Tree Branches VS Your Roof

Tree Branches VS Your Roof

Can Tree Branches Really Damage My Roof?

After bad storms and tornadoes, you’ve probably watched the news and seen roofs caved in by toppled trees. But it’s much more common for a single branch to wreak havoc on your home, and you might be surprised how. Branches can be putting your home in danger for more than one reason when they grow too close to your roof.

1. Branches could fall.

Gravity is the law that never changes: if there’s a branch hanging above your roof, it’s going to fall one day. Better to cut it down and control when and where it falls than to pay the price when you least expect it.

Be sure to cut down a branch using all the right safety equipment and precautions. The idea is to prevent property damage, not cause it.

2. Animals can access your roof.

A tree branch is like a one-way ticket from the ground straight onto your roof. From there, critters like squirrels, raccoons, rabbits, and possums can have a field day. Don’t be surprised to wake up to scratching in your attic one morning because a raccoon family invited themselves in.

3. Moisture can accumulate.

Branches that shade your roof or lie on top of it will prevent moisture from evaporating quickly–meaning moisture soaks into your roof. Over time, this moisture causes rot and decay of your roof, which will ultimately lead to leaks and higher energy bills as air escapes.

4. Leaves can clog your gutters.

Gutters exist for one reason: to take water from your roof and send it as far away from your house as possible. That way water doesn’t leak down into your foundation or rot away your siding.

Gutters clogged with leaves will eventually overflow with rainwater, sending water cascading down your siding, where it will leave ugly stains, rot the siding, and slowly cause your foundation to shift and become unstable.

5. Branches can scratch and damage your shingles.

Most shingles nowadays are made of little asphalt granules. These shingles will lose granules gradually over time from rainstorms, sun exposure, and dust. But they can also be scraped off your roof by tree branches. When the wind blows branches across your roof, your shingles get worn down much faster than usual, putting your roof at risk for leaks or shingles that fly off during a storm.

All in all, tree branches near your roof cause nothing but trouble. It’s always best to cut them down before they turn into a real problem, and if you don’t feel comfortable with a saw you can always call a professional to take care of it.

Surviving Summer

Surviving Summer

Will Your Shingle Roof Survive Summer Heat?

Check Attic Ventilation

Quality brand name shingles should have no problems in protecting your home under normal conditions. But if vents have become blocked, or fans no longer work, heat can build up quickly below the shingles, turning your attic into a hot box. If the temperatures exceed manufacturers’ expectations, shingle performance could suffer. Should you have any concerns about your roof’s ventilation system, be sure to contact a professional.

Blistering Shingles

There are two primary reasons for asphalt shingles to blister. The first is moisture that could have been trapped within the shingles themselves. As the roof heats under the sweltering summer sun, trapped moisture can expand, causing blisters to rise. The second is poor ventilation. As already covered, inadequate ventilation in the attic can allow the roof to become too hot for the shingles.

If you encounter blisters on your shingles you’ll want to keep an eye on them. As long as the blisters on the shingles retain their granules, the condition may not impact the longevity of the roof. The size of the blisters will often go down as the roof cools.

If the blisters pop, granules can become dislodged, resulting in asphalt areas that are unprotected from the harsh UV rays of the sun.

If you see blistered shingles, it’s best to avoid walking on them. Falling debris can also bring harm to blistered shingles. Check the surrounding trees and cut back some of the limbs. This could prevent branches, pine cones, and acorns from falling on the shingles.

Hail

Hail damage can often look just like blister damage. If blisters have popped due to human weight, they will generally be limited to areas of foot traffic. Hail damage, on the other hand, will be far more uniform. If granules have been lost due to hail strikes, the roof’s defense against the sun and weather could have been compromised. Should your roof endure a hail storm this summer, it’s a good idea to have it professionally inspected for storm damage.

Granule Loss

Granule loss from asphalt shingles can seriously impact both the performance and lifespan of the roof. Granules are adhered to the surface during the manufacturing process and protect the asphalt shingle from the damaging effects of UV light and local weather conditions. These granules also reflect light, keeping your home cooler during the summer months.

We’ve already discussed several of the causes of shingle granule loss: blisters that have popped, mechanical damage from foot traffic, and hail. If you’ve had work done on the chimney, or the gutters cleaned, it’s a good idea to check for signs of wear. Another form of mechanical damage can result from tree branches too close to the roof’s surface. Curled shingles can flap about in a storm. Even if they don’t break in the wind, sometimes they will shed many of their granules.

Note: A brand new shingle roof will shed loose granules for a while, so finding granules in the gutters may not be cause for alarm. Roofs will also lose granules due to normal aging. Weather, dramatic temperature changes, and sun exposure cause the shingles to lose their flexibility over time, resulting in a breakdown of the adhesive properties keeping granules in place.

Attic Insulation During Summertime

Attic Insulation During Summertime

How Attic Insulation Keeps Your House Cool Throughout the Summer

When people think of what the insulation in their attic does for them, most imagine a frigid winter evening. As the snow is whipping around outside, the insulation in their roof acts as their blanket, keeping the cold out and the warmth in.

But attic insulation is more than a wintertime friend. It’s an all-year-round ally, working through the summer to keep you and your home cool.

Why does attic insulation keep the heat away?

In essence, attic insulation minimizes the amount of heat that’s able to pass between the inside and outside of your home. During the winter you want your insulation to retain heat and make sure it stays inside, while during the summer it’s all about keeping the hot air out and the cool air in.

To really understand insulation, you need to know about the three types of heat:

  • Conduction is when heat passes through materials, like when you accidentally leave a metal ladle resting on a hot pot of soup or a spoon in a cup of coffee.

  • Convection happens when heat circulates through liquids or gases. It’s the reason why warmer air (which is lighter) rises, while the cooler and heavier air sinks.

  • Radiant heat travels in straight lines and warms anything solid that’s in its way and ready to absorb the energy. The sun produces this type of heat, as do many of the heat sources in our homes (like fireplaces and furnaces).

When the sun’s energy hits your roof, it transmits radiant heat. That heat travels by conduction into your attic as your roof becomes hot. If its passage isn’t slowed or reduced, it can cause the air inside your home to become warmer (convection).

This is where the insulation in your attic comes in, acting as a barrier to reduce the amount of heat that’s able to come in or leave.

What are the benefits of replacing the insulation in your attic before the winter?

1. Easier Installation

The best time to address under-insulated spaces in your attic is when your roof is being worked on. After the shingles are removed, your roofer can strip off the sheet of plywood to ensure easy access for the necessary machines and tools, which means a cleaner and more cost effective installation for you.

Ideally, you want to schedule a roof replacement (or any other necessary work) during the spring, summer, or fall before the cold temperatures and challenging conditions typically hit. Problems, however, don’t always wait for good weather. If your roof or insulation needs attention in the wintertime, work with an experienced roofer to ensure they’re properly looked after.

2. Warmer Winter

Waiting for too long can leave your house exposed to the elements, which will make it cold and uncomfortable to be in. Ensuring you have the right insulation in place when you need it will help your house regulate its temperature all year — helping it stay cozy in the winter and cool throughout the summer.

Why are Flat Roofs Common on Large Commercial Buildings?

Flat roofs are roofs that are almost completely level, in contrast to the many types of sloped roofs we are used to seeing in residential areas. Flat roofs still have a slope, or “pitch”, of up to 12 degrees. Flat roofs have been around for a long time, and in the past have mostly been used in desert climates where the worry of strong rainstorms was practically non-existent. In third world countries, such rooftops are used as storage areas, and even as a place to do clean dishes and laundry or raise livestock.

So why are they suddenly becoming more and more popular in first world countries, with commercial buildings throughout the world commonly being spotted with flat roofs? 

It seems that there are many pros to having a flat roof, especially for commercial buildings. Thanks to the internet and social media, this information is more readily available to builders and buyers alike.

This is likely the cause of the flat roof’s recent surge of popularity, but what are these pros and how do they benefit us?

They are Cost Efficient

Flat roofs are incredibly cost-efficient, and they cost less due to many different reasons. Starting with construction, flat roofs require much fewer materials compared to regularly pitched roofs. The materials usually used in flat roofs are under layers and a top coat, which is usually made up of modified bitumen, asphalt, PVC, or rubber. These materials are also more affordable than the typical materials used for regularly sloped roofs, and flat roofs have less surface area to cover, which means great savings. To top it all off, they’re much easier to set up, saving you time and money on labor and installation costs!

They are also cost efficient because they can last for about 30-50 years, depending on what material you go with. Flat roofs are built with tar and gravel, giving them a tough exterior that is resistant to damage. With proper maintenance including weatherproof coating, a flat roof can withstand some of the toughest wind and rain storms. This means you don’t need as large of a budget kept for roof maintenance.

They’re Easy to Maintain

Gone are the days of falling off precariously angled shingles, as flat roofs are…well, flat. This means that the roof is now much easier to get to and much safer to walk around on than a regularly sloped roof. You also don’t have to use other equipment like ladders, unlike roofs with slopes or valleys. This makes it less time consuming and much easier to find and deal with leaks and damages.

When thinking of maintaining roofs, the thing that comes to mind after shingle health is probably gutters. Nobody wants the job of cleaning out year old, half composted leaves and garbage that have found their way into the roof’s gutters. Flat roofed building owners do not have to worry about gutters at all, as they allow commercial properties to install a new type of water removal system. A reliable rainwater roll-off system ensures the rain will not clog or damage any flat roof drain. These new systems are even able to redistribute rainwater as a renewable resource to water rooftop garden plants or fountains.

They Are an Efficient Use of Space

Commercial properties usually have a very large selection of assets, so they need to optimize the space of their buildings. The flat roof, allowing air conditioner units, and solar panels, and other objects to be installed on the roof, maximizing interior surface area. Industrial properties use their flat roofs for storage, as they can support the weight of their ventilation and HVAC systems safely. Extra roof space can also be used for projects like rooftop gardens, making our world a greener place. Large commercial buildings such as hotels can even have a night sky bar area or deck. With careful architecture and design, flat roofs can even accommodate pools!

Visually Appealing

Flat roofs are completely customizable, with a variety of different upgrades available. As previously mentioned, some are turned into green roofs by adding plants on the surface. These plants not only look appealing while helping the environment, but they will also help extend the life of a flat roof by absorbing water to prevent leaks and damages. Redesigning has never been easier for building owners’ wallets, as the installation fees and material costs are much lower for flat roofs compared to regularly angled roofs.

Conclusion

There are so many lucrative benefits to flat roofs that commercial building owners are benefiting from. These benefits are now also slowly being reaped by homeowners around the globe, which have opted to install flat roofs rather than pitched roofs onto their homes. Having more flat buildings in urban and residential areas would be a great space saver overall, allowing more people to have homes and offering up more space for gardens and trees.

Improper Gutter Installation

Improper Gutter Installation

Your gutters play a crucial role in protecting your home from unruly weather conditions. Working as shields, your gutters serve as a channel for water to flow away from your property. Properly installed gutters protect your siding, fascia, walls, and soffit from water damage. Gutters also prevent soil erosion, protect your landscape, prevent flooding in your basement, and protect your home’s foundation from water damage.

This is clearly enough reason for why it is so important for homeowners to ensure that their gutters are installed properly. In the event they are not, they need to search for a reputable and respectable company such as Greenawalt Roofing for new gutter installation.

Now that you know you should make sure the gutters in your home are installed properly, you might wonder how you can tell if they are installed correctly or not.

1. Inaccurate Pitching

Check to see if your gutter is installed at a slight angle or a pitch for water. If it is not, water will not be able to flow smoothly into drains and downspouts. Therefore, it is important that the pitch is positioned at a slight pitch. If the slope is too much, it can result in water spilling or ponding instead of going through the downspouts.

2. Incorrect Downspout Placement

Check to see if the downspouts are positioned properly. A downspout not positioned properly can cause water to collect in the middle of the gutter, and this gives birth to a host of problems such as roof damage, siding damage, foundation damage, and damage to the gutter system, due to excess weight placed on it by the pool of water.

3. Improper Hanger Installation

Hangers attach the entire gutter system to your property. They hold the entire weight of the gutter. Defective hangers or improperly installed hangers can make your gutters fall and sag.

 
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At Greenawalt Roofing, we know how important gutter systems are and we use the same care with our gutter & spouting installation as we do with our quality roofing services. We offer a variety of gutter systems in a variety of colors and materials to complement the look of your home.

Call us at 717-898-6000 to schedule your free estimate today!

Why is Vinyl Siding Popular?

Why is Vinyl Siding Popular?

There are plenty of choices when it comes to the siding on a home, although many homeowners continually choose vinyl. Here is a closer look at why vinyl siding continues to be a popular choice in all kinds of neighborhoods. 

 
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Vinyl siding often seems the best fit for most homeowners. One of the reasons it is such a popular choice is because it is practically maintenance free. In order to clean vinyl siding, there are no special types of sprays, washes or scrubs that need to be purchased. All it takes is a hose and some running water. Hose down your vinyl siding a few times a year and the extent of the maintenance is done.

Adding to the convenience of vinyl siding is the fact that most brands come with warranties that last a lifetime. That means there will not be the worry or inconvenience of having to replace your siding.

 
 

There is some vinyl siding that looks identical to cedar shake. The good part is that it is not priced the same as cedar shake. Homeowners can purchase vinyl siding that looks like cedar shake for just a fraction of the cost.

Some homeowners may want to change up the look of their home. Vinyl siding lets them do that without any major renovations, or without spending a good deal of money. Vinyl siding also lasts for long stretches of time.

Vinyl siding is also durable and can withstand high winds and precipitation. It is also an option for homeowners looking to sell their home in the near future. As part of the siding installation process, the addition of insulation helps energy efficiency while house wrap serves the same purpose.

The options really are widespread when it comes to vinyl siding. There is an extensive amount of colors to choose from. That allows homeowners to be very selective when deciding on the perfect color for their home. They can mix and match an abundance of samples until they find the right color.

 
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Greenawalt Roofing offers siding installation in Lancaster and surrounding areas. Our team of experienced installers can take care of all your residential needs.

Call Greenawalt Roofing at 717-898-6000 to schedule your free estimate today!

Pros & Cons of Roof Types

Pros & Cons of Roof Types

There are a lot of different types of roofs, some of which are more conducive to certain regions and environments. Here is a closer look at the pros and cons of some of the more popular roof types.

Gable roof

Pros: Since these roofs have quite a few peaks, water runs off rather easily and the design also allows for an ample amount of ventilation.

Cons: Gable roofs are very susceptible to damage from severe wind and weather which could result in shingles being torn off or an entire collapse.

Flat Roof

Pros: This kind of roof is relatively inexpensive and serves as a perfect base for the installation of solar panels. It also provides extra space for something like a rooftop deck.

Cons: Because of the design and lack of water runoff, flat roofs can experience their share of leaks. There is often more maintenance required on flat roofs due to leaks and water ponding.

Arched Roof

Pros: This design is considered very chic and has a lot of aesthetic appeal. It also has a lot of structural integrity and is not a common sight in all neighborhoods.

Cons: It is typically only used on parts of the home and because of it is so unique, an arched roof can be costly to install.

Mansard Roof

Pros: These types of roofs offer more living space and are excellent for homeowners considering an addition. The attic space in a mansard can actually be converted to a bedroom or office.

Cons: The unique design of a mansard roof has made it more expensive than other common roof types. These roofs do not hold up as well in areas where there is a lot of snowfall.

Pyramid Roof

Pros: These types of roofs are very energy efficient and stand up well to high winds. Its design can be used on parts of a home to differentiate its overall appeal.

Cons: Because of the unique design of pyramid roofs, the overall cost is typically high; which may be one of its only drawbacks.

Hip Roof

Pros: The way the slopes are designed on a hip roof makes it extremely durable. Outside, snow, and rain slide off very easily and inside, there is plenty of room for high vaulted ceilings.

Cons: This is not always a cost-efficient option and the excess amount of seams make hip roofs susceptible to leaks.

What is the Longevity of My Roof?

What is the Longevity of My Roof?

Under your roof lies loved ones, valuable possessions, and memories. Protecting those things is your roof and while they last a while, no roof is indestructible. It’s important to know when you should replace your roof. So that begs the question, how long will my roof last? Well, the answer is that it depends on the material installed on your roof.

 

Asphalt Shingles

 
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The most common roofs are made of asphalt and composite shingles. These are typically the cheapest and have the shortest lifespan. While generally low-maintenance, asphalt roofing may experience heavy curled shingles and punctures from limbs. With appropriate upkeep, your asphalt roof should last between 15 and 30 years.

 

Wood Shingles

 
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While a stunning choice for your roof, wood shingles and shake roofing are known for their need for attention. You will need to monitor moisture levels on your wood roof by cleaning any debris off regularly. If possible, use only previously treated wood to ensure moisture protection. If taken care of appropriately, your wood shingle roof should last up to 20 or 30 years.

 

Metal Roof

 
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If you are looking for a low-maintenance roofing option that may last a lifetime, a metal roof may be your best option. While often more expensive than other materials, metal roofing comes in an assortment of colors and styles. If installed properly, this roof will quickly pay itself off with a lifespan of a minimum of 20 to 40 years.

 

Tile Roof

 
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The most durable roofs are tile and slate. While materials and installment may initially be costly, this material needs barely any upkeep. Especially popular in warm climates, this roofing is stunning and filled with longevity. If properly installed, tile and slate roofing can last up to 100 years or more.

What to Do After Losing a Shingle

What to Do After Losing a Shingle

What’s that in the front yard? Turns out it’s a shingle that flew off your roof during last night’s storm. But before you grab a ladder and stagger along your roof with a hammer, you should take a second to assess the total damage to your roof.

 

  1. Look for other shingles, nails, and materials that may have come dislodged.

It’s rare that a storm or heavy wind only knocks a single shingle off a roof. Take a stroll through your yard and look for nails or bits of metal from your gutters and ventilation system. If you make a pile of these things, you’ll know exactly how much damage you should be looking for on the roof itself.

 

2. Check inside your home for leaks or drafts.

If the shingle flew off during a rainstorm, you can look for dripping water or damp spots in the areas directly beneath the missing shingle. If there was no water involved, you can still have shingles missing. It’s best to call a professional to assess the damage.

 

3. Call a professional roofing company.

Just because you know where the damage is and you have the old shingles doesn’t mean you can fix it. It’s not as simple as nailing the shingle back where it’s supposed to be.

Greenawalt Roofing can provide a free estimate for a full roof replacement and can also assist with a hail/wind damage inspection if going through insurance.

 
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Roof Replacement Delays

Roof Replacement Delays

What Could Delay My Roof Replacement?

The average time between signing a contract and starting the job is four weeks. Once the job has begun, we can guarantee you’ll get the highest quality roof around. If we run into a delay before your job is set for installation, it will be for one of these reasons:

Weather

Weather is the roofer’s arch nemesis. We battle it every day when we’re out on a roof whether it is the baking heat or freezing cold. But ultimately we put our workers’ safety above all else. That means gusty winds or slippery conditions are a no-go. Once we start tearing off the roof, we have to install the new one before the rain comes otherwise, it could seriously damage your home. We try to schedule installations around the weather. Unfortunately if it rains or snows, multiple homes could be pushed back throwing everyone off schedule.

Previous Jobs

We know how frustrating it can be for contractors not to show up when you want them to. That’s why we make it a priority to stick to the schedule. But if any ongoing jobs cause us to shift our schedule, you’ll be the first to know about it. We usually schedule one day in advance to prevent false promises and to make sure previous jobs are finished.

Hidden Structural Issues

We do our best to learn everything there is to know about your roof before we get to work on it. But sometimes we only discover a structural problem after we’ve removed your old roof. If there are any underlying problems that are either dangerous to our workers or could send your roof tumbling down in the future, we’ll need to fix it before we do anything else.

Special Order Materials

We’ve got great relationships with our vendors, so we rarely run into trouble with getting materials on time. But since their inventory is out of our hands, we sometimes need to wait for them to get a shipment before they can send it to the job site. We do everything we can to get all the materials to your home at the same time, so we can be in and out as quickly as possible.