Your Gutter Spring Cleaning Checklist

An important yet often overlooked spring cleaning task for the exterior of your home is inspecting your gutter system for the upcoming seasons and their elements and making sure it is in proper working order.

A properly functioning gutter system protects your home’s roof, walls, foundation, and landscape from water damage. Water can back up and damage your roof, fascia, soffit, and siding when gutters and downspouts are obstructed or damaged. It can also lead to but is not limited to mold growth, roof leaks, water damage to the interior or exterior of your home, and sagging gutters.

In short, neglecting the seasonal maintenance of your gutter system can lead to costly repairs in the future. But, with our Gutter Spring Cleaning Checklist, you can enter the warmer seasons with peace of mind.

Clean Your Gutters
Since a properly functioning gutter system protects your home and its foundation from water damage, this chore is a necessary part of spring cleaning – remember to keep an eye out for these six common spring gutter problems. Performing routine maintenance also helps prolong the life of your gutter system and avoid costly repairs.

Clean out sticks, leaves, mud, and any other debris. Leaves, sticks, and other falling debris from windy storms can collect in the gutter systems during the winter months – make sure these are cleared away before spring and summer.

Debris-filled gutters also make a perfect home for rodents and other pests. Critters and insects look for new homes during the spring, and they all love nesting in clogged gutters. From there, they may eventually find their way inside your house.
To cut down or eliminate your gutter cleaning time, we strongly suggest investing in installing gutter guards.

Inspect Your Gutters
While cleaning out the debris, keep an eye out for damage such as cracks or leaks. Early spring is the perfect time to ensure there was no damage done to seals or fasteners by ice and snow or heavy wind gusts during the winter months.

Ensure water flows freely through the system and note any obstructions such as nests and clumps of mud.If you find any holes, corrosion, sagging sections, loose, bent, or missing fasteners, schedule an inspection to discuss potential repairs or a system replacement.

Examine Your Fascia
Take a look at the fascia board around your house and note any sagging or bowing. This may indicate that your fascia is damaged. To determine whether any repairs are necessary, schedule a professional inspection.

Check Neighboring Trees
Examine the trees surrounding your home to ensure there aren’t any limbs touching your roof or gutter system. Limbs that are touching or are too close to the gutters can cause damage if they break or are blown into the gutter system by a windy spring storm.

Be sure to also check out our Roof Spring Cleaning Checklist! If you need gutters, gutter guards, repairs, or a replacement – or if you are unsure and would like a professional look and opinion – schedule an appointment today.

Your Roof Spring Cleaning Checklist

Cleaning and examining your roof is necessary for your home’s exterior maintenance and should be done each year. The elements, especially in the fall and winter months, can take a toll on your roof, exterior walls, and gutters. Still, with regular maintenance, you can help extend the lifespan of your roof by following this checklist.

Clean Off Debris
The elements – especially from the fall and winter seasons, tree branches, bird droppings, dirt, moss, and mildew can all harm the roof of your house. To help ensure the debris doesn’t weaken the integrity of your roof, be sure to clean it all off thoroughly.

Check for Mold and Mildew
While looking over your roof, keep an eye out for signs of mold or mildew. If your roof has a lot of debris, you have mold and mildew growing on it. However, it’s typically an easy fix if caught early without causing significant problems. Also, look for discolored streaks on your roof, indicating growth.

As mold and mildew progress, they seep into the foundation and cause more problems. Mold and mildew can spread to the interior of your home and are dangerous not only to your health but also to the health of your roof. Inspect for any signs of mold or mildew during your spring cleaning routine.

If you see that mold has covered a large roof area, reach out to the 22nd Century Roofing team for a more thorough inspection.

Look Over and Clean Your Gutter System
A functioning gutter system will protect your home from water damage by directing water away from the roof and channeling it away from your home. However, water can back up and damage the roof, fascia, soffits, and siding when the gutters and downspouts are clogged. If rainwater isn’t flowing correctly through your gutter system backs up, and overflows will occur, meaning the system will need a thorough cleaning and possibly repairs.

While inspecting your gutter system, keep an eye out for these six common spring gutter system problems.

Trim Nearby Tree Branches
Not only should you clean off your roof when spring arrives, but you should also clean out your gutter system and trim nearby trees hanging over and near your roof. By trimming branches, you can help to reduce the amount of debris that can build up in the gutter system and potential unwanted damage to the roof. However, the best and most effective option to keep your system clear and work properly is to have gutter guards installed.

Examine Flashing and Chimney
When examining your chimney and the flashing around it, look for flashing that might have pulled away from the chimney or roof. Flashing that has pulled away can create small holes, creating an opening for water and bugs to enter. If you are unsure if there is damage to this area of your roof, schedule a professional inspection to prevent further and potentially more costly damage.

Inspect Your Attic
The attic is an important place to inspect, as well as water that may have seeped through or the presence of condensation can cause the wood structure to rot. And, if left. 

Water can leak into your home or attic, and condensation can cause rooting wood. If left untended, it can be a breeding ground for mold or mildew.

Check your ceiling and attic for signs of water damage or mold. Mold in your attic is generally due to either an insulation or ventilation issue if no roof leaking has occurred. If you notice any mold or mildew growth, it is crucial to call a professional for an inspection, as they will be able to pinpoint the exact cause of the damage and make repairs before the issue worsens.

It’s also possible that bugs or critters have found their way into your home during the colder months, so be sure to also look for possible signs of infestations.

Look for Signs of Damage
While looking for signs of damage, look for broken, missing, curling, blistering, buckling, and stained shingles, as these all can create more significant issues if unnoticed or left to worsen. In addition, look for heavy branches that may have been frozen and fallen during the winter, rotting, or other signs of damage.

Spring is the perfect time to repair any missing or loose shingles and call a professional to conduct a thorough inspection. If you see something that looks like it needs attention soon, reach out to our team right away to assess and repair the potential damage.

Evaluate General Wear and Tear
General wear and tear occurs naturally over time but to ensure you are performing proper maintenance and helping to prolong the lifespan of your roof, it is essential to watch the progression of that wear and tear – and have repairs made as needed. Whether there are large areas of rust on your gutters or areas of your roof that seem to be sagging, general wear and tear are usually easy to spot.

Keep in mind that while you may have covered all of your bases, untrained eyes often overlook things. There is the possibility that your roof has damage that can’t be seen. Small details can be hard to notice if you are unsure what exactly to be looking for. Because of this, it is a good idea to schedule a professional inspection to be sure nothing is missed and that you can enter the spring and summer seasons with peace of mind that your home’s roof is safe, functioning accurately, and in its best shape.

What Makes 22nd Century Roofing Stand Out?

When it comes to having a new roof, siding, or gutter system installed or repaired on your home, you want to make sure it is done right and done right the first time. This starts and ends with finding the best contractor to do the job. Of course, it is essential to use quality products, but it is just as necessary to hire a quality professional contractor.

Just about every contractor you look into or meet with will tell you they are different from the others out there; they are the best choice. Many tell their potential customers that they provide quality service and use quality products to explain how they differentiate. But shouldn’t that be a given – not the only factor that makes them superior to their competitors?

This is a topic we at 22nd Century Roofing have given a lot of thought to and go out of our way to ensure our potential, current, and past customers know what makes us stand out and experience it during every step of their project and interactions with our team members.

So, what is it exactly that individualizes 22nd Century Roofing from our competition?

Ready to meet our team and schedule an appointment to receive your roof, siding, gutter, or insulation estimate? Reach out to us today.

Best Type of Siding for Minnesota’s Climate

As the U.S. has many unique climactic qualities, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all option for siding. However, whether you live in the humid weather of Florida, the dry heat of Arizona, or below zero temps in Minnesota, there is an optimal siding option for your home.

So, what is the best, most effective, and efficient siding option for homeowners in Minnesota? In short, the answer is James Hardie’s HZ5® – the only siding engineered for climate. But why?

James Hardie gives you the ability to put the optimum siding on a project regardless of your location. While engineering its siding and trim, they took the individual variations in climate, and its long-term performance on their products, into serious consideration and created The HardieZone® System.

“James Hardie based The HardieZone® System on the eight individual climatic variables that primarily affect the long-term performance of siding. Using these factors, we arrived at ten distinct climatic zones. Though different, we found common variables in certain regions, allowing us to engineer the HZ5® product line for zones 1 through 5 and the HZ10® product line for zones 6 through 10.” [James Hardie]

James Hardie’s HZ5® siding is engineered to perform with ease in cold, wet, freezing temperatures. With a reduced water absorption rate and more strength in freezing climates, Hz5 combats shrinking, swelling, and cracking throughout years in the cold northern U.S. conditions. In Minnesota, this is your zone.

HZ5® Fights Cold, Snow, Ice, and Worry

The HZ5® product line is right at home in climates with freezing temperatures, extreme seasonal temperature variations, and snow and ice. To ensure its beauty matches its durability, James Hardie has engineered the surface for higher performance, giving it superior paint adhesion and moisture resistance. To ensure its beauty matches its durability, the surface is engineered for higher performance, giving it superior paint adhesion and moisture resistance. In addition, they’ve added a drip edge to provide improved water management. So you are not only getting an exterior that performs well in cold, nasty climates. You’re getting an exterior engineered just for it.

When considering the range of factors, engineers noticed some crossover in certain regions, allowing James Hardie to create the HZ5® product line for zones 1-5 and the HZ10® product line for zones 6-10.” [James Hardie]

Now that you know the best siding option for your midwestern house, you don’t have to wait until spring to update your siding – we install and repair siding all year long. If you are interested in receiving an estimate to install James Hardie siding on your home, email, text, or call our team today.

Contractors Cannot Offer to Pay Your Deductible

In 2010, the Minnesota Legislature passed a law prohibiting residential building contractors and remodelers from offering to pay all or part of a homeowner’s insurance deductible or offer anything of value to convince a homeowner to enter into a contract (Minn. Stat. § 325E.66). The law has since changed, and the Construction Codes and Licensing Division (CCLD) has begun to enforce action against contractors for violations.

This law states a contractor cannot offer to pay part or all of a homeowner’s deductible and restricts a contractor from offering or providing anything of value in exchange for providing their services. For example, contractors are prohibited from offering rebates, credits, free meals, material upgrades free-of-charge, or anything of value to entice a homeowner to sign a contract funded by insurance funds. It is also essential to note that any advertisement or marketing materials offering benefits in a retail transaction must include a clear disclaimer that the offer does not apply to insurance-funded projects.

Another recent change to the law requires contractors to provide a written summary of these constraints to a potential customer when the contractor provides their initial estimate; insurance companies and adjusters are also required to provide this same information to the homeowner. The written summaries help clarify it is illegal for contractors to offer incentives prohibited by law.

If you have any questions about this law, you can contact CCLD Enforcement Services at 651-284-5069 or dli.contractor@state.mn.us.

Spring Cleaning the Roof – 9 Point Checklist

Now that spring is here, it is time to get outside, start your exterior spring cleaning, and evaluate what the cold weather months may have done to your home. Cleaning your roof is an essential part of exterior maintenance and should be done each year. The elements, especially of the fall and winter months, can take a toll on your roof, exterior walls, and gutters. But, you can help keep your home in tip-top shape by following this checklist while cleaning your roof.

  • Remove Debris
    • Start by removing any leaves, dirt, and other debris off your roof. There are two easy ways to get rid of roof debris. One is to rake the debris off by hand, and the other is to use a leaf blower. It is essential to be careful not to damage your shingles when brushing away the debris or walking on the roof.
  • Clean Your Gutters
    • Since a properly functioning gutter system protects your home and its foundation from water damage, this chore is a necessary part of spring cleaning – remember to keep an eye out for these six common spring gutter problems. Performing routine maintenance also helps prolong the life of your gutter system and avoid costly repairs.

      To cut down or eliminate your gutter cleaning time, we strongly suggest investing in installing gutter guards.
  • Check the Edges and Eaves
    • How do the edges of the roof look? Are there uneven shingle edges? Is the paint chipping off the eaves? This is the perfect time to perform any minor repairs to keep the edges and eaves looking sharp and safe from further damage.
  • Inspect Your Roof
    • Be sure to keep a close eye on the shingles, as they are the first part of the roof that protects your home from leaks and other damage. The snow and ice can be harsh on the shingles, so look for missing, curling, blistering, buckled, stained shingles as these can be beginning signs of damage – or be covering up more significant issues not immediately visible.
  • Look for Mold
    • While performing your self roof inspection, you should also be looking for signs of mold or mildew. Discolored streaks on your roof can help indicate signs of growth. Typically, if caught early enough, this can be an easy fix. However, as mold and mildew progress, they will work their way into your foundation and cause more significant problems.

      It’s important not to take any chances because if mold spreads to the interior of your home, it can be dangerous for you and your family. If you are unsure if what you’re seeing is signs of growth, call a professional to come out for a complete roof inspection.
  • Inspect Your Attic
    • A critical but often overlooked point on your roof spring cleaning checklist is inspecting your attic – taking a look at the roof from the inside. This will help you determine whether you have leaks, cracks, holes, or any other underlying damage. Look for stains on the walls and ceiling and light coming through the roof or walls.
  • Flashing and Chimney
    • You should also be inspecting your flashing and chimney during this time. The flashing can easily pull away from the chimney or roof and create small holes for water to seep into and bugs to create a new home. The good news is, these are generally minor, easy fixes. 
  • Trim Nearby Tree Branches
    • Take a look around and pinpoint any branches that are reaching closer and closer to the roof. Trimming these branches away will make cleaning your gutters and roof easier and help avoid potential damage during rain or wind storms.
  • Schedule A Professional Inspection
    • If you are unsure of what you are looking for, have found damage (or think you may have), or need repairs or a roof replacement, it is best to call on the professionals to ensure nothing has been missed. Reach out to our team to schedule a complimentary roof inspection and estimate.

6 Common Spring Gutter Problems

When it comes to spring cleaning your house and yard, it is important to remember to add ‘clean gutters’ to your list.

Since a properly functioning gutter system protects your home and its foundation from water damage, his chore is a necessary part of preparing for the coming seasons. Performing routine maintenance also helps prolong the life of your gutter system and avoid costly repairs. It is recommended that you thoroughly clean the system twice a year – once in the spring and once in the fall, before winter and snow.

It is crucial to stick to these seasonal cleanings because when water cannot flow through the gutters properly, it becomes clogged and can add excessive weight to the system. This can cause significant damage to the gutters and the roof, which can create cracks, separation of joints, weeds growing in the gutter, and various other problems.

Six common gutter issues you may encounter when performing your spring gutter cleaning routine include:

  • Clogged Gutters
    • The most effective and efficient way to keep debris from building up and clogging your gutter system is to have gutter guards installed.

      Most debris that builds up and clogs gutters includes small leaves and twigs that can either be easily scooped out by hand or removed with a handheld leaf blower.  Then, flushing the gutters with a garden hose removes dirt and small particles. Eliminating debris and buildup also helps you better identify any holes or leaks in your gutter system.
  • Clogged Downspouts
    • In addition to clogged gutters, you may find clogged downspouts. Clogged downspouts are typically due to debris blocking the drain or ice from the winter not having wholly melted. To clear the downspouts, you can use your garden hose to flush out debris from the top down.
  • Sagging Gutters
    • When there is standing water or too much debris in your gutter system, the gutters may begin to sag. Sagging gutters can also be a result of loose or broken hangers. In some cases, the hangers can be tightened and the gutters cleared to help restore some functionality. In other cases, the hangers may not have been installed correctly, and a more detailed repair may be needed.
  • Leaks and Holes
    • If you notice a stream of water pouring down from the middle of your gutters, your gutters have likely developed a leak. An easy but not foolproof way to determine whether your gutter system has any leaks is to watch for water pouring down from any areas beneath the gutter. There are DIY kits available for repairs, but professional results are generally more reliable, effective, and longer-lasting.
  • Damage
    • Snow and ice from the winter months can also add additional weight to the fascia and cause the gutter system to separate and become cracked. Again, there are DIY kits available for repairs, but professional results are generally more reliable, effective, and longer-lasting.
  • Bent Gutters
    • Heavy wind, rain, or overhanging trees can cause damage to your overall gutter system. If a gutter section is severely crushed or bent one or more areas of the system will need to be replaced and reattached. To prevent this from happening in the future, cut back overhanging tree limbs to about three feet beyond the roofline – or have a tree trimmer take care of this for you.

In addition to the common issues mentioned above, other problems to look for when cleaning your system include holes, corrosion, sagging sections, and loose, bent, or missing fasteners.

If you notice bends, cracks, holes, or any other damage, call a gutter professional to come out for an inspection to replace the damaged areas.

Vinyl Siding Maintenance and Care

Vinyl siding doesn’t only look great on your house; it brings great value. It is a reliable and stunning type of exterior siding offering the lowest life cycle cost over a home’s life.

And, while vinyl siding is designed to reduce the need for upkeep, minimal maintenance does need to be done to ensure it continues to bring that value for years to come. This routine maintenance does more than save you time; it saves you money.

  • Perform Regular Inspections
    • Vinyl siding resists the rot and pests wood siding invites, but it can warp or crack. It can also trap moisture if it is improperly installed, loose, or damaged. If a piece of siding happens to come loose, you need to fix it soon. If it flaps in the wind, bends, or curves, it will likely need to be replaced.

      If you find any damage during your inspection, it is important to have a professional out as soon as possible to assess and repair to avoid further, and potentially more costly, damage. (If you are wondering how to know when your siding needs to be replaced entirely, read more here.)

      A critical time to perform an inspection is after a storm to determine whether the elements damaged, cracked, bent, broke, or removed any part of your siding. In some cases, these damages can be easily overlooked, and it can be helpful to have a storm inspection performed.
  • Wash Annually
    • Vinyl siding keeps it easy as a standard garden hose or power washer is typically all you need to rinse dirt and dust away. If you choose to use a power washer, be sure to set it to a lower pressure setting to avoid damaging the siding.

      It is important to follow the siding manufacturer’s recommendations while performing your annual siding wash. Some manufacturers advise against pressure washers, while others have recommendations regarding the amount of pressure and the cleaners that should be used.

      To wash an entire house, start at the bottom and work up to the top, then rinse back down from top to bottom to prevent streaking. Do not aim the water stream upward as the water can collect behind the siding; this can lead to mold and mildew growth.
  • Keep Damaging Items Away
    • A few common ways vinyl siding is damaged is from lawnmowers and other lawn and landscape care items used near the exterior house and repeated exposures to heat from barbecues. Do your best to keep things like these several yards away from your siding and always take precautions to keep heat sources such as barbeque grills and quickly flammable materials such as dry leaves, mulch, and trash from the house.

      You can also help keep your siding in good shape by trimming shrubbery and trees away from the house so they don’t would the material.

If you want or need repairs or a full replacement, schedule your siding inspection to receive an estimate, free-of-charge, by reaching out to our team today.

How Snow and Ice Impact Your Roof

Winter is here, and with it comes snow and ice that can cause severe damage to your roof. One of the best ways to help prevent the following damages is to perform self-inspections before and after the winter season. This includes winterizing your roof and preparing your gutters. In addition to these necessary preventive measures, be sure to keep an eye out for the following things that can be destructive to your roof.

  • Ice Dams
    • When snow and ice melt, the water and ice can accumulate at the edge of the roof forming ice dams. These dams can cause major gutter damage and potentially tear the flashing off the roof. Water that backs up behind these ice dams is forced underneath shingles causes damage to your roof. It is essential to watch for this to avoid heavy thick ridges of ice from forming along the edges of your roof.
  • Freezing and Thawing
    • With the accumulation of snow and ice and the changing temperatures, small cracks can appear in your roof. And, water seeping into these cracks can be a recipe for a significant issue for your roof. It can cause leaks inside your home. If the water doesn’t leak, it is likely freezing in the crack instead, expanding and causing the crack to expand and increase in size.
  • Buildup
    • Heavy snow (even just a few inches of snow and ice) can cause stress to the roof and its flashings. Don’t let snow and ice buildup on your roof. The weight of the snow and ice can also cause leaks, crack your rafters, and eventually cause roof collapse (in worst-case scenarios – this is not common). But, do not that older homes that haven’t had a roof replacement or have damaged roofs are at a higher risk for structural damage.

      Having a  professional inspection performed after winter to fix any minor damage before it becomes a larger and more expensive issue is a great way to make sure you are properly caring for and maintaining your home’s roof.

Proper maintenance, as well as regular roof and gutter inspections, are the best ways to shield your roof against winter damage. If you notice any damage during the winter, it should be addressed immediately to avoid possible disastrous damage and high repair costs.

To ensure your roof is ready for the winter elements or to repair anything that may already be damaged, contact our team today.

When Is It Time to Replace Your Siding?

The average lifespan of siding is dependent on the type of material, the installation process, and its surrounding climate and its elements. But, you can keep your siding in its best shape over the years by performing annual inspections (simply walking around your home to look closely, from multiple angles, for anything that may need to be addressed with necessary repairs). As with most areas of your house, it is always better to find and address issues before becoming large or emergency problems.

So, how do you know when to replace your siding? Here are seven signs to help you determine when it’s time to schedule a siding inspection with a professional to discuss repairs or replacement.

  • Cracks, Gaps, Holes, or Buckled, Warped, or Sagging Siding
    • These, often unattractive, damages are a red flag indicating your siding is not doing its job in protecting your home as efficiently as it is supposed to. Catching these areas early on may allow you to get away with small repairs before a full replacement, but ignoring these problem areas allows the damage to spread and get worse.
  • Loose or Missing Siding
    • When pieces of your siding are falling off or missing, there is no longer protection for the underlying structure of your home. This is detrimental as excessive moisture (rain or snow), rodents, bugs, and other pests can get underneath the existing siding and lead to a broad range of issues that could lead to potentially expensive repairs.
  • Fading Color
    • Just because your siding color may be fading and no longer adding to your curb appeal like it once did doesn’t mean you need to replace it. However, it is an indicator that you might want to start exploring and educating yourself on what options are available for your home when the time comes.
  • Rot, Mold, or Mildew
    • If you notice moisture buildup (rot, mold, or mildew) in the interior of your home, inspect the condition of that area on the exterior of your home to address any issues – minor or significant – quickly.

      If your siding is rotting or crumbling, it is not performing its crucial role. Keep an eye out for soft or crumbling wood siding as that can be a sign of rot. Rot is an issue you will want to determine the root of the problem and address as soon as you notice instead of ignoring it and letting the issue spread and worsen.
  • Wildlife Damage
    • Woodpeckers, termites, rodents, and other pests that get into or damage your siding aren’t only annoying; they are destructive to the structure of your home. If these critters are a persistent problem, considering fiber cement siding or another material less appealing to these creatures may be your next step.

If you notice anything about your siding that needs attention, our team would be to come out for a complimentary inspection and to discuss your options with you. Text, email, or call to schedule your appointment today as we repair and install siding year-round.