The azaleas are in full bloom, the birds are chirping, the days are getting longer, and people are enjoying the outdoors more and more. Spring is a perfect time to clean out your flowerbeds, begin mowing and trimming your lawn and bushes, and also to evaluate the outside of your home for any needed cleaning or repairs. One part of your home that needs special attention after the dreary days of winter is the roof.
The roof of your home is like an umbrella that protects you during a heavy rainfall or from the blaze of the hot afternoon sun. Your home’s roof takes a lot of wear and tear from weather elements, and it is wise to inspect it every now and then for any discrepancies.
One easy way to inspect your home is to pull out a pair of binoculars and complete a visual inspection of the roof’s surface. You should look for any loose or missing shingles. Also, beware of any shingles that appear buckled, curled, or misshapen in any way. If you find any shingles that need attention, then it is important to call a roofing contractor for assistance. A roofer will be able to repair or replace the damaged shingles, as well as inspect the surrounding area for any other potential problems.
Another activity that is beneficial for your roof is to clean out the gutters. Spring and summer are well known for having strong storms and rain showers. It is important for the function of your roof to have the gutters and downspouts clear of debris so the rainwater can run freely away from your roof. If the water cannot escape, there can be potential damage caused by water pooling and leakage. That could lead to more repairs that could increase damage and price significantly.
Another inspection that should also occur now is the inspection of your roof’s flashing. Flashing is a building material that is used around the joints, or different edges, on your roof. You may find flashing around roof vents, skylights, or various pitches along the roof. If you see any flashing that contains rust or that has become dislodged, then it is important to repair or replace it.
While you are inspecting the flashing, it is also a good time to inspect the soffit vents around your home. Soffits are sections of wood or metal that run underneath the roof, between the walls of your home and the roofline. It is a good idea to spot-check them annually to check for rotting wood or dislodged pieces. These should also be repaired as needed.
Although rough winter damage is unlikely in the Birmingham area, it is always wise to check your roof annually for damage from extreme weather elements. Since the roof of your home takes the brunt of all weather forces, it is beneficial to keep it in prime condition. Fix any damage as soon as you possibly can in order to prevent more damage from occurring. Roof damage will not fix itself and may cause significant amounts of continuous damage if left unfixed.
As always, Bill White Roofing and Specialty is here to help you with any of your roofing needs. We take pride in our work and our happy customers prove it!
Investing in a new roof isn’t as exciting as a kitchen renovation or bathroom remodel, but it is a significant investment that happens only once (or twice) in a lifetime. Because a roof replacement isn’t a regular purchase, many homeowners aren’t very familiar with the process, how to choose the best shingles, or even how to choose the best roofing company for the job. There is a lot more to the roof replacement process than what we can cover here, but below are some of the most frequently asked questions, and a great place for you to start your research.
1. How do I know I truly need a new roof?
Some of the older roofing shingles have a 15-30 year lifespan, which depends on the brand and quality of the shingles, the location, climate, tree cover of the home, and how well the roof was installed. If you’ve had your roof for at least 12 years, you should inspect regularly for some of these warning signs: missing shingles, curling shingles, bald spots where the asphalt granules have fallen off, evidence of leaks on the ceilings, missing or rusted flashing, or visible cracks/holes.
It is always recommended to have a professional roofing contractor do a thorough inspection to determine if you need a full roof replacement, or if a few repairs can extend the lifespan of your roof.
2. How much will a new roof cost?
The cost of a new roof depends on several variables, such as: the brand, grade, and type of roofing shingles you select, the size of your roof, the shape of your roof, the slope of your roof, and the quality of the roofing contractor you choose.
Never base your decision solely on price. Yes, a new roof is going to be expensive, so you may think going with the cheapest estimate is the best route, but keep in mind that you’ll end up paying more in the long run due to the extensive damage a sub-par roofing job can cause.
We offer free roofing estimates with no obligation at your convenience. Just fill out our contact form or call (205) 942-8374.
3. Will gutters and downspouts need to be replaced also?
If your gutters and downspouts are in good shape, no, they do not need to be replaced. Our crew will be able to work around them without causing any damage. If they do need some minor repairs, we can provide that service as well.
4. Do I need to do anything special before the work begins?
A complete roof replacement job is going to be messy and loud, although we do everything possible to minimize the interruptions to your daily life and to keep your property clean. Consider making plans to go somewhere else while the roofing crew is removing the old roof in order to avoid the loud noise. Keep your pets in mind too.
We will place tarps over bushes and other landscaping elements to protect them from any roofing debris that may fall. We use a special piece of equipment made specifically for roofing companies that allows us to keep all roofing debris off of the ground. If you have valuable items in your attic, either remove them or cover them with tarps for protection. Be sure to park your vehicles on the street so we can get all of our trucks and equipment as close to the house as possible. Be sure to protect any items inside your home that are very fragile or that you would be upset about if they broke.
5. Can you install a new roof on top of my old roof?
While it may seem like the easiest and cheapest way to go, installing new shingles on top of your current roof is not a good decision if you are looking for longevity in your new roof’s lifespan. Many roofing companies are willing to nail new shingles on top of old ones, typically if you only have one layer of shingles on the roof. We recommend removing all of the old materials all the way down to the roof decking in order to inspect for defects and potential problems in the truss system and roof deck. Also, keep in mind that a roof is built to hold a certain amount of weight, so the more layers you add to it, the more likely it is to start to sag or deteriorate.
Whether you know it’s time for a roof replacement or you’re just doing some research because you know it will be necessary in the future, we would love to help guide you through the process. Fill out our contact form or give us a call at 205-942-8374.
The roof of your home is a very big investment, and it is one that you should put a lot of thought into when you need to replace it. Most homeowners do find themselves dealing with a roof replacement job at some point in their lives, so it is a good idea to learn as much as you can about the process. Between choosing a roofing contractor, deciding on a style and color for your shingles, and comparing roofing warranties, there is a lot to think about. In the following paragraphs, we will discuss typical roof-related warranties that you may run across as you delve into your roofing research.
Warranties that pertain to a roof can be very complicated to interpret. As a homeowner, you will want to find the best protection available. One of the most important things you can do is to find a roofing contractor that has a good reputation, a lot of history and knowledge, and someone that will stand by their work.
There are typically two types of warranties associated with roofs: a manufacturer warranty, and a workmanship warranty. Manufacturer warranties are offered by the manufacturer of the roofing materials and covers those materials only. For example, a warranty for shingles usually has a lifespan of 20-50 years. Manufacturer warranties typically only cover actual defects in the shingles themselves. However, manufacturer warranties are rarely used, because they often require the homeowner to prove that they have provided proper maintenance of the materials on a regular basis. This can be a difficult thing to prove.
Workmanship warranties are offered by the roofing contractor that completes the installation of the roof. This is the main reason why you, the homeowner, should find a reputable roofing company to work with when replacing your home’s roof. It is important to work with someone that is knowledgeable and stands behind their work, thoroughly.
We, at Bill White Roofing and Specialty, welcome the opportunity to work with you on all of your roofing needs. We have been working on roofs throughout the Birmingham area since 1969, and we would love the chance to work on your roof, too. Contact us for a free estimate today!
The roof of your home is something that is often taken for granted, at least until a problem arises. Constantly being exposed to the natural elements of sun, wind, rain, ice, snow, or sleet can take a toll on your roof and you may find yourself in need of a roof repair. As a homeowner, it is wise to educate yourself about roofing terminology, so you will know what to look for when seeking roof repair help. One aspect of roof detail that is an important element is the flashing.
Flashing refers to a thin layer of material that is installed on the roof that acts as a weather resistant barrier and helps prevent leaks from the roof into your home. Flashing is especially important around protrusions, or joints, on the roof, such as: around a chimney, around attic fans, or around vent pipes. Water is directed away from joint areas, such as the above mentioned, due to properly installed flashing.
Flashing can be made of a variety of materials, including metal or plastic. Metal options include stainless steel, copper, and aluminum. Thin sheets of metal can be pliable, yet very strong. Metal is the most durable flashing material. Plastic, such as a PVC-based material, can also be used for flashing, but may not withstand exposure to natural elements as well as metal flashing. Sometimes, a more flexible flashing material is needed for particular roofing situations. Some flexible flashing materials include butyl rubber or rubberized asphalt.
Flashing can be installed so that it is visible to the naked eye, or it may be completely concealed by other roofing materials such as shingles. Proper installation is vital in order to achieve the optimum amount of protection from leakage, so it is important to work with a professional roofer if your roof requires repairs, or if you are replacing/adding a roof. Improper installation of flashing, or flashing that has been damaged, can be disastrous to your home. Flashing that isn’t functioning correctly can actually draw water into your home and can cause extensive water damage to your home’s roof, and everything beneath it.
If you are seeking professional help for your roof, then Bill White Roofing and Specialty would love to hear from you. We have the knowledge and experience to help you with all of your roofing needs, not to mention our dedication to quality and customer satisfaction.
Proper insulation in the attic of your home can not only help regulate the temperature inside your house, but it can also save you a lot of money on your monthly utility bills. Insulation helps to keep your home warm in cool seasons, and cool in warm seasons. With rising prices of both electric power and natural gas, attic insulation is vital for helping with energy bills, as well as keeping you and your family comfortable all year long. According to the Department of Energy, proper installation of attic insulation can save homeowners approximately 10-50% on their energy bill. Proper attic insulation is basically a win-win for any home and homeowner.
There are two basic types of insulation: loose fill insulation and blanket insulation (also known as Batt insulation). Either type of insulation can be used in your home’s attic, but they each have their own nuances that you may wish to consider. Either one can be added to an empty, previously uninsulated attic, or they can be added to an attic that already has some insulation present.
Loose fill insulation is packaged in large bags and consists of loose fibers that can be easily spread in the desired location. Loose insulation is great for attics that have a lot of obstructions that need to be maneuvered around, or for attics that have unusual joint areas. Loose insulation is also preferable if there are small air pockets or gaps that need to be filled in and covered. It is also desirable when working in attics that have a low-clearance, because the loose fibers can simply be blown around the attic, without having to crawl in to tight spaces.
Blanket insulation is packaged in rolls, and can be cut to fit any desired length. It is offered in a variety of thicknesses, and has width options between 16-24 inches. Blanket insulation can also have a vapor barrier attached to it, usually made of a paper or foil material. This type of insulation is perfect for attics that have a lot of space to maneuver within, and in attics that have a standard layout with not too many obstructions.
The main choices of material that comprise either type of insulation include fiberglass, cellulose, or mineral wool. If you would like assistance in deciding which insulation is best for your home, then please contact Bill White Roofing and Specialty. We would love the opportunity to help you with all of your attic insulation needs or questions.
Oh, no! After the last big rain storm, you noticed that your roof gave way to a new leak. You have a call in to a roofing company, but they aren’t available to come to your home for a few more days. What are you supposed to do in the meantime, especially with the threat of rain in the forecast? No need to worry yourself sick. We have a few answers for you. Continue reading if you want some ideas on how to care for your leaky roof, while you patiently wait for professional help.
Most homeowners will become quite anxious when they hear the sounds of water dripping from above their heads. Try to stay calm. Grab some old towels, plastic tarps, or buckets and get to work protecting your home the best way that you can do. Cover any flooring that is receiving water, as well as any furniture or other valuable things. This will prevent further damage that could become quite costly very quickly.
Find the Spot Where the Water is Entering Your Home:
Most leaks will find the easiest entry spot, which is usually around a light fixture or a heat/AC vent. If you find the water is concentrated in one area, you may poke a small hole in the ceiling that will allow the water to drip through easily. This will prevent the water from spreading and finding other areas to leak through the ceiling.
Look for Higher Areas of Water Penetration:
It is important to locate the original point of entry, also. The best place to start is in the attic. If you can temporarily stop the leak from inside the attic, then that is the safest method compared to climbing on the outside of the roof yourself. Often, leaks will occur between the plywood boards of the roof decking. These joints may not align perfectly with the leak that occurred in your home’s ceiling, so stay patient as you search for the roof’s leak. Once you locate the leak, decide if you can provide some temporary repair that will prevent more water from entering your home. You may use things like roofing cement, roofing tape, or even a tarp for coverage in order to prevent more damage. Roofing items can be found at most hardware stores or home supply shops.
If you feel that fixing your leak from inside your attic is not a feasible solution, and if you feel comfortable going on top of your roof, then you can use a tarp to cover the leaky hole until professional help arrives. The best practice in this situation is to cover the leaking spot with a tarp, and use 2x4 boards to secure the tarp in place. Now, all you have to do is wait for the roofing contractor to arrive.
Although having a leak in your roof can be quite bothersome, it is an issue that can be resolved. It is important to stay calm, have patience, and know that help will arrive soon. Water always has a tendency to “find a way”, so undoubtedly, as a homeowner, you will have water issues at some point or another. Take one leak at a time, and you will quickly learn that any leak can have a positive resolution.
If you’re still searching for a roofing company to help repair your roof leak, give us a call at (205) 942-8374.
Performing maintenance on your roof during the Fall will help protect your home and belongings from the cold winter conditions right around the corner. If you find that your roof has any type of damage, it is time to have it repaired. Ensure your roof stays in great shape for as long as possible and check out these 7 roof maintenance tips for Fall:
1. Inspect Your Attic
Take a look at the interior surface of your attic. Use a flashlight to inspect the ceiling, insulation, and wood beams for signs of moisture from any leaks. Do your inspection on a sunny day so that you can see if sunlight is coming through any holes in the roof.
2. Trim Surrounding Trees
Trim away branches that are getting too close to your home to prevent damage to your roof. Doing this before all the leaves fall will also help keep the leaves off of your roof and out of your gutters.
3. Clean the Gutters
Clearing your rain gutters and downspouts of debris is necessary to keep water flowing properly off of the roof. A clogged gutter will make the water pool up on the roof, leading to mold, cracking, shingle damage, and rotting wood.
4. Install Gutter Guards
Gutter guards are devices that fit over your gutters to help prevent leaves and other large debris from falling inside. They are typically screens with small holes that still allow water to flow through easily, but keep out anything that can cause clogs. They are extremely affordable and will keep you from having to clean your gutters so often.
5. Repair or Replace Shingles
Fall is a great time to take care of any damaged, loose, or missing shingles on your roof in order to protect the underlying roof decking from moisture and other weather elements. Keep in mind that climbing on a roof is dangerous and very easy to cause further damage if you aren’t familiar with walking on a roof, so this job is usually best left to a professional roofing company.
6. Take Care of Chimney Issues
Your chimney and rooftop vents are important components of your roofing system. If there are any problems with them, it is important to have them repaired before the weather cools and you start using the fireplace. Missing mortar, cracks in the brick, or metal on the vents make it possible for sparks to land on the roof, which can result in a dangerous fire.
7. Schedule a Roof Inspection
We can’t stress enough how important it is to have a professional roofer inspect your roofing system during the fall. Not only do they know exactly what to look for, but they can repair any small issues before they turn into much bigger problems during the winter.
If you're looking for a roofing company in Birmingham AL to help with any of these Fall roofing maintenance tasks, give us a call today!
Shingles protect more American homes than any other type of roofing material. Over 80% of homes coast to coast have asphalt shingle roofs. Even if you’ve always lived under a shingle roof, you might not know a whole lot about this material and what makes it so popular. When it comes time to replace your current roof, you’ll find these facts about asphalt shingles helpful:
1.Shingles are Cost-Effective
Asphalt shingles are much more affordable than other roofing materials like slate, metal, and wood shakes. They are much easier to work with, making installation costs cheaper too. They come with manufacturers warranties against defects for anywhere from 15 to 30 years and some manufacturers offer an extended warranty on higher grade products if they’re installed by a roofing contractor who is factory certified.
2. Shingles are Long Lasting and Durable
If installed correctly, asphalt shingles will last for at least 20 years, often longer. Their lifespan depends on their grade, the quality of installation, and their maintenance over the years. Keep in mind that certain weather events can damage shingles or pull them from the roof, but they are typically easy to replace with the help of a reliable roofing contractor.
3. Shingles are Recyclable
Replacing your roof might raise some concern about adding a lot of waste to the landfills. Most asphalt shingles are fully recyclable, so you will be making an eco-friendly decision when choosing them.
4. Shingles Come in a Wide Variety of Colors
There are so many different shingle options these days, it is almost overwhelming to make a decision. They are available in a wide range of both solid colors and blends. You can choose from the traditional neutrals like black or gray, warm earthy tones, and even contemporary greens, blues, and reds. You can choose color blends that will have the appearance of tile, wood shake, or slate textures.
5. Shingles Can Be Energy Efficient
In the past, asphalt shingles were considered to be the least energy efficient roofing materials due to how much solar heat they absorbed. Today, however, there are many types of shingles manufactured that actually reflect the sun’s heat, which will help reduce your cooling costs.
At Bill White Roofing and Specialty, we are experts when it comes to asphalt shingle roofing. We have been in the business since 1969 and work with the leading shingle manufacturers to provide top of the line products to our clients. Whether you need some roof repairs or are in the market for a roof replacement, you won’t be disappointed with the quality of work we provide. Give us a call today!
Do I cut costs by hiring a less experienced contractor? Can I buy my own materials to save money? Should I do my own repairs?
Your roof is a major investment, so it’s important to weigh your options before making any major decisions. Avoid these mistakes when making decisions about roof maintenance and preservation:
1.Start a major roofing project by yourself
Unless you are an expert on roofing, it’s best to leave the work up to an experienced roofing professional. Just climbing up on the roof is dangerous and can cause serious damage if you don’t know what you’re doing. Tearing off a roof is even more dangerous. In our years in the roofing business, we’ve seen people start a project and quickly realize they were in over their heads. This mistake is often made when someone is trying to save some money, but it ends up costing more in the long run due to the damage caused by lack of knowledge.
2. Purchasing your own materials
We all like to shop around for good deals, but when it comes to roofing materials, it is best to allow a qualified roofing contractor purchase the materials for you. Many roofing contractors have long-term relationships with suppliers and are able to get a more competitive price than you could. Not to mention they will know exactly what you need and how much. Having a new roof installed is typically a package deal, so a reputable roofer will be able to provide a manufacturer’s warranty as well as a warranty on the workmanship.
3. Installing products that can cause damage over time
Just because a product sounds like it’s great doesn’t mean it’s always the best thing for your roof. For example, rain diverters sound like something every roof should have, but in actuality, they can cause more damage than good by forcing rain water up under the shingles. Another example is a flush mounted skylight. While they look great, they typically aren’t very sturdy and are unable to support large volumes of water. Be sure to consult with a professional roofer about which products will perform best with your roof structure.
4. Hiring the wrong contractor
It is extremely important to do your homework before hiring someone to work on your roof. Price shouldn’t be the only factor you consider when it comes to the quality of work being done on your home. Talk to friends and family, and ask your neighbors and co-workers for names of roofing companies in the area with a good track record of quality work. Check online reviews, social media reviews, and the Better Business Bureau to get a better feel of what customers say about them. Your roof is one of the biggest investments you’ll make, so spend the extra time to find a company with integrity and a high quality finished product.
Buying a home is a great investment, but keeping up with all of the maintenance, repairs, and improvements can put a strain on your bank account. You can choose the right time to install new light fixtures or new flooring, but other items pop up out of the blue and can take you by surprise, like a busted pipe or a broken air conditioner. If you do some planning and put money aside each month to cover large expenses such as new windows or a roof replacement, when the time comes you won't be scrambling around to scrape up the funds.
Create a Budget for Home Repairs and Improvements
You first need to figure out how much money you need to set aside for different repairs and projects each year. You can either set aside between 1-4% of your home's value each year or base your calculations on the size of your home. If your home is worth $300,000 and you decide to save 3%, you should put aside $750 each month. Using the second method, if your home is 3000 square feet, you should set aside $1 per square foot, so $3000 per year or $250 per month.
If there are specific home improvement projects you'd like to save for on top of building your emergency fund, plan accordingly. Determine a time frame for the project and estimate the future costs for the project. Divide the costs into monthly amounts to set aside along with your amount for emergency repairs and replacements. For example, if your HVAC system is 12 years old, you should plan on replacing it within 3 years' time. If the top price for a comparable system is $7500 you should plan to save around $210 each month so you'll have that amount saved when the time comes to replace it.
Meeting Your Budgeting Goals
It's fairly simple to determine how much money you need to save each month to be able to fund all of your projects and be prepared to cover unexpected costs, but it's not always easy to stick to your budget. Take a very close look at your monthly income and expenses and create a household budget that is realistic. Once the necessities are covered, such as bills and groceries, take a look at your disposable income. How is it being spent? Look for ways to trim your spending on things such as technology, entertainment, social activities, and eating out. While you may have to sacrifice new clothes or a new cell phone, you'll thank yourself when the time comes to fork out the dough to replace your roof.
If you'd like to learn more about how you can best budget for a roof replacement, please give us a call at (205) 942-8374 or fill out our contact form.