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.

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.

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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!

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.

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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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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.

gutters billings mt

Cleaning/Maintaining Gutters

Many individuals and companies have learned the importance of cleaning and maintaining the gutters that rim their homes or office buildings, whether newly installed or several years old. Taking steps to keep gutters in good condition at all times ensures that they operate as they should in wet weather, eliminates premature replacement costs and keeps all kinds of other problems at bay. 

Read on for maintenance measures that you or a professional roofing company can take to make sure your roof and gutters operate properly in any type of weather for as long as possible.

Clear Gutters and Drains

According to House Logic, when gutters and drains become overloaded with leaves, twigs and foliage, they cannot efficiently stop water from assaulting roofs, siding, windows, doors or foundations. To keep gutters, downspouts and drains operating properly, begin by removing built-up debris with a gutter scoop, small shovel or trowel. T

hen, thoroughly flush the remaining dirt and small particles with water from a garden hose or a pressure washer on a low setting. Make certain to routinely remove debris at least once or twice a year, following heavy storms or whenever you can see that they have become clogged. 

Fix Problems Immediately

Frequently examine your gutters for problems. If you see any issues, be sure to fix them as soon as possible so that minor troubles do not worsen or escalate. For instance, if you see a loose, broken or severely worn gutter, do your best to repair it right away.

Regularly Trim Trees

Routine tree maintenance can help limit damage to gutters caused by rodents, tree branches, fruits and leaves. Since contact with any of these things can break, scrape or tear up your gutters and roof, routinely trim trees so that branches are no closer than 10 feet from your structure.  

Cleaning and maintaining your gutters can pay off in the long run, whether you choose to do the job yourself or hire experts. Many individuals wisely choose to contact professional roofing experts whenever they need assistance with inspecting, cleaning and maintaining their gutters. Roofing experts possess the tools, training, skills and experience to keep you safe and your gutters in tip-top shape. 

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How to Know Whether to Repair, Patch, or Replace Your Roof

Your home’s roof takes a lot of punishment from the elements, and it’s important to know when your roof needs to be repaired or even replaced altogether. Here are a few signs that can tell you when it’s time to call a roofer.

Signs that Your Roof Needs to be Repaired or Patched

The best way to decide if your roof needs repairs is to look at the shingles. If your shingles are curling around the edges or buckling, you probably need to have your roof repaired. Look at the shingles that receive the most direct sunlight, as they are the ones most likely to show signs of wear and tear. You can also look for granules from your shingles in your rain gutters. Asphalt shingles shed granules as they age, so seeing a lot of loose granules is a good sign that you at the very least need new shingles. Broken or missing shingles are a definite sign that you need to repair or patch your roof.

Signs that You Need a New Roof

You might be able to simply have your roof repaired or patched if you only see problems with the shingles, but eventually you may have to replace your roof altogether. This may be the case if your roof is over 25 years old since it is almost certainly at the end of its lifespan. Other signs to watch for include flashings that are separating from the rest of the roof, missing shingles in the roof’s valleys or daylight that is showing through the roof’s boards. Your roof might also have a spongy feeling if you walk on it. Of course, you will almost certainly need a new roof if you notice any serious leaks when it rains or when snow accumulates on your roof in the winter. You might be able to get away with patching a minor leak on a relatively new roof, but as a rule any roof that starts to leak should be replaced sooner rather than later.