6 Ways to Help Protect Your Home Against Freezing Temperatures

Whether you’re in Fairfield or Westchester counties (or Long Island), you’re no stranger to frigid winter storms — and the problems they can create for homeowners.

We tend to receive many questions from residents concerned about protecting their property from weather-related damage. So we’re here to help!

If you have not already done so, consider taking the below six steps to help prepare your home for freezing temperatures:

1. Caulk, Weather-Strip, And Insulate

You’ll stay warmer and prevent drafts by caulking around window and door frames and by installing weather strips beneath exterior doors. Also insulate walls and attics well. Taking these measures helps conserve heat. Make sure you insulate the attic floor well to prevent warm air from leaving the home rapidly and rising up to the roof (where it might promote the development of ice dams).

2. Maintain Effective Attic Ventilation

Keeping the attic in a well-ventilated condition also helps prevent dangerous rooftop ice dams. An experienced professional can assist you in installing an attic ventilation system.

3. Repair Roof Leaks Promptly

By maintaining your roof in a leak-free condition, you’ll help shelter your household against inclement weather. Leaky roofs allow moisture to enter the residence.

4. Keep Fireplace Flues Closed When Not in Use

When you don’t have a fire burning in the fireplace, consider closing the flue. This channel, designed to allow the release of smoke, enables cold air to enter the premises from outdoors through an empty fireplace.

5. Protect Exposed Basement And Crawl Space Water Pipes

Wrapping cloth and masking tape around poorly insulated basement and crawl space water pipes also helps prevent freeze damage.

6. Leave Indoor Faucets Dripping

If you reside in your home during the winter, consider leaving a small flow of water trickling through interior faucets. This action may help reduce problems associated with frozen pipes. Since water expands when frozen, the pipe may eventually sustain damage, and cause leakage problems in the future.

Taking these helpful cold-weather maintenance steps might even assist you in lowering high winter utility bills!

And remember, the professionals at Landmark Exteriors are just a call away! Contact us at 203-838-3838 about any cold weather roofing concerns.

Myths About Attic Ventilation

Attic ventilation is a common problem in many homes. Unfortunately there are a number of misconceptions surrounding this topic, which can lead to higher heating bills as well as ice dams or mold for homeowners — yikes!

That said, here are the most common myths, debunked:

1. The more ventilation, the better!

Similarly to choosing the right air conditioning unit, the key with effective attic ventilation is balance — not size. Some people might think that they can’t go wrong with more ventilation. But bigger isn’t better!

Insufficient ventilation can lead to decreased energy efficiency and moisture problems. That’s why you’ll want to talk to a professional to ensure your home has the right amount.

2. Ventilation causes heat loss.

Heat does rise, but if you are losing heat through your attic, it is because of insufficient insulation and not a vent problem. Warm, damp air can further damage insulation that is already inadequate and may eventually lead to rot.

However, heat from the furnace should not reach the attic if it is properly insulated and ventilated.

3. All roof vents are the same.

It is not enough to simply have any type of roof vent, and certain types of roof vents can cause problems. For example, too little air may be circulated by gable vents. A contractor can identify the most effective type of vent for your attic.

4. I read research online, so it must be true.

While you can read plenty of research online about what kind of roof ventilation system is most effective in laboratory conditions, it all gets more complicated in real-world settings. Your local contractor, who is familiar with the weather systems, building materials and other challenges in your area, is more likely to know what solutions will work best in your situation! Trust us, this isn’t something you want to DIY.

Attic ventilation is important for regulating temperature and moisture, but attic ventilation that is poorly done can be just as harmful as no ventilation at all!

That said, make sure to give the professionals at Landmark Exteriors a call. We’ll be able to help with your ventilation needs and any roofing problems you may have!

How a Lot of Snow Can Hurt Your Roof

Too much snow and ice can seriously damage your roof, which is why it should be removed before any problems arise.

how snow can damage a roof

To help you eliminate the odds of structural damage this winter season, contact the pros at Landmark Exteriors! We can provide you with roof inspection and repair, gutter repair, snow guard installation, ice damming, and more! Contact us today at 203.838.3838.

Why You Should Consider a Slate Roof on an Older Home

Ah, slate roofs — they stand the test of time, while adding beauty and value to your home.

With slate roofs lasting over 100 years (if properly installed and maintained, of course), this material can certainly compliment  an older home filled with rich history.

If you’re tired of the same old roofing options, then slate will be the perfect choice. Still not sold on the idea? Take a glance at some of the many benefits of this timeless roofing material:

  1. Variety is key, no matter what avenue you’re dealing with. Luckily, slate is available in a range of sizes, thicknesses, and colors. You’ll be able to pick the roofing tiles that work best for your particular home, so you can best complement other details of the exterior.
  2. They stand the test of time. Consider this: most roofs last 20 years before they’re in need of replacement. Slate, on the other hand, can last over a century — which makes it one of the best investments a homeowner could ever make!
  3. They’re virtually indestructible. Did you know, unlike other materials, slate tiles are totally fire resistant? Should a neighboring home catch fire or a stray spark from a firework were to hit your roof, you’ll be in the clear.
  4. They’re environmentally friendly. Fact: other roofing materials need replacement every 20 or so years, which leads to landfill waste. As you’ve read above, slate can last significantly longer, a wise choice if you’re looking to reduce your carbon footprint. Further, you may choose synthetic slate roof shingles which are made of 100% recycled rubber and plastic — win! 

So, is slate roofing the right choice for your home? Contact Landmark Exteriors today!

If you want to find out what a slate roof can offer your home, we’re here to help! Give us a call at 203.838.3838. We proudly serve homeowners in Fairfield and Westchester counties, as well as Long Island.

Roof Repairs You Need to Make Before Winter Starts

Your roof is there to protect you against the harsh weather of winter, as well as the heat of summer. If your roof is in disrepair, don’t wait until next season to address the problems — now is the time to get those repairs done.

Here are 8 common roof repairs you should make immediately:

  1. Roof leaks. If your roof is leaking now, get it fixed ASAP. The longer you wait, the more potential damage (like mold, mildew, and rot) the water is going to do to your home.
  2. Damaged flashing. Flashing is what keeps water from getting in around chimneys, vents, and skylights. If the flashing is damaged, water can enter your home (causing damage as mentioned in point 1).
  3. Clogged gutters. Gutters are meant to move water away from your home. If they become clogged, due to leaves and other debris, water will remain stagnant in the trough. This can eventually lead to overflow and cause your roof to rot, helping water seep into your home.
  4. Lifted shingles. Winds and other severe weather can lift shingles. If you have any shingles that are not flat against the roof, give us a call to assess any damage.
  5. Sagging roof. Your roof deck and ridge line should be straight. If there is any sagging, it’s a sign the roof is not structurally sound.
  6. Tree damage. Whether your tree is overgrown or simply battling against strong winds, it’s not uncommon for trees to break or fall, causing roof damage. If you notice a tree is a bit too close for comfort, consider calling a tree trimmer to minimize potential issues.
  7. Small animal infiltration. Small animals like squirrels, raccoons, and birds can take advantage of small openings and start nesting in your eaves and attics. Get the animals removed and the holes covered!
  8. Missing, cracked or broken shingles. One broken shingle may not sound like a problem, however, shingles work together to protect your roof! A single missing or broken shingle is a spot where water can get in.

When it comes to your roof, preventative maintenance is key! Don’t wait for something to become a major problem before you take action. Addressing issues now can save you headaches later — trust us, even your wallet will thank you!

For any roof inspection, roof repair, or roof replacement needs, contact the pros at Landmark Exteriors today.

Why Your Roof Needs an Inspection Right Now

The winds of winter are here, bringing cold rain and snow with them. The roof on your home is going to be the first to take the brunt of a Northeastern winter so of course, you’ll want it to be in tip-top shape. That’s why we recommend a proper roof inspection, now!

Why Get Your Roof Inspected Right Now?

Do you know what kind of shape your roof is in? Can it handle the season’s harsh weather? Trust us, the last thing you want to discover is a leaky roof in the middle of a storm.

Overlooking roof damage can lead to a whole slew of problems, such as:

  • Costly and unplanned winter repairs! The last thing you want to do is have to pay for an emergency roof repair in the midst of a winter storm. Opting for a roof inspection now can ensure minor issues or weak points are fixed before they can develop into something more serious.
  • Increased utility bills! In the colder months, you want to keep the warm air inside your home, right? Well, if you have any small holes in your roof, the opposite will happen! In addition to having water leak into the home, you’ll find warm air will escape, driving up your electric bill each month. Repairing these holes will stop leaks AND stop wasting energy, a win-win!
  • Mold! More of a longterm problem, but mold and mildew growth can result from a leaking roof. Mold can spread into the home’s structure, making it a difficult and costly nuisance to get rid of! Not to mention the health issues that come with mold spore production.

Signs You Might Have Roof Problems

Still not convinced you need a roof inspection? Here are a few obvious signs:

  • Curled, buckled, or missing shingles. Most roofs can last 20-25 years, with others even longer pending the material. However, if your roof starts deteriorating before its lifespan, it is time for repair or replacement.
  • Sagging roof. A roof deck should be level and straight. If you see any dips in your attic, you have a problem.
  • Outside light. If in your attic during the day you notice streams of light coming through, that means water can also sneak through those openings.

If your roof shows any of these signs, give us a call! Our pro roofers here at Landmark Exteriors are here for all of your roof inspection, roof repair, or roof replacement needs.

Why Does Old Wood Turn Gray?

Is the cedar roof protecting your house grayer than the sky on a rainy day?

If you were to look at a picture of your roof the day it was installed and compare it to what it looks like today, we’re pretty confident you’d be upset at the difference.

We want to explain to you why this happens and then offer you a solution to fix this ugly problem.

old cedar roof

Over-Exposure to UV Light

When you’re in the sun for too long, your skin will begin to change colors due to the effects of UV light. The same principle applies to wood that’s exposed to the sun. However, instead of the skin pigment changing colors, the cellulose fibers that make up the wood will begin to degrade and deteriorate.

Over time, roofs with wood shingles will begin to turn gray due to the constant exposure to UV light. You cannot prevent your roof from being exposed to UV light, but you can treat the wood shingles to help restore those fibers. This will help keep your roof looking new, instead of a lifeless gray.

Precipitation and Mildew Growth

When it rains and snows, the moisture can begin to negatively affect wooden roof shingles as time goes on. New roofs with high quality materials (that are properly installed) are unaffected by precipitation. However, as time goes on, constant UV light and fairing against the elements will cause shingles to become weakened.

As wooden shingles weaken over time, they will become susceptible to the growth of mildew and other fungi. This can discolor wood, causing some areas to become darker or lighter than others. In addition to the loss of color from UV light, the growth of mildew will further the discoloration.

How to Prevent Discoloration of Your Roof

You can’t cover your roof to protect it from UV light or moisture, but what you can do is have it treated every few years. Cedar-Life is a treatment you can have applied to your cedar shingles that will preserve the wood and delay the negative effects of the sun and precipitation.

A cedar roof that is left untreated may need to be replaced after 10 to 15 years. Having your cedar roof treated with Cedar-Life every few years can easily increase this lifespan to the range of 35 to 50 years!

Cedar-Life is a proprietary process designed and implemented by the pros here at Landmark Exteriors. So when you want to breathe new life into your roof and up your curb appeal, be sure to give us a call!

The Parts of Your Roofing System You Should Know

When you think of the roof, you probably think about the roofing shingles that cover the top of your house.

While the roofing shingles are a big part of your roof, there are many other parts that make up the entire roofing system.

Knowing each part of the roofing system will help you understand how the roof is supposed to work and what parts need the most maintenance.

different parts of the roof

The Parts of the Roofing System

  • Decking/Sheathing – The structure of the roof itself is called the decking of the roof. This gives the roof its shape and support. Laid on top of the roof deck is the sheathing. This is the plywood that lays flat onto the structure where you will nail in place all of the other roofing materials.
  • Underlayment – Once the sheathing has been nailed into place, it must be covered in an underlayment material. This black paper (usually a felt material) helps protect the wood it sits atop of from any rain or moisture that might squeeze passed the shingles.
  • Flashing – Like any structure, there are going to be areas of the roof that are “weaker” than others. In the case of a roof, there are areas that aren’t protected from precipitation as well as others. These areas include: hips, valleys, around chimneys, etc. To ensure water doesn’t penetrate these exposed areas, a metal sheet known as flashing is installed underneath the shingles. This will divert rainwater away from the exposed areas toward the gutter system.
  • Shingles – Now comes the most known piece of the roofing system — the shingles. The shingles are what give the roof its unique look, as well as helping protect the structure from the elements of Mother Nature. Shingles can be made from a variety of materials, including: asphalt, cedar, slate, aluminum, etc.
  • Fascias & Soffits – Roofs extend outward from the side of the house, leaving a few feet of additional roof. The face of the edge of the roof is known as the fascia. The underneath of the edge of the roof is known as the soffit.
  • Roof Vents – Every properly installed roof should have an attic space with the proper ventilation. This will protect the attic space from enduring extreme temperatures by ventilating the air out of specifically designed roof vents. Without the right number of roof vents, the underneath of the roof that lives in the attic can become damaged.
  • Gutter System – Yes, the gutters hanging on the edge of your roof are a part of the overall roofing system. They have the important job of channeling rainwater away from your roof to help prevent leaks. The gutter system is made up of the gutters, downspouts, elbows, gutter extension, splash block, etc.

Knowing what each part of your roofing system is and does is something every homeowner should know.

If any part of your roof is damaged and needs repair, or is missing and needs replacement, know that Landmark Exteriors is only a small call away!

What to Do if the House You Want to Buy Has a Bad Roof?

Picture This: You’ve been looking to purchase a new home for the last few months (or even years) and nothing has allowed you to say “this is the one.” Then out of nowhere, you find the house you’ve been looking for! Everything seems perfect until you take a tour of it and find out that the roof is in terrible condition

Should you still consider this house even with the roof damage?

Well, let’s talk about the types of damage it may have:

roof damage

Shingle Condition

The first thing you’ll look at is the condition of the roofing shingles. Each material will have its own telltale signs that they’re old and need to be replaced. Asphalt shingles can crack and curl, cedar shingles can split and turn grey, slate shingles can split and break off, etc.

Whichever material this roof utilizes, give the roof a visual inspection to assess the current condition of the shingles. You should also ask the realtor or owner of the house how old the current roof is.

Roof Leaks

When the condition of the roofing shingles or flashing are not in good condition (or are not installed properly), roof leaks are almost always a result. These leaks can cause mold growth, wood rot, and weaken the overall structure of the roof underneath the shingles.

A way to inspect a home for roof leaks is to enter the attic space and look for wet spots, warped wood, mold growth, and light that peers in during the daytime.

Roof leaks can be fixed if they’re newer and smaller, but if they’re larger or have been around for a while — the damage could have already taken its toll in shortening the roof’s lifespan.

Structural Damage

When old age, roof leaks, or too many layers of roofing shingles exists with a roof, the structure of the roof can become damaged and weakened. A roof with a weakened structure will need to be fully replaced — wood, shingles, flashing, etc.

Failing to replace a roof with a weakened structure can put the roof at risk of sagging and eventually collapsing. This not only fails to protect your home from the outside elements but also becomes a hazard to you and your family.

It’s Time to Make a Decision

When the house you want to buy has a bad roof, you have to take into account the severity of the issues. If there are a few missing shingles and small roof leaks that seem to be relatively new, it can be worth it to make the repairs in order to have the home of your dreams.

However, if the roof is well past its lifespan or there are multiple roof leaks that have caused some damage — the repair and replacement costs are only going to be worth it if you believe this is the ONLY house you want to live in. (Also, remember that while the upfront costs might seem expensive, you’re also reinvesting into the home and increasing its overall value.)

If the roof has severe structural damage, the house may not be worth your time, money, and energy.

Finding the perfect house is a moment of bliss — that can easily be ruined by a bad roof.

When you’re in need of a roof inspection, repair, or replacement, our roofers will be there for you with a competitive estimate sure to follow!

Animals That Can Ruin your Roof (and What to Do About Them)

When you think of roof damage, you usually think of leaks caused by heavy rainfall or debris that collides with the roof via highspeed winds.

While storms can cause serious damage to your roof, you should also be worried about your neighbors

No, not Jim next door. The wild animals that live right outside your home!

Squirrel on the Roof

Animals That Can Be Found on Your Roof

When you live in suburban neighborhoods (such as the many across Connecticut), running into wild animals can be a regular occurrence. You might be thinking to yourself:

“I’ve never seen a wild animal on my roof before though.”

However, certain wild animals are sneaky enough where they will explore your roof without you knowing — until you see the damage they leave behind.

Common wild animals that can be found on your roof include raccoons, squirrels, opossums, chipmunks, birds, bats, and a whole slew of insects.

How Animals Can Ruin Your Roof

The roof of your home is meant to protect your home from Mother Nature’s harsh weather conditions. Roofs aren’t meant to handle constant contact with animals (or humans) or their methods of trying to get inside of the roof to the attic space.

Wild animals like squirrels, raccoons, and opossums will use their paws and teeth to create openings in the roof. Whether the animals get inside of your home or not, the damage will then be susceptible to roof leaks which will lead to wood rot, mold, and a shortened lifespan of your roof.

Birds and bats can also cause damage to your roof simply by nesting in troublesome areas — like in roof vents. Nests (and the actual animals nesting) can block the flow of air in and out of the attic space. A lack of proper airflow can damage the structure of the roof during periods of extreme temperatures.

How to Prevent Animals From Damaging Your Roof

You can’t just put a sign on your roof that says “No Entry.” Therefore, you have to follow some preventative measures:

  • Trim back any trees and shrubbery with branches that hang too close to the roof. (Overhanging trees act as a bridge from nature to your home.)
  • Add anti-bird spikes to the edges of your roof to prevent birds from landing here.
  • Have mild roof damage repaired ASAP to prevent wild animals from using this as an easy access point to your attic space.
  • Perform visual inspections of your roof for not only damage but also to look out for any animals nesting.

For those experiencing roofing problems because of wild animals, make sure you contact your local pest management specialists to explore the best prevention methods.

In addition to pest control, contact your local roofer to have them perform an inspection of your roof and repair any damage these wild animals may have caused.