The Importance of Insulating Your Attic

The Importance of Insulating Your Attic

4 Reasons You Need to Insulate an Attic

 When most homeowners think of an attic, they most likely think about storing unwanted items, family heirlooms, and holiday decorations. A home’s attic serves a far more important purpose than housing belongings. An attic is actually part of a house’s roofing system and protects the rest of your home from extreme cold, heat, and humidity. If an attic isn’t insulated adequately, it can’t protect your house.

According to the North American Insulation Manufacturers Association (NAIMA), 90% of homes in the United States are under-insulated. That means 90% of homes are wasting energy, money, and battling living in discomfort. Homeowners who are not sure if they should invest in insulation for their attic should consider the significant benefits listed below:

Lower Utility Bills.

One of the most noticeable benefits of a properly insulated roof is the lower utility bills. When an attic has an adequate amount of insulation, the cost to heat and cool a home is less. Some homeowners report an average savings of $780 per year.

Less Wear and Tear on HVAC Unit.

Depending on the age of your home, you may experience drafts caused by subpar attic insulation. When a home has drafts, the HVAC unit has to work overtime to maintain the set temperature. The harder it works to counteract any drafts, the more likely it is to experience premature damage or breakdown because it is working harder than intended. Adding insulation to the attic prevents the HVAC unit from going into overdrive and requiring extra maintenance and care.

Better Quality of Living.

Lack of insulation in the attic makes room for harmful elements to find their way indoors like smog, dust, dirt, and mildew. Overtime, these airborne pollutants can impact the quality of air you and your family are breathing in daily. Having the right insulation in an attic minimizes these from taking over the air inside a home.

Increase Lifespan of Roof.

As we stated earlier, the attic is actually a component of your home’s roofing system. Having the right amount of insulation keeps the temperatures in the attic cool which prevents shingles from cracking or swelling. Keeping shingles in the top-quality shape is essential because once they are damaged, they can allow moisture to seep inside the attic and cause mold to grow.

The next time you think about your home’s attic, consider how long it has been since you inspected the insulation and checked for potential leaks. By working with a roofing professional, you will be able to identify how much additional insulation your attic needs to perform better.

When you hire the roofing team at Bealing Roofing & Exteriors, you can trust that we will be honest, open, and willing to talk about all of your roofing needs.

Tips for Avoiding Storm Chasers

tips to avoid storm chasers

How to Avoid Storm Chasers

The most prevalent and most publicized roofing scam is “storm chasers.”  This sort of roofer chases major storms from state to state or town to town to find work on damaged homes.  They watch weather or news reports for areas where recent storms have caused significant hail or wind damage, understand what insurance companies will cover for roof replacement in the affected areas, and canvas the area’s homeowners with flyers or unexpected visits offering a free inspection.

The unsuspecting homeowner who succumbs to this kind of roofing scam ends up with a substandard roof. Since these fraudulent companies are not local there is no one to contact after the fact if there are questions or complaints about the roof installation.

If you want to avoid being an easy mark, follow these tips for avoiding storm chasers:

Do your research.

If you get a knock on your door after a major storm from someone offering you a free roof inspection at a seemingly too-good-to-be true price to repair or replace it, beware!  Ask for identification, proof of insurance, and the roofer’s license number, and then call the insurance company and your local licensing agency for verification.  Storm chasers usually work without liability insurance or worker’s comp and have little care for quality workmanship.

Visit the roofer’s office.

Ask for the company’s address, phone number, website, etc.  If the only address given is a post office box, again—beware!   Research them online using multiple reliable home improvement referral sites and always check reviews. Don’t forget to ask for a reference from other homeowners in your area and visit their locations to see if they really exist.

Don’t pay up front.

The worst of this type of roofing contractor demands a big upfront deposit and then, instead of showing up to work, skips town with your hard-earned money.  Legitimate, reputable roofing contractors may ask for a good-faith deposit of up to 20% upfront; however, if a roofer demands 50-75% upfront, that is a clear sign you’re being scammed.

Even with the abundance of news stories about storm chasers and the fraud they perpetrate on homeowners nationwide, thousands of people still fall victim every year.  If you live in Southern PA or Northern MD and recently experienced roof damage after a severe storm, contact a local roofing company you can trust. Bealing Roofing and Exteriors, Inc. is ready to give you an honest quote, professional roof installation, and continued service long after the sale.

 

Types of Roofers to Avoid

avoid these types of roofers

Avoid These 4 Types of Roofers

Home maintenance and repair contractors are a “dime-a-dozen” but reliable, reputable contractors, especially professional roofers, are worth their weight in gold and sometimes as hard to find.  In spite of the abundance of internet home improvement referral websites out there, homeowners continue to fall prey to scammers posing as roofing contractors because they fail to follow a few basic guidelines.  If you want to save time, aggravation and money on your next roofing project, steer clear of these 4 types of roofers:

The friend of a friend or handyman next door.  

While it may be tempting to hire a friend of a friend or the neighborhood handyman who does roofing jobs on the side for half what the pros charge, resist the urge. These types of “contractors” typically work without liability insurance or workers compensation, exposing you to all kinds of legal problems.  Since they are likely only working on the weekends, there’s no guarantee they will finish your roof on your schedule. If work is left unfinished and results in damage to your home (i.e.-flooding), your homeowner’s insurance may not cover it.

A company that uses subcontractors

Hiring a large company that primarily uses subcontractors increases the likelihood of getting sub-standard work.  Do your homework online by researching the roofing company, reviewing the subcontractors reputation, how long they’ve been in business, and what customers say about them.  You’re better off hiring a quality roofer in your local area with a proven track record than a big company with lots of negative reviews.

Storm Chasers. 

This “unsavory” sort chases major storms from state to state or town to town to find work on damaged homes.  They usually work without liability insurance or workers compensation and have little care for quality workmanship since they’re not local and are “here today and gone tomorrow.”  Some of these roofing contractors demand a big upfront deposit and then, instead of showing up to work at all, skips town with your hard-earned money.

A “regular” roofer vs. a “specialist” for complex systems.

Among professional roofers, you’ll find many who offer the standard asphalt shingle roof, but only a small number who are trained in special systems like: PVC, TPO, slate, tiles, cedar shakes, metal and EPDM rubber.  If you hire a “regular” roofer to install one of these specialized systems, you are setting the stage for disaster.

If you’re wondering “how do I find a quality roofer near me?” look no further than Bealing Roofing & Exteriors.  We’re small, local, reliable and ready to meet all your roofing needs.  Call us today for a free estimate!

Types of Roofing Scams

avoid roofing scams

Beware of These Common Roofing Scams

Spring and summer storm seasons bring heavy rains, tornadoes, hurricanes and hail storms –all of which can cause damage to your roof and require repairs. In turn, it is also peak season for storm chasers and roofing scams. Here are 4 common types of roofing scams to recognize and avoid.

Promising fast and cheap repairs.

In the aftermath of a major storm, you may get a knock on your door by a roofing “salesman” offering you a fast and cheap quote for your storm damage. Unless you have an appointment with this person or were notified by your insurance company that they’re sending a roofing contractor out to inspect the damage, don’t let him in. Ask for identification and confirm the information with your insurer. Ask for their license and an insurance certificate and research the salesman and the company on the internet.

If the contractor gives you what seems to be a really low quote, be wary. Request bids from several contractors so you’ll have an average quote. Going with the cheapest bid may cost you in the long run if the work is shoddy or not done at all.

 Demanding a big deposit up-front.

Reputable roofing professionals may require a small, upfront “good faith” deposit of $500 or even $1,000 and then the balance of payment at the end of the job. If a roofer asks for more than 20% up-front, be suspicious.  Research the company online and if you can’t find the company, or see bad reviews, walk away. Charging for a quote or asking for a 50% or 75% deposit in advance is a sure sign that a scam is in the works and once the dishonest contractor has your money, you’re out of luck.

Offering to pay your insurance deductible.

If a roofing contractor offers to either fix your damage at a cut-rate cost if you pay in cash and side-step the insurance company OR pay your insurance deductible to win the bid, just say “No!”  Legitimate contractors don’t engage in insurance fraud or need to bribe customers for their business. Help other homeowners by calling the Better Business Bureau or state’s attorney’s office to report these types of contractors.

Phony, inadequate or unnecessary repairs.

These are scams that are hard to identify and avoid. Disreputable roofers can create or increase damage to your roof after a storm by using a concealed tool and claiming the storm caused the problem. They can claim to have repaired the damage, but you won’t know until the next storm if that’s true and then it’s too late. Dishonest roofers can also trick you by saying you need more work than you do to inflate their fee. Having your insurance adjuster involved from the very first contractor inspection to job completion can help to avoid roofing scams like these.

If you need to hire a professional roofer this storm season, contact Bealing Roofing & Exteriors for a fast, free and honest quote.

The Importance of Interviewing a Roofing Contractor

roofing-contractor-york-pa

Why You Need to Interview Roofing Contractors

Nightmare stories of incompetent, ill-mannered and unreliable roofing contractors are well-known, so before you start a home roofing project, understand that you have many choices. While it may be the easiest choice to go with the “friend of a friend,” or even the first roofing company that appears on an internet search, it may not be the wisest. As with other professionals who provide services to homeowners, like architects, realtors, and landscapers, roofing contractors vary widely and should not be chosen lightly.  Here are 4 key reasons to interview roofers:

One size does NOT fit all.

Referrals from people you know and trust are usually important when you need work done on your home. Just because your next-door neighbors used a particular roofing contractor for their project and everything went well doesn’t mean that you should hire their contractor for your job without interviewing anyone else.  Your roofing needs, scale, materials, etc. may very different from your neighbor’s so the cost, quality of work and the end result may also differ considerably.  Certainly, include your neighbor’s contractor in your interview schedule if you like, but keep an open mind to make the best choice for your specific needs.

There’s safety in numbers.

Just as with hiring a good realtor or landscaper, searching for a home roofing contractor requires some time and effort to pick the right one.  Interview several contractors in your area using a set list of interview questions. Discovering as much as you can about each contractor’s experience, reputation, cost estimates, projected timeline, and dependability will help you reach a decision that gives you peace of mind, and, hopefully, a positive outcome.

Buyer beware.

Not all roofing contractors are created equal and may not be licensed, bonded and insured.  Before you begin interviewing roofers, consult Pennsylvania or Maryland building departments or state Web sites about what, if any, contractor licenses are required in your area.  Ask each candidate for proof of licenses and insurance and also if they offer a warranty on workmanship.   Make sure you get copies of all insurance documentation with each bid. The roofers must have general liability and workman’s compensation insurance. Professional contractors will readily supply you with a certificate of insurance showing that the premiums have been paid in advance.

Face-to-face communication sets the stage.

Getting a feel for a person—his/her character, honesty and communication style—is one of the most important reasons to interview roofers.   A face-to-face interview gives you a sense of how the person communicates, prepares for conducting business, and whether he/she really wants your business.  After interviewing multiple roofing contractors, you should have a good idea of who not only has the knowledge and experience to get the job done right, but who makes you feel the most confident and comfortable with entrusting your hard-earned money and your family’s home into their hands.

Gutter Installation Mistakes to Avoid

Gutter installation mistakes to avoid

While many homeowners choose to install gutters themselves, it is often a bigger do-it-yourself task than they planned. Failing to install rain gutters properly can cause serious damage to your home. For the best results, hiring a professional roofing company is a choice homeowners should consider before doing it themselves. If you do plan on installing gutters on your own, here are five common gutter installation mistakes you need to plan for.

Calculating the Wrong Pitch.

To a novice eye, gutters appear to be set even on your house. The truth is they are slightly pitched between one to two inches every 40 feet. A pitch allows water to flow towards the downspouts and off of your roof. While not noticeable looking at your home, a proper pitch is crucial in minimizing debris and a pool of water in your gutter system.

Choosing Gutters Based On Price.

We’ve all had those moments when researching products or services where we make a choice based on price. Saving money is necessary when you own a home. But, choosing the wrong gutters can cost you more than your initial savings. There are several types of gutters to consider including different materials, sizes, gauge, and styles. Most homes will benefit from K-style aluminum gutters, but this varies depending on your location and climate. If you are unsure which gutters will work best for your area, ask a professional for help.

Wrong Hanger Spacing.

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.

Too Many Seams.

Welding or soldering your gutter system together is sometimes beneficial; but if you use too many seams or don’t make sure they are secure, the gutters can break. We recommend using seamless gutters to prevent this from occurring.

Installing with a Tilt.

While installing gutters at a pitch is necessary, they should not be tilted forward during installation. Tilting allows for water to leak over the edges instead of draining towards the downspout and into your yard. When the water doesn’t drain properly, it can cause damage to your home’s foundation. Remember to use a level to prevent tilt.

Have questions? The Bealing Roofing & Exteriors team is here to help! Contact us today for a free roof inspection, and learn how we can help make the gutter installation process easy for homeowners like you.

Ways to Save Money on Heating Costs

save money on heating

During the winter season, a major complaint and worry is the cost of heating. With many households concerned about budgets, knowing how to save on heating is beneficial. Here are 6 ways to save money on heating costs:

Keep temperatures down

The higher the temperature is set, the harder your heating system is working to keep it hot; which in turn means more energy is consumed and costs go up. Some energy companies like First Energy Corp suggest keeping the temperature at 68º or lower. Some people also turn the heat even farther down when they aren’t at home.

Insulate attic/crawl space

Heat rises and is often lost though the attic. It is important to insulate your attic to diminish the amount of heat lost. More heat kept in the home means less that your heating source has to work. Hiring a professional roofer to complete a roof inspection is a great way to make sure your attic is properly insulated.

Additionally, cold air is brought in sometimes though crawl spaces or basements causing your heat source to work harder warming the cold air. Insulating these spaces decreases the amount of cold air entering your home.

Only heat rooms you use

Some people don’t use their entire home, and heating that extra space wastes your energy and money. If possible, turning heat down (not off so pipes do not freeze and burst) in rooms unused or rarely used helps to save on cost. Make sure to close doors to these rooms or, for rooms without doors, you can partition them off with blankets or plastic.

Check for drafts

Other ways heat is lost and cold air enters the home is through drafts usually around your doors and windows. Check and replace your weather stripping on doors and windows. For the bottom of doors, you can use a towel or a specific door seal to help eliminate drafts. There are also products available to insulate your windows such as ones provided by Duck Brand. These are made to eliminate the escape of heat through windows.

Humidify

Humidity is not wanted in the summer but can be beneficial in the winter. Moisture in the air holds heat better. You can help by turning off exhaust fans when cooking and showering so that water vapor is not pulled out of your home. You can also buy a humidifier and utilize in your home.

Choose an efficient fuel source

For some people, this might be the first step or choice. However, it can be costly up front even though it can save you long term on heating. Educate yourself on the cost in your area of the different fuel sources. It may also work to combine sources such as a wood stove, fireplace, or fireplace insert for hard to heat areas if the cost of wood or wood pellets would compensate for your primary heating source overworking in that particular area.

Types of Gutter Problems & How to Fix Them

types-of-gutter-problems

One important part of your home’s roofing system is the gutter system. Their main job is to keep water moving off your roof and away from the home’s foundation. When they fail, your home experiences unwanted damage like flooding, damaged foundation, or moisture in the attic. Each of these scenarios can cause long-term damage to your home that is expensive to repair. The best way to avoid these types of damage is to properly maintain your gutters and fix any problems proactively.

Here are four types of gutter problems you may experience and how to fix them:

Clogged Gutters.

Clogged gutters occur when something gets stuck in the gutters and prevents water from flowing freely. This is common in fall and winter months when leaves fall on your roof. Fixing a clogged gutter is easy. You just need to remove the debris that is keeping water from draining. To avoid clogged gutters, schedule time every quarter to check and clean gutters.

Damaged Gutters.

Gutters are located in a prominent spot to take the brunt of most storms that come through our area including wind, hail, and snow. Over time, the force from the weather can cause damage to gutters including cracks, loose fasteners, or missing components.

Check your gutters several times per year for loose or missing fasteners and reattach or replace when necessary. You can purchase fasteners from a local home improvement store. You can repair small cracks with caulk or sealant, but larger cracks may require a gutter professional to replace the damaged gutters.

Gutter Holes.

Holes can slowly form in gutters during their use. These are often caused by water staying in one area. Even the smallest amounts of water can cause erosion and rust over time. Just like the cracks, if the area is small, you may be able to fix it with caulk or sealant. If larger holes are apparent, a gutter replacement could be necessary.

Change in Slope.

Professional gutter companies install gutter systems to properly align with the roof and the earth around the home. Over time, earth and homes can shift as they settle which can cause the gutters to become unaligned. This change in slope can also occur if there is too much weight on the gutters. When this occurs, you need to realign the gutters to properly drain water away from your home.

 

To prevent these types of gutter problems, it is best to perform routine inspections and maintenance throughout the year on your own or by contacting a professional. Lack of gutter maintenance can lead to greater damage later. Avoid the expense and mess by doing a roof and gutter inspection today.

How to Prevent & Remove Ice Dams on Your Roof

remove-ice-dams

Homeowners in Maryland and Pennsylvania are used to managing snow and ice in the winter months. While icicles in the wintertime look pretty, they are actually a sign that there is something serious happening with your home’s roof. The good news is icicles or ice dams can be avoided or fixed when you know how to fix the underlying problem.

What is an Ice Dam?

Ice dams occur when melting snow freezes into large icicles at the end of your roof, near the gutters and soffit. This ice buildup acts as a dam and prevents melting snow from properly draining off your rooftop. If not taken care of, the excess water can seep under the roof shingles and leak into your attic damaging your home’s interior.

What Causes Ice Dams

There are three necessary factors that cause dams to form. The first is snow on your roof, which is unavoidable in PA and MD. The next two factors are variations in your roof temperatures. The top peak of the roof is above 32 degrees Fahrenheit while the lower surface is below. When this happens, the snow at the top of your roof begins to melt and drain. But, when it reaches the lower temp, it freezes mid-fall causing icicles.

How to Identify a Problem

You may have a problem if you notice:

●      Large icicles hanging from your roof or gutters

●      Ice is coming through the soffit or behind the gutters

●      Water is leaking into a door or window frame

●      There is water or ice on the exterior of your home

How to Prevent Ice Dams

The underlying factors in roof temperature variations is poor ventilation and insulation in your attic. Both are things that you can fix and control with the right knowledge. To make sure this process is completed the right way, you should contact a roofing expert for help.

Proper winterization of your roof includes:

1.      Adding insulation to your attic to prevent heat from rising to the roof.

2.      Installing roof and soffit vents to allow heat to escape.

3.      Insulate lighting fixtures and stairwells to the attic to eliminate escaped heat.

4.      Plug any holes or cracks in the ceiling or drywall.

Now is the perfect time to take a look at your roof and attic because the heat is more bearable during cooler months and our first snowfall has yet to arrive. Have questions? Contact the expert roofing team at Bealing for a free roof inspection.

5 Tips to Prepare Your Roof for Winter

prepare your roof for winter

As the leaves change colors and start to fall in Pennsylvania and Maryland, there is no denying that harsh temperatures are quickly approaching. The cold temperatures will inevitably bring snow. As a homeowner, you know it’s time to start prepping your home for the winter months. Roof maintenance is often overlooked during this process. But, snow and ice are harsh elements that you need to properly prepare for in order to minimize roof damage.

Here are five steps to prepare your roof for winter from the roofing experts at Bealing Roofing & Exteriors:

Do a Roof Inspection.

Inspecting your roof is the only way to find problem areas before they cause significant damage. You can choose to do the inspection on your own or have a professional roofing company tackle the task. In many cases, roof inspections are offered at no charge to homeowners.

Check to make sure shingles are in place, there is no visible damage such as staining, no soft spots, and all ventilation is clear. It is also important to inspect flashing, which can be found around joints, chimneys, plumbing pipes or skylights. Flashing is a critical component of your roofing system because it assures water runs off your roof instead of leaking into your home or remaining on the rooftop.

Fix Leaks or Damage.

If there are roof leaks or damage, repair these immediately. In the event you need repairs, it is always best to contact an experienced roofer . Less than quality repairs can cause you greater problems and create unnecessary expenses in the middle of winter.

Remove Debris.

Sticks, leaves, and debris fall on your roof year-round. Any debris should be removed now to keep it from clogging gutters. Clogged gutters keep water from draining properly which attracts unwanted pests and creates flooding on your rooftop.

Trim Trees.

If trees line your property, it is crucial to check branches before winter arrives. Heavy snow and ice causes branches to break off and, if they are close to your home, can create roof damage. Walk around your property and remove overgrown branches from trees close to your home, outside buildings, and electrical wires.

Check Your Attic.

Proper attic insulation is an importance piece of your roof ventilation system and helps prevent ice dams during winter months. Check your attic for proper insulation in addition to signs of moisture that can help you identify roof damage early on.

The winter season brings many destructive elements that are harsh on your roof. Taking these steps before snow, ice, and storms arrive are the best way to maintain your roof and minimize damage.