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Prevent Ice And Snow Damage This Winter

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The last winter was epic in its generation of ice and snow storms. Ice and snow accumulations bring the potential for headaches beyond those associated with white-knuckle driving: it can also damage a home’s roof and gutters.

 

Damage from ice and snow can occur for two reasons. The first is that the sheer weight of snow can dislodge gutters from a building. Several inches of snow on a fairly flat roof can also carry enough weight to collapse the roof. A roof that is under stress can make the doors and windows of the house difficult to open, or the homeowner will hear popping or creaking noises.

 

The second, and more prevalent, cause of roof and gutter damage is the formation of ice dams. An ice dam is created when heat emanating from a home’s attic melts snow on the roof, which then refreezes after it trickles into the gutters. The ice buildup prevents melt water from flowing through the gutters and out the downspouts. Ice dams can cause melt water to back up and go under the roof’s shingles, that leads to leaks and water damage to the roof, fascia and soffit. An ice dam can also cause water to spill over the side of the gutter and soak into the ground next to the home’s foundation. In turn, this leads to foundation damage or water seeping into the basement or crawlspace.

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Excessive snow on the roof is easily removed using a roof rake. This tool is available at most hardware stores. It is normally made of lightweight aluminum, has a telescoping handle and allows the homeowner to stand on the ground and pull snow off the roof. Removing excess snow is one way to prevent ice dams as well.

 

There are three more ways a homeowner can do to prevent ice dams. First the home should have good attic insulation. A well insulated attic prevents heat loss that leads to the formation of ice dams. Attic ventilation should also be considered, as a poorly ventilated attic is likely to trap ambient heat. Second, cleaning leaves and other debris out of guttering in the fall keeps the paths open for water to flow freely. Third, in areas where heavy snows are routine, adding heating cables to the roof prevents the buildup of snow and keeps water from refreezing in the gutters. Heating cables are only appropriate for roofs made of noncombustible tab shingles and inclined roofs, however.

 

Preventive measures may not be part of a homeowner’s routine in areas that are normally snow-free. Once the snow and ice are gone, be sure to inspect the roof and guttering for any damage it may have left behind.


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Siding Color Confusion?

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When choosing colors for your new home exterior, having so many great options can be overwhelming. Our partner and vendor James Hardie has a great article on how to choose your home colors wisely.

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Click here for more details!


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Is Stamped Concrete The Right Choice For You?

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If you are looking for a unique, durable flooring material stamped concrete may be right for you!  In the past, homeowners could only choose between hardwood floors, tile, or carpet.  Today, there are a host of products on the market to suit your needs.  Stamped concrete offers a variety of patterns and an unending list of possibilities.

 

What is stamped concrete?  Stamped concrete involves using patterned stamps that are applied to wet concrete to produce the design of your choice.  Some popular pattern choices are brick, flagstone, slate, and tile.  While the concrete is wet, Sela will apply the stamps in a set pattern over the area.  When the stamp is lifted from the surface, it has imprinted the concrete with the design.  Multiple stamps can be used to create any combination you can imagine!

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Where can this product can be used?  The most common areas for stamped concrete involve outdoor areas such as driveways, patios, decks, and walkways.  However, the technique is being transferred to indoor areas as well.  Kitchens, living rooms, and bathrooms are popular choices.  In some instances, homeowners are using stamped concrete throughout the home.  The product provides an easy to clean surface, does not stain, and does not harbor allergens.  If you are building or remodeling a home, consult with your contractor and manufacturer on approved installation guidelines.  Each manufacturer will have specific recommendations on suitable substrates that can be used with their product.  For example, concrete overlays can be easily applied to already present concrete slabs.  However, applying it to plywood surfaces may require specific deflection ratings.  A deflection rating measures the amount of “bounce” produced with live and dead loads on a floor system.  If the floor “moves” too much, it can produce cracks in the concrete overlay and create problems.

 

Once the stamping is complete, the area can be colored to any color scheme you choose.  The contractor will apply acid or water-based stain products to the floor.  Multiple colors can be applied in two or three stages to create depth within the stamp.  The tools required to color stamped concrete are relatively simple: sprayers, brushes, and the stain itself.  If you have never worked with concrete stamps and stains, it may be advisable to hire a trained professional.  However, if you are a true do-it-yourselfer, a little practice can help you create an amazing floor!  Consider stamping a walkway in the backyard or patio before proceeding on the home.  This will allow you to perfect the techniques required to produce a custom flooring pattern


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Five Good Reasons To Go Green With Your Roof

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It’s easy to surmise that a green roof is something that’s good for the environment. However, besides being ecologically-friendly, it can also be an effective way of regulating indoor temperatures and helping homeowners save a considerable sum of money on heating and cooling costs.

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Green roofs first became popular in the 1960s when German homeowners took to using them as a standard component of their houses. However, studies show that the concept of green roofs had already been in practice many centuries ago in some parts of Europe. Today, a steadily growing number of home owners are having green roofs installed.

 

If you’re still on the fence as to whether to install a green roof for your house or not, here are 5 good reasons to do so:

 

1. Green roofs come with substantially greater insulation than regular roofs. In one Canadian study, it was found that during the summer, green roofs help lower cooling needs by 25% and during the winter months, they help lower heating needs by 25%. This means lower energy costs.

 

2. Green roofs last up to three times longer than ordinary roofs. The special components of the green roof give it a high level of protection against extreme heat, making it very durable even during the hottest summer months. With regular roofs, constant exposure to temperatures of more than 176 degrees Fahrenheit (80 degrees Celsius) can cause fissures and brittleness, but this is not a problem at all with green roofs.

 

3. Green roofs retain much more water than regular roofing materials. In fact, only 25% of rainfall that hits green roofs will eventually run off into the streets and drainage systems below. The 75% is retained by the green roof, to be released naturally into the atmosphere once the weather clears up. The main advantage of this feature is that a lot of floods can be prevented and drainage congestion will be avoided.

 

4. Green roofing is heavily supported by most governments because besides being effective in regulating indoor temperatures, these special roofs can reduce the extreme heat reflected onto the surrounding areas. This benefit is most greatly felt in congested urban areas where houses are built very closely together. When the sun’s rays strike the roofs, a lot of the heat is reflected to the environment and this can cause overheating of nearby power grids.

 

5. Green roofs make a house look much more aesthetically appealing. They also provide a much-needed sanctuary for birds, insects, and other small animals especially in busy cities where gardens and parks are hard to find. In addition, having a green roof on your home will also increase your property’s value by a considerable margin, making it much easier to sell in the market when the need arises.

 

To go green with you roof, give us a call!


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Sela Awarded GAF Master Elite Awards From GAF

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We are proud to announce that Sela Roofing was awarded the GAF Master Elite and Master Select Awards for Business Excellence for low slope and steep slope roofing.

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As one of only two contractors in the Midwest to receive the awards, we are proud of our incredible team!


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Introducing Owens Corning Devonshire Shingles!

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Owens Corning unveiled their latest line of shingles. The Devonshire™ Shingles product line offers an affordable alternative to other slate-look shingles and are built to provide beauty and performance for many years to come.

 

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Call us today to find out more!


Adding Shade To Your Deck Or Patio

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A deck serves as a backyard entertainment center, an al fresco dining space and a second living room during sultry summer days. But direct sunlight can make your deck uncomfortably hot during the peak outdoor months. Adding shade cools the heat and turns your deck into a space where everyone will want to hang out. Options for adding shade range from expensive to thrifty, and from temporary to permanent. You can experiment with different arrangements until you find the one that’s right for you.

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Portable Canopy

Sporting goods and outdoor stores sell pop-up canopies designed for use at tailgate parties, tag sales and camping trips. But such a canopy can also provide quick shade for your deck. Position yours over a table and chairs or lounger, or set it up over the kiddie pool. It’s easy to move to follow the sun. You’ll want to weight the legs to keep it from blowing over in the wind. Advantages: it’s inexpensive and portable. Disadvantages: you have to set it up every time you want to use it and take it down again every evening. Also, the legs can get in the way of walking freely around your deck.

 

Awnings

A more expensive but still versatile option for shade on your deck is an awning. Many companies make retractable awnings for decks. The awning mounts to your house and you can roll it out whenever you need shade. You can extend the awning part of the way for a little shade or all the way out for a deeply shaded retreat. These awnings are made of heavy-duty fabric designed to stand up to heat and sun, but they’re vulnerable to wind and storm damage, so you’ll need to keep them rolled up when not in use. To cover a large deck you’ll need a large awning. Advantages: Adjustable and out of the way when not in use. Disadvantages: Pricey and unstable in the wind.

 

Pergolas and Other Structures

For a more permanent option, build a roof over your deck. Cover it completely to block wind and sun, or use an open pattern for a stylish pergola that allows you to still enjoy the stars on a clear summer night. You can use redwood, metal, fiberglass or asphalt shingles for your roof. You’ll need to tie it into your house’s roofline and you should check with your city or county to determine if you need a construction permit. Advantages: permanent and versatile; create your own style. Disadvantages: expensive and time consuming to construct.

 

Green Shade

For a green option consider planting a tree to shade your deck. A deciduous tree will shade the deck in summer and leave it open to the sun in winter. You can even choose a variety that will provide fruit or nuts for your family. Or erect a trellis and train vines to climb it and shade your deck. You need to live in a temperate climate where vines can quickly grow high enough to provide shade. You can choose a flowering vine for more color. Advantages: Trees and vines are green. The vines option is inexpensive and easy to rip out if you decide you don’t like it. Disadvantages: Planting a tree large enough to provide shade can be expensive and you’ll have leaves to rake in the fall.


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Great Garden and Patio Gadgets

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With warm weather just around the corner the patio and garden will be waiting!  Spending time outdoors is even more enjoyable with the following nifty gadgets that compliment life in the garden.  The following are gadgets you may want to consider for your own patio or garden or to give as gifts.

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The E-Light is a terrific gadget for enjoying those spring and summer evenings.  This cordless umbrella light, powered by an LED light, will transform your gatherings by brightening up the patio or deck.  Additionally, this affordable gadget features a built in jack so you can plug in your iPod and bring music to the party.  The light is perfect to read by or to sip drinks along with family and friends.

 

Another stylish light is made by Mathmos and is called the Aduki Bling.  This indoor/outdoor light boasts a cool metallic sheen that can add up to eight hours of light to any setting in the garden.  While not in use, the light appears like a gorgeous golden bean.  Once the light is powered, it will cycle through one of three great colors.

 

If you live in wooded area and want pest-free yard, consider the Ultra Sonic Cordless Repeller.  This helpful device prevents unwanted pests like dogs, rodents, deer and others from roaming the grounds and getting into the garden!  When the motion of these animals is detected, the repeller humanely emits ultrasonic tones to send them away.

 

The SunCalc is a great device for novice gardeners who may need help with plant placement.  Before planting your new plants, place the SunCalc in the desired spot for twenty-four hours.  After a full day, the SunCalc will tell you whether the spot is ideal for plants that need full sun, partial sun, partial shade or full shade.

 

The Lay-Z-Spa allows you to bring place the hot tub almost anywhere in the patio or garden.  This portable jacuzzi is a British import that can be toted anywhere.  This spa holds 240 gallons of water and its pumping system and heater can have the water at an ideal temperature within a day.  The spa even features a filter to ensure clean water.  Bring it to the campground or place it out on the balcony or deck; the Lay-Z-Spa brings the fun and relaxation wherever you want to take it.

 

For patios that see a lot of entertaining around the grill, consider the Electronic Venus Flytrap, a useful gadget that rids your eating area of pesky flies.  Your friends and family can enjoy their burgers and chips without swatting insects away throughout their meal.  Without the smelly fumes of sprays, this gadget acts just like a carnivorous Venus Flytrap collecting flies in its belly.  Great for patios and porches, this gadget also makes a nice inexpensive gift for anyone who enjoys spending time outdoors.

 

The Viteo Garden Shower is a cool gadget that allows you to take a fountain-like shower before getting into the pool.  Just step on the simple white platform that hooks up to a garden hose and experience an outdoor shower from the ground-up.  A great gadget for pool parties, this device is also useful for rinsing off sweat after a morning of gardening.

 

Glow in the Dark Pebbles look like ordinary pebbles during the day, but at night they light up with beautiful outdoor displays of color.  These pebbles can make walkways and garden paths safer for strolling, but they can even highlight special plants of flower beds in your landscape.  During the day, the pebbles accumulate stores of sunlight to provide up to six hours of light in the evening.

 

Outdoor Misting Systems are ideal for those sweltering summer days or for people who live in extremely hot climates.  Perfect accompaniment for outdoor gatherings, your system can be set up to mist along the patio to provide a cool climate for your outdoor parties.  Such systems can cool your space by as much as twenty degrees!

 

The Misting Fan Cooler is not as extensive as a misting system, but it is a portable misting center that is guaranteed to cool you off after a spell in the sun working in the garden.  It has the ability to reduce the temperature of a space by twenty-five degrees.  Covering 950 square feet, it is perfect for a patio, deck or porch and can really help your guests beat the heat while waiting for the barbeque to cook up lunch or dinner.

 

All these gadgets can easily be found online and some may even be found at your local mall.  Such gadgets are useful for making the most of outdoor life and complimenting your patio and garden activities.  Be sure to include some as gifts for other outdoor enthusiasts who appreciate interesting devices.


Sela Roofing Honored By Owens Corning For Sustainable Building

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We are proud to receive the prestigious 2014 Platinum Award from Owens Corning for our commitment to sustainable building practices through our successful shingle recycling program.

The annual Owens Corning ™ Roofing Platinum Preferred Contractor awards ceremony honors the country’s most distinguished roofing contractor businesses for outstanding achievement, integrity and industry leadership.

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“Owens Corning Roofing is proud of the success Sela Roofing and Remodeling has achieved within our Platinum Roofing Network by implementing shingle recycling services to help divert the tear-off materials from landfills,” said Matt Roth, Director of Contractor Services, Owens Corning Roofing and Asphalt. “Sela Roofing and Remodeling’s commitment to sustainable business solutions exemplifies why our Owens Corning Platinum Preferred Roofing Network is truly the preferred choice by homeowners across the country.”


NSC Honors Owens Corning for Safety

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The National Safety Council presented Owens Corning with the Green Cross for Safety medal at its 15th annual fundraising dinner in Atlanta last night. The dinner honored Owens Corning for its steadfast commitment to improving safety and health in the workplace and beyond.

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“Receiving the Green Cross for Safety medal honors the dedication of all of our employees,” said Owens Corning Chairman and CEO, Michael H. Thaman. “We lead from safety, which means our ability to execute on safety is a primary indicator of how we perform as a company.”

 

Congratulations to Owens Corning!