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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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Roofing in Montgomery County Maryland

Roofing in Montgomery County MarylandMontgomery County Maryland is as diverse in architecture as it is beautiful. Drive through Montgomery County and it won’t take long before you pass by rolling hills, century old farms and bustling commerce.

With all of this diversity, suffice it to say that roofing in Montgomery County MD runs the gamut. From galvanized metal roofing that tops many of the beautiful old farm houses in Montgomery County to flat roofing that tops office buildings and shopping centers, this county has it all!

S&K Roofing, Siding and Windows has done roofing in Montgomery County Maryland since 1980. In fact, S&K’s owner is a resident of the county and takes great pride in servicing many other county residents.

Montgomery County is also home to Montgomery Village, which has chosen S&K Roofing, Siding and Windows to be one of its trusted home improvement providers. Another large Montgomery County entity that trusts S&K Roofing is Leisure World. On any given day, you may find roofers, siding installers, gutter installers, window installers or sun room builders from S&K working hard for Leisure World residents.

Looking for a Roofer in Montgomery County MD?

Trust S&K Roofing, Siding and Windows with your next roofing project in Montgomery County. Call us for a free estimate and we’ll provide you with references in your area.

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Winter is a Great Time for Exterior Home Improvements

Winter Gutter ReplacementTypically most homeowners don’t pay much attention to the exterior of their homes during the winter months, unless of course there is an issue. However winter can be one of the best times to have a professional do exterior improvements such as roofing, windows, siding and gutters. While very low temperatures and inclement weather can sideline an exterior project, contractors make it their business to take advantage of any and every winter day that crews can stay busy.

During an exterior home improvement contractors’ slow winter season – in Maryland and Virginia from December through March – you are likely to get your best home improvement deal. When contractors slow down, suppliers do as well, so pricing on both building supplies and contractor labor may be discounted.

So when can’t a contractor do exterior improvements? Contractors like S&K Roofing, Siding and Windows work hard to keep crews busy all year long. Our customers need to be taken care of – particularly when issues such as leaks arise – crews need to remain employed, and we need to continue running as usual. That means that the only time we aren’t out servicing our customers is when safety is an issue. Heavy rain, ice, sleet and snow can prohibit jobs from being installed, however generally it will only sideline a project for a few days.

If you are considering an exterior home improvement, contact us today for a free estimate. Get your best pricing, and have your home looking great in time for Spring. Visit our home improvement specials page for information on current special offers, or call us at 1-(866) 836-7663.

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S&K Replaces Roof on Outdoor World in Hanover, Maryland

S&K Roofing, Siding and Windows is pleased to have recently completed roof replacement on Outdoor World / Bass Pro Shops in Arundel Mills, Hanover, Maryland. The commercial roofing project took the crew approximately 4 weeks to complete, and included all parts of the shingled roof.

The buildings previous shingle had deteriorated due to Maryland weather conditions, so the Carriage House shingle in Georgian Brick from CertainTeed was chosen to better withstand the elements.

As you will see in the roofing gallery below, the job was a huge undertaking and the crew did a fantastic job. Outdoor World’s leadership team was pleased with not only the roof, but with the crew as well.

[tribulant_slideshow gallery_id=”5″]

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Best Roofing Contractor Awarded to S&K Roofing, Siding and Windows

#1 Roofing Contractor Carroll County MarylandEach year, the Carroll County times sponsors Carroll’s Best, an awarded given to outstanding businesses in Carroll County, Maryland. Residents are asked to visit the Carroll County Times website and vote for their favorite local businesses. The awards cover businesses large and small, from coffee houses to car care to home services.

This year, S&K Roofing, Siding and Windows was voted #1 in the Best Roofing Contractor category. We are grateful to those who voted, and will continue to work hard to earn this status.

To view all of this year’s winners and honorable mentions, visit the Carroll County Times’ website at:

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Why Home Improvement Financing is a Wise Choice

If you’re like most homeowners, keeping up with repairs and improvements on your home can be stressful. Not only is a leaky roof a sure source of stress, but finding a way to pay for a new roof can be equally stressful.

Maybe It Can Wait

When your home has a problem  – gutters that overflow, wet walls or a wet ceiling from a leaking roof, drafty windows or faulty plumbing – and you’re unsure of how to pay for the fix, your inclination may be to wait for a bit. “Maybe it won’t get any worse,” or “Maybe we can just patch it for now.” While this plan of action may be kind to your wallet now, it will be far less kind later. Allowing home repair issues to linger can be much most costly when they finally are addressed. Not to mention, not addressing home repairs will take its toll on the resale value of your home as well.

How to Get It Done Now – Even If You Don’t Have Savings

If you own your home, chances are you have some amount of equity. Even in a down economy, real estate can hold its value. When home improvement needs arise, check with your mortgage broker to see what they recommend. Brokers offer home equity loans as well as refinancing options that can give you that much-needed home improvement fund. Additionally, many contractors like S&K Roofing, Siding and Windows offer their own financing.

No Money Down, 0% Financing Available

Currently, S&K Roofing, Siding and Windows is offering no money down, 0% financing for qualified homeowners through Wells Fargo. This type of financing is an excellent choice if you need to get it down now, and defer payment until later. For more on our current financing options, click here.

Contact us today to see if home improvement financing is right for you. We serve Maryland and Northern Virginia homeowners, and are a trusted home improvement contractor.

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How to Weather the Winter Cold – Home Energy Tips

Home Energy EfficiencyTemperatures in the single digits…not one, but several rounds of arctic vortex weather events last year…the weather in Maryland and Virginia can be extreme. Sustained frigid weather may be the norm for people living far to our north, but for those of us here not so much! Not only does extreme weather wear on us physically, it wears out our wallets, too. When temps dip down into the teens and below, our home heating systems are forced to work extra hard to accommodate. So what’s the best way to keep your family warm and not blow your budget on energy bills? We have a few helpful tips…


The #1 way to keep the cold out, and the warmth in is insulation. And when it comes to insulating your home, there are several areas to pay close attention. We’ll start from the top down.

  • Attic Insulation – The largest area of heat loss in most homes is through the roof. Heat rises, so naturally the first place it will try to escape is up to your attic and through the roof. Investing in high quality, high R-value insulation won’t break the bank and it will provide a substantial energy savings. At S&K, we recommend using AttiCat blown-in attic insulation from Owens Corning. Just 15.5 inches of AttiCat Insulation can save you up to 20% on your heating and cooling costs. Fiber glass insulation is non-combustible and non-corrosive by nature, which means that it will never settle or lose its energy-saving abilities. In addition, AttiCat offers an incredible R-49 value rating – the recommended attic R-value rating for the Maryland climate zone. For more information, visit our Maryland attic insulation page.
  • Siding Insulation / Wall Insulation – When homes are built, contractors insulate the space between the exterior and interior walls with either blown-in or rolled insulation. This greatly decreases air’s ability to come from the outside in, and it helps keep water pipes from freezing. Pretty standard stuff. But did you also know that there is such a thing as insulated siding? Unlike standard vinyl siding which is made from a single layer of formed vinyl, insulated siding is backed with a foam-like substance. This added layer works like a blanket, blocking cold air from making its way behind siding. Another added benefit of insulated siding in noise reduction. Insulated siding acts a bit like the foam walls you see in recording studios, helping to block outside noise. Learn more about the benefits of this type of siding on our Maryland insulated siding page.

Replace Drafty Windows and Doors

  • Energy Efficient Windows – If you have old or inexpensive windows, you have most likely at one time or another been shocked to stand near a window and feel a ‘breeze’…when the window is closed! Poorly installed windows, windows with single pane glass, and windows that have wood or non-insulated frames are susceptible to energy loss. In winter, not only does cold air come into your house through low efficiency windows, your precious heat escapes! Today, innovations in energy efficiency have lead the way for replacement windows that help keep your home warm in winter and cool in summer. S&K recommends double-paned windows with insulated frames for maximum efficiency. And just as important as the window itself is its installation. Be sure to have replacement windows installed by a professional. S&K offers the very best in replacement windows in Maryland. Learn more about these windows and energy efficiency on our Maryland replacement windows page.
  • Doors – Much like windows, the doors in your home are prone to energy loss through poor installation and poor quality. Entry doors and sliding doors should be well made and installed to be sure that you’re not losing energy. And when it comes to entry doors, and added layer of protection can be put into place with a storm door. As the name suggests, storm doors help keep the elements out, and your energy in. Learn more about the doors that S&K carries on our Maryland doors page.

Consider an Alternate Heat Source

  • Fireplaces, Stoves and Inserts – Another way to help combat high energy bills is through the installation of an alternate source of heat — namely a gas, wood or pellet fireplace or stove. Fireplaces and stoves can quickly and efficiently heat spaces like family rooms and large bedrooms, allowing you to keep your thermostat at a reasonably low rate. (Not too low, though – you want to be sure that those pipes don’t freeze!) Fireplaces and stoves come in a wide variety of styles from ultra contemporary to down-on-the-farm traditional. We recommend visiting the hearth experts in Maryland at Ace Hardware & Hearth. Learn more on their Maryland fireplace dealer page.

Beware Hidden Energy Hogs

  • All Things Electric – While the Green movement has us more aware than ever of recycling and using energy efficient light bulbs, here are a few things you can do to reduce your energy usage even more. First, search your home for items that are plugged into the wall, but rarely used. Anything that is plugged into an outlet – even when turned off – draws a trace amount of electricity. Therefore all of those little things that are plugged in add up.  Next, take a look at your electronic devices. In today’s always-on-the-go, always-in-touch world, it takes laptops, tablets, cell phones and hot spots just to keep up. And it takes electricity to keep those devices going. But if you’re like most, you are probably over-charging those devices. Over-charging not only can wear out the device itself more quickly, but it’s an unnecessary draw on your electricity. Check your devices frequently and when fully charged, unplug them. Additionally, when your computer is not being used, be sure that it is put into sleep or hibernation mode. This will greatly decrease its energy consumption. And finally, do like your mother always told you and turn those lights off when you’re not in the room!
  • Hot Water – We all love a nice hot shower or bath, don’t we? Well that hot water comes at a price. And the older your hot water heater is, the higher that price is likely to be. If your hot water heater is more than 10 years old, it’s a good idea to have it checked by a professional. Hot water heaters generally last less than 15 years, so the 10 year mark is a good time to have it looked at. When you’re ready for a new hot water heater, look for those with higher efficiency ratings. And as common sense will tell you, when you are trying to conserve energy, make that daily shower just a little less hot, and a little shorter. Even a small reduction in time and temperature will make a difference. For hot water and plumbing needs in Maryland, consider our friends at AVS Plumbing & Heating in West Friendship. Visit their Maryland plumbing and heating page for more information.

So while we can’t solve the issue of arctic weather, we hope these tips on how to increase your home’s efficiency will help just a little. As always, if you have any questions regarding exterior home improvements, contact the home experts at S&K Roofing, Siding and Windows. Family owned and operated since 1980, S&K is here to help now, and for the long haul.

Stay warm!

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Why We Love Roofing in Carroll County

As a roofer in Carroll County, MD, we have the distinct pleasure of installing roofing on unique homes. From historic properties to farms, bungalows to suburban neighborhoods, Carroll County has it all.

With S&K’s owner having grown up on farm land in nearby Howard County Maryland, the rural setting of Carroll County feels like home. We are privileged to have the opportunity to do roofing on farms and barns, which often includes metal roofing – among our favorite types of roofing. In fact, visit our showroom and you will see our distinct company color blue metal roofing.

There are also many historic properties throughout Carroll County. In addition to metal roofing on these homes, we often have the chance to install slate roofing. While some homeowners choose to replace their old slate with new genuine slate, others are opting for composite slate roofing. Composite slate offers the same look as genuine slate, but is a more green alternative.

Outside of historic homes and farms, Carroll County is home to a growing number of suburban neighborhoods. Known throughout the state as one of the top counties for schooling, Carroll County continues to attract new home buyers. S&K does roofing on a wide range of single family homes as well as townhouses and condominiums. Today, many of these homeowners are choosing architectural roofing, as its texture provides an attractive alternative to flat shingle roofing.

A Bit of Carroll County History

Carroll County Maryland was established way back in 1837, and was  named for Charles Carroll of Carrollton (1737–1832), signer of the Declaration of Independence. The county was comprised of parts of Baltimore and Frederick.  Today, Carroll County is home to the cities of Westminster and Taneytown, and the towns of  Manchester, New Windsor, Union Bridge, Hampstead, Mount Airy (which is also partly in Frederick County, Montgomery County, and Howard County), Sykesville and Eldersburg. Click here to learn more about the history of Carroll County.

With its rich history and variety of different types of home and properties, we absolutely love roofing in Carroll County Maryland!


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A Deck by Summer? Begin Before It’s Too Late!

Any homeowner, and especially the proud owner of a new home, always seems to posses the never-ending home improvement list. Although this list can be stressful, it is always rewarding to be able to check something off. If installing a deck is on your list, make this the time to cross it off. Summer is the #1 time of year that decks are used most, so you will want to start this project in the Spring.

Decks Maryland
Start your new deck project now and enjoy it all summer long.

If you are feeling hesitant, keep in mind that the construction period for a deck is typically about a week. Additionally, you will need to check with your contractor to see what their wait time is. Some contractors might be able to begin right away, however most will be one to several weeks out. With this information, beginning in early spring should mean that your new deck will be ready for summer. Building a deck is one of the best things you can do for yourself and home because of the many benefits it offers.

Fun New Living Space

What do you plan on doing this summer? Are you looking to entertain outdoors? Maybe you have always wanted to, but never could because of the inadequate outdoor living space you had in the past. With a new deck, you will be able to earn the title of “best host” by providing your guests with optimal entertainment space! Guests will feel comfortable with the space to congregate and socialize. Along with great parties, your deck can provide you and your family with a spot to enjoy relaxing dinners during the warmer months.

Valuable Visual Appeal

Your back yard’s landscape will completely change for the better once a deck is added. There are many deck designs and varieties to choose from; your deck can be simple or complex, depending on your personal style and budget. Decks are available in natural wood, composite, and PVC; each offering different options for color, texture and design. Take your deck to the next level by decorating it with planters, lights, outdoor furniture, a grill, – the options are numerous. Adding a new deck will not only add aesthetic value to your home, but will increase its resale value as well!

A Cost Effective Addition

The cost of adding living space to your home can range from very expensive to affordable. If you are looking for a cost effective solution for additional living space, in most cases, a deck will be a more affordable solution than an indoor expansion. Decks will not require many of the more costly options that additions will, such as roofing, siding, wiring, windows, or insulation. Your deck cost will be driven by its size, design and materials. The costs associated with each different type of deck vary greatly. Wood is the most affordable option, followed by composite and then PVC. Your deck contractor will be able to work with you to fit a beautiful new deck into your budget.

S&K Roofing, Siding and Windows is proud to build quality decks in Maryland. Call us today to begin the first step of your new deck project. Our extensive knowledge and expertise in decks will be exactly what you need to make this dream into a reality.

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Replacement Windows in Your Maryland Home – How to Compare Your Options

Casement Windows in Maryland
Casement Windows MD

Windows MD – Energy efficient replacement windows are a great way to cut down your monthly utility bills while also giving your home a fresh new look.  Like most areas of home improvement technology, replacement windows are constantly changing.  Replacing your windows is a substantial investment that shouldn’t be made without doing your homework.  Become an educated consumer to know which type and style of window best suits your Maryland home.  Technological advances in windows over the past decade show that vinyl is the best material choice for energy efficient, durable, low maintenance windows.  Vinyl replacement windows provide energy savings because of their moderate to high R-values, which mean they are resistant to heat flow. The higher the R-value, the greater the resistance and the greater the energy efficiency; which equates to more energy savings for you. This applies to both heating and cooling costs.  High quality vinyl windows should never need to be replaced again and offer many characteristics their older counterparts cannot.  With continuously rising energy costs, high-performance products will keep your heating and cooling bills lower and provide a greater level of comfort for your home.

When comparing your replacement window options it is important to note that not all vinyl windows are the same.  Many replacement window contractors use vinyl windows that may cost you less up front but over the long haul could wind up costing you much, much more.  Lower quality vinyl windows can sag, or even soften over time thus losing their shape.  Higher quality vinyl sashes are engineered to withstand the heat that causes these deformations.  S&K Roofing, Siding and Windows only uses the highest quality vinyl replacement windows from manufacturers such as Viwinco, BF Rich, Pella, Andersen and Velux  and encourages homeowners to research what makes these windows special.  Factors such as quality of the material, number of chambers (the higher the number of chambers, the higher the quality) and how the windows are assembled are very important.  A great tip for determining the quality of a vinyl window is to look for blue tinting.  Frequently, manufacturers of lower quality windows will tint the vinyl blue to buy time before the product fades.

There are many types of replacement windows.  Let’s first take a look at single hung and double hung windows.  A single hung window has a fixed top sash with a bottom sash that can be opened.  Many single hung windows have a bottom sash that tilts in for easy cleaning.  A double hung window has a top sash that can be lowered and a bottom sash that can be raised.  Many double hung windows offer the added benefit of both windows tilting in.  Single and double hung windows are the most common windows found in homes today.

Other types of replacement windows offered by S&K are;

Awning Windows:  These windows are used to provide extra light and are usually installed on top of larger windows or patio doors.  Awning windows are hinged at the top and open out from the bottom.

Sliding Windows:  Sliding windows have one fixed window sash, and another that slides open from side to side.

Bay and Bow Windows:  Bay windows consist of three windows joined together, while bow windows consist of four or more windows joined together to form a curve for maximum view from the inside and curb appeal from the outside.

Garden Windows:  Primarily used in one’s kitchen area, garden windows are ideal for growing herbs, showcasing small flowers and starting plants for late spring planting.

Skylights:  Skylights are built in roof windows providing a unique lighting function.

Casement Windows:  Casement windows are windows that are hinged at the side, and open outward from either side. Casement windows are ideal for sunrooms and additions, as they offer views unobstructed by sashes and grids.

Specialty Shapes:  These windows often use curves and rectangles to accent architecture.

Specialty Windows:   Specialty windows offer unique combinations of shapes, styles and features, include those that open for ventilation.

Comparing options when it comes to replacing your windows can be a challenging task.  After all, there many manufacturers and products that claim to be the “best”.  By becoming educated on the subject your choice will become exponentially easier.  Choosing the perfect window can easily be ruined by choosing the wrong installation “expert”.  Be sure these two choices go hand in hand and choose an installer that is licensed, insured and can provide you with not only written testimonials but also customer references.  Be sure to compare not only prices, but quality and features such as R Value and U Value (the amount of heat that escapes through the window).  Also consider windows that are Energy Star® rated.  These windows not only cut energy costs but help the environment as well.  Another important consideration is choosing a window that is classified as a Low E window.  Low E or low emissivity is the action of reflecting light passing through glass.  A low emissivity window will filter out more than 50% of damaging UV light.  Becoming an educated consumer can be difficult and time consuming, but your extra effort will undoubtedly pay off.

S&K Roofing, Siding and Windows have been installing high quality replacement windows for more than 30 years.  Whether you are looking to give your home a more beautiful appearance or simply trying to cut down on pesky energy costs, replacing your old, out dated windows is a great place to start.  S&K offers a great Window Buying Guide at  This comprehensive guide will show you everything you need to know when choosing to replace your windows.  From choosing the perfect contractor to making the most educated window choice the S&K Window Buying Guide will walk you step by step through the entire process.  So, when you’re deciding what to do with your tax refund or simply trying to find a way to curb energy costs, remember to check your windows this spring and contact S&K Roofing, Siding and Windows to schedule a no-hassle no-obligation replacement window estimate.

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