Soffits: What Are They and Why Do They Matter?

Today we’re going to look at the reasons soffits are so important. Before we get into that, though, let’s back up and clear up something more important: What really are soffits?

Soffits A soffit is the area between the outer wall of a house and the overhang of the roof. It is usually made of aluminum and vinyl. Most of us see and benefit from the presence soffits on a daily basis, but not many of us know their name or why they are important.

While it may seem that soffits exist to help make a roof edge look more complete, their purpose is actually more than simply aesthetics. While they can be decorated and painted to enhance a home’s look, they also provide an important finishing touch to a building. Without soffits, rafters and structural beams would be visible and exposed from below. This could allow these foundational innards of the roof to be exposed to the elements. An open rafter is much more likely to become rotten, mold ridden, water damaged or simply worn down.

Soffits also protect you and your family from unwanted wild animals that might otherwise decide that your roof and attic area might be a nice place to live. Soffits prevent raccoons, squirrels, bats and birds from entering your attic and setting up a home. A well-constructed and closed soffit can save you the money you would have otherwise spent on animal control. In addition to keeping pests out of your attic, soffits also facilitate efficient attic ventilation, too. These simple overhang areas do so much more than provide a finishing look, providing a combination of important function and home design.

Soffit installation and repair is one of the many services offered through Roofing by Bruce. By keeping an open line of communication with our manufacturers, our workflow is fast and reliable. We cover soffits, fascia, flashing, ridge vents and flat and low sloped roofs and can handle anything from minor repairs to major replacements. To find out more, give us a call today at 570-424-7250.


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Why Does Gutter Pitch Matter?

Are the gutters on your home pitched properly? No, we’re not asking how well they sing, but instead if they’re angled at the correct pitch to ensure proper drainage.

Gutter Pitch As long as the gutters are still hanging on your home and collecting water when it rains, you probably think that they are doing their job. But the truth is that the pitch or slope of your gutters might be off ever so slightly, and as a result, you could be at an increased risk for strained gutter connections, standing water problems or other concerns – and you might not even realize it! It’s why having your gutter pitch checked every so often is a good idea.

The pitch of your gutters refers to the downward slant that they take in the direction of the downspout that dictates how quickly water flows through them. If they aren’t sloped enough in a downward direction, rainwater will often pool inside of your gutters and stay there until there’s enough water in them to allow it to start spilling over the sides. But if they’re sloped too much, it will cause rainwater to rush through your gutter system too quickly. Since the rainwater can’t accumulate properly if the slope is too steep, water can splash over the edge and lead to water spilling along your home’s exterior or down the foundation.

In both of these situations, the water running off the sides of the gutters instead of down through your downspouts means that you will often find water pooling near your home. This water can eventually cause damage to your foundation or work down into your basement, causing flooding and water damage. Even in a best-case scenario, you’re likely to have stagnant water sitting in your yard that could be a breeding ground for insects or damage your landscaping.

The good news is that you can prevent all of these problems simply by having your gutter pitch inspected. Roofing by Bruce can take a look at your gutters, check the pitch, and tell you whether or not you could benefit from having your gutters repaired, replaced or simply repitched. You might not be thrilled by the idea of spending money on your gutters when they look fine to the naked eye, but you could end up saving yourself quite a bit of money by checking your gutter system and making sure that everything is working as it should. Contact Roofing by Bruce at 570-424-8891 today to schedule an inspection of your gutters.

Freeze Frame: Window Frame Materials Could Be Zapping Your Heat

Window Frame MaterialsHeating your home in the winter can be a real challenge when the temperature drops down below freezing. And it can be especially challenging when you have windows with frames that don’t hold heat in and insulate your home as well as they should. In fact, you could be losing a significant amount of heat and driving your heating costs up in the wintertime if you have certain types of window frames in your home.

Many people have window frames that are made of aluminum or metal and they are, by far, the worst kinds of window frames to have in the winter. These types of frames conduct heat very quickly and do not insulate your home very well. Metal window frames can be sapping warmth from your home, making your heating system have to work harder – and burn more fuel – to keep your home warm.

Composite frames, which are made out of composite wood products, and wood frames are both better options than metal frames when it comes to holding heat in. These window frames also offer a nicer aesthetic look much of the time, but come with the drawback of expanding and contracting depending on what the weather is like outside, which can cause heat loss throughout the day and night.

The U.S. Department of Energy recommends that the best option for homes in cold-weather climates is fiberglass or vinyl. These styles of window frames create a complete seal and can be filled with insulation to offer greater resilience from the conditions outside. They are thermally superior to other options and will offer the greatest performance in even the toughest winter conditions.

If you are thinking about replacing the window frames in your home to combat the cold this winter, Weather Tite Windows & Siding can help you do it. We specialize in window and siding repair and would be more than happy to check out your current window frames to see how you can preserve more of your heat in the future. You could start saving money immediately with window frame repair or replacement and drastically improve the comfort level in your home in all seasons. Call us at 570-424-8891 today to schedule a consultation.

Best Roofing Materials for Snowy Climates

Metal RoofWinter has officially reared its ugly head, and we know what comes next – more freezing temperatures, heavier falling snow and gustier winds. When these elements make an appearance, you want to be sure that your home is protected with a stable and reliable roof. So what type of roofing materials are the best choice for winter climate? Let’s look at three of the leading options to consider for your roof to stay safe and warm during the winter season and all year long.

Metal Roofs

If you want a roof that will stand the test of time and be able to hold off even the toughest winter weather, then metal roofs are a sure thing. These roofs can withstand the weight of heavy snowfall and stand up to high winds. Many metal roofs also include snow guards and some modern options can be fitted with heating cables for extra protection against snow.

Metal roofs are also known to last years longer than traditional shingle roofs. The only downside is that not all homes can accommodate a metal roof into their aesthetic looks, but if you can make it work then they can be incredibly beneficial.

Asphalt Shingles

A vast majority of homes are covered with asphalt shingles and for a good reason. These shingles are incredibly affordable which makes them the go-to choice for many homeowners. They are also durable and versatile, and they hold up to just about every type of weather, including snow, wind and even small hail. Best of all, they actually cost the least to repair and maintain. However, the lifespan for shingles is much shorter than some other roofing options – 20 to 30 years, typically – which can mean needing to replace the roof more frequently than when using other roofing materials.

Slate Roofs

Although you may not see them all too often, slate roofs have been historically proven to withstand harsh winter conditions. The first slate roofs were used in born in Colonial New England, and some are even still in use today, notes Roofing Tutor. They have remained a favorite option for homeowners looking for different roofing options that are durable and capable of withstanding years of use. Slate roofs are also a more attractive option, especially for larger or older homes, so you can create a great look while adding excellent protection.

Get Your Sturdy Roof With Roofing by Bruce

A roof is only as tough and sturdy as the team that installs it, and with Roofing by Bruce, you are hiring the best. We can do it all. We install new roofs, make repairs on existing roofs, and even do inspections to ensure that your roof is in good condition. If you know a new roof is in your future or you have an issue with your roof this winter, let our experts help. Call us today at 570-424-7250.

Add Heating and an Attractive Look With a Gas Fireplace

Gas FireplacesWinter is coming, and with it come shorter days, longer nights, overall much colder temperatures. If you find yourself feeling chilly during the winter, one way to keep yourself warm – and add a little aesthetic value to your home – is with a brand new gas fireplace! There are a lot of reasons why you should consider adding a gas fireplace to your home this winter. Take a look at a few of our top reasons why gas fireplaces are a great addition!

Easy to Vent

Gas pipes are easy to install to vent your gas-burning fireplace. Unlike installing a new wood-burning stove or traditional fireplace, you don’t have to install a whole new chimney for a gas fireplace as they don’t require a standard chimney to vent. The only thing you might need to install is a small vent pipe, which is a fraction of the cost and installation of adding a whole new chimney.

Great for Spot Heating

If you have a family with small kids or you’re entertaining guests, a great benefit to a gas fireplace is spot heating. If the kids are cold after coming in from sledding, they can come in and quickly stand in front of the hot fireplace to regain a little feeling. Or if you’re chilly while entertaining company, you can fire up your fireplace! Add a little extra heat to any room of your home with a new gas fireplace.

No Electricity Required

Even if the power is out, your gas fireplace will still work. That means that even if a serious snow or ice storm causes a blackout, you’ll still be able to light up the fire and keep the family comfortable until the power returns.

It Looks Attractive

Most fireplaces add a certain quality to a living room. They usually open up a room and make it feel a little bit bigger than it really is. Adding a fireplace can add a little something to the overall design and feel of a room. Plus, by adding a new fireplace, you can add appeal to your home and even increase the resale value – a double benefit if you’re looking to list your home!

Learn more about the benefits of a gas fireplace or discuss having one installed with the experts at Brookside Hearth & Patio today. Give us a call at 570-424-7250 to schedule an appointment to learn more today.

‘Snow’ Big Deal: Understanding the Actual Weight of Snow on Your Roof

Snow on Roof Winter means snow, and here in Pennsylvania it can mean a lot of snow. This snow, particularly if it is wet and heavy, can mean problems for the roofs on buildings and homes. Fortunately, there’s a calculation that’s done when building roofs that takes snow into account.

The East Stroudsburg area receives nearly 40 inches of snow each year, according to Sperling’s Best Places. As this snow piles up on roofs, it can become very heavy. In some cases, the snow load may exceed what the roof can safely support, which can result in costly structural damage to the building.

Roof snow load is calculated using a formula to determine how much the snow weighs per square foot. This formula is used when designing roofs to ensure that the materials used and construction methods can support the additional seasonal weights, but this same formula can give you an idea of how much the snow on your roof actually weighs.

The formula starts with the ground snow load, which can be determined by carefully collecting snow from the ground to be weighed. Snow in the Pennsylvania area can weigh 30 pounds per square foot or more. Wet snow, or repeated melting and freezing cycles, can increase the weight per square foot, although typically more snow blows off on a roof.

The second step in the formula is to consider the exposure of the roof. Values are assigned based on whether the roof is completely exposed or is sheltered by trees or other structures. The more exposed your roof is, the more snow will be carried away by wind and the more sun will strike your roof after the storm clears, improving the speed of melting.

The third step involves calculating the thermal factor for the roof. The thermal factor will vary depending on whether the building is heated or unheated. Last, you must calculate the roof slope factor. Roofs with a steeper pitch are able to withstand more snow because the snow tends to slide off the roof quickly.

The roof snow load can be calculated by multiplying 0.7 x Ground Snow Load x Exposure Factor x Thermal Factor x Roof Slope Factor.

The easiest and safest way to make sure your roof will be safe this winter is to contact a roofing professional. Having your roof inspected periodically is the only way to be sure it is in good condition and ready for winter weather and is the best way to identify early signs of structural issues or leaks that could allow moisture to get inside and damage your structure.

At Roofing by Bruce, we know what winter is like in Pennsylvania. We can perform an inspection on your roof and alert you to any potential issues before they become a larger problem. Contact us today by calling 570-424-7250 to learn more about our services or to schedule a roof inspection for your home or business.

Ice, Snow, Cold and Your Chimney

Chimney Inspections Now that fall has arrived, winter isn’t too far away and with it will come colder temperatures, ice and snow. Not only will these elements become problematic for the roads we travel and our driveways, but they could wreak havoc on our homes as well, particularly our roofs and chimneys.

What causes the damage to on top of our homes is the water that makes up the ice and snow. You might think with that in mind that water is the biggest threat to chimneys all throughout the year – which is in many ways true. However, winter brings the freeze and thaw cycle for moisture, which makes water most threatening during the winter season.

Bricks are naturally porous, meaning water can infiltrate them easily. These holes in the bricks are all over, including the sides that are held together with cement. When water gets inside bricks from snow and then freezes in the low temperatures, it expands, which leads to cracks which become larger and larger as more water gets in and freezes.

All of this water getting in can cause not only the chimney to fall apart or cause damage to your roof, but can lead to water getting inside of your home. This can damage or destroy attic insulation, lead to ruined wall coverings in your home, cause water stains to ceilings, or allow mold to form and grow.

Fortunately, this damage is preventable through preventative maintenance. Waterproofing the chimney can go a long way in keeping it from falling apart. Another great way to prevent water damage is to get your chimney regularly inspected once a year to assess any signs of damage and have them repaired when necessary. Getting an inspection performed in the fall or spring annually can help you stay ahead of any damage and make sure that your chimney and roof are in good condition, protected from the elements and ready for the seasons ahead.

If your chimney or roof has taken a beating and you are in need of a new installation or repairs, we can help. Roofing by Bruce can help inspect and repair issues with your roof, while Bruce’s Chimney Service has got all of your chimney and masonry repair needs covered. For more information, call our team today at 570-424-7250!

Ridge Vents: What Are They and Do You Need Them?

Ridge Vent

Attic venting is an important part of the design of a home. During cold weather, attic ventilation can help to remove moisture from the attic space and to prevent ice dams from forming on the roof. During hot weather, attic ventilation serves to cool the attic, limit the buildup of moist air, and reduce the work that the air conditioning system must perform. Adequate ventilation in the attic can reduce energy costs while extending the life of the roof.

Ridge VentThere are several approaches to venting an attic, but one popular option is to use a ridge vent. What is a ridge vent? Do you need a ridge vent on your home? Here is what you need to know about ridge vents and attic ventilation.

Ridge vents are a ventilation system that is installed along the peak of the roof. These low-profile vents allow air to be drawn from the attic space and vented to the outside. Ridge vents work best when used in conjunction with soffit vents that are installed underneath the roof, near where it meets the walls. Fresh air is drawn into the attic through the soffit vents, and passes along the roof sheathing on its way out through the ridge vents.

Properly installed ridge vent systems provide a steady, consistent exchange of air throughout the attic space. This works to prevent moisture buildup in the attic, and thus extends the life of the roof while also helping to prevent the growth of mold. Ridge vents are a newer alternative compared to other options like gable vents and turbine vents, but they are growing in popularity because they work well.

Roofing by Bruce makes it a point to stay current on the latest roofing news and information, including advancements in materials and installation techniques. Our services include new installations, inspections and repairs. Contact us today by calling 570-424-7250 to learn more or to request a quote.

Choosing a Roofing Contractor

Roofing Contractor

Your roof is obviously one of the most important parts of your home, so you shouldn’t trust just anyone to work on it. Before you hire a roofing contractor to repair or replace your roof, there are a number of factors that you should consider when making your selection. Keep the following factors in mind when shopping for a roofing contractor.

Roofing ContractorInsurance

Unfortunately, there are many homeowners who don’t take the time to check to see what kind of insurance a roofing contractor has before hiring them. A roofing professional should have liability insurance, as well as worker’s compensation insurance. If something happens to your home or to one of the people working with your roofing contractor on your property, you could end up with a big bill on your hands if your contractor doesn’t have the proper insurance to protect you and his or her business. Always ask a roofing contractor for proof of insurance before allowing them to proceed with a job.


The roofing contractor that you hire to repair or replace the roof on your home should know exactly how to get the job done without running into any major problems. To ensure that you are working with a reliable contractor, you should ask them for references and check up on their past work. It will give you a better idea of what you can expect from them when it comes to your roof.


You are probably going to have quite a few questions about your roof when you work with a contractor. Your contractor should be able to answer these questions every step of the way and should be prepared to communicate with you on a regular basis about the job you need done. Make sure to get an estimate and a detailed scope of the work you need done in writing so that you can refer back to it as you work with your contractor throughout the process.


Price is not the only thing that you should consider when hiring a contractor. Like with most other things in life, you often get what you pay for when it comes to roofs, and the last thing you want is to cut corners for the sake of cost when it comes to protecting your family and one of your largest investments from the elements. That said, cost is still an important aspect of comparing contractors. Look for a company that offers you a fair price for your roofing needs and supports their workmanship with a guarantee.

Roofing by Bruce specializes in new roof installations, inspections, repairs, and more. We provide free estimates, and have proudly served customers throughout the Poconos. Learn more about us, our experience and our full range of roofing installation and repair services today by giving us a call at 570-424-7250.

What Is Roof Flashing?

Dormer Window Flashing

Everyone has a roof on their home, and it’s essential that your roof keeps you protected from the elements of the weather. One major component that helps your roof to do its job is flashing.

What Is Flashing?

Roof flashing helps prevent water from getting beneath a roof around openings. Flashing is usually used where two sections of roof meet, such as at a corner, or where deck roofs attach to the house or around any feature in the roof structure, such as along chimneys or skylights.

You might be thinking to yourself that all of this sounds good, or you might be asking what’s the point? Well, if you don’t have flashing, water can seep in around these areas, eventually leading to moisture damage, insulation degradation, and even mold or mildew issues. Properly installed roof flashing keeps these problems at bay, directing water away from the home.

Where Should Roofing Be Installed?

So now that you know about the potential problems, let’s discuss where and what you can use to install flashing. Here are four common areas where roof flashing should be installed:

Dormer Window FlashingAround Dormer Windows

Around dormer windows, metal flashing is often most common material for dormer windows is metal flashing. Metal flashing is generally installed where the roof of the dormer meets the rest of the roof, as well as along the edges that run around the dormer.

Around Skylights

Flashing around skylights is typically one big continuous piece. Skylights are usually raised up using a large wooden curb which allows you the room you need to install flashing. Some skylights are manufactured with flashing, but often it’s best to install additional flashing to provide extra moisture protection.

Around Roof Vents

Most of the time when you install a hood or pipe vent, you are carving a hole in the structure, which also means that flashing needs to be installed around this new fixture. Whether a roof vent, pipe vent or hood exhaust, adding flashing around the pipe allows the vent to send air up while keeping moisture out.

Around the Chimney

Similar to roof vents, chimneys also leave a gap around a roof edge. Installing metal or PVC-based strips of flashing can cover the area between the roof and the chimney, keeping the rainwater or snow melt where it belongs – outside.

If you have problems with leaks, a flashing issue could be to blame. To learn more or to request an estimate for repairs or reinstallation of flashing at your home, call Roofing by Bruce today at 570-424-7250.