Archive for the ‘Roofs’ Category

Handling Roof Pests

roof pestsRoof repair costs aren’t the only concern for home and building owners. The costs of handling and removing pest problems can be quite expensive. The problem with pests is what they do while living on a roof and what they leave behind for the owners to clean up. Depending on the type of roof, preventing and removing a pest problem can be anywhere between simple to complex enough to warrant a professionals help.


Just like any other type of roof damage, preventive maintenance is key. A roof isn’t something to be ignored and should be checked periodically throughout the year to ensure the roof materials are in good working condition and there aren’t any major problems.

Pests are one of these problems and all kinds of animals can leave behind undesired effects to a roof. Squirrels and birds are notorious for building nests or temporary resting places, leaving behind dirt, leaves and debris as building materials. If these animal structures are not cleaned off they can lead to mildew, rot and damaged shingles.

Another common roof pest is bees, wasps and hornets. Often these insects will nest inside the roof or along the roof lines inside the siding, undetectable to the eye. In the winter months, these insects will hibernate inside these areas and wait for warmer weather to begin building their nests along the crevasses of the roof lines. While bees and wasps aren’t inherently damaging to one’s roof they do bring undesired effects of swarming, defensive and attack behavior to humans who enter their space and can quickly double in numbers.


Removing pest waste or leftovers can usually be done by the home or building owner. Sweeping away any materials or debris can be done using a broom. Check the valleys and ridges of the roof line, which is where these materials tend to accumulate. Bees and wasps can be deterred by spraying the roofline with pesticide, but this method contains toxins and should be handled carefully. Any live pests should be removed by a professional animal or pest control person. Homeowners should never attempt to remove or trap a live animal on their own.

Town Attempts To Save Hockey Arena With New Roof

west st paul ice arenaA Minnesota town may lose its 40 year old ice rink if locals can’t raise enough money to buy a new roof. After several motions to rebuild the aging hockey rink, Minneapolis city officials are planning to close down the activities center for good.

Locals Unite

The old ice rink in West St. Paul, Minnesota has needed a new roof for years, but with a price tag of over $350,000 the city is not willing to save the historic arena. Home to several local hockey clubs and winter activities clubs, news of the arena’s closing has sparked the interest of several local groups.

Parents of the local high school’s hockey booster club have come together to develop a plan to save the building.  Forming a group called Friends of the West St. Paul Arena, they plan to raise funds to replace the old roof but sponsoring charitable gambling and fundraising events over the next several months. Locals from all walks of life are hoping the group can save the arena and protect the future of nearly 400 youths who use the building each week.

“Raise The Roof” Exhibit To Awe Visitors

raise the roofRoofing goes beyond the industry norms to show visitors a closer look into roofs. A new exhibit is bringing insight and wonder into the minds of visitors.

As part of the Minnestrista, an artsy gathering spot in Central Indiana, The “Raise the Roof” exhibit offers a unique approach to discovery and building design.

Telling A Story

Created by the Science Museum of Minnesota, exhibit designers wanted to give visitors a closer look into the making and design of buildings.

Open through May 20th, the “Raise the Roof” exhibit features interactive experiences for visitors of all ages to explore the intricate aspects of building construction. One of the most notable aspects is a feature in which visitors can raise a domed roof and then allow it to collapse around them. Similar features includes a closer look into the dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning and a playful test of knowledge of how roof materials stand up to natural disasters.



Painting A Roof Offers Unique Benefits

roof paintingA relatively new trend among roofing products is roof paint. Many roofers feel that painting a roof can produce many benefits for homeowners, as well as help protect the environment. While roof painting hasn’t quite made its way into the green roofing movement, you can’t argue with the facts.

Why Paint?

Roof painting is common for metal roof owners that want to change the aesthetic appeal to their roof from time to time. Recently, more people have begun painting other roof materials in order to take advantage of some of the  benefits roof paint has to offer.

It is reported that painting a roof white can significantly reduce the energy consumption of a home. The white roof paint reflects the sun’s rays, thereby lowering the heat absorption of the home. Roofers estimated that a white roof coating can deflect 85% of sun rays and lower the surface temperature of the roof by 50 degrees. A cooler roof means cooler interior and less need for energy consuming air conditioners.

Energy experts also note that a reflective roof coating can directly impact the environment by reducing carbon emissions through less energy consumption and improve  local air quality by eliminating ozone toxins. The U.S. Secretary of Energy, Steven Chu, has said that painting roofs white would reflect enough sun rays back into space, creating a green house saving effect equal to removing a vehicle from the planet for 11 years.

Widow Wins Free Roof From Local Roofer

free roof for holidayOne Leesburg, VA resident wins a new roof as part of a local roofers charity program. Sterling’s DryHome Roofing & Siding awarded Barbara Green a roof after she received the most nominations in the local event.

The Holiday Spirit

Ms. Green is a recent widow who has suffered from limited financial resources for years. After her recent hip replacement surgery, Green fell further into financial strain. Never asking for help or handout, Green’s friends and family voted for her to receive the free roof repair to her aging home.

Ms. Green is the ninth winner of the local charity program after receiving the most nominations for the free roof. Sterling’s DryHome Roofing & Siding holds The Free Roof for the Holidays program annually by accepting nominations from local residents voting for a family in need. The roofing company has helped numerous local residents and organizations with their holiday roof program. Last year, a  Korean War veteran was the lucky winner. Local organizations such as Good Shepherd Alliance, Reston Interfaith, Falls Church Cub Scout House, Gabriel Homes, have won in previous years.


New Delhi Roof Collapse Sends Five To Hospital

roof collapseTwo children and three adults were injured over the weekend when a building undergoing construction for a new roof, collapsed. Roof materials collapsed onto the occupants of a construction site building, sending all to the hospital in west Delhi on Sunday. It took two cranes and additional construction equipment to free the victims.

While the building’s owner was cited for negligence, the local authorities are investigating why the two children and one woman were inside the construction site. The addition two  people were construction workers and were reportedly working at the time of the accident. It is unclear as to why the woman and children would have been inside the building and why the building was open for non-workers to enter freely. Currently, no one is facing charges for the negligent actions.

An Unfortunate Lesson

Roof collapse isn’t an uncommon occurrence. There are many more stories like this each week around the world that surface, reporting serious injuries and death of victims of old roof materials. To make matters worse, most of the victims are children who are playing inside a building that should be considered dangerous and off-limits.

How can we prevent future accidents?

  • Parents — Teach children not to play in vacant homes, or homes undergoing construction.
  • Homeowners — Regularly inspect your attic and roof for proper performance.
  • Government or Industry –Educate consumers about the roofing process and how roof materials work.
  • Contractors — Follow safety protocols and ensure unattended work sites are free from potential dangers.


Old Roof Sold As Scrap Metal

copper roofThe green roofing movement has created quite a buzz for innovative roofing techniques and recycled roof materials. More roof contractors are offering recycled roof materials for new roof installations, as well as removal and haul away for old roof materials that can be recycled into new products.

Although most people typically think of metal roofs as being the only roof type that is easily recycled into new products, even traditional asphalt shingles can be recycled into new shingles or scrap rubber. However, metal roof materials come at a higher buyback price than most other materials, making them more appealing for those looking to maximize their trade in value.

County Courthouse Trade

A southern Indiana courthouse has been topped by a copper roof for nearly a century. The Monroe County courthouse had planned to sell the metal roof to a nonprofit group that collects antiques and architectural artifacts. However, once the deal fell through a local salvage yard put in a winning bid for the copper roof pieces. The old roof was purchased for $2,200 and sold to the Owen County salvage yard, where it will be recycled into scrap metal.

Rapid City FD Wants Grant to Replace Roofs

The South Dakota fire department is applying to a FEMA program to help cover the cost of replacing wood-shingle and shake roofs for eligible west side homeowners.

The Rapid City fire department applied for the grant as part of its overall urban-wild land fire prevention initiative. The shingle and shake roofs are particularly vulnerable during fires. The grant, if approved, would cover 75% of the cost of replacing the older roofs with noncombustible shingles.

Bleak Chances of Surviving a Fire

Lt. Tim Weaver of the Fire Department’s Prevention Division said “The number one biggest problem for a house in a wild land fire is the roof. If you have a cedar shake roof, the chances of your home surviving a wild land fire is pretty bleak.”

The roofing materials like wood shakes are a higher risk for fire since the wood dries out and shrinks creating spaces in the roof to collect debris. Embers can travel as much as a mile, when they land on these roofs they can burn the house down.

Apply for Grant

If you are a homeowner with a home west of Mount Rushmore Road and would like to be included in applying for the FEMA grant to help cover the cost of replacing your shake roofs, contact Lt. Tim Weaver of the Rapid City Fire Department at 394-5233 before the end of this year.

Lt. Weaver is hoping at least 50 homeowners will apply by the end of December. The Rapid City fire department will not know until sometime next year if they will receive the FEMA hazard mitigation grant.

Ice Dams

In colder climates an ice dam on your roof can wreak havoc on your home or business. When the temperature of your attic is warmer than the snow, the snow on your roof melts and flows down the roof until it reaches the colder eaves or soffit, where it can refreeze.

A few days of this cycle and the freezing snow builds up and forms a dam of ice. Water pools behind this dam and can back up under your shingles, damaging your roof and leaking into your ceilings and walls.

Prevent Warm Air from Getting into Your Attic

If you have problems with ice dams, there are steps you can take to eliminate them and keep your home dry. Attic insulation should be a minimum of R-50 to keep warm air out of the attic. Anything that enters the attic space; wires, vents, fixtures, chimneys, etc., must be sealed with spray foam or caulking.

Get an Energy Audit

An energy audit, like those provided by your gas or electric company can locate any air leaks and give you suggestions on to how to prevent loss of heat to your attic. When you have identified potential problems, contact a licensed contractor to make the necessary changes.

Hire a Roofing Contractor to Remove an Ice Dam

If you do have an ice dam, do not attempt to remove the ice with shovels or chemicals, you can damage the shingles or gutters, and in most cases void any warranty you have on your roof. Hire a roofing contractor if an ice dam needs to be removed from your roof.

Fall Out From A Flat Roof

flat roofIt is fairly common to see a commercial roof that has a flat or no-slope grade. While commercial buildings may benefit or tolerate a flat roof well, homes generally do not. At one time, it wasn’t uncommon to find a residential roof with a flat slope. However, these days we know much more about roofing and how certain materials perform better under certain conditions, the slope of the roof being one of them.

Flat Wrong For Homeowners

A variety of materials can be used with a flat roof, but their durability is far less efficient than with a sloped roof. Metal roof materials must be welded together to prevent leakage between the seams. Asphalt shingles break easier on a flat roof when hard objects rub against the surface.

Although flat roofs are generally simple to install and may appear to be less maintenance, most homeowners find that improper installation or maintenance is more common with a flat roof than a sloped roof. Flat roofs are more prone to problems such as sagging, leaking and water damage. Sagging occurs when the weight of the roof becomes too heavy for the underlying structure to support it. If the flat roof begins to sag in one spot, and not in others, a dip forms where water can accumulate. Water buildup easily becomes destructive in no time. The longer water sits on a roof, the more roof damage that will result.

Due to the costly nature of roof repair and the increased need for repairs for flat roofs, homeowners are advised to consider alternatives for their home. If a flat roof is necessary for a particular home, it is important that a vinyl or rubber roof material be used and that the roof maintains at least a slight degree of slope to promote adequate water runoff.