De-Icing Cables for Winter

Ice dams are created when melting snow on a roof doesn’t completely flow off into the gutters. When the temperature falls, the consequential ice blockage creates a dam that further slows down additional melting of the ice, enabling it to get beneath the roof’s shingles and infiltrate the protective top layer of your home. The reason ice dams form in the first place is the uneven heating from beneath. Warmth circulates in the attic because heat increases. This melts ice on the roof, which dribbles down toward the gutter, but then reaches the cold edges of the roof where it freezes again, forming ice dams.

The old-school way to solve the ice dam problem was with a shovel and a lot of dangerous manual labour. But with technological advancements, you can cross manual labour off the list. De-icing cables are the solution to your ice dam problems. De-icing cables are electrical cables connected to the roof of the house. They aren’t visually distracting and hence won’t make a dramatic change as many people expect them to. Before investing in de-icing cables, it is recommended that you are well-acquainted with the benefits and functionalities of de-icing cables.

 

The Benefits of De-Icing Cables:

When properly installed, roof de-icing cables work quite efficiently, although they don’t often make much of a graphic change. The cables don’t completely clear patches of snow, but rather melt the ice in close proximity around them, providing sufficient space for water to run off into your gutter. This is an important distinction: ice dams may still form but they won’t block the flow of further snow melt, and that’s what shields your roof.

De-icing cables are only designed for adequate snowmelt to avoid ice dams from building up. How much exposure your roof needs with de-icing cables hangs on the shape and slant of the roof and the spaces where ice dams form. The cables aren’t efficient in extremely low temperatures (–10°F and below). However, ice dams won’t form at such low temperatures, so it’s rarely an issue.

 

Cost:

The bright side of the high electrical bill is the probable savings when your roof isn’t infiltrated by an ice dam. If you’re stressed about an ice dam condition, then investing in appropriately installed heating cables has the potential to pay beneficial returns by shielding your roof and the home beneath it! It is also more preferred over manual labour that never provides a permanent solution to your ice dam problem.

 

Installing De-Icing Cables:

You’re right if you are wondering if installing de-icing cables isn’t something you can do on your own. It’s never an advisable idea to consider working on your roof, especially in winter. Aside from the safety issues, de-icing cables will only work wonders if installed correctly. These are electrical cables that need to be associated to your household electrical system and which will function in connection to water, and hence, it is highly recommended to entrust this job to a licensed electrician or professional who has experience with this type of service.

 

The Functions and Importance of Fascia and Soffit to Your Roofing

The soffit and fascia are some of the most integral yet underrated parts of roofing systems. This is because they don’t give the impression to be the components of a home that would play a key role in your roofing system’s performance. To clear that up, it’s important that you know what exactly about the roles of soffit and fascia.

 

Fascia:

The fascia is the portion of the roof that is used to make a barrier between the outside and the edge of the roof. Classically installed behind the gutters and underneath the roof line, the importance of the fascia to a well-constructed roof is undeniable. The fascia will frequently cover the entire structure and be connected either to the top of the exterior walls or to the rafter’s uncovered ends. It usually comprises from fibre-cement board, cedar, or aluminium.

 

Soffit:

Outspreading from the side of the structure to the edges of the eave, the soffit is the structure beneath the eave on the house’s exterior in order to seal the space underneath. Its design warrants that it is installed from the exterior walls to the fascia boards. It comprises of wood, sheet metal, or fibre-cement board. Since one of the many functions of a soffit is to aid in ventilating the attic, it usually features small holes which permit the air to cycle to the vents thereby drawing moisture and heat away.

 

Importance of Fascia and Soffit:

One of the reasons why your soffit and fascia are so significant is because they can give your home’s external an appeasing look, enhancing its aesthetic appeal. However, their importance goes outside this as they also avert your home from sustaining structural damage. They can achieve this by keeping pests from attacking your home and they can avoid moisture build-up that can consequence in mould growth and rotted rafters.

  • Offers air intake to naturally vent the attic and keep roof’s surface cool
  • Helps diminish energy consumption and costs, particularly in the summer
  • Also aids in extending the lifespan and dependability of shingles/roof materials
  • Covers gaps between the rafters/joists to avoid entry by rodents and insects
  • Guards against impairment to roof deck/frame and to the attic insulation

 

To fully make the most of the purpose of fascia and soffit in your roof, proper care and fitting is highly encouraged. This is specifically so if you have an old home that comprises of wooden fascia and soffit since wood and water do not go hand in hand. The good news, though, is that there are minimal maintenance fascia that are created either from aluminium or PVC with the former being popular and common. Contrarywise, most soffits are designed using vinyl which is highly effective in enduring the degradation caused by heat and moisture.

However, over a period of time, this aluminium type will also certainly necessitate recoating or a retouch. This is where quality coatings come in as they not only offer the essential shield, but sustain the colour trend of your fascia and soffit as well. Therefore, always reach out for expert and experienced professionals that can satisfactorily handle such a project for you.

Signs That You Need To Replace Your Roofing

A very common misconception among homeowners is that they think their roofing system is a semi-permanent feature and will last for very long. This cannot be more wrong, since the roof is probably the only part of the house that faces the most of nature’s wrath and therefore, is prone to damage. We do not mean to say that you should replace your roofing every two to three years, it is definitely sturdier than that, however, and it is a good idea to check up on the soffits and fascia boards from time to time to look for damages. Sometimes, these are ignored by homeowners until it becomes absolutely unbearable.

Here are some signs to look out for which may indicate that your roofing systems needs to be looked at.

  1. The paint is cracking and peeling off.

The soffit and fascia boards definitely add to the curb appeal of your home, and in case they are peeling off paint, it can result in a number of problems such as mold, water damage, and bug infestation and so on. If this happens, you should get the roofing checked by a professional and take immediate steps to prevent further damage.

  1. Leaking gutters.

If the gutters of your home start leaking or dipping even when the weather is dry, it might be due to build-up of leaves, twig and numerous kind of debris in the gutters. This can lead to a number of problems, since water accumulation will lead to mold, act as a breeding ground for mosquitoes and spread diseases, and damage the structural integrity of your home. You should definitely get your roofing checked in this case so that you later do not have to spend heavily on repairs.

  1. Roof rafters are damaged.

Water build-up can do significant damage to your house, especially to the roofing since parts of it are made using timber, which can be damaged or even be rotted away with excessive moisture absorption. In case your roof rafters are damaged, this is a clear indication that your soffit and fascia boards are faulty and are allowing water to leak inside. If this is not handled properly on time, this can damage your roofing completely and call for a complete replacement.

  1. Issues with ventilation.

Soffits and fascia boards help with maintaining the ventilation system in your home to allow clean air to come in and to keep the temperature inside your home favourable. If you notice any unusual symptoms with your ventilation, this might be a sign that your soffit and fascia boards are damaged, and cannot allow air circulation.

  1. An unusually high AC bill.

In the warmer months, if you get an unusually high AC bill, high enough to be concerning, it is a good idea to check the roofing. This is because your roof may hold excess heat which in turn makes your AC consume more energy and take longer to cool the interiors. This can be a sign of damaged soffit and fascia boards.

Your Home Maintenance Guide Post-Rains

When living in Toronto, you never know what a cloudy day brings along. A simple rain prediction can quickly convert into an astounding storm, and at the end, it is your house left alone to battle the powerful winds, damaging hail, flooding lighting strikes, and more. Hence, special care is required during and post heavy rains to prevent home damage and loss.

Here are a few tips to take care of your home in the monsoon season –

  1. Inspect the Roof

Your roofing is the first line of defence against inclement weather conditions, which is why it is usually in the most worn-out condition after storms. Excessive downpour often leaves behind cracks in the roof that can create a whole bunch of new problems.

There can be loose shingles, chimney damage, and broken vents causing moisture to seep in through the exterior walls gradually. Patches can also be seen as a result of water seepage.

So, to avoid these issues taking a bad turn, you must inspect your roof as the rain settles. Look out for signs of moisture and fix them at the earliest.

  1. Clear the Gutters

The beautiful view of rain is priceless to watch but it is disastrous for the health of your home. Gutters and downspouts quickly fill up with debris, dirt, and leaves, and prevent the water from flowing freely. This can soon cause water pooling and cause harm to the exterior parts of the building.

Water accumulation can further lead to mold problems and in winter, cause ice dams to build up, deteriorating the condition of your gutters.

Thus, to make things easier, use a gutter protection and carry out a thorough cleaning with professional help. If malfunctioned, invest in a new eavestrough system as soon as possible.

  1. Make Way for Air Ventilation

By shutting windows and doors during rains, there can be high moisture levels in your home, causing your indoors to smell musty and bad. That is because there hasn’t been enough sunlight inside your house and the flow of fresh breeze in the rooms.

The dark and damp conditions can make way for mold contamination, and you can soon develop skin allergies and breathing issues.

And while this can take a while to come to the surface, it is best to be proactive and cut down the humidity trapped in the home. Open windows and doors once a day and for the rest, use dehumidifiers.

  1. Trim and Clear the Branches

 

Tree branches and shrubs tend to grow quickly. If they aren’t manicured properly, they can be a huge nuisance to sidings, exterior walls, screens and windows in monsoon. They can be an open invitation to pest and insect problems and cause physical harm to you and your family.

Besides, there can be damaged leaves, and branches fall off, causing drain blockages and taking a severe toll on the health of your lawn.

That is why you must trim away the bushes from the sidings and attic and remove the dead branches whenever possible.

 

Rainwater Harvesting for Your Garden: Follow Easy Steps

If you have a beautiful backyard or a garden, maintaining it requires efforts. If you want to see your garden flourish with lush green grass and blooming flowers, you need to provide them with all the resources including fertile soil, exposure to the right number of natural elements, and water. However, some of the resources require money. You can expect a higher water bill when you have an entire garden to water every day. It is then when people think about rainwater harvesting.

 

Rainwater harvesting can help you cut cost on your water bills, and simultaneously, it is an excellent way of moving towards a sustainable environment. You might have read online or in several books regarding how people are indulged in installing rain barrels, recycling water and using it for various purposes. The thrifty idea of recycling water from precipitation has solved problems associated with the limit access to groundwater.

 

Coming back to rainwater harvesting, here are some easy steps to follow with most of the things present in your house required for the process.

 

Step1: Select a section of your roof- If you are looking for a catchment area for water to roll into your collection tub directly, you must consider the roof of your house. Choosing your roof will make you collect water immediately without setting up any other catchment area. All you need to do is, find the steeper side of your roof and designate the downspout for the accumulation of water that is installed on the steeper edge.

 

Step2: Look for a steep area where water collects naturally- Mostly people choose the site of their gutters for rainwater harvesting since the water from downspouts falls a few feet away from them. That place could be used to install rain barrels for collection of water. Besides, you are not limited to the gutters as you can go for choosing any natural shallow area around the foundation of your house.

 

Step3: Purchase a rain barrel- Rain barrels make the perfect choice for harvesting rainwater, especially for your garden. Make sure to install the rain barrel just below the downspout so that the rainwater directly pours into the rain barrel passing through the downspout. Remember to keep the opening narrow so that the critters like birds and small wild animals don’t litter the water inside.

 

Step4: Water storage must be closer to your garden- Since the barrels upon filling will become quite heavy to move, make sure they are near to the area where you wish to use the harvested water. It will be easy for you to drive water from the barrel to your garden if it is placed near to it.

 

Step5: Filter the harvested rainwater if you want- Filtered and stored rainwater can be used for drinking purposes too. If you wish to filter the rainwater, you can use a mesh to screen the water or other filtration methods. Doing so will filter the germs, bacteria and other sorts of microorganisms in the rainwater. So, harvest rainwater to make the most of natural resources and cut down your energy bills.

 

Why Is Siding Important

Siding is very essential and has a dedicated purpose to serve when it comes to your home. It acts as a shield and protects your home under all circumstances and harsh weather conditions. Moisture is one of the biggest concerns since it induces certain damages in your home. In case the insulation gets trapped in between the walls then it might cause mold and mildew to grow.

Siding plays an important role in keeping water and debris away from your home and it doesn’t allow insulation to build up thereby reducing the chances of moisture making its way into your house and causing damages. Basically siding protects the foundation and other exteriors of your home. Majorly during rain, snow, wind and other such weather conditions siding provides total protection and reduces the chances of damages.

In addition to all of that, siding adds to the beauty of your home. Since it is installed on the exteriors and covers the outside of your house, they play a very important role in enhancing the beauty of it. Different types of sidings are available in the market including vinyl, aluminum, etc and each of them have their own significance. Depending on your preferences, living and budget, you can select the material of siding accordingly.

Below are reasons as to why siding is important :

Stops water from entering your home :

  • Siding acts as a shield against water and stops it from entering your home. No doubt roofs, gutters and foundations act as strong barriers against water but siding also plays a very important role in preventing water damages.
  • If moisture leads its way into your home then it can completely damage or even destroy your home interiors. It can damage your doors, windows and affect the foundation of your home. In addition to that excessive moisture can also lead to growth of mold in your house. Siding stops moisture from making its way into your home and waterproofs it as well, thereby increasing the life of your home.

 

Ceases pest infestation :

  • Along with keeping moisture and water away from your home, siding also ceases the entry of pests into your home. Nowadays siding materials are designed in a way to last long that too with minimum amount of effort and maintenance.
  • Pests can’t make their way inside your home without cracks and warping. In addition to that if you want an effective treatment against pests then choose a good quality siding material. Poor quality siding can allow moisture to form a way in your house thereby making an easy pathway for pests as well.

 

Prevents all sorts of damages :

  • Siding prevents all sorts of damages. It acts as a safety shield and protects your home under all weather conditions such as rains, strong winds and extreme heat. Siding is very essential for the health and well-being of our homes. Poor quality siding can worsen the effect and increase the possibility of damages. Whereas good quality siding will provide total protection and prevent damages.

Why Install De-Icing Cables this Winter?

 

If you reside in the region which is prone to heavy snowfall and winters, there is a wide chance of witnessing ice dams over your roof. Even if the roof of your house is slanting, the ice tends to freeze over it. Do you wonder why and how? That usually happens when the melting ice doesn’t entirely flow into the gutters through roof and downspouts. As the temperature drops, the resulting ice blockage creates a dam that further resists the melting ice from flowing.

 

The ice does not only cause a nuisance but also results in damages of roof coverings, gutters and downspouts. The melted pool on the roof can leak into the building leading to the dampness of walls and ceilings, form icicles over ice-filled gutters and so on. The interior damage by the leaky ice water can result in expensive repairs or maybe reconstruction.

 

The old school way to deal with ice dams is, shovels and other ice eliminating tools, but using them can be dangerous if you are not a pro. However, with modern equipment and options like roof de-icing cables, you can get rid of the roof ice dams easily and effectively.

 

What are the De-icing Cables?

 

De-icing cables are installed by the edges of the roof. They do not keep the snow away from the roof; instead, these wires generate heat that melts the falling ice, prevents it from freezing further and creates a path for the snow to fall directly into the gutters and downspouts.

 

The reason for installing de-icing cables near the edges is as the ice dam begins to melt because of the low temperature, the melted ice refreezes near the sides of the roof, creating a thick barrier of ice along the edges of the roof. It is because of this reason that de-icing cables are fastened into position over the eaves (inside gutters sometimes) so that the heat from the wires can melt the thick layer of ice.

 

It is prudent to minimize your vulnerability by using affordable and most direct easy-to-install de-icing cables that can offer adequate protection where you cannot turn the weather conditions. Made to resist the exposure to weather conditions like storm, heat, sunlight and ice, de-icing cables provide long term dam ice prevention.

 

The Benefits Over Utility Costs-

 

Being a homeowner and running a home means paying daily bills which might make you think that installing de-icing cables means adding to the electricity bill. Many homeowners believe that they are simply driving up the cost of their electricity bill whereas these cables are only used during winters.

 

I would like to ask them to think otherwise- Would you rather like to pay for the damaged roof, for changing the roof drainage system or remodelling the walls of the house caused by ice dams? The constant repair work will cost you more than the little increment on your electricity bill. Save your home this winter by investing in de-ice cables and sit back stress-free.

 

Five Crucial Things to Discuss with Your Vinyl Siding Installer

Choosing to install a siding for your home is not something that should be taken lightly. Upgrading to new siding is a huge decision as you have to encounter significant expenses and a pretty long construction process. In short, there is just too much stress involved, and without the right kind of contractor on board, it is sure to increase.

Vinyl siding installation can get messy real quick and has to be executed perfectly in the very first time. So, to ensure that you get quality services that satisfy your needs and offer you worry-free experience, the following is a list of things to discuss with your potential contractor –

  1. Experience and Expertise

Every work, whether or not it is related to home improvement, requires a sufficient amount of experience and skills. And fortunately, most of the siding installers you find in Toronto have a decent experience in the industry, making them fit and knowledgeable enough to handle the challenges faced in all kinds of siding jobs.

So, when you are going through a siding contractor’s details, ensure that they have adequate work experience and know clearly as to what they are doing.

  1. Siding Brand and Material

It is vital to ask about various vinyl siding brands and other materials your contractor offers to the clients. That will give you a surety that the installer is using the best brand/product on the market, built to last for the longest time and resist all the extreme weather conditions.

So, discuss with your contractors about the vinyl siding brands they use and if they are properly trained and certified to install them.

  1. Subcontractor Involvement

Many contractors outsource their projects to third parties to gain better efficiency and reduced costs. And while there is not much of an issue here, it may not be a good thing for homeowners who have contacted a company for its trustworthiness.

Hence, it is best to hire a contractor who has a full-time team to complete the work. That way, you know who you are dealing with and avoid total strangers to step into your property.

  1. License and Insurance Coverage

Several state authorities require siding installers to hold a specific kind of license to operate within the community and take up big projects. These licenses are evidence of their familiarity with the building codes, which if they fail to comply, saves you from all sorts of legal troubles.

Similar is the case of workers compensation insurance where you are safeguarded against every liability that may arise as a result of an accident or mishap on your property. Thus, find the contractors that carry insurance and offer full liability insurance coverage.

  1. Past Referrals

The most assuring way to know if you are dealing with a reliable siding contractor is to ask for references. Doing that can help you draw a clear picture of the contractor’s workmanship and his quality of customer service.

Ideally, you should ask for at least four to five referrals and contact any of them randomly to get an idea about the installer’s actual reputation.

Four Major Reasons to Invest in Quality Window Shutters

Exterior window shutters have been a prominent and highly-functional feature of homes and provincial buildings since the early ages. With an ability to redefine the entire aesthetics of the property, window shutters are used by the people as a protection against bad weather and to maintain the privacy of their premises.

Shutters come in distinct designs and styles. Some of the most common ones you will come across are – louvered shutters, raised panel shutters, board-and-batten shutters plantation shutters, cafe style shutters, and cut-out shutters. These unique styles are available in vinyl, aluminum, fiberglass, composite, and faux wood with each having a different installation method and pros and cons. Hence, you need to do a proper evaluation before making your final call.

As a homeowner, you should always look out for smart ways to improve your home. And, window shutters are indeed an incredible choice to fulfill that purpose. Following are the key reasons to convince our readers to install high-quality exterior window shutters in their homes today:

To Enhance the Curb’s Appeal

People always want to improve the looks of their property but the decorative options available in the market are at times not in their price range. However, by using indoor or outdoor shutters, you can add an attractive element to your house without having to spend a lot.

You can easily find affordable shutter material options and transform your old and plain house exteriors into a gem.

To Ensure Privacy

Shutters are known to give a classic touch to every property. They have been around for long and are the perfect epitome of beauty and elegance. Besides, they are a viable solution for house areas facing a public space to ensure that there are no prying eyes.

The best part is that you can open these shutters at an angle to allow a good flow of sunlight and fresh air and don’t even have to compromise on your privacy.

To Improve Energy Efficiency

With increasing rate of global warming, there is an urgent need to create an eco-friendly planet. And the first step towards it is to embrace energy-efficient solutions. But since most of the energy-efficient technologies are on an expensive end, you can resort to window shutters as a cheaper alternative.

By fitting your windows with shutters, you can enjoy a sufficient amount of natural lighting in your home and save your light consumption and energy bills.

To Regulate Temperature

Window shutters act as an effective layer of insulation and manage the thermal temperature of your home pretty well. Whether it is about keeping the house cool during summers or trapping the warm air during the cold days, you can successfully regulate the indoor environment without any hassle.

You can even use these shutters as noise barriers if your neighbor decides to throw a party or there is too much traffic in your street.

What Are The Causes Of Leaky Gutters?

Many people overlook the importance of gutters at their homes, but let me tell you, gutters play a valuable role as they protect your home from dampness, garden erosion and damaged foundations. And if they begin to leak, they can’t serve the purpose they are meant for. There can be many reasons for leaky gutters, and only gutter professionals can find the right cause. So, it is imperative to hire a gutter repair company at the earliest to fix the issue.

 

Now, let us learn what the possible causes of leaky gutters are.

 

  1. Clogs – Clogs are one of the most common causes of leaky gutters in residential as well as commercial rain gutter systems. If you are not in the habit of cleaning them regularly, they can fill with leaves and debris in a short time. All the waste accumulated in the gutters block them and leads to overflowing. This issue can easily be prevented by investing your time and money in rain gutter maintenance at least twice a year. Additionally, experts suggest getting the gutters cleaned after a rainstorm to ascertain that everything is working well.

 

  1. Improperly sloped gutters – For effective functioning, gutters require a gentle slope. It is because water run down the slope to the downspout. In case the slope is not set properly, water can pool in the gutter. With time, gutters corrode and get rusted, that gradually causes leaky gutters. So, make sure that the gutters at your place are installed with a downward slope that let water to flow easily towards the downspouts. Anyhow, if you are unable to judge the slope, it is recommended to contact a gutter repair contractor as they can check as well adjust it as required.

 

  1. Loose gutters – Several times, loose gutters are the reason behind the leakage. Rain gutters are fastened to the fascia board, and with time they sag because of the weight of rainwater and debris collected in the gutters. The rainwater then seeps through the loose joints that make your gutters leaky. If you want to get rid of this problem, then the only way out is to hire a gutter repair expert who can efficiently fasten the gutter hangers to the fascia board and make sure that all the repairing is done correctly.

 

  1. Cracks and holes – Even the strongest material can develop small holes and cracks because of weathering. Initially, this causes minor leaks, but if not paid attention, they can turn into a major problem with time. So, if you want to detect any tiniest and invisible crack, then pour water into the gutter and note if water leaks out or not. If you find even a small spot on your gutter, consider taking the help of a professional.