How Often Should Your Roof be Inspected

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Most people do not think about how often their roof should be inspected. Well, it depends on the type of roof you have. There are various types and depending on how our harsh weather treats us is key.

The weather here in Chicago is rough sometimes and depending on what kind of season we have plays a big factor.

What’s Missing

Even from a street view (or the backyard) take a look at the roof. Does anything look out of place or missing? Does there seem to be shadows under the tiles or shingles? Are some missing? This is definitely a sign to have your roof professionally inspected. Please be careful if you decide to go up on a roof. It is dangerous for someone that is not a professional.

Don’t Let the Sunlight In

Take a peek up into the attic. Look for traces of light coming in. This could be a sign of having faults in the roof. If you happen to see anything like this, call a qualified roofing company (like Davis Roofing and Construction).

Stains

When you see stains on your roof, you might have a problem brewing. Mold and lichen grow when there is a drainage problem. This could be an underlying problem that might be visible to the untrained eye. Another reason to call out the pros.

Common Holes

Up here a lot of us have chimneys and some skylights. Problems can occur in these areas. After all, it is a hole in the roof. Sealants and mortar deteriorate over time. This can lead into big problems in the future. This means an on top of the roof inspection (we talked about going on top of the roof already).

Surroundings

If there happens to be trees close to the house, you need to check up on that also. Not only can trees rub up against the edges of the roof, they also shed a lot of leaves. When leaves accumulate on the roof the rain and dew does not drain off proper. This leads to the mold and other things that can damage a roof.

So How Often

Spring and Fall are the best times for a visual inspection of your roof. These season changes are the easiest times to inspect your roof. If you see any of these kinds of problems, call a Professional roofer.

Davis Roofing and Construction have over 35 years in the Chicago area. Call or contact us for a free quote on a full roof inspection. Get a pro to inspect on a regular basis to avoid problems and costly expenses in the future.

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Frost on Your Roof

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Frost on Your Roof

We all know that our roofs are the first line of defense when it comes to protecting the home. Winter is one of the roughest times for damage from frost on your roof.

Having frost on your roof is not always a good thing. This means that there is not enough heat getting into the attic. On the other hand, melting snow and frost can lead to ice dams forming in your attic. You need to find a healthy balance in order not to cause further damage to your roof.

Insulation
There are a lot of people that will tell you that you need more insulation. This is not always true. Most often having too much insulation is a bad thing. It can lead to a buildup of moisture. This can cause health problems is mold starts to form.

Ventilation
Ensuring that the attic has proper ventilation is extremely important especially during the winter. Several problems can arise including:

  • Frost
  • Wood Rot
  • Mold and Moisture
  • Popped Shingles
  • Ice Dams

Having blocked vents will cause serious damage over time. Have your roof inspected regularly.

Moisture
Moisture in your attic can lead to many problems. As mentioned before mold can form and lead to respiratory problems. Moisture also causes wood rot and other damage to various parts of the roof.
The best thing to do if you think that there is a problem with your roof, have it inspected by a qualified roofer. Davis Roofing and Construction has over 65 years in the roofing business. Our inspectors are more than qualified to give you recommendations. Take care of your roof before further damage is caused. Call or contact us and we will get your roof back into shape.

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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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