Attic Ventilation Basics

Attic Ventilation Basics

If you’re a homeowner with an unfinished attic, you might not have considered that its proper ventilation is essential for your home’s optimal energy efficiency and to prevent some common conflicts.

Consequences By Season

Depending on your climate, seasonal temperature changes can cause serious damage to your home without proper ventilation. During hot summers, the temperature outside reaches 70-100 degrees or higher depending on where you live, and more importantly, your attic can reach as high as 120-150 degrees. If the attic is not properly ventilated, that trapped heat can penetrate your ceilings and keep the whole house warm during summer time. This problem will cost you because you will run your air conditioner more to cool the house. The cost won’t end there because this additional use will shorten the life of your air conditioner unit or system.

 
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In the winter, air that you’ve paid to heat can escape to the attic and not have sufficient ventilation and the consequence of this is the cold air outside meeting the warmth of your attic and causing condensation. This moisture is the ideal environment for mold growth and will ruin your attic’s insulation and corrode wiring and building material. If the heat inside the home causes ice or snow to melt on top of the roof and then refreeze, it can lead to the building of a dam that causes water backup and more damage to your roof.

What To Do

There are two types of ventilation that allow enough circulation and release of excess heat or moisture and they are soffit vents and ridge, box, or power vents. Soffit vents are installed low on the underside of the roof overhang. Ridge, box, or power vents are placed high in the attic, near the roof’s peak and allows excess air to escape where it will cause the least amount of damage.

Animals Invading Your Home

Animals Invading Your Home

Homes often tell you when there is a problem with sounds. You can hear a home’s pipes calling for maintenance, walls and foundation settling, and where air is escaping in or out. But the most common sound heard in a home that needs your attention is the sounds that animals make when they are making your home their home. You can annually inspect your attic, walls, ceiling gaps, crawlspaces, and other places animals love to live. Look for obvious signs of homing such as damage or odor. And always listen for the distinctive noises nesting animals make; moving, scratching, thumps, and scurries of tiny feet.

If you do discover you have an animal infestation, it’s not the end of the world and fairly easy to take care of. This article will outline some of the most common animals that nest in homes and how to go about evicting them!

Squirrels

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If you are hearing sounds in your home during the day time, it’s highly likely that there are squirrels utilizing your home, too! These pests are crafty, too. They are able to penetrate your ceiling, walls, soffits, and eaves super easily. They sound like fast, scurrying noises as they run about early in the morning and again, in the early evening before the sun sets. Sometimes squirrels sound like raccoons in the home. The distinction will be that raccoons also make noise at night, but are heavier and slower.

Raccoons & Possums

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Raccoons and possums also make chattering, voice-like noises. Most other common home dwelling animals will not make any vocalizations at all. If your raccoon infestation is especially loud, you might have baby raccoons on your hands. Raccoons can also facilitate thumping noises during the night.

Bats

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Bats typically make high pitched chirping noises, but it’s very unlikely to be heard by a human ear, so the best way to detect whether you have bats or not is by other means. Bats leave droppings at entrances and exits, and will, like other animals make scratching noises. They also have greasy coats that tend to leave stains around your home.

Rats

If the sounds are light, but fast and at night, you likely have a rat or mice infestation. Sometimes, depending on your home’s layout and acoustics, a mice infestation can make louder noises than you’d suspect, but if they are fast movements, the sound is distinctly from rodents and no other creature.

Eviction

Because of the significant damage that animals are capable of and the threat posed to your health, you’ll want to take care of these home invaders as quickly as possible. Once they’ve made your home theirs, they will not want to leave for a long time, so do not put it off- even if in the dead of winter. Call a professional home inspector or animal control specialist if you still need the animal identified. Usually you’ll never be able to catch the animal with your eyes because they are so great at hiding, but a professional will know right away based solely on its scent, droppings, and possible tracks. Next, you will need to employ a professional to kick the animals out of your home for good. Together, you can do this by trapping them or exclusion techniques such as baiting them to leave through a one-way door and then sealing up any openings so they can’t return again. There are products for animal eviction, but often times they fall short of completely ridding you of your new tenants. It’s most efficient to hire a professional. They will also be aware of any wildlife that is protected in your region so that you are not harming an endangered or at-risk species.

Common Causes of Commercial Roofing Problems

Your roof is your commercial property’s first line of defense against the elements. By understanding the types of problems your roof may have and investing in prompt and thorough roof inspection, you can keep yourself informed regarding your roofs current condition.

These are the most common problems commercial roofs face:

LEAKS AND EXCESSIVE MOISTURE

Leaks can occur in both residential and commercial roofs. While there are many things that can cause a leak, a common cause in commercial properties is the improper fastening of flashing details. Constant exposure to water can lead to excessive moisture buildup, which speeds up the degradation of the roof.

BLOW-OFFS, TENTING, AND BILLOWING

Poorly installed flashing can also lead to open seams and laps in the roof. When high winds hit your building, blow-offs occur. Compromised wind resistance also occurs as an effect of inadequate curing on the roofing system.

POOR INSTALLATION

It’s crucial to work with experienced, professional roofers right from the start. Otherwise, you run the risk of improper installation and sub-par workmanship. These two factors can lead to roofing problems down the road that will require a premature replacement.

LACK OF MAINTENANCE

Sticking to a rigid maintenance schedule is one of the most important aspects of roof care. Doing so will enable you to identify roofing problems before they escalate and cause major damage. It also helps extend your roof’s service life.

Greenawalt Roofing is the roofing contractor you can turn to for dependable services. We provide practical and affordable roofing solutions to residential and commercial property owners alike. We serve Lancaster, PA and the surrounding areas.

 
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Call us today at (717) 898-6000 for your free hail inspection or roof replacement estimate.

 

Asphalt Shingles

Asphalt Shingles

What are asphalt shingles?

Asphalt shingles are a form of roofing cover that is both inexpensive and easy to install. As a roofing cover, they are primarily used to waterproof your home.

They are predominantly composed of fiberglass. The fiberglass composes a base. From this base, an asphalt coating is added with a set of weather-resistant granules. Together, these layers form a highly-effective protective waterproof barrier for your home.

How popular are asphalt shingles?

Asphalt shingles have proved to be very popular.

In fact, statistics show that these particular shingles are the most popular roofing choice for residential properties throughout the United States. Each year, more than 13,000,000,000 square feet of shingles are produced. The shingles are also available in a diverse range of sizes, colors, and textures. They are also inexpensive to produce. This makes them ideal for homeowners looking for aesthetic appeal without having to break the bank.

Advantages of asphalt shingles?

Asphalt shingles are both inexpensive and easy to install but these shingles are also remarkably durable. Whether your home suffers from frequent ice or wind, asphalt shingles can still effectively shield your home. In summary, asphalt shingles are an excellent form of roof protection. They are inexpensive, durable, versatile in design and structure, and can effectively protect your home.

Problem Areas of Commercial Flat Roofs

Problem Areas of Commercial Flat Roofs

While flat roofs are aesthetically appealing and energy efficient, they often end up requiring more attention than other roofing types.

WATER ACCUMULATION

Pooling water is the main cause of flat roof deterioration. When the water that hits your roof accumulates, the membrane breaks down and causes leaks. This issue can be solved by adding a tapered insulation system that will shed the water off your roof.

ALLIGATORING

Constant exposure to the elements can result in a cracked membrane that resembles the skin of an alligator. To prevent this, our company uses a complete line of coating systems that can be applied to any type of roofing. The coats form a watertight seal over the entire roof, protecting its surface. This coating can extend the roof’s service life and help you save money in the long run.

EDGE DAMAGE

When water does not drain properly, it remains at the edge of the roof. This can be detrimental to your flat roof. The best solution is to ask for experts’ help. They have in-depth knowledge on how the system works, which translates to a job well done.

 

Metal Roofs in Winter

Metal Roofs in Winter

Are metal roofs good in the winter time?

Massive snowfall is a good reminder to homeowners the importance of having the ideal roof for the harsh weather during winter. Metal roofing can be a great choice for people living in snowy areas as they shed snow loads easily.

Implications of Snow to Roofing

Though the weight per square cubic foot of lightly packed snow powder is very little, wet snow can weigh over 62 pounds per cubic foot causing many problems. The weight of the snow exerts pressure on the roof making it to bow downwards or sag.

Some home owners may opt to rake the snow off the roof but this is only a short term solution. Raking also can cause significant damage to the roof.

Besides snow loads, home owners should also keep an eye on ice dams. Though icicles hanging along the eaves of a house look beautiful, they are a sign of trouble. This is because the same condition that leads to the formation of icicles; freezing weather and snow covered roofs also leads to ice dams, thick build up of ice along the eaves. Ice dams can loosen shingles, tear off gutters, and allow water to leak into the house.

Benefits of Metal Roofing

Energy efficient metal roofs beat the conventional roofing materials on a number of different counts:

First, they have a smooth top surface. When the sun shines, heat passes through the snow, heats up the metal and it is reflected back outside. This allows the snow to melt over the entire surface. The ice and snow melts from the bottom creating an opportunity for the snow to be shed faster compared to other roofing materials.

Also, metal roofing is impervious to snow and ice because of its interlocking design and because the surfaces are slippery and hard.

Another benefit is that metal roofs are durable. They last 40-70 years easily shedding snow, sealing out water, and surviving high winds throughout their lifetime.

If you are looking for the best roofing this winter, consider installing metal. They are available in different styles to match any home or neighborhood.

Are Your Windows Ready For Winter?

Are Your Windows Ready For Winter?

Windows are an important barrier between the harsh, variable weather outside and our calm, consistent home temperatures. Home windows tend to have a fifteen to twenty-year lifespan, so luckily we don’t have to think about replacing them too often. But knowing when replacement is in order can be tricky. You might be tempted to try and hold out for another season if you notice the warning signs. But replacing your windows now can help you extend the life of your whole home and keep you and your family warm all winter long.

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Here are a few signs that your windows are not ready for the harsh winter this year.

Drafty Home

As windows age, they start shrinking, breaking, and not closing properly, allowing air from inside your home to flow out. As a result of this, your HVAC system struggles to keep your home at a constant temperature and sends your energy bills skyrocketing. If your home is noticeably more drafty or your electric bills seem to be going up this fall for no apparent reason, you may want to have your windows checked out.

Difficult to Lock

We enjoy having our windows open when the weather is nice, but they shouldn’t be open all of the time. During the winter and when we’re not home, your windows should be shut in place and locked. Windows with malfunctioning locks is a major security risk that should be remedied as soon as possible to keep your family safe. Often the lock can be repaired inexpensively, but if the window is having trouble staying open or shut or is leaking air, it may be best to simply install a new one.

Condensation Forming

The biggest sign that you need new windows is when condensation starts to form on the inside of your window when it is shut and locked. This is indicative of a likely irreparable flaw and should be addressed as soon as possible to prevent the potential growth of mold in the frame, which can spread to other areas of your home and cause serious damage when left untreated.

6 Common Winter Roofing Issues

6 Common Winter Roofing Issues

Winter weather is especially hard on your roof. The snow, ice, the freezing, and thawing can create several problems that may lead to roof replacement.

Here are six common problems your roof may face over the winter season.

 

PROBLEM #1 – CONDENSATION

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When warm air meets a cold surface, condensation will occur. Unfortunately, an improperly insulated attic is a prime candidate for the formation of condensation, which can lead to mold and mildew, damaging the interior structure of your home. To prevent condensation, ensure your attic is properly ventilated. Inadequate ventilation can damage your roof, the decking, and encourage ice dams and shorten your roofs overall lifespan by half.

 

Problem #2 – Flashing Leaks

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If you have a sloped roof like most of us do, you may be no stranger to leaky flashing. Flashing are the strips of metal that are placed along the front edge, corners and ridges of your roof and around your chimney and skylights. If not installed properly, or during a violent storm, they can start to pull away from your roofing material and lead to water leaks. Inspect your flashing about every six months to help prevent this from becoming a problem.

 

PROBLEM #3 – STRONG WINDS

When wind speeds pick up enough they can start to loosen up shake and asphalt shingles. If you notice shingles or other parts of your roof on the ground, contact us as soon as possible to schedule a free inspection and full roof replacement estimate.

 

PROBLEM #4 – TREE LIMBS

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If you have lots of trees in your yard you’ve been blessed with beautiful, year-round scenery. But, this means you’re also privy to some of the dangers large trees can impose. Sometimes overhanging tree limbs can scrape the surface of your roof and damage its protective top layer. And, if branches end up falling into your roof that can cause problems too. So, to protect your home and family, make sure to trim any branches that come within six feet of your roof. It will also keep the critters from crossing the roof and trying to enter the roof for Spring nesting.

 

PROBLEM #5 – ICE DAMS

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Ice dams result when the upper areas of an icy roof begin to thaw, and the lower perimeter areas are still frozen. Melting ice and snow from the warmer sections of the roof flows down and re-freezes on the lower sections and gutters, creating an ice dam. As water pools behind the dam, it’s likely to leak into your home through cracks and joints in the roofing material, causing damage.

 

PROBLEM #6 – ICICLES

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Icicles are also typically formed by sunny days and sub-freezing temperatures. They may look neat, but they can pose a real danger to people and pets.  Often the result of clogged gutters and downspouts, their excessive weight can cause roofing and gutter damage. To discourage icicles from forming, keep your gutters clear of leaves, needles, and other debris. When the warmer weather arrives, attend to gutter maintenance swiftly to avoid leaking and other problems during spring rains.

Holiday Lights

Holiday Lights

How To Hang Holiday Lights On A Roof With Gutter Guards

Gutter guards prevent leaves, pine cones and other sizable items from clogging gutters, creating pools and breeding mosquitoes. They also offer an added layer of fire protection to your roof.

Despite these benefits, some homeowners are hesitant to install rain gutter guards because they are unsure how to hang holiday lights without using traditional gutter clips. Whether you want to string up purple and orange lights to create a spook-tacular display for trick-or-treaters or your goal is to be the Clark Griswold of your neighborhood this Christmas, it's still possible to do so with gutter guards.

Adhesive Clips
One of the simplest options on the market, exterior adhesive products are designed to hold tight during use, yet remove easily without damaging gutters or leaving a sticky residue. Adhesive clips also make quick work of hanging lights around windows, door frames and other exterior features. For best results, be sure to clean the surface first.

Shingle Tabs
Depending on what type of roof your home has, you may be able to hang lights using shingle tabs. These products slide underneath the flat surface of the roofing. Bulbs are then screwed into the sockets with the clip positioned between them. These are some of the most secure products on the market, but are also more time consuming to use than others.

Other Products
There are many other products you can use to hang holiday lights without damaging the rain gutter guards. Retailers are always adding new products to their inventory. If you already have a gutter guard in place, snap a picture and take it to your local home improvement store, where an associate may be able to recommend something even better.

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Is Your Roof Ready for Santa?

Is Your Roof Ready for Santa?

It’s Christmas season! Family traditions, a friendly contest or other incentives drive neighborhoods to string Christmas lights each year. The best time for hanging Christmas and outdoor holiday lights is before your weather turns wet and cold. Not only is it easier and more comfortable to work outdoors in mild weather, but it is also safer. Safely climbing ladders and working along the eaves of a roof can be a dangerous challenge in bad weather!

There is a huge variety of Christmas lights and displays for the rooftop, but few people actually consider the effect of Christmas lights on their roof and gutter systems.

Your roof is designed to withstand mother nature and to keep you safe from the weather year-round. Regular inspections from your trusted roofing professional are crucial to keeping your roof in superior condition. So, before stringing Christmas lights, climbing on the roof, or putting any pressure on your roof system, make sure that it your roof is able to withstand the activity.

A first step is to call a professional from Greenawalt Roofing – our experienced roofing experts are trained to inspect roofs in a safe manner and find any small and big problems before they become a major (and expensive!) headache. An inspection should be done before Christmas lights are hung to ensure that the roof is stable to hold additional pressure.

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Homeowners should be cautious stringing lights or putting any displays on their roofing structure. An inspection can determine where any soft spots are in the roof and to find out if there are any leaks, cracks, or loose shingles.

During the inspection, have a roofing professional look at specific areas, such as the chimney and gutters, where the Christmas lights will be hung. If you have loose gutters, this could pose a serious threat to the safety of the person stringing the lights.

A steep roof pitch can be dangerous to those who are untrained walking on them. When hanging Christmas lights, it is important to preserve the roof structure. There are a variety of methods used to install Christmas lights without permanently attaching, or nailing, the lights to the roof structure.

First, consider gutter clips. Gutter clips are designed to lightly hang from the gutter, without putting too much weight on the system. This is safe for the gutter and still allows for a nice display. For more ornate Christmas displays, consider magnetic Christmas lights. It simply clips onto the shingles and can be removed. Velcro clips are another temporary attachment. Consider options that are temporary and cannot puncture or crack your roof system. Once the holiday season is complete, the cleanup is fast and easy!