One important part of your home’s roofing system is the gutter system. Their main job is to keep water moving off your roof and away from the home’s foundation. When they fail, your home experiences unwanted damage like flooding, damaged foundation, or moisture in the attic. Each of these scenarios can cause long-term damage to your home that is expensive to repair. The best way to avoid these types of damage is to properly maintain your gutters and fix any problems proactively.
Here are four types of gutter problems you may experience and how to fix them:
Clogged gutters occur when something gets stuck in the gutters and prevents water from flowing freely. This is common in fall and winter months when leaves fall on your roof. Fixing a clogged gutter is easy. You just need to remove the debris that is keeping water from draining. To avoid clogged gutters, schedule time every quarter to check and clean gutters.
Gutters are located in a prominent spot to take the brunt of most storms that come through our area including wind, hail, and snow. Over time, the force from the weather can cause damage to gutters including cracks, loose fasteners, or missing components.
Check your gutters several times per year for loose or missing fasteners and reattach or replace when necessary. You can purchase fasteners from a local home improvement store. You can repair small cracks with caulk or sealant, but larger cracks may require a gutter professional to replace the damaged gutters.
Holes can slowly form in gutters during their use. These are often caused by water staying in one area. Even the smallest amounts of water can cause erosion and rust over time. Just like the cracks, if the area is small, you may be able to fix it with caulk or sealant. If larger holes are apparent, a gutter replacement could be necessary.
Change in Slope
Professional gutter companies install gutter systems to properly align with the roof and the earth around the home. Over time, earth and homes can shift as they settle which can cause the gutters to become unaligned. This change in slope can also occur if there is too much weight on the gutters. When this occurs, you need to realign the gutters to properly drain water away from your home.
To prevent gutter issues, it is best to perform routine inspections and maintenance throughout the year on your own or by contacting a professional. Lack of gutter maintenance can lead to greater damage later. Avoid the expense and mess by doing a roof and gutter inspection today.
As the leaves change colors and start to fall in Pennsylvania and Maryland, there is no denying that harsh temperatures are quickly approaching. The cold temperatures will inevitably bring snow. As a homeowner, you know it’s time to start prepping your home for the winter months. Roof maintenance is often overlooked during this process. But, snow and ice are harsh elements that you need to properly prepare for in order to minimize roof damage.
Here are five steps to take from the roofing experts at Bealing Roofing & Exteriors:Do a Roof Inspection
Check to make sure shingles are in place, there is no visible damage such as staining, no soft spots, and all ventilation is clear. It is also important to inspect flashing, which can be found around joints, chimneys, plumbing pipes or skylights. Flashing is a critical component of your roofing system because it assures water runs off your roof instead of leaking into your home or remaining on the rooftop.
Fix Leaks or Damage
If there are roof leaks or damage, repair these immediately. In the event you need repairs, it is always best to contact an experienced roofer . Less than quality repairs can cause you greater problems and create unnecessary expenses in the middle of winter.
Sticks, leaves, and debris fall on your roof year-round. Any debris should be removed now to keep it from clogging gutters. Clogged gutters keep water from draining properly which attracts unwanted pests and creates flooding on your rooftop.
If trees line your property, it is crucial to check branches before winter arrives. Heavy snow and ice causes branches to break off and, if they are close to your home, can create roof damage. Walk around your property and remove overgrown branches from trees close to your home, outside buildings, and electrical wires.
Check Your Attic
Proper attic insulation is an importance piece of your roof ventilation system and helps prevent ice dams during winter months. Check your attic for proper insulation in addition to signs of moisture that can help you identify roof damage early on.
The winter season brings many destructive elements that are harsh on your roof. Taking these steps before snow, ice, and storms arrive are the best way to maintain your roof and minimize damage.
Whether you recently purchased your home, are getting ready to sell, or are ready to tackle long overdue improvements, it can be challenging to decide where to invest your money. Some home improvements will increase the value of your home, some decrease its value, and others make it difficult to sell to new owners.
Take a look at our top 5 home improvement projects that help
improve or maintain your home’s value while improving your quality of living.
Replace Your Roof
A roof is one of the first things anybody notices about a home. If it is missing shingles, looks disheveled, or is stained with algae, it can be off-putting. When a roof is neglected too long, it causes significant damage like rotted rafters, mold, and ceiling damage that decrease your home’s value.
Walk around your home looking at the current state of the roof. Are there missing or discolored shingles? When was the last time you had a professional roof inspection? If it’s been more than one year, it is time to contact a reputable roofing company. In most cases, roof inspections are free and can help you minimize long-term damage from a faulty roof.
This is especially helpful for older homes that have never had a window upgrade. Energy efficient windows are a must when selling your home. They also help you save money on energy costs if you plan on staying.
If you already have energy efficient windows, it is still important to inspect your existing windows. Look for cracks in the windows and holes or gaps in the area around the window. If you find something wrong, contact a professional to take care of the repair or provide a cost for the window replacement.
Invest in Outdoor Lighting
Something not often thought about is outdoor lighting. Proper lighting, especially nighttime lighting, increases the safety of your home. Observe your home from the outside at night to see if there is a need for increased lighting, motion lights, or lighting repairs.
Remodeling a kitchen is one of the most valuable home improvement projects because the kitchen is center of everything. Family gatherings, meal time, and conversations occur in the kitchen in many homes.
Upgrading countertops, appliances, paint, or opening walls makes a kitchen feel more welcoming and the overall home more appealing.
Cleanup the Siding
Siding is the other most noticeable item of a house. Dirty, cracked, or moldy siding lacks appeal. If your home’s siding is dirty or covered with mold, invest in a power washer to thoroughly clean and remove debris.
If siding is missing or damaged, you may need to upgrade by hiring a professional contractor.
Having a superior roof on your home keeps you warm in the winter and cool in the summer. Over time a roof ages and the protection it once provided starts to deteriorate, especially if you don’t conduct ongoing roof maintenance. A faulty roof can cause a spike in energy bills, leaks, unwanted rodents, and a decrease in your property value. When a damaged roof goes too long without attention, it can collapse causing greater damage to your property and potential harm to those at home.
The key to protecting your family and your finances from a catastrophe like this is to fully understand what to look for. We’ve compiled a list of the top 5 signs you may need a new roof:
1. Age of the Roof.
The majority of roofs last 20-25 years depending on the type and quality of roof shingles. If your roof is 20 or more years old, contact a roofing professional to complete a thorough roof inspection. They’ll provide a detailed report with pictures of where your roof is in its lifecycle. There’s a good chance they’ll be able to spot problems early enough to repair instead of replace the entire roof.
2. Missing or Curling Shingles.
Shingles are a vital part of a good roof and need to lay flat against your roof. If they start to fall off or curl, the shingles may be too old to properly protect your home. A professional roofing contractor will be able to tell you if the shingles can be replaced/repaired or if a full roof replacement is necessary.
3. Shingle Debris in the Gutters.
When you clean out your gutters, check for shingle granules. If shingles are too old, they will start to deteriorate and crumble. If this goes unnoticed too long, water will start to seep under the shingles causing leaks inside your home.
4. The Roof is Buckling.
Have you taken a walk on your roof lately? Chances are that you haven’t. Avoid an unwanted surprise before hanging up this year’s Christmas lights by checking it yourself or contacting a roofer. Soft spots on your roof means there may be rotting and decay under the shingles.
5. There are Dark Spots.
Drive through almost any neighborhood, and you’ll notice dark spots on rooftops. This doesn’t necessarily mean you need a full roof replacement immediately. These spots can be algae, mold, or rust spots. If it’s algae or mold, it can be washed off. Don’t be tempted to scrape the impacted areas though. Scraping can damage your shingles and cause repair work that you might not have needed.
Routine roof inspections are the best way to prevent roof deterioration and an expensive roof replacement. Schedule an appointment online with one of our roofing consultants today. Not only are they free, but you’ll have the peace of mind you need to sleep at night.
Everything You Need to Know About Roofing Scams
As a homeowner, you work hard to create a safe place for your family and belongings. One of the most important parts of keeping your home safe from outside forces is your roof. A roof is a costly investment and replacing or repairing your roof isn’t a decision to rush into quickly. Unfortunately, many individuals are quick to hire based on price which leaves them wide open to becoming the victim of a roofing scam.
As a trusted roofing contractor in South Central Pennsylvania and Northern Maryland, we often hear from homeowners when it’s time to fix a faulty roof replacement. To avoid becoming one of these homeowners, here are three common roofing scams to be aware of:
1. Storm Chasers
A big storm followed by an unknown roofing company knocking at your door is the first sign they are looking to make a lot of money in a little amount of time. Roofing contractors that show up after a storm often come from out of town and, in some cases, out of state.
They go door-to-door or leave flyers in mailboxes saying that most homeowners are unaware of roof damage and offer to do an inspection. Once they do an inspection, they encourage you to file a claim with your insurance carrier to cover the roof replacement. It is appealing because the only out-of-pocket cost is your deductible.
Years after the roof replacement is finalized, homeowners start to see leaks because the craftsmanship on the roof replacement is poor. By then, the roofing company is long gone forcing the homeowner to pay a new company to fix the problem.
2. Repair Only Roofers
Repair only roofing companies don’t offer full roof replacements. They are able to sell their services because roof repairs cost less than replacements. In many cases, they don’t actually fix your roof damage; they patch it or cover it up which can lead to bigger and more costly repair expenses later.
3. Hidden Fees
A reputable roofing company will provide a scope of work as required by law in Pennsylvania and Maryland. This scope should include exact costs or a not to exceed cost of the project, so you know all the fees upfront. The roofer should also be able to explain the details of each expense and why they recommend certain steps.
Are you looking to hire a reputable roofer to inspect, repair, or replace your roof? Here are 3 tips to make sure you don’t end up being ripped off:Do Your Research.
It’s easy for contractors to make promises that are too good to be true. It’s impossible for them to hide negative experiences and reviews on the Internet. Use trusted websites like the Better Business Bureau or Home Advisor to see what other customers say about their professionalism and work quality.
Gather Multiple Quotes.
Don’t go with the first quote you receive. Contact multiple roofing companies in the area to compare quotes. Chances are they will vary greatly in cost and scope of work provided. Once you have quotes, ask questions until you feel comfortable with the contractor.
For a complete list of questions to ask a roofer, check out our blog, “ 9 Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Roofing Contractor .
This time of year usually includes leaves changing colors and beginning to fall in South Central Pennsylvania and Northern Maryland. Even though Mother Nature has had different plans for us in 2017, the time for these fall rituals will be here soon. As leaves start to fall, it’s important for homeowners to take steps to avoid gutter problems this winter.
Think gutter maintenance isn’t important? Think again. Skipping this necessary chore is known to cause flooding, cracked foundation, falling gutters, and rotting wood. As roofing and gutter experts, we’ve put together our top tips for gutter cleaning and maintenance this fall.
Gather the Right Tools.
The successful completion of any task requires the right tools for the job. When it comes to your home’s gutters, you need a steady ladder, gloves, hand shovel, scraper or brush, tarp, and a hose or power washer. Gather these items before climbing onto your roof to minimize your time and efforts.
Remove Debris from Gutters.
Once you have the right tools, lay your tarp on the ground where you will be working. This gives you an area to place your debris. Using your gloves, remove any debris, leaves, or sticks from the gutters by dropping it to your tarp below.
Check for shingle Debris and Build-up.
After you remove the debris, use a scraper or brush to scrape away buildup in the gutters from asphalt shingles, dirt, and other elements. Depending on how long this buildup has been overlooked, it may be difficult to remove.
Use a Power Washer.
Once you remove as much debris and residue as possible, you can use a power washer or hose to break away any remaining dirt. This will also clear any debris in the downspouts.
Complete a Visual Check.
Look at your gutters and downspouts to see if there are any obvious leaks, warped areas, or broken or loose hangers. Storms and excessive wind can damage or break these over time.
Call a Professional.
Professional roofing and gutter companies offer free roof and gutter inspections. Hiring an expert in the roofing and gutter industry assures there are no oversights, minimizes disasters early on, and saves you from costly repairs.
Benefits of Having Your Roof Inspected
Your home is a significant investment and typically the biggest investment you make in a lifetime. Proper home maintenance is a necessity if you want to maintain its value and keep your family and belongings safe. One of the biggest pieces to your home is the roof. Too often, its importance is overlooked because even though you use it daily, you don’t actually come face to face with it. A roof keeps you safe from Mother Nature’s ravishing moments and keeps your family protected against the elements.
A great way to maintain your roof and maximize its longevity is through a professional roof inspection. The best roofing contractors offer home roof inspections free to homeowners. Hiring a professional roofing company to perform a thorough roof inspection delivers significant benefits.
Find Water Damage
A roofer will check your roof for shingle condition, flashing installation, soft spots, and leaks. In addition, they should review the interior of your roofing system. Roofing contractors check your attic for the right insulation, ventilation set-up, leaks, mildew, and mold. Water damage usually begins long before you see a wet spot on your ceiling. A professional will be able to catch these leaks before they cause major damage to your home.
Since you don’t check your attic or roof regularly, it’s impossible to know when something is wrong without a roof inspection. Professional roofing contractors can make recommendations for minor repairs that help you save money. If damage isn’t repaired quickly, it continues to fester and cause major damage which can often turn into a full roof replacement.
Simplifies Insurance Claims
Reputable roofing companies provide detailed reports with their findings and recommendations from the inspection. These reports make insurance claims easier to file and receive approval for because they explain the type of damage, what is needed to fix it, and an estimated cost.
Increases the Life of Your Roof
Getting a roof inspection annually can help extend the life of the roof because you are aware of the damage and can make minor repairs as needed. When roof maintenance is pushed to the bottom of your to-do list, it can cause a premature roof replacement. On average, a full roof replacement costs $10,000 and should last 30 years. If you need a roof replacement prior to that, consider adding an inspection to your yearly home maintenance checklist.
Getting a roof inspection annually gives you peace of mind that you’ve taken the necessary steps to protect your family and your well-being. Even if a roofing contractor finds damage, you will have a plan in place on how to repair it, the cost, and how to maintain it moving forward.
Having a roof inspection completed annually is a decision that will save you time, money, and stress in the long run. Contact the roofing professionals at Bealing Roofing & Exteriors to schedule your free roof inspection today. We serve homeowners in Hanover, Gettysburg, New Freedom, and Littlestown, PA, as well as northern Maryland communities like Timonium and Parkton.
Replacing a home’s roof is the most important home improvement project homeowners have to navigate. It is more than picking which materials, color, and even the right roofing company for the job. Many homeowners rush through a roof replacement too quickly and never consider proper roof ventilation. The easiest way to make sure roof ventilation is set up properly is to hire a professional and reputable roofing contractor.
Why Does Roof Ventilation Matter?
Climate and weather vary depending on where you live. In South Central Pennsylvania and Northern Maryland, homeowners experience extreme temperatures in the summer along with freezing temperatures and snow in the winter.
The right ventilation system lets cool air from outside in while also letting hot air out of your attic. If hot summer air can’t escape, moisture builds up causing damage inside your home. Another problem we see during the winter months occurs after it snows. If a roof has bad ventilation, the hot air trapped inside causes snow to prematurely melt before it refreezes as an icicle on the edge of your roof. This means the moisture from the snow can seep under roof shingles and into your attic causing mildew, mold, and rotting.
Signs Your Roof Ventilation isn’t Right
Skipping proper roof ventilation during a roof installation or roof replacement can cause a 30 year roof to only last 5-6 years before the damage is too great to ignore. Whether you are ready to replace your roof or just curious about your home’s ventilation, it is important that you know what signs to look for so you can be proactive.
1. Mold on the Roof
If your roof looks like it has dirty spots, it might be mold. If the mold is ignored for an extensive period of time, it can ruin the shingles, and mold spores can start to grow in your attic. Once mold grows inside your home, the effects are damaging to your house construction and your family’s health.
2. Attic Leaks
Water can leak into your attic for a long time without you ever seeing it. This happens most often after storms, downpours, or snow. If the flashing or underlayment isn’t in its best state, it allows for water to leak in causing silent damage.
3. Expensive Energy Bills
If your heating and cooling bills are significantly high or start to increase for no reason, it makes sense to have a roof inspection. When air isn’t able to flow in and out, hot air stays and pushes down on your home making the air conditioning work twice as hard to keep your home cool.
4. Ceiling Stains
Stains on the ceiling are a sign of water or moisture in your attic. They can be caused by mold, mildew, or a consistent roof leak.
5. Peeling Paint
When roof ventilation fails, unwanted moisture stays confined in your home. Eventually, that moisture causes paint on the ceilings or walls to bubble and peel.
6. Clean Roof after it Snows
Look at your roof after it snows. If it isn’t still snow covered, the hot air in the attic may be causing it to prematurely melt.
Determining Proper Roof Ventilation
Contact a professional roofing company in South Central Pennsylvania or Northern Maryland to schedule a roof inspection. The best roofing companies inspect your roof, attic, and ventilation system before making recommendations or creating a plan for your roof replacement.
Proper roof and attic ventilation have a significant impact on the life of a new roof, your energy costs, and your family’s well-being. Make sure your roof, ventilation setup, and home are safe this winter by scheduling a free roof inspection today with an expert roofer (By the way, that’s us!).
As a homeowner, there are many projects you can put on the back burner until you have time to tackle them on your own. A leaking roof isn't one of them. Ignoring a roof leak can quickly turn into a nightmare and often causes severe damage that you can't initially see. Mold, damaged rafters, and wood deterioration are just a few critical reasons you need to hire a professional roofing contractor for your roof repair or replacement.
Hiring a professional roofer that you can trust is not an easy task. The Internet is flooded with possibilities that include good and bad reviews about service, quality, and professionalism. Hiring the wrong roofing company often leads to another roof replacement in a few short years instead of 25 to 30 years down the road. It pays to research roofing contractors, ask questions, and compare multiple companies before you hire the first one you find online.Here are nine questions to ask before hiring a contractor for your roof repair or replacement:
Every professional roofing contractor has a legal name registered with the state and listed on their license. Some contractors also have a a˜Doing Business As" name. To research a company, you need both names.
If a contractor isn't willing to provide a legal name or avoids answering your question, they are not a roofing company you can trust.
Can you provide proof of insurance?
There are two important types of insurance every roofer needs to carry: general liability and worker's compensation. Pennsylvania and Maryland require roofing contractors to carry a minimum of $50,000 in general liability insurance.
Any professional contractor should be willing to provide proof of insurance. If a contractor doesn't carry insurance, you can end up spending thousands of dollars on their employee's medical bills or repairing damage from their mistake.
Who will be installing my roof?
Some roofing company owners are on site during the entire roofing project, and others are not depending on the size of the company you hire. As long as they can provide you with a point person that will make sure your project goes smoothly, you can feel comfortable hiring them.
Can you provide references?
Being able to personally contact other homeowners that have used the roofing contractor's services is important. Calling references gives you the chance to get honest answers about the process, timeliness, and the homeowner's satisfaction with the final product.
Do you offer a warranty?
Manufacturers typically offer a warranty on the products used in your roof replacement, but they don't include the workmanship of the contractor you hire. Ask potential roofing contractors if they offer a warranty, how long it lasts, what it includes, and how you notify them of a problem.
Will you remove my old roof?
Some roofing contractors try to take shortcuts by using a roof layover method. A roof layover means they place the new shingles on top of the old ones. The only way to know if there are any soft spots in the wood under the shingles is to remove them. Look for a roofing contractor that only offers a complete roof replacement to avoid more expensive projects later.
Can you email me a roof replacement quote?
If a roofing company says yes to emailing their estimate, they don't care about their customers. It is important to meet personally with the company so you can review their services, ask questions, and get the answers you deserve to make a well-informed decision.
Will you provide a scope of work for me to review?
In Pennsylvania and Maryland , roofing contractors are required to provide a scope of work that includes all materials they plan to use, start and end dates, their contractors HIC number, an agreed price, payment terms, and the right for a customer to rescind in an allotted number of days.
If a roofing company offers a vague scope of work or 1 page proposal, consider it a red flag. Do you want to trust your biggest home investment with a company that cuts corners? What type of shortcuts will they take during your roofing project?
Why should I hire you?
This may seem like a trick question, but it isn't. The best roofing contractors believe in the quality of their workmanship, and their answer to this question should reflect that. If they provide an answer based on price, they aren't promising that they will deliver a quality roof that lasts.
Hiring a reputable roofing company in South Central Pennsylvania or Northern Maryland doesn't have to be difficult. Use these nine questions to simplify the process and make sure you find a contractor who completes the job right the first time.