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Help the house breathe with low-profile ventilation solutions

Ask any friend to identify the heart of their home, and most likely you’ll hear, “My kitchen.” But if you ask them to identify its lungs, they may look at you like you’ve lost your mind.

Unless you’re talking to a fellow roofer.

Roofers know that a properly ventilated attic helps the building to “breathe” by drawing in fresh, cool air, and expelling warm, moist air. Proper ventilation means achieving a balance between the amount of air intake and the amount of exhaust. That balance is vital to protecting the attic from excess heat, moisture, ice dams, and even attic rot, mold, and mildew.

Unfortunately, homeowners — as well as many house painters, gutter installers, and siding contractors — often have no idea how important it is to let a house “inhale.” As a result, they block soffits, paint over them, and, in some instances, neglect to include attic intake ventilation at all.

What’s a responsible roofer to do?

That might put you, as the roofing contractor, in a bind: you can’t leave the new roof under-ventilated, but the homeowner doesn’t want to incur the extra expense of under eave or soffit modifications.

Fortunately, there are non-soffit intake vent solutions that can be incorporated directly into the roofing system. These solutions fall into two broad categories: low-profile shingle-over intake vents and fascia vents.

Virtually undetectable ventilation solutions

Shingle-over attic ventilation, when installed properly, blends in seamlessly with the look of the roof. While it can be used to add critical ventilation to homes with few or no soffits, it’s also an easy-to-install supplement to existing attic ventilation.

Recommended for roofs with a slope of 4:12 and greater, shingle-over intake ventilation is usually installed at the eave edge. However, on buildings with open soffits (exposed rafter tails), blocked soffits that prevent access to the attic space, or where knee walls prevent airflow into the main attic compartment, they can also be installed up-slope from the eave edge as high as one-third up the attic space to be ventilated.

Fascia vents also offer virtually invisible venting by enabling air intake from behind the fascia boards. High-quality fascia vents will also help protect the attic space from insects, birds. Fascia ventilation is uniquely versatile as well, and can be used on low-slope or steep-slopes roofs. For easiest installation, look for fascia venting on a roll that can be simply nailed in place.

Productivity for you; protection for your customer

Whether you choose shingle-over or fascia intake ventilation, there should be no need to remodel the soffits or bother with other unexpected construction. You gain productivity by keeping your crew focused on the roof.

Since proper attic ventilation is a key requirement in many manufacturer’s warranties, you may be able to offer your customer greater long-term value and protection. Ultimately, your customer gains a properly ventilated attic that will help prevent moisture damage and ice dams, protect against mold and mildew, and even promote energy efficiency.

So, the next time you encounter a hard-to-ventilate roofing challenge, consider low-profile shingle-over attic ventilation solutions. They can help you, your customer, and even the house itself, to breathe a little easier.

Source: http://blog.gaf.com/help-house-breathe-low-profile-ventilation-solutions/

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How to add value and profit with masonry water sealant

How many times has a roofing customer asked you, “While you’re up there, can you take a look at…?” They may want your opinion on the state of the gutters, the ventilation, the chimney cap, etc. And sometimes they just need you to toss down a lost Frisbee.

The common denominator is this: you’re comfortable on a tall ladder, and they’re not.

Why not use that conversation to drive customer satisfaction and project profitability? The next time you’re up the ladder, ask your customer, “While I’m up here, why don’t I seal your chimney masonry?”

Value-added services are NOT created equal

A recent survey of GAF contractors shows that more than a third offer some form of value-added service, both to increase customer satisfaction and to differentiate themselves. Some services fall into the “While you’re up there…” category, such as snow removal and gutter maintenance, while others leverage completely different skill sets, including masonry repair and chimney service.

One service in particular — sealing masonry with Masonex™ Clear Masonry Sealer — has afforded roofing contractors margins of up to 40% by leveraging the roofer’s tools, skills, and time like virtually no other offering.

A perfect fit for roofers

Masonry sealing perfectly complements the roofer’s basic mission of weatherproofing the outer envelope of the home. Instead of stopping at the eave, you can protect more of the home from moisture infiltration by applying Masonex™ Clear Masonry Sealer to exposed chimneys, walls, and other exterior vertical masonry surfaces.

There are no special tools to buy and no special training, so you can use the same crew you already have on the job. Masonex™ can be applied with a brush, roller, airless or conventional sprayer, or low-pressure pump-style sprayer. While that level of simplicity borders on DIY territory, many homeowners will be happy to pay you to do it for them, because masonry is often found in hard-to-access places where professional roofers already work. As an added convenience for you, Masonex™ is distributed through the same channels as your roofing supplies.

Source: http://blog.gaf.com/add-value-profit-masonry-water-sealant/

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3 Roof Maintenance Tips From NE Connecticut’s Top Roofing Contractors

Roof maintenance is a chore that’s easy to overlook, given all the other upkeep and improvement projects that come with home ownership. However, taking steps to care for your roof will extend its life, prevent moisture damage elsewhere in your home, and avoid the need for expensive repairs. Northeast Builders Roofing Company in Eastford has been installing and maintaining roofs in northeast Connecticut for more than a decade and offers advice for keeping yours in excellent condition.

3 Tips for Effective Roof Maintenance

1. Inspect It

A contractor can examine your roof, but you don’t necessarily need to climb a ladder to determine whether it needs repairs. Inside your home, look for dark spots on the ceiling that might be the result of water leaking from your roof. Outside, check your house for cracks or rust spots on the caulk or around the drain spouts, missing or broken shingles, and moss or lichen growth. Look for colored grit from asphalt roof shingles in the gutters; these granules protect your shingles from UV rays, and having them wash off in the rain is a sure sign you need roof replacement.

2. Repair Broken or Missing Shingles

Shingles that are missing, broken, or loose should be replaced immediately to prevent leaks and further damage. If you are comfortable working on a roof, you can replace shingles and flash caulking around the chimney yourself with supplies from a home improvement store. However, a roofing contractor is best equipped to complete the job safely and effectively.

3. Clear Moss

You must remove moss growing on your roof to prevent shingle damage, and you can time this task with the seasons. In the fall, apply a moss-killing product that is suitable for roofs — a solution formulated for lawn use might contain iron that can cause stains. In the spring, sweep dead moss off your roof and clean it and other outdoor debris out of your gutters.

Source: http://nearsay.com/c/276861/198607/3-roof-maintenance-tips-from-ne-connecticuts-top-roofing-contractors

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Roofing Contractors Share 3 Tips to Help You Get the Best Quote

Whether you need a few repairs or a complete replacement, the roofing contractors at Northeast Builders Roofing Company know how easy it is to pay more than you need to. Luckily, you can avoid unnecessary costs by conducting research in advance. Their knowledge comes from experience, providing people throughout Eastford, CT, and the surrounding areas with honest quotes on high-quality roofing services.

Below, the state’s leading roofing contractors share three tips on how to research your quote:

  • Know Average Costs: The area you live in and the size of your property dictate how much you can expect to pay for roof replacement or installation. Research the average cost of residential roofing services in your area to ensure you don’t end up paying too much. If the quote is above average, ask the roofing contractors to explain the reason for the increase. Ideally, you should hire a company that offers rates closest to the average cost.
  • Understand the Project: The quote should include an itemized list detailing the exact costs for service, equipment, and labor. If the slope or size of the roof presents challenges, you could pay more for service. Knowing the complexity of the job beforehand will help you understand the reasons behind your specific quote.
  • Ask for Details: Most reputable roofing contractors are willing to discuss the average prices for their services. Ask to see a portfolio of finished work. If you see a project similar to yours, ask about the cost. This way, you will have a better understanding of their pricing, customer service, and quality of work.

If you need reliable roofing contractors in Eastford or the surrounding areas, trust the team at Northeast Builders Roofing Company to provide a fair quote for your project. To discuss your estimate, call (860) 377-7656 today. Visit the local roofers online to learn how they will improve the look of your home and increase its resale value.

Source: http://nearsay.com/c/269705/198607/roofing-contractors-share-3-tips-to-help-you-get-the-best-quote

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When Is The Best Time of Year to Replace Windows?

Andersen windows

“To everything, there is a season”—yes, that goes for window replacements too! While it makes obvious sense to plan a window replacement project in the spring, when the weather is fair (who wants to make a renovation when it’s freezing out?), there are some little-known reasons that make winter replacements harder than those performed in the summertime—although not impossible.

If for some reason, you do ending up having to perform a window replacement in the winter or fall, you’ll have to do your due diligence to ensure that the right kinds of materials are used, and that your contractor takes steps to shore up the window opening so that interior temperatures don’t plummet while he or she is at work.

Replace Windows When the Weather is Warm—But Not Too Warm

Your best bet is to plan your window replacement for a time of year when the weather will be warm, ideally in the spring or early summer. There are several reasons for this. First of all, especially if you live in an area with colder winters, and if you’ll be replacing multiple windows, you won’t be letting drafts into your home that will make you less comfortable and force you to pump up the heating.

Second, caulk adheres more readily in the warmer weather than it does in the freezing cold. Ideally, latex caulk should only be applied when temperatures range between 40 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit. If you use silicone, you may be able to apply it in colder weather, but you’ll need to warm the caulk before applying so that it will flow smoothly and evenly.

Lastly, there’s what’s contractors call the “movement of the substrate.” Some materials, particularly vinyl and aluminum, expand in warm weather and contract in the cold. If you or your contractor applies caulk to your windows when the weather is too cold, it could crack and split when the materials eventually contract as a result of temperature drop.

Likewise, caulk won’t cure properly in very hot weather—temperatures above 80 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit—so don’t plan your replacement for the dog days of summer, either.

Fall weather window

What To Do If You Have to Install in Fall or Winter

Of course, there are times when you can’t get around a cold-weather installation—if your window is broken or cracked, you can’t exactly wait around until spring has sprung to put in a new one. If that’s the case in your home, all is not lost. You just need to take a few precautions to make sure that the window is replaced safely.

First, have your contractor come on a sunnier, warmer day if possible. Schedule the job for mid-morning—this will give the materials a chance to warm up and expand. Also be wary about a rainy forecast, as some sealants need up to 24 hours to set before they can be exposed to water. If it has recently rained, ask your contractor to allow the exterior surfaces to dry before beginning the project.

Always make sure your contractor applies silicone-based caulk around the window instead of latex or acrylic. Not only will it more readily adhere to the window in colder temperatures, it’s also better at waterproofing and weatherization—which will make your heating and cooling work more efficiently and save you money on your energy bills, too.

In fact, if you want exceptionally high performance, ask your contractor to use sealant that has high joint movement capability. This is usually expressed as a measurement on the bottle—a caulk with plus or minus 25 percent movement will perform better when installed in cold weather than one with plus or minus 12 percent.

If you have to do your replacement in the dead of winter, have the contractor work on one window at a time to keep your home from becoming an icebox. If you’re installing a larger window that has multiple panels of glass—such as a bay window—ask the contractor to cover the width of the opening with floor-to-ceiling plastic, so you can help root out drafts while the installation is in progress. And close off interior doors that lead to the room—that way, you can limit the effects to just one part of your home and keep the rest of your home nice and toasty.

Homeowner installing windows

Benefits of Installing in the Winter and Summer

Although it’s advisable to install windows when the temperatures are most amenable, there are some advantages to an off-season installation. For instance, it may be easier to schedule a contractor—window installers are a lot less likely to be booked up in the summer and winter. And if price is a concern, some professionals believe that windows are at their cheapest during August. It makes sense when you think about it: families are too busy with vacations and back-to-school plans to schedule renovations around this time. Meanwhile, you’ll be all ready when the temperature drops and energy-efficient windows become more of a concern. So it’s not all bad new if you must replace in inclement weather.

Preparing the Area for Installation

No matter what time of year you schedule your window replacement, the project will come off a lot better if you prepare for the job before your contractor arrives. Here’s a handy checklist that will make installation run as smoothly as possible:

  • Cut back any tree branches or shrubs that may create obstacles for your installer, particularly in the spring and summer when foliage is full and more likely to get in the way.
  • Clean the area surrounding the window, since dust and pollen on uncleaned surfaces can mix with caulk and cause problems in spring and summer.
  • Purchase several drop cloths and floor-to-ceiling plastic sheeting to protect your home from dust, paint, and debris—and to keep heating and cooling from escaping while the contractors work.
  • Remove windows, curtains, blinds, and any other window treatments to avoid damage.
  • Clear furniture away from the windows—but make sure not to create an obstruction between the window and the front door. Your installer should be able to enter and exit your home without having to step around your solid oak roll top desk.
  • If you have a security system with window sensors, deactivate it before your contractor begins working.
  • Keep pets secured in a room away from the work—installers are hauling heavy materials in and out of your home and may not have time to keep an eye out for Spot.

And if you do have to request an installation in the off-season, it’s never a bad idea to offer your installer a cup of hot coffee or a glass of ice water as they work—after all, they’re the ones who’ll really bear the brunt of the weather!

Source: https://modernize.com/home-ideas/27025/when-is-the-best-time-of-year-to-replace-windows?v2

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8 Summer Home Improvements to Start Now

As spring weather ushers away the final storms of winter, now is the time to get busy with home repairs and improvements. Though many homeowners tend to begin home improvements when summer arrives, you can save time and money by starting them now.

If you wait until summer, expect to get in line behind the multitudes of other homeowners doing projects around the house. Contractors will be swamped with work, which usually means higher rates and longer waits for their services. Home improvement centers become jammed with do-it-yourselfers. And the ticking clock swings into motion — a major summer project that runs longer than expected can scuttle vacation plans and lap over into fall.

Getting a head start, on the other hand, allows you to get competitive bids from contractors who are eagerly seeking work, navigate the aisles of the home improvement centers without crowds and take the time you need to do your project right.

You can also benefit by attacking problems while they’re still fresh in your mind and solving issues before they get worse. Last but not least, doing projects now that involve getting your house and yard in shape for recreation and entertaining will increase your family’s enjoyment — and your free time — this summer.

Here are eight summer home repair and improvement projects to jump on now.

Repair winter damage. First things first: Repair any damage caused by winter storms so small problems don’t become big ones. Start by taking stock of how well your home handled the weather. Did rainwater leak through the roof or run in through siding? Did the basement flood?

Address a leaky roof, damaged siding or a soggy basement or crawlspace as soon as possible. Water damage and chronic moisture ultimately cause rot and mold. For this work, call roofing or siding contractors, a waterproofing contractor or a general contractor.

Clean gutters and downspouts. Though the worst of winter storms may have passed, spring showers are a given. Where gutters and downspouts don’t properly capture and carry away rainwater runoff, water damage can occur. Following winter, gutters and downspouts are often jammed with debris. If they are, clean them out.

You can hire a gutter service to do this. Or, if you can work safely and comfortably from a ladder and your gutters aren’t too high, you can do it yourself. Wear heavy work gloves to scoop out loose debris, and then blast gutters and downspouts with a high-pressure nozzle on a hose. If downspouts are too clogged to flush with the hose, use a plumber’s snake to clear them.

Paint siding and trim. If your home’s siding or trim needs painting, spring is a great time to begin this job because preparation, including scraping and sanding, may take a week or more.

Paint should be applied in still, dry weather — ideally during temperatures between 50 and 90 degrees. Plan to finish painting before summer’s hot weather arrives. When the temperature gets hot, fresh paint dries too quickly, compromising its adhesion and durability.

Insulate the attic. Some jobs are much easier and far more comfortable to handle before the arrival of summer heat. Insulating the attic is one of those. If your home is already fully insulated, you don’t need to worry about this job. But if you felt a chill during the winter as heat escaped through your attic, you’ll probably feel the burn when summer heat arrives. In this case, get started on insulating now, particularly if you intend to do the job yourself. Working in a super-heated attic can be miserable.

If you intend to hire an insulation contractor to do the work, get bids now and schedule the work. Insulation contractors become very busy once summer arrives and don’t want to work in a hot attic any more than you do.

Prepare for summer heat. In addition to sealing out the heat, make sure your air conditioner or heat pump, ceiling fans, dehumidifier and other cooling appliances work properly. So your air conditioner will run efficiently and won’t break down during summer’s first heat spell, when you need it most, have an HVAC contractor check out your system and replace filters now. It can be nearly impossible to find a competent and affordable HVAC contractor during a heat-spell emergency.

Now is also a good time to think about installing curtains, shades, blinds, awnings and window films to help control summer heat gain through windows.

Plant trees and improve lawns. Some types of lawn and garden jobs are best begun in the spring. Planting trees, for example, is a job to do when trees are dormant. Roots like cool soil. But don’t start too soon — not only is frozen ground hard to dig, but freezing temperatures damage roots by keeping moisture from reaching them.

Prune dormant trees and shrubs before they start producing foliage. Generally speaking, plants are less susceptible to diseases and insects when pruned in winter.

Lawns and gardens welcome early work, too. Spring is a good time to aerate the lawn and spray for weeds. And you should be sure sprinklers and garden irrigation work well in preparation for summer heat.

As with other kinds of contractors and services, landscapers and lawn services are more likely to be very busy once summer arrives.

Get started with outdoor building. If you intend to take on outdoor improvements such as re-plastering the pool, building a fence, putting in a new patio, reviving your wood deck or installing play equipment, don’t wait for summer. Some of these projects take weeks to accomplish. Get them done now so your family can enjoy them as soon as summer arrives.

Begin major improvements. Starting a major home improvement such as a remodel or room addition in the spring gives you breathing room. When doing major improvements, you will need lead-time because planning, design and permitting can take months. These are all tasks that you can — and should — handle well before summer.

Source: http://finance.yahoo.com/news/8-summer-home-improvements-start-150220947.html

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