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5 Signs You Need New Attic Insulation

Friday, July 14th, 2017

When your home’s attic insulation is doing its job, it is helping to keep the heat in your home when it’s chilly, and keep the warm air out in the summer. Insulation also helps control the moisture levels in your home and can block out sounds. But insulation doesn’t last forever. Here are five signs it is time to get new attic insulation.

1. Your Utility Bills Have Increased

If your heating or cooling bill seems to be increasing for no reason, it could be that you need new attic insulation. The older your insulation, the more like it is to be worn out and not as effective at keeping warm air in or blocking heat or cold. As a result, your energy bills creep up, even if you don’t think you’re running the heater or air conditioner more than usual. In areas around Atlanta, new attic insulation can shave anywhere from 9 to 14 percent of off your annual heating and cooling bill.

2. You See Icicles on the Roof During Winter

Icicles might look pretty, but they also signal a pretty big problem. Heat rises in the winter, and if your attic insulation is worn out, it will rise right up to the roof. If there’s any moisture or snow on your roof, the heat from the attic will melt it. But, by the time the water gets to the edge of the roof and the gutters, it will freeze again, creating heavy icicles. Thanks to the weight of the icicles, you might need a full roof replacement, along with new insulation.

3. Some Rooms Are Warmer Than Usual

When the attic isn’t properly insulated, the temperature in your home is likely to feel uneven in certain rooms. Some rooms might be hotter than others or might feel warmer than they felt in past summers. In the cooler months, some rooms might be colder than others.

4. You Feel Drafts

Insulation helps cut down on draftiness in your home. When insulation is old and worn, outside air is able to get in and move throughout the home, creating breezes and drafts.

5. Your Insulation Appears Old and Worn

Sometimes, you can just look at the insulation and know that it’s time for a replacement. If you see mold or water spots on the insulation, you’ll be better off getting new insulation. Older types of insulation can also pose a health hazard, as it could contain asbestos, according to This Old House. If you know that your insulation was installed before 1990 and it’s grainy with shiny pieces in it, it’s best to call in a professional to replace it.

If your home is hot in summer and cold in winter, or you notice any of the signs above, contact Findlay Roofing to learn more about your attic insulation options today. With the proper insulation, you can enjoy a more comfortable home and lower energy costs.

How Will Summer Weather Treat Your Roof?

Monday, June 26th, 2017

With spring storms and a hotter than average summer forecast for Georgia, it’s important to make sure your roof is ready for summer weather and its challenges. While winter weather can cause more overt damage, summer problems may be a little harder to notice at first glance. Here’s a list of potential roof problems to watch out for this summer.

Spring/Summer Storms Lead to Leaks

Thunder and rainstorms in spring and summer may not batter your roof with hail, but these elements can still do a number on your shingles or roof tiles. The new growth on nearby trees or shrubs can turn into dangerous debris when combined with high winds. What’s more, the extra moisture from heavy rainfall can put more pressure on your roof sealants and protective membranes. Summer is a good time for your rooftop to be in top shape.

Humidity Can Result in Long-Term Damage

With hot weather comes summer humidity. While winter is more likely to cause problems with attic condensation, summer creates a lot of moisture on the outside of your roof, even when it isn’t raining. This means that soaked components will stay wet much longer and may foster mildew, moss and mold more easily, eventually leading to serious rot issues. Pooling or standing water on flat rooftops will also linger longer in high humidity, doing cumulative damage over time.

Heat Creates Cracks and Warping Problems

Particularly in the early and late summer weather, the nights tend to eventually cool off while the day heats up again. If the change is drastic enough, it can cause roofing materials, especially metal, to contract and expand in noticeable ways. This is also tough on roof cement, caulk, and other sealants used on your rooftop. Over time, cracking and warping can occur, allowing moisture into the roof where it can cause further damage. If fluctuating temperatures in summer are particularly erratic, keep in mind that your roof may be more vulnerable.

Summer Can Encourage Roof Pests

In winter, pests tend to look for places to hibernate. In summer, they are more active. Watch out for annoying pests that want to explore your roof to find a cool summer home or extra food. Specifically, look for hornets or wasps building new hives, squirrels exploring new feeding grounds, and birds nesting or looking for mates. These pests can damage your roof as well as make a mess, so it’s a good idea to deal with them sooner rather than later.

Hot Weather Can Age Your Roof

Summer weather will take its toll on your roof, especially over time. Look for signs of sun damage like bleached or curled shingles, the loss of granules, and dry, cracked sealants or membranes. If your roof is showing signs like these, it’s time to contact Findlay Roofing and talk about which steps you can take to keep your roof strong before colder weather strikes again.

Photo Source: BigStock

How to Spot Roofing Scams Before You Buy

Tuesday, June 20th, 2017

Because your roof is such an important part of your home, it’s also frequently the target of scams. Roofing scams try to take advantage of worried homeowners, and scammers may even appear to be real roofers, at least at first glance. Here are the top signs that you’re being scammed by a “roofer” who’s just looking to make a profit.

Showing Up After a Storm

Many roof scammers are called storm chasers because they call or knock on doors right after a big storm. They’re trying to find easy targets by telling homeowners that their roofs were damaged by a recent storm. The truth is, professional roofing contractors are usually too busy after a storm to make house calls to strangers. If someone shows up out of the blue or calls you repeatedly, be very skeptical.

Using Industry Jargon

Roofing scams have one goal: Get cash from a homeowner quickly and then disappear. Scammers will frequently be pushy and persistent when trying to have you sign a contract or provide financial information. However, they may avoid discussing the details about what’s actually wrong with your roof.

While the occasional scammer may try to climb on your roof to find or even create a problem, most just try to bluff their way through, hoping that homeowners won’t question the jargon they use. It’s important to always ask questions! Ask for details about exactly what’s wrong with your roof, and how it will be repaired.

Insurance Fraud

Beware of the roofing contractor who talks about cheating your insurance company. Some may offer to contact your insurance company to determine your coverage for roof repair, while others may try to hide the fraud in your estimate. Some scammers may even suggest faking reports or covering deductibles so they can charge more money. Besides being illegal, this is a deal-breaker. If a roofer is willing to cheat your insurance company, they will cheat you, too.

No Free Inspections

Many professional roofers offer a free inspection or estimate before they start working. Findlay Roofing provides you with a free analysis so that you understand what needs to be done. On the other hand, scammers often demand a downpayment or charge fees for providing an estimate of the work.

No Online Presence

When choosing a roofer, look for an online website, online reviews, Better Business Bureau ratings, and any other data. Scammers rarely have an online presence, or at least not one that is well reviewed. Reading reviews that other consumers wrote is always a wise idea.

Unrealistic Estimates

Also beware of an estimate that is far lower than other bids. Roofing scams often provide very low bids to lock you into a project and add extra charges later, until you’re paying far too much. When in doubt, ask about added charges and hidden fees.

Photo source: BigStock

5 Things to Ask At a Roof Inspection

Friday, June 16th, 2017

Replacing or repairing a roof can be a large expense and one you’ll want to know about before buying a house. Often, a roof inspection is conducted as part of the overall home inspection to alert buyers to any potential issues. An inspection may also point out repairs that should be made prior to settlement. Here are five questions you should ask at the time of your roof inspection.

How Old Is the Roof?

According to the National Roofing Contractors Association, most new roof systems are expected to last around 20 years. Newer roofs crafted with the latest technology can offer more heat conservation and better protection against natural forces like rain and wind. In contrast, an older roof may be starting to show signs of wear and tear. The cost of replacement may need to be factored into your buying price or home repairs budget if your inspector suspects the shingles are nearing the end of their life cycle.

What Type of Roof Materials Are Used?

Asphalt is still the most commonly used roofing material, according to the International Association of Home Inspectors. A roof inspector can give you a professional opinion about how to handle the roof maintenance and repairs based on the type of shingles he observes during the inspection.

Does the Roof Have Multiple Layers of Shingles?

Some building codes allow for new roof shingles to be installed over the existing ones. This is often done to save the cost of tearing off the old shingles. Your inspector should check the roof for multiple layers of shingles for the home you’re planning to purchase. This allows you to make an informed decision about the future care and replacement costs for the roof.

How Soon Will the Roof Need Replacement?

Sometimes even newer roofs have issues that lead to partial or total replacement. A home inspection can help point out signs of wear and tear on your roof. Blistering or cracking shingles can indicate that the roof is starting to age. If the roof appears to be aging prematurely, you may want to conduct additional inspections to determine if repairs or replacement will be required sooner than anticipated.

Are There Any Cracks or Holes?

The home inspector should carefully examine the roof for any evidence of cracks or holes. In addition to assessing overall wear and tear, inspectors should check for small areas of damage, even in a newer roof. Isolated cracks, loose shingles, or holes in the roof could provide entry points for animals to crawl into your attic. Even minor roof issues can lead to water intrusion.

Before you invest in a new home purchase, make sure to have a certified professional complete a roof inspection. Signs of past water intrusion inside the house, such as stains on the ceiling, should also be investigated. To give you a clear picture about your home purchase, any potential problems observed during the inspection should be discussed prior to your closing date.

What to Know About Living Roofs

Wednesday, June 14th, 2017

One of the roofing trends that has become apparent over the past decade or so is the concept of “living roofs.” These are also called green roofs, because they are literally green with plants. A living roof replaces traditional roofing materials with a bed of plants, which is naturally watered by the rain in wetter climates. It may sound strange, but these rooftops have become popular for many reasons. Here’s what you should know.

They Help the Environment

Make no mistake, a living roof is a big project! Your old roofing materials need to be replaced completely, and the cost is around $15 per square foot. However, there are advantages to making the change to living roofs. A roof of living plants provides excellent insulation for the building beneath, and can help cut cooling costs during warm months. Additionally, they make use of rainfall and help clean the air, making these roofs a popular eco-friendly choice in cities. Living rooftops tend to last 30 to 50 years, so they have plenty of longevity, too.

They Are Safe When Properly Installed

A roof of growing plants may not sound especially safe, but when properly installed, they pose no issues. Living roofs are typically put in place with a substrate, a few inches deep, to hold roots and water. Underneath the substrate, a tough waterproof membrane is used to prevent any moisture from making its way down to the roofing materials. It’s important to know that soil should never be used on your roof.

Residential Rooftops Can Be “Living”

Many living rooftops are commercial, because commercial rooftops are generally easier to convert. In addition, a green roof at the top of a commercial building has added functionality. For example, it can act as a rooftop garden. However, many residential homes can have a green roof too, as long as roofing experts like Findlay inspect two key factors: Slope and weight.

Low slopes work best for a living roof. Some roof angles will be too steep for an installation and won’t be able to hold enough water. However, the average house usually has at least some space that’s fitting for a green roof, as long as it’s not too heavy. A living roof adds a great deal of weight to a house, and the structure needs to be strong enough to withstand it.

Plant Types Vary

The typical living roof uses grasses, ground covers and sedum varieties that are native to the location. Short plants that can survive without much water are required. You may be able to use some plants with an additional purpose, like thyme or chives, but don’t expect a “garden on your roof” scenario. A living roof is more of a “lawn on your roof.”

Living Roofs Need Maintenance

These roofs are not maintenance-free. You may need to water your new roof and make sure that the plants are healthy and thriving, especially during the first year. Occasional fertilization may be required, and pulling some weeds can be helpful, too!

Photo Source: BigStock

What to Know About Roof Flashing

Tuesday, June 6th, 2017

Roof flashing and other roof materials shouldn’t be a mystery to homeowners. The more you know about your roof, the easier it will be to notice when something is wrong, or when you may need a professional opinion. Let’s talk about the basics of roof flashing.

What Is Flashing?

You don’t want cracks in your roof. But unfortunately, when two different materials on your roof meet, there has to be a crack somewhere. These cracks are carefully sealed with roof cement or similar caulking, and then covered with a second layer, a strip of material called flashing that is partially hidden under surrounding shingles. Flashing is found around all edges of the rooftop, and ranges in size from thin strips to sheets that are several inches long. It protects the edges and diverts precipitation, so that the most vulnerable parts of your roof stay safe. Flashing is also seen around:

  • Valleys where two different roof planes meet
  • Chimneys
  • Skylights
  • Roof vents
  • Dormer windows
  • Drip edges
  • Other less common roof installations

Roof Flashing Materials

Flashing is typically made of sheet metal, cut into specific borders based on what part of the roof it is protecting. However, the metal needs to be as rust- and weather-resistant as possible, so it is usually made out of galvanized steel or coated aluminum. Sometimes copper may be used because it can help prevent algae on shingles.

There are less expensive flashing materials, such as PVC plastic sheaths, but generally metal is the best option, especially in a moist climate like Georgia’s where the flashing needs to be as durable as possible.

Common Flashing Problems to Watch For

Poor installation: Flashing needs to be properly inserted between the shingles or tiles around it. If flashing is not installed and sealed properly, it can actually weaken surrounding roof materials and create gaps for moisture to run through.

Sealant wear: In particularly harsh climates, sealants used on the flashing may curl, crack or drop away, creating gaps. Poor-quality sealant makes this problem even worse. Old sealants need to be removed and replaced.

Corrosion: While flashing is protected with coatings, those coatings can wear away. This gives humid climates a chance to create corrosion, which is particularly dangerous on steel flashing, where rust can cause widespread damage. Fortunately, rust is one of the easiest flashing problems for homeowners to notice, so if you do, call Findlay Roofing and ask about a solution before it gets worse.

Warping: Metal expands in the heat and contracts in the cold. In climates where temperatures shift between highs and lows, problems can result. Thinner roof flashing can warp and ripple over time due to temperature changes, causing it to break apart from its sealant.

Storm Damage: Severe hailstorms or windstorms that fling debris onto your roof can also damage flashing. If you notice small dents in your flashing, get your roof inspected to see if the storm did any other less obvious damage.

Photo source: BigStock

How Roof Pitch Can Affect Your Home

Wednesday, May 31st, 2017

Roof pitch refers to the angle of your roof, or how steeply it slopes. Pitch is usually described as a ratio of vertical rise in inches for every 12 inches of horizontal surface. A 2/12 roof – which rises two inches for every 12 inches covered – is considered a very low pitch. A roof at 9/12 is considered a very high pitch. Most home rooftops are somewhere in the middle. When you remodel or build a roof, you have the option to choose a specific pitch, so let’s look at how that affects your roof.

Water Collection and Flow

Rooftops with high pitches are really good at moving water. That high slope means that gravity will help get rid of moisture in hard rainfall and snow in cold winters. However, this also puts more pressure on your gutters, which need to withstand a high rate of water flow. If heavy rain is common in your area, a higher pitch combined with properly sized gutters is a smart choice.

Rooftops with low slopes, meanwhile, don’t do as well in areas that get a lot of rain; low-pitched roofs can develop standing water issues more easily than steeper versions (fully flat roofs are the worst culprits of all), and lingering moisture is one of the worst things for your roof.

Leaf and Debris Collection

Gravity again comes to the rescue when it comes to leaves and other debris, which tend to slide off – or get blown off – high-pitched roofs. Rooftops with low slopes, however, tend to catch debris more easily and keep it longer, which can be a problem if you have plenty of nearby trees. Mats of leaves and needles foster moisture damage and mildew, so you want to avoid long-term roof debris when possible.

Wind Shear

Wind shear refers to wind velocity around sharp edges. If your area experiences a lot of wind (hills and seaside properties are especially vulnerable), consider the effects of shear forces. High roof pitches tend to experience more wind shear, which can put shingles at greater risk of damage during storms. A lower roof pitch can help you protect your roof in these cases.

Renovation and Repair Difficulty

Take a look at a high-pitched roof and it’s easy to see that they must require more materials and more complicated support structures than low-pitch roofs. That means installation and repair costs may be higher than low-sloping roofs, especially when replacing significant sections of the roof. Low-slope rooftops are, in general, less expensive.

The type of materials required may also be a factor. Certain shingles and tiles can’t be used on especially low slopes, at least not without a lot of customization, and heavier panels may not be suitable for a high roof pitch. If you have any questions about the best materials for your roof pitch, ask us at Findlay Roofing and we can find the right solution for your project.

Photo source: BigStock

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