When it comes to the care and maintenance of your home or business, there are always going to be big-picture questions. Chief among these long term concerns is the health of your roof. Roofs offer a vital layer of protection from the elements but are also a very important part of the overall structural integrity of any building. Having an up-to-date roof that is properly installed and constructed can add significant value to your home, and will offer decades of protection for important exterior surfaces and features. Our expert contractors at Genesis Total Exteriors have decades of experience installing new roofs and repairing damage for our customers. Here are some tips to help you spot damage and wear.
There are a whole host of obvious signs that your roof is in need of repair or replacement. While these issues may seem obvious, they are not always easy to spot. For standard shingle roofs, any missing tiles are going to be a concern. The tiles that you see on most standard home roofs work as a system to funnel rain, snow, and debris away from the top of the structure and off to the sides. When tiles are missing, the entire system suffers. Missing tiles are not always a warning sign that a new roof is needed, but they are a red flag to watch out for. Similarly, tiles that are warped turned up or crooked is important to watch for. Helping roofing tiles protect your home is a layer of fine granules. Keep an eye out for areas where granules have collected or gone missing. For metal roofs that are laid down in sheets, keep an eye out for warping, denting or any other change in shape. When it comes to spotting obvious problems, trust your eyes. Take a good look around your roof and if there are any big issues, you will likely notice them.
The primary function of roofs, regardless of type, is to keep the inside of your home free from water. Working together with a proper gutter and drainage system, your roof should steer rainwater and snow away from walls and windows. Water damage inside and outside your home are important clues that your roof may not be working properly. If you notice the collection of water in certain exterior areas or are seeing water spots on the interior of your home, it may be time for a new roof. When thinking about water damage, it is important to remember that your roof works together with your gutters and downspouts. Water damage can also be spotted by looking for mold, moss, and mildew in and around your roof.
Like everything, roofs have a lifespan. Over time, all roofing systems become less effective and will eventually need to be replaced. Ideally, you should know the age of your roof so that you can know when to look for wear. If you do not know how old your roof is, Genesis Total Exteriors can offer you an easy assessment so that you know how far away a roof replacement is. Contact us by clicking here.
Is it time to give your house a facelift? There are a number of ways to do this from a fresh coat of paint, new shutters, or our favorite… new siding! Achieving a whole new look is easy with the plethora of siding options available to Homeowners. Whether you choose; budget-friendly vinyl, durable composite lapboard such as James Hardie, unique natural stone and stucco finishes, or the breathtaking look of natural wood such as cedar or pine, the whole neighborhood is going to notice when you choose to reside your home. Not only does new siding look amazing, but it also acts as the epidermis of your home, and when it is in bad shape, it’s difficult to keep outdoor elements out. Even a new coat of paint or stain won’t serve as a long term solution for a house in need of new siding. So how do you know when it is time for new siding? These are a few of Mark’s tips to look out for:
Has your house recently been victim to one or more major inclement weather events? If so, now is a good time to do a quick survey of any damage that may have occurred. Hail storms are a common culprit of damaged siding, often leaving behind dents, cracks, chipped paint and sometimes holes. Even severe thunderstorms and strong winds can leave behind visible damage, particularly if there is a lot of debris scattered after a storm.
Sun will also do significant damage to the look of your siding, making it brittle and susceptible to cracking and further damage. The most common type of sun damage is color bleaching, which affects different parts of your home to different degrees depending on differences and shapes of shade cast on your siding. This can result in a home with a spectrum of color rather than a uniform finish, as well as leave weakened and vulnerable spots on the sunnier sides of your home.
Temperature and humidity also affect your siding causing it to expand and contract at different times of the day and in different seasons. If moisture works its way under your siding it can leave blisters on the surface that will be unsightly and grow over time leading to further damage.
It may seem obvious, but it is important to occasionally walk around your home no matter what the recent weather has been. Changing temperatures, unseen leaks, debris in gutters, and many other things could result in cracks, loose siding, and gaps between slats. Not only do these defects make your home look shabbier, but it also leaves your investment vulnerable to costly damages. Your siding is not just there for looks; it is there to keep the outside world on the outside, including rain, heat and cold, and pests (i.e. rodents, bugs, and birds). A breach in your siding can let water in which will damage interior finishes, cause structural and foundation issues, and may ruin irreplaceable belongings. Heat can move more easily through a breach, making it more difficult and more expensive to establish the desired temperature in your home. Pests are certainly more likely to exploit a gap in your exterior, or make loose siding worse, which could lead to a host of more serious problems.
Installing new siding can feel like quite an undertaking, but it is also very important for the curb appeal and integrity of your home. Have any questions or want a free estimate? Call Genesis Total Exteriors! Be sure to mention you read our blog and get a free virtual design consultation! Also, we are offering 12-month no-interest financing on all stone and stucco siding projects through the end of the year.
If you have invested in vinyl siding for your home, likely one of the major reasons was because of the easy upkeep. Indeed, vinyl siding looks great long after installation, especially compared with some older types of siding. This may mean that it gets dirty way before it needs replacing, fixing, or painting. The good news is that cleaning your vinyl siding is much faster, easier and cheaper than painting or replacing it. The bad news is that you have to use a little elbow grease to get it looking like new. But, fear not: cleaning siding doesn’t have to be difficult or expensive, there are plenty of ways to have your home looking good as new all on your own.
Perhaps the easiest method of cleaning your siding is with a power washer. However, there are some risks with this method. You have to make sure your siding will withstand the pressure of the wash. Some siding manufacturers warn against using a power washer or state a maximum pressure to use. Be careful around windows and other features, and make sure to point the washer down, not up between the siding slats. Power washers can also cost a bit of extra money if you don’t own one already to rent or to buy, but they make the whole process much faster and simpler. They also don’t require the use of any cleaning agents that may be harmful to you, your family, and your landscaping.
You can also wash your siding the old fashioned way with a bucket and mop. A solution of 70% water and 30% white vinegar will remove light stains and mildew if your siding hasn’t gone too long since its last cleaning or installation. If you need a more powerful agent, add 2/3 cup powdered household cleaner, 1/3 cup of powdered laundry detergent, and a quart of liquid laundry bleach to a gallon of water. Store-bought cleaners and especially bleach can hurt skin, eyes, and any plant life in the area, so be careful if you choose to use these powerful chemicals.
If you need to take off heavy duty stains and you don’t want to handle harsh chemicals, look for eco-friendly and skin-friendly cleaning agents at your local home goods store. Many brands now offer very effective yet safe cleaning solutions.
What to Avoid
Though many common cleaners will work just fine, it is not recommended to use any acetone-based products, degreasers, polishes, organic solvents, or undiluted chlorine products. These can damage your vinyl siding. If you are having a hard time removing stains and stuck-on grime, it may be tempting to use an abrasive tool such as steel wool, but this can do permanent damage to the finish on your siding and cause discoloration and indentation that can collect more dirt in the long run.
No one likes to clean their house, but it may not be the daunting job you imagine. Determine what is right for you and your family, and don’t wait to get your vinyl siding and your house looking its best!