contaminate your water supply, stink up your home, and more!

Preparing Your Home for Floods

floodingWith all the heavy rain this time of the year promises, homeowners like us need to take special preparatory measures to prevent water from seriously damaging our homes. This is especially true for places that are prone to flooding like low-lying areas that act as water basins to the surrounding land. Fortunately, preparing for a flood isn’t as difficult or as complicated as it sounds. The main problem here is that very few people actually take these preparatory measures.

If you want to properly prepare your home for a flood, then you’ll need to act as early as possible. You’ll also need the right supplies, tools, equipment, and, most especially, knowledge on how to prevent – or at least minimize – the damage that flooding can do to your home. With that said, here’s what you need to know:

Turn off the electricity in flooded or flood-prone areas. One thing’s for sure: electricity and water don’t mix! So make sure you turn off all electricity in the areas of your home that are either flooded or prone to flooding, such as your basement. If you don’t turn off the electricity, then chances that something incredibly bad is going to happen. You’re either going to electrocute someone, short-circuit your appliances, or worse.

Move valuable items higher up the house. When expecting a flood, always make sure to move your valuables to the attic, where the floodwater most likely won’t reach. To make this method even more effective, you’ll also need to make sure that you’ve properly sealed and reinforced your roof beforehand. Otherwise, rainwater may damage your valuables instead. If your attic isn’t safe either, then you’ll need to protect your valuables by placing them in waterproof containers before bringing them up to the attic.

Prepare an emergency kit. When disaster strikes, it’s going to be pretty hard to shop for groceries! Kidding aside though, you should always prepare an emergency kit beforehand. Your kit should include essentials for survival, such as food, water, blankets, clothes, first aid supplies, cash, toiletries, flashlights, a radio, and extra batteries. You can also pack special items according to your needs. For example, if someone in your household is on prescription medication, then you’ll also need to pack some extra pills for them.

Get professional help. If you’re still confused as to where you should start, then it may be best to have an expert over to help you prepare your home for both flooding and foul weather. This may be the best choice for those who have trouble finding time to do the work themselves. You should never hesitate to seek professional help, especially when it involves the safety of your home and family!

Preparing Your Home for Stormy Weather

rainy day hail damaged roofingThe start of the hurricane season has made most homeowners even more concerned of how severely water can damage their homes. This is especially for roofs, which have to bear the full force of the water and hurricane force winds. The material can corrode, the drainage can clog up, and flying debris could leave a huge mess — not just aesthetically, but also on the most basic functional level. There’s just no better way of putting it: you need to do something about your roof whenever rainy season starts.
Obviously, your top priority should be to waterproof your home. Unfortunately, many of us are guilty of procrastinating, so the typical American household might not have made the adequate preparations beforehand. But it doesn’t stop there, there are plenty of things that you need to do aside from waterproofing. Here are a few:
Clean and repair your gutters. In most cases, clogged gutters will lead to an excessive accumulation of rainwater. This might not sound too serious in the short run, considering that most of the areas surrounding your gutter may effectively repel water. However, you can definitely be sure that water finds a way. As time goes by, the accumulated water will seep into your roof system, potentially causing some major damage to your home. Moreover, if your gutter is already damaged, then water could further complicate the problem. It’s important to clean and repair your gutters first, when preparing for bad weather.
Seal your roof. A more obvious approach to preparing for bad weather is by sealing your roof. Of course, this is to keep water from entering your home, thereby protecting your family and belongings. You shouldn’t just check if your roof is sealed before an impending storm — it’s always a good idea to do it on a regular basis to ensure that you get the most out of your roof’s lifespan. Seal your roof completely, before anything drastic happens.
Add roof straps. In some hurricane-prone states, roof straps are a basic necessity. By attaching your roofs to the walls via metal straps, the winds will have a harder time ripping it off your home. Of course, this also depends on certain factors, such as the wind speed, flying debris, and strength of your home’s foundation, but generally speaking, roof straps definitely help!
Is your home ready for the most volatile weather conditions? Never compromise and always make sure you have a rainproof home to last you through the strongest storms!