Archive for the ‘Roofing’ Category

How to effectively maintain your roof and avoid leakages

Homeowners need to maintain their roof regularly in order to prevent leakages. A bad roof should never be tolerated since it can lead to other household issues like mold overgrowth, rotten walls and disruption of power cables. Moreover, hiring an expert to replace worn-out roofs can cost 1,000s of dollars for those who are not ready to do it on their own. Below are some steps that you can use to maintain your own home, so as to avoid incurring unnecessary expenses.

What to look out for:

  1. It’s recommendable to inspect it during fall and spring season while cleaning the gutters, look for absent, damaged or bending shingles as they are a sign of wearing out. 
  2. Check whether there are any algae or fungus growing on the sides, if they are present then install lead or zinc control strips to stop them. 
  3. Seal off any cracked mortars or chimneys if they look like they are deteriorated, this would help prevent rain water from gushing into the house in case there’s a downpour. 

If you notice any signs of dripping such as dark spots around the ceiling then take immediate action, such leaks can get worse if they are not attended to soon. This simple step would save you from spending extra money repairing a bigger patch in the future. 

Other maintenance tips that can help:

  1. Remember to regularly sweep away excess debris from the roof so that they don’t exert pressure and cause it to bulge down when in excess.
  2. Moreover, trim away branches that may be hanging across the surface to prevent unnecessary damage and keep pesky animals like raccoons and squirrels at bay. 
  3. During snow season a thick crust of frost may accumulate at the tiles and this may cause them to collapse if not removed in time. If faced with this problem, carefully drag away the deposits using a standard rack while also taking care not to scratch the material. 

Furthermore, if you notice a problem with the ridges it would be appropriate to use cut singles instead of caps which tend to be more expensive. Roof maintenance should preferably be done with a tarp on the side to cover the unfinished roof should there be an impromptu storm. Otherwise, the rain may destroy everything that you have been working for in the last few hours. In conclusion, be extra cautious when doing roof maintenance and replacement or else you may fall down. For maximum safety it’s advisable not to work alone.

How to find a roofing contractor ?

Replacing a roof can indeed cost a small fortune.  For larger homes, it will cost more.  If you are doing this as a necessary upgrade because of a devastating natural disaster, you will be paying for this out of pocket and not relying on your home insurance company to be writing a check.  Researching local roofing contractors can indeed be an eye opener.

Get as many estimates as you can from contractors who are experienced.  If you want to change from shingles to Mexican clay tiles, you need someone who has done this over and over.  In other words, don’t just go by estimates but even consider the experience of the contractor in your wished changes.

Before getting estimates, however, you should have your own work plan written down.  Without this, you will be getting estimates on work you don’t need, understand, or want.

When the contractors show up for the estimate, watch what they are looking at.  If someone wants to add services you didn’t know you need, or you don’t believe you need, ask other contractors if they see the same problem.  For instance, if you have a roof leak over your kitchen yet one contractor is telling you that you must have your entire roof replaced, don’t do anything until you get a second or even third opinion.

Don’t go after the lowest estimate, either.  Typically you get what you pay for.  If there is a reason you like the lowest estimate – the contractor is local, has great references, or can start the next day – ask how he can do the work so cheaply.  This is important to know.  He may already have the supplies from a canceled project, or maybe work is slow.  You need to find out for sure that he isn’t missing anything important.

Look for a contractor who is licensed, insured and bonded to ensure that you are getting the right person for the job. Contractors listed on HireContractor.com typically include detailed profiles with past projects, insurance, license, certification and reference information. It’s also a good idea to find contractor ratings at hirecontractor.com.

On his estimate look for something that includes the cost of cleanup.  Many installers forget about this and do a very ineffective job of removing trash and debris.

Next important factor to understand is your financial obligations.  A deposit is sometimes required, but the amount, the reason, and the method are what you need to think about.  If a contractor tells you he wants a deposit to make sure he is being paid, he already knows he can put a lien on your house until he’s paid in full.  If he needs supplies, offer to buy your own or even go with him and pay for them yourself.  Try not to give him too much cash up front.  Some people can take the money and disappear forever, or at least, not show up for weeks or months. Discuss the payment plan with the contractor where you can pay the contractor in a progressive manner (3 to 4 installments) as the work is getting done which makes it easy for both of you.

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