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What You Should Know When Considering Roof Replacement

In the spring, the sun comes out, the snow melts…and many homeowners start to worry about their roof. If winter was unkind to your roof, you may be considering roof replacement.

Roof replacement seems like a big undertaking, but it’s not as bad as you may think. Better yet, roof replacement adds to the look, comfort, and value of your home. It’s an investment, but one that quickly pays for itself in surprising ways. For almost all homeowners, the cost is the biggest concern when considering roof replacement, but the truth is, the benefits of a great roof often outweigh the cost.

Is it time to replace? And if so, what you should expect in the process? Here’s what you need to know about roof replacement.

 

The Number One Reason Roofs Fail

Obviously, the roof on your home is necessary for your protection and to keep out the weather elements, but most homeowners often overlook factors in their roof’s ventilation performance (or the lack thereof). We often forget how important ventilation is in our homes. When you have living, breathing families on the inside, they’re producing heat, moisture, and air. Not only is the roof keeping the air and bad weather out of your home, but it’s also holding in the air and heat.

Often the roofing problems we see come down to ventilation issues. If you think about the function of a roof, the cool air should enter from the eaves into the ventilation (the grids on the underside of your eaves). The air should be exhausted in an equal amount at the ridge of the roof. The hot air should escape from the top. When warm air doesn’t escape and becomes trapped, it gets very hot, causing the shingles to curl and eventually break.

Another indicator of a ventilation problem with your roof is the appearance of icicles underneath the gutter line. This is a sign your attic is too hot. Your home is melting the ice and snow underneath the top, forming an ice dam. That moisture seeps into and under the shingles, causing major problems like leaking, damage to the ceiling or insulation, and mold.

Some companies might simply tell you the problem can be fixed by patching with shingles, but that’s not a sustainable, long-term solution. In the long run, a patch job will end up costing you, the homeowner, a lot more money because it doesn’t address the underlying issue.

Instead, a trained professional should do proper measurements to factor in the amount of exhaust, heat, and ventilation. Not only do these factors contribute to the life of your roof, but they ensure your warranty stays valid as well. Putting new shingles on a damaged roof may invalidate your warranty and cause bigger problems in the future. Think of it as a band-aid to an injury.


 

To learn more about the importance of roofing ventilation, don’t miss our video.

 

 


Is It Time Consider Roof Replacement?

Is it time to start considering roof replacement? While ventilation related concerns aren’t the only area to examine, they’re a big determining factor. Other roofing-related concerns to look at include:

  • Roof staining and discoloration, which indicates water damage.
  • The state of the flashing. Is it loose, detached, or cracking?
  • The state of the gutters. Are they clogged, leading to water seepage and other issues? Are they properly attached and working?
  • The interior ceiling of the home. Look for any water damage, leaking, or signs of roof failure.

When considering roof replacement, it’s easy to focus on price, but it’s also important to ensure your new roof will address ventilation or the root cause of your roofing issues. When our Weather Tight experts assess your roofing needs, they always look at the underlying factors like the ventilation system, the state of the flashing, the gutters, and the interior of your home.

Your free in-home roof assessment and estimate begins with a satellite image of your roof, giving our experts the dimensions, pitches, and protrusions, they need to consider. This helps them to gather exact measurements for their report. Our consultants will go inside your attic, given that they have ample availability to do so, to examine the area that’s supposed to be ventilated. They’ll take a look at the state of your insulation, the ventilation system, and areas like the roof deck for moisture, damage, and breakage.

There are many factors indicating when roof replacement is needed. Your Weather Tight expert will walk you through many of the considerations. If you decide to comparison shop, it’s important that any expert walks you through all your options and explains the process.

A great roof replacement assessment will consider and cover all these factors:

  • Is the old roof being torn off or is the new roof material being layered over the top?
  • What type of underlayment is being used?
  • How is the roof being installed and what is the process?
  • What brand or products are used?
  • How are the nails placed and how many were used?
  • Was the ventilation assessed and how is it being considered in your new roof plan?

Ready for An Update? Should You Choose Metal or Asphalt for Your Roof?

Once you’ve determined you’re ready for a roof replacement or event just considering looking further into it, the fun begins: deciding on the look of your new roof! When deciding on the style of roof, the biggest question is: should I choose metal or asphalt for my roof?

First of all, there’s nothing wrong with an asphalt shingle roof. Good quality shingles will come with a 20-year warranty (bear in mind, it typically doesn’t cover labor). So, do the research on your current roof as well as the new roof material before you begin. Most shingle roofs will last around twenty years maximum.

If you’re looking for a more permanent option, a metal roof is a lifetime solution that can be passed down from generation to generation.

The advantages of metal roofing include:

  • Surprising savings on cost, thanks to energy efficiency.
  • No noisier than asphalt shingles.
  • May improve your home insurance costs.
  • Protects and stands up against heat.
  • Fewer environmental risks than asphalt.
  • Much longer lifespan.
  • Not to mention, they look pretty cool.

If you decide to go with a metal roof, there are so many colors and styles available. While the initial cost of a metal roof is higher than a shingle roof, the lifetime cost is much lower. For these reasons, we’re seeing a growing trend toward metal roofs here in the United States. They’ve already become quite popular in Canada and Europe.

Metal roofing improves the look of your home and provides energy efficient advantages. The roofing has a protective coating that stands up against heat, stays cooler, and works with your air conditioning to keep your home cool in the summer. In the winter, metal roofing prevents snow buildup and stands up to wet winter weather.

Whatever your choice for roof replacement, we’ll help you explore your best options. Our Weather Tight team works carefully to protect your home so replacing your roof is a relatively painless process. There will be some noise, dust, debris, and vibration, particularly in the attic, but most customers report the process was faster and easier than they imagined.

Weather Tight is proud to participate in the Roofs to Roads program. When a roof is replaced, the shingles are recycled and made into roads. This keeps the roof replacement process environmentally-friendly and worry-free.

Our Weather Tight experts are happy to discuss your options and do a free assessment and demonstration on your current roof. If you’re considering roof replacement, let us help improve the look, energy efficiency, and comfort of your home today!

 


Post images 1 & 2 licensed for use via Pxhere.

How To Prevent Window Condensation

Here at Weather Tight, we get a lot of questions about condensation buildup on windows. First of all, it’s important to know: window condensation doesn’t always indicate there’s a problem with the window!

The window can be perfectly installed and sealed tight and window condensation may still occur. It’s a natural phenomenon for windows brought on by cold air from the outside and warm air on the inside of your house (something we all face regularly here in Wisconsin).

But window condensation still becomes a nuisance and can be an eyesore to homeowners. Here’s why window condensation occurs and what you can do to combat the buildup of condensation on your windows.

Window condensation is natural but definitely preventable! Here are some tips on how to keep window condensation at bay

 

Is Window Condensation Normal?

Condensation, or tiny droplets of water, build up on your windows. It’s certainly a bit unnerving when you suddenly notice your window is wet or the windowsill is damp. This leads many people to worry the windows are leaking or not working properly.

First, the good news is, when you see the buildup of condensation on your windows, it’s totally normal. This occurs when a cold surface temperature meets warm air. The glass between the outside and the inside becomes covered in tiny droplets of moisture. The moist air is actually coming from inside the home, not a leak from outside.

Weather forecasters describe the condensation phenomenon as the “dewpoint.” It’s when a cool air mass meets a warm air mass. With the right dewpoint or humidity in the surrounding air, water (or in the case of weather, rain) is going to occur. Window condensation doesn’t necessarily mean your window is broken or defective! In fact, it’s simply a natural occurrence, similar to the mirror in your bathroom fogging up during a shower or the “sweating” you see on glassware filled with an icy beverage.

Even with condensation, the window can still perform as it’s supposed to—bouncing heat off the glass in the wintertime and keeping the heat inside your home. Your home can be stable and warm, and your heating bills low, yet you may still see condensation on your windows. In the summer, your windows keep the warm air outside and the cool air inside, but with a lot of humidity in the home, you may still see window condensation.

Condensation is moisture, however, and moisture can cause problems for your home including (but not limited to):

  • Rot and mildew of the windowsill.
  • Mildew and damage to the window trim and caulk.
  • Moisture damage to the paint and surrounding furniture.

 

Check out our video on window condensation for more information. While window condensation is a natural occurrence, it’s still not ideal. There are factors in your home that may contribute to the condensation. By understanding the cause, you can start to troubleshoot a solution.
 

 


What Causes Condensation Build Up on Windows?

There are many aspects of your home and lifestyle that contribute to window condensation. Often, people notice condensation in the winter months because the house is more closed off, trapping moisture. Over the humid summer, moisture builds up in the house and at the beginning of the heating season, you see more condensation. Homes with recent construction and newer building materials may also contain extra moisture adding to the window condensation, but the moisture will usually dissipate after the first few months of heating.

Homeowners can control or prevent some of the causes of window condensation. Others may require you to work around.

Here are the leading causes of window condensation in your home.

1. Human Beings

Yes, YOU could be a major part of the window condensation issue. Humans are made up of 60% water and exhale approximately a cup of water into the air each day. While a cup seems like a minor amount, a family of four exhales a gallon of water every four days. It’s easy to see how this adds up quickly. However, short of holding our breath, there’s not much we can do about the amount of water we give off.

2. Number of Showers

When you shower, water naturally goes into the air. This is especially true of a hot shower which gives off steam. Lowering the temperature of your shower and running the bathroom fan will make a big difference in dispensing the moisture. Still, if the mirror in the bathroom is fogged after you shower, chances are your windows will show condensation as well.

3. Laundry

Laundry is another source of moisture in the air of your home. If you wash clothes in hot temperatures, steam and hot water will escape into the air. If your washer drains openly into a sink or drain in the floor, even more water is getting into the surrounding atmosphere. This is why laundry rooms and basements often feel damp. Washing your clothing on a lower temperature will eliminate a little of the moisture. Avoid air-drying your clothes indoors, which adds to the moisture too.

4. Kitchen Activity

Cooking, running the dishwasher, and the sink all contribute to window condensation. A boiling pot of water on the stove, a slow cooker, or a rice cooker give off steam, causing moisture buildup on your windows. Running your kitchen fan whenever you’re using the stove or a water-related appliance helps to keeps the air dry. Check all plumbing leaks and take care of them right away.

5. Pets

Just like humans, our furry companions also give off moisture in the air. Additionally, water dishes and fountains are another source of water in your house. Do you own a fish tank? Evaporation from the tank contributes to condensation in the surrounding air as well. This is why fish owners often see condensation on the top of their aquarium.

6. Plants

Plants give off water in a process known as transpiration—essentially, evaporation through the plant leaves. An oak tree gives off an unbelievable 40,000 gallons of water in a year! Now, chances are, you don’t have an oak tree in your living room, but if you own several houseplants, you may see increased window condensation even from smaller greenery.

7. Humidifiers

Often people with health concerns and allergies are told to run a humidifier in their home. Humidifiers are especially effective for those with asthma and respiratory issues. Often, humidifiers are even recommended by doctors. In Wisconsin, our average outdoor humidity is around 72% and stays fairly consistent throughout the year. Inside your home, the relative humidity varies based on temperature and all the factors listed here including, of course, the use of a humidifier. Comfortable home humidity levels are usually around 30-40%.

8. Register Placement

The heat registers in your home also affect the levels of window condensation. Many registers are located right beneath windows in your home. When the furnace kicks on, it’s blowing warm air and moisture right onto the surface of the window above. This creates the window condensation you see on the glass.

9. Age of Your Home

Newer homes built in the last 30 years feature standard six-inch-walls filled with insulation. In newer attics, you’ll see 20-30 inches of insulation. These newer homes were designed to hold in heat and keep temperatures consistent inside. One of the effects of the extra insulation is keeping humidity and moisture inside the home…resulting in window condensation. Older homes may not have the same issues, but older musty basements and other issues also contribute to window condensation.

10. Location and Water Table

Depending on where you live and the water table you live on, you may also experience water coming up from the ground and pressing on your foundation. If your basement has a sump pump, for example, or simply feels “damp,” it may add to the moisture in the air of your home. If you’re close to a body of water, you may see more water in the air as well.

How to Prevent Window Condensation

Now, the above factors all play a role in the window condensation of your home, but for most of us it’s impractical to rearrange the heat registers, throw out our plants, or give up showering and cooking. Window condensation is a result of living comfortably in our homes.

Fortunately, there are a few ways to combat window condensation easily.

Turn on ceiling fans to circulate air

If you own a ceiling fan, turning it on will keep the air circulating and reduce condensation buildup on your windows. In the winter, reverse the direction of your ceiling fan to run clockwise on a lower speed. This will draw cool air up and push warm down.

Turn on kitchen and bath fans

When you’re cooking up a storm or taking a hot shower after a long day, run your ventilation fans. Check the crawl space in your attic to ensure your fan is ventilating properly. If the moist air is blowing into your attic, you will run into other problems. On warmer days, you may also want to keep a window cracked in those rooms while you’re showering or cooking.

Opening your blinds, drapes, and curtains

Blinds, drapes, and curtains trap moist air close to your window and increase the buildup of window condensation. By keeping your window coverings open as much as possible, you’ll increase the air circulating around your windows.

Lowering the humidity control on your thermostat

Check the thermostat in your home and turn down the humidity control level. Many newer digital thermostats, like the Aprilaire offer a humidity control feature. Many homeowners overlook this easy ability to control the humidity in their home. If you haven’t checked your humidity levels recently, but notice window condensation, turning them down is an easy way to counteract moisture.

Install a dehumidifier

Lastly, if humidity and window condensation continue to be an issue in your home, you may want to purchase a dehumidifier. These units aren’t too expensive and really help decrease the moisture in your air before it becomes a further problem in your home.

Window condensation isn’t indicative of a window problem but it can become a nuisance. Use these tips to cut back on the extra moisture in your home and keep your windows dry all season long!


Post image licensed for use via Pixabay.

Autumn Prepardness- Gutter tips for keeping fall yard maintenance, a breeze.

Oh sweet, sweet summer.. slowly turning to fall in its vivid, vibrant glory.

fall-leave-gpxI stand at my kitchen window each morning, overlooking the sprawling old (& messy) locust tree & my barren patio. I slowly sip my coffee & mentally make a note for myself to get out there and start with the transitional work on the yard from summer to fall. Autumn is my favorite season, but I grow nostalgic for my poor hibiscus that is barely able to force out its blooms, for my daisies that stopped reaching up at the sun weeks ago &, well, my tomato plants which have all but shed their very roots.

The Winter of 2013: Your Roof May Never Be the Same

The buzz around Milwaukee, and nationwide, is the weather. Yes, it is technically spring, but if you look outside today, it doesn’t quite give off that “spring” feel.

The good news is that spring is well underway. Meteorologists have been hinting at 50° weather in our near future. The longest winter, in what only seemed like forever, is almost over.

Spring is the best time to take a visual inventory of your home. Once the snow has melted enough to venture outside, take some time to inspect the exterior of your home for any winter-related damage.

Be sure to check your roofing shingles. Are there any shingles that are lifted and curling, or are there any that are downright missing? These are warning signs that scream winter roofing damage.

Icy roofs can be red flags for improper ventilation or insulation, either in the roofing itself or in the attic. This lack of ventilation and insulation can do some serious damage to your roof and gutters.

Other places to look:
-Roof Staining
-Flashing on Roof – Loose, Detached or Cracking
-Clogged Gutters
-Interior Ceiling Staining

If you notice any of these problems, it is time to call in an expert! Replacing your roof before too much damage has taken effect can save on structural repairs during the installation process. Weather Tight can help as we offer free, no obligation quotes. Give us a call at (414) 459-3888 or fill out the form on our website.

For more information on visual roof inspections, click here.

Don’t Be Another Victim of Hurricane Sandy

What do hurricanes have to do with your next home improvement project in Wisconsin? Well, if your next project happens to be roofing, you will be surprised.

Hurricane Sandy swept the east coast last fall, causing millions to be without power and a total of $75 billion in damages in the United States alone.


Photo Courtesy of Kristie Crofts

In Southeast Wisconsin, we dealt with high waves on Lake Michigan, but the storm didn’t have as much direct impact as our neighbors to the east.

So, how does this affect your roofing project? It’s a story of supply and demand.

When hurricanes hit, materials are needed to repair the damages. As in this case, there was so much damage that there was a great need for roofing materials. Manufacturers like Owens Corning shipped supplies to the Sandy-stricken areas, leaving the rest of the country short. In order to prioritize the orders, manufacturers raise prices.

Owens Corning has announced a double-digit price increase that took effect on March 1st and an additional increase on April 15th.

Where is the silver lining, you ask? All suppliers order their shingles in bulk, and wait to raise prices until their stock is depleted. Once the stock is depleted, however, the prices will rise. At Weather Tight, we leave you with a price that is good for a full year. This gives you the opportunity to lock into our current pricing before the current stock is depleted!