Archive for the ‘Roof repair’ Category

Prevent and Repair Water Damage From Ice Dams

January 2, 2011

Ice Dams and Water Damage

Ice dams can be a very destructive situation for a home in areas of the country with heavy or frequent snowfall and moderate temperature swings. Ice dams do not often occur where daytime temperatures remain below freezing for long periods of time. Snow is allowed to melt or evaporate gradually and ice dams are not formed. Knowing what to do before and after severe winter weather can help lessen the damage from ice dams or prevent them from occurring in the first place.

Ice Dam

Water damage to your home is one of the most costly repairs you can encounter. Whether it be from a roof leak or plumbing leak, materials in your home that get wet from leaks, like sheet rock, wood and carpet, can not only result in expensive repairs but pose a serious health threat from mold and mildew. If leaks are detected early enough you can prevent any resultant mold and mildew. Time is of the essence here though. For mold to develop to damaging levels on sheet rock it will need to remain wet longer than 24-48 hours and on wood if it stays wet longer than 2 weeks. So once the water source is removed the opportunity for mold to develop is inhibited.

The winters are a time when water intrusion into your home has an added opportunity to occur when it snows and the temperatures remain at or below freezing for a minimum of 2-3 days. Snow buildup on your roofs can form what are called “ice dams” and leak water into your attic. If enough moisture penetrates through your roofing materials and gets absorbed in the insulation or sheet rock, you won’t notice it until the damage has reached a level that could require a professional mold remediation team to remove it.

Ice Dam on Roof

Ice dams form when snow settles on a section of your pitched roof and the temperature above the packed snow is warmer than the snow below it, as this illustration shows. The higher, warmer temperature melts the snow and as it runs over the colder adjacent lower section of roof it freezes before it gets to the edge to fall off. This ice buildup sits against the snow and a void is then created between the two elements, underneath, where water forms. As this water sits there it can permeate roofing materials that have porous imperfections in them that may have occurred undetected during the building process or have developed over time as the elements have impacted your roof.

If you are one of the many Minnesota homeowners with roof damage from ice dams, contact a Minnesota roofing contractor today!


My Roof Leaks. Do I Need To Have It Replaced Completely?

November 4, 2010

My Roof Is Leaking

Not necessarily. Leaks can result from flashings that have come loose or a section of the roof system being damaged. A complete roof system failure, however, generally is irreversible and a result of improper installation or choice of materials or the roof system installation is inappropriate for the home or building.

What Are My Options If I Decide To Re-roof?

You have two basic options:

You can choose a complete replacement of the roof system, involving a tear-off of your existing roof system, or re-cover the existing roof system, involving only the installation of a new roof system.  If you’ve already had one re-cover installed on your original roof system, check with a professional roofing contractor.  In many instances, building code requirements allow no more than one roof system re-cover before a complete roof replacement is necessary.

How Can A Homeowner Recognize When A Roof System Has Problems?

November 2, 2010

Recognize When Your Roof Has Problems

All too often, roof system problems are discovered after leaking or other serious damage occurs.  Periodic (twice-a-year) inspections often can uncover cracked, warped or missing shingles; loose seams and deteriorated flashings; excessive surface granules accumulating in the gutters or downspouts; and other visible signs of roof system problems.  Indoors, look for cracked paint, discolored plasterboard and peeling wallpaper as signs of damaged roof areas.

It is important to isolate the problem area and get it fixed as soon as possible.  Remember, it is important to have regular roof inspections done to ensure its integrity isn’t compromised.

Most work should not be done yourself.  Professional roofing contractors are trained to safely and efficiently repair or replace roof systems. You can damage your roof system by using improper roofing techniques and severely injure yourself by falling off or through the roof.

Maintenance performed by home and building owners should be confined to inspecting roof systems during the fall and spring to check for cracked or curling shingles and cleaning gutters filled with dead leaves and other debris.

Contact a professional roofing contractor as soon as possible that will advise you on the best course of action for your roof.


Part 3 of Selecting Your Asphalt Shingles

September 23, 2010

Selecting Your Asphalt Shingles For Minnesota Homeowners

The Roof Environment
Let’s visit the roof environment.  Subjected to harsh environmental weathering, shingles must endure everything from the scorching heat of the sun and its ultraviolet radiation, to the effects of seasonal and environmental changes.  They may even be subjected to the effects of thermal shock, caused by quickly changing weather conditions.

The Heat of the Sun
The scorching heat of the sun can raise the temperature of the roof’s surface as high as 25 – 33ºC (45 – 60ºF) above ambient temperature.  This can affect the life expectancy of asphalt shingles.  Proper ventilation helps to reduce the fluctuation in the temperature of your roof over the course of the day, and can reduce your roof’s overall ambient temperature.

Ultraviolet Radiation from the Sun
Besides the heat, the sun is also a source of ultraviolet radiation, which can make the asphalt layer of the shingles age more rapidly.  In order to protect against this, asphalt shingles are covered by colored granules to protect the asphalt from the sun.

Thermal Shock and Cyclical Fatigue
Sudden changes in weather can put an enormous stress on your roof.  As an example, a cold front may enter an area and change a bright and sunny day into a dark and rainy one, suddenly dropping roof surface temperatures 30 – 45ºC (54 – 81ºF) almost instantaneously.  This may cause the roof deck beneath the shingles to expand and contract, causing stress on the asphalt shingles.  This process, along with the yearly change from summer to winter, may result in cyclical fatigue.

If your home or complex has suffered roof top hail damage or you are considering reroofing your home, contact a Minnesota roofing contractor today for more information.

Part 2 of Selecting Your Asphalt Shingles

September 21, 2010

Selecting Your Asphalt Shingles For Minnesota Homeowners

It is useful to look at the anatomy of an asphalt shingle to understand how the different components work together, and to see how asphalt shingles are designed to protect your home.  The life expectancy of asphalt shingles is based on the performance of three components, and their ability to resist weathering.  Made from petroleum, asphalt contains oils that make asphalt shingles easy to work with and effective at protecting your roof and home.  As time goes on, these oils come to the surface and are weathered away by the elements.  This weathering process ages a shingle.

Roofing shingles

The Anatomy of an Asphalt Shingle

  • Reinforcement: Asphalt shingles start out with an asphalt-coated fiberglass mat.  This reinforcement is the structural base of the shingle, to which the other raw materials (asphalt and granules) are applied.  In order for asphalt shingles to provide protection, the reinforcement must resist tearing, warping and shrinkage when applied on stable, well-ventilated decks.
  • Asphalt: During shingle manufacturing, the reinforcement is coated with asphalt to provide the water-resistant layer that protects your roof from the elements.  The thickness of this layer of asphalt determines the weight of the shingle.  Many believe that the heavier the shingle the greater the protection offered to your roof and home.  This factor is only one of many that determines the life expectancy of your roof.
  • Granules: A layer of granules is pressed into the surface of the asphalt.  The granules protect the layer of asphalt from the ultraviolet radiation from the sun.  Without this layer of protection, the asphalt layer would quickly deteriorate.

If your home or complex has suffered roof top hail damage or you are considering reroofing your home, please contact a Minnesota roofing contractor today.

Storm Damage and Your Roof

August 26, 2010

By summer time we are well into the storm season.  Hail, heavy rain, high winds and tornadoes are all common this time of year.

Damage from these weather phenomena can of course be obvious.  Most know that if they have been hit by a tornado or if they have leaks after a severe storm.  You call the insurance company and your roofing professional and start the repair or rebuilding process.

But sometimes your property goes through a severe storm with no apparent damage.  Don’t be so sure.  Hail, high winds and even tornadoes can do serious damage that may not be noticed for quite some time.

First, let’s talk about hail.  Even moderate hail can do damage to some single-ply and older built-up roofs.
PVC membranes may suffer tiny shatter areas that may no leak for quite some time.  The normal expansion and contraction of the membrane will eventually open these cracks enough to permit the entry of water into the system.
Some hail can also damage the fins on condensing units and rooftop equipment, if it is driven by high wind.
Large hail can cause immediate leakage, but no always.  Membranes that are resistant to hail can be damaged, yet exhibit no symptoms for one to two weathering cycles.  For instance, EPDM (rubber roofing) can be damaged by large hail but will not exhibit problems for while.  Small gull-wing cuts can start to appear long after hail hits.

Shingle roofs will suffer granule loss that will expose the underlying reinforcement and asphalt to UV degradation that will dramatically shorten the life of the roof.  The same is true for granule-surfaced modified bitumen roofing and fiberglass cap sheets.  Gravel-surfaced built-up roofs may have some of the gravel driven into the top plies which can allow moisture penetration that makes the membrane slowly deteriorate.

High winds and even tornadoes can also do phantom damage that is not immediately obvious. High winds are amplified by all roof structures.  Parapets, large open doors and varying slopes increase the speed and pressure that high winds exert.  Bear in mind that wind does not slow down as it climbs the side of a building and crosses the roof – it in fact speeds up.  Various irregular shapes on and around the roof and even the building structure itself produces lift, just like an aircraft’s wing.  This lift may partially or even totally destroy the attachment of your roof to the substrate.  Even though this attachment may be lost, the roof may look just fine as if it was lifted and laid back down in place.  However, the next high wind can have catastrophic results as it does not have to overcome the attachment as the first wind did.  This can be true of all membranes, as well as composition shingles.

Even if your roof shows no apparent damage after a severe storm, contact your insurance company right away and call your roofing professional to inspect your roof for damage. Some tests may need to be performed to determine the extent of the damage, but the expense is well worth it because you may face much more extensive damage if you do nothing.  Plus it always helps to have as much evidence as possible when dealing with an insurance adjustor.
Call a roofing professional if your building is hit by damaging storms, even if damage is not apparent to you.  You will avoid frustration with your insurance company if problems are detected immediately, as well as headaches caused by leaks that could result from undiagnosed roof system damage.

An even better idea is to call today and establish a roofing maintenance agreement that will provide inspections and maintenance at a fixed annual fee.  Such an agreement can help you avoid unexpected expenses and keep your roofing system functioning within your budget.

Acting immediately after the emergency can save time and dollars in the restoration work.  Contact a hail damage expert that has experience in storm damage. Someone that can help you with the  disaster restoration process.

Source: Midwest Roofing Contractors Association

How Did Your Roof Survive This Minnesota Winter?

May 11, 2010

Did Your Roof Survive The Winter?

Winter months can be cruel to your roof, as it is the first line of defense against the high winds, heavy rains, sleet and snow that are typical of our Minnesota winters.  If your roof fails, it can cause great expense, significant damage and wasted time and money.  So when the weather is better, it’s a good idea to perform a quick check-up to insure that your home is protected.

Leaking roof systems can result from several sources.  The most common leak sources include cracks in flashing around the chimney and vents, worn out or missing shingles, or condensation from inadequate attic ventilation.  Here are some suggested warning signals that your roof system may be wasting money and leaving your property vulnerable that you can identify yourself:

  • Ceiling spots – A warning sign that your roof system needs leak repair.
  • Missing shingles – These should be replaced quickly to avoid structural damage to your roof deck and the interior of your home.
  • Cracked flashing – Should always be replaced.
  • Buckled or curled shingles – Indicates old age or a problem with the shingle underlayment (i.e., the felts underneath the shingles).
  • Blistered shingles – Typically occurs due to inadequate roof ventilation or application over a wet deck.
  • Granules in the gutter – If excessive, it may indicate aging shingles that should be replaced.
  • Peeling of interior or exterior paint/wallpaper – A sign of possibly inadequate attic ventilation.
  • Excessive energy bills – Especially air conditioning in the summer, can be a sign of inadequate attic ventilation.

If you have issues with your roof system, consider utilizing the services of a professional roofing contractor.  Most people think roofing is simple, and are therefore willing to hire a “fly-by-night contractor” to perform their roofing services, often at a lower cost.  This is probably why roofing is one of the top reasons for complaint calls to the Better Business Bureau.

Roofing Tax Credits Available For Energy-Efficient Upgrades

December 29, 2009

Does My Roof Qualify For The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act Tax Credit?

With the recent signing of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA), the tax credits for energy-efficient home improvements that were originally part of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 have been reinstated, extended and increased.

Tax Credit: The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2/17/2009 enables homeowners to receive up to a $1,500 tax credit if they install specific energy efficient products (asphalt roofing products) which carry an Energy Star rating.

Energy Star®: Energy Star guidelines for residential roofing products require that products have a minimum solar reflectivity (SR value) of .25.
Additional Details:

  • Tax credit for 30% of the cost of energy-efficient products up to a lifetime cap of $1,500.
  • The tax credit applies to the cost of materials only (not installation costs).
  • At the present time, this credit is available for 2009 and 2010.
  • Homeowner must save receipts and provide a Manufacturer’s Certification Statement.
  • IRS Tax Form 5695 (2009 version) is the form the homeowner will use to apply for the tax credit.

United Roofing & Remodeling is the leading residential and commercial roofing contractor for high-performance roofing systems for commercial and industrial properties in the Twin Cities.  We offer our customers the industry’s most comprehensive customer support, installation and repair services.

Please Contact Us today for a free inspection of your roof at 612-617-1717

Roofing & Insulation
Credit Available 30% of cost (product only, no labor)
$1,500 maximum for all improvements combined
Timeline Must be “placed in service” (ready and available for use)
Jan. 1, 2009 – Dec. 31, 2010
Metal & Asphalt Roofs Energy Star–qualified
Insulation Meets 2009 IECC & Amendments
Must be expected to last five years or have a two-year warranty
Primary purpose must be to insulate. As of May 31, 2009, IRS has not ruled on SIPs or insulated siding, but it is believed that SIPs are eligible

Through Wind, Rain, Wind and Snow…as the saying goes

December 24, 2009

Through Wind, Rain, Wind and Snow…as the saying goes

Does that sound familiar? No, we are not talking about the Post Office.

We are referring to your roof. Think about all of the climatic and external variables that your roof needs to endure.

When it comes to home repairs or improvements, many people find themselves at a loss because they are either unable to complete the needed repairs or they simply do not have the time. In either situation, the best thing to do is to hire a professional contractor.  What qualities should one look for in a contractor and how can you be sure what company will be the best for the job?  These are common questions and should be answered prior to hiring a professional contractor.

Below are 9 tips that will help guide you through the process of selecting the best company for the job.

1) Before hiring a contractor, find out how long they have been in business.  It’s best to look for an established company and make sure to check out their reputation with the local Better Business Bureau for any outstanding or unresolved complaints.

2) Always make sure that a contractor is licensed to work in the state in which the work is to be done.  The best way to find out about your state’s licensing procedure is to contact your local building department and/or consumer protection agency.  If your state requires that a contractor be licensed, always ask to see a contractor’s license prior to hiring him/her for the job.

3) When considering potential contractors, ask for a list of recently completed projects that are similar to the one you are in need of help with.  Hiring a contractor that is experienced in projects similar to yours will help to ensure that all goes smoothly and that the job will be done correctly.

4) Be sure to ask your contractor, prior to the commencement of work, whether the job will require any type of permit.  All permits must be obtained before the actual work begins, when required, or the homeowner may face a fine.  It is best to discuss who will be responsible for obtaining permits, either you or the contractor, in the beginning.

5) Always ask for the name of the individual who will be in charge of the project and the names of those who will be working on the construction crew.

6) Once you are familiar with the supervisor, ask him/her about their crew.  You will need to know whether they are trustworthy and make the decision as to whether you want them working on/in your home.  Will they need keys?  If so, you need to know that they are honest and can be trusted near your family and/or children.

7) Every professional contractor should carry a certain amount of insurance coverage, including personal liability, property damage and worker’s compensation.  You will need to request copies of all insurance certificates and confirm that they are current before work begins.  Do not do business with a contractor who cannot provide this documentation as this may result in your being held liable for any injuries and/or damages that occur during the project.

8) Always check with the contractor’s references before deciding to hire him/her for your project. This is important for all of the obvious reasons and will give you an idea as to their work ethics and end results.

9) When you and your contractor come to an agreement on payment terms, get everything in writing and have the agreement signed and notarized.  All parties involved should have a copy of the agreement for future reference.

This may seem like a lot of work, but your home is you biggest investment.  It just makes sense to protect it.  For quality solutions to leaking or damaged roofs, Contact United Roofing today for a Free Quote at: (612) 617-1717
Or Request a Quote online

United Roofing…Roofing At It’s Best!

Roofing and Siding Options in Minnesota

December 22, 2009

Your Choice of Roofing Companies Will Have An Enormous Impact On The Look Of Your Home

Nothing is as important to the look of a house as roofing and siding you choose.  It can make some very major and very different anesthetic statements.  Your roofing and siding are also a house’s first line of defense.

Over the course of a season, roofing materials are exposed to tremendous temperature changes.  Eventually this fluctuation causes your roof to wear out (20 to 30 years for most shingles). So, a roof should be inspected at least once a year.  A roof approaching 15 years of age becomes a candidate for re-roofing.

Whether you are building a new house or re-roofing an existing one, your choice of roofing companies will have an enormous impact on the look of your home as well as on your pocketbook.  United Roofing professional roofing contractors are will help you choose the siding or roofing that suite the style of your home and fits your budget.  We will cover all aspects of the job.  From the free home inspection, to handling insurance claims, to completion of the job, we will help you through the entire process.

Whether you need new siding, a new roof, roof replacement or roof repair, United Roofing can give you a free home inspection and estimate and provide you with solutions for your home improvement and remodeling needs.

Contact us at United Roofing today and see why our customers make us their “One Stop Shop” for all of their home improvement needs!   612-617-1717

We look forward to working with you!