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Why do I need a roof inspection?

looking along roof

Other than after bad weather, how often should I get my roof inspected? 

It has been a heck of a winter this year across the country, and many parts of the country are still going through winter, like here in Connecticut.  As the ice and snow melt from your roof, inspection may be a good idea. Why? 

After a winter with ice and snow, maybe some hail, a roof inspection will let you know if your roof sustained any damage from these gifts of Mother Nature. With this type of roof inspection and repairs can often been done at the same time if they are small issues.

There are differing opinions on roof inspection frequency, but the most common recommendation is to have a professional roof inspection twice a year. Once at the end of spring and another during the fall a roof inspection and cleaning is usually sufficient. 

Some experts say a roof inspection every three to five years is adequate, but research has found that significant damage can occur more frequently, especially in certain geographical areas. By having a roof inspection more frequent than every three to five years, small issues can be repaired before they become bigger problems. In between the professional roof inspections, you should do your own roof inspection once a month.

How do you perform a roof inspection?

The roof is an important component of your home, so keeping well-maintained is essential. In addition to professional roof inspection twice a year, doing your own roof inspection is recommended.  With binoculars and a ladder, here are the things you should look for: 

  • Algae, Moss, and Leaves: With binoculars, most of your own roof inspection can be accomplished from the ground. Walk around your home, and look for algae, lichen, moss, and leaf piles or other debris. If left alone, these are things that can do serious damage to your roof because they trap moisture. That trapped moisture then seeps under the shingles and into the sheathing, compromising the roof’s structural elements.
  • Buckled or Curled Shingles: If your attic doesn’t have sufficient air circulating, the shingles will buckle, curl, and warp from the heat that builds up in the attic. The shingles are then compromising your roof’s integrity and water will get in, causing more problems. 
  • Aged, Damaged, Missing Shingles: Shingles that have aged or have been damaged, missing allow areas for water to get in. You can do a roof inspection while you’re cleaning your gutters too, you’re upon the ladder already. A gutter system filled with asphalt shingles is an indication you need a new roof. While you’re on the ladder, check the flashing around the chimney and vent pipes. 
  • Attic Investigation: An attic is the first place you can find signs of water seepage. Check the rafters and the wooden interior framing for moisture, mold, or rot. If you notice damage on the attic inside, you can pinpoint it from the exterior and know where repairs are needed. 

What do roof inspectors look for?

Some roofing companies and contractors will provide a basic roof inspection for free. That type of roof inspection typically consists of an exterior examination of the roof, often from the street, and inspecting components like the flashings, fascia, and soffit. While these are necessary components, you should have more thorough inspection twice a year that includes the following: 

The Exterior Roof Inspection

  • Blistered, curled, split roof shingles.
  • Loose or missing roof shingles.
  • Exposed, loose, or popped nails.
  • Broken, loose roof shingles along the hip lines or ridge.
  • Missing caulk.
  • Corroded, damaged, missing, or rusty metal flashing.
  • Sagging roof ridges.
  • Broken seals on roof shingles.
  • Shingles with extreme granule loss.
  • Cracks along chimney.
  • Inspect rubber boot seals around pipes.
  • Inspect gutters and downspouts.
  • Examine fascia board and soffit for any damage or rot.
  • Check shingle overhang. 

The Interior Roof Inspection

  • Inspect roof sheathing for cracks, damage, or rot.
  • Calculate and measure attic ventilation.
  • Deck sagging between rafters.
  • Check for any outdoor light coming through attic ceiling.
  • Inspect placement of attic intake vents.
  • Inspect bathroom and kitchen exhaust fans.
  • Check for leaks around chimney and vents.
  • Look for condensation, mold, or wet insulation.

How do you know if you have roof damage?

In addition to a leaking ceiling when it rains, some other indicators that you need a professional roof inspection are: 

  • Sunlight coming through the ceiling.
  • Moisture in the attic.
  • Discoloring and stains on the ceiling and walls. 
  • Ceiling sagging.
  • Increase in Energy Bills.
circled damage on a roof

How long do residential roofs last?

As with anything on the exterior of your home, there are factors that affect the lifespan of a roofing. The climate, any extensive weather activity, and your maintenance of having the roof and gutters cleaned on a routine basis. The average time frame for most roofs are: 

  • Coper, slate, tile roofing – 50+ years
  • Wood shake roofing – 30 years
  • Fiber cement roofing shingles  – 25 years 
  • Asphalt shingle or composition roofing – 20 years

Is a roof inspection after installation of a new roof necessary? Depending on where you live, it may be part of the building code and building permit. However, it doesn’t hurt to have it inspected after installation ad most roofing contractor will do an roof inspection as part of their packaging. For roof inspections in Branford, CT, call 203-390-7399 today!

Can Gutters Be Repaired?

A Technician Repairs Gutters

Can Gutters Be Repaired?

Have you noticed your gutters leaking? Has a section of gutters pulled away from your home? If you’ve noticed any problems like this, it’s time to get your gutters repaired. These problems might look intimidating, but they often require simple repairs and adjustments without the worry that you’re going have the expense of replacing your whole gutter system. Sometimes all that’s needed is a little sealant or scrap metal to patch a leak or a few new fasteners or hangers to repair a sag. For expert gutter repair in Branford, CT, get in touch with Amity Home Maintenance Solutions by calling 203-390-7399. We can find a repair solution to meet any of your needs.

Should I repair or replace gutters?

Making decisions about any kind of home repair, including gutter repair, is tough. Cost is a primary issue. A new gutter system can be expensive, but are you going to save money on repairs if in a few years you’re patching the same leak or repairing the same sag? What happens when a week later a new leak appears in another part of the gutter system? Will it be time to replace the gutters then, or do you just spend the money on another patch?

Deciding whether to repair or replace your gutters will primarily depend on how localized the damage is. If you have a couple of fissures, for instance, in the same area, you should be able to repair those with no further problems. But, if you inspect your gutters and discover several breaks throughout the system, you’ll save money by replacing the whole thing. Buckles and dents can often be repaired as well, as the damaged sections can be removed and replaced. With seamless gutters, however, you’re better off replacing the gutters than trying to repair the dents.

While a couple of isolated leaks can be repaired, if your gutters are beginning to detach at the seams, then you ought to consider a replacement. Gutters need to be fastened tightly for them to operate properly and protect your home from water runoff. This won’t happen if they are detaching frequently.

Fading or eroding paint on your gutters or home is also a sign it’s time to replace the gutters. Fading paint on the gutters means they’ve been separating frequently from the house. Cracking paint, stains, or rust spots on the home may indicate your gutters have begun to overflow and seep onto the home. Clogs are causing the gutters to corrode or disintegrate.

How often should gutters be replaced?

Several variables will affect your gutter’s lifespan, including maintenance, weather, and the type of gutter you have installed. Galvanized steel and aluminum gutters last about 20 years. Copper gutters have long lifespans of about 50 years. Even with great maintenance, after gutters reach a certain age, more problems requiring gutter repair will appear. The more problems you have with them, the more likely it is time to replace them.

Gutter repair and roof cleaning

Cleaning your roof and gutters regularly serves as a preventive measure for gutter repair. Gutters clogged with leaves and debris from your roof tend to leak, sag and detach frequently. A twice-yearly cleanout is a minimum recommendation. How often you clean your gutters and roof will depend on where you live, how much rainfall you get, and how many trees you have around your home. If your home is surrounded by evergreens like pine or cedar trees that shed tons of needles year-round, for instance, you’ll probably need to clean the gutters more often.

How do you fix sagging gutters?

A sagging gutter can often prove a pretty simple gutter repair. Usually, you’ll just need new hangers and a drill to attach them. To make the repair:

  • Check the wood behind the gutter. If the gutter has pulled away from the fascia board because the board is rotted, you’ll have to replace the board first before attaching the gutters.
  • Attach the hangers under the gutter’s front edge and then hook it over the back edge.
  • Screw in the new gutter hangers into the wood trim at intervals of three feet along the whole length of the gutter that’s sagging. For stronger attachments, the hangers should be screwed into rafters, if possible.

Why is water dripping between gutter and fascia?

If you’ve noticed water dripping behind your gutter, whoever installed it neglected to install flashing over the gutter’s back. This can easily be resolved by installing a gutter apron.

Gutter repair parts

For quick gutter repairs, you want to keep these parts and materials on hand.

  • Fasteners and hangers
  • Sealant for leaks
  • Scrap metal for patches
A technician Installs a Gutter.

Gutter Repair Near Me

Who does gutter repair in Branford, CT? If you’re looking for fast, effective repair services, you need to look no further than Amity Home Maintenance Solutions. We offer a full range of repair solutions to get your gutters flowing properly again. To schedule a service appointment, all you need to do is call 203-390-7399.

What is better laminate or vinyl plank flooring?

laminate flooring in your home

Quality home flooring options

Many of the houses being refurbished or remodeled today are choosing laminate flooring like wood flooring to bring the authentic look back with the conveniences of today’s materials. With so many laminate flooring ideas available today, it is easy to see why laminate flooring has become a popular choice, especially when incorporating the cost. 

Even with the growing popularity of laminate flooring, there are still concerns and questions from those who haven’t taken the plunge with this material. A popular question, and somewhat confusing by many why it is a concern is, “Does laminate flooring devalue a home?”. It is difficult to say what type of flooring, is the best values-add to a home. What is clear for sure is that buyers prefer hardwood flooring over carpeting, and there is slight difference in the price and ROI between engineered hardwood and actual hardwood. 

Laminate flooring though, is a different breed. It is easy cleaning and scratch-resistant. It can be installed where natural hardwood can’t be installed, and it is fifty percent cheaper, which is why it won’t be a value-add for reselling a home. 

However, while laminate flooring mimics hardwood, it isn’t hardwood! If you’re choosing what to install in a high-traffic zone, laminate isn’t the way to go. It will wear and tear like hardwood, but you can’t sand it and refinish is like hardwood flooring. To get the best ROI possible in flooring, go with actual hardwood flooring. 

Is laminate waterproof?

Laminate flooring has one layer of moisture-resistant element, making it a water resistant flooring from the top to bottom. Where liquid is spilled, laminate flooring is treated so that it can’s seep through to the bottom where it interlocks. This stops the potential for mildew or mold from growing under the flooring.

However, if your home develops a leak under the laminate flooring, to make laminate flooring waterproof from the bottom, it needs a vapor barrier installed before the laminate flooring is installed. 

Can you mop laminate flooring?

No, water and wood are not meant to be together. Here are the recommended steps for cleaning your laminate flooring:

  • Keep steam cleaners and wet mops away from laminate flooring. They can cause irreversible damage to the flooring. 
  • Blot pills with a damp cloth as soon as they occur. 
  • For tough spots, like ink, lipstick, oil, paint, or tar, use a clean white cloth with acetone nail polish remover to remove the mark. Then wipe it dry with another clean white cloth, making sure no residue of acetone nail polish remover is left.  
  • Dust, sweep, or vacuum using a hard floor attachment without the rug beater on a regular basis. This will keep dirt and grit from accumulating that dulls and scratches laminate flooring. 
  • Using products specified for laminate flooring for periodic cleaning. 
  • Do not use oil-soap detergent, soap, or water to wash or wet mop laminate flooring. This will cause the floor to delaminate, swell, and warm as well as separate the joints. It will also void the warranty. 
  • Avoid using abrasive cleaners, chlorinated cleaners, strong ammoniated, or steel wool to clean laminate flooring. 
  • Do not use buff or polish by machine.
  • To remove candle wax or gum,  place ice over the area to harden it, then scrape with a plastic scraper gently. Then wipe clean with a clean damp cloth.

How do you clean laminate flooring naturally?

When you have the right mop and products, cleaning laminate flooring is easy! Get a microfiber mop and purchase a ready-made laminate flooring cleaner or make your own with this recipe by pouring the following three ingredients into a spray bottle:  

  • 3 parts water 
  • 1 part vinegar
  • 1 squirt of basic liquid dish detergent

Now follow these easy steps: 

  1. With microfiber mop, dry mop, or vacuum. This will get the dust bunnies, hair tumbleweeds, and other large items. 
  2. Using water and the cleaner, dampen the microfiber pad and mop the laminate flooring.
  3. When done, rinse the microfiber pad thoroughly and let dry.
polished laminate floor

What are the pros and cons of laminate flooring?

Any flooring material you choose will have pros and cons, and laminate flooring isn’t any different. With laminate flooring and installation, you’ll find the following pros: 

  • Installation is easy
  • Minimal maintenance required
  • Low cost
  • Moisture-resistant from the top
  • Available in a hardwood or tile look-a-like

With these benefits, what could con could laminate flooring have? A few, read on to find out: 

  • Cannot be sanded or refinished
  • Slippery.
  • The wrong color and style can look fake
  • No value-add to the real estate

Laminate flooring can be a beautiful addition to any room in your home, if you’re planning on living there for a while. If you’re fixing a house up to resell, laminate flooring may not be the way to go if you’re hoping to get your money back. It won’t necessarily lower the value, but it isn’t a value-add either. Homes with young children and a lot of foot traffic should avoid laminate flooring as well. Need laminate flooring for your home in Branford, CT? Call 203-390-7399 today.

How are water leaks detected?

shingle roof leak

Where to you start with a roof water leak fix? 

A roof leak is never any fun, but it is worrisome, especially if you’ve just discovered it and you’re not sure how long it has been leaking. Now that you know you have a roof leak, the task of finding a roof water leak begins.

Well, this can all depend on where the roof leak has appeared. Although, where you see water dripping or a water stain doesn’t necessarily mean that is the exact area of the leak. Why? Finding  water, roof is leaking is not always the culprit.  Water travels, typically downhill, so that roof leak could be coming from almost any part of your home. So, you start the investigation and inspect the roof. Possible issues on the roof could be: 

  1. Bent, cracked, missing flashing
  2. Bent, curled, missing shingles
  3. Roof valleys aren’t sealed properly
  4. Roof vents seals are cracked, loose, or missing
  5. Ice dam build up
  6. Skylight seals are leaking
  7. Clogged or broken gutters
  8. Chimney sealing is cracked, loose, missing
  9. Attic condensation

Even a roof leak water in walls can be from any of these issues as the water is working its way down between the walls. An upstairs bathroom or HVAC system on the roof could cause a leak in a wall, not just a roof leak.

 So, yes, chasing the source could take some time and it may be best to call a professional roofing contractor. If the roofing contractor finds the leak to be from another source that isn’t roof related, they will advise you where they found the water leak. Then you call your plumber or HVAC technician. 

What to do if there is a water leak in your home?

If the water is coming through the roof in a rainstorm, you want to place a  roof leak water catcher under that area, like a bucket with a tarp or towel under it. This will prevent it from damaging anything more than it already has.  What if isn’t a roof leak in a rainstorm? 

Another non-roof leak you may have could be from the HVAC system in the attic or on top of the house. Most times, this is from a clogged condensate drain line. You should still place something under the leak as we described and then go up in the attic to see what is happening. 

The condensate drain line and drain pan need to be flushed out and cleaned. You can do this yourself or call a professional HVAC service. While they are there, inquire about a HVAC trap that will turn the air conditioning system off as soon as the drain water has reached a certain level and stop that from happening again.  

Another thing to consider is a regular maintenance agreement with the HVAC professional. They will check the entire system, including the attic portion. In the attic, they will drain, flush, and clean the condensation line and drain pan each time. This would be a step in preventive maintenance, saving  your home from expensive damage and from having insurance claims rejected for a roof leak that wasn’t a roof leak. 

What is a leak detection test?

In the plumbing industry, water leak detection testing has been around for several years. Methods of plumbing leak detection includes hydrostatic testing, infrared, laser technology, among old fashion testing. 

  • The old fashion testing is done by turning all the water off inside and any exterior water outlets, then watch the water meter. If the meter is moving and no water is turned on, this indicates a leak between the water meter and the house. Another method tried and true in the plumbing industry is by sound, but there is equipment available to give the plumbers better sound tracking. 
  • One method to detect a roof leak is done by going into the attic with a flashlight and check for any evidence of a roof leak. That evidence would be black marks and/or mold on the attic ceiling  and/or the insulation, as well as water stains. 
  • Today, when it comes to a roof leak, there is equipment available for roofing contractors to help locate the leak if there is nothing obvious. Infrared technology is available for roof leak detection now that allows the contractor to look through the roof surface and reveal any potential leak sources. Infrared also helps identify any trapped moisture inside the roof assembly using a different filter. This will reveal any potential problems or sources for an elusive roof leak.
leak in ceiling

What is the best water leak detector?

For the homeowner, your own visual check for roof conditions is the best water leak detection. At least once a month, walk around the outside of your home and check the roofing from the ground. If you can, climbing up a ladder and get a visual from higher up is a good idea. 

Another option, and recommended by insurance companies and roofing contractors, is an annual inspection by a professional roofing contractor. This can be done at the same time you have your gutters cleaned. If there are a lot of trees around your home, you may consider doing this twice a year. 

Now that you have found a roof leak and have a wet ceiling and wall, how long does it take for a wall to dry out after a leak? It will depend on the wall thickness, the material the wall is made and how “open” it is around the wall as to how quick it will dry out. Warm weather is your friend for drying time, and if you have fans blowing on the wall can help speed this up.  Anything you can do to get air all around the wet area will speed the drying process up too. 

What we can tell you for sure is to make sure it is thoroughly dry to keep it from mildewing and growing mold.  This is the last thing you need in your walls is hidden mildew and mold because this will begin making everyone in the house sick. Call 203-390-7399 today for roof leak help in Branford, CT.

What Does Chimney Repair Involve?

broken down chimney

How long do brick chimneys last?

A chimney on a rooftop usually means there is a fireplace inside the home. Whether the fireplace is working or not, the chimney needs to be good condition, especially a brick chimney. If the fireplace is working, the chimney is where the exhaust and smoke escape, keeping the house from filling up and choking everyone. So, chimney repair keeps the inside of the house safe as well as keep aesthetics good. 

A brick chimney that is well-maintained and cared for can last 100 years. Brick chimneys and fireplaces are known to last as long as the structure they are occupy, even longer. If you’ve ever been on a country drive and saw an old homestead, the chimney was still standing but the house was dilapidated, even gone.

 Whether the previous homeowner had fireplace maintenance and chimney repair done is what gave it a longer life, we’ll never know. Today, we know that there are three main factors that influence the durability of a brick chimney and fireplace: correctly installed, proper maintenance and upkeep, and when needed, professional chimney repair service. 

How do you fix crumbling chimney bricks?

Brick fireplaces are the epitome of a cozy home, until the bricks and mortar begins to crumble. Professional chimney repair is always a wise option, but the DIY homeowner can learn by watching numerous videos about how to repair a chimney and do some smaller chimney repair process with the following steps: 

  • Repointing the Mortar

Mortar is that stuff in between the bricks and holds them together and over time, it can age and crumble. The problem with that is a). It doesn’t look good and b). the bricks start to crumble and fall. Repointing is the process of cleaning out the crumbling mortar and replace it with new mortar.

Clean the crumbing mortar with a joint raker the sweep it with a wire brush. Next rinse the chimney with the water hose and then let it dry for thirty minutes. 

While that is drying, mix up your mortar to a peanut butter type consistency. Once the chimney is dry, use a pointing trowel and press the new mortar in where the old mortar came out, smoothing the joints.  

  • Caulk the Crown and Flue

The area where the chimney can leak water is between the crown and fule. You want to use the wire brush again and clean out the debris, loose mortar, and moss. Then using a high-heat caulk mortar, fill the gaps around the crown and flue.

  • Patch Large Crown Area Cracks

The chimney crown the sloping cap at the top section of your chimney. Using a pre-mix cement or the mortar you’ve mixed, fill the cracks and smooth with a putty knife. This typically take 4 to 6 hours to cure, longer for larger cracks.  

  • Seal and Patch Hairline Cracks

Hairline cracks are repaired with a water repellent solution that comes in a liquid consistency so that an penetrate inside the hairline cracks. Use the putty knife to clean away any loose particles without enlarging the crack. Then use a brush to apply the undiluted water repellent sealant. 

  • Cracked Brick Repair

Small cracks of individual chimney bricks can be repaired using a caulk gun and a high-heat mortar. Clean the crack with the putty knife and sweep the brick clean. Apply the high-heat mortar into the crack and with a gloved finger, wipe clean any excess mortar.

  • Chimney Repair and Replace

If you find that there are bricks in your chimney that need more than minor repair, or need repair, it is best to call a professional roofing contractor or mason. Not all roofing contractors do brick chimney repair, but usually have a few contacts that can provide you names and numbers. 

Why is water coming down my chimney?

  • Raining Straight In: If your chimney doesn’t have a cover, you’re going to have more than rain coming through. Animals, birds, critters, debris, and insects are making their way into your home through the chimney. Have a chimney repair professional install a chimney cap immediately. 
  • Chimney Crown Crack: The  cement part of the chimney top is the crown and where bricks go up around the flue liner. If the crown has cracks, rain is going to come in. 
  • Condensation: This is common in older homes: there isn’t a chimney liner. Without the liner, the chimney will leak condensation. Have a chimney repair specialist install a liner and the problem is fixed. 
  • The Flashing Leaks: If the flashing is bent, loose, or missing, the rain will work its way into the chimney. A professional roofing contractor can repair or replace the flashing in just a few hours. 
  • Leaking Bricks: Water will pass through bricks and mortar and if the crown is filled with water and freezes then thaws, it is coming to come into the chimney. Your best solution is to have a chimney repair service waterproof your chimney. While they are there, they will check the chimney for any repair needs
  • It Isn’t the Chimney: Just because there is a leak coming in at the chimney doesn’t mean it isn’t from another area of the house. A professional roofing contractor can check this for you and refer you to chimney repair specialist. 
chimney repaired

Does a brick chimney need to be sealed?

Yes!  The average homeowner doesn’t think about chimney and fireplace maintenance beyond the flue.  IF the chimney isn’t repaired and sealed from top to bottom, the crown will be destroyed first and then the chimney. 

Will homeowners insurance cover chimney damage? As a homeowner, you have homeowner’s insurance, but when it comes to filing a claim, what is chimney repair – your responsibility or doe the insurance kick in for repairs? 

Like your roof, it will depend on several factors.  If the chimney is knocked off by high winds, yes your homeowners will most likely pay for it. If your chimney is leaking, the insurance adjuster will come out and inspect the chimney, roof, and fireplace. If they find homeowner neglect, failing to have it sealed or there isn’t a liner, then your claim will be denied. Call 203-390-7399 today.

Do Roofers Repair Skylights?

Skylights on a Roof.

Do roofers repair skylights?

Whether your skylight is leaking or damaged in some other way, you’ll want to get it repaired. When it comes to skylight repair, a roofing contractor is the right choice to make the repair. Skylights are part of your roof, so a roofer will know what is needed to make repairs. Often, with leaks, for example, the water normally gets under loose or damaged flashing around the skylight. Roofers work with flashing all the time. Of course, when you need skylight repair and replacement in Branford, CT, you’ll want roofing professionals that are experienced with skylights. You’ll find such skilled professionals at Amity Home Maintenance Solutions. Find out how we can help with skylights or any other home maintenance service by calling 203-390-7399.

How do you repair a leaking skylight?

A leaking skylight is a common skylight repair that’s made. Making the repair requires the right tools and skills to ensure the leak is completely contained. To make the repair:

  • Check first to make sure the skylight is leaking and it’s not just condensation.
  • Once it’s been determined that the skylight is leaking, debris needs to be cleaned.
  • Check the flashing to see if it is loose, damaged, or there are any gaps. 
  • After the leak is located, seal gaps or holes in the flashing with roofing cement.
  • Any damaged or loose flashing needs to be repaired or replaced.
  • Silicone caulking can be used to seal leaks around the skylight lens.  

Can you replace just the glass in the skylight?

Besides leaks, another common problem that occurs with skylight is the glass fogging. This can be unsightly and you might be considering replacing the skylights. But, this may not be necessary. Sometimes fogging is caused by condensation, which means the skylight isn’t well insulated and not a problem with the glass itself. The only skylight repair that’s necessary in this case is reinforcing the insulation around the skylight. Sometimes, however, moisture gets caught between the glass and causes it to fog up. Fortunately, you normally don’t have to completely replace the skylight, you’ll just need to replace the glass.

Skylight repair on metal roof

When you have skylights on metal roofs, you have to be alert to problems that might require repairs. Condensation and mold, for instance, can be caused by air leaks from attic skylights with chases, the rectangular passages between skylights, and the ceiling underneath them. It’s also recommended that when replacing a metal roof you also replace any skylights that are ten years old or older. This way the skylights fit with the roof’s design.

Skylight repair or replacement

When it comes to choosing between skylight repair or replacement, age will play a big role in the decision. Skylights have fairly limited lifespans. You might, therefore, ask, “How often should skylights be replaced?” If they are over 10 years old, you might want to replace them instead of just continually repairing them. Most skylights only receive 20-year warranties and few last that long. If possible, try to coordinate replacing your skylights when you have your roof replaced so the skylights and new roof fit together. Of course, if the only genuine problem with the skylights is the glass, and structures like flashing are in good shape, you might just consider replacing the glass.

Can you cover up a skylight?

Skylights are excellent sources of natural light and even warmth. But, a common problem that occurs is condensation. Some people mistake condensation for leaks, and you should always check to make sure you have condensation rather than a leak to avoid a costly skylight repair. Condensation normally occurs because of poor insulation around the glass on the inside of the building. It’s often more common in the winter than summer or spring, as warmer air inside contends with the chill outside. One way to combat condensation in the winter is to cover the windows with insulating material. Insulated panels can be inserted into the framed opening of the skylight’s interior. The cover blocks out light but also provides more insulation to help keep the home warmer in the winter months.  

Replace skylight roof

When you are replacing your roof, if you have skylights, it’s a good time to replace them, too, especially if they are 10 years old or older. Some people also opt to have the skylights removed altogether. This might be because they are remodeling or just never found the skylights appealing in the first place or because they are continually having problems with condensation and leaks. Removing the skylights completely when replacing your roof is often a good solution to preventing leaks. However, make certain you definitely want to remove them because installing new skylights can be relatively expensive, although Amity Home Maintenance Solutions is always happy to install skylights if you are interested in installing them. When you have the skylights removed, you will need additional support in that area of the roof to prevent the roof from sagging.

A Roofer Performs Skylight Repair.

Skylight repair near me

If you have skylights that are leaking or are otherwise damaged and need skylight repair in Branford, CT, you can always count on the experts at Amity Home Maintenance Solutions. We provide a complete range of home improvement and construction services. Find out more about us or schedule a service by calling 203-390-7399.

Do Roofers Replace Fascia?

gutter check

Do gutters cause fascia to rot?

When it comes to your gutter and fascia repair, roofers are generally taken care of by your local roofers when damages or signs of advanced age have occurred. This is because both are considered to be part of the roof and apply professionally to the roofing industry specifically. Most roofers, in that case, are generally trained to spot problems in fascia and gutters as well the training required to take care of them. Gutters have the task of managing the brunt that comes from rainstorms and foul weather. Fascia both keeps the gutters secure and seals the interior of the attic to some degree. 

Every so often in the lifespan of your home, you will see fascia repair or replacement. Generally, the cause tends to be from issues arising in old age or problems regarding your gutter. One of the dominant ways fascia boards rot is by being introduced to excess moisture or having water run over and around them. This tends to happen when there is a roof leak or the gutters get overstuffed and water is allowed stream into the space between the gutter and fascia board. The case can also be that the drip edge on the gutter is either damaged or not capable of handling the natural load sufficiently. When it comes to gutter and fascia repair, trust a local business in Branford, CT. Amity Home Maintenance Solutions can apply fascia repair fast and efficiently to your home when you call 203-390-7399 today to schedule your appointment.

Why is water dripping between gutter and fascia?

As mentioned priorly, the general suspect when it comes to leaks happening in the fascia is the gutters or the roof itself. Normally, your roofer can catch the causation of a leak before it becomes damaging when allowed to do regular roof inspections. We suggest after particularly bad storms or hail storms to have your roofer come out and apply a roof inspection. Fascia repair tends to be the result of a problem that builds up to due to water being allowed a sufficient amount of time to break through the defenses your roof has. However, we at Amity Home Maintenance Solutions also understand that a fascia leak can be from a sudden event which is why in either regard we offer fascia repair to fix the problem and keep your roof looking stunning from above as well as below. The process we undertake for removing a rotted board goes as:

  • Taking down the gutter 
  • Removing the nails 
  • Removing the rotted fascia
  • Bonding the new boards onto the troubled spot
  • Check for other spots or hazardous issues
  • Applying a fresh coat of paint

Your house is in good hands when you work with us in and around Branford, CT. When letting the problem fester, your roof can sustain further damages from the problems simply hindering your fascia boards.

How do you know if your gutters need cleaning?

There are several signs to indicate your drains need cleaning in order to keep the edges of your roof and the fascia boards themselves in fantastic condition. When paying some attention to your gutters, a large amount of damages at the edges of your roof and underneath it can be avoided. Keep watch for signs like:

  • Nests or unnatural build-up
  • Gutter sagging
  • Birds begin to congregate in your gutter
  • Siding begins to stain
  • Rainwater overflow
  • Piles of leaves and debris fall from your gutter

Normally, the pileup on your gutters is an indication they need a good cleaning in order to avoid fascia repair. The consensus among roofers is that regular cleanings of the gutters are essential in keeping your home sturdy and your roof lasting. Further problems can develop when you do not clean your gutters or have members of our team do it professionally like damage to the nearby shingles. For whatever covers your roof whether it be shingles or metal, it can suffer when being introduced to standing water and debris for a prolonged period of time.

gutter repair

Are gutter guards worth it?

The answer to that specific question is dependent on the elements your home takes on every day and which roof guard you choose. Before modern roof guards became sturdier and better developed, they would be an unnecessary reason as to why many roofers have to repair gutters and commit to fascia repair at the same time. While they are a good guard against debris, they tend to help in the buildup of rainwater along the edges of a homeowner’s roof and can if not strong enough will do more harm than good. Modern roof guards however have less of those problems, while in some they may persist, they can be a good way of keeping your gutter clear of debris like leaves and broken shingles. The best way to know is to question your roofer during the next visit or contact us at Amity Home Maintenance Solutions. We provide multiple services to homeowners in and around Branford, CT. Call 203-390-7399 today to schedule your gutter and fascia repair.

What Are the Pros and Cons of Laminate Flooring?

laminate floor chips and options

How Laminate Flooring is Made

If you’re in the market for new floors, you should take a look at laminate flooring. This isn’t your grandma’s laminate we’re talking about. The laminate flooring industry has come a long way over the last decade to improve performance, appearance, and durability, all while keeping its attractive cost structure. As a homeowner or property developer, you have a lot of different flooring materials to choose from, each with its benefits and different price points. Laminate is a popular choice for many Americans because it’s affordable and versatile. Here we dive into the pros and cons of laminate flooring and why it could be the best fit for your home.

Laminate flooring is made out of what many people would call plastic. Usually, they’re a combination of melamine resin and fiberboard materials. It’s a hard surface that ranges in styles. Most people like to buy laminate floors that mimic the look of natural wood. A lot of people wonder about laminate flooring vs vinyl flooring. They do look similar, but the main difference is that laminate is made with actual wood parts. Without going into too many details, laminate is made from four layers that include:

  • Backer Paper – This is the bottom layer that keeps the board straight and the floors balanced. It also keeps away moisture. Some high-end laminate floors have padding in the bottom layer to improve cushioning.
  • HDF Core – Next comes a layer of fiberboard. This can range from medium-intensity to high-intensity depending on what kind of durability you’re looking for. Either way, the high-density fiberboard (HDF) is made from softwood fibers broken down and combined with a resin binder to add strength and stability.
  • Decorative Paper – A decorative layer is added to the fiberboard to give the laminate coloring or pattern. It’s what gives your floors their distinctive look. The manufacturing process means you can choose from a large variety of different colors and patterns based on your home’s design.
  • Overlay Layer – Finally comes the overlay. This is a finishing touch put on laminate floors to extend its lifespan and prevent fading. The overlayer seals the laminate boards to prevent scratches from shoes, pets, furniture, or anything else that comes in direct contact with the floors.

How Many Years Does Laminate Flooring Last?

Your laminate flooring will last for years. Exactly how long will depend on things like foot traffic, whether you wear shoes inside, and anything else that will increase wear and tear. A house full of people will see its laminate floors break down much faster than a person living alone will. The more you use your floors, the sooner you’ll have to replace them.

However, in general, you can expect your laminate flooring with fitting to last between 15 and 25 years. Sometimes they’ll go even longer into the 30-year range. Of course, the quality of the laminate you install will also impact how long you can enjoy your beautiful floors.

Things to Consider with Laminate

Any flooring material has issues. Most of the time, the material you use will be determined by how much you want to pay, long-term maintenance requirements, and style. One of the most common questions we get from homeowners is, “Why is my laminate flooring lifting up?” The answer is not always simple. Often lifting in your flooring is the result of improper installation. Your joints may not be fitted together exactly, so when pressure is applied, it moves the planks upward. You could also be dealing with uneven subfloors that push laminate planks up. Excessive moisture can cause planks to buckle and rise, and this is an issue to look out for if you live in a humid area with a lot of rainfall. Finally, if you’re a pet owner, you need to be vigilant in avoiding indoor urination that could cause buckling in your flooring.

Another question we get is should you mop laminate floors? The answer to that is no. As we’ve already stated, too much moisture can do irreparable damage to your floors. You should clean laminate with cleaning products specifically made for laminate to guarantee the best results.

laminate flooring

Which Laminate Floor is Best?

Now that you know some of the pros and cons of laminate flooring, it’s time to look at which is the best and some of the reasons laminate could be for you. Ultimately, the best laminate floor is one that meets your goals. You’ll have plenty of choices, so you need to decide what’s important to you. The flooring you choose will depend on what you’re looking for in terms of price, style, warranty, durability, and other factors. Here are some reasons why laminate may be the right choice:

  • Affordability – Laminate is cheaper than natural wood floors are and keep their appearance longer because of the protective coating. Repair and replacement costs are also much lower.
  • Easy Installation – Because they’re manufactured, you can source laminate quickly and installation happens fast. It’s sort of like putting a jigsaw puzzle together. You just match the joints to fit planks together.
  • Easy to Find Replacement Planks – If you’ve got stone or wood floors, what do you do if a portion of the floor is damaged? With laminate, you simply order more of the same pattern you purchased, and the company will produce it. That’s great news for homeowners who want to keep a certain look.
  • Eco-Friendly – Using laminate has a much lower carbon footprint than farming natural wood. It’s a huge plus for people concerned with environmentalism.
  • Durable – Laminate is scratch-resistant, prevents staining, and keeps its original look for years. It’s also very hard to dent laminate.

There are several other reasons why homeowners in American love laminate. If you’re considering different materials, talk to a flooring expert about laminate options to see if it’s right for you. Call 203-390-7399 today for your laminate flooring installation in Branford, CT.

How is Stone Veneer installed?

close up of stone veneer

Stone veneer pros and cons

A stone veneer installation that is done by a competent expert can improve multiple facets of your home further than what bricks and specially made walls can. With a metal interior set down, pinned into place by nails, the stone wall is built up against your wall. Once installed, the stone veneer will last you for much of the century. There are multiple benefits to having one, with few disadvantages to boot. Here are some of the things it can offer you: 

  • Does not need footing support
  • Can help insulate and cool a home
  • Adds an exquisite addition and detail to your home
  • Adds another resistant aspect to your home
  • Generally lighter than other materials

The only disadvantage one could see would be done by a hasty installation. Fortunately, the experts at Amity Home Maintenance Solutions take our time with every job. We make sure to use the best products that will last with the home for decades and keep moisture out with the best sealing technique for stone veneers. In Branford, CT, the weather is always supportive for such an installment to a home. When choosing a stone veneer, not only do you add a sense of beauty to your home, but an addition that can improve it as well.

What is stone veneer made of?

Stone veneer has more than one method of installation, but the most common type of stone veneer is generally natural stone. There are two points of origin for the stones that go into the subject wall. First, is field stones are recovered due to the weathered and naturally molded appearance. The second is manufactured stones from a quarry. In both cases, the stones are edited to fit a certain weight that would be sustainable in a stone veneer wall. In both, concrete is used to hold the stones together and seal the interior from moisture. 

There is a third option that is known as faux or manufactured stone veneer that is made from concrete and is colored in a way generally chosen by the customer. While it is lighter and cheaper than the natural alternative, the concrete does unfortunately not last as long. That said, it does offer more options for appearance and texture that would normally be harder to exactly find in natural stone. 

The average lifespan of natural stone veneers often reaches up to several decades with a relatively low amount of care. This is due to the natural elements being able to sustain weathering far better than what manufactured stone can. While manufactured stone does not last that long, it does offer an easier and greener method of replacement. As opposed to the natural option, which when broken down cannot necessarily be repurposed.

Is stone veneer cheaper than brick?

Stone veneers are on average cheaper and better than brick walls. While brick walls are some of the longest-lasting walls historically, they take more labor to apply and complete. Furthermore, stone veneer requires less labor and is easier to fashion than most materials that can be used in the same instance. 

When putting both materials in the same setting, whether it’s a wall or a veneer, stone wins out in terms of cost and usage. Especially when both materials are in a veneer format, stone is both better for your home by holding itself up and is more resistant to a huge amount of differing exterior circumstances. Brick veneers must be held up by the structure or home and can more easily be damaged. 

In terms of waterproofing, stone veneers are extremely dense and when done well do not retain the moister on the interior or exterior. The reason for that is the materials in the cement holding the natural or faux stones together. Furthermore, rainwater easily slides off the well put in place stone veneer. 

In terms of fireproofing, most stone veneers are resistant if not completely fireproof. The only reason otherwise is if the stones or materials on the interior of the veneer are made of foam, sometimes being the case with some faux stones. This is also the case if the stone veneer is built over something flammable such as wood paneling.

In both cases, stone veneers are designed to take the elements such as rain and heavy wind. They are highly capable when installed onto your home and offer several advantages to the scenery and interior of your home.

A home with a stone veneer

Can stone veneer be installed over plywood?

On most surfaces on the interior or exterior of your home, a stone veneer can be installed. On something like plywood or another lighter material surface, the key to the installation is placing down layers of weather-resistive barriers. A metal surface can then be applied or in place of the weathering barrier before the stone is applied to the surface. As mentioned, the surface of the metal is designed to fit into the surface whether it’s faux or natural stone veneer. Especially around a fireplace, a stone veneer can add another edge of beauty to your home today. If you’re interested in stone veneer installation, call 203-390-7399 today so Amity Home Maintenance Solutions can get your process started in Branford, CT today.

How metal roofing is installed

grey metal roofing on a grey building with a tree

Durable, quality protection

If you’re considering what type of roofing to have installed on your home, new or existing, metal roofing should be a top consideration. This roofing material was once exclusive for barns and made its way on to homes and workshops in the country.

Today, metal roofing is becoming more common in cities and for several good reasons. One being that metal roofing energy efficiency has proven to be as good or better than other types of roofing materials. So, if you are considering either metal roofing or shingles made of asphalt, a more common roofing material, give some thought to metal roofing benefits, along with answers to the following questions. Make sure you are well informed on metal roofing so you can make the decision right for you.

How long do metal roofs last?

Metal roofing has proven to be a practical level of protection for the home, especially in areas of the country where the weather is extreme. If your home is in areas where the sun beats hot and heavy or there are heavy storms that include hail, or areas where there is heavy snowfall or changing temperature, metal roofing can be a value-add.

There are two styles of metal roofing, vertical panels, also referred to as standing seam, which is the most common choice and interlocking shingles. With performance, the two styles are equal, and experts consider both a lifetime roofing system.

Metal roofing is available in different types of metal: aluminum, copper, steel, or zinc. Metal roofing will have a 3 to 7 times longer life span than asphalt shingle roofing. Aluminum shingles have a minimum life expectancy of 50 years, as does steel roofing.  The life expectancy of copper or zinc metal roofing is 100 years and more.

Do metal roofs make the house hotter?

Metal roofing has a surface that reflects the solar heat back out to the atmosphere instead of absorbing it and radiating it back inside. Because of this, a metal roof can save up to 25% over a year in energy bills. This is an annual reduction of one-fourth of a home’s energy waste. Independent studies have found metal roofing can save on summer energy cost by 40% and up to 15% in heating costs for the average homeowner.

What is the best color of metal roof for energy savings?

Metal roofing is already expected to be as much as 50 degrees cooler than an asphalt shingled roofing with a dark color.  Choosing a light beige, blue, bronze, green, peach, or white for metal roofing will only improve that percentage during hot summer months.

Is a metal roof loud when it rains?

If it is not properly installed, it can be louder, just like any other type of roofing material. Because of where metal roofing was originally used, in barns or storage/work sheds in the country, or as patio awnings material with corrugated metal, the perception has always been that metal roofing is loud while raining. With proper installation and the fact that the metal used for a home differs from it is for a bard or shed, this simply isn’t true.

Can you walk on a metal roof?

Absolutely, yes.  However, if you are inexperienced in walking on a roof, metal or otherwise, then don’t. Then again, you’re the homeowner, do it is our right to do you as you see the need, such repairing or replacing your metal roofing and flashing, the HVAC system or other protrusion in the roof.  You should proceed cautiously though so you avoid any possible damage. Three basic rules to walking on metal roofing are:

  • Wear clean, soft-soled shoes
  • Do not drop any heavy equipment or tools while on the roof
  • Walk only in the right spots
metal roof panelling

Metal Roofing Benefits

As we have discussed already, asphalt shingle roofs can age and diminish quickly compared to metal roofing. Other lasting benefits of metal roofing include the following:

  • Energy Efficient – properly installed with the right insulation, metal roofing can save a homeowner hundreds of dollars over a year.
  • Fire Resistant – a feature that will get a cheaper rate on homeowner’s insurance.
  • Long-life – lightweight material that when it is installed correctly, using concealed fasteners and proper metal screws with rubber gaskets, metal roofing can last 50 years or longer.
  • Weather Resistant – when properly installed and fastened correctly, metal roofing resists hailstorms and high winds.
  • Environmentally Friendly – many metal roofing materials today come from metal that has been recycled and when the roof itself reaches its end-of-life, it can be recycled again

The metal roofing of today isn’t like the roofing you’ve seen in the countryside on barns and sheds. It isn’t mismatched or rusted, but it comes in a variety of colors instead, and you can choose metal roofing with the appearance of shingles, so it matches your home’s décor and any possible HOA requirements. Call 203-390-7399 today if you need metal roofing for your home in Branford, CT.