Aluminum Gutters Overview

Aluminum Gutters Overview

If you are having your rain gutters updated or installed for the first time, you have a variety of materials to choose from. Gutter systems are commonly made of vinyl, steel, aluminum, or sometimes, copper. Aluminum rain gutters are, by far, the most popular systems chosen, making up nearly 80% of all gutters installed in the country. They provide homeowners with an aesthetically pleasing appearance, flexibility, and reliability. Additionally, there are some benefits and facts that you may not already know about aluminum gutters.

Aluminum Gutters are Long Lasting and Durable

Aluminum gutters are known for their durability. They are able to stand up to harsh weather conditions such as heavy rainfall, hail, high winds, tornadoes, and the ice and occasional snow that the area sees in the winter. In fact, aluminum gutters often have a lifespan of over 20 years.

Aluminum Gutters are Lightweight

Gutters that are lightweight, like those made of aluminum, are an ideal choice for homeowners because they are easier to install than those made from heavier materials, and they sag far less over time.

Aluminum Gutters Won’t Rust

While steel gutters are an option that some homeowners opt for, it is heavier than aluminum and when leaves and other debris begin to fill up steel gutters, it may cause corrosion or rust. Aluminum gutters may be a better option considering this.

Aluminum Gutters Can Hold More Water

One of the most effective reasons to choose aluminum gutters is that they are able to hold more water than those made of other materials. This is a huge benefit during heavy rains.

Aluminum Gutters Can Be Customized

Unlike some of the other gutter materials, such as steel or copper, aluminum gutters can be customized to the specifics of your home. They are made in different gauges and thickness, so a unique system can be designed to complement your house. That means that the aluminum gutter you have installed can be fitted to any unique spaces that your home has. Aluminum gutters also come in a variety of prefinished colors that will allow you to match them to your home.

Aluminum Gutters Can Be Seamless

Nearly three-quarters of homeowners who have rain gutters installed opt for seamless gutters. Aluminum works great for this option. Using seamless gutters ensures that there are no leaks and that water is directed away from your home quickly and safely. This prevents water from running down the side of your home, potentially creating damaging issues like fascia and soffit from rotting, creating mold and mildew.

Aluminum Gutters Prevent Foundation Damage

Water can be very damaging to your home, including the foundation. If water from rainfall is allowed to collect around the base of your home, it can soak down to the foundation. Over time, water can cause cracking and movement of the foundation, making the home a hazardous place to be for you and your family. Adding aluminum gutters can flush rainwater away from your home and foundation keeping them safe and secure from damage.

Aluminum Gutters Need to Be Maintained

While rain gutters are efficient and effective, they do require maintenance to continue to work properly. Many people opt to take care of their gutters during the spring season, after the harsh weather in the winter, but it’s important that you inspect your gutters more than once a year. Some of the key times to make sure that they are in good shape are right after all leaves have fallen from trees or after severe weather such as heavy rain or strong winds.

Getting to Know Your Roof

Getting to Know Your Roof

Contrary to popular belief, the roof isn’t just one structure; it’s actually composed of different subsystems that each play a role in protecting your home from the elements. These same parts also play a key role in defining the overall design of your roof and what you should prioritize if you want to improve its aesthetics.

Below are the four basic design components of your home’s roofing system.

The Ridge

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The ridge is the highest point of the roof, also known as its peak area. It’s arguably the most defining part of your entire roofing system as it stands out neatly among the rest of the parts. The ridge itself is what we refer to as the “spine” of the entire roofing system. We recommend installing ridge cap shingles at the very peak; this functions as both an aesthetic component and extra protective layer on an otherwise vulnerable part of the roof.


Pitch

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The pitch is what we roofers refer to as the slope or steepness of the roof. This ultimately depends on the style of your home. Classic and Colonial-style houses tend to have steep roofs that naturally divert water away from the surface. In modern and contemporary homes, low-pitch or completely flat roofs are more common.


Dormer

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The dormer refers to the sections of the home that extrude or jut out from the roof. This is a rather common design feature in homes with attics, with the dormer itself housing the primary window area. Think of the dormer as a miniature roof, so the same roofing elements should be used for this part of the roof.


The Gables

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The gable is what you call the portion of the wall between the edge or edges of intersecting roof pitches. In classical homes, these are usually triangular in shape, reflecting the overall pitch of the roof. They tend to be the most vulnerable part of the entire roof, usually affected by problems originating from the ridge, pitch, or the valley.

Chimney Leaks

Chimney Leaks

You may love your fireplace in the winter, but when you discover that your chimney is leaking, you may not feel so positively about it. Because a chimney has to be open to the outdoors and the elements, they are an area where leaks can occur.

There are a number of reasons that your chimney may be leaking.

The most common reasons are listed below.

Damaged Chimney Crown

A chimney crown is a cap made of cement that is placed on top of the chimney. Its purpose is to offer protection from birds, debris, harsh weather, leaves, and other external elements. Sometimes, chimney crowns become damaged or cracked, causing a leak to occur. They can crack for several different reasons, including:

  1. Shifting of the home’s foundation

2. Excessive rain or snow

3. Natural shrinking and growing with weather and temperature changes

4. Small vermin that can burrow into the cement

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When cracks happen in the chimney, it can allow water to seep in. The water tends to deepen the existing cracks, making the amount of water leaking in continue to increase. Repairing a chimney crown crack is typically an easy fix. It’s often remedied by patching new mortar and cement in the cracked areas. However, if the crack is large, it may be a matter of removing all of the bricks and replacing the chimney.

Improper Flashing

Roof flashing is designed to provide extra protection where roof surfaces join together. For example, it is commonly used along roof joints and the tops of dormers. Flashing is also used to help waterproof areas where the roof opens to allow for other structures like skylights, elevated vents, or chimneys. It is usually made of strips of galvanized steel or aluminum, and it plays a vital role in safeguarding the edges where leaks often cause significant damage to the roof and the home.

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When a roof and chimney are built, there is naturally a small gap left between the two. Flashing eliminates the gap, protecting both structures. Proper flashing has two levels:

Step flashing – This is a piece of L-shaped metal that is interwoven with the shingles adjacent to the chimney. It is also melded to the chimney, creating a solid seal against the elements.

Counter Flashing – This is an additional layer of protections placed within the joints of the chimney. It is also placed on top of the step flashing, for extra protection.

If either part of the flashing around the chimney becomes loose or damaged, water is able to seep under it and into the home, chimney, or even the homes foundation. One solution to these chimney leaks is by patching the improper flashing. The process involves resealing the problem areas using caulk or other appropriate sealants.

No Chimney Lining

Some older chimneys may not be equipped with the right sized lining, which can also lead to chimney leaks. The linings job is to prevent dirt and debris from building up on the sides of the chimney. The chimney lining is especially important for fireplaces that use gas. When fireplaces use gas, the fumes can carry a lot of moisture, which can cling to the chimney, keeping the bricks and masonry damp. Wet bricks can affect a multitude of things, including your paint, wallpaper, and even the foundation of your home.

The solution is to waterproof your bricks. Waterproofing bricks is a complicated process because it involves applying a liquid seal to the bricks, while also allowing them room to breathe as needed. Finding the right balance isn’t easy to achieve and may require that you have it done by a professional.

Uncovered Chimney

When it rains, it can fall into your uncovered chimney. When it’s raining excessively, water can weaken the internal structure of your chimney, resulting in small cracks that worsen over time.

To fix this problem, you can obtain a metal rain cap to keep water from getting into the chimney during the rainy season. The cap is placed over the chimney opening and is raised by a metal grating that allows fireplace smoke to escape while still protecting the structure of your chimney.

Problems with the Homes Foundation

Periods of drought followed by excessive rain can cause a home’s foundations to shift. When the foundation shifts, a chimney is often an area that becomes damaged.

 
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In the event this happens, it’s important to have a roofing contractor out to see what can be done with your roof. Unfortunately, there may be much larger issues than a leaky chimney.

Soffit & Fascia

Soffit & Fascia

The soffit and fascia are not the focal points of any roofing project unless you need to fix something that specifically affects them. Any expert roofing contractor will be quick to point out just how important they are to the roof’s continual function and efficiency. However, what exactly makes these two roofing components great?

What Are They?

First, a quick review. The fascia is a board that runs along the edges of your roof, covering the rafters of the roof structure. These can also be used in commercial roofing as the outer surface of a building’s cornice. The soffit, on the other hand, is the board running underneath the eaves of your roof. It usually connects the fascia to the wall of your home.

Attic Security

The first role of the soffit and fascia is attic security. Your attic is directly underneath the roof structure and leaving the attic exposed means critters can easily enter the attic. This can be a problem since the attic is hardly used or cleaned. It can be easy for insects and other pests to start nesting there. The soffit effectively seals the entryway into the attic. This is why residential roof installation services include these features upon installation.

Ventilation

The secondary function of the soffit and fascia are for ventilation. One of the problems encountered by roofs is the build-up of moisture due to the shift from hot and cold temperatures. Hotter temperatures cause water vapor within the home to rise up, inevitably ending up in the rafter area of the roof. Since there is normally no way out of that portion of the roof, the water vapor gets stuck there. When the day cools down, condensation happens, which leads to moisture building up in an area of your home that can suffer greatly from increased moisture.

This is why your roofer places vents around the fascia of the roof. This ventilation system gives water vapor a way to escape the confines of the rafters. In this manner, moisture accumulation is averted. The systems used by roofers in commercial roofing repair are more advanced than the systems used in residential roofing, but the process remains fundamentally the same.

Guide to Siding Colors

Guide to Siding Colors

Color can add value and substantial personality to your house. So, even though making decisions about which colors to use for your siding and trim feels overwhelming now, it’s all going to pay off in the end.

So, how do you use color to differentiate your house? The following guide lays out some of the basic principles of color theory and answers the most frequently asked questions.

 
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The Color Wheel

Understanding the basics is essential to choosing colors. Divided in 12 sections, the color wheel is a great tool for finding color combinations that are balanced and pleasing to the eye. Here are the most effective and frequently used color harmonies on the color wheel:

Analogous colors are colors right next to each other on the color wheel. Most commonly used in a combination of three on a house’s exterior, they work well together when you want to limit contrast and create a calm, serene color scheme.

Complementary colors are opposite each other on the color wheel. They involve two colors, such as red and green. Together, they generate the most contrast, especially when used in their purest, most vibrant form.

A triad is when you select a color and instead of using its complement, you use the two colors on either side of the complementary color, resulting in a three-color combination with low contrast.

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Warm vs. Cool

Colors are separated into warm and cool tones, based on their position within the color spectrum. Reds, yellows, and oranges make up the warm side of the spectrum, whereas blues, purples, and greens are cooler tones.

Warm colors evoke excitement. When placed with their cooler counterparts, warm colors appear larger, more prominent, and easier to view.

Cool colors are relaxing and calming. Cooler tones are used more often in northern areas of the country, while warmer colors are more prominent in the south.

 
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Commonly Asked Questions

If your home has no natural way to divide colors, don't force it. Go for a less complex color combination.

How many colors should I use on my home?

The number of colors used in an exterior color scheme depends on the home and how many details there are to highlight. Typically, traditional homes have three colors: body, trim, and accent.

Newer architectural styles (and occasionally larger houses) can benefit from more than three colors. By adding a second body or trim color, you can make your home more visually appealing. These additional colors should be close to each other on the color wheel, with a slight change in value.

Tip: Don’t forget your roof. If it’s in good shape and you like it, then make sure the color of your siding goes with it. If you plan on replacing it soon, then don’t worry too much; choose colors you love, and your roof will follow suit.

 Should my trim be a lighter or darker color than the body of my home?

Lighter trim colors are usually the best choice, since the eye goes to the lightest color in a combination first and, in most cases, you are using trim to emphasize your house’s most interesting architectural features. This technique of guiding the eye from light to dark was often employed on Victorian houses, making one color look like a shadow of the other. Keep in mind that not all trim has to be the same color.

If you have horizontal or vertical banding, you may want to choose it in a different color than the trim surrounding your windows. You may also want your soffits and eaves to be a different color than your window trim.

Will a dark body color make my home look smaller?

A house looks smaller as a result of strong contrast in colors or using light and dark colors together. This is not always a bad thing and can actually enhance design.

If you like deeper colors and don’t want your house to look smaller, then don't use white trim; instead use a mid-tone-color trim to make the main color look brighter.

What if I don’t want to use color—am I being too boring?

As much as color can add to a house, sometimes it looks best not to use any at all. Don't be afraid to have an all-white house. White reflects light and will actually appear to vary in tone throughout the day. Plus, you can always play with the color of your door and other visual elements such as landscaping or porch furniture that come together to create the overall look.

Should my garage door be the same color as my front door or trim?

In most cases, no! It only draws attention to the least attractive part of your home. Also, an accent color can throw off your house’s balance, making the garage look larger than it actually is. To help it blend in, select colors that are either the same as the body color, or slightly lighter or darker.

 
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Tips & Tricks

  • Use a lighter trim color to draw attention to the trim.

  • Use a soft contrast between body and trim colors to make your home appear larger.

  • Use deeper body colors for a warm, cozy feeling.

  • Look for colors that align with your neighborhood or environment.

  • Use a third color for special details that you want to highlight.

  • Switch up body colors in horizontal bands, not vertical stripes.

Window Replacement Contractor

Window Replacement Contractor

4 Qualities to Look for in a Window Replacement Contractor

Now that you’ve chosen a potential window replacement contractor, it’s time to drill down and have a real conversation about their products, processes, and procedures. The answers that they give will tell you a lot. 

1. Quality Materials

Who has time to research all the window options available? You’re already busy vetting your window replacement contractor.

A quality window replacement contractor should be ready and willing to walk you through all the sizing options, frame materials, glass panes, opening methods, and locking systems. They should also explain how products differ and help you find the solutions that are right for you based on your unique needs, wants, and budget.

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2. Exceptional Customer Service

From the first contact to the final installation, a good window replacement contractor should have a driving need to put the customer’s needs first. 

At Greenawalt Roofing, we can review all the options and styles to help you make the best choice for your home!

3. Transparency

Part of exceptional customer service is open and honest communication, from getting an accurate quote and sticking to timelines to returning all of your phone calls. If something goes wrong, a reputable contractor should be up front with you, and be willing to discuss all of your options with you.

4. Solid Warranties

Greenawalt Roofing recommends and installs MI windows which are manufactured in the United States and backed by a Limited Lifetime Customer Assurance Warranty.

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Ready to talk about new windows?

If it’s time to replace your windows, contact Greenawalt Roofing today. We are happy to come out to your home to take a look at your existing windows and offer recommendations — while offering the customer service, product knowledge, and project customization that you need. Simply visit us online or call (717) 898-6000.

Common Questions by Homeowners

Common Questions by Homeowners

Frequently Asked Questions about Roofing Services

Question #1: When do I need a roof replacement?

It depends. What’s certain, though, is that safety is our number one priority. We encourage homeowners not to inspect their home as to do so carries the risk of serious injury.

There are several trigger signs that indicate a roof replacement may be required:

  • If the roof is between 20 and 30 years old.

  • If asphalt shingles are damaged, cracked, or bending.

  • If shingles are missing in their entirety.

You may also notice mold formation, dry rot, and peeling paint. None of the above factors mean you need a full roof replacement. A qualified roofer needs to examine the roof on a case-by-case basis – determining what the best course of action should be.

Question #2: My roofing problem appears minor. Can’t I repair it myself?

We urge homeowners not to repair roofing problems themselves. There are two main reasons for this:

  • First, while the problem may – on the face of things – appear small, there could be a major underlying, structural issue at fault.

  • Second, there are serious safety concerns about inspecting and/or performing roof repairs.

Question #3: What is the cost of a roof replacement?

This depends upon a wide variety of factors, including:

  • The type, nature, and severity of the roof replacement in question.

  • The type of roofing material you wish to use – some materials are cheap, others are considerably more expensive.

  • Where the building is located, and the challenges associated with this location.

Question #4: I’ve noticed my roof is starting to leak. What does this mean?

Identifying a leak could be an indication of one of two things. It may be self-limiting, in which case the leak has been identified before it spread and caused other damage throughout the home. Alternatively, the leak may be a symptom of a wider structural problem that has manifested in the roof.

Building A Roof

Building A Roof

Do you know what your roof is made of and how it has been affixed to the top of your house?

On an ordinary day, we do not think about our roof until there is an issue such as a leak.

When your house was built, it was framed into the shape that you see today. On top of the framing or rafters, sheets of plywood are attached which is then referred to as the roof deck. This will be the area that the roofing material such as shingles will be applied, but before the shingles come out, there are some other steps when building a roof.

We all know that water is the mortal enemy of the roof. Roofs are designed to keep water in the form of rain, sleet, hail, and snow away from your home and also designed to withstand wind that can pick up the shingles and render them useless. To help with that, a roof is designed in layers. The layer that goes onto the roof deck is a piece of felt, a thick material that intercepts water that may get past a damaged shingle. Next goes the drip edge, strips of aluminum or galvanized steel that helps block the wind and rain from the edge of the roof surface in addition to helping to maintain a tight seal.


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Now it’s time for the shingles. Shingles can come in all colors, sizes, and shapes. They can be made of slate, wood, metal, and even recycled tires. By far the most popular shingles are made of asphalt. These shingles have been used for over a hundred years and are beloved by many because they are easy to install, easy to repair, have a great warranty, and are by far the cheapest option available. These shingles start with a felt mat that is then impregnated with asphalt. Granules are then added to the outer layer that helps to prevent UV light damage as well as giving them their unique look. These shingles are placed on the roof deck over top of the felt layer and nailed to each other and the roof deck. A factory applied adhesive that is heat sensitive then allows the shingles to be further attached to the roof and they become self-sealing with the summers hot sun beaming down on them. A roof is only as good as the sum of its parts. Everything overlaps to work together to resist the weather, shedding water, and resisting wind. If a piece of the roof is compromised, it could mean weather gets into the house causing interior damage.


If you are interested in a quote to see what your roof will cost for replacement, give Greenawalt Roofing a call at 717-898-6000 to schedule an appointment with one of our sales representatives.

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WITH GREENAWALT ROOFING, YOU CAN EXPECT AN HONEST ASSESSMENT AND FREE ESTIMATE!

Insurance Claim Myths

Insurance Claim Myths

Many homeowners believe is that all damage is covered by their insurance policy. This is a common misconception. Below are a few myths debunked.

Myth: Roof Insurance Leads to Roof Replacement

Say, your roof is dilapidated and needs to be replaced. You might consider calling the insurance company for this. However, this doesn’t always play out as most homeowners hope. The point of a roof insurance claim is to restore the roof to its original condition. It doesn’t necessarily mean a roof replacement.

Myth: No Deductible Fees

You might encounter some insurance agents who tell you that you won’t have to pay anything for the claim. However, you actually do need to pay an agreed deductible fee to redeem the insurance. This happens before your insurance is validated. Once you do, then the insurance company handles the rest of the payment when you need it.

Myth: Stains Indicate a Leaking Roof

Stains inside your home aren’t an automatic sign of leak damage from the roof. Check if other sources of water, like your air conditioning or plumbing, are at fault.


Having a good insurance policy is beneficial when you file a roof insurance claim. This way, you can cover different types of damage, including storms and disasters.

When your home needs a new roof, choose a contractor experienced in residential roof replacement. Since 2004, Greenawalt Roofing Company has specialized in roof replacement for residential homes throughout Lancaster, Harrisburg, York, and Reading.

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Replacing the roof on your home doesn’t need to be a daunting task. Greenawalt Roofing Company will work with you to explain everything you need to know about getting a new roof on your home and the steps going through insurance. Give us a call at 717-898-6000 to set up an appointment today!

Time to Replace Your Siding

Time to Replace Your Siding

If you have owned your home for a while then you have probably learned the significance of having good siding on your home. Siding is not just to decorate the exterior of your home; though it offers a variety of ways to do that. It serves a very important purpose in protecting your home and your possessions from exterior elements. Harsh weather, insects, and moisture are examples of things that siding is meant to keep on the outside of your home. It is critical that you maintain your siding or it will become ineffective and you may find yourself making frequent repairs or needing to replace it.

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Top 5 Signs That Your Siding Needs To Be Replaced

1. Mold and Mildew

Sadly this is an all too common problem that a lot of homeowners have to deal with; though certain types of siding are more susceptible to it than others. It becomes a serious problem if it reaches the interior of your home. You should be warned that as soon as it becomes visible on the outside then the moisture has begun to penetrate the siding. No matter what part of the siding it is on you will have to look behind it in order to determine the extent of the damage. If it is only in a small area then you might be able to just replace a small section of the siding. If it is widespread then the siding on the entire house will likely need to be replaced.

2. Cracking or Peeling

When you see your siding start to peel, crack, or develop holes then you should plan to replace it. Also if it develops a chalky texture it will need to be replaced soon. Often these signs are symptoms of damage beneath the siding. Be aware that some types of siding are more susceptible to harsh weather than others and will need to be replaced more often.

3. Bending and Twisting

If you see any siding boards that are buckling, bulging, or warping, they will need to be replaced. This is usually caused by moisture that has penetrated the siding and is causing damage behind it. As the problem continues it will begin to rot and push the siding out even further.

4. Peeling on Inside Walls

If you notice the paint or wallpaper on the inside of your home beginning to peel off, this could be a sign of outside damage allowing moisture into your home. If the siding is aging, rotting, beginning to decay, or was incorrectly installed it can let moisture into the interior. This will cause the problem to multiply and create more damage.

5. Separating Seams

Siding that is in good condition should fit together tightly. You should barely be able to see any seems. If the seams are showing signs of separation, the siding needs to be replaced. Seam separation is usually caused by either faulty installation or significant aging. As the cracks develop they will let moisture in and ruin both the siding and your outside walls. You will want to replace your siding at the first sign of separation.