roofer billings mt

What To Look For In The Roof When You’re Buying A Home

A home’s roof is a one of the major parts of the home and often among the most expensive to replace. Here’s what to look for in a roof when you’re out house-hunting.

Look for the Obvious

The first step in looking at the roof of a potential home purchase is to inspect the roof from the outside. Stand at a distance and look at the roof. Are there missing shingles? Do any of the shingles have curled edges, or, upon close inspection, mildew or mold? Does the roof appear flat, or are there spots where it sinks or buckles? Are there spots where the roof looks lighter or darker? Any of these issues can indicate an older roof that may be in need of repair or even replacement. Ask the current homeowner for information on the age of the roof and when it was last inspected.

Check the Gutters

Be sure to ask homeowners about their roof’s gutters and drainage. If gutters are clogged or downspouts aren’t far enough away from the home, this could mean that water damage has occurred. When you look in the gutters, keep an eye out for shingle grains. A significant amount of shingle grains in the gutters usually indicates an older roof that’s losing the protective coating from its shingles. 

Inspect for Leaks 

Leaky roofs can cause a lot of damage to your home. Furniture, floors, and even walls can be completely ruined by a roof leak. Not only are roof leaks a nuisance in themselves, but it can be even more of a headache to find out where the leak is actually coming from. The area where you spot a water stain or leak may be 5-10 feet from the actual source of the leak. Check chimneys, wall flashings, and roof seams for leaks, and don’t forget to ask the homeowner if they have experienced any roof leaks. If there is evidence of leaks or the homeowner has told you that the roof has had leaking issues in the past, consider calling in a professional roofing contractor for a roof inspection.

Please contact Bruce Tall Construction today for all of your roofing needs.

Rooftop Solar Panels

What You Need To Know Before Installing Rooftop Solar Panels

Installing solar panels on your roof is a major undertaking. It’s a significant investment and one that needs to be considered carefully. Here are three important things to consider before investing in rooftop solar panels.

Are They Right for Your Roof?

The obvious first step before installing rooftop solar panels is making sure your roof is able to support the type of solar panels you want. Is your roof shaded the majority of the time? Is it made from a material other than composite shingle (like metal or cedar)? If so, or if only a small portion of your roof is useable for solar, you may not have enough sunlight to make up for the cost of putting those panels on your roof. Most solar panel companies only work with composite shingle roofs. A solar panel installation company can assess the suitability of your roof.

Additionally, make sure your roof is in good condition before installing the panels. If your roof needs a major repair or full replacement in the near future, it’s in your best interest to take care of those issues before installing  solar panels. Another thing to keep in mind is landscaping, realizing that any trees you plant or that already exist on your property will need to be pruned to allow as much light as possible to reach your solar panels.

Which Solar Type is Right for You?

There are two major types of solar panels: thermal and photovoltaic. Thermal solar panels uses sunlight to heat air or water that you use inside your home. Photovoltaic solar technology uses solar cells to transform sunlight into electricity. Solar thermal panels may be your best choice if a lot of the energy you use goes toward heating your home or if you live in an area where heating fuel is expensive in relation to electricity costs. Photovoltaic solar panels are the most common type of solar panels, so it may be difficult to find an installer who is able to install thermal solar panels.

How Will You Connect to the Grid?

Details vary depending on your location, but if you have solar panels you have to work out the ins and outs of connecting to a utility company. Some things to consider are how long it will take for the utility to get you hooked up to the grid, if you have to pay a fee, and how you will be credited for the electricity you generate via your solar panels. These terms vary from state to state, so be sure you are fully aware of how your connection will work before installing your panels.

roof replacement billings mt

Repairing Your Roof vs Replacing Your Roof

Perhaps you’ve recently noticed some worrying spots on your roof. Maybe it’s a few shingles missing, or even a larger patch that seems to be sagging or looking a little worse for wear. You think about the age of your roof, and then you think about your bank account. Should you repair those troublesome areas or replace your roof entirely? Here are a few things to consider.

affordable roofing billings mt, Repairing Your Roof

Repairing Your Roof

If you have a few damaged or missing shingles from wind or tree limb damage, these can be easily removed or replaced for little cost. Repairing your roof can be more cost effective if you can by with that.

One downside to replacing shingles is that unless you saved some shingles from the last time your roof was replaced, it may be hard to find an exact match. Of course, this is a small price to pay in order to fix your roof and extend its life by another decade or so! Keep in mind, if you are doing roof repairs bin order to sell your house, make sure your contractor orders shingles that match the rest as closely as possible so you avoid a patching job that sticks out like a sore thumb.

More extensive damage in a confined area may need partial reroofing. A partial repair of your home’s roof will cost thousands less than replacing the entire thing. It can also make it easier for the new roofing to blend with the old, as slight color differences will likely be less noticeable. 

billings top roofer, Repairing Your Roof

When to Replace Your Roof

It may be worth replacing your entire roof even if only part of it is showing signs of disrepair. While this may seem to go against common sense, there is a case to be made for replacing your entire roof in one go.

Sometimes, an asphalt roof can already have two layers or more. Two layers are generally the maximum allowed, which means your contractor cannot simply lay down more shingles. They must remove all of the layers in order to reroof that area. This leads to more time to complete the job – and more money out of your pocket. The look of your roof may also be affected, with the layers of the patched area not matching the height of the rest of the roof.  

Another thing to consider when repairing your roof, is that partial reroofing is usually more expensive per square (a square is a 10′ by 10′ area). By redoing your entire roof at once, you can potentially save hundreds of dollars per square. Get a quote for a partial reroofing as well as the whole roof. If your shingles carry a life expectancy of twenty years and they’re on year 15, it might be wise to simply replace your roof instead of patching. 

Of course, as with most big projects, there are many factors at play. These tips should help you make the roofing decision that’s right for you! If you want to replace your roof or even just repair your roof, please contact us today!

billings top roofer

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!

Custom Built-in Shelves

Custom built-ins are the perfect way to apply a completely customizable and classy touch to your home’s décor. And best of all, this applies to the brand new custom home, and the home that just needs an updating (built-ins display a quality and craftsmanship unique in most any home). When most people consider built-ins, they think of the huge beautiful libraries, and, while a library with custom-built bookshelves is truly a spectacular show-stopping piece in most any home, built-ins are also good for other purposes.

The purpose of Built-ins

First, let’s consider built-ins simply—consider them for what they are: vertical storage and vertical displays. That’s it. Built-ins are a series of shelves built of whatever wood you choose, stained dark or light, it doesn’t matter (that’s the first level of customization). So, considering a built-in simply, now consider how a built-in would change the look of an entire room. First let’s consider built-ins on a large-scale, and picture an entire wall or walls, meant to display photos, books, artwork, etc.
The wood shelves add that custom, comfortable warm-wood feel, and while this in and of itself is a statement as to the homeowner’s personality, whatever they then choose to put on those shelves, to display, gives a further impression. Built-ins on a medium scale include china storage in a dining room, maybe bookshelf storage in a room intended to be used as an office; maybe even in the closet (there is another article in the blog that discusses in-depth the possible customization of closets).
Built-ins in a media room can spectacularly display your television, your music collection, possibly even DVD’s, or, include a wall of cupboards, where these things can be stored, but put away, out of sight, but quickly accessible.

The possibilities for built-ins are practically endless. If you think built-ins in any form are an important addition in your next custom home, it’s time to speak with Bruce Tall Construction as to how to incorporate them into the plan of making your dream home a reality.         

If you have any further questions about Custom Built-in Shelves, your roof or any roofing questions, call Bruce Tall Construction today.

 

Installing Rooftop Solar Panels Billings MT

What You Need to Know Before Installing Rooftop Solar Panels

Installing solar panels on your property’s roof are one major way to show your commitment to an environmentally friendly lifestyle – and they can save you money on energy bills. Let’s look at a few things to consider before purchasing solar panels for your property.

Installing Rooftop Solar Panels Billings MT

Call in a Professional

Before you can install solar panels on your roof, you’ll need a construction professional to conduct a property assessment. They will examine your roof and home for structural issues or other problems that could pose a risk and make it unsafe or more costly to install solar panels. It’s possible that roof repairs or replacement may have to happen before solar panels can be installed. 

Do Your Research

Solar is an industry that’s growing at an incredible rate. There are many manufacturers offering dozens of different types of solar panels. Make a point to compare the different types of panels so you’re able to choose ones that are ideal for your particular property. Request a quote from several different companies, then add in shipping and installation costs in order to compare pricing between types and manufacturers.

Assess the Costs for Installing Rooftop Solar Panels

Installation is likely to be your biggest expense outside the cost of the solar panels themselves. Be sure to find an installer with a history of happy clients and an excellent reputation. Solar panels are durable and rarely need replacing, but might need general maintenance and repair at some point. In order to save costs over the long term, try to find a solar panel installer that provides a discount to existing customers for these services.
 

Remember Your Rebates for Installing Rooftop Solar Panels

Under the Energy Policy Act established in 2005, federal tax credits for solar panels can be as much as 30 percent of the cost of purchase and installation. Your state and county may also offer rebates to homeowners who install solar panels. 

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

Roofing Contractor Billings MT

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!

roof ventilation billings mt

Does Your Home Need Roof Ventilation?

Roof ventilation is a subject that is often misunderstood by homeowners. While some ventilation is great for circulating air through your attic and lowering your energy bills, it pays to know how much roof ventilation you really need – or if you need any at all. Here are some tips that can help you make that decision.

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You Live in an Area with Harsh Winters

Winter is always a harsh season for roofs and attics. Not only can too much snow on a roof cause it to collapse, but it’s all too easy to experience a leak from ice dams. This can cause a lot of moisture to build up in your attic, which can lead to problems such as water damage and mold. Proper roof ventilation can improve air flow in your attic and help mitigate any moisture problems you may be experiencing, but you need to be careful that you don’t have too much ventilation. That might only give you more places where your roof can leak.

You Experience Exceptionally Hot Summers

Proper roof ventilation can keep your attic cool and lower your air conditioning bills, but it could also help keep your roof in good shape. An unventilated attic can reach temperatures of up to 150 degrees in some parts of the country, and that kind of heat can cause shingles and other roofing materials to become damaged. It probably won’t ruin your entire roof, but you will need to replace your shingles sooner rather than later.

Speak to a Roofing Professional

It can be difficult to determine how much or how little roof ventilation you will need. Each home has its own requirements and its own quirks, so it is in your best interest to contact a roofing professional for advice. They will be able to tell you how much ventilation your roof will need as well as any problems you may experience should you have improper ventilation. There are bound to be plenty of professional licensed roofers in your area, so take some time to look around if you want to learn more about what is best for your family’s home.

If you have any further questions about your roof’s ventilation or any roofing questions, call Bruce Tall Construction today.

Billings Top Roofer

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.

Billings Top Roofer

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.

roof mold removal billings mt

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.

Billings Top Roofer

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.