Gutter Basics: Prepping for Spring Arrival

Cleaning your gutters is a task that is frequently overlooked. Clearing out the eaves troughs is an important task of home ownership, which should be performed at least twice a year. If the gutters are clogged, the overflow water can cause damage to the landscaping and foundation around your Colleyville, TX house. The increased weight can cause the gutters to pull loose, which can lead to rot behind the fascia or trim.

During the winter months, clogged gutters can lead to ice damming and cause roof leaks. Ice will fill the gutters and begin to form up the roof slope. The ice subsequently forms between the layers of your roofing and back up into the roof system. Heat from the house will cause the ice to melt and leak into the structure. If there are a lot of trees or brush surrounding the house, it is recommended to clean the gutters more frequently.

Although there are many new innovative tools to help you accomplish this task, the standard practice involves using a ladder, hose, gloves, disposal bag, and a garden trowel or scoop. The average home should be cleaned twice a year, during the spring and in the fall. Although it sounds simple enough, gutter cleaning can be dangerous and should be performed by someone who is experienced or a roofing professional, such as Charles Martin and Son Roofing.

If you choose to tackle the job on your own, it is important to wear gloves and ensure the ladder is always secure. A ladder stabilizer or standoff can be used to prevent dents and damage to the gutters or siding. Begin at the downspout with a trowel and hose and ensure it is clear from debris. If a downspout is plugged, it may have to be dis-assembled and cleaned. Scoop and dispose of debris and then rinse the trough clean.

Whether you decide to complete the task yourself or select a professional, a roof inspection should still be conducted to thoroughly examine the condition of your Bedford, TX roofing system and identify any potential problems. Charles Martin and Son Roofing specialize in roof inspections, repairs, and gutters. Contact us today for all your roofing needs!

Common Mistakes When Restoring Your Roof

When it comes to repair and restoration for your Colleyville, TX home, roofing systems should be a high-ticket item on the list. Not only do roofs help make homes safe, they also serve as an appeal factor. This is why many homeowners opt for roof restoration. Let’s review some common mistakes that occur when restoring roofs.

Forgetting Roof Problems

There are a number of issues that can affect both the reliability and qualify of roofing systems from weather conditions, installation tactics, as well as age. Due to this, there are cases when restoration is inappropriate and a full roof replacement is necessary.

Improper Inspection

Insufficient inspections can spell disaster when conducting a roof restoration. There are a number of issues that can damage a roof, which should be addressed prior to work beginning. Unfortunately, many homeowners do not inspect their roof, causing cracks to turn into holes and simple scratches into rust.

Considering Cost Over Safety

It is a common occurrence that homeowners will opt for roof restoration over replacement primarily due to its price. While buying a new roof is more expensive and takes more time, there are some instances when your Bedford, TX roofing system needs a complete overhaul.

Neglecting Support Structures

Roofing systems are prone to a number of problems, and when they are not addressed in a timely manner, can also affect roof support. Before restoring your roof, make sure that the support structures are intact.

Failing to Utilize Professionals

Although homeowners can generally do simple repairs, experts such as Charles Martin & Son Roofing should complete major problems or significant restorations. They have the skills and knowledge to restore roofs properly and effectively.

Homeowner Essentials: Roofing Tool Guide

Roofing can be a dangerous job, especially when left to inexperienced individuals. Regardless of whether you are a professional roofer or experimenting with DIY projects, having the best tools and safety equipment is essential. Let’s discuss the basics needed to maintain, repair, or install a roof. While some of the tools have been around for decades, others have just been added to the list of high tech roofing tools.

Air Knife: Cuts through thick laminate shingles with a high-tempered hook blade while running on compressed air.

Hammer Stapler: Used to apply heavy duty, rustproof staples to roofing systems.

Knee Pads: Helps protect the knees through giving additional support and comfort.

Pry Bar: Comes in a variety of lengths but is generally used to remove roofing material.

Roofing Hammer: Contains a hatchet on one end and a hammer on the other in order to split shakes and pound nails.

Roofing Nailer: One of the most essential tools for the job, but also frequently used in order to quickly nail down material.

Shingle Saw: Used to cut shingles and other roofing materials such as metal, masonry, and fiber cement.

Slater’s Bracket: Holds planks in place when working on slate roofs.

Overall, equipping yourself with the right tools will enable you to complete roofing tasks not only efficiently, but safely as well. While these are your basic tools needed to complete the job, a roofing company will have specialized equipment to ensure proper removal, repair, and installation. Roofing professionals at Charles Martin and Son Roofing can help answer any questions and plan for all possible Colleyville, TX roofing projects. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.

Roofing Disaster 101: How to Handle Storm Damage

Damaging weather is unpredictable and as a Colleyville, TX homeowner, it is important to have a clear understanding of the steps to take when your roof has been compromised. Windstorms, severe rainstorms, and even in the rare case snow, can all have serious consequences. Let’s examine the four steps you should take in the event of a roofing disaster.

1. Assess the Damage

This first step is essential as it enables you to discuss your needs with both your insurance company and contractor, lessening the chance of unforeseen costs or discrepancies. Look at your roof and estimate the general square footage along with the specific details of the area that has been damaged. Binoculars come in handy, as you will want to look carefully for missing shingles. Any materials that are exposed such as plywood and tar-paper should be documented.

2. Make Temporary Fixes

In the event that your roof is severely damaged, especially in an area directly above a living space, it is in your best interest to make a temporary fix. Place buckets or garbage cans under leaks and remove any valuables to prevent further interior damage. Depending on the level of exposure, a strapped tarping method or ice and water membrane may be necessary.

3. Contact the Insurance Provider

If the damage is large enough to be covered through your home insurance policy, your next step should be to contact your provider. In the event of a natural disaster where large residential areas are hit by a storm, this is the soundest way to approach the problem. If the damage is relatively minor, it may be better to hire a contractor directly.

4. Research Reliable Contractors

If you decide to hire a private roofing company, such as Charles Martin & Son Roofing, ensure that they are certified and knowledgeable in the various roofing codes as well as appropriate roofing systems for your area. Additionally, it is even better if they can work in conjunction with your insurance provider to file a claim.

Your roof is the barrier that prevents harsh elements from impacting the interior of your home. If you are faced with a disaster that may have compromised your Bedford, TX roof, contact professionals at Charles Martin & Son Roofing to obtain a free estimate today!

Hide and Seek: How to Find a Leak in a Roof

Contrary to popular belief, it can be extremely difficult to locate a leak in a roof. You may envision it as a hole big enough to stick your head through, but in the real world, leaks only become apparent after water has flowed, soaked, and spread its way through multiple layers. This means that the spot where your ceiling is dripping may be dozens of feet from the original source. Luckily, water is a substance without intent or cognition, where sense can generally be made of its path. To do so, follow the grade of gravity.

Roof leaks can also be inferred, especially during dry periods, which can provide an opportunity to look for signs of discoloration including darkened ceiling tiles, mold, and damp insulation. While not always the case, flashing tends to be a common culprit for leaks. It is not uncommon for repairs or poor craftsmanship to leak openings unprotected from the elements.

If you are up for a game of detective, you can mimic the effect of a storm by using a garden hose. This helps you identify potential leaks while having some control over the amount of water accessing your home. Start at the outer edges of your roof and utilize a systemic approach. Give each test time to seep into your home and lead you to the location where the leak may be present.

The good news is that most roof leaks are easy repairs and generally inexpensive. Depending on the source of a problem and your budget, nearly every leak can be patched or flashed within a matter of minutes. Professional roofing contractors at Charles Martin & Son Roofing have extensive experience in identifying potential damage and providing a quick solution. To learn more about your options, contact us for a free consultation today!

The Most Common Roofing Questions Exposed

While every Colleyville, TX homeowner’s situation is unique, there are certain questions that roofing professionals at Charles Martin & Son Roofing hear over and over again. Let’s take a look at the top roofing questions asked by homeowners.

1. Does my roof need to be repaired or replaced?

This question often determines the difference between a quick fix and a long, expensive process. A variety of factors determine this answer including how close your roof is to the end of its expected lifespan, any severe storm damage it has endured, and the overall condition of the roofing system. A roofing expert is the best person to assess whether a repair will be sufficient or a full-blown replacement is required.

2. What type of roofing materials should I choose?

Each roofing material has its advantages and disadvantages depending on the part of the country you live in. Discussing these factors during your free consultation with Charles Martin & Son Roofing can help you decide. Types range from asphalt shingles, which make up approximately 70% of homes in the US, metal, tile, slate, and wood.

3. How much does it cost to replace a roof?

The price varies significantly based on the size and scope of the project, but a general estimate is between $2,000 and $10,000 for an average residential home. Higher-end materials and larger homes will increase the price. A legitimate roofing professional will always provide an estimate before work begins.

4. How long will it take to replace my roof?

This depends largely on the type of materials used and the size of the job. For a typical residential project, it can be completed within a few days. A very large and complex home or commercial project tends to take much longer and can last up to a few months.

When you meet with a professional contractor at Charles Martin & Son Roofing, you can rest assured that you will be involved in the entire process. Your questions will be thoroughly answered prior to any work beginning. Our work is guaranteed and we follow top industry standards in all installations.

Beware of the Roofing Insurance Loophole

Spring is a time when severe thunderstorms that produce high winds and damaging hail are most likely to occur. After a potential devastating aftermath that may leave roofs in deplorable conditions, many Colleyville, TX homeowners tend to have a relatively similar experience. Countless flyers are taped to doors, yard sign ads spring up in the neighborhood, and phones begin ringing as roofing contractors make a familiar pitch claiming they can work with insurance carriers to ensure full coverage. Thousands of Bedford, TX homeowners sign up for this deal each year, but few know that it violates Texas law, making the deal illegal, void, and unenforceable.

Beginning in 2003, Texas has required individuals to be licensed as public adjusters if they intend to adjust claims on behalf of those insured. Additionally, public adjusters can negotiate a settlement of a claim under any insurance policy covering real or personal property. While licensed public adjusters are allowed to receive compensation for their services, Texas law statute states the following:

(a) A license holder may not:

(1) Participate directly or indirectly in the reconstruction, repair, or restoration of damaged property that is the subject of a claim adjusted by the license holder,

or,

(2) Engage in any other activities that may reasonably be construed as presenting a conflict of interest, including soliciting or accepting any remuneration from, or having a financial interest in, any salvage firm, repair firm, or other firm that obtains business in connection with any claim the license holder has a contract or agreement to adjust.

So for the purpose of this discussion, it is a violation of the Texas Insurance Code for a public adjuster to profit from both adjusting a claim as well as making the required repairs. Unfortunately, this provision has failed to stop some roofing contractors from engaging in similar conduct. Homeowners in Bedford, TX should ensure that their roofing contractor only performs services that involve replacing or repairing a roof. Quality professionals at Charles Martin and Son Roofing understand this process well has form contracts that are within the statute. If your home or business has been damaged by a recent storm, contact us to learn more about how we can help!

How to Rid Moisture Stains in the Ceiling

During yearly roof inspections, many professionals will also examine your Bedford, TX home’s ceilings for water seepage. Homeowners should know what to look for and take action as soon as possible. If a roof leak is detected and it has created moisture stains in your ceiling, there are a few tricks to make your home look like new again.

The size of the stain should be the deciding factor for what kind of action to take. If there is significant damage, that portion may require complete replacement. Generally speaking, smaller stains can be easily tackled. The top recommendation is to spray the spot with bleach and water solution, which will resolve the spot within a couple of days.

If the stain is relatively old, a mold and mildew remover is more appropriate. For cases of larger watermarks, use a pigmented stain blocker to cover the stain. Rollers can be used for smooth surface application while brushes are better suited for corner. Once the ceiling has dried for at least 24 hours, ceiling paint can be applied over the area.

Don’t try to fix a stain or any damaged drywall until you are sure that the moisture problem has been resolved. A professional at Charles Martin & Son Roofing can help with this project. If you are interested in learning more, contact us today for a free consultation!

Key Factors to Consider When Installing Exterior Trim

Back in the day, exterior trim installation was relatively straightforward. Wood materials were used and methods that were handed down from previous generations provided years of trouble-free service. In today’s age, exterior trim installation requires significantly more carpentry skills and background knowledge of moisture movement along with thermal expansion. Below we will examine the crucial factors to consider when installing exterior trim.

Moisture Content: All wood contains moisture and once it has been built into a structure and protected from the elements, it will begin to dry out and shrink. If you are working on a home that is a few years out, movement from moisture isn’t as much of a consideration. If the house or addition is new, there will be shrinkage of the lumber. If not accounted for during installation, a noticeable gap will form in the eaves.

Trim Selection: Trim material comes in a lot more choices than in former years. This gives homeowners the liberty to match materials characteristics to job requirements, such as allowing plastic trim to come into contact with a driveway. It is essential to understand both the characteristics as well as limitations of your trim as they each require varying installation methods.

Moisture Absorption: Dimensional wood, engineered wood, and fiber cement are considered reservoir materials, meaning they have the ability to absorb moisture, leading to movement, paint failure, and rot. Poly-ash and PVC trim are unaffected by moisture and can be in direct contact with wet surfaces without any adverse effects.

Thermal Movement: Some trim materials expand and contract as the temperature warms and cools, such as PVC. This can further be affected by dark colored finishes, so paints with light reflective value of 55 or higher are recommended. Luckily, poly-ash, dimensional wood, engineered wood, and fiber-cement trim have minimal expansion and contraction movement.

The best practice that you can follow is to follow the manufacturer’s instructions. The bottom line is that trim needs to stay where it belongs and hold the finish long after the initial installation. Professionals at Charles Martin & Son Roofing specialize in carpentry jobs around your home. Contact us for a free consultation and to learn more about what we can provide for you.