How to Prep Your Roof for the Fall

Fall in Connecticut is one of the best times to enjoy outdoor activities, not to worry about home maintenance. Leave the fall clean up to the professionals! The best way to prepare your roof for everything fall may throw (literally and figuratively!) at it is to have your roofing professional perform the following tasks:

Remove Debris

You’d be surprised what debris can get caught up in your gutters. It’s important to have all tree branches, plants, toys, and any other debris removed from your roof. Even small objects can cause a major problem with your roof and gutters. Take time now, before the weather drops and snow comes! 

Clean Your Gutters

After you remove any debris, your gutters should get a good cleaning so they can keep doing their job without any obstructions. When our gutters become full of leaves or other debris, this clog can cause water to pool on your roof. This moisture can eventually run the risk of seeping under your shingles and entering your home. Without debris, your gutters will keep flowing and have no issues when rain and snow come their way.

Check for Leaks

If your attic is properly insulated, you may think that you’re defended against leaks. However, you should still take time to check for leaks. Not only can leaks left unfixed cause you to have to spend more on repairs, but they will pose a threat to your home’s structure. Have your roofing professional check for leaks now, and avoid having to do the repair in the colder, snowy months.

Schedule an Inspection

The summer sun can make your roofing materials swell, shift, or even crack from the heat. It’s best to get an inspection as the weather starts to cool off to ensure you won’t encounter any problems during months of snow, ice and harsh temperatures. A professional inspection this autumn is essential for identifying areas of damage. Contact our professionals at Landmark Exteriors to schedule a maintenance and inspection appointment.

Top Things to Do This Fall in CT

Saying goodbye to summer is always sad, but fall has so much to offer — especially in Connecticut! Here are a few of our favorite local activities for you and your family this autumn:

Take the Kids Apple Picking

To find the perfect apples to bake with and much on this season, try picking your own! Your little ones will have fun picking their very own apples, which may just inspire them to snack on something healthy, too! Here are our top locations nearby:

Pick Your Own Halloween Pumpkin

No matter the age, everyone LOVES pumpkin picking! You can go searching for the perfect pumpkin to take home and carve or place on your porch at these nearby farms and locations:

Attend a Fall Festival

  • For carnival rides, a challenging hay maze, food, live entertainment, and more fall activities, attend the New Canaan Nature Center Fall Fair from October 4-5.
  • Enter in a bit of friendly competition at the Greenwich Historical Society Fall Festival’s scarecrow competition, and enjoy great music and vibes while you work on October 12.
  • If you want to go for a long, relaxing drive and chow down on some of the best chowders in New England, don’t miss Chowder Days at Mystic Seaport from October 12-14! 

Go Antiquing

Fall has rustic vibes, which makes antiquing the perfect fall activity! Discover your new favorite decor piece, or short through artifacts from the past at the Fairfield County Antique & Design Center!

Visit a Haunted House

There’s nothing spookier than visiting a haunted house in the fall! For some serious frights, check out one of the most unique haunted traditions in New England at the Legends of Fear – Fairview Tree Farm, or visit Fright Haven, the largest and scariest indoor haunted attraction in Connecticut! 

Take a Hike

With crisp cool air and beautiful fallen leaves, Autumn is one of the best times of year to go for a hike in Connecticut. Here are some of our favorite places to get out and enjoy all that nature has to offer:

  • North End Norwalk River Valley Trail
  • Oyster Shell Park
  • Devil’s Den Preserve
  • Wilton Town Forest

Whatever fall activities you embark on this fall, we hope you enjoy all this season has to offer! 
While you’re celebrating the autumn season, let us prep your home for the cold weather that’s coming. Contact Landmark Exteriors for all of your home exterior maintenance, from roofing to siding and gutters!

3 Easy Decorating Tips for Fall

Let’s face it: nothing beats fall in New England. If you’re looking to invite the new season into your home, we’ve got a few of the top decor tips for you:

1. Celebrate the Harvest Season

Fall is one of the best seasons to utilize natural elements in your home. Whether it’s a casual woodsy texture, or going full-blown autumn and decorating with pumpkins galore! Add patterned throw pillows to your living spaces for a great touch that will tie your home together. There’s plenty of DIY fall wreath options that will spark your creativity, too. 

If you want more, try these outdoor tips to add the harvest season to your home: 

  • Line up gourds and pumpkins on your stoop or walkway
  • Stop at a local farmstand for fresh, color mums. Choose one or two colors.
  • Layer your fall display with a few hay bales.

2. Add Candles for Warmth and Light

Let’s admit it: one of the best parts of decor shopping is stopping to smell the candles. Adding different scented candles throughout your home is also one of the best ways to welcome the new season. Sprinkle fall scents in your bathroom, kitchen, living room, and bedrooms. Many candles also have a beautiful design and can also function as a decor piece!

3. Introduce New Colors Into Your Home

The best way to add fall colors to your home is to think of the changing of the leaves here in Connecticut. Crimson, burnt orange, yellow, and sage are great color choices to add to your home. 

Whether you pop in some new color by adding a new sign to the outside of your home, a colorful throw blanket or getting new place settings for your dinner table, you’ll be feeling fall in no time!

We hope you have fun decorating your home this season! With a new season comes time for home maintenance, as well. Before decorating your home for the new season, be sure to do an annual check on your home’s exterior.

 Through annual upkeep, you can avoid costly repairs and damage down the line. Our knowledgeable staff at Landmark Exteriors will answer your questions and set up a schedule for your specific needs. Call our office for details. (203) 838-3838

Why Your Roof and Utility Wires Are a Shocking Combination

Chances are you don’t normally spend your time thinking about different ways to be electrocuted. Utility wires, power lines, and service drops pose an immediate shock or even be an electrocution hazard if they touch your roof. When the conditions are just right, you and your family could be at risk. When it comes to inspecting your house to make sure your roof is safe, here are some things you need to know.

Power lines and shingles do not mix

The most common roofing materials in the U.S. today are asphalt shingles. These shingles offer many options; they are colorful, durable, and inexpensive. While variety is a great benefit, the chips that are in the asphalt’s color make for a bad scenario. If the chips make contact with the power lines, not only can the asphalt crack from the heat, but it could result in a shock or electrocution of your roof. In theory, asphalt shingles are like strong sandpaper. They have ceramic chips that are sharp around the edges, and when that mixes with the sheath of the power lines that is particularly soft it could be extremely dangerous.

If push comes to shove, what is the worst possible outcome?

In order to understand the dangers of exposed wires, think about all the unencumbered electricity that is flowing through them. There are no fuses or breakers between the pole and service entrance so thus there is nothing to protect you or your family from being electrocuted if you come in contact with the bare wires.

The only thing that will protect the house is the ceramic chips because luckily they are not flammable. But underneath the ceramic is. The bare wires that are touching the shingles may not start a fire today or tomorrow, but it will only take one breeze or one specific movement that will let the neutral touch the hot. If this happens things will go from bad to worse very quickly.

If something does happen then who is responsible for the repairs?

Normally the service drop is both maintained and owned by an electric company, so when a power line comes across a roofline the responsibility could be on them to make sure it gets fixed. Homeowners should call their utility company to report a down wire and to report an accident if necessary.
For more information, or to schedule an appointment with one of our qualified roofers, contact Landmark Exteriors today!

Common Items That Clog Your Gutters

Properly installed gutters help prevent landscape washout, termite infestation and undermined driveways, patios, and walkways. However, every home’s gutters will become clogged. Cleaning your gutters may seem like an unpleasant or pointless task, but it is one of the most important aspects of home maintenance. Here’s what you need to know:

Why Gutter Cleaning is Necessary

If your sink was clogged, would you call a plumber? The same goes for your clogged gutters. Cleaning your gutters and removing any debris helps to avoid large costs down the road. 

You might be thinking, ‘well, I looked up my gutters, and I don’t see anything!’ You’d be surprised what can be caught up in your gutters out of eyesight. The best way to ensure your gutters are clear is to hire a roofing professional every six months. Ultimately, gutter cleaning is necessary to ensure no damage occurs to your home, especially your roof. Here are some of the items you may not expect us to find when cleaning your gutters:

1. Silt and Leaves

Silt is essentially dirty and other tiny particles, including leaves, that build up into a soil layer at the bottom of your gutters. Without climbing on a ladder and going up to take a look, you may not notice silt in your gutters, but leaves are easier to see from the ground. Silt is one of the most harmful build-ups for your gutters, as it can cause your gutters to clog and lose the ability to properly drain the water completely. Instead, water will trickle down the trap from the roof.

While silt is one of the most dangerous conditions for your gutters, leaves are probably the most frustrating. As mentioned, they can be easily seen and can ball up to clog every part of your gutters.

2. Living Plants

Your backyard isn’t the only place for a garden to grow on your property. If silt gets caught in your gutters, they will become the perfect environment for plants to grow. While this doesn’t typically sound like a bad thing, it’s not an ideal situation for the structure of your roof and your home.

3. Tree Particles

Living in an area with abundant trees is an excellent way to cool down your home and add to your landscaping, but pieces of those trees may pose a problem for your gutters. Tree branches, seeds, and flowers can all easily become lodged in gutters.

4 Animal Nests

Birds, squirrels, mice and other small wildlife are all adorable, but what they can do to your gutters is not so cute. These critters can make nests in your gutters because they are enclosed and usually have materials ready to use.

5. Toys

If you have children practicing sports in the backyard, it may not come as a surprise that sports balls and toys can make their way up to your gutters. These items may be invisible from the ground but can cause bad clogs if maintenance isn’t performed.

We’re all guilty of it – waiting until something becomes a problem before we take action. Preventative maintenance helps you avoid costly repairs, and our experts at Landmark Exteriors will take proper care of your home’s needs. To schedule your next appointment, contact us today!

How Your Roof Affects Your HVAC System

Your HVAC unit works to make your home comfortable and cool by squeezing the humidity and heat out of the air. If your system is continuously struggling to cool your home, and your energy bills are skyrocketing, then your roof might be the one to blame. There are a few ways your roof can make your HVAC work harder than it is supposed to:

Heat Absorption

If you’ve ever worn dark clothes outside when it’s 90 degrees outside, you know how your dark roof feels. Darker colors absorb and hold in more heat compared to lighter colors. If your roof has dark asphalt shingles, then it will absorb and trap the heat in the attic space. Then from your attic, the heat presses into your living spaces trying to find somewhere else to go. As a result, your air conditioning unit works to try to keep your home cool.

One-way heat transfer

Heat will naturally transfer into your home through the roofing materials, causing your AC to work harder. Warm air can also build up inside the attic space from the outside temperatures. The best way to keep this from happening is to invest in new roofing materials. Your nest options is a roof that not only reflect the outside heat, but that will also release the heat that is trapped inside. Re-emissive metal roofs do both by releasing the absorbed solar radiation from your attic along with reflecting the sun’s rays on the outside.

Invest in a radiant barrier

If the ducts for your HVAC system have to run through your attic or a crawlspace, then a radiant barrier will help save you some money. Due to the exterior heat that is suffocating your attic, your ducts could lose cold air. When you get the right barrier installed on your ducts, the cooler air will remain unharmed by the heat. This will allow cold air to flow to the rooms you want it in.

Another thing to remember is to make sure that your attic ventilation is working correctly. If your ventilation is inadequate, then the heat will sit there. You can harm your HVAC unit this way, causing the need for an expensive repair or replacement. Your shingles may start baking from underneath and could crack.
Whether it’s a hand-nailed cedar roof, copper portico awning, unique tile installation or any other roofing project, the team of experts at Landmark Exteriors will work with you to create a superior roofing system and design that will exceed your expectations. If your roof needs replacing, contact us today to set up a consultation!

How to Make Your Yard Dog-Friendly

There’s nothing better on a sunny day than spending some time outdoors with your pup! However, before you let your pet roam free in your backyard, you should make sure it’s safe for them to do so. Here are a few simple ways to make your yard dog-friendly:

1. Keep Your Yard Fenced Off

Allowing your dog to run loose in an open yard can be problematic, even if your pet is the most well-behaved on the block. Dogs are easily frightened by loud noises that can send them running. You also want to protect your pet from other animals in the neighborhood, like stray cats or dogs, neighboring pets, and wild animals. So, be sure to fence in your lawn before you let your furry friend play outdoors!

Maintaining your fence and doing regular fence checks is another safety measure for your pet. If an area looks like it may be big enough for your dog to squeeze through, fix it immediately. Other questions you should ask yourself require thinking like your dog: can they jump over it? Can they dig out?

2. Create a Digging Area

Digging is second-nature to all dogs, and without a proper place to dig, your lawn will start to look like it has craters in it! A flower bed or newly planted garden is irresistible. However, you can distract your pup by creating a digging corner with fresh sand or use a child’s sandbox. You can bury treats or toys beneath the sand to encourage your dog to dig there. Be sure to find a cover for this area so local cats and other animals don’t use it to their advantage.

3. Leave Out Plenty of Water

It can be easy for your companion to feel dehydrated during a day of fun in the sun. Be sure to leave out a bowl of water and refill it often. Additionally, you may want to set up a baby pool or sprinkler hose for some extra fun. Many dogs enjoy splashing around in the water, and it will help keep them cool while watering your lawn!

4. Add Some Shade

If your pup is spending a lot of time outside, it’s important for them to have a place to cool off. Make sure you set up a shady spot where your dog can lay down and relax in between playing. This will prevent your pet from overheating. Try setting up a cabana, tent, or a lightweight blanket under a tree.

5. Be Mindful of Toxic Plants

When landscaping your yard, keep your furry loved one in mind. Some plants and trees can be toxic to dogs. 

Avoid putting the following plants in your yard:

  • English Ivy
  • Castor bean or castor oil
  • Mistletoe
  • Autumn crocus
  • Lilly of the valley
  • Foxglove
  • Tulip/Narcissus bulbs
  • Rhubarb
  • Chrysanthemum

Additionally, avoid planting the following trees:

  • Wisteria
  • Azalea
  • Chinaberry tree
  • Rhododendron

You can visit the Pet Poison Helpline for their Top 10 Plants Poisonous to Pets, and the ASPCA for their extensive list of Toxic and Non-Toxic Plants.
At Landmark Exteriors, we provide an extensive list of services to keep your home in great shape. Large or small, we take care of everything from routine maintenance items like gutter cleaning to emergency roof repairs. Need a home repair? Contact us today!

How Humid Weather Affects Flat Roofs

Summertime in Connecticut is famous for being long and especially humid. Not only does the heat affect us, but it also affects our homes — especially homes with flat roofs. If you’ve noticed something unusual with your roof this summer, here’s why:

Top 3 Reasons Your Flat Roof Hates Muggy Weather

1. Water Infiltration

Many homeowners don’t realize that heat can translate to water damage. When we think of heat, we think of everything being dry, sometimes too dry. However. Building materials expand and contract due to changes in temperature. The rate of thermal movement increases the more open a roof is. Material elongation can result in wear and tear to your flat roof, creating gaps water can utilize to infiltrate into your home. 

Connecticut not only has very humid summers, but we also have a great deal of rainfall during the year. This means our roof is vulnerable to water damage when a summer storm or wet weather does arrive.

2. Fading

Summertime brings a lot of sunny beach days, which are great for us but can be potentially damaging to your roof. If your flat roof isn’t reflective, it may lose its coloration more quickly. To prevent fading, it’s best to pick a lighter, reflective roof color with tones of tan, beige, white, and grey.

3. Blistering

Blisters, or trapped moisture or air underneath the membrane of your roof, are also a common occurrence in muggier weather. Blisters are triggered by hot and humid weather, so you’re likely to notice them earlier in the summer. Blistering membranes appear like harmless eyesores, but experienced roofers such as our professionals at Landmark Exteriors know that they require immediate professional attention. 

The sun’s ultraviolet rays are infamous for material degradation, as well. This means the flashings on your flat roof may also begin to weaken due to sun exposure.

Protect your flat roof from the most common hot weather–inflicted issues by scheduling an appointment with Landmark Exteriors. Count on our expertise to protect and repair your roof. Contact us today for more information!

What You Need to Know About Dormer Windows

Dormer windows are amenities that are proving to be a popular addition to many homes across Connecticut. But what are dormer windows, anyway? These windows, in short, enable lighting to access interior spaces from the outdoors. They’re equipped with tiny roofs as well, which are situated right on top of the windows. Dormer windows are linked to all kinds of architectural approaches, from Greek Revival to Colonial. 

The Benefits of Dormer Windows

Why do so many people these days gravitate to the universe of dormer windows? They do so to enable natural light to make its way inside their homes and eliminate needing to add additional lighting fixtures.

“Dormer” is a nod to a term in the French language. The term translates simply to “sleeping space.” The natural light offered by dormers can travel has the ability to provide light to your bedrooms, attics, and other living spaces. Dormers consistently display a minimum of single windows.

Why Choose Natural Light?

Natural lighting adds a brighter feel to your space without harsh overhead lighting. There’s nothing more refreshing than drawing your shades back in a dark room and welcoming in all of that sunlight.

An abundance of natural lighting can reduce how much electricity your home is using. This, in turn, is good for your utility bill and the environment. Dormer windows are often eye-catching and diverse, and add dimension to the outside of your home.

Additionally, you can pick between all kinds of appealing and memorable dormer window styles. The most popular styles include eyebrow, doghouse, shed and recessed windows. For the most practical option, shed dormers may be your best bet. If you’re fond of chic approaches, eyebrow choices may be up your alley. 

If you’re interested in learning more about dormer windows or require a roof or window repair, don’t hesitate to call Landmark Exteriors. We welcome the opportunity to talk with you about your vision for your home and how our experience can benefit your project. Contact us today to set up an appointment!

The Do’s and Don’ts of Picking a New House Color

facade of home with manicured lawn, landscaping, and backdrop of trees and dark blue sky. Glowing interior lights create a welcoming mood.

Maybe you just bought your dream home and wanted to make it your own, or you’ve owned your home for years and want to freshen it up. Whichever your situation is, picking an exterior paint color for your home is a big decision. It’s the first thing someone notices about your home, and will most likely be a color you live with for a long time. Before making a final decision, here are some of the do’s and dont’s to help you choose the perfect color for your home

DO: Have a Little Fun!

Many homeowners think choosing a neutral color such as gray, beige, or white for their home will cost them less, but this isn’t the case. Unique colors cost just as much as more common ones do, so if you want to have fun with your new color scheme, have some fun!

Keep in mind; light colors make a house look larger and more inviting. Dark colors, in contract, make a house look more substantial and can suggest stability and permanence.

DON’T: Ignore Your Neighbors

It’s great to be creative, but it can be a bad idea to pick colors that clash with your neighbors’ exteriors. For example, if your neighbor’s home is green, you may want to stay away from painting your home red. You can still stand out without conflicting with your neighboring home. 

DO: Take a Good Look Before Painting

You can’t change every outdoor aspect of your house with a fresh coat of paint. The dark specks of your brick, or the color cast from your roof shingles. When deciding on a new color for your home’s siding, choose one that will complement the other exterior elements of your home.

DON’T: Wing It

Exterior painting is a big deal, so it’s essential to hire a reputable painter to complete the project. They will paint a small area of your main exterior, trim and your accent color, so you can see how your new theme is coming together. Additionally, they’ll make sure the paint is applied and dried correctly.

DO: Consider Trends

The color you choose for your home today is very likely to still be in style tomorrow, or ten years from tomorrow. While white is considered a ‘safe’ choice, more homeowners have been experimenting with accenting their homes and trying colors or tinted neutrals. Tour a few neighborhoods to see colors in action and to get a better feel of what you like.

DON’T: Misplace the Accent

Add character and dimension to your home by accenting its exterior. Painting your window trim and exterior details in a contrasting color will add a great accent to your home. Only use a highlight on the more attractive features of your home, and steer clear of features like your gutters.
If you’re looking for a dedicated, experienced, and dependable roofing contractor, look no further than Landmark Exteriors! To learn more about our services, check out our website, or speak with one of our professionals at 203.838.3838