Intro to “Behind the Scenes” Blog Series

Deep granite shakes and Board and Batten siding with Natural Slate siding, white trim and black roof in Savoy IL

The brands a contractor uses should not be an arbitrary decision. Any product that’s new to the construction industry is not offered immediately by Carlson Exteriors Inc. We wait and watch for a few things:

  • Does the product do what it claims to do- without fail!
  • Are there warranty issues? If there are, how does the manufacturer handle it?
  • Does the manufacturer provide adequate training for contractors?
  • Is the product a safe bet for homeowners?

Why Am I Telling You This?

Carlson Exteriors Inc. spends a long time debating and researching a product before we ever think about adding it to our exterior services. Our siding carries purpose. Our shingles have a backbone. Our gutters will never let you down. We always insist that every product performs perfectly – zero exceptions.  It’s worth talking about – so we will! With our ‘Behind the Scenes’ blog series, we will go over products Carlson Exteriors has chosen to use and why. We will discuss our relationships with siding, roofing, gutters, and garage door companies, we’ll talk with manufacturers directly, and we’ll show you, the homeowner, how you fit into the grand equation.

 

 

If you are interested in reading these articles, search “Behind the Scenes” on our website. It will show you all the articles that have been released.

Love the Wood Look? Hate the Wood Maintenance?

DaVinci makes a polymer shake product that looks like real cedar shakes

You are not alone! Thankfully there are many home exterior products out there to satisfy your desires. Let’s celebrate those products by taking a closer look.

 

Garage Doors

If refinishing your garage door every couple of years has kept you from purchasing a wooden garage door, CHI Accents line has come to your rescue. While these overhead garage doors look like real wood (even close up) they are metal doors made to look like wood. No maintenance at all! They over many styles and five different wood colors.

Click here to build your faux wood garage door online

Click here to look at CHI Accent Product Guide

Wooden Shakes or Wooden Shaker Style Siding

Most people know that vinyl shakes come in a variety of colors but few seem to realize that vinyl can mimic natural wood if the homeowner so desires. Vinyl Manufacturers have started to variate colors on a single shake panel to really recreate cedar siding.

Cedar Siding

There are a few hard board sidings out there that do a fantastic job of looking like real wood siding. Some require more maintenance than others. These hard board sidings are LP Smartside, James Hardie Fiber Cement Siding, and Royal Celect Siding. Check out our earlier blog series on Comparing Hard Board Siding by click here to learn about them.

If hard board siding breaks the budget, consider a variegated vinyl siding panel. Mastic Quest siding has six colors that resemble cedar. The Gualazzi’s thought it was a good choice for them after deciding their current cedar siding was not working for them. Check out that amazing decision by clicking here.

Wood Shake Roof

There are a couple of companies out there that make a wood shake roofing product that’s made of a polymer blend. Two top these companies are DaVinci Roofscapes and Inspire Roofing Products. While these products will be close to the same price point as real wooden shakes, there is absolutely no maintenance with a polymer blend shake. These shakes may look slick but are easy to walk on (so you can hang Christmas lights!). They are considered “self-healing” shakes, which means if they get scuffed or scratched the sun will heat up the polymer and erase the scratch.

 

Want to talk more about one of these? Interested in a wood-look product not mentioned? Give Carlson Exteriors a shout.

Genflex Rubber Roof Training Day

Carlson Exteriors Inc. Roofing Crew had an in house training day with Genflex. They learned how to install rubber roofing materials around bump outs, corners, properly overlapping seams, knowing how to patch holes the right way, and the correct way to apply adhesive.

Click here to visit Genflex’s website

Understanding Roof Underlayment

When replacing your roof, it’s very easy to get caught up in shingle color and brand. Before you rush into that, make sure your contractor is not skimping on the underlayment. Not all underlayment is created equal. Not all contractors install underlayment in the same locations.

Carlson Exteriors uses Winterguard, CertainTeed’s brand of ice and water barrier. Per city code this barrier is placed at all valleys and at the eaves.  However, there are locations this barrier should be applied that are not required by city code. These locations are all roof penetrations (such as vents or furnace flues), around chimneys, skylights, and anywhere a roof line meets a siding wall. These joining areas are first susceptible to leaks if your home is not sealed correctly by using a ice and water barrier. Many manufacturers require these additional areas to have an ice and water barrier applied to qualify for the roof or shingle warranty.

An Ice and Water Barrier (like Winterguard) should be applied around pipes, around chimneys, skylights, and anywhere a roof meets a siding wall
An Ice and Water Barrier (like Winterguard) should be applied around pipes, around chimneys, skylights, and anywhere a roof meets a siding wall

 

Make sure your contractor is not using a 15lb or 30lb felt. This used to be contractor’s only option but the roofing industry has evolved into synthetic felts. The old felt would tear easily and gave no traction to installers. If your home has the old felt under your shingles, if any shingles would blow off your flimsy felt would be left exposed. If exposed for too long, it will rip leaving your OSB to fend for itself. Synthetic felt eliminates this problem. Synthetic felt is extremely durable and resistant to ripping or tearing. Installers also prefer it when installing because it’s easier to work on.

When you meet with a contractor, remember more than the shingles are working to protect your home from roof leaks or ice dams. The whole roofing system, combined together, protects your home.

Clay Tile Roof Repairs

broken roof clay tiles

Are you one of the lucky people that live in a home with a clay tile roof? Who do you turn to when you need a repair or even a simple inspection? Not a lot of contractors in the Bloomington/Normal area work on clay tile roofs anymore.

Carlson Exteriors is one of the only contractors in the area that will repair and inspect clay tile roofs!

tall tan brick building with red clay tiles
Clay tile roof repair in Bloomington IL performed after a storm.

The Preferred Shingle for Home Insurance

CertainTeed+NorthGate+-+Anchorage+Shingle+Roofing+Contractor

We are proud to introduce the Northgate Shingle by CertainTeed. It’s the shingle your insurance company wants you to have! So…. why is this shingle one of the best on the market? The biggest reason is the Northgate shingle has a Class 4 Impact/Hail rating. This is the highest rating possible! Most insurance companies offer a discount when you tell them you had these put on your roof.

Other reasons to make the Northgate your favorite shingle are:

  • Better gradual retention. This is critical to protect the asphalt against UV breakdown. Once your granules fall off, your shingle will fail.
  • Higher tear strength compared to standard shingles. This means the shingles can stand up against very strong winds
  • Has stronger nail pull through resistance- AKA if your installer has the pressure too high on the nail gun, the nail head could go all the way through your shingle.
  • This shingle has been modified to resist cracking and shrinking in both hot and cold temperatures. Your roofers can install in zero degree weather without having shingle shrinkage issues.
  • The Northgate shingle still qualifies for the 50 year non-prorated Unconditional Roof warranty Carlson Exteriors offers for free.

 

Click here to see CertainTeed’s brochure on Northgates.

Early Signs of Roof Failure

roof with loose shingles

As the snow and ice melt off your roof, it’s a good time to see if your roof sustained any stress or damage from the winter.

  1. Brown Spotting or Tea Staining on your ceiling. This is the easiest way for you to catch a small leak early. The spot might not drip or be wet to the touch but it’s a sign of a leak and will be worth having check out. If you know the leak has been fixed and want to get rid of the stain, use a stain-blocking primer like Kilz or Bullseye first then use your regular ceiling paint. Without the stain blocker primer the brown spot will come through the ceiling paint, even if the leak has been fixed.

    brown spot on ceiling tea stain on ceiling
    A tea stain or brown spotting on ceiling is an indicator of roof leak
  2. Missing Shingles. If you can see your roof in it’s entirety you will still know if you are missing shingles by finding pieces in your yard. Shingles lose adhesive strength as it ages. Drastic temperature changes are hard on the shingle bonding strip. After this is weakened, wind easily blows off your shingles leaving you exposed.

    roof with loose shingles
    Over time weaker shingle lose adhesive bond strength and may blow off easier
  3. Curled or Cracked shingles. Over time asphalt shingles dry out and become brittle and fragile. Frail shingles are no defense against environmental dangers (like hail) and need attention sooner rather than later. It’s easier to see curled shingles from the ground – the edges are often described as looking like a potato chip. Cracked shingles may only be visible while standing on the roof.

     

  4. Cracked or Damaged Pipe Flashing. Pipe flashing wear out quicker than the rest of your roof. It’s an easy fix in terms of roof repairs but may be harder for the average homeowner to see. The only way to inspect pipe flashing conditions is from being on the roof. Often it’s just best to call a local contractor that you trust to come over and inspect!

    cracked pipe boot flashing
    Cracked pipe boot flashing causes leaks

You might want to check out our short video by Project Manager Nick Coyle on why your 30-year shingle won’t last 30 years.

Leaking Roof? Could Be an Easy Fix

Have you noticed a wet or tea-stained ceiling? It could be from a bad or old pipe flashings. The usual life span of a pipe flashing is 10-15 years but depends on your region’s weather conditions. If you keep an eye on all of your pipe flashings it could save you hundreds of dollars repairing any interior damage that can occur from a leak. Look for any signs of extreme age, deterioration, or cracking. Watch the video to see how easy it is to replace your own pipe flashing!

 

Take Notice of Roof Conditions: Post Winter

Winter can be brutal on roofs, especially if the shingles are nearing the end of their life. While this past Central Illinois winter has not been as rough as previous years, the cold, wind, and ice build up could have caused some major roof damage that has yet to be seen. Some roof leaks can take a while to become noticeable on the inside; while if caught sooner, less damage will have been done to your home’s interior. Carlson Exteriors is announcing their services for a free inspection of roofs. These inspections include a quality control check of your roof to identify any problematic damage accrued this winter, any sections that look worrisome but do not need immediate attention, and the estimated life expectancy of your roof. If any shingles require immediate attention, Carlson Exteriors will also provide a free estimate for the repairs. The professionals work with many types of roofing material to provide a durable and high quality replacement or repair.