Why is My Attic So Hot?

During the summer, temperatures in Connecticut can reach well past the 90s — sometimes even hitting the 100-degree mark.

When temperatures are this hot and the sun is shining directly onto your roof, your attic will heat up to unsafe temperatures. Temperatures inside of the attic may reach up to 50 degrees hotter than the temperature outside.

hot attic in summer

The Negative Effects of a Hot Attic

When your attic reaches dangerously hot temperatures, being unable to go into your attic isn’t the only thing that happens — serious problems can occur.

  • Roofing materials (like asphalt) can literally overheat to the point of melting and deteriorating. This will result in a shorter lifespan of the roof and premature replacement.
  • As shingles begin deteriorating further, your roof will become susceptible to roof leaks. Once water gets behind the shingles, water damage, rot, and mold will now further damage your home until these problems are addressed.
  • Extreme temperatures like this are oftentimes no match for your home’s insulation. This heat will enter your home which will cause your cooling system to work harder to cool your home. As a result, you will have to deal with increased wear and tear on your cooling system and higher energy bills.

How to Cool Down Your Attic

In order to prevent your roof from becoming damaged by the effects of an overly hot attic, there are some steps you’ll need to take to prevent it from happening.

  • Add a Ventilation System – Every attic should have ventilation AND an adequate amount of it (based on its size). An attic experiencing temperatures over 100 degrees means your ventilation system is either not doing its job or is non-existent. A professional roofer will be able to explain which ventilation system is best for your home (gable vents, soffit vents, ridge vents, etc.), as well as providing you with an estimate of the optimal amount.
  • Address the Insulation – Old insulation isn’t always able to do its job of keeping the temperatures between your home and the attic (and outside) separate. Ensure your home has the proper amount of insulation and that it’s of the right quality — preferably an R-factor of 19 or better. Insulation and a ventilation system go hand in hand, so be sure to address both.
  • Install a Fan – Once you have a proper ventilation system with quality insulation, you may want to add an attic fan for good measure. Attic fans and other electric ventilation systems do a great job of removing hot air from attics. Pair one of these with a thermostat and this fan will turn on once temperatures within the attic begin increasing.

When your attic is so hot that you can’t even go into it for a few seconds, that’s how you know something is wrong.

Don’t deal with a hot attic and all of the negatives that come from one. Instead, make sure you give Landmark Exteriors a call. We’ll install all of the ventilation your roof needs, as well as an inspection of your current roof for any damage it may have previously sustained.

Parts of Your Home You’re Forgetting to Maintain

When you’re a homeowner, it’s your responsibility to maintain your home.

Unfortunately, many homeowners will only pay attention to parts of their home that are used often, instead of the more important parts.

In this blog, we’ll show you parts of your home you probably forgot about but should be maintained more. Otherwise, you could end up with an expensive repair bill…

maintaining your home

The Gutters Filled With Leaves and Debris

In the fall, cleaning your gutters should be on every homeowners’ checklist. Why is this on almost every list? Because clogged gutters can do a TON of damage to your home. But this should be on your checklist at least once per season.

For example, clogged gutters can cause rainfall to pool up and overflow onto the edges of the roof. This can cause roof leaks, rot, and water damage to your roof and inside of the attic.

Additionally, this pooled rainfall can also overflow to the ground below where flooding of your property can occur. This can do some damage to your lawn, as well as flooding your basement if the water finds its way down there.

Oh, and in the summertime, clogged gutters filled with pockets of water along with wet, mulch-y debris will attract mosquitoes.

The Roof Above Your Head

As a homeowner, you have to worry about a lot of things in your home. However, the one thing that is often forgotten about is one of the most important — the roof!

The roof protects your entire home from the elements of Mother Nature, we’d like to say it’s pretty important. Unfortunately, many people don’t spend the time to give it the love it rightfully deserves.

All you need to do is give it a visual inspection once per season (and after extremely harsh storms) and call your local roofer to have it repaired when shingles, flashing, and other parts of your roof become damaged.

The reason you want to pay attention to your roof is that if you don’t, you’ll end up having to replace it prematurely. And with roofs costing thousands of dollars to install, what’s a few minutes out of your day?

The Trees Surrounding Your Home

Having a home surrounded by trees adds beauty to your property. Between the different colors throughout the year, the shade it provides, and the overall aesthetic of the property — the curb appeal of your home is definitely sky high when you have trees nearby.

But like all things on your property or in your home, these trees need to be maintained. Luckily, trees are extremely low maintenance (unless you’re planting new ones).

The only maintenance they’ll need is when their branches get too close to your home or if they become damaged. In this case, you can have these branches cut back or removed to ensure that they don’t come crashing into the side of your home during the next storm.

(P.S. Insurance won’t always cover wind damage via debris if you were negligent in not removing broken tree branches.)

If you’re a homeowner and you’re looking for a reliable roofer to inspect or repair your home’s roofing system, know that our professional roofers here at Landmark are eager and waiting for your call!

How to Prepare Your Home for Hurricane Season

Hurricane season is upon us and things are about to get a whole lot scarier!

While many of the hurricanes in the country occur along the east coast (mostly in the south), there are hurricanes that make their way to the Northeast.

No matter the location of landfall, Pennsylvania still sees an abundance of rain and wind that can lead to flooding and wind damage.

So before the first named-hurricane hits landfall, make sure you prepare your home (and your family)!

emergency hurricane checklist

1) Trim the Trees

When the wind starts whipping, tree limbs can easily break off and fly through the air.

Where do many of these tree branches end up?

Into the siding of your home, onto the roof, or through a window. Take the time to trim any weak branches and ones that are too close to your home.

2) Watch Your Windows

The wind can send debris flying into the side of your home and even into your windows. The last thing you need is a window shattering in the middle of a hurricane.

This is why permanent shutters are a great option for your home’s window. However, these can be expensive, so if you need something in a pinch, half-inch plywood can be an option to cover up windows when the wind speed becomes too dangerous.

3) Repair Your Roof

For those who haven’t provided their roof with maintenance these last few years or anyone who is experiencing roof leaks, NOW is the time to have your roof repaired.

Old, damaged shingles are no match for the wind and rain of a hurricane (let alone the multiple ones we see throughout hurricane season). One intense rainfall from a hurricane can cause your roof to leak, which will further damage the shingles, the structure of the roof, and the attic space underneath.

4) Create a Kit

If you’re forced to relocate from your home or the power goes out for an extended period of time, you’re going to need an emergency kit on hand. These emergency supplies should consist of:

  • Flashlights
  • Batteries
  • Battery Operated Radio
  • Non-Perishable Canned Food
  • Can Opener
  • Bottled Water
  • First Aid Kit
  • Cash
  • Extra Socks

5) Know Your Emergency Escape Route

In whichever Pennsylvanian town you live in, you should know the proper evacuation route if flooding ever became too unsafe to stay home. This information is listed on your town’s website.

You should also know where the emergency shelters and hospitals are in your town. If you or a loved one happens to get injured or sick during a hurricane, it’s important to know how to get help ASAP.

Before the first hurricane is named, make sure you prepare your home!

For anyone who needs roof or siding repairs before OR after hurricane season, make sure you give us a call. We’ve got your back!

Is Storm Damage Covered By My Homeowners Insurance?

As a homeowner, having a good homeowners insurance policy is extremely important.

When you’re faced with extreme weather, like the weather conditions you see during hurricane season, it’s important to know what damage is covered by your homeowners insurance.

Hint: Not all storm damage is covered by your insurance policy

hurricane storm damage to home

Types of Storm Damage Typically Covered By Homeowners Insurance

Water & Ice Damage

Excessive amounts of rainfall or hail the size of your fist can each do their fair share of damage to your home — mostly to the roof. Your home can experience roof leaks, broken shingles, damaged siding, etc.

Luckily, most policies cover damage against these forms of H2O. However, there is a limit to the amount of hail damage your home sustains (and flood damage does not count here).

Lightning Strikes

You have to be extremely unlucky to have your home struck by lightning! But this does happen and it can cause a lot of damage via the initial contact, fire, and smoke.

Most policies cover damage from the lightning strike, but when it comes to power surges — it is covered by some policies, but not all. You may wish to purchase additional coverage in order to protect your home’s electrical system and the expensive electronics and appliances plugged into it.

Wind & Debris

Think about how fast the wind can blow when a hurricane is passing through your town (even if it is the ending of a storm). The wind can be strong enough to rip off older or damaged shingles and siding, while also being able to send debris flying into the siding of your home.

One of the most common causes of debris damage is due to tree branches and fallen trees. Luckily, many insurance policies do cover fallen trees — however, the tree had to have fallen due to the storm. If the tree needed maintenance before the storm and you were negligent in providing maintenance to it, you may not be covered.

Types of Storm Damage NOT Typically Covered By Homeowners Insurance

The types of storm damage listed below can be covered by insurance, however, you will need to purchase separate insurance policies.

  • Floods
  • Earthquakes
  • Tornadoes
  • Landslides/Mudslides

As a homeowner, it’s important to know how protected your home is, and what it is and is NOT protected from.

When your home’s roofing or siding is in need of repair due to storm damage, we’d be more than happy to help you out!

Why Summertime is When You Should Replace Your Home’s Siding

How is your summer going? Are you doing everything you want to be doing?

Relaxing, Vacationing. Spending time with your family and friends.

While doing all of these things is something we encourage, we also recommend you spend a small portion of your time providing your home with some much-needed maintenance.

One thing you should be inspecting and maintaining is your home’s siding — and if anything is wrong, summer is the perfect time to repair or replace it.

house siding in summer

The Warm Weather is Your Friend

The spring and summertime are when you should perform inspections of your siding to ensure it’s still in good condition. Why? Because it’s not freezing or snowing outside! (…and you can stay outside for longer than five minutes.)

This will allow you to go outside and give your siding an in-depth visual inspection, while also taking the time to look behind any damaged areas to ensure the layer underneath is in good condition.

This is also the time of the year when roofing and siding companies will be offering their services, as well as offering the best deals. So if you need siding help, NOW is the time to call!

Your Cooling Bills Are Out of Control

Did your jaw hit the floor when you opened your last energy bill?

If your energy bill is through the roof because of your cooling system, that means there’s warm air entering your home, which is causing your cooling system to work harder and longer to try and keep your home cool.

Homeowners with old (or damaged) siding and insulation can experience these high energy bills. Think of it as having one gigantic air leak that needs to be fixed.

The Siding is Warped or Rotted

Siding takes a lot of abuse from Mother Nature. Long, harsh winters of snow and freezing temperatures followed by hot and humid summers underneath the blazing hot sun.

These extreme temperatures and weather conditions can have a negative effect on your siding — especially if your siding is old, damaged, or neglected without the proper maintenance. Check for warping of the actual siding material and rotting of the layer underneath the siding (or the actual siding if you have a wood siding material).

If your siding is beginning to show signs of warping, repairs or replacements should be made immediately to prevent further damage. If there are signs of rotting underneath, you’re definitely due for a full siding replacement.

It’s summertime and you’re feeling fine — but how is your siding doing?

If it’s struggling to do its job of protecting and insulating your home, then it’s out with the old and in with the new!

Make sure you check your siding’s condition this summer and if you need any repairs or replacement, know that we’re simply a phone call away!

Why is My Property Filled With Mosquitoes?

Do you frequently wake up with new mosquito bites during the summertime?

This isn’t always because of dumb luck. You probably have a lot of mosquito bites because you’re close to a mosquito breeding ground.

How do you know when an area is a mosquito breeding ground?

You have to know what attracts mosquitoes to a specific area…

mosquito and its summertime breeding ground

What Attracts Mosquitoes?

The number one thing mosquitoes need in order to breed (and thrive) is standing water.

Mosquitoes will lay their eggs in the water (or close by) and they will hatch in anywhere from a week to 10 days time. Mosquito larvae will continue to stay near this small water supply until they’ve reached adulthood.

Therefore, any items on your property that can hold water will attract mosquitoes and become a breeding ground. This includes untreated swimming pools, fountains, bird baths, kiddie pools, empty planters, tires, etc.

Anything that holds rainwater like this should be tipped over and emptied out.

In addition to these items holding water, they can also hold debris like dead leaves, dirt, trash, mulch, etc. This debris is what adult mosquitoes use as their shelter because it provides them with the shade and moisture they need.

Remove debris from your property, as well as cutting back overgrown vegetation.

How Your Gutters Attract Mosquitoes

You might be thinking that there’s no place on your property that is filled with debris and standing water — but have you thought about the condition of your gutter system?

Gutters that haven’t been cleared of debris, leaves, sticks, etc. can easily stop the flow of rainwater, which will lead to a pooling of water within your gutters. Now you have a breeding ground for mosquitoes attached to your home.

This is why you need to have your gutters cleaned annually (and sometimes two to three times per year).

If you’re a responsible homeowner and your gutters are free of leaves, make sure they have the proper slope leaning toward the downspouts. Gutters without enough slope toward the downspouts will cause rainwater to pool in the gutters even if there’s no debris blocking the way.

If you grab a ladder and climb up to discover standing water in your gutter system, contact your local roofing company ASAP. Not only will mosquitoes begin to breed here, you’ll also be more susceptible to roof leaks — which we all know are the WORST!

Put away the citronella candles and start addressing the problem!

When you need your gutters repaired or replaced, know that your friends at Landmark Exteriors can handle the job for you.

Just give us a call and we’ll head right on over to give your home the gutter system it deserves!

Why You Should Replace Your Gutters if You’re Getting a New Roof

Is your roof at the age (or isn’t in good enough condition) where it’s no longer protecting your home to the best of its ability?

When you contact your favorite, local roofing company, *cough, cough,* make sure you also have your gutter system replaced as well.

“Why?” you might ask.

Because you NEED to…

installing a new gutter system to your home

Reestablishing What Gutters Do

Every home has a gutter system installed (or at least we hope so). However, many homeowners don’t know how important this system is to the health of their home.

Yes, the gutter system is designed to direct rainfall from the roof to the ground below. But so many different things can go wrong that will prevent this “simple” task from happening.

Gutters and downspouts can become clogged with debris, disconnected at the seams, filled with cracks and holes, not routed properly, and not have enough slope. All of which will cause your gutter system to be ineffective — which will lead to a whole slew of problems…

How Unmaintained Gutters Hurt Your Home

When your gutter system is clogged with debris or does not have enough slope to drain the water toward the downspout, water will begin to pool. Once the gutter starts to overflow, it can submerge the edge of your roof.

Do you know what happens to your roof when its edges become submerged?

You’ve guessed it — roof leaks occur!

When your gutter system is filled with cracks and holes, isn’t routed properly, and is overflowing due to a clog or improper slope, the water will overflow onto the ground directly beneath the gutters.

You might think that this is a good thing because it’s away from your roof, but now you have an entirely new problem — flooding. This flooding can cause potential foundation damage and flooding of your property and basement.

Replacing Both at the Same Time

One of the smartest moves you can make as a homeowner is to replace your gutter system at the same time you replace your roof. Doing so can help you prevent dealing with roof leaks, flooding, and any other damage to your home.

The last thing you want is to invest in a brand new roof, only to have it immediately damaged by the next few rainfalls. This can bring the life expectancy of your roof from 15 plus years, all the way down to just a couple of years…

It really makes you rethink the importance of a functional gutter system.

When it’s time to replace your roof (and inevitably your gutter system as well), our professional installers here at Landmark Exteriors can do the job for you!

We welcome the opportunity to talk with you about your vision for your home, and how our experience can benefit your home!

What Causes a Cedar Roof to Warp?

Do you have a cedar roof protecting your home?

How’s it looking?

Do the cedar shingles look uneven, colorless, or covered in some type of moss?

If so, your roof is probably warped and in need of a treatment to help restore it. But what causes a cedar roof to warp like this?

cedar shakes can warp after 5 years if you're not careful

Why is My Cedar Roof Warping?

When a cedar roof is installed, you can expect to have one of the best-looking and best-protecting roofs of any material.

However, after about five years, the natural preservatives on the cedar shakes can wear away — leaving the roof exposed to the harsh elements of Mother Nature.

When cedar becomes exposed like this, warping and rotting can begin to occur.

UV Ray Damage

Just like your skin, the roof of your home can become damaged by being exposed to ultraviolet rays from the sun. Unfortunately, there’s no way for your roof to cover up or go inside.

You might be thinking, “What about when the clouds are covering the sun?”

Ultraviolet rays can pierce through clouds, so they’re there even when the sun is hiding. This type of constant exposure will strip cedar roofs of their natural preservatives as time goes on — and unfortunately, there’s no way to stop this from happening.

Excessive Moisture Infiltration

As time goes on and your cedar roof beings to lose some of its natural preservatives, it will become susceptible to absorbing moisture from precipitation and highly humid days.

For those who experience roof damage (due to high-speed winds or debris hitting against the roof), the material can become further exposed to moisture and expedite the process of becoming warped and rotted.

Moss, Mold & Mildew

As a result of excessive moisture infiltration, either moss, mold, mildew, or a combination of the three can begin to grow on top of the cedar shakes (as well as underneath if there’s some roof damage).

The presence of moss, mold, or mildew is a sign that there’s an excessive moisture problem that needs to be addressed. As long as the growth continues to exist (because it needs moisture to survive), the more your cedar roof will warp and rot.

Homeowners with cedar roofs need to have them treated every five years. This is the magic number to help keep your roof from becoming damaged by the elements while also keeping it looking its best!

If your cedar roof is in need of a treatment process, our Cedar-Life division is designed to provide the best in business!

Why is My Roof Leaking?

When the roof over your head isn’t provided with regular maintenance, roof leaks can occur.

You might notice brown spots on your walls or ceilings inside of your home — these are usually a warning sign that there’s a roof leak in need of attention (unless your plumbing has sprung a leak).

Unfortunately, there are a few reasons why your roof is leaking…

a damaged roof will lead to roof leaks

Your Gutters Are a Mess

When you ignore critical gutter maintenance, such as clearing out debris and ensuring there’s enough slope positioned toward the downspout, you should expect to see some roof leaks sooner rather than later.

Why?

When rainwater falls from the roof to the gutters, gutter debris and improper slope will trap this water, causing it to pool over onto the eaves and edges of your roof. Think of this as a mini-flood at the edge of your roof — eventually, a leak will form.

You Have Shingles Missing

How often do you actually take the time to go outside, walk around your property, and inspect your roof from all sides?

(Probably not as often as you should…)

This is an important piece of maintenance that should be done at least once per season AND after harsh rain and snow storms. High-speed winds and heavy precipitation can cause shingles to rip off — as well as others to curl or crack over time, thus, breaking off.

Missing shingles should be replaced as soon as you notice they’re gone, otherwise, a roof leak can occur as soon as the very next rainfall.

Your Roof is Old

A homeowner that provides their roof with all of the proper maintenance throughout the years can still experience roof leaks if the roof is old and at the end of its useful life.

For many homeowners, they will purchase a home and keep the current roof because it most likely has some useful years left — especially if repairs are made right off the bat.

However, all roofing materials have their own specific lifespan and when your roof (made up of that material) reaches that age, a replacement will be necessary. Allowing your home to sport a roof passed its useful life is like playing with fire when it comes to impending roof leaks.

Roof leaks just don’t worsen the current condition of your roof — they can also cause damage to the structure, walls, and ceilings of the interior of your home.

When your home is in need of roof inspections, roof repairs, or complete roof replacements, our pro roofers at Landmark Exteriors will do everything to ensure your home is well-protected!

What New Homeowners Should Know About Their Roof

Moving into a new home is one of the more exciting times in a person’s life — especially when it’s for the very first time!

(If this is your first home, then congratulations!)

After you’ve taken the time to unpack and settle in, there’s a long list of “To-Do’s” that you’ll need to address.

At the top of the list — addressing the roof and any possible concerns with its ability to protect your home.

what to do when you buy a new home

Have the Roof Inspected Annually

Technically, this is something you should do before you purchase a new home, as buying a new home with a roof that needs replacement can significantly increase the amount you’ll spend right off the bat.

However, making it a point to have an annual inspection of your roof by a professional roofer is important.

You will be able to identify any possible trouble areas and have them repaired before they worsen, thus, lengthening the lifespan of your roof.

Your Gutters Are a Part of Your Roof System

When you think of your roof, do you think about your gutter system? If you don’t, then you need to start!

The point of a gutter system is to redirect rainwater from the roof to the ground below in a way that won’t cause pooling, flooding, or property damage.

  • Gutters with holes, gaps, and cracks will leak and cause water to pool on the ground, close to the house, resulting in possible foundation damage and erosion. This can cause serious problems for you down the road.
  • Gutters filled with debris (or an improper slope) will prevent rainwater from draining toward the downspout. This water can pool until it begins to overflow onto the edges of the roof. This is where roof leaks, water damage, and rot can begin to take place.

With all of the damage your home can sustain without the proper gutter system, you’ll never ignore your gutters ever again!

Keep a Number Handy

Problems with your roof can arise at a moment’s notice.

From storm damage (due to high-speed winds, flying debris, and trees falling) to an intense accumulation of rain/snow-fall to old age — roof problems will make themselves known when you least expect them (especially if you’ve been slacking on maintenance and inspections).

Make sure you keep your local roofer’s number in your contact list for when something does go wrong.

For those in the local Connecticut area that need a reliable roofer to count on, we’d be happy to fill those shoes for you!