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Exterior Holiday Decorating Tips to Protect Your Roof

Happy December! It is officially the holiday season and many people have started to put up their exterior holiday decorations. Before you’re able to sit back and take in all of the holiday spirit, you need to climb the ladder up to the roof to hang up your lights.
Hanging lights on your roof could lead to potential harm that will end up costing you down the road. Here are some tips to keep in mind before you start decorating!

1. Before doing anything, untangle your lights and check to see if all of the bulbs work! Checking the bulbs before hanging them will save you the headache of dealing with it afterwards and having no tangles prior to hanging will decrease the risk of potential accidents while on your ladder.

2. The best thing to use to anchor your lights are Christmas light hooks. Do not use shingles or tiles for anchor points, as this will potentially lead to cracked or curled shingles. These hooks are inexpensive and could be found at a handful of stores such as target, home depot and amazon.
3. We suggest to avoid walking along your roof while decorating for the holidays. But if you have to, walk cautiously! Taking heavy steps or rushing around could damage your roof, and is also a severe safety risk.
4. Although it seems obvious, make sure the ladder is in a secure spot! A wobbly ladder could cause you to grab onto your roof for stability. Putting too much weight in one section could be dangerous to yourself and your roof.

5. Lastly, make sure you have a safe removal plan for when it comes time to take them down. A careful removal will go a long way, yanking or tugging could cause distress on your shingles and gutters!
We hope these tips stay in your mind while decorating your exterior for the holiday season!

What you should be looking for when you are on your roof
There are not many times a year that you are on your roof, which makes the holiday season the perfect time to do a self inspection. Here are some things you should be looking for:
1. Identify areas with moss, algae, and piles of leaves – these areas are notorious for causing costly leaks and water damage.
2. Keep your eye out for buckled and curled shingles! Hot air from attics often causes shingles to buckle and curl away from the home, putting your roof and home at great risk for weather damage and poor roof ventilation.
3. Look for missing, damaged, and aged shingles – this is the leading cause of roof damage. When you take the time to inspect your roof, you can catch minor issues like these before they turn into major issues followed by serious damage. Missing shingles = direct exposure to inclement weather, plus, they are an eyesore!
4. It is so important to clean your gutters and roof overhangs and maintain your downspouts! As you’re performing these essential tasks, make note of open joins and signs of rot, as those are typical indicators of larger issues.
5. Look closely for granule loss (texture on shingles). Granule loss indicates that shingles have aged or have been affected by severe weather, and are no longer protecting your home against damaging storms. If your shingles don’t have a texture on them anymore, replace them!

If you complete a self inspection and notice any of these forms of damage, let us help! We are dedicated to helping our customers have the best experience with us from start to finish. When you set up an appointment, we will come inspect the damage for free! No-obligation, no gimmicks, just good family-like customer service. Call or message us today.

How to Choose a Roofing Contractor

Your home is a valuable asset, and it is important that it remains in good condition to protect you and serve your needs. Roofing is a vital part of your home. When a storm hits, it can get damaged. Issues like roof shingles falling off and leaking can also occur when your roofing is outdated or in need of repairs.

So, what do you do when any of these situations happen? Sure you need a roofing contractor but how do you choose the right one?

Choosing the right contractor guarantees quality and long-lasting service. Nothing feels better than getting your money’s worth and nothing is more frustrating than having to waste more and more funds trying to get the best roofing service while enduring the effects of a damaged roof.

Here’s how to choose a roofing contractor.

  • Ask aroundFirst, you want to identify the local roofing contractors in your area. Have a few options in mind. Getting a local contractor is ideal because they are familiar with all the local rules and code regulations relating to their industry. In addition, there’s less chance of getting scammed with a local contractor. Local contractors are also more likely to honor their warranty.
  • Vet experienceIt can take years to master the skill of roofing. Hence it is always advisable to hire a contractor with experience in the industry. A roofing contractor should have at least 5 years of experience as this assures you they know their job. Experience also means that the contractor should have worked on various scenarios or roofing problems making them pros in roofing and knowledgeable in insurance claims and warranties.
  • Check for warrantyWhile you may find only a few contractors that offer an extensive warranty, it can serve as a bonus from the contractor you choose. Contractors that offer a warranty on workmanship are confident in their skills.
  • References and ReviewsAlmost every customer likes to check for references or reviews before purchasing a product or service. Good reviews are proof of the contractor’s skill and customer service. You can call up references and ask detailed questions on their experience with the contractor. Both references and reviews give you the confidence you need to move forward with the roofing contractor.
  • Owen’s Corning Platinum Preferred Contractor is superiorYou can skip all the stressful and time-consuming steps and simply hire a contractor from the 1% of Owen’s Corning Platinum Preferred Contractor. This distinction means the roofers have been vetted and approved through the most rigorous qualification guidelines in the roofing industry. By hiring a roofer who is part of the short list of Owen’s Corning Platinum Preferred Contractor, you offer yourself peace of mind, a sure investment, and the best warranties.

MLM Home Improvement Company is a local business and an Owen’s Corning Platinum Preferred Contractor. MLM has over 300 reviews on Google easily available for your perusal. The company has been in the industry for over 10 years. MLM has a reputation as a trusted business with excellent service. Reach out to us today for your roofing needs.

The Owens Corning Total Protection Roofing System

The roof of a home offers the protection you need from the elements and it completes the structure of your home. Have you ever wondered what makes a roof able to perform this important function? All roofs have a roofing system. The roofing system comprises different parts that together make your roof complete and effective. It is this roofing system that sets the quality of roofs apart.

Owens Corning total roofing system offers complete protection and comprises the components of a solid roofing system.

Read on as we explore them.

Seal

This is the layer of protection against water. It includes the ice and water barrier that protects the roof in areas where water collects. These areas include skylights, vents, chimneys, and valleys.

The underlayment provides protection from wind driven mostly by rain. It is a barrier against all elements and the roof’s final line of defense. It also keeps water off the roof deck and house structure to protect against mold, rot, and water damage.

Defend

The starter shingles have a continuous sealant bead that ensures blow-offs and water cannot infiltrate the roofing system. They defend against these elements.

Shingles are common terms in roofing, and they are the first line of defense. Shingles are popular as a term because they also influence the structure of the roof. They impact curb appeal and come in a variety of colors, shapes, and sizes. They are mostly the major thing homeowners see when it comes to a roof.

Hip and ridge shingles are those shingles along the roof’s peak. They perform several functions like shingles such as finishing the look of the roof and defending the ridge vent. They are also designed in variety to be attractive and suitable for your roofing needs/style.

 

Breathe

You know the roof is built to protect and defend your home from the elements, but do you know that another vital component of your roofing system is the parts that allow you to breathe –literally? These components ensure air flows in and out of your attic.

The intake ventilation layer is located at the down-slope edge of the roof and they prevent the buildup of heat or moisture by optimizing airflow.

The exhaust ventilation layer which is located on the ridgeline of the roof support or completes the function of the intake vents. The exhaust vents allow heat, moisture, and air escape from the attic.

Together, this system offers you total protection for your home.  When you have these quality components together all that’s left is the right contractor to perform an installation. At MLM we are Owens Corning Platinum Preferred Contractor certified and you can depend on our professional services for the roofing needs of your home.

R-Values & What They Mean For Your Home

In trying to make your roof more energy efficient, one of the first thoughts should be how well insulated it is. If your home isn’t staying cool in the summer and warm in the winter without costing you a pretty penny via energy bills, your answer is ‘it’s not well insulated’. Identifying how well insulated your roofing materials are is called calculating it’s R-Value.
What is R-Value?
R-value is used as a measurement of the effectiveness of thermal insulating materials. The higher the R-value, the better a material performs as a thermal insulator. To calculate the total R-value of a roof assembly, find the total thickness in inches of each type of insulating material within the system. For each different material, multiply the thickness by the standard R-value per inch for that material. Add the results for all the materials together to get the total R-value for the roof assembly. The higher the R-value, the greater the insulating power.
What does this mean for you?
The R-value of your roof directly impacts your wallet. When your roof is well insulated with the right materials, the temperature in your home will stay regulated and your energy bills won’t cost you an arm and a leg. The less energy it requires to keep the temperature comfortable, the more money you are saving.
How will MLM help?

If you are getting your roof replaced through us, you may know we are an Owen’s Corning Platinum Preferred Contractor. With Owens Corning roofing systems, you can be sure of a quality roof replacement that will last. This brand of roofing is ideal because it offers durability, style, and is highly cost-effective.MLM Home Improvement has been using the Owens Corning brand for over twelve years and we are one of only six certified Platinum Preferred Contractors in the area. Owens Corning offers a wide range of products specifically geared to being energy efficient. In addition, MLM Home Improvement customers can take full advantage of Owens Corning’s extensive warranties.

4 Questions To Ask a Contractor

Guiding DMV & NJ residents through pre-project conversations with their contractors 

 

With the weather warming many of us are probably considering sprucing up our homes through various improvement projects. Between the winter storms we have just weathered and the spring showers we are expecting, our homes, and especially our roof, could use some tender loving care.

However, before beginning any project it is important to ensure you have all of the relevant information. Understanding any home improvement project can be daunting, we at MLM Home Improvement, have compiled four questions to ask ahead of time.

Question #1: Ask about their business including location and credentials.

Perhaps the most important questions to ask before working with a contractor are the ones that will help you learn about them as a business. After all, it is critical to go into the project feeling confident that you are working with a trusted team.

To start, confirm their locality. By asking a contractor for their physical address, if part of the project later needs adjusting or needs additional attention,  they are close-by and can easily remedy the situation.

Second, check if they are backed by a national manufacturer. For example, at MLM, we are an Owens Corning Platinum Preferred Contractor. This means we have been stringently vetted and are the top tier of a premier network of roofing professionals dedicated to service, reliability and professional craftsmanship.

Question #2: How long will my project take?

There are several different factors that go into an estimate on how long a roofing project will take. Some of these, such as the size of the roof, the dimensions and other home related factors can be accurately judged with the latest advancements in technology, however even with the best weather forecasting, sometimes Mother Nature can rain on your parade.

The general rule of thumb is that the smaller the surface area of the roof, the less time it will take to do the work and vice versa. It is important to have a gauge on how long the project may take so that you and the contractor are aligned on timing.

Question #3: Does the materials you are using have a warranty?

Most homeowners have an “out of sight, out of mind” policy when it comes to their roof.However, unless you have a warranty on your shingles, the roof should be top of mind. Making sure there is a warranty on the products used in your roofing project is an essential answer to find out from potential contractors. Most manufacturing companies will have warranties on their shingles that must be met by specific installation requirements. For example, Owens Corning has multiple levels of their warranty coverages, with all of them extending the lifespan of the product. Their most basic warranty covers the homeowner for the first 10-15 years.

Question #4: Ask about your roof’s ventilation.

A roof is like a fine wine, you have to let it breathe in order to get the best out of it. A roof needs the proper amount of airflow to breathe and regulate the temperature in the attic, which is essential to save money on energy bills and keep your shingles in tip-top shape. Roofers are uniquely equipped to assess your current ventilation systems and recommend if you could use an upgrade.

While most information can be found through some Googling, it is more helpful to simply talk to a trusted, local contractor directly as they are the experts and can simplify a potentially technical topic. It is critical that both you and the contractor are on the same page before starting any project, so do not be afraid to ask questions and get into the nitty gritty details!

Going Once, Going Twice, Sold! How a New Roof Can Increase the Value of Your Home During the Selling Fever

Buying a home can be one of the most expensive purchases someone can make in their lifetime. Zillow estimates that the average sale of a home in the United States currently goes for just shy of $300,000. This marks a 13% increase year-over-year and, after a hot spring selling season, Zillow forecasts the average selling point of a home across the country is expected to rise another 15% next year.

If you are looking to capitalize on the hot market, home renovations can be a good way to increase the overall value and curb appeal of your home. While often times it is bathroom or kitchen renovations that are the most attention grabbing, keep in mind that making sure your roof is in good shape can be a wise investment, being one of the bigger ticket items of a home.

Understanding this, we at MLM Home Improvement have provided a guide on how your roof can impact the home selling process.

Smart Renovations Make Money

The first thing a homeowner should consider is where and how their renovation investments should be placed.  While it is difficult to quantify the exact expected return on investment of pre-sale renovations, the National Association of Realtors Research Group estimated that a homeowner who renovates a roof can expect to see approximately 100% return. Compared to only a 50 – 60% return on kitchen and bathrooms, replacing your roof potentially represents a better chance to recoup your money and increase the overall value of your home.

Reaching out to a trusted, local contractor to take an in depth look into the health of your roof could be a worthwhile avenue to explore as they’re uniquely qualified to spot potential problems that may scuttle a sale. If unsure of who to contact, look for contractors who are backed by national manufacturers like Owens Corning.

Aesthetics Add to the Curb Appeal

If embarking on a remodeling project, the roof can be that final puzzle piece in ensuring sure your home has maximum curb appeal from top to bottom. Considering the shingle color is important and should be able to fit in with today’s designs and those 10 years from now. While it may be hard to predict the design trends of the future, choosing a color and shingle design that is classic and understated can provide longevity to your home. Navy and heather gray, for example, are two shingle colors that have stood the test of time and fit into almost any home color palette.

Streamline the Selling Process

A pristine looking roof can give potential buyers the peace of mind that purchasing your home will not lead to more hidden costs down the road. Aside from visuals, a dilapidated roof can have real consequences on the home selling process. After all, the roof is one of the top priorities during an inspection and one that, if in need of repairs, can be a point of friction between buyers and sellers. While some homebuyers might be willing to overlook other problems within the home, a damaged roof can often times be a deal killer.

Therefore, work with a trusted contractor, who is qualified to spot potential problems that may scuttle a sale, prior to putting your home on the market.

While deciding to replace a roof before selling can seem like an unnecessary expense as you are looking to leave the home soon, it can not only can it increase the overall value of your home, but it would go a long way to instilling confidence in the buyer that your home is in great shape. To get the most accurate information on the state of your roof, reach out to trusted local contractor, such as one backed by a national manufacturer like Owens Corning, who can provide you with a thorough report and analysis of the current state of your roof.

All About Roof Wind Damage

In the DMV and NJ region, we know the ins and outs of summer storms. A strong storm is always accompanied by high winds, which pose a threat to your home’s exterior. Whether it is wind that’s strong enough to have damaged the integrity of your shingles, or wind that has knocked down branches and debris, we talk about the clear signs of wind damage to look for after a summer storm.
Breaking Down Wind Speeds
The National Weather Service provides a chart that estimates wind speeds through visual damage. If you check your weather app, you could know the mph of the wind and associate it with the potential damage it can cause:
19 to 24 mph: Large branches and small trees in leaf begin to sway.
25 to 31 mph: Large branches in continuous motion. Whistling sounds heard in overhead or nearby power and telephone lines. Umbrellas used with difficulty.
32 to 38 mph: Whole trees in motion. Inconvenience felt when walking against the wind.
39 to 46 mph: Wind breaks twigs and small branches. Wind generally impedes walking.
47 to 54 mph: Structural damage occurs, such as chimney covers, roofing tiles blown off, and television antennas damaged. Ground is littered with many small twigs and broken branches.
55 to 63 mph: Considerable structural damage occurs, especially on roofs. Small trees may be blown over and uprooted.
64 to 75 mph: Widespread damage occurs. Larger trees blown over and uprooted.
Clear Signs of Wind Damage
 
Shingle Damage
Shingle damage is easily seen during a routine roof inspection or even sometimes it is noticeable from the ground. If you are missing any shingles, you have clear roof damage. Wind often causes damage to the edges of your roof or worsens areas of your roof where shingles may have already been loose. Once shingles start blowing off, it causes a chain reaction and can lead to major repairs or a replacement.
Granule Loss
Connected with shingle damage is granule loss. The material on your shingles will wear over time and you may notice very minor granule loss, which is completely normal. If you start to notice bare spots or cracks that you haven’t noticed before, these are signs that the seal on your shingle has broke and it will start to flap. The flapping is a huge warning sign because all it takes is an unexpected storm with winds just strong enough to have it tear off. The good news is that this type of damage isn’t always major. Sometimes it’s localized, and you’re only facing a minor repair.
Debris
Another thing to consider is debris. As stated above, around 30-40 mph cause small branches to break off. If there are lot of branches and other forms of debris laying around your property or on your roof after a storm, we would recommend either performing a roof inspection (if it is safe to do so) or hiring a roofing professional, such as one of MLM’s project consultants, to come out and take a look.
Water Leaks
If the wind compromises the integrity of your shingles during a storm, you will find the effects of the storm on your ceiling and walls. If you notice discoloration (yellow/brown color) or the smell of mold, chances are there is moisture that has leaked through. While you may think it is just a minor leak and that it is harmless, when another storm rolls through it could worsen the issue tenfold. The best thing to do in this case is call a roofing professional to inspect the issue and give you options on what to do next.

 

It’s never fun finding damage after a storm, but let MLM help! Our trained professionals can help guide you from start to finish of the roof replacement process. Starting with a free inspection and consultation, we communicate all your options and help navigate this intimidating process. Give us a call at 844-MLM-ROOF or fill out the form on our website to schedule your inspection!

The Roof is Complex: Time to DIY or Call a Pro?

The roof is arguably the most important aspect of a house as it acts as the home’s shield from Mother Nature, keeps energy bills in check and when in good shape, increases its overall value. As Americans are increasingly spending more time at home, people are finding themselves joining the DIY craze. In fact, Americans spent nearly $420 billion on home improvement projects in 2020. However, while a new coat of paint or a mounting your brand-new TV may feel like an easy task, there is one project that should not be underestimated – your roof. While certain aspects of the roof can be done by an experienced homeowner, there are certainly a few that even the handiest residents will have to call in the professionals for MLM Home Improvement has compiled some of the most common roofing projects along with a guide on which will require a professional’s touch.

Cleaning the Gutters: Gutters are an integral safety system that prevent the buildup of water on our roof and direct it away from the house, preventing dangerous flooding. However, debris can often get stuck in the narrow corridors of a gutter, blocking or bottlenecking water and forcing it to go in different directions. It is important to work with a professional to regularly clear objects from the gutter, especially during Fall, as build up can become a bigger problem.

Conducting a Visual Assessment: During a storm, heavy wind or rain can cause shingle damage and potentially lead to leaks. Therefore, once the weather has cleared, take a stroll around the outside of your home to see if any shingles have fallen to the ground as the first step in an easy assessment of your roof’s condition. Secondly, look at the actual roof itself to see if you can spy any glaring holes and missing or broken shingles.

Any visual damage spotted from the ground is something you should most certainly call in a professional to take a closer look at. Yet, due to the dangerous nature, it is best to leave it up to a trusted and certified local contractor to conduct the inspection. In addition to being safer, the contractor is trained to look for signs that a homeowner might not easily spot.

Additionally, annual roof inspections are not only a good maintenance habit but can help to prevent added costs in the long run.

 

Replacing or Repairing Shingles: Replacing or repairing a missing or faulty shingle can seem like a quick fix. However, roofing professionals are not only trained in how to conduct repairs safely but are experts at repairing problem areas while also identifying any hidden dangers.

For example, a leak caused by damaged shingles or a faulty repair can lead to problems beyond your roof. After all, moisture in your home can cause water damage, but even more importantly, as moisture builds up in your attic, it can cause mold.

Trusted, local contractors, such as those backed by a national manufacturer like Owens Corning, can locate the source of the leak and repair it preventing future damage and growth of harmful mold.

A good defense for your roof is every day, preventative measures such as proper gutter maintenance and regular visual scans to ensure everything is as it should be. However, when it comes to an in-depth analysis, it is best to leave it to a certified contractor like those within the Owens Corning Network, such as MLM, who can get the job done right. Schedule your FREE inspection with us today! 844-MLM-ROOF