Damaged leaking gutter with rain pouring through

April Showers are Coming, So Fix Your Gutters Today

Damaged leaking gutter with rain pouring throughApril showers bring May flowers, which we can all agree is a wonderful thing. The sight of life coming back to the trees and flowers is enough to get anyone excited about putting winter behind us and getting ready for the fun of spring and summer.

But if your home’s gutters are damaged or in disrepair, all those April showers can really do some damage to your home and yard. Properly functional and clean gutters can successfully push rainwater away from your home through the downspout. But when they can’t do their job because of cracks, leaks, or improper installation, it can lead to some serious issues.

With those April showers well on their way, now is the perfect time to get your broken gutters fixed or replaced. If you delay and try to get through spring without repairs or replacement, these five issues that can result from broken, cracked, leaking, or saggy gutters are things you’ll have to contend with.

Basement Flooding

If your gutters are unable to push water away from your home, it can pool around the sides of your home. Once it does, all of that water will begin soaking into the ground and once it does it has only one place to go: straight into your basement.

Heavy rainwater can leak into your basement through cracks in your foundation or through poorly sealed well windows. A flooded basement can cause thousands of dollars in repairs, not to mention the possible damage to irreplaceable items.

Foundation Damage

As this rainwater soaks into the ground by your home, the strain it puts on the natural drainage can cause issues for your home’s foundation, even if it is currently secure. Without proper drainage, the high volume of water can erode foundation causing cracks and damage, as well causing it to sink over time.

Foundation damage can become the catalyst for many serious problems. It can attribute to basement flooding, causing unsightly cracks throughout your home, and causing unevenness to floors. All of these can be serious problems when it comes time to do home improvements and can be expensive to fix.

Yard Flooding

Your basement isn’t the only thing you need to worry about flooding if your gutters are leaky or damaged. Water spilling out of your gutters can cause flooding in your yard if natural drainage is poor, which can be devastating to your landscaping.

The soil of your grass, trees, flowers, and bushes can get waterlogged and, while trees and plants are very resilient, cause damage or death to the landscape in extreme situations. In any case, the areas where water pools in your yard can erode and cause unevenness.

Stained & Grimy Siding

Ever wonder how your siding gets so dirty and grimy? There are two of the biggest reasons. The first is wind blowing around dirt and other particles. The other is dirt and particles inside water from rain and humidity coming in contact with siding. Gutters can do a good job of protecting your home from a good deal of rain, but any leaks or cracks can cause rainwater to run down your siding.

Without that extra little bit of protection keeping rainwater off your siding, your home will accumulate dirt and grime much faster than usual and necessitate cleaning sooner. If you don’t, mold and mildew can begin to develop, which can create unsightly stains that may require you to replace your siding.

Gutters Falling Off

Whether its high winds or rain collecting inside them, the elements can put quite the strain of your gutters. If your gutters are in really rough shape, barely hanging on for dear life, all it might take is one good storm for them to come off completely.

It’s going to be a long spring and summer full of rain and storms, so there is no time to delay and put off repairing or replacing your gutters anymore. Lathrop Contracting are Indianapolis experts in gutter repair and installation. Call (317) 783-6929 or schedule an estimate online today.

gutters filling with heavy rain from rain storm

Preparing Your Home for Storm Season

gutters filling with heavy rain from rain stormThe harsh conditions of winter are nearly in the rearview mirror, but we aren’t out of the woods yet. Spring and summer are storm season here in Indiana. Before too long we will be trading in snow and ice storms for heavy winds, rain, and tornadoes (though hopefully not too many).

Wind, rain, and tornadoes can cause some serious damage to your home and put you and your family in danger if you aren’t prepared for what’s to come. Take the time to prepare now, well before storm season hits, to make sure you and your home are ready.

But where should you start when preparing your home for storm season? This quick checklist has four extremely important items that are crucial to check off if you want to have your home as storm-ready as possible.

Get your gutters ready

When you are hit with the first big storm or torrential downpour of the year, you’ll want to make sure your gutters are ready to go. Check to ensure your gutters are clean and clear of any sticks, leaves, debris, and anything else so that rainwater can flow unimpeded through your gutters, down your downspout, and away from your home, where it is less likely to seep in and flood your basement. While you are up there, be sure to check on the gutters themselves. If they are loose or damaged, you’ll want to get your gutters repaired right away to make sure they don’t come off.

Secure shingles and siding

The first heavy wind or tornado that blows through will be sure to expose any damage to your roof or siding. If you have any loose shingles or siding, you can wave goodbye to them as they blow away. It is important to batten down the hatches before the first storm hits. Have a contractor come out for a house call and inspect the condition of your roof and siding and make any necessary repairs before it is too late.

Trim your trees

Winds and rain won’t just blow off your shingles and siding, but limbs and trees too. Loose, weak, or dead limbs, branches, and trees can give way and blow off during storms, and when they do, they can cause some serious damage to your home. There is not much more of a rude awakening than a branch crashing down damaging your roof or breaking through a window. Help avoid this by having a professional landscaper come out to inspect your surrounding trees and do any necessary work.

Prepare an emergency kit

Indiana storms can get pretty nasty. You never know when one is going to knock out your power or force you to seek shelter in your basement. You can prepare for the worst by always making sure you have an emergency kit ready to go if need be. Your emergency kit should be filled with essentials like a first aid kit, flashlights with batteries, a lantern, maybe a little food, and anything else you may and your family may need in a dire circumstance.

As you prepare for storm season, it is so important that your home is up for the challenging weather ahead. Call Lathrop Contracting for all your gutter, roofing, and siding needs, whether it is preparing for storm season or trying to recover from it. Our years of experience working with Indiana homeowners has made us experts in home storm repair.

Call (317) 783-6929 to set up an appointment for a roofing, siding, or gutter estimate today.

Damaged and old roofing shingles on a house in need of repair

Roof Shingle Damage or Normal Wear and Tear?

Damaged and old roofing shingles on a house in need of repairAn asphalt roof properly installed by a professional and maintained with a good level of care can last around 20 years. However, over those 20 years, your roof and shingles are going to get put through a lot. Wind, rain, snow, hail, branches, sun, hot, cold – and that is just one year in Indiana!

20 years of the elements are naturally bound to put some wear and tear on your roof’s shingles. But what crosses the line from being normal wear to significant damage to shingles that should warrant repairs or replacement?

For many folks, it can be a tricky thing to tell, but it is important. After all, you don’t necessarily want to panic yourself into thinking your roof is ruined when there isn’t anything to worry about or the even worse alternative of shrugging off major concerns as “no big deal.”

We want to help bring you a little bit of clarity by giving you the symptoms, verdicts, and the best course of action for five very common shingle conditions that you may be OK to just keep an eye on or need to address soon.

Fading Color: Normal Wear

You might notice your asphalt shingles start fading or losing some of their color over time, especially if they are a darker shade. This can be caused by heavy exposure to direct sunlight, but even still should take quite a bit of time to develop. While faded shingles may appear weaker, they are more of a visual concern than a protective one. Faded shingles typically won’t lose protective qualities and shouldn’t put your roof at any additional risk. You should still keep a close eye on them because it is likely that they are approaching the end of their lifespan.

Lifting and Curling: Replace Them

Any shingles that are lifting, curling, or buckling are showing signs of damage and should be replaced as soon as possible. This kind of shingle damage can be caused by a variety of things from high winds, cold weather, damage caused by hail or branches, or excessive moisture. Warping of any sort means any seal keeping water from leaking through your roof is no longer secure. Lifting or cracking shingles put your roof at a much higher risk of water damage and replacement should not be put off.

Cracked: Replace Them

Much like warping shingles, cracked shingles need to be replaced as soon as possible as well. Shingles cracking can be caused by damage from storms, hail, tree branches, animals, or by age and weather conditions. Cracks create more vulnerable avenues for water damage, making them more vulnerable to blowing off in heavy winds, and creating new entrances for moss and mold to grow. Cracked shingles are both unsightly and a major threat to the condition of your roof.

Dark Spots: Normal Wear

Have you ever noticed the tiny rock-like objects covering your shingles? These granules are there to add an extra layer of protection to your shingles but do have a tendency to fall off naturally, as we’re sure you’ve noticed, when they are handled, during installation, and by wind and rain. As the granules fall off over time, darker spots on shingles where they once were will form. While this does mean your shingles are losing a little bit of protection, this is a natural process for your shingles and doesn’t necessarily mean they need to be replaced immediately unless there are multiple large dark spots forming across your roof.

Moss Growing: Replace Them

Moss growing on your shingles may give your home a fairytale quality, but in reality, it is a nightmare for your roof. Moss growth can damage the integrity and security of your roof by helping collect water and leading to water damage as well as mold or mildew damage to your roof. Moss is also a common reason for shingles lifting and also makes working on your roof more treacherous as moss doesn’t offer idea footing. Moss most often grows on roofs that are located in forested areas or on roofs by overhanging trees, so a good way to prevent moss from growing is to keep surrounding trees trimmed and maintained.

Roof in need of repairs to help protect your home? Lathrop Contracting is Indianapolis’ roofing experts! Call (317) 783-6929 or schedule service online today!

Hail on the roof after hailstorm

4 Most Common Winter Roofing Concerns

The winter can be a brutal time for your roof, especially here in Indiana. Sitting out there withstanding the elements for the entire winter can leave even a roof even in the most pristine condition entering November looking worse for wear once things thaw out In March.

Because of the toll winter can take on your roof, it is important for homeowners to know exactly what their roof is up against and how to identify significant roofing concerns when they occur. These four winter hazards are some of the biggest problems your roof may encounter during the winter.

Hail

These treacherous falling lumps of ice can be particularly devastating to your home’s roof. The force with which they fall can easily knock shingles loose, weaken their condition, or even just punch right through them and damage your roof itself.

Missing or damaged shingles aren’t just an eyesore, they can have serious long-term repercussions by leaving your roof more vulnerable to water damage and leaks in the rainy months that follow winter. A good rule to consider when it comes to hail is that if hail did damage to your car, it is very likely it damaged your roof too.

Icicles and Ice Dams

Icicles may be pretty to look at when they sparkle in the sun, but they can leave your roof looking not so nice. As icicles form as a result of snow melting and freezing once again, they put quite a bit of weight and strain on your gutters and edges of your roof. This can cause bending and damage to your gutters and edge shingles.

Similarly, ice dams form when warmer sections of your roof melt snow and ice only for it to refreeze at a lower, less ventilated or insulated section. These dams can collect pools of water as the winter goes on that can go on to cause water damage to your roof and shingles or even seep into your home through cracks and leaks.

Heavy Snowfall

While Indiana may not see the volume of snow that other parts of the country see, heavy snowfall can still a major concern for homeowners. Sustained snowfall may not in itself cause your roof to cave in or anything like that. However, the tremendous weight it can put on your roof may compound pre-existing issues and roof vulnerabilities.

Poorly installed or loose shingles can buckle and break. Weak or vulnerable sections of roofs can be worsened causing cracks or leaks. On top of that, the amount of water produced from snow melting can cause water damage and leak through into your home through any cracks.

Condensation

For roofs and attic spaces that are not properly insulated and ventilated, condensation can be a real issue during the winter. When the warm air inside your home makes contact with the cold inner surface of your roof, condensation can form if the area isn’t properly ventilated and insulated.

This can lead to mold and mildew forming in your attic that can attribute to the forming of ice dams, weakening the condition of your roof leading to damage or shortening its lifespan.

It may not be easy, or safe, for you to evaluate your roof’s condition by yourself, which is why you should leave it in the hands of the pros. Lathrop Contracting has served Indianapolis homeowners for years, giving us a wealth of knowledge and experience knowing exactly the toll winter can take on your roof, what to look for, and how to take care of it.

Whether your roof is in need of a careful inspection, minor repair, or a complete replacement after a tough winter, you can rely on Lathrop to get the job done right. Call (317) 783-6929 to schedule your free roofing estimate today.

Hail on the roof after hailstorm

Are you ready for hail?

Every year in the United States there are around 3,000 hailstorms! While these storms don’t wreck the same havoc as tornados, floods, and hurricanes- they do have the potential to cause significant and widespread property damage.

Here are some great tips to help minimize potential damage the next time there is a hailstorm in your neighborhood:

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Tree Trimming

Falling hail often cracks and damages overhanging branches causing them to fall on homes and damage roofs during a storm. Trim back and remove any overhanging branches to help mitigate this risk.

Repair existing roof damage

Minor roof damage such as a couple broken shingles can turn into a much bigger and more expensive problem once the hail starts flying! Be proactive and inspect and repair small roof issues yearly to avoid the costly mistake of procrastination!

Store outdoor furniture and accessories in a safe place

When the wind starts rocking during a storm it is common for patio furniture, umbrellas, and even grills to go flying and damage windows and siding. Move these larger items into the garage if possible, or anchor in place.

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