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4 Common Problems with Roof Supports

Tuesday, May 23rd, 2017

Although hidden away, roof supports do some of the hardest and most important work for your roof, keeping the structure from collapsing or warping over time. Roofing problems that affect supports are particularly dangerous, because they can endanger the entire roof. Here are some of the most frequent roofing problems that plague supports.

Weak Materials Chosen for the Wrong Jobs

Roof support systems are typically created with wood and sometimes steel beams. But that doesn’t mean that every beam is the same. Both positioning and materials are important: A heavier or longer roof may need to be supported with more durable beams.

Solid sawn beams may be used for small roofs, but ordinary timber often isn’t always up to the task. For larger rooftops, glue-laminated or laminated veneer beams should be used, because they are built to withstand the pressures of supporting larger roofs. Heavier or wider rooftops may need steel beams instead. Without the right materials, these supports won’t be effective at doing their job.

This problem works the other way, too: Changing how much the roof weighs, such as switching from shingles to cement tiles, puts more weight on the beams. Beams and similar supports should always be considered when making a major roof change.

Poor Bracing Decisions

For rafter-style rooftops, rafters typically require braces to help support the weight of the roof, especially for wider rooftops. Building braces are a vital part of rafter construction, and making poor choices can lead to serious roof problems down the road. Braces should always be built against interior walls that, in turn, act like solid supports of their own. However, rafters are not always braced correctly, which puts far too much weight on the brace itself and leads to collapse. Poorly braced rafters can also cause a sagging roof, crooked rooftops and other serious problems. Structural issues like these are difficult to solve without significant renovation. So if you notice these serious roof problems, be sure to let Findlay Roofing know.

Long-Term Leaks Causing Rot and Mold Growth

Bad leaks, such as those caused by animals looking for a new nest, long-term shingle damage or condensation from poorly ventilated attics, will soak roof supports repeatedly. Eventually, even the toughest supports will show signs of damage and rot. This will attract more pests while giving mold a place to grow. When this damage occurs, the supports definitely need to be replaced. Do you need solutions for your roofing problems? Contact a professional at Findlay Roofing today.

Photo Source: BigStock

Your Roofing Problems: Repair or Replace?

Thursday, May 18th, 2017

Sometimes roofing problems should be quickly repaired, but in other cases, replacing the full roof may be a better decision in the long run. In addition to considering the costs of repair vs. fully replacing a roof, you should also think about the type of damage and what that means for your roof. Here are several common cases, and why repair or replacement is a good idea.

A Windstorm Damaged Some Shingles

If your bare patches are in a few isolated areas, call Findlay Roofing and arrange for a repair. This isn’t usually a reason to consider a roof replacement; bad storms can damage even new rooftops, especially if they are hit with flying debris.

I’ve Had Several Leaks In the Past Couple of Years

What caused the leaks? If the leaks were created by clear, isolated incidents like a windstorm or pests doing damage, then you should focus on repairs and try to limit the cause. This might mean pest control, cutting down nearby trees or other remedies. If the leaks seem to be occurring for no clear reason, then your roof may have more serious age or damage issues and need to be replaced.

Moss Has Started to Cover My Roof

There are many serious moss-related roofing problems, so you certainly don’t want it on your roof. A large amount of moss suggests a replacement. For a small amount, you may want to ask for a roof inspection first to see how much damage has been done.

There’s Moisture Damage in the Underlayment

If water has made it past the underlayment, a layer installed under the main roofing material, it’s bad news. If you catch this problem very early on, a repair may be possible. Otherwise, look into a replacement option.

My Flashing Needs to Be Replaced

Damaged flashing around the roof edges or chimney can typically be replaced with a simple repair. However, if the damage has allowed significant moisture seepage, that’s a different set of roofing problems that may require a larger repair project.

A Bad Storm Damaged Several Shingles

Is the damage primarily on one side of the roof? Consider a partial replacement, which is often an effective solution for severe storm damage. Otherwise, discuss the costs of multiple repairs vs. replacement with a Findlay Roofing pro.

My Shingles Look Bare But There’s No Damage

Bare shingles without many granules is a common sign of an old roof. If your current roof is a few decades old, it may be time for a full roof replacement.

My Roof Is Crooked or Sagging in Places

A crooked roof line hints at serious structural problems beneath and often requires far more than a roof repair. A Findlay Roofing professional can do a full inspection and find the underlying problem.

Photo source: BigStock

Are Solar Panels Right For Your Roof?

Thursday, May 11th, 2017

Today’s efficient solar panels can help you save on electricity almost immediately after installation, even if the weather isn’t always sunny. But is your house ready for a solar panel installation? Let’s discuss what makes a roof a good candidate for this green, energy-saving option.

Roof Angle and Orientation

The more directly a solar panel can face the sky, the more efficient it will be. A steep roof pitch can be problematic, because this aims panels toward the horizon where it’s more difficult for them to absorb sun rays. Lower angles allow panels to face the sky, which is an ideal setup.

Also consider the direction that panels would face. Panels are most commonly placed to face west and south to get as much sunlight as possible. But direction is also affected by objects in the way of the panels. Trees, apartment buildings and other objects can get in the way of panels and make them far less useful.

Roof Space

Solar panels need a certain amount of level space on a roof. Narrow rooftops or roofs with a lot of vents, chimneys and skylights may not have enough space for a high-quality solar panel installation. Yes, you can install a single panel on most residential rooftops, but that is unlikely to generate enough extra energy to make the project worthwhile. These challenges make it important to have a quality inspection and estimate for any solar panel project.

Roof Materials and Condition

Certain roofing surfaces can better support panels than other materials. For residential rooftops, metal seam and clay tile rooftops are generally the best. The good news is that the average shingle roof works well too. However, the condition of the roof also matters. Contractors don’t like to put solar panels on an old or damaged roof. A solar installation project is also the right time to consider roof repairs or replacing that side of your roof to prepare for the change. Talk with Findlay Roofing to make sure that your roof can support a solar panel installation.

Installation and Pricing

Many homeowners are concerned about how much solar panels will cost, and how long the installation will take. Today’s residential installations are easier than ever before, and an average home solar panel project can be completed in a day or two. This also helps lower the price on initial costs, which tend to be around $3 to $4 per watt of power you receive in 2017. That means a 6k-watt project would cost around $15,000, although prices vary by location and home.

Homeowner Association Regulations

Many neighborhoods have Homeowner Association (HOA) regulations which dictate how your house must look. Solar panels aren’t usually a problem, but some HOA regulations may prevent or restrict them based on appearance. It’s important to review your HOA regulations to find out if you have any association obligations.

Photo source: BigStock

Common Roofing Problems for Southern Climates

Thursday, May 4th, 2017

The subtropical climate of Georgia, with its humidity, heat and storms, poses its own unique roofing problems for residential homes. Here are the top issues to be aware of and some tips on dealing with them.

Ponding and Lingering Water

In case you haven’t noticed, the Southeast can get a lot of precipitation! Unfortunately, frequent rainfall and high humidity encourage moisture to linger on rooftops. On flat roofs or rooftops with low slopes and unprotected valleys, this can lead to ponding water or puddles that stay for days. When water stays on a roof, it soaks into shingles and can cause significant damage, even rotting the underlayment beneath to create serious leak issues.

On rooftops with higher slopes, the long-term presence of moisture can cause different roofing problems, such as moss and algae growth.

Weak or Poorly Installed Shingles

Shingles can struggle in our climate. The high levels of moisture and the storms we experience tend to lower the lifespan of shingles considerably, which is why it’s so important to use thicker, weather-resistant shingles that are properly nailed down.

While thin shingles and quick installation may be less expensive in the short term, those types of shingles don’t last long during bouts of bad Georgia weather, requiring costly repairs a few years down the road. We frequently see rooftops with shingles that just aren’t equipped to handle the climate. Proper shingles should be of the highest quality, weather-resistant material and adequately nailed down, with considerations made for rooftops facing high winds.

Damaged Roof Components Left Unrepaired

Here, a single bad windstorm or hailstorm can crack shingles or blow them away entirely. Because this damage is frequently followed by more rain, it’s important to keep track of damaging tiles or shingles, and replace them quickly. Damaged roof materials are a frequent problem in this climate because they quickly open the way for worse leaks that seep down into underlayments, ruin roofing felt, and even cause structural damage.

It’s important to keep track of your roof’s condition and seek inspections from trusted, experienced local professionals like Findlay Roofing if you see any roofing problems. Bad storms don’t just damage roof materials – they also bring out fraudulent storm chasers trying to make a quick buck off homeowner ignorance.

Rust and Warping

We’ve talked a lot about how moisture damages shingles, but it also has an effect on metal flashing. While flashing comes with protective coatings, frequent rainstorms and the high heat and humidity of summer can still wear down these important metal strips. The result is rust and warping, which exposes the edges of shingles, chimneys and more to leaks.

Inadequate Overhang

Homeowners don’t often think about their roof overhang distance, but in climates that deal with plenty of wind and rain, a short overhang can expose siding, doors, windows and your basement or crawl space to streams of water that will damage far more than just your roof. Overhangs large enough to protect homes are very important for everything under your roof, so don’t forget about your eaves!

Photo source: BigStock

New Roofing Trends for 2017

Thursday, April 20th, 2017

Take a look at the hottest roofing trends on the rise in 2017: Does your roof need one of these upgrades?

Greater Use of Colored Shingles

Thicker, more durable shingles continue to grow popular among homeowners: There are more options than ever before, and they tend to have much better life spans and warranties than traditional flat shingles. However, one particular trend that’s picking up both here and across the country is greater use of colored shingles. Shingles have been available in various shades of red, brown, tan, and even blue for years, but in the past homeowners have usually been content with the traditional shades of gray. Today’s roofing trends, however, lean more toward finding the right shingle color to match siding and environment.

Durable Tile Roofing

Tile roofing is also taking off as more homeowners are willing to look beyond ever-popular shingles to tiles made from slate, concrete, and similar materials. These tile rooftops have a high-quality, modern look that makes them popular on newer homes. Tile also typically lasts longer than shingles and is more resistant to harsh weather when properly installed.

However, tile is also significantly more expensive than shingles, and a lot heavier, which can affect roof design and renovation choices.

Metal Roofing Solutions

Along with tile, metal roofing is also becoming more common in residential neighborhoods. Homeowners now know that metal rooftops aren’t just corrugated sheet metal – they are a mixture of panels, tiles and segments with many different appearances. Metal rooftops are known for their durability: With proper coatings they can shrug off most storms and debris. However, like tile metal, roofing can be heavy, and there is a danger of eventual rust in humid climates.

More Gutter Projects

Gutters are a vital part of homes, especially in climates that see more rain. Homes without gutters see more siding problems, since water runs off the roof and drips down onto the siding and eaves (it also does the foundation no favors). We’re seeing two different kinds of gutter projects on the rise. First, people are installing gutters on older homes that never had them before – or at least never had them on a particular side. Second, people are updating their “standard” gutters with customized gutters designed for the right water load, as well as a more elegant appearance that keeps gutters from being an eyesore.

Greener Rooftops

Advances in green and environmentally friendly roofing continue as well. In areas that receive plenty of sunlight, solar panels have a new competitor with solar tiles that look like a normal roof but can also harvest sunlight for electricity. In wetter and more urban areas, green rooftops that grow various grasses and insulate the home are one of the more popular roofing trends, although they do require a thicker moisture-proof membrane.

Photo Source: BigStock

Spring Cleaning Your Roof: 5 Simple Tricks to Make Your Old Roof Look Younger

Friday, April 14th, 2017

As the weather gets warmer and we spend more time outdoors, it’s time to evaluate how our hone has weathered the cold months. It’s probably in need of some spring cleaning to get it looking spiffy from all angle. Your roof is a big part of first impressions, highly visible to homebuyers and friends alike. If you have an old roof that you worry is dragging down the appearance of your home, this is the perfect time to do something about it. Here are five tips to help make your roof look younger and better this spring!

1. Clean Away Debris

Gutters full of needles and shingles covered with leaves don’t impress anyone. Underneath that winter layer of debris, you have a roof that deserves to be seen! Clean out your gutters, and carefully sweep leaves and other debris off of your roof. If there’s a lot of dust and dirt, consider a professional roof cleaning. Remember that climbing all over your roof can do damage to vulnerable shingles (and create safety risks) unless you know what you’re doing.

2. Get Rid of Algae and Mildew

In wetter climates, rooftops can get gradually overgrown with dark algae, mildew, and moss – especially older roofs surrounded by trees. These unsightly growths hurt your shingles and make your roof look ugly – but removing them is a great spring cleaning project. A gentle wash with a water/bleach mixture can temporally remove algae, but we suggest copper or zinc installations to help prevent long-term problems.

3. Install New Gutters

Gutters are one of the most visible parts of your roof. Old, sagging or crooked gutters can give a very poor impression. Fortunately, they can be repaired, repainted and replaced! Replacing gutters can be a very effective “facelift” for your house. Upgrading to copper gutters or more stylish designs can make a roof look younger (while also doing a better job of draining water). Even a smaller project, like replacing downspouts with more modern chains, can make a difference.

4. Repairing Edges and Eaves

When people get close to your house, they immediately notice the edges of your roof and your eaves. When tackling spring cleaning, think about how these edges appear. Are there frayed and uneven shingle edges? Is paint starting to fleck off your eaves? During spring cleaning, replace problematic shingles and repair your eaves so that your roof looks even and fresh! If your flashing is crooked or rusting, it’s a good idea to have it replaced as well. Generally speaking, nothing about your roof edges should look crooked or out of place.

5. Replace Shingles with Better Colors

Nothing makes a roof look out of place like the wrong shingle colors. If your shingles have faded over time or never looked quite right, think about a larger replacement project to find the shingle shade that will really make your home shine. Findlay Roofing can help you find the right shingle colors to bring out the palette of your house and get it ready to greet family and friends this spring.

Photo Source: BigStock

5 Stupid Roofing Mistakes

Friday, April 7th, 2017

The worst roofing mistakes aren’t just foolish; they can also cause damage to rooftops and make current problems much worse. However, out of the many mistakes that we’ve seen, these five are some of the most common, and some of the worst for your roof. Please don’t try this at home!

1. Over-Shingling

This error is a combination of homeowners not understanding why they shouldn’t and roofers willing to do quick, lazy work. Occasionally, if done professionally, and if a host of other variables add up, it can be considered safe to have two layers of shingles on your roof. But especially in the case of traditional asphalt shingles, adding another layer will mask any issues in the decking that need repair. The result is a roof that’s heavier than ever before and still has all its old problems, now trapped under a layer of new shingles that are doing more harm than good.

It’s a tempting choice for the uninformed because over-shingling is more affordable than taking out the old roof, and in years past, the practice was a more commonplace. It has grown less acceptable as the results have become obvious and more roofers refuse to do it.

2. Prying Up Shingles to Check for Damage

This is usually a homeowner mistake: People worried about leaks or shingle damage go up onto their rooftops and start lifting up shingles to see if they can spot a problem or the source of the leak. It’s enough to make any roofer wince! Shingles are nailed carefully in place and are not designed to be moved or casually lifted to check underneath. This effort actually creates new leaks instead of finding old problems. A sight inspection is fine, but peeking under shingles just ruins the roof.

3. Stuffing or Patching Leaks with a DIY Project

This roofing mistake happens when homeowners see a leak and put off calling a roofer about it. Instead, they stuff a leak with rags or patch it with filler. The problem is that the leak you see is only the last part: The actual leak starts somewhere in the roof and spreads out through the roof structure until it finds a ceiling or wall. By creating a DIY patch, you are just rerouting the leak, and frequently making it much worse in the process. It’s better to put the bucket down and call an experienced roofing company.

4. Treating the Roof Like It’s Invulnerable

This mistake appears when homeowners try to take care of their rooftops without realizing where they are defenseless. Pressure washing, for example, will indeed clean your roof, but it can also strip protective granules from shingles and may damage more delicate roofing materials. Getting up on your roof is a great way to clean up leaves, but walking carelessly on a roof can damage underlayments and collapse tiles or shingles.

5. Not Properly Anchoring a Roof

You can have one of the toughest rooftops around, but unless it is properly anchor, a good windstorm can destroy it. Take a look at some of the things that can happen when a roof isn’t properly anchored to your home. The responsibility for this one is on inept contractors using the wrong components.

Photo Source: BigStock

5 Ways to Increase Your Home’s Value

Friday, April 7th, 2017

It’s a homeowner victory when a big home project both fixes an issue and increases home value – especially if you are planning selling in the near future. If you want to boost your asking price, help your house sell quickly, or just build extra equity, these are the top home projects proven to make a real difference.

New Appliances Always Impress

Are the appliances in your home 10 years old or older? Then you may be able to significantly boost the value of your home by replacing them with newer, more efficient appliances. Appliance replacement is also a versatile project, allowing you to target many different areas of the house, including bathrooms and HVAC units. Replacing kitchen appliances with updated models resonates with homebuyers, especially if you use this opportunity to switch to modern, stainless steel versions.

Consumer Reports estimates a project like this can boost home value between 3 and 7 percent. However, new appliances do have a high initial cost, so plan out your replacements carefully.

More Room Means Higher Value

Since homes are often valued – both on paper and by the eye – by how much livable space they have, adding more space via a renovation can significantly increase its value. The key is creating versatile space that can function as an additional room: Common projects include a sunroom, a basement converted into a den or entertainment room, and an attic made into a bedroom. You can also consider knocking down walls to enlarge rooms and create new, more flexible spaces: Remember, even new windows can make a difference.

Install Minimalistic, Easy-to-Clean Surfaces

Homebuyers prefer to see modern surfaces that won’t collect dust. Intricate paneling, engraving and carpet rarely impress these days. Instead, buyers love to see hardwood flooring, stone tile, granite countertops and other smooth surfaces that are simple to clean and won’t harbor dirt. Consider replacing carpet with hardwood or bamboo flooring, or vinyl tiles with stone, for a high-value upgrade.

A New Roof Helps with Appearance and Energy

Not only is the roof one of the first things that homebuyers see, it’s also a key component in keeping your house cool in the summer and warm in the winter. A new roof will increase curb appeal, while announcing that you also probably also have proper insulation, attic venting and a lack of annoying pests.

It’s particularly easy to increase home value if your roof is old and can be updated with new shingles or tiles, a different shade and a better design that shows off the color and style of your home. If a full replacement is too much, consider repairing missing shingles and other trouble spots. Findlay Roofing can help you figure out which roofing project will benefit you the most.

New Paint

Looking for a smaller project? Consider a new coat of paint! Inside or exterior, new paint is a simple way to give your home a fresh look and boost buyer confidence, without breaking the budget.

Photo source: BigStock

Top 5 Spring Roof Issues

Friday, April 7th, 2017

Winter’s over, the days are getting brighter, and the last thing homeowners want are new spring roof issues to deal with. Spring is a vital time for rooftop health, because roofs are recovering from winter conditions while dealing with spring rain and related problems, just like we saw plenty of this week! Here are the top five dangers spring brings to your roof, so make sure you are prepared!

1. Damage from Trapped Moisture

Spring sees a lot of new plant growth, while older leaves or needles may still be trapped on rooftops from last fall. The combination can create a lot of matted debris in gutters and on low-sloping rooftops that trap moisture for long period of time. Meanwhile, shingles already bombarded by winter weather (which can include damaging winds and ice), now have to deal with a deluge of spring rainstorms. It’s no surprise, then, that moisture damage is a common cause of spring roof issues. That’s why it’s so important to quickly repair any roof problems.

2. Failed Sealants

Many building materials contract slightly in the cold and expand slightly in the heat. For more delicate materials, this can cause problems over time. We see sealants, which protect rooftop flashing, crack and warp until gaps form. This separation allows water to sneak in and damage the flashing even more. The problem here is that sealants are difficult to examine unless you get up close to roofing materials, which is why a professional inspection may be a good idea for older roofs in the spring.

3. Cracked Membranes and Underlayments

A mix of long periods of moisture and rapidly changing temperatures can also harm roof membranes, those layers under your shingles that are meant to keep moisture from traveling any further. Older membranes may give up in the winter and develop dangerous cracks that spring rainstorms exploit. In other words, you notice leaks inside your home. It’s important to get these leaks fixed ASAP since they give water, insects and (if allowed to grow), rodents access to structural materials and insulation. Findlay Roofing can help with these important projects.

4. Curling Shingles

Shingles, especially if you have had freezing weather, can split and warp, especially at the edges of your roof. Spring is a great time to take a look at these edges and see if they are uneven, split, or curled. You may need to clean your gutters for a good look, but that’s another great spring project!

5. Pest Issues

Animals and insects are busy recovering from hibernation, looking for food, and creating nests as spring continues. As you can imagine, your roof and attic are common targets, which means a lot of pest problems start in spring. Be wary of ants, squirrels, racoons, termites, birds and other creatures that can damage your roof, chimney and eaves. These pests will use any hole they can find – or, in the case of birds, nest in any spot they find. Use guards to protect vulnerable parts of your roof from spring roof issues.

Photo source: BigStock

How Many Downspouts Does Your House Need?

Friday, March 31st, 2017

Downspouts are those vital, vertical spouts attached to your gutter system. However, you shouldn’t just put a downspout wherever you feel like it – they need to be placed carefully to work. So just how many downspout installations does your home need? Let’s talk about it!

Brief review: Downspout options and gutters

The downspout is the portion of the gutter that drains water away to a safe place on the ground. They come in a variety of shapes (tubes, chains, etc.), but their goal is to prevent gutters from overflowing and give water somewhere to go. However, we can’t just put in a downspout wherever we feel like – gutters need to be able to drain water fast enough to avoid out-of-control leaking.

Downspout and gutter

How many downspout installations should your gutters have?

If we have to sum it up in a single rule, gutters need a downspout around every 30 to 40 feet. For most homes, this means installing spouts at either end of a gutter section. But wait! There are many more important factors that can change this broad rule. They include:

  • Roof area: The more roof surface above the gutters, the more rainwater will be caught and funneled down into those gutters. A large roof is going to move a lot of water, which means the downspout locations may need to be adjust to compensate.
  • Roof slope: A high slope moves water more quickly, and if gutters have trouble dealing with a lot of water in a short period of time, an extra downspout can alleviate that issue.
  • Gutter size: Gutters come in many sizes. Large gutters can hold more water and may not need as many spouts. Smaller gutters may need extra downspouts to make up for their low volume.
  • Climate: Heavy rainstorms put a lot more pressure on gutters. Particularly wet climates could require better drainage systems than relatively dry climates (rainy weather also makes filters and leaf-catchers more important).

These factors are why it’s important to ask a professional roofing company like Findlay about gutter installation and proper downspout guidelines. Measuring the square feet of the roof, along with knowledge of local rainstorms, is invaluable when making decisions like these. Ultimately, changes to either your downspout or your gutters could help solve overflowing problems.

Sizing vs. placement

A final and important consideration. Downspouts tend to be around 2 to 3 inches in diameter, allow for various shapes. But they can come in far larger sizes. Instead of adding a new downspout, there’s often room to switch to a larger spout, which has the same effect. However, the gutter needs to be large enough to accommodate the spout, so measuring is still important!

Photo source: Flickr