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.

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.

Extend Roof Life with These Tips

extend roof life

A new roof is no small investment – $20,142 on average for fiberglass asphalt shingles, according to Remodeling magazine’s annual Cost vs. Value Report, now in its fourteenth year. That is not to say, however, that it is without its rewards. A new roof can net you a return on investment of $14,446 or 71.7%.

If replacement is your ultimate goal, you may want to consider installing either a metal roof or tile roof, as they can last twice as long. Preventative maintenance measures, such as those that follow, will extend roof life and keep you from having to replace it prematurely. Here’s what you need to do to extend roof life.

Catch Problems Early

One of the best preventative maintenance measures you can do to extend roof life luckily costs no money at all. You should routinely look for any obvious signs of damage – especially after every big wind, rain, hail or snow storm. Here’s what you should train yourself to look for:

  • Moss growth
  • Torn, cracked, or missing shingles
  • Detached gutters and downspouts
  • Damaged flashing around vents, chimneys, skylights, and other openings

Clean the Gutters

A gutter clogged with leaves, sticks, and other debris can cause the roof’s raters or sheathing to rot. Fixing that type of damage can be costly, but you can avoid it by thoroughly cleaning your gutters each fall and spring, or as needed. You can either hire someone to clean your gutters or do it yourself.

Trim Overhanging Branches

Trimming any trees in close proximity to your home goes a long way towards keeping leaves off your roof, and out of your gutters, as well as keeping your roof free from damage. Overhanging branches can cause abrasion, which can later lead to damaged shingles, especially in high winds. Branches should be kept 10 feet away from your roof.

Have the Roof Professionally Inspected

Homeowners should have their roof professionally inspected annually. Why? Even the most durable roof can have some weaknesses or become damaged due to extreme weather conditions, such as, wind, rain, snow and hail. A professional can provide you with an accurate assessment on the roof’s condition. They will:

  • Perform a thorough interior roof inspection.
  • Perform a thorough exterior roof inspection.
  • Create a course of action, if any repairs are required.
  • Provide a written detailed estimate with recommended solutions.

Roofing 101

roofing 101

When replacing an old roof or building a home from scratch, it is important to understand the roofing jargon that to you may simply sound like something from a 007, or science fiction movie. In Roofing 101 we explain the basics of roofing shapes, materials, and vocabulary so that you can make the most informed decision when diving into any roofing project: whether repair or new roofing.

Roofing 101: Shapes

  • Gable
  • Hip
  • Mansard
  • Gambrel
  • Shed

Roofing 101: Materials

Asphalt Shingles: With more than 75% of all homes being built with asphalt shingles, these shingles are the most commonly used material in the United States. And for good reason, considering they are the least expensive option, and provide for the easiest installation.  Although their lifespan isn’t the best, they should last 15 to 30 years. Asphalt shingles are available in two types: organic and fiberglass.

Tile Roofs: Concrete and clay tiles are manufactured in a vast variety of colors, to compliment most any Mediterranean, European, Mission, and contemporary or ranch-style home. Tile roofs have the longest life expectancy of any other roofing material. Centuries old tile roofs are still enduring today. Tile roofs are built to withstand most anything Mother Nature throws at them and are Class A fire resistant.

Metal Roofs: Metal roofs can be manufactured using a variety of materials, including copper, aluminum and stainless steel. They are commonly seen on bungalow, ranch, contemporary, and cottage style homes. Highly durable, and resistant to adverse weather, metal roofs are expected to last 50 years or more. Metal roofs are also endlessly recyclable; making them a viable choice for eco-friendly homeowners.

Roofing 101: Vocabulary

Coverage: The degree of weather protection offered by a roofing material: single, double or triple coverage.

Cricket: A built-up barrier to divert runoff around a chimney or at a transitional area.

Decking/Sheathing: The surface, usually plywood or oriented strand board (OSB), to which roofing materials are applied.

Dormer: A small structure projecting from a sloped roof, usually with a window.

Drip Edge: L-shaped pieces of metal installed around the perimeter of a house to help prevent water from dripping behind the fascia boards or cap.

Eaves: Parts of a roof that project beyond or overhang the face at the lower edge of a sloped roof.

Exposure: Specifically, exposure to weather: the distance from the butt edge of one shingle to another.

Fascia: A flat board, band or face located at a cornice’s outer edge.

Fasteners: What holds the roofing material on top of the house (nails or screws).

Felt/Underlayment: A sheet of asphalt-saturated materials (often called tar paper) used as a secondary layer of protection for the roof deck.

Fire Rating: System for classifying the fire resistances of various materials. Roofing materials are rated Class A, B or C. Class A materials, such as tile, have the highest resistance to fire originating outside the structure.

Flashing: Usually metal, this material is installed to prevent the infiltration of water into a transition, such as around chimneys and pipes.

Louvers: Slatted devices installed in a gable or soffit (the underside of eaves) to ventilate the space below a roof deck and equalize air temperature and moisture. OSB: roof deck panels (4 feet by 8 feet) made of narrow bits of wood, installed lengthwise and crosswise in layers, and held together with a resin glue.

Peak: The very top area of the roof, usually covered with a ridge vet or ridge cap.

Penetrations: Objects that penetrate the roof’s deck, such as vents, pipes and chimneys.

Rake: The inclined edge of a pitched roof over an end wall.

Ridge Vent: A vent that runs the entire length of the roof, allowing air to escape.

Square: The amount of roofing material required to cover 10 square feet of roof surface.

Soffits: The finished underside of a sloped roof.

Transitions: Areas of the roof where the pitch/slope or angle changes.

Valley: An internal angle or water runway formed by the intersection of two slopes in a roof.

8 Must-Do’s for Winter Maintenance

winter maintenance

Fall is here which means winter is near! As the cold weather nears, now is a good time to prepare your home for the shift in weather conditions with these essential winter maintenance tips, no matter where you live.

  1. Tune Up Your Heating System

Brrr…it’s going to be a cold one. Make sure your heating system will get you through the winter months by scheduling an annual furnace tune-up. A technician will inspect your furnace to be sure the system is clean and in good working order. If you act now, you’ll minimize your risk of needing emergency repair services during freezing temperatures.

  1. Adjust Your Ceiling Fans

Adjust your ceiling fans so that the fan’s blades run in clockwise direction. Do this after you’ve turned on your heat. Energy Star states that this will produce an updraft, which pushes heated air down from the ceiling. Set your thermostat down a few degrees. This simple task affords you both energy and monetary savings.

  1. Prevent Icicles & Ice Dams

Winter brings snow-packed roofs to Colorado residents. That’s a given. As the snow starts melting damaging icicles and ice dams can occur. Take steps to prevent potential damage this year by ensuring that there is adequate roof ventilation as well as sealing gaps that allow warm air to pass into the attic from the house.

  1. Inspect Your Roof

Inspecting your roof is one task that’s easy to overlook. Don’t! With a pair of trusty binoculars in hand, scan your roof for damaged, loose or missing shingles. Look at the condition of the flashing too. Back inside, check for daylight peeking through cracks or worn spots in your roof {Tip: the attic provides the perfect vantage point}.

  1. Clean the Gutters

If your gutters are clogged, water can back up against the house, potentially damaging your home’s roof, siding, and trim. Clogged gutters can also result in leaks and ice dams. Using your gloved hands or a trowel, carefully remove any detritus from the gutters, and any residue from the roof shingles. Follow up by thoroughly flushing the gutters out.

  1. Clean Your Fireplace & Chimney

You should make sure your fireplace, chimney, and vents are clean prior to burning the Yule log. This will prevent chimney fires and prevent carbon monoxide poisonings. Search for a certified chimney sweeper at Chimney Safety Institute of America. A professional will inspect and thoroughly clean your fireplace and chimney.

  1. Caulk Around Your Doors & Windows

Caulking around your windows and doors are small projects that can have a big impact on how much energy and money you save. It’s a project that rewards you throughout the year; not just during the winter. Do-it-yourselfers of any skill can easily caulk and weather-strip their entire home in a short amount of time.

  1. Restock on Winter Essentials

Don’t delay – restock on ice melt or ice before the first winter storm hits. If you have one, check to make sure your snow blower is properly maintained, and ready to go. Replace damaged or worn shovels, sleds, and winter toys well ahead of the crowds {if applicable to your situation}.

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