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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.

Ice Dams: Causes, Dangers and Preventions

With cold temperatures and possible snowfall in the area this upcoming week, we can all agree that we are officially in the winter season. Preparing your home for the winter is essential in preventing any major damage. Preparations such as checking your windows and doors for leaks and gaps, cleaning out or replacing old gutters, checking for damage on your roof and taking proper precautions to prevent an ice dam development are all important. Ice dams could lead to substantial damage to your roof, gutters and the overall integrity of your home. We share multiple tasks you could complete to avoid an ice dam from happening

What is an ice dam?

An accumulation of frozen water in the gutter system and at the roof edge that prevents subsequent drainage of melting snow from leaving the roof/gutter system.

What causes an ice dam?

Ice dams are caused due to lack of ventilation in your attic. When the heat is on inside your house and rises it leaks the hot air up through the roof. This in turn creates warm areas on the roof, which causes the snow in that area to thaw. Once the snow is fully melting, it glides down the roof’s slope until it reaches the frozen overhang on the edge where it refreezes and is consistently built up to a dam structure.

What is the danger of an ice dam?

This build up of snow and ice can be very dangerous to the integrity of your home exterior. It could tear off your gutters, loosen shingles, and eventually could lead force water to back up underneath the shingles which may cause a leak through your ceiling and into your home. It’s possible that ice dams could also cause decaying, corrosion and mold to form in your attic and on the wall surfaces.

 

As you can see, ice dams could be very dangerous to the structure of your home and could eventually become pretty costly to repair. So how do you prevent this from happening?

Ice Dam PreventionGutter Maintenance Clogged or older gutters do not cause ice dams to happen, but they tend to make the issue much worse. Cleaning out or replacing older gutters could easily save you the headache of an ice dam because it will prevent the initial foundation of ice to form along the edge of your roof.

Proper Insulation The best way to stop ice dams from forming in the first place is to make sure your attic is insulated well. This keeps the heat inside where it belongs.

Ventilation A ridge vent paired with continuous soffit vents circulates cold air under the entire roof. Both ridge and soffit vents should have the same size openings and provide at least 1 square foot of opening for every 300 square feet of attic floor. Place baffles at the eaves to maintain a clear path for the airflow from the soffit vents.

Cap the Hatch An unsealed attic hatch or whole-house fan is a massive opening for heat to escape. Cover them with weatherstripped caps made from foil-faced foam board held together with aluminum tape.

Exhaust Make sure that the ducts connected to the kitchen, bathroom, and dryer vents all lead outdoors through either the roof or walls, but never through the soffit.Sealed Can Lights If you have recessed lights, replace them with sealed can lights to minimize referred heat to the roof.Seal and Insulate Ducts Spread fiber-reinforced mastic on the joints of HVAC ducts and exhaust ducts. Cover them entirely with R-5 or R-6 foil-faced fiberglass.

 

How MLM can help?

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.We are proud to carry Owens Corning products because we know that an Owens Corning roofing system is crucial in preventing damage such as ice dams. Their new WeatherLock Flex Flexible Self-Sealing Ice and Water Barrier is meant to do just that!
Owens Corning WeatherLock® Flex Flexible Self-Sealing Ice & Water Barrier provides excellent roof deck protection against water infiltration resulting from the freeze/thaw cycle, wind-driven rains and normal water flow around eaves, rakes, valleys, vents, chimneys and skylights.

Engineered for asphalt shingles, wood shakes and quarry slate roof assemblies, WeatherLock® Flex also offers:

  • High performance – Flexible and pliable poly surface and modified asphalt combine to adhere around irregular shapes, inside corners and at sharp angles, even in cold-weather applications to 40ºF
  • Added protection – Acts as a waterproof barrier in the most vulnerable sections of the roof, such as valleys and other roof penetrations, to create a second line of defense. For optimal protection, apply to entire roof deck on 2:12 to 4:12 pitch roofs*
  • Aggressive self-adhesive – Exceeds adhesion performance requirements to help prevent water migration
  • Slip-resistant surface – For excellent traction and safe installation
  • Seals tight around nails – Modified asphalt construction for a tight seal around nails to prevent water penetration
If you are interested in Owens Corning roofing systems or have any questions, let us help. Give us a call or send a message today!

What Happens At Your Roof Inspection?

When it comes to routine home maintenance, it’s easy to forget to check your roof. It’s high up and as long as you don’t have any leaks, it’s convenient to assume everything is okay. Your roof is one of the most important elements to the structural integrity of your home, and although you might not have any leaks or materials flying off, doesn’t mean it’s in tip top shape! Inspections are necessary and lucky for you, we make it easy.

When Should You Schedule a Roof Inspection?

We recommend scheduling an inspection after a severe weather event. Home owners that experience damage due to a storm recognize that an inspection is the necessary next step. However, after a storm is not the only time you should consider getting your roof inspected. Most manufacturers agree that a roof’s lifespan is 15-20 years, we suggest if you are in that range to schedule an inspection to check if there are any areas of concern. Lastly, routine inspections are not harmful! Nothing bad will come from getting your roof checked out every other year, and preventative inspections might save you a big project in the long run!

 

What to Expect During Your Roof Inspection

Our project consultants are trained to do a professional overview of your roof. A roof inspector will be looking for leaks, unusual wear and tear, damage caused by windblown debris, organic growth issues, and problems that may have occurred during shingle installation or subsequent repairs.

 

After the Inspection

Our project consultants will discuss any areas of concern and talk you through the process of working with us. They are there to help you with any questions you have, and to discuss your options from there. Our inspection is completely free, with no obligation to further business with us. However, after working with us up to that point, you will want to continue. We are a family-owned business that is committed to delivering family-like customer service. Let us help you with your next inspection!

Most Commonly Asked Roofing Questions

As a roofing company, we understand the average person doesn’t know all there is to know about their roof. So we’ve put together our most commonly asked questions to give you some basic information as you start planning your project!
 
How do I know if my roof needs to be replaced?
Most manufacturers agree that a standard roof’s lifespan is between 15 and 20 years. If your roof falls in between that range, you should get it inspected to ensure everything is working properly. If you are not sure how old your roof is, the most common signs you need a replacement are curled shingles or missing shingles, leaking, impact damage, mold or water damage and bald spots.
How long does it take to replace a roof?
This mostly depends on the size of your home and the type of roof. MLM works quickly and diligently and we can complete most homes in a days work.
What is the cost of a new roof?
This also depends on the size of your home and the type of roof you are interested in. If you schedule a free appointment with us our consultants are able to give you an estimate on the spot. We work within your budget and present all options that are available to you!

If I have a leak will do I need to replace the whole roof?

This depends on the cause of the leak. If the leak started from old age/damage and there are danger signs (ex. missing shingles), the roof will most likely need to be replaced. If you have a newer roof that is in good shape, you may be able to just have repair work done.

Why are my shingles discolored?
These streaks are a build up of algae. Roof algae, also known as Gloeocapsa, is attracted to your roof because it will feed on the limestone minerals found in shingles. The algae may not be visible until it builds up and produces black streaks along your roof!
How do I find a roofing company I can trust?
You’re in the right place! MLM is a reputable, local company that has been in business since 2007. In that time we have received multiple accolades including being ranked #72 on Qualified Re-modeler’s Top 500 List, becoming an Owen’s Corning Platinum Preferred Contractor, a 4.9 star google rating and thousands of happy customers! If you still aren’t sure, schedule an appointment and one of our trained project consultants will come to your home for an inspection and give you a free estimate that will be good for the year. We look forward to serving you!

 

Spring is Near. Is Your Roof Ready?

The sweet smell of spring means warm weather is on the horizon and it’s time to plan accordingly. Along with planning summer fun, spring is a common time for homeowners to hit the reset button and get their property in tip-top shape. Standard projects include cleaning, landscaping, decorating and organizing storage spaces. We at MLM believe roof maintenance is an equally important and essential component of one’s springtime housekeeping regiment. Winter can be a roof’s greatest test, making spring the ideal time to run through a checklist of maintenance tips. These four considerations will help your home and family transition at the beginning of every spring.

1. Clean and secure your gutters.

Chances are you spent little time monitoring the exterior of your home during the winter. At the minimum, leaves and twigs may have accumulated in your gutters and created a clog. Even worse, strong winds and winter precipitation may have stripped the gutters from your home. Unfastened gutters are not only a safety hazard; they are less effective in their role of draining water away from the foundation of your home.

Clearing your gutters early in the spring will prepare them for the heavy seasons of rainfall ahead. Confident DIY-ers can complete this task with a ladder (and partner), garden hose and some elbow grease. However, if there is major clogging or loosening between your gutters and house, we recommend bringing in a trusted, local contractor who will get the job done safely.

2. Trim tree limbs and branches that touch your roof.

Trees that touch your roof can shorten its lifespan and increase the risk of a sudden puncture. As branches sway in the wind, they can graze your shingles and scrape off protective granules. Therefore, it is important to trim branches before they grow larger and apply more pressure to your roof. As a bonus, trimming branches will expose your roof to more sunlight and reduce moisture levels. This will prevent the growth of moss, which is too heavy for your roof to host safely.

3. Inspect the ceiling of your attic for signs of deterioration. By noticing warning signs early, you’ll be able to address any issue before your roof falls victim to serious, costly damage. The easiest way to do so is by inspecting your attic ceiling for signs of moisture. Cracks, discoloration or sagging are signs that water has infiltrated your shingles and begun decaying the structure of your home. Especially common if your roof experienced snowfall over the winter, these situations are much easier – and cheaper – to address before water seeps into your attic.

If you notice a leak, set up a professional consultation as you may need a more involved repair or a full roof replacement.

 

4. Schedule a roof inspection with a trusted, local contractor. A healthy attic ceiling does not necessarily mean your roof made it through the winter unscathed. Each spring, schedule a roof inspection with a contractor, backed by a national manufacturer like Owens Corning, who can detect damage unbeknown to the untrained eye. Annual roof inspections play a critical role in the upkeep of your home, not dissimilar to cleaning your chimney or replacing your air filters. Addressing minor roof damage early will keep your home safe and save you from costly repairs down the road.

Tips For Every Homeowner Interested In A Roof Replacement

If you’re in need of a roof replacement but don’t know where to start, you’re in the right place! From deciding on a roofing company to choosing the right products- we are here to guide you.
1. Choose an Owen’s Corning (or similar) Certified Contractor
Owens Corning Roofing Platinum Preferred Contractors are the top tier of a premier network of roofing professionals dedicated to service, reliability and professional craftsmanship. For such a big project and investment, you want to make sure the company you choose is the best of the best. MLM Home Improvement is a Platinum Preferred Owens Corning Contractor and one of the few in the DMV. A roof replacement is a big deal, and you need to hire a company that’s exceptionally qualified!
2. Make sure your company is local & reputable
It’s important to choose a company that is local to your area and that has an exceptional track record. Whether you get recommendations from neighbors or friends, or check reviews on Google or Yelp, this research will give you real people’s experiences with this company. This information is what you need in order to make the best choice for your home.
3. Top Quality Products Pay Off in the End
A saying that has been around is “you always get what you pay for”. There are just some things that you don’t choose the best deal on and the roof of your home is one of those things! When you invest in top quality products, it will not only save you on repair costs but it will prolong your roof’s life. These factors or important whether you are living in your home forever or planning to sell it!
4. Types of Roof Materials
If you’ve never gotten a roof replacement or it has been 20 years since you have, there is a lot that has changed. When you have a consultation with one of our experts, take the time to hear out all your options. The more traditional shingles are asphalt, slate and shakes but there are other materials that are skyrocketing in popularity such as metal roofs and architectural shingles. These materials made with newer technology might be more costly, but could also last longer and provide better appeal.
5. Stay Flexible but Firm
Last but not least, staying flexible but firm. There are a lot of moving parts that go in to a roof replacement that could affect a timeline. While the actual installation is typically done within the same day, the ordering of materials and weather may affect when that installation is able to be completed. At the same time, you must stay firm to ensure you get exactly what you want and it is what you signed for in your contract.
Need a roof replacement?
We hope these tips eased your mind a little if you are currently caught up in the process of replacing your roof. If you are looking for a company that will make the process simple with no stress, MLM is for you! Call us today for a free inspection and to get the ball rolling on your home project. 1-844-MLM-ROOF

Improve the Energy Efficiency of Your Roof

Extreme weather more than likely will equate to your energy costs increasing. Any season you need extended use of your heating or cooling system, will mean more money out of your pocket. While there is a long list of ways to make your home more energy efficient, focusing on your roof’s energy efficiency is a good place to start because it is your home’s first defense against the elements.
1. Insulation
A simple way to make your roof more energy efficient is adding an adequate amount of attic insulation. Many homes are poorly insulated and might not even know it! Adding insulation can prevent heat from penetrating into the interior of your home. A properly insulated roof can help maintain the temperature in your home regardless of the temperature outside.
2. Cooling Roof Coating
A qualified roofer can apply a coating to the roof, such as cool-roofing paint, to reduce heat retention. This coat has many protection benefits, and because of this will extend the life of your roof, as well. This layer is easy to apply as the final step of a roof replacement. It can also be a great option for your existing roof if it doesn’t need to be replaced.
3. Choosing Different Materials
While the first two steps are relatively inexpensive, you might reach a point where a roof replacement is inevitable. When this time comes, we encourage you to look at all of the options you have as far as materials. Roofing materials like sheet metal or clay tiles can add a unique look to your home while still improving your energy efficiency. Both of these materials reflect heat rather than absorbing it, helping to prevent unwanted heat from entering your home.
MLM can help!
We are here to help you with your roofing needs. Schedule your appointment today for your free inspection and let us do the rest! 1-844-MLM-ROOF

 

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.

Summer in April: What does that mean for your roof?

With the calendar in the final week of April, a wide stretch of the nation will be privy to a summer preview for a few days as a warm front moves west to east. Places from Chicago to New York will all get in on the taste of summer and some cities could see daily temperature records challenged. Meanwhile, big cities along the I-95 corridor, like Washington, D.C., and Baltimore, could make a run at 90 degrees. While a warm front is exciting for those looking forward to summer weather, what does this heat mean for your roof?
The biggest weather concerns for our roof include winter weather conditions, heavy rains, hail storms and high winds; but what about heat? Unusually high temperatures can be an issue for a few different reasons:
1. UV Rays
Firstly, UV rays can actually cause damage. This can happen even when it’s cloudy. These rays can make the oils and materials in your roof dry out and ultimately crack which will lead to costly repairs. Wood can get bleached by the sun and also weaken and crack. Asphalt shingles are also prone to buckle and split under high heat, especially if they haven’t been treated.
Solution: Luckily, there are products on the market that are able to defend against this issue. One product is Owens Corning Duration Premium Cool Shingles that are built to reflect solar energy, which helps keep roofs cooler and decrease the amount of heat transferred to a home’s interior.
2. Unventilated attic
An unventilated attic can also exacerbate the problem and make damage more likely. This can also cause problems with condensation.
Solution: To achieve a balanced attic ventilation system, try to get a total amount of ventilation openings in square inches (referred to as Net Free Area) on your roof and under your eaves that are equal to the total square footage of your attic floor space.
3. Thermal shock
Thermal shock is when there is high temperature during the day and cold temperatures at night, which cause roof materials to expand and contract too quickly. While all roofs are built to expand and contract a certain amount, extreme heat during the day and cooler nights can make this expansion and contraction happen too quickly for the roof to be able to cope. This can result in a weakening of the roof’s structural integrity.
Solution: Because thermal shock is the result of cumulative damage, the top of a house should be inspected regularly for any damage. Small gaps created by movement should immediately be patched or replaced. Brittle shingles and panels should be replaced to prevent cracking.
Unlike one big storm, or a heavy wind, damage caused by high temperatures could take a long time before they are on your radar. This means, by the time this damage is noticeably visible-it could be too late to remedy the situation. If you’ve got an older roof or aren’t sure how old your roof is, make sure you lookout for some of the signs of heat damage so that you can make fixes rather than leave it to the point where costly repairs or replacements are needed.

 

Let MLM Help
If you believe your roof is damaged, let us come out for a free inspection! This is of no cost to you, but will give you peace of mind knowing what’s going on with your roof. Call us at 844-MLM-ROOF!

Summer Roof Maintenence

This weekend is Memorial Day and unofficially marks the start of Summer 2021! Summer is a season full of outdoor activities, days at the beach and barbecues. But it is also the hottest season, and the temperatures will be rising. Depending on the person, you may love the hot temperatures but your roof does not! In our previous blog we mention how high temperatures can negatively affect your roof as time passes. So how do we prevent any damage? Follow these summer roof maintenance tips and you will have a healthy roof!
Remove debris
A very important place to start is removing any excess debris that is lingering on your roof or in your gutters. This includes twigs, branches, leaves and any other undesirable debris. While doing this, safety should be your number one priority- if you are not able to climb up to the roof, we recommending hiring someone to do this step. This also should be done by hand with gloves, or any other tool such as a leaf blower. Avoid using a power washer. A power washer, though seems like a logical idea, can cause unwanted damage due to the focused pressure.
Check for mold, moss & algae
The summer brings heat and also humidity from all the rain, which increases the chance of algae to build up on your home. If left untreated, algae can eventually eat away at your roof leading to roof decay. Moss left on roofs can cause shingles to curl and crack. Heavy moss can block water, create buildup under the shingles, and eventually damage the roof deck. If you see moss or algae on your roof, remove it ASAP to prevent these problems. Mold damage can happen fast, so it’s essential to check your roof often.
Trim trees
An important tip is to trim the trees that overhang on your roof. Summer is known for it’s unpredictable storms, and it wouldn’t take much for a branch or limb to break off of the tree causing damage to your roof. Trimming back your trees so they are about 8 ft. away from your roof will prevent damage and a possible roof replacement. Trees that are over your roof could also cause damage to the gutter, if leaves and twigs are falling off and weighing your gutter system down.
Check your attic

Attic insulation is critical in the summer because it’s what’s keeping all of the heat it’s absorbing out of your living space. It’s also important to check for any signs of moisture or mold while you’re up there, as this can point to water leakage.Here are some signs of roof mold damage you can see from your attic:

  1. If you discover watermarks along the ceiling or walls of your attic, your roof may have a hole.
  2. If your attic smells musty and you spot mildew across your ceiling, you have a roof leak.
  3. Discolored rafters mean the wood has absorbed the water from a leak above on your roof.

Schedule a roof inspection

At MLM, we provide free roof inspections. It costs you zero money out of pocket for us to come and inspect your roof for you. Inspecting these things yourself can turn into something more complicated, and unless you have roofing experience you might not be 100% sure what you need to look for. MLM employees are highly trained and will take all of that stress off your hands. Remember- preventative maintenance is better than serious repairs and replacements (and cheaper!). Call us at 844-MLM-ROOF to schedule your appointment.