3 Things New Homeowners Need to Know about the Roof

If you are a first-time homeowner and have recently purchased your new home, there are some things that you need to be aware of. With homeownership comes huge responsibilities. Some of those responsibilities are more costly than others.  Therefore, the more you know about your home the more money it could save you in the long run; especially when it comes to knowing things about your roof, which is one of the most expensive parts of owning a home. Below are three things that every new home owner needs to know about the roof of their home.

  1. Your Overall Roofing System

Your roofing system includes many parts, all of which can protect you and your family while providing safety, comfort and a lower energy bill. The components of your roofing system consist of the following:

  • The Attic Space 
  • The Outer Layer 
  • The Gutters 
  • The Fascia
  • The Timber and
  • The Decking

2. Roofing Inspection and the Knowing Current Condition Of Your Roof

You will need to make regularly scheduled roof inspection a part of your home ownership responsibilities. That will allow a few things to take place:

  1. You will know the current condition of your roof at all times
  2. It will reduce major roofing problems from occurring

     III. It will reduce costly repairs

3. The Ice Dams

Depending on which part of the country you live in, it’s important to be sensitive to the ice dams that appear on your roof. Layers of Ice can build up on the eaves of your roof. They can also shift and penetrate through the material on your roof. They are extremely hazardous, especially when sliding and falling from the roof of your home.

Keeping abreast of these three areas will help you to maintain your roof and increase the lifecycle which is roughly 15 years.

Contact Bruce Tall Construction today for all of your roofing needs!

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How to Tell if Your Attic is Properly Insulated

It’s hard to tell if your attic is properly insulated without having a professional take a look at it, but there are a few telltale signs that will show that you need more insulation.

Ice Dams

If your attic is properly insulated, you will most likely never have a problem with ice dams during the winter. Ice dams form when rising heat melts only some of the snow on your roof. When the snow is away from the source of the heat, it freezes again and causes a buildup of ice on your roof. If you notice ice dams in the winter or the water damage that goes with them, you need to properly insulate your attic to prevent too much heat from escaping.

Temperature Changes

Knowing if the (lack of) insulation in your attic is affecting the temperatures in your home requires a little bit of work. First, open up all the inside doors to let the temperature in your home even out. Then, walk to different rooms and see if any of them are significantly warmer or colder than the rest of your home. If there are any significant differences, the insulation in those areas is probably poor and needs to be replaced.

You might also notice some drafty rooms even when you’re not performing this test. If you always notice a draft in a certain place, you definitely have a problem that needs to be fixed as soon as possible.

High Energy Bills

If you have poor insulation in your attic, you will almost certainly need to spend more money heating and cooling your home depending on the time of year. If this is the case and you have higher than usual utility bills, take a closer look at your attic’s insulation and consider having it replaced.

Contact Bruce Tall Construction today for all of your roofing needs!

How to Get Ready to Replace Your Roof

A sudden hail storm or years of sun and wind can take a toll, but replacing your roof isn’t as basic as calling the first roofer from a Google search. There’s a bit of preparation required to start the process.

First, if your roof has been damaged in a hail storm or some other natural disaster, call your insurance company and file a claim. Then, get estimates from at least three roofing companies. Once you’ve found the best roofer by price and reputation, it’s time to prep your house.

Depending on the size of your house, the process of tearing off the old shingles and laying the new ones typically takes one to two days. Clean up your yard around the house as the roofers will be dropping shingles from the roof to the ground. You don’t want any yard ornaments or furniture in the way. They will also need room for their ladders, wheelbarrows and tools. Roofers will also need access to your driveway, so it’s a good idea to park in the garage or temporarily relocate your vehicles if you are home during the roof replacement.

Inside your home, things can get shaken a bit. Depending on the type of ceiling you have, you might want to consider covering your furniture with plastic or old blankets, as things can get pretty dusty. If you have any knickknacks or keepsakes hanging on your walls or on shelves, you may want to relocate those temporarily for safe keeping.

If you have pets, all of the pounding, hammering and strange people around your house may be stressful for them.  You will also want to keep your children away from the action. It’s always a good idea to arrange for a family outing to keep out of the way while the roof is being replaced.

Contact Bruce Tall Construction today for all of your roofing needs!

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The Big Easy — How to Make Commercial Roof Repair Effortless

Owning commercial property is a great accomplishment, but with it comes its own host of responsibilities and challenges. Most people own commercial property with the intent of generating revenue. That means that it’s important to keep it in top condition and operating at its peak performance.  There are certain factors that could prevent this from happening, including damages such as uplifts from high winds, water infiltration or other damages from severe weather conditions. However, implementing three areas could prevent major repair work and make commercial roof repair effortless.  They include

  1. Communication
  2. Documentation and
  3. Prevention

Communication

It is exceptionally important to make sure that you communicate with professional commercial roofers to inform them of issues such as how much foot traffic has taken place on your roof since their previous visit and about any other known roof problems.

This will give them some idea as to what kind of damages to anticipate that are normally associated with those types of situations.

Documentation

It’s important to keep proper records and documentation of any previous roof repairs, including what was repaired and what part of the roof the repairs took place, along with the company that made the repairs.  Other documentation should consist of warranty information, evaluations, estimates and photos of the same if at all possible.

Proper documentation makes it much easier to make the proper roof repairs in the future.

Prevention

In order to keep commercial roof repair problems to a minimum, regularly scheduled maintenance can serve as a means to prevent major damages from taking place in the future.

Not only does this help you to identify major repair problems before they occur, but it also saves you money that would normally be spent on expensive repair costs.

Implementing the areas above all will assist you with making your commercial roofing repairs as effortless as possible.

Contact Bruce Tall Construction today for all of your construction needs.

4 Signs that It’s Time for a New Roof

As durable as your home’s roof may be, it won’t last forever. It will eventually need to be replaced, and here are four signs that will tell you when that time comes.

Your Roof is Over 25 Years Old

Most experts agree that a roof typically lasts between 20 and 25 years. That can vary depending on the type of roof and where your home is located, but you should at least expect to see signs of wear and tear if you’ve had the same roof for longer than two decades. This is especially true if your current roof was built over an existing layer instead of acting as a full replacement.

You Have Damaged or Missing Shingles

One good way to determine whether or not your roof is in good shape is to look at the shingles. If your shingles are curling, buckling, cracking, or otherwise damaged, you should at the very least consider getting them replaced. If you notice shingles missing altogether, it’s almost certainly time to replace your roof.

You Have Old Chimney Flashing

In older homes, chimney flashing might be made from roof cement or tar. While these materials may have sufficed once upon a time, there are better solutions available. This older flashing has a tendency to leak or otherwise become compromised in bad weather, so replace it with metal flashing or something that is built to last.

You See Daylight Through the Roof Boards

If you go into your attic and notice daylight between your roof boards, your roof definitely needs to be replaced. You may also notice that your roof has an odd spongy feel when you walk on it. Either way, it means your roof is at the end of its life. It clearly cannot provide your home with any protection from the elements and has practically become a safety hazard. Contact a roofing professional in your area to install a new roof.

Contact Bruce Tall Construction today for all of your roofing needs.

 

 

 

6 Tips for Improving Attic Ventilation

Attics get very little attention from homeowners. It’s a great spot to store clothes the kids have outgrown, unused wedding presents and old luggage. But family members seldom know what an essential role it plays in the comfort and health of the house.

A properly ventilated attic lets in fresh air and keeps the air quality healthier. It lets in cool air and allows air that is warmer and moist to get out. It stops the growth of rot and mildew, prevents ice dams, adds years to the lifespan of your shingles and cuts your energy bills.

Here are 6 ways to improve the attic ventilation in your home.

#1. Install Soffit Vents
Soffit vents are placed in the eaves of your roofline. If you live in a cold climate, this keeps the roof cold so snow doesn’t melt, refreeze, and form an ice dam. It also lowers the level of moisture in your attic, the cause of mold and rot.

#2. Add roof vents

If your home has a hip roof or pyramid-shaped roof, it has shorter ridgelines. You can improve ventilation by inserting rectangular roof vents.

#3. Insert ridge vents

Ridge vents that blend in with the roof can help circulate air and increase ventilation along your home’s roof ridge.

#4. Get custom roof vents

Some homes have rooflines with unconventional shapes. That means getting custom roof vents, including circular flash filters and starter vents.

#5. Add rafter vents

Place vents where the ceiling connects with the floor at the rafters. It is a smart idea to put insulation around them.

#6. Buy an attic fan

An attic fan can reduce the temperature in your attic by pulling in cooler air from outside. At the same time, it helps to drive out warmer air. To work properly, your soffit vents must be clear to allow air to circulate freely and your house should be well insulated.

Contact Bruce Tall Construction today for all of your roofing needs.

Choosing The Right Roofing

Some things to know about your green-roofing options

If you want to reduce your impact on the earth and minimize the carbon-footprint that you leave behind, consider green-roofing options. Whether you are refurbishing or building, implement a roofing-material that is eco-friendly and energy-efficient whenever possible. These options will also provide a roof that can protect your home and function for many years to come.

Some things homeowners should know about green-roofing options include:

Living roofs. A living roof is an ideal way to replace the vegetation footprint absorbed by the area taken up by your home, and will provide vegetables, produce, and foliage to enjoy. These roofs are heavy, and most homeowners will find that they need to reinforce and add support to their home’s structure before implementing. These are a great prospect for large, flat-roofs.

Before choosing this option, make sure that you are aware of the following related to living roofs:

  • Living roofs will attract wildlife; plan on the upkeep from these visitors to your property.
  • You can’t plant it and forget it; living roofs require maintenance- just as a garden does.
  • Consult with the experts to ensure the plants that you grow don’t have intricate root systems that can interfere or damage the home over time. For instance, trees are not ideal for living roofs.

Recycled roofing. Recycled materials are eco-friendly and cost-efficient. These might be found via the shingles that you use or the timbers that you salvage.

Tile roofs. Tile roofs reflect heat and maintain energy inside the home, which could result in seeing utility savings on monthly bills. Tiles are recyclable and will last for hundreds of years. Tile roofs are heavy, however, and typically involve professional handling and installation for best results.

Wooden roofing. Cedar and wood shakes are recyclable and eco-friendly. They reflect less heat, and due to the uneven surface, don’t necessarily maintain energy inside the home. To optimize their potential, paint the shingles white before installation. Since wood is not fire-resistant, it also makes sense to plan on treating wood roofing with some sort of fire-retardant, as recommended by roofing manufacturers and professionals.

Reduce the carbon-footprint left by your home with an eco-friendly, green roof. Talk to roofing contractors and professionals to find out the most viable solution for your distinct property, as well as to learn of other options that may be suited to your structure. Let these suggestions inspire you to find a way to utilize recyclable and living options that give back to the world around you.

Contact Bruce Tall Construction today for all of your roofing needs.

What You Need to Know Before Installing a Skylight

There are seemingly endless details that you must consider when beginning a skylight installation that it is easy to feel overwhelmed. For instance, you may not know where to install it, what materials to purchase, or even how to properly install a skylight. Here are a few helpful tips you should know before beginning your skylight installation project.

roofing-contractor-skylight

Invest in A Quality Skylight

One aspect of your skylight installation that you should never cut corners on is quality. Details like ventilation, water tightness, and sound reduction may seem minuscule but they can actually be the deciding factor of whether you are happy with your finished product.

Location Matters

One of the first decisions you must make before beginning your project is determining where to place the skylight. For instance, rafters will largely govern skylight placement. Skylights are most commonly used in bathrooms since they offer a great source of light and ventilation, while still maintaining privacy.

Check the Weather Forecast

It is vital that you check then double check the weather forecast before starting any skylight installation. Bad weather can not only set-back the completion date but it can also cause serious mildew and other moisture issues if water gets inside the roof.

Always Be Safe

Be sure to wear the appropriate safety gear at all times while working on your skylight installation. Since the majority of the time will be spent on the roof, nonslip boots are essential. You should also follow other safety protocols, like using safety glasses and tying down your ladder.

Educate Yourself on Materials

As with any DIY project, make sure to know all your measurements while purchasing and cutting materials. A skylight that is too small or too big for your space will put your whole project to a halt. Also, make sure to determine the slope of your roof before buying any flashing kits.

If you want to install a skylight  or even have questions about your your roof, please contact us today!

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How to Know When it’s Time to Replace Your Roof

Replacing your home’s roof is a serious consideration. There are many factors that go into deciding whether or not you need to do so. Here are several helpful things to consider when a roof replacement may be needed.

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Consider its Age When It’s To Replace Your Roof

The typical roof has a life expectancy of 20 to 25 years. If your current roof was put down on another layer of shingles, your roof may not age as well. It must also be properly ventilated in order to live out its natural life. If your roof is 20 years older or more and was installed over another layer of roofing, there’s a good chance you need a new roof. 

Check the Shingles

Damaged or missing shingles can be another sign that your roof needs to be replaced. Look at your shingles in direct sunlight at an angle that allows you to see if any are curling or buckling. Are they losing their granules? All of these are signs that those shingles are past their rated life expectancy. If your roof is newer, there is potential that your roof is defective. A licensed roofing contractor should be hired to expect the roof in this case. 

Inspect Your Gutters

Are your gutters full of shingle granules? Your roof will lose more granules toward the end of its life expectancy. Another sign of granule loss is an inconsistent roof color. Check for darker or uneven color on your roof if you suspect granule loss. 

Look Inside

A spongy or bouncing feeling to the roof can mean moisture has weakened the underlying structure. Check inside your attic to see if you notice light coming through the boards of the roof. Moisture in the insulation can also signal a leak. 

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Many people begin thinking about roof replacement because they’ve noticed a water stain on their ceiling, which can indicate a roof leak. Stains are something to be concerned about, but they often aren’t the first sign of roof damage, and can be caused by other things. Of course, checking the attic as mentioned above and getting to the bottom of where a leak is coming from is in any homeowner’s best interest.

Bruce Tall Construction is the top roofing contractor in Billings, Montana. Please contact us today for all of your roofing needs!

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How to Find The Right Roofing Contractor

Choosing the right roofing contractor is harder than it sounds, and there’s a lot riding on your choice, because if work isn’t done just right, your home could suffer interior damage, and you could be faced with the need for re-work. Here are some tips to help you make the right choice on this very important decision.Roofing Contractor Billings MT

Good communications

As you go through the negotiation process with a roofing contractor, make note of how communicative they are. For instance, your phone calls should be returned promptly, there should be good follow-up from them on unresolved questions, and they should be easy to reach. When you are talking with them, they should be clear about the work and not give you evasive-sounding answers. When you don’t have good communications right from the outset, it’s not likely to improve as work progresses, and you might well end up unhappy and unsatisfied.

Willing to provide job details in writing

Be sure to have written specifications for what your roofing job entails and how long that work will take. If your contractor candidate is unwilling to provide you with these, it’s a sign that they lack confidence in their own processes, and a sign that you should steer clear.

Local Roofing Contractor

A great number of homeowners have been fleeced by roofing contractors who promised fast, reliable work, and then disappear into thin air after shoddy workmanship is complete. You can avoid this scenario by choosing a local contractor who is a member of the community, and has a solid reputation in that area.

Covered by insurance

It is essential that your contractor is covered for workmen’s compensation, and has liability insurance. No one ever expects accidents to happen on the job, but they do happen all the same, and you’ll want to know that such unanticipated eventualities are covered. 

Don’t be swayed by price

For sure, you’ll be able to find a roofing contractor who is willing to do the work for far less than most other roofers – but in practically all such cases, you’ll also be getting far less in return. A guarantee of good workmanship from a somewhat more expensive contractor can be a lot cheaper in the long run, than having to do the same work over again by a cheaper bidder.

Bruce Tall Construction is the top roofing contractor in Billings, Montana. Please contact us today for all of your roofing needs!