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Should I Repair or Replace My Deck?

A Man Washes a Deck.

Should I repair or replace my deck?

If you’re noticing problems with your deck like warped or soft wood or loose railings, you might be wondering whether you’ll need deck repair or whether it’s time to replace your deck. One question to ask: How safe is my deck? You may want to consider replacing your deck if you have a lot of repairs to be made, especially when those repairs add up to several safety hazards that could harm you or your guests. A few cracked or warped boards or ones that have begun to rot, might just require you to replace or repair those boards, and not the whole deck. 

On the other hand, if most of the boards are beginning to rot, especially near the house, replacing the deck is the safest option. Loose or wobbly railings, in particular, are very dangerous. Your deck railings should hold up to 200 pounds of concentrated weight. If they are unable to do so, your deck’s whole structure could be in peril and your guests at risk of injury. If your deck is more than 10 years old and in need of extensive repairs, it’s safer and often less costly to go ahead and replace it. The best way to determine if it’s time to replace the deck is to have professionals skilled with deck construction and repairs in Wilkes-Barre, Dallas, and Scranton, PA come to inspect it. You can find those professionals at Independent Construction. Book a service appointment by calling (570) 266-8208.

What is the life expectancy of a wood deck?

Typically, on average, a wood deck will last 10 to 15 years, as long as it is well maintained. Many decks now are made of composite materials that combine wood with synthetic fibers that are capped with vinyl shields. These types of decks can last 25 to 30 years and are less susceptible to issues like rot and mold growth. 

How do you repair a damaged deck?

Deck repair options can vary depending on the type of deck you have and the type of damage it has sustained. Older wood decks tend to require more repairs than composite decks. Regular maintenance and making minor repairs will extend your deck’s lifespan. 

Deck repair and maintenance tips

  • Regularly check the deck for loose boards and railings as well as popped nails. Remove the popped nails and replace them with coated screws. Make repairs to loose railings or have a professional repair them.
  • Wash the deck regularly with detergent and water to clean dirt that’s built up and rinse it thoroughly.
  • Stains from tree sap can be removed using mineral spirits.
  • Use a solution of bleach and water to clean mildew off the deck. Allow it to dry after flushing. If mildew recurs, you might have too much shade and may need to trim back bushes and trees.
  • Stain the deck to preserve the wood’s life and make cleaning easier.
  • Varnishes, shellacs, or other clear finishes should be avoided as they often peel.

How do you fix rotten wood without replacing it?

When you see rotten wood on your deck, your first thought about deck repair might be that you’ll have to replace the wood. While this might be necessary in some instances, you can also repair the rotted wood using a polyester filler. You’ll start by cutting away the rotted portion of the wood before coating the space with a wood hardener. You can then use a putty knife to press the filler into the space. After that, you shape the filler with a putty knife before adding a new layer of filler. Finally, you smooth the filler with a plane or rasp, sand it, prime it and paint it.  

Is it better to stain or water seal a deck?

Either staining or water sealing will help to preserve the deck. Stains are good for getting the deck the color you want it. You can also purchase a combination stain/sealer that has pigment added for color. Sealers add protection against weather and water damage, while stains will provide greater protection from the sun.

Repair deck that is peeling

If you have a painted deck, over time you may see the paint start to peel. This happens because the paint didn’t have a sufficient bond. It could be that the paint was of poor quality, to begin with, or the deck wasn’t cleaned beforehand so it didn’t adhere correctly. Moisture will also cause the paint to peel, so make sure to keep your deck dry. 

When repainting the deck, remove the old paint with a stiff brush or scraping tool, and then smooth the area by sanding it. Cleaning and drying the area is always essential when it comes to painting a surface. You can roll or brush on the paint and add a second coat, if necessary, once the first coat is dry.

A Painter Stains a Deck.

Deck repair in my area

Whether you have rotting wood, loose railings or some other problems, when you need deck repair in Wilkes-Barre, Dallas, and Scranton, PA look to the professionals at Independent Construction. We always provide exceptional service no matter what we do for you. Find out how we can help by calling (570) 266-8208.

What do you do if you Have Hail Damage on Your Roof?

marked hail damage

How do you Tell if I Have Hail Damage on my Roof?

Unlike hail on your car, hail on your roof is not necessarily the easiest damage to spot after the storm has passed. If it was small pebble or pea sized hail, you would likely have nothing to worry about, but if you knew the hail was or surpassed an inch in diameter then you should look for signs like:

  • Loss of granules
  • Cracks
  • Dents 
  • Missing pieces of shingles
  • Leaks

When looking for roof hail damage, one of the key details you are searching for is whether your shingles or roofing were damaged to the extent that you could suspect a leak in the near future. The long term effects of ignoring your roof after a hail storm can result in even greater damage than one could imagine. With shingled roofs, roof hail damage can break down your shingles when left alone over time, having the next gust of wind or storm blow shingles off then leave your home exposed to water damage. Metal roofs, while tougher, are not impervious. When dents are left alone in certain spots, a homeowner will see leak damage enter under their roof and hurt the layers as well as their attic. 

The best way to find roof hail damage on your home is to enlist the assistance of a trained roofer. The professionals at Independent Construction have an experienced eye in spotting the damages that come from hail beating down on each kind of roof and can help in that endeavor by offering services like hail damage roof repair as well as inspections to help determine the condition of your roof. Call (570) 266-8208 today to schedule one of our roofers to come out from our main location in Wilkes-Barre, Dallas, and Scranton, PA.

Why is Hail Damage Bad for a Roof?

Aside from being physically damaging to your roof, hail can be a detriment to your home when the correct precautions are not taken. While we’ve listed the signs to look for immediately after a hail storm, longer term signs should also be noted as well. These would come in the previously mentioned leaks, which are much more concerning for the homeowner in that they do significant damage internally when left ignored. Leaks can cause:

  • Frame rotting
  • Mold 
  • Mildew
  • Insulation devastation 
  • Ceiling damage

There is no underscoring the importance of catching roof hail damage when it happens simply due to how catastrophic it can be if left unattended. You do not have to necessarily go as far as replacing your roof after every hail storm, but you should place some importance into being mindful after each one due to the risk of deterioration if there is some damage that had occurred.

What does Hail Damage look like on Siding?

While roofing companies are not known for repairing siding on a home, damages that occur on this section of the home from hail damage can be an indication that you have received roof hail damage. Hail damages on siding specifically look similar to what you would see on the roof if they were the same material. You can spot cracking and dents that would indicate there had been impacted to some legitimate degree. Being that most homeowners choose wood for their siding, chipping and scratches can be features that indicate hail damages as well. 

Something to be aware of as well, the age of a roof or part of the home does not necessarily play into whether it will be damaged by hail. When hail exceeds in diameter of one inch, it tends to be large enough to impact anything and at least leave a mark. When you have a new roof, you should take as much caution as homeowners with old roofs, if not more because you do not necessarily know for sure if the roof has been built 100% without mistake until it has been tested.

hail damage check

Does Insurance Cover Roof Hail Damage?

Fortunately for homeowners, hail damage is generally covered in the homeowner’s insurance policy, but make sure to doubly check your own personal policy before filing a claim. Upon noticing damages outside of their control, the homeowner has around a year to file. We recommend doing so as quickly as possible due to that most insurance companies will find a way to dispute damages caused by leaks. Once again we recommend consulting your own policy, being that some insurance companies may be inclined to have a substantially smaller period of time they require. The information you would look for is what your policy includes and excludes. To this particular point, it all depends on the policy you had signed with the insurance company. Depending on where you are in Pennsylvania, you will want to have some sort of minor or major protection against hail and wind damages. Being a business native to Wilkes-Barre, Dallas, and Scranton, PA, Independent Construction understands all that you need for your roof and what policies are best to have the best living experience in the state. Call (570) 266-8208 today to schedule your roof hail damage repair or consult with our roofers the best insurance and care for your roof.

Leaking Roof and Water Damage

water damage to ceiling after rain leak

How a Leaking Roof Can Affect Your Property

Roof repairs are not uncommon after a storm has passed especially when a leaking roof has formed. A leaking roof can range from minor issues to more extensive ones if ignored over a period of time. That’s why it’s best to get into contact with a professional for a roof inspection so issues like mold or mildew don’t spread to surrounding areas that will further need treatment or repair. When you’re needing assistance with a leaking roof confer with your local roofing company for repairs. Until then here is some general information regarding a leaking roof that can be of use to you.

Why is my roof leaking?

A leaking roof can come about for a variety of reasons from improper roof installations to passing storms with impacts that have caused punctures. Yet if a roof is new and no storms have passed it can be that there is something wrong with the installation of the roof membrane or flashing. Other areas that are prone to causing a leaking roof are areas around the chimney or roof vents. Make sure that future materials are strong and installations are done according to your roof specifications to avoid a leaking roof.

How bad is a leaking roof?

A leaking roof can be a danger to items stored in an attic or other locations. Water can stain the interior ceiling, ceiling mounted fans, and lights, as well as damage paint and plaster on walls. 

How long does it take for a ceiling to dry after a leak?

Depending on the extent of wetness, a ceiling that’s been infiltrated with water with a leaking roof can take at least two weeks or up to four weeks to dry.

Can leaking ceiling collapse?

A leaking roof will have to have been caused by a sizeable puncture like a tree collapsing or have damaged waterlogged beams significantly to become a problem. A hole punched into the roof can allow water to drain and relieve pressure on the rest of the ceiling.  However, a leaking roof with water accumulating and pooling on the roof can enact pressures on the ceiling to where the roof can collapse.

What damage can a leaking roof cause?

A leaking roof can cause damages when chronic or leftover a short period of time. With heavy moisture in the air, mold can form in 1-2 days. Leaks that have been present for a while can lead to wood deterioration and weakened structures. Roof frames can rot which will need to be fixed soon by a professional roofer as structural problems will occur. Ceiling joists and walls can be damaged by stains and mold as well.

Can a leaking roof cause mold?

A leaking roof can cause mold growth as when moisture has built up enough and with certain conditions mold will form. There are two types of mold that a leaking roof can from, limited growth and systemic. Systemic is caused by mold growing throughout the areas when moisture has built up in the attic. Here the buildup is indirect as the leak itself will only affect a small area, the dampness in the air will cause condensation formation throughout the confined space. With limited growth, an attic will have enough ventilation to get rid of the added moisture caused by the leaking roof so in a sense mold growth is limited to the areas around the leak.

How long does it take for mold to grow from a leaking roof?

Mold growing from a leaking roof, according to the Environmental protection Agency as well as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, can begin from 24-48 hours following moisture accumulation. This is due to the fact that mold spores are able to be present in the air in multiple places so it won’t take them long to find water and settle in. 

Can a leaking roof make you sick?

A leaking roof itself won’t make you sick yet the conditions that are caused by heavy moisture in the air can as seen with mold and mildew can. Mold formation can occur anywhere from insulation, carpeting, to drywall, and can cause illness from someone just being around the mold.

Water damaged ceiling and wall, leakage in an old building

How do I stop my roof from leaking?

  • Replace Missing Nails From Vent Boots
  • Temporarily Patch Leaks Inside the Attic
    • Shingle
    • Plywood
    • Roofing tar
  • Replace Flashing & Missing Shingles

How do I stop my roof leaking in heavy rain?

When rain is present with a leaking roof safety must first come into the equation. You shouldn’t go up to a roof when it’s slippery and you don’t have the proper grip in shoes or clothes to support yourselves. Even professional roofers will wait after a storm to fix a roof. Remember that if you have an attic you can stop a leak from the inside until further help can be made after the rain has stopped. First, you’ll go to the attic and if there’s access clear the insulation off the wet ceiling drywall. Follow the leak back to the source of where it enters the roof. You may be able to see light peak through if it’s a particularly big puncture. In any case, you can make a temporary patch on the roof with shingle, plywood, or roofing tar.

Get The Help You Need With a Leaking Roof

No matter the circumstances your local roofing company will be able to assist you with leaking roof repair. A leaking roof can grow into a bigger problem if you allow moisture and condensation to build up which will lead to bigger repairs with mold remediation, rotted insulation, wooden beams etcetera. Getting in touch with a professional roofer will allow for proper roof inspections that will point out problem areas with solutions that will be provided to fix issues.

If you need help with leaking roof in Wilkes-Barre, Dallas, and Scranton, PA call (570) 266-8208 with Independent Construction!

What is single ply roofing?

flat roof with modified bitumen material

Single Ply Options

The description of single-ply roofing is common on commercial structures that have a flat or low-slope roof. It is made of plastic-derived material that has been compounded and made into flexible sheets membranes that are prefabricated in a factory with strict quality control.

For over 25 years, single-ply roofing has become the favored choice of commercial building owners and professional roofing contractors for several reasons. The first reason is the cost and the second reason is durability.  When single-ply roofing is installed accurately, it offers an intrinsic advantage with flexibility, high durability, and strength over other traditional flat roofing materials.

What does single ply mean?

A complete single-ply roofing system is created with membranes that are constituted primarily of synthetic polymer. The membranes are sealed at joints and provide a flat or low-sloped roof continuous waterproofing. With continuous support and insulation combined with this type of single-ply roofing that is up to +2mm thickness, it becomes a complete, durable roof system.

For the maintenance supervisor and the building owner, this is a comfortable, secure feeling to know that the building has the best roofing material possible.  The concerns and worries of leaks and other issues are put to ease once a professionally installed single-ply roofing job is completed. 

What is the best material for a flat roof?

There are two types of arrangement of single-ply roofing components: warm deck and inverted warm deck. This means that there are many combinations of system types and how they are attached to suit specific design conditions. The different membrane types available for single-ply roofing are:

  • Chlorinated Polyethylene:  Made from chlorination that is heat welded or solvent welded and is congruent with bitumen.
  • Ethylene Propylene Diene Terpolymer: A material that is naturally flexible is made stable with added carbon black and is joined with tape bonding and a special primer. It can be joined with other types of adhesives and is harmonious with bitumen.
  • Flexible Polyolefin: A polyolefin family of materials that is heat-weldable and based upon polypropylene or polyethylene. Sometimes, it requires preparing the lap over preceding to welding. Generally apt with aged bitumen directly and the membranes are recycled full circle into the same type or another product.
  • Polyvinyl chloride: The high-molecular-weight plasticizers make this a flexible PVC form that can be heat-welded or solvent welded depending on the product. This type of membranes and immediate contact with bitumen is normally not suitable unless a fitting weight of backing made of fleece is used to separate the two.
  • Thermoplastic Polyolefin Elastomer: A basic property of elastomers in the process of thermoplasts and shows a high endurance to UV and Ozone exposure. It is resistant to moisture and without. Laps are heat welded, bereft of fumes or smoke. Welding of seams is secured by a wide range of temperatures for various climatic conditions.
  • Vinyl ethylene terpolymer:  Combined with PVC, this material is made flexible with the blending of Ethylene Vinyl Acetate and can be heat-welded or solvent welded. It is fitting with bitumen.

Which roof type would a single ply roof membrane be installed on?

Single-ply roofing membranes are available in a variety of materials, each having the main characteristic of being installed in a single layer. Single ply roofing pros and cons are many, with the pros being the flexibility and UV radiation resistant in comparison with other products. They are fastened, glued, or directly installed in the insulation material.

For mechanically fastening, a steel or wood roof could be ideal, with the mechanically fastening recommend for use on all slope types with no limitations. This is the most recommended in areas that are hurricane-prone.

Other benefits of single ply roofing are:

  • More than fifty years of proven performance
  • Customer choice when choosing the method for applying the material
  • Fire retardant is Class-A
  • Come in black for heat retention or white for UV reflection
  • Installation is easy and fast        

As far as the cons of single ply roofing, there is not a hard-top layer for protection of the synthetic rubber from dropped tools or gravel. Without that protection, even loose screws could be pressed into the rubber membrane, creating holes that would damage the insulation and rubber, making the roof vulnerable to leaking.

Other issues that create cons for consideration of single ply roofing are the vulnerable of the seams leaking. EPDM covering may shrink and TPO covering becomes brittle and cracks.  The sun’s UV rays will reduce adhesives strength.

How do you install single ply roofing?

When it comes to installing single ply roofing, how to do it is best left to the experienced roofing contractors.  They have the manufacturer’s installation instructions for any type of roofing that they may be faced with. However, if you feel that you and your team can install single ply roofing, here are basic steps:

Prepare the existing substrate by cleaning it off or removing the existing roof.  Once you have completed this, place a cover board on top. The membrane will be adhered to by either ballasted, mechanically fastened, or chemically adhered to.

Both EPDM and TPO membranes will come in sheets in widths of 10-feet, 12-feet, or 20-feet that are rolled up. As you’re applying these sheets of membrane, you can simply roll them out, allowing the sides to overlap each other.  

newly installed flat black roof

How do you fix a single ply roof?

With single ply roofing, it is important to remember that the smallest gaps will allow water in and that will create a wider problem than the gap leading to water damage. Here is a brief step-by-step on patching a flat single ply roof. You’ll need a hot-air hand tool with an overlapping nozzle, a pressure roller, and a metal prod.

  • Make Your Patch: Using roofing membrane material, cut a patch out using a razor blade and place over the problem area with an overlap of 3 to 4 inches on all sides.
  • Clean: Next, clean the patch and the surface material, making sure they are free of any contaminants like debris, dust, or oil.
  • Weld: Using the overlapping nozzle on the hot-air tool, weld the patch to the surface.
  • Test: Once you have completed these steps, it is time to test the patch after a 10 to 15-minute cooling period. Using the metal prod and go along the edge to ensure you don’t have any gaps.  

Single ply flat roof build-up is popular for many reasons, as we have discussed here. While there are some concerns and cons about the reliability of a flat roof system with a single ply roofing surface, overall, it is the best roofing available. Contact a local roofing expert for more information on the options available to you and pricing.  Call (570) 266-8208 today for your single ply roofing needs in Wilkes-Barre, Dallas, and Scranton, PA.

What is Metal Roofing installation?

Green Metal Roof on an old Wood Building

Learn More About Metal Roofing

The design of homes and businesses are more and more incorporating the long-lasting and protective implementation of metal roofing. With various metal materials, colors and shapes available in the market these roofing materials also provide a uniquely modern aesthetic to any property. With their life spans of 50 plus years, they can last for decades. Additionally, with their many protective benefits, maintenance is rare and minimal. It’s important to get in touch with a professional roofer if you’d like to know more about specifics with metal roofing that would ultimately fit best with your particular property. Until then, here is some general information regarding metal roofing that may prove useful to you.

How Metal Roofing is Made

Metal roofing is made from various metal roofing materials from aluminum, copper, zinc, iron, steel and more. Sometimes you’ll see metal roofing materials strengthened with coatings that offer additional protection that would otherwise not be there with the base metal. Galvanized steel, for example, takes iron-steel sheets and coats them with zinc which can help prevent rust formation. Galvalume does the same yet it blends zinc, aluminum, and silicon to coat the steel and thereby prevent corrosion.

Are there different grades of metal roofing?

There are different types of metal roofing that will provide upgraded protection and the three primary ones are galvanized steel, galvalume, and weathering steel. 

What metal roof is best?

Metal roofing that is used the most due to meeting the needs of different roofs is aluminum, zinc, copper, stainless steel, and galvalume. A good place to start when deciding on what type of metal roof would be the best for your commercial or residential property is by seeing what the unique aspects will be of the structure as well as the climate of the area.

What gauge metal roof is best?

It’s important to realize that with metal roofing the higher the number in gauge the thinner the material will be. For residential roofing, a gauge of 29 is the minimum that’s recommended, although a 26 gauge will work well for most projects. With locations that have higher winds, hail, or other severe weather a 24 gauge is more advisable.

Does a metal roof keep your house cooler?

Metal roofing will have the ability to reflect heat and light due to their low thermal mass which means they won’t absorb and retain heat. This will allow for your HVAC to work with more ease so less energy will be used in maintaining stable temperatures. Essentially, metal roofing is an energy-efficient option that will lower monthly utility costs. What’s more, the ability to reflect heat will also mean low maintenance as premature wear is typically caused by sun damages on various roofing materials across the board.

man installing house roof rain gutter system

How do you maintain a metal roof?

  • Clean off any mildew, dirt, stains or other elements.
  • Clean out drains and gutters.
  • Remove leaves or debris in valleys or other dead spots.
  • Remove sticks or branches touching the roof’s surface.
  • Make sure metals or materials aren’t touching the roof.
  • Look for scuffs, scratches, chipping, flaking, chalking or fading.

Do Metal Roofs need lightning rods?

It’s a common misconception that metal roofs will attract lighting. However, they won’t draw in lightning any more than other materials or things on the ground. This misconception could be due to the known fact that metal itself is an electrical conductor, yet that ultimately has nothing to do with attracting lightning.

Does having a metal roof lower your insurance?

Metal roofing is looked at more favorably with insurance companies as research has shown that metal roofs are less likely to be damaged by storms or fires. This will mean the insurance company will be less likely to be called upon to pay an insurance claim. What’s more, homeowners insurance can offer discounts due to the addition of metal roofing. There are also other monetary benefits with metal roofing that can prove attractive to those looking to install the material so it’s important to look more into the matter.

What does metal roofing cost?

Metal roofing prices will typically fall between $5-$17 per square foot depending on the material and shape chosen.

Can I put a metal roof over shingles?

Metal roofing can be installed over shingles without tearing them off as long as local building codes will allow for it. (Some may even allow third layers of roofing materials.) This can add extra protection to the roof as well as save on the time of various processes involved with tearing off former roofing materials. 

Get in Touch With a Professional Roofing Company

Ultimately, if you require more advice on a metal roofing installation that will best fit with the specifications of your property it would be best to get into contact with a quality roofing company. They will be able to conduct roof inspections to see what kind of metal roofing material would work best with your property’s dimensions, design, and other factors. Metal roofing will be a great way to protect your home for generations to come! Increase the appeal of your property today by implementing a metal roof.

If you’re interested in metal roofing in Wilkes-Barre, Dallas, and Scranton, PA call (570) 266-8208 with Independent Construction! 

What is included in a roof inspection?

Shingle roof damaged and in need of inspection

Protect your roof with inspection

Whether you are getting a roof inspection for insurance or a roof inspection and repair, it can be a little worrisome for a homeowner. Why? Because it often ends up costing money. From roof repair, replacement, or homeowner’s insurance increase (or even policy cancellation). By having a roof inspection and gutter cleaning at the same time though, it can extend the life of your roof and avoid that worrisome insurance inspection.

Still, the whole process of a roof inspection leaves homeowners asking questions like, “Should I get a roof inspection?” and the answer to that is yes, once a year is the industry recommendation.

It is easy to assume that if you don’t have a leak, then your roof is okay. However, the wrath of Mother Nature, the climate, and the environment can wreak havoc on a roof. Your roof is more vulnerable than you may imagine, and a roof inspection by a qualified roofing contractor can catch the small issues. Any type of a flaw with a roof leaves your home open for potential problems. 

A roof inspection will find roof damage that you can’t see from the ground, and if caught in time, the repairs are much less expensive than a full replacement. This is a proactive maintenance step that every homeowner should take annually or after a hailstorm or high winds. 

How long does a roof inspection take?

A professional roof inspection will take anywhere from 45 minutes to a few hours, it is all dependent on the size of the house, the access to the attic, or attics, and any unforeseen issues.  The roof inspection checklist contains four facets:

  • The structure:  The roof inspection is looking for sagging, uneven roof planes, the condition of the fascia, gutter system, and soffit and the chimney and venting.
  • The materials: The roof inspection is looking for curled, loose, missing shingles.
  • Checking for any missing fasteners or flashing, algae, moss, rust, or stains. The inspector will look for shingle aggregate in the valleys and gutters. The inspector is looking for any deterioration or gaps around the vent pipe’s rubber boots and seals.
  • The interior: The roof inspection will include checking at the ceilings and walls of your home, the attic(s), looking or mildew, mold, rot, and/or stains that indicate possible roof leaks.
  • The workmanship: An experienced roofing inspector will perform a thorough roof inspection that includes examining the workmanship of the existing roof. Old, worn roofing and poor workmanship are the two major causes of roof leaks. This includes flashing that is incorrectly installed around roof penetrations such as the chimney, skylights, and plumbing vent pipes

How often should you have your roof inspected?

There are several factors in play that determine how frequently you should have a roof inspection performed by a professional roofing contractor, such as the type of roofing materials, and the conditions the roof has been exposed. The general guideline for roof inspection is:

  • Three years for asphalt, composite, or wood shingles
  • Five years for tile roofing

If a homeowner sees any visible damage, they should have a roof inspection done immediately.

roof damaged marked with chalk for repairs

When should I replace my roof?

A roof replacement isn’t always needed because of storm damage. Sometimes they simply reach their end of life, they are worn, beaten down by the climate and UV rays.  Replacing the roof is many times for preventive maintenance, but if you delay that step, you could be setting yourself up for bigger problems. Therefore, a regular roof inspection is recommended – to find those issues before they become a problem.

The warning signs that are telling you to get a new roof sooner than later are:

  • Bald spots where asphalt granules are missing.
  • Cracked or curled shingles.
  • Your roof has hit the 20-year birthday. Even though manufacturers give a 30-year warranty, it is almost certain that it is getting worn out by the twenty-year mark.
  • The roof looks aged, old and worn out.
  • Your neighbors are having new roofs installed. Homes in neighborhoods are typically built during the same timeframe, thus things are wearing out around the same time.
  • Dark stains and streaks from airborne algae. Not only does this look bad, but it is eating away at your shingles. If you have not had your roof professionally cleaned, that algae, the lichen, and mold are having a picnic and it is making your HVAC system work harder because it absorbs heat from the UV rays.

Your home is an important investment for you, and with that investment, it needs investments to keep it healthy and safe.  A routine roof inspection by you each month with a walk around for visual indications, and a professional roof inspection by a licensed roofing contractor once a year is always recommended, no less than every three years. Call (570) 266-8208 today for your roof inspection in Wilkes-Barre, Dallas, and Scranton, PA.

How do I Know if my Roof Has Storm Damage?

lightning crackling over a house

Repair after the storm passes

Roof damage after storms is one of the biggest fears of a homeowner and for good reason. The first concern is about your family’s safety and security, then the next concern is repairing or replacing the roof damage due to storm activity. The costs, inconvenience, and the basic logistics of roof storm damage aftermath seem endless when you are amid it all.

Then to top it all off, filing a storm damage roof claim with the insurance company is a whole other hassle and inconvenience. There are things you can do to minimize the chances of having to file a roof storm damage claim. We’ll answer some questions and offer advice, suggestions, and tips on how to protect our roof from storm damage here. 

What causes roof damage?

As a first-time homeowner, you may ask “How do I know if there is storm damage to my roof?”, and you wouldn’t be the only homeowner to ask that.  To know what storm damage looks like, you need to what causes roof storm damage. 

The roof on your home is meant to protect your family and your belongings, which is why it withstands the climate and elements. However, sometimes the intensity of storms can damage a roof. The signs that will tell you there is roof storm damage are few, but the damage can still need to be addressed:

Damage from Debris

storm typically has high winds that can knock tree branches and limbs down on top of the roof. Small limbs and twigs usually won’t cause any damage. The larger the limb, the more likely that there will be roof storm damage. Here, you must use your own judgment if there is severe enough damage to call a professional roofing contractor for an inspection. 

Signs of potential debris damage:

  • Debris on the roof.
  • Cracked, curled, loose, or missing shingles.
  • Downspout and gutters filled with a large amount of asphalt granules.

Damage from Wind

A strong wind that causes roof storm damage is indicated by missing shingles. Left unrepaired, the roof can leak case interior damage. There is unseen roof storm damage caused by high winds, and this is when you need the service of an experienced roofing contractor.

Signs of potential wind damage:

  • Missing shingles
  • When 1 to 2 inches have created horizontal lines beneath the row of the shingle above. This typically indicates the seal is been broken and the winds caused the shingles to rub loose.

Damage from Hail

Roof storm damage from hail isn’t easily missed and is usually widespread throughout the neighborhood. Hail will indent a shingle, causing a bruise that isn’t easily seen from the ground. Depending on the hail size, the dent could have a crack around and under it, allowing a weak area for the rain to leak. An inspection by a professional roofing contractor is recommended so they can give you a full assessment of any roof storm damage. 

Signs of potential hail damage:

  • Hail damage isn’t isolated to roof storm damage. It can damage other things around your home like your cars.
  • Hail damage will leave a distinct small round-shaped pattern of divots on the shingles.
  • Shingles will have an indentation where granules are missing.
  • The downspout and gutters will have large piles of granules in them.  

What wind speed causes roof damage?

Each manufacturer of shingles will have its own guarantee of wind rating, with most stating they withstand up to 90 mph winds. However, depending on the age of the roof and the quality of the installation job, roof storm damage can happen at 50 mph.

What should you do if a roof is a storm damaged?

Safety First

  • Keep a battery-powered radio on throughout the storm
  • Stay indoors until advised it is clear and safe outside
  • Keep away from downed power lines, standing water or metal objects by downed wires or near water
  • Leave and stay clear of damaged buildings
  • Stay clear of damaged trees and broken limbs
  • Watch out for snakes and wild animals
  • If you smell gas, turn it off
  • Stay off the roads unless it’s an emergency, then stay off flooded roads
  • Do not use any open flame inside
  • Do not drink any water that doesn’t come from a filtered source
  • Do not eat any refrigerated food that hasn’t been refrigerated for more than 12 hours

Clean Up

  • Climb ladders with care
  • Use chainsaws with care
  • Cover roof storm damage with plastic tarps to prevent more damage
  • Remove wet carpet and rugs
  • Open windows and turn fans on water-damaged areas

The Insurance Claims

  • Before you clean up, document all roof storm damage and other damage your home has sustained with pictures and videos
  • Create a list of damaged or missing items
  • Review your homeowner insurance policy so that you know what is covered
  • Document every phone conversation with the person’s name, phone number, and date

Hiring Contractors

  • Contact only contractors advised by your insurance company with the exception any emergency roof storm damage repairs needed
  • Avoid unknown contractors with no customer referrals
  • Check with local homebuilder’s association for contractor recommendations
  • Get 2 to 3 written bids that explain the work needed exactly
damaged shingles

How do you know when a roof needs replacing?

If your roof has any of the following, it is time to get a new roof:

  • Cracked, curled or cupped shingle edges
  • Bald spots on shingles
  • Aged roof – 20 years is the normal maximum life expectancy
  • Appearance is old and worn
  • Several new roofs in the neighborhood
  • Algae, moss, dark streaks

We can’t stop storms, but we can minimize possible roof storm damage with the following steps:

  1. Secure the shingles by making sure they are properly secured. Each shingle should have a minimum of six nails per shingle and they should be installed beneath the edges of overlapping shingles. Confirm there is a waterproof underlayment for added protection.
  2. Cut back or remove trees that are near the house. They shouldn’t be any closer to the house than they are tall.
  3. Be sure all possible projectile objects are anchored down, such as grills, lawn furniture, etc.

With an ounce of prevention, you can minimize the damage. Verify now what your homeowner’s insurance covers or doesn’t cover before you need it is the best thing you can do. Need storm damage repair for your home in Wilkes-Barre, Dallas, and Scranton, PA? The top roofers in Scranton, PA are always available to assist you when you call (570) 266-8208.

What Does General Contracting Mean?

Engineers Checking General Contracting Plans

General Contracting and Your Property

Owning a property of any kind will come with a myriad of needs. Some of which you’ll want to address right away while others can wait. You can call around to different companies, trying to price the best offer from each, or you could rely on one person. Many home and commercial property owners don’t realize the advantage they have by relying on a general contractor. A contractor can provide a variety of services for a variety of topics so you don’t have to schedule multiple appointments with multiple companies. To learn more about general contracting in Wilkes-Barre, Dallas, and Scranton, PA, contact Independent Construction for more information. Call us at (570) 266-8208 now.

What Are the Qualities of a Good Contractor?

General Contracting Liability Form

When you need to hire a general contractor, it can be difficult to know who is the best and who should be avoided. A general contracting company should be upfront about the services they offer and the prices they set. You may be able to see the majority of this on their website, but it is always suggested contacting them directly for questions and concerns. You can learn more about their services, like if they work on concrete patios. In general, though, there are a handful of things to pay attention to when working with a contractor. 

  • License: The number one quality your contractor needs to have is a license. It means they have met state qualifications for industry standards. Having a license will also ensure any contract you have with them is valid, which is great for those wanting to sell their home. 
  • Insurance: Any contractor you work with should have general liability and workers comp insurance. This will ensure that any damages or injury that occur on your property are their responsibility and not yours. You can check if your contractor has valid insurance on most DLLR sites. 
  • Experience: This can be a harder quality to check, but it’s important to make sure your contractor has had experience. Read through customer reviews and ask to check with references. Ask your contractor what kind of jobs they have worked on and if they have done anything similar to what you need
  • Communication: An often unsung hero quality that everyone expects but forgets to think about is communication. If your contractor has an initial consultation with you, but never returns phone calls or emails, may not be a great contractor. Obviously everyone is busy, but a good contractor knows there is a time frame to appropriately respond to clients. 
  • Contract: When you agree to work with a contractor, they should draft up a contract for you to sign. This contract will tell you quite a bit of what you need to know about your contractor. It should tell you their license number, answer questions about materials, time frame, and more. Vague or hard to understand contracts could contain hidden fees or procedures. 

So what are general contractor services? Well, that can be summed up as just about anything. General contractors get their name because they can provide services for a variety of sections of a property. That means you can have one person to help with roofing, construction, plumbing, and a host of other needs. Whatever it is that you need will be discussed ahead of time with the contractor. That being said, when you need a specialist like a roofing contractor, a general contractor may not be the best investment.

General Contractor vs Builder

In the grand scheme of things, there really isn’t much difference between a general contractor and builder. In most cases, a general contractor is considered the “big-picture” guy. This is the person that is looking at an entire project from start to finish at all times. Whereas, a builder could typically be the person working on and managing the day-to-day projects. This is the person that could be considered a subcontractor in larger markets, but in more rural areas, builders may also have to wear the hat of a general contractor. No matter if you are hiring a general contractor for residential work, they could do the work themselves or bring on a builder as well.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is the difference between a contractor and a subcontractor?
    • A general contractor often hires subcontractors to help them if they do not also have a team of contractors. Subcontractors can either be individuals or part of a business. They are hired out by a general contractor for work on specific jobs. 
  • Do general contractors do plumbing?
    • Yes, technically, general contractors can work on plumbing. General contractors often do a variety of work ranging from roofing, construction, to plumbing. While you can hire a contractor for plumbing, they may not have the specialization for every need you may have. 
  • Is it better to hire a general contractor?
    • Depending on the size of the project, it could be more beneficial on your part to hire a general contractor. They will be responsible for supplying all the materials, tools, and equipment. They can also hire out subcontractors to help push the project along in a timely manner. 
  • What should I look for in a contractor?
    • The number one quality your contractor should have is a license. Anyone that is not licensed by the state to perform contracting jobs is not a good contractor. Then of course, you want to be sure they have insurance, experience, pricing, and more. 
Residential General Contracting Project

Connect With Our Team Today for More

When you need general contracting in Wilkes-Barre, Dallas, and Scranton, PA, look no further than Independent Construction. Dial (570) 266-8208 to schedule an appointment today.

What Is Soffit and Fascia on a House?

Soffit on the Underside of a Roof.

What is the purpose of soffit and fascia?

Although often overlooked, soffit and fascia are essential components in your roofing system. Their functions range from ventilation to protecting your roof from small animals. Soffit is a type of siding affixed underneath the eaves. It has small holes in it to allow for circulation, and it exists primarily as a source of attic ventilation. It also adds to the aesthetic appeal of the home. Fascia are the boards on the outside of the home connected to the ends of trusses and rafters as added protection for those components. It protects the edge of the roof and is where gutters are attached.  

If you need professional soffit and fascia repair, Independent Construction provides the highest quality workmanship available. We are leaders in residential roofing in Wilkes-Barre, Dallas, and Scranton, PA. Call (570) 266-8208 to schedule services.

Is a soffit necessary?

Soffit plays a vital role in your roof’s overall health. In addition to serving as a ventilation source for the attic, soffit also works with the fascia to protect the rafters. Soffit fits underneath the eaves and covers the rafters. Without soffit, the rafters are exposed to the elements, which can lead to several problems including moisture build-up which risks leaks and mold growth. 

When you have properly functioning soffit, your roof’s ventilation will improve. Good ventilation is essential for overall energy efficiency. Your HVAC system also helps improve energy efficiency. Make sure all of your HVAC system is well maintained. If your heating is provided by a boiler and you need boiler repair, that will help with energy efficiency in the winter.

What is the difference between an eave and a soffit?

Eaves are the whole underside of a roof and extend over a building’s external walls. Soffit is siding that is fitted under the eaves to protect the rafters, and serve as a source of attic ventilation. Soffit not only appear on roofs but on the underside of arches, balconies, staircases and other architectural elements.

What causes soffit damage?

Any number of things can cause damage to the soffit. One of the most common problems is roof rot. Because of its location under the eaves, soffit is vulnerable to water damage, which, in turn can cause issues like mold growth and rot. Water damage doesn’t just come from rain. Ice dams force water inward against the soffit, as well. Flaws in the roofs structure like missing shingles or improperly installed flashing can cause the soffit to become damaged as well. Damage to the gutter can damage both the soffit and fascia, and will require soffit and fascia repair. Animals are also a big source of soffit damage. They can chew into the material and work their way into the eave space and nest within those spaces.

Soffit repair or replace

When your soffit is damaged, the decision to repair it or have it replaced altogether will depend on the extent of the damage and the type of material required. When you are repairing or replacing soffit,  you also need to consider the possibility the space underneath it could be damaged as well. If it has begun to rot or separate from the eaves, the eaves or rafters may be damaged as well. 

How to repair fascia and soffit

If you have damage to your soffit or fascia, you may be wondering, How to repair fascia on house or how to repair the soffit on the house? Soffit and fascia repair can be tricky because you’ll have to also consider the roofing material underneath both. Rotting is the most common problem you’ll encounter.

Here are the steps for soffit and fascia repair:

  • You’ll first remove the shingle mold, prying it loose from the fascia.
  • You’ll then remove the rotted fascia, taking care to not damage shingles or flashing. 
  • Next, you’ll remove the damaged soffit.
  • If the rafter underneath is rotted, you’ll need to remove the rafter with a reciprocating saw, and cut a replacement piece using pressure-treated lumber.
  • You’ll then replace the rafter.
  • Following that you’ll attach the soffit. Some materials like plywood may require a sealant applied beforehand to protect the material.
  • The fascia board is then replaced.
  • Finally, the shingle mold is replaced.

How do you replace fascia boards?

When you repair soffit and fascia, the fascia board may be the most difficult part to be replaced. The damage fascia board must be measured out first, so you can ensure the board you replace it with is the right size. Once the board is measured, you’ll remove the guttering around the section of fascia you’re replacing. Before the damaged fascia is removed, the roof needs to be lifted from it. You’ll then mark, cut and remove the damaged fascia board before replacing it with the new piece. You’ll then paint the new board and replace the guttering. 

Damaged Fascia Boards.

Soffit and fascia repair company

Not all roofing companies repair soffit and fascia, and not all siding companies will repair any roofing material that needs to be replaced. To ensure your soffit and fascia repair is done right, choose a roofing company like Independent Construction that does it all.

If you need soffit and fascia repair in Wilkes-Barre, Dallas, and Scranton, PA look to the experts at Independent Construction. Call us at (570) 266-8208 to schedule repairs.

What Is Basement Remodeling?

Basement Game Room With Billiards & Games

Learn More About Basement Remodeling

Your basement is a place that is often forgotten with it’s potential and simply put aside as a storage space. Yet there are many uses that can be incorporated with your basement that can have your home feeling more complex and interactive! Think of this space as a remodeling opportunity that can be used as an extra room or function to your home that was not there before such as with a library or game room. Your basement can add many advantages to your home that can not only add value to your property but more prestige as well. Consider the different ways that you can extend your home with some of our ideas and helpful technical information!

How much value does a finished basement add?

A finished basement remodeling project is an improvement that can increase the value of your home yet won’t be the same grade as an above ground dollar per square foot basis. The average basement remodel is $61,303 with a 70.3% payback.

Do you have to get a permit to finish a basement?

Depending on what you’ll be working with you may be required to hire someone with a permit to install certain home systems that require training and technical prowess. Such elements include electrical outlets, plumbing, drywall, egress and changes in framing. If you’re not required to get a permit in the area where you live then you can begin your basement remodeling without worries. As of such, it’s important to get in contact with a professional contractor for basement remodeling in order to comply with local permits and codes.

What can I do with an extra room in my basement?

An extra room in a basement can be made to provide your home with different functions be it by becoming a theatre or gym or having an added room like with an extra bedroom or living room. You can transform it into a wet bar or a wine collecting room. For the more creatively inclined, it can become an art studio, craft room, dance studio or even a shed or workshop. The opportunities know no bounds, here are some other basement remodeling ideas to spark your imagination!

Basement Living Room

Remodeling Ideas

  • Home Theatre
  • Home Gym
  • Wet Bar
  • Wine Collection
  • Bedroom
  • Living Room
  • Laundry Room
  • Library
  • Playroom
  • Game Room
  • Small Apartment
  • Office
  • Shed/Workshop
  • Art Studio
  • Crafts Room
  • Guest Bedroom
  • Dance studio

Basement Remodeling on a Budget

For your basement remodeling, instead of focusing on large scale changes you can opt for changing key accents and features such as with walls, lighting or flooring. These key elements can greatly change the look and ambiance of the space and transform it away from its bare look to a more modern area. With added furniture pieces and a few plants and baubles, you can add a sense of filled space and purpose.

What is the cheapest way to finish a basement wall?

A cheap way to finish your basement wall for basement remodeling can be with inexpensive paneling. With these, you can use panels of wood with strong adhesives and screws to attach them to your concrete walls.

What is the best flooring for a basement?

The flooring of your basement can be made into whatever you want it to be but keep in mind the micro-environment that plays a hand in flooring materials. There’s a reason that bathroom floors are made with waterproof materials if you believe you need a flooring material to match with your basement’s conditions be sure to comply. Some basement flooring ideas can be epoxy floors which can be essential for waterproofing and are even available in many colors. Ceramic tiles can go directly onto concrete and be free of cracks. This option also comes in many colors, styles and is moisture resistant. With vinyl tiles or sheets you can have more cushion in each step with the added bonus of it being able to mimic ceramic, stone or even wood textures. Engineered wood is laminated and moisture resistant with click together tiles or planks. Finally, rubber flooring has interlocking edges with lots of colors to choose from and are a good cushioned option for playrooms.

Contact A Professional

There are many basement remodeling benefits that not only add value to your home but create a new space to use that was not there before. You can adjust your choices to match with any budget and depending on your property’s specifications you can transform your basement space into an area that is fully functioning with amenities! Be sure to ask a professional for help if you’re thinking on any basement remodeling and additions that weren’t there before as seen with kitchen and bathroom plumbing. Get creative with your basement remodeling and enjoy your new space!

If you’re interested in basement remodeling in Wilkes-Barre, Dallas, and Scranton, PA call (570) 266-8208 with Independent Construction!