Repairing a Water Damaged Ceiling

Repairing a leak in your roof is a pain, but dealing with the unsightly water stain that it left on your ceiling can be an even bigger pain. Roof leaks often cause discoloration and mold on the interior of your home that can be difficult to get rid of. Luckily, we have a step by step solution to getting your house back in tip-top shape! 

Step 1: Bleach 

One sure-fire way to clean a water spot is by using a bleach solvent. Combine one cup of bleach and three cups of warm water in a bucket. Set up a drop cloth on the floor below the stain and prop up a ladder to reach it. Wipe down the stain with a clean sponge saturated in the bleach solvent. Then, rinse the bleach off the ceiling with water and wipe the damp area dry with a clean cloth. While this process won’t necessarily remove the unsightly stain, it will fade the stain and remove any mildew, grease, dirt, or dust from the stain. 

Step 2: Base Coat 

Applying a base coat on top of the stain is essential to making sure it stays covered up. Use an oil-based, mold-resistant, stain-blocking primer in a shade that matches your ceiling. Oil-based stain-blocking primers are water-insoluble so your stain won’t bleed through the paint. Use a paint roller to the apply the primer and allow it to dry for the time instructed by the packaging. 

Step 3: Ceiling Paint 

Find a paint color that matches that of the rest of your ceiling. Apply a few coats of the paint over the primer and let dry. 

Voila! Your ceiling is back to normal and ready for the holidays! Remember, covering a water stain makes the inside of your home look better, but finding the root cause of the leak is the only way to fully protect the structure of your home. If you’re concerned about a leak in your roof, call us at 303-443-5843 or submit a service request on our website: https://bmroofing.com/service-requests/.

Winter Roof Repair Tips

Have you been seeing large water stains on your attic ceiling this month? How about some dripping from the ceiling and a slight draft? If so, you may have a leak in your roof, but don’t panic. As we enter into the full swing of winter, your roof may become more vulnerable to damage. But, a leaky roof is not the end of the world and can be located and fixed with a few easy steps. Below are eight of our best winter roof repair tips that will keep your family warm and safe this season. 

1. Finding the Leak

When you first notice staining on your walls or ceilings, start by looking at the part of your roof that is uphill from the stains. Look for roof penetrations, missing shingles, or any other abnormalities. If you have access to your attic, you’ll be able to locate the leak based on the stain and mold on the walls. However, if you don’t have access to your attic, you’ll want to cautiously inspect the roof from outside. 

2. Fixing Plumbing Vent Boots 

Many roof leaks are caused by issues with appendages on your roof such as plumbing vent boots. If you discover an issue with your plumbing vent boot, check the plastic bases for cracks or broken seams. Then examine the rubber boot surrounding the pipe for damage. If any of these pieces are broken, you’ll need to purchase a new plumbing vent boot. If the boot is in good shape, you can try replacing the nails at the base of the boot with rubber-washer screws.

3. Fixing Roof Vents

If it’s your roof vent causing the leak, you’ll need to thoroughly inspect it. Check for cracked housing, broken seams, and missing nails. Unfortunately if your roof vent is damaged, you’ll need to replace it immediately. 

4. Fixing a Leaky Chimney

The flashing around brick chimneys is highly susceptible to rust. A quick fix is to simply slip new flashing under the old rusted flashing so that any water that seeps through will driven downhill. While this quick fix will last for a while, the best solution is to replace the flashing altogether. 

5. Fixing Step Flashing

Step flashing is the material used along the walls that intersect your roof. The flashing drains water downhill over your shingles, but when the flashing is damaged, water runs underneath it and into your house. If you encounter this problem, you’ll need to get your step flashing replaced as soon as possible. 

6. Fixing Worn Sealant

Sealant is the sticky material used with flashing and around the edges of skylights. Old and cracked sealant may be the source of your leaky roof. Luckily, this is an easy fix. Just purchase a tube of fishing sealant, re-seal the area, and you’re good to go.

7.  Check your Siding 

Sometimes leaks don’t come from your roof at all. It’s important to inspect the windows, corner boards, and siding near your roof for cracks and knotholes. It’s easy for the caulk in these areas to crack and wear down over time allowing for water to seep into your house. If you discover cracked caulk in these areas, replace it with high-quality new caulk to prevent leaking. 

8. Don’t Caulk It and Leave It 

Caulk is not a long-term solution for roof leaks. Serious leaks require repairing or replacing the damaged area of your roof. Only use caulk for very small holes or as a short-term fix. 

Leaky roofs are no fun to deal with, but being proactive with your repairs will really pay off in the long run. While these tips and tricks are great for small repairs, always call a professional to handle larger leaks and issues. 

10 Roof Maintenance Tips for Fall

As we roll into autumn, the clear skies of summer are waning and thunderstorms and snow will be making their way to Colorado. Roof maintenance is often neglected during this time of year, but seemingly small problems can turn into costly repairs down the line. Taking the time to inspect your roof now will save you some cash and a headache in the future. Here are our top 10 roof maintenance tips for fall. 

1. Look out for leaks 

If you see signs of leaking, mold, or dampness in your attic, call a professional ASAP. Catching a leak early will only cost you a few bucks to fix, but the worse it gets, the more expensive it will be to repair. 

2. Get rid of debris

Excess debris can damage shingles, allow algae to grow and clog your gutters. To prevent this, make sure to sweep off sticks and leaves from your roof whenever you’re cleaning your gutters. 

3. Don’t let the snow pile up 

Colorado has been known to see it’s first snow as early as October. When the first snowstorm hits, take a shovel or rake and gently pull snow off the roof to avoid it from collapsing. 

4. Manage the moss

Routinely checking for signs of fungus and algae. Fungus and algae create moss, which can retain moisture and freeze, causing damage to your shingles. If you do happen to find moss, invest in some zinc or lead control strips to get rid of it. 

5. Trim the trees

Long branches can scratch or even remove roofing materials. Removing branches that are getting close to your roof can save you a ton in the long-run. 

6. Inspect your shingles 

After hailstorms, make sure to check for curling or loose shingles and for damaged flashing. These things can get worse over time, so catching them early will help your roof last as long as possible 

7. Never power wash

When you see fungus or debris on the roof, you may get the urge to power wash it all off. Don’t do that. Power washing can push water under your shingles and weaken the roof’s structure. Carefully removing debris and fungus with a broom or rake is the best way to go. 

8. Clean your gutters 

Fall is one of the worst times of the year for your gutters. The leaves will fall from your trees and accumulate in your gutters, leading to clogs. Cleaning these leaves out will prevent damage by allowing rain to drain properly off your roof. 

9. Watch for pests 

Termites, rats, squirrels, and other pests can cause serious damage to your roof. If you see signs of small animals or pests try to remove them immediately. 

10. Install insulation 

Insulation not only keeps your house warm during the cold months of fall, but it can also prevent your roof from warping. It prevents snow from refreezing and causing water damage to your roof. If you don’t already have attic insulation, invest in some as soon as possible. 

 

Consider these maintenance tips to save time and money on your roof this fall. Give us a call with any questions you have!

 

How Colorado Weather Affects Roofs

Colorado weather affects roofsColorado weather is tough on roofs. Between the large temperature fluctuations we receive throughout the year, damaging storms and the mile-high sun, Colorado weather affects roofs in several ways that can significantly shorten their lifespans.

Colorado isn’t known for extreme weather, but our mix of blistering summer days and sub-zero stretches in the winter expose homes to extremes that can take their toll on roofing materials. Watch for extreme weather events to damage your roof, and inspect your roof if you fear it suffered weather damage.

  • Ultraviolet Radiation: The most extreme weather condition in Colorado is present every day of the year. Just like it’s easier to get sunburned in Colorado altitudes than on sea level, it’s easier for sun to damage your roof. With fewer ultraviolet rays filtered by the atmosphere, your roof soaks up a lot more of the UV rays that degrade it. Expect your roof to deteriorate faster than those in similar conditions at sea level.
  • Humidity: More accurately, the lack of humidity. When coupled with the sun’s harsh glare, our dry air can accelerate the decay of asphalt and shake shingles.
  • Summer Storms: The Front Range and Eastern Plains are both known for sudden blasts of extreme weather which frequently generate 60-mph winds and hail. Storm damage isn’t always immediately visible, particularly from the ground, so call a qualified inspector or estimator to take a closer look at your roof after a storm.
  • Ice: Our warm winter days are great for melting driveways, but the resulting overnight freeze can damage roofs when they don’t feature adequate drainage. Poorly draining rooftops – including roofs with gutters clogged with debris – lead to ice dams, which can damage roofing.
  • Snow: More of an issue in the high country than along the Front Range, the weight of snow can damage your roof or the home underneath it. Correctly pitched roofs will usually shed most snow, though it may be necessary to remove snow from your roof when accumulation is particularly heavy or wet.

Colorado weather affects roofs all year long. If you fear your roof is succumbing to the climate, call B&M Roofing of Colorado today at 303.443.5843 or use our Free Estimate request.

Best Questions to Ask a Roofer Before Hiring

questions to ask rooferMost people only purchase a new roof a few times in their lives, so it’s normal to feel uncomfortable with the process. While it’s important to only trust reputable contractors who are preferably members of the Colorado Roofing Association, knowing the best questions to ask a roofer when you receive estimates will help eliminate uncertainties and flush out problems before the job.

Any reputable roofing contractor will answer any question you pose. Never walk away from a meeting with an estimator feeling as if you aren’t clear about any of the processes or costs of your roofing job. The six best questions to ask before hiring a roofer include:

  • Are you licensed and insured? Avoid fly-by-night storm chasers and unskilled roofers by only selecting companies who are licensed. Protect your home and your liability by working with contractors who carry general liability insurance to protect your home and worker’s compensation insurance to protect you if a worker is injured on the job.
  • Do you use subcontractors? If a roofing company doesn’t use its own employees for the job, there’s no guarantee they’ll be skilled, licensed or insured if they’re not employees of the company you deal with.
  • How do you clean up your job site? Replacing a roof is only half of the job. Removing layers of shingles if necessary as well as sheet metal scraps, nails and pieces of roofing material can make or break a roofing project. Learn how your company plans to remove it as well as protect your landscaping from debris.
  • Can I contact references? Any time a roofing company can’t offer names of satisfied customers who are willing to vouch for it, it’s a red flag.
  • Do you provide a warranty? Roofing materials are covered by manufacturers’ warranties, but only if installed correctly. You roofing contractor should warranty its labor to provide you with full protection.
  • Do you offer a written estimate? Your written contract should include costs of materials, labor and necessary building permits, workmanship and materials warranties and proof of the contractor’s license.

While these are the best questions to ask a roofer before you hire one, they’re not the only ones your estimator should be able to answer. Questions about timing, length of the job and logistics should all be considered.

 

Are Roof Repairs Tax Deductible?

You just cut a check to a roofing company and, wise homeowner that you are, are looking for a way to get the most benefit from your expense. It’s only normal to wonder, “Are roof repairs tax deductible?” Like most tax-related questions, the answer isn’t as clear-cut as you’d like.

Leaky Roof Repair

Are Roof Repairs Tax Deductible?The IRS treats repairs and home improvements differently. In the IRS’s eyes, a home repair is any expense made fix broken or deteriorating parts of your home. These expenses aren’t tax deductible in any way. Fixing a leaky roof clearly falls under the tax man’s definition of a home repair, and won’t give you break on your next tax bill.

Replacing A Roof

The IRS treats home improvements a little differently. A home improvement is any investment you make that improves the condition of your home, or brings it back up to the condition in which you purchased it. In most cases, putting a new roof on your home qualifies as a home improvement, which can help lower your taxes … but just not next April 15.

Further confusing matters, it’s not a deduction you can claim like your mortgage interest or charitable contributions. It’s considered part of the “basis” of your home (essentially, the cost of your home’s purchase plus the expense of all qualifying improvements), that’s used to tally your capital gains taxes when you sell your home. In briefest terms, if you spend $3,000 putting a new roof on your home, it makes your home’s cost increase by $3,000 in the eyes of the IRS.

Unfortunately, you’ll only be able to capitalize on this expense when you sell your home (so save all paperwork), and not in the year you pay for the roof. What’s more, homeowners don’t pay gains on the first $250,000 in profit of your home, and double that if you file married. So unless your home appreciates more than $250,000 before you sell it, the cost of your roof improvement is meaningless.

Don’t scoff at the $250,000 mark! Colorado’s home prices are skyrocketing, and many homeowners who have been in a home for several years may be facing selling a home that exposes them to capital gains liabilities.

Are roof repairs tax deductible? There’s no quick and easy answer, but most homeowners (not owners of rental properties) are always best served holding onto documentation for improvements such as a new roof.

Can You Do Roof Work in the Rain?

Can you do roof work in the rain?You fielded estimates, worked with your contractor to select shingles that work for your home’s style and your budget, you even cleared off your driveway so crews could get to your roof easily. Then it rains – and puts a damper on your roofing project.

While mild sprinkles aren’t a major factor in completing your roofing job, real rainstorms do put a damper on roof repair work for a variety of reasons. First off, it’s a safety issue: We shingles are more slippery than dry ones, and B&M Roofing of Colorado treats worker safety of utmost importance. We’re not going to risk our workers on rainy rooftops.

Even if it was safe enough to work in the rain, there are a lot of reasons why adding a roof in a rainstorm is a terrible idea, mostly because your roof’s primary function is to protect the rest of your home from moisture. When shingles or sheathing is placed over a wet roof deck, moisture is trapped beneath your roofing and can’t evaporate. Moisture trapped beneath shingles can lead to mold or rot that will go undetected until problems arise.

In worst-case scenarios, roof decks can absorb large amounts of water trapped below roofing materials, as water seeps into the wood of the roof deck, causing it to swell with the extra moisture. This process, known as buckling, leads to uneven roof decks, poorly fitting roofs and may create spots on a roof that don’t drain correctly.

We keep a close eye on forecasts and, in some cases, may reschedule appointments with homeowners in order to leave old roofs intact until storms blow through. Colorado summers are notorious for storms, however, and we also provide crews with tarps to shield exposed roof decks from rain. In many cases, we can remove these tarps and get back to work shortly afterward.

Fall Stand-Down for Safety

Fall Stand-Down for SafetyEvery year about 100 construction workers die from falls, and 13 times as many are seriously injured. Did you know homeowners can play a role in promoting roofing safety among contractors?

Falls are the leading cause of death among construction workers, and falls from rooftops are the most common type of fall. Nobody wants their property to be the site of an accident, and working with contractors who take precautions to protect their workers is the first step to preventing those kinds of accidents.

When evaluating a bid from a contractor, consider its commitment to safety as well as the price it provides. In many cases, it’s common to get a low bid from a roofing company because they’re not committed to safety. Ask your contractor the following questions to ensure you’re choosing one that supports safety:

  • Do your workers work directly for you? Workers who are independent contractors aren’t covered by the roofing company’s workers’ compensation insurance, and, in many cases, aren’t insured at all.
  • Do you have workers’ compensation insurance? Ask to see a copy of the insurance certificate. Colorado law requires all employees to be covered by workers’ compensation.
  • Do your workers use safety equipment on site? Lifelines, guard rails and secured ladders are used by responsible roofers.

Experience isn’t protection enough. Even veteran roofers with more than a dozen years of experience can fall from a roof on even a routine residential job.fal

B&M Roofing takes our dedication to safety very seriously. In addition to regular fall protection trainings, we have company-wide safety meetings twice a year, weekly Tool Box Talks to discuss safety procedures and OSHA requirements and new-hire safety orientations.

With OSHA’s national fall stand-down push May 7-11, we’re working internally to ensure all our employees play it safe whenever they’re on a rooftop. While roofers can do our part, it’s up to homeowner to rely only on reputable contractors as well.

UV Rays’ Affect on Asphalt Shingles

Living in Colorado, you’re probably used to taking precautions to protect yourself from the harsh mile-high sunshine:  you slather on sunscreen, wear hats and stick to the shade when the sun’s at its peak. Just like the sun’s ultraviolet rays can harm your skin, UV rays affect asphalt shingles.

The bad news is there’s not a whole lot you can do to help stretch the life of your existing roof. UV rays can cause protective layers on top of asphalt shingles to dry up, leading to warping and cracking with prolonged exposure to the sun. While most asphalt shingles are engineered to withstand ultraviolet radiation for extended periods, the intense high-altitude sun can speed the demise of traditional shingles.

Solar reflective roofing – which is also known as cool roofing – can help prevent UV degradation on your shingles. These shingles are designed to reflect more of the sun’s rays, and include a coating on shingle granules that makes them more reflective. This coating is applied to the shingle at the factory. It’s typically not a good idea to attempt to retrofit an existing shingle roof with UV coating.

Because cool roofs reflect ultraviolet rays, they typically resist sun damage better than conventional roofing materials, particularly in Colorado’s intense sun. As their name implies, they also don’t heat up like traditional shingles do. Excessive heat can be linked to premature failure in asphalt shingles.

Cool, UV-resistant roofing also helps control energy costs. By absorbing less of the sun’s rays, these shingles stay naturally cool, helping keep attics closer to outdoor temperatures. They’re also ideal for helping control temperatures in areas without air conditioning, such as garages and under covered patios.

If you think your roof has sun-damaged shingles or is in need of repair, contact B&M Roofing of Colorado for a free estimate. Use our free estimate request form  or call us at 303.443.5843.

Properly Painting a Home’s Exterior

Not only does repainting the outside of your home transform the look, it also protects your investment. Paint is used as a shield from sun, wind and rain until the paint starts to crack and peel. Give your home a fresh, updated look by following these steps to properly paint your home’s exterior.

Step 1: Wash

Like any paint job, removing dirt and dust buildup is important to ensure best coverage. A hose, pump sprayer, pressure-washer or scrub brush are all effective ways to clean the exterior your home.

Step 2: Repair Damaged Surfaces

After cleaning, make note of any damaged areas around your home including wood, masonry, metal, siding or stucco. After applying filler to all spots, lightly sand with a sanding block for a smooth surface.

Step 3: Lose Loose Paint

Surround all areas with drop cloths before removing clipped or loose painting using a paint scraper or sand block.

Step 4: Caulk Fill

Around doors and windows, fill gaps between your home and trim using caulk.

Step 5: Notice Stains

Walk around the outside of your home to locate all stains. To help cover stains, apply one coat of stain-blocking primer prior to painting.

Step 6: Cover Everything

Anything you do not want the same color as your future house, cover it. Doors, windows and light fixtures all need to be protected by using plastic sheeting and painters tape.

Step 7: Time to Paint

After steps 1 through 6, the fun part has arrived. By using a paint sprayer, apply one to two coats of flat or eggshell exterior paint over the entire house. Work your way from top to bottom in a smooth and controlled manner. Take your time; this is not a sprint.

Step 8: Door & Window Trim

Remove the plastic sheeting and painters tape from doors and windows to add one to two coats of outdoor paint to all trim.

Step 9: Enjoy!

After you have completed all steps, take a look at your hard work and enjoy your home upgrade!