February 24, 2017 : Spring Roof Cleaning Checklist

Spring Roof Cleaning Checklist

Winter can be brutal for most of us. With heavy snow and harsh winds, we all can take a beating in the cold months. But who takes the brunt of these harsh elements? You guessed it, your roof. Roofs are at the forefront of the storm, whatever the season may be. And just like every aspect of our homes, they need care and attention. This spring, extend your cleaning list outside and give your roof the attention it deserves.  

Spots Can Be Problematic 

The best place to start roof care is, oddly enough, on the ground. Stand back and look for various visual clues. Are there darker areas on your roof? Is there any algae or moss beginning to form? These can be serious warnings there may be an underlying issue. Usually darker spots or fungi mean that water has pooled into a general area, which can be hazardous to the structure of your roof. The growth of algae means the materials are not drying, and can weaken and mold if not attended to. Often times it is due to loose or weakened shingles. Sometimes damaged flashing can let too much water collect at the seams. Be sure the structure is sturdy and sound before climbing up there. 

If there are small areas affected, these can be attended to rather quickly and easily. Bleach or copper sulfate solutions can kill any bacterial growth quickly and most of the time, inexpensively. It is important to remember not to power wash the roof. A simple garden sprayer or hose can do the job just fine and won’t dislodge any granules or pull shingles loose, which happens with many high-pressure tools. Safely remove any loose or damaged shingles with a shingle ripper and install new ones where needed. 

Clear Gutters Make Dry and Healthy Roofs 

The next step for roof spring cleaning is crucial. A healthy roof requires clean and clear gutters. Be sure not to take a hose or blower and force all the debris to the downspout. Clear out twigs, leaves and larger debris first. A handy tool to help with this process is a gutter scoop. This will prevent clogging and is important for proper drainage. Once gutters are clear, then rinse out your downspout thoroughly. Again, avoid high-pressure tools to ensure no equipment is damaged or shaken loose in the cleaning. It has been suggested to tend to your gutters twice a year, especially during the fall when they are more than likely working the hardest. Gutters are your roof’s drainage system and the key to carrying the water away from your house and foundation. Fix any loose nails holding the gutters and be sure the pieces are tightly secured together to ensure proper drainage and minimal leaks.

Branches Off Keep Shingles On 

A step that is often overlooked is not so much on the roof, but its surroundings. Keeping trees cut back and off the roof can reduce moss and mold growth. Adequate sunlight will ensure your roof is drying completely and prevents water collecting. It is also important that branches are kept at a safe distance to prevent damage to shingles, flashing or chimney seals. A seam roller is a great product to be sure seals are tight and repair any flaps or damage that branches may have caused. 

Keeping branches cut back is also crucial so animals cannot easily access troublesome areas. Nests in downspouts or around chimneys are extremely common and often pricey problems to encounter. Be sure all areas, especially corners and crevices are especially free from leaves, twigs and debris.  
The easiest and best way to ensure proper roof care, is stopping issues before they arise. Periodic checks and simple clean-up, can actually add years onto the life of your roof. With proper cleaning treatments and some spring cleaning check-ups, you will ensure your roof’s longevity. Basic care to shingles and minor flashing repairs throughout the year will avoid larger issues down the road and help your roof weather the elements it was made to withstand.  

January 30, 2017 : What Are Your Options for Fixing Your Commercial Roof?

Options for Fixing a Commercial Roof

Oh no, you’ve recently noticed a problem with your commercial roof! So what are your options to fix your commercial roof?

Get your business back up and running! Read here what your roof repair options are and what the best one is for your commercial roof.

Before you commit to what steps you will take to recover your roof, here’s what you should consider:

  • How much of your current roof is salvageable?
  • Would replacing your roof affect your commercial business?
  • Do you currently have proper insulation on your roof?
  • Do you want a more short term or long term solution? 

Now that you’ve asked yourself those four questions. Let’s consider the pros and cons of your roof repair options. 

Why Repair

If there is only minor damage and the repairs needed are relatively easy, just do a simple repair on the current issue. Doing a simple repair can extend the life of your roof and is less costly than other options.

Repairing just the damage and not doing a full roof overhaul is your best bet if the roof currently has quality insulation and the membrane of the roof is still in good shape. If the roof currently has an old membrane or poor insulation you should look at other options for your roof. 

Why Coating

One of the most cost effective methods for giving your roof a touch-up! The coating provides an extra layer of protection from potential leaks and helps extend the life of your commercial roof. This coating can solve roof leaks on virtually any roofing material. Also, it’s seamless and easy to install!

Adding a layer of coating is also one of the least disruptive ways of treating your roof. This option is ideal for occupied buildings and won’t hinder your business.

Full replacement  

Sometimes the damage is too much, and complete roof overhaul is the best bet for your building. One indicator that you need to replace your roof is if your roof had to be re-covered once before.

As mentioned earlier if a roof has a dated membrane or poor insulation, a full replacement is the best option that will help address all the roof issues. Also, if the damage consists of 25% of your roof or more, you might as well commit to a full roof replacement.

A total replacement is beneficial because it allows your roof to get fully updated and you’ll be less likely to have problems with your new roof in the coming years. So if you are thinking long-term, a full replacement is the choice for you!

For questions about your roof repairs or needed tools, contact us at AJC Tools.

September 29, 2016 : The Ins and Outs of Roof Cleaning

Why Regular Roof Cleaning is Needed

Over time it is an unavoidable fact that your roof will need cleaning. Your roof will naturally collect algae, moss, dirt, grime, and debris, and proper cleaning and maintenance is essential to the lifespan of the roof. The good news is regular cleaning of your roof will not only increase the lifespan of the roof and prevent damage, but can also improve the property value of your home. Roof cleaning is a fairly easy and straightforward process, but there are some things you will need to be aware of. 

Roof Cleaning - Removing Debris

Debris always seem to end up on top of the roof, luckily removing debris is one of the easiest parts of roof cleaning. In order to safely remove debris from your roof you will first want to make sure you have a sturdy ladder to climb up to your roof with. Once you are on top of the roof you will want to remove any large pieces of debris manually. You can then use a large broom with soft bristles to sweep away any bark, leaves, or other small debris. If there are any metal debris on your roof, such as loose roofing nails, you can always use one of our magnetic sweepers to remove those quickly. After you have taken these steps it is recommended to use a leaf blower to remove any lingering debris you may have missed.

Roof Cleaning - Removing Moss and Algae

Moss and algae are the natural enemies of roofs. These should be removed promptly as they are capable of causing roof leaks and thousands of dollars in damage. In order to remove moss and algae from your roof you should clean the roof with a solution and soft brush. This solution should be acidic, ideally with a pH level below 4. To create this acidic solution we recommend mixing vinegar and hot water at close to a 50/50 ratio, adding some citrus juice to the mixture can help as well. For areas affected by moss, you will want to apply the solution and not rinse it, allowing the solution to kill off the moss, allowing the next rainy day to wash away the solution. For areas with algae growth, you will want to spot clean with a soft brush after applying your acidic solution.

Roof Cleaning - Clearing and Flushing Gutters

It is extremely important to clear your gutters at least once a year, as clogged gutters can lead to leaks and water damage. When cleaning gutters it is recommend to use a scoop to remove any leaves and debris clogging the gutter. Simply dump these debris into a trash bag or onto a tarp to make cleanup quick and easy. Once your gutters are cleared, be sure to flush them with your garden hose, and keep an eye out for leaks in the downspouts!

Important Roof Cleaning Information

There are a few other things you should be aware of when cleaning your roof. Never use a pressure washer for roof cleaning, the high pressure can damage even the most durable roofs. You should also test any roof cleaning solutions on a small surface first to make sure it does not stain or corrode your roof. When cleaning your roof, you should begin applying your solution at the highest point of the roof in order to avoid slipping on a slick roof. You should also make sure you are wearing the proper roofing shoes to avoid slips and falls.

August 31, 2016 : Value of a New Roof

Will a New Roof Increase Property Value?

Odds are your home is the most valuable single asset that you have to your name. Even if you do not currently own your house outright and are still paying off a mortgage, you do have financial value in your home. This makes spending money on maintenance, upkeep, and improvements to your home one of the safest investments that you can make. Major improvements or renovations can significantly add to the property value of your home; a new roof is a premier example of the kind of long term investment that can greatly increase your home’s financial value. The fact that a new roof makes your home look nicer and also makes it more comfortable to live in is a nice added bonus!

How Much Value Does a New Roof Add to a Home?

Adding a new roof to your home can add a significant amount of value to your home. How much it adds often depends on a number of external factors. However it is generally accepted that a new roof can add anywhere from 15 percent to 40 percent of the value of your home. Putting that into easy to visualize figures, a $200,000 that has a new roof installed could increase in value up to anywhere from $230,000 to $280,000. The higher the starting value of your home, the more value a new roof adds. 

What Variables Should be Considered When Investing in a New Roof?

There are three main variables to consider when purchasing a new roof. These include: quality of the upgrade, efficiency of the roof, and architectural design. 

Quality of Upgrade: 

This is an obvious factor in the value added to your home when investing in a new roof, however it is still the most important. If you had a new roof put on your house 3 months ago, getting another new one isn’t going to do anything for you, except waste your money. However if your current roof is old and in rather rough shape overall, investing in a new roof is both great for your home and your financial investment.

Roof Efficiency: 

Efficiency is everything these days. Nobody wants to buy a home where they will end up paying three times the amount that they should for heating and cooling. You will want to make sure you are discussing efficiency with your contractor’s and getting the best roofing materials that you can. While it may cost a little more up front, it will save you a great amount of money in the long run, while simultaneously making your house more attractive to potential buyers in the future.

Roofing Design: 

While it may not matter to every potential buyer out there, a well designed roof that stands out with it’s design can add greatly to property value. When purchasing a new roof for your home make sure you are discussing the design with your contractors. Do they only deal in standard roofing or do they do custom or decorative designs as well? Don’t be afraid to ask for exactly what you are after, a good contractor can usually find a way to make it happen for you. Another thing to consider with the design of your roof is the implementation of solar panels or green roofing elements. Green roofing is a very trendy and popular concept right now. Solar panels also can save you plenty of money on their own in the long run on electricity bills, while making your home look even better for potential buyers.

July 29, 2016 : AJC Magnetic Sweepers - A Lifesaver for Your Job Site

Roofing Equipment For Sale This Father's Day

Magnetic Sweepers by AJC Tools

One of the most useful tools that we offer here at AJC Tools is our line of magnetic sweepers. These magnetic sweepers make cleaning up on any job site quick, easy, and painless. Say goodbye to the days of nails in your feet, metal shards in your hands, and flat tires on your trucks. AJC Tools offers three different varieties of magnetic sweepers - the AJC Rolling Magnetic Sweeper, AJC Handheld Magnetic Sweeper, and AJC Mini Magnetic Sweeper with Release. Each of these magnetic sweepers serves its own unique purpose around the job site to help make cleanup a simple task.

The AJC Rolling Magnetic Sweeper

This model is our only available magnetic sweeper with wheels. Featuring a heavier stainless steel box and wheel brackets, tool free adjustable wheel height, and tough seven inch diameter wheels, this sweeper is perfect for cleanup over large surface areas. Ideal for clean up in grass, or other terrains that obstruct your view, this sweeper will pick up all those pesky nails and other debris in no time at all. This magnetic sweeper model also features a fold over handle to make storage convenient.

The AJC HandHeld Magnetic Sweeper

A spring loaded magnetic roof sweeper that features the quick release that is a favorite among roofers across the world. This magnetic sweeper is equipped with powerful magnets and a stainless steel box. Measuring ten inches of surface area this sweeper makes cleanup of your job site as simple as can be.

The AJC Mini Magnetic Sweeper with Release

This mini magnetic sweeper pickup tools is useful on nearly any job site you can imagine. It’s small stature, with a four inch diameter, allows you to use it in a number of places and situations that you can not use one of our larger magnetic sweepers in. Perfect for loading a nail bag, removing nails from gutters after a job, cleaning up metal debris in confined spaces, and a number of other uses, this is a staple tool in any roofer’s arsenal.

Why Use Magnetic Sweepers?

So they pick up nails, what other factors should you consider when looking at a magnetic sweeper? Well for starters, a good magnetic sweeper will save you a lot of pain, literally! If you’ve never had a nail jab into your foot or knee (and we don’t recommend the experience!) consider yourself lucky. Not only will it save you pain yourself, but they also protect the ones you care about. You won’t want to leave nails or debris laying all around a job site where children or pets will be running around after all! On top of all that they help protect you from lawsuits if you’re doing contract work and not a home repair for yourself. No nails left laying around means no injured people or pets and no popped tires, leaving you protected from having to pay for any damages caused by leftover debris of a job site. We highly recommend at least one of our magnetic sweepers be brought to any job site, if not multiple sweepers due to all of their helpful uses. If you have any questions about these products please do not hesitate to contact us!