Contractor Tips Blog

Jun
24

4 Environmentally Friendly Roofing Options

Posted in Roofing

Most people are more conscious of how the items they use impact the environment. This includes using products that are either recyclable or made from recycled materials. When it comes to home improvements, one of the largest material items you may need to buy is a new roof. If you want to be environmentally-conscious, you will want to choose a roofing material that is either recyclable or made from recycled materials. Here are four of the best environmentally-friendly roofing options.

Wood Shingles

While chopping down trees is not necessarily environmentally-friendly, wood shingles can still be a good choice. They are recyclable and last for close to twenty years. Choose a brand that uses recycled wood for the greenest choice.

Slate

Not only are slate tile roofs beautiful, they can last up to a hundred years. Stone is always recyclable and some slate tiles used for roofing have been salvaged from other buildings, reducing impact on the environment caused by mining.

Metal

Many metal roofs can last for fifty or more years and they are recyclable. Metal roofs are a durable and cost-effective choice when looking at eco-friendly roofing options.

Clay

Insulating, beautiful and recyclable, clay tiles are a great choice for a green roof. These are most popular in the hotter climates as they reflect heat and add an air cushion to insulate the home.

If you want to be eco-conscious when buying your next roof, talk to your roofing contractor about the green options available. Even asphalt shingles come in eco-friendly varieties made from recycled materials. By making an informed decision, you can find the best roof for your needs that will have the least negative impact on the planet.

Posted on behalf of:
Atwood Home Builders
227 W 8
th Ave
Homestead, PA 15120
(412) 638-1262

May
9

Protect Your Roof from Ice Damage

Posted in Roofing

Winters can be rough on your roof. Colder temperatures can bring ice and snow that can cause damage to your roof. Ice dams and heavy snow can put stress on the roof, leading to leaks and other serious roof problems. When winter brings those freezing temperatures, make sure to protect your roof from ice damage that can result in costly repairs or replacement.

Preventing Roof Ice Damage

The key to protecting roofs from cold weather damage is not to allow snow or ice buildup. Snow accumulation can put hundreds of pounds of stress on a roof; it can collapse under the weight of snow. Snow melting and re-freezing can cause ice to form, which can occur under shingles and flashing, as well as create ice dams. Some prevention tips to minimize risks from snow and ice to your roof include:

  • Shovel or remove snow after each heavy snowfall
  • Keep attic well insulated and cool – warmth escaping can melt snow and create ice
  • Clear ice dams, icicles and ice in gutters
  • Watch for evidence of leaks to avoid more serious damage
  • Clean roof and gutters before the cold weather arrives

Ice and snow can cause extensive damage to shingles and flashing, allowing leaks to occur. This can cause thousands of dollars of damage to your home, as well as put your home at risk for mold. Preventing roof damage from cold weather is crucial and repairing any issues quickly should also be a priority.

If there are any concerns about damage to your roof from snow or ice, make sure to schedule a professional inspection with a roofing expert. It is best to catch winter damage early and make any repairs needed to protect your roof and your home.

Posted on behalf of:
Atwood Home Builders
227 W 8
th Ave
Homestead, PA 15120
(412) 638-1262

Apr
16

Storm Damage? Why You Should Have a Professional Roof Inspection

Posted in Roofing

When snow, hail or wind storms hit, they can cause substantial damage to your home. The roof is the most vulnerable, especially when ice, hail and falling debris are hitting the shingles. Once the storm passes, you need to assess your roof and determine whether it needs repair. If you believe there may be damage to your roof, it is best to have a professional roofing company perform an inspection. Here is why it is worth calling in a pro to check for storm damage to your roof.

  • Safety. First and foremost, climbing up to your roof can be dangerous, especially after a storm. There may be slippery or weak areas that can be hazardous. Let a professional that has the training and right equipment handle this risky job for you.
  • Expertise. Roofing experts know what to look for when inspecting storm damage. What may look like just a few loose shingles to your eye may be much worse. A roofing pro knows how to assess the damage and determine what needs to be done to restore your roof. This can help prevent leaks and further damage to your home.
  • Estimates and repairs. If there is damage, you have a professional that can give you an accurate estimate on how much your roof will cost to repair. This will give you a head start on the repair process and information to provide to your homeowner insurance company.

Next time there is a major storm and you think your roof may have been damaged, pick up your phone and call a roofing professional to schedule an inspection. It is the best way to get an accurate assessment of your roof and begin repairs if needed.

Posted on behalf of:
Atwood Home Builders
227 W 8
th Ave
Homestead, PA 15120
(412) 638-1262

Feb
26

Avoid Storm Chasers When You Need Roof Repair

Posted in Roofing

It seems that in every type of natural disaster and other calamities that there are always disreputable people trying to take advantage of the victims. Storm chasers are the bottom-feeders of the contractor industry, preying on those that have had extensive roof and home damage from hail or other types of storms. They sweep into an area after a storm, offering quick and cheap repairs, but the only thing they leave behind is more damage to the victims that give them their money.

Spotting a Storm Chaser

Storm chasers are notorious for blanketing neighborhoods where storms hit and offering their services. They may show up and knock on your door, giving you a flyer or business card with a smile, claiming they can fix your roof damage right away. When storms hit an area, the legitimate roofing contractors are often swamped with calls for quotes, estimates and repairs. Having someone show up to your door can be a relief, but if it seems too good to be true, it often is.

There are a few notable differences that you can spot with storm chasers. For one, they are rarely from the area. They may have a 1-800 number or a phone number from out of state. This is your first clue to do a little more research. Check to see if they are even licensed or insured in your state by making a quick call. Check the Better Business Bureau and see if they are listed at all or have previous complaints.

Storm chasers often take a down payment for roof repairs, then disappear without doing any work. Or, they do repair the roof, but use shoddy materials and methods that do not last. When a leak occurs months down the road, they are long gone, and you are stuck with the repair bill.

Avoid storm chasers by sticking with a local roofing contractor with a solid reputation in your community. You may need to wait a little longer, but it worth the inconvenience to ensure your roof repair is done by someone you can trust.

Posted on behalf of:
Atwood Home Builders
227 W 8
th Ave
Homestead, PA 15120
(412) 638-1262

Jan
25

DIY Vs Professional Roofing Replacement

Posted in Roofing

Many homeowners are good with a hammer or power tools, fixing many issues on their home with DIY methods. While this can save money on minor repairs, it is important to consider the pros and cons when attempting major installation projects. The roof of a building is one of the most crucial elements for protecting the structure from moisture and weather damage. Before you consider trying to replace your roof yourself versus hiring a professional roofing contractor to save some money, consider what it may cost you in the long run.

Experience and Expertise

Unless you work for a roofing contractor or did this work in the past, it is likely that you do not have the experience and expertise that is vital to ensuring a roofing system will be properly installed to last. A small mistake can be costly and when it is your home that will be impacted, you want a professional that has the knowledge, tools and training to install your new roof right.

Warranty

Many roofing materials come with a solid warranty, but only if they are installed by a professional. Many roofs can come with 20 or 30-year warranties, even lifetime warranties on materials. Doing it yourself may save you money on your new roof now, but if you have problems down the road, you will be the one paying for repairs or replacements without a warranty.

If you want to fix a loose fence board or replace a door in your home to save money, that is great if you have the skills. But when it comes to your roof, it is worth the investment in a professional contractor for installation to ensure it is done right and guaranteed for years to come.

Posted on behalf of:
Atwood Home Builders
227 W 8
th Ave
Homestead, PA 15120
(412) 638-1262

Oct
4

4 Big Benefits of Replacing Your Old Roof

Posted in Roofing

There are a few home improvements that are considered major expenses, one of them being replacing your roofing. While it may be more fun to spend the money on a new pool for your home, roofing is not a luxury; it is a necessity. If you have been putting off replacing your old roof just because it is not leaking yet or creating any problems, maybe now is the time to finally purchase that new roof. Here are four big benefits to replacing your old roof.

  1. Energy efficiency. Did you know your roofing can help improve energy efficiency in your home? The materials available today can help insulate and protect your home to keep it cool in the summer and warmer in the winter, saving you money on cooling and heating.
  2. Aesthetics. An old roof can detract from the beauty of your home. Adding a new roof can give your home a makeover, especially with the stylish options available in modern roofing.
  3. Protection. Your roof is the main source of protection from the elements for your home. A sturdy, durable roof can protect your home during storms and natural disasters that may come your way.
  4. Prevent damage. Don’t wait for that old roof to begin leaking, causing you more expense when you need it replaced. Be proactive and replace it now to prevent water and other damage to your home.

A new roof adds value, protection and beauty to your home. If you have been procrastinating on buying a new roof, now is the time to stop. Get a new roof installed before the winter storms hit to protect your home for many years to come.

Posted on behalf of:
Atwood Home Builders
227 W 8
th Ave
Homestead, PA 15120
(412) 638-1262

Jul
20

Take Your Shingles from Shabby to Chic

Posted in Roofing

Does your roof look shabby? An old roof is more than just an aesthetic issue – it can leak, causing thousands of dollars of water and mold damage to your home. If your shingles are falling apart, it is time to consider roof replacement. Not only will a new roof protect your home, it can give your house a new look. Go from shabby to chic with these roofing options.

Metal Roofing

Metal roofs offer longevity and can be a beautiful option for your home. Metal roofing has improved in appearance, with more aesthetic options than those in the past. They are also easy to maintain. You want to choose a good quality metal roof – aluminum roofs are inexpensive, but can easily dent or sustain damage in hail and other storms.

Tile or Slate Singled Roofs

Two of the most beautiful options for roofing are tile and slate shingles. They offer a stunning topping for your home and come in different colors and shingle sizes. However, these are premium options and two of the more expensive types of roofing available.

Asphalt Shingle Roofing

Tried and true, asphalt roofing is one of the most cost-effective options to re-roof your home. It is also the most used option in the U.S. There are many different levels of asphalt roofing – some shingles come with lifetime or 50-year warranties, which can protect your investment.

A new roof can change the look of your home – a great asset if you plan on selling your home in the future. Talk to your local roofing contractor about the different roofing options to decide which is best for your needs and budget.

Posted on behalf of:
Atwood Home Builders
227 W 8th Ave
Homestead, PA 15120
(412) 638-1262

May
16

FAQs About Getting a New Roof

Posted in Roofing

Are you considering replacing your roof? Most people only buy a new roof once or twice in their lifetime, so it is not something they do often. It is common to have questions on what to expect. Here are some frequently asked questions and answers about getting a new roof.

How much will a new roof cost?

Unfortunately, the most commonly asked question is not easily answered. The amount depends on the size, type of roofing, number of peaks and many other variables. You need a quote based on your home and roof type.

Is asphalt the best type of roofing?

Asphalt shingles are the most popular type of roofing used in the U.S. They are cost effective and depending on the type you get, they can last 20, 30 or more years. There are other options like wood, metal and tile, which are all high-quality; they tend to be more expensive, but some can last longer than asphalt.

How long will it take to replace my roof?

Having the roof replaced on your home can seem invasive, but most roofs can be replaced in less than a week, weather permitting. Some smaller homes with simple roofs can be completed in a day or two, with larger, more complex roofing systems requiring a several days.

How do I choose a contractor?

It is a good idea to vet your contractor – do not base your decision on price alone. Do your research to find a local contractor with an excellent reputation. You want a good warranty and guarantee from a reputable contractor with experience – be wary of low bids from contractors without a reliable track record.

This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the questions you may have about getting a new roof. Talk to a trusted local roof contractor to get answers to all your questions before you sign a contract to get a new roof.

Posted on behalf of:
Atwood Home Builders
227 W 8th Ave
Homestead, PA 15120
(412) 638-126

Mar
31

What Home Repairs Do You Need After Storm Damage?

Posted in Roofing

After a severe storm, your home could need repair. Hail, high winds, falling limbs and other elements can cause damage to your home. While roof damage is usually the biggest concern, this is not the only component on your home that may need repair or replacement. When you call to have a post-storm inspection done on your home, here are areas to have your contractor check for damage:

  • Even if the roof looks like it is intact, damage to shingles or seams in metal roofing can be affected. Have a qualified roof contractor do a thorough inspection of your roof to avoid problems down the road.
  • Have any siding panels sustained damage due to hail or falling limbs? Even a small crack or loose panel should be repaired, especially when you are submitting an insurance claim for other damage.
  • Fascia and soffit. Make sure that every component of your roofing structure is inspected for possible issues, including fascia and soffit.
  • Windows. Obviously if a window is broken, it will need to be replaced. Also, check the trim, shutters and other components around the windows for any damage.

To make it simpler for repair and insurance purposes, hire a contractor to complete your inspection that offers repair on all these major components. It will save time and frustration to have one contractor that can fix all your exterior issues at one time. This eliminates needing several bids from roofing, siding and window contractors, simplifying the process.

Storm damage to your home is almost always covered under most homeowner’s insurance policies. Make sure you get a complete and detailed inspection to cover every repair caused by the latest storm to get the most out of your insurance policy.

Posted on behalf of:
Atwood Home Builders
227 W 8th Ave
Homestead, PA 15120
(412) 638-1262

Jan
23

Roof Valley Flashing Matters

Posted in Roofing

When it comes to roof quality, valley flashing is one of the secrets of a durable, long-lasting roofs, yet many homeowners do not even know what it is. When your roof has different parts that meet for various peaks and parts of the home, the joints are referred to as valleys. These concave areas attract moisture and are the most likely to be saturated during rain and snow. Valley flashing is the material used to seal these joints and protect your roof and home, making it a very important element.

Valley flashing is usually made from metal and is needed to secure the joints on your roof and protect them from leaks. Once the roofing material is put on, you cannot see the valley flashing, but it needs to be there performing its job. Unfortunately, if not installed correctly or if it becomes worn or corroded, it can lead to a major problem with your roof. 

Problems with Valley Flashing

If installed correctly, your valley flashing should last with your roofing and protect your home from leaks. However, there are some poor flashing practices that can create issues with your roof valleys. These can include:

  • Not extending the flashing beyond the eaves
  • Using metal that is corrosive
  • Putting holes in the center of the valley for fasteners

Even if your roof looks great, if the flashing underneath is not high quality, you could have expensive damage occur to your home when heavy rain or snow hits. Valley flashing matters, so it is important to discuss the type of flashing that will be used when you have a new roof installed. Choose a quality roofing contractor and make sure to talk about the valley flashing that will be installed with your roof.

Posted on behalf of:
Atwood Home Builders
227 W 8th Ave
Homestead, PA 15120
(412) 638-1262

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