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What New Homeowners Should Know About Their Roof

Becoming a homeowner is both exciting and nerve-wracking as you enter uncharted territory. You might have dealt with a broken washing machine or clogged drain before, but owning a home brings new responsibilities. As a new homeowner, it’s critical to inspect and maintain the structure of your house. One of the critical aspects that often gets overlooked is the roof. Before you close a deal on a house and as you maintain your new home, here’s what you should know. 

What to Know Before You Purchase a House 

Ask the Current Owner About the Roof

You’ll already have a list of questions for the current owner before buying a house — make sure questions about the roof are on that list. It’s helpful to know the material and brand of the roof’s shingles, any prior problems or repairs, and most importantly, the age of the roof. Roofs typically last 20 to 50 years depending on the material used, weather conditions around the house, and previous upkeep of the roof. It’s important to note a potential roof replacement when factoring the cost of a new house. 

Get Your Roof Inspected

You probably already know that performing an inspection is essential before purchasing a new home to learn more about its condition and to identify any concerns. Home inspections are supposed to include the roof, but inspectors typically only look at the interior conditions of the roof through the attic without climbing onto the roof itself. Hiring a contractor to inspect your roof will ensure your roof gets a full exterior inspection, and you’ll get clear next steps if anything isn’t up to par. 

Maintaining Your Roof Once You Own a House

Schedule Annual Inspections 

Be proactive — hire a roofing contractor to perform annual inspections. It’s easy to miss damage to your roof if you only look at it from ground level, and you might not notice damage that a trained professional would see. A roofing contractor will go up into the attic and onto your roof to perform a full inspection, making note of any repairs needed. Discovering smaller issues before they become emergencies is key to keeping your family safe and comfortable. 

Continuously Conduct Self-Inspections, Especially After a Storm

No one expects you to climb onto your roof, but you should regularly walk around your house and take note of any possible damage, then call a roofing contractor if needed. Some warning signs to look for on your roof and inside your house include: 

  • Missing or curling shingles 
  • Roof sagging 
  • Algae and moss on your roof 
  • Ceiling and wall discoloration or stains inside your home

Keep Your Gutters Clean 

A key part of preventing roof damage is making sure your gutters and downspouts are clear and well kept so rain and debris can properly drain from your roof. This includes cleaning out any leaves, pine needles, or animal nests and making sure your gutters don’t have any holes or cracks. 

Be Aware of Potential Trouble Spots

Some features that people look for in a home may require extra maintenance to prevent leaking. Features such as skylights and chimneys need a sealant around them called flashing to keep water from moving into the roof. These areas are more prone to leaks, and the flashing may need to be replaced if you are experiencing water damage. 

Don’t Put Off Roof Repairs 

You need to make roof repairs in a timely manner, even if the repair seems small. Performing regular maintenance can extend the life of your roof, and fixing smaller issues along the way can save you from an expensive emergency such as a roof collapse down the road. 

Contact Smart Roofing For Inspections, Maintenance & Repairs

If you’re looking to buy your first home, you probably haven’t found your go-to roofing contractor yet. Smart Roofing is a trustworthy company that provides high-quality exterior solutions. Contact us for roof inspections, repairs, replacements, and more. 

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Find the Right Type of Asphalt Shingles for Your Home

When deciding which type of shingles to have installed on your home, it’s important to make sure you know which shingle is the best fit for your home and budget. There are many styles, benefits, colors, and prices to consider when choosing the right shingles to protect your home. Here are the pros and cons of the three main types of asphalt shingles that are commonly installed on homes.

3 Common Asphalt Shingle Types

3-Tab Asphalt

3-Tab shingles are very lightweight and one of the most basic asphalt shingles. It is pretty easy to recognize once seeing their basic horizontal cut. It comes in many color options since the fiberglass in which it’s made of is covered with mineral granules that give them multiple tones. These shingles have a life-span of 20 years, allowing them to protect your home from different weather conditions. Since it is only single-layer shingles, 3-tab asphalt is perfect for anyone on a budget as it is relatively cheap compared to other shingle options!

Dimensional Asphalt

This is the most popular type of roofing people across America have on their homes today. If you’re looking for a shingle with more strength, then consider dimensional asphalt. It has two additional layers to the 3-tab, making it a more durable and weather-resistant option. Its sculpted look and extra laminate layer help it appear more durable with an enhanced design. It comes in many colors to match any style of home. These shingles cost up to 20% more than the 3-tab shingles; however, it can last up to 30 years, which is 10 years longer than the 3-tab.

Luxury Asphalt

Wanting a more unique look to your home? Then adding luxury shingles will be the perfect addition to create an eye-catching presence. The interesting texture from the shingles create depths and different shadows, giving your roof an individualized look. There are many benefits to these shingles. It is the heaviest shingle type and can provide the highest protection while holding the most durability of all asphalt shingle options. Additionally, it’s the best at keeping your home safe from rain or snowstorms. The con to this is that it makes these shingles the most expensive asphalt option.

Call Smart Roofing to Repair Your Roof

Whether your preference is on price, durability, or aesthetic, we have a variety of roof shingle options to fit your needs. Contact us at Smart Roofing to schedule a roofing consultation with our roofing experts and discuss what style and brand of roof shingles are the best option for your Iowa home. 

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6 Ways to Protect Your Windows This Winter

As the weather outside becomes cold and snowy, make sure your windows aren’t losing heat and letting cold air in. Up to 25% of heat in homes escapes through the windows making rooms in your home chilly and uncomfortable for everyone. Use these tips to ensure your family stays comfortable and your energy bill stays down. 

Apply Window Insulation Film

Window insulation film helps protect windows from freezing cold temperatures. It reduces the cold air filtering into your home from your windows by reflecting and dispersing warm heat into the room, making your house more comfortable. The film is easy to install on your windows, and kits are available online or at your local hardware store. When applied correctly, windows won’t look any different visually, but the film will retain up to 55% of the existing heat in your home.

Re-Caulk Your Window 

Over the years, existing sealant cracks and loses durability exposing your windows to the elements during the winter months. This can lead to heat escaping through your windows and cold air seeping in. To refinish small cracks, you can put a new layer on top of the existing caulk that molds into the places that need to be refurbished. For bigger and more severe cracks, we recommend you scrape off all of the old caulk, and then refurnish each seal with new caulk, making it completely sealed to keep in the warm air.

Install Draft Snakes

If you believe the heat is escaping from the window sill and not the window glass itself, you may want to consider getting a draft snake. A draft snake is a fabric tube that can be placed under window sills to help prevent cold air sneaking into your home. You can make your own out of an old sock and dry rice, or you can buy them online on websites like Amazon or Ebay.

Hang Layered or Insulated Curtains

By hanging up layered or insulated curtains in front of your windows, cold air will be blocked from creeping into your home. However, the curtains should be tightly knitted and have a close fit all around the window to make sure warm air can’t escape behind the curtain. To make the seal tighter, use curtain tracks that let the curtain move close to the wall. Keep the curtains open during the day to let your heating and cooling system regulate temperatures and sunlight can bring in natural heat. These curtains also function as blackout curtains which can benefit light-sensitive sleepers. They also can be stylish, adding a spark of creativity and design in your home, while helping you save money.

Put Up Honeycomb Cellular Shades

Like the insulated curtains, honeycomb cellular shades can prevent cold air drafts from sneaking through your window. Honeycomb shades have layers that trap in cold air making sure it doesn’t get into your home. They can be adjusted to fit any size window and provide full coverage to keep your home warm while keeping energy efficiency in mind.

Install New Storm Windows

If it’s going to take more time and money to repair your old windows that they’re worth, you may need to consider installing new storm windows. These windows provide an extra layer of protection from blizzarding cold winds and snow during chilly Iowa winters.

Contact Smart Roofing

Do you need window repair or replacement or are you looking for a quote? Our professionals at Smart Roofing can help you install the ideal windows for your home and resolve your questions about winter weather window protection. Contact us today!

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5 Ways to Prepare Your Roof for Winter

A cream and tan house covered in snow with bushes and trees out in the front yard of the home

Before the heavy snow and freezing temperatures head our way, we recommend performing a roof inspection to ensure your roof is ready to handle heavy snow and ice. Regular maintenance is the best way to prolong the lifespan of your roof and keep it looking great all year round. It’s even more important right before winter when your roof takes the biggest hit from the weather. Any issues that go unresolved during the winter, could turn into a major issue down the line. Fixing any problems now will save you time and money once the snow melts. We’ve compiled a list of things to look for during your roofing inspection.

Clear Excess Debris 

Make sure to clear debris that found its way onto your roof. If left unchecked, debris can clog drains, add extra weight on your roof and extra moisture may even result in mold formation on your roof.  The easiest way to clear debris is to safely get on your roof and remove branches, leaves, and anything else you might find. If you can’t access your roof or don’t feel comfortable climbing your way up there, give us a call and we can help you get your roof ready for winter.

Clean The Gutters 

Check your gutters for signs of corrosion, loose fittings and make sure it’s secure and hasn’t detached from your roof. During the winter your gutters are subject to freezing temperatures that often cause them to freeze over. Built-up leaves that are left from fall can add extra weight on top of the heavy snow that winter brings. If the gutter has too much weight it can separate from the roof, which is a headache to take care of during below zero temperatures. Cleaning your gutters during October and November is a great way to give them a head start before all the snow and ice makes its way to Iowa.  While this may be low on the list for home maintenance chores, it’s one of the most important to ensure your roof and gutters are working properly. 

Cut Down Surrounding Tree Branches 

Trim nearby branches and trees that hang over your roof to prevent excess debris from getting trapped under the heavy snow during the winter. Cutting down surrounding tree branches will not only help clear debris on your roof, but it can help secure the foundation of the roof that can cause damage. Doing this regularly during the fall will save you time and money in the future. 

Perform an Indoor Inspection 

Once you have done all you can to the exterior of your roof, head inside to perform an indoor inspection. If you have an attic, check for signs of water damage. If you happen to find water stains, contact a roofing professional to resolve issues as soon as possible. Poor insulation is often the cause of water damage found in attics. This can lead to heat escaping from your home and high energy bills. Reinforcing parts of the attic will help prevent water damage and mold while keeping you warm during the winter.

Set Up Roof Maintenance Today

After doing an initial inspection, reach out to us at Smart Roofing with any questions or concerns regarding your roof. We can provide an expert inspection, quote, and plan on how to ensure your roof will be ready for the winter. Every roofing project we complete around central Iowa uses quality materials and workmanship. Contact us today! 

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Spotting the Signs of Roof Damage After a Storm

Your roof is designed to withstand most of what mother nature has to offer. From wind, hail, or falling debris there is a lot your roof has to weather during severe storms. If you suspect your roof has been damaged after a major storm, there are a few key signs to look out for. Check out some of our tips on how to determine if your roof has sustained damage after a storm and the proper next steps to ensure your roof is in good shape for the future. 

Perform an Outdoor & Indoor Inspection 

If you suspect your roof has been impacted after a severe storm, it’s important to inspect both the outside of your home as well as the inside for any vital signs of damage. Your safety is of key importance so avoid climbing on your roof or taking extreme measures to try and view any potential damage. Here are some things to look for during your initial self-evaluation. 

Outdoor Inspection 

From a safe vantage spot on the ground, look for any obvious signs of damage. Are there indents from hail? Do you see any fallen tree limbs or debris could potentially damage the foundation of your roof? You might be able to see shingles that are missing or broken. Take photos and document anything you can see from your perspective. Regular inspection of your roof can is recommended to have a frame of reference for any damages that may occur in the future. Often times, external damage isn’t clear at first, which is why it’s important to consult a professional roofing company for an inspection after a storm. 

Indoor Inspection 

While most damage to a roof will be external, there are a few indicators to look for indoors that might help assess the type of damage your roof has sustained. Do a pass through your home and look for moisture marks, stains or peeling paint that could have resulted from a leak in the roof. If you have an attic, check for damp rafters or leaks. Further, keep a note of the ventilation in your home. Increased energy costs could be a sign your roof ventilation has been impacted from a storm. 

Most Common Damages After a Storm 

After you’ve done an initial assessment of potential damage, it’s best to call a professional roofing company to come out and do an inspection. The most common damages roofing experts see after a storm are wind damage, water damage, hail damage and falling debris. 

    1. Wind damage can occur during most, if not all, severe weather storms. Common signs to look for with wind damage are missing or broken shingles. Not as easy to spot is the possibility of broken adhesive in the shingles that can lead to unwanted water damage if left untreated. 
    2. Water damage can manifest in a variety of different ways after a storm from missing or broken shingles to water leaking inside the home. This is where indoor inspection becomes important to look for signs of mold, increased moisture, and wet carpet or ceiling marks. It is important to treat water damage immediately to avoid mold forming inside, which can greatly impact your home’s foundation and structure. 
    3. Hail damage is often easily spotted because hail will leave prominent indents in the shingles indicating they have been impacted by a storm. 
    4. Falling debris can be found after a storm in the form of fallen trees, branches or a build-up of leaves in your gutters. It’s important to remove any debris from your roof after a storm to prevent it from causing further damage to the roof.

Contact Smart Roofing for Storm Damage Repair

If you’ve safely evaluated your roof and suspect it is suffering from any of these weather-related damages, reach out to us at Smart Roofing. We can provide an inspection, quote, and plan on how to ensure your roof and home remain protected against severe weather. Every roofing project we complete around central Iowa uses quality materials and workmanship. Contact us today!

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How to Know When It’s Time to Replace Your Roof

A gray and white house with dark gray roofing in front of large green trees and a blue sky

Your roof plays an important role in protecting your home from the elements while aiding in improving your curb appeal. However, if not taken care of, it can result in costly damage to your home’s exterior and even potentially its interior. It can be challenging to identify when the time is right to replace your roof, and that’s why we are here to help. Check out some of our tips on how to determine when you should start thinking about replacing your roof.

Aged Roof

The typical lifespan of an asphalt shingle roof is around 20 to 25 years. This lifespan can vary greatly though depending on the condition the roof manages to stay in during this time. If your roof has experienced wind or storm damage or is lacking proper ventilation, its lifespan can drastically be reduced. Make sure you know the age of your roof so you can be aware of when you should start considering a roof replacement.

Shingles Show Signs of Damage

Take some time to look at your shingles. If you notice any cracking, curling, or buckling, then it is time to replace. Shingles are supposed to lie flat against your roof, and any shingle not doing this negatively affects your roof. Looking even closer can reveal if you’ve been losing granules from your shingles. Granules are there to protect the roof from harmful UV rays and are often lost due to prolonged exposure to the elements. Additionally, if you notice these granules showing up in your gutters, this is another sign that a new roof is needed.

Visible Dark Stains, Algae, or Moss

Moss and dark stains show signs of trapped moisture within your roof, which can become quite problematic the longer it goes unnoticed. While using tools to remove the moss from your roof can help in the short term, we recommend reaching out to a roofing professional to dig deeper and see if you have a larger moisture issue that could require a repair or replacement.

Leaks or Light Shining Through Your Attic

Make your way up to your attic and check for any areas where you can see beams of light coming through the top of the house, as well as any stains or streaks on the ceiling. These could be signs of a leaky roof. The longer these issues are not repaired, the worse the leaking damage will be. Reach out to a roofing contractor immediately if you experience these problems in your attic.

Shingles are Missing

You may think a few shingles blowing off during a storm here and there isn’t a big deal, but it can actually indicate that your roof is damaged. Functionally, there may be no issue in simply replacing a few shingles lost in a storm. However, checking to ensure there is not an underlying problem is always a good idea. If shingles can no longer stay on the roof due to damage to the roof’s underlayment or the roof itself, then you have a much bigger problem to solve.

Roof is Sagging

A sagging roof definitely shows that you need a replacement before your roof completely caves in. Look at your roof’s surface, especially its lowest points, for any sign of sagging spots, rotting boards, etc. to help gauge how bad the rotting damage is. Keep in mind that any snow, rainstorms, or extreme weather can speed up the deterioration of your roof.

Roof Repair & Replacement by Smart Roofing

If you notice your roof suffering from any of these issues, reach out to us at Smart Roofing for an inspection, quote, and plan on how we can work to make sure your roof and home remain functional and protected. Every roof repair and roof replacement project we complete around central Iowa uses our quality materials and workmanship. Contact us today!

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