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.

Six Most Common Roofing Problems

Roof Leaks

Most homeowners’ worst nightmare involves something with the roof of their house. At the end of the day, your home shields you from the elements, and the roof is the most vital part of that protection. If there is an issue with the roof, your home is not doing its job. That is where we at Roofing by Bruce come in. With our years of experience, we can identify any issues that you may have with your roof. With that in mind, let’s take a look at some of the most common roofing problems.

Roof LeaksLeaks

A common roofing issue is a leak or any type of moisture. That makes sense – after all, your home is designed to protect you from rain and wind. Most problems with leaks occur in the areas around your vents and pipes. Water in these areas can seep in through small gaps, eventually leading to mold or rot inside your home. Make sure that your roof is properly sealed around edges, ventilation or chimneys and there should be no issues.


Flashing that is not installed correctly can cause other issues. For example, improperly installed flashing can also have issues with wind resistance. Ultimately, this can also result in a blow-off if heavy winds can get beneath flashing where roof sections meet – and having your roof fly away isn’t something most homeowners want. If the seams are not sealed correctly, this can also lead to moisture issues.

Shrinking or Blistering

Shrinkage is also an issue. If your roof is not properly sealed, parts of your roof could actually decrease in size in area. In turn, this could lead to deterioration of your roof, notes On the other hand, blistering is another common issue. If the asphalt used for your roof was brought to an improper temperature, it will cause blistering. This can mean that your roof will age prematurely, leading to an expensive roofing project much sooner than you would like.


Obviously, no one wants critters getting into their home. Small animals and insects love wood and will often to get into the wood beneath a roof overhanging – the soffit. For birds, this can become a protected nesting space, while many bug species can make it into a meal. Make sure to look for any cracks, holes or potential rot around your roof edges.


Gutters are also prone to water and debris buildup, especially during the fall season. It’s vital to keep gutters cleaned out to ensure proper water flow. If this is not addressed, this could lead to mold and mildew growth, ice dams, excessive weight on your roof and many other problems.

If you think your roof may have one of the aforementioned issues, call Roofing by Bruce today. We will work with you to identify your problem and make recommendations on the best options to resolve your roof’s issue. Learn more or request an estimate today by calling 570-424-7250.

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.