Buying a House? Check the Chimney for These 6 Problems

Buying a House? Check the Chimney for These 6 Problems

Although it’s easy to overlook your chimney during roof maintenance, the chimney is an important part of the roof and has several key vulnerabilities. If you’re thinking of buying a house with a chimney, don’t let the chimney escape your notice (or your home inspector’s notice). Check for these six chimney problems. Continue reading

Is Your Roof Flashing Healthy? 6 Ways to Tell

Is Your Roof Flashing Healthy? 6 Ways to Tell

Roof flashing is the number one defense (and in some cases the only defense) your roof has against leaks at edges and other susceptible spots. And you’re often the only thing standing between the flashing and a roof leak because of neglect. Keeping an eye on your roof and its flashing contingent should be near the top on your roof maintenance priority list. Continue reading

Avoid Turning Roof Maintenance Into Roof Maiming With These 4 Tips

Avoid Turning Roof Maintenance Into Roof Maiming With These 4 Tips

What does tarping your roof after a storm, giving the roof a good cleaning each fall, and walking on the roof to inspect it have in common? They’re all a lot more hazardous than they sound — and not just for the person doing the work. These are just a few roof projects that can result in severe damage to the roof if done by inexperienced personnel.

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Style Practicalities for Adding a Deck to Your Second Floor

Style Practicalities for Adding a Deck to Your Second Floor

Homeowners are usually looking for ways to add livable space to their house. The desire is often to add outdoor living areas. The common method for adding outdoor living space is to install a first-story deck or patio. However, if you have a multi-story house, you have even more potential space for increasing your outdoor living space in the form of an upper-story deck.

That said, as with any home addition, you have many considerations to keep in mind. You’ll want to consult with local contractors about building codes and engineering. Indeed, you should hire contractors to do the work as your second-floor deck needs to be architecturally sound. Below are some style practicalities to also add during the planning stage. Continue reading

4 Aspects of Your Roof That Encourage Ice Dam Leaks

4 Aspects of Your Roof That Encourage Ice Dam Leaks

If your home has ever experienced an ice dam leak, you may be wondering why you were so unlucky and how it was able to happen. Several roof-related factors can affect the chances of suffering this type of leak. Learn the causes and take some practical steps to reduce your risk, and you won’t have to panic whenever you see an icicle.

Here are four factors that could encourage ice dam leaks.

1. Insufficient Ventilation

Proper attic ventilation gives roof shingles a longer life and reduces energy expenditure. Good attic ventilation is critical in wet and cold seasons. Without good ventilation, condensation forms on the roof deck and can cause mold and rot. Improper attic ventilation can cause or assist in ice buildup as well.

An ice dam leak often gets its start in life when the lowest layer of snow is melted by heat coming through the roof. This newly liquid water then drains to the cooler edge of the roof where it can refreeze, causing an ice dam. The more heat leaks through your roof, the faster this process goes, and the more likely you are to have ice dam leaks as backed-up water moves beneath your shingle roof.

On the other hand, great ventilation means you have plenty of cold air sweeping into your attic and up across your roof deck. This keeps the roof nearly the same temperature as the outside air, so the bottom layer of snow doesn’t melt as fast.

2. Poorly Insulated Attic 

Another contributor is how much heat escapes into your attic or roof space. The more heat your attic collects, the harder it is to keep your roof deck cold. One way to help your roof out is to simply install additional insulation on the attic floor.

You should also tackle air leakage. If you have warm-air leaks into your attic from downstairs, another layer of insulation won’t solve the problem alone. Attic bypasses, which are holes in the attic floor that let wiring, ducts, and other essentials through, can be a big culprit here.

In some cases, attic bypasses can simply be closed up with expanding foam. However, some (such as around the chimney) require special techniques. Be sure to hire an experienced contractor who will keep things up to code and not create any hazards while closing up bypasses.

3. Clogged Gutters or Downspouts

Gutters aren’t necessarily the most common cause of roof leaks, but they can contribute to ice dam formation when they’re malfunctioning. If your gutter or downspout is filled with dead leaves or bird nests, any snow that melts won’t be able to drain away before it re-freezes. And once it re-freezes, the ice is the perfect springboard for an ice dam leak.

Fortunately, clearing out your gutters and downspouts in fall can mitigate this factor. You may also want to install screens on your downspouts and covers on your gutters so you won’t have to clean them out multiple times during the winter.

4. Rough, Dark, or Flat Roof Surface

Since asphalt shingle roofing is so popular in residential America, having a rough, dark roof surface is the norm. This type of roof, especially if it has a low pitch, is highly susceptible to ice dams.

However, if you have a steep metal roof, you’re in luck. Metal roofs are reflective and smooth, which helps snow to slide off the roof. This is especially the case with a steep roof. With less time exposed to your roof’s surface, the snow is much less likely to form an ice dam.

As you can see, some types of roofs are more prone to ice dams than others. But if you stay on top of maintenance and repairs, you can make your roof much less likely to have this problem. For assistance with roof ventilation and other ice-dam-preventive upgrades, call SUNVEK today.

Copper Exterior Accents: The Benefits for Your Home

Copper Exterior Accents: The Benefits for Your Home

Architectural design values copper, and it has for a long time. Churches and cathedrals erected hundreds of years ago still stand protected by their original copper doors and roofs. The metal does not just keep its beauty over time, but improves with age.

The decision to add copper to your home exterior is one that will reward you in value, beauty and durability. Here are some of the benefits you’ll experience.

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3 Reasons to Tear Off Rather Than Overlay Your Roof

3 Reasons to Tear Off Rather Than Overlay Your Roof

When replacing your roof, you can either choose an overlay, where your roofing contractor places another layer of shingles over your current shingles, or have the existing roof torn off before putting on the new layer. As you can no doubt guess, an overlay is less work for your contractor, which means it can save you money in the short term. Continue reading