Get Gutter Guards and Keep Your Drainage Clear

With fall right around the corner, that means the trees will be changing color and the days will get shorter and colder. It will also mean that we’re only a short time away from leaves falling off the trees and into our yards and gutters. So to keep those leaves, twigs and other plant life out of your gutters, invest in gutter guards.

Gutter GuardAlong with leaves, trees branches start to become more brittle as the weather turns cool, meaning that small twigs and sticks can easily fall on our roofs and end up in our gutters. I turn, this can lead can lead to water building up, damaging gutters from the extra weight and even leading to roof issues in extreme cases.

Gutter guards can keep these items from building up and damaging your gutters and roof. They are placed over top of your gutters and have small perforations that allow water to pass through while blocking leaves and other debris.

Having gutters guards installed also helps turn cleaning out your gutters a chore of the past. With these guards keeping debris out of your drainage channels, you won’t have to climb up on a ladder and spend your day picking out waterlogged twigs and decomposing leaves. You could instead spend that time enjoying other things the season offers, such as fall festivals or the start of football season.

Installing gutter guards can also help prevent possible damage from blockages. In turn, this helps you save money on gutter fixes or even roof repairs from water damage.

Roofing by Bruce offers numerous roofing services throughout the Pennsylvania Poconos, including roofing installation and gutter maintenance and repairs to keep your homes roof in great shape. If you would like more information, give us a call today at 570-424-7250!

A Strong Hurricane Season Predicted – Is Your Roof Ready?

Late summer and early fall is often a time to think of last-minute summer getaways, fall festivities and preparation for the coming winter. It is also a time to think about hurricanes.

Hurricane SeasonThe full hurricane season lasts from June 1 through Nov. 30, but the peak of the season is usually from about mid-August through October, says the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The administration’s researchers are now predicting a strong hurricane season, according to the Asbury Park Press. Is your roof ready?

Hurricanes cause an estimated $28 billion in damage each year, and the amount of damage from these storms is expected to increase in the coming years, according to the U.S. Congressional Budget Office. Most of this damage is caused by flooding and high winds that damage windows, siding and roofs. While there is no way of knowing in advance how many hurricanes will actually make landfall or if the path the storms take will lead them to our region, there are steps that property owners can take to reduce their risk when a storm does hit.

Roofs are often damaged or destroyed during hurricanes and other severe storms. Once a roof is damaged, it may allow water into the building as well, causing considerable damage to the building and contents before an emergency repair can be made.

The best way to protect your home or business from damage during a hurricane is to have a professional inspection performed in advance. Some roof problems are obvious and easy to spot, but other signs require a thorough inspection by a trained and experienced professional. Identifying weak spots or trouble areas before a storm can cause damage can save money and a lot of trouble.

The professionals at Roofing by Bruce are experienced in inspecting, repairing and installing roofs that will stand up to harsh weather. Call us today at 570-424-7250 to learn more about our roofing services or to schedule a roof inspection.

When to Replace a Chimney Liner

Chimney LinerIt is important to have your chimney and its liner inspected at least once a year, especially if you use it on a regular basis. Chimneys need to be checked regularly to ensure that everything is working well and that your liner is in good condition.

Your liner is essentially a conduit made of clay, metal or ceramic that contains the combustion by products from your and protects the walls of the chimney from corrosion and heat. If you are new to chimney maintenance, here are a few tips to keep in mind regarding chimney efficiency and the benefits of a sturdy liner.

Consider it When Switching from Heating Oil to Natural Gas

There are many reasons that you may decide to change from using a heating oil or burning wood to a natural gas option stove or heating system. For one, natural gas can burn more completely, meaning that your furnace can be much more efficient. If you are looking to save money, natural gas rates have also come down significantly in recent years, with as much as 84 percent of natural gas on the market today produced right here at home. Plus, some utility companies offer rebates to owners who switch to gas.

Still, even though there are so many advantages to getting gas, the issue, of course, is that you may have to replace your chimney liner. If you don’t have a liner at all, some states and municipalities require that your chimney be properly fitted with an acceptable liner to handle natural gas. This is because natural gas fumes can condense in a cool chimney, creating acidic solutions that can eat away at your brick or masonry.

Many Other Reasons to Change Your Liner

No matter how you decide to heat your home, it is important to know that having a clean and intact chimney liner is essential for other reasons. First of all a well-kept liner can reduce the chance of a chimney fire or carbon monoxide leak. Liners keep hot embers or noxious fumes contained, moving them through the chimney and safely away from your home.

If you are looking to have your chimney inspected or your liner repaired or replaced, look no further than the professionals at Bruce’s Chimney Service. We specialize in all sorts of home, roofing and chimney repairs including chimney relining, waterproofing and more. Give us a call at 570-424-7250 today.

Handling Summer Storms – What to Look for After Hail

Summer is the favorite season of many people thanks to the beautiful weather and warm temperatures. As enjoyable as summer can be, however, it can also stir up some dangerous and potentially damaging weather conditions that can cause costly repairs and damage.

Hail is a unique form of precipitation that might look innocent in size, but can actually create major damage to your roofing system. As durable as a roof may be, hail can be pretty destructive, causing minor shingle damage or worse, depending on the style and construction of your roof. Severe hailstorms occur all throughout the country, and if one passes over your home or business, there are a few things you might want to check once the skies clear to ensure your roof lasts for as long as it’s intended to.

Hail Damage on RoofWhat to Look For

  • Dented vents, exhaust caps or other fixtures on your roof
    – These exposed components on your roof lack any protection, meaning that hail is striking directly, making them most vulnerable to hail damage.
  • Damaged sealing strips
    – If hail wears away or damages any sealant, this can allow water to begin wearing away the bond and seep into your home or business, leading to a leaky roof in the matter of a year or two or less.
  • Dings in asphalt shingles
    – Hail impacts can usually be identified on shingles by looking for small circular areas that are typically black in color and soft to the touch. These weak points can begin to degrade faster than other shingles, leading to a less effective roof.
  • Dents in wood shingles
    – Examine wooden shingles for any sections that show signs of damage with no visible pattern or that have splits in shingles that are brown-orange in color. These are generally signs of hail impact and, like asphalt shingles, can lead to a reduced longevity of these sections.

 

Following a hail storm, it’s best to inspect your roof for any signs of damage, big or small. Whether you inspect your roof yourself or you call on a professional to do the job for you, it’s a smart choice that can save you money down the road if something is actually broken. Identifying any damages early on and making necessary repairs or improvements can help prolong the longevity of your roof, keeping you and your home or business dry and secure.

Keep in mind, the age and condition of your roof, as well as the size of hailstones and intensity of the storm can greatly affect the extent of damage your roof suffers from. If your roof gets pummeled by large hailstones that severely damages its surface, contact Roofing by Bruce for our professional assistance by calling 570-424-7250.

Flat or Sloped: Advantages of Different Roofing Types

When building a new home or business building, one of the many decisions you will need to make is what type of roof you would like to install – flat or sloped. Although you may already have a roofing design in mind, it is important to weigh all the options to ensure you’ve chosen the best roof for your structure. Consider the following before you finalize your decision with your roofing contractor.

Different Roofing TypesWhich Option Requires Less Maintenance?

Before you get too excited, it is important to note that all roof types require some maintenance. Sloped or pitched roofs can be difficult to clean and inspect due to their angle, but flat roofs may require more maintenance throughout the lifespan on the roof since drainage won’t be as effective. Flat roofs also tend to fare worse in inclement weather, so if you’re concerned about rainwater and snow melt, a sloped roof is probably your best bet.

If you do decide to have a flat roof installed, be sure your contractor applies a waterproof seal to avoid serious damage and leaks. Plus, be sure to schedule yearly roof “check-ups” to avoid any unexpected damage that may occur over time.

Which Option Costs Less?

There is no doubt that a flat roof will be quite a bit cheaper than a sloped roof. Even though budget is definitely a huge factor when choosing a roofing type, it is also important to consider the long-term costs, as well. For example, heavy snow or rainfall could lead to damage to your roof, meaning that you’ll be spending time and money on maintaining a flat roof when a sloped roof would have been the more cost-effective investment.

Which Option Is Better for My Property?

Determining which roofing type is best depends on a number of factors beyond just weather concerns. For example, adding a sloped roof means adding interior space that needs to be insulated. This can end up costing you more on heating and cooling costs if done improperly. On the other end of the equation, the extra space offered by a sloped roof can create an attic or elevated storage area in your building – something that’s not possible with a flat roof.

Another factor to keep in mind is simple aesthetics. While flat roofs add a modern, contemporary flair, sloped roofs are much more visible elements of the home. You can choose from a variety of materials for a sloped roof that can property’s color and design themes to create a more appealing property overall.

Who Can Help Me Make My Decision?

Once you’ve considered all the factors, you should consult your roofing contractor to decide which option best fits your needs. The roofing experts at Roofing by Bruce have decades of professional experience and have worked with a wide variety of properties with both flat and sloped roofs at properties throughout the Poconos. To discuss your next roofing project, call our team today at 570-424-7250.

Five Things to Check on Your Roof Before Summer

Summer is a great time of year for most of us, but it can take a toll on your roof. The hot sun can cause more damage on your roof than you may imagine, and it’s important to keep it in the best shape possible during the coming months. Preparation now can help you from having to pay costly repair fees later in the year. Check out these tips to prepare your roof for the summer so that you can take care of your roof.

Clean All Gutters

Make sure all gutters and downspouts are clear of any blockages at the start of summer. After the fall and winter, loose leaves or small twigs could be blocking your roof drainage and now allowing rainwater to not flow off the roof properly, leading to big problems. Even if you think the gutters are clear, go and take a check just to make sure – it’s worth it!

Missing Roof ShinglesInspect Your Roof

While you’re checking the gutters, give a good look over your roof and assess its overall condition. Are any shingles missing? Are there any cracked shingles? If so, replace these as fast as possible. It’s a good idea, too, to take a picture of your roof each spring so you can see if there are any major changes by comparing photos from year to year.

Mold

The damage from mold can happen fast, so look for any moldy areas or spots that mold may have already damaged. If you see signs of mold on the surface it could mean that there is an even more substantial growth underneath. Call in a professional immediately to come remove any mold and check for deeper problems before the unwanted mold growth gets worse.

Block Open Spaces

Squirrels, birds and other small animals may want to make their home in your roof. They will find any open space, so make sure all areas are covered. This means looking around any attic accesses or roof vents to make sure they are properly sealed and blocked to prevent any small creatures from getting in.

Check All Sealants

Speaking of seals, while the sun can be rough on your roof, so can water, and improper seals that have been worn away by winter weather or seasons or sun and rain can allow moisture to seep into your home. Check over your roof, around any vents and along the chimney line to make sure there is sealant in good condition. If you see an open spot, fill it immediately as strong summer storms can easy bring a lot of water that can quickly pour in through these caps and lead to damage to your roof’s substructure or even the walls and ceilings inside your home.

The professionals at Roofing by Bruce can help you out, too. As experts in roofing, we can perform a comprehensive roof inspection, looking for signs of problems and offering repair and replacement services to make sure that your roof is ready for the summer ahead. To learn more or to have us come out and check out your home, call us today at 570-424-7250.

What is Gutter Repitching?

Gutter RepitchingIf you’re a homeowner, the gutters of your home undoubtedly clog from time to time. However, if you’re finding that they are starting to clog and back up more often than usual, it might be time to have your gutters re-pitched.

If your gutters continue to clog, it’s most often due to the collection of debris, such as leaves and twigs. These build up which leads to any water the gutter collecting. In turn, the weight of standing water and other material puts more stress on the gutters, which can cause sections to sag or even come apart, pulling portions down in areas where water pools. This unevenness of the gutter only exacerbates problems, trapping even more debris and water and preventing proper drainage to the downspout.

That’s where repitching comes in. With gutter repitching, your gutters are refit and placed with a defined slope that ensures water will run down the gutter into the downspout and away from the foundation of the home. A roofer places small metal bars along the gutter, connecting them to the home and adjusting the gutter angle to help brace the gutter in the proper position for effective draining. By doing this, you will no longer put extra stress on your gutters.

Most gutters today are made of aluminum, a very light material. This means it is not only cheap, but can easily be manipulated as well. If your home is surrounded by trees, a simple windstorm could cause a ton leaves and twigs to enter the gutter and back it up and even deform the gutter’s shape. If the gutter were to be repitched, though, the leaves and twigs wouldn’t be as great of a problem as the improved angling and extra support ensures that rain and debris drains away effectively.

For all of your gutter needs, trust the experts at Roofing by Bruce. We offer gutter installation, repair and repitching services for homes in East Stroudsburg and throughout the Pennsylvania region. For more information on our services or to set up an appointment for your gutters, call us at 570-424-7250 today!

 

Installing a Skylight? Check These 5 Tips First

SkylightsDo you have a dark and dreary room that needs natural light to cheer it up? Are you looking for an energy-efficient way to brighten your home? A skylight is the perfect way to flood a room with sunlight and add value to your house. When deciding to install a skylight, however, it is important to keep these four tips in mind.

Choose Your Placement Carefully

Before spontaneously adding a skylight to your home, it is important to choose the proper placement. Usually placement is determined by your home’s rafters, and a blueprint of your home’s design should be consulted before selecting the location of your skylight.

When making a big change to your home, planning is key. You need to consider what room you are adding the skylight to as well as how the sun will hit it throughout the day. Since the effects of a skylight are very different from a window, rooms can be overheated if the placement isn’t chosen properly. Plus, furniture could be bleached from the increased levels of sunlight. Consider using gray- or bronze-tinted glass in your new sunroof to diminish the sun’s rays or use built in blinds to provide insulation during hot, sunny days.

Homeowners should also consider of how the skylight will look from the outside. If your skylight faces the street, it may look out of place. Instead, try to align the skylight with a door or window so it looks like a purposeful architectural element.

Pick the Right Size and Shape

Too small? Too big? Your skylight should be “just right.”

Don’t fall victim to a common skylight mistake. When choosing the size of your skylight, don’t skimp! Although a smaller skylight may seem less expensive, you do not want to go through the installation process only to have an insignificant amount of natural light come through your skylight. The same goes for choosing an extra-large skylight – too much light can overheat the room, and you want to be happy with the final result.

You should also consider the right shape for the room. A tubular skylight is the top-recommended skylight shape for a small space like a second bath, but a more traditional rectangular-shaped skylight might work best for a larger space like a living room or kitchen. Your best bet is to work with your space to find the right fit for you.

High Quality is Worth the Cost

You don’t want to blindly go with the cheapest option when installing a skylight. High quality products help with energy efficiency, water tightness, sound reduction and wind and weight resistance. You also need to think about shading and ventilation when choosing a skylight. There are many factors involved which can make your skylight installation a good or bad experience. To be sure you are satisfied with your new skylight, consider all the elements and speak with a professional who can help you make the best decisions for your home.

Consider Professional Installation

Although some avid DIYers want to install their own skylight, quite a few things can go wrong if you install it yourself. Improper cuts can damage ducts or wiring, and less-than-perfect seals could leave you leaking water into your home where the skylight is installed.

Hiring a professional is the safest way to add a skylight. Professionals can judge whether the weather is right to start the project, use the right flashing kit for the job and can add additional drywall around the area if necessary. Plus, a professional installer will take proper safety precautions – meaning you don’t have to worry about falling off the roof!

Roofing by Bruce’s professional roofing contractors and specialists are experts at installing a variety of skylights. We take the stress out of home repairs and installations by completing projects in a timely and cost-effective manner for you. To learn more about installing a skylight or to schedule a consultation with one of our experts, give us a call at 570-424-7250 today.

Removing Mold and Moss from Your Roof

No one likes to have a roof covered in mold or moss. Not only is it unsightly and have the potential to drive your property value down, but it can also be seriously damaging to the structure of your home if left untreated for a long time. There are health risks that could affect you and your family, too, if it’s not taken care of quickly.

Roof MossIf you are noticing dark green or black spots on your shingles, it’s likely caused by algae growth. Algae spores like to grow on wood and asphalt shingles in places that don’t get a lot of sunlight. If left untreated, the algae growth can eventually lead to completely rotted shingles – an expensive repair, especially if these rotted sections allow water to get inside your home.

If there are fuzzy or filmy black, brown or green spots on your roof, you could have mold growth. Mold likes to live in humid environments. Since it thrives on wood and drywall, if your roof has mold growth, it could quickly move into your home and become a greater problem inside.

Moss is recognizable by its green coloring and unique plant structure. Moss is attracted to moisture, like mold and algae, but moss can actually start to retain more and more moisture as it grows, which will quickly lead to compromised areas on your roof and further water damage.

Mold infestations on your roof or inside your home can also cause serious health problems, notes Angie’s List. People who are prone to respiratory issues, like someone who has asthma, will at increased risk of complications such as congestion and inflammation, symptoms that mimic the feeling of a common cold. The only way to improve someone’s health is to remove the mold.

There are some steps you can take to prevent algae, mold or moss from damaging your roof. First, keep your gutters clean so that after it rains, all moisture can be properly drained from your roof. You should also make sure your roof is properly ventilated, says This Old House, and trim back any trees or plants that are touching your roof.

If you are already dealing with growth on your roof, there are a few steps you can take to clean up the mess. Try washing your roof with a bleach and water mixture (one part bleach to one part water). Make sure to pre-rinse any plants that are in the splash zone with water, and then rinse them clean afterwards with water. Bleach will get rid of algae and mold, but may not prevent it from growing back.

Use copper flashing underneath the shingles closest to your roof’s peak can help stave off mold, moss and algae build up, and replacing any damaged shingles immediately will help remove any spores that may be embedded in the roof.

For serious infestations, you might need to get in touch with the experts at Roofing by Bruce. We’ll be able to replace any damaged areas, and treat your roof to prevent future growth. To learn more, give us a call today at 570-424-7250.

Repair or Replace? What to Do with Your Windows

To repair or replace your home’s windows – that is the question.
 
If you’re having a hard time deciding whether to repair or replace your windows, remember this saying: “out with the old, in with the new.” Now, getting rid of everything that’s old in your home isn’t always the best choice, however, when it comes to windows and how much time and money you spend on maintaining them, it’s very fitting.
 
To help make your decision easier, ask yourself the following questions:
 
• Are your home’s windows drafty?
• Is condensation constantly blocking your view outside?
• Are your energy bills higher than they should be?
• Do you need help cutting down on your energy bills?
• Are you constantly fixing windows that don’t open and close properly?
 
Window ReplacementIf you answered, “yes” to any of these questions – or all of them – we have a solution for you: window replacement. By replacing your home’s windows, you won’t have to worry about answering “yes” to these questions for a very long time. Older windows are bound to cause you problems at some point or another. Whether they don’t open as easily as they should or your windows are single-pane or poorly sealed, these types of problems are inevitable. By replacing your windows, however, you have free reign to choose the type of windows you want, including sliding, double-hung, bay or bow, awning, casement or any other style. There are so many different styles to choose from; the sky’s the limit!
 
Replacing the windows in your home can also help save on your energy bill expenses, increase the value of your home, and enhance your family’s comfort indoors. It’s a win for everyone!
 
Now is the time to consider making window replacement decisions, as well. Spring and summer are the best times of the year to replace your home’s windows while the temperatures are more mild, meaning that removing and replacing windows is a simpler prospect. Plus, adding new windows at this time of year can help you save on your cooling costs this summer, not to mention heating expenses in the future.
 
On the other hand, if your home’s windows are brand new or a few years old and cause you very little trouble, repairing is the route to go. Making minor repairs here and there can either be done on your own or by a professional for a very low cost. Whether you’re repairing or removing broken glass, fixing windows that get stuck during the warmer months, or sealing space around a loose or drafty window that may have settled since installation, you can save yourself a considerable amount of money by making repairs to otherwise perfectly sound windows.
 
So what will you choose to do with your home’s windows? If you need a little extra help with the decision-making process, it doesn’t hurt to get an extra opinion. A specialist from Weather Tite Windows & Siding can come to your home and meet with you to review your existing windows and help you compare different options and the various windows styles available for your unique situation. To learn more or to request an on-site consultation, call us today at 570-424-8891.