Roof Cleaning – Beauty and Longer Lasting Roofs
A lot of homeowners don’t think about roof cleaning. However, a lot of issues can arise if you neglect this part of roof care. Deterioration of your roof can occur far quicker than if you’d kept it clean. Knowing some of the causes, signs of trouble and how to keep your roof clean will help you to eliminate problems with your roof. It is always less expensive in the long run to take preventative measures, instead of having to pay for repair or replacement.
Commonly referred to as fungus or mildew, black algae can normally be found on the slope of your roof that sees the least sun. Singles made with copper or zinc are made to inhibit algae growth, and the best way to help prevent black algae is to not allow any branches to overhang onto your roof which will let more sunlight shine onto it. Different methods of cleaning the algae off include pressure washing, using special chemicals or using a scrub brush; however, we recommend allowing a professional to determine what method is best for cleaning your roof.
For low pitched roofs with overhanging branches and tress surrounding them, you’ll commonly see debris staining. This happens when things such as leaves collect on the roof. Fungus and algae begin growing in these conditions and plant growth on rooftops can lead to leaky conditions. Lichens, moss or other plants grow well on a roof that is neglected. This is easily remedied if you keep your roof free of mold and debris.
Another problem you can see is black streaking, which happens when the bituminous material in asphalt shingles starts to break down and bleed out of the shingle. Usually this is a sign that you have faulty materials or you need to replace your shingles.
As with many other things, your roof needs special care and attention to remain in good shape. Keep all of these problems in mind as a homeowner so your roof will last for many years to come. Contact us today at (256) 326-4232 or email for a free estimate, and we can look over your roof with you to discuss a cleaning method.
Many homeowners make the decision to add skylights into their roof to provide additional natural light. Years ago, skylights only came in one shape and form; however, over the years, numerous designs and styles have been developed. Not only do they come in different designs and styles, but they are also available in a number of different materials. The primary types of skylights are fixed, tubular and ventilating – all of which have the option to include screens, shades, tinting as well as thermal insulated glass, which can help keep the heat out in the summer.
These types of skylights are made primarily to allow natural light to flow into the home. They are great for your home’s primary living area, but they are also ideal for workshops and attics where extra lighting is helpful.
This is the newest type of skylight and is becoming more popular as the years go by. Tubular skylights are small in size and are great for smaller areas. Some come with baffles, which are used to reflect light out through the tube.
These types of skylights offer light, but also ventilation. When these skylights are open, there is a freshening updraft that gets rid of that musty smell or feel in the home. As a general rule, a remote control or wall switch is used to operate the skylight.
It’s not easy to just redo the skylight installation if you decide you don’t like the style that you chose. It’s not as simple as repainting a wall should you dislike the color you chose initially. The installation is very detailed, so make certain you make the right choice the first time around. Although the installation process should be handled meticulously, some homeowners will attempt to install skylights on their own; however, it’s advised to call a roofing professional to come out and install the skylights in your roof to ensure proper installation.
Email or give us a call at (256) 326-4232 and we’ll gladly come out for a free consultation.
While summer is already upon us, most of you probably have not gone through spring maintenance of your roof. While it is advised that you hire a licensed roofing contractor to inspect your roof a couple of times a year (generally in autumn and spring to prepare for the upcoming season and to repair damage caused from the previous season), there are some things that you can do yourself. Here’s a few tips to get your roof ready for summer and check for any damage that occurred over the winter months:
- Examine your singles meticulously – meaning don’t survey them from the ground. It’s important to get on a ladder and get on the roof to look for singles that are peeling, missing or losing their grain. Without the grain, the asphalt shingles cannot be protected from the sun resulting in the shingles becoming brittle and cracking. Any shingles that are missing, peeling or without grain need to be repaired or replaced, preferably by a professional.
- Clean your roof carefully to remove any moss or mold from the shingles. You may notice it growing on or even in between the shingles. Do not use a power washer to clean your roof, though, as this can cause the protective layer to come up eliminating their UV protection. You can purchase a solution specifically for roof moss and mold to spray on your roof. You can then use a broom to remove the moss.
- Ensure all metal roof bolts are secure and tight. This is important to prepare for storm season.
- Check that your gutters and downspouts are secure and clean. Cleaning your gutters can be annoying and time consuming, so you may want to hire a professional to scoop the leaves and other debris out.
- Repair skylight and chimney flashing, which is the strips of metal that seal these areas and the roof. Snow and strong winds can cause these metal strips to become loose, so it’s important that they are secure before spring and summer rain storms in order to prevent leaks.
- Make sure all soffit and fascia vents are clean. These are areas where small animals like to take cover during the winter since it is warm in these vents.
If you decide to do this roof maintenance on your own, make sure that you are safe while doing so. If you find your roof with serious damage or you simply don’t want to perform the maintenance yourself, give us a call (256) 326-4232 or email us for a free roof inspection.
Skylights are designed to allow additional natural light into the home, not water when it rains. While the natural light is beneficial to your home, leaking skylights eliminate the benefits and cause problems, such as rotting structures or even mold.
Why Skylights Leak
It isn’t difficult to determine where the leak is coming from. You want to first ensure that your skylight is closed all the way. Next, make sure that the leak isn’t coming from condensation on the underside of the skylight (more common than you think, especially in damp rooms and cold climates). Next, inspect the area around the skylight inside the house and outside checking for stained or damp surfaces. Remove any debris that has accumulated on the leaking skylight and check it for cracks. If cracks are found, seal them with clear silicone.
Inspecting Skylight Flashing and Nearby Roofing
When you’ve determined that the water is coming from the outside, make sure that all roofing and flashing near the skylight are installed correctly and functioning properly. Nail down any loose shingles. If you notice pinholes or corrosion on the flashing, it needs to be replaced. Make sure that there are no gaps between the flashing and roofing material, as this can result in leaks.
Sealing Skylight Flashing
Remove any debris or water that has accumulated between the flashing and roofing. Lift the shingles up so that you can gain access to the skylight flashing. A putty knife should be used to apply some roofing cement between the roofing and flashing offering a protective layer against future leaks. Check this sealant every several months to ensure it is still functioning. If it has dried out or has begun to peel, remove it and apply a brand new layer.
Handling leaking skylights can be done on your own; however, if you are uncomfortable performing work on your roof, give us a call and we’ll be happy to inspect things for you. We are a certified and licensed roofing professional and can fix your leaking skylight quickly and accurately. Email or give us a call at (256) 326-4232 and we’ll gladly come out for a free consultation.
Most homeowners don’t look at their roof except for when they are backing out of or pulling in the driveway. However, it’s important to actually perform a thorough inspection of your roof twice a year – in spring and again in fall – to keep your roof in tip-top shape. By doing this, you can make minor repairs throughout the year preventing costly repairs that could have crept up down the road had those minor repairs not been made, or possibly needing a new roof altogether.
It’s spring and if you haven’t examined your roof, then here’s what you need to do and look for. First, get a flashlight and head on up to your attic. There are four things to primarily look for in your attic:
- Locate areas where you notice sagging of the roof deck.
- Locate signs of leaking or any form of water damage.
- Locate areas with trails and dark spots.
- Locate areas where you can see outside light shining in through the roof.
Once you’ve examined your roof from the inside (your attic), it’s time to head outside. You’ll want to examine the roof for several things from missing shingles to algae growth. Here’s what you need to do when you perform the exterior roof check:
- Scan your roof to determine if there are any singles that are missing, torn, cracked or bald.
- Inspect the roof for any wear or loose material around pipes, vents, chimneys and any other penetrations.
- Examine the shingles for granules, which is the shingles protection layer against the sun. Shingle granules in your gutters may be a sign of advanced wear.
- Look for any signs of rot, moisture or mold. Wet spots do not necessarily mean that the problem is in that immediate location, as water will travel prior to dripping. Bacteria, fungi and mold can begin growing within just 24 to 48 hours of a problem related to water.
- Survey all gutters and downspouts to ensure they are secure, stable and free from any form of debris. Make certain that drains are open so that water can exit.
- Ensure that all dryer, kitchen and bath vents do not only go into the attic space, but also the outside of the home.
Sure, all this roof inspection and examination doesn’t sound fun, but it’s better to be safe than sorry. If you detect problems early, then you are less likely going to find yourself needing a premature roof replacement. If your roof is in too bad of shape for repair and a new roof is necessary, it’s best to have a professional conduct the work as it is a tough and dangerous project to do on your own.
With your roof being an essential in life, it’s important to maintain its appearance and stability so that you and your family stay safe. By doing so, you can rest assured that your family will stay safe and sound for many years to come.
Email or give us a call at (256) 326-4232 and we’ll gladly come out for a free consultation.
Replacement windows are a tremendous way to save money compared to your cold, drafty windows. They also enhance the overall appearance of your home. Choosing the right windows is sometimes a little overwhelming, but it can also be exciting to spruce up your home at the same time.
Having double pane replacement windows allows a barrier between the inside of your home and the exterior by having air between two panes of glass. This helps insulate your home from hot and colds weather extremes. And at the same time, it reduces your home’s energy costs and changes its decor.
You can find replacement windows to match your home with many options: shapes, sizes, and styles. Basically, there are four types of replacement windows:
- Replacement windows will add light and style to your home
- Skylights brighten the room and adds an impressive design element
- Sliding doors are another form of replacement windows
- The slider helps you save on energy, especially in summer, because you can leave the screened portion open.
Replacement windows have several ways in which they open:
- Casement windows with vertical hinges that swing in or out by winding a handle
- Double or single hung types made of two cases that slide up and down
- Sliding windows that move horizontally
- Plain fixed form windows that don’t open at all, but let the light come in.
Of the types of windows, vinyl windows tend to be the popular choice as compared to aluminum, wood, and fiberglass. Theyare energy efficient, easy to install, and easy to maintain. They provide a high degree of insulation. The maintenance is wonderful as they practically require no maintenance due to their durable surfaces which are already stained, finished, and sealed. The exterior casing of vinyl windows resists fading or wear from ultraviolet sunlight, making them far more durable and lasting than aluminum or wood.
The ultimate replacement window is the triple-pane windows that have three pieces of glass with layers of air between them. Air absorbs heat and cold much better than glass. This will help you further reduce utility costs if you replace the air with a gas called argon.
Email or give us a call at (256) 326-4232 and we’ll gladly come out for a free consultation.
Insulation for your garage can be very important, especially if your home has a bedroom or bonus/game room over your garage. The room above can certainly be cooler in the winter and hotter in the summer, as compared to the rest of your home. Insulating the garage can even this out and can save money on your utility bills.
First, you will need to evaluate your options for installing the insulation:
- Are you going to do it? Or to hire a professional insulation contractor?
- Are the walls open – can you see the stud walls, or is the garage sheet rocked?
- How large is your garage?
- What’s your budget?
- What are your local building codes for garages?
DIY or Hire an Insulation Contractor
This solely depends on your level of expertise and comfort in tackling a project like this. If you have any apprehension, then it is suggested to at least consult with a licensed insulation contractor.
Type of Insulation
If your garage walls are open, then you will need to install lame-spread rated batt insulation and then install sheetrock to secure the insulation as well as improve its performance.
If your walls are already coved with sheetrock, then the blown-in insulation is the easier way. In this method, of course you will not have to remove and replace the sheetrock.
You will want to either check your local building codes yourself or if you hire an insulation contractor, they will take care of this. Sheetrock thickness, as well as fire codes, have to be met in order to comply with local code. Also you may have to install smoke detectors as well. You will certainly want to comply with the local building codes, and make sure your storage of liquids such as gasoline for the lawn equipment, propane, etc are stored in such a way that it too complies with the code.
If you need any help with either evaluating your situation or hiring someone to insulate your garage, please email or give us a call at (256) 326-4232 and we’ll gladly come out for a free consultation.
Many home owners face the challenge of whether they simply need a roof repair or have their roof replaced completely. Often times your roof simply needs a repair, especially if your roof is not very old. But finding that leak can indeed be troublesome to the untrained eye.
Improper installation or defective flashings are the cause of nearly 90% of all roof leaks. Some examples of are: chimney, step, apron and valley – where two roofs join together. During the roof repair, it is important to look for any roof deterioration that could potentially lead to further problems. If leaks are ignored, the structure of the entire home may be threatened if and when the frame begins to rot from continued exposure to moisture.
There are a number of factors that may lead to roof leaks, resulting in the need for roof repair:
Clogged or improperly installed gutters. This can cause water to overflow and leak into the inside walls and inside the home. During the winter, a roof leak along the inside walls or basement is most commonly caused by an ice dam. Melting snow and ice will travel over the back of the gutter or through the side of gutter spikes and down the walls.
Flue pipes inside of a chimney may cause water leaks if they are not properly aligned. Also, if the flashing around the chimney has deteriorated or not properly installed, this can cause water leaks.
3) Siding & Windows
Improperly installed or defective siding or windows are common causes for roof leaks as well. When a roof leaks after heavy, wind-driven rain, it is usually caused by a problem with the windows or siding.
The sealant around the glass can deteriorate over the years from constant weather and sunlight allowing water to enter through the skylight. This is a very common problem in older skylights, but generally an easy fix. Using outdoor silicone to seal the perimeter of the glass will usually take care of the issue.
Also, in order to maintain a pleasing eye appeal, roof cleaning is important to remove dirt and debris. It is critical that homeowners do not use a pressure washer on their roof as the force is often too strong for shingles and may result in shingle damage or complete removal. In addition, the strong force of a pressure washer would wreak havoc on the interior of the home if there were to be an undetected leak somewhere in the roof. It is also important that gutters be properly cleaned in order to prevent a buildup of rainwater, ice or other debris that may lead to added weight and damage. By maintaining a clean roof, you will ensure pleasant curb appeal and a full functioning roof system.
It is very important that home owners check their roof regularly. If you are not comfortable checking for roof repair, then we can certainly help. Email or give us a call at (256) 326-4232 and we’ll gladly come out for a free consultation.
This was from a little while back, but this article in the Huntsville Times was a nice gesture from Mr. Vollmer. We are glad we were able to help!
Roofing job fortune
In December my 86-year-old mother-in-law had the misfortune to be a victim of an unscrupulous roofing contractor that took a $2,300 deposit for roofing materials and then left town.
I had the good fortune of meeting Mr. Keith Fusion of C and K Roofing and Construction at the builders show at the VBC. I told him of my mother-in-law’s problem and asked him if he would give her a bid for her roof replacement. He inspected her roof and gave her a fair bid to do the job.
A week or so after she received her bid, Mr. Fusion called me and said he was really troubled by her misfortune. He said he had gotten a shingle supplier to donate the shingles for her roof and that C and K would do the installation for the difference between her insurance payment and the $2,300 even though it would not cover all their expenses.
They proceeded to do an excellent job. I think Keith Fusion and C and K Roofing deserve to be recognized for their consideration and compassion. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if every contractor could be as honest and caring as these folks?
John B. Vollmer
One of the most common questions of a homeowner regarding their roof (and roof damage) is whether a new one is needed or if you could get by with replacing it. If this is something you are asking yourself, then it is important that you know the key danger signs of a failing roof, which are as follows:
- Attic leakage following a heavy rain or build-up of ice.
- Staining and/or mildew or mold growth on interior walls and ceilings.
- Missing, curled or cracked shingles.
- Peeling or blistering of paint (interior and/or exterior).
- Exterior decay of siding and/or sheathing.
These are just a few of the most common and most dangerous signs of roof damage and the need for a new roof.
It is important to conduct roof inspection regularly, especially if you live in an area where you extreme weather is experienced – particularly heavy snowfall and ice build-up , tornadoes and/or hurricanes. You can perform a roof inspection on you own, but you must make certain that you know what you are looking for and to use adequate safety equipment so that falls and injury can be prevented. Here are a few things to look for during your roof damage inspection:
- Check under overhands and eaves for any damage that might indicate water leakage.
- Check for the growth of any algae, mold or lichens.
- Examine any torn, cracked, warped, curled or missing shingles.
- Check for open joints or seams, which could result in leakage.
- Examine gutters for signs of leaks, sagging and granule accumulation (which is the pieces on top of shingles).
- Inspect the roof for growth or dark patches.
- Inspect the roof’s structure for any buckling or sagging.
- Look for any rusted or popped up nails as well as stains around the nails.
- Inspect roof ventilation sources for clogs and to ensure there is proper ventilation.
- Examine the roof decking from the attic for any rotted wood.
- In the attic, check for any areas that are allowing outside light to come in.
- Check the attic for any dark spots, sagging sheathing, holes and signs of leaks.
If you are uncomfortable with examining your roof yourself, that’s okay, we would be more than happy to assist you with your roof inspection. By hiring a professional to conduct the inspection for roof damage, you can rest assured that it will be inspected thoroughly. Email or give us a call at (256) 326-4232 and we’ll gladly come out for a free consultation.