Hail Damage on The Roof

It’s a common thing in Billings, Montana, to experience hail damage to the roof of your home.  It seems like every summer we experience storm damage.  The storms can bring hailstones the size of softballs at times.  How would you know if your roof has been damaged by hail?

A beautiful house with trees at a place

Hail Damage on The Roof

You will need to check your roof for hail damage. Start by checking the gutters on the home.  Stand outside of your house on a ladder to check the gutters. If you don’t want to stand on a ladder, you can look down through an upstairs window.

If your home is roofed with standard asphalt shingles, there could be debris that’s been scraped free from the roof in the gutters.  Document the debris with photographs. You can give the photos to your insurance company for documentation of the damage and they can also prove that the damage is fresh.  Check the roof for any obvious damages.

Do Not Walk On A Wet Roof

We do not recommend walking on the roof. The roof can be a slippery, dangerous place. Contact a professional for a roof inspection to asses damage.  You can also spot damage to the roof with a pair of binoculars and a little distance.

If your home is in a subdivision, simply cross the street to the opposing sidewalk and inspect the roof with binoculars.  Through binoculars note any damage to the shingles on the roof, like shingles are peeled upward or there are small white or faded areas where the hailstones have damaged the shingle.

Replace the standard asphalt shingles with beauty and strength

If you do need to have a roof replaced,  consider a new roof with DECRA panels that have the strength of a steel roof. They classic look of a shingled roof, or a roof covered with shakes.  These panels are built for strength and hold up well to the frenetic weather systems of our city.  The panels can be purchased to look like shingles in four different color options.

Shake panels can be purchased in two different color options that have the look of real roof shakes. Contact us today for all of your roofing and siding needs.

Adjust the Grade of Your Home’s Foundation

It’s possible that the grade surrounding your home’s foundation has changed. A foundation can shift, changing the soil around it, and it’s even possible that weather conditions can erode and wear away the soil. It’s incredibly common—the foundations of newer homes move considerably over the first fifteen years. And it’s relatively simple to fix; a little know-how and the right tools and you can have your home’s grade perfected as soon as the ground thaws (Conveniently, the springtime is a terrific time to adjust your grade, because the rest of the lawn won’t have grown back fully, and you can re-sod or seed the areas affected). Even though it’s a simple enough job to do on the weekends, it’s also a very important job: an improper grade can cause water to runoff and congregate at the foundation; a simple spring rain storm could bring water in a home’s crawlspace or basement.

You will need several tools to do the job well. First, a handy spade shovel will help with the digging and a flat-nosed shovel will help to clear away dirt and level the ground. You’ll also need landscape string, brightly colored, and several stakes. A quality hammer or sledge to pound the stakes into the soil will also come in handy.

To begin pound a stake at the home’s foundation and affix the landscape string to it. Pound a second stake approx. ten feet away from the home’s foundation, and then attach a string level to the string and determine the correct height to tie it off. At the further stake, measure the distance between the string and the ground. If the distance is between ten and twelve inches, then the grade is fine. If it’s less, remove the sod and dig away the high areas. If it’s low (Sometimes there’s a negative grade that extends from the foundation to a few feet away, add dirt to correct the height.

Replace A Light Switch

It’s not every day you discover you need to replace a light switch. But it does happen. A light switch is usually reliable enough to continue to work for decades; most light switches see little-to-no hard, destructive use. If you do ever discover you have to replace a light switch, and you are concerned about working with electricity, know that it is a relatively simple and straightforward job that almost anyone can do with the right tools and a few minutes of their time. Here’s how…

Tools

You will need an appropriate style and size of screwdriver. Too big a screwdriver and you won’t be able to turn the small screws that are included with a switch, and too small a screwdriver and the extra space between the driver and the screw might cause the driver to scrape away at the metal, possibly stripping it out. You’ll also need a voltage detector, needle nose pliers, and the new switch. All tools you will find in the aisles at your local Ace Hardware.

To begin, turn off the power at the circuit breaker. Never, ever work on electrical appliances or components while the electricity is powered on. If the light switch is functioning, turn the switch to the on position and then the off position to determine if the electricity is off. Then, when the power appears off, unscrew the switch’s faceplate. Use a voltage tester on the wires supporting the switch. If there isn’t any electrical current coming to the switch, remove the screws that hold the switch to the wall. Take a picture on your phone or draw a picture to show the location of the wires at the back of the switch (It’s easy to forget the locations of the wires when it’s time to reassemble). Remove the wires from the back and keep all the wires separate. Reattach the wires in the same way as they were attached to the old switch. Reinstall the switch to the wall and the faceplate over the switch. Turn the electricity back on at the breaker, and test your work.

Electrical components and appliances can be dangerous if safety protocols are ignored.

Ice Dam on Your Roof???

It’s February, Punxsutawney Phil didn’t see his shadow, which if you believe that a rodent can predict our weather patterns, it means that it will be an early Spring this year. But, there’s still more winter weather to come, there’s probably more snow and more cold temps and that could mean ice dams on the roof of your home. It’s a common problem for a lot of homes in the winter. An ice dam is a ridge of ice that forms at the edge of the roof. This ice can damage the gutters and the roofing, and even though the icicles hanging down look beautiful, that ridge of ice also prevents the snow melt from draining off the roof. The melt backs up on the roof and leaks down into the home. That water could cause very serious damage.

A diagram showing how a roof is heated and cooled.

Also, newer gutter systems help to prevent debris from accumulating and blocking down spouts. Blocked gutters can cause ice jams. If your gutters are old or clogged, clean them out. When the downspouts of the gutters plug, the melting snow just accumulates in the gutter and freezes, breaking the gutter, starting an ice dam, and possibly sending melting snow down into your home.

Ice dams begin by the heat collecting in the attic, warming the entire roof, except for the eaves. The snow that melts on the rest of the roof re-freezes at those colder eaves.

While there are methods in the winter time for dealing with ice dams—raking the roof, taking a box fan to the attic and blowing cold air at where it leaks. In the warmer months it may be time to better ventilate and, also, insulate your roof. Upgrading a poorly insulated roof is a good start. Adding vents around the inside of the roof will help to keep the warm air passing through and keep the entire roof cold. Also, soffit vents will help to keep the roof cold. If there are places in the home that may leak air, plug them up. That leaking air is rising, and leaving via the roof, melting the snow in the process. While ice dams are not entirely preventable, mother nature doles out what she chooses, you can do a lot of preventable maintenance around your home.

Electrical: Run Wires Behind Walls

There are a number of reasons to run electrical wires behind the walls. Speaker system cables and television cords are primary culprits. And if you have any doubt as to your abilities to work around electrical devices, it’s best to leave electrical work to the expertise of an experienced electrician. And for actual power cables, such as the one that came with your television, you should never run the cable behind the wall, because these cables do pose a fire hazard (A terrific idea for the television cable is to have an outlet added directly behind the television by a qualified electrician). But for speaker cables and even the non-outlet cables such as HDMI and audio cables it’s a terrific project to run the cables through the wall and unclutter the space behind your media center.

You’ll need a quality stud finder and something to cut the hole to size, both of which you can find at your local King’s Ace Hardware. And if you have any questions about how the stud finder operates, speak with one of the Ace experts. You’ll also need a flex bit and a glow rod. If you’ve never heard of a glow rod, it’s a rod that glows in the dark and connects itself to other glow rods to form any length imaginable. You’ll also want a mud ring, which is a cover for the hole you plan to make and protection for the exposed drywall edges

First, you’ll drill your holes at the location best-suited for your project (Hole location likely will depend on the location of the studs). The holes should be sized to fit the mud ring. Drill too big a hole, and the mud ring is useless. Then attach your wires to the flex bit and feed them between the holes. Once your wires are in place, you can place the mud ring over the hole and secure the wires to the devices.  It’s not a complicated project, and if you are a newbie to home improvement-type projects, it’s filled with lessons that carryover to the complicated ones.

Tips to Keeping Your Siding Looking New

Steel siding is virtually maintenance free, but it attracts grime, dirt and pollen as much as paint or brick will. Siding can get damaged. Here are three tips to keep your siding looking like new.

Keep Potential Dangers Away From Your Home

Baseballs, basketballs and soccer balls hitting the side of your home can cause the siding to crack. If you can move the soccer goal or basketball hoop, it can protect your siding. When you’re mowing, be mindful about rocks being thrown from the mower. Don’t let your kids lean their bikes against your siding. Keep the grill away your siding. If you have trees close to your home, keep them trimmed so the branches don’t damage your siding.

Clean Your Siding Once a Year

Before you use any cleaning products on your siding, read the labels. Don’t use any product that contains an organic solvent, such as chlorine bleach, furniture polish or nail polish remover. Check with the siding manufacturer to see what products are safe to use. Most manufacturers recommend using a soft brush or cloth to clean the siding. Be wary about using a power washer. Again, check the manufacturer’s recommendations for limitations on pressure before washing.

You can find a soft-brush that attaches to your hose to make cleaning the siding easier. If you use soap, make sure to rinse the residue completely so that it doesn’t leave marks on the siding. A good cleaning solution is 30 percent vinegar to 70 percent water. This solution will also work on your windows. Start at the top of your home and work down.

Inspect Your Siding Regularly

Insecticides and herbicides can cause your siding to become discolored. Storms can make siding come loose and cause cracks in the siding. Small cracks and breaks expose your home to moisture. Inspect your siding at the beginning of spring and the end of fall to make repairs quickly and prevent major damage to your home’s infrastructure.

Spend a Few Hours Annually to Prevent Future Problems

The time and effort you spend taking care of your siding each year will pay off because your siding will last for years to come.

Curb Appeal Matters

A home’s curb appeal or general feeling of comfort is found in the subtle details.  It’s the pictures on the walls, the decorative details in the kitchen and bathroom, and, one that is not often considered, the windows and doors of the home.  We all consider things like paint and flooring to make a home, but have you ever considered what a new set of patio doors would do for a room?  Or new efficient windows with beautiful trim work?  It’s true, a home can benefit greatly from new windows and doors.  Here are a few options available today from Lynnirch Siding.

Patio doors can change the feel of a room.  Patio doors from Marvin are created with a superb attention to detail at the finest quality.  The doors are as beautiful as they are long-lasting.  A new patio door should be safe, efficient, and easy to clean.  The doors from Marvin are low maintenance and they can lock at different points—no more broomstick in the door when you leave, these doors are reliable.  The types of patio doors include a sliding French door, and even sliding French doors with the decorative detail of prairie grids—the prairie grids are a decorative detail trim in the panes of glass.  Also a three panel sliding French door.  The doors are also available as simpler-styled patio doors.  The doors can be purchased in numerous finishes.  Also, the options for hardware for the door are numerous and include simple elegant white as well as classy brass.

Marvin is also responsible for making quality replacement windows.  These windows are also available in numerous finishes and styles to suit any homeowners needs.  And, the windows are built strong, rated to temperatures up to three hundred and fifty degrees.  All Marvin windows are made to be energy efficient and they all have a limited lifetime warranty.

Windows and doors stand out, and can make a big impact for the feel of your home.  Consider replacing old windows with the energy efficient products from Marvin, and see what differences it will make.

If you are looking for windows and doors replacement in the Billings area, please contact Lynnrich today!

Hire a Professional Roofer

If you are looking at repairing or replacing your roof, know that doing it yourself is not the best approach. Call around for estimates and compare customer reviews for local contractors but go with a professional that has a good reputation and feedback from prior clients. There are many benefits to hiring a professional roofing company, including the following:

Safety

Anytime that you work on a roof, there are safety risks. If you hire a non-professional roofer that is not bonded and insured, you are liable if they become hurt or injured. Professionals have safety equipment and experience that every layman does not have; play it safe and hire a pro.

Warranty

Do you have any home warranties? Allowing someone other than a professional roofing contractor to work or modify a roof could devoid and inactivate your warranty. The best way to determine this is by referring directly to your home warranty for more details.

Damage

Anytime that anyone other than a professional contractor climbs on your roof, you put yourself at risk for property damage. The strain and stress on the shingles could cause leaks, and over time, these could allow moisture inside the home. This moisture can lead to mold, mildew, and damage that is costly to resolve.

Quality

Want the job done right? Contact a professional and consult with others in your area or online reviews to determine the quality of work and satisfaction experienced by other customers. Many roofing contractors will guarantee their work for their valued customers. Be wary of those with little to no feedback, as well. Ask around to find who neighbors and coworkers have had good experiences with, too.

Reliability

Depending on your roofing situation, you need a reliable contractor that you can trust to do the job right. It is that simple; your roof protects your home, which protects your family. It is what stands between your loved ones and the elements; don’t trust your home’s roof to just anyone.

Need a new roof? Is your current roof in need of repairs? Do not skimp when it comes to protecting your home investment; hire a professional roofer for the job. The benefits of hiring a professional roofing company make it money well spent.

Causes of Roof Damage

Causes of Roof Damage

The beauty and overall “health” of a home can be greatly spoiled if there is uncorrected roof damage. Roof damage can result in leaks that leave watermarks on the ceilings and damage to interior walls and floors. Then, mold and mildew can thrive in wet materials causing health problems in the home. Roof damage and leaks can happen to any home, but there is no reason to panic. Most problems can be fixed quickly. However, there are two important words to know: “Don’t wait.”

Causes of Roof Damage

Some of the causes of roof damage are:

  • A crack in the flashing—the thin metal sheeting that surrounds chimneys.
  • Lack of sealant in the valleys of a roof—where two slopes come together and where water may pool.
  • Cracked vent booting—the wraparound “boot” at the base of vent pipes on the roof.
  • Ice dams which can force water up beneath roof shingles.
  • Bad, or clogged gutters that cause water to back up underneath shingles.
  • Cracked chimneys.
  • Improperly installed or sealed skylights.
  • Wear and tear on the roof, caused by too much foot traffic on the roof. Also, the natural long-term effects of weather which cause roofing material to blister, buckle, split, or crack.
  • Hail and wind damage which can puncture or blow away shingles.
  • Broken, cracked, or missing shingles caused by the age of the roof or by tree branches that scrape the roof.
  • Improper roofing material installation.
  • Rotten or damaged facia behind guttering.

Signs of Roof Damage

If you have experienced a serious storm, check for any roof damage. Additionally, keep a close eye on your roof throughout the year for other signs of damage or potential damage:

  • Hail damage evidenced by divots in the shingles or by dents on cars or other items on your house or in your yard.
  • Missing, cracked, curled, or broken shingles.
  • A large amount of shingle granules in the rain gutters or deposited out of a downspout.
  • A very faded roof with bare areas where there should be an abundance of shingle granules.
  • Water stains or leaks.
  • Moss spores on sections of the roof.
  • Curled, damaged, or corroded flashing.
  • Broken or damaged gutters.

Don’t Wait on Roof Repairs

Contact an experienced and reputable roofing contractor to inspect your roof and perform necessary repairs. Procrastination can result in more damage and cost more money.

Roof Inspection Warning Signs

Roof problems are some of the most damaging, stressful and costly-to-fix issues that homeowners face. Avoiding roof leaks, wind and sun damage, and other roof headaches through professional roof inspection is the best tactic to prevent structural damage to your house–and to your wallet. Learn what roof damage clues to watch for and how to avoid property damage.

Are You Overdue for a Roof Inspection?

This crucial, preventative home maintenance step, scheduled annually, helps protect you from sudden, expensive, (and sometimes dangerous), roof damage disasters.

Watch for these telltale warnings of roof leaks, surface roof damage, or even roof collapse about to happen:

  • Moldy smells or insect infestations in the attic: You may have a roof leak, which your roof inspector can pinpoint quickly.
  • Roof moss: Moss growth can be a sign of roof decay, while algae is typically nothing to worry about (although it can be unsightly).
  • Rusty roof flashing or cracked vent pipe boots: These issues can compromise your roof, allowing destructive moisture inside. You could end up with rotted joists and/or unhealthy mold growth.
  • Blistering or curled roofing material: Changes in roof tile shape and texture can be a small fix, or a big problem. Let your roof inspector help you with expert advice.
  • Missing or broken roof shingles: This can be an easy fix, but your inspector should look for underlying damage first.
  • Roof grit (from asphalt roofing) in the gutters: That sandy substance provides important protection against UV damage to shingles. When it wears away, it leaves your roof exposed.
  • Old roof: Keep ahead of roof repairs–and avoid early roof replacement–with yearly professional roof inspections.
  • And more.

Where to Get an Expert Roof Inspection in ______

A professional roof inspector can help catch roof damage early and locate minor roof repair issues. An ideal time for your annual roof inspection is late summer or fall, before rough weather sets in. You’ll also want an inspection if you notice any of the roof warning signs above, or even for peace of mind after a major storm has passed. Get your roof inspected annually to extend its life and get the most out of your investment. With regular roof inspection, roof problems can be fixed before causing expensive damage or creating a hazardous living situation for your family!

If you’re overdue for your annual roof inspection, or you’ve noticed possible roof damage you want checked out — schedule your professional roof inspection today.