The Pros & Cons of Winter Roof Maintenance

Like most things in life, winter home projects have drawbacks and advantages. The advantage of finishing your roof maintenance now is peace of mind. For go-getters who like starting and finishing projects quickly, that’s the chief reason they want to get maintenance in the winter.

But sometimes, it is worth waiting til spring. Below, we discuss some of the things you need to consider before you call a contractor.

The Pros of Winter Roof Maintenance

Okay, so you’re on the fence about roof maintenance. Here’s the biggest reason why it’s a good idea: there’s only two ways to find out if your roof is having problems. One, you wait until the rain and snow arrives and let the water leak into your home. Two, you get the roof checked out and have all the newly-discovered leaks fixed.

Only one of those doesn’t end in water damage.

Additionally, proactively getting maintenance in the winter ensures that the small problems don’t add up. Water and snow tend to put pressure on all the small issues your roof has—but enough small problems (and pressure) add up to catastrophic damage inevitably.

Another reason to get roof maintenance is to ensure that your roof has effective drainage. Gutters get neglected pretty often, meaning water can pool on your roof or property for longer than you want. Unclogging and cleaning your gutters ensures that the snowmelt goes where you need it to go.

The Cons of Winter Roof Maintenance

Like with any winter project, there are trade-offs—and we feel duty-bound to warn you about them. In general, roof adhesives (which are vital for repairs) don’t seal well in extreme cold. So if you end up having to fix a ton of leaks in cold weather, the solution may only be temporary.

Shingled roofs have an additional downside: shingles are more likely to crack from mishandling in cold weather. The other downside is that shingled roofs run the risk of creating “ice dams” from runoff. The preventative solution for ice dams is using ice shield membranes. The problem is that the ice shields need sunlight to properly adhere to your roof.

There are ways around these risks, but you definitely need to find a reputable roofer if you’re planning a winter roof project. Inexperience or disregard for the manufacturing specs could lead to problems for your roof down the road.

There’s an upside for those of you with metal roofs: literally none of these drawbacks affect metal roofing systems.

In Conclusion

We don’t want to discourage you from getting roof maintenance this season. Far from it—the benefit far outweighs the risks. However, winter projects require an experienced and knowledgeable company at the helm. Cold weather is tricky, and you want to make sure your contractors know how to account for the extra risks.

If you’re not sure if you should wait out the season or get maintenance immediately, give JM Roofing & Siding a call. We’re happy to help.

How to Get Your Home Thanksgiving Ready in Less Than a Week

With many of us working up until the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, the weekend before ‘Turkey Day’ is when the real work gets done. If the idea of non-stop cooking and cleaning for an entire weekend has your head rushing, we’re here to offer a bit of help. Despite what you may think, it is possible to get your home in tip-top shape in just a few days.

Preparing home for thanksgiving

Sharpen your kitchen knives.

Dull knives will prove to be a big problem come dinner time. Less than a dozen strokes of your blade against a whetstone will make sure your knives are ready to slice and dice even the most stubborn turkey.

Childproof your home.

Despite being so important, this is one of those things that often gets overlooked. Wrap up and store away any electrical cords that may be running on the floor, cover outlets, and make sure stairs will be protected by closed doors or a gate supplied by the parents.

Make your oven shine.

No appliance gets more use on Thanksgiving than your oven. A non-toxic cleaning solution of baking soda, lemon juice, and vinegar will make your oven shine and prepare it for whatever the day throws at it.

 

Make room in your coat closet.

Plan ahead for the influx of winter coats that will be coming your way by clearing out a closet near the door for guests’ belongings. You may have to pile your things on your bed, but if you keep the door closed, no one will notice!

Get your entryway holiday-ready.

It’s the first thing guests see when they get to your house, so make sure your doorway and entryway make a good impression. Fix any gaps in your siding and make sure snow isn’t covering your steps or roof.

Make sure the exterior of your home looks just as good as the interior this holiday season by calling JM Roofing & Siding! From siding and roofing repairs to snow removal, we’ll have your house party-ready in no time!

How Much is ‘Too Much’ When it Comes to Snow on Your Roof

When it comes to keeping snow off of your driveway, there’s a lot you can do — salt it the night before, shovel, or park your cars on it. But what are you supposed to do about your roof? While sure, you’re not walking on your roof in the winter, it’s still important that you keep snow build-up to a minimum.

snow on roof

How Much Snow is ‘Too Much?’

Two years ago, Boston suffered an unprecedented 44 roof collapses in just two days, all due to snow. Though a few factors come into play (like your roof’s slope, construction, age, and exposure to wind), most roofs can withstand about 20 feet of snow per square inch. Traditionally, one foot of light, powdery snow will weigh around three pounds per square foot, while one foot of icy snow will weigh closer to 10 pounds.

Protecting Your Roof

With FEMA suggesting that you never walk on top of your roof, especially when it’s snowing, what’s a homeowner to do? The best way to protect your home is to be proactive.

  1. Look for signs of a distressed roof. Loose shingles, cracking walls, leaks, and jammed doors are all signs of an overstressed roof. Keep a small problem from becoming a big one by having your roof repaired or replaced before the first snowfall.
  2. Calculate how much snow is on your roof. When snow does come, it’s important to keep track of how much is on your roof. The average roof can support around four feet of lightly packed, fresh snow.
  3. Remove excess snow and ice. If you notice snow is starting to reach three feet or more, you should start thinking of ways to remove it. Safely remove snow from the ground with a snow rake or call the professionals at JM Roofing and Siding and we’ll do it for you!

 

Our Connecticut-based roofing and siding company can inspect your roof before the first snowfall and ensure your family’s safety. We are also happy to now offer snow removal services! To learn about prices and availability, give us a call at (203) 299-0716 or request a free estimate online!

6 Simple Ways to Get Kids Interested in STEM

Children today are growing up surrounded by technology — so much so that the average two-year-old can work a tablet or cell phone (two!). But if you want your child to have an interest in science, technology, engineering, or math (STEM) as they grow up, you have to do more than just put a tablet in their hands. Get your little one excited about STEM today with a little advice from us science, engineering, and math-loving builders.

Get kids interested in STEM

Make STEM fun and accessible.

You don’t need a laboratory in your house to spark a kid’s interest. In fact, it’s better to show them how math and science are used in real-life situations. The next time your little one asks to help you out in the kitchen, let them count eggs and divide or multiple cups of ingredients.

Watch STEM-related videos.

TED Talks for children, Brain Games, and Bill Nye the Science Guy show kids how cool science can be.

Take STEM outside of the home.

Zoos, aquariums, and museums give your child hands-on experience and let them explore in a kid-friendly environment.

Get them involved in extracurricular activities.

While we’ll never deny the importance of sports, schools have a lot more to offer than just football, baseball, and basketball. Inquire about a robotics club or math team in your little one’s school.

Talk about STEM in the real world.

Most kids love math and science, they just don’t know it. Does your child like video games or playing on your phone? Start a discussion about coding with them. Do they love amusement parks? Talk to them about physics and building.

Buy toys that encourage STEM exploration.

Blocks and Legos are STEM staples in the toy industry. More recently, brands have come out with toys that teach coding basics and app development.

At JM Roofing and Siding, we use our love of STEM to design and build custom roofing and siding options for your home. For more information, give us a call at 203-299-0716.

Is Your Home Prepared for Harsh Winter Weather?

Winter in Connecticut is always a bit of a toss-up. Will we wake up Christmas morning to a foot of snow or a sunny 60-degree day? While we’re usually hoping for the latter, there’s no way to know what Old Man Winter has in store for us. That’s why it’s so important to hope for the best but prep your home for the worst.

Winter house prep

With chilly weather already upon us, take every precaution to keep your home and family safe this winter by:

Knowing where your water valve shut-off is.

It’s best to winterize your pipes to some degree every fall, whether you’ll be staying in your house or not. If temperatures suddenly drop, the water trapped in your pipes could freeze. When water freezes, it expands and can potentially crack your pipes. If a pipe does burst, knowing where your valve shut-off is can potentially save you thousands of dollars worth of damage.

Having your roof examined.

Snow covered roofs and dangling icicles may make for a wonderful holiday card, but they’re actually signs of potentially bigger problems. Lots of long icicles can mean that your home has an ice dam. Avoid a dam by making sure your attic is well ventilated. You should also have snow removed from your roof to prevent it from melting and dripping into your attic or weighing down your roof.

Stocking up on necessities.

Having a few extra batteries, containers of gas, jugs of water, and a first aid kit can help you avoid any hectic runs to the grocery store days before a big storm.

Inquiring about snow removal.

The last thing you want to do is look into snow removal services the day of a big snow storm. Before you get wind of an incoming storm (or even better, at the end of fall) connect with a reputable snow removal company.

Let JM Roofing & Siding tackle half of this list for you! Our Connecticut-based roofing and siding contractors can inspect your roof before the first snowfall and ensure your family’s safety. We are also happy to now offer snow removal services! To learn about prices and availability, give us a call at (203) 299-0716 or request a free estimate online!

This is What Happens When You Don’t Repair Roof Leaks

While a squeaking door may certainly be annoying, it’s not exactly a threat to your home. Like this one, there are many household fixes that can be put off — but a leaking roof is not one of them. Aside from the biggest and most obvious problem of water damage, there are many other problems that arise from even the tiniest of roof leaks.Roof Leak

Mold

Where there is excess water, there is likely mold. Not only are certain types of mold difficult to treat, but they’re also a danger to your family’s health. If left untreated for long enough, mold spores can begin traveling through your home’s heating and cooling vents and spread far beyond just the room the leak is in.

Structural Damage

As time goes on, a leak will only get bigger. As the whole begins to widen and water spreads, it can threaten the structural integrity of your house. When mold and mildew are added to the picture, you could be in danger of having to replace your roof entirely, rather than just needing a patch.

Energy Loss

If your roof is letting water into your house, there’s a good chance it’s also letting air out of your house — the air you’ll soon be paying to heat. Additionally, the now wet insulation that you have in your attic won’t be able to do its just, which is to keep your home’s air temperature comfortable.

Fire Hazard

If you have any electrical wires stored in your attic, a leaking roof could pose a fire hazard. If you suspect any area housing electrical wiring is suffering a leak, turn off power to that area immediately.

The best way to protect your roof from leaks is to have your roof inspected regularly for any weak spots, missing shingles, or open seams. At JM Roofing & Siding, we can not only inspect your roof and make you aware of any of these problems, but we can also fix them in a timely and efficient manner!

Home Fire Safety Tips Every Family Should Know

Each year, fire departments across the country respond to roughly 350,000 house fires — many of which could have been prevented. Home fires can spread rapidly, often leaving homeowners as little as two minutes to escape. To reduce your chance of ever experiencing a house fire, and to know what to do in the unfortunate event that one does occur, read below for some of our top fire safety tips, in honor of Fire Prevention Day.

home fire safety tips
Causes

  • Cooking equipment. Especially when left unattended, pots and pans can overheat and start a fire.
  • Space heaters. When left too close to fabrics, like furniture, curtains, and clothes, space heaters can quickly start a fire. If you’re using a space heater, make sure it’s at least three feet away from anything flammable.
  • Smoking. For fire and health reasons, you should never smoke inside. When not put out properly, cigarettes can stay sparked for several hours and come in contact with flammable materials.
  • Candles. Homeowners should always blow candles out once they plan on leaving the room and never leave a candle unattended.

Safety Equipment

  • Smoke alarms. You should install one smoke alarm in each bedroom and main room of your house (kitchen, dining room, living room, etc.) as well as hallways and entrances. You should also test your fire alarms every month.
  • Home fire sprinklers. Home fire sprinklers are the best defense against home fires. In many cases, sprinklers can put out fires so quickly that homeowners can return back to their home and normal lives in just a few days.
  • Fire extinguisher. Every floor of your house should have a fire extinguisher that’s easily accessible and that every adult in the home knows how to use.
  • Fire retardant building materials. Many siding and roofing materials we offer at JM Roofing and Siding are fireproof, meaning they won’t ignite if a fire starts. Not only will this keep your home and family safer, but many insurance companies will offer homeowners a discount on their home insurance.

Talk About Fire Safety

  • Especially in homes with children, talk to your family about what to do in the event of a fire, stop, drop and roll, and how to use a fire extinguisher.
  • Establish a meetup point somewhere outside of your house that everyone knows to go to in the event of a fire.

For a FREE estimate for any of our siding services, give us a call today at (203) 299-0716 or request an estimate online.

The Most Beautiful Architecture from Around the World

Just like a painting or sculpture, buildings themselves can be a work of art. In honor of World Architecture Day, we’re taking a look at just a few of the most famous and beautiful buildings from around the world.

Lotus Temple, New Delhi

Located in New Delhi, the Lotus Temple is a Bahá’í House of Worship. With 27 curving “petals” that remarkably mimic the look and feel of a lotus flower, it’s easy to see how this building got its name. Since being completed in 1986, the Lotus Temple has become one of the most visited buildings in the world, attracting more than 100 million people per year.

Lotus Temple in New Delhi, India

Leaning Tower of Pisa, Italy

Perhaps the most appropriately named building on our list, the Leaning Tower of Pisa really does lean — 4 degrees to be exact. And the reason for its famous tilt? Soft ground. Despite the fact that the ground was too soft to bear the structure, building promptly began in 1173 and continued for an incredible 300 years. But if you want to see it in person, you better get a move on, since it’s estimated the tower will fall or be taken down (for safety reasons) within the next 75 years.

Leaning Tower of Pisa

Petronas Towers, Kuala Lumpur

For nearly a decade, these twin skyscrapers held the title for tallest buildings in the world. Every year, the pair draws millions of tourists to Kuala Lumpur and remains one of the city’s proudest landmarks.

Petronas Towers

La Pedrera, Barcelona

It’s hard to make stone and brick feel like it’s flowing like water, but that’s exactly what architect Antoni Gaudi achieved with the La Pedrera — a building he said was inspired by the irregularities of the world around us.

Petronas Towers, Kuala Lumpur

One World Trade Center, New York

Standing at an impressive 1,776 feet tall, the One World Trade Center is the fourth tallest skyscraper in the world. Built directly across from the 9/11 memorial, the One World Trade Center stands as a symbol of light and pride. In fact, its height is a direct nod to the year the Declaration of Independence was signed — 1776.

One World Trade Center New York

At JM Roofing and Siding, we want to make your home feel like a piece of artwork. That’s why the siding we install will protect your home, save energy, enhance the value of your property, and last for years. Whether you’re looking to replace or update your siding, we’ve got your house covered! For more information, give us a call at 203-299-0716.

How to Keep Your Neighbors Happy During Your Home Renovation

No one enjoys a renovation. But construction is a necessary evil for most homeowners. And after all, at the end of it, you get a beautiful new kitchen or exterior. But your neighbors — they get nothing. Especially in the suburbs, where houses are only a few feet apart, homeowners can hear every bit of construction that’s going on within at least a block.

Keep neighbors happy during construction

If you’re in the process of turning your house into a home, here are a few ways to ensure that your neighbors will still be neighborly with you, once everything is said and done.

Give everyone a heads up.

A few days before construction begins, give your closest neighbors a quick call and let them know that you’ll be doing construction on your house for the next few days. Now, they’ll know to leave for work a few minutes earlier than normal, to account for the extra trucks on the street.

Stick to a schedule.

While you’ve got them on the phone, ask your neighbors if they’d rather construction start and end earlier in the day, or later. While you won’t be able to accommodate everyone’s needs, you’ll be able to make the majority happy.

Check in with your neighbors.

Especially if construction is going to last a few weeks or months, you should get your neighbors’ input at the halfway point. Are workers leaving things on your neighbor’s lawn? Are they taking up all of the parking? These are things you might not notice, but your neighbors do. Really go the extra mile and bring a plate of cookies or fresh brownies over to them too.

Invite them over.

Once everything is completed, invite your neighbors over for a dinner party to thank them for their patience. You’ll get to show off your newly renovated house, and they’ll get a beautiful dinner — win, win!
At JM Roofing and Siding, we promise two things: you’ll love your new siding or roof and we’ll be the tidiest, most courteous crew you’ve ever worked with! We understand that construction isn’t a walk in the park for anyone, that’s why we work hard to leave your home (and your neighbor’s home) cleaner than when we got there!

18 Ways to Conserve Water in Your Home

The average person in Europe uses 50 gallons of water a day. But here in America, the average Joe uses just north of 100 gallons of water a day. Believe it or not, you could still enjoy green lawns, warm showers, and flourishing plants with half of the amount of water you’re using today, you just have to know how to “stretch” your water.

Water conservation JM Roofing and Siding

In honor of Water Monitoring Day this September 18, we’re sharing 18 ways you can conserve water at home.

  1. Turn the water off while you brush your teeth.
  2. Water plants and your grass in the morning. Because the sun isn’t as strong around 8 a.m., your water won’t evaporate as quickly.
  3. Choose a shower over the bath. A bath uses 70 gallons of water, while a 10-minute shower only uses about 25 gallons.
  4. Throw your dishes in the dishwasher instead of hand washing them. Good news for whoever is responsible for the dishes in your home!
  5. But just make sure the dishwasher is completely full.
  6. After cooking something that requires a pot of boiling water, leave the water to cool and then water your potted flowers with it.
  7. Have any leaky faucets fixed immediately.
  8. Bring your car to a car wash that recycles its water, instead of doing it yourself in the driveway.
  9. Wash your dog outside. Now, all of the water he splashes around will fall on your grass, instead of your floors.
  10. The next time you’re in the market for new appliances, look for toilets, shower heads, and washing machines that are energy efficient or use low-flow technology.
  11. Leave food out earlier in the day to let it defrost over time, instead of using warm water to thaw it.
  12. Always wash full loads of laundry.
  13. Cut your shower down by just a few minutes. Taking five minutes off of your normal shower time will save more than 10 gallons of water.
  14. Arrange your sprinklers so that they’re watering your lawn and not your driveway or sidewalk.
  15. Shrink your lawn or replace it completely with gravel, wood chips, or succulents.
  16. Cover your pool when you’re not using it, to prevent water from evaporating.
  17. Reuse your towels two or three times before throwing them in the wash. This will cut down on your load sizes and water-use considerably!
  18. Share all of these ideas with your kids so that they’ll grow up conscious of water conservation!

In addition to saving water this season, make sure you’re keeping an eye on your overall energy use as well. At JM Roofing and Siding, the siding we install will protect your home, save energy, enhance the value of your property, and last for years. Whether you’re looking to replace or update your siding, we’ve got your house covered! For more information, give us a call at 203-299-0716.