Tips for Choosing an Ideal Window Replacement

Choosing an ideal window replacement for any home or commercial building can be incredibly difficult if you don’t know exactly what you are looking for. When choosing a window replacement, multiple factors need to be considered.

There are many reasons why residential or commercial windows could need replacing. Perhaps your home has cheap, single-paned windows that are not performing efficiently. Or maybe your home has older, wooden windows that could benefit from replacement or storm window installation. There is also the possibility of safety hazards with improperly cared for or older windows. If any of these issues are affecting your home or business, it may be time to consider a window replacement.

These days, home and business owners alike find value in energy efficiency as well as aesthetics. Due in part to improvements in window technology and because of high demand in the market, style no longer has to be compromised for efficiency when it comes to replacing windows.

Construction professionals can help guide home and business owners to the proper solution for their needs. When choosing a window replacement that works best for you, your home or business, and your budget, think about the following factors.

Know Your Budget

Many homeowners become leery at just the thought of embarking on a window replacement endeavor. It is a costly upfront expense, but when installed correctly, energy-efficient replacement windows can ultimately help your bottom line over time. A good replacement window should last nearly 20 years if maintained properly.

The type of window chosen for a replacement will determine the cost of the replacement process. There is a multitude of window materials to choose from for both residential and commercial buildings.

Window Materials:

  • Wood
  • Vinyl
  • Aluminum
  • Wood-clad
  • Fiberglass
  • Composite

Each of these types of windows may vary in cost and serve unique purposes, so understanding those functions is essential in deciding on an adequate window replacement.

Vinyl is the most budget-friendly option available for replacement windows. Similar to vinyl siding, vinyl window frames are pigmented all the way through the product, meaning it will never chip or need painting. This makes it a virtually maintenance-free option. Composite windows, made from scrap wood shavings and plastic resin, are another budget-friendly and maintenance-free option.

Solid wood windows offer a classic look, but may not be the best option budget-wise. Though strong, they need regular, sometimes costly maintenance. Solid wood windows also need replacing more often than other materials because they are prone to mold and mildew, so they become more costly over time.

Metal-framed and aluminum windows are other more “middle of the road” options budget-wise. These types of windows are less common but can be useful in a variety of locations.

To find the best window replacement for your budget, it is necessary to understand the benefits and pitfalls of different types of frames and glass in different climates. Installation, maintenance, style, frame, and glass type will all factor into the final cost of window replacing, so it’s best to speak with a professional about your budgetary constraints.

Understand Your Location

It is important to understand how location can impact the efficiency and longevity of replacement windows. One frame or glass type may be more useful in a certain climate over another.

For instance, aluminum and metal windows are a great choice for humid, rainy, hurricane-prone locations because of their strength. However, due to heat transfer and loss, aluminum is not the best option for someone in a cold, dry climate.

Alternatively, wood and wood-clad windows are prone to waterlogging and rot if not installed and maintained properly. They should be avoided in humid, rainy climates.

Vinyl, composite, and fiberglass window options are going to be the most versatile and energy-efficient options. With insulated glass and low thermal conductivity, homeowners can save on their energy bills throughout the year. The tight construction of these windows stops any air leakage and reduces condensation build-up. These three options are recommended in almost any climate.

Choosing the Right Glass Type

Another essential consideration when replacing your windows is glass type. There are many different glass types that serve unique purposes in cars, homes, and commercial buildings. Understanding the different types of glass available will make it easier to decide on the best window replacement option for your needs.

Types of Glass:

  • Float Glass
  • Safety Laminated
  • Obscured
  • Annealed
  • Tinted
  • Tempered
  • Insulated
  • Mirrored
  • Low-E
  • Wired Glass
  • Heat-Strengthened

Float, obscured, tempered, insulated, and Low-E glasses are all ideal types of glass for residential buildings and homes. Tinted, mirrored, wired, and insulated glass options will work well for commercial building use.

Float glass is the large glass panel pieces commonly used in picture and bay windows. It is inexpensive and colorless, and incredibly common in residential houses. Obscured glass is another popular option for bathrooms and entryway doors because it is coated or frosted, making it impossible to see through.

Tinted, mirrored, and wired glass options work well for businesses and commercial buildings. Each of these types of glasses offers privacy and protection that may be needed by a storefront or office.

Insulated and Low-E glass options are going to be the most energy-efficient of the glass types. Insulated glass is ideal for windows as it helps maintain interior temperatures, whether cool or warm, throughout the year. Low-E glass is specially formulated with heat treatment to reflect radiation and infrared beams. In summer, it keeps the hot out and in winter, it keeps it in. Low-E glass is the most pricy option, but it may also save the most money in energy over time.

Choosing the Right Frame Type

Similar to glass type, the frame type is also an important factor when selecting the ideal window replacements. There are fewer options for frames than glass, but each type can play a critical role in the longevity of newly replaced windows.

Wood frames are a classic selection, both in terms of style and function. Unfortunately, as beautiful as wooden windows are, they can pose serious issues if not installed and maintained properly. Wood windows are prone to leakage and condensation build-up, meaning that mold and mildew can become a serious issue in the future. Also prone to weathering and warping, these types of frames would not be recommended in a humid, tropical climate.

Aluminum and metal-framed windows are a better alternative for tropically located buildings. Though not as energy-efficient, these durable windows will withstand strong winds and hurricane-level storms. These would be ideal for buildings in coastal or tropical areas where serious weather events are common

Vinyl, composite, and fiberglass frames are the most popular window frame options. Vinyl frames are budget-friendly and energy-efficient due to their airtight, insulated structure. Unfortunately, vinyl can also warp over time if not installed properly.

Composite frames are an eco-friendly choice, being made from recycled glass and scrap wood materials. Similar to composite windows in their construction, fiberglass windows are the most expensive option. They are durable and have low thermal conductivity, making them extremely efficient. Additionally, they can be painted over to match any house or building’s aesthetics.

Style and Aesthetics

While it might seem like the most important factor, since windows are visible from the exterior of buildings, aesthetics are actually the last thing to consider when choosing the ideal replacement window.

With today’s technology, windows can be shaped and molded to fit virtually any opening. Understanding what glass best works for what location is much more vital to the lasting success of the installed windows. For example, float glass will be much better suited to a bay window on a second floor, while insulated or Low-E glass is a better option for bedroom and living area locations.

Owners of older homes may prefer the look of wood or wood-clad windows. Easily painted, wood windows pair wonderfully with vintage shutters. If desired, already existing wood windows can be preserved and further insulated by storm windows.

Vinyl windows are an inexpensive, modern option. Fully pigmented through the product, vinyl never needs to be sanded or repainted. However, the available choices for vinyl window colors and styles are limited.

A great, but more expensive alternative to the look of vinyl windows are fiberglass windows. Made from recycled materials, these window panes and trims can be painted to suit any style. From plain white to hot pink, the possibilities are endless for fiberglass window options.

Final Considerations

Whether you’re looking for an eco-friendly option or need to protect your home or building from harsh weather, there is definitely a window option out there that is right for you. Understanding the distinct window glass and frame types and how they function in a particular location will best aid in window replacement decisions.With a multitude of window vendors to choose from, finding the proper fit and style for your new windows doesn’t have to be such a daunting task. Determine your budget and desired functions with a window replacement specialist and your home or business can be transformed in no time.

Vinyl Siding: The Maintenance-Free Solution for Your Home

In today’s fast-paced world, many homeowners lack the time, money, and energy to keep up with unexpected home improvement costs. With full-time jobs and other life commitments, spending valuable time on grueling home improvement projects is not efficient for the modern homeowner.

Therefore, durability, cost, and upkeep are key factors when choosing a type of siding for a home. Consider premium or insulated vinyl siding as a great alternative option to standard wood siding.

Fashioned out of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and mimicking the look of wood siding, vinyl is perfect for homeowners looking for a durable and virtually maintenance-free option. There are numerous benefits to installing premium vinyl siding, easily making it one of the top options for homeowners across the country. Insulated vinyl is a cost-effective choice as well.

Modern vinyl siding products offer style and protection to the exterior of a house. Many pitfalls of older, outdated wood siding products are improved upon through updated vinyl siding technology. However, it’s always important to make an informed decision about which siding option works best for your home.

Let’s take a look at the benefits of vinyl siding so you can see why this low-cost, maintenance-free option is great for your home.

Durability

Premium vinyl siding is extremely durable and helps protect your home from extreme weather and other potential hazards throughout the year. Both available vinyl options can protect against the following:

  • Harsh Weather: Vinyl siding can protect from harsh weather like rain, snow, sleet, hail, and high winds.
  • High Winds: While vinyl siding in the 70s was thin and flimsy, modern vinyl siding is much thicker and stronger. In fact, vinyl siding is rated for winds as high as 110mph.
  • Lasting Color: New technology allows for vinyl siding to be pigmented completely throughout the product. This means the siding won’t need any priming or painting, as it won’t chip or wear like older vinyl siding products.
  • Insulation and Energy Efficiency: Insulated vinyl siding, another type of premium vinyl siding, is also extremely durable. The strength of insulated vinyl siding allows for exterior protection while also increasing energy efficiency within the home. Insulated vinyl siding also requires very minimal maintenance.
  • Mold and Mildew Resistance: After heavy rains or a good hosing off, vinyl siding will not retain water. If installed correctly, it actually allows water to easily run off and escape. Mold and mildew are costly and detrimental issues often faced by owners of older, wood-sided homes.

When installed and cared for correctly, premium and insulated vinyl siding can last decades. Through even the heaviest of snowfalls and most ferocious storms, durable vinyl siding will withstand the test of nature and time.

Maintenance

Both the premium and insulated vinyl siding options available for residential homes and commercial buildings are incredibly durable. Each type requires minimal maintenance; every homeowner’s dream. The installation process is simple and seamless. Typically layered over already existing vinyl, highly trained professionals make the “re-siding” process as smooth as possible.

Older vinyl siding products used to lose color over time. With improved technology, this is no longer an issue. Due to the thorough pigmentation of each piece of vinyl siding product, the coloring never chips or peels away. Thanks to this modern process, homeowners don’t have to worry about sanding, priming, or re-painting the siding of a home ever again.

It’s expected for the exterior of any house to go through normal wear and tear, including homes with vinyl siding. However, the vinyl cleaning process couldn’t be more straightforward. When made dirty by dust or storms, vinyl siding can be easily cleaned with water. Wash away any dirt, dust, or debris with a garden hose. Wiping down the siding panels with Windex or other household cleaners will get out other tough stains.

Affordability

Installing vinyl siding is a fantastic way to reduce home improvement costs. With very little maintenance and high energy efficiency, the switch to vinyl siding practically pays for itself. Polyvinyl Chloride, or PVC, is the third most-produced synthetic plastic in the world, so it is very common and very affordable.

Premium vinyl siding is easy to clean and never needs to be repainted, helping homeowners to save even more on repairs or improvements. Foregoing the cost of painting an entire house puts a lot of money back into a homeowner’s pocket.

Insulated vinyl siding is also an economical option. The contoured foam insulation increases energy efficiency, so homeowners can save on heating, cooling, and electricity throughout the year. Similar to premium vinyl siding options, insulated vinyl never needs re-painting and can withstand harsh weather conditions with little to no maintenance or repair.

Both options offered by Advantage Construction are affordable and require very little maintenance after installation, ultimately helping homeowners to save more over time.

Aesthetics

In addition to their durability and affordability, vinyl siding products are incredibly aesthetically pleasing and can add tons of curb appeal to any home. Made to look like classic wood siding, vinyl siding is offered in a wide variety of colors, patterns, and textures. There are also plenty of trim options available to accentuate and protect the windows and doors of the home.

With such an expansive variety of colors and textures available, a homeowner’s personality can really shine through on the exterior of their home. Vinyl siding will make a statement door pop or can easily match an existing shutter color.

Plus, if a homeowner plans to sell in the future, professionally installed vinyl siding can help to increase the property value. Potential buyers will gladly accept the passed on beauty and benefits of professionally installed premium vinyl siding.

Choosing a Maintenance-Free Solution

Replacing the siding on a home is not an easy task. It requires research, planning, and a reliable contractor to properly install whatever product you choose. Homeowners must consider costs, maintenance, and design aesthetics when choosing a siding option.

Taking all of these factors into consideration, either premium or insulated vinyl siding products are the perfect choices for a homeowner looking for a maintenance-free solution. All the time and money saved on painting, repairs, and utilities can be put towards other more desirable home improvement projects – or you can just spend more time relaxing with family at home.

Taking the time to replace the outdated siding with premium vinyl siding on your home will ultimately result in a beautiful, durable, cost-effective siding solution that will last years to come.

A Comprehensive Guide to Residential and Commercial Roofing

The Effects of Inclement Weather

Whether it’s severe weather or just the typical day to day conditions, the elements can take a toll on your roof over time, causing the material to look aged and not perform as accurately. Property owners must conduct regular inspections, either by themselves or through a roofing contractor. Any issues with your roof must be caught early on, to prevent further costly damage.

Regular Inspections

Yearly checks of roof shingles are encouraged to ensure your roof is in optimal shape. If you live in an area where inclement weather frequents, you may have to inspect your roof more often. With regular inspections, you can identify any weak points, areas of uncertainty, missing or broken shingles, and much more. Conducting regular inspections will ensure your home or business has proper protection and continually remains safe for household members.

Trim Branches

Account for any trees that have overhanging branches and trim these areas before the winter months. Over time, snow and ice can build up on the overhanging branches causing them to break, which can lead to damage to your roof and shingles. Be proactive and trim the branches in question early in the year, so you’re fully prepared.

Gutter Maintenance

It may be a sign of issues with your roof if you’re noticing bubbling paint, rotting wood, and water damage in your home or business. Gutters play a vital part in the functioning of your roof by ensuring rainwater and melted snow or ice can travel efficiently and not pool. It’s essential to clean your gutters every spring and fall to clear excess leaves, bugs, and other debris to allow for proper drainage.

Moss Prevention

Moss can be extremely damaging to any roofing material if given the time to establish and grow. Over time, moss grows between shingles, which causes them to lift away from your roof. This gap allows water to enter under your roofing structure and possibly seep into your attic and other parts of your home or business. If you notice moss on your roof, it’s encouraged to contact a professional to prevent further damage and destruction.

Insulation and Ventilation

Choosing advanced insulation and ventilation systems is incredibly important to prevent excess moisture and wood rot from occurring. Your attic should be inspected regularly to ensure adequate amounts of insulation are in place as well as a proper ventilation system. Proper insulation and ventilation will help you save money on your electric bill throughout the year, as these systems won’t have to work as hard to heat or cool your home or business.

Ice Dams

Insulation and ventilation also play into the chance of ice dams occurring on your home or business in the colder months. Regular attic checks will help you monitor the temperature and make adjustments accordingly, so there is a lower chance of ice dams occurring. Ice dams can be extremely damaging to your property and a hassle to remove. If you notice ice dams beginning to happen, it’s encouraged to contact a professional to conduct proper ice dam removal services.

Flashing Care

The material used for flashings can vary by roofing contractor from roof cement and tar to aluminum or galvanized steel. Flashings are in place to divert water and guarantee proper drainage to prevent buildup around essential areas of your roof, such as chimneys or skylights. Over time flashings can deteriorate and break down, so it’s incredibly important to monitor these areas and conduct maintenance as needed.

What Poses a Threat to Your Roof?

Many things can damage your property and roof, aside from inclement weather. Property owners must be aware of the different threats to look out for and be knowledgeable of the signs.

Inclement Weather

Many roofing systems can withstand severe weather and damaging conditions; however, over time, damage and regular wear and tear can occur that require expert attention. From heavy snow and rainfall to hail and strong winds, inspecting your roof regularly is recommended to determine if any damage has occurred.

Incorrect Installation

Cross-check the roofing company you’ve chosen for your installation, replacements, and repairs. It’s also encouraged to get recommendations from friends and neighbors to ensure the company you’re working with is accredited and completes quality work. While it may be tempting to complete work on your own, having an experienced and qualified team is essential to confirm the project is done correctly and accurately.

Improper Maintenance

If your roof isn’t properly maintained and cared for, any damage can spread through to your attic and other areas of your home or business. Once your ceiling begins showing damage or leaking occurs, it can lead to a costly repair. As mentioned before, a reliable, easily accessible roofing team must be hired to conduct regular full inspections and address any underlying issues.

Invasive Wildlife

Unwanted wildlife and critters can cause extensive damage to your roof. It’s encouraged to watch for squirrels, nesting birds, raccoons, and many more animals to ensure they’re not making a home out of your costly investment. Monitor where they travel and conduct regular inspections as there are times when these creatures could be ripping off shingles or making a home in your vent covers.

Replacing and Repairing

Continue maintaining the structural integrity of your property and providing a safe environment for household members by regularly inspecting and repairing your roof. It’s encouraged to check your roof each season to ensure there are no maintenance requirements and that any issues are caught early on. There are many warning signs property owners can look for and should be aware of when performing roof inspections from the ground or through a roofing professional.

Warning Signs

Regular, thorough checks of your roof either by yourself from the ground or through a roofing company are incredibly important to properly maintain your roof and keep it in optimal shape.

  • Age of Roof: Whether you’ve moved into a new location or have been in your current home or business for some time, it’s encouraged to continually account for how long your existing roof has been in place. The type of roofing material factors into your roof’s average lifespan, and if you’re nearing the estimated time frame, it is likely time for a new roof.
  • Curling and Buckling Shingles: If any of the shingles on your roof are curling, buckling, or losing granules, the shingles have likely reached their life expectancy, or there is a more significant issue occurring with your roof.
  • Condition of Roof Valleys: Roofing contractors design valleys to help guide snow and rain to the gutters to allow for proper drainage. It’s time to call a roofing professional if shingles are falling apart or missing in the valleys on your roof.
  • Missing Shingles: Inspect your roof from the ground regularly to account for any missing shingles and to verify all shingle tabs are intact. If you can’t see your entire roof or are unsure about what you’ve found, it’s encouraged to contact a roofing contractor to assist you further.
  • Deteriorating Flashing: Flashing is installed on your roof to direct water away from any areas that can be damaged by standing water. Roof cement or tar are typically used, but there are other materials companies use as well. It’s encouraged to monitor these areas to be sure flashing isn’t breaking down or deteriorating.
  • Shingle Granules in Gutters: Over time, granules that fall from your shingles can build up in your gutters. If you notice an abnormal level of granules in your gutters, it’s likely your roof is reaching the end of its lifespan. Any color inconsistency is also a sign that shingle granules have started to wear away.
  • Sunlight Through Roof Boards: It’s encouraged to check your attic for any sunlight passing through the roof boards and if any existing insulation is showing signs of moisture. Over time, shingles and roofs can separate, and if sunlight is visible from the inside or any moisture is present, it’s likely time for a new roof.

Your property requires a substantial investment making it incredibly important to keep your roof in tip-top shape. Your roof is the protection for your property, and residing individuals, meaning regular maintenance and inspections are a must.

Metal Roofing vs. Asphalt Shingles: A Comparison

There are many different types of roofing materials available on the market today, each coming with its own pros and cons. Metal roofing and asphalt shingles are two of the most popular materials chosen by commercial and residential property owners. When selecting your roofing material, it’s incredibly important to consider a few details before making a decision, from budget and roof design to your location’s climate and finding a qualified contractor. These are among a few of the details home and business owners should explore before deciding to upgrade and enhance your property.

Metal Roofing

Many property owners choose metal roofing for several reasons. Metal roofing is a lightweight material that comes in a variety of designs, allowing property owners to select an option that adds to their property’s curb appeal and extends the life of their establishment. Metal roofing is easy for contractors to handle and install, which puts less stress on the structure of your property. With this, metal roofing has an impressive fire rating, is exceptionally durable, and is environmentally friendly and energy-efficient. If you’re interested in metal roofing, you can expect to spend more upfront, and contractors may be more difficult to find as a precision-driven installation process is required. Additionally, if your property is located in a homeowner’s association (HOA) community, metal roofing may not be allowed due to its industrial appearance.

Asphalt Shingles

Both commercial and residential property owners have found asphalt shingles to be very useful and practical for their properties. This roofing material comes with a lower initial cost, along with a lower requirement for time and labor, which is appealing to many. Asphalt shingles are one of the most popular roofing materials chosen by property owners today. If you choose asphalt shingles for your roofing material, your roof will last up to 25 years before any major repairs or replacements are necessary. The only significant downfalls of asphalt shingles are the aggressive install process that can potentially compromise your home or business’s structural integrity and the chance for mold, mildew, or algae growing over time due to excess moisture.

  • Versatility in Design
  • Affordability
  • Easy Install
  • Readily Available
  • Uniformity

The Benefits of Cedar Shakes

This popular roofing material is created from cedar lumber logs. Cedar shakes are split on one or both sides with special crafting tools. Due to their natural design, cedar shakes are incredibly versatile when it comes to design, making them an excellent roofing material for home and business owners.

  • Improved Insulation: Cedar material has natural insulating properties that prevent differing temperatures from passing through either side. Many property owners have reported lower heating and air conditioning bills because of cedar’s protective barrier capabilities.
  • Lasting Durability: Cedar is impressively tough and strong when comparing wood types available on the market today. Choosing cedar shakes for your roofing material will enhance your property’s structural integrity while creating a safe environment for you and your family in inclement weather.
  • Damage Resistance: Due to its impressive strength, cedar is incredibly resilient when it encounters any potentially damaging situations. Cedar contains many natural preservatives that help it keep its shape and coloring regardless of how frequently ultraviolet rays, moisture, wind, and moss growth try to take a toll.
  • Customization Opportunities: Cedar shakes are incredibly versatile when it comes to design as property owners can treat the material or leave them natural. Cedar can be finished with stains, oils, coatings, and paint to help property owners achieve the appearance they’ve been hoping for. Cedar shakes also come in a variety of shapes and styles from square and diagonal to arrow-tipped and rounded.
  • Insect Repellant Capabilities: Termite infestations can lead to costly repairs and destruction. Luckily, cedar has proven to be resistant to termites because of a natural chemical that exists, which isn’t palatable to termites. Even in areas where termite infestation is prominent, cedar makes an impactful difference for properties with cedar shakes.
  • Environmentally Friendly: If you’re environmentally aware, cedar shakes stand above other roofing options regarding sustainability, energy efficiency, and recyclability. Chemicals aren’t required in the production process, meaning fossil fuel use is lowered, and every time a tree is reduced, a new one is grown, which creates a self-sustaining supply chain. Additionally, used cedar shakes can be broken down into bark dust and wood chips for gardening and other purposes.
  • Adds to Property Value: The property value of your home or business will be increased with cedar shakes because of the low maintenance requirements and long lifespan. While cedar shakes require a significant initial investment, the benefits that come hand in hand make it worthwhile for all property owners.
  • Lightweight and Appealing: Cedar shakes are incredibly lightweight and won’t compromise your home or business’s structural integrity. This roofing material also smells wonderful which will add a sense of comfort to your new or already established property.

Leaving a strong first impression with visitors and passersby is essential when it comes to your home or business property. Cedar shakes are an excellent addition for property owners to choose to bring an eccentric, long-lasting touch to their home or business. Cedar shakes provide property owners with a variety of benefits and is an excellent choice despite the high initial cost.

Last Words

Your property means a lot to you, and likely plays a significant role in your life. It’s incredibly important to properly care for and maintain your roof to ensure it is continually in optimal shape. There are many factors to consider when caring for your roof, and being aware of them is the first step to success. If you find yourself continuing to have questions about residential or commercial roof care, it’s encouraged to contact a roofing professional.

Roof Replacement: When is the Right Time?

Performing regular maintenance and necessary replacements are both vital components to maintaining the structural integrity of your home and providing a safe environment for household members. It’s essential to check your roof regularly, either by yourself from the ground or through a roofing specialist. There are many tell-tale signs to look for that could mean you need maintenance or a full replacement. While you can get your roofing work completed at any time throughout the year, certain seasons are more effective. However, if you notice any excessive damage, it’s encouraged to contact a professional right away.

Signs to Lookout For

It’s incredibly important to conduct regular checks of your roof either from the ground or through a professional. There are many signs you can look for if you’re unsure of when your roof may need to be replaced.

  • Roof Age: When thinking about replacing your roof, it’s crucial to account for how long your existing roof has been in place. The typical roof lasts 20 to 25 years, depending on the materials, and if you’re nearing this timespan, it’s likely time for a replacement.
  • Shingles Curling and Buckling: If you notice the shingles on your roof curling, buckling, or losing granules, it could be a sign that the shingles are past their life expectancy or a more significant issue is occurring with your roof.
  • Roof Valleys: Valleys are designed to guide snow and rain to the gutters for proper drainage. If shingles are falling apart or missing in these areas, you’re likely in need of a new roof.
  • Missing Shingles: Conduct regular checks of your shingles to verify all shingle tabs are intact, and none are missing. Missing shingles can likely cause more significant issues down the road if not accounted for.
  • Chimney Flashing: Flashing is installed to direct water away from critical areas that may be damaged due to stagnant water. Over time flashing can break down, especially if made of roof cement or tar. It’s vital to monitor these areas to be sure the flashing is still doing its job and doesn’t need to be replaced.
  • Excess Granules in the Gutters: Check your gutters for built-up shingle granules. Your roof is likely reaching the end of its life cycle if you notice an abundance of granules. If you see inconsistency or darker coloring in certain areas of your roof, this is another sign that the granules have worn away over time.
  • Daylight Through the Roof Boards: Check your attic to see if any sunlight is shining through the roof boards and if the insulation has any moisture. Moisture isn’t supposed to be present, so if this is the case, it’s likely a new roof is needed.

These are just a few examples of signs you can look for to determine whether it’s time for a new roof. If you find an area of concern that you’re unsure about, contact a roofing professional to assist you further. It’s encouraged to keep documentation of any changes you notice in your roof; take pictures and notes so you can easily access them.

Schedule Your Roofing Project Today

Your home is a substantial investment, and your roof is in place to provide protection for it as well as household members. Homeowners need to become familiar with different signs that could indicate you require roofing maintenance or replacement. While there are recommended seasons for completing roofing work, it is possible to schedule a contractor throughout the year. If you identify any signs that raise suspicion or need roofing work, it’s encouraged to contact a roofing professional immediately to get on their schedule, and any issues resolved right away.

How to Maintain Your Roof Against the Elements

Did you know that most roof leaks can be prevented by catching issues early on with regular roof inspections? A roof is designed to protect homes from the elements and inclement weather and should be able to withstand many obstacles. Over time, roofs experience wear and tear. It’s essential to continually monitor the condition of your roof and perform any maintenance to protect your roof from further damage from the elements. Regular inspection, either by you or a roofing specialist, will extend the life of your roof and keep your home protected.

Regular Shingle Inspection

Homeowners are encouraged to complete yearly checks of roof shingles, but if inclement weather is a common occurrence in your area, you may have to inspect more frequently. Along with wind and rain, the sun’s ultraviolet rays can also cause damage to your shingles over time. Regular inspection will help you identify any weak points, broken shingles, and much more. To guarantee your home has proper protection and remains safe for household members, inspecting your shingles will help you determine if all materials are still installed correctly and functioning as they should.

Branch Trimming

Be aware of any trees on your property that have overhanging branches. Branches that hang over your roof pose a threat in the winter months and must be trimmed before it sets in. Heavy snow and ice can build up on branches causing them to break and damage your roof and shingles. Additionally, high winds during blizzards and other inclement weather can whip the branches around, causing them to break away from the tree. Trimming these branches early on each year will help prevent any damage from occurring during the colder months.

Unclog and Clean Gutters

Clogged gutters can lead to more significant and costly issues if they’re not properly maintained and cared for. Common problems associated with clogged gutters include bubbling wall paint, rotting wood, and water damage to various parts of your roofing structure. Throughout the year, gutters can become filled with excess amounts of leaves, bugs, and other debris. If the debris isn’t cleared regularly, rainwater can’t travel accurately and can lead to pooling and extreme damage to the roofing structure as well as inside of your home. It’s encouraged to clean your gutters every Spring and Fall to allow for proper drainage.

Moss Maintenance

While moss can seem appealing and add a whimsical aesthetic to your property, it’s realistically very detrimental to your roofing structure. Moss can cause damage to any roofing material, whether it be asphalt, wood, concrete, or metal. When moss appears, it grows between shingles, causing them to lift away from the roof over time. If shingles are lifted away from your roof, this allows water to get inside, thus encouraging the continued growth of moss and causing damage to your roofing structure and home such as leaks and wood rot. If you identify moss growth on your roof, you must scrub the moss away yourself or hire a professional to prevent further damage. Zinc sulfate granules can be sprinkled on your roof seasonally to prevent and stunt moss growth.

Proper Insulation and Ventilation

Roofing structures require advanced insulation and ventilation systems to prevent excess moisture and wood rot. It’s encouraged to have your attic inspected by a professional to confirm that you have the correct amount of insulation and ventilation for your home. If these two factors aren’t accounted for, warm air will continue to rise into your attic where it meets the cold and condensation will be created. If the issue isn’t addressed, mold growth and wood rot will occur over time. Proper ventilation allows for necessary air circulation to prevent condensation from occurring. Establishing correct insulation and ventilation will also save you money on your electric bill as your heating and cooling systems won’t have to work as hard during the warm and cold months.

Ice Dam Prevention

Proper insulation and ventilation also play into ice dam prevention as excess heat won’t get trapped in your attic. Most roofs are susceptible to ice dams after a heavy snowfall, and being proactive can help prevent them from occurring. If extreme amounts of warm air reach your attic, the roof is heated up, which causes snow to melt. The melted snow refreezes when the water travels to colder portions of the roof, thus creating ice dams. Melted snow and water continue to get stuck over time, which leads to water seeping through your roof, causing ceiling stains and peeling paint. Regular and thorough checks of your attic will allow you to monitor the temperature and adjust accordingly to prevent ice dams from forming at all. It’s recommended to check your attic year-round, but especially in the cooler fall and winter months. If you end up with ice dams and are unsure of how to manage, it’s vital to contact a professional to perform proper ice dam removal because if done incorrectly, it can lead to extensive damage.

Caulk the Flashings

Flashings are strips of various metals such as lead, aluminum, or galvanized, that are placed along roof edges or joints. This material is required to divert water and keep water out of areas that shingles can’t protect from piping and venting to skylights and chimneys. Over time, flashing can rust, crack, lift, or separate if the installation wasn’t done correctly or time has taken its toll. It’s vital to regularly check the flashings on your roof because if the flashing isn’t working correctly, a portion that protects your roof is no longer doing its job, which can lead to more significant issues. Caulking can be used to seal areas of flashing where it has become unstuck to encourage proper functioning.

Protect and Care for Your Roof

Many homeowners don’t realize the importance of caring for a roof because it’s commonly out of sight. Homes require a substantial investment, and a roof is there as a defense to protect your home from inclement weather and other elements. Regular checks of your roof either by yourself or a roofing professional will help ensure your roof is performing correctly and any underlying issues are being addressed. Your roof is the first line of defense, and proper maintenance and care will extend its life and give your home the protection it needs.

5 Reasons Why Insulated Siding Is a Great Choice

Making the correct decision for the siding on your home can be a tedious process, and there’s a lot of competing information out there that may overwhelm you. While all siding materials have their specific benefits, it’s essential to consider what appearance you would like your home to have. Special features are also something to consider as certain siding materials may be limiting. Insulated vinyl siding offers homeowners a breadth of benefits from increased savings and energy efficiency to a variety of choices and noise-reducing features. Lined with an additional layer of foam insulation, this is undoubtedly a premium siding that will check all your boxes when compared to other siding options.

Increased Savings

Choosing to incorporate insulated vinyl siding into your property comes with many financial benefits. The upfront costs of insulated siding are much cheaper than other home exterior materials such as wood, fiber cement, and brick. Many choose vinyl for their exterior siding because of its impressive durability. Vinyl is also easy to install and can be placed on top of existing siding, meaning the cost of labor is nearly cut in half. Homeowners also reap long-term benefits from vinyl siding as less upkeep is required, and the material requires little to no maintenance, which means that replacements won’t be a regular requirement.

  • Wood: Having wood siding on your home can require a significant amount of upkeep as the material will rot, crack, and warp over time. This leads to numerous repairs and maintenance, which can be costly in the long run. Wood also attracts pests and termites, which can lead to much more significant issues.
  • Aluminum: Homeowners have found aluminum to be a decent siding option. However, it can be very noisy and become damaged quickly in inclement weather. Along with this, aluminum will also have to be repainted periodically throughout its lifespan, which can be time-consuming.
  • Fiber-Cement: If you’re in search of an option that’s similar to vinyl due to its durability and low maintenance requirements, fiber-cement siding is an excellent option. Many homeowners end up pushing this option to the side, however, since it must be repainted and is of higher cost than insulated vinyl siding.

Energy Efficient

While there are many steps homeowners can take to make their property more energy efficient, replacing your siding with insulated vinyl siding is one of the most effective. Insulated vinyl helps keep your home at comfortable temperatures year-round by protecting the inside of your home from the sun’s hot rays in the warmer months and keeping the heat released by your furnace in your home during the cold months. This material doesn’t warp or absorb moisture over time meaning unwanted air is easily kept from entering or exiting your home. As a result, your air conditioner and furnace don’t have to work as hard, and the amount of energy your property consumes is drastically decreased.

Additionally, vinyl siding is an excellent option if being environmentally conscious is in your practices. Vinyl is friendly on the environment as it cuts down waste the amount of waste produced due to its lifespan and that it can be recycled.

Withstands Time and the Environment

Known for its durability, vinyl siding has a much longer lifespan than other siding materials. It experiences little to no wear and tear, and continually maintains its appearance. Because of this, many companies offer lengthy warranties because the likelihood of issues arising is slim to none. Along with a test to time, vinyl siding can also successfully survive inclement weather conditions and temperature fluctuation. Areas that suffer from strong wind no longer need to worry as the design of vinyl siding eliminates potential damage. If you’re located in a warmer climate, many professional siding companies offer UV-resistant insulated vinyl, so your home doesn’t experience sun damage.

Variety of Styles and Colors

Over the years, vinyl siding has been rising in popularity and now a common choice for homeowners. In its initial phases, the assortment of colors and styles were not available like they are now. Today, property owners can choose between many different options to make sure they get the look they’ve imagined for their home. This is appealing to homeowners as the exterior appearance of a home adds to curb appeal significantly, and many enjoy seeing their vision come to life. If you’re shopping for insulated vinyl siding, you can expect to see an array of available colors from pastels and earth tones to fun, lively colors to give your property a little spunk. Along with colors, there are many different textures and shapes that individuals can choose from.

  • Board and Batten
  • Vertical
  • Shake
  • Scalloped
  • Dutch Lap
  • Half-Round

Noise Reducing Features

If you live near a highway, busy street, or are looking for a solution to block out other outside noises, insulated vinyl siding is a great solution. Many factors can disrupt daily life, and it can get frustrating if you can’t find a way to successfully eliminate excessive noise. Insulated vinyl siding can reduce noise transmission by 39%, according to Progressive Foam. The added foam layer works wonders by bringing more peace and quiet to your home, thus creating a much more comfortable environment for household members.

Improve Your Home Today

Insulated vinyl siding is an excellent exterior option for homeowners throughout the United States as it offers many benefits from increased energy efficiency and savings to its outstanding durability and noise-reducing features. There are many different siding options available on the market today, each providing property owners with an assortment of benefits. However, if you’re looking for a well-rounded siding solution, insulated vinyl siding is your go-to. Along with the benefits mentioned previously, vinyl siding adds to your home’s curb appeal with elegant beauty and requires little to no maintenance. Contact your siding professional today to get started on transitioning your home.

Metal Roofing vs. Asphalt Shingles: Which Roofing is Best for You?

There are many different materials used for roofing in today’s market, meaning each one comes with its own advantages and disadvantages. Both metal roofing and asphalt shingles are incredibly versatile and provide property owners with a final result that is aesthetically appealing, thus adding to overall curb appeal. Acting as two of the most popular roofing materials for property owners today, many of the advantages and disadvantages of each are explored below.

Metal Roofing

Metal roofing is an excellent option for property owners as it comes in a variety of formats and designs, such as shingles, standing seam, wooden shake, and tile. This material provides versatility in the selection process and adds to the curb appeal of your home. Many homeowners stay away from metal roofing because it’s more of a complex option. There is a wide variety of options that can be overwhelming, specific techniques and experienced installers are required, and more materials are needed when compared to asphalt shingles. There are many different types of metal roofing that homeowners can choose from should you select this material:

  • Tin Roof
  • Steel
  • Aluminum
  • Copper
  • Zinc
  • Seam Standing Metal

Advantages

Metal roofing is a very lightweight material that’s easy for contractors to handle and install. Because of its lightweight consistency, there is less stress put on the structure of your property, which reduces the likelihood of frame damage. Many property owners find that metal roofing lasts at least fifty years before any degradation begins to show. Due to its long lifespan, fewer repairs and replacements are required resulting in long-term cost savings when compared to asphalt shingles. Metal roofing has a high fire rating and withstands damage from extreme weather conditions. It is also environmentally friendly and incredibly energy efficient due to its ability to release absorbed heat in higher temperatures and retain heat in colder temperatures.

Your property value will likely increase since metal roofing requires a higher initial cost and lasts longer. If selling your home in the future, potential buyers will be drawn to metal roofing because of its extreme benefits. There are many different styles of metal roofing, so you will be able to find a type that best fits your home. All in all, this material requires little to no maintenance if the roof was correctly installed. There is also potential that your home insurance premium could be lowered since metal roofing is much less likely to be damaged when compared to other roofing types.

Disadvantages

If choosing metal roofing, property owners can expect to spend more upfront, as previously mentioned. With the higher one-time cost, the cost of labor and equipment needed to complete the job will need to be accounted for as well. Since metal roofing is a unique choice, there are fewer contractors and installers who are equipped and skilled to install the structure correctly. It’s incredibly important to find a qualified and experienced contractor as metal roofing requires precision in the installation process as there’s no room for error. Individual communities or Homeowners Associations (HOAs) don’t allow metal roofing because it provides an industrial appearance, is inconsistent when compared to more popular roofing options, and can produce high glare. Before moving forward with metal roofing, it’s encouraged to check with your neighborhood or HOA to verify that this type of roofing is accepted.

Shingle Roofing

Asphalt shingles are one of the most popular roofing materials on the market today for commercial and residential property owners. The standard three-tab shingle is the most common type, but architectural asphalt shingles are also rising in popularity. Asphalt shingles are composed of a fiberglass core or matting with an asphalt coating and a ceramic or stone granule surface. These features are what increase their durability, and the granule surface protects the shingles from inclement weather conditions and UV rays. Architectural shingles are made up of the same material as asphalt shingles, but are of higher cost and are a heavier, thicker consistency. There are many benefits that asphalt shingles offer:

  • Versatility in Design
  • Affordability
  • Easy Installation
  • Readily Available
  • Uniformity
  • Simple to Do-It-Yourself

Advantages

There are many advantages to choosing shingle roofing when compared to metal. Homeowners tend to choose shingles because they are a cheaper one-time cost. Shingles come prepackaged and ready to be applied immediately unless alterations are needed, but ultimately shingles require less time and labor for both installation and replacement. If your home is damaged by inclement weather or another accident, shingles are much easier and cheaper to fix. Rather than having to remove large areas to discover the source of an issue, shingles can be removed, which allows for a smoother repair process. Asphalt shingles are also recyclable, making it an environmentally friendly decision for your roofing needs.

Since shingles are relatively simple and easy to install, many contractors will install this material when compared to metal roofing. When choosing your contractor, it’s encouraged to verify qualifications and review project experience, so your roofing job is completed successfully and correctly. To ease the installation process, shingles are durable and provide excellent traction for workers. Due to the durability of shingles, this material can withstand high winds and inclement weather, giving you little to no issues with your home. Finally, many contractors and manufacturers offer extended warranties for shingle roofing, meaning you and your home will be protected in multiple scenarios.

Disadvantages

When it comes to choosing any product, there are always a few disadvantages. A roof made of asphalt shingles will last up to about 25 years before significant replacements or repairs are needed, but this is countered by many manufacturers and contractors providing warranties for property owners. With the shorter life span and cheaper initial costs, you may end up spending more in the long run if no warranties are provided, and your roof ends up needing a major repair or replacement. Some homeowners are apprehensive about the install process as shingles are attached to your roof with nails, in turn creating holes that could easily compromise the structure of your home if the installation is not correctly executed. Additionally, there are chances of mold, mildew, or algae growing on asphalt shingles if excess moisture is present and unable to dry. This is quickly resolved by adequately treating and caring for your roof as well as monitoring the condition regularly.

Points to Consider

Before choosing between metal roofing or shingles for your roofing material, it’s essential to consider all advantages and disadvantages as well as addressing how both materials benefit you and your property. Below are a few key points to focus on when it comes time to decide:

  • Budget
  • Roof Design
  • Lifecycle of Your Property
  • Climate and Environment of Your Location
  • Involvement in an HOA or Municipality
  • Finding a Qualified Contractor

While there may seem like a lot of steps go into choosing the right roofing material, your home needs proper protection to keep household members and your belongings safe. Upon compiling all the necessary information, it’s time to begin reaching out to qualified local contractors to start your roofing project.

8 Ways Cedar Shakes Can Transform Your Roof for the Better

When designing or upgrading your home, a positive first impression is at the forefront of your mind most of the time. The roof on your house is one of the first details individuals notice when viewing your property, so the right material is incredibly important. There are many different options for roofing consisting of an assortment of materials, shapes, colors, and attributes, meaning doing extensive research is helpful when going through the design process. Cedar shakes provide a variety of benefits for homeowners from enhanced insulation and customization options to its environmentally friendly attributes.

What Are Cedar Shakes?

Cedar shakes are split on one or both sides by hand from lumber logs while utilizing special crafting tools. Because of their natural consistency, they can easily be crafted into a shape by hand but will require some power equipment depending on the situation. If the desired texture isn’t portrayed in natural form, a saw can be utilized to add any additional texture.

The following benefits are among the reasons as to why many homeowners select cedar shakes for their properties:

Enhanced Insulation

Compared to other roofing options, cedar shakes cannot be beaten when it comes to proper insulation for your home. Cedar has natural insulating properties as the inner grains of the wood have air pockets that prevent fluctuating temperature levels from passing through either side. The air pockets allow cedar to act as a protective barrier that prevents the passage of cold winds and hot sunlight from permeating your attic and living areas. The insulation provided by cedar shakes keeps the cold air supplied by your air conditioner inside your home. It also prevents the hot rays of the sun from unnecessarily heating in the summer. In the cooler months, cedar shakes help prevent cold drafts from entering your home and traps warmth generated by heaters and fireplaces inside. These protective features help lower your heating and air conditioning bills all year long.

Long-Lasting Durability

Cedar is known as one of the world’s toughest, most durable woods, which means it’s a perfect candidate for your next roof installation. Due to its ability to enhance the structural strength of your roof creates a safer environment for you and your family and is an excellent long-term investment that you won’t regret. Cedar shakes withstand the seasons as well as the fluctuating temperatures and unexpected weather that accompanies them. The consistency of cedar shakes allows them to maintain their original size and dimensions regardless of the elements they encounter. If properly cared for and maintained, cedar roofing can last up to fifty years.

Damage Resistance

Due to its proven durability, cedar is exceptionally resistant to damage. Its ability to stand up to the unpredictable winds of nature allows cedar shakes to keep their shape and character with minimal upkeep. Cedar roofing contains many natural preservatives that help the material remain resistant to ultraviolet rays, moisture, wind, and moss growth over the years. Additionally, it can be factory treated to be fire, fungus, and insect resistant. When compared to other roofing options, cedar shakes can withstand damage from hail and many other storm-based elements.

Variety of Customization Options

Whether you choose to treat your cedar shakes or leave them natural, this roofing option offers a timeless look that will enhance the curb appeal of your home. Cedar shakes provide a more rustic, rough-hewn appearance and can be shaped in a variety of ways.

  • Square
  • Diagonal
  • Diamond-Shaped
  • Rounded
  • Arrow-Tipped
  • Half-Cove

The variety of shapes available allows homeowners to find a shake style that connects with the overall façade of your property. Cedar shakes can be finished with an assortment of stains, oils, coatings, and paint to encapsulate the look you’ve imagined. If cedar shakes are left natural, a transparent finish can be applied to keep them in great shape over the years. As they age, the cedar will become a silvery or grayish tone that is appealing to some. Most commonly, treated shingles are more likely to draw a potential home buyer to your property.

Natural Insect Repellent

Other than the amazing structural stability of cedar shakes, it is also known to ward off mite infestations. Houses with wood structures on the outside are typically more susceptible to termite destruction, which can lead to costly repairs. However, cedar roofs have proven to be resistant to termites as a chemical naturally exists in cedar that isn’t palatable to termites. Termites have a lower survival rate and are killed more frequently should they choose to infest cedar. This has proven to be true even in areas where mite infestation is widespread.

Think Green

For homeowners that are looking for an environmentally friendly option, cedar shakes stand above other roofing types when it comes to sustainability, energy savings, and recyclability. Cedar itself is an organic product that is grown and harvested from sustainably grown forests located throughout the United States. This allows for cedar shakes not to require any chemicals during the production process and doesn’t use as much fossil fuel when compared to a traditional shingle. Additionally, each time a tree is reduced, a new tree is grown in its place, creating a self-sustaining supply chain. Another appealing detail of utilizing cedar shakes for your roofing material is that unlike other types of roofing, cedar shakes can be recycled into bark dust and wood chips to be used for gardening and much more.

Increased Property Value

A roof made from cedar shakes will likely boost the resale value of your home as they are prevalent in the realty market. Potential home buyers search for features that promise minimal upkeep and a long-life, making cedar shakes one of the most exceptional products for your residential or commercial location. While cedar shakes require a hefty financial investment, their longevity proves that it will likely only be a one-time cost, which is very appealing to new homeowners.

Pleasant Smell and Light Weight

Given its lightweight consistency, cedar is an excellent option if choosing to transition from a weaker roofing product. Cedar shakes will not put excess weight on your home, meaning you won’t have to worry about the structural composition behind your roofing system when making the change. The application process is quite simple, and a protective barrier is automatically formed to protect your home from anything that comes its way. Cedar is also accompanied by a delightful smell that can instill beauty and coziness in a recently built home. In older homes, cedar can add a fresh scent rather than the mustiness that’s often associated. Visitors and potential home buyers account for smell almost immediately upon entering a home and having the unique smell of cedar can enhance their experience in your home.

Make the Transition to Cedar Shakes

Overall, cedar shakes are an excellent addition to your home, whether you’re newly designing or choosing to upgrade. This roofing option provides homeowners with a variety of benefits from enhanced insulation and customization options to its natural insect repellent capabilities. While there are many options out there, cedar shakes will provide you with an assortment of customization options so you can create the home you’ve always dreamed of.

How to Get Rid of Ice Dams

Ice dams are common in snowy parts of the United States and can be quite a nuisance in the months with heavy snowfall. There are many ways they can be prevented or even avoided completely should property owners take proper precautions. If you’re located in a snowy part of the county, it’s recommended to familiarize yourself with ice dams as they can be extremely destructive to your property if appropriate measures and maintenance aren’t taken.

What is an Ice Dam?

An ice dam forms along the edge of your roofline when melting snow freezes. This occurrence prevents excess water from draining properly off your roof. Ice dams can also form around vents, skylights, and anywhere two inclined sides of the roof meet. While frozen, ice dams don’t pose a significant threat, but in the warmer parts of winter, there is potential that water from the melting ice will pool up and seep under the shingles. If pooled for an extended amount of time, the water will begin to flow through the roof into other parts of your house, resulting in extreme damage to your property.

What Causes an Ice Dam?

The temperature of your roof has an enormous influence on the formation of ice dams as nonuniform roof surface temperatures are proven to lead to ice dams. Snow must be present on the roof, and higher portions of the roof must be above freezing while lower surfaces are below freezing. The snow that is above freezing will melt, and as this water flows down, it will reach the portion of the roof that is below freezing, thus making the water freeze resulting in an ice dam. This cycle repeats itself, continuing to freeze, and adding size to the ice dam each time.

It’s vital to identify the occurrence of ice dams in their early stages as the pooled water will eventually begin working through shingles or other roofing material, flow through the roof decking, and enter the attic. If this occurs, the water can continue to seep through the ceiling, interior walls, and into the rest of the building, causing extensive damage and the potential for mold growth. The weight of the ice dam can also damage your gutters.

Effects Ice Dams Have on Your Property

As previously mentioned, if ice dams form for long periods before being identified, it can be very detrimental to your property. If high volumes of moisture enter your home from ice dams, the potential for mold and mildew to grow increases substantially, which can cause respiratory problems for household residents. It’s recommended to immediately dry out any areas that are wet or damp and take action to resolve the underlying issue as soon as possible.

Ice Dam Removal Solutions

Professionals and property owners have established an assortment of solutions for ice dam removal over the years, but if you’re limited on time or need an immediate solution before consulting a professional, there are a few methods that are very popular and effective.

Eliminate Its Source

Ice dams will continue to grow throughout the season if left alone. Removing current accumulations of snow and ice present on your roof with a snow rake is an excellent way to be proactive and eliminate the source that is causing the ice dam to form. Shingles are fragile, so be sure to use caution when utilizing the rake to avoid dislodging any parts of your roof.

Use a Deicer Product

If you don’t have time to rake your roof or chip away the dams, a chemical deicing product is the next best option. These products contain an assortment of chemicals that speed up the melting process and can be found at hardware and home improvement stores. Usually coming in the form of tablets or crystals, you will be able to distribute the substance along the ice in your gutter efficiently. Over time, the chemicals will work to melt the ice allowing the buildup to diminish and drain through your gutters.

Reuse Old Stockings or Panty Hose

While this seems like a strange solution, it’s a great way to take care of ice dams if you have a busy schedule. Fill old stockings or pantyhose with a chemical deicing solution and adequately close the ends so none of the materials can escape. Place these garments on top of the dams and let them work their magic. Over time, the contents will leak through the fabric and melt the ice. The process can take a little longer than others, and the position of the garments will have to be monitored as you may have to adjust placement as the ice continues to break down.

Spray Warm Water

Utilizing this method only provides a quick solution with instantaneous results until you have more time to assess the situation. Put hot water in a spraying device and spray water along the ice dams to loosen it up and kickstart the melting process. Keep in mind that the hot water will eventually turn cold and freeze as well, so adapting another solution to accompany a warm water spray will likely give you better results.

Ice Dam Prevention

There are several yearly things property owners can do to prevent ice dams from forming, but a few are crucial. It’s encouraged to clean your gutters out regularly to ensure proper drainage and utilize a roof rake in the winter months, so the buildup of ice and snow is kept to a minimum. Along with these simple solutions, many others are more time consuming or may require professional assistance.

  • Close Attic Bypasses
  • Measure Attic Insulation Levels
  • Add Roof and Soffit Vents
  • Utilize an Adhesive Ice-and-Water Barrier
  • Heat Cable Installation

Final Words

While property owners commonly experience a multitude of maintenance issues throughout a lifetime, ice dams can be a pest in the colder months if you don’t take proper precautionary measures to prevent them from occurring. Ice dams form when an excessive amount of snow and ice accumulates on your roof, and the melted water has limited or nonexistent drainage access. Becoming familiar with removal methods and preventative steps are vital to a comfortable, low-maintenance winter for your household.

How to Remove Mold from Vinyl Siding

Discovering mold has made a home on the siding of your home can be quite alarming, and often sends homeowners into a frenzy as they try to find the best solution. Mold has likely found a home on your siding because it hasn’t been cleaned for a while; accumulated grease, grime, dirt, and plant materials are also factors in its cultivation. Often, this issue can be resolved with a few hours of free time, assessment, and research to identify the best approach and materials needed to destroy the mold.

Causes of Mold Growth

Mold can be tricky to find if it’s in an area that homeowners don’t usually pay attention to. Mold is fuzzy or slimy in appearance and ranges in color from dark green to bright red to black. If an unfamiliar, musty smell is recognized, it’s recommended to check every inch in question as mold that isn’t discovered can cause structural damage, allergic reactions, and respiratory issues.

Thriving in dark, warm, humid environments, it can quickly grow on porous materials like wood and paint. It’s essential to give special attention to areas that never get direct sunlight, shaded by trees and bushes, or frequently encounter condensation or moisture from faucets and sprinklers.

Selecting a Cleaning Solution

Determining the proper cleaning solution to utilize in the removal of mold is crucial to its destruction. Identifying the size of the area you’re working with, and how extensive the growth is are two factors to consider when examining your options. Ultimately, research is highly recommended so the process is executed correctly, and potential damages are kept to a minimum. While there are many different chemicals and solutions, some may be more effective with the materials and type of mold you’re working with.

  • Windex
  • water and vinegar solution
  • dishwashing liquid
  • oxygen bleach
  • diluted chlorine bleach

Testing

Certain chemicals and tools can damage your vinyl siding extensively, making it very important to test all items being utilized on a small, out of sight area so you can determine the possible result. If any damage is shown, it’s important to reevaluate and approach with a different option. Vinyl siding material is known to be finicky with certain chemicals and methods, so it’s encouraged that you check with the manufacturer before going forward with your clean to determine any pointers or tips they may have.

Preparation

Be sure to gather all your cleaning materials and tools that will be utilized in the process, so they are readily available and of easy access. If there are plants, pets, or any other items that could potentially be harmed by the selected cleaning materials, it’s highly advised to provide proper protection, so these items are not damaged.

Thoroughly water any plants in the proximity of where you will be working and cover larger plants with a tarp or plastic sheeting. After the cleaning process, be sure to re-water any nearby plants that may be getting a run-off of chemicals.

Cleaning

Identifying the structure and strength of your siding is also crucial to the cleaning process. While there are a few different practices that can be utilized, the age of your siding, as well as the durability, can factor into which method is selected.

Scrubbing

It’s strongly encouraged to attempt to scrub the problem area with the chosen cleaning solution and a long-handled brush, sponge, or soft cloth before utilizing a pressure washer. This not only lets you assess the situation further but will also prevent potential damage from the pressure washer if the accumulation is less invasive than was initially suspected.

Pressure Washer

Many vinyl siding manufacturers do not recommend pressure washing their products as the strength of the water can often destroy the product. However, it’s encouraged to utilize a pressure washer as a secondary option after scrubbing as it can be used in hard to reach or “tough-spot” areas. Be sure to adjust the pressure to a low setting with the appropriate nozzle. Typically, it’s best to start at the top of each wall and work your way down, maintaining a distance of at least a foot to avoid any further damage. Be cautious of how the water is being directed at the siding as collected water behind siding can lead to far more extensive issues down the road.

Preventative Practices

Removing any sources of extra moisture is pertinent in the prevention of mold as mold thrives in damp environments. A great starting point is to monitor the maintenance of rain gutters and place your sprinkler in an area where it’s not directly aimed at the house. Additionally, it’s recommended that siding is washed at least once a year so that any problem areas can be prevented and identified.

Fungicide solutions and mold resistant cleaners should be incorporated in a preventative practice to kill the mold before development and growth. There are many more areas homeowners can focus on to continue preventing the accumulation of mold.

  • trim trees, bushes, and climbing vines to ensure proper spacing
  • allow for direct sunlight and adequate air circulation
  • eliminate any moss growth
  • check ventilation ducts and gutters
  • determine best insulation options for home siding

If you want to limit the build-up of mold, it’s incredibly important to be aware of your resources and take proper preventative measures.

In Closing

Ultimately, mold can often be quite the annoyance in common households, whether it is on the interior or exterior of the structure. Identifying the cause or source of mold growth is the first step in successfully destroying the mold. After the underlying factor is located, individuals are encouraged to select a cleaning solution that is effective and efficient for the area that has been identified. Chemicals should be tested before use to ensure they don’t cause damage to the siding. Gather all necessary materials and tools while providing proper care and protection to items that could potentially be harmed during the cleaning process.

Determining the appropriate wash tools is pertinent to the condition and maintenance of your siding. Make sure to start with scrubbing, and end with a pressure washer should it be necessary. If you are uncertain of the correct method to utilize, it’s encouraged to contact the manufacturer for your vinyl siding as they can provide further, extensive information and suggestions. Proper preventative measures should be practiced in your household to limit the future build-up of mold as it can cause extensive damage to the structure of your house and the health of household members.