Spring has sprung and you are wise to consider getting your roof ready for spring with some basic roof maintenance to ensure seasons ahead of worry free protection from the elements.
Winter can be hard on your roof, as it handles the snow, wind, and ice all season long. Once the weather starts to warm up, your roof needs an inspection and then if necessary some action to make sure it is in good shape for the seasons ahead!
Here are the top things to consider this time of year and as always we recommend a professional to do the job so as to avoid any unnecessary risk getting up on the roof.
Clean the Gutters
Eavestroughs and downspouts are meant to safely run water off your roof when the rain comes. If your gutters have debris built up in them – which they likely will after the winter – you will need to clean them out in preparation for spring showers.
Check the Shingles
Are any shingles worn out or missing or nails exposed? Get those fixed right away. If it has been a long time since your roof was done it may also be a time to consider a complete replacement.
Examine the Flashing
Flashing connects different elements of your roof – like skylights, windows, or where two slopes of the roof come together.
Make sure it is in good shape along with the caulking around it. Rust is also a sign that you may need to replace the flashing.
Check Soffit and Fascia
Soffits are metal or wood panels along the underside of the roof between the wall of the house and the roofline, while fascia are the metal or wood boards along the roofline or behind the eavestrough. Check to see if the soffits or fascia have any soft spots, holes, or damaged parts. Depending on how far gone they are, they might need to be repaired or replaced.
Check for Water Damage or Ice Dam Damage
Do you see any signs of a leak inside your home or on the roof? Snow melting from the winter or destruction caused by ice dams can result in water damage on your roof, your ceilings, your insulation, and so on.
If you spot a roof leak, it needs immediate attention before it can cause any more damage – like rotting your roof’s underlayment and destroying your insulation.
Bottom Line: If you get a roof inspection this spring and repair problems now, you’ll save yourself serious headaches down the road. You don’t want to wait until the small repair issues become big disasters.
If you're ready to take some action on your roof maintenance, the team at Class EH! Roofing would be pleased to assist. Please fill out a contact form and we will be happy to give you a free estimate.
This is a question that ALWAYS comes up when I am dealing with customers and it is an important decision.
Different roofing materials and your particular situation will ultimately help make that decision for you, but here are a few questions to ask yourself when making that roofing call.
First of all, what type of roof do you have and what is the age of your roof compared with its expected lifespan?
Not sure of the lifespan? Here is a general guideline for popular roofing surfaces:
• Asphalt Shingles: This is the most common of residential roofing material and they last around 20 years.
• Natural Slate: Found frequently on historical buildings. These can easily reach 100 years or more.
• Synthetic Slate: A relatively new material that gives the appearance of natural slate. It is a mixture of plastic and rubber and can last 50 or more years.
• Cedar Shingles or Shakes: More costly but beautiful, these have a limited lifespan of perhaps 25 years. Cedar Shingles can add significant value to the right home because they look so good.
• Synthetic Cedar Shingles: Creates a faux look of the real thing but with a longer lifespan. 50 years or more can be expected.
• Metal: Gaining in popularity, today’s modern metal roofs can be expected to last at least 50 years.
OK so now you hopefully have an idea as to how much life is technically anticipated for your roof. Here are a few other signs to watch for besides life expectancy of materials to determine if it is repair or replace time:
If you are experiencing a first, or even second leak in your roof
Recent high winds have caused minor visual damage
If you see water spots on the ceiling
If there is a leak after a rain that is limited to a common certain area
When you can see an area where a shingle or a few shingles are missing
Your financial situation says that a repair over replacement is in the budget
If the most recent leak is just one of many
If you lose shingles or roofing materials after high winds
If you are seeing water stains on ceiling tiles in multiple areas or rooms
If the leaks seem to be over a large area
If shingles have curling corners and don’t seem to be lying flat
If roofing materials appear to be chipped, cracked or have pieces broken off
If you want to add value to your home as well as curb appeal
If you are experiencing issues with your roof, at Class Eh! Roofing, we can help. We are a trusted name in niagara for roofing and can assist in everything from minor repairs to a complete tear off and re-roof with different materials.
Please contact us and we would be happy to assist you with all your questions and concerns…around the clock!
PHONE: (289) 687-6924
An ice dam is a buildup of ice at the edge of a roof that prevents melted water from draining off the roof.
When that melted water backs up behind the dam, it can work its way under the roof shingles, infiltrating your home and damaging ceilings, walls, and insulation.
Here in the Niagara Region our very cold temperatures have been followed by very warm temperatures causing many homes to have this issue.
What causes ice dams to form?
If snow collects on a roof with uneven surface temperatures, it may form ice dams. This happens when the steeper parts of the roof are warmer than the lower edges: the warmer temperatures cause the snow on the upper part to melt. As the water trickles down to the lower, colder portion of the roof it refreezes. This is called a freeze-thaw cycle, which creates a dam that prevents any water from exiting the roof.
What makes the roof surface temperature uneven?
Heating your home in the winter introduces warm air, which then rises and makes its way into the attic space. Particularly when attic ventilation is poor, the heated air builds up in the higher portions of the attic, warming the surface of the upper part of the roof. An effective attic ventilation system allows cold air to enter the attic through soffit or intake vents so that it can force the warm air out of the attic through the exhaust vents. This, in turn, helps to keep the temperature of the attic similar to the ambient temperature outside.
How can I help reduce the risk of ice dams?
Where there is a threat of ice damming, most building codes require installing leak barriers at the lower horizontal edges of the roof, also known as the eaves. Leak barriers can help prevent leaks caused by wind driven rain and ice dams by creating a barrier at the most vulnerable sections of the roof. If your home is in the north, leak barriers at the eaves may be required for certain warranty coverage. Having a balanced and effective attic ventilation system can also help to reduce the risk of ice dams before they can occur.
What should I do if I have an ice dam?
It is recommended to reach out to a roofing professional to safely remove any ice dams. The first step they will take is to remove the snow. An extendable snow rake can help to gently scrape any snow off of the roof. They may also use a soft mallet to break up ice in small sections at a time, which could cause the ice to crack off in large chunks that crash down. It is important to remove snow and ice safely and effectively without risking damage to the roof or other parts of your property, such as gutters, windows, siding or landscaping.
What should I do if I have ice in my gutters?
If your gutters have ice in them, the best course of action may be to simply wait it out until nature melts the ice. It's easy to accidentally damage gutters or your roof while attempting to break up the ice. Be sure to keep a careful eye on the frozen gutters, and check the corresponding interior spaces inside your home for water intrusion. If you spot a leak, contact a professional to resolve the issue.
How can the right roofing system help prevent ice dams?
When you live in a cold area that has lots of snow and ice you should feel confident that your roofing system includes the proper protection. A professional roofer can make recommendations after evaluating your ventilation, your attic insulation, and the style of roof shingles that you choose for your roofing project.
Don't ignore those icicles that form after a snowstorm. They're not decorations—instead, they may indicate potentially more serious roofing problems. Reaching out to a professional roofing contractor could prevent major damage to your home.
If you need assistance , our team at Class EH! Roofing in Niagara-on-the-Lake offer 24-7 Emergency service and have extensive experience with ice dams as well as all your roofing needs. Contact us for a Free Estimate.
Severe weather has hit the Niagara Region pretty hard over the last couple of days so we are going to talk about roofing services that you may find you need in the winter.
First off we will answer a common question that we get which is: "Can you actually have work done on your roof during the winter?" The answer is yes, you actually can.
Here’s what can be done, and what you should do to minimize problems during the colder months.
Why Would I Need Roofing in Winter?
If your roof is already experiencing damage, then winter isn’t going to change that. Over the colder months, that damage will get worse and will still need fixing as soon as possible.
Some issues that can happen this time of year include: Ice dams that will happen when gutters are blocked and water can’t run away from the roof, high winds that lift shingles/break them off of the roof (creating weak spots that water can get through) and debris on the roof from storm winds that can cause damage.
If any of this happens, you’ll need to handle it, and quickly. Roofers will always come out to you in the winter if you need help with your roof. Don’t put off the repairs because you think it’s too cold for the problem to be fixed.
Guttering In The Winter
One of the most important parts of your roofing in winter is the gutters. It allows water to roll away from your roof and into the drains. Water is the number one enemy of your roof, so it’s vital that your gutters are working as they should.
In the colder months though, it’s so easy for them to get blocked, or stop working as they should. In fall, you’ll see leaves start to fall from the trees and onto your roof. They find their way into the gutters, blocking them. If they’re left long enough, they will stop water getting away from the roof. This allows water to overflow back onto the roof, eventually leading to leaks and the ice dams in the winter.
The solution? Get the gutters assessed by a professional to see if they need clearing or replacing immediately. If you want to stop future blockages, it’s a very good idea to install a gutter protection or guard to stop debris from getting in, but still allowing water to flow through.
Installing Shingles In Cold Temperatures
Does missing shingles require roofing in winter to fix them? It’s easy for a few shingles to come away from the roof, leaving it open to leaks, and mold too.
While it’s very true that sometimes you can’t install shingles in the winter, good roofers know that you need those shingles installed ASAP and they have methods to make it happen in the cold weather when needed.
Firstly, they may keep the shingles in a warm place prior to installation, to ensure that cracking won’t happen. They may also use heating elements to seal the shingles. There are special adhesives that roofers use in the winter too, to ensure that the shingles seal properly.
Find The Right Winter Roofer
You can and will be able to find roofers to handle your roof during the winter. When you’re looking for a contractor, ensure that you’re asking them the right questions. Ask them how many roofs they’ve worked on in the winter months.
Also, ask how they’ll ensure that the shingles seal on your roof. Finally, ask them what temperatures are just too cold for them to work on your roof. If they can answer these questions, they’ll be able to handle any repairs during the colder months.
If you need roofing work done during the winter, find the right roofer and get the job done as soon as you can. Remember, the sooner you fix the problem, the easier it will be.
The team at Class EH! Roofing are experts at assessing and repairing any aspect of your home's exterior during the winter. Please do not hesitate to contact us for a free estimate and expert advice. We look forward to hearing from you!
Gutter and eavestrough colours come in a wide array of choices, but how do you pick the one that will look best on your home?
Generally we like to use your home’s existing colour palette and recommend choosing a shade that either matches the roof or the trim colour currently in place.
Home exteriors are typically dominated by the two colours of the roof and siding (or wall exterior paint colour). Trim, a relatively minor component, creates a cleaner look, and unifies both roof and siding. Gutter colors should blend in with these components; therefore it has to match either roof or trim.
You’re probably wondering, why the roof or trim? One reason is because gutters are attached to the roof, therefore it blends in better with the overall color palette. If your home has wide trim, then the gutter should match its color. Homes with slim trim (or in some cases, none at all), then the gutters should match the roof. Gutters can be painted or are offered by gutter and roofing contractors in various colors, therefore it should match the roof or trim, not the other way around.
The Case for Standing out Rather than Blending In
Before choosing the perfect colour for your home’s gutters and eavestroughs, it should be mentioned that although the previously discussed colour match is where most homeowners go, some like to change it up. Do you want your gutters to stand out instead of blending in? Most home improvement experts tend to lean toward gutter colors that blend in with the rest of the home. But there is a case to be made for choosing a colour that will accent other exterior colours. This turns a solely functional feature on your home into a thing of beauty.
GET ADVICE FROM GUTTER PROFESSIONALS
With the many coordinating colours and materials Class Eh! Roofing has to choose from, finding beautiful aluminum gutters and eaves in just the right shade for your home is a breeze. Whether your style is traditional or unique, our gutters will complement your home’s roofing system while also boosting its curb appeal. For a free estimate on gutter/eavestrough replacement, give us a call today at (289) 687-6924 or contact us below.
Now that the weather is gorgeous in the Niagara Region, many homeowners turn their attention to repairing or replacing a roof, but how can you ensure you get the best local roofer to do the job? Here are my top tips:
1. Interview the Contractor - Good contractors take pride in their work, and so should the salesperson representing the company. The salesperson should show pride and enthusiasm in discussing other jobs. The salesperson should be knowledgeable about other jobs (which shows his amount of involvement in the actual work).
2. Ask what the full address is of the company. Try to hire a contractor that has an office nearby. The likelihood of better service and quicker response time is greater if the company is based near your home.
3. Ask About Insurance. A contractor should carry comprehensive liability insurance and workers’ compensation insurance to protect you in the event of a roofing accident. This can be verified by asking to see the contractor’s certificates of insurance (workers’ compensation and general liability).
4. Ask about credentials. Reputable roofers will be able to answer questions about the credentials they have that make them qualified for the job.
5. Ask How Long They Have Been in Business. Needless to say, longer is usually better. Under three years may signal an unstable business or one low on the learning curve.
6. Ask for References. Request a list of 3 names and phone numbers of recent customers. (and phone a couple of them)!
7. Ask About the Warranty. Typically, contractor workmanship warranties are for one year or more. Manufacturers warranties are also something to ask about of the products being used.
8. Discuss timelines, payment terms and clean up to ensure you are on the same page.
WRAP UP: A roofing company that is hired to do the job will be responsible for protecting your valuable home for many years to come. Take the time to educate yourself with the above tips and also do your due diligence by researching online.
If you are in the process of looking for an experienced local roofer with an excellent track record, please feel free to contact my CertainTeed ShingleMaster™ team at Class Eh! Roofing in Niagara-on-the-Lake for a free inspection by phone: 289-687-6924 or by filling out a form online below.
Skylights are an excellent addition to any home but how do they perform in relation to your roof?
In a nutshell, a skylight can equity to your home, BUT a leaking skylight can thousands of dollars of damage to your roof.
So with that, let's talk now about what causes leaks, the dangers of leaks, and what you can do to prevent the problems from happening to your skylight.
The Causes of a Leaking Skylight:
Flashing That Is Damaged
The flashing is the seal that bonds the skylight and the roofing system. When the flashing is in good condition, it creates a watertight seal between the skylight and the roof. Wear and tear will cause a skylight to corrode or develop cracks and leaves an opening along the edges for water to seep into your home.
Bad weather will take its toll on a skylight. Surface cracks to the glass aren’t uncommon, and they can come from a hailstorm or branches landing on the skylight during a weather event. When a crack is established, water droplets will accumulate as puddles.
Clogged Weep Holes
Weep holes are the drainage system for a skylight. Water and condensation need to be moved to prevent pooling around the skylight. If the weep holes are clogged, the water will eventually end up in your home.
If your skylight has been improperly installed, leaks are likely to be an issue over time.
Poor Insulation or A Lack of Insulation
Certainly, condensation will build up from time to time, and that is why you have weep holes. But if you notice condensation on days without precipitation, it is a clear sign that you need insulation to stop the problem from getting worse.
Dangers Posed by A Leaking Skylight
Water is a problem when it sits and bacteria will grow. There are many dangers associated with leaking skylights that we will outline here for you.
Wood absorbs water, and when it does, it a petri dish for mold growth. When you are exposed to mold for any period of time, you can expect health problems.
The paint will bubble and peel when exposed to water, and even a small amount of water will wreck the paint’s finish. Watermarks and stains that dot your ceilings will reduce your home’s livability and the cost to re-paint the room is an expensive proposition.
Wood Rot and Warping
You have wood in the roofing system, and it absorbs water. Too much water absorption will cause the wood to warp and weaken your roofing system structure and ceilings.
Weakening the Structural Integrity of Your Building
It isn’t just the rafters and joist that your need to worry about with a skylight leak. The walls and studs can be impacted when water is making its way through your home.
Other Water Damage
Furniture, flooring and other valuable assets will pay the price for a leaky skylight. If the problem is in the kitchen, electrical outlets can be compromised.
Prevention, Now and In the Future
Skylight leaks are dangerous for a homeowner, residents, and the building’s structure. By annually inspecting them you will be able to make sure things are looking good. If in doubt, it is a great idea to call a local roofing company to take a look and fix the issue professionally.
Skylights when done right are fantastic. However, problems small or large need to be identified as soon as possible to prevent major damage.
For a free inspection on your roof or any other of your home exterior's needs, my team at Class Eh! Roofing would be pleased to assist. Please give us a call at: 289-687-6924 or fill out a form online.
Wayne Jeffreys is a native of Niagara-On-The-Lake and owner of Niagara based roofing company Class Eh Roofing!