4 Tips For Checking out That “Roofer” That Showed Up at Your Door After a Storm

4 Tips For Checking out That “Roofer” That Showed Up at Your Door After a Storm

A severe storm can wreak havoc on your roof and, along with it, your budget. When someone comes knocking at your door offering an amazing deal for a free consultation, or even a free roof, you may feel relieved. But wait! You could be encountering a “storm-chaser.”

Before you sign up with that guy that showed up at your door, you’ll want to do some research.

What Is A “Storm-Chaser”?

A storm-chaser is a roofer who pays attention to where large storms have hit, and travels there to take advantage of vulnerable homeowners. They will often show up unannounced, passing out flyers or knocking on doors, offering a deal that seems too good to be true. In reality, they take the payout from your insurance company and do the bare minimum, pocketing the difference. A few years later, you need to replace your roof again because of their shoddy work. Protect yourself from these scams by taking these steps:

Take Your Time

When dealing with something as important as your roof, you may feel a sense of urgency. These scammers are counting on it. A rash decision could end up costing you more in the long run.

It’s important to take the time to make sure you are dealing with a legitimate company. Don’t sign anything or pay up front until you have thoroughly checked them out. Many of these scammers actually do more damage to your roof during a “free inspection” to ensure that the insurance company will pay.

Ask To See Proof of Legitimacy

It’s not uncommon for a client to ask their contractor for information about their license or insurance. If the contractor hesitates, you should as well. Check the status of their license in your state. If they are from out of state, make sure they are allowed to practice in your state. Ask for proof of liability insurance and make sure they have workman’s compensation included.

Visit The Office

A legitimate contracting business should have a physical address. If you are given information with only a P.O. Box address, that is a red flag. Make sure that there is an office in your area that you can visit should a problem arise in the future.

Ask For References

Testimonials are a great way to make sure that you are dealing with a contractor who will do quality work. Ask for a list of previous job sites and visit them to make sure they exist. Look the company up on the Better Business Bureau to see read reviews, including any complaints.

Reliable Roof Replacement in Central Maryland

Select Home Exteriors has over 20 years experience providing home services in Frederick County and the surrounding areas. We are BBB accredited, and our customers will tell you that you are working with the best. Contact us to schedule a consultation! Our experienced roofers answer any questions and help you make the best decisions that fit well within your budget. Call today for a consultation!

5 Common Causes of Roof Leaks

5 Common Causes of Roof Leaks

There’s nothing quite as frustrating as a leaky roof. It not only signals an external problem, but can also cause a lot of internal damage, as well. Fortunately, the most effective ways of preventing a roof leak is simply checking your roof for damage every now and again. Here are 5 common causes of roof leaks to look out for:

Poor Shingles

This is the easiest problem to spot. Shingles act as a sort of armor for your roof, and it only takes one small gap in that armor to cause problems for everything underneath. You may notice that some of your shingles are crumbling or falling apart, which allows for condensation to slip through. You may even notice some shingles are missing from your roof entirely! Either way, it’s crucial to fix that broken or missing patch to prevent any further damage.

Cracked Flashing

Shingles aren’t the only things working hard to keep your roof waterproof. Underneath your shingles are thin pieces of metal specifically designed to prevent water erosion and to help run it off into your gutters. Unfortunately, even the best of flashing corrodes over time; ice, hail, and heavy rain can cause your flashing to crack. Some houses have exterior flashing, which can be blown away entirely by high winds. Securing blown off flashing with nails and tar is a good fix, but rusted or cracked flashing must be replaced altogether.

Clogged Gutter

This is probably the most familiar reason for a leaky roof. It’s a very typical problem around the autumn and winter seasons when dead leaves accumulate inside. Because your gutters are meant to help water travel away from the roof, a gutter stuffed with wet leaves doesn’t do you or your house much good. Brave the mess and clean them out before the excess rainwater or melted snow with nowhere else to go starts dripping into your house!

Weak Mortar around Chimney

Chimneys are a handsome addition to any house. Due to how sturdy they’re built, it’s easy to assume they’re practically indestructible. Unfortunately, chimneys do have one weak spot: mortar. Mortar is the glue that holds the chimney together; it’s also essentially a simple combination of water, sand, and cement. Harsh elements like rain, snow, ice, and even extreme winds can wear it down over time. Cracks, holes, and other deterioration can easily cause roof leaks.

Age

Unfortunately, one of the most common and frustrating causes of leaky roofing is time itself. As your house ages, it’s expected that certain parts will need updating and replacing. Your roof is no different, so it’s important to give it a quick look-over whenever you have the chance. Make sure that there is no damage from any recent storms. Double-check the shingles, the flashing, and the mortar. Look over any skylights you may have and make sure they’re securely shut. It’s a lot easier to look everything over as opposed to fixing an entire section of your ceiling.

Free Roofing Estimates in Central Maryland

At Select Home Exteriors, we take pride in making our clients’ homes as beautiful from the outside as possible. We offer a wide variety of roofing shingles to match your home’s style, and we know what types of shingles perform best in Maryland’s weather. Contact our experienced contractors today for a free consultation!

8 Signs You Might Need New Gutters

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Gutters are extremely important in protecting your home from water damage. They direct water away from the windows, doors, and exterior of your home and make sure water doesn’t leak inside. Cleaning your gutters regularly is helpful, but eventually gutters need to be replaced. How do you know when the time has come to replace and not repair? Here are 8 signs you might need new gutters.

Cracks and Holes

Some of the most blatant signs of wear and tear on your gutters are cracks, holes, and rust spots. These can be occasionally fixed with sealant or other patch-up techniques, but if you start to see too many problem spots, you’ll want to invest in new gutters. Small cracks may not seem like a big deal, but even the smallest cracks become big issues, eventually.

Hardware Issues

Noticing nails and screws on the ground or broken fasteners (those pieces of metal that hold your gutter to your roof and keep it level)? While a few random instances don’t mean you need to bother with a full gutter replacement, if you start seeing many nails and screws scattered below your gutters or constantly find yourself fixing gutter fasteners, there may be an underlying issue with your gutters that could warrant a full replacement.

Gutter Separation

If you see that your gutters are not holding together in a continuous channel, it might be time to replace them. After all, gutters are meant to hold together and carry rain water away from the home, so if the gutters are constantly separating and dumping water in unwanted spots, you may spend more money on home repairs than a gutter replacement!

Gutters Pulling Away from Roof

If you notice the fasteners aren’t quite doing their job as they should and the gutters aren’t flush with your roof anymore, you should be concerned that your fascia boards (the long board that runs along the lower edge of the roof and what the fasteners are attached to) may be rotting. Replacing your gutters includes new fascia boards.

Sagging or Incorrectly Pitched Gutters

You might see water pooling in or spilling over your gutters; this can be caused by your gutters not having proper pitch (the angle to have the water run down and away from the home). If you can’t fix this, you’ll need to get new gutters to protect your home from water damage.

Peeling Paint or Flecks of Orange

Leaky gutters will cause water to seep down onto siding and trim which in turn will cause your paint to peel if the water is a consistent problem. Notice weird flecks of orange? That’s a sign of rust! If you see flaking, of paint or rust, look into the issue a little further. You may be in need of new gutters to save you from re-painting your home.

Basement Flooding

A major red flag is water damage in your basement. Water damage could mean your gutters aren’t getting rid of water efficiently and instead are pouring it near your home’s foundation, where it leaks into the basement and causes flooding. If you have to repair your basement due to flooding, you’ll want to double-check your gutters and replace if necessary.

Landscaping Problems

Noticing more mud around your home than usual? What about pools of water or mildew? Maybe your flower beds appear eroded? Gutters that aren’t properly doing their job can cause all kinds of landscaping issues by dumping water where it shouldn’t go. If your weekend gardening just got more difficult, take some time to investigate your gutters at the potential cause.

Gutters, as mentioned, are integral to keeping your home from water damage. Despite their importance, it’s easy to forget they’re even there, which in turn makes it easy to forget they could be the cause of any number of issues with your home if they aren’t taken care of properly! If you think your gutters need to be replaced, contact Select Home Exteriors. Our experienced gutter contractors can evaluate your current gutters and make any necessary recommendations for replacement or repair. Schedule your consultation today!

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Choosing a Roof Color: 7 Tips for Finding the Right One

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You know you need a new roof; maybe your home is older and you want to update, or you might have a creative itch to redesign. You may even need a new roof out necessity because of structural damage from a storm. No matter the reason, picking out the proper color for your roof is an important step in this process. Follow these simple guidelines to help you make a great decision!

Hot or Cold?

Believe it or not, the color you choose for your roof could have an impact on the temperature of your home. Roof color can actually change the temperature of your attic from 20-40 degrees. A lighter color will reflect sunlight and keep your house cooler, ideal for hot and sunny climates, while a dark roof will absorb sunlight and trap heat in, making it a good choice for homes in colder climates.

Coordination is Key

Some colors just work better together. A gray, blue, or white home will be a better base for dark shingles. For brown, cream, or tan homes consider a brown shingle or mix of brown and tan to add some texture. If your home is a color like green, red, or yellow, you have some more flexibility with shingle colors and could opt for a brown, grey, or black.

What’s Your Statement?

Color is one of the best ways to show off your personality. What do you want your home to say about you? If you want a more neutral, down-to-earth look, consider sticking with tans, creams, browns, blacks, grays, and clays.

Sticking with safe roofing colors is also a safer bet for people who are looking to sell their homes in the near future. If you want something trendier, consider palettes that combine tones of browns or employ a mix of blues, blacks, and greys. If you have a specific area of your home that you want to highlight, use a high-contrast color to make it stick out. If you have an area that you’re not particularly fond of and want to minimize, use a low-contrast color to hide it. You can also use dark colors to make your home appear smaller, or lighter colors for the opposite effect.

Be a Good Neighbor

If you live in a neighborhood, check with the homeowners association or neighborhood association to see if there are any rules regarding roof colors. Even if there are no rules, you’ll want to consider what the homes close to you look like. You don’t want the monotony of identical roofs, but you also don’t want to clash.

Consider the Style

Some homes lend themselves better to different roofing types and colors depending on the architectural. Spanish-style homes tend took look better with reddish clay shingles, while a ranch may look good with a combination of colors. Traditional Colonial houses need a completely different design approach. If you’re at a loss for what may work, drive around neighborhoods to get ideas from similar houses or utilize Google to brainstorm.

Think Material

Shingles come in a variety of materials, and different materials produce different looks.

  • Clay shingles commonly are red or tan, but can come in other colors. Make sure they are fired in a kiln so that the colors will withstand weather.
  • Slate can be used, but is expensive and the colors are limited to what you will find in nature.
  • Concrete can be made to appear like wood, slate, or clay and can come in a large variety of colors.
  • Metal roofing can be made to look like other roofing options or, in it’s typical sheet form, will give your home a distinctive look with vertical lines. It also has the benefit of being energy-efficient, fire-resistant, and strong.

Explore your options for materials and don’t be afraid to go outside the box!

Utilize a Professional

You may have a grand idea for how you want your home to appear, and that’s fantastic, but remember that a professional may be a great resource to make sure the design choices you make are viable. Once you have your plan, reach out to someone in the industry who has a history of success in roofs for some help. Between your ideas and their experience, you are on your way to a beautiful new roof!

Central Maryland’s First Choice for Roofing

For more than 20 years, the professionals at Select Home Exteriors have provided exceptional roofing products and installation to homes throughout central Maryland. Why trust just any contractor for your roofing project when you can work with the best? Contact us today for a free estimate!

3 Signs Your Asphalt Shingle Roof Needs Replacing

Signs Your Asphalt Shingle Roof Needs Replacing

A healthy roof is necessary to protect you, your family, and your assets. Routine care and maintenance can prevent a whole host of emergencies, but even the best-cared-for roof ages and needs replacement eventually. Here are 3 signs it may be time to replace your asphalt shingle roof:

It’s Reaching the End of Its Life Span

When was your roof built or last repaired? Experts agree that an asphalt shingle roof’s lifetime is between 20 and 25 years. Anything beyond that is susceptible to major damage and is due for a replacement. If your roof is more commonly exposed to harsher weather conditions such as hurricanes, tropical storms, blizzards, or ice, that may significantly reduce the lifespan of your roof.

If you’re unsure of the age of your roof, hire a roof inspector or professional roofing contractor. A good inspector will come fully licensed and certified to help identify the age of your roof using technically refined skills from years of experience. Bringing in an expert often is the best way to know when it’s time to replace your roof.

>> Does My Roof Need Replaced?

You See Worn, Broken, or Missing Shingles

Evaluating the health of your shingles is important to understanding how effective your roof is. Shingles are specifically designed to withstand and endure the inclement weather conditions your home faces. They help protect your roof by carrying run-off rainwater and snowmelt away from your roof to keep your underlayer, decking, and rafters dry.

Over time, these shingles wear down. They can show signs of buckling when the roof sheathing moves beneath the shingles due to moisture exposure in the attic. If your attic does not have proper ventilation, moisture can build up in the heat, causing shingles to warp and curl as well. You’ll want to take a hard look at your shingles to check for signs of buckling, curling, or warping in addition to falling apart or even missing shingles.

Be sure to also check your roof valleys for damaged or missing shingles. This area endures the most wear and tear since it collects rainwater and snowfall throughout the year and carries it down to your gutters. If your shingles show signs of these poor conditions, your roof is at risk of major water damage.

You Find Mold or Mildew in the Attic

For a closer look, take a walk upstairs to your attic to inspect the insulation and plywood surfaces for signs of water damage. You may find light or dark colored mold or mildew lurking behind your insulation and on the surfaces of your roof framing and sheathing. Further inspect your trusses for wood rot with a moisture meter that measures elevated moisture content in water stains. Your attic is the perfect place to check for signs of water stains, leaks, or other damage, since it will be the first place on the interior of your home to be impacted by a poor roof.

This is also the time to look for proper insulation and ventilation set-ups. If your attic does not have proper ventilation, warm air rises in your home and gets trapped in the attic. The warm air then condenses, providing yet another opportunity for water to damage your roofing structures. If you see natural light showing through or sagging roof decking inside the attic, it may be time to replace your asphalt shingle roof.

>> Check Your Roofing Health Here

Roof Repair & Replacement Services in Maryland

Is it time to replace your old roof? With over 20 years of experience, Select Home Exteriors provides professional roof repair and replacement throughout Maryland. Contact us today for your free estimate.

4 Things You Must Do to Protect Your Roof This Winter

Protect Your Roof This Winter

Winter weather can be tough on your roof. Snow, ice, and harsh winds all can wreck havoc on your shingles and flashing, causing major problems for you and your family. To protect from expensive repairs mid-winter, take these 4 steps to protect your roof before the cold weather hits:

Clean your gutters

Clogged gutters and downspouts can harbor moisture, causing frozen water to expand and damage gutters. Cracked, sagging gutters can cause damage not only from pulling away from the rest of your roof, but also when the ice begins to thaw in the spring. Water that cannot properly drain can puddle on your roof or drain directly onto your foundation, leading to long-term, expensive damage if it isn’t remedied quickly.

Get up on a ladder with your trusty trowel and bucket and clear all the leaves, sticks, and other debris that have collected in your gutters since spring. Lug a hose up there, too, and run some water through the gutters to check for leaks and to be sure your downspouts are funneling water properly. If you feel uncomfortable performing this task, a handyman or other outdoor home professional should be able to make quick work of the job.

Check your roof ventilation

Warm air inside your home from ovens, bathrooms, and the general use of your furnace meets with cold outside air at your roof line. If your roof doesn’t have proper ventilation for the inner warm air, a difference of temperatures will be created and can cause snow and ice to melt, then re-freeze, forming an ice dam. To avoid this problem, you must keep your roof line as cool as possible.

While you’re up on the roof, make sure you have vents capable of handling the heat from your oven, your clothes dryer, and all bathrooms. If you have vents already, make sure they’re clear and in proper working condition. If you discover you don’t have adequate ventilation, contact a home professional before winter really sets in.

Insulate your attic

Much like improper roof ventilation, inadequate attic insulation easily creates a temperature differential on your roof, which can create ice dams. Ice dams can cause serious damage to your shingles, roof joists, and drywall inside your home, as water backs up onto your roof and pools or leaks inside.

Get up in your attic and check that it’s properly insulated. If you don’t have any insulation, or inadequate insulation, get some installed as soon as possible. For existing insulation, check that there are no holes or missing sections, which can cause drafts. Inspect around windows and vents to make sure the seals around them are intact and sufficient.

Trim your trees

Branches or other vegetation that hang over the roof can be magnets for collected snow and ice during winter months. If the plant is weak, or you have particularly heavy snow or ice accumulation, this can lead to branches breaking off and falling on your roof. This can cause pierced shingles, broken gutters, or other damage to your home and roof.

Before the winter weather hits, take a pair of shears or a chainsaw and trim off any branches that hang over your roof or gutters. If you don’t feel comfortable getting up that high, or you don’t know how to properly trim your trees, contact a tree maintenance or outdoor home professional for help.

Expert Exterior Upgrades in Central Maryland

At Select Home Exteriors, we offer more than 15 years of experience with roofing repairs and replacement. Contact us today for your free estimate!