• Proper Maintenance to Keep a Roof Looking New

    The monetary investment in a new roof can be staggering for any homeowner. It is rarely an expense that homeowners want to repeat, so proper care and maintenance are important factors when it comes to a new roof. Knowing what to do and how to do it safely, can be one of the biggest challenges for today's homeowners. Use the tips below to keep your roof looking new and your home staying dry.

    Flat Roofs

    If your home is in a warm climate where flat roofs are the norm, there are certain steps that you can take to ensure that your roof remains effective and free of damage. Many flat roofs cannot be seen from the street, as there is usually a raised edge or capping along the top of the home that hides it from view. The maintenance comes in cleaning off the debris and dirt that collect on the roof during the natural course of its lifetime. It is a good idea to schedule a time to brush off leaves and remove any sticks or branches that may have gathered on the roof each year. If you live in an area that is particularly windy or has a large amount of storms, you may want to check the roof more often than once a year. Always use proper ladder and safety precautions when checking your roof, or hire a roofer to inspect and clean it for you.

    Angled Roofs

    Most homes in the United States have angled roofs. One of the keys to keeping these roofs looking new and retaining their ability to keep the elements out is to install gutters that will collect excess water. Not only will this keep water from dripping down onto the ground or house below, it will also prevent it from seeping up under the shingles and rotting the wood below. After gutters are installed, it is important to clean them out at least twice a year to remove leaves and debris that collect in them. If the gutter is full of leaves, when it rains the water will either overflow and seep under the shingles, or the weight of the wet leaves combined with the water's weight can lead to the gutter actually falling or being ripped from the home.

    It is also important to inspect the roof periodically for any damage. If you notice any water infiltration into the home, it is best to get it taken care of right away. Sometimes you can simply caulk a loose or raised seam yourself, but other times it is best to call in the professionals. Staining of leaves and hard water can also be a problem to keeping your roof looking brand new. If possible, brush off leaves a few times throughout the fall season, to prevent them from rotting and discoloring the roof. If you are uncomfortable working on the roof, or do not have the proper safety equipment to do it, always have a roofing contractor do the simple maintenance instead.

    Proper maintenance not only keeps a roof looking like new, it also helps to maintain its integrity. Simple steps throughout the year can make a roof last much longer than if it simply neglected. Do not hesitate to call a roofing contractor when needed. It is much less expensive to pay someone to do simple maintenance to your roof than needing to replace it before its projected life span ends.

    Article Source: http://www.roofer911.com

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  • Flashing - What It Is and What It Does

    You may have heard people refer to roof flashing and not have known exactly what they are talking about. As with any industry, the roofing industry has jargon that they use to describe certain parts and components of roofing systems and what they do. If you have been trying to figure out what flashing is and exactly what it does, take a look at the guide below to give you some ideas.

    What It Is

    Flashing is the term used to describe the metal that roofers place over seams and along joints in roof construction. It can be found in a wide range of materials that all come at different costs. Some of the most common types of flashing are those crafted from aluminum or galvanized steel. There are many manufacturers that provide pre-made flashing that can be bent or angled as needed. If you are a do-it-yourself homeowner who wants to repair or replace your flashing, it is usually best to go with pieces that are already pre-made. Many roofing contractors bend and shape their own flashing, however. They do this for a variety of reasons, but most often to accommodate odd angles and construction in roofs. By bending their own pieces they can guarantee that the flashing will fit better than pre-made, mass-produced flashing products. Other flashing material includes copper and stainless steel which are commonly used along with roofs constructed of those metals.

    What It Does

    Now that you know what it is made out of and where it goes, you may be wondering what exactly it does. Flashing is used to protect the area in those angles and bends of your roof. It protects the seams of the shingles or metal roofing system and diverts the water away from that area. This is particularly important, because those angles are difficult to fit with roofing material. It is usually along those angles and bends that roofers cut the roofing material. Without the flashing in place, it would be easy for water to get under the seams and into the home.

    If your flashing is damaged, it is best to call a professional to repair it. While it may be tempting to climb on your high roof and attempt to fix it yourself, the odds of injury to yourself greatly increase. It is worth the extra cost to call a professional and remain safe.

    However, if you have a low porch roof, for example, that you have climbed on many times, there is no reason why you cannot re-caulk the flashing yourself. Re-caulking does not require a great deal of skill, but as you will be on a roof, it does require safety precautions and a sturdy ladder.

    Flashing is a simple product that yields great benefits for any roof. With the proper care and installation it can last for many years and provide your home with water diversion that keeps your home's interior dry. Now that you know what it is and what it does, take a look at your roof and make sure your flashing is in good shape.

    Article Source: http://www.roofer911.com

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  • 3 Things to Do Immediately After Detecting a Roof Leak

    After the first sounds of water dripping into the house interrupt your peace of mind and confidence in your roof's ability to keep you dry, there are three important things that you should do. The first step you need to take care of right away, while the other two steps will need to be done when there is a break in the downpour. By having a plan in place to take care of your roof's leaks, you can help make sure that your home stays in good condition.

    Step 1: Collection and Clean Up

    The first step is always the most anxiety ridden for homeowners. The pitter patter of rain dripping through the roof is never a welcome sound, but the first thing you need to do is start collecting the water. Quickly place an old, large towel on the ground and place a deep and wide bucket or bowl under the spot of the drip. It is important to put the towel down first, because as the water begins to fill up in the container, it is likely to splash out. Wipe down the area before you put the towel down to clean up any water that is currently on the floor. When the rain is pouring down, it is not safe to go out onto your roof, so your only option is really just to collect the dripping water and clean up any water that may be there.

    Step 2: Assess the Problem

    After the rain has stopped and the roof is dry, it may be safe for you to go out onto your roof. If you are comfortable doing this and the roof is easily accessible, climb up and check out where the leak is coming from. Often, it may be just a matter of re-sealing or re-caulking flashing or seams. This can easily be done with roof caulk and sealant that is sold in most large home improvement stores. If your roof is steep or you are not comfortable climbing out onto the surface, your next step is to call a roofing contractor to assess the problem for you. Be prepared for your roofer to be busy after particularly heavy rains or storms, as that is when most people will see problems in their roof.

    Step 3: Repair the Problem

    If you are able to repair the problem yourself, you will find that the cost to do so is much cheaper than hiring a roofing contractor. However, do not let the lure of an inexpensive bill propel you to attempt roof repairs that you do not feel comfortable doing yourself. If you already have a reputable roofing contractor that you use, have him come to repair the problem for you. If not, referrals from friends and family will often yield much better results than random cold calling of roofers in the phone book.

    While it may be tempting to let the problem go until it leaks again, it is best to get the problem taken care of right away. It is better to spend money re-caulking flashing or repairing a seam, than it is to re-coat the roof and repair beam damage because you waited too long.

    Article Source; http://www.roofer911.com

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  • How to find a leak in a roof

    If you have a leak and you think it’s coming from your roof, ideally, you should get a professional roofer to look at it. However, there are things you can do yourself.

    1) Guttering

    If you’re going up on the roof, check the gutters. People often neglect the insides of gutters yet that is the most important part. Leaves and silt can lead to grass and foliage growth and eventually block the drain and cause over flowing or a leak.

    2) Tell tale signs

    Things to look out for on the roof include loose flashings, weak mortar, split lead valleys and crumbling on the tops of chimneystacks. You should also be vigilant for splitting roof felts and tiles or slates breaking down and delaminating (splitting of the natural layers). Birds and vermin can be problematic too.

    3) Hazards

    Check for loose or cracked pointing on ridge tiles on your roof as this will allow frost action to ‘open’ the fractures up. This will cause these them to become loose, which will be a particular hazard in high winds.

    4) From the inside

    If you can examine your roof from the inside, via the loft, have a close look at the joints and the main timbers. Everything should be tight and dry. Any evidence of insects should be considered a danger sign as they can cause rot. Also check your roof carefully for signs of daylight coming through the roof as this is usually the result of a missing or loose tile.

    5) Flat roofs

    With flat roofs you should look out for splits, pooling and any blocked guttering.

    6) Maintenance

    After you have fixed the roof problem or asked a professional to do it, be sure to get a qualified roofer round to check things are OK at least once a year. Some insurance policies will be void if maintenance has been neglected. Liability for third parties also has to be considered as members of the public could sustain injuries from falling roof tiles that were loose through neglect.

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  • Leaky Roof and When to Call a Professional

    The wind and rain are storming outside your window and you are thankful that your roof is keeping you dry. Then suddenly, you start to hear to faint sound of a drip; one small drop, quickly followed by another in an even and consistent rhythm. It is the sound of a leaky roof, one of the most dreaded sounds any homeowner can ever hear. Determining whether or not the leak requires the help of a professional roofer is one of the most anxiety ridden decisions a homeowner can make. The tips below will help steer you in the right direction when making that decision.

    Where Is It?

    First, determine where the roof is leaking from. Is it around a fan or skylight? Is it from the crest of the home's high and pointed roof? Knowing where the leak is coming from is the first step. Knowing if you can easily get to the spot is the second step. For low porch roofs or other areas that will not require large extension ladders, the odds of being able to effectively reach and evaluate the leaking area are good. If the leak is coming from a steeply angled section of the roof, it is best to call a professional. Not only are they more comfortable climbing on such angles, but they also have the proper safety equipment and tools to make the job safer. There is no need to turn a leaking roof into an emergency room visit, simply out of pride or stubbornness about not calling a professional roofer.

    Simple Fixes

    Once you have determined that the roof leak is coming from an area that you can safely and easily reach, it is time to evaluate the problem. There are many simple roof repairs that you can do yourself, but be prepared to call in the professionals if you feel that the task is beyond you. One of the most common issues is that seams need to be re-caulked. This is especially true around flashing and areas where previous homeowners decided to install the roof themselves. It is a good idea to keep a tube of all-weather roof patch caulking on hand just in case you need it. For simple seam repairs, just apply the caulking or patch per the manufacturer's directions. While many patch products indicate that they can be applied even in the rain, if you can avoid climbing on your room during a storm, you are likely to get much better and safer results.

    Not So Simple Problems

    There are some obvious times when a professional needs to be called in. A branch that has broken through the roof is a sure case when your do it yourself skills will not nearly be enough to repair the problem. In cases like that, cover the area as best you can with a tarp to keep the elements out. Other problems, such as blown off or severely damaged shingles should also be a sign that a professional is the best person for the job. The cost of having a professional do it is much less than the cost of risking your life trying to repair the problem and then finding out that the repair was not adequate to take care of the issue.

    Article Source http://www.roofer911.com

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