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Minneapolis / St. Paul, Minnesota

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How to deal with roof repairs after storm damage

Nothing is more important than the prevention of collapse of your beloved home. However, when it comes to its structural integrity the first thing that comes to mind is a wet basement eroding the foundations or huge cracks in the walls as signs of storm damage.

In fact. few people associate roof repairs with any danger to their property, even though the problem is sitting right on top of their heads, quite literally indeed.  This is because broken or cracked shingles may spell eventual disaster due to the fact that they allow water to seep in. Water in the wrong place can be an elemental hazard almost as deadly as a fire. For a variety of reasons, which include:

· Short circuits

Water seeping through the roof can easily enter an electrical main line where it connects to an electrical outlet.  If that happens, there is a very grave danger indeed, of a possible short circuit. If such an eventuality were to occur, a blown fuse or a malfunctioning appliance would be the least of your worries. A short circuit can easily lead to a fire breaking out in your home, in which case it would be well to head to your nearest egress windows.

· Seepage can erode the foundations of the home

Water steadily trickling into the walls and wood beams can cause wood to rot and in the long run it might not be able to withstand the weight of the roof and as a result, it might collapse, right on top of the unsuspecting occupants of the house.

· Leads to molds and other problems

A leaking roof after a rainstorm may not only lead to the walls and woodwork losing their polish and paint jobs, but it might mean that molds and spores may find their way into your home and effectively compromise your health as well as that of your loved ones.  This is why it is very necessary to have any storm damage repaired by any professional roofing contractor as soon as possible.

Here is what you can do to repair the storm damage your roof may have suffered:

1. Replace Asphalt Shingles on a priority basis

Since asphalt shingle repair is an arduous procedure at best, it is a whole lot simpler to simply put in fresh singles. But this is a complicated job best left to experienced professionals, which is why it is advisable to let a shingles company do the job for you.

2. Curled Shingles: A regular bane

Violent winds can easily make an asphalt shingle curl around the edges. Such curled shingle allows both water and dust to gain ingress into your home. While many shingle contractors may simply want to throw it away and fix new shingles. That is not always the solution. Remember your shingle is not cracked or damaged but simply curled. Under the circumstances, it is advisable to use some glue to stick the curled edges to the shingles under them to ensure the seal remains intact.


Different types of Asphalt roofing

Asphalt roofing was invented more than a hundred years back circa 1901. It is arguably the most popular type of roofing used in the United States as of today.  The main reasons for it include the fact that not only is it relatively inexpensive, but also easily affixed to any roof, while providing exceptional abilities to prevent the ingress of the elements such as water and air.

Broadly defined there are two different types of asphalt shingles:

  • Fiberglass and
  • Organic

Fiberglass asphalt shingles

The key benefit that fiberglass asphalt shingles have over other various other types of shingles is that they are far more resistant to fire than most other types of roofing materials. Organic shingles due to their thick paper construction are not as efficient at the prevention and spreading of a fire. However, when it comes to water proofing, fiberglass shingles just like organic shingles also require a coating of special chemicals so as to make sure that there is no seepage beneath the shingle.

Organic asphalt shingles

Organic asphalt shingles are basically an extremely tough and thick type of paper that has been coated with multiple layers of a thick resinous substance called ‘asphalt.’ In fact, it is this thick layer of coating that is directly responsible for making sure that even in a powerful rainstorm; water does not get through the roofing into the house itself.

Both types of asphalt shingles have only gained in popularity over the past few decades and as of now offer a host of benefits over just about any other type of roofing system currently in vogue today.

Benefits of Asphalt Roofing

· Increased sound insulation

If the  asphalt roofing company knows its work well and has managed to do reasonable work in terms of insulation and fixture of the various tiles on the roof, the shingles would be able to reduce ambient sound to quite a remarkable degree, thereby ensuring that the people who live on that property are not unduly disturbed.

· Installation

If the asphalt shingle contractor hired for the task at hand is a skilled and experienced professional, then the installation of such shingles would be an absolute cinch.  As a matter of fact, a well-installed shingle roofing system can easily mean years of trouble-free and seepage free service.

  • Highly versatile designs

    Asphalt shingles are capable of a very high degree of customization indeed.  Such is their degree of versatility that they can be fixed on both flat as well as sloping roof structures and can be molded to provide water and even fire proofing abilities on just about all the parts of your roof. This is however only possible if the asphalt roof installation company consists of duly qualified and skilled experts who have the relevant experience to successfully execute the task at hand.

There is a huge array of styles shapes and colors available for different asphalt roofing options.


7 Reasons Why Fiberglass windows are an Excellent Choice for your Home

Fiberglass window frames tend to be somewhat costlier than similar window frames made of wood. However, they make up for it by being more light as well as more robust and durable than almost any other kind of window out there, including aluminum windows.

That is why whenever you plan to install new windows in your home, office or any other personal space, then check out Infinity by Marvin Window Company. The good people at the Marvin Window Company would help and guide you if you are unsure about the type of window (casement window, sliders etc) you want to install. A Marvin window contractor would help you make the right decision with regard to the costs and styles of windows available in the market today.

 

Fiberglass windows can boast of a lot of benefits when compared to wood and aluminum windows, some of which are mentioned below:

1. Longer life

Fiberglass windows as a rule do not corrode, rust or warp unlike natural frames made from iron and wood. By and large, almost all windows tend to be open to the environment, therefore issues related to exposure to the elements may appear with the passage of time, which might cause you to replace Marvin windows  or get them freshly painted. All high cost alternatives in the long run.

2. Low maintenance costs

This is where fiberglass windows truly come into their own. More often than not, all they need is a quick run with a cloth filled with a mild detergent to be as good as new once again.

3. Price to performance ratio

As compared to wood and other type of construction materials, fiberglass may prove to be a far less expensive option.

4. Heat retention properties

Fiberglass windows have great insulation properties and as a result, may help curb heat loss in very cold climates. This makes such windows a very cost effective solution to heat retention issues as well as higher energy costs

5. Form over substance

A fiberglass window can be finished with just about any kind of finish that appeal to you. If you like high grain wood polish, it can be made to resemble that from a distance (however, unlike conventional wood, the dire need to polish and lacquer it every few months would not be there). If you like a sleek shiny silver metal look then no need to look further since fiberglass can be finished in any color or finishing you desire.

6. Very slim profile

Fiberglass windows are more robust and can easily handle heavy weights with aplomb, so there is no need for bigger and heavier frames. This means more glass and hence more light, the mean reason why you had a window installed in the first place.

7. No chance of rotting

Fiberglass windows do not rot and nor for that matter are they affected by the Sun’s UV radiation. In fact, they are often the first choice for those people who live close to the sea and their windows and other fixtures are constantly exposed to highly saline environments.

If you were to install a fiberglass window you may relax in the knowledge that it would continue to give the same level of service for decades to come


Triple pane windows

Triple pane windows are a form of insulated glazing that has three glass panes separated from each other by a tiny space that may be either a vacuum or filled with inert gas. This is done to ensure that heat is retained consistently in the room where the triple pane windows are located. A common type of triple pane window is the colloquially named ‘Storm Window’.

triple pane window disection
Your typical Storm window is generally installed outside the home and covers the primary windows of the house and helps trap heat in cold weather. A triple pane external (storm) window also helps prevent damage and everyday wear and tear of your primary window even during adverse weather conditions. Triple pane windows have many advantages over double pane as well as other types of windows.

Greater heat retention

‘Three panes of glass are better than two’ goes the glazier’s adage. And when it comes to heat retention they definitely know what they are talking about. There is a lot of difference between a triple and a double pane window when it comes to heat retention. This is because there are two spacers instead of one and dual layers of either vacuum or inert gasses (such as Argon and Krypton) that greatly increase the overall heat entrapment in the room. In fact, they are said to be at least 20 percent more effective at heat retention than their double pane counterparts. However, they are far heavier, being amongst the heaviest window designs out there and therefore it is recommended that they are used with fiberglass panes to ensure overall structural integrity.

Better sound insulation

A substantial decrease in external sound is often considered a ‘side benefit’ of triple pane windows. This is because Triple Pane Windows offer better insulation against ambient noise pollution when compared to any other type of window. This is due to that added extra glass layer as well as the insulation used in the ‘spacer.’(Foam spacers are an excellent choice) Moreover, the multiple layers of glass enhance the natural soundproofing of this type of window.

Triple Pane windows and condensation

All triple pane windows offer a marked increase in condensation reduction properties because of the ‘dew point’ (the point when the vapor in the air condenses on any solid surface). If the surface temperature of your window is higher, it would lead to less dew condensing on your window thereby ensuring the view outside the window is perfectly crystal clear. This happens due to the overall better insulation offered by the triple pane window and the heat trapped inside the inner panes.


Fiberglass Windows

Fiberglass frames are more expensive than their aluminum counterparts but are light and tough at the same time.

Therefore, whenever you plan on installing new windows in your home office or any other personal space and are not sure as to the type that would be the most eminently suitable, be sure to check out the various styles and options available in the fiberglass window range.

Fiberglass windows have a variety of advantages over their wood and metal counterparts some of which are mentioned below:

Price

As compared to wood and even metal, fiberglass may prove to be a far more reasonably priced option.

Durability

Fiberglass windows are not prone to rusting or warping unlike their wood and metal counterparts. Since windows tend to be open to the environment, it is an axiomatic assumption that over time such problems will inevitably occur and so lead to maintenance expenses in the long run. But fiberglass is almost maintenance free. A quick wipe with a damp cloth and you are good to go.

Heat retention

Fiberglass windows have the potential of decreasing thermal heat loss by a pretty hefty margin which is why they are a highly inexpensive solution to many heat-related problems and also help in decreasing your overall energy bill.

Form over substance

A fiberglass window can be made to replicate both conventional wooden frames (only you would not need to polish the same window every few months to retain its original look.) Moreover, it may also resemble metal frames too. Alternately, it may be colored any way you like and it will retain its shape for a long period of time.

Slim profile

Since fiberglass windows are inherently strong and can take a large amount of weight, it is possible to have smaller and narrower frames, thus ensuring that the overall glass to frame ratio remains high and therefore, both the sunshine as well as the view remains unblocked.

Low contraction

Unlike natural elements, such as wood, fiberglass is more impervious to expansion and contraction which helps in preventing cracking of the frame due to temperature variations.  A conventional frame window, if it contracts hard enough, may well crack the window as well and if it’s a double or triple pane window filled with gas to lower your heating bills. Replacing it would be a very expensive preposition indeed. A fiberglass window takes care of this issue and also ensures that frequent caulking is not required.

Moreover, fiberglass is almost totally imperious to rotting and corrosion in areas where there is a high saline content along with its ability to be similarly unaffected by UV radiation.

So, go ahead and install a fiberglass window and rest assured that it will be the same after two years…. Or twenty.


Bay Windows

Bay windows are both eminently practical as well as an absolutely gorgeous addition to any home. While they are certainly not cheap, however, the ‘value addition’ they create far offsets their cost.

If you are in the market for some snazzy home improvement plans or renovations, you might want to consider the installation of a bay window. Although, you may well have to stretch your budget a bit, since bay windows cost far more than their conventional counter parts, nevertheless, they are quite capable of turning an otherwise staid house into an eye-catching beautiful property, all by themselves. One look and your interest would instantly be captured and retained too!

image of bedroom with bay windows

Defining characteristics

The key differentiation feature of your typical bay window is that they tend to be curvy with the main window being fixed in the middle and the other ones placed at a slanted angle to the middle one.  There are many advantages to installing a bay window in your home, some of which are mentioned below:

Beauty

Bay windows are an excellent way to ‘show off’ your home since they add a sense of beauty and grace to the overall structure of your home.

Value addition of your property

Such is the high aesthetic appeal of these windows that your real estate agent would quite probably advise you to increase your sale price when compared to a similar home with conventional windows even if all other factors remain the same. And it’s not just the inside of your property that looks amazing, but the outside as well since their innate stylishness, adds a sublime elegance to the external visage of your home that is as graceful as it is pretty.

Extra room

Should you fancy a cup of hot tea or coffee while being firmly ensconced in your favorite armchair than a well-made bay window might provide you that cozy space you might grow to love.

Let there be light!

Since bay windows are primarily built as a cluster that consists of multiple windows they are able to let in a lot of sunlight indeed, quite apart from the fact that from the inside they offer a panoramic view, a function that defines their existence.

Air… Lots of air

Since a bay window essentially consists of multiple windows, once they are all opened they let in plenty of fresh air. Mesh netting may be installed on the outside to deny any creepy crawlies access while allowing a fresh breeze to waft through the environs of your abode.

Versatility is the keyword

Once upon a time bay windows used to be the sole purview of hoary old Victorian structures. However, now that same elegant look can easily be imparted to even the most ultra-modern structures.  And moreover, it is not necessary that they are installed only in the dining room. They may be added to your study area or den or even kitchen.
In short, a bay window is a uniquely valuable investment and definitely deserves a place in any renovation plan you may have for your home.


Aluminum vs. Vinyl Siding

Vinyl Siding

Vinyl siding is arguably the single most popular siding used in the house building and home repair industry  in the United States today.  This is due to the following reasons:

1. Costs

Vinyl siding is comparatively cheaper than aluminum siding when it comes to price per square foot. However, high-end vinyl siding companies may charge higher for many of their top-end products.

2. Insulation

Irrespective of the metal siding material you use( Aluminum or steel), it may not prove to be as great an insulator as vinyl siding.

3. Energy efficiency

Since vinyl siding is a better insulator, it traps ambient heat inside the home thus leading to lower energy bills in the long run.

4. Thickness

Vinyl is proportionately thicker than aluminum and offers better protection from the environment

5. Durability

If you were to be in the market to buy vinyl siding, you would find out that it is on average, way more durable than its aluminum counter parts.

6. Vinyl siding paint colors

Another advantage of Vinyl siding is that it is more resistant to erosion and both fading and scratching because unlike steel and aluminum siding the color is not merely sprayed on the surface, but  seeps though all the way into the siding itself. Thanks to this property, vinyl siding never requires a fresh coat of paint, and even if one is forced on it, it will simply run at the edges since vinyl siding is not designed to hold color per se.

 

Aluminum Siding

However, it is not time to out rightly discount aluminum siding just yet. Vinyl siding, due to its myriad advantages has been ruling the roost for the past few decades, but now, slowly but surely, aluminum siding is making a comeback.  Originally Aluminum siding was introduced way back in the 1930s as an alternative to  wood siding due in part, to its low maintenance costs as well as durability. Moreover, wood has a tendency to rot, especially so in humid climates.

1. Better technology

Thanks to improvements in technology, the aluminum siding offered today is almost completely different from the type available in the days of our grandparents.  Better paint means it would not fade as easily and it’s chalking too, also holds considerably longer.

2. Premium grades

The top-end aluminum siding products have excellent paint that is extremely tough and created to withstand the rigors of a harsh external environment for decades

3. Heat resistant

If you have aluminum siding installed in your home, the odds are your air conditioning bills would be somewhat lower than your neighbors’ due to the fact that it is more resistant to heat than many of its other counterparts.

4. Paint

Though today’s crop of Aluminum siding installed in most homes is almost totally bump and dent proof, should you wish to paint it, once all the chalk has been removed and the surface area has been thoroughly prepared, any number of aluminum siding paint colors can be used to create a truly unique visage.


Bespoke Home Extensions

Every now and then, our houses need repairs and extensions to continue to be the shelters that we have been using all our lives. However, for a house to continue as a real home, it is imperative that periodic repairs take place and sometimes an extension may also hit the spot when you don’t want to move and still want more living space.  In fact, many homeowners are opting for home extensions and improvements rather than out rightly shifting to a different house.

home improvement

Bespoke House Extensions

Conducting home improvement repairs and/or extensions of a home has a two pronged advantage. Not only does it give the owner added living space, but also has the potential of increasing the value of the property in the long run.

In fact, many homeowners are choosing to construct house extensions rather than shifting their homes. This is because house extensions are both an affordable as well as a cost effective option to upgrade the home.

In fact, they can help add greater living area for the kid’s playroom, reception hall, extra space for a new kitchen or even added office space. However, when conducting either repairs or carrying out a massive home improvement plan, it is imperative that you decide your materials beforehand.

If you live close to the sea side then buying vinyl siding might be just the option for you. But it also depends on which extension you have in mind as well.

Kitchen extensions

Many older homes dating back to the 40s and 50s were equipped with old fashioned galley kitchens that were generally cramped and suffered from a lack of amenities and even sunlight.   For opting for an extension in such place aluminum home siding is the best solution due to the fact that it is heat resistant as well as durable.

Living room extensions

Contrary to its given name, a living room offers a whole lot more to a home than simply a place to sit around for a causal cup of coffee. In fact, it is a very important part of the house in the sense that it is a permanent structure which might require siding vinyl as its exterior walls since it it is very durable and not as expensive as many other types of aluminum sidings available in the market.  A key feature of vinyl home siding is that vinyl sidings paint colors last for well over a decade.

Using either of these sidings as part of either your home improvement plans, or for that matter any home extension ideas you might have, would be a sound investment; they are affordable and long lasting and can survive all kinds of inclement weather.

In fact, they have been created for the express purpose of protecting your home from the environment.  Irrespective of which ever you use aluminum or vinyl siding, the end result would be that your property would increase in value and be safe from all kinds of inclement weather, thus allowing you to enjoy your home for many decades to come.


5 Reasons to choose Vinyl Siding

It was in the late 50s that vinyl siding made a tentative appearance in America. Tentative, because the first few years were not that easy on vinyl siding companies since their product had a tendency to both crack and sag as UV radiation and the elements played havoc with the materials with which vinyl sidings were constructed.  In the initial years, few people thought this ‘new fangled contraption’ would be able to challenge the aluminum siding industry. But that was then and this is now. Thanks to the steady evolution of vinyl siding technology and the hard work of vinyl siding contractors who regularly toil day in day out to ensure correct installation of the product, today’s vinyl siding companies not only regularly stand by their product, they do so with pride as its by far, the leading choice for sidings in North America.

vinyl installation

Following are but a few reasons because of which this product is so successful in the market:

1. Widespread availability

Modern vinyl is made up of chemicals substances that have been created from chlorine salts and ethylene. Both of these substances are found in abundance in the North American continent, therefore the chances of hoarding and shortages are practically non-existent, which in turn allows greater overall price stability.

2. Vinyl is recyclable

The vinyl sidings being manufactured these days are recyclable and therefore environmentally friendly.

3. Resistant to the elements

Be it thunderstorms, gale force winds or high UV radiation from a searing sun, when it comes to resisting the weather, vinyl siding (contrary to its somewhat flimsier reputation when compared to steel siding) is almost impervious to the elements.  Where many other types of sidings may succumb to high force wind and hail storms, vinyl siding continues to be an excellent performer regardless of the inclement weather.

In fact, vinyl siding is recommended for rural localities that are located in areas that regularly witness violent storms. After such storms, many other types of sidings might require extensive repairs but vinyl siding just seems to soldier on without needing any major repair works. This is in part due to the siding vinyl ratings being offered by the manufacturers who design their products keeping in mind the requirements of the environment in which they are to be sold.

4. Fire safety

The lives of your loved ones are arguably the most important consideration when it comes to choosing a house.  This is where vinyl sidings truly come into their own.  As a matter of fact, they offer very high fire safety ratings and many a vinyl siding company are in compliance with National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) regulations regarding fire safety.

Vinyl siding is often the first choice for older homes that may be veritable fire traps due to their frayed electrical wiring and dilapidated gas lines.

5. Widespread availability in many colors and textures

Vinyl siding is available in a dizzying array of color and texture choices (ranging from different types of wood to the texture of burnt brick) but minus the cost and hassle of using the original product.


Roof Repairs

When it comes to maintaining the structural integrity of your house, roof repairs should be right on top of your priority list, quite literally indeed.

A leaking roof not only allow seepage of water into the walls of your home but may potentially lead to graver problems such as electrical short circuits which in turn, may even lead to fire hazards. Therefore, conducting periodic roof repairs as and when needed should be an absolute top priority.

roof repairs

 

1. Roofing Systems and Contractors

But before commencement of any roof repairs, you have to figure out just what kind of roofing system has been installed in your home, if its Owen Corning roofing or GAF Timberline roofing or even CertainTeed shingles. Once you figure out the system, you would then need to take multiple roofing quotes from many a roofing company as well as a good roofing contractor.  Only skilled professionals can determine if you require simple roof repairs or outright roof replacement.  Their decision would be based on the extent of the damage to your roof. So it is always better not to procrastinate when it comes to roof repairs. As a rule of thumb, if your home has not undergone any roof repairs or had no new asphalt shingles installed for over two decades, it is likely that it would require major roof replacement.

You must always remember that you need to take action as soon as possible when you realize that your asphalt shingles are damaged.  If left unrepaired, the seepage would spoil the wooden beam and sheathing of your roof and if they are damaged enough, they will rot away completely, potentially leading to the roof or part of it to come crashing down altogether.

If that happens then it might lead to serious injuries to anyone present directly beneath, not to mention the massive repair bills.

2. Replacement of Asphalt Shingles

Unfortunately, individual asphalt shingle repair is not possible, and fresh shingles have to be installed. But rather than doing it yourself, it is better to contact a shingles company for the same.

3. Re-seal the Curl

Many asphalt shingles are prone to curling around the edges. If that happens, simply advise your shingle contractor to use a powerful adhesive to glue down the edges of the asphalt shingle so as to re-seal the same and avoid seepage.

4. Look for Shiners

Sometimes asphalt roofing is not to blame for relatively small sized, hard to locate leaks. This is because the telltale signs of seepage may well show up far away from the leak. In this case you would have to play detective and trace the water flow to the area from where the leak originated.  If none can be found then your asphalt shingles are not to blame. The culprit may well be a ‘shiner’.

A shiner is a nail that missed its mark when it was hammered into the frame.  This allows moisture to seep in, especially in very cold climates where water vapor may freeze on the exposed nail and then condense as the weather becomes progressively less cold. Once that happens, it may then flow to a light fixture and cause a short circuit.

This is why it is absolutely imperative that every leak (irrespective of how seemingly innocuous it may seem) has to be taken care of till your asphalt roof is perfectly leak free and offers a snug and comfortable home to your loved ones.