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Spring Cleaning the Roof Checklist

Spring is nearly here, and with melting snow comes the opportunity to check out your roof and give your gutters a thorough cleaning. The National Roofing Contractors Association recommends a roof checkup twice each year – once each in the fall and spring. Here is a guide to what to look out for when you’re performing your spring roof cleaning.

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Start Indoors
You can begin your spring roof cleaning by checking your ceilings. Sometimes stains are simply due to snow or ice dams that have accumulated on the roof. But, they may indicate a larger issue. Once you identify any water stains, you know to check your roof for potential damage.

Check Your Gutters
Part of the spring cleaning of your roof should involve a thorough inspection of your house’s gutters. If gutters are clogged, it can lead to overflow. Overflowing gutters can cause basement flooding as well as foundation damage. Remove anything clogging your home’s gutters – leaves, twigs, and other debris is likely to have accumulated over the winter. While you’re cleaning your gutter, look for corrosion or holes. Holes in your gutter can be caulked or plugged. If you notice a section of your gutter sagging, it’s likely due to spikes that are loose or missing. Tighten these up or replace as needed. Don’t forget to inspect your downspouts, too.

If major – or even minor – repairs are needed, you may want to call in a professional contractor for the job.

Inspect Your Roof
There’s more to check on your roof than the shingles, though that’s a great place to start. Shingles can be damaged or blown off during the winter. Replace any shingles that are cracked, loose, or missing.

Check the flashing around plumbing vents, chimneys, and skylights for damage. If you notice rust forming on any metal roof parts, use a wire brush to remove the rust, then coat with primer and paint. Take time to make sure coping, fascia, or other metal roof edging is undamaged and secure. If you find that your roof edging is in need of repair, call a roofing contractor for an inspection and potential repair. An unsecured roof can be badly damaged in a severe weather situation.

If you have any further questions about spring cleaning your roof or any roofing questions, call Bruce Tall Construction today.

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How to Remove Mold From Your Roof

Mold that grows on your roof may not be as dangerous as the stuff that can grow in your home, but it is still unsightly if you allow it to get out of control. Fortunately, removing mold from your home’s roof is easier than you might think. Here are some tips that will help you get rid of the mold and algae that can grow on your roof in humid weather.

Scrub Your Roof
Your first step is to scrub away at the mold and algae that you can see on your roof’s surface. This can be done with a soft bristle brush or broom. Long-handled brushes that are designed to reach your roof from the ground can be purchased at most hardware stores, but you may need to actually climb up to your roof to get the worst of the mold. If this is the case, make sure to wear good boots with plenty of tread to avoid slipping and falling.

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Spray Your Roof
Once you’ve scrubbed away most of the visible mold, your next step will be to spray your roof down with a substance to kill the remaining mold. This can be done with a chemical solution designed to kill mold, or with a 50/50 solution of water and bleach. This is best accomplished with a sprayer that will cover a large area.

Before you spray your roof with any mold-killing solution, you will want to water any plants around your house to make them less likely to absorb the solution that will run off your roof and into the ground.

Scrub Again
The solution you used on your roof should be starting to work, but it never hurts to go over everything again with a brush to get anything you missed before. After you’ve gotten all of the surface mold, spray your roof one last time and let the solution dry.

If you have any further questions about removing mold from your roof or any roofing questions, call Bruce Tall Construction today.

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Winter Tips for Your Foundation

Oftentimes this time of year we start to see a break in the winter weather, and the warmer days melt the snow, causing an immense amount of water to runoff. That water must go somewhere. If the ground near your foundation is not set to a proper sloping grade, then that water could be seeping into your home, and working its way through cracks or imperfections in your home’s concrete foundation.

Keeping water outside the home

The grade of the ground surrounding your foundation is the most important deterrent for keeping water away from your home. Ground sloping at your home’s foundation will only provide a downspout to push the water toward the home. Obviously, this is bad. When the ground clears of snow, check the areas around your home’s foundation to make sure that the ground slopes away from the foundation. The grade of the ground doesn’t need to be severe. It’s easy to correct if your grade goes the wrong way. Oftentimes a poor grade is just the result of a home settling, and the remedy is nothing more than adding dirt, packing it, around your homes foundation. However, do not add dirt up to the level of the siding.

Also, a functional gutter system is important to keeping excess water from your home. If your gutters are full of the dead leaves from last fall season, water is going to be trapped there, plugging up the gutters, and preventing water from draining away from your home properly. Make sure that all downspouts have an angle/elbow section at the bottom which turns the water out and away from the home. For homes with a minimal grade at downspout locations, it may be beneficial to add a lengthy section of downspout here to push water away from the foundation. Also, make sure that any downspouts don’t empty water onto common walking surfaces. This won’t affect the runoff of water, but it will push water onto the surfaces where we want to walk or drive, create ice where we don’t want ice.

If you have any further questions about how to protect your foundation or for more winter care tips, call Bruce Tall Construction today.

 

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Benefits of Having a Professional Roof Inspection To Assess Storm Damage

Storms of all kinds can do a lot of damage to a roof, even if you cannot see it. If your area has recently been hit by severe weather, here are some reasons why it may be in your best interest to schedule a professional roof inspection.

Catching Minor Damage

You will certainly notice things like having a tree fall on your roof or large bald spots where your shingles used to be, but a storm can do almost imperceptible damage to a home. Professional roof inspectors are trained to catch things like bald or loose shingles, a slightly damaged rain gutter, and other issues that could lead to costly repairs down the road.

Helping Your Insurance Claim

If your home has suffered extensive damage during a storm and you need to make an insurance claim, a professional inspector will be far better at assessing the damage than you will be. You will most likely need to tell your insurance company exactly what kind of damage your roof has suffered, so having a detailed report from a professional roof inspector will definitely help in that regard.

Making Repairs While They’re Still Small

A damaged roof can be incredibly costly and inconvenient to repair, and things will only get worse the longer you let any problems slide. Since professional roof inspectors are trained to catch even the smallest issues on a roof, they can help you fix problems while it is still affordable to do so.

Even though it is in your best interest to have a professional take a look at your roof after a storm, you still need to make sure that you are hiring an inspector you can trust. There are a lot of scammers out there who will inspect your roof and insist on repairs you don’t need. Before you bring in a roofing inspector, do your homework to make sure they are reputable. Look up reviews online, ask for recommendations from friends, and always insist on seeing the proper credentials of anybody who inspects or repairs your property.

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How to De-Ice Your Roof

Ice on a roof is something that is inevitable every winter, and while a little bit of ice won’t cause any trouble, too much can do some serious damage. Ice dams, falling icicles, and frozen gutters can all be serious problems if they are left unchecked, but there are a few ways you can get rid of them. Here are some tips for de-icing your roof this winter.

Use a Snow Rake
Before you do anything else, remove the snow on your roof using a snow rake. A snow rake is a retractable rake that can extend to about 17 feet, which is long enough to reach the roof of the average house. Stand on the ground (never on the roof itself), and use the rake to scrape excess snow off of your roof. This will not only keep the snow from melting and refreezing into a sheet of ice on your roof, but it will relieve the snow load that could be putting stress on your house itself. You may also be able to use a rake to remove icicles that are in danger of falling and causing damage.

Chip Away at the Ice
If you have an ice dam on your roof that is easy to reach, you might be able to chip some of it away with an ice pick or a hatchet. Stand on a sturdy ladder (once again, not on your roof) and chip away at the dam. You don’t need to remove all of the ice, just enough to create a channel that allows a steady stream of water.

Use a Chemical De-Icer
Chemical de-icers contain ingredients such as urea fertilizer, ammonium sulfate, potassium chloride and other materials that can melt ice. They are also readily available at most home improvement stores. Choose a product that you think will work best for your situation, and follow the instructions as closely as possible for the best results.

Heat Cables
Finally, you can place heat cables on your roof to melt some of the ice on your roof. Heat cables are electrical cables that can be installed on parts of your roof that don’t have enough insulation to keep water from freezing. It may not help you if you already have problems with ice dams, but they will keep new dams from forming.