Show All
Show Answers
Show Open Questions
Show Most Popular

Fick Bros. Roofing & Exterior Remodeling Company

Feb 17, 2014

You may be asking yourself, “What can I expect my roof to look like as this aging
process takes place?” One or more of the following conditions may occur over time:
Curling: As the asphalt hardens over time, the granules which were once securely
embedded begin to break away. Occasionally you may have seen the colored
granules in your gutters. Also, as this hardening advances, the asphalt layers begin
to shrink. Of course, all of this is occurring at a microscopic level and is not
something which will be noticeable on a daily basis. As the asphalt layer shrinks,
it is being countered by the shingle reinforcement, which resists shrinking. We
now have a situation in which the top and bottom coatings are shrinking and the
reinforcement is remaining stable. As a result, the edges of the shingle may begin
to curl over time. In addition, organic shingles may exhibit signs of curling which
might be considered excessive, however, this is not a manufacturing defect and
would be considered part of the normal weathering process of organic shingles.
Surface Cracking: Another manifestation of the normal aging process may
be the development of surface cracks. For example, as the flexibilizing oils of the
asphalt are depleted due to heat, the shingle becomes more brittle, to the point
where surface cracking may appear. The stresses created by thermal shock and
the movement of the roof deck also increase the likelihood of surface cracking.
Blisters: During the course of natural weathering, small bubble-like raised
areas known as blisters may appear on the surface of the shingles. The blisters
may be small and pea-sized or as large as a quarter. The blisters may be open,
exposing the asphalt, or closed. Blisters frequently result when minimum ventilation
requirements are not met.
Staining: Finally, over a period of time, shingles may develop dark brown or
black streaks that are sometimes mistaken for soot, dirt, moss or tree droppings.
In actuality, this discoloration may be caused by algae growth. Although most
roofing systems are susceptible to algae discoloration, it is most readily visible
on white or light-colored shingles.

Robert Lehr asked:

Nov 10, 2014

Many homeowners are looking for a miracle product that will free them from ever having to clean their gutters again.  Some companies are actually claiming they have this miracle product! There are some good gutter cover designs; however, every gutter guard system we have tested (and we have tested a lot of them!) has pluses and minuses.

You may have seen a demonstration at a local home show or in the mall. They look great… the water rolls around the edge of the gutter cover and into the gutter; but do they work in the real world?  To some degree yes, but none of them are perfect and none of them will prevent you from ever having to clean your gutters again!

There are over 70 gutterprotection products in the U.S. and over 150 companies selling these systems. Every company says that they are the best and that you will never have to clean your gutters again…. if a representative from any gutter guard company in the world makes such a claim, RUN FAST!  There is no such thing as a maintenance free gutter guard!!!!

 The most popular gutter guard systems today are:

  • Open Cell Polyurethane Insert – this is specially shaped and cut to fit snugly into your gutter. Most manufacturers warranty the product to last 25 years.
  • Micro Mesh Gutter Guards - this design combines an aluminum body and structural membrane with an integral medical grade stainless steel mesh to filter out debris. 
  • Metal Gutter Cover – this design relies on the principle that water clings to the surface on which it travels. The idea is that the ‘surface tension’ causes the water to cling to the gutter cover’s rounded ‘nose’. The water follows the curve of the nose and is deposited in the gutter below. The leaves and debris, on the other hand, are not supposed to follow the curve. They should remain on the flat surface and blow harmlessly to the ground once they dry out. 

Most of the products do a good job of preventing full sized leaves from entering your gutters. That is a simple task. However, many of the gutter cover products fail to stop tiny tree flower buds, seed pods and evergreen needles from entering or clogging the gutters.  And none of them are maintenance free… every gutter guard system will require cleaning regardles of their claims!!!

Gutter Cleaning may be a cheaper and better solution…

Gutter guards are not cheap! Depending on the type of gutter guard they run anywhere from $8 to $20 per lineal foot installed. An average house may have 100 feet of gutter; some houses have even more. Most homes’ gutter systems can be cleaned by a professional in an hour or so… you can do the math!

Gutter cleaning, as you well know, is not just a Fall activity. Many trees in the Baltimore area shed debris throughout the seasons.  Over time, clogged gutters can do serious damage to a home.  Usually, fascia, eaves, and foundation areas suffer first.  Paint peels and insects invade.  In some cases, rainwater can enter an exterior wall through eaves.  Prolonged exposure to a clogged gutter system will also render rafter end and roof sheathing vulnerable to rot.  Repairs become expensive.  It is not uncommon for some homes to need cleaning four times a year.

Oct 10, 2014

Over a period of time, shingles may develop dark brown or black streaks that are sometimes mistaken for soot, dirt, moss or tree droppings.  In actuality, this discoloration may be caused by algae growth. Although most
roofing systems are susceptible to algae discoloration, it is most readily visible on white or light-colored shingles.
Today many  of the newer asphalt shingles have an Algae Resistant granular system that guards against roof algae. The system uses copper roofing granules from 3M to prevent algae growth‚ protecting the roof and preserving the home’s be auty.  Here is a link to a good explanation....  http://roofpedia.com/algae-resistant-roof-shingles/ 

Kay Liunas asked:

Jul 10, 2015

Sorry to hear of your troubles.I would first start with calling the company; they might not know that the installation was not done correctly.Given the opportunity most contractors will correct the mistake.If that does not work then I would call the local Better Business Bureau. Also most states have a home improvement regulatory commission of some fashion. In our state, Maryland, contractors must be licensed by the Maryland Home Improvement Commission.Dissatisfied homeowners can file a complaint to the commission for unsatisfactory work.

As with everything the BUYER MUST BEWARE. It is you the homeowners responsibility to do your homework BEFORE you buy. The home improvement industry is full of smooth talking salesmen that promise the world. Hire contractors that have a long history of reliable service. They usually are not the cheapest contractor in town; but high quality reliable service does not come cheap. In the long run they will be your cheapest option... considering the fact that now you have to do the same job twice!

Alex Graham asked:

Feb 17, 2014
Attic Insulation

Are your heating & cooling bills going through the roof? Did you know that up to 40% of a home’s conditioned air escapes through the attic? Adding attic insulation is the most effective thing you can do to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Sep 20, 2014

Many of the EIFS issues we see are related to improper flashing, etc.  These types of issues can be repaired by removing EIFS in affect area installing PROPER flashing as patching EIFS.  Done by a professional craftsman the repair can be seamless.

You can also remove all of the EIFS and install any kind of material to the house.

donald wong asked:

May 20, 2014

After years of installing thousands of feet of EVERY type of gutter guard on the market our conclusion is none!

Annual or semi-annual gutter cleaning is the best and most economical solution.

Many homeowners are looking for a miracle product that will free them from ever having to clean their gutters again. Some companies are actually claiming they have this miracle product! There are some good gutter cover designs; however, every gutter guard system we have tested (and we have tested a lot of them!) has pluses and minuses.

You may have seen a demonstration at a local home show or in the mall. They look great… the water rolls around the edge of the gutter cover and into the gutter; but do they work in the real world? To some degree yes, but none of them are perfect and none of them will prevent you from ever having to clean your gutters again!

There are over 70 gutter protection products in the U.S. and over 150 companies selling these systems. Every company says that they are the best and that you will never have to clean your gutters again…. if a representative from any gutter guard company in the world makes such a claim, RUN FAST! There is no such thing as a maintenance free gutter guard!!!!

Most of the products do a good job of preventing full sized leaves from entering your gutters. That is a simple task. However, many of the gutter cover products fail to stop tiny tree flower buds, seed pods and evergreen needles from entering or clogging the gutters. And none of them are maintenance free… every gutter guard system will require cleaning regardles of their claims!!!

Gutter guards are not cheap! Depending on the type of gutter guard they run anywhere from $8 to $20 per lineal foot installed. An average house may have 100 feet of gutter; some houses have even more. Most homes’ gutter systems can be cleaned by a professional in an hour or so… you can do the math!

Gutter Cleaning is a cheaper and better solution…

Gutter cleaning, as you well know, is not just a Fall activity. Many trees in the Baltimore area shed debris throughout the seasons. Over time, clogged gutters can do serious damage to a home. Usually, fascia, eaves, and foundation areas suffer first. Paint peels and insects invade. In some cases, rainwater can enter an exterior wall through eaves. Prolonged exposure to a clogged gutter system will also render rafter end and roof sheathing vulnerable to rot. Repairs become expensive. It is not uncommon for some homes to need cleaning four times a year. Gutter cleaning is a very dangerous job. Hire a professional.

Feb 17, 2014

There are two options available for reroofing installations. One would be to tear off the old roof before applying the new one (tear off). The second would be to lay new shingles over the existing roof (lay over). While the second choice is the less expensive of the two options, it is not necessarily always the best choice.
There are advantages to tearing off the old roof before installing a new one. For example:

• If there are any defects in the roof deck, they will be revealed when the roof is torn off. These defects should be repaired before applying the new roof.

• If condensation problems exist in the attic, they too will be revealed when the roof is torn off.
Properly designed attic ventilation can then be installed in order to help eliminate such problems.

• When the old roof is torn off, waterproofing shingle underlayment can be installed before applying the  new roof. This will help protect against leaks created by cyclical ice damage and wind-driven rain.

• Tearing off the old roof and starting with a clean deck before reroofing may result in a smoother finished roof system. Although there is added cost to these advantages, each lessens the likelihood that the validity of the manufacturer’s shingle warranty will be impaired. If the old roof is torn off, your contractor should be responsible for the cleanup and disposal of the old shingles, but make sure your contract states this clearly.

If you do plan to reroof over existing shingles, first check if your local building codes limit the number of roof layers that can be applied to a residence in your area. Most restrict maximum to 2 layers. Your contractor should know the pertinent code requirements.

Feb 17, 2014

If you can get into your attic you should be able to see evidence of leaks. Look for staining and/or rotting wood at walls and penetrations.

Alex Graham asked:

Feb 17, 2014

The biggest mistake you can make is to focus on price.  Interview people that have had a custom home built. Ask them, "what would you do different?".... there is your answer of what mistakes to avoid!

Are you a building professional?

Why not answer these questions like a pro?

Sign up free