Ice Dam Prevention

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Preventing Ice Dams

It’s that time of year when ice dams can form on a house. Preventing ice dams is important for maintaining the structural integrity of your roof. In order to do this, we need to understand how and why they occur.

Heat in the Attic

There are several ways an attic can heat up in the winter. Most often it is from air leaks in the ceiling and walls. This allows the heat from the inside of the house to escape up into the attic. When that happens the snow at the top of the roof starts to melt and travel down to the edges of the roof where the temperature is much cooler. Then the water refreezes causing an ice dam.

Blocked soffit vents also contribute to poor attic ventilation. Sometimes this was done deliberately in attempt to heat up the attic. This definitely will cause ice dams and should never be done.

Temperature Fluctuations

The temperature during winter time can fluctuate. This causes the snow to melt and then refreezes. During the day the temperature rises and then at night the temperature falls again. When this happens, the water can seep under the roof and when it refreezes can cause the roof to separate.

The Sun

The radiant heat from the sun can also play a factor in ice dams. Even if the temperature during the day is below freezing, the sun’s radiant heat can cause the snow to melt. There is really no way to predict how much the sun will radiate on any given day.

Ice dams are a problem this time of year. Contact Davis Roofing and Construction for any of your ice dam needs. Remember, please don’t go up on the roof especially if there is a chance of having ice on it. Leave it to the professionals and we are here to help you out.

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Common Roofing Problems

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There are many common roofing problems that often go overlooked. Proper roof maintenance can avoid many of these problems. Here we will go over some of them now.

Clogged Gutters

Gutters can get clogged quickly. This can cause problems very fast. Most of the time the cause is leaves. Then when it rains, water can pool up and start to cause damage to your roof.

Even damaged gutters can cause serious problems. Not only to your roof but to your foundation also. When water is not properly drained away from your house it could damage the foundation.

Snow and Ice

With our rough winters, snow and ice can cause ice dams. Normally this may not be such a problem, but when it starts to melt and then refreezes, it could form back into ice. When the snow melts it can get under the shingles and then pop up the roof when ice is created.

Tree Damage

Regular tree trimming not only keeps up your curb appeal, it could potentially prevent future repairs. Having branches constantly rubbing on a roof can damage it. Try and keep branches from rubbing and wearing down the roof. When the top layer is damaged, roof leaks will occur.

Leaking Valleys

We already know how a buildup of leaves and other debris can cause leaks. The accumulation of debris can collect water. Sitting water will start the rotting and deteriorating the roof. Check the valleys often and keep them clean (going up on a roof is very dangerous).

Poor Maintenance

This is the easiest to avoid. Regular inspections can prevent future problems in the roof. Preventing problems could save money in the long run. For best results, stick to a schedule.

If you need any help with any of these or would like to schedule an inspection, Call or Contact Us. Davis Roofing and Construction is here to keep your roof beautiful.

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Top 4 Reasons a Roof Fails

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Let’s face it, roofs do not last forever. In fact, many roofs fail prematurely. First, the problem could seem small and if not taken care of in a timely manner, the problems get worse fast. When this happens, the costs can add up quite quickly. Here we will go over some of the main reasons a roof can fail.

1. Poor Workmanship

Not hiring a qualified contractor is the worst mistake that can be made. You can spend all the money you have on the best materials in the world, but poor workmanship will just end up nullifying everything. Qualified contractors strictly adhere to the manufacturer’s recommended installation procedures. This maintains the full factory warranty.

2. Cutting Corners

This is just the opposite of the above. You can have the best crew working on your roof, but if the materials are cheap, they probably won’t last long. There is a reason why some materials are cheap. It all relates to the old adage, you get what you pay for. Chances are that those low bids you get from certain contractors mean that they are using the cheapest materials available. Always ask about the factory warranty and if they are certified to carry out the warranty.

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3. Improper Ventilation

Basically said, roofs need to breathe. It doesn’t matter if you live where it is cold or warm year-round. Ventilation plays a key factor in the lifespan of your roof. This factor is often overlooked by many roofing contractors.

In the winter, one of the most important things to factor in is the ventilation. Ice dams can form fast and damage can seem to happen even faster. When the roof has ice dams, it becomes brittle, cracks and then can leak as the ice defrosts.

In the summer it is just the opposite. Humidity builds up in the attic and then the chances of mold developing are highly increased. This is not only bad for the structure of the roof but can also cause health problems.

4. Flashing

Many people think that the flashing is just ornamental. This is nowhere near true. The flashing is also one of the key elements in the healthiness of a roof. The flashing protects all of the areas that a venerable to seepage. It directs the water away from the interior of the structure. Everything that protrudes through the roof uses flashing. Chimneys, skylights, vents, and valleys are all venerable to leaks.

There are still more factors in why a roof can leak. These are just some of the prime examples of how a roof can fail. Always make sure you hire a qualified contractor. Even small repairs can end up extremely costly in the end. Davis Roofing and Construction can help you with all of your roofing needs. Contact us and we can help guide you through any decisions that you may have when you need roof work.

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How Your Roof Affects Curb Appeal

How Your Roof Affects Curb Appeal

The roof of your home definitively affects the curb appeal. Most homeowners choose to conform to what other neighbors have chosen as their option for a roof covering.

Different Types of Roof Coverings

There are many different types of roof coverings to choose from. Some might right for you, some might not go just well with the rest of the neighborhood (or your HOA).

Asphalt Shingles

There are many different types of roof coverings. Asphalt shingles is one of the most common styles. There are a variety of different colors to choose from. The color you choose usually depends on the color of the exterior of your home.

Clay and Concrete Tiles

The same goes with clay and concrete tiles. The difference with these is there are also different textures to choose from.

Barrel is what is most commonly associated with clay and concrete tiles. There are other options like a flat tile.

Terracotta

One of the major benefits of these types of coverings is there is a wide variety of colors to choose from. The most common is a terracotta color.

Terracotta has been in use since the 14th century. This is why it is one of the most chosen to go with. It will always remain a timeless option to go with.

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Which Type Of Roof Vent Is Best For Your Home?

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Proper ventilation at the roof is important to a complete attic ventilation system as well as to the structural integrity of the roof.  There are two basic categories of roof vents including passive and powered.  A roofing contractor can install four different kinds of roof vents that all fall into one of the two categories.

All roof vents work by allowing outside air that enters the attic through the soffits to escape out the top of the roof, creating attic ventilation that carries away moisture and condensation before it has any chance to damage the structure of the roof, the insulation or the home. In wintertime, without proper ventilation, ice dams can occur.

Below are the four different types of roof vents along with some pros and cons. Your roofing contractor can help you decide which type of vent will work best for your roof and why installing the proper roof vent system can impact the structural integrity of your home over time.

Passive Roof Vents
Low Profile Roof Vents

Low Profile Roof Vents
Low-Profile or Louvered Roof Vent

The most common type of roof vent is probably the low profile roof vent.  Also referred to as “louvered vents” these vents have a low profile and feature a slant-back design to guard against weather infiltration especially in steep-slope applications.  They are often available in either aluminum or galvanized steel and can provide between 50 and 60 square inches of net free area (NFA) per vent. Installation is relatively easy as most include pre-drilled holes for nailing.

Multiple low profile roof vents must be installed on the roof according to the square foot size of the attic. Under 1,000 square feet of attic space requires only 4 vents while a 3000 square foot attic can require as many as 12.

The low profile vent is usually installed on the back roof to minimize any unsightly appearance they may cause. The color of the vent can often be matched to the color of the roof depending on the manufacturer that is chosen.

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Preventing Ice Dams

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Preventing ice dams in winter is important for us here in Chicago. There are a few things you need to make sure you do so that your roof does not get damaged. Here we are going to run over some of the things you need to check so that it doesn’t happen to you.

How Ice Dams Are Formed

Ice dams happen when the roof has different temperatures under the roof. Generally, the top parts of the roof tend to get warmer than the edges. Snow on top of the roof starts to melt and then flows down to the edges. Because the edges are colder normally, the water tends to refreeze as the temperature drops. Little by little the water gets under the ice and starts to run under the shingles and into the inside of the roof.

When water gets inside the roof it can and will cause a lot of expensive damage. Black mold can form inside the insulation and walls, but it can also damage plaster and drywall. The cost to repair this type of damage can be expansive.

Improper Circulation

Temperatures can vary throughout the roof for various reasons. One of the main ones is because of improper circulation of the air. There are vents in the soffits and some houses also have ridge vents. It is more likely that the soffit vents can become blocked. These vents should be checked regularly to ensure that the temperatures remain equal throughout the attic.

Leaks

Many houses have chimneys and they are usually the culprit of the warm air inside the house to leak into the attic. Have the chimney inspected for leaks. You can also insulate the chimney with non-flammable insulation. Leaks can also occur in other places in the roof. If you can see light seeping up from the ceiling, you can have an air leak there.

Exhaust Systems

There could be many different types of exhausts in any given house. Lots of kitchens have exhausts. Normally there could be one (or two) for the oven and stove, possibly for the microwave also. Bathrooms can have exhausts that extend through the roof to the outside also.

Ways to Prevent Ice Dams

One of the ways is one of the most logical, remove the snow from the roof. You must exercise caution when doing this. Being on top of the roof carries its own risks (snow and ice can be very slippery). There are “roof rakes” and you can also use a push broom, but be careful not to damage the roofing materials. You also need to watch out for falling snow.

Roof heaters placed near the soffits and also help out. Pay attention to the manufactures instructions when using these. Improper installation could cause more damage than prevent it.

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Preparing Your Roof for Winter

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Preparing Your Roof for Winter

Preparing your roof for winter is something everyone should do, especially for us here in the Chicago area. The leaves are changing colors and the temperature is dropping, it is time to protect your roof before and after winter. We have some steps that we recommend to everyone to get ready for the wintertime.

Winterizing Your Roof

1. Get Your Roof Inspected

Have your roof inspected by a licensed roofing contractor. They not only have the eye for roofing, but they also know what problems are likely to occur and the problem areas. Another reason, if your roof has a steep incline, it could cause a slip accident. Your contractor will advise on what repairs might need to be made so that you can save money in the long run and avoid costly repairs after the winter months.

2. Clean Out the Gutters

Gutters should be cleaned throughout the year regularly. It is even more important during the winter months. Gutters clogged with leaves and other debris could cause improper drainage. This can lead to cracks in the roof because of the expansion and contraction of water as it freezes and melts.

3. Check for Proper Ventilation

Now that we know why it is important to keep the gutters clean, we also need to protect the surrounding areas. The Chicago winds are fierce and having branches rub and cut into the roof is a bad thing. Nearby branches should be trimmed to a couple of feet away and all of the clippings removed from the roof and your property.

4. Clear the Surrounding Area

Attics need proper ventilation in order to function in the right way. If there is not adequate ventilation, the hot air from the sun might cause additional problems. If the hot air cannot escape, the attic can cause some rooms to overheat. This can also lead to the ice and snow on the roof to not melt the way it should. This is what we mean by the water/ice not freezing and melting correctly and causing expansion problems.

At Davis Roofing and Contractors, we are more than happy to come out and give a free estimate to take care of your roof before the winter problems arise. Give us a call and let us worry about your roof during the winter time so that you can enjoy it like you should.

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Three of the Most Common Types of Roofing Material

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There are many types of roofing materials. Everything from asphalt based materials, stone to metal. We are only going to cover the four most common types here.

Many of the roofing materials depend on the pitch (the slope of the roof) of your roof. Some cannot be used depending on the pitch, so make sure you select the proper type for your roof if you plan on doing it yourself. A professional contractor, like Davis Roofing and Construction, can help you make the right choice and also make sure the job is done right.

1. Rolled Roofing Material

Rolled roofing (also known as MSR) is one of the most common types for low sloped roofs and shops and sheds. There are several ways to apply this material, which is what makes it an almost universal material.

This material comes in 100 sqft rolls. This makes it easy to handle compared to shingles or other ceramic/stone. The reason being is the roll usually weighs around 75 pounds.

a. Nail Down

Roofing Nail

Nail down is one of the methods you can choose because it requires a small amount of tools (hammer, cutting knife and tape measure). The only materials you will need are nails, roofing cement and the MSR. It is a fairly simple process, but we will get into that in another blog.

b. Adhesive

A Bitumen adhesive is more common than peel and stick. There is a precise manner that the adhesive needs to be applied. The process is not difficult but can be very messy if not done right. That can also lead to blistering of the material, meaning it will need to be replaced sooner.

c. Torch Down

Torch down still requires nails around the edges to protect from wind damage. The material is still applied in the same fashion. The thing that differentiates from the other methods is that a torch is used to heat the material to activate the adhesive. This causes the material to melt and bond to the roof.

2. Asphalt or Composite Shingles

This is the most popular type of roofing material. Most brands offer 20 to 30-year warranty on its products. It is also easy and inexpensive to repair if you happen to have a shingle break or torn off due to weather damage. Composite shingles also allow for the contraction and expansion of a roof.

3. Standing Seam Metal

Metal roofing was, and still is, one of the most popular for warehouses. Now, with the new processes and coatings, they have been more popular for regular households. There is now a variety of colors to make it easy to match your color scheme for your home. There are two main things that make these roofs stand apart. Flameproof and insect resistant, this leads to a longer lifespan.

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Flat Roof Drainage

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Flat roofs are more common than most people think, especially when you are talking about commercial buildings. Flat roof drainage is the most important part of the construction and repair process in order to prevent water from pooling (or ponding).

Flat roofs are not necessarily flat in the sense that they usually slope towards one edge or may run to the center if the structure uses an internal drainage system.

Gutters and Downspouts

Gutters and downspouts are one of the most common types used in both commercial and residential structures. One of the reasons for this is that they can be retrofitted or even rerouting to a different drainage area. They come in a variety of colors and natural metal. Having this you can seamlessly blend gutters into the curb appeal of your home or business.

Flat Roof Interior Drainage

Flat roof drainage using an interior consists of several drainage pipes placed at different levels towards the center of the roof. Then the water is transferred within the roof (usually just beneath) to the outer edges of the structure.

The biggest benefit of this type of system is that a very minor amount of the flat roof drainage system is visible to public leaving something that has a very aesthetic appeal. The downside to this is that it is a costly system compared to others, but sometimes this is the only option for large flat roofs.

Scuppers

Most people do not know what scuppers are until they see them. These are the types of flat roof drainage that shoots the water off and past the side of the structure. They are designed so that the water cannot cause structure damage to the foundation. These are ineffective in areas, like ours, due to the snow. The snow takes long to melt and therefore lets the melting snow just drip around the foundation.

When you are looking for a flat roof repair contractor, you should find a contractor that not only do you trust, but is knowledgeable. Davis Roofing & Construction has qualified teams to get the job done right. Call for a free estimate and let us show you why you should choose the right team for your job.

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