Winter is Coming: Prepare Your Roof Now

 

protect your roof

Winter is one of the toughest seasons – especially for roofs. Protect your roof from snow, ice, and dips in temperature using the following advice.

Inspect Your Roof

Doing a roof inspection on your own is easy. According to GAF, the United States’ largest roofing manufacturer, you should check your roofing system twice per year. In the fall, you’re checking to make sure the roof is ready for the added weight of snow and ice, as well as BIG temperature swings between day and night. Those temperature variations can cause roofing materials to expand and contract, stressing the materials.

There are five key things to look for while doing a roof inspection from the attic:

  1. Water leaks or staining
  2. Outside light coming through
  3. Sagging decking (between rafters)
  4. Proper ventilation – make sure vents are clear
  5. Measure and calculate adequate attic insulation levels

If you don’t have an attic, an outdoor visual inspection is the next best thing. You can do this from the safety of your yard without the risk of going up on a ladder. However, for a more comprehensive roof inspection, consult with a professional roofer.

Clean Your Gutters

Your gutters are an integral part of your roofing system. Made up of a series of interconnected troughs, they help channel water away from the house, but only if properly maintained. A clogged gutter, on the other hand, can result in backed up/stagnant water that can cause water damage and/or attract unwanted pests. If you haven’t already, you should clean your gutters before fall transitions to winter.

Prevent Ice Dams

Ice dams form as heat rises from a home, causing accumulated snow to melt, which travels down the roof until it reaches the eave line and gutters where it refreezes due to colder temps. Ice dams have destructive effects, including drenched insulation, rotting joists, the formation of mold, and collapsed rain gutters.

Proper insulation and ventilation of the attic space helps to keep heat from reaching the roof, thus preventing snow melt in the first place. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, adding insulation to an unheated attic will have the greatest impact on energy consumption, saving you money on heating and cooling bills.

Replace Your Roof

While built for durability, the life expectancy of your roof depends on several additional factors, including design, installation quality and the material used to cover it. Local weather can also influence lifespan – and potentially cause premature roof failure. Lack of long-term care and maintenance or if your roof is not properly ventilated can accelerate the aging of most materials.

Potential signs that you roof needs to be replaced:

  • Moss
  • Dark streaks
  • Cracked shingles
  • Curling or cupping shingle edges
  • Bald spots where granules are missing
  • Your neighbors are having new roofs installed
  • Your roof is more than 20 years old – few roofs last longer than this

We want to hear from you. What are some ways you prepare for winter?

How to Choose Roofing System Color

roofing system color

Whether using metal, slate or asphalt shingles, a properly installed roofing system can provide homeowners with years of protection from the elements. Aside from that, a new roofing system offers versatility, allowing you to pick from a wide variety of unique colors and styles to upgrade your home’s curb appeal.

While it’s impossible to give a hard-and-fast rule on how to choose a roofing system color – everyone has a their own sense of style and taste – it’s important to take the following three tips into consideration. Remember, for most homeowners, installing a roofing system is a once in a lifetime decision!

Match your home’s architectural design

The color you choose for your roof should complement your home’s architectural design, creating a unified, balanced look. Once you’ve gathered some roofing system color samples, look at them against your home during different times of the day to make sure you like that color when sun is at its most intense (typically between the hours of 10 AM and 4 PM), as well as when the sun sets. This is especially important if your home was built using brick or stone.

Consider your neighborhood

One of the best ways to choose a color for your new roof is to drive around your neighborhood. Check out the different color combinations of roof, brick / siding, and trim colors that your neighbors have tried. Make a list of the ones you like. Once you’ve narrowed down your option, contact your homeowners association (if applicable) for approval, prior to making a final decision.

Go for energy efficiency

To potentially reduce your monthly energy bills, choose a roofing system that is light in color. Colors, such as tan, gray, cream, and white reflect and emit the sun’s heat back to the sky, rather than absorbing and transferring it into your home. [Source: Cool Roof Rating Council]

A light-colored roof may benefit you by:

  • Increasing comfort at home by resisting heat
  • Cutting energy costs by reducing the need for air conditioning
  • Decreasing roof maintenance costs, thus increasing the longevity of your roof

Roof Replacement Tips

roof replacement

Like having a warm, cozy, leak-free home?

Then a solid roof over your head is mandatory. After all, it protects your biggest investment – your home. If roof replacement is in your future, here are some tips to help you make the best, most informed decision.

Take the time to learn about different materials. Your material options include asphalt shingles, clay and concrete tiles, metal, slate, wood shingles and shake, as well as synthetic roofing products. Each material has its share of pros and cons. For example, clay and concrete tiles will last 40 to 50 years, versus asphalt shingles 20 to 25 years. It’s important to discuss these options with your roofing contractor.

Check weather ratings. There are a lot of terms that can be used to describe Colorado but “boring” certainly isn’t one of them. From major snowstorms and blizzards, to tornadoes and scoring Summers, Colorado’s weather can go to the extreme. That is why it’s important to check wind and weather related ratings when choosing a material since not all materials are created equal.

Choose a style that will complement your home. As previously mentioned, an asphalt roof can last between 20 and 25 years (and other materials like metal can last 50 or more years), so it’s important to pick one that maximizes your curb appeal. You will also want to make sure the material, color, and style is acceptable with your HOA (if applicable).

Strip away the old. Laying new shingles over old shingles is almost always a bad idea. Not only does this reduce the life of the new shingle, but it also adds extra weight to the roof decking, permits leaks and ice damming, and may void the manufacturers warranty. Only after a tear-off can the roof be properly inspected for rot, mold, and other damage.

Go top shelf. For added peace-of-mind, buy high-quality products, with the longest available warranty. You’ll also want to opt for galvanized sheet metal or copper flashing over aluminum for durability. Remember: Flashing protects your home from leaks by sealing the joints where two roof panels or a wall meets.

Ask questions. Before hiring a roofing company, it is vital that you ask certain questions about their location, insurance/bonding, and licensing. Equally important, ask for credentials, reviews and references. This will provide you with a good ideas of the work you can expect.

In Need of Roof Replacement?

At Jenesis Roofing Inc., we provide a variety of services to Colorado residents, including roof repairs, roof replacement, new roof installation, and preventative maintenance. Contact us to learn more at (303) 789-1505. We provide free estimates! Also, for a limited time only, free solar powered roof mounted attic vents with full roof replacement.

Preventing Ice Dams this Winter

ice dams

With plenty of snow, and a freeze-thaw cycle of sunny days and frigid nights, ice dams are not a foreign sight for Denver area residents. They are, however, an unwelcome sight! Unfortunately, these giant icicles hanging from the eaves are quite dangerous to people walking underneath, as well as a sign of serious problems to come with your roof and/or attic. Thankfully, there are several things you can do to prevent the formation of ice dams, or to reduce the damage after they have formed.

What causes ice dams?

For ice dams to form there must be snow on the roof, the outside temperature must be below freezing, and, at the same time, higher portions of the roof’s outside surface must be above freezing while lower surfaces remain below freezing. Under these conditions, the snow on the higher portion of your roof will melt, causing water to flow down to the eaves where it refreezes forming an ice dam. The dam grows in size as it is fed by the melting snow above it.

What damages can occur?

When an ice dam gets big enough, melted water backs up behind it and seeps underneath the shingles, where it will eventually drip into your home’s attic insulation and down into the ceilings and exterior walls beneath the eaves. If the ice dam breaks free, it can pull shingles and gutters off it, damaging anything it falls into or on: cars, pets, people, windowsills, etc. If the roof sheathing remains wet in this environment, mildew and/or mold can grow, which can later cause rot.

How can I prevent ice dams?

Preventing ice dams begins at the top – your roof. The roof should have adequate pitch with minimal valleys to prevent heavy snow buildup. If considering a new roof, metal roofing materials, or cool roofing materials are your safest bet for preventing ice dams. Venting is also important as this allows a constant flow of cold air therefore preventing the snow from melting and causing problems. For more information on preventing ice dams, contact your local roofing companies Denver contractor at: (303) 789-1505.

Is It Time for Roof Replacement?

 

roof replacement

It is important to have a roof over your head. Yet as a busy homeowner, with an already hectic schedule, the last thing on your mind is roof maintenance. However, this oversight is a bit unfair, as your Denver roof withstands a lot of wear and tear – everything from heavy snow to pouring rain. Read on for more information on biannual roof inspections, roofing materials including asphalt shingles, and new roofs.

Roof Inspection: What to Look For

The National Roofing Contractors Association (NRCA) recommends that you inspect your roof at least two times a year – preferably in the spring and fall, as this will optimize your roofing systems’ life expectancy. Ensuring your roof is in good condition will also be a big plus should you ever decide to sell your home.

Did a storm just blow through? Although roofs are designed to resist wind loads common to your geographical location, even the strongest roof system has the potential to become structurally unsound given extreme winds and rain. To prevent the occurrence of further damage, homeowners are urged to contact a local roofing contractor for immediate inspection.

Unlike structural damage, interior and exterior roof damage can be seen at eye level, making it safe for you to inspect on your own. The best place to begin is in the attic – don’t forget a flashlight. Things to look for on the inside include sagging roof decking, water damage, dark spots and trails, and outside light peeking through.

Moving on to the exterior of your home, pay attention to such things as torn, cracked or missing tiles, loose materials around vents or chimneys, and damaged flashing. You should also look for signs of mold, rot or moisture. Be sure to check the roof’s drainage system to ensure the gutters are allowing water to properly exit the roof.

Materials Can Make All The Difference

Making the determination as to when you need a new roof in Denver also depends on your existing roofing material, as there are various materials that can be used, each with their own share of pros and cons. We also service commercial roofs in Denver.

Asphalt Shingles: Asphalt shingles are one of the most popular roofing materials available. They are available in two types: organic and fiberglass. Both of which are waterproof. Fiberglass, however, are more widely available. The greatest advantage to asphalt shingles is their cost: they will provide protection for 15 to 30 years for a relatively low upfront cost.

Wood Shingles: Wood shingles come in a variety of materials including cedar and pine. Wood shingles have an expected lifespan of 30 to 50 years. The downside to wood shingles is: They have poor fire ratings and they’re prone to mold and rot. In moist climates, you may notice the growth of moss.

Clay, Slate or Concrete Tiles: Clay and concrete tiles should never need replacing – at least not in your lifetime considering this type of roof has a lifespan of a hundred. Individual tiles, however, can break or crack making it necessary to have them replaced by a professional roofing contractor.

Metal Roofs: Metal roofs are becoming a popular option for homeowners in areas prone to snowstorms. They are also becoming quite popular as they are environmentally friendly (they are often made from recycled materials) as well as being very durable. Metal is resistant to fire, mildew, insects, and rot. They typically have a lifespan of 50 plus years.

Roof Replacement: Starting Over

A new roof system is an important investment. There are plenty of reasons why you should not put off replacing an old or damaged roof. Keep in mind: Older roofs are more susceptible to structural damages. So even if you are unable to see any physical damage, you may want to still consider roof replacement if your existing roof is nearing its lifespan.

A strong, durable roof is one that keeps out moisture as well as hot and cold temperatures. Roof replacement may be more of a necessity than you might think, so slow down, and make the time to thoroughly inspect your roof. Or…contact a professional roofing contractor to inspect it. They will guide you in evaluating your available options.

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