5 Steps to Follow When Cleaning Gutters

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Cleaning gutters is an essential maintenance task to protect your home from water damage and ensure proper drainage. But how do you start? Follow these five steps, and you’ll always be ahead of the game when it comes to cleaning your gutters.

Secure the Necessary Tools and Safety Equipment

Before you begin cleaning your gutters, gather the required tools, including a sturdy ladder, work gloves, a trowel or scoop, a bucket or tarp to collect debris, and a garden hose with a spray nozzle. Ensure that the ladder is in good condition and placed on stable ground. 

Safely Access the Gutters

Set up the ladder near the section of the gutter you plan to start cleaning. Make sure the ladder is secure and stable. Consider having a spotter or using ladder stabilizers for added safety. Always maintain three points of contact on the ladder, such as two feet and one hand, while ascending and working on it. Enlist someone to help if safety’s a concern, or contact a professional roofing contractor to get the job done easily. 

Remove Debris

Use a trowel or scoop to remove leaves, twigs, and other debris from the gutter channels. Start at a downspout and work your way along the gutter length. Place the debris in a bucket or on a tarp to avoid creating a mess on the ground or damaging your landscaping. That also ensures quick and easy cleanup. 

Clear Clogs and Downspouts

Blocked or clogged gutters are common year-round. If you encounter any clogs or blockages, use the trowel or scoop to dislodge the debris. You can also flush the gutters with water using a garden hose with a spray nozzle to clear out smaller obstructions. Check the downspouts for blockages and use a plumber’s snake or a pressure washer if necessary to remove any debris. If the clog still doesn’t budge, it may be time to call in the pros. 

Rinse Gutters and Check for Leaks

Once the gutters are clear of debris and any clogs are removed, use the garden hose to rinse the gutters. Start from the far end opposite the downspout and work your way towards it. This step helps ensure proper water flow and allows you to check for any leaks or damaged sections of the gutter system. If you notice leaks, make a note to repair or replace the affected areas.

Many people opt to check and clean their gutters only once a year, and that’s where trouble starts. It’s important to clean your gutters at least twice a year, typically in the spring and fall, or more frequently if you have trees near your home that shed leaves and debris. Regular maintenance will help prevent water damage, mold growth, and other issues caused by clogged gutters. If you’re uncomfortable with heights or unsure about performing the task, there’s absolutely no shame in hiring a professional gutter cleaning service. In fact, it could save your home and sanity. Contact us today to talk to a professional roofing contractor to ensure the job is done safely and effectively. 

Benefits of Attic Insulation

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An attic can be a great bonus or focal point when buying or selling a home. The extra space, potential living space, and aesthetic value can easily transform a simple house into a real home. But unless it’s properly insulated, you could also expect future headaches. Attic insulation can provide a range of benefits. But what are they? 

Energy Savings

According to the Energy Information Administration, projected electrical costs nationwide are expected to rise slowly over the next several years. However, utility costs rose a whopping 14.3% between 2021 and 2022. That’s double the amount of inflation. Any type of consistent cost-reduction effort can lead to significant savings. Insulating your attic can help reduce the heat that escapes from your home during the winter, and keep your home cooler in the summer, which can easily lower your heating and cooling bills.

Increased Comfort

If your home is drafty or regularly fluctuates in temperature, it could be due to the need for proper insulation in your attic. Heat rises, and it can easily escape through an uninsulated room or attic. By reducing heat transfer, insulation can help keep your home at a more consistent temperature, eliminating hot and cold spots and improving overall comfort. While cool air doesn’t rise as significantly, it can still escape if insulation isn’t intact. 

Reduced Noise

Unless you live in the middle of the woods in complete silence, chances are outdoor noises have bothered someone in your home. Traffic, road construction, line workers, airplanes, and even neighbors playing music or hosting seasonal barbecues can affect you inside your own home. Insulation can also help reduce outside noise by absorbing those sound waves, making your home quieter and more peaceful.

Extended Roof Life

Winter in the Midwest is especially rough on homes. The weight of accumulated snow can cause materials to shift and bow, but the snow alone isn’t the worst part–it’s the ice. As the snow melts and re-accumulates, the water thaws and refreezes. Without proper insulation and roof repairs, that water can seep beneath your external materials. That ice then forms and expands inside your home. Once the ice melts, guess where it drips and collects? Inside your home. That can lead to all sorts of other problems, including decay, pests, and mold. Insulation helps regulate the temperature in your attic, which can prevent ice dams from forming on your roof during the winter, reducing the risk of roof damage.

Better Indoor Air Quality

According to the EPA, Americans spend approximately 90% of their time indoors. And indoor air pollution can be up to 5 times worse than outdoor pollution concentrations. Insulation can help prevent moisture buildup in your attic, which can reduce the risk of mold and mildew growth and improve indoor air quality.

Environmentally friendly insulation doesn’t just reduce energy costs. Insulating your home is an environmentally friendly choice as it reduces the amount of energy required to heat or cool your home, thus reducing carbon emissions and your environmental footprint. Be sure to contact Modern Pros when you’re ready to get a quote for attic insulation.

Need a Roof Replacement? 5 Cost Factors to Think About

Regardless of whether you own a home or a commercial business, at some point, you’ll probably need to consider roof replacement. This is especially true in the Midwest, where the weather can quickly wreak havoc on external structures. But before diving into the first “deal” you find, consider some of the cost factors involved with replacing your roof so you’re not taken by surprise or, even worse, choose the wrong roofing contractor in Michigan.

Home Size and Shape 

Homes and businesses can have varying roof shapes, which affect overall roof replacement costs. Issues such as the slope or pitch of the roof, roof accessibility, and actual square footage of the roof can require significantly more materials and labor. If safety is a concern, your hired contractor may need an extra worker or even a team of contractors to help them complete the job. 

Types of Damage and Structural Problems 

Your chosen roofing contractor in Michigan will need to know what type of damage and potential structural problems occur. Damage may be limited to moderate winds, fallen limbs, or even minimal water damage. But heavy water damage, ice dams, and other weather-related or structural issues may cause extra labor, extended work times, and far more replacement materials. Survey the issues from ground level and get closer to take pictures if safety isn’t an issue. The more a contractor knows about the repair needs upfront, the more likely they’ll be to provide a relatively cost estimate. 

The Extent of Existing Roofing Materials and Required Demolition 

You may not know how many layers of roofing materials are on your home or business roof, but knowing that upfront will help with cost estimates. If you have multiple layers to your roof, that will extend the demolition time. But don’t worry if you’re not immediately aware of that information since a good roofing contractor can discover that for you. Just be wary of any contractor who claims it’s okay to install new shingles or other materials over worn roofing materials. That will probably lead to extensive rot or other damage, which will lead to more structural damage and higher repair costs later. 

Preferred Roofing Materials 

One of the biggest cost factors for replacing your roof will be the materials the homeowner and contractor agree to use. If you don’t care what materials are used or if you want to go as cheap as possible, a good contractor may suggest asphalt or specially treated fiberglass shingles. But if you decide you want wood or slate shingles, expect the final costs to swell, especially compared to an estimate that didn’t originally include those high-end materials. 

Extra Installation Requirements 

Roof replacements and repairs don’t always just include roofing materials. Sometimes the customer needs a special coating or waterproof barrier. Perhaps they also want a skylight installed. Often, gutters and shingles also need to be replaced. Know what extra installation options you need or want and expect the overall costs to reflect those decisions. Call us when you’re ready to discuss those needs with a roofing contractor in Michigan, and we’ll help you make the best decisions for your situation. 

4 Questions to Ask Before You Hire a Roofer

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Hire a roofer like a pro and never waste your time, energy, and money again. Just follow these tips and questions to ask a roofing contractor in Michigan. 

Just like the rest of your home, your roof requires occasional care and maintenance. Ignoring your roof needs and repairs can lead to heartache, headaches, and serious financial strain down the road. But hiring the wrong contractor to do the repairs can be an epic failure from start to finish. Before you hire a roofer, be sure to ask the following questions. 

Are You Licensed and Insured? 

A competent roofing company must have a valid license that proves the workers are properly trained and have the experience needed to perform the required tasks to code. Proof of liability insurance and workers comp insurance can also be provided by the company to prove the client is covered from potential job-related damage and the workers are also covered in the event of accidents or injuries. A good roofing company should also inform the potential client of any permits the homeowner needs to secure and provide a checklist of cleanup and removal services included or as needed. 

How Long Have You Been in Business? 

Loads of new or more recent contractors or companies offer great “deals” for potential new customers. But those can often come with expensive mistakes and cut corners that the customer will eventually have to pay for themselves. Always opt for companies that have years of experience with the jobs you require. Moreover, don’t just rely on their word… do some research yourself. Check their website, double-check their BBB listing, and Google their employees to verify the listed credentials match. It doesn’t take long, but it can save you tons of time, money, and headaches in the long run. 

Do You Have References? 

Content, loyal, and repeat customers are any company’s bread and butter. So if a company or contractor claims they don’t have references on hand or that they can’t provide references, thank them for their time and run away. They’re not worth your attention. A legitimate roofing contractor in Michigan should have references for previous jobs similar to the one you need to be done. Some of those references should be recent work or completions, within 3-6 months at least. Look for reviews and testimonials posted on the website. Comprehensive reviews (those that aren’t necessarily glowing 5 stars) should be listed as well. The company or website should also be able to direct you to current reviews of the business and to their own Better Business Bureau listing and other relevant certifications or distinctions.  

What Are Your Service and Product Warranties? 

Most professional roofing materials such as shingles come with their own manufacturing warranties. However, a professional roofer or roofing company also may offer a warranty for the labor involved. Always confirm all warranties involved in your project, and be sure you understand and get those terms and promises in writing. If your shingles wear out in five years, who’s responsible for the repairs? If your gutters fall off or the external painting chips in a year, will the company come out and fix them for free? Never settle for less than you deserve. Call us when you’re ready to hire a roofer.