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!
Insurance makes us all feel safe. When you pay that check every month, you exhale knowing that your investment is protected. But could you have a gap in your coverage? Many homeowners assume that they are protected against any unforeseen mishaps with their home or property, but then find they have been sadly mistaken when it comes time to make a claim.
There are many ways a gap in coverage could throw a wrench in your home repairs. No matter where the gap is, the result will be the same: you will find insurance will not cover the full cost of the work you need done, and the rest will come from your pocket.
Protecting Everything Against Hail
As Coloradans, we all know that we need wind and hail protection in our policy. What isn’t always obvious is that unless each individual structure on your property is specifically listed on your policy, it may not be covered. If you have a tool shed, a guest house, or a picturesque gazebo in the backyard, it is of course subject to hail and wind damage but may not be subject to the same protections as your house. Check your policy to ensure that when the storm passes, you can get everything back in order, whether it’s your house or an auxiliary structure.
Changing Building Codes
Another hidden gap that snags repairs pertains to changing building codes. Code coverage is an option that you may not know you need until your contractor tells you that your repairs actually require an upgrade. Many policies only cover reinstating your home to its original condition, but the law in your area may require making the necessary improvements to bring it up to the current codes, regardless of what code the structure was originally built for. Only code coverage ensures that your repairs will be covered no matter what additional upgrades are required.
Prevention, Prevention, Prevention
Your policy is meant to protect you in case of unfortunate events. It will not protect you against preventable damages that set in over time. Mold and other kinds of slow acting deterioration are the homeowner’s responsibility to prevent and stay on top of. Your policy will likely not offer any reimbursement for mold or rot damage, or even falling branches from an old or sickly tree.
ACV or RVC?
Finally, one thing we can’t do anything about is depreciation. The fine print of your insurance policy likely refers to ACV or RCV, which stand for actual cash value and replacement cost value, respectively. These are just what they sound like: ACV protection takes into account how much your home or property has depreciated and subtracts that from what it costs you to actually replace your property. RCV protection will give you the actual amount that you need to replace your property regardless of depreciation.
Insurance policies are certainly not light reading, but it is worth taking a close look at your own to make sure that you don’t have a gap in coverage that could catch you off guard later on. A little research now can save you from a big headache later, or at least from a nasty surprise.
Barbecue, baseball, camping— just a few things we love about summer. But, if you’re like most Coloradans, you know it’s also hail season. With hail season comes a lot of uncertainty, and a lot of inconveniences if your home needs repairs. So, what is the best way to be prepared for hail season and protect yourself from any unnecessary aggravation?
Unfortunately, there isn’t much you can do to simply avoid hail if a storm heads your way. You can’t move your house into a garage or move your things out of the path of a storm. Checking the weather frequently and taking pressure and temperature measurements aren’t going to make a difference in the fate of your house’s exterior. What you can do is be proactive about the upkeep of your home, choose quality materials, and protect yourself with good insurance coverage on your property.
You know the saying: An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure—the same is true for the maintenance of your house. Hail and wind can do a lot of damage, but the better shape your property is in before the storm hits, the better it will fare during the storm. It is important to have your roof, siding, gutters, windows, and paint checked out for any existing damage or wear and tear you may not have noticed from the previous year. This can be exacerbated in a storm and lead to more severe and costly problems, turning even a relatively minor storm into a major problem. Also, many insurance policies will stipulate how long after the date of the storm you have to file a claim in order for coverage to apply.
Installing impact resistant shingles and siding is a wonderful option to mitigate the damage of hail storms. Most roofs can withstand small hail storms, but we all know that Colorado occasionally gets hit by much more than a few small grains of ice. An impact resistant shingle is designed to absorb the hits of falling ice and has a much better chance of making it through a major storm. Also, ensuring the seals, flashing and caps on your roof are intact and not cracked will prevent any water intrusions into your home, avoiding costly interior repairs.
Perhaps more important than any of this is having insurance so that in the event of major damage, you and your family will be covered. At Genesis Total Exteriors, we have in-house insurance specialists who are ready to work with your insurance company to make sure that no matter what the damage, it gets fixed as quickly and cost-effectively as possible. We will evaluate the damage ourselves before insurance even gets involved to make sure your house is up and running as soon as possible. Call 303-679-8509 to book your FREE estimate!
With springtime now in full swing, there are plenty of tips and lessons to keep in mind for getting your home exterior ready to enjoy the months of sunny weather to come. At Genesis Total Exteriors we have years of experience building, improving and maintaining homes in the Denver area. Our contractors know the ins and outs of what it takes to keep your house looking great and working efficiently, and an important place to start is with your gutters and drainage systems. As we gear up for more spring showers and rain throughout the summer months, here are some of the most important reasons to maintain your gutters, downspouts and drainage paths.
HELPING YOUR ROOF
Genesis Total Exteriors prides itself on installing long lasting roofs for our customers. One of the most important things that homeowners can do to extend the longevity of their roofs is to make sure that all of their gutters are working properly. Gutters and water drainage systems are the first line of defense against wear and tear on the top of your home. Proper water runoff away from the edges of your house will ensure that there is no standing water at the top of exterior walls, which can lead to unnecessary wear and tear on your roof due to cracking, warping, moss and mildew. If your gutter system is incomplete, leaking, or simply too old to do its job, our contractors will be happy to do any repairs or installation to bring it up to date. This will do wonders to extend the life of your roof, which is one of the biggest expenditures for every homeowner.
PAINT AND SIDING
Going hand-in-hand with the protection of your roof, gutters are a key to maintaining the integrity of the exterior walls of your home. The less that your home’s siding—whether it be natural hardwood, vinyl panels or brick—comes in contact with water the better. Water that splashes over gutters, trickles out of cracked downspouts and rolls over eaves is always going to deteriorate the outside of your home. Paint will be more likely to flake and crack, brick will become dirty and moldy, while vinyl siding can warp and darken. All of these problems can be avoided with the installation of a modern drainage system from Genesis Total Exteriors. We specialize in gutter systems that deal with heavy snow and ice buildup that accumulates during Colorado winters.
ELIMINATE STANDING WATER
Apart from an outdoor pool or a scenic pond, standing water is never a good thing to have around your home. Not only do small basins of water provide a breeding ground for pesky mosquitoes and other insects, they can also cause damage. Water that collects around your foundation is likely to cause deterioration to concrete, and becomes a greater problem when leaking into lower levels of your home or basements. The longer that water sits near the base of your home, the greater risk there is of mildew and mold on the inside. Genesis makes it a priority to not only install properly working gutter systems, but also to update runoff drains to ensure that standing water is not an issue even following heavy storms.