Preparing for a Roof Replacement

Congratulations! You’ve taken all the necessary steps to get a new roof. Your contractor will be showing up in a few days to start working. But how do you prepare? How do you get ready? Here a few things you can do to be ready for your roof replacement.

Keeping kids and pets safe

When your is roof is under construction, there will be a lot of banging and debris everywhere. Your home becomes a work zone and it’s important to keep your kids and pets safe. The loud noises might startle your dogs or little kids. Your house might also be unsafe while the roof is under construction. Teach your kids to stay away from certain areas of the house where contractors may have ladders or tools laying around.

If possible keep kids and pets out of the house during the day. If you can, stay with family or friends until the completion of the project.

Remove loose objects from wall

All the banging might shake your walls a bit. Remove objects and pictures hanging on the walls directly under the roof. Removing them will prevent them from falling and breaking. Remove anything that isn’t permanently secured.

Make room for the workers

Your roofing contractors are going to need easy access to their tools and trucks. It would be ideal to clear your driveway for them to park in. They will also need a place to put a dumpster to clear debris and the old roof into.  Keep your vehicles a safe distance away from the work zone.

Move outdoor furniture

If you have outdoor furniture or a grill that will be in the work zone, move them. Moving them out of the way reduces the chance of them getting damaged or being in the way of the workers.

Prune & Trim Trees

Trim any trees or branches that are near the roof. Any branches that hang low near the roof can get in the way of your contractor.

Do all of these including suggested things from your contractor and your home will be ready for your roof replacement.

Haven’t found the right contractor for your roof replacement yet? We can help! Get a free estimate on a roof replacement today!

Signs It’s Time For a New Roof

Not sure when the right time is for a new roof? Check out these signs your roof shows when it’s time for a replacement.

It is leaking

If your roof is leaking or has a hole in it, it is time for a new one.  Some leaks can be repaired but typically, you want to replace the whole thing to avoid further damage down the line. When patching one hole, you might miss water damage or hidden leaks. Besides water damage, a leaking roof can cause mold or mildew to grow in your home.

It is old

The lifespan of your roof will vary based on the roofing material. If you know what your roof is made off, find out when it was installed to determine if it’s time for a replacement. Asphalt can last up to 25 years, and cedar shake can last up to 50 years.  These numbers are based off proper care and ventilation of your roof. Other issues like algae, leaks or even trauma to the roof might be a cause for replacement.

Broken or loose shingles

Loose or cracked shingles are a sign that it’s time for a replacement. Sometimes your shingles might just look curled or buckled. This is as a result of moisture in the attic pushing the nails and shingles up.  Whether broken, curled or loose, shingles that aren’t in their original form make your home vulnerable. They make it easier for outside elements to enter your home. For example, rain leaking into your attic.

Algae on roof

Have you noticed black streaking, or algae on your roof? Algae is bacteria eating away at your shingles. As the algae continue to eat at your roof they weaken the weatherproofing properties.

Ice Dams

Icicles and ice dams are another sign it may be time for a new roof. Sometimes the problem can be attributed to inefficient gutters but the roof plays a role as well. If you have ice dams it means your roof isn’t getting proper ventilation or adequate insulation.

Does your roof have one or more of these signs? Don’t wait till it’s too late, Get a free estimate for a roof replacement on us!

Roofing Terms Simplified

Searching for a roofing contractor can be stressful enough on its own. Add in complicated roofing terms and it gets confusing. Confusion about the terms makes it difficult to understand what you’re getting. Aggregate? Weep holes? Not sure what any of these mean? No worries! That’s why we’re here. We’re going to simplify it all to make your search for a new roof easier.

Terms:

Aggregate – A roofing system surfacing that’s made from crushed stone or rocks or gravel.
 
Base Sheet – An asphalt or coated felt used as the base for a built-up roofing system.
 
Bitumen – A black sticky mixture, also known as asphalt.
 
Butyl – Rubber-like material used in making sealants, coatings, and adhesives for roofing[1].
 
Cap sheet – A waterproofing membrane added to the base sheet using an open flame.
 
Double Graveling – The application of two layers of gravel in hot bitumen.
 
Eaves – The part of the roof that hangs over the walls of your home. It is the edges of the roof. Gutters are generally installed on the edges of the eaves.
 
Rafters – Support frame attached to a roof deck.
 
Ridges – Where the roof lines intersect at the highest points. On the ridges you will find shingles.
 
Single-Ply Roofing – This is a roofing system with a single-ply membrane.
 
Soffit Ventilation – A vent that allows fresh air in through the attic. The eaves of the roof contain the soffit.
 
Underlayment – Your roof’s base layer that is between the roof deck and the shingles. It is usually waterproof or water resistant. This all depends on the quality and type of the underlayment[2].
 
Weep Holes – Found along the top ridge of the roof, these holes help get rid of any absorbed water.
 
Wind Uplift – Displacement of a roof’s shingles due to wind pressure.
 
 

Winter Home Survival Guide

Winter is finally here and snow is not too far away. Check out these tips to make sure your home pulls through the winter in one piece.

Gutter Cleaning

Ideally, your gutters should be cleaned out in the fall to avoid debris overflow. Before the first heavy snow hits it important to clean debris out of your gutters. When the snow melts it needs to go somewhere. A clean gutter allows the melted snow to flow easily. If your gutter is filled with debris, you risk melted snow and water running behind the gutters and leaking into your walls. Water leaking into your walls can lead to mold growth.

Proper Snow removal

Heavy snow can be overwhelming for a roof, especially when it piles on after many snow storms. It is only logical to try and remove some of that burden by getting rid of some of the snow yourself. However, when removing snow off your roof, it has to be done correctly or else you risk damaging your roof or possibly even hurting yourself.

You want to invest in a snow rake for this, they’re available in most hardware stores. When removing snow, take off a few inches at a time[1]. Don’t dive straight into trying to scrape the roof clean in one go. Remove icicles from the edge of the roof and make sure your gutters are clean. Avoid stepping on the roof if you can. If going on the roof can’t be avoided, hire a professional or always have another person with you as you work.

Attic Insulation to prevent Ice Dams

Before the winter hits its peak make sure your attic is properly insulated. You want it to be comfortable but you don’t want your attic getting too warm either. A really warm attic causes snow to melt at high points on your roof and freezing back up as icicles and ice dams. Ice dams can block your gutters and cause water damage to your home. If your attic is getting warm enough to melt snow in freezing temperatures then you’re probably losing heat and money. It’s important to have a professional take a look at your attic if this is the case.

These are just a few of many ways you can make sure your house makes it through the winter in one piece.

For more home improvement tips, check out our other blog posts.

[1] https://www.mass.gov/service-details/roof-collapse-and-snow-removal-safety-information

Questions to Ask your Roofing Contractor

There’s a lot that goes into getting your roof replaced. How well things go relies on the contractor you pick for the job. Whether you’re going by referral or research there are some questions you should always ask. Here is a list of questions to definitely ask your roofing contractor before signing anything.

  • How long have you been in business?

    • It is good to know if your contractor has been in business for a while or if they are new and starting out. It isn’t necessarily a negative if they business is young, but if they have been around for a while it is safer to assume they know what they are doing.
  • How many projects like mine have you completed?

    • If your roof or home is unique, you want to make sure they’ve done similar projects before.
  • Are there any completed roofing projects I can see?

    • If they have done similar projects, it is a good idea to get referrals and some pictures of past jobs. This will help build your confidence in your roofing contractor. And you can also confirm that they know what they’re doing.
  • Is the whole crew insured?

    • Your roofing contractor should have liability insurance as well as workman’s compensation. Working on a roof can be dangerous, making sure they are insured protects you from any damages during your roof replacement. It will also give you peace of mind to know the workers are covered in case of injuries during the project.
  • How much experience does your crew have?

    • Experience is important. Sure everyone needs to do their first roof to get experience. But you want to make sure at least 90% of the crew working on your roof including your main contractor has a good amount of experience working on roofs.
  • What licenses do you have?

    • Make sure your contractor is properly licensed by your state to actually work on your roof. Each state is different so it’s important to make sure your roofing contractor has all the right paperwork.
  • Can I have a written estimate?

    • Having a written copy of the agreed estimate and cost of the roof will help avoid possible price hikes during or after the job is done.
  • Can I see the warranty before you start the job? How long is your warranty?

    • Find out how long the job is guaranteed. Are you covered for repairs up to a year or longer? Is the quality of the job guaranteed at all? Every roofing contractor is different so make sure to find out before you sign anything.
  • Does the warranty cover the job or the materials or both?

    • Does the warranty cover the materials or is the manufacture taking care of that? Finding out if your warranty covers the labor or the materials will give you an idea of who to contact if you start having problems with your roof.
  • How long will the job take?

    • This essentially gives you an idea of how long to expect a crew at your home working on your roof. It’ll help you plan your schedule better. Asking about rain dates is important as well. It is good to find out what the plan is when the weather changes.
  • How is the payment going to be handled?

    • Are you paying half upfront or 25% up front? What happens if the job is not done as agreed or on time? If they are using subcontractors are you paying the sub-contractors separate? Are you paying for material and labor or just labor and purchasing the materials on your own? Make sure all parties are clear on how the payment is going to work and what percentage is due up front.

These are some great questions to keep in mind when you’re looking for a company to replace your roof. Feeling comfortable with the process is always important when you are having a big project done on your house.

Hiring the Right Contractor for your Home Improvement Project

Home improvement projects can be overwhelming. One way to make it easier on yourself is by making sure you pick the right contractor for the job. A stranger will be in and out of your house during the course of your project. You want to invest in someone who’s trustworthy and gives peace of mind to you and your family. Here are some things to check for and to be wary of when you’re looking to hire a professional for your home improvement project.

How to find a good contractor:

  • Get referrals from friends and family.
  • Make sure to conduct thorough online research. Read more about vetting a company online.
  • Go in knowing what you want before you start asking for estimates.
  • Do over the phone followed by face to face interviews so you can put a face to the name of the person who’s going to be working in and out of your house.
  • Don’t let price be your only deciding factor, don’t forget that price does not always equal quality.
  • Get everything in writing – pricing, start and finish dates, etc. This makes it easier to follow up and fight a case if worst case scenario your contractor starts the job and disappears before finishing.
  • Verify with the contractor which part of the work they will be doing and which parts a subcontractor will do.
  • Before you make the final payments get receipts for all materials purchased.

Things to Check for:

  • You want to check and make sure your contractor has a license and insured in your state.
  • If you’re getting work done on your walls or pipes, check to make sure your contractor is EPA Lead-Safe
  • Check the references of anyone you interview for the job.
  • Length of the warranty that comes with the job and what the warranty covers in totality.

Things to be wary of:

  • The contractor is unable to give you a demo or actually show you what they’re going to be installing.
  • Your contractor can’t provide you with the written warranty or estimate.
  • The contractor tries to sell you on either the cheapest or the most expensive material without consideration for the quality.
These are a few tips to help you navigate hiring for your home improvement projects. A smooth process is a win for everyone involved.

Vinyl Siding Maintenance

Unlike wood, vinyl doesn’t rot but it does crack and puncture over time. Like every other part of your home, your vinyl siding requires basic care and maintenance to keep it looking good as new. Here are a few basic maintenance tips to help your vinyl siding last a long time.

Yearly clean up:

Make it a habit to clean your siding at least once a year. Spring or summer might be a great time to clean your siding since it’ll be warmer out.  Scrub the siding with a stiff-bristle brush or a sponge depending on how dirty it is. Use warm soapy water mixed with mild detergent, rinse off with a hose and let dry.  You can use a pressurized hose to get to the far-to-reach places to wash off grime and gunk that has built up over time.  If there are any plants or greenery near the house make sure to cover them with a tarp so they don’t get dirty soapy water on them.

Paint:

Vinyl color is in the entire material instead of the surface so it can’t really be peeled off. If you want to change the color of your siding without having to purchase new siding, you can just paint over them. Use 100% acrylic paint for best results. Unfortunately, paint is just on the surface so it will wear and peel over time and repainting will be required to keep that color looking fresh.

Avoid heavy objects:

Vinyl can get brittle and crack due to cold weather and extreme heat conditions. One benefit, however, is that vinyl doesn’t rot like wood or bend like aluminum.  To help it last longer, be careful about parking or leaning heavy equipment like lawn mowers or bikes against your siding. However, for damaged sections, repair and secure them properly.

In addition to these basic care tips, don’t forget to regularly inspect your siding to make sure it’s still in great shape and are not hiding moisture in the walls. If you’re looking to replace your siding all together, Peoples Products provides quality Stylelite Premium Siding. Get your free estimate here! We look forward to hearing from you. Let us know in the comments if there are other things you do to keep your vinyl siding looking good as new.

Weekend Home Improvement

Home improvement projects can take some time and be hefty investments, but once complete it can be worth the effort. Home improvement projects can help to brighten up your home, help your home feel less cluttered and even improve the resale value of your home. Not everyone has the time or can afford big home improvement, but there are definitely quicker home improvement projects that are just as effective in helping your home look better. Little changes and updates that can make your home feel almost new again.

Here are some DIY home improvement projects you can get done over a weekend.

Garage cleanout

Has your garage become the holder of junk instead of a place to park a car? It may be time to clean it out and reorganize. Clean out garage clutter by throwing away what you don’t need, and keep what is important. Make some room in the garage to make it easier to move around and possibly have enough room in there to put the car back in. A weekend may be all it takes to actively clean your garage out.

Repainting/staining the fence

A fence plays an important role in protecting your home, providing some privacy and also framing your home’s aesthetics. Over time the paint fades on the fence. A faded fence ruins the aesthetics of your home. Luckily you just need a dedicated weekend and the right supplies to get your fence looking its best once again. Grab a few friends or family members and make it fun with some snacks as you work.

Rearrange the furniture

This can be one of the easier DIY home projects. If you’ve had your furniture in the same place for over a year it might be time for a slight change. You can move furniture around in the living area, like repositioning couches, moving the coffee table closer to the wall or center of the room. These are little things that can help improve the energy of space, sometimes making the room seem more spacious.

Repaint a room

Is the paint on the walls peeling, or in need of a change in color? With the right tools and a dedicated weekend, you can repaint a room, add a new gloss or matte finish with

new colors or patterns to change the feel and look of the room.

Apply new wallpaper

Not up for the task of repainting? For more patterns and options you can cover the walls with wallpaper. Wallpapers are sold in a wide variety of colors, patterns, and sizes. It’s a simple DIY project that brings some personality and uniqueness to your home.

These are just a few DIY projects you can do without having to pay a professional and still have your home feeling almost new again.

For bigger efficient home improvement projects, we can get you started. Just get your free estimate here.