Metal Roofing Blog

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For St. Louis Residents: Frequently Asked Questions About Metal Roofs For St. Louis Residents: Frequently Asked Questions About Metal Roofs

For St. Louis Residents: Frequently Asked Questions About Metal Roofs

Metal roofs are soaring in popularity for their durability, sustainability and most importantly, their affordability. St. Louis homeowners find themselves suddenly wondering if a metal roof is the best option for their next roof replacement. Here’s the simple answer: yes, it probably is.

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Metal Roofing Ideas for Your Pittsburgh Home Metal Roofing Ideas for Your Pittsburgh Home

Metal Roofing Ideas for Your Pittsburgh Home

Some Pittsburgh neighborhoods have traditional homes that feature elements like brick siding and tree-lined cul-de-sacs. Others have contemporary and modern designs with a more industrial feel. No matter your personal or neighborhood aesthetic, there is a metal roofing style suitable for you.

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Time to Replace the Roof on Your Toledo, OH Home? Take Our Quiz Time to Replace the Roof on Your Toledo, OH Home? Take Our Quiz

Time to Replace the Roof on Your Toledo, OH Home? Take Our Quiz

Sometimes it’s difficult to know if your roof requires a replacement, or you can get away with a repair job. It’s understandable that people prefer repair, because it takes less time and costs less money. Unfortunately, sometimes a repair proves to be less cost-efficient in the long run, so a replacement may be necessary.

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4 Mistakes People Make When Choosing a Roofing Company for Their Toledo Ohio Home 4 Mistakes People Make When Choosing a Roofing Company for Their Toledo Ohio Home

4 Mistakes People Make When Choosing a Roofing Company for Their Toledo Ohio Home

Not all roofing companies serving Toledo, OH are created equal. Though a casual search may yield many options, especially in the digital age, you’ll have to do some research before choosing the right candidate for your roofing repair or replacement job. Unfortunately, the internet is full of companies who call themselves professionals but lack the expertise and experience to do the job.

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Dayton Residents: Don’t Hire a Metal Roofing Contractor Without Asking These 4 Questions Dayton Residents: Don’t Hire a Metal Roofing Contractor Without Asking These 4 Questions

Dayton Residents: Don’t Hire a Metal Roofing Contractor Without Asking These 4 Questions

Your roof is one of the most important investments you’ll make in your home – it protects your family from the elements and gives a literal meaning to the term “a roof over your head.” Since it serves such an important function, you should take great care in choosing a Dayton-based contractor to complete the work. In the digital age, you might find yourself overwhelmed by the wide variety of roofing companies available online. However, choosing the right contractor for your job requires some research on your part.

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Is a Metal Roof a Good Option for New England Homeowners? Is a Metal Roof a Good Option for New England Homeowners?

Is a Metal Roof a Good Option for New England Homeowners?

A metal roof has several advantages, but many people worry about the upfront costs. Roofs are an investment, and might be one of the largest improvements you make in your years of homeownership. As such, these decisions are worthy of careful consideration and planning. Your roof choices will affect your home’s resale value, energy efficiency, and maintenance needs.

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5 Reasons for Cincinnati Residents to Choose Metal Roofing 5 Reasons for Cincinnati Residents to Choose Metal Roofing

5 Reasons for Cincinnati Residents to Choose Metal Roofing

If you’re a Cincinnati resident who’s in the market for a new roof, you likely know that it’s one of the most important investments you’ll ever make. There are several considerations integral to choosing your roof including your budget and aesthetic choices, among other needs. Metal roofs can provide superior protection at an attractive price point.

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How To Inspect Your Roof: A Simple 6 Step Process How To Inspect Your Roof: A Simple 6 Step Process

How To Inspect Your Roof: A Simple 6 Step Process

Roof shingles, like anything else, are subject to wear and tear.  As your first line of defense from the elements, it is a good idea to know what to look for, and what to expect when it comes to caring for your roof.

Because every region of the country has different weather patterns, roof inspection is one of those preventative maintenance jobs that if neglected can cost you way much more than what it normally would in terms of damaged roof boards, studs, and even interior ceilings and walls.

It is recommended that homeowners inspect bi-annually, depending on environmental factors. We recommend inspecting the weekend of Daylight Savings so it is easier to remember.  It is always a good idea to check your roof after high winds or an unusually harsh winter storm if possible. High winds can damage traditional shingles, causing damage to the interior infrastructure, and large ice buildups can often damage flashing and the roof membrane. Ice buildup in gutters can push up under the edge of the roof, leading to infrastructure damage

When inspecting your roof, you will need to be on the lookout for the following items:

  1. Shingle Issues

As a cursory starting point, you should look for shingles that are curling, blistering, cracked or peeling. Additionally, you should also look for loose or missing shingles.

  1. Flashing

Check flashings on the roof. Flashings are the metal components of a roof that cover interruptions in the roof plane, such as around dormers, chimneys, and vent pipes. If it appears there is damage, such as cracked caulk or rust, fix these problems right away, or call a roof contractor to repair. Inadequate or faulty flashing will allow water and condensation to enter the interior, causing not only rot or mold but possible damage to interior walls.

  1. Vent Pipes

Homeowners should carefully inspect the seals around vent pipes to ensure they are in good condition to keep moisture from working into the underlayment.

  1. Signs Of Decay

In your roof inspection, you should look for the presence of moss, lichen, or mold. This could be a sign the roof is decaying underneath. Note: Black Algae stains are cosmetic, and not indicative of decay. Your roof should not have a spongey feeling like walking on a track or child’s playground. Soft spots indicate water damage, and are a sign replacement is necessary.

 

  1. Ice Damage

Ice damage can occur in areas where water may have the ability to sit on the roof. As ice dams occur, it can have negative impact on your roof. Always inspect under eaves and overhangs to look for damage that might indicate water leakage, especially at points of the roof that don’t conform to the regular roof plane, such as dormers or skylights.

  1. How To Tell If It Is Time To Replace

Asphalt roofing materials have a granular surface, much like fine gravel. As the asphalt ages, it becomes brittle, and these granules will be lost over time. If you find piles of colored grit from asphalt roof tiles in the gutters, that’s a bad sign — those sand-like granules cover the surface of roof shingles and shield them from the sun’s damaging ultraviolet rays. Look for bare spots in asphalt shingles, and inspect closely for signs of tearing or warping. If you notice shingles curling up, it is time for replacement.

 

If you find upon inspection that you have questions as to what is normal, or are not sure if you need to consider replacement, give Erie Construction a call for a FREE inspection. Your roof protects your family and your home investment. Let Erie Construction help keep you covered with a longevity that will keep you covered for years to come.

 

Related Articles: Longevity Starts At The Top, Anatomy Of A Roof

Building On Integrity: Taking The Stress Out Of Hiring A Contractor Building On Integrity: Taking The Stress Out Of Hiring A Contractor

Building On Integrity: Taking The Stress Out Of Hiring A Contractor

For most homeowners, the most stressful part of a home remodeling venture is not the work itself, but rather hiring a contractor to take on the project. So where is a homeowner to start in locating someone reputable, competent and experienced? Here, we offer some helpful insight on where to get started, things to consider, and how to identify trustworthy review sites versus confusing complaint boards.

Understanding that even with an experienced contractor, remodeling projects can be stressful, expensive and possibly locate unexpected surprises such as; wood rot under previous roofing components, water damage around windows, or possibly electrical wiring issues in a kitchen remodel.

Despite these potential issues, in choosing a reputable and experienced contractor it can make all the difference in the end result between success or disaster.

Where to Begin:

Know What You Want:  After identifying the issue you are looking to resolve, or update, take some time to research what you envision the end result to be before getting estimates. This will help give your contractor a better idea of your expectations and will avoid last minute updates that may take you over budget.

Things To Consider:

  • Ask Around: Word of mouth is a powerful thing. Most consumers are more apt to hire someone that a friend or relative has used and found success with versus taking a chance on the unknown.
  • Project Timeline: Know when you want to have your project completed, and understand that a quality contractor may not be able to start immediately.
  • Finding Mr. Right: While general contractors are great for small to mid-size projects, a larger project (such as building an addition or replacing a roof) requires the right contractor for the right job. By hiring a specialist for your desired project, you ensure that they not only have the expertise, but also the tools to do things right the first time.
  • Learn About Licensing & Insurance: A reputable contractor will be fully licensed and bonded. You can learn about their licensing by requesting they provide you with a copy, or via the Better Business Bureau.
  • References & Reviews: It is common practice to request several references in addition to doing research on the company via online reviews. Understanding that not all online review sites are created equally for reliability and credibility.

Identifying Trustworthy Reviews:

A quality contracting company should follow the belief that an unhappy customer is their greatest source of learning. As we mentioned previously, even the best contractors can run into unforeseen complications that can cause stress mid-project. It is how those companies roll with those punches that makes or breaks them for reputability.

The common phrase “you cannot believe everything you read on the internet” is especially true when looking at online review sites. Here are some things to consider when conducting online research:

Review Sites Versus Complaint Boards:

  • The “perfect” record: this should be a red-flag telling a consumer that the company they are looking at has paid to remove their “dirty laundry”, and more importantly how they resolved (or failed to resolve) their issue.
  • Complaints Abound: On the flip side of the perfect record, there are sites like Yelp, Ripoff Report, Consumer Affairs and Pissed Consumer that can attack reputable companies without proper recourse. There is nothing stopping a competitor from creating a fraudulent account as a means of causing damage, and misleading reviews.

*Note: none of these predatory “review” sites are accredited by the Better Business Bureau, and most scored an “F” rating on the BBB scale.

Who Can You Trust?

  • Angie’s List: Number 1 for user reliability, they have a proprietary process for the verification of review authenticity. This allows you to get a clear picture of the customer impression of the company, work completed and approximate costs for their project.
  • Better Business Bureau: With the BBB, consumers can view the history of the company with the BBB, in addition to the lifecycle snapshot of a complaint resolution.
  • Home Advisor: Understanding that not every homeowner has the time to wait for a quality contractor’s schedule to open up, Home Advisor can match homeowners up to reputable contractors who are available to start the project ASAP. They also provided added piece of mind with background checks on every service provider accepted.
  • Houzz: Offers design ideas to help homeowners get started in understanding what they want, as well as the ability to search for pro contractors in their area. The Houzz review function is verified for customer authenticity prior to going live on their site as a means of ensuring quality reviews for consumers.

At Erie, we pride ourselves on helping homeowners through every stage of their remodel. We strive to give consumers the tools they need to make informed decisions, even if that means they do not end up hiring us. Your investment is our priority, and we embrace the opportunity to work with our customers by helping them discover the look they love. Find out why we are different, call us for your free estimate today!

10 Tech-Savvy Ways To Slash Your Energy Costs 10 Tech-Savvy Ways To Slash Your Energy Costs

10 Tech-Savvy Ways To Slash Your Energy Costs

With the rising costs of life in general, everyone is looking to save a little green these days. A major expenditure for most of us are our home energy bills. By using technology, common sense and constant awareness of power consumption, we can help you reduce your home energy costs.

To start a low-power diet, most assume it will be a disruptive formula, much like cave-dwelling and technological darkness. With our tried-and-true methods, you can slash those bills for good, with minimal disruption.

Before we get to the more involved methods, it begs the mention of the more often overlooked, if overtly obvious methods to get us fired up for greater cost savings. Things such as:

  • Unplugging chargers when not in use
  • Using a sleep mode for electronics like computers, laptops and tablets
  • Running full loads of laundry to optimize efficiency
  • Using curtains or blinds to allow or block sunlight

While these are strategies most have heard before, they should also be common practice. Instead of rehashing the basic strategies listed above, we want to focus on methods that are less obvious, but offer more cost savings.

For ease of use, we have divided our 10 methods into categories based on skill level and approximate cost: Easy ($), Intermediate ($$) and Advanced ($$$). Obviously, the higher the difficulty, the more effort is required. However, it also offers a higher cost savings. No matter your choice, integrating any of these options will help reduce those energy bills!

 

Easy ($)

  1. Shed Some Light On Cost:

Most bathrooms and kitchens have 2 to 4 bulbs each, which with standard light bulbs makes for 120 to 240 watts of wasted electricity per hour.  By switching to compact fluorescents (CFL) or the even better LED bulbs, you gain bulb lifespan in addition to a watt reduction to 20 to 50 watts per hour.

Timers and even remote controlled switches can all aid in these cost reductions by preventing sources from running at full wattage or while not being used.

  1. Tell Me What You Use, What You Really Really Use:

That treadmill in your room? You know, the one that only saw use from January 1st to January 15th? Just by being plugged in, it is drawing power and costing you money. Same goes for all of the video game consoles and DVD players.

By evaluating what you use, and how you use it, you can better correct these wasteful charges. By implementing a dedicated power strip to similarly used items, it will become easier to turn them off with the push of a button.

  1. Go with the Flow:

Simple fixes like frequent air filter changes can help make a dent in your energy costs, but going one step further by utilizing ceiling fans to help keep air circulating can help regulate temperature.

With all of the joys that central air can bring, it can often be inefficient in maintaining a consistent air temperature. Employing the use of fans will not cool the air, but they will help keep the heat from rising up and out during the winter.

 

Intermediate ($$)

  1. Vent TLC:

It is important to show your HVAC system a little love through the years. Having vents cleaned can help significantly reduce allergens as well as ensure that all vents are disbursing air as they should be.

In addition to having your vents cleaned, it also bears mentioning that all vents should be inspected to be sure they are, in fact, open. It is a common myth that shutting certain vents helps to reduce costs. In actuality, it forces the HVAC unit to work much harder to divert that air to only the open vents, thus running more frequently and for longer durations. Thereby, costing you more money.

  1. Insulation Is the Key:

Before you go looking for a certain pink panther, take inventory and devise a plan for insulation, as there can be too much of a good thing. Insulation is a double-edged sword that is a little bit of a balancing act. Too little and you open yourself up to astronomical energy costs. Too much and you risk problems such as mold and condensation. Both the basement and attic need to “breathe” so you do not want to over stuff the fluff. Check out Energy.gov’s helpful how-to-guide for insulating your home.

If these areas are not a problem, other insulation options to consider would be insulating your hot water tank and also your pipes. This can be helpful in the winter months to prevent freezing, while also helping the hot water tank from having to work so hard to prep for your morning shower.

One last insulation method to consider is area rugs. If you have hardwood floors, tile or slate, those winter months can be particularly tedious. By placing area rugs in open spaces with bare floors this can help seal heat in.

  1. Landscaping Matters:

One of the best ways to stay cool is to block heat from getting into your home in the first place. Installing leafy plants and trees around your home is a fantastic way to boost your curb appeal while reducing the amount of sun shining on your roof, a/c unit and into windows.

  1. Find The Ambiance In Dimmers:

Though the topic of lighting and smart bulbs were mentioned above, another great cost-saving option to lighting is the use of dimmer switches. These switches allow wattage to be reduced, but still functional. The romantic ambiance of a lower utility bill will have you falling in love with these switches.

 

Advanced ($$$)

  1. Follow The Star To Savings:

In this tech-advanced world, ENERGY STAR is all around us. We know all about energy saving washers, dryers, and refrigerators, but here are a few of the less obvious gadgets you could look to upgrade in the name of long-term savings.

With Amazon Prime Day and “Black Friday” events, purchasing a new television is more easily slipped into a budget. Something to consider when buying though is size and type.  Plasma televisions draw three times as much power as an LCD model. Additionally, the larger the TV, the larger the electric bill, even on ENERGY STAR rated models.

Thermostats that can be controlled remotely are gaining popularity for good reason- they can save you big money. Understanding that weather predictions are just that, it is nice to know we live in a world where you can alter the temperature (and more!) from the tap of your phone.

  1. Opening The Window To Lower Costs:

If you have spent the last few seasons caulking, taping and blow drying plastic. Now may be the time to consider the inevitable: replacement windows. Double hung and triple pane windows offer the biggest bang for your buck while sealing out the elements that contribute to rising costs. Windows by Erie offers a wide variety of styles to get you on the path to savings.

  1. Raise The Peak Of Efficiency:

The most drastic option of all in the name of long-term cost savings is considering a new roof. Similarly to the rationale for new windows, if you are seeing heightened energy bills, your roof could be the culprit. If you are seeing streaking, cracking, or peeling with loose or missing shingles, now is the time to consider a new roof.

There are a vast majority of roofing options, but metal roofing offers the best recourse of ENERGY STAR certified options that have the proven longevity to keep you in the green all year long. For more on the full spectrum of roofing options on the market today, view our previous article: Anatomy Of A Roof.

 

Tech To Get You Started

Having loaded your tool belt for energy savings, there are some tech-savvy ways to start your low-power diet today.

Or, some app-based options such as:

  • Kill-ur-Watts
  • EMonitor

As with any diet, you just need to get started to start seeing the results! Still have questions? Visit our “Ask The Experts” page for more information.

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