What Are the Most Common Roofing Problems for Michigan Homeowners?


Your homes roof is one of the largest and most important exterior features of your home.  It is easy to forget about because it is not an element of your home that is in your face screaming for attention.  It is important that homeowners do not neglect their roofs. Issues with your roof are easily masked, they are not easy to spot especially from the ground.

It is important to catch issues with your roof before they turn catastrophic.  Roofing contractors have years of experience and industry knowledge that allows them to have a better grasp at what they are looking for when they are inspecting a homeowner’s roof.  This is not to say that you as a homeowner shouldn’t take time to inspect your homes roof bi-yearly as you clean out the gutters, it just means that a professional should also be involved in the inspection process at least once a year.  They will be able to detect issues earlier than any DIY homeowner thus saving the structural integrity of your roof from severe damage.

Roofing Contractors Share the Most Common Problems They See in Roofing

Lack of General Maintenance and Upkeep

The ideal maintenance schedule for your homes roof consists of bi-yearly inspections from the homeowners and an annual inspection from a professional roofing contractor.  Another inspection is needed if your home has been involved in a severe storm.  There are many things that can go wrong with your roof however, regular repairs and keeping up on normal care your roof can out last, it’s warranty.  Check for mildew, mold, peeling caulk, holes, sagging, or missing shingles.  These are all obvious issues that there is a problem that needs to be fixed.

Improper Repairs

This is the most common problem that our roofing contractors report, improperly executed roofing repairs.  Homeowners like to believe they can save a ton of money by fixing issues on their own.  This is however not always the truth.  Yes, homeowners are highly capable of attending to many maintenance issues that pop up around their homes.  Roofing however is not one of those areas where we believe a homeowner should take repairs into their own hands.  Your homes roof is what keeps the structural integrity of your home safe from the outside elements.  Without a roof, well you can just imagine what the interior of our homes would look like.

Storm Damage

No matter what the season, Michigan homeowners are familiar with inclement weather issues.  Spring brings heavy rain, winter brings heavy ice and snow, with fall comes rotting leaves and debris and then there is summer where we can go from 100 degrees and 100 percent humidity to thunderstorms with winds that can be greater than 60 miles an hour.  If your area experiences a substantial storm it is important to clean off the debris and call in a professional for an inspection.

Leaks

No matter if you have a shingle roof or a metal roof, if you are experiencing a leak, you have a major problem.  Your homes roof is its lid.  It is meant to keep the elements out.  When this is compromised it is crucial, to minimize damage, that your roof is fixed properly and FAST!  Moisture that is allowed to build up also can prevent problems such as mold and wood rot.  It is not only important to fix the roof but also to perform proper drying and clean up to prevent further issues.

In order to truly make sure you are hiring a reputable roofing contractor always make sure to work with someone that comes recommended from a friend, neighbor, family member, or co-worker.  Word of mouth referrals are the best way to hire professionals as they have previously done work and are being recommended.  It is important as well to perform a little background research on your own as well.  Be sure to check Google reviews, contractor licenses/insurance, and their standing with the BBB.

As a full-service home improvement contractor servicing all Southeast Michigan, Kearns Brothers, Inc. offers clients a wide range of services to meet their construction needs including: roofing, siding, window, masonry, chimneys, gutters, and insulation services.  More information can be found at www.kearnsbrothers.com.



Answers to Every Day Roofing Questions


One of the most neglected areas on the exterior of a home is the roof.  Many homeowners don’t notice problems with their roofing until it has turned into a real issue.  Maintenance, although important, is not often done yearly, leaving small roof repairs to become major issues.  Homeowners often have a lot of questions by the time they are reaching out to the roofing contractors of Kearns Brothers.  Compiled below is a list of questions and answers to the top roofing questions we are regularly asked when seeking roof repair or roof replacement services. 

How Will I Know It Is Time to Replace My Homes Roof?

The age of your shingle roofing is one of the most tell tale signs your home needs a new roof.  Most shingle roofs have a lifespan of between twenty to thirty years without issue.  Regular roofing maintenance can help increase the longevity of shingles and underlayment.  Older roofs often have visual signs that it is time to consider replacement.  If you notice curling or buckling shingles, missing shingles, leaking, or sunlight coming through attic boards it is time to call the roofing experts at Kearns Brothers roofing experts.

Is a Shingle Roof Something I Can Install on My Own?

Many homeowners think that they can save money by replacing their homes roof.  Although it is possible for homeowners to replace their own roofs, we don’t recommend it.  The process to remove and replace shingles is time consuming.  If roofing materials are left without shingle protection for too long the underlayment will take on moisture which can lead to problems.  Also, let’s face it, homeowners are notorious for getting in over their heads when it comes to DIY projects, especially large scaled ones such as replacing a roof. 

While some home improvement projects can be done in time and are completely possible for DIY homeowners, roofing is not one we would recommend tackling.  Proper roofing is done through years of experience and decades of knowledge, both which the roofing experts at Kearns Brothers offer to homeowners throughout Southeast Michigan.

How Much Does a New Roof Cost?

There is a lot that goes into determining how much a roofing expert charge to replace a homes roof.  An accurate estimate will be given once roofers are able to determine the square footage of your home, the type of roofing material that will be used, the number of stories and pitch, accessibility to the roof, time frame for job to be completed/labor, and such all need to be considered.

What Is the Time Frame When Getting Your Roof Replaced?

The same factors that go into determining the cost of a new roof are used in calculating the time frame for installation.  The extent of roof damage and the climate where your home is located also can affect the time frame for having a roof replaced.  Expect a new roof to be installed over the course of a few days.  Some roofs can take a couple of weeks to install but this is rare.

What Type of Material Is Best When Roofing My Home?

Asphalt shingling is the most popular option for homes here in Michigan however there are a number of materials in roofing that homeowners can choose including: asphalt shingles, cedar shingles, metal, tile, clay, slate, and more.  To determine what material is the best for your home talk with the roofing contractors at Kearns Brothers.  Here are a few things to consider:

  • How much will each type of roofing cost to install?
  • How long can I expect my roof to last?
  • Does the roofing material hold up under the most extreme weather conditions in the area?
  • What roofing material will compliment my home best?

No matter whether you are building a new house, having your roof repaired, or replacing an existing roof the experts at Kearns Brothers have you covered.  Not only do we offer a wide selection of roofing accessories, we also offer gutter installation, and offer professional chimney repair, rebuilding, and installation. 

As a full-service home improvement contractor servicing all Southeast Michigan, Kearns Brothers, Inc. offers clients a wide range of services to meet their construction needs including: roofing, siding, window, masonry, chimneys, gutters, and insulation services.  More information can be found at www.kearnsbrothers.com.



Preventing Roof Damage from Heat and Humidity

Your homes roof is under constant attach from several fronts.  If you are not careful you can end up with costly repairs that could have been avoided.  You may be surprised to know that wind and hail, normal weather elements that we associate with roof damage are not the biggest threats to your homes roof.  In fact, the two factors that can do far more extensive damage are heat and humidity.

It is wise to hire a roofing contractor to perform a yearly inspection on your homes roof.  This will help homeowners catch potential dangers in the homes attic and rafters before it becomes overwhelming and costly to repair.  Roofing contractors are experienced in seeking out damage that is caused from excessive heat and moisture build up.  If they find you are dealing with potential roof damage they can remedy the situation before you as a homeowner ends up with a costly repair.

Hidden Damage Caused by Heat

While roof vents are installed to help prevent damage caused by the buildup of excessive heat if the vents do not work properly you could end up with the rafters, decking material, and roof joists damage caused by expansion due to the heat. The sun can also cause damage to the flashing whether it is made or metal or plastic, this could lead to moisture getting in. The heat can also cause the shingles on your house to shrink and this could lead to the nails to pop and this will allow more moisture to get.

Hidden Damage Caused by Excessive Moisture

Moisture that can penetrate your roof and getting into the attic space can end up doing a surprising amount of damage to your home. Unless you are someone who goes up into the attic frequently, it may be quite some time before you are able to discover the problem. There are two major issues that can be caused by excessive moisture: mold and condensation.

Mold Damage

When moisture gets into your attic space from under your roof the damage could remain hidden for many years. The excessive moisture can easily cause mold to begin growing on the all the wood and sheetrock where ever it can get in. Depending on how long it takes to find the damage it could end up causing extensive damage to your home before you have any idea.

Excessive Condensation

Damage caused by condensation is generally is thought to come from bathroom vents that have allowed the warm, moist air to get into the attic area. It can also come from leaking dryer venting system that allows the warm air to also enter the attic. If you have noticed any mold growth you would want to eliminate the mold and then add additional insulation.

Learn more about Kearns Brothers, a full-service home improvement contractor servicing all Southeast Michigan’s construction needs by visiting their website at www.kearnsbrothers.com or contact a remodeling expert at 888.355.6700.

The Importance of Your Homes Exterior Appearance

There are many ways to add aesthetic value to your home; the trick though is to get a return on your investment along with it.  Most homeowners think about the interior of the home when considering upgrades however, renovations on the exterior of the home are just as important.  Exterior home improvements that boost your homes curb appeal can go a long way in increasing the value of your home.  First impressions often make or break how buyers look at a home.  The exterior appeal of your home can literally change the way your home is perceived to future buyers.

Of course, most homeowners don’t move forward with renovations to our homes because we will one day will sell the home.  We make upgrades to improve the quality of our experiences in the home.  It is important homeowners consider both their personal enjoyment and added value.  Here are five exterior projects that we believe will add value now and later.

Add a Deck and/or Porch

Sitting in a comfortable chair enjoying a cup of coffee or glass of wine on your porch or deck is a feeling better than any amount of money.  Even the smallest of homes with a yard of any size can enjoy the benefits of a space outdoor that is able to be used as a livable space.  It is important that the area be in proportion with the landscape.  The addition of the deck or porch should only consist of 1/5th of the overall space.  Even a small patio space, set aside, can make a world of difference.  The perception, and hopefully the reality, is that it is a space that used to relax and contemplate the beginning or end of the day.

Replace the Front Door

The first thing you see when you come upon your home is the front door.  An older style door can really date your home.  The front door of a home not only adds to the appeal of your home it is a big part of the home’s safety.  Consider replacing an older front door with a new steel or fiberglass front door with a little bit of artistry to add to the overall look of the home and entry way.

New Window Installation

New windows for a home can be quite expensive; most homeowners don’t consider replacing windows until they absolutely need to.  That however, can be a huge mistake.  Your homes windows are crucial in providing light, ventilation, and insulation.  New windows are a great way to improve the energy efficiency within the home while increasing the appeal to the exterior.  Windows are one of the first renovations to consider in older homes as advancements in windows with both durability and energy efficiency far surpasses that of older window technologies.

Maintenance: Roof, Gutters, Siding, and Landscape

Twice a year it is important to take time to do complete a thorough cleaning of the exterior of your home.  This is above and beyond the normal weekly maintenance.  A homes roof should be inspected and maintained at the beginning of spring and the end of fall.  This will ensure that any cracks in the caulking are filled, missing shingles replaced, and leaks are caught before causing damage to the structure of the home.

Gutters should be cleaned as well during this time to ensure that leaves and extra debris are removed, and the gutters are allowing water to properly flow away from the home.  There are many problems that come from improperly functioning gutters including ice dams that lead to roof and structural damage.

It is important to keep up on your homes exterior such as siding and masonry.  Power washing and touch ups should be performed as needed to prevent any major build ups of mold, algae, or fungus.  This will keep the siding in tip top shape both structurally and aesthetically.

Your homes landscaping is another element that cannot be ignored.  It is a huge part of the exterior view of your home.  Homeowners are wise to complete weekly maintenance such as mowing, weeding, and watering on-top of the chores that need to be completed at least twice a season such as tree trimming, edging, fresh mulch, separating over grown plants, and grass care.

Learn more about Kearns Brothers, a full-service home improvement contractor servicing all Southeast Michigan’s interior and exterior construction needs by visiting their website at www.kearnsbrothers.com or contact a remodeling expert at 888.355.6700.

Springtime Checkup for Maintaining Your Homes Exterior

Owning a home is synonymous with home improvements and maintenance.  The perfect time to take inventory of what needs to be done around your home in order to keep it running full speed ahead is during the first month of spring.  This is especially true with the homes exterior.  The snow has melted meaning that the landscape and roof are no longer covered and can be thoroughly examined.  Your home has gotten through the tough months of winter and will start to show signs of wear that will need to be taken care to prevent further, more expensive repairs or replacements later down the road.  As with all home improvements, maintaining your home is important and it is crucial that any maintenance and repairs are done by professional contractors that are licensed and insured.

Spring Checkup for Exterior Home Maintenance

  • Your homes roof is one of its most important features.  It provides necessary protection to the structure of the home and is also your families first defense against the harsh winter elements.  What this means is that come spring your roof is one of the most important regions of your home to maintain.  Dead decaying leaves have made their home on your roof for the last six months.  Moss has been given the perfect opportunity to make a home.  Now only is it important aesthetically to take care of the debris it is important to the overall condition of your roof.

By hiring a professional roofing contractor to inspect your roof you are guaranteed that cracks and leaks are found.  Often homeowners have no idea what to look for when it comes roof damageProfessional roofers will check the roofs vents, louvers, flashing, and roof valleys to ensure that the caulking is intact and free of damage.  Shingling will be checked for blistering, buckling, missing shingles and more as well.  Maintaining your roof is a lot more practical than replacing it.  By maintaining the existing roof, you are looking at expanded the lifespan of your roof well past the manufacturer’s warranty.

  • Gutters are another element of the exterior of your home that is crucial in protecting the structure of your home from water damage. Gutters must be cleaned regularly as debris that can build up will prevent water from draining properly.  Water that backs up within the gutter will find it’s way under the shingling and into your home if not maintained.  Loose or leaking gutters should be repaired as well.
  • Chimneys are many peoples saving grace through the long, cold Michigan winters. It is important that after being used non-stop throughout the winter months that your chimney is given special attention.  Chimneys should be examined and repaired.  It is also a good time to have your chimney cleaned professionally.  Soot build up can often hide areas that need maintenance.
  • To preserve summer fun have your deck inspected at the beginning of spring. It is a great time to check for loose boards, soft wood, or signs of damage from water.  You can also determine from the amount of discoloration if the deck needs to be resealed.  Spring is a perfect time to prepare the deck for when temps warm up and stain and sealant can be applied.

Spring comes along to wake us from our long winter slumbers where we can procrastinate and put things off until the temperatures warm up.  Spring temps allow exterior work to be done without the baking sun of summer.  Maintenance done in the spring also means time spent enjoying the Michigan summer instead of weekends stuck at home while work is done on your home.  As your landscape awakens and buds start to form throughout your homes landscaping call to schedule a professional exterior home inspection to perform the necessary maintenance on your home.

Learn more about Kearns Brothers, a full-service home improvement contractor servicing all of Southeast Michigan’s construction needs by visiting their website at www.kearnsbrothers.com or contact a remodeling expert at 888.355.6700.