Choosing Your Shingles

Choosing the right shingle could be considered a small task, but it can make a huge difference in the look and curb appeal of your home! From the most basic of shingles to the most expensive, you definitely get what you pay for (as with most things). There are a few things to consider when choosing your shingles. The first I would say would be the color.

When choosing the color of your shingle, of course you're going to want to consider colors that coordinate well with your house. Another thing to think about when choosing a color is the type of climate you live in. If you live in a cooler climate, you may want to go with a darker colored shingle because it will absorb heat and help keep your home warmer. If you live in a warmer climate, you may want to go with a lighter colored shingle, which will reflect the sun and help to keep your home cooler. If you want to be a trendsetter you can go with a bolder color that's more of a "statement piece".

The next thing to consider when deciding on your shingles is which type of shingle to use. There are 5 different types: asphalt, wood, tile, slate, and metal roofs. There are 2 different types of asphalt shingles: regular and architectural. Asphalt shingles are the most common type of shingle you will see on roofs, so those are the ones I'm going to focus on. Here are some color options for asphalt shingles:

As you can see there are many color options to choose from. I also wanted to show you the difference between regular (3 tab) and architectural shingles. I personally love the look of architectural shingles and they just add little bit of a punch to your roof. Here's a comparison picture (regular on the top, architectural on the bottom):

As you can see there's a pretty big difference.

I blogged about metal roofs about a month or so ago, go back and check it our if you're interested in going that route. It's definitely more pricey, but it's well worth the investment and will probably outlast you!

Whenever I'm helping a customer choose the best color of shingle for their house, I always suggest going outside and looking at the shingle colors against their siding or brick. Eliminate the ones you don't like and then just choose from what's left. Remember, don't skimp on your shingles, as the exterior of your home is your main source of protection and you want them to last you a while!

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The Benefits of a Metal Roof

What's the first thing you picture when you hear the term "metal roof"? If you were to ask me that question a few years ago, I would''ve told you I pictured an old house with a silver tin roof. Plain and simple. Over the years, metal roofing has come a long way, and for good reason. It has so many benefits!

Before we get into some of the benefits of metal roofs, just take a look at some of these pictures of metal roofs today:

I mean, look at these roofs! They look amazing! They are definitely way different and way better than I ever thought a metal roof could look.

Ok, so let''s talk about some of the benefits you will get from a metal roof:

- First and foremost, your roof will probably outlast you! Most metal roofs have a performance expectation of 50 years!!

- As you can see in the pictures, another benefit that you didn't have many years ago are the many beautiful styles to match any home. Sometimes you may not even realize it's a metal roof you're looking at.

- Metal roofs have interlocking panels for maximum wind resistance (no more dealing with those pesky shingles that can fly off in heavy storms).

- They are fire resistant.

- Metal roofs are energy efficient by keeping your home cooler in the summer months.

- They are low in weight to help preserve the structural integrity and life of the home.

- The installation process is speedy.

- Metal roofs are very environmentally friendly! "According to the National Association of Homebuilders Research Center, 20 billion pounds of asphalt shingles are dumped into U.S. landfills every year." Metal roofs can be installed on top of your current roof, without tearing off what''s already there, which creates even less waste.

- Though metal roofs are not the cheapest way to go, you get a return on your investment in an increased home value.

- It's almost maintenance free. Who doesn't love that?? All you have to do is occasionally hose it down from ground level.

- Last but not least, most metal roofs come with a 50 year home warranty!

All this to say.... metal roofs are definitely more expensive than traditional shingles, but the benefits far outweigh those of shingles. Not only are they beneficial, but they are pretty darn good looking too!

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Roof Maintenance

The fall is upon us and winter isn't far behind. Summer brings crazy storms and tornadoes, which obviously wreak havoc on your roof. Winter brings snow, ice, and freezing and fluctuating temperatures, which is also hard on your roof. That's why it is very important to have annual maintenance checks on your roof, your main source of protection in your home!

There are over 136,000 ladder-involved injuries EACH year! That's a pretty scary statistic! With that said, we don't recommend that ANYONE goes up on the roof themselves to inspect it and do the maintenance work required. Leave it to the professionals.

In your annual roof maintenance, it is very important for someone to climb up on the roof to inspect it. That person will look for any kind of damage or wear and tear. They will also inspect the roof from the ground, where they will look for nail pops. If nail pops are found, the nails will have to be reset or it can cause the shingle to settle through the nail, thus causing further problems. The inspector will also inspect the flashing. With this, they will seal any unsealed nail heads with silicone sealer or it will rust and leak. The inspector will also look for any missing or torn shingles, which would need to be replaced.

As with all areas of life, prevention is the key! Healthy diets can prevent weight gain and diseases. Spraying for termites will prevent termite damage among a host of other problems. Home inspections prevent the buyer from buying a house with unforeseen problems. Annual roof maintenance can prevent leaks and other potential issues. You get the jist!

A lot of things I write about when it comes to maintenance and fixing problems, you can DIY with youtube videos or the DIY network. If you don't get anything else from today's blog, just trust me when I say to hire a professional so that you don't risk becoming one of the statistics of falling from a ladder. We would be happy to do the job for you!On average, you will pay about $300 to hire someone to inspect your roof. We have a $99 special. That definitely beats the insurance cost if you land your butt in the hospital from a fall. Give us a call!

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Clean those gutters!

Gutters are not the most exciting thing to think about, or even the most rewarding job after you clean them out, but doing so will save you from a whole mess of potential problems! Now that it's officially fall, the leaves will soon be falling and we all need to make sure we clear out the debris and junk from our gutters.

Here are just a few points for you to consider as you think about cleaning your gutters:

   - Helps prevent saggy gutters

   - If you're eco-friendly, de-composed leaves (you will probably find in your gutters) make great mulch or compost

   - Catching any leaks will prevent water from sneaking in and rotting the boards behind the gutters (If you find a leak, make sure you use new bead silicon caulk t repair them)

Now, let''s talk about the downspouts. You''ve got to keep those things cleared, otherwise you may have to deal with mildew, mud, or saggy gutters. As you're inspecting your downspouts, make sure your rivets are secure. If needed, you can purchase new rivets at a hardware store. You''ll also need a rivet gun, which you can also grab at the hardware store for about $20. If you're clueless on how to do this, youtube has some good instruction videos.

Ok, now that you've cleared the downspout it's time to get to the gutters. The best way would be to use a pressure washer. If you're like me, using a pressure washer can make you a little nervous because of the damage it can cause if you're not careful. With that said.... just be careful! Make sure you've secured the gutters with screws or new spikes before pressure washing. Also, avoid hitting the gutters at too high of an angle so that you don't take off your shingles in the process. While you're cleaning your gutters, you may notice they''re starting to rust. The best thing to do here is just replace the gutters. If you choose not to do that, you will have to remove all the rust, sand them, prime them, and paint them with rust-inhibiting paint.

Lastly, make sure you have a splash block. This keeps water away from the home''s foundation, thus preventing a multitude of problems. I like the style on this one:

Ok, now with all this said, if you simply just need to get by with a quick cleaning, here you go: Grab a ladder, gloves, dust mask, and safety goggles. Scoop out the debris. Rinse out the gutter with a hose, and scrub it clean. Next, clear the downspout with a hose or auger. Presto!

*Tip- installing leaf strainers at the drain tops will cut down on large clogs*

If all else fails or you just don't feel like doing it yourself, hire a professional and get it done!

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Spalling Bricks

"Spalling bricks." This isn't a common term you would hear around the dinner table. Have you ever heard of it or wondered what it was? Here is a picture of it to give you an idea:

 A lot of the time, the way we notice the spalling brick is when we are on a roofing job. We will see the chimney needs repair and as we inspect the rest of the exterior of the house we will come upon the spalling bricks. This is actually a somewhat common problem, especially when the chimney needs repair, but it's one that often times goes unnoticed.

 Here''s a little extra information on spalling bricks for ya. Aside from the broken chimney cap, the root cause is moisture. With winter comes the continual cycle of freezing and thawing, which can wreak havoc on your bricks if they are already at risk due to the broken chimney cap. Water from rainfall, melting snow, or even wet soil saturates the brick at some point, probably often, and freezes the inside of the brick when the temperature drops. The slight expansion of freezing water can fracture the brick. With this repetition of freezing and thawing, the fractures widen and the bricks literally disintegrate.

 So in layman''s terms, the brick faces break off (spalling) when water gets in the brick, due to a broken chimney cap. The water freezes, busting off the face of the brick. Of course, this needs to be fixed! As I said before, we usually come upon this when we are at the home to repair a roof. We always recommend the spalling brick repair be done prior to roof replacement as we don't want people walking around on your new roof to repair the chimney.

 So as winter approaches, be sure to take a walk around the exterior of your house to make sure you don't have spalling bricks or anything else that could be a potential hazard for you!

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