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

How To: Prevent Roof Damage

prevent roof damage

We see it too often. Homeowners ignoring their roofing system until something drastic happens. That “something” could be number of things, including a recent storm that’s pulled off some shingles, or a leak caused by clogged gutters. By this time the chance to prevent a major problem has passed you by. It shouldn’t be that way. There are several things you can easily do to prevent roof damage and save yourself the cost of repairing or replacing your roof.

Here are 4 ways you can prevent roof damage:

Ignoring debris

Twigs, branches, and leaves can cause water to dam up and leak inside your home. This is easily avoidable. We recommend trimming trees and removing dead branches so they won’t damage your home should they fall because of wind, ice or snow. Additionally, clear gutters and downspouts of debris, ensuring water flows freely. Clearing your gutters in the fall and spring will eliminate the potential for damage. If you notice something isn’t right with your gutters, don’t ignore it; contact a professional roofer.

Skipping maintenance

By keeping an eye on how your roofing system is functioning over the years, you can catch small issues before they become major problems, saving hundreds (possibly thousands) of dollars. It’s always recommended to have your roof inspected annually by a professional roofer, but in the meantime, there are certain signs you can be on the lookout for including: ponding water, damaged shingles or masonry, discoloration, leaks, sagging ceilings, mold and/or mildew, and loose granules.

Power washing your roof

Did you know? Power washing is one of the worst things you can do for your roof. In fact, too much pressure forces water under your shingles, which can result in mold and mildew growth on shingle and masonry roofs. Power washing can also wash away the granules that help to protect your home from water leaks. If your roofing material is sporting algae lines, you can hire a reputable roofing company that uses a “soft wash” cleaning method, approved by the Asphalt Roofing Manufacturers Association.

Hiring an unqualified roofer

Avoid being stuck with an unqualified roofer by doing your research; asking around to your friends, neighbors and relatives for referrals; checking references; and ensuring that the contractor you are interested in hiring is licensed and fully insured. Once you’ve narrowed down your search to no less than three local contractors, collect bids, also known as estimates or quotes. Remember to avoid choosing based on price. The adage “you get what you pay for” often holds true of the lowest bids.

Fortunately, roofs are designed for longevity – with some materials featuring a lifespan of 50 years or more, provided you care for them properly. At Jenesis Roofing, we can assist you with preventative maintenance to prevent roof damage. Our licensed, residential roofing technicians have years of experience, making them highly skilled at what they do. Our services include residential roofing repair, commercial roofing repair, new roof construction and remodels, gutter installation, ridge vent installation, and more. Insurance claims are welcome.

Contact us today at (303) 789-1505 for a free estimate.

Spring Maintenance Checklist

spring home maintenance

Ahhhhh, Spring! From cleaning gutters and windows to purging clutter and inspecting your roof, our spring maintenance checklist will get your home in tip top shape so you can relax and enjoy the long, lazy summer ahead.

Exterior Spring Maintenance Checklist

Clean gutters and downspouts – Clogged gutters can damage your home’s eaves and foundation when rainwater overflows. In preparation for spring showers, remove leaves, sticks and other small objects from your gutters. Make sure downspouts drain away from the foundation and, like your gutters, are free of any debris.

Inspect roof – Winter storms can take quite a toll on the roof. You should visually inspect your roof each spring. Look for curled or missing shingles, metal pipes that are damaged, or anything that simply doesn’t look right. If closer inspection or repair is needed, contact a professional roofing company, such as Jenesis Roofing.

Trim overgrowth – Spring is a good time to trim branches of shrubs and trees away from your house. It’s a good idea to keep branches 5 to 7 feet away from your house to avoid moisture problems down the line. You’ll also help discourage wildlife from nesting in your eaves or attic.

Re-seal windows – Drafty windows have the potential to hike your cooling bill beyond your comfort zone. To fix you can add plastic weather stripping along the sides of the sashes or remove the old caulk and replace with new. If your windows are not double-paned, you may want to consider replacing them with an energy-efficient model.

Interior Spring Maintenance Checklist

Change smoke detector batteries – Back inside, change out the batteries in your home’s smoke detectors, as well as its carbon monoxide detectors with fresh 9Vs. This should be done every six months – once in the spring and again in the summer. While you’re at it, test them to ensure they’re working properly.

Reduce water heater temperature – One good way to control energy costs is to reduce the temperature on your water heater. In fact, per the U.S. Department of Energy, turning down the temperature 10˚F can save you 3 to 5 percent on energy costs. Double that if you lower it from 140˚F to 120˚F.

Redirect ceiling fans – If you switched the direction of your home’s ceiling fans for the winter, now is the time to switch them back, ensuring they circulate counterclockwise to force air down rather than up. This will help to reduce your air conditioning costs during the summer months.

Clean your windows – Spring clean your windows – inside and out – using a store-bought or homemade window cleaner (one cup rubbing alcohol, one cup water, and a tablespoon of white wine vinegar will work wonders) and either a squeegee or microfiber cloth. Avoid cleaning in direct sunlight to eliminate streaks.

The 7 Most Common Roof Problems

common roof problems

Depending on material, a roof can last thirty years or more, but that is not to say it cannot be damaged or fail prematurely. Falling debris, high winds, ice dams…these are just of the problems that can cause you to need roof repair or replacement. Structural issues with roof vents, flashing, and the chimney can also cause damage. Here are the seven most common roof problems you should watch for.

Common Roof Problems

Trees – Overhanging tree limbs can rub on a roof, abrading the surface of the shingles and wearing away the protective top layer. Branches can also break off, fall on your roof, and cause even more serious damage. Limbs should be trimmed back away from the roof as much as possible to avoid damage caused by trees.

Ice Dams – Formed when melted snow refreezes on your roof, ice dams are not only structurally damaging, they can also present a dangerous situation should they fall. Ice dams can also cause your roof’s underlayment to become wet, leading to bacterial growth, such as mold or mildew.

High Winds – Regardless of material, shingles are susceptible to high winds, which can cause them to lift, damaging the integrity of your roofing system. Lighter shingles, like asphalt and composition are more prone to lifting up, while tile shingles are less likely to be affected by bad weather.

Bad Ventilation – Ventilation is an integral part of making a roof last, and is something that occurs naturally when vents are placed at the roof’s base and top, so that the flow of air is not impeded. Adequate ventilation regulates temperature and moisture levels in the attic as well as helps to prevent the occurrence of ice dams. Inadequate ventilation, on the other hand, can lead to a host of problems including: damage, high energy costs, and bacterial growth.

Structural Issues – Faulty installation at the start, excessive weight from snow and ice, and years of neglect can all dramatically increase the likelihood of structural issues, significantly reducing a roofing system’s life expectancy. If your roof has structural problems, there will be telling signs all throughout the house.

Backed Up Gutters – Failure to clean your gutters can prevent rainwater from running off efficiently. With nowhere to go, water can pool up, pressing moisture into the plywood that forms the roof’s foundation causing a number of problems such as roof leaks, bacterial growth, and rotting. It doesn’t take much to avoid this damage. Clean out debris twice per year and test the gutters to ensure proper drainage.

Lack of Maintenance – It should go without saying that maintaining a sound roof is crucial. Routinely inspecting and maintaining your roofing system can extend its life, saving you the cost of a complete roof replacement – although replacement should be considered if your roof is older than 20 years, or it’s no longer structurally sound.

Professional Roof Repair

Addressing problems early on can save you money. This is because most problems start off small. However, problems left unchecked, can quickly lead to bigger issues. For professional roof inspection and maintenance, repair or replacement, contact the experts at Jenesis Roofing at (303) 789-1505.

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.

Fall Bucket List

fall bucket list

Please find below a list of fall bucket list activities that you and your family can enjoy in, and around Denver, Colorado this fall season.

[] Go apple picking at a local orchard

What better way to celebrate fall than picking your own apples at a local orchard – such as can be found at Ya Ya Farm and Orchard in Longmont. Don’t forget to press your own apple cider while you’re there!

[] Enjoy a Fall Beverage like a Pumpkin Spice Latte or hot apple cider

[] Take a fall foliage drive into the mountains

That’s right – road trip! The most amazing views of fall foliage can be found in Colorado’s mountain ranges. Plan on heading out early in the day to avoid crowds at the better-known mountain passes.

[] S’mores anyone?

[] Make leaf art

Bring nature’s beauty indoors with DIY leaf art. Simply gather some of your favorite leaves and/or flowers, flatten them under a heavy book, copy with a color photocopier, then glue the prints onto inexpensive canvas boards.

[] Decorate your home for the season

[] Find your way out

Make this fall season unforgettable. Head on over to the Denver Botanic Gardens at Chatfield Farms and get lost in their 8-acre Corn Maze. The farm offers activities that are fun for all ages including: mini-mazes, hayrides, jumping pillows, and pony rides.

[] Create a Jack O’ Lantern

[] Get your fright on

For those who enjoy feeling spooked, there is no shortage of haunted houses in, and around Denver. In October, Elitch Gardens transforms into family by day and fright by night, complete with all your favorite theme park rides.

[] Bake pies

[] Take part in the zombie crawl

For more than a decade, Denver has a celebrated tradition in which residents from all over Colorado share in the excitement of the Zombie Crawl, which takes place on Saturday, October 22, 2016 from noon to 6:00 PM at Skyline Park.

[] Have your roof professionally inspected

[] Clean your gutters

If you haven’t already, now is the perfect time to remove leaves, sticks and other debris from your gutters. Cleaning out debris-ridden gutters eliminates the risk of overflow and water damage.

Home Maintenance: Prepare Your Home for Fall

home maintenance

Fall is one of my favorite times of year (second after winter!). There are so many wonderful things that come with the changing of the seasons: leaves changing color, pumpkin spice everything, and crisp fall air. As we say goodbye, sweet summer, it’s wise to start preparing our homes for the season ahead. Here are a few home maintenance projects you can complete in preparation of the fall season.

#1. Clean Your Gutters: It is a good idea to remove leaves, sticks, and other small objects from your gutters once in the fall and again in the spring. Cleaning out debris-ridden gutters eliminates the risk of overflow and water damage. If your gutters are clogged, it can cause water to accumulate in areas of your roof, leading to an increased risk of decay, moisture and leaks. You can have your gutters professionally serviced or clean them yourself.

#2. Seal Air Leaks: Caulking or weatherstripping will help seal leaks around leaky doors and windows – helping you stay warm, save energy, and reduce heat loss. Other sources of air leaks include knee walls, attic hatch/opening, wiring holes, plumbing vents, and recessed lights. The Department of Energy has some useful tips on how to select and apply the appropriate caulk for your windows and doors. You can also learn how to choose and apply weatherstipping.

#3. Do a Roof Check: The National Roofing Contractors Association (NRCA) recommends a biannual roof inspection. An asphalt shingled roof has a lifespan of up to 20 years, whereas, a slate roof can last 50 years or more. While you can replace roof shingles without going through the hassle and expense of replacing the entire roof, it is important to take the time to really look for signs of deterioration, damage, and missing/loose shingles. If you’re unsure, hire an expert.

#4. Spring for a Chimney Sweep: If you have a wood-burning fireplace that you plan on using come winter, fall is the perfect time to make sure its chimney is inspected and cleaned. A clean chimney will also ensure that your fireplace is operating at its most efficient. Hire a professional chimney cleaning company, typically called a chimney sweep, for a clean and efficient fireplace. You can find certified chimney sweepers at the Chimney Safety Institute of America.

#5. Install a Programmable Thermostat: Installing a programmable thermostat can reduce your energy usage by automatically adjusting your home’s temperature settings while you’re away or sleeping. When used properly, a programmable thermostat can save up to $180 per year in energy costs, according to ENERGY STAR®. WiFi and smartphone controlled models, while more expensive, generally tend to pay for themselves in just one season.

#6. Ensure Your and Your Family’s Safety: As fall turns to winter, you will want to be diligent, making sure you and your family remain safe. Before winter hits, replace the batteries in your home’s smoke, heat, and carbon monoxide detectors. Test each one to make that they are working properly. Now is also a good time to draft or review a fire safety plan with your family. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) is a good resource for information on fire safety/escape plans.

Time for a New Roof?

time for a new roof

Wondering if you need to replace your existing roof?

Look for these six red flags to determine if it is time for a new roof.

  1. Roof Age

How old is your existing asphalt shingle roof? Slate, copper, and tile roofs can last more than 50 years. Wood shake roofs about 30 years, and asphalt shingle roofs up to 20 years, according to the National Association of Home Builders. Certain climate changes and weather conditions, such as snow and hail, can prematurely age all types of roofs. If your asphalt shingle roof is already 20 years of age or nearing 20, it’s time to consider replacing it.

  1. Roof Leaks

A leaking roof is one of the first signs that your roof needs replacement. It indicates that the roof’s flashing – metal sheeting installed around angles and joints to prevent the passage of water – needs to be addressed immediately to avoid water seeping inside. A leak should be taken care of as soon as it noticed. Leakage can lead to further problems if left unchecked for any length of time.

  1. Damaged Shingles

Any time you notice damage to your shingles, know that your roofing needs attention, now. Look for buckling or curling shingles, shingles that are losing granules, or shingles that are missing entirely. A roof with damaged shingles can never fully protect you against a Colorado winter, which is why you should immediately have your roof either repaired or replaced by a professional roofing contractor.

  1. Shingle Granules in Gutters

Regularly observe your gutters for any signs of shingle granules. Roofs often lose more granules as they get older. Excessive amounts of granules in your gutters is yet another sign that your roof is need of replacement. Inconsistent or darker colors on some parts of the roof also signifies the wearing of granules. Noticing some granules after roof replacement is totally normal and no cause for concern.

  1. Mold or Algae Growth

Having mold or algae growth on your roof is more than unsightly. Each can cause roof rot and lead to health problems for those residing inside the home. Mold and algae spores live in the air, but won’t grow on the roof unless the right conditions are there. You can avoid this unsightly growth through biannual roof inspections. Contact Jenesis Roofing to schedule this inspection today.

  1. Sunshine Through Roof Boards

You can spot some of the warning signs of an aging roof without ever having to step foot outside. Go into your attic to see if you can notice any outside light coming in through the roof boards. Other red flags to look for throughout your home include a sagging roof deck, water damage, and dark spots on the ceiling. If you notice any of these red flags, it is highly advisable that you contact a professional roofing contractor.

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