4 Warning Signs of a Failing Roof

failing roof

Ceiling stains, loose granules, cracked vent pipes, and damaged shingles are just four warning signs of a failing roof. If any of these problems present themselves, contact a professional, licensed roofing contractor in your area for roof repair or roof replacement. Keep in mind, though: If the roof is nearing its life expectancy – 20 years for asphalt shingles – or the damage is extensive, roof replacement is often your best bet.

Ceiling Stains

Stains on your ceilings or exterior walls are a key symptom of roof leaks. Left unchecked, even the smallest leak can compromise the roof’s integrity and ultimately, your home. Because locating the leak can be difficult – it has usually traveled by the time the stain becomes visible – it is advisable to contact a licensed roofing contractor in your area to assess the damage. The roofer will discuss all available options for repairing the leak with you at time of appointment. Routine roof maintenance is the best way to prevent potential leaks and other warning signs of a failing roof.

Damaged Shingles

Once a year, and especially following any big storms, inspect the roof for obvious signs of damage. Torn, curled, or missing shingles can usually be seen from the ground; use binoculars as needed. Damaged shingles can leave the roof deck or underlayment exposed to the elements and, therefore, should be replaced immediately to prevent the roof failing further. If the roof is relatively new and in sound shape, with only a few damaged shingles, individual shingle replacement may be a viable option. However, if the damage is extensive or the roof older, then roof replacement may be required.

Loose Granules

Granules work to protect asphalt shingles from the sun’s harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays. Over time, typically as the roof ages, granules will lose their adhesive properties and can be found in shingles and/or on the ground. Excessive granule loss, however, is cause for alarm as the roof can deteriorate at a much faster rate. This often results after prolonged exposure to hail and wind. Material quality, preventative maintenance, and local climate conditions can also influence the number of granules lost. Piles of granules, depending on the cause, may indicate a need for roof repair or replacement.

Cracked Vent Pipes

As part of the home’s plumbing system, vent pipes help to ensure the efficient drainage of fixtures such as sinks, tubs and toilets. These pipes can be all plastic, plastic and metal, or even cast-iron. Plastic pipes are susceptible to cracking, whereas, the seam around metal pipes can break. This can allow water to work its way into the house along its base. It’s a good idea to hire a local roofing contractor to inspect your vent pipes. If any of these issues are present, a new vent pipe is required, and should be professionally installed to avoid potential problems.

Spring into Home Maintenance

home maintenance

A homeowner’s to-do list can seem endless – especially come spring. As the weather warms up outside, prepare to donate items you don’t need, disinfect all the room in your house, free your gutters and downspouts of debris, and assess what repairs may be needed. Completing home maintenance tasks during the spring season will ensure your place smells, looks, and functions better than ever.

We created the following checklist to help you spring into home maintenance.

Clean Gutters and Downspouts

Even if you cleaned your gutters in the fall, it’s a good idea to complete this outdoor task again in the spring, and especially after a big storm. Be sure to check for areas where the gutters may have pulled away from the house as well as for loose granules in gutter bottoms. Loose granules may indicate the need for roof replacement. You can clean gutters and downspouts yourself or hire someone to do the job for you.

Replace Damaged Siding or Trim

When siding is rotten or damaged, it can let air, water, debris and insects into your home. It also can also cause the materials around it to decay prematurely. Repairing or replacing damaged shingles now can head off larger problems; saving you money. In mountain states like Colorado, replacing 1,250 square feet of existing siding with new siding has a 65.1 percent return on investment.

Inspect the Roof for Damage

Spring is one of the best times to inspect the roof. Look for shingles that are missing, brittle, curled, or damaged. Inspect the roof from inside the attic first, looking for any light that penetrates through the rafters, and then move outdoors. Once outside, use binoculars to check for noticeable damage. Always contact a local roofing professional for any repairs that may be needed.

Check Weatherstripping

If the weatherstripping around your home’s windows and doors is brittle or cracked, replace it. Weatherstripping helps to reduce drafts as well as block energy loss. You can find several different materials available at most any local hardware or home improvement store. The right one to choose will depend on the style of the window or door. Just cut to size and install according to manufacturer instructions.

Trim Overgrowth

Trim evergreen shrubs and other plants before new growth begins. Prune winter-damaged foliage as soon as possible to avoid additional insect or disease problems. For trees, only do light, selective trimming during the spring season. Experts agree that you should also avoid letting vines like wisteria grow directly on the house since they can damage the gutters, roof, and provide a “ladder” for rodents to use.

What Can Cause Roof Leaks?

roof leaks

Do you have to go running for a drip bucket every time it rains? Roof leaks are often a sign of a larger roofing issue. Issues resulting from natural deterioration; storm damage; clogged gutters; design flaws; ice dams; or lack of long-term care and maintenance. If roof leaks are left unchecked it could mean an investment in both time and money. Here are some of most common causes of roof leaks.

The Roof’s Age

The life expectancy of a roof is dependent on several variables, including roofing materials and the climate you live in, as well as the quality of installation and long-term care and maintenance. Longevity can also be impacted by shingle color, roof slope, and surface orientation. Most experts agree that a typical roof will last between 20 and 25 years. If the roof leaks and is older than this, you may need a new roof.

Clogged Gutters

Your gutters are meant to help water travel away from the roof and foundation. When a blockage forms – as can happen after a storm – that travel stops. Rainwater or snow runoff can then backup, which can cause leaks or attract unwanted pests, and potentially lead to bigger problem.

How to fix it: At least twice a year (during the spring and fall), get up on a ladder, and pull out any debris using your hands. Flush the gutters with water until it runs clear. You can also purchase an extendable gutter cleaning tool kit or hire someone to do this for you.

Design Problems

Occasionally, roofs leak, sag or even collapse due to improper design and/or incompatible roof materials. A standard reroof is usually required to fix design-related problems. This is exactly why you should get three estimates with any home improvement project and be wary of choosing the lowest priced bid. Always hire a licensed and insured roofer.

Ice Dam Build Up

Icicles on your roof may look charming, but remember, looks can be deceiving. Typically, they are the calm before they storm; they are a sign that your roof is forming ice dams. An ice dam is a big, hard hunk of ice that forms when snow melts, runs off your roof and refreezes near the edge of your roof.

This only occurs when you have a problem with ventilation or air sealing – two issues that can also drive up energy costs. The best way to permanently stop ice dams is to have a professional evaluate your home’s attic ventilation, air sealing, and insulation. The ENERGY STAR program recommends that you insulate attic floors to R-49.

Additionally, if your ventilation system isn’t working or isn’t properly designed for the size of your home – a professional roofer should be contacted. Professional roofers can make repairs or install additional soffit vents without too much construction.

Lack of Regular Maintenance

Be honest: How often do your look at your roof? If you’re anything like most homeowners, you run in and out of the house, only glancing up at the roofline as you back out of the driveway or when your kid’s frisbee gets stuck up there. Regularly inspecting your roof, however, can prevent costly repairs down the road.

The National Roofing Contractors Association (NRCA) recommends you do a roof inspection at least two times a year – spring and fall. You may also want to inspect your roof after big storms. Grab a flashlight and make a trip to the attic to look for the following signs.

  • Natural light showing through the roof
  • Places where the roof deck is sagging
  • Signs of water damage or leaks
  • Trails of dark spots

Once you’ve inspected the roof’s interior, it’s time to move outdoors to look for damaged flashing; missing or buckling shingles; algae growth; an excessive amount of shingle granules in the gutters; and any other signs of damage. These all require immediate repair by a professional roofer.

Out with the Old and In with the New Roof

 

Year after year, Americans resolve to exercise more often, manage their time better and/or pad their savings accounts. New Year’s resolutions are certainly a great way to make a positive change (or two) in your life!

Another good New Year’s resolution? Vowing to make some home improvements – whether minor or major – in the coming year. One place to start is your roof; especially if any of following conditions apply to your existing roofing system:

  • Moss growth
  • Dark streaks or stains
  • Missing or cracked shingles
  • Bald spots where granules are missing
  • Curled shingle edges or cupped shingle tabs
  • Your roof is at least 20 years old; while many shingles today are produced for durability, certain factors can lead to premature roof failure, including (but not limited to) inadequate ventilation and storm damage.

A new roof, professionally installed in either the fall or spring – barring emergency replacement – can help add curb appeal and will increase the perceived value of your home. This may be especially helpful if you intend to sell your Colorado residence in the foreseeable future. Additionally, return on investment (ROI) is right up there with major remodeling projects. such as renovating a kitchen or bath.

Would you like to receive more information on the different types of roofing materials available and the benefits of each? Contact the experts at Jenesis Roofing and receive a free roofing estimate. You can call us at (303) 789-1505 or find us at www.jenesisroofing.com.

Note: This post has been updated for 2018; the original blog can be found here.

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?

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.

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.

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