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.

 

Pella Platinum Certified Contractor

Lathrop Contracting joined elite company by being recognized by Pella Windows as a Pella Platinum Certified Contractor. Fewer than 1% of contractors nationwide receive this certification. We are honored and humbled to be among the very best in the country and look forward to our continued relationship with Pella Windows.

Crucial Tips for preparing your home for cold winter months

Insulate Windows                                 

Winter drafts can drive up your energy bill — and detract from the cozy vibe you want inside your home when it’s cold outside — if your windows have any air leaks. But by reducing drafts you can lower your home’s energy costs by up to 20% per year, according to the U.S. Energy Department, while also making your living space more comfortable.

Here are five simple solutions that will allow you to insulate your windows quickly:

V-seal weather stripping. Add this plastic weather stripping along the sides of the sashes. Windows can open and shut evenly with the V-seal in place. (Pro tip: Weather stripping also works wonders on doors.)

Rope caulk. This soft, sticky stuff can be molded to fill the gap — and the caulk removes easily at the end of the cold season.
Shrink film. Applied with double-sided tape, this clear plastic sheeting shrinks drum-tight when heated with a hair dryer. The film seals off drafts and captures an insulating buffer of air. Use rubbing alcohol to help release the tape in the spring to avoid stripping off any paint.

Nail polish. If carefully applied, clear polish fills the crack almost invisibly. Once hardened, it will stabilize the glass until you can replace it in the spring.

Draft snake. If the bottom of your window is letting in cold air, buy a foam-and-fabric draft snake kit. Cut the 36-inch foam tube provided to length and slip the washable cover over it. Then place the snake on the sill, and shut the window on to seal the deal.

Trim Tree Branches

The last thing you need is a winter storm loosing the wrath of that mighty tree whose branches are angling over your roof. Not to mention, overhanding limbs can cause excess water to seep into cracks in your home’s roof or siding, which is why you want to make sure any tree limbs or branches surrounding your home are at least 3 feet away from the house.

Inspect Your Fireplace

A visual inspection, both inside and outside your home, can ensure that your wood-burning fireplace is in good shape (read: safe) for the burning season.

During an outdoor inspection, make sure:

  • A chimney cap is present and in good condition.
  • There is no bird nest or debris buildup on the cap.
  • There are no tree limbs above or near the chimney.
  • The mortar and bricks on the chimney aren’t crumbling or missing.
  • The chimney rises at least 2 feet above where it exits the roof.
  • The chimney crown — the sloping cement shoulders at the top of the chimney — is beveled, which helps air flow.
  • The flue liner is visible above the chimney crown.
  • The chimney is plumb and not leaning to one side or the other.·
  • The roof flashing is tight against the chimney.

Inside your home, confirm that:

  • The flue damper opens, closes, and seals properly.
  • There are no combustible materials, such as animal nests, or other foreign objects in the flue.
  • The fireplace surround, hearth, and firebox have no cracked bricks or missing mortar.

If you spot any damage, order a professional fireplace and chimney inspection.

Gas fireplaces require less maintenance, but you should still:

  • Inspect the glass doors for cracks or latch issues.
  • Check that the gas logs are in the proper position.
  • Turn gas off at the shut-off valve and test the igniter.
  • Ignite the fire and look for clogged burner holes. If present, turn off gas and clear obstructions with a pin or needle.

Check the Roof

You certainly don’t want to find out you have a leaky roof after the first snow hits. A roof inspection can help you spot any potential issues.

Squeamish about heights? Don’t worry — you can call Lathrop Contracting to do a full roof inspection.

Work your way around your house, looking for these defects:

  • Cracked caulk or rust spots on flashing.
  • Shingles that are buckling, curling, or blistering.
  • Missing or broken shingles.
  • Cracked and worn rubber boots around vent pipes.
  • Masses of moss and lichen, which could signal the roof is decaying underneath. Black algae stains are just cosmetic.

Some roofing fixes are easy to do yourself, such as repairing shingles or calking flashing, if you’re comfortable working on a roof. If you’re not, you’ll want to consult a specialized roof inspector. Be prepared to pay between $119 and $296 for a standard roof inspection.

Clear Out Gutters and Downspouts

Clogged rain gutters or downspouts can damage your home’s foundation or cause ice dams, which can lead to expensive repairs. So, after the leaves have fallen, clean your gutters to remove leaves, twigs, and gunk. Also, make sure the gutters aren’t sagging and trapping water, tighten gutter hangers and downspout brackets, and replace any worn or damaged materials.

 

Source: https://www.houselogic.com/organize-maintain/home-maintenance-tips/5-crucial-cold-weather-tips-for-preparing-your-house-for-winter/
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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.

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New Windows Can Help Cool Down Your House

If you are the kind of person that dreads the return of spring and summer because of how hot your home constantly gets this time of year, the issue may not be with your air conditioner. Did you know that your windows are one of the most common areas of your house for hot air to creep in and cool air to seep out?

Any homeowner that lives in an older home with original windows surely knows just how hot their home can get, especially during the peak temperatures that Indiana summers often bring with them. Sure, you can crank up the AC and do some tricky maneuvers with your box fans to try and blow hot air away, but if you want to efficiently get to the bottom of your hot house problems, it is time to seriously consider replacing your windows with new vinyl windows. 

The reason replacing your windows is such an effective method of regulating the temperature of your home is because by doing so you address the biggest reasons windows allow heat to infiltrate your home. Plus, there is an added benefit to installing vinyl windows you as a homeowner won’t just feel, but actually see with your own eyes!

Vinyl windows are strong insulators

Vinyl window frames are constructed using PVC which, aside from making them more durable and longer lasting than wood frames, is a much stronger natural insulator. Metal or wood frames absorb heat faster and allow for it to more easily transfer from the outside to inside. PVC, like other plastic materials, more efficiently traps heat within the insulated frame. The result is a much slower rate at which heat will leak into your home and heat it up.

Pair with insulated windows for even more protection

Vinyl window frames are excellent at keeping hot heat out of your home on their own, but pairing them with insulated windows makes for a more complete heat-protective window. Single-pane windows don’t provide much protection from the outside elements, being just a single thin layer of glass. However, double-pane windows provide much more protection. The extra layer allows for better insulation, restricting heat access through the glass, without restricting the amount of light that passes through.

Replacing windows renews seals and seams

More than just upgrading the type of window frames your home has, replacing your current windows with vinyl window frames also allows you the opportunity to have the seals around your window renewed by your installer. Over time, especially with old wooden window frames, moisture and other damage can cause warping, cracking, or splitting that creates seams and easy access points for heat to pass through. Starting from scratch with stronger windows and window frames allows any repairs to be made during the new installation so your home is better protected all the way around.  

This all will lower your energy bills

Replacing your windows with vinyl window frames, more insulated double-pane windows, and repairing and leaks and seams are all not only actions that will keep your home cooler, but also keep your energy bills lower! Keeping your house cooler means you won’t have to be running your air conditioner at full blast 24/7 and keeps you from needing to run a dozen fans around the house and blowing out windows. The amount of energy this will help you save will make a significant impact on keeping your monthly energy bill low and keeping more money in your pocket.

Replacing your old windows with new, strong, durable, and protective is one of the most effective ways of keeping your home’s temperature cool and your energy bills nice and low, making for a super comfortable spring and summer.

If you want your new windows installed the right way, let the pros at Lathrop Contracting our expertise! We’ll make sure the job is done the right way and help cool your house down with affordable replacement vinyl windows. Schedule an appointment online or call for service today!