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.
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. 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.
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.
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.
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.
Long Winters, New Roofing? Not Quite Yet
When living in New England the life expectancy of your roof is anticipated to be a bit lower when compared to homes in dryer or more temperate parts of the US. According to the National Roofing Contractors Association the most commonly used roofing materials in the U.S. are asphalt shingles. They come in a wide array of colors, patterns and styles. Here are a couple tips for keeping your roof in peak condition this winter season. If you’re plagued by ice buildup on the roof, removing some or all of the snow between storms might prevent leaks into your house. Attempting to pry off ice could result in damage to your roof. If you must be on a ladder, work at an angle so the falling snow doesn’t push you over. This alone may extend your roofs life span (and yours too!)
Gutters are key to your roof
Gutters are an integral part of your roof’s health. With all of the seasonal weather changes we have in New England it is important to maintain your roof and gutters throughout the year. Prior to the freezing winters we endure in the North East, many residents have to deal with excessive leaf accumulation in the gutters and on the roof. If this buildup is not stopped, the dead leaves will trap moisture from snow and ice. This will accumulate in your roof and gutters, leading to ice wedging damage that could cost you hundreds or more. Radiant protection in your attic via a multi-layer thermal reflective material can reduce or eliminate icicles altogether.
If your roof is exhibiting signs of wear and tear, consider a new roof. Catching these problems while early in the process could lead to preventing damage that can later drive up the cost of a new roof. It’s important to be pro-active rather than re-active when handling roofing issues. If you’re missing shingles, or you’re noticing your shingles delaminating, it may be time for an overhead overhaul. Curling or bending shingles may be a sign of a roof that’s in need of repair or replacement. If you can see from ground level that shingle granulates are coming off your roof and falling into your gutters, this is a sure sign it’s time for a new roof.
But it’s not just the bad weather that affects a roof
As with all things, time takes the biggest toll. Most experts agree that a roof will last between 20 and 25 years regardless of most weather conditions. That is the reason that Peoples Products is a Certified GAF Roofing Dealer. For 50 years the WeatherStopper Roofing Systems are warrantied; for most people, it will be the last roof they’ll ever need.
Fixing a roof yourself is a hassle and generally difficult to do. Have a professional look at it. Peoples Products offers a free roofing inspection and estimate, so if you think your roof may be at that stage, be sure to contact us. Don’t wait – it’s literally a matter of the roof over your head. Keep checking back with us for more tips on how you can save time, money and the environment.
For more information on our home consultation: Peoples Products Consulation