Ice Dam Prevention and Removal

What Home and Business Owners Need to Know About Missing Roof Shingles

As New Englanders, we’re no strangers to storms. Wind, rain, sleet and ice can all leave a roof looking a little under the weather. After a storm blows through, you might notice a few asphalt shingles missing from your roof. Or maybe there is no storm, but you own a beautiful older home and some of the shingles are damaged or badly worn. You don’t think it’s a big deal, but then you start wondering. Will my roof leak? It’s definitely possible!

It’s important to get missing shingles replaced as soon as possible to prevent further damage and expenses down the line. Being proactive with your roof repair will save you hundreds of dollars and bring you peace of mind.

Why, Generally, a Missing Shingle is Cause for Concern

When shingles are missing it allows the wind to get between the roof deck and roof shingles causing the “non-missing” ones to lift and come unsealed. There is a one in three chance that the missing shingle sat above an open seam between the shingles below. The standard 3-tab shingles are installed side-by-side with each new row of shingles covering the top of the layer below and the side seams.

Shingles are installed in layers to wick water away from the wood underneath. Each layer is composed of 3-shingle sections that are laid next to each other, end to end. When roofers add new layers of shingles during installation, they stagger the seams so water can’t get in. If a shingle above a seam tears off, water can flow into the newly unprotected gap between the lower shingles, leading to rotted plywood and roof leaks.

Sometimes your missing shingle doesn’t reveal a seam, but your roof may still be in danger of leaking. The upper portion of the shingle has less protective mineral granules than the bottom. These granules protect the shingle from the sun. When the upper portion of the shingle is exposed, the UV rays might cause it to decay and the rest of the shingles will follow suit. This will eventually lead to leaking, water damage, and mold. No matter their placement on the roof, all missing shingles can lead to roof leaks. Generally, it’s best to address these issues as soon as possible.

The Details Behind Damage from Missing Shingles

  • Water: For a while, the felt paper below any missing shingles will shield your house from water damage. However, a missing asphalt shingle isn’t something you should leave unattended for too long. Left unfixed, you could be in danger, especially during heavy rain which can be common on Boston’s South Shore. Once under the shingles, water will rot the wood sheathing beneath. This can also harm your attic, ceiling joists, rafters, wall framing, and more. Rotting wood leads to structural instability in the home and seriously expensive damage. Leaking water is also a hazard because it leads to electrical issues and fire hazards when electrical systems are in close proximity to the leaking roof.
  • Mold: Mold and mildew can develop as a result of the moisture coming in through the damaged roof. Mold can ruin paint, walls, clothing, furniture, carpets, and rugs, not to mention cause health-related harm to people who have allergies or respiratory problems.
  • Ice: When the New England winter arrives, freezing water can lead to other issues. When the water which has entered the home freezes, it expands. This leads to cracks in the roof or framing of the house. It’s a slippery slope as the cracks allow more water to seep in – which makes the structure more unstable. You can read more about the impact of ice on roofs here, here, and here.
  • Increased Energy Bills: A roof with a hole in it is permeable. With a missing shingle, you will find it harder to keep your home warm or cold depending on the season and this will increase your energy bills.

How Our South Shore Roofing Company Can Help

As with many other home issues, it’s better to fix the problem of a missing asphalt shingle sooner rather than later. Our roofing contractor experts at South Shore Roofing can fix your home or commercial roof before it starts leaking. We’ll help keep your family, employees, or tenants safe and dry! So, please reach out any time to discuss roof damages and the best solutions.

 

 

 

 

 

How To Remove Snow From Your Property Safely

Particularly for those of us who grew up in New England, we don’t tend to give a lot of thought to the right way and the wrong way to remove snow. As you’ll learn further on in this post, there’s also a right time and a wrong time to remove snow. Many of us have been shoveling snow since we were kids and trying to help mom and dad get their cars out of the driveway after a big winter storm. In most cases, no-one gave us much training on the “do’s and don’ts” of snow shoveling, and it’s even less likely that someone taught us the safe way to remove snow from a house roof or business roof. But, we’re never too old to learn something new, right?

To make sure all our South Shore MA and Greater Boston area neighbors stay safe this winter, we’re sharing tips & techniques for removing snow the safe way — whether it’s via a shovel or snow blower for driveways, paths, and sidewalks, or a rake for pitched residential roofs or commercial roofs.Removing Snow From Roof -- South Shore Roofing, South Shore MA

SNOW SHOVELING AND SNOW BLOWING SAFETY TIPS & TECHNIQUES

  • Snow shoveling takes a lot of strength, requires you to exert a lot of energy, and is hard on your joints and muscles. You wouldn’t go out and run a couple of miles or bench-press heavy weights if you hadn’t done so in the recent past, would you? You should take the same precautions when it comes to snow shoveling or pushing a snow blower. If you’ve been experiencing chest pain or shortness of breath, or suffer from heart-related or lung-related disease, allocate the chore of snow shoveling or snow blowing to someone who enjoys better health.
  • If you are someone who is physically active and believe you are physically able to snow shovel or snow blow with limited risk of heart attack, be sure to adhere to the following when doing so:
    • Don’t smoke or eat right before or while you are shoveling or pushing a snowblower
    • Stretch well before you start your work, and then take it slow
    • Shovel only light, fresh, powdery snow
    • Push snow vs. lifting it; if you have to lift snow with a shovel, use a small one, or only fill the shovel part of the way — then, lift the shovel with your legs, not with your back
    • Take frequent breaks, and don’t push yourself to the point of physical exhaustion; stay hydrated by keeping a bottle of water nearby
    • Recognize the signs of a heart attack; put down the snow shovel, or turn off and step away from the snow blower, right away; then, call 911
    • Never run a snow blower in an enclosed space, such as a garage, due to carbon monoxide poisoning risk
    • Turn off a snow blower that has jammed — continuing to use it is not safe for a variety of reasons!
    • Keep your hands away from your snow blower’s moving parts
    • Wait until you and your snow blower are outside to add fuel, and never, ever add fuel to your snow blower while it is running
    • Never, ever leave a running snow blower unattended

SNOW RAKING SAFETY TIPS & TECHNIQUES

Did you know wet snow weighs approximately twice as much as dry snow? While most South Shore Massachusetts, and New England home roofs and commercial roofs are designed to handle excess snow, there’s always a risk for structural damage when large quantities of wet snow pile up on your home roof or office roof. And, large, flat roofs pose an even greater risk.

Most city, state, and federal agencies who issue health & wellness guidelines will advise you not to go it alone when it comes to removing snow from your roof/roof raking. Therefore, they will advise you to hire a roofing professional like us; however, if you feel you must tackle removing roof snow on your own, at least recruit a friend or neighbor to help you, and adhere to the following safety measures:

  • Never shovel or rake snow from a roof at a time when family members or other individuals working or living in your building may be exiting or entering the home, apartment building, or office building
  • Use a snow rake for pitched roofs (available at most hardware stores) to remove snow from your pitched roof; start from the edge of your roof and work your way into the middle of the roof
  • Attempt to shave the snow on the roof down, so that 2-3 inches of snow remain, instead of scraping the roof clean — scraping too deep/hard will risk damage to your shingles or other roof covering
  • Keep in mind that any metal tool could conduct electricity if it touches a power line, so if there is any risk of your mistakenly hitting a power line with a metal tool, don’t use one; if not used by a professional, use of metal tools may damage your roof
  • Shovel snow from flat roofs throwing the snow over the side and away from the building; as discussed in our blog post on preventing ice dams, keep gutters and drains free of ice & snow and keep downspouts clean at ground level
  • Unless approved by a registered professional engineer, don’t add the weight of your body or that of a helper’s, or that of equipment to the roof
  • Don’t use a ladder to remove snow from a roof since ice can build up on ladder rungs and the bottom of footwear, increasing risk of slipping
  • Don’t use electric heating devices like hair dryers or heat guns to remove snow & ice; definitely DO NOT use open-flame devices to remove them

Regardless of the New England season, we’ve been helping South Shore Massachusetts and Greater Boston homeowners and business owners with their roofing needs and roofing challenges for many years — including ice dam removal and ice dam prevention. So, bring in the roofing experts when it’s required by contacting our residential roofing services and business roofing services company today!

Be sure to also check out our other “winter safety” blog posts:

 

 

 

 

Plan Now to Avoid Singing The Power-Outage Blues This Winter

It’s been two days of strong winds and snow in the New England region, as we write this post, and a good reminder to all of us living in the Region, and particularly, those living on Boston’s South Shore or in some other New England coastal area, that we should always make sure we’re well-prepared for a power outage.  Unfortunately, this somewhat common winter power-outage circumstance can leave businesses and families without heat, electricity, and/or communication services for one or many days.

Most of us hardy New Englanders and those who live on Massachusetts’ Eastern coast know how un-fun and un-safe (particularly for the elderly, young children, and those who are ill) not having power in the late fall and winter can be. Homes and businesses can get cold really quickly in our colder temps, perishable food like meat and dairy can go bad, and one can easily trip or get physically hurt for other reasons when you can’t see your way around your house or office after the sun goes down. Why not avoid, or at least minimize, all the aforementioned possible unpleasant — and potentially dangerous — impacts of a winter storm power outage by taking the following preparation steps.

Steps to Prepare for a Power Outage:

I. Ideally, weeks before a winter storm may hit and knock out power in your area:

II. In the days leading up to a predicted winter storm:

  • Think like a camper — purchase candles, flashlights, and battery-operated lanterns if you don’t already own some, and be sure you have matches and the right-sized batteries on hand for the aforementioned items. You may also want to purchase a radio if you don’t have one, and have batteries on hand for it.
  • Go nuts — if you don’t already have a decent supply, stash up on high-protein packaged items like nuts, canned goods like tuna fish, and jarred food like peanut butter that don’t require heating, and therefore, a power source. You’ll also want a good supply on hand of other non-perishable items like crackers, and a loaf or two of bread that should stay fresh for a number of days.
  • Act like a thirsty person — keep an extra supply of bottled water on hand and ask those you live with not to drink it, so it’s there when you need it!
  • Go down the family member checklist — make sure that any needs related to a family members’ physical and emotional health challenges will be met during a storm time frame when roads may not be drive-able or pharmacies open. Be sure family members have a sufficient supply of any prescription or over-the-counter medications or other treatments they may need to maintain their health.
  • Seek out the warm, comfy, cozy stuff — to prevent having to do so in the dark, identify where you’ve stored any thick blankets, sweaters, and socks for yourself and family members and consider moving them to a more accessible place. For example, if your surplus of blankets is stored in a basement closet that would require you to go down a set of stairs in the dark during a power outage, why not move them upstairs for the winter?
  • Don’t forget furry family members — make sure you have plenty of food in the house for your pets, whether they be four-legged creatures or ones that swim in a bowl or tank.
  • Fill up your tank — speaking of tanks, in case you need to vacate your home or business (that is if roads and weather conditions make it safe to travel) to stay at a shelter like a school, a friend’s or family member’s home, or a hotel, make sure you have plenty of gas in your car. And, related to cars, be sure to purchase and keep a cell phone charger that works in your car should you need to recharge your phone and are able to make it safely to your car to do so.

We’re always here to chat with you about ways to keep your roof, home, business, and family warm & safe this winter, but be sure to also check out our other “winter safety” blog posts:

Act Now So That Ice Dams Don’t Dampen Your Holiday Spirit and Festivities!

Many home and business owners wait to call an expert, like us, until an ice dam forms and causes a lot of damage to their real estate property. When water damage associated with ice dams occurs, not only is it quite costly to remove and replace furniture, carpeting, wood floors and other home and commercial property furnishings, it can also really put an emotional and physical damper on the holidays – particularly, if such damage leads to families and guests being displaced from their home or becoming ill, celebrations being cancelled, and thoughtfully purchased gifts and sentimental decorations ruined.

If you’re like most home and business owners, in addition to investing in a nice home and/or business and holiday decorations and gifts, you’ve likely also invested in expensive TVs, computers, and other technology that would be costly to replace if they became water-damaged.

As we explained on our roof maintenance services page, ice dams form when temperatures on your winter roof become uneven. You can greatly minimize, and even eliminate, the occurrence of non-uniform roof temperature – and resulting ice dam formation – by:

  • Sealing off any areas in your home or business that allow warm air to travel from living or working spaces to your roof – in other words, you can cut off heat’s escape route.
  • Insulating your living and working areas so that heat does not enter or leave through your ceiling.
  • Ventilating the space between insulation and your home or commercial building so that any heat that has made its way through won’t continue its journey to your roof.

If you haven’t already addressed the above, take steps today to protect your most valuable assets – your family, your home, and your businesses. Keep them, and priceless items like holiday decorations that have been in your family forever, warm and dry. Contact us today for a complimentary discussion of how we can help you identify and execute the right steps for you to take related to your particular property’s situation. We’ll help you keep your family, home, and business safe this holiday season, so be sure to check this off your holiday “to do” list!