Should You Repair or Replace Your Home’s Roof?


A leak in your homes roof can cause some damage to your home and cost you some serious money if not caught and dealt with.  If water is allowed to accumulate, overtime you can expect to see saggy drywall, mold, and rotting wood frames.  When you see the damage, you should repair the damage. Call a roofing contractor ASAP.  Usually roof repairs are not simple matters.  It requires diagnostics and a detailed analysis of repairing the roof verse replacing the roof.  This guide can help.

A leak in your homes roof can cause some damage to your home and cost you some serious money if not caught and dealt with.  If water is allowed to accumulate, overtime you can expect to see saggy drywall, mold, and rotting wood frames.  When you see the damage, you should repair the damage. Call a roofing contractor ASAP.  Usually roof repairs are not simple matters.  It requires diagnostics and a detailed analysis of repairing the roof verse replacing the roof.  This guide can help.

Leaky Roofs

When your roof has a leak, it is crucial you fix it immediately.  Repairs to leaking roofs need to be permanent verse temporary.  You have a few choices when it comes to repairing leaks.

•           If your roof is sound overall besides one or two week spots the damage may just be from something out of the norm like a falling branch or a strong windstorm.  When making repairs be sure they are permanent.

•           If your roof is showing signs of wear, then making repairs will only solve a temporary problem before other leaks appear.  This will be the time you will want to start considering a new roof.

•           If you need a bit to prepare for the roof replacement, leaks can be covered with tarps or plywood until the process of getting a new roof can begin.

•           If you know you are unable to install a new roof anytime soon then go ahead and make semi-permanent repairs.  Replaces shingles, perform attic inspections, and after it rains be prepared to repair interior damage.

Roof Problems

Without ever noticing an issue, it is still crucial that you inspect your roof twice a year.  You will look for cupping, splitting, water damage, missing shingles, issues with gutters, and more.  Below are some issues that are common and how to fix them.

Replacing Shingles

During your bi-yearly roof inspection you may notice a few missing shingles.  If this is the case, you can most often fix this without the need to call in a professional.  Locate the area where the shingle is missing and using shingles leftover from the original install replace the shingle.  Remove all of the damages shingling, install fresh underlayment, and replace the shingle.  Flat roofs are a bit different and require assistance from roofing contractors that specialize in flat roofing.

Attic Ventilation

Your roof and attic need to breathe otherwise air will be trapped and ruin the insulation and cause mold which leads to rot.  Vents are a key element in roofing.  Without vents, ice can build up in the winter because no warm air would ever reach the attic.  There are four types of vents to be aware of: soffit, ridge, roof, and gable vents.

As a full-service home improvement contractor servicing all Southeast Michigan, Kearns Brothers, Inc. offers clients a wide range of services to meet their construction needs including:  roofing,  siding,  windowmasonry, chimneysgutters, and insulation services.  More information can be found at https://www.kearnsbrothers.com/.



Tips from the Pros on Eco- Friendly Roofing

One of the very most important pieces of your home is its roof. The roof controls the temperatures, and helps protect the rest of your home from and weather that comes your way. If a home has a roof that is not well designed or not properly cared for, it will drastically change your energy usage. A few of these pro tips include choosing the right roofing materials. It is surprising that there are good and bad materials for the environment. Secondly, it is important to have a roof inspection done on your roof at least once a year or even better if had done after seasons change since hot and cold weather effect roofs in different ways. Another great tip is to keep your gutters clean so that water flows freely off of the roof since water in all forms can cause extra damage. Lastly, be sure to have your roof cleaned if you come to find that your roof has moss, lichen, or algae growing on it. A professional cleaning company can apply treatments to prevent the growth and also keep it form reoccurring.  To read more details on these tips read more: https://blueandgreentomorrow.com/environment/roofing-contractors-share-top-eco-friendly-roofing-tips/

Does This Warmer Weather Have You Thinking About Home Improvement?

Spring gets everybody in the mood to start thinking about ways they can improve their homes.  Home improvement projects are done for a number of reasons.  Some people are looking to update their out dated kitchens to increase the flow and function of the layout while others are just looking to complete home improvement projects that will increase the value of their homes. 

Check out the latest from Pea Ridge Times on getting the best bang for your buck this spring.

https://tnebc.nwaonline.com/news/2019/apr/17/get-more-bang-for-buck-with-these-sprin/

Home Maintenance Musts This Spring

For most of us the warmer weather brings about the yearly ritual of spring cleaning.  For many of us we this has only included the interior of our homes however, that is a mistake.  Exterior and interior spring cleaning and maintenance are both equally important to the well being of your home as a whole.  It is during these times we are able to evaluate and plan for repairs and maintenance that will keep your home from disrepair.  Create a checklist for interior and exterior spring tasks where you can include notes on maintenance and repairs that are completed from year to year.  This will serve as a record from year to year for both you as the current homeowner and those who may own it after you.

Spring Maintenance for The Exterior of Your Home

The Roof

Your roof is an important part of the structural integrity of your home.  It creates a barrier between the elements and the structural base of your home.  The roof is a key element and therefore needs to be inspected and maintained on a regular basis.  If you are unable to get on the roof use a pair of binoculars to inspect the shingles or contact a local roofing contractor.  Any shingles that are showing signs of wear such as cracks should be replaced.  If you notice shingles missing it is important to replace them right away.  Pine needles and leaves should be removed as they will weaken the valleys of your roof. 

The Siding

No matter what material is used on the exterior walls of your home it is important to make sure that they remain damage free.  Siding contractors suggest doing a thorough inspect under the eaves, gutters, and downspouts.  If water stains appear it is a good indication that your homes gutters are not working properly and aren’t adequate in containing the roof runoff. For homes with wood siding check for damage from ants, birds, and other nuisance critters.

The Chimney

Masonry chimneys should be examined as well.  The joints between the stones and bricks of the chimney should be examined for fall out as well as the growth of vegetation.  These issues can be signs of water entry. If you notice a white deposit of calcium this is also a sign that your chimney needs repair and you should contact a contractor specializing in masonry.

The Foundation

Poured concrete should be examined for cracks.  If a crack exists in the foundation of the home, it will require more than just a routine caulk job.  If you notice cracking in your foundation it is time to call in an expert who specializes in concrete foundations.  They will fill the crack with a two-part epoxy that will chemically bond with the crack when injected.

The Windows

Check the windows throughout your home for leaks that could be letting air filter in or out of the home.  The caulk and weather stripping is important in ensuring that the cool air doesn’t escape during the summer and the heat stays put in the winter. Check for condensation between the glass if you have double or triple paned windows.  This could indicate that the seal is bad and that you should replace the window or possibly just the glass.

The Deck

Check decking for boards that are loose, warped, or splintered.  These should be replaced to avoid injuries.  Take time to sweep the build up of debris between the deck boards.  If left to accumulate it will prevent water from draining.  Wooden decks that have faded or become worn from the sun should be thoroughly cleaned, stained, and resealed.  If you have composite decking it is important to maintain it according the maintenance instructions provided by the manufacturer.

As a full-service home improvement contractor servicing all Southeast Michigan, Kearns Brothers, Inc. offers clients a wide range of services to meet their construction needs including: roofing, siding, window, masonry, chimneys, gutters, and insulation services.  More information can be found at www.kearnsbrothers.com.



Routine Spring Maintenance for the Interior and Exterior of Your Home

It is crucial for homeowners to perform thorough maintenance on their homes at the beginning of the spring season.  Once the winter weather thaws and the sun starts peaking through it is easier to notice issues where your home could benefit from some attention.

Roofing

Roofing contractors are an important element in the inspection of your homes roof.  We all like to think we could spot a problem with our roof however it is not always so simple especially for the novice eye.  When shingles are missing or have become cracked it is not always seen from the ground.  A roofer can spot these and replace them with a rooftop inspection.  If shingles have shifted it is important for a roofer to install new fasteners.  It is also crucial that the build up of pine needles, leaves, and debris in the valleys and peaks of your homes roof is removed and not allowed to settle in the home’s gutters.

Chimney

Brick chimneys can also benefit from springtime maintenance.  It is important for homeowners to check out the chimney material whether it is brick or stone.  How are the joints, is there loose mortar?  Have weeds started growing, is there evidence of water, or a white calcium deposit?  These are all signs that your chimney needs maintenance

Foundation

Your homes foundation is the most important element as it keeps your home standing.  An inspection of your homes concrete foundation should look for cracks of all sizes.  If there is a crack in the foundation you will need to higher a foundation specialist to bond the crack chemically.  A two-part epoxy injection system is used to ensure the crack will not further expand. 

Windows

Windows with leaks in the seal around them will let warm air in during the summer and cool air to escape in the winter.  It is important to check the caulk and weather stripping to make sure it has remained in place throughout the winter.  Condensation on the inside of the double-glazed windows during the month often means that the weather seal has been compromised.  This means that the window will need to be replaced. 

Leaky Faucets

Spring is the perfect time to inspect faucets inside and outside of your home.  Check for leaks, clogs, and sweaty pipes.  Look under your sinks for proper connections to ensure there are know leaks coming from underneath.  Examine dishwashers, washing machines, and other appliances with sources of water for staining.  Repair or replace hoses and pipes for cracks, bulges, and/or dampness.

Air Conditioners

Just as homeowners are expected to inspect their homes heating systems in the fall, they should inspect their cooling systems in the spring.  Air conditioners need to be in good working order to ensure they are ready for the heat of the summer.  Change out the systems filter, check hoses and connections and ensure the drain is able to freely drain. 

Homeowners should also inspect and perform maintenance on their attics, windows, and basements.  Your home is your most valuable asset and should be cared for as such.  A little general maintenance a couple of times a year can increase the longevity of the systems that are in place.

As a full-service home improvement contractor servicing all Southeast Michigan, Kearns Brothers, Inc. offers clients a wide range of services to meet their construction needs including: roofing, siding, window, masonry, chimneys, gutters, and insulation services.  More information can be found at www.kearnsbrothers.com.

Spring Cleaning To Benefit Your Homes Roof

Spring is almost here, just days away!  That means we are just days away from being able to start cleaning out our flower beads, scooping gutter gunk, and other rituals of spring cleaning.   The snow is starting to melt, and homeowners begin to consider how to prepare their homes for a summer of relaxation.  The more we accomplish in the spring, the less we must consider during the summer.  

It is a known secret, winter weather is our homes enemy, especially our roof.  Our roofs take a beating in every season, but it is especially rough in the winter, with the snow, melt, freeze, ice, melt repeat process. Homeowners should reach out to professional roofing contractors at least once a year for a spring cleaning and inspections.  Regular roofing maintenance helps to increase the longevity of your roofing materials and will improve the aesthetics of your home.  Below are some tips the professional roofers at Kearns Brothers recommend to all our clients.

  • Trimming Tree Branches:  Any tree close to your home should have its branches trimmed on a regular basis.  Tree limbs should not be allowed to touch your roof as they will scrape the shingles and loosen the granules that are in place to protect it.  A decrease in asphalt granules on shingling which will decrease the longevity of your roof. 
  • Pine Needles and Leaves:  A few pine needles and leaves on your roof are fine however, a collection of leaves and needles will cause damage as they hold on to excess moisture.  They need to be removed to prevent mold, mildew, and general issues.  A build up of pine needles and leaves can also block gutters.  To clear your homes roof it is important to be careful not to damage the roofing material.  A light air blower will gently remove the debris without damaging the asphalt shingling.
  • Moss is one of the worst elements for asphalt shingles.  By cutting back tree limbs and removing leaves homeowners can reduce moss.  It is important that sunlight can hit the surface of the roof in order to dry up the moisture that the moss thrives on.  There are chemicals that can get rid of roofing moss however the run off can cause damage to the landscaping plants surrounding the home.  Zinc or copper trips lining the ridge of the home can also help create an environment where moss is unable to grow.
  • If gutters are damaged during the winter, it is crucial that homeowners fix them before spring rains begin.  It is crucial that water can flow through the gutters and away from the home’s foundation. Loose gutters must be secured in order to function properly.
  • A complete inspection of your shingles, chimney’s, and flashing should all be inspected and maintained yearly by a professional roofing contractor. While a contractor is performing a roof inspection, they will look for missing shingles, damage to your chimney, flashing, and vent issues.  Correcting these issues in a timely manner ensures your roof is good to go for many Michigan seasons.

As a full-service home improvement contractor servicing all Southeast Michigan, Kearns Brothers, Inc. offers clients a wide range of services to meet their construction needs including: roofing, siding, window, masonry, chimneys, gutters, and insulation services.  More information can be found at www.kearnsbrothers.com.

Proper Maintenance Increases The Lifespan Of Your Roofing Materials

Let’s face it, your homes roof is not an everyday priority.  As homeowners we lose sight of the essential exterior elements that are important in safeguarding the interior of our homes.  It is crucial however, that we do take the maintenance and care of our homes roof serious. Asphalt shingle roofing is designed to protect your home. In order for it to perform its job regular roof inspections are needed to ensure it is functioning properly.  Inspections of your homes roof should be done twice a year.  Maintenance and repairs should follow when necessary.  This will allow your roof to remain at peak performance.

Professional roofing contractors are experts at identifying issues with your roof that will lead to interior issues with your home.  It is important to hire a professional contractor to inspect the exterior elements of your home at least once every few years. It is crucial that you as a homeowner take time during the spring and fall seasons to do your own roof and exterior home inspection.

Considerations with Your Roof

  • Before you purchase a home, it is crucial to have the home inspected and a roof assessment performed.  A professional roofing contractor will inspect and report on the future of your roof.  This information gives you insight on repairs that are needed immediately, will be needed in the future, and how much longer you have before a full roof replacement is required.
  • When looking at the exterior of your home and are considering renovations remember to take a look at the landscape. Trim branches and large trees that overhang your roof.  This will prevent the shingles form scratching and gouging roofing materials.  Trimming back trees and branches helps to prevent damaging and puncturing the materials used on your roof.
  • Keep your homes gutters clear.  This is especially important during the winter season to help prevent roof damns from occurring during the thaw and freeze that occurs throughout the season.  If leaves and debris are allowed to build up, your gutters will no longer freely flow, and these backups will occur.
  • Allow your roof to breathe by adding in proper ventilation if it is not already set up correctly.  Heat and moisture needs to be released from the roof to prevent the sheathing and rafting to breathe.  Without this in place the roof with buckle and the insulation will lose its effectiveness.  This causes the roof system to be ineffectual.
  • Proper insulation protects the longevity of your homes roof.  Your home needs protection from heat gain and loss.  The most ideal situation is to include a gap-free layer of insulation on the attic floor along with vapor retarder under the insulation next to the ceiling.  This will help stop the moisture from rising into the attic.  Properly placing vents in the roofing will allow air to pass freely which also helps to prevent issues with your roof.
  • Roofing is prone to the build up of debris, streaks, mold, algae and fungus.  When left untreated this causes a great deal of deterioration in the materials on your roof which in turn shortens the roofs lifespan.  One method that is effective in preventing these issues is to install zinc strips along the roof ridge.  The zinc will protect against the growth of fungus, moss, mildew and algae. 

Your homes roof is the most important element in creating structural integrity of your home. Taking time to do bi-yearly inspections will help preserve and protect your home for years to come.

As a full-service home improvement contractor servicing all Southeast Michigan, Kearns Brothers, Inc. offers clients a wide range of services to meet their construction needs including: roofing, siding, window, masonry, chimneys, gutters, and insulation services.  More information can be found at www.kearnsbrothers.com.

Ventilation, insulation and snow removal key for roofs

Roof

Ice dams have been a common issue for many in Northern Michigan this winter with the large amount of snowfall coupled with cold and warm days. Pixabay.com

If you haven’t made an attempt to clear large amounts of snow off your home’s roof yet this winter, now is the time to do so, said Jim Bonter of Eby Roofing of Alanson.

“The biggest thing and most important thing is to keep it cleaned off,” Bonter said. “(Eby Roofing owner) Lamar (Eby) has had his cleaned off twice already this winter.

“It helps with ice dams and prevents collapses,” Bonter added. “That’s (collapse) what happens when you run into conditions where you get this much snow, then it begins to warm up or, in this winter’s case, where we’ve gotten rain where it can really weigh things down.”

Mother Nature has been difficult to many in the roofing industry this winter, as Bonter said with the cold and snow multiple projects have had to be placed on hold.

“It’s delayed us putting up trusses on jobs and yesterday (Wednesday) we had five phone calls with people’s roofs that’ve caved in or have had ice damage,” Bonter said. “Ice dam issues have happened quite a bit lately.”

As far as getting rid of icing issues, ventilation and insulation are both important aspects to a home’s roof, Bonter said.

“Ventilation is the biggest thing,” Bonter said. “Insulation is always a good thing, but you have to have that ventilation as well.”

Vents for roofs — either ridge vents or turbine vents — help keep your home cooler, prevent moisture problems and generally encourage healthy airflow. Typically, a home’s roof does not work well without them.

A ridge vent, as the name indicates, is located at the ridges where a roof peaks, and runs along the top of those ridges. The vent is shaped around the ridge and covered with matching siding or tile so that it is very unobtrusive. They typically look like a running cap or piece of extra roof trim.

“We use ridge vents a lot of time when we can,” Bonter said. “They even make vents that look like turtle vents.”

Ridge vents come with several advantages, including that when installed correctly they can provide a high volume of airflow per square foot, since the entire ridge may act as a vent instead of just one or two locations across the roof.

However, when comparing the ridge vent versus a turbine vent (also known as a whirlybird), ridge vents need to be accurately installed to work properly. Weather guards and wind baffles must be used to ensure that moisture cannot leak back into the ridge, and to create important low-pressure areas necessary to help hot air escape.

For especially steep roofs, full ridgewwe vents may not provide enough airflow.

Roof turbines, which look like round knobs poking up out of the roof, are a type of roof vent that may also provide a valuable ventilation service.

Powered by the wind, it houses a circular fan that’s sensitive to breezes and when the wind blows it turns the fan, which in turn draws up air from the attic and disperses it.

An advantage to a roof turbine in the winter is since turbines are attached directly to attic spaces, they can siphon away moist air effectively when homes are filled with rising warm air that needs to be dispersed.

Roof turbines also do not need an energy source to run — other than just a little bit of wind which is usually present on rooftops even during relatively calm days.

However, roof turbines can age rapidly when exposed to frequent storms or attic moisture.

“We don’t use a ton of them anymore, but we do in certain cases,” Bonter said. “Depending on how much snow you have up on a roof, it could freeze up where it won’t even operate where it’s important in the winter.”

Original Source: https://www.petoskeynews.com/featured-pnr/ventilation-insulation-and-snow-removal-key-for-roofs/article_3aa34e77-0598-5323-90da-02fb4d8ffa0f.html

Written By: Steve Foley

Published On: Feb 28th 2019

Determining If Your Home Needs A New Roof

Do you think you could tell if your roof only needed some repairs or if it was time to replace your homes roof?  There are quite a few flags to look for before calling in a professional roofing contractor. You don’t necessarily need a brand-new roof just because you have spotted a leak in the ceiling.   The leak could have occurred due to a number of different problems.  There are a number of factors to determine whether the problem with your roof requires repair or replacement which can be found below. 

The Age of Your Homes Roof

Consider the age of your existing roof.  Roof contractors estimate that asphalt shingle roofs can last upwards of twenty-five years especially when well maintained.  A properly ventilated roof is important in the roof’s longevity as well.  If a shingle roof was installed over another layer of shingle roofing and is over twenty years old, there are chances you will need a new roof sooner than later.

Curling and Buckling of Asphalt Shingles

If you notice the shingles on your roof are buckled or starting to curl it may be a sign that you need a new roof.  To get a good look take a look at the shingles in the direct sunlight.  If you notice they are curling, losing granules, or are buckling it often means that your shingles have exceeded their life expectancy.  When this occurs in older roofs it is a sure sign that you need to replace your roof. 

Missing Shingles

If your roof is falling apart or shingles are missing, there is a good chance you may be looking at a new roof.  It is important to keep an eye on the valleys of your roof.  Snow and rain need to flow freely through the valleys into the roof’s gutters.  If this valley area in your roof is compromised the roof will be susceptible to leaks. 

Granules in the Gutters

When cleaning out your gutters if you notice that are loaded with the granules that are on shingles you could be looking at replacing your roof within the coming months.  Shingles lose more granules when the life cycle of the shingle is near the end.  If you start to notice darker colored areas on the shingles or an inconsistent color on the roof that is most likely because the granules have worn away over time.  This is a sure sign that a new roof is needed soon. 

Sponge Like Roof Boards

If you are inspecting your homes roof from above and notice that it feels bouncy or spongy it means that the underlying decking has become weak from moisture.  If left untreated you will start to notice daylight shining through the roof boards and moisture in your insulation.  These are both sure signs that your home needs a new roof as soon as possible.

As a full-service home improvement contractor servicing all Southeast Michigan, Kearns Brothers, Inc. offers clients a wide range of services to meet their construction needs including: roofing, siding, window, masonry, chimneys, gutters, and insulation services.  More information can be found at www.kearnsbrothers.com.

Gutter Installation: Should Homeowners Hire a Professional or DIY


There are plenty of homeowners who feel like hiring a professional contractor for jobs they deem “simple” is a waste of money.  We see it time and time again, do-it-yourselfers that get in over their heads and end up in a situation that costs them more than if they would have hired a professional from the start.  This is a common situation we run into, especially when it comes to roofing and gutter installation.  Believe it or not, installing gutters or replacing your roof is not as easy as it appears on television or in YouTube videos.  Below are the most common issues that arise when DIYs tackle gutter installation.

Incorrect Pitch:

If the pitch of your gutter is off even slightly it can create an issue.  Although gutters look even from a distance, they are in fact slightly pitched from one end to the other.  Striking a balance is key. A gutter with too little of a pitch allows the gutter to fill up until it overflows, while a sharp pitch is not pleasing to look at.  For every forty feet of gutter that is installed the gutter should slope between one to two inches.

Incorrect Pitch:

If the pitch of your gutter is off even slightly it can create an issue.  Although gutters look even from a distance, they are in fact slightly pitched from one end to the other.  Striking a balance is key. A gutter with too little of a pitch allows the gutter to fill up until it overflows, while a sharp pitch is not pleasing to look at.  For every forty feet of gutter that is installed the gutter should slope between one to two inches.

Forward Tilt:

Even though your gutter must be installed on a slight downward angle to allow for drainage, it must be completely level from front to back.  If it is not level it will spill over the edge.  Professional gutter installation takes time.  A level must be used to accurately level gutters and properly install the fasteners that will hold the gutter in the proper position.

Improper Positioning:

Gutters do not just hang on the edge of your homes roof.  Instead a gutter must be installed a couple of inches below the roof line. If a gutter is installed too high cause water to runoff down the back side which can cause staining on the exterior siding of the home.

Unsuitable Hanger Spacing:

Try as you may to properly slope gutters, improper positioning of gutter hangers can cause the gutter to sag.  Gutter hangers need to be properly positioned no more than three feet of space between one another.

Seams:

Gutter seams are the source at which the most damage can occur.  Sometimes the sections of a gutter will separate at the seam completely.  It is important to keep the number of seams to a minimum when installing gutters in fact, seamless gutters are made to help prevent this issue.

Gutter Damage During Installation:

When hanging gutters, it is important to be cautious to prevent damage to the gutters (and to yourself).  Bent or dented gutters should not be installed.

There are quiet a few issues that can arise when installing your homes new gutters.  Before you jump into DIY gutter installation, contact a professional to get a free quote.  This will allow you to visually see the cost difference between professional gutter installation that come with a warranty vs the time and cost of materials involved in doing it on your own.

As a full-service home improvement contractor servicing all Southeast Michigan, Kearns Brothers, Inc. offers clients a wide range of services to meet their construction needs including: roofing, siding, window, masonry, chimneys, gutters, and insulation services.  More information can be found at www.kearnsbrothers.com.