7 Tips for Safe Outdoor Holiday Decorating

7 Tips for Safe Outdoor Holiday Decorating

Tis the season for festive lights and holiday décor, and here in the Hudson Valley that means taking extra precautions to ensure both your own safety and the protection of your roof.

Follow these seven tips for ensuring your season stays merry and bright, while your roof stays safe and secure.

7 Tips for Safe Outdoor Holiday Decorating

Prevent too much weight on the roof

We’ve all seen extravagant holiday displays with large decorations set high on the roof for maximum impact. It might look whimsical, but too much weight can damage shingles and structural integrity. Aim for lightweight decorations, or simply place larger items on the front lawn.

Use a ladder, instead of walking on your roof

Not only is walking on your roof a safety hazard, especially in colder weather when it might have slick spots, but it can lead to roof damage, too. When hanging lights, safely use a ladder instead. (PS, if you want to have your roof inspected for damage from previous years, contact us!)

Avoid attaching lights to your roof

By attaching string lights to gutters or to eaves using light clips, you’ll avoid potential shingle damage. If you choose hooks, which can make it easier to restring lights the following year, look into insulated hooks to protect against electrical fires if a wire becomes frayed.

Keep safety top of mind

If the weather outside is frightful, save decorating for another day. And please keep in mind that it’s not advised to use nails, tacks, screws, or staples in holiday light hanging.

While you’re up there, clean your gutters

Dried leaves can become a fire hazard if a bulb gets too warm, and clogged gutters can cause water and ice damage to your roof. Before you begin hanging your lights, be sure to clear out any leaves and other debris you find in your gutters.

Use the right lights

Exterior lights are meant to withstand changing weather patterns. Be sure to only use exterior lights, and to test them first before hanging to make sure everything works. Another tip: Set a timer to help save a little money on your electric bill, and to reduce any risk of overnight fire hazards.

Remove lights the right way

When the holiday season is over, you might be tempted to just yank everything down, but this can not only damage wires, but also the roof and gutters. Wait until a nice, dry day to climb a ladder and gently remove your decorations.

Let’s end this year with a safe and festive holiday season, and ensure your roof is protected into the new year. Call GKontos Roofing Specialists for all of your roofing needs, or for a free estimate on services.

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5 Top Questions to Ask Your Roofer

When it comes to a long-lasting roof, proper maintenance and repairs-as-needed will ensure your home stays structurally sound for years to come. We know you’re protective of your property, and that means you’re bound to have some questions—we encourage homeowners to ask away! Whether you’re looking for a simple roof inspection or an entire new roof, here are answers to five frequently asked questions.

(By the way: If you have any additional questions, feel free to reach out to us directly by calling 845-ROOFING (766-3464.))

5 Top Questions to Ask Your Roofer

1. How can I tell if my roof needs maintenance?

There are so many aspects to a healthy roof and not all damage is obvious. There are a few things to look for, including:

  • Check your attic for excessive heat in summer; you could need better ventilation. Learn more about attic ventilation here.
  • Examine the flashing around your chimney—this should be watertight.
  • Look for moss or algae growing on shingles, as this can indicate moisture damage.

Your best bet may be to call a professional roofing company like GKontos Roofing Specialists to thoroughly examine your roof for a periodic inspection.

2. Does a leaky roof mean the entire roof needs to be replaced?

A roof leak does need to be fixed, but it’s possible that repair can be localized—though, it wouldn’t hurt to have an overall inspection done just to make sure there aren’t additional problem areas. From there, the amount of work that needs to be done will depend on the level of damage.

3. How long does a typical roof system last?

The lifespan of an older roof is typically 20 years, but that depends on its individual factors. The quality of the roofing materials is just as important as the structural design of your roof.  Weather patterns play a key part in determining a roof’s longevity as well. But with proper maintenance, and our new roof, you can expect to get decades out of your roofing system.

4. Can roofing work be done in cold-weather seasons?

The answer is yes; even though shingles are known to become brittle in cold weather, most roofing work can still be done in winter climates as long as the conditions are safe. However, certain follow-up work may need to be finalized as the weather warms up, such as ensuring proper bonding of sealants.

5. Can I just do the work myself?

We generally advise against doing roofing work yourself unless you are specifically trained to do so safely and efficiently. It’s advised that the best way to reduce the risk of self-injury—or the risk of making roof damage worse—is to call a professional roofer. When it comes to you protecting your home, property, and family, you don’t want to cut corners.

At GKontos Roofing Specialists, our team of highly trained professionals has been providing roofing services in the Hudson Valley and Westchester for more than 15 years.

Want to work together? Contact us today to schedule your free estimate or to have any additional questions answered.

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6 Roof Maintenance Tips for Fall

There’s nothing quite like fall in the Hudson Valley. But the changing leaves and cooler weather also remind us that winter is around the corner—and that this season gives one last chance to tackle any put-off home projects before the snow arrives.

We tend to not think about our roofs until there’s a problem, but regular maintenance can help prevent costly repairs for homeowners—not to mention, limit liability on a rental property—while ensuring your house stays energy efficient as the seasons change.Fall Roofing Tips

Here are six roof maintenance tips for fall in the Hudson Valley.

1. Get an inspection from a trusted roofer

Remember: Just because you don’t see any obvious damage, you may not be aware of problems brewing. Experienced roofers—like the professionals at GKontos Roofing Specialists—are trained to look for any underlying issues or potential trouble spots that could become major repairs later if they’re not addressed now. (Contact us today to schedule an inspection!)

2. Repair damaged shingles before snow arrives

If you notice any damaged or missing shingles, you’ll want to get them replaced as soon as possible. As temperatures drop, moisture that’s gotten into the exposed area can turn to ice, further damaging your roof. Snow in the Hudson Valley can start as soon as October and continue through the beginning of spring, so be sure to take care of shingle repair early in the autumn season.

3. Repair damaged shingles before snow arrives

This is a great roof maintenance tip for Hudson Valley homeowners year-round, but especially once those autumn leaves fall because they can clog gutters and prevent water from properly flowing. If that water freezes during winter, it can damage both your gutter system and your roof. Remove tree limbs that hang over your home, as storms or heavy snow can break branches and damage your roof.

4. Examine your chimney flashing

Flashing is the connection between your chimney and roof, and it should be watertight. If moisture gets in, it can damage your chimney system and the repairs can be costly. Fix or replace faulty flashing before you need to use your chimney.

5. Check attic ventilation to prevent moisture in your attic over the winter months

Without proper ventilation, heat will rise from other parts of your home and become trapped in your attic. Once this warm air hits the difference in temperature in your attic, it will turn into condensation. This could cause the wood in your attic to rot over time, not to mention ice-related damage during winter or even mold growth. You always want to allow hot air to rise and escape your attic. Here’s a tip: Keep an eye out for moss or algae growing on your roof as well. This also indicates moisture. Moisture can build up on the top of your roof for several reasons. Natural causes and poor workmanship when not following guidelines. (Call us over to learn more)

6. Check attic insulation to keep your home warm

Don’t let the warmth of your heating system escape through a poorly insulated attic; be sure to keep your home cozy and energy efficient by replacing damaged insulation.

With cooler weather fast approaching, now is the ideal time to ensure your home is ready for whatever the coming seasons bring—and you can trust the professionals at GKontos Roofing Specialists for your roofing needs.

Call us today for a free estimate.

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Why Attic Ventilation Is Important and How It Can Help You Save On Cooling Costs

Your home’s roof provides protection from the elements. But to remain structurally sound and efficient, your roof needs its own protection—especially from summertime attic heat and moisture.

Your house is more than a home; it’s an investment. By ensuring your attic is properly ventilated, you can reap long-lasting benefits—and save money on cooling.

Why is attic ventilation so important?

There are several ways that a properly ventilated attic can make your home more comfortable and secure. For starters, ventilation can help to regulate airflow and temperature, extend the life of your roof shingles, and even make your home more energy-efficient when it comes to cooling during hot summer months.

Heat and moisture rise to the attic from other parts of your home and can become trapped if your attic is not properly ventilated. This could potentially lead to a long list of problems, including:

  • Damage to rafters and wood fixtures
  • Increased energy costs due to excess heat
  • A lower lifespan of shingles, as they’re being overheated from both inside and out
  • Damage from ice in the winter due to the freezing of trapped condensation

Plus, poor ventilation can damage your attic insulation, which is the main source of preventing heat from entering other parts of your home in the first place. Not only can trapped heat and moisture deteriorate your insulation, costing you money for replacement and potential repairs, but when your attic isn’t insulated the right way, it heats the rest of your house, raising the cost of cooling and air conditioning.

How do I ventilate my attic?

There are actions you can take to see if your attic needs ventilation. Start by looking at your roof and eaves to see if you currently have any vents. You can also feel your ceiling on a hot day to see if it’s warm to the touch; if so, you may have trapped heat in your attic.

Your best bet is to contact a local roofing expert like GKontos Roofing Specialists, based in Dutchess County and serving homeowners throughout the Hudson Valley and Westchester regions.

A roofing specialist can take the guesswork out of this important home-improvement by inspecting your eaves, roof, and attic to ensure your home is properly ventilated.

Summer in the Hudson Valley means hot, sunny weeks and plenty of rainy or humid days in between. While we can’t control the weather, GKontos Roofing Specialists can ensure your roof can protect your home, no matter what summer brings.

Contact us today to schedule your free estimate or if you have any other questions.

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