Steps to Make Gutters Work Better This Winter

Steps to Make Gutters Work Better This Winter

Winter Maintenance Tips for Gutters

Gutters tend to get ignored during the winter months. Considering the extreme temperatures South Central Pennsylvania and Northern Maryland tend to experience along with the shorter days, it comes as no surprise to professionals at Bealing Roofing & Exteriors, LLC. While gutters play an important role in your home’s roofing system by diverting water away from the foundation year-round, they are more important in the winter than they get credit for.

Winter in the northeast means freezing and thawing of snow, ice, and rain. When these elements freeze, they also expand, pushing on any surrounding surfaces which can cause damage. When snow in your gutters melts and then freezes, gutters experience pressure from the expansion which can result in gutter damage. Homeowners can’t control the weather, but there are steps that you can take to keep your gutters working properly all winter long.

 

  • Clear the debris.

 

When gutters are filled with debris, there is no room for water to flow freely towards a downspout and away from your home. During the winter months, debris increases the chances of water pooling inside the gutters, freezing, and damaging the gutters. Using a sturdy ladder, heavy gloves, and a mini garden shovel, homeowners can remove the debris rather easily.

 

  • Properly insulate the attic.

 

A properly insulated attic impacts more than just the home’s interior. Having the right insulation maintains the roof temperature and prevents water from freezing in gutters before draining off the roof. It also keeps snow from prematurely melting and draining into the gutters. Double check attic insulation or hire a professional roofing company to inspect it and assure the right amount of insulation is present.

 

  • Check for leaks.

 

Inspect gutters for leaks at the seams or holes in the metal. This is also a good time to ensure all bracings and anchors are sturdy and attached to the house properly.

 

  • Inspect downspouts and diverters.

 

In addition to clearing debris from gutters, downspouts and diverters should be checked for clogs. Inspect the area where water drains away from the house to confirm water flows freely and doesn’t pool at the base of the downspout.

 

  • Don’t ignore damage.

 

If homeowners find damage in any area of the roof or gutter systems, they should tend to it quickly. Some tasks can be completed without help; some should be completed by professionals that thoroughly understand roofing and gutter systems.

A professional roofing company will also be able to suggest whether or not heating elements for gutters or the roof would be helpful. When installed properly, gutter heating cables melt snow and ice during the winter and prevent freezing from occurring.

Contact the professionals at Bealing for a free roof and gutter inspection this winter. Our team thoroughly inspects the roof, gutters, and attic to make sure you are ready for the cold temperatures and minimize unexpected mid-winter projects.

Mold versus Mildew

Mold versus Mildew

What to Do If you Spot Mildew in Your Attic

The terms mold and mildew are often used interchangeably, and while they have similar characteristics like thriving in damp areas, they are not the same. Mildew is considered surface fungi that can be treated and removed fairly easily. Mold is more dangerous and difficult to manage. Finding either one in your home’s attic is cause for concern and can be a sign of faulty roofing system.

Understanding the Difference

Mildew can grow on a variety of surfaces including food, paper, and wood. It typically appears in a gray or white patch on a damp surface. To combat mildew, homeowners can use specialty cleaners and a scrub brush to remove it from the impacted surface.

Mold is usually black or green in color and sprout from air-borne spores. In many cases, mold isn’t limited to one surface area because the spores float through the air and can land anywhere in a home. Once mold makes an appearance, homeowners should contact a professional mold removal company to uncover how severe the mold infestation is.

Removing Attic Mold

Whether you hire a mold removal company or decide to tackle the project on your own, there are a few key things to remember. In addition to being physically apt to work in small attic spaces, understand that not all molds will be readily seen at first glance. Mold infestations usually spread behind drywall and insulation and even throughout heating and cooling systems.

What Causes Mold to Grow in an Attic?

Removing mold from an attic is the just the first step in the remediation process. It is also important to identify what caused the mold in the first place because removing it won’t keep it from coming back if you don’t fix the cause. Attic mold can be caused by a few culprits including:

  •         Leaky Roof
  •         Faulty Siding
  •         Poor Attic Ventilation
  •         Not Enough Insulation
  •         Incorrect Venting

Once you confirm there is mold in the attic, it is essential that you schedule a roof inspection to uncover which of the above culprits is the cause of attic mold. A professional roofing company will inspect the roof as well as the attic and ventilation system to check for faultiness and leaks. Mold removal should only begin after the cause of the mold is found and fixed, so mold doesn’t continue to grow.

When was the last time you had your home’s roof inspected? Contact the roofing team at Bealing Roofing today. We offer free roof inspections and service Gettysburg, York, Hanover, and surrounding northern Maryland areas.

Fall Roofing Checklist

Fall Roofing Checklist

Fall Roofing Checklist: Maintain Your Roof All Year Long

It’s hard to believe that it is already October and just around the corner are the cold months of winter. In addition to football games, apples, and picking pumpkins, it is also the perfect time to take care of your roof and prepare for the potential harsh weather like ice and snow. Taking preventative measures not only increases the lifespan of your roof, it also prevents potential unwanted damages from occurring during the winter.

Here are our top recommendations to take care of your roof this fall.

  1. Schedule a Roof Inspection.

Your roof should be inspected twice a year, once in the spring and again in the fall. Contacting a professional roofing company is ideal because they have the experience and knowledge necessary to identify any potential causes for concern. Bealing Roofing & Exteriors offers free roof inspections to homeowners in South Central Pennsylvania and Northern Maryland.

  1. Trim Trees.

Heavy rain or snowfall can cause tree limbs and branches to break off unexpectedly. Plus they give easy access to unwanted rodents like squirrels looking for a place to nest in the winter. Fall is the perfect time to remove limbs and branches close to your home or other buildings on your property.

  1. Clean out Gutters.

When gutters are clogged with leaves, sticks, and other debris, they can’t protect your home from water damage. Clean any build up out of gutters now to avoid clogs when snow begins to melt later. In addition, it is wise to make sure the gutters are fastened securely and repair any loose pieces so they can function properly.

  1. Check the Attic. 

The best roofing companies will check the attic when they conduct a roof inspection. You can also check the attic for signs of moisture, mold, mildew, or leaks from the outside. If you notice a leak, contact a roofing company to review the damage and provide you with a solution.

Just like your car or truck, a roof requires attention and preventative maintenance to maximize its potential. Add these four items to your October to-do list so you can enjoy more of the winter months. Bealing Roofing & Exteriors is a locally-owned roofing company in Hanover PA ready to assist you with your roofing needs including inspections, minor repairs, and full roof replacements. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.

Signs it’s Time to Replace Your Windows

Signs it’s Time to Replace Your Windows

How to Tell it’s Time to Replace Your Windows

Just like your roof, windows are an essential part of your home that offers more than a backyard view. They protect your family and property from outside forces including the unpredictable weather we experience in Pennsylvania and Maryland. Even though windows are important, they often get pushed aside as one of the lesser thoughts about home improvement tasks.

High-quality windows that are installed properly should last twenty years. If you not sure how long ago your home’s windows were installed or think it may be time to consider installing new windows, here are six common signs to look for.

It is a Struggle to Open or Close Them

Listen for squeaks when you open your windows this fall to let some cool crisp air inside. If your windows make some unwelcoming noise or are hard to open and close, it is a good sign they may need replaced. You will also want to pay close attention to how well they stay open. If the window slides down, there may structural damage that requires the help of a professional.

You Feel a Draft

Do you ever walk past a window and feel a draft of cold or hot air? Drafts are a sign that the window is not properly installed or sealed. When air can find its way indoors, it is difficult for homeowners to maintain a comfortable temperature and can lead to increased energy bills.

Energy Bills are on the Rise

Even if you don’t notice a draft right away, you may see a spike in your monthly energy bills when windows aren’t working properly. Unexpected energy bill increases can also occur from a faulty roof or entry doors. It is best to contact a professional to do a roof inspection as well as check your windows and doors.

Water is Leaking Inside

If air can find its way inside so can water, especially during a storm. Rain leaking into your home over a period of time can cause severe damage to the structure and floors. Ignoring this problem long-term will result in mold, mildew, and rotted floors and walls.

Condensation Appears

Condensation on your windows isn’t always a bad thing. If you notice condensation between your window panes, this is a sign that your window seals are not working properly and need replaced.

They are Warped or Broken

Some broken windows can be fixed or replaced including weather stripping and hardware. However, if you notice windows or frames are warped or rotting, it is time to replace them.

Are you ready to replace your home’s windows? In addition to free roof inspections, roof replacements, and roof repairs, Bealing Roofing & Exteriors helps PA and MD homeowners with window replacements too. Contact us today for a consultation.

 

How to Clean Your Vinyl Siding

How to Clean Your Vinyl Siding

Steps to Clean Vinyl Siding

Installing vinyl siding is a popular choice for homeowners because it is highly durable and low maintenance. Because it is outside and subject to various elements, siding still needs the occasional cleaning to remove dirt and filth and keep your home looking presentable. Southern Pennsylvania and Northern Maryland homeowners should also be concerned about potential mold or mildew forming thanks to the humid summer climates.

Cleaning vinyl siding is a relatively easy task to cross off your to-do list. Before you start the cleaning process, check with the manufacturer or warranty for recommended cleaning guidelines. If you don’t have this information readily available, consider using the steps outlined here to clean your vinyl siding.

Spray the Dirt Off

You don’t need to rent or buy a pressure washer to get rid of the dirt buildup on your siding. A garden hose with a spray nozzle will work too. If you choose to use a pressure washer, don’t set it to the maximum setting. Instead, choose the medium spray setting.

A few tips to remember when spraying your home:

–          The spray pattern should be wide enough so too much pressure isn’t on one specific area.

–          Keep the nozzle moving at all times to avoid damage.

–          Work your way up from the bottom and back down to thoroughly rinse the area.

–          Avoid water seeping behind the siding by spraying evenly with the alignment.

Cleaning the Siding

There are numerous vinyl siding cleaning solutions on the market to choose from. There are also some DIY cleaning solution recipes you can follow. Whichever you decide on, you will need a bucket and long-handled soft bristle brush.

Start by mixing the solution in the bucket. Dip the brush into the solution and gently scrub the siding working your way from bottom to top. Rinse off the solution and then work your way with the brush from top to bottom. Rinse again.

Handling Mold and Mildew

If you notice mold or mildew on the siding, you will need a special solution known as a mold and mildew remover.

Safety Precautions

Since you are using chemicals, it is best to always wear gloves and clothing that covers your arms and legs. Follow the instructions on the labels and never mix chemicals.

If you have questions or concerns about your siding, contact the roofing and siding professionals at Bealing Roofing & Exteriors today.

 

How Do I Fix My Leaky Gutters

How Do I Fix My Leaky Gutters

Tips for Fixing Leaky Gutters

Leaking and sagging gutters can cause serious water damage to your home’s siding and foundation as well as your yard. In many cases, the damage can equal thousands of dollars in repairs.  Proper gutter maintenance and repairs early prevent these extensive damages. Here are some helpful tips for fixing leaky gutters:

Clean out the clogs

Gutters that are in good condition can still have water leaking from the sides as a result of being clogged with leaves, twigs, and other kinds of debris from storms and animals.  Keeping your gutters clear of clogs is tiresome and time-consuming, so if you don’t have much time or energy for this sort of thing, you might consider hiring a pro to clean them out or having a new seamless gutter protection system installed.  These systems are connected directly to the downspout and have fewer leaks and clogs over their lifespan.

Seal the holes

Sealing leaky gutter joints and small holes is relatively inexpensive.  You can purchase a tube of sealant for around $5 and apply it from the inside the gutter.  For larger holes, you can use a gutter patch kit found at home improvement stores for about $10 or try gluing sealant to a scrap of metal flashing. If the hole is very large, replacing the gutter is the best solution.

Re-fasten gutters

Sometimes the hangers, nails, or screws used to fasten your gutter to the roof come loose, allowing runoff water to flow over the edge and damaging your facia boards. If this happens, you’ll need to grab the ladder and re-attach the gutter to the roof.  Use a stronger fastener or several for security; however, if your fascia boards are deteriorating, the gutter won’t stay attached and you’ll need to replace them.

Properly space hangers

Hangers are used to properly mount gutters onto your home. For best results, hangers need to be placed a maximum of 3 feet apart. Any further apart, and you risk sagging from the weight of the rain and melted snow. As the water settles and builds up over time, the gutter system can rip away from your house, leaving you with a hefty bill to install another gutter system.

Replace weak joints

The joints in a gutter system are the weakest areas and are prone to clogging and causing leaks.  The obvious fix for this is replacing the joint, but sealing/caulking it might not be enough to get the job done based on the exact type of leak.  If the gutters are sagging at the joint, the leak may return.

 Fix the seams

Welding or soldering your gutter system together is sometimes beneficial; but if you use too many seams or don’t secure them properly, the gutters can break.  A seamless gutter system is the best way to prevent this from occurring.

Schedule an appointment with the gutter professionals at Bealing Roofing & Exteriors today by calling 717-634-3355 or filling out our online request form.

Most Common Signs Your Roof is Worn Out

Most Common Signs Your Roof is Worn Out

Common Signs Your Roof is Worn Out

Whether you built or bought a new home or purchased an older home, the age and condition of your home’s roof play major roles in ensuring your home remains a warm, dry, and safe haven for you and your family. Some indicators that you may have a roofing problem are obvious; others are not.  Here are 6 signs that your roof has worn out its welcome:

Obvious Signs:

Your roof is sagging. 

This is obviously a big problem that requires a professional roofing inspection.  The issue is most likely structural and could be a problem in the attic or with your home’s foundation supports.  If addressed early enough, you may avoid serious and costly damage.

There’s a light in the attic.

And we don’t mean one that comes on by flipping a switchIf sunlight is coming in, then the likelihood that rain, snow, and cold air are also entering your home is high.  Check for water damage after the next few rainfalls, and if you see areas that appear to be larger over time, you probably have a leak that requires attention.

Missing, curling, or cracked shingles.

All of these signs indicate weather-related damage that is likely to turn into leaks sooner rather than later but doesn’t necessarily mean you need to replace the entire roof. If just a few shingles are missing, you may get away with replacing them as needed; but if the majority of the shingles are damaged or missing, you’ll want a complete roof replacement.

Not-So-Obvious Signs:

Your roof is 20 years old or older.

The lifespan of today’s asphalt shingle roofs is 20 -30 years; however, unseen factors like improper roof ventilation can affect the aging of even the most durable shingles, so just because you can’t see a problem, doesn’t mean there isn’t one.  If the homes in your area were built around the same time and you see that your neighbors are replacing their roofs, this is a sign you might want to “keep up with the Joneses!”

You see granules in the gutter. 

This may or may not be obvious.  If your asphalt shingle roof is new and you see some granules in the gutters, don’t worry—that’s normal. However, if your roof is 10-15 years old and you’re finding a large number of granules in the gutters, this means your shingles are losing their protective heat quality and are deteriorating. Only a roof inspection will tell the full story.

Moss and/or algae.

Areas where airborne algae have caused dark steaks or moss has grown (typical in cold and/or moist climates) may give the appearance that your roof is in big trouble, but these unsightly nuisances don’t necessarily mean damage.  Most homeowners will attempt to try to remove the moss or algae streaks themselves by brushing, scraping, or power washing their roof, but in doing so, may actually do more damage to the granules than if they just let the roof alone.  Try to put up with the less-than-lovely look for as long as possible, but if you decide on a roof replacement, consider algae-resistant tiles.

Spring Gutter Cleaning Tips

Spring Gutter Cleaning Tips

Spring is a season many homeowners look forward to because they can finally spend time outdoors taking care of necessary home maintenance tasks. Gutter cleaning is an important task that shouldn’t be overlooked but often is brushed aside because it’s not directly in front of you. Failing to check gutters and remove debris can cause roofing, siding, and gutter issues later in the year.

We’ve put together a list of seven tips to help make your spring gutter cleaning a bit easier:

Check your ladder

There is no way around it – to properly clean gutters, you have to climb a ladder. Before doing so, make sure the ladder is in working condition and is safe and sturdy to climb. Set your ladder on even, solid ground to assure it remains steady. If the ground is too soft around your home from recent weather, wait until it dries.

Wear proper shoes

The right shoes are essential for any home maintenance job. If you plan to climb a ladder or onto your roof, it is best to wear rubber soled shoes to prevent slipping and falling. Wearing sandals, flip flops, or dress shoes are not recommended for this task.

Place a tarp on the ground

To help with the cleanup, we recommend placing a large tarp on the ground below you. As you remove debris, leaves, and dirt, you can drop it on the tarp. Once you are finished, you can discard the debris directly into a trash can from the tarp.

Use a hose to flush gutters

To assure no dirt is left behind, use a garden hose to flush gutters and check downspouts for clogs.

Do a visual inspection of your roof

While you are on the ladder, do a visual inspection of your roof. Look for missing or damaged shingles, cracks in your flashing, and pieces of debris that may have blown on your roof from recent storms and bad weather.

Clean all debris from your roof

If you find debris on your roof, be sure to carefully remove it so it doesn’t cause any damage.

Call a roofing company for advice

If anything appears off, contact a local roofing company for advice. Many roofing companies offer free roof inspections and will check both the exterior and interior well-being of your roofing system.

Now that spring has arrived, enjoy the warm weather and crossing home maintenance tasks off your to-do list.

3 Things to Look for During a Roof Inspection

3 Things to Look for During a Roof Inspection

Now that the last snow is hopefully behind us in South-Central Pennsylvania, we can finally look forward to warmer temperatures. This is the time of year where many homeowners start to plan home projects and tasks for spring and summer. Before you start brainstorming, make sure you properly inspect your property first. Winter weather can cause damage that you are unaware of to the exterior of your home including your roof, making a thorough roof inspection necessary before April showers arrive.

While it is best to hire a professional roofing contractor to assure your roof is properly inspected, Bealing Roofing & Exteriors understands that some homeowners prefer to take care of it themselves. Here are 3 steps to a thorough roof inspection:

  1. Review the roof’s exterior

If you decide to check the roof yourself, make sure you take precaution when climbing a ladder. Here are some signs of roof damage to be aware of:

  • Damaged shingles
  • Missing shingles
  • Rusty chimney flashing
  • Missing chimney flashing
  • Soft spots
  • Rot or mold
  • Black streaks on your shingles
  • Shingle granules in your gutters
  • Holes in your roof

If you find signs of exterior roof damage, contact a roofing professional immediately to review the damage and provide a plan of action to repair it.

  1. Check the gutters

Gutters are an important component of your roofing system and guide water away from your home, protecting its foundation. During your roof inspection, remove any built up debris that can potentially block water flow. If ignored, the extra weight can cause your gutters to sag and eventually break. Once you have removed the noticeable debris, use a garden hose to rinse the gutters and make sure water is flowing freely through the system.

Gutters should be well-maintained year-round to assure they are always properly working. If you notice excessive rust, sagging, or missing hangers, call a roofing company that also specializes in gutter installation and repair.

  1. Check your attic

Too often this is the step that is overlooked by homeowners in DIY roof inspections. A complete roofing system includes the exterior and the interior. The best way to check the inside is by taking a look at your attic. You will want to look for signs of moisture, mildew, cracked roof sheathing, or light coming through small cracks.

A spring roof inspection is a crucial component to your home’s yearly maintenance. The good news is that the best roofing companies offer roof inspections free of charge to homeowners. Schedule yours today by contacting Bealing Roofing & Exteriors.

 

 

Spring Maintenance Tips

Spring Maintenance Tips

8 Spring Maintenance Tips

Spring is just around the corner and with it comes warmer weather and longer days. We all want to enjoy the weather but it’s also a time to do maintenance around the home to ensure your home lasts and stays safe. Check out these ideas for spring maintenance:

  1. Inspect air conditioning unit

You may not need it right away but it’s time to get your unit(s) ready. Whether you have central air or window units, make sure filters are replaced and it’s clear of any leaves.

  1. Inspect exterior

Winter can be brutal with harsh weather conditions. Check your roof for damaged shingles and fix. Check siding, windows, and door screens for any damages or holes as well.

  1. Inspect attic

Over the winter months, animals may have taken up residence in your attic away from winter weather. Check for animal nests and remove any, as well as animals, that you find. Check for holes from animals or winter weather and fix them to continue to ensure proper ventilation and keep water out of your home.

  1. Clean gutters

You may have cleaned out your gutters in the fall but since some leaves fall late, there may be more waiting for you come spring. Take this time to clean them again and also check to make sure they are not pulling away from the house and that they drain properly. You may also have to replace or fix any downspouts that came off during the harsh winter weather.

  1. Powerwash

Winter leaves behind some gunk whether it’s in the form of debris, salt, or potential for mold from too much moisture. Powerwash your siding, decks, and sidewalks to brighten up your home’s exterior and keep your home from deterioration. Make sure you have the correct powerwash nozzles to ensure minimal damage from powerwashing.

  1. Landscape

Many people landscape in the spring in order to make their home look good for the summer. However, there are other benefits as well. Check for any tree branches that are about to fall and make sure you remove them so the branch does not drop on someone or on your home. Also, trim back any overgrowth of trees or bushes from your home to protect paint from scratches and moisture.

  1. Stain decks

Wood decks need to be stained in order to help them last longer and prevent from rot and other damage. They should be stained every 6 years especially if uncovered.

  1. Repair driveway

Again, this is another place that the harsh winter weather can do damage – whether it’s from water getting into cracks and icing over expanding the cracks or from using a snowblower, shovel, or plow on your driveway. Now is the time to fix these issues before they worsen.

Completing these 8 steps can help to maintain your home longer as well as keep you and your family safe in the coming season!