Roof Maintenance Tips

5 Spring Roof Maintenance Tips

 

5 Spring Roof Maintenance Tips

Spring time often brings cleaning and yardwork to the top of your to-do list. One of the most important areas for outdoor maintenance in your home is also one of the most frequently forgotten: your roof!

As your roof recovers form winter snow and ice and prepares for spring thunder and wind, make sure to give it the TLC it deserves. Here are 5 spring roof maintenance tips recommended by our team of expert roofers at Lathrop Contracting.

 

  1. Clean your gutters.

Throughout the winter, debris tends to build up in your gutters and downspouts. If leaves, twigs, or dirt are clogging up your gutters, they won’t be able to do their job properly when the next spring rainstorm rolls around.

Thoroughly clean out your gutters with a special gutter scoop so that you won’t damage them in the process. Spread out a tarp on the lawn below to collect the debris as it falls.

  1. Inspect your shingles.

Check for any shingles that are missing, curling, or worn down. If you aren’t comfortable getting up on your roof, you can do a partial visual inspection from the ground. If you are comfortable checking your roof, make sure to use a sturdy ladder and bring a buddy along for safety.

Look for any shingles with cracks, curled edges, or loose nails. If you notice large areas of damaged shingles, it may be time for a roof repair or replacement this spring.

  1. Check for mold or algae.

Since moisture can collect on your roof throughout the winter, it is pretty common to find some mold or algae growth. While you are inspecting your shingles, be on the lookout for these pests. There are DIY treatment options for mold removal on your roof, but talk to a professional roofer before you start pouring any chemicals up there.

  1. Document any damage.

If you notice missing or broken shingles, damaged soffit or fascia, mold growth, or any other roof problems, document them with photos. Your home insurance will probably cover some roof damage, especially after a storm. But first you need to provide evidence of the extent of the damage.

  1. Schedule a professional inspection.

If you notice anything amiss on top of your roof, (or even if you don’t), provide yourself with peace of mind by scheduling a professional roof inspection. A licensed and experienced roofer will be able to help you determine the extent of your roof damage and whether it needs a simple patch, an involved repair, or a total replacement. Your roof protects your attic and home interior, so it is worth the investment to make sure it can keep moisture out of your home properly.

We hope these spring roof maintenance tips help you prepare for the new season!

Assessing your roof and inspecting it for damage or moisture will help keep it in top shape for years to come. Looking for help with your roof maintenance or inspection? Call Lathrop Contracting today!

Do you need to schedule a roof inspection or repair for your Indianapolis area home this spring? Our team at Lathrop Contracting can help! Give us a call at 317-783-6929.

 

James Hardie Siding Upgrade

Lathrop Contracting does more than roofing. Here are some pictures showing the various stages of a full James Hardie siding upgrade. When completed, all wood siding, wood soffit, and wood fascia will be replaced with Color Plus James Hardie material. Let us know when you would like to upgrade your siding.

Siding transformation

A complete transformation to this home in Lawrence Township. Wood siding removed and brand new Certainteed Vinyl siding installed. Custom wrapped windows, door frames, and fascia were also added. Review from customer states it best: “My house was the ugly duckling that turned into a beautiful swan. Best customer service I have ever seen, fantastic communication, on time and these guys are hard workers and pay attention to the small details that make a difference.”

Pella Window and James Hardie Siding

New James Hardie Fiber Cement Dormer Upgrade

New Pella Windows and James Hardie panels and trim

New Pella Windows and James Hardie panels and trim

New James Hardie Fiber Cement Cedar Mill panels and James Hardie Color Plus trim added to this beautiful family home on the north west side of Indianapolis.  This home had deteriorated wood lap siding on the dormers and out dated windows.  Lathrop Contracting installed new energy efficient Pella windows and insulated them with spray foam window insulation.  Lathrop Contracting removed the old siding and covered the substrate in synthetic house wrap to protect from moisture buildup.  Lathrop Contracting then installed James Hardie Cedar Mill Color Plus fiber cement panels to the dormers.  Finally, we dressed it out in James Hardie Color Plus fiber cement trim.

James Hardie fiber cement is:

  • Engineered specifically for climates with freezing temperatures, extreme seasonal temperature variations, and snow and ice

  • Resists cracking, rotting, swelling, and damage from mold

  • Fire resistant and non-combustible

What’s more important than making a good first impression?

Making a good first impression that lasts. That’s the thinking behind the James Hardie® ColorPlus® system. You get the natural beauty of wood and the long-lasting durability and low maintenance of fiber-cement—all enhanced by the instant appeal of eye-catching color.

The Value of Color

Choosing a color for a home can be a tough decision. That is why
they created an online design tool to help you find a siding color that
is just right for your homes. You can design your exterior simply
by logging on to JamesHardie.com. The design tool allows you to
visualize how each ColorPlus® Technology color, product, texture
and exposure will look on your home.

All the products you need

Along with the aesthetic appeal of traditional lap siding, James Hardie
offers a full product line of lap, panel, shingle, soffit and trim for a
low maintenance exterior of exceptional beauty and durability.

A finish unlike any other

They use an exclusive, fiber-cement-specific paint formulation with
a multi-coat, baked-on color application process. James Hardie
ColorPlus® Technology ensures consistent full-paint coverage –
one that cannot be duplicated by a third-party pre-finisher or on
site painting.

Protection you can count on

Their proprietary paint includes a special coating for mar and
abrasion resistance, while a factory-applied protective laminate
protects the products finish during installation.

The peace of mind you deserve

James Hardie backs its siding with a 30-year limited non-prorated
product warranty. HardieTrim boards and our ColorPlus finish
comes with a 15-year limited warranty. All from the manufacturer of
America’s #1 brand of siding.

man cleaning vinyl siding

Tips for Properly Cleaning Siding

Cleaning siding can make your home look new.Here are some tips to keep your vinyl siding looking fresh and new. 

Vinyl siding is the most common siding of choice by homeowners (link to vinyl vs cement blog) and for good reason. It offers a complete mixture of affordability, durability, and attractiveness, all of which are obviously extremely important qualities for siding.

Vinyl siding can last anywhere from 20 to 40 years, but a major element in ensuring the long lasting life of your home’s siding is proper maintenance. While vinyl siding doesn’t require much maintenance, thoroughly cleaning your siding at least once a year can go a long way to helping it maintain its superior durability and longevity.

Regular cleanings help keep your siding clear of mold, mildew, and grime that accumulates over the year from rain, snow, and wind kicking up dirt against your home. If left unchecked, mold and mildew in particular can cause your siding to degrade, losing its protective qualities, and can even begin making its way to the wood frame of your home underneath.

This simple chore performed at least once a year is an absolute must if you want to keep your siding healthy for longer, but what is the best way to clean your vinyl siding? Fortunately, cleaning your siding doesn’t require any special skills or equipment and can be done using simple cleaning tools and supplies you probably already have at home.

Here are our best vinyl siding cleaning tips for keeping your siding clean of mold, mildew, and dirt.

Cleaning By Hand

While using a pressure washer is typically the most common method for siding cleaning, for easier to reach areas of your home cleaning your siding by hand is a totally viable option for siding care. Just be sure you are practicing safety and not trying to reach difficult areas by dangling off a ladder! 

For effective siding cleaning by hand, you’ll need a cleaner. There are a couple different choices to choose from based on how dirty your siding is. For a light cleaning, a mixture of soap and water or a roughly 70/30% mixture of water to white vinegar can do the trick. For tougher areas, you can try 70/30% mixture of water to laundry bleach or a combination of about one gallon of water, one quart of laundry bleach, and ⅔ cup of laundry detergent, mixed thoroughly. There are also a number of commercially available siding cleaners you can likely find at your local hardware store, but be sure to be mindful of their unique instructions and recommendations as well as avoiding harsh chemicals.

Once you have your cleaning solution of choice you can apply it to your siding by hand using a sponge (just be sure you are taking precautions if you choose to use laundry bleach) or using a garden sprayer for harder to reach areas. Follow that up by scrubbing thoroughly with a brush and rinsing immediately with clean water from your hose.

Using a Pressure Washer

Using a pressure washer is the most common and effective method for cleaning vinyl siding, but there are a few things that those choosing this method need to be aware of to make sure they are doing so properly. The high pressure spray of the washer is extremely adept at removing even the most intense grime, but without caution high pressure levels can actually cause damage to siding. Be mindful and monitor your pressure levels to make sure you aren’t spraying with too much intensity.

Some other good pressure washing habits when it comes to siding cleaning is to start at least 5 feet away, which can also mitigate damage. You can always move closer if the stain or dirt is especially troublesome. Also, make sure that you are spraying at eye level or at a downward angle as much as possible. Spraying up can force the dirt and grime into nooks and underneath your siding, which will only make matters worse. Make sure you are extremely careful while you are spraying around windows and doors as well.

Siding Cleaning Don’ts

These tips will help you keep your siding looking beautiful and clean, but be mindful that “helpful” things can be harmful when done the wrong way. Here are a few things you should avoid when you start cleaning your siding.

While you may use different types of cleaning methods and solutions on your siding, it is important to avoid harmful chemicals. Undiluted bleach, polish remover, furniture polish, and organic solvents are just some of the major chemicals to stay away from. These solutions in fact may not be as effective cleaning and can directly damage your siding and cause it to erode, shortening its lifespan. 

When applying cleaners, also avoid harsh scrubbing brushes and steel wool, which can chip, scratch, and damage siding. Try your best to rinse off your cleaning solutions before they can dry as well, as some solution combinations can harden or congeal, making them just as hard to remove as the dirt you were trying to remove in the first place.

Cleaning your siding is important to keeping your siding last. But, no matter how durable vinyl siding is, sometimes storms and harsh elements can damage your siding. While you are giving them a much needed cleaning, if you notice any siding damage or feel it is time to replace your siding, call the experts at Lathrop Contracting! 

 

[sc_fs_faq sc_id=”fs_faq1153tip34″ html=”true” headline=”h2″ img=”” question=”How often should I clean my siding?” img_alt=”” css_class=”” ]Vinyl siding is very durable and can last for years, but it is important to clean it at least once a year.[/sc_fs_faq]