How a Missing Tile Affects Home Defense

You have heard the proverb, “a chain is only as strong as its weakest link.” This proverb, while typically used in reference to a group of people working together or for the strength of a logical argument, takes on a whole other meaning when referencing a roof. Many people believe one missing roof tile is not a big deal, but the reality of a missing tile or shingle is serious.

One Missing Tile Can Make the Rest Obsolete

Imagine a multi-faceted defense system where all of its parts must function together to successfully guard a precious treasure. If one of the security measures of the system breaks, the whole system is obsolete, and the treasure is put at risk. In regards to your house, the roof is the defense system, and the treasure is your home. If a single tile is out of place, guess what you will have in your home the next time it storms on your roof—rain in its interior. What can rain in the interior of your home do? Force repair costs worth thousands of dollars as a result of moldy wood and other parts of your home. Let’s go through a timeline of possible outcomes of an unpatched roof:

  1. Your roof has a missing tile.
  2. A storm hits your house and dumps rain onto your home.
  3. Typically, your home is impervious to rain, but because of the missing tile, rain leaks into your house.
  4. This leak causes your home’s interior to become soaked with rain.
  5. As the interior of your home sees no sunlight, and is in a cool and damp place, mold and rot festers as a result of the rain.
  6. This rot impacts the integrity of your home’s structure.
  7. You will have to replace the structure of the interior of your home to ensure it doesn’t collapse on itself from the rot.
  8. You will be out tens of thousands of dollars all because of one missing tile.

Clearly this process doesn’t happen overnight, but the reality is that it can happen in a couple of months depending on the season and your home’s local. Don’t make a mistake you will regret, get your tile fixed by JM Roofing & Siding. We will ensure that your home’s defense can continue doing its job so you and your family can stay safe.

Staying Safe While on Your Roof

No matter how protective your roof is, at some point in time you will need to perform routine maintenance. Although roof maintenance may seem like an easy job, thousands of Americans are injured in roof-related accidents every year. For this reason we have complied a number of safety tips that will help you stay safe while on top of your roof.

Never Work in Extreme Weather Conditions

Although summer days may seem like a good time to work on your roof, shingles dry out and become brittle when exposed to the sun for hours on-end. On the other hand, during cold seasons, your shingles may become brittle due to freezing temperatures. Therefore, the best time to work on your roof is during weeks where mild temperatures are the norm.

Wear Soft-Soled Footwear for Traction

Although your steel-toed boots are great for construction work, the typically hard-soled bottoms may cause you to fall off your roof. While hard-soled bottoms can help your feet during other projects, it is better to pass on these shoes while working up in the air. In fact, experts suggest that you use soft-soled footwear for any roofing project you engage in. Traction is better than support for roofing projects, so make sure you leave your hard-soles in the closet.

 Always Have Three Points of Contact While on a Ladder

When climbing a ladder, best practice dictates that you should always have three points of contact on the ladder at all times. Three points of contact means having a total of two hands and one foot or two feet and one hand on the ladder. If a job requires that you use both of your hands while on a ladder, it may be time to think of a safer solution. Unfortunately, tens of thousands of workers are injured while using ladders every year, but if you follow this rule, the chances of you joining their ranks is significantly lowered.

Hopefully these tips help you protect yourself against injury while maintaining and cleaning your roof. Stay safe out there!

How Storms Affect Your Roof

When a developer draws up blueprints for a new building, he or she must perform research on the area to decipher what natural disasters could impact the structure. While earthquakes, fires, hurricanes, tornados, and other disasters may be region specific, most areas suffer from storms. Although rain and lightning storms are not categorized as natural disasters, a powerful storm can wreak havoc on your roof.  Hopefully, your roof can stand in the face of the following storm hazards.

  • High-Winds

As a roof ages, its tiles or wood shakes will become dense and brittle. When a strong wind blows across a roof, the tiles or shakes may get caught up in the wind. If a gust is strong enough, whole tiles or shingles may get ripped off of a rooftop. Therefore, if your tiles are getting old, it may be time to repair your roof with newer materials that will stay put through strong winds.

  • Rain

While rain on its own may not do much to your home, one exposed portion of your roof could be the cause of attic flooding or moldy crawlspaces. If your roof is prone to leaks during the rainy season, your home could be in more trouble than your realize due to mold infestation and rot. The only shelter worth having is secure and will stop rain from penetrating the interior of a home. If your roof is torn and has holes, immediate patching or roof remodeling may be the only way to prevent attic rot that will require tens of thousands of dollars to replace.

  • Hail

Rain’s more aggressive twin, hail, can wreak havoc on brittle shingles that should have been replaced. When hail strikes these materials, it can dislodge tiles and portions of your roof. When this happens, your home is exposed to rain and sun damage because the protective layer is compromised. To ensure your home’s ability to repel hail it may be time to order repairs.

  • Trees

The power of storms can often uproot trees in your or your neighbor’s yard. In the midst of a storm, an uprooted tree can become a primitive battering ram against your roof. Branches can poke holes in your roof, and a tree trunk may cause extensive damage depending on how it falls onto your home. If a tree strikes your house, never assume the roof is fine. It is better to have it checked by a professional rather than assume the best and receive more damages due to wishful thinking.

 

As you can see, storms have a dramatic impact on the health of your roof. If your home suffers a severe storm, it may be time to hire a professional roofing company to ensure that there are no extensive damages. Dealing with this scenario now can save you tens of thousands in the future. So why wait, get your roofing checked now by contacting us!

Pros & Cons of Roof Types

If you are having your house built from the ground up, or if you need to have your roof replaced, deciding on what materials to use for your roof is not easy. There are a variety of options available to you and you don’t want to make a choice based solely on price. We understand where you’re coming from, so we made this blog to help you identify some pros and cons for each roofing material type.

Asphalt Shingles

Pros:

  • Lightweight
  • Fire-resistant
  • Least expensive roofing
  • Variety of colors
  • Installation is possible over an existing roof

Cons:

  • Colors can fade quickly, meaning brighter colors will fade faster
  • Can harden from cold, becoming brittle and prone to break
  • Attracts mold and mildew
  • Can blow off in high winds
  • 15-25 year lifespan

Tile

Pros:

  • Highly versatile stylization
  • Burn resistant
  • Will not rot or attract insects
  • Best insulation for attics
  • Lasts a lifetime

Cons:

  • More expensive
  • Can crack when walked on
  • Adds weight to structural supports

Wood Shakes

Pros:

  • Timeless and classic look
  • Insulates the while house when installed properly

Cons:

  • Expensive
  • No defense against fire
  • Can warp over time
  • Susceptible to rot
  • Cost more for insurance
  • 15-20 year lifespan

Slate

Pros:

  • Impervious to fire, rot, and insects
  • Low maintenance
  • Impact resistant
  • Easier to repair than tile
  • Can last a lifetime

Cons:

  • Expensive to purchase and install
  • Adds to insurance costs
  • May require extra home support

Metal

Pros:

  • Light and durable
  • Untouchable by fire, rot, and insects
  • Keep attics cool by reflecting the sun
  • Cheaper than some materials
  • Last a lifetime

Cons:

  • Middle range price
  • Noisy in rain or hail
  • May show dents

As you can see, when it comes to a roof, there a wide variety of options available. When it comes to roofing, these pros and cons mean little compared to getting the look that you want. Therefore, take these characteristics into consideration, but make sure you pick the choice that fits your needs!

How Interior Design Can Affect Your Emotions

The interior decorations of a home reflect the homeowners style and identity. However, did you know that the style of a home can actual impact your emotions? Read the following information to discover how the look of a home may affect your mood.

Use of Space

When entering a home with clutter and a lot “going on”, people may feel anxious and distracted. Spaces that seems claustrophobic and don’t “breathe” make people uncomfortable and trapped. Unfortunately, if someone visits a friend whose home is cluttered, he or she is likely to leave sooner rather than later because they may feel overwhelmed by the use of space.

On the other hand when a home is open and free of items, visitors tend to feel light. The room breathes, and those occupying the room are uplifted through the open space. The room will comfort those who feel trapped and allows conversation to flow freely among friends.

Furniture & Style

Many homeowners choose to purchase furniture with rounded edges and soft appearances. Round and soft furniture is seen as inviting and safe, whereas harsh looking furniture can appear threatening and dangerous. As people desire to feel comfortable in a home, cushions and soft-looking materials can go a long way in making people feel at peace in your home.

Lighting

Lighting can have serious effects on the moods and interactions of guests. Dim lighting is known to make people comfortable, creating a safe space for conversation and fellowship. However, harsh overhead lighting can make people feel alert, subconsciously causing them to back away from conversations. Additionally, natural lighting is shown to increase conversation and creativity within groups of people. If you want to have inspired conversations, make sure your lighting helps set the mood.

Understanding the relationship between decorations and emotions is difficult, but hopefully these insights help you create a home where productivity and relationships grow.

What Type of Siding Is Best for Property Value?

While some property owners think that the type of exterior siding of their home is of little consequence to the value of their home, nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, the quality, durability, and appearance of a home’s siding is of critical importance to the overall value of the home, its curbside appeal, and its ability to be sold.

Certainly, homes with older siding sell every day. However, there are generally three types of exterior siding that are the most appealing for a home, increase the net value of the home and provide the most protection for the home against the elements and are known for their longevity.

The top three home siding materials are:

  • Brick or stone
  • Vinyl siding
  • Texture 111 or pressure-treated wood panels

What You Can Expect From Your Siding

Each of these types of siding offer protection from the elements, beautify the home, and offer a longer life than the outdated sidings that most homes have.

Brick and stone exteriors can either be facades or actual layer by layer stone or brick construction.

Vinyl siding offers great insulation from the elements for the home and are good at protecting the basic outside sheathing and the base wood underneath of a home. Vinyl siding is also very easy to maintain and clean, and it has a long durable life.

The last exterior siding is known as Texture 111, or pressure-treated wood. These can offer some protection from the elements. However, it is the least durable of the three top primary home exteriors.

Lower-Value Siding

By contrast, older and outdated sidings can be problematic for a homeowner—and one of them can be toxic.

Lower-value exterior sidings include:

  • Aluminum siding
  • Wood shingles
  • Asbestos shingles

Aluminum siding back in its day was a great option for homeowners and avoided the need for constant repainting. However, over time this type of siding gets discolored, becomes chalky, loses color, and can be easily dented—exposing the aluminum color underneath.

Wood shingles can be found on older homes and generally need to get repainted every 5-8 years. These certainly can be beautiful, but wood shingles are difficult to maintain. Over time, the wood can be subjected to dry rot and insect infestation, as well as paint peeling and discoloration. Asbestos shingles are the most dangerous of the group. While they can be durable, if they are damaged the asbestos can be toxic and has been known as a serious carcinogen.

Ultimately, the siding you choose should be seen as both a stylistic choice and an investment into your home’s future value. By choosing siding based on its durability and cost-effectiveness, you can join the small number of homeowners who will be able to live a life of comfort and security in their retirement.

How to Safely Document Storm Damage

Storms can cause a great deal of damage to your home, as well as create emotional and financial chaos for you and your family.

Hail damage create leaks and cracks, and later lead to cracked and chipped siding. Wind damage can lift the shingles on your roof and cause cracks. It can also push weak or dead trees into your roof, punching a (very expensive) hole into your home. Water damage can affect every area of your home and cause certain health hazards such as mold and mildew.

None of that stress compares, however, to the stress of dealing with a windstorm damage claim. Where do you start? How do you make sure all the damage is accounted for?

We’ll tell you!

Today, our blog dives into the simple and practical steps for documenting home damage after any disaster. By following our guide to the end, you’ll have a thorough and organized list of information about everything the storm touched in your house.

Here’s how to do it.

Start with One Room & Don’t Move On Until You’re Finished

To safely document storm damage, taking an organize approach will ensure success. For example, start with one room at a time. Assess each room one at a time, and do not go to another room until you are sure that you have covered everything in that room.

This also gives you clear stopping points if you’re interrupted or need to document over the course of a couple days. Going room-by-room ensures that you’re not accidentally skipping a major problem.

Keep a Detailed List

Create a list that documents everything you observed after the storm. Keep this list with you as you go from room to room. On this list, include what is in the room and a description of the damages. Keep your list, and anything relevant to the storm, in a file folder. In addition, keep your insurance claim form and bills from the storm all together in the folder.

Caution: don’t throw away any damaged items before talking with your insurance company first. Add the items to your list, photograph them, and leave them until your insurance company has verified the damage. Otherwise, you may not have proof if they dispute it later.

Take Photos

After writing down each item/instance of damage, take photos. Photos are necessary for proving the claim and will show exactly the damages that occurred from the storm. Save these photos in an easy-to-access location, and make sure it’s backed up to an external hard drive or cloud-based account.

File a Claim with Your Insurance Company

The next step is to file a claim with your insurance company. This should be done quickly because many insurance companies help those who contact them first. Let your insurance provider know in detail the extent of the damage and that you have an inventory of your possessions.

By documenting your home piece-by-piece, you’ll be able to tackle the project with less stress and fewer distractions. It’s not only easier on you, but it creates a better, more thorough document at the end.

We hope you find this  guide helpful, and good luck with your future projects!

 

The Best Home Improvement Projects for Your Dollar

Many people mistakenly think that whatever project they complete on their home will increase the selling price of the home, but this is not always the case.

When remodeling or repairing your home, there are certain projects that are much more worthy of your paycheck than others. For savvy homeowners, they don’t just want a project that will make their home look better—they want a project that will pay for itself over time. Unfortunately, homeowners don’t realize that a flashy home improvement project is not the same as a financially-sound one.

Getting a Gazebo vs. Clearing the Weeds

A homeowner can spend $10,000 on high-end landscaping—complete with a water garden and a gazebo—and see no appreciable increase in the value of the home. This can be especially true if it is in an area where these things would not be of any interest to a potential buyer. While it can beautify the landscaping and be enjoyable for the homeowner, it probably offers little value to the home itself.

By contrast, clearing the front yard of overgrowth and adding beautifying plants could cost as little as $1,500 when complete. If the yard has some overgrowth and had not been maintained from a previous owner, homeowners can see a return of twice the cost of the finished project. In this case, a $1,500 investment could reap a $3,000 increase in value.

Thinking Like a Bank

Anytime you improve a home, it is wisest to look at what projects will be an investment that a future buyer (and a bank) would consider to be something of universal appeal.

In general, the best types of home improvement projects include:

  • Updating appliances
  • Remodeling bathrooms
  • Building room additions
  • Finished basements
  • Replacing old roofing or siding
  • Remodeling and updating kitchens
  • Replacing outdated or damaged flooring
  • Building a garage
  • Basic landscape beautification
  • Driveway repair and resealing

By contrast, projects that do not typically add value to a home and are not cost-effective include:

  • Stylistic landscaping projects
  • Swimming pools
  • Unusual wall or flooring choices
  • Lawn sprinklers
  • Fancy recessed lighting
  • Exterior gazebos and sheds

When researching what home improvement projects to invest in, always start with basic improvements. These should consist of broad-appeal beautifications that anyone would enjoy, instead of things that are more suited to your taste. Not everyone wants exotic flowers in their garden path, but everyone wants updated plumbing and insulation.

If homeowners follow this simple rule, they can be confident that their investment will pay off in the future and increase their home’s value.

How Homes Protect My Retirement Account (& My Future)

Owning your home is a wonderful investment. In addition to having the many years of enjoyment to live and thrive in a home, people that own their own homes have the benefit of knowing that the money they put into their home is also a sound financial investment.

But not all people who own homes see an increase in the value of their home. There are critical reasons why homes do not always appreciate in value.

For a home to see a value increase over a period of years, there are a few important things that must be considered. The location of a home is a critical component of the property’s value. If a home is in an area that later becomes urban, the value of that home is likely to decrease.

By contrast, if a home is located in an area that later becomes a high-end housing development than the property owner will likely experience a higher than normal appreciation in property value.

The Secret to a Secure Home (& Secure Retirement)

The greatest way to protect the value of your home and experience a good solid value appreciation is through taking good care of the home. Most homes in decent neighborhoods will see a sizable appreciation over time. If the home is maintained well with upgrades to the home being done over the years it is occupied, the value should increase.

The best way to ensure the investment of your home stays on solid ground, there are important areas of the home should be maintained and updated.

The following projects ensure home value appreciation for your retirement years:

  • Home care projects
  • Home maintenance
  • Updating the kitchen
  • Updating the bathrooms
  • Replacing flooring as necessary
  • Maintaining the roof
  • Maintaining the electrical and plumbing
  • Updating the painting and wallpaper as necessary
  • Adding to the square footage of the home
  • Maintaining and improving the house’s siding
  • Maintaining and improving the curbside landscaping

Each of these focus areas are critical components to ensure that the value of your home remains intact and grows as you enter your retirement years. Doing this will ensure that your home will not only be a great place to live, but will be a great investment in your future as well.

How Home Warranties Differ from Homeowner’s Insurance

Are you thinking about getting a home warranty? In celebration of National Home Warranty Day, we’re going to be going over how home warranties differ from homeowners’ insurance to help lead you in the right direction.

What you need to know about homeowners’ insurance:

Homeowners’ insurance is what will cover you in the event of accidental damage that occurs to your home and personal belongings resulting from fires, storms, theft, and even possibly natural disasters.

The four main areas covered under homeowners insurance:

  • Loss or damage
  • Personal property in case of theft
  • The interior and exterior of your home
  • General liability that may surface when a person is injured while on your property

In general, it is mandatory to have homeowners’ insurance, and it is usually required by a bank prior to obtaining a mortgage on your home. The average annual cost can range from $300 to $1,000, and all policies provide a deductible.

What you need to know about home warranties:

A home warranty is a service contract that will cover you in situations where your appliances or system components stop working properly because of wear and tear or age.

Components covered by a home warranty include:

  • Plumbing
  • Electrical
  • HVAC
  • Kitchen appliances
  • Washer and dryer
  • Pool and spa

Unlike homeowners’ insurance, home warranties are not required to obtain a mortgage for your home. Contract terms for home warranties typically last 12 months and are usually around $75 per month for coverage on systems and appliances. Although having homeowners insurance isn’t required, it is one of the smartest purchases you can make for your home because it will save you a lot of money in the long run.

If you have appliances that are high-value (or a plumbing system prone to breaking down), warranties are a way of regulating your budget to account for life’s big disasters.

And who doesn’t want a more predictable budget?