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Quality, Trust Experience since 1947

Call Us At : 763-316-4270

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Home Exterior Improvement Company

Minneapolis / St. Paul, Minnesota

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Call Us At 763-316-4270

How to feel better about hail damage repair

When storm damage strikes your home, your instinct may be to choose a repair contractor as quickly as possible. That’s understandable – you want repairs done fast so you can keep your family warm and dry. But make sure to ask potential contractors important questions before hiring them for hail damage repair. You want to make sure your contractor will be trustworthy and provide skilled work.

Here qualities to seek when choosing a contractor:

  • Established history in the area. Find out, how long has a company worked in your area? Do they have a well-developed relationship with your community, or did representatives drive in because a storm hit? Look for a contractor who is local.
  • Proof of insurance. Seeing proof of insurance will help you have peace of mind. A good contractor should be happy to provide this for you.
  • A valid contractor’s license. Asking to see a valid contractor’s license is smart due diligence, as well.
  • Warranties. Ask, is there a warranty on the contractor’s workmanship? And, what manufacturers’ warranties come with the products?
  • Customer references. Find out if your contractor has previous customers who are willing to speak with you about their work.

You deserve to work with a company you can trust. Your contractor should be only a phone call away if your home needs further attention. A repair company should be there to stand behind its work. When repairs are finished, you want to feel secure in the knowledge that they were done right.

Minnesota Exteriors has served Minnesota families for 70 years. We’re a trusted, established, family-owned company. It’s a matter of principle for us to provide quality repairs. We’ll carry out an inspection, talk with you about your options and provide a free, unconditional estimate at your home. We provide a limited lifetime warranty on all workmanship.

We understand how much storm damage can impact your family. We’ll work with you quickly and professionally to get your life back to normal. We’re glad to know you feel more safe and secure in your home.


Roof Repairs: A Vital Necessity

Whenever you plan renovations and repair work on your property, roof repairs should literally be ‘right on top’ of any list of priorities that you may have made. The main reason for this is that a roof that has cracks or holes in it is a hazard for the occupants of the house on many different levels.

You just might find water dripping on your head during a downpour, or worse, water seeping quietly though the walls may wind up in electrical outlets causing a short circuit.   Such an eventuality might mean the destruction of your electrical appliances, and perhaps even lead to your whole house burning down as well.  This is why any repair work to the roof should be conducted on an urgent basis.  Indeed, roof repairs should be conducted as soon as possible, before matters get worse.

Roofing contractors and companies

You must remember that repairing your roof is not a job for amateurs and novices and any mistakes may make the problem worse. This is why it is imperative that you contact a well-known professional roofing company like Minnesota Exteriors Inc. before starting any work regarding roof repairs.

But even before that you have to find out just what kind of roofing system has been used in your home. Some popular roofing systems include:

  • Owen Corning roofing
  • GAF Timberline roofing
  • CertainTeed shingles.

Now that you know what you are dealing with, try and approach many a different roofing contractor and get them to give you their own roofing quotes for each and every different aspect of the work that would be required for your roof repairs.

Once you settle on a specific roofing company, let the experts decide if you require mere routine maintenance work, extensive renovation or complete roof replacement. 

However, it is best to keep in mind that a roof is also subjected to wear and tear like other parts of your property due to its constant exposure to the elements. Moreover, if no repair work has ever been carried out on your roof, you should be mentally prepared for massive renovations or even full roof replacement. At the very least, you just might need to replace a few of your asphalt shingles.

Any damaged shingles must be replaced immediately with fresh ones because the former would allow water to leak through during rainfall and result in eroding the protective paint and/or the layers of lacquer on your main overhead wooden beams. In time, they would rot away and would not be able to sustain the weight of the roof above, with potentially catastrophic results for both your home as well as your loved ones.

As a general rule, asphalt shingle repair is not really a good idea since fresh shingles are relatively inexpensive and easily available, which is why it is always better to remove the old worn out shingles and replace them with new ones. Fortunately, many a shingles company would do the job for you quickly and efficiently, so that your roof remains as seamless as it ever was.


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.


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.


Help my home is flooded!

Basements and lower floors of your home are prone to flooding in the event of a violent storm. This is because water always travels from high to low ground and even if you don’t live in an area prone to floods, there is no guarantee that your home might not be caught in a flash flood triggered by a torrential downpour. This holds true even more so if you live in a hilly locality.

It may happen due to any number of reasons, ruptured drains, a burst mainline, heavy rainfall, or simply the slope or incline of your lawn.

However, in the case of a storm, if your asphalt roofing is not secure enough, your upper stories just might end up becoming a right royal mess to rival your basement. Such an eventuality occurs when the rain water seeps through the protective outer layers of your roof and eventually drips down to the living space beneath.

This may spell disaster for your personal living space as just about all the furniture, carpets and electronic gadgets might be ruined. Moreover, if the water stays long enough, it erodes the structural integrity of your home and may in extreme cases lead to its eventual collapse.

In case of extreme flooding, the first and foremost priority is safety. There is a risk of electrocution due to a short circuit especially if your electronic appliances are short circuiting due to the seepage of water from your roof. It is always advisable to turn off all power from the mains, but only if it can be safely done so.  Same goes for gas leaks because a broken gas pipe is even more dangerous than an electrical one. Both these utilities, taken together, create a safety hazard that should never be underestimated.  Other then that short circuiting appliances may also lead to fire and electrical fires are difficult to put out with conventional fire fighting equipment even if you have any such equipment at home.

Other hazards may include biological and chemical ones; if the sewerage system is breached then the water may be full of fecal matter giving rise to all kinds of gastrointestinal infections. Similarly, if harmful chemicals are stored in the upper stories, coming into contact with them may be dangerous to the eyes and skin.

This is why it is absolutely imperative to have roofing repairs conducted before the advent of the rainy season. The age old proverb “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” definitely works out when it comes to roofing repairs.  Having new roofing installed after major storm damage might turn out to be a costly preposition. Especially, if the damage is so extensive that you might need to get your whole roofing replaced altogether.

However, once your property is secure, there are remedies that will help ensure that you are able to protect your home in case of any future calamity. Simply get an estimate from a roofing contractor that you know and trust to find out the roofing price of your repair work. Once you have a few quotations, don’t delay but commence work as soon as possible.


Storm Damage Repair / Restoration Information for Minnesota Homeowners

What you need to know after a storm damages your home including how to work with Insurers, Adjusters, and Contractors to fix your home with the least headaches and hassles possible.

Minnesota Exteriors wants you to be aware of some basic ideas / tips when repairing or restoring your home after a storm or natural disaster.  You will need to work with your insurance company, their adjuster, and a qualified contractor to make these repairs a reality and get your life back too normal as soon as possible.  We have put these tips together from our 70 years in business along with some information from the Better Business Bureau and the Minnesota Department of Commerce.

What to do first –
Contact your insurance company

  • Call your insurance agent or insurance company and provide a description of your damage.  Once your loss is reported, an insurance company adjuster will contact you to inspect the damage.  It can be an advantage to a homeowner to have a qualified contractor at the adjustment inspection to help the adjuster find all damage to the home.
  • Take photos of the damaged areas. Pictures can be valuable if any questions arise during the claims process.  A qualified contractor can help with this part of the process.
  • Make temporary repairs to prevent further damage – cover broken windows, damaged roofs, etc. Keep track of supplies and materials you purchase.  Your insurance company will reimburse you for reasonable expenses in making temporary repairs.
  • Do not have permanent repairs made until your insurance company has inspected the property and you have reached an agreement on the cost of repairs. An insurance company may deny a claim if you make permanent repairs before the damage is inspected.
  • Read your policy to determine what is covered and the level of coverage that exists. Most policies have deductibles that will apply.  Some deductibles are only a few hundred dollars and others are much larger and sometimes a percentage of the homes value.  Understand how much of the loss you will be responsible for in the repair / restoration process.
  • A typical policy will usually cover the replacement cost for the damaged portion of your home, including any upgrades that are required by local codes when damage is repaired.
  • Refrain from filing an insurance claim for repairs that you do not intend to make. There could be repercussions from your insurance company when you are being compensated to make certain repairs. Keep in mind that if you hold a mortgage on your home, your mortgage company may have a vested interest in you making the repairs and most mandate you to make the repairs.

What to do next –
Contact a contractor about repairs

After a storm event, there will be contractors seeking work, some licensed and reputable and some not.  You will have contractors knocking on your door and canvassing your neighborhood.  You will hear and see advertisements on the radio, television and in the newspapers plus direct mail.  How can you make an informed decision on whom to hire to restore your home?  Keep reading for some very important tips and information.

  • Remember to ask the contractor if he/she is licensed in Minnesota as a building contractor. Make sure the contractor license is in good standing and there are no enforcement actions against the contractor license. Contact the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry at 651.284.5065 or doli.state.mn.us for online license lookup.
  • Ask for proof of liability insurance and workers compensation insurance. A qualified contractor will not have a problem providing these items.
  • Get all proposals in writing, and be sure the contractor’s name, phone number, address, and license number is on the proposal. Beware of fly-by-night repair businesses.
  • Ask your contractor for references. Check with the Better Business Bureau at thefirstbbb.org to read a company’s reliability report.
  • Be aware that anything you sign is a contract. Read carefully or avoid signing an “estimate” or “authorization” form before you have actually decided to hire a particular contractor. Pay special attention to any details in bold, that are underlined or that you need to initial. Once you ‘sign for it’, in many cases ‘you bought it’.  Many of these estimates ‘legally’ bind you to work with the contractor that provided the estimate.
  • Some contractors specialize in storm damage repair. Ask your contractor to explain their process for working with insurance companies and to describe what you can expect to experience during the process. For example, the claim may need to change depending on whether or not additional damage is found during the restoration process.
  • Local or national companies may both do a fine job with your storm damage repair needs. If you choose to do business with someone who is not local, be sure to understand who will be taking care of any service needs that may arise after the completion of the project and the contractor has left town. A company from Ohio, Oklahoma, Florida or elsewhere is a LONG way away if you need service on the work down the road.
  • Some companies list bids on their contract to do service work on your home and some do not (basing their pricing on insurance allowance). Both are acceptable methods of conducting business.
  • Consumers may or may not be entitled to a re-inspection if their initial storm damage claim is denied. Factors taken into consideration may include the quality of the original report and the photos from the original inspection. You may want to ask a qualified contractor to assist in asking for a re-inspection.
  • Understand the differences between warranties and guarantees. The manufacturer warranties their products and contractors have warranties on service. Contractors may also offer customer service guarantees. Get copies of any/all warranties and guarantees.

The most important thing for a homeowner to do after a storm is to understand their insurance policy and not make hasty decisions about which contractor to hire to fix your home.  Unscrupulous contractors try and take advantage of a homeowner’s fear at this time.  As long as you make temporary repairs such as boarding broken windows you have time to chose and hire a competent contractor using the information above.

Minnesota Exteriors has been in business locally for 70 years and has worked with insurance companies on behalf of thousands of Minnesota homeowners.   To learn more about repairing your home after a storm or other catastrophic event you can call Minnesota Exteriors at 763-316-4270


Storm Windows: An Absolute Necessity

Storm windows are a type of window that may be affixed as an ‘add-on’ to the main windows of your home.  Their core purpose is to act as a sort of additional protection to already pre-installed windows so as to improve their heat retention capacity.  In winters, they may retain heat while in summers they are used to provide ventilation and prevent stuffiness without allowing ‘creepy crawlies’ ingress into your house.

Depending on homeowner preferences, they may be fixed either inside the house or outside to prevent the primary windows from being exposed to the environment.

The materials used to make these windows include:

  • Hard plastic
  • Flexible polymer sheets
  • Glass

Moreover, another advantage of storm windows is that they may be either permanent or temporary depending both on the usage of the homeowner as well as their aesthetic appeal. Many such windows are roughly analogous to highly insulated glazed windows. I.e. windows that have gas filled spaces sandwiched between multiple layers of glass to ensure greater heat dispersion in very cold weather.

Apart from their core function of heat retention, such storm windows also help protect both the home as well as primary windows during violent snow, hail and thunderstorms.

However, this is their secondary purpose. Their main raison d’être (reason of existence) is to provide an added layer of protection against extremely cold weather.  This is why such windows tend to be temporary structures that may be taken down during more balmy weather such as during the summer season.  As such, they are not even remotely popular in regions that offer a moderate or tropical climate.

However, well-built storm windows have the potential of decreasing thermal heat loss by as much as fifty percent in a single home, effectively making them a highly inexpensive solution to many heat related problems. Add to that the fact that their installation is markedly less costly than actual primary windows and the fact that they can be added and removed as and when desired makes them an increasingly appealing low cost alternative for many house owners.

Inexpertly installed windows with cheap and shoddy materials have a tendency to decrease the clarity of vision of the external environment due to lack of ease in cleaning as well as condensation related issues.

Moreover, a badly placed storm window can actually mar the aesthetic appeal of the structure on which it has been mounted. Therefore, before deciding to acquire such windows, it is imperative that skilled and experienced professionals be hired to do the job.