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Roof maintenance tips for winter

by: Kirsten Land on January 22nd, 2019 about Roofing Advice

Winter weather is tough on any roofing system and can result in leaks, water damage, missing and broken shingles, or damage to flashing and underlayment. Here are a four ways you can protect your roof from harsh winter weather.

Clean your gutters

Clean your gutters to remove any leaves, twigs, and other debris. Your gutters are an important part of protecting your roof because they allow water and melting snow to drain properly. If they’re clogged and water can’t drain, you could end up with leaks, water damage, and even mold or mildew.

Trim nearby trees

Most Oklahomans are pretty familiar with ice storms, and you’ve probably seen what happens when trees are coated in half an inch of ice. If those tree limbs snap under the weight of ice or snow, it can cause serious damage to your roof.

It’s a good idea to trim back any branches that are hanging over your home. It reduces the chance of broken limbs falling on your roof during winter weather, and it also reduces the amount of leaves that can collect on your roof and in your gutters. Normally, you would want to do this in the fall. However, you can still trim low-hanging tree limbs in the winter.

Insulate and ventilate your attic

While your attic may seem like an empty area or perhaps extra storage space, it also serves an important role in allowing heat to escape from your home. But that only happens if the attic is properly insulated and ventilated. In the absence of proper insulation and ventilation, hot air rises and creates condensation, which can lead to further problems. The excess heat in the attic can also cause snow on the roof to melt. If it’s cold enough for that melting snow to refreeze, it can create ice dams and cause serious leaks.

Schedule an inspection

A roof inspection helps prepare your roof for winter and can identify small issues to be fixed before snow and ice arrives. It could mean the difference between a quick fix and pricier repairs in the future.

Call us to schedule your first roof maintenance plan visit and start protecting your home today.

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How to prevent algae on your roof

by: Kirsten Land on January 8th, 2019 about Roofing Advice

Many homeowners are unaware algae can grow on your roof, but it’s becoming more of an issue. You can see it driving down almost any street, no matter how nice or how new the homes are. Algae isn’t mold, mildew, moss, or tree sap. It’s actually tiny bacteria that produces a dark material to protect itself from the sun.

What makes algae hard to stop is that the bacteria travels on the wind. The more humid the area, the more you can have algae growing on your roof. While algae does very little damage to your roof, it can leave unsightly stains and discoloration. Not to mention it can really hurt the value of your home.

Here are a few ways to help prevent algae from growing on your roof. Before you attempt to clear the algae, it is a good idea to consult with a roofing professional to have your roof inspected and treated properly.

Buy algae-resistant shingles

Recently, many roofing manufacturers have noticed algae growing on roofs, especially in more humid areas. To combat this issue, manufacturers began mixing copper granules into roofing products to produce algae-resistant shingles. While these shingles aren’t always used, they are available and can be a good choice for roofs in areas with high humidity.

Clean with chemicals

While algae stains aren’t pretty, they can be removed using a variety of cleaning products that also help keep the algae from growing back for a while. However, it’s important to use caution when using chemicals on your roof, as you don’t want to void the manufacturer’s warranty on your shingles by using the wrong product.

If cleaning your roof with chemicals, be sure to use proper safety equipment, including safety goggles, rubber gloves, safety rope, slip-resistant shoes, and the right ladder.

Algae prevention

In order to keep algae from returning once your roof is clean, you can install a strip of copper or zinc coated sheet metal along each side of the roof just below the ridge. Copper and galvanized sheet metal are available in rolls of various widths and thickness and can be found at your local metal or hardware store or purchased online.

When it comes to algae or other stains on your roof, there are some do-it-yourself options, but we always recommend having a professional come out to inspect your roof to ensure you don’t cause unwanted damage in your attempts to clean it yourself. Contact us today to schedule a free roof inspection.

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A guide to roof insulation

by: Kirsten Land on December 18th, 2018 about Roofing Advice

With winter bearing down on us all, now may be a fine time to peek into the attic to check on your insulation.

A well-insulated roof evenly distributes warmth throughout a home, cuts down on heating costs, and prevents ice dams. Some experts have estimated that new insulation saves anywhere from 10% to 50% on heating bills. Plus, good insulation means cool air stays inside during the hot summer months.

Types of insulation

If you are not sure what you have, you can always talk to a professional, but here are some ways to identify your current insulation type.

1. Loose fill

Loose fill insulation is either spread out or blown into place. It is usually used for attics with irregular joist spacing (not 16 or 24 inches), obstructions, or to fill gaps and cover existing material. Common materials include fiberglass, cellulose, and mineral wool.

  • Fiberglass is the lightest material, but it requires a thicker layer to work properly. It’s typically yellow, white, or brown.
  • Cellulose is the most common, but it should not be allowed to absorb any moisture due to the risk of mold and mildew. Cellulose insulation tends to look gray or brown.
  • Mineral wool is naturally fire resistant, but it is more expensive. It looks gray or white and can mimic long, stringy wool.

2. Rolls

These are the thick, flexible strips of material referred to as “batts.” They work best when joist spacing is a standard width and there is plenty of headroom for the installation process. Common materials include fiberglass, cellulose, mineral wool, and cotton.

  • Fiberglass is very commonly used. It may be a mild skin and lung irritant if touched, and it does not hamper airflow as well as other materials.
  • Cellulose is treated for insect and fire resistance. However, it is not produced by all manufacturers.
  • Mineral wool is naturally fire resistant, but it is more expensive.
  • Cotton blocks airflow and sound, but it is more expensive than other options.

R-Values

R-value refers to how much is required to meet a standard level of insulation. The recommended R-value target for Oklahoma ranges from R30 to R49. This means that if a material’s R-value is three, then ten inches of insulation would be required to meet the minimum value of R30.

The manufacturer should be able to give you more information about the R-value, and so can the professional you hire to install your new insulation. If you should decide to do the installation yourself, there is much more to consider. This Old House has a helpful guide if that is the case.

If you notice any potential roofing issues, give us a call at 405-359-3951 or send an email to info@landroofingokc.com for a free inspection or estimate.

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Lights! Christmas! Action!

by: Kirsten Land on December 4th, 2018 about General

It’s that time of year, and the holiday season is upon us. If you haven’t already, now is the time to hang the lights, blow up the snowmen, and really show your neighbors who has the most holiday spirit! But before you get started, here are a few things to remember.

1. Measure what you need

If you are in a new home or are planning different decorations than previous years, you will want to get out a tape measure and make sure you have what is necessary to fill the space. Look at where the lights will be hung and ask yourself what kind of clips would be best.

Maybe you want to wrap a tree or bush in lights this year. A rule of thumb is 100 lights for every foot and a half of tree. So a six-foot-tall tree would need 400 lights on the strand. You could also invest in net lights for the bushes and shrubs and just drape the lights over the top.

2. Get the right color

Not all lights look the same. White LED bulbs tend to shine blue while white incandescent bulbs look more yellow. Match what you already have if you need to buy more. You can also mix the color of lights you’re hanging. For example, all the gutter lights on your home could be white icicle lights while all the trees or bushes are multicolored.

3. Safety

This is probably the most important tip. Stay safe!

  • Follow proper safety precautions when using a ladder.
  • When using lights outdoors, only use lights rated for outdoor use. It should be clearly marked on the packaging.
  • Aways use UL-approved extension cords for outdoor use. Never use any lights or cordage with fraying or exposed wires.
  • Turn off your lights during the day and when you’re out of town.

When putting your design together, go into it with a plan. Start at a focal point, like the front door or the walkway leading to it, and spread out evenly from there. Don’t forget to have fun with it!

If you notice any potential issues on your roof while you are decorating, give us a call at 405-359-3951 or send an email to info@landroofingokc.com for a free inspection or estimate.

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Roofing in a winter wonderland

by: Kirsten Land on November 20th, 2018 about Land Enterprises Roofing

With snow, ice, wind, and rain all stacking up against your roof in the winter months, you may need some repairs or even a full roof replacement. Weather extremes can lead to cracking, peeling, and leaks, and minor issues can become bigger issues quickly when it’s cold.

The good news is that it’s entirely possible to fix roof issues during the upcoming cold weather with these considerations in mind.

Temperature

The ideal setting for replacing shingles is above 50 degrees Fahrenheit. Shingles stick together by way of a thermal activated strip of adhesive. If the weather is not warm enough, each shingle may need adhesive to be manually applied to ensure a proper seal.

Thankfully, Oklahoma winters allow for some warmer days. A sunny winter day with a high in the 40s or 50s can allow shingles to heat up to 70 degrees or so from direct sunlight and rising heat from within the home.

Cold weather is not an ideal working condition, but it can happen when needed. Working on a roof already requires working with uneven footing and bulky equipment. Adding extra layers of clothing to stay warm lowers mobility even further. Thankfully, roofers have a little less work during winter which allows for more control of scheduling jobs on warmer days.

Expectations

Since roofing in the winter does require specific circumstances, there are defined guidelines for finishing a cold-weather project. Part of the Land Roofing process includes removing only the number of old shingles than can be replaced in a single day of work. That means your roof will never be unprotected during the installation process. Your roofing team would remove shingles in the morning, attach the underlayment, and set the shingles out on the roof to warm up for installation in the afternoon.

Sometimes the condition of a roof requires maintenance or replacement in the winter. The good news is you don’t have to wait three or four months for that to happen. If the weather’s too cold to start a full replacement job, we can help with a short-term repair to prevent further damage while we wait for temperatures to warm up.

If your roof needs attention, give us a call at 405-359-3951 or send an email to info@landroofingokc.com to set up a free roof inspection or estimate-even in the winter!

Posted in Land Enterprises Roofing       Comments: None

Choosing the right ladder for the job

by: Kirsten Land on November 6th, 2018 about General

Do you have a tall job ahead of you? Make sure you have the right equipment to get up to the task. The good news is there are plenty of styles and sizes of ladders to choose from.

Using the right tool for the job makes everything easier and safer. Be sure to keep these things in mind when choosing a ladder.

Style

Single-section ladders are the traditional, two-legged ladders that are placed on flat ground and leaned against a structure. They tend to be the lightest and longest ladders for any given size. Both legs should be placed on flat, solid ground, and the top of the ladder should lean forward one foot for every four feet of height. That means a twelve-foot ladder should be placed three feet away from the surface it’s leaned against.

The stepladder is basically a single-section ladder that has two extra legs built in to allow the ladder to stand on its own. Self-supporting ladders are great for changing lightbulbs or other jobs in open areas where there’s not a flat surface to lean the ladder against.

An extension ladder is basically a single-section ladder stacked on top of another single-section ladder. One ladder acts as the base while the other slides up and hooks into place to add extra height to the ladder.

Telescopic ladders are a convenient way to reduce storage space. It works, as it sounds, like the mechanism in a telescope or spyglass. Sections between each rung lock into place as they are pulled out of the larger section below it.

Articulated or multi-function ladders do it all. Multi-function ladders have locking joints that allow it to be used as a single-section ladder, a stepladder of varied angles, or a sawhorse that can be used as a support for scaffolding.

Size

Your ladder should be taller than where your feet need to be. In other words, you should be able to reach what you’re doing without being on the top step of your ladder. As soon as you are unable to grab the ladder or lean against it, you lose most of your stability and balance.

Extension ladders have a recommended stopping point of four rungs from the top. The top of the ladder should also extend at least three feet above the support holding the ladder up. Remember that the ladder is also being leaned forward which will reduce the total height.

Never stand on the top rung of a ladder! Always follow the instructions included with/on the ladder, such as the required overlap for extension ladders.

Strength

Ladders are rated for load capacity of bodyweight and any materials carried up the ladder. If a person weighs 200 pounds and carries 50 pounds of clothing, safety equipment, tools, and construction materials up the ladder with them, they will need a ladder that can support at least 250 pounds.

The strength scale is as follows, and every ladder should be clearly labeled with the type and weight limit:

  • Type III – 200 pounds
  • Type II – 225 pounds
  • Type I – 250 pounds
  • Type IA – 300 pounds
  • Tye IAA – 375 pounds

Material

Ladders are made of aluminum, steel, wood, or fiberglass, with varying strength and durability for each material. Wood and fiberglass do not conduct electricity and may be used around electrical cabling and equipment.

Ladders can bring you much closer to hard-to-reach places and help you accomplish necessary tasks, but they can also pose a significant risk of injury if used incorrectly. Be sure to follow all safety precautions when using a ladder and contact a professional when necessary.

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The basics of roof safety

by: Kirsten Land on October 16th, 2018 about Roofing Advice

The roof of your home or business wasn’t really designed with foot traffic in mind, which means climbing on it can be dangerous. If you do need to venture up on your roof for cleaning or maintenance, here are some basic safety tips to keep in mind.

Choose the right ladder

If you are going to use a ladder, use a sturdy ladder. Aluminum and fiberglass are popular options, but check the weight rating for any ladder you use. When the ladder is set up against the side of a house, it should extend at least three feet above the edge of the roof.

Do not climb on any rung above the edge of the roof, and keep both hands on the ladder as you make the transition onto the roof. Raise and lower tools after establishing yourself on the roof, not while climbing. These same actions in reverse will also help with making a safe descent.

Secure the ladder properly

A ladder is your link from roof to ground. It should be stable, which means all legs should be sitting flat on the ground to avoid rocking or slipping. A partner on the ground can help with stabilizing the ladder, as can tying off the ladder.

The angle of the ladder is an important part of set up and use. The general recommendation is that the bottom of the ladder should be one foot away from the roof for every four feet of ladder height. For example, a sixteen foot tall ladder should sit four feet away from the edge of a roof.

Avoid steep roofs

Steep roofs should be left to the professionals or those who know how to safely set up a roof harness system. If you are uncomfortable with a more shallow roof, harnesses and roof brackets are available for your use. Always follow instructions on installation and be sure the brackets are nailed into an actual truss or rafter.

Watch for other areas of risk

There are lots of areas of risk on a roof, so be sure to keep an eye out for these dangers anytime you are on a roof. Avoid stepping on any debris or impediments like leaves, branches, or tools. Be aware of any skylights and avoid stepping on them. Also watch out for edges and level splits that can be a tripping hazard. It’s also important to check the weather before getting on the roof to avoid high winds, rain, or lightning. Finally, keep in mind that lifting and working on a roof can lead to strains or other injuries.

For most people, getting on the roof is a rare occurrence, and those who are not properly trained or prepared should avoid it. It is better to seek the help of a qualified and experienced roofer rather than putting oneself at risk.

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The winter-ready roof checklist

by: Kirsten Land on October 2nd, 2018 about General

Is your home ready for winter? Before the weather starts to get cold, it’s a good idea to take a look at the state of your roof. Snow, ice, and tree branches could be in the forecast for your roof.

Here are some simple steps to follow to see if the top of your house is in tip-top shape.

Clean it

The first step you can take is to clear your roof of any debris, leaves, and twigs. This keeps the gutters from filling up and causing damage to the siding from excess weight. Go ahead and clean out the gutters as well. When gutters fill up with debris, they can damage a home and create unnecessary hazards. In the winter months, rain, snow, and ice will be falling on the roof. When the precipitation runs over the gutter instead of down the drain, dangerous icicles can form along the edge of a roof.

Examine it

After the roof has been cleaned, take a close look to see if it has sustained any damage. Watch out for frayed edges, lifting and curling shingles and flashing, and any missing shingles or bare spots you think shouldn’t be there. These problem areas can allow leaks, and it’s best to repair them before major damage occurs.

Go ahead and check the surrounding area for any potential threats like dead branches or a high concentration of overhanging trees, too. Most Oklahomans know what happens to trees in an ice storm, so be sure to keep branches trimmed back away from your roof.

Tune it

It is about to be very cold outside, and you won’t want all that cold coming inside your home. Check that your vents are clear and that you have a well-insulated attic. Depending on what kind of insulation you have, your roof may need anywhere from 14 to 18 inches. Older homes tend to require more insulation as well, so it is important to get a professional opinion.

In addition to these steps, you should also learn about possible winter threats like ice dams, sideways rain, and strong winds. Ice dams cause a similar issue to clogged gutters, but in this case the gutter is full of ice and can cause leaks in your roof. Strong winds and sideways rain can lift up edges and allow water inside the roof.

If you are concerned about your roof, Land Enterprises Roofing offers a free roof inspection. We also offer preventative maintenance plans for both residential and commercial roofs. For more information, email info@landroofingokc.com.

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A covered roof vent is a dangerous roof vent

by: Kirsten Land on September 18th, 2018 about Residential Roofing

Pick a house in Oklahoma and look at its roof. Chances are you will see some big round whirly bird or turbine vents. These pinwheels are not for decoration-they are actually in place on your roof to make sure your home has proper and healthy air exchange.

Proper ventilation is important to the well-being of the actual materials your home is built from. Covering the ventilation system can lead to serious (and expensive) health problems for a home’s structure. Trust us when we say don’t cover your air vents.

In the summer, the vents let the rising hot air in your home escape. So it might seem like a good idea to trap the warm air inside during the winter months, but doing so is a mistake.

Even though you could go to a home supply store to buy relatively inexpensive covers in the winter, you shouldn’t. Trapping warm air in your attic can cause the moisture in the air to condensate. The excess moisture in your attic can lead to mold forming and growing inside the home. Warm air trapped in an attic can also lead to ice dams forming in gutters. Ice dams happen when the snow on a roof melts, runs off into the gutter, then refreezes. They can cause damage to both the gutters and the roof.

If you want to keep your home warm in the winter, try checking if you have proper insulation on the attic floor. This keeps the warm air in your house while still allowing for proper ventilation.

Covering attic vents also traps harmful chemicals, physical particulates, and unwanted moisture inside the home. It’s never a good idea to block the natural flow of air in your home. Again, proper ventilation leads to a healthy home!

If you would like more information on roof ventilation, read more from Energy Star. And if you think your roof may be in need of repair or replacement, contact us for information and to schedule a free roof inspection.

Posted in Residential Roofing       Comments: None

Subcontractor Spotlight: Jeff Birdwell

by: Kirsten Land on September 4th, 2018 about Land Enterprises Roofing

Land Enterprises Roofing is a roofing company and general contractor that helps clients with each and every aspect of their insurance claim. That means we spend a good amount of time working with all kinds of highly skilled subcontractors who can help us get the entire job done the best way possible.

Jeff Birdwell is one of those highly skilled subcontractors. As the owner and operator of Aqua-Flo Seamless Gutter Systems, he has been repairing and building gutters since 2004. We asked Jeff a few questions about the work he does and what else he enjoys doing.

What brought you to start your own guttering business?

My best friend owns and operates a rain guttering company in Dallas, TX. He recruited and trained me in the business in 2001. With his blessing, I ventured out and started Aqua-Flo in Edmond after the large hail storm hit Oklahoma City in 2004. I networked with many roofers and soon met Brian and Kirsten Land. I am truly blessed to be a preferred subcontractor for such amazing people.

What is the best part of your line of work?

I wouldn’t be honest if I didn’t say that being my own boss is the best part of my business. Managing my time so I can be around my family and my four-year-old daughter as much as possible is a great reward that I do not take lightly. I must also mention that my installers are an awesome part of my business. They are simply amazing. Without them, there wouldn’t be an Aqua-Flo.

I also have time for golf, golf, and more golf. That time management thing I mentioned really helps out here. Haha!

How is Aqua-Flo different?

I believe what sets Aqua-Flo apart from the rest is our customer-focused mindset. We will go above and beyond to ensure our clients are getting the best products, design, and installation in the gutter industry. We have a solid reputation and more than 2,000 happy homeowners who have entrusted us with their rain guttering needs.

What is the weirdest thing you’ve found stuck in someone’s gutter?

Besides the countless nerf and tennis balls we have pulled out of gutters, the strangest thing we found was a raccoon that got itself stuck in a downspout. We had just finished the installation a week prior when the homeowner called and said her gutters overflowed in the latest rain storm. We checked and rechecked our levels and were scratching our heads as to what could possibly be the problem when we heard a loud noise coming from the downspout. I’m glad to report neither myself nor the raccoon were injured during the removal process.

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