Is a Leaking Roof an Emergency?

No matter how big or small a leaking roof might seem – it’s an emergency. A small leak can soon develop into a big problem and a big leak can quickly lead to a lot of water damage in your home. If you have a leaky roof, you may not need to replace the entire roof. Sometimes, a combination of smaller repairs and preventative maintenance can stop you from having problems in the future. Here are some things to look out for if you are experiencing a leaky roof and ways you can help prevent leaks in the future.

Find the Source of Your Leaking Roof

If your roof is leaking, the first thing you should do is try to find the source of the leak inside your home or business. Look for puddles on the floor or carpet, dripping water coming from your ceilings, rustic wall stains or moisture in the wall resulting in peeling paint. Often times, if you have an attic – that is the best place to start. Check the insulation in between the floor joists to see if there are any signs of water damage, mold, or stains.

Damage Control

Soak up any standing water and use buckets or large cooking pots to collect any dripping water. Move anything in your affected room(s) that could be damaged by moisture. Put down drop cloths, garbage bags or tarps to prevent any further moisture on your floors and carpets. If you are able to safely access your roof, a tarp is a quick and easy temporary solution to prevent further leaking until you’re able to get a professional roofer to assess your leaky roof.

Preventative Maintenance

Prevent leaky roofs in the future by regularly maintaining the area around your roof. Trim any low-hanging tree limbs around your property. These can scrape and damage your roof’s surface and with high winds, loose branches can come off and cause damage. Make sure your chimney is maintained – smaller roof leaks can be caused by missing or cracked chimney flashing or pipe collars. Clean your gutters if they are clogged with leaves, dirt or debris. Your gutters act as your roof’s drainage system and they play a significant role in keeping your roof leak-free.

A roofing emergency can cause a lot of headaches, but with the help of a reliable and responsible roofing company, it doesn’t have to be a nightmare. If your roof is leaking, contact a professional roofing company to help. Don’t try to repair the roof on your own – there’s too much risk of injury and a homeowner won’t properly assess the actual damage.

At B&M Roofing, we specialize in commercial and residential roofing repair. No repair project is too large or too small and we are confident in the quality of our service work and the commitment of our craftsmen. Contact B&M Roofing today to get a free estimate.

 

Tar and Gravel Roofs: What You Need to Know

Tar and gravel roofs are composed of laminated layers of asphalt based sheets, hot tar, and roofing felt. The topmost layer is lined with light-color gravel which protects the layers against sun damage and reflects some of the sun’s light. If you have a home or business with a flat roof – a tar and gravel roof may be the way to go. Here are some things to consider before deciding if this is the right roofing option for you.

Advantages

Of all the flat roofing options, a tar and gravel roof is the most budget-friendly and can have a lifespan of up to 30 years with regular maintenance and repair. It provides excellent protection against UV rays, it is energy efficient and is a great option for windows and decks that overlook the roof. Gravel is also an excellent fire retardant and the surfaces on the gravel scatter light instead of absorbing it which can help keep your roof cooler in the summer. A tar and gravel roof has a great return on investment because it is inexpensive and lasts a long time. In addition, required repairs are less frequent because of the strength of the materials.

Disadvantages

A tar and gravel roof is very heavy and you may need to strengthen the supports for your roof before application. Strong sun exposure can damage the roofing membrane if it is left uncovered by the gravel and it is not typically recommended in places that get a lot of snow or rain. Occasionally, tar and gravel roofs are prone to leaks, especially if the underlayments are not correctly installed. Improper installation can lead to significant damage and it is highly recommended to have your tar and gravel roof professionally installed. Flat roofing is also prone to ponding and depressions may occur on the roof which can affect the drainage slope and cause pooling water to continue.

Repair & Maintenance

Roof maintenance is something you need to do in order to protect your home from any sort of damage. A tar and gravel roof needs regular maintenance to extend its lifespan. At least once a year, check the gravel – if the roof surface becomes exposed, it accelerates the deterioration of the roof. Add gravel where necessary. Remove any leaf debris that builds up over time. Since the roof is flat, rain doesn’t wash down leaves that fall on it and this can result in ponding which happens when water stays on the roof surface for more than 48 hours.

It is always recommended for a professional roofer to do any roof maintenance. Not only can they safely maintain your roof, but they can also advise you on the health and lifespan of your roof.

If you are considering a tar and gravel roof, contact your local roofing expert for more details. At B&M Roofing, we bring superior knowledge and experience in commercial and residential roofing. We are happy to work with you to understand what type of roofing is right for your home or business and your budgetary needs. Contact us today for a free estimate!

 

B&M Checklist for Winterizing Your Roof

Winter is right around the corner and the snow, ice, and wind that accompany it can wreak havoc on your roof. Taking some preventative measures now to protect your roof can save you a good chunk of change in the future. We’ve developed a checklist that you can follow to start winterizing your roof today. 

Look for damage 

It’s important to simply inspect your roof for warping, missing shingles, and debris before winter rolls in. Catching problems early on can save you time and money in the future. 

Clean and test your gutters and downspouts

Without the proper drainage system, your roof can collapse or suffer from extensive water damage. Make sure to inspect your gutters and downspouts thoroughly for holes and cracks and remove any debris. It’s also a good idea to run some water through the gutters to ensure they’re draining properly. 

Trim your tree branches

Falling tree limbs are a major threat to your roof during the winter. If you have any trees around your home, be sure to inspect for branches that are near or touching your roof. Trim these branches before winter sets in to save your roof from being damaged by falling limbs. 

Insulate & ventilate your attic 

Insulating and ventilating your attic is a key step to protecting your roof during the winter. As little as one to two inches of snow can create ice dams, which can damage the foundation of your roof. Install insulation on the plywood or drywall of your attic and make sure to seal any areas where heat can escape. Proper ventilation will also help prevent snow from refreezing and causing moisture damage. 

Inspect caulking & flashing 

Check for wrinkled and cracked caulking and replace if necessary. Secure any loose flashing and replace any that are damaged. Pay close attention to areas around the chimney, vents and other protruding additions to the roof. 

Clean your chimney

Because your chimney will be getting some extra use during the colder months, it’s important to inspect and clean your chimney annually. Regular cleanings can prevent fires and protect your roof from damage. 

Invest in snow guards

Installing snow guards this winter will protect your gutters, vents, cars, and family from roof avalanches. Snow guards catch heavy snow before it falls from your roof and allow it to melt before it falls to the ground. Investing in snow guards is inexpensive and will prevent damage to the areas on and below your roof. 

Be aware of pests 

Pests can cause a tremendous amount of damage to your roof. Keep an eye out for squirrels, birds, mice and other animals who may seek shelter on your roof during the colder months and get rid of them as soon as possible. 

Cover mechanical equipment 

Make sure that any mechanical equipment on your roof like plumbing vents or swamp coolers are completely covered to prevent water damage. 

While winterizing your roof may not be the most exciting part of the season, it can save you time and money in the future. By following this checklist and taking simple precautionary measures, you can protect your roof from the damages of wind, snow, and ice this winter.

Tips for Hanging Holiday Lights

Hanging holiday lights is one of our favorite traditions around this time of year, but creating a light display can be time consuming and difficult. That’s why B&M Roofing has put together a list of the best tips and tricks to make your lights the best ones on the block! 

Plan in advance

Having a design plan in mind will save you tons of time when hanging your lights. Map out the basic pattern of your lights instead of just winging it. Try to plan a time during the day to hang your lights as a safety precaution. 

Check your electrical system 

Carefully inspect the outlets and plugs you’ll be using for your lights. Call an electrician if you notice any sparks or singeing. Do not use lights with any fraying or exposed wires. 

Take caution on the ladder 

When hanging your lights, ask someone to steady the ladder. Although it may seem like an easy task, it’s always better to be safe than sorry. 

Invest in LED bulbs 

LED bulbs are more expensive up front but they last 12 times as long as traditional bulbs, which will save you money in the long-run. 

Use the right products 

Use extension cords and lights that are specifically for outdoor use to avoid any malfunctions. Invest in some light clips to make hanging a breeze. Just check the light package to find the one that fits best.

Find secure hanging spots 

Do not use shingles or tiling to hang lights, they are not made to support a lot of weight. When hanging from wood surfaces, test the durability before trying to hang anything.

Use a timer 

Invest in an outdoor timer to save money and conserve energy. You can set your timer to turn your lights on at sundown and to turn off after you go to bed. 

 

Following these easy steps will give you the best light display on the block while keeping you safe in the process. 

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 to Choose Your Shingle Color

Shingle colorSure, your shingles are there to protect your home from the elements, but they serve more than a utilitarian function for your home. They play a major role in your home’s appearance and impact your home’s temperature. When it’s time to choose your shingle color, make sure you’re making an informed decision.

When it comes time to replace your roof, don’t merely duplicate the look of your home’s current roof. Take the opportunity to reflect on your choice of roofing and, with any luck, your next shingles will transform your home’s look or energy efficiency. Your chosen color impacts your home in several ways:

  • Temperature Control: Your roof absorbs a lot of sun, and the color of your shingles affect how much light (and heat) it reflects. Light colors tend to reflect more sun, keeping your attic and the rest of your home cooler in the summer. Dark colors absorb more solar heat, and are a good way to pad your heating costs on sunny, cold days. They’re also great at helping ice and snow melt more quickly.
  • Contrast? Some homeowners prefer a contrast between their roofing and the primary color of their home, while others tie their shingle color to match their trim or accent colors. It’s an esthetic decision, but low-contrast color combinations tend to work best to hide your home’s shortcomings.
  • Coordination: Regardless of your efficiency goals and esthetic, your roof will need to go with the color of your home. Black shingles often look best on blue, grey and white homes, while brown shingles look better on homes that are brown or tan. Need advice on what would look best on your home? Ask your estimator. He’s likely seen just about every color combination, so knows what you should avoid or seek out.

Take choosing your shingle color as seriously as you did choosing your latest paint color. Take time to drive around your neighborhood and look at images online to get a full breadth of possibilities before you make your final decision.

B&M Roofing of Colorado can help steer you based on your esthetics and needs. Request a free estimate or call us at 303.443.5843 today.

Which is Better: Shingles or a Metal Roof?

When it comes to choosing roofing materials, the answer is a bit less simple than you may be hoping: For better or for worse, the “best” roof type depends on your personal budget and goals.

Asphalt Shingles
Asphalt shingles are the traditional choice, and for good reason. They’re often the most inexpensive option and can be durable enough to last for 20-30 years in ideal conditions. However, traditional asphalt shingles may be prone to damage from the elements. A single hail storm can permanently damage the asphalt, while other environmental factors like heavy rain can cause the shingles to curl and deteriorate. Additionally, asphalt shingles may be harmed by heat from below if your attic is not properly ventilated. shingles or a metal roof

When combined in a “perfect storm,” harsh weather conditions can rapidly age asphalt shingles. Because of this, shingles’ lifespans are largely dependent on weather conditions. However, with their lower price and relative durability, asphalt shingles remain a fantastic choice for most homes.

Sheet Metal
Metal roofs are far more durable than almost any other option, withstanding much of Colorado’s extreme weather. These roofs have been known to last 50-60 years (and sometimes even longer) without any issues. That durability costs homeowners up front: In most cases, metal roofing can cost two to four times as much as traditional shingles per square foot, though that number can be much higher if you opt for high-end copper or zinc roofing.

Choosing between shingles or a metal roof ultimately comes down to how much you’re willing to invest and how long you plan on staying in your home. If you plan to stick around for a while, a metal roof is well worth your investment, but if you have plans to sell in the short-term future, going with asphalt singles is a safe and wise decision that remains popular for good reason.

Still torn between roofing options? B&M Roofing has more than 70 years of roofing experience and is here to help. Call 303.443.5843 for all your roofing needs.

Energy Efficient Roofs

Colorado’s sun is blazing in the summer, and our winters regularly see sub-zero temperatures. Those weather extremes make homeowners extra conscious of their heating and cooling bills, and your roof and attic play a large role in your home’s energy efficacy. When it’s time to replace yours, consider your options for energy efficient roofs.

Energy Efficient RoofsTraditional Asphalt Shingles: While traditional asphalt shingles are a durable and cost-effective solution, they’re not very energy-efficient in the summer. Asphalt shingles heat up during the day, and hold that heat through the night, making it difficult for your attic to cool off at night. While a whole-house fan can help push cool air into your attic and absorb heat from your roof and mitigate asphalt shingles’ thermal retention, they’re rarely friendly toward your cooling bills.

Cool Roofs: Cool roofing shingles are designed to reflect as much of the sun’s rays as possible without becoming an eyesore. They’re typically indistinguishable from standard asphalt shingles. Most are also engineered to absorb less of the sun’s heat, keeping it from transferring to your attic.

Concrete Tile: Concrete tile is more expensive than asphalt shingles, but they also come with a much longer lifespan: You can expect to get about 40 years out of a tile roof, about twice that of asphalt. They’re also much more energy efficient, as they don’t absorb heat like asphalt. Some concrete tiles may be painted with a reflective coating to make them even more impervious to summer heat.

Attic Insulation: Your roofing plays a part in keeping your heating and cooling bills under control, but don’t overlook attic insulation and ventilation. Depending upon the type of insulation you use, you should have 10 to 14 inches of coverage in your attic to keep heat from entering your home in the summer and escaping in the winter. A properly vented attic allows air circulation, helping hot air escape during the summer months.

Energy efficient roofs can help control your home’s temperature year round when coupled with proper insulation. B&M Roofing of Colorado is always happy to work with homeowners to find ways to improve their homes’ efficiency.

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.

How Roofing Warranties Work

How do roofing warranties work?Your roof is a major investment, and, barring weather damage, you have every reason to expect it to last its stated lifetime. Most roofs are installed with a warranty on materials extended by the shingle manufacturer, and most reputable roofing companies stand behind their workmanship. Because there’s a lot of overlapping elements from the homeowner’s view, it can be confusing trying to understand how roofing warranties work.

Manufacturer Warranties

Manufacturers typically guarantee their shingles and other roofing materials with a warranty on materials. While this can come in any length, from 25- to 50-year coverage, it only protects you against roof failure caused by manufacturing defects. Weather damage, such as wind and hail damage, aren’t covered by warranties against defects in materials, nor are any other conditions that the manufacturer can’t control. Many manufacturer warranties require homeowners to show proof that they maintained their roof properly.

Craftsmanship Warranties

Manufacturer warranties don’t extend to damages caused by improper installation. Mistakes made during installation cause about half of premature roof failures, so it’s critical homeowners choose a roofing company with well trained installers and a warranty to back up their work. An improperly installed roof can take a couple years to fail, so a lengthy warranty is just as important to protect your investment.

B&M Roofing’s installation teams are experts in every type of roofing material, allowing us to extend a five-year craftsmanship warranty on all residential roofs we install. This covers all workmanship-related issues, and like a manufacturer warranty, doesn’t apply to damage caused by weather, animals, fallen branches or other act of nature.

When your roof fails, it’s not as important to understand how roofing warranties work, as much as know that you’re covered. Whether it’s craftsmanship or materials, B&M Roofing offers the coverage on all residential jobs to give homeowners the peace of mind they need to know their investment is protected.