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!

roofing installation and repair billings mt

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.

Protecting Your Roof From Storm Damage

Your roof is constantly exposed to the elements, which means it’s very susceptible to storm damage. Here are a few tips to protect your roof from nasty weather.

Trim Trees

While it is nice to have trees growing near your home, you don’t want them to get too close. Branches that hang over your house can break during a storm and fall onto your roof. Ice and snow can also fall from them in the winter and do a lot of damage. If you have trees growing on your property, trim the branches back if they start to grow over your roof. If you have a tree that looks to be in danger of falling during a severe storm, you might want to consider removing it completely. 

Clean Your Gutters

Your gutters are an important part of your roof’s drainage system, but they won’t do you any good if they are clogged. Dead leaves and other debris can cause rainwater to pool on your roof, which in turn will cause water damage if it goes unchecked. Check your gutters regularly to make sure that water can flow freely, especially after a bad storm.

Add Extra Insulation

Adding some extra insulation to your attic can help protect your roof during the winter. As heat escapes through your roof, it can cause snow to melt. When melted snow refreezes, it can create an ice dam, which can really do a number on your roof.

Inspect Your Roof

Finally, simply inspecting your roof regularly can help you catch small problems before they get out of hand. Look for signs such as missing shingles, shingle granules in your gutters, and indentations from hail stones. While this won’t technically prevent storm damage since the damage has already been done, it will help you spot repairs that need to be made before they become too expensive.

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.

How To Know When Your Porch Needs A New Roof

The roof of a porch takes damage from wind and water throughout the year, but that damage often goes unnoticed until a leak or other similarly serious problem develops.

Naturally, you want to replace your porch’s roofing material before it starts allowing water in or otherwise loses structural integrity. But how do you tell when the roof has entered the “danger zone” and the cost of replacement is justified?

A realistic maximum life expectation for a standard porch roof with shingles is about two decades from installation. That’s the point at which even the sturdiest materials will generally degrade to the point that you’ll see leaks and serious damage develop. If you live in an area where you endure heavier rain, wind or snow than usual, however, you can knock up to five years off that expected lifespan. Poor ventilation will also decrease the life expectancy of a roof significantly.

If your roof is entering the danger zone in terms of age, or if you have reason to suspect it’s been damaged, look for the following signs:

  • Look for indentations or concave spots in the roof. These are signs that an unseen leak has been rotting away wood in the roof for some time. If you see these, you should discontinue use of the porch until the roof is replaced as it could potentially fall apart on you.
  • Dark streaks or trails on the underside of the porch roof are usually a sign not only of water damage, but that mold is growing in the area.
  • Look for problems with the shingles. The most obvious signs would be shingles that are completely gone or that are showing obvious signs of damage like missing chunks, being broken in half or turning up at the edges. Also check your downspouts for bits of shingle, however, as that’s a good “early warning” sign that there’s trouble in that area.
  • Slate tiles will last longer than standard tiles, but they do decay and fail eventually. A quick check to see what condition a slate tile is in is to simply knock on it with your knuckles. A tile in good condition should have a bit of a vibration or echo to the sound it makes; a tile that is aged past usefulness will sound more like rapping on concrete.

A porch roof failure represents not only a much greater expense than replacing it before things get out of hand, but also a serious safety issue as well. If you have any doubts about the integrity of your roof, it’s best to contact a qualified professional to verify.

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

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!

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!