Fall Home Maintenance Checklist

house in the fallIt’s time to get your home and yard ready for fall and winter. Use this handy fall maintenance checklist to tackle all the essentials.

Fall Exterior Maintenance Checklist

Exterior maintenance focuses on sealing your home to prevent air leaks and increase your comfort during winter. Remove screens from windows, then clean and store them. Put storm windows on next.

Walk around the exterior of your home, inspecting for peeling paint and cracks in the foundation. Caulk cracks in the foundation, around windows, and around doors to stop air from getting into your home.

Paint over peeling paint to protect your siding from exposure to the elements. Once the paint starts to chip, wood siding is unprotected and can age. […]

How to Fix Ice Dams Fast!

icicles ice damsIce dams can turn your roof into a danger zone, effectively blocking melting snow from draining off the roof. The large icicles that form concurrent with an ice dam threaten the safety of your gutters as well as your family. Learn a quick fix for ice dams, plus what to do to protect your home in the long run.

The Hidden Dangers of Ice Dams

Since ice dams prevent snow runoff, roofs can grow heavy with a backlog of ice and snow. The icicles can weigh down your gutters, eventually causing them to tear away from the home. This leaves your roof vulnerable to damage and defenseless in the face of rain and snow storms. When your gutters do not function properly, your roofing system can begin to take on water. The longer the ice dam remains, the more risk to your roofing system. Once snow and ice melt start to seep inside your roofing system, you’re looking at rotting wood and mildew problems in your attic. […]

How to Reduce Your Energy Bills This Season

atticWith winter on its way, it’s time to prepare the home for fall and winter. If you worry about peak energy bills for heating your home, think again. By taking the right steps now, you can reduce utility bills and save money.

Insulate Your Attic

By insulating your attic, you’ll be able to feel comfortable at home with the thermostat set to a lower temperature. This will help you save money every month. If you have an uninsulated attic, Energy Star recommends adding R49 to R60 to attic walls and R25 to R30 to the floors. If you’ve got 3-4 inches of existing insulation in your Cincinnati area attic, you can add R38 to R49 to walls instead. […]

Making Sure Your Roof is Prepared for Winter Weather

Roof in WinterWhile you clean up your yard this fall, take the time to make sure your roof is prepared for winter. From ice and snow to heavy rains, your roof takes a beating every winter; however, proper preparation can protect you from a roof leak.

Check and Fix Leaks

If your interior ceilings have discoloration, it could be water spots that indicate a leak. Ignoring these warning signs is dangerous and pricey; you’ll save money and protect your home by taking action whenever you notice discolored spots.

Get up on the roof and inspect the flashings, vents, and shingles. Look for areas where shingles are broken, chipped, or missing. Check how the flashing is sealed; over time, the flashing degrades and water can trickle in. […]

The Difference is Quality

roof is an investmentYou know the saying “you get what you pay for?” Given the lack of regulation in the Ohio roofing industry, this could not be more true. Learn why quality is key when selecting a roofer.

Why “Quick Fixes” Backfire

If you settle for a quick fix to a roofing problem — or if you hire someone to do the work who does not know what they are doing — you’ll wind up paying a pro to fix things sooner or later. A quick fix can backfire by exposing you to additional roofing problems. A shoddy patch around your flashing could lead to increased leaks, which could cause water damage, rot, and mold.

We think it’s better to pay once for a job done right than to pay for a roofer to fix a poor job. […]

How to Find a Roofing Contractor You Can Trust

roof under constructionThe best time to find a roofing contractor is before you need them to come fix a leaking roof. Use these steps to find reputable contractors, interview them, and select a roofing contractor you can trust.

Ask for Referrals

Referrals give you a head start on finding a trustworthy contractor, so ask friends and neighbors if they know of any quality roofers. If you’re new to a community, visit your local hardware store or lumber yard and ask for recommendations. The employees there should be able to refer you to some people they trust.

Do Your Research

Before you call, do your own research. Check whether the roofer is licensed and bonded (something that isn’t required in Ohio), as well as whether they’re insured. If they’re not insured, you could pay their medical bills after an on-the-job fall. Search for consumer complaints, such as a low BBB rating. Use consumer review sites, from Yelp to Angie’s List, to gauge the contractor’s reputation in your community. […]

Why It’s Important to Pick a Certified Roofer

As you start screening contractors for a roof replacement, it’s important to find out whether they’re certified — and quickly discard any who are not. Learn three reasons why it’s essential to hire only a certified roofer if you want to protect your home.

Certified Roofers are Properly Licensed

Since Ohio doesn’t require that roofers be licensed, anyone can call themselves a roofer — and damage your home or harm themselves while attempting to replace a roof. The best way to protect against an unqualified roofer is to hire a certified professional with the skills and experience to do things right.

While contractor licenses protect contractors and their employees, they also protect you as a client. If your roofer is not licensed and they fall from your roof, you could wind up paying their medical bills. […]

How to Get Ready for a Roof Replacement

roof blocksA roof replacement is a major home improvement. Here’s what you need to know to get your home and your family ready for a planned roof replacement.

Prepare the Home Exterior

Prepare the outside of your home by providing clear access to the work space. This means moving outdoor furniture, garbage bins and other “obstacles” out of the way. The helps ensure a safe work environment, and it protects your property.

Since workers will be passing through your yard, clear away furniture, toys, garbage bins, and other items kept outside. Not only will this help workers stay safe, it will protect your items from accidental damage and even speed up the work – this way, there’s less for workers to navigate around. […]

4 Things You Need to Know About Siding Replacement

house with sidingA project as major as a siding remodel requires advance planning. If you’re thinking about replacing your home siding, here are four things you need to know first.

What are the Benefits of Siding Replacement?

While siding replacement isn’t as glamorous as a bathroom remodel, it offers a lot of practical benefits. Siding adds value by protecting your home and boosting its curb appeal. Fresh siding is also easier to keep clean than old siding, so you’ll spend less time on maintenance. […]