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When to Replace Roofing on Multi-Family Buildings

Property managers have their work cut out for them. Depending on the buildings they manage, they and their chosen contractors can be responsible for everything from roofing, siding, gutters, and windows, to yards, sidewalks, parking areas and much more. As a property manager, when do you determine that something needs to be replaced – is it when it fails?…in a certain time frame?…as a preventative measure?…or is it aesthetic? In this article, we will explore roofing specifically, and several scenarios that property managers might face.

Beautiful Properties Attract Great Tenants

Condo RoofingWhen it comes to choosing a place to call home, buyers and renters are naturally going to seek out the most attractive options within their budget. Aesthetically, roofing can be one of the biggest factors in first impressions. Roofs that appear to be old or failing – those with missing or warped shingles or stains – can deter people from exploring a property further. Even roofs that are not failing but simply look out-of-date or mismatched can be a negative factor for property seekers.

If the roofing on your property gives a not-so-favorable first impression, it might be time to update. After all, the more sought after your property is, the higher the value to prospective tenants.

Aging, Leaks, and Failing Shingles Are Warning Signs

Most residential shingle roofing has a life span of approximately 20 years, depending on the shingles used and the quality of the installation. As roofers, we know that properties nearing the end of their life span need to be addressed sooner rather than later. We have even seen roofs that are many years ahead of the end of their life span that are failing due to faulty shingles and/or subpar installation. 

Aerial Roof ViewIf your property has roofing that appears old, has missing, broken, or warped shingles, or if tenants are reporting leaks in their ceilings, it is time for a roof inspection. A licensed roofing contractor will be able to assess the exterior of your property using state-of-the-art methods such as satellite imaging and drone photography. This technology is highly effective in inspecting even the highest, most hard-to-reach areas of a roof. Your roofing contractor can also inspect interior areas where signs of leaks are present. 

Repairs, Repairs, Repairs

Replacing vast exterior elements of a multi-family dwelling all at once can not only be daunting, it can be expensive. When replacing something like roofing on the entirety of a property is not in the budget, property managers are in “fix-it” mode. Leaks are plugged with caulking and missing shingles are replaced. While these fixes might work in the short-term, it will not be long before these small issues become big problems. Caulking and replacement shingles are merely temporary band-aids that will eventually need to be addressed.

If the roofing on your property has been repaired several times over the course of a year or more, having an estimate done will allow you to budget for its replacement. While it might seem expensive, the cost of constant repairs and the threat of even larger issues due to roof failure could prove to be even more costly.

The Value in Partnership

Commercial Exteriors Packet
Download our Commercial Exteriors packet to learn more about what we do, and for property manager references.

If you’re a property manager, you are no stranger to headaches. After all, caring for the safety and well-being of hundreds of people can be quite stressful. And while many of your tenants may be easy-going and not ones to complain, you no doubt have many others that are the opposite! One way to help ease that stress can be to partner with trusted professionals. Building a rapport with various licensed contractors means that when problems arise, you have an inside expert you can trust. Solid relationships with roofing and exterior contractors, plumbers, electricians, and grounds maintenance contractors, can make your work life a bit less stressful.

How can S&K Roofing, Siding and Windows help you? With more than 40 years of roofing and exterior replacement contracting services on our side, S&K is a trusted partner of dozens of property managers in Maryland and Northern Virginia. To see our qualifications and licensing, a detailed list of our commercial property expertise, and a list of property manager references, download our Commercial Property Packet by clicking on the icon on the right. When you’re ready, give us a call or e-mail us. We’ll meet with you at your property to discuss how we can be of assistance. Call Charlie McCurry at 866-836-7663. 

 

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Why High R-Value Attic Insulation is Important for Energy Efficiency

If you live in an area where temperatures fall well below freezing during the winter months like we do in Maryland and Virginia, you might have trouble keeping your home warm. Several culprits can contribute – single pane windows, poorly sealed windows and doors, and even vaulted ceilings play a factor. Another big contributor is your home’s attic insulation.

Heat Rises

Heat Loss Through AtticThe laws of physics tell us that heat rises. It stands to reason then that any heat generated through the vents in your floor will make its way to your ceilings. If your home is 2 or more stories, you know that your upper level is warmer than your lower levels. Eventually that heat makes its way to your attic, and if your attic insulation is lacking, the heat escapes through your roof.

Many homes come with standard roll-out insulation in the attic. That’s should be sufficient, right? To know for sure, we need to know about R-Value.

What is R-Value for Insulation?

R-Value is a measurement given to insulation. The R in R-Value means Resistance to heat flow. The higher the R-Value, the more resistance. Standard roll-out insulation with thicknesses of between 3.5- to 14-inches have an R-Value between R-11 and R-19. Blown-in insulation offers higher R-Values depending on how many inches are installed. 

How Much Insulation Do I Need?

The Department of Energy (DOE) published recommended R-Value ratings for various climate zones throughout the United States. Below is their published chart. Homes in Maryland and Virginia fall into Zone 4, with recommended R-Value ratings between R-38 and R-60.

DOE-R-Value-Map
Source: https://www.energystar.gov/

Measuring InsulationAt S&K Roofing, Siding and Windows, we recommend approximately 16 inches of Owens Corning AttiCat blown-in insulation, which can save you up to 20% on your heating and cooling costs.* This level of insulation provides an R-Value of R-49. As you can see, compared to roll-out insulation at R-11 – R-19, blown-in insulation offers exceptional heat flow resistance. In addition to fiberglass insulation providing energy efficiency, it is non-combustible and non-corrosive, provided added safety.

How You Can Increase Energy Efficiency

To find out more about how blown-in attic insulation can help with your energy costs, contact the experts at S&K. Our team will remove your existing roll-out insulation and install the proper level of blown-in insulation. Best of all, in most cases your new attic insulation will be in place, saving you money in just a few hours. Contact us today at 1-(866) 836-7663, or click here to schedule your free attic insulation estimate

 

 

* http://www.energystar.gov. Savings vary. Find out why in the seller’s fact sheet on R-values. Higher R-values mean greater insulating power.

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Can You Wait to Replace Your Roof? Supply Chain Woes May Provide Your Answer

If you haven’t already noticed, the prices of nearly everything in Maryland, Virginia, and just about everywhere are on the rise. Roofing is no exception. In fact, roof shingles, plywood (often necessary in roof replacement), siding, and many other building materials have seen a dramatic increase in the past year. Here are just a few examples…

  • Shingles, including labor, miscellaneous materials, nails and flashings have gone up from January – December 2021 10-12 %
  • Cedar and synthetics roofing has gone up 18-20%
  • Flat roofing has also increased 18-20%

In fact, just about all aspects of getting a roofing job done, including insurance, gas, and overhead expenses, are up.

When you search for roofers near me for your roof replacement, you may find many roofing companies like ours – and we are all in the same boat!

As a roofing contractor it can be frustrating to see these increases, but for a homeowner it can mean the difference between keeping your home up-to-date and safe from the elements…or not.

Why Are Roof Prices Increasing?

Roofing Supply Chain2021 will not be the end of these increases. Manufacturers have said that asphalt shingles will increase 6-8%, synthetic roofing 12% and cedar 8-10% by February 2022. But why? Let’s take a look.

The majority of shingles on homes are made from asphalt. Asphalt is made primarily of oil. And as we all know by visiting the gas station, crude oil prices are on the rise. So naturally, the cost for asphalt shingles must rise as well.

It is not just asphalt costs that are going up – lumber is too. However, lumber prices were already on a steady increase due to the housing bust more than 10 years ago. During the 2008-2009 recession, many lumber yards and mills were forced to close. This put a strain on supply when things began to bounce back. Fast forward to 2020, and BAM! COVID-19 sweeps the globe and once again puts the squeeze on supplies.

Imported materials have also become scarce. According to global supply chain consulting firm GEP, as much as 30% of the building materials in the U.S. are imported from China. With the pandemic hitting them first and hardest, manufacturing and exporting slowed significantly. This supply chain disruption has reverberated around the world.

While Prices Rise, Shingle Colors Decline

Roofing shingle manufacturers – and roofers like us – love to offer customers a wide range of color choices. When materials are in short supply, however, manufacturers must decide which colors they will produce. Look around your neighborhood and you will likely see just a handful of shingle colors. That’s because they are the most popular colors among both builders and homeowners. So while offering say 10 different colors is nice, the top 3 or 4 are the ones most likely to be available. Manufacturers simply cannot afford to have shingles with low demand sitting in their warehouses.

Can You Afford to Wait for a New Roof?

Shingle manufacturers, lumber yards, and other building suppliers have fired the warning shots already – “More price increases are coming!” We aren’t talking 1-2% – we are hunkering down for ANOTHER increases of 6-8%. On a typical roofing project, the increase for materials will jump a minimum of several hundred dollars. And of course, the bigger the roof, the more the jump. 

If you have delayed replacing your roof, or if you were considering roof replacement on your home or commercial building, waiting will cost you. Not only that, your shingle color of choice might not be around. That is today’s scenario – we have yet to see how things will further be impacted as the pandemic rages on. Your best bet is to contact a roofing contractor ASAP.

Why Choose S&K to Replace Your Roof?

S&K Roofing, Siding and Windows has been a quality roofing contractor for over 40 years. We have weathered several recessions and continue to be strong despite the ongoing pandemic. In short, we are here for the long haul. We offer a no-pressure, no-hassle approach to home improvement. Our motto is Worry Free. Guaranteed., and our mission is to have Customers for Life. That means from the time you first contact us, to the time your job is complete, we are committed to providing top-notch service and installation.

If you are thinking of a new roof, give us a call at 1-866-836-ROOF, or click here to schedule a roofing estimate.

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Cover Up! How Gutter Debris Can Cause Serious Damage

Out of sight, out of mind. One of the many things that phrase can be applied to is clogged gutters.

Clogged GuttersUnless you have an upstairs room that looks down on a lower level roof, you probably have never looked into your gutters. Most homes in Maryland, Virginia, and the surrounding areas are built with standard, open rain gutters. The purpose of gutters is to catch falling rain and run-off from your roof and direct it away from your home. Without gutters, rain water would pool around your foundation, or even travel back behind your roof overhang and leak into windows. Gutters are an important level of protection for you home. 

Regardless of whether or not you have trees near your home, over time debris can build up inside your gutters. If your home is close to trees, you are sure to have clogs at some point in time. When gutters become clogged with leaves, sticks, roof granules and other items, overflow can occur. When it does, water can seep behind your roof’s overhand and find its way to the smallest of cracks around windows and doors. Over time, this can cause wood rot and mold, compromising your home.

If your home has standard, open gutters, your best bet to keep your home safe and dry is to have your gutters inspect yearly for signs of clogs. If clogs are apparent, removing the debris is necessary. Sound like a hassle? There is another solution…covered gutters.

One product on the market that has shown excellent results is the Bulldog Gutter Guard – an aluminum gutter insert designed to handle the heaviest of rains, and keep leaves and debris from clogging your gutters. Some of the benefits of Bulldog Gutter Guards are that it fits into either new or existing gutters, it cannot be seen from the ground, and it does not interfere with your roof shingles. It is also made from 98% recycled aluminum, and is available in 5-, 6-, and 7-inch sizes. For more information on Bulldog Gutter Guards, visit www.bulldoggutterguard.com.

To find out how covered gutters can protect your home, and for a free, no obligation gutter estimate, contact S&K Roofing, Siding and Windows at 1-(866) 836-7663.

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S&K Achieves Top 100 Contractor Status

S&K’s Spot in the Top 500 Ranks in Top .02% of Contractors in the U.S.

Top 500 Contractor

Qualified Remodeler magazine – the industry’s premier publication for remodeling and home improvement – has released this year’s Top 500 Contractors. S&K is in Top 100. This list ranks contractors in the United States by revenue.

S&K Roofing, Siding and Windows is not only in the Top 500, they are in the Top 100 at spot #80. To put this into perspective, there are nearly half a million contractors in the U.S. According to IBIS World, there are currently 482,573 active contractor businesses. (source: https://www.ibisworld.com/industry-statistics/number-of-businesses/remodeling-united-states/)

This puts S&K in the top .02% of contractors throughout the nation. 

S&K attributes this achievement to its loyal customers, and its talented and dedicated staff. For more than 40 years, S&K has served customers throughout Maryland and Northern Virginia. Because nearly 80% of S&K’s business come from repeat customers and referrals, they have seen steady growth over the years. This customer loyalty stems from their ability to do quality work, and provide top-notch customer service. While contractors come and go, S&K Roofing, Siding and Windows has remained a steady, reliable exterior replacement contractor.

S&K would like to thank Qualified Remodeler for this recognition, and their customers and staff for their continued loyalty. 

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S&K Roofing, Siding and Windows Achieves Diamond Approval Award from CertainTeed Saint-Gobain

S&K Roofing, Siding and Windows Achieves Diamond Approval Award from CertainTeed Saint-Gobain

CertainTeed Diamond Approval Award

CertainTeed, a leading manufacturer of roofing and exterior replacement products had awarded S&K Roofing, Siding and Windows with their Diamond Approval Award. This honor is given to contractors who receive a rating of 4.5 stars or higher on a 5 point scale. This is no small achievement considering that less than 30 companies in all of North America received this award in 2020!

The Diamond Approval Award is one of many awards that S&K has received from CertainTeed. S&K has also received CertainTeed’s Governor’s Award and the Triple Crown Award. S&K is also a CertainTeed Select Shingle Master. See these and S&K’s other awards here: https://www.skroofing.com/about-us/certifications/

S&K Roofing, Siding and Windows works hard to install high quality home improvement products from CertainTeed and other top manufacturers. With more than 40 years of service to Maryland and Virginia, you can be sure that your next home improvement project will be done true to our motto – Worry Free. Guaranteed.

Contact S&K today for your free, no obligation home improvement estimate. Call 1-(866) 836-7663, or click here to request an estimate online: https://www.skroofing.com/about-us/estimate/

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Can Pressure Treated Wood Rot?

When trees are cut for construction lumber, any of the wood that is to be used outside in the elements must be pressure treated. Without this special anti-corrosive treatment, wood will rot and will be consumed by insects and other animals.

How is Wood Pressure Treated?

Pressure Treated Wood

To pressure treat wood, lumber is placed into a pressure tank and sealed. Air is then extracted from the wood in a vacuum process, and a chemical solution is added. This solution – made up of copper, chromium, and arsenic – penetrates deep into the wood under pressure in the tank. Each chemical performs its own duty in stopping decay. Copper is a fungicide, chromium is a bactericide, and arsenic is an insecticide. When treated properly, this process should keep wood safe from decay for many years.

Is It Possible for Wood Decking to Rot?

While the pressure treatment process generally works well, it is not effective 100% of the time. There are a few factors that could cause even fairly new pressure treated wood to rot. Let’s explore…

Defective Chemicals

There are occasions when the chemicals used in the treatment process are defective. Because each chemical performs a specific function, if one or more are defective, rot can begin to occur. Or, if the chemical cocktail was not properly mixed, the solution could also be defective. 

Gauge Malfunctions

During the treatment process, wood is put under pressure so that the chemicals penetrate the wood completely. At the treatment plant, if a pressure gauge malfunctions, it is possible that the tank does not reach maximum pressure. If this happens, the wood may not fully absorb the chemicals.

Cracks Leading to the Inner Portions of Wood

It is not uncommon for pressure treated wood to develop cracks. In the construction process, holes must be drilled to attach the wood to its foundation. In warm weather wood expands, and in cold weather it contracts. This, along with foot traffic on decks, creates constant back-and-forth pressure on screws and nails. Over time, cracks can develop, allowing moisture to seep into the wood. If the chemicals deep within the wood are not present, or are scarcely present, this moisture can begin to rot the wood.

How Can I Tell if My Deck is Rotting?

Rot in Deck WoodCracks and wood rot do not always go hand-in-hand. While you need to keep an eye on cracks, if the wood was properly treated, having cracks doesn’t always lead to rot. However, if you notice wood that is splintering, or is soft when you press on it, you might be experiencing rot. It is best to have a professional take a look and determine whether replacement is necessary.

What Do I Do if I See Rotting on My Deck?

If you do see signs of rot, it is recommended that the damaged wood be replaced as soon as possible. Chances are that it’s not your entire deck that is effected. Replacing the boards that do show signs of rot will help your deck last longer.

With proper care, your pressure treated wood deck should last between 10 and 30 years. However, this life span is only possible when conditions are not extreme, and when you clean and seal your deck regularly. Decks left unsealed will have a shorter life span.

 

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Siding Choices – Get Creative!

As technology changes, new innovations in home improvement products are born. Such is the case with siding for your home. In this article, we will explore the history of siding, and how you and your siding contractor can get creative with today’s siding choices.

The History of Siding

When settlers came to America in the 1600’s, homes were constructed primarily from wood. After all, wood was plentiful, and conserving natural resources was not a priority. Logs were cut and used in conjunction with mud and clay to construct what we now call log cabins. From the 1600’s to the mid 1900’s, homes were mainly constructed from wood, stone, and brick. 

In the early 1900’s, a new product to protect homes from the elements was invented – asbestos cement siding. Manufacturers combined asbestos fibers with cement to form a highly durable and fire-resistant siding shingle. From the 1940’s through the 1960’s, in addition to wood, brick and stone, asbestos cement siding was the most recommended siding choice. Also in the 1940’s, a brand new home exterior option was invented. In 1947, Jerome Kaufman had the idea to create home exteriors using the same technology used to build plane exteriors during World War II. His invention would be named aluminum siding. He and a group of colleagues formed Alside Siding, which grew to be the largest producer of aluminum siding in the U.S. 

By the 1960’s, siding manufacturers were looking for siding alternatives.  Aluminum siding, while offering homeowners pre-painted, low maintenance options, was prone to dents, dings, and scratches. And so, vinyl siding was born. As opposed to being painted, vinyl siding’s color is within the vinyl compound itself, thus never requiring painting. Vinyl siding is also more flexible, and will not dent as easily as aluminum. While still in production, aluminum siding has since taken a backseat to vinyl.

In the mid 1980’s, a brand new option hit the U.S. market – fiber cement siding. James Hardie, Inc., an Australian company, brought fiber cement siding to America, where it quickly became known for its rich, wood-like appearance and lasting durability. Although other manufacturers produce fiber cement siding, James Hardie is so widely known for the product that contractors often refer to all brands of fiber cement siding as “Hardieboard.”

Getting Creative with Siding Choices

Source: CertainTeed

While the most common type and installment of vinyl siding is horizontal, which comes in sheets up to 8-feet in length, there are many other options. CertainTeed, for instance, not only offers tradition horizontal vinyl siding, but vertical vinyl siding, and composite siding that has the look of real cedar shake and shingles.

To create a truly unique look, contractors and homeowners are combining different siding types and colors on different sections of a home. For example, using vertical siding for the garage area, composite shake for the upper portion of the home, and classic horizontal siding for the main area provides a one-of-a-kind look.

Source: CertainTeed
Click brochure image above to download.

If you would like to explore more siding options, color choices, and learn more about the siding, roofing, and other products that CertainTeed has to offer, you’re in luck! In this helpful (and gorgeous!) product brochure, you will learn all about how the right siding choices can make a huge difference in the look of your home. Click on the image on the right to download the brochure.

Need Help Choose Siding?

Choosing the right siding for your home may seem daunting, but we are here to help! The siding professionals at S&K Roofing, Siding and Windows can visit your home, and consult with you to create a siding plan that will give your home a brand new look. To explore CertainTeed siding choices online, visit https://www.certainteed.com/siding/  To schedule a free, no-obligation siding estimate for your home in Maryland or Virginia, call us at 1-(866) 836-7663, or click here to request an estimate online.

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Why Do Roof Shingles Blow Off?

Shingle Blow OffsAs roofers, we are often asked why shingles blow off even when there hasn’t been a bad storm or high wind day. There are a few different reasons roof shingles blow off. Some are obvious, while others…not so much. Let’s explore…

The Obvious – Age

You’ve heard the phrase ‘nothing lasts forever.’ That certainly applies to roofing — most standard shingle roofs have a life expectancy of around 20-25 years. When shingles near their end, they begin to fail. They come loose from their seals and attachments, they crack, and they break. Wind and weather will eventually pry these failing shingles loose and they will blow off. 

When you experience shingle blow offs due to age, it’s time to call a licensed roofing professional. An honest roofer will inspect the roof and let you know if a repair will get you through another few years, or if your roof is in danger of causing more serious damage to your home such as leaks. 

The Not-So-Obvious – Poor Installation, Underlying Roof Issues, and Product Defects

If age is not necessarily the culprit of your shingle blow offs, it could be that your roof was either installed improperly, that there is an issue beneath your shingles, or even that the shingle installed is defective.

Poor Installation

Having a roof installed by someone who is not licensed is risky at best. There are reasons licensing exists – and that is to ensure that installers are trained, and that the consumer is protected. Improper installation can be caused by not using the proper tools, sealing, underlayment, and nails. It can also be caused by not nailing the shingles to the roof in the proper location. If your roof was installed by a professional who may have simply had a bad day, no worries. They will make it right! However, installed by someone unlicensed and you’re on the hook for having it fixed.

Compromised Plywood

If what is beneath your shingles is compromised, it can cause shingles to come loose and blow off. At the base of your roof, there is plywood. As we know, plywood is not impervious to moisture, unless adequately protected. Should that protection become compromised, damage can occur. A common cause of water beneath shingles is the improper or failed sealing of pipes and vents that protrude through your roof. Look atop any home’s roof and you will see several protrusions that are necessary to the home. As with anything that requires sealing, these items should have periodic re-sealing to prevent water damage to plywood.

Product Defects

It doesn’t happen often, but every now and then a shingle manufacturer will produce a product that fails years before its expected end. If the shingle was produced by a reputable manufacturer like CertainTeed, GAF, or EcoStar, there is no need to worry. They will work with you on replacement. Another solid reason to install a highly rated product by a highly rated roofer!

The Surprising – Blow Offs on a Brand New Roof!

On occasion, it is possible for shingles to blow off of a new roof – even one installed by a licensed professional. That is because it can take a few weeks for the seal that is beneath the shingles to set. The seal needs a bit of heat to set, which is usually produced by the sun even when the temps outside are freezing. However, if your new roof is installed when it is cold, if it does not have direct sunlight, and you experience a windy day, blow offs could occur. Here again, hiring a pro is key. Should this happen, rest assured that it will be fixed!

Need Help? Give Us a Call!

If you have experienced shingle blow offs on your home, give us a shout. Our roofing professionals will inspect your roof to see whether a fix or replacement is necessary. Call 1-866-836-ROOF (7663) or complete our online Estimate Request form. 

 

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Preventing Ice Dams on Your Home

How to Prevent Ice DammingIce damming on your home’s roof is caused by fluctuating weather conditions during winter. Snow and ice that accumulates on your roof, then thaws and re-freezes can cause a build-up of ice at your roof’s edge. This build up is often highly concentrated, and when thawing begins, it can over saturate your roof, causing leaks.

This winter we have seen prime conditions for ice dams – lots of precipitation and temperatures that swing from extremely low to warm. Hopefully your roof will escape the effects of ice damming, but just in case, here are some tips that can help prevent it.

  • Make sure that your attic has proper ventilation. Approximately one square foot of ventilation opening is recommended for every 150 square feet of attic space.
  • Check for air leaks in your attic from pipe vents, electrical junctions, etc. Seal any leaks.
  • Be sure that your attic is well insulated. Insulation such as Owens Corning Atticat blown-in attic insulation provides a high R-value, helping to ensure that your home does not rapidly lose heat.
  • If you are able, use a rake or broom to clear snow from your gutter, and approximately 3-4 feet above it. This will help allow water to properly drain into the gutter.
  • Pay close attention to ceilings during snow/freeze/thaw period. If you see signs of a leak, contact a professional to check for damage. Mold can begin forming in as little as 72 hours, so taking care of leaks promptly is crucial.

After all of the snow and ice thaw in the spring, it is wise to check your roof for any damage. Harsh winter conditions can cause shingles to loosen or fall, particularly on older homes. Be sure to have loose or missing shingles repaired or replaced right away to prevent future damage.

As always, when you need assistance with your roof, contact the professionals at S&K Roofing, Siding and Windows. We have helped homeowners care for their home’s exteriors since 1980. We are licensed, bonded and insured, hold an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau, and have received Angie’s List Super Service Award for 9 straight years. Contact us today at 1-866-836-ROOF.

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