5 Ways Attic Insulation Can Enhance Your Property

Did you know you can lose nearly half of all heat and cool air in your home through the attic without proper insulation?

You’re probably thinking, so what? Won’t my existing HVAC system replace any lost air anyway?

The answer is yes, but the cost of constantly replacing hot and cold air can quickly add up. Installing high-quality attic insulation is the best way to seal up any air leaks, so you can stop spending so much on energy and electricity each month. Make attic insulation a priority for your property to avoid more extensive (and expensive) roofing issues or repairs as well.

Insulating Your Attic

Attic insulation is essential to a well-functioning home. The dense materials help seal air inside your home and attic while blocking debris, pests, and water damage from the interior. Your preferred roofing and attic insulation provider can recommend the right type of insulation for your home and apply it in the correct areas.

Speak with an attic insulation specialist in your area to determine the different locations where your attic is lacking insulation. Once you identify the locations of leaks and weak insulation, your contractor can address other attic issues.

Types of Attic Insulation

Homeowners can choose from several different types of insulation made from durable materials like fiberglass and cellulose. Select from the following to start insulating your home’s attic correctly:

  • Blown-in fiberglass insulation
  • Blown-in cellulose
  • Fiberglass batts
  • Mineral wool
  • Spray foam
  • Denim insulation
  • Metallic insulation

Many exterior remodeling and construction companies recommend blown-in fiberglass insulation from trusted industry names like Owens Corning. This affordable insulation style is long-lasting and easy to apply, meaning you’ll have a perfectly insulated attic without putting strain on your wallet.

5 Reasons Your Home Always Needs Adequate Attic Insulation

Without proper attic insulation, your property can be more susceptible to damage from ice damming and insects. Insufficient insulation can also impact your energy consumption levels, leaving you with higher energy bills over time. Below, we explore all of the reasons your home needs adequate attic insulation at all times:

1. Minimizes Impacts of Ice Damming

Ice dams can be incredibly damaging to your home’s roof and attic. Ice dams happen when snow, ice, and other moisture accumulates, forming large icicles and sheets of ice on a roof’s edge. Insulation helps regulate temperatures in your attic, assisting in even melting of snow and ice. Attic insulation is vital in Minnesota and other Midwestern environments, where cold weather and snow span multiple seasons.

2. Reduces Heat Loss

Attic insulation acts as a seal, stopping hot and cold air within the attic from escaping. Inadequate insulation can lead to leaks, resulting in the loss of your home’s heated and cooled air during different seasons.

Replacing hot air in the winter can get incredibly expensive. Use attic insulation in recommended areas to reduce heat loss in your attic and other areas of your home. Some of the hotspots you’ll want to be sure to cover with the correct insulation include:

  • Attic entrances and exits
  • Windows
  • Recessed lighting
  • Soffits
  • Roofing gaps

Work with an experienced contractor to assess your existing insulation and address areas that need supplemental insulation right away.

3. Maintains Internal Temperature in Your Home

Attic insulation helps keep your attic from getting too hot or cold throughout the year, but it also assists in temperature control in other locations within your home. Temperature maintenance is crucial in making your home comfortable in each season.

Attic insulation keeps the floors and walls of your home warm in winter and cooled down in the hot summer months. The dense, durable insulation materials can make all the difference in temperature maintenance, making it essential for any home.

4. Cuts Down on Energy Costs

Attics are a prime location for loss of hot and cold air. Having the proper attic insulation installed, plus adequate ventilation and fans in place, you can eliminate any leaks. Leaking attics will always lead to higher energy costs, as your HVAC systems works double-time to catch up on creating hot or cold air.

When your air conditioning and heating systems have to work that hard, it can significantly impact your energy efficiency. You’ll notice increasing costs on your energy bills, cutting into savings and spending money. Make your home more energy efficient with high-quality attic insulation options like Owens Corning blown-in fiberglass insulation installed by an experienced roofing company like Advantage Construction.

5. Prevents Pest Damage

Lastly, attics that lack proper insulation are more likely to experience pest infestations from insects, rodents, or other small animals. Insects and animals can do a lot of damage despite their smaller sizes. Some of the pests that will probably attempt to make your attic a home include:

  • Birds
  • Mice and roof rats
  • Raccoons
  • Squirrels
  • Bees, wasps, and hornets
  • Bats
  • Flies
  • Carpenter ants
  • Termites

Dealing with a pest infestation is a draining experience that many homeowners want to avoid as long as possible. Implementing the proper attic insulation in critical areas is an effective way to keep annoying pests away from your home and attic. Call your local roofing company to install high-quality attic insulation, so you don’t have to worry about calling an extermination company instead.

Install Attic Insulation With Advantage Construction

If you start noticing yourself developing a sinking feeling every month when your energy bills show up, it’s time to start considering the source of your costly energy consumption. Failing or entirely nonexistent attic insulation is often the source of heat and cool air loss, ice dams, pest infestations, and other problems. Residential homeowners must seek a reliable roofing contractor or company to install adequate attic insulation and avoid these costly issues.

Faulty insulation can leave you and your wallet feeling less than stellar. Stop wasting unnecessary funds with failing insulation that allows air to escape your attic. Contact Advantage Construction to receive attic insulation installations, repairs, and maintenance that save you the most money on energy costs each month.

5 Ways Weather Impacts Your Roof (and What to Do About It)

In Midwestern states like Minnesota and Wisconsin, it’s not uncommon for unpredictable weather conditions and significant weathering events to take place. Intense rainstorms, heavy snow, hail, ice, and other issues all spring up throughout each season, putting strain on the essential components of your home. Shingles and the structural integrity of roofing materials can come under attack during and after severe storms, requiring home insurance claims and repairs from a trusted roofing company.

Don’t allow storm damage to linger, potentially leaving you with a higher repair bill at the end of the day. Read on to learn how different weather conditions can affect your roof’s stability. Find a reliable storm damage repair company to help clean up, repair, and report claims after any significant signs of damage appear after severe weather events.

6 Ways Weather Impacts Residential Roofing (Plus Expert Recommendations)

When the Midwest’s wildly unpredictable weather causes roofing problems on your property, it’s crucial to make repairs immediately to avoid having a more expensive issue on your hands. Homeowners should seek highly skilled and experienced storm damage specialists or roofing contractors to complete repairs and replacements as necessary. Be prepared for unexpected weather conditions like the ones we describe below with help from a high-quality roofing company in your area.

1. Heavy Rains

Heavy rain and flooding can be the cause of extreme destruction to your home’s foundation. Excess precipitation and lingering moisture can leave a mess not only around the ground floor’s landscape but also will affect the integrity of your roof.

Of course, rainstorms are one of the most typical weather conditions impacting residential roofing in Minnesota throughout the year. Sudden squalls, which are intense rainstorms localized to one area, are incredibly common in Minnesota and the surrounding states. Some of the standard indicators of rain damage to your roof include:

  • Mold or mildew
  • Algal growth on shingles
  • Displaced shingles or gutter sections
  • Holes or gaps in roofing materials
  • Rotting wood
  • Lingering moisture
  • Pools of precipitation
  • Weed or vine growth in gutters

Proper roofing preparation can protect your roof from the impacts of intense, unexpected squalls or a predictable summer thunderstorm. Call your local roofing contractor to learn the best methods to make your roof a reliable barrier between you and the next big rainstorm.

2. High Winds

One of the worst kinds of weather conditions commonly impacting roofing materials in Midwest areas is the wind. Strong, gusty winds blow through the flat, mountain-free Midwestern landscape quickly and forcefully, knocking down structures such as roofs or fences in their path.

Your chosen roofing contractor can suggest modern shingle styles made with built-in nail strips and other unique features. These innovative systems secure each shingle to your roof, stabilizing the structure in case of strong winds or a severe storm.

3. Hail Storms

We’ve all seen them; those wild, golfball-sized chunks of solid icy snow that swarm down throughout the seasons, stirring up some problems for property owners. Hailstorms are typically the top reason homeowners file for insurance claims in America, causing significant damage to the roofing, siding, windows, doors, and more.

Shingles and roofing materials are especially susceptible to hail damage since they are your home’s first line of defense against the elements. Depending on hail particle sizes and the length of the weathering event, roofing damage from hail storms can become extensive (and, unfortunately, expensive). Work with a reliable local roofing and storm damage contractor to assess any destruction that may have occurred during a hailstorm.

4. Snow, Sleet, & Ice

If you currently live in a frigid Midwestern state, you’re likely already familiar with the snow, sleet, and ice that come along in the winter season. When it gets below freezing, your home and property can benefit from a proper winterization plan, protecting different parts of your home from damage due to snow, sleet, ice, and other common winter weather conditions.

Ice dams appear during winter, and rapid snowmelt in spring also make a mess of your lawn’s landscaping, foundations, or even affect the roof. Ice dams occur when water, ice, and snow accumulate on a roof’s edge, often forming long, dangerous icicles. Acquire professional ice dam steaming services to ensure not only all roofing materials but your home’s residents are safe and secure as well.

5. Temperature Fluctuations

Many homeowners forget to take into account the drastic temperature fluctuations frequently found in Midwestern states. Swinging from one extreme temperature to another can cause immense stress on shingles and other roofing elements. Spotting the signs of roofing damage after extreme temperature fluctuations aren’t challenging at all. Inspect your existing roofing structure for common signs of wear, such as:

  • Loose, crumbling shingle granules
  • Curling, peeling shingle products
  • Detached shingles
  • Falling or dangling shingles
  • Gaps or holes in roofing
  • Noticeable lapses in shingling layers
  • Fading, discolored shingles
  • Un-shingled patches in roof valleys
  • Failing shingling around chimneys

After an expert exterior remodeling contractor assesses the extent of damage to your roof due to temperature fluctuations, they can help find reliable solutions that suit your shingle and roofing needs. Schedule a consultation with a trusted roofing contractor to take on the challenges of significant temperature changes.

Making Sure Your Roof Is Ready for Midwestern Weather

Seasonal maintenance, preparation, winterization, and timely repairs all keep your property in top shape. When heavy storms, snow, or other weathering events impact your roof, a reliable roofing contractor can assess the damage and draw up a practical repair plan. If damage is too extensive, an experienced roofing contractor can recommend the right materials and styles suitable for a total roofing replacement.

Storm damage can stop your home or property from functioning at its highest capacity. Contact a trusted roofing company like Advantage Construction to assess damage after storms, offer homeowner’s insurance assistance on roofing damage claims, and complete all necessary repairs right away. With a reliable team of roofing contractors on your side, storm damage’s severe impacts can soon be a thing of the past on your property.

How to File a Homeowners Insurance Claim After a Storm

Bad weather can take you by surprise, create chaos, and wreak havoc on your home. If a tree falls on top of your roof, you have damage from strong winds, hail, or heavy rain, you could find yourself in the position of needing to make an insurance claim.

If your house falls victim to inclement weather, you’ll want to ensure that you understand how to file a claim and get back to your life as quickly as possible. No one particularly enjoys dealing with insurance adjusters or living in hotels while their home is being repaired. However, with the large storms and blizzards that have made the news lately, we need to be prepared in the event of home damage. There are some tips to help get your insurance to cover your roof repairs. But what if you don’t even know where to begin?

How to Make an Insurance Claim

We will take you through the process of filing an insurance claim after a severe storm. It can be stressful to make an insurance claim, so our experts have gathered some advice to get the process moving.

1. Contact Your Insurance Company ASAP

Be prepared to give your homeowners insurance your policy number and the best method to contact you. Keep in mind that after a strong storm, adjusters visit areas with the heaviest damage first. Expect to provide a description of the extent of the property damage. Clarify any individual needs of your family, especially if your personal or medical circumstances would warrant priority.

The insurance representative can let you know when you can expect to be in contact with the insurance adjuster, so you are prepared. Since adjusters could visit areas where cell towers are down, it’s also wise to get the phone number of a representative at the call center, so you have an additional name.

When the adjuster arrives at your home, ask for their identification before letting them inside.

If you have to file a flood insurance claim, there may be a 30-day waiting period. Start by contacting the agent or insurance broker who sold you the policy to start the claims process.

2. Document Your Loss

Your adjuster will examine the damage to your home and possessions so that they can write you a check and you can begin to rebuild and replace.

It’s a good idea to take pictures and write down the details of the damaged items, including when they were purchased and the approximate value. Find any receipts if you have them. Many companies will ask for an inventory list of losses.

3. Ask About Exclusions and Limitations in Your Policy

After you meet with the insurance company, the adjuster or a representative will give you a better picture of what the company plans to pay for the claim.

If your insurer asserts that your policy won’t cover all the damages, or you think the compensation is not fair, ask the company’s representative to clarify in writing how they got to that estimate. They should also include why certain items might not be covered and whether there are limits to your coverage.

If you have custom work on your house, an adjuster may have trouble correctly estimating the value. It would be best to get an opinion from an outside contractor.

4. Keep Track of Your Encounters

When the insurance adjuster finishes, keep a written record of your conversations, either by email or text. Keep notes about unreturned calls, missed appointments, what you have discussed, and even the adjuster’s attitude.

Make copies of each document you receive. If the adjuster tells you to make repairs, get that authorization in writing. Although, hopefully, you won’t need this information. However, it will be helpful if you end up in arbitration or dispute resolution.

5. Get Text Alerts

Many insurance companies now provide text message updates. As a result, you will receive text messages on your phone when you initiate your claim, when the estimate is available, and when a payment is sent.

6. Know the Emergency Help Available

Suppose you find yourself needing emergency services, such as cleaning water from your home, protecting your roof, or boarding up windows and doors. Certain companies will send approved emergency services to protect your home from sustaining additional damage.

If your home is severely damaged and uninhabitable, your insurance will give you a check for living expenses.

7. Consider a Public Adjuster

If your claim is substantial, you may need the help of a third party or a public adjuster. They work on your behalf and represent you during the claim. However, they do charge a fee.

To locate a public adjuster, check out the National Association of Public Insurance Adjusters. Ask for references from previous clients and look whether they have several years of experience and a Minnesota state license.

Your Storm Damage Contractor

If you had recent storm damage to your property, the last thing you need is the added stress of an errant insurance claim. That is why we offer insurance claim assistance. When we are at your home, Advantage Construction puts our customers first, working with your schedule and completing repairs promptly. We understand that finding a contractor after a storm and filing insurance claims is a nerve-wracking experience. That is why we make it our priority to get your house as beautiful as ever, so you can get back to your life. Contact us today.

How to Find a Roofing Contractor After a Storm

It never fails that after a severe, damaging storm, canvassers show up in your neighborhood trying to convince you to use their roofing service.

Scammers typically target homeowners looking to save money, neighborhoods with senior citizens or young children, and places that were recently struck by high winds or hail. These unfortunate schemes can leave families short on their budget and stuck with poor quality work. A con artist often works quickly and with shoddy materials. Or, in some cases, no work is completed at all!

Whether it’s the usual roofing damage suspects or a dangerous storm, it’s important to know how to find a contractor that works for you. It can be hard to spot fly-by-night roofers but stay alert for these common signs of a scam, and we will also share how to find a dependable contractor.

How to Avoid a Scam

 

Avoid Storm Chasers

Storm chasers are the contractors that canvass neighborhoods after a big storm. They pass out flyers and might even ask to climb up to your roof. They will almost always find damage. The scam usually occurs when they bid very low and use low-quality materials or ask you to pay all of the cost upfronts and disappear. Another one of their techniques is that they convince you that you can get your roof for free by filing a fraudulent insurance claim.

Low Starting Bid

Some contractors will lure you in with a tempting low bid, and it’s much lower than the competition. However once you agree and they start work, they ask for more money for materials due to unforeseen circumstances.

Damage that Comes Out of Nowhere

Sure, it stormed hard, but your roof seems sturdy. In fact, it’s great! However, now a contractor is knocking on your door saying they couldn’t help but see the damage on your roof. What gives? Some con-artist contractors have invented roof damage or exaggerated a small amount of damage to justify replacing the whole roof.

Fraudulent Insurance Claims

A scammy contractor can promise you that they will cover your deductible by charging the insurance company one price and charging you a lower price. With the money they get back, they will reimburse the cost of your deductible. Just know that insurance fraud is serious and can lead to prosecution.

There are tips and tricks to get your insurance to cover roof repairs. In any case, stay far away from deceitful insurance tactics.

Forceful Sales Tactics

Builders that make you feel like you have to act “now” or make you sign a legally binding contract immediately before you can conduct your research are often unethical.

Inferior Materials

Some dishonest roofers use poor quality materials to inflate their profits. The second-rate repairs might even appear to have fixed the problem, but they are likely just masking it.

How to Find a Reliable Roofer

 

Get Referrals

Word of mouth is one of the best ways to receive a roofer recommendation. If there was a recent storm in the area, chances are you have friends, family, or neighbors who had roofing work completed on their houses. What did they think of the contractors who worked with them? Also, look online and read reviews on sites like Google, Yelp, and Facebook.

Get Multiple Estimates

Similar to asking around, don’t go with the first roofer you talk to or that approaches you. Get multiple estimates. Ask them for a cost and turnaround time. Ask if you will be expected to pay a downpayment. Usually, it’s not more than around 10%.

Credentials Count

A roof protects your home from storms, and it lasts for decades, so it is essential to use a roofer who knows what they are doing. Choose a contractor that is insured and licensed and ask them to see their credentials.

Communication Red Flags

It’s best to acquire all information in writing. Do they promptly return your phone calls? Are your questions answered in a timely manner? If you don’t feel at ease, stop before you sign anything binding.

Cheapest isn’t Always Best

Yes, that low bid is tantalizing. And, if you had a severe storm, it’s tempting to pick up the damage as soon as possible and move on, but it can come at the cost of low-quality work, poor service, or insurance scams. You should not want any part of that.

Remember that market-price bids mean that the builder can fairly pay their workers, pay for insurance, and buy quality roofing materials.

Quality Checks

While they are repairing or replacing your roof, a dependable roofing contractor should plan to inspect your roof daily to anticipate problems before they occur. Ask them what their quality control is like.

A Roofer You Can Trust

We know that storm damage is an unwelcome stressor in our customers’ lives. That is why we are a team of professionally trained contractors, prepared to help you in the event of a severe, destructive storm, or anytime you need a reliable contractor for seasonal gutter maintenance, or you’d like to know how to maintain your home against the elements. Our customers always come first, and we pride ourselves on the quality of our work. You deserve the “Advantage.” Contact us today.

The Best Time of Year to Clean Your Home’s Windows (and How)

Thump.

“What was that?”

We’ve all experienced the confusing consequences of ultra-clean windows when birds — and sometimes even humans — walk or fly straight into the sparkling, streak-free glass. Achieving that truly transparent, gleaming glass requires regular maintenance and window cleaning. Although cleaning your home’s windows will be an easy enough DIY job over a few days, an experienced window cleaning contractor can assist in the process, helping it go more quickly, smoothly, and efficiently than if you went solo.

But before you can even think about window cleaning, it’s crucial to inspect your home’s existing window system thoroughly for cracks and other damage indicators. Installing new windows gives you a crisp, fresh start, improving energy efficiency and eliminating the risk of weathering impacts inside your home. Once a modern, high-functioning window system is in place on your property, you can consider implementing seasonal window cleaning schedules. This way, your windows will maintain both beauty and efficiency all year long.

Peering Into the World of Windows

Windows are a requirement for any well-functioning household. Without windows installed in Minnesota or other cold, Midwestern environments, snow, ice, rainwater, animals, and even intruders can quickly access your home. Windows are an effective barrier between everything within your home’s interior and the outside world, whether it’s natural, physical, or human forces.

There were only a few fairly simple window styles available for homeowners to choose from for their houses in the past. However, modern window systems come in many unique shapes and sizes and offer different functionalities, making finding the perfect window for your home a straightforward selection. Your local window contractor can assist you in exploring every type of window before settling on one that suits not only your practical needs but your personal style as well. Some of the most popular window replacement options among American homeowners include:

  • Single or double-hung windows
  • Picture windows
  • Bay and bow windows
  • Slider windows
  • Awning windows
  • Egress windows
  • Casement and clerestory windows

There are different reasons for choosing each type of window we listed above. One window style might work best in a bathroom or basement area, like awning and egress options. While on the other hand, bay and picture windows work better as aesthetic focal points for your home. Finally, single and double-hung windows are the most typical window style, with classic up/down sliding functionalities, so these styles are always a top choice. Take time to evaluate your existing windows, determine your needs or desires, and find the ideal window to install in your home.

Seasonal Window Cleaning Schedule

Once your Minnesota window installation or replacement is complete, more work is required to keep them in optimal condition. Seasonal window maintenance and a stringent cleaning schedule can help you get the most out of your new window system with every season. Your preferred window contractor can prepare a practical maintenance plan for you to follow, or you can keep reading our helping window cleaning guide to learn about the most and least favorable times of year to do this tedious home improvement task.

Spring and Summer

The best time of year to do almost any home improvement project or exterior remodeling job is during the spring and summer. Depending on your location, the weather will be consistently warmer, drier, and calmer, making it easy to predict storms and select an ideal day to complete the work.

Each window style has individual cleaning and maintenance requirements, which a knowledgeable window cleaner or contractor will recognize. Your chosen window company can assist in removing screens, opening up double-pane windows, and thoroughly cleaning both the interior and exterior panels of your home’s windows.

Professional window cleaning services include specialized techniques, cleaning solutions, and supplies to achieve the ultimate shine. Work with a reliable window cleaning company during the warm spring and summer months to finish this job fast, before fall comes and it’s too late.

Fall and Winter

After the seasons start to change and temperatures drop, snow, ice, and rain typically roll in, making it increasingly difficult to clean your windows and keep them streak or debris-free. The challenges that come with cleaning the exterior panes of your home’s windows in the wintertime are exactly why we always recommend regular cleaning and maintenance in the summer months if you can manage.

Although it might be too cold or snow-covered to trek outside and scour away exterior stains, there are still many ways you can clean windows from inside the warmth and comfort of your home. Gather all the necessary tools and solutions before starting your winter window cleaning endeavor.

Some of the window cleaning supplies you’ll want to have on hand to keep things sparkling even in the windy, cold winter season include:

  • Large, dry bristled brush or duster
  • Bucket
  • Microfiber cloth
  • Sponges
  • Squeegee
  • Soap and water
  • Ammonia and alcohol-free glass cleaners
  • Vinegar/water mixture (1:10)
  • Drying pad or lint-free cloth

Many online resources can walk you through the most effective methods of cleaning the interior panes of your home’s window system, but we really like this one here from Pella.

Start with a soft-bristled brush or duster to remove any dust, loose dirt, or cobwebs before diving further into the window cleaning procedure. Solutions as simple as dish soap or vinegar and water can produce a sparkling shine on window glass. Squeegees and microfiber cloths created specifically for streak-free drying will leave you with a perfectly restored final result.

Work With a Trusted Window Repair Professional

In the colder months, it’s easier to keep up with regular window maintenance since the weather will put more limitations on how much you can actually get clean. However, when spring or summer finally rolls around, it’s not enough to simply spot-check each window and wipe away the visible dirt, debris, or steaks on the outside.

Instead, work with an experienced window contractor to develop an effective course of action to get your windows as clean as possible while the weather is still nice. Don’t hesitate to contact a window cleaning company like Advantage Construction to take care of all the necessary steps to achieve clean windows that will look like new.

10 Tips for Dealing With Commercial Roof Damage

Dealing with commercial roof damage can be a pain, but the roof is one of the most critical parts of your building to maintain. There can be many causes of roof damage, including extreme weather, ice dams, and defective gutters. Ensuring your roof is regularly checked and maintained will help you avoid any damage. But when it does happen, these tips for dealing with the damage will help you fix the problem in no time:

  1. Choose an experienced commercial roofing contractor.
  2. Take photos of the damage immediately after it happens.
  3. Inform building occupants of the damage and any precautions they should take.
  4. File an insurance claim for the damage.
  5. Do not delay emergency roof repairs.
  6. Choose the best repair plan.
  7. Make sure all roof equipment is functioning correctly.
  8. Schedule roof inspections twice a year.
  9. Let occupants know once the repairs have been completed.
  10. Regularly check the roof and schedule maintenance.

What Causes Roof Damage

There are some common causes of commercial roof damage, many of which can be avoided. It’s essential to know what can cause damage so that you can prevent it from happening or take proper maintenance steps to keep the problem at bay. Everything from weather to critters to improper shingles can affect your roof. Commercial buildings should schedule annual inspections to make sure the roof looks good and is without damage. Here are some of the most common causes of roof damage:

  • Heavy snowfall
  • Heavy rainfall
  • Strong winds
  • Hail
  • Constant humidity
  • Ice dams
  • Improperly installed shingles
  • Improper insulation (especially in attic or top floor)
  • Skipping roof maintenance
  • Unwanted wildlife
  • Defective gutters

Tips for Dealing With Commercial Roof Damage

No matter what type of roof damage you’re dealing with, hiring someone to help you with repairs is a smart move. You might need a total roof replacement if the damage is that bad. Otherwise having a roofing expert replace shingles or address the specific problem is a great solution. Here are ten tips to help you deal with the damage.

1. Choose an Experienced Roofing Contractor

When dealing with commercial roof damage, the first tip is to hire a knowledgeable roofing expert who can help you assess the damage and move forward. Choosing someone with experience in the industry will ensure that they can develop the best solutions for the damage your roof has sustained.

2. Take Photos of the Damage

It’s essential to take photos of your roof’s damage immediately after it happens. These photos will come in handy when you file an insurance claim or need to hire a contractor to do the work. Taking pictures of the damage will give you proof of the damage sustained by your commercial roof so that no one can claim otherwise.

3. Inform Building Occupants

A vital tip for dealing with commercial roof damage is to inform your building occupants of what happened so that they aren’t caught off guard if they see the damage themselves or when the work to repair the roof begins. Keeping your occupants informed of what’s going on is always crucial to owning a commercial property, and they will appreciate your open communication.

4. File an Insurance Claim

Let your insurance company know right away about any damage that has occurred. Contact your representative to let them know what happened and what you’ll need to do to get your commercial roof repaired.

5. Do Not Delay

Emergency roof repairs should never be delayed because they could be dangerous for building occupants and visitors. Once significant damage has been done, and the damage is documented through photos and an insurance claim, you should get to work right away repairing the roof.

6. Choose the Best Repair Plan

Your roofing contractor will help you determine the best repair plan after your roof has been damaged. You may not have to do a total roof replacement in some cases. Thankfully, individual shingles or areas of the roof can be repaired without touching other roof parts that did not sustain any damage. Working with an experienced contractor will ensure that you decide on the best solution for the kind of damage on your roof.

7. Make Sure Roof Equipment Is Functioning

While your commercial roof is being repaired, it’s a good idea to check everything out to ensure that the whole roofing system is functioning properly. Checking gutters, drains, the attic, and vents are essential to making sure your roof won’t be damaged further. All of the equipment related to roofing can significantly impact the performance of the roof as a whole.

8. Schedule Roof Inspections

At the very least, commercial roof inspections should be performed twice a year to check for any issues that could turn into more extensive damages down the road. It’s a great idea to schedule an inspection for a few months after you’ve had damage so that the roofing contractor can check everything out and make sure the repairs are holding.

9. Let Occupants Know

Once the repairs have been completed, you should let your building occupants know. Hopefully, they won’t be too disrupted by any repairs that have taken place. With open communication, both building owners and occupants can understand what’s going on with the building and the roof.

10. Regularly Maintain the Roof

The only way to avoid further damage is to inspect the commercial roof and check for any issues regularly. By maintaining your roof on a schedule and regularly cleaning out gutters, you will be able to avoid certain types of damage. Of course, you can’t predict large storms or unwanted wildlife, but if your roof is in great condition it should be able to sustain most damages without too much trouble.

Dealing With Damage

These ten tips should help you deal with any commercial roof damage you experience. Finding a roofing contractor you can trust is a great start. From there, make sure you take photos of the damage, repair it properly, and schedule regular maintenance. Ensuring your roof is up to harsh weather conditions and other potentially damaging factors will mean less time spent dealing with any damage in the first place.

6 Tips to Improve Your Home’s Energy Efficiency With Attic Insulation

One of the main priorities on many modern homeowners’ minds is the matter of energy efficiency. These days, there are more smart appliances, electric-powered products, and high-efficiency home elements in every sector to send anyone’s head spinning. Although the rest of your house might be equipped to reduce energy consumption, one spot where you might not think to consider energy loss is in your home’s attic.

Inadequate attic insulation can be a leading cause for you losing money and energy throughout each month. Let’s take a look at some of the top ways to save money while simultaneously improving your home’s energy efficiency with high-quality attic insulation.

1. Start at the Attic Entrance

When attempting to improve your home’s energy efficiency, the first course of action is to start with the attic’s entrances or exits. Typically, an attic entryway is a door, hatch, or scuttle hole giving access to the house’s topmost level. Inspect the seal and insulation surrounding your attic’s entry for any areas where air can easily escape.

There are two main methods to fix this problem and help improve home energy efficiency. Fill in any noticeable gaps around the attic entrance with foam sealant or weatherstripping to minimize the air and energy loss in this area. Your chosen contractor can recommend the correct seals and products perfect for your home’s specific needs.

2. Inspect the Insulation

The next step is absolutely essential, so pay close attention. It’s imperative to thoroughly inspect the rest of your attic insulation for any problem spots that need supplementing. More than 40% of your home’s heat and cool air escapes through the attic, so it’s crucial to have high-quality insulation in place to reduce energy loss. There are a few different types of attic insulation to choose from that can help lower energy costs and consumption, including:

  • Fiberglass batts
  • Blown-in fiberglass insulation
  • Blown-in cellulose
  • Denim insulation
  • Mineral wool
  • Spray foam
  • Metallic insulation

Exterior construction companies like Advantage Construction often recommend blown-in fiberglass insulation from trusted brand names like Owens Corning. This insulation option is affordable, long-lasting, easy to apply, and damage-resistant. On top of all those advantages, blown-in fiberglass insulation is incredibly effective in increasing your home’s energy efficiency by minimizing the amount of heat and energy lost through your attic.

Look for gaps and weak spots in your existing attic insulation, and indicate such areas so your contractor can supplement them with additional insulation. If you’re looking for a way to cut back on energy costs and consumption, blown-in fiberglass insulation is the best bet.

3. Evaluate Ventilation

Most roofing contractors recommend against installing ventilation systems in an attic, but sometimes this situation is unavoidable. Unfortunately, leaking ductwork is one of the leading ways you lose energy in an attic, so installing attic insulation around vents is vital if you have no other choice but to put air conditioning and additional ventilation systems in your attic.

Just like you did with the entryway, work your way through the attic, inspecting the ventilation system, and supplementing any weak spots with the sealant of your choice. Spray foam insulation is a fast and effective way to close up leaks and gaps in attic ventilation, reducing energy loss.

4. Obtain the Appropriate Air Sealing

You want the heated and cooled air in your home to stay inside. After all, you are paying top dollar to have luxuries like heat and air conditioning throughout the seasons. Using the proper air sealant is crucial to keeping air contained in your home and attic. Several different spots in a residential home’s attic must have the appropriate air sealing to avoid losing energy, including:

  • Entrances/exits
  • Windows
  • Gaps between roofing and the attic
  • Recessed lighting systems
  • Soffits

Cutting off all of the routes where air can escape is a significant component of saving energy in your home.

5. Improve All Attic Insulation

Insulation is essential for homes in all climates or of any size and age. For the most part, many modern homes already have adequate amounts of high-quality attic insulation in place. However, if your home consists of older construction, there’s a chance you’re losing energy because of inefficient insulation.

Work with a trusted home renovation company to determine your existing attic insulation’s efficacy and decide whether replacing it with more advanced insulation solutions is the right option.

The right kind of attic insulation not only reduces energy costs but keeps the temperature of your home evenly distributed, so you’re never too cold or too hot. Attic insulation can also reduce the likelihood of incurring any damage due to excess precipitation, mold, mildew, or other common roofing and attic-related problems, helping you avoid any costly future repairs.

6. Don’t Forget Fans

If you’ve ever been up in your attic during the summer months, you know it can quickly become a humidity-filled hotbox without high-quality ventilation assisting the airflow. Attic fans are another popular addition that can pull moisture from the air in your attic, making it easier to maintain a constant temperature in that space and the rest of your home below. Temperature maintenance is important, as it helps minimize the extra work your HVAC systems have to do in order to replace any lost energy.

The best attic fans will increase air quality and expel excess moisture from your attic, making it nearly impossible to incur any damage like mold or mildew. Electric-powered attic fans can be costly to run, so solar-powered fans make a more suitable solution for those looking to reduce energy consumption and improve home energy efficiency.

It’s important to understand that attic fans will be of absolutely no use without proper ventilation and insulation in place. These different elements combine to create a high-functioning attic system so that you can save money and energy on every monthly invoice.

Improve Home Energy Efficiency With High-Quality Attic Insulation

There’s nothing worse than opening up your mailbox each month to find a pile of utility bills with ever-increasing price tags. When you notice the number at the bottom of your invoice going up, there’s a high chance you’re losing energy in the form of heat and cool air through faulty attic insulation.

Contact a reliable contractor at Advantage Construction to assess your existing insulation and find suitable solutions to improve your home’s energy efficiency and ultimately save you the most money on your monthly energy bills.

When Is the Right Time to Replace Your Commercial Windows?

As a commercial property manager, one of your primary responsibilities is ensuring that all roofing, siding, windows, and other exterior building components are in perfect working condition, prioritizing annual maintenance and inspecting each element regularly. Commercial window installations using durable aluminum materials can last an impressive number of years, but no window system is ever immune from issues or unforeseen damage.

When you notice that your facility’s commercial windows are suddenly failing, falling into disrepair, or have been damaged after a storm or some other external event, it’s essential that you take action right away. Choosing to wait when it comes to fixing your windows can be a costly mistake, resulting in more expensive repairs and commercial window replacements in the end. Keep your commercial facility functioning at maximum efficiency with an effortless commercial window replacement from a professional contractor.

Commercial Windows Bring in Customers

When customers and potential new clients visit your commercial facilities, making an excellent first impression is crucial in securing and maintaining their business. Broken window panes, failing seals, and chipped paint on window trim hinder your building or facility from looking its best.

Installing a new commercial window system can boost your business’s curb appeal, enticing new customers with a crisp, clean display void of any apparent window damage. When damage occurs, or old age finally takes its toll on your existing system, opt for a commercial window replacement not only to make money bringing in more customers but also to save some cash as well.

High-Quality Commercial Windows Will Save You Money, Too

Just like the ones in your home, commercial windows work hard to keep heated and cooled air inside while ensuring pests, precipitation, debris, intruders, and other outside elements remain on the building’s exterior. Failing commercial window systems can let a lot of excess energy escape such facilities, bringing your monthly bills to the top of your business’s budget. Installing new commercial windows will help save on energy costs by cutting down on the amount of heat and cool air that can get away from your building’s interior.

But Window Damage Does Happen Eventually

Even with an expert installation, a suitable seasonal window maintenance plan, and regular repairs, every commercial window system will come to the end of its lifespan at some point, whether it’s due to time or other contributing impacts.

Weather, physical forces, and old age can all contribute to causing commercial window damage. Work with a reliable window replacement company after incurring damage from any of the following:

  • Rain
  • Snow
  • Ice
  • Hail or sleet
  • Wind
  • Tree branches and other debris
  • Insects, pests, and small animals
  • Human intruders
  • Other physical forces (loose balls, kicked up rocks, etc.)
  • Age

Individual window repairs can have a hefty fee, especially when we’re talking about commercial facilities. Instead, opt for replacing your entire commercial window system when you notice the first signs of window damage or failure.

The Right Time for Replacement

High-quality commercial window systems typically consist of aluminum materials, meaning they’re likely to last anywhere from 15 to 20 years. Unfortunately, there are plenty of external forces that can negatively impact the integrity of your facility’s windows. Between unpredictable weather, possible intruders, annoying pests, and old age, commercial windows will eventually need to be replaced at some point.

Commercial storefront glass is a typical target for different types of window damage. Don’t hesitate to contact a window replacement specialist as soon as signs of damage, wear, or window failure come forth, as broken glass and limited window functionality will be a big liability for your business.

Prominent, growing cracks and glass shards in storefront glass and other commercial windows put staff and customers at risk of getting hurt. Plus, broken windows won’t look attractive to any incoming customers.

Have your chosen window replacement professional assess the damage right away. They can then offer the right replacement window solutions for your commercial facility’s specific needs, helping you avoid the likelihood of any liability issues moving forward.

What to Do When You Need a Commercial Window Replacement

When it comes down to commercial window damage, you want a reliable and experienced window replacement company on your side to guarantee the job gets done right. Someone who does outstanding work on your facility can quickly become your commercial window contractor for life.

Finding a commercial window contractor to work with your company can seem stressful since there are so many local window companies to choose from in any area of the country. However, here are just a few helpful tips to ensure you find the perfect fit for your commercial facility:

  • Ask for recommendations from fellow business owners or facility managers in the area.
  • Consult online resources with ratings and reviews, such as Angie’s List and Yelp, to find the most outstanding commercial window company in your area.
  • Research commercial window company names you may recognize from billboards, radio, television, internet, and print ads.
  • Request multiple quotes before settling on a suitable commercial window contractor or company.

Once you’ve found the right fit for your commercial property, it’s time to put your chosen window contractor to work. Keep in touch with your commercial window company for annual maintenance, but make sure to call them right away when window damage or instances of window failure arise.

Work With a Trusted Window Contractor

When you own a business or other kind of commercial property, it’s crucial to make a great first impression on current clients, potential customers, and any other guests. Once you notice older window systems starting to fail or recognize the signs of commercial window damage, reach out to a trusted window repair company in your area to receive a quote.

Typically, commercial buildings are much bigger than an average residential home. Replacing commercial windows is no easy task that someone can simply DIY themselves. Contact Advantage Construction for a reasonable quote, quick construction, and thorough cleanup on your commercial property. Save money and appeal to potential clients with a new commercial window system with professional installation.

6 Signs It’s Time for a Roof Replacement

For the most part, roofing issues aren’t something many homeowners have to think about during their day-to-day lives. Roofing materials are sturdy and durable, sometimes lasting over two decades. But when a roof springs a leak or caves in after a particularly severe storm, many homeowners are left wondering if they missed the signs or could’ve somehow stopped the newfound and often costly damage from occurring.

Although it’s impossible to prevent roofing damage entirely, there are several ways homeowners can inspect their roof for issues and assess whether repairs or a roofing replacement are the right options.

What’s Doing the Most Damage to Your Roof?

Roofs act like the helmet in a knight’s coat of shining armor. Without a roof, your home’s interior would not only be exposed to the elements but also lose heat and cool air constantly, costing you a fortune on monthly energy bills. Although modern roofing materials are typically quite durable, roof damage can occur from unpredictable weather or simply due to old age. Some of the common contributors to roof damage include:

  • Ice
  • Snow
  • Hail
  • Pooling water
  • Weathering
  • Pests
  • Mold, mildew, algae, and fungus
  • Time/age

No matter what is impacting your roof right now, there are some surefire signs of roof damage that need to be dealt with swiftly. Make sure to perform regular roof maintenance and periodically assess the condition and structural integrity of your roof after severe storms.

6 Signs It’s Time to Replace Your Roof

Roof damage is not something that homeowners should ever take lightly. Allowing issues to linger and get worse will only leave you with a more expensive invoice from your roofing replacement company in the future.

Although repairs can fix minor damage, a roof replacement is likely necessary when more extensive issues arise. Below are six critical signs that a roofing replacement is your best option:

1. Algae Growth

First, we’ll start with a key indicator of roofing damage that many homeowners don’t even know about: algae growth. You might be surprised to hear that algae can grow on your roof and affect shingles since it’s typically found on a body of water’s surface or lining the glass wall of a fish tank.

But it’s true! Algae can be a big detriment to your roof, with bacteria eating away at shingles and breaking them down, leaving behind a black, unsightly streak. Manufacturers will make low-quality shingles using limestone to cut costs, but the limestone materials make your roof more susceptible to algae growth and streaking. Replace your old shingles with high-quality materials from trusted brand-names in the industry that typically offer lifetime warranties as well.

2. Failing Shingles

On top of algae growth, there are several other ways your roof’s shingles can fail that may call for a roofing replacement. Shingles are the actual outer barrier of that “coat of armor” encapsulating your home, offering numerous benefits for both the interior and exterior of a building. Going without them for an extended period can put your home at risk and leave you with an expensive bill when you inevitably require a roofing replacement.

Look out for these signs of failing shingles so you can replace your roof right away:

  • Curling
  • Buckling
  • Missing shingles in roof valleys
  • Fallen shingles
  • Shingle granule buildup in gutters

3. Lingering Precipitation

Another big issue facing homeowners, particularly in the Midwest, is lingering precipitation and pooling water. Stagnant precipitation can be especially problematic in states like Minnesota, where ice, snow, hail, and unexpected rainstorms are everyday weathering events.

Pooling water can lead to further problems for homeowners. Some of the other issues associated with lingering precipitation on your rooftop include:

  • Clogged gutters
  • Ice dams
  • Algae growth
  • Leaks
  • Mold and mildew
  • Unwanted pest infestations

Modern roofing systems and materials are designed to move water away from your roof quickly, making it difficult for damage from ice dams and other pooling water problems to occur. If you notice lingering precipitation on your rooftop, it’s probably time to think about a total roof replacement.

4. Holes or Gaps

One of the more apparent signs your home requires a roof replacement is holes in the structure. Gaps between shingles and light shining through into your attic’s interior can indicate weak spots on your roof. Spaces in your roof’s structure allow water to seep in and give pesky critters a place to sleep and potentially make a nest.

Don’t let disease-carrying animals like rodents and birds call your house their new home. Contact a reliable roofing installation contractor to replace your roof and seal out any birds, animals, or insects for good.

5. Leaks

Leaky roofs can be a huge headache for homeowners, wreaking havoc on attic insulation and the contents of an attic’s interior. Chimney flashing is what directs water away from critical areas of your roof, but it can break down over time. When chimney flashing fails, it often leads to pooling water and leaks on a roof.

Failing chimney flashing, gaps between shingles, and holes in your roof can all lead to costly leaks in your home’s attic or top floor. If you overlook this issue at first, there’s potential for water damage to makes its way down into the rest of your home, ruining walls, ceilings, and floors on its path of destruction. Replace your roof right away when it springs a leak with a roofing installation from a trusted contractor.

6. High Energy Bills

You’ll definitely know it’s the right time for a roofing replacement when your energy bill’s total becomes bigger and bigger each month. Failed roofing systems allow heat, cool air, and other types of energy to escape your home, resulting in HVAC systems having to replace the lost energy constantly.

With your energy systems working double-time, you’ll inevitably wind up with a higher heating, cooling, or energy bill each month. High-quality roof replacements and installations will help cut back on energy costs and significantly reduce your monthly spending.

Replacing Your Roof

High-quality roofing installations using durable materials are made to last as many as 25 years with proper care and maintenance. However, homeowners in the Midwest understand just how unpredictable weathering events can be throughout the year. When your roof breaks down due to old age or unforeseen roofing damage occurs, a roof replacement might be your best option.

It’s crucial that homeowners contact a roofing company like Advantage Construction right away after heavy storms or other forces impact their roof as well. Your chosen contractor can assess the damage and recommend repairs or a replacement.

If you’re ready to make an aesthetic change or address the issues impacting your roof, go for a roof replacement. When you replace your roof, you can save money on energy bills, choose a new shingle style, and keep your home’s shining armor in tip-top shape with the most durable and long-lasting roofing materials on the market.

Window Damage? Here’s What Homeowners Insurance Will Cover

Over the years, your windows can take a beating, whether it’s from storms, wind, or physical forces. When extensive window damage occurs, paying for repairs on your own dime can be incredibly costly, especially without adequate homeowners insurance coverage. The policy you hold will determine what damages are insured and help calculate your potential out-of-pocket window repair costs.

What Caused Your Window Damage?

The first question your homeowners insurance company will ask when a window gets broken is what caused the damage? Window damage can occur in several ways ranging from intense storms to simple accidents. Although window damage is relatively common, it’s not always covered by homeowners insurance.

You’ll need to determine the type of homeowners insurance coverage you have to uncover the final cost of repairs after window damage. There are two primary homeowners insurance policies (or a mixture of the two) that can include or exclude window damage insurance cover:

  • Open-perils: As the name implies, open-peril policies typically insure against any covered loss, except those expressly excluded. Open-peril is the most comprehensive coverage homeowners can acquire, so it is usually more costly.
  • Named-perils: Named-peril policies only cover risks explicitly outlined within the contract. In this case, you might have to pay out of pocket for certain damages to your windows.

For the most part, window damage due to storms and other weathering events are insured under most open-peril and named-peril policies. However, don’t count on your insurance covering replacements of old, failing window systems. Ensure you read your insurance policy carefully before signing off on any agreements so that you know you’re insured in case of accidents, theft, or unforeseen disasters. Work with an experienced window repair company to receive valuable insurance claims assistance when damage occurs.

With that said, let’s dive further into the few circumstances where window damage might not be covered by a typical homeowners insurance possible:

1. If Something Breaks Your Window:

Standard homeowners insurance policies most commonly cover unforeseen circumstances such as storms and weathering events. The “thing” that breaks your window is the “peril” that we mentioned above. Some weather-related perils your homeowners policy probably insures will include:

  • Hail storms
  • High winds
  • Fire
  • Certain storms and weather events

Not all weather conditions are covered under named-peril policies, so it’s crucial to read through the contract to know exactly what’s insured. If you live in an area where heavy storms, like hurricanes or monsoons, are common, you might want to consider an open-peril policy. In doing so, you guarantee coverage if, God forbid, your home and windows are severely damaged during one of these storms.

2. If Someone Breaks Your Window:

Things get a little tricky when an actual person causes physical damage to your window. If the damage is due to an event such as theft, there is a high likelihood that your insurance company will cover the repairs.

However, if a neighbor or guest on your property breaks the window, this is where things get a little muddled. Depending on the homeowners insurance of the window-cracking culprit, you might wind up having to pay for the repairs out-of-pocket, depending on their coverage and deductibles.

3. If You Accidentally Break Your Window:

Accidents are bound to happen, and most homeowners know that Murphy’s Law is almost always in effect when it comes to maintaining their property. If you ever find yourself accidentally damaging window panes within your home, those issues may not be insured under named-peril policies.

If you accidentally fall into a window or your child breaks the glass with an unruly ball, the biggest likelihood is that you will be utilizing your own savings to take care of repairs. That is unless you have an expensive, open-peril policy in your name.

It’s important to note that regardless of your policy type, most homeowners insurance companies will not cover regular wear and tear or common window failures, like failing seals or old age issues.

4. If You Break Your Neighbor’s Window:

Hopefully, this issue never happens, but if it does, there is a slight chance that your homeowners policy will cover damage to another neighbor’s home. Damage to the property next to you can occur in several ways, but typically it’s due to a loose ball or falling tree limb. Contact your insurance agent to determine what’s covered when an accident happens with your neighbor’s windows or home.

Dealing With Deductibles

After an issue occurs and you determine that your homeowners insurance policy covers the type of damage you’re experiencing, it’s time to file a homeowners insurance claim. A homeowners insurance deductible denotes the amount of out-of-pocket money you’ll have to supply before insurance companies pay on a claim.

The easiest way to understand your deductible is by looking at an example: Imagine your deductible is $1000, but the cost of window repairs is only $650. In this case, your insurance would not cover any damages, so it makes more sense to settle the issues with your savings and skip on filing a claim.

If the estimated repair cost exceeds your deductible, it’s necessary to file a claim so you can get back the money you deserve. With extensive window damage, don’t hesitate to contact both your insurance company and trusted window repair company to fix the problem right away before it grows out of control and costs you more money in the end. The insurance claims process can be time-consuming and stressful, so if you can avoid it, that’s the best option.

If you’re still confused about how your deductible works or whether you’ll be insured in case of window damage, there are plenty of resources out there to help. National insurance companies like Allstate offer valuable online tools and resources to teach new or inexperienced homeowners how to interact with their insurance companies. You can view more information from Allstate about insurance and window damage here.

Conclusion

Window damage can occur in several ways, and dealing with deductibles and homeowners insurance companies that keep dragging their feet can cause quite the headache. Before you begin to file a claim for your window damage, take a closer look at your homeowners insurance policy to ensure that the damage incurred will be covered.

Don’t waste time and money on pointless insurance claims when improvement costs are actually less than what you owe on your deductible. When damage occurs, the best thing to do is call a trusted window contractor to assess the damage and estimate the cost of repairs.

The right window repair company can assist you in filing insurance claims when necessary or by simply repairing your windows at an affordable rate. When you need window damage repair services, contact Advantage Construction for expert repairs and individualized assistance with insurance claims.