If what you don’t flow, might hurt you.

Do I really need gutters? Doesn’t the water run off the shingles into the dirt anyways?

I am sure we have all pondered this before while cleaning the rotted clumps of leaves out of our gutters, at least once. This seems like a very reasonable question, especially when considering the extra cost of gutters and the seemingly unnecessary service they provide.

However, this time of the year may be one of the most critical to have a proper functioning gutter system due to the immense amount of melting ice and snow on your roof! Without proper control of the melt-off from your home, the water would be liable to surround your home in a blanket of ice. Although, many of your children may have recently watched Frozen and enjoy this idea, thick ice is backbreaking to get rid of, and even more dangerous to leave sitting.

Ice Gutters

We often underestimate the effect a slip on the ice can mean for us. Hundreds of people every year suffer injury, and re-aggravate prior injuries, simply by walking to their car in the morning. Much of the ice around your home in our Chicago winters in unavoidable, however, large amounts at corners or around downspouts and at the base of massive icicles may mean your gutter system is actually the culprit!

If the gutters are leaking, or overflowing due to lack of cleaning, improper pitch, or inadequate size for steepness of roof, you could be setting yourself up for a potential morning of ice skating! We here at Total Roofing do our best to inform our clients, and all homeowners that maintaining an effective roof system, especially the flow of water, ensures a longer life for your house and hopefully, a safer environment altogether!

Here’s a short video to those do-it-yourself minded people.

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99 inches of snow and counting!

The midwest strikes again! Polar Vortex 2.0? What’s the snow mean for roofing?

Every person throughout the construction industry heard rumors regarding the upcoming winter of 2015! Everyone was prepared after the winter of 2014. People upgraded their snow plow systems, stock piled salt, purchased roof rakes, and seeked parking lot contracts. The chance of another polar vortex meant potential jobs. Preparation is often central to a weather haymaker, especially when the weather bible aka “the farmers almanac” predicts a repeat.

Well, the construction industry should be happy to a degree. Because the best economy booster is often Mother Nature. Especially in the roofing industry. Recent years, a brand new industry has evolved such as storm chasers. Individuals so well tuned with insurance fine print that even your “friendly neighbor” cringes. These serviceman are the first to knock after a catastrophic or even minor storms. Masters of door-to-door marketing and extremely competitive in the roofing marketplace. Often they are the first people you see after experiencing damage without picking up your phone. These companies vary in quality, some are great and others unethical, but which industry doesn’t follow suite? What’s this mean? Why don’t we consider snow to be as much as nusicance as hail?

We call our local contractor or the guys driving bright, logo trucks after the latest rain storm or hail. Why, don’t we do the same after a midwestern winter? 20 inches of snow sitting on your roof is damaging to all your products: roofing shingles, deck, underlayment, drywall, insulation, heating bill, and more. The thing about snow too is that it could sit on your roof for awhile, whereas a hail storm comes and goes. A week of water isolated on the top of everything you own is not smart potatoes. Many homeowners would mention “well we have lifetime shingles.” I agree you purchased a quality shingle and it could last 30 years. However, did you research whether the thickness of snow for a prolong period will affect the product? Shingle specs are built off isolated studies and years of “trial & error.” It’s difficult to state whether those studies were put together based off winters that brought forth 20 inces & more, year after year. Weather is key to exterior products existence. Without the harsh weather we could live in the elements and lack appropiate shelter. The snow created plenty of construction products: insulation, ice pelts, ice & water underlayment, synthetics, & metal products that protect to date.

Ultimately we constumer have changed our attitude towards a homes. Recently, our industry has noted weather damage is a good thing, because that’s business for many. However, a loss for a gain is not right. Roofing started as a way to cover one from shelter. Shelter means survival, which means why aren’t we more proactive with things that should eliminate stress inducers than make them the actual stress inducers. The purpose of this post is ultimately to let you know that you NEED TO BE PROACTIVE with your house after this blizzard. Make a checklist of things to fix, change, or improve around the house. Don’t call your insurance because you have issues that could’ve been avoided with proper care and preparation. Take responsibility of your home, unless it’s a house (they are different). Familariize yourself with upcoming products, building codes, and ways to make your house more valuable. The internet is the most powerful learning tool. Mayber you don’t know where to go? Check out our facebook because we often post tips and videos that you could DIY. Give your house love and it becomes a home.

If your car needs an oil change you get it, hair long you cut it, and if you want to play sports you get a physical. Proper prepartion is the key to coming out of the winter 2015 with a few stratches or entering it with a lot of surgeries. Sure, at Total Roofing and Construction we love open-roof surgery, but you shouldn’t. We are here to assist and solve problems not pray for them.

The main concern this winter is ice damming and proper removal. The video below showcases great products that will benefit your roofing system and gutters during the long winter. Take notes and take action. Hope this helps

http://wgntv.com/2015/02/06/mr-fix-it-with-tips-on-removing-ice-dams/#ooid=R1NjQ3czqh7yAqXa-u5fTyouaguzcShw

Ladder Safety 101

The #1 construction accident is falling from ladders! How do you prevent these? You properly tie down the ladder, place it at an appropriate angle, and use the correct sized ladder. Following those three simple instruction’s will prevent those fall’s more times than none. We hope this video provides you a great perspective on how to correctly tie down a ladder and take precaution. Follow the instructor’s tips!

People die from 4 foot fall’s every year or become seriously injured.  We noticed people are more lackadaisical when it comes to 2 story building. Regardless of how many year’s you roofed or used a ladder take each time as it’s your first. Additionally if you don’t value your life there’s an organization called OSHA that certainly will. They’ll be making nice little call to your employer or you regarding your mishaps.

We’d also recommend having at least one hand on the ladder at all times along with your feet. Use the 3 touch step-ladder method. We understand you’ll have tool’s, the rope to the tie the ladder down, or whatever you’re bringing on your roof with you.

Think you have a roof leak?

           Notice a stain in the ceiling or wall? Maybe stored items in your attic are moist or damaged. Sometimes stains or discoloring (possible mold) could be the result of condensation from your air conditioning system. Make sure to 2x check your unit prior to calling a roof consultant

Before you call a roof specialist conduct your own test! This short video will have you searching for the leak as if you’re Sherlock Holmes.

In our 25 year history we’ve seen some cheesy do-it-yourself video’s as well as poor construction tutorials. However, Danny Lipford’s video provides a great overview in checking for a leak and an easy do-it-yourself check (water hose test). A little about Danny Lipford, he was the host of the radio & television Today’s Homeowner. He’s also been used as the home expert for show’s such as The Weather Channel and CBS’s The Early Show. If you enjoyed his video or have other homeowner questions check out his website or YouTube channel for other tips/knickknacks.

todayshomeowner.com