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!

DIY Home Repairs

There are a lot of common home repairs out there that people often think only professionals can handle. Before calling up a professional and spending your money, take a look at our list of easy-to-fix DIY home repairs.

Clean faucet aerator

Water not coming out the way it’s supposed to? Your faucet’s aerator screen may be dirty or clogged. You don’t need a professional to clean out the screen. Make sure the sink’s drain plug is closed, then use a rag to screw the aerator open.

Unclog toilet

Nothing worse than a clogged toilet that you can’t unclog with the plunger. Before you grab the snake, grab some dish soap. Pour in about half a cup of liquid dish soap and let it sit. The soap will help everything slide through much easier when you flush[1].

Cover-up ceiling stain

Water stains on the ceiling can be tough to hide without painting the whole ceiling. If the stain is isolated, you can use a spray on product, Upshot by Kilz. This works by matching an aged ceiling and sprays vertically. This way you can just stand and spray up. Just make sure to cover up the walls with plastic and put a cloth on the floor.

You can also try to bleach water stains to reduce how prominent the stains look. Just make a bleach solution with water. Spray the spot and wait a few days for it to fade.

Loose shower head/pipe

Got an unsteady shower head or wobbly pipe? Easy fix, all you need is some expanding foam.

Sticky lock

Are your keys sticking in the lock? Don’t give up on it yet. You can fix it with a pencil. You can rub pencil graphite on the teeth of the key. When you insert the key it will distribute the coating on the lock. This will help the key glide much more smoothly.

Squeaky Door

A door that’s sticking or squeaking, when opened or closed, can be very annoying. An easy less messy way to get rid of the squeak is some petroleum jelly. Just rub some on the hinges and that should help with the squeak.

Do you have other DIY home repair tricks up your sleeve? Share them with us in the comments!

[1] https://www.familyhandyman.com/smart-homeowner/diy-home-improvement/10-minute-house-repair-and-home-maintenance-tips/view-all/

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

Things to consider before you put up holiday lights

It is that time of the year again. Holiday cheer is in the air, it’s the prime time for holiday decorations. But before you hang anything, here are some things to keep in mind.

Invest in LED

While you’re out shopping for holiday lights, search for lights with LED bulbs. They cost a little more up front compared to traditional bulbs but they last longer and save you on your energy bill. LEDs usually have more bulbs on a string than incandescent and they’re also stringed closer together.

Buy the Right Amount

Only the buy as many lights as you will need. Plan ahead, figure out where you’re going to be putting lights. Measure the spaces you plan on putting up lights so you know exactly how many to buy. You don’t want to buy less than you need or too much. Measuring is also important because it lets you know just how many extension cables you need for outdoor lights. You ideally don’t want to plug the lights directly into the outlet.

Powering Up

When buying your lights be sure to differentiate between outdoor and indoor lights. Not all lights are meant to be outdoors. Outdoor lights burn hotter than indoor lights so be sure not to mix the two up. Use ground-fault circuit and closed outlets. Additionally, don’t overload extension cords and outlets. Link a few strings of lights together before plugging into an outlet.  To save energy, don’t leave your lights on all day. If possible invest in lights that come with a timer so you can set how long they stay on for.

Are there any other tips you use when stringing up your holiday lights? Leave them in the comments!

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

Home Improvement Projects You Shouldn’t Do Yourself

Everyone loves DIY, sometimes it’s in an effort to save money, sometimes it’s to add a personal touch to home improvement projects. As great as DIYs are, there are some projects you just shouldn’t do yourself. It might cost a bit more to hire a contractor but entrusting your project to professional is a good idea for these projects.

Plumbing Work

Small leaks can turn into big problems when it comes to plumbing. Unless you have the skill set to do it yourself, don’t DIY plumbing projects. Play it on the safe side and hire a professional. The financial risk is not worth it.

Replacing Your Roof

It might be tempting to want to install your new roof yourself but it’s harder than it looks. There are a lot of things that could go wrong. There is a potential for damage to the roof, your home, or even yourself as working on roofs can be dangerous. Attempting patchwork repairs can also lead to bigger problems down the way. To avoid having to spend more money, later on, hire a professional the first time around to make sure everything is done the right way.  DIY roof replacement or repair can also potentially void any warranties you have on your roof.

Knocking Down a Wall

If you’re a fan of home improvement shows it might seem really easy to just knock a wall down to expand a room. However, taking a sledgehammer to your wall may have unforeseen consequences. The wall you plan on taking down maybe a load bearing wall. You risk causing structural damage to your home. It is important that you leave this to a professional who knows what to look for before knocking down any walls.

Replacing your Windows

As tempting as it may be, this is one project you don’t want to DIY. Installing a window requires specialized knowledge, skills, and tools. Unless you’re trained in window installation, attempting to do it yourself might just cost you more in the long run. Doing it wrong means spending more than you initially would have in order to fix your mistakes.

At the end of the day, if it requires a permit, you should probably hire a professional. If you have a project you are thinking of doing such as replacing your windows or roof, click to schedule a consultation here.

Vinyl Siding Benefits

Vinyl siding has become a popular choice for many homes in recent years. This is due to the many benefits and advantages it has over other siding types.  Here are a few of the benefits of a vinyl siding.

Energy Efficient

Vinyl siding is generally an insulated siding. Your home usually comes with insulation in the walls but vinyl siding provides an extra layer of insulation. This extra layer of insulation helps keep your home warm in the winter and cooler in the summer.  It helps make your home be more energy efficient because you lose less energy through the walls.

Durable


Unlike wood and metal siding, vinyl sidings can withstand harsh elements. They are made to be durable and last a long time. Vinyl siding doesn’t rot or corrode and can endure heavy winds and even hail[1]! Depending on who you buy from, you can usually get a lifetime warranty on your vinyl siding. The average vinyl siding on the market can last between 25 – 40 years or more depending on the gauge size[2].

Versatile

In addition to their energy efficiency and durability, vinyl siding comes in a wide range of colors. Love the idea of wood but prefer the quality of vinyl? No worries! You can find vinyl siding designed to look like wood. Some designs are so good, you have to be touching it to realize it’s not wood. There are vinyl siding options for all the different styles and house profiles.

Low Maintenance

Besides a simple cleaning once or twice a year, vinyl siding requires very little maintenance. It doesn’t need to be painted unless you choose to do so. Because it doesn’t rot or corrode, you don’t have to worry about constantly repairing various sections of it. You can go between 30 to 40 years with very little maintenance. Check out these tips on how to take care of your vinyl siding.

Cost Effective

In addition to being low maintenance and durable, vinyl siding is also a low cost product. It’s one of the least expensive siding materials on the market. Depending on your contractor, installation can be fast and inexpensive[3]. Due to its energy efficient insulation, you also save money on your energy bill.

Do you currently have vinyl siding? Are you interested in switching to vinyl siding? Get a FREE estimate and consultation today!

[1] https://www.vinylsiding.org/vsi-resources/why-vinyl-siding/

[2] https://unitedhomeexperts.com/the-pros-and-cons-of-vinyl-siding/

[3] https://www.builddirect.com/learning-center/building-materials/5-advantages-of-vinyl-siding/

Signs it is Time for a New Front Door

Your front door is not only there to look good but to also provide safety for your family. Unfortunately, doors don’t last forever. After a while, they need to be replaced in order to keep providing security and curb appeal. How can you tell when it’s time to replace your main entry door?

Here are some indications that it’s time for a new door.

Hard to close and open

If you have to apply elbow grease in order to open or close your front door, it’s time for a replacement. Your home’s main entry door should open easily and close just as easily. Difficulty opening or closing might result in the expansion of the door material. This is more likely to happen if the door is made of wood or metal. With humidity, wood absorbs moisture and then expands. Difficulty opening might also be because of a problem with the hinges or the door frame.

Worse for Wear

Has your door lost its curb appeal? Doors play an important role in adding to your home’s curb appeal. Dents, scratches, rotting frames and chipped edges lose that curb appeal. An ugly door affects your home’s look. Chips and scratches also leave room for the door to absorb moisture which can lead to rotting.

Drafts

A good door is properly sealed to avoid drafts and leaks that can cost you in energy savings. Do you have to stuff a rag or towel under your door to keep the cold out in the winter? Then it’s time for a new door. If sunlight is streaming in under, over or on the sides of your front door, it might be time for a replacement. Bad seals cause drafts. Drafty doors make it harder to keep your home cool in the summer and warm in the winter.

Does your front door check all three of the boxes? We can help with a quality and elegant door. Get a free estimate on our Stylelite Main Entry Doors. Secure, beautiful and quality doors.

4 Ways You’re Killing Your Home

There are many things a homeowner can do to keep their home healthy and looking good. However, sometimes going overboard with too many changes can hurt rather than improve a home. A healthy home is a happy home.  Here are some things that hurt rather than help your home.

Over sealing & Insulating

In order to avoid drafts and improve energy efficiency, sealing is usually recommended.  However, there is such a thing as over sealing. Too much air sealing and insulation make it hard for your house to breathe properly. There needs to be proper air circulation and ventilation for a healthy home. Better air circulation increases the quality of air in your home and prevents condensation behind planks[1].

Double Shingling

It might seem like a great idea to put new shingles over old ones to save money, but this can be bad for your house. Two layers of shingles weigh down on your rafters and decrease your roof’s lifespan. Doubling your shingles also make it harder to inspect the roof for leaks and also traps more heat. The new roof may also not be laid smoothly and flat if it’s layered on top of old shingles. Save money in the long run and avoid problems by completely removing old shingles before putting on new ones.

Oversized Air conditioner

On the hot summer days, it makes sense to want a bigger AC to cool your home faster. A high power AC uses up a lot of energy while leaving the room feeling clammy. To be sure you’re buying the right sized AC for your home or for a specific room, check the label for the capacity. Clammy rooms put your home at risk of mold. Healthy air circulation can be promoted by airing out your home or room early in the morning or late at night when the air is cooler outside. This allows you to let out clammy stale air and circulate in the fresh air.

Cutting grass too short

Cutting your lawn regularly is needed to get and keep a manicured look but you could be killing your grass if you’re cutting it too low. It makes your grass weaker and makes it easier for weeds and crabgrass to take over your lawn. Cutting grass too low especially on hotter days makes the lawn brown and burn out easily. For a healthier lawn, manicure frequently but change your mower setting to cut a little higher.

[1] https://www.thisoldhouse.com/ideas/youre-killing-your-home-kindness

How to Clean Your Windows

No one likes looking at or through a dirty window. Sometimes cleaning your windows can be a hassle. Either the windows are too hard to open and it’s hard to reach places or they just streak with every attempt to clean them. Here are some helpful tips to make cleaning your windows easier.

Using right Tools

Using the right cleaning tools can be essential to properly clean your windows and avoiding streaks. Some people prefer to use a paper towel, others prefer to use a microfiber cloth.  Different things work for different people, whatever you use just make sure it doesn’t leave lint behind on the glass.

The most common tools used are a strip applicator to scrub the windows with cleaning solution. Follow up with a squeegee to wipe the window clean. Finish up with a damp cloth to wipe off excess water and drips to avoid streaks.

Using the right cleaning products

If you’re cleaning your window and it never seems to get clean, you might be using the wrong products. Vinegar has been praised for being good at cleaning windows without streaks[1]. A mixture of warm water and dish soap has been known to work as well. Sometimes Windex works just as well but you have to make sure you’re using the right tool as to not leave any streaks.

Clean on the Right day

Most people make the mistake of cleaning on a sunny day. We get it, the nicer the day the easier it is to get the motivation to clean. However, when you clean on a sunny day, the water and cleaner dry faster on your windows before you can wipe them away. Your windows will streak easier when cleaned on a hot sunny day. The best day to clean your windows is a cloudy day. Cloudy but not raining.

Clean everything

Sometime when cleaning we make the mistake of cleaning just the glass while ignoring the other parts of the window like the sills and sashes. Make sure to dust and vacuum the frame and sash if needed before you start washing.

Have some window tricks that have helped you clean your windows streak free? Share them with us in the comments!

[1] https://www.greatdayimprovements.com/cleaning-windows-with-vinegar.aspx