How to Check for Roof Damage After a Summer Storm

Summer storms can do a lot of damage to your home. High winds, lightning, and heavy rain can all cause serious structural problems to your roof. In the event of a bad summer storm, you need to be able to recognize the signs of damage to your home’s roof. Knowing when the damage has occurred to your roof will help you know when to seek repair from a professional.

1. Moisture and Stains Inside Your Home

After one too many storms, your roof will eventually be vulnerable to leaks. Eventually, the built-up moisture will begin to create small halls in your shingles, which can cause water to leak into your attic and other areas of your home. The best way to tell if your roof has a leak is to check your attic for moisture. If the wood appears darker in some areas, you may have a leak.

Additionally, if you begin to notice stains on your ceiling, touch them to see if it is wet. Then, contact a professional to help find the source of the leak and fix it. If the stain is dry, it is likely from a previous leak.

2. Missing or Damaged Shingles

Summer storms usually include heavy winds and fallen trees, and that means some shingles may be missing. Unless the wind gusts were strong enough to carry them away from your home, you will likely see shingles strewn across your yard.

Save these shingles to help your roofer choose the exact match for the new shingles they will install on your roof.
In some cases, your shingles may have been damaged without actually falling from the roof. Call your roofing professional for a maintenance appointment if you see noticeable cracks or rips in your shingles.

3. Check for Gutter Damage

Missing, clogged, or damaged gutter sections are another sign that your roof may be damaged. Inspect your gutters for signs of puddles near the frame of your home, as this will indicate a part of your gutter is missing. Over time, the water at the base of your home will erode away the frame and seep into your house. To avoid this, it’s best to get your gutter fixed as soon as possible.

Contact a Reputable Roofer

As a homeowner, you can protect your roof and your home by performing regular inspections following summer storms. Never walk out onto your roof to perform an inspection by yourself — leave this to the professionals!

Contact a reputable roofing professional right away if you notice any damage to your roof. Your roofer can help you decide what is wrong with the roof and what needs to be done to repair the damage.
For more information about damage to roofs from summer storms, contact Landmark Exteriors! We will be happy to help you determine if your roof, shingles, or gutters are damaged, and we’ll perform a repair right away. Contact us today to make an appointment!

7 Tips to Properly Power Wash Your Siding

Your home’s siding protects the exterior walls, and it gets dirty and discolored over time. Try these tips for a proper power washing to reveal a brilliant color under that grimy film: 

1. Time it Right

Your siding is ultimately a vertical element, and because of this, it doesn’t attract dust and dirt like other flat parts of the home. Ideally, schedule a professional power washing every two years. This general rule-of-thumb can vary based on your location. Homes that accumulate a lot of snow come winter may require extra attention.

2. Examine the Siding

Take a look at the siding’s condition and age. Siding that’s crumbling from termite damage cannot be power washed, and in fact, will probably need to be replaced. Another concern is age, which includes possible asbestos or lead materials within the siding. If you suspect these substances, contact professionals for an evaluation.

3. Move Exterior Obstacles

Remove any items around the home’s perimeter that might be damaged by water. Move potted plants, barbecues, patio furniture, and similar items from the area. The water that drips down from the siding will be dirty. Don’t give yourself another cleaning duty by leaving these items in place!

4. Prep the Surface

Your siding has a lot of elements included on its surface area. Walk around the structure, and cover those electrical outlets and vents. A better idea is to cut off the electricity entirely to the outlets. Cover your deactivated HVAC system too. 

5. Test the Tool

Always test the tool away from the siding. Hook it up to your water supply. Point the nozzle at a sidewalk or street. Turn on the water. Verify that you have a strong spray by cleaning the ground a bit. Alter the spray’s strength if necessary.

6. Spray Like a Professional

Activate the tool so that the spray is about a yard away from the siding’s surface. Watch how the grime falls away. Alter your position if you need to get a bit closer to remove the film. Start at the top of the home, and use a side-to-side motion with the tool. 

7. Verify the Cleanliness Factor 

Walk around the home. Examine the siding for its overall cleanliness. Document any damages that might have occurred during the cleaning. In most cases, the siding is clean and merely needs to drip dry.

Need to Schedule a Power Washing or Siding Estimate?

Contact Landmark Exteriors for your siding, roofing, and gutter needs today. Our experts examine, quote and fix issues before they worsen over time. Keep up with your power-washing chores while leaving the repairs to Landmark Exteriors!

Preventing Moss on Your Roof

Moss roots can lift up shingles, create leaks in your roof, and breed bacteria that can cause health concerns for your family. While not all mold poses a health risk, some are harmful, especially for older people, children and those who suffer from asthma and respiratory problems.

How to Prevent Moss Growth on Your Roof

Moss commonly thrives in damp, shady environments, making your roof a prime location for it to grow. You can prevent moss growth on your roof by taking a few simple measures:

  • Cut back overgrown trees to ensure your roof isn’t completely shaded, allowing for sunlight to dry up any moisture.
  • Keep your roof free of debris through regular roof maintenance and cleanings.
  • Use zinc strips to prevent the future growth of moss. These strips can be nailed along with the ridge caps at the peak of your roof. Additionally, when it rains, the zinc will be released onto your roof and inhibit any moss growth.

Similar to algae, if you have moss on your roof, you should contact a professional to remove it. Not only is walking on your roof dangerous, but it can be harmful to your health should you come in direct contact with the moss. 

Call a Professional to Remove Moss 

At Landmark Exteriors, we’ll employ one of the following tactics, or a combination, to rid your roof of moss:

  • Scraping the moss off by hand by using a pressure washer and a hand scraper. This will remove any large areas of moss.
  • Bleach the moss away. While bleach will kill the moss, it may also discolor your roof because of its corrosive properties. 
  • Spread moss control powder. This is one of the best ways to prevent and remove moss from roofs. The powder is made from zinc sulfate and does no damage to your roof. However, moss control powder has the potential to be harmful to wildlife and vegetation.
  • Replace damaged shingles. If your roof is severely damaged, it may be time to replace the lifted or damaged shingles.

At Landmarks Exteriors, our professionals are here for all your roofing needs! Large or small, we take care of everything from routine maintenance items to emergency roof repairs. Contact us today to see how we can help!

Fourth of July Events in CT

In Connecticut, we love fireworks no matter where or when they take place. That’s why our Fourth of July celebrations span across our community, all through the first week in July.  If you’re looking for the best places to watch a patriotic display this Independence Day, we’ve got the best local spots for you:

Norwalk Fireworks Display

What: Annual firework display right here in Norwalk, how much more local can you get!?

When: Wednesday, July 3rd (rain date Thursday, July 5)

Where: Calf Pasture Beach

Price: Free

Fairfield Fireworks Celebration

What: Celebrate the holiday with live music, followed by an explosive firework show around 9:15pm.

When: Wednesday, July 3rd at 6:00 pm

Where: Jennings and Penfield Beaches

Price: Free (parking is $50 without residents pass)

Stratford Firework Show

What: The firework display will begin shortly after sunset.

When: Wednesday, July 3rd at 9:00pm

Where: Short Beach

Price: Free

Wilton Freedom 5K Road Race and Firework Display

What: Wilton will be hosting a day complete with races, games, food, fireworks, and more.

When: Thursday, July 4th.

  • 5K start time: 8:30am, Wilton Track
  • Wilton High Varsity Softball Game: 12:00pm
  • Food trucks, live music, and family fun: 5:00pm
  • Firework display: 9:30pm

Where: Wilton High School

Price: Free

Weston Fourth of July Celebration

What: complete with a barbeque, food trucks, music and fireworks.

When: Thursday, July 4th at 4:30pm

Where: Weston Middle School

Price: $30 per car (must be purchased in advance)

Ridgefield Fireworks

What: Fireworks will light up Ridgefield as the town celebrate the Fourth of July with food, family fun, entertainment, and more.

When: Thursday, July 4th at 6:00pm

Where: Ridgefield High School

Price: $20 per car (must be purchased in advance)

Simsbury Celebration of America

What: The Hartford Orchestra will perform classic patriotic songs in honor of the holiday. Fireworks will follow the concert.

When: Friday, July 5 (Rain Date Saturday, July 6), ay 7:30pm

Where: Simsbury Meadows Performing Arts Center

Price: Lawn seats $25, reserved seats $40, children $5.

Wherever you choose to celebrate, we hope you have a happy and safe Fourth of July holiday with your friends and family. From all of us at Landmark Exteriors, Happy Independence Day!

What are the Black Stains on my Roof?

black stains on roof

Although they may seem like dirt from afar, the black stains on your roof are actually algae – specifically, gloeocapsa magma (blue-green algae). Starting off as small spots, this algae typically grows and eventually becomes large, visible streaks on your roof. By the time most homeowners notice the algae, it’s usually been there for about 2 months.

Why Do Shingles Get Algae?

Algae spores can be carried by the wind, animals, or your clothing, making them airborne. Algae spores can easily be spread from your rooftop to rooftop across your neighborhood or complex.

Asphalt shingles are most prone to algae, but any type  of roofing can develop algae. Common materials that make up asphalt shingles typically include fiberglass and crushed limestone, which is provides sustenance for algae to thrive. This is why asphalt shingles provide the perfect home for algae to develop and spread.

Warmer and humid climates are the friendliest environments for algae to grow in, but can affect homes in every climate. While algae in itself is not harmful, it can eventually cause the UV granules that cover a roof to come off and dry out, leaving your roof exposed to direct sunlight.

How Do I Remove the Algae Streaks?

Algae can be removed through a simple professional roof cleaning. Don’t risk climbing on a slippery algae-covered roof. Schedule a cleaning for your roof as soon as possible.

Preventing Streaks in the Future

You can’t permanently prevent streaks, but you can take measures to lessen the risks of algae in the future. Your roof algae is similar to a cold —  airborne and unavoidable. Here’s a few simple ways to improve the health of your roof:

  • Trim tree branches to allow more sunlight, and limit the amount of debris that may fall on your roof. This will make your roof environment less inviting the growth of roof algae.
  • Keep your gutters and downspouts clean of clogs to ensure your home has proper water drainage.
  • Get new shingles. If your roof is severely damaged, it may be time to replace it. Consider switching from asphalt to a different material, and make sure you get shingles that have the best and longest warranty.

Contact A Professional Today!

At Landmarks Exteriors, our professionals are here for all your roofing needs! Large or small, we take care of everything from routine maintenance items to emergency roof repairs. Contact us today to see how we can help!

What to Do During a Summer Blackout

Summertime blackouts can be uncomfortably hot, inconvenient, and even dangerous, especially for children and the elderly. Increased usage of air conditioners increases the voltage of electricity being used in your area. It’s better to be prepared ahead of time in the event of a power outage this summer.

Keep Cool

Make sure to keep all windows and doors completely closed and block any incoming sunlight to the best of your ability. If your power does go out in the summer, you’ll want to stay as cool as possible.

Stay Safe

If you are on medication, find out how long medication can be stored at higher temperatures and be sure to keep medications on-hand that are critical for life.

It is also helpful to create an emergency kit for power outages that can be utilized at any point. Add batteries, flashlights, bottled water, and any first aid equipment you may need. Sign up for local alerts and warning systems in advance, and monitor updated weather reports. If you are able to, be sure to check on neighbors that may need assistance.

Store Food

“Get the bread and milk!” We may joke about this when a storm is coming, but it’s important to be prepared. Did you know, a full freezer or fridge will last longer than a half-filled one without power? A full freezer can last around two days if unopened and a full fridge will last around 4 hours. Have in mind what you want to remove before you stand there with the door open.  It’s best to make sure to keep non-perishable items in your pantry such as rice, pasta, and snacks just in case. You’ll be safe rather than sorry, and full rather than hungry!

Back-up and Disconnect Electronics

Turn off appliances, equipment, and electronics. Power may return with momentary “surges” or “spikes” that can cause damage. Before your phones, computers, tablets or any other devices lose power, make sure to back them up in order to prevent losing information. Surge suppressor power strips can help keep your electronics powered during a surge. It’s always helpful to have a portable charger fully-charged and handy in case of a power surge or a blackout.

Get Creative

We all rely on our phones to keep ourselves entertained, so when the WiFi goes out we panic. Consider reading books, playing a card game, or any other creative activity that you and your family can enjoy to make the time go faster until power is restored.

At Landmarks Exteriors, our professionals are here for all your home needs! Large or small, we take care of everything from roof ventilation, window upgrades, and routine maintenance checks. Contact us today to see how we can help!

How To Live in Your House Safely During Renovation

Home renovation: It’s messy, it’s loud, and sometimes it smells. But that doesn’t mean you have to pack your bags.  Staying in your home allows you to closely monitor the progress in your home, and also eliminates any additional hotel costs that you would need to calculate into your renovation budget.  If you plan on staying put, make sure you have a plan for how to live in your home safely.

Determine Your Construction Schedule

You should be able to work with your contractor to create a schedule to know exactly when workers will be in your house, and when construction will begin each day. This not only ensures privacy and the ability to plan around work times, but also prevents any security system trips. If you do plan your construction during a time you will be away from the home such as a vacation or work trip, still be sure to stay in constant contact with your contractor.

Seal off Renovation-Free Areas

There’s no reason you cannot enjoy other areas of your home that aren’t construction zones. Your home will get messy no matter what, but you can contain dust in the areas that are being worked on. Make sure to specify which rooms workers should not enter to prevent any debris being tracked into other rooms.

Turn Off Your HVAC System

Dust is easily blown around homes if your air is turned on. You can open windows in living areas that are not affected by construction to keep cool, and you may also choose to utilize an air handler to filter dust and debris out.

Keep Kids and Pets Away

To avoid risk of injury or disturbance in the process, make sure that pets are either crated or kept separately from any work areas in you home. Sit down and talk with young children before construction begins and tell them what rooms they must avoid so they do not get hurt or create a delay in the construction.

Wear Shoes at All Times

You never know what’s going to be on the floor of a construction site. If you wouldn’t walk barefoot on a work zone outside, don’t walk barefoot inside your home! Nails, glass and other work materials could be lying around until the construction is cleaned up. Assure that when the work does stop, workers clean up any loose debris and do a full cleaning for yourself to ensure nothing is left behind.
Need a roof repair or installation? We’ve got you covered at Landmark Exteriors and our Home Care division! We offer only top-quality roofing materials to provide our customers with durable, weather-resistant, and guaranteed roofing solutions. To speak with our professional staff about a new roofing installation, give us a call at 203.838.3838, or visit us on the web.

5 Common Patio/Deck Repairs to Complete for Summer

Warm weather means your backyard may become a hotspot for dinners, parties, and events. Here are five things that may cause you to repair your deck before your busy social calendar heats up this summer:

1. Water Damage

Just because your deck has been sealed once doesn’t mean it will prevent water damage indefinitely. Especially after winter snow storms and April showers, you should test your deck or patio’s water resistance. Sprinkle it with a few drops of water, and if the water seeps into your boards instead of beading, it’s time to reseal.

2. Fading Color

Wood naturally loses color over time, slowly fading to gray or white. Your faded patio or deck can actually be restored by cleaning any debris that may be stuck to the wood. If all else fails, a fresh coat of paint never hurt anyone!

3. Board Gaps

The enemy of high heels! Certain types of wood used for patios and decks may shrink over time, causing gaps in between the boards that can be dangerous for your family, pets, and guests. If you notice there is a gap between your boards, they will need to be replaced.

4. Wood Rot

The worst-case scenario for an unseal, unprotected deck is wood rot. This will cause your wooden boards to decay, and if left unfixed, to fall apart. The easiest way to replace rotten boards is to call on the help of a professional, who can inspect the area, replace boards, and seal or reseal your deck.

5.  Loose Handrail

A shaky handrail is an accident waiting to happen and is usually due to worn masonry anchors on your deck or patio. If your railing is rusted, you may want to consider replacing it altogether. Employing the help of a professional to put your handrail back into place, or remove it and install a new one, is the best course of action.

In the end, performing seasonal checks on your patio and deck can help you avoid costly repairs down the road and keep your friends and family safe. Landmark Exteriors is here to help! Whether you need a maintenance plan or just a last minute-repair, we’ve got you covered!  To speak with on one of our professional staff members, give us a call at 203.838.3838.

5 Summer Energy Saving Tips

As temperatures increase, so does your energy bill — unless you adopt a few energy saving tips into your routine! We’re here to help you find the perfect balance between using your home as a cool refuge and not letting your energy bill break the bank:

1. Make sure your cooling system is running efficiently. This means it’s time for an AC tune-up, and to check the window seals on your pane-based air conditioner units. If you notice your home is still not cooling correctly, consider roof ventilation to help let more heat escape out.

2. Avoid heating your home with appliances and heavy lighting. It’s time to show your microwave and grill some love, and take a break from your oven. Instead of turning on every light in the house, utilize natural light during the daytime. Additionally, be more mindful of shutting off switches when leaving a room, and consider switching to energy-efficient bulbs.

3. Use windows to gain cool air. This is where window upgrades can save you money in the long run. On milder days and nights, opt to shut off your air conditioner and crack open the windows. You’ll also appreciate the breath of fresh air!

4. Give your dryer a well-deserved rest. Line dry clothes when you can, or utilize your dryer to its maximum capacity to cut down on how many cycles you need to run.

5. Install a smart thermostat. These devices allow you to customize temperatures from room-to-room throughout your day and help regulate your home — plus they’re one of the home improvement projects known to boost resale value.

At Landmarks Exteriors, our professionals are here for all your home needs! Large or small, we take care of everything from roof ventilations, window upgrades, and routine maintenance checks. Contact us today to see how we can help!

How the Sun Affects Your Roof

The Threat From Above

When you think of roof damage, winds or storms may come to mind as the apparent troublemakers. But there’s another threat to your roof, one that is far more subtle and long-term – the sun.

Here are just a few of the ways that sunlight can potentially damage your roof, and what you can do to stay on top of the problem:

Bleaching

Think driftwood: being exposed to direct sunlight every day is what causes the wood’s original color to bleach and eventually fade. The same thing can happen to your roof, especially if your roof has darker colored shingles.

Warping and Cracking

Damage from the sun’s UV rays can cause your roof to warp. When summer temperatures reach around the 100 °F barrier your roof tiles will expand, while in the winter or milder days your tiles will contract. The constant heating and cooling of your tiles causes them to loosen, and eventually, tiles can fall out of place.

Decaying

Prolonged exposure to the sun will cause your roof’s shingles to start decaying. If your shingles appear to be rotten, missing chunks, or deformed in any way, they are showing signs of decay and it is important to get your roof repaired as soon as possible to prevent further damage.

What Can I Do About Roof Damage?

To stay on top of any sun damage to your roof, it’s important to perform routine checks. Pull out a ladder and place it against your home, and without stepping out onto the roof, check for signs of decay or damage. Do a visual inspection to look for signs of cracks, shifted or warped tiles, and check your drainage systems while you’re up there!
Sunlight wears your roof out over time, contact Landmark Exteriors to stay on top of your roof maintenance! We are here to replace those old, warped or decayed shingles, tiles, or to help with a complete roof renovation. Call us at 203.838.3838 today to schedule an appointment!