Frequently Asked Roofing, Siding & Guttters Questions

Updating your home’s exterior features is a great investment. While doing so can increase the value of your home, it can also become quite an expense. With that being said, it makes sense to ask questions during your renovation process – lots of questions. (If you want to make sure you make the best investment, that is). We’ve compiled questions we’ve gotten from our homeowners along with answers from our project consultants. Happy renovating!


How do I know if it’s time to replace my roof?
When considering a full roof replacement be on the lookout for missing or cracked shingles, substantial granule loss, curled and cupped shingles. The key thing to consider is that you are beating the leak. It’s not efficient to wait for leaks to replace your roof.
Along with age, storm damage can be another reason for a roof replacement. Quite often high winds and large hail can damage a shingle past functionality. If you run into these problems it’s best to contact your local Aspen office to assess the damages.

 
What’s the most eco-friendly roofing option?
Eco-friendly and affordability don’t always go hand in hand. Metal roofing has a very high R-Value, making it great for heating and cooling purposes. Most asphalt shingle manufactures have an eco – series they offer. These asphalt shingles will be accompanied by and ENERGY STAR rating. Meeting with an Aspen Consultant can help determine which roofing material meets your needs and price range the best.

 
How do I maintain my new asphalt roof?
Asphalt roofs have a relatively low maintenance level. If properly vented, the roof life expectancy should be well past 30 years on a laminated shingle. However, it’s always a great idea to check your roof once a year for damage. Damage from wind, hail, rodents and even small branches can sometimes compromise a shingle. During this yearly inspection, it would be a great idea to check all caulked nail heads. Sometime caulk can dry out and needs to be re-applied.

 


What are the best maintenance options for my new vinyl siding?
Vinyl siding can be easily maintained with a simple cleaning every few months. Using a sponge or brush dipped in warm soapy water has proven to be the best way to clean siding. Pressure washing is also an effective way to clean siding, but be sure not to apply too much pressure, which could result in damages.

 

What’s the most eco-friendly siding option? How?
Cedar and other wood siding would be the most eco-friendly siding option. However, most siding manufactures have a handful of options to choose from.
Things to look for would be:
What’s the recyclability?
Is it “certified green”?
What’s the R-Value? The higher the value, the more it will save on heating/cooling cost
How was it manufactured?
Upon meeting with an Aspen Consultant we can help determine the best siding to meet both the aesthetic and eco-friendly needs you are looking for.

 
What’s the most cost-effective siding option?
Vinyl siding is typically the most cost effective option. It’s important to weigh options when choosing a siding type. Usually a cheaper option is going to be a thinner siding. In high heat situations this siding can warp. It is also easily damaged by debris. Cheaper siding will often fade and lose color over time.

 
How can I increase my home’s energy efficiency with siding?
Siding with the highest R-Value is going to help bring energy costs down the best. R-Value is the number that represents how well it holds thermal heat. You can also add fanfold behind the siding in place of house wrap for further insulation. Wrapping and caulking windows properly can also bring energy cost down as this is the most common place interior air flow is left out/in.

 

 


What’s the benefit of gutter guards?
Gutter guards are designed to keep your gutters from clogging. There a several different types of guards available on the market. Along with an Aspen consultant, take a look at the tree types around your property determine which type would work best for you.

 
What materials gutters work best?
Aluminum is a great choice for residential application. Seamless aluminum gutters are rolled out on site in a color you choose. This assures all runs are proper length, leaving very little possibility for leaks. One common thing you may run into is the roof pitch being too steep causing a heavy rain to “jump” the gutter. The standard gutter is 5” but in this case you may want to upgrade to 6”.

Understanding Your Warranty

 

Warranties can be tricky. One issue is covered; another issue may not be covered. With so many details to remember, it can be hard to keep track of your protection in the event of an emergency. As burdensome as picking apart your potential warranty may seem in addition to finding a contractor, it’s important that you fully understand how you may be covered. In the end you’ll save yourself time, money and a headache. Read below to find a few things to keep in mind before and after choosing a contractor.

 

Know what’s covered

 

 

Contractors offer various types of warranties. Ask your potential contractor about coverage against manufacturing defects in addition to coverage against workmanship errors. In the event that several of your shingles prove to be ineffective due to manufacturing, your contractor’s warranty may not offer coverage, as the defects are not related to the installation technique.

 

Aspen’s Ironclad Warranty covers all contractive work completed and materials used. As a preferred contractor by some of the industries’ leading manufacturers, we are able to offer this warranty because our installation procedures meet the top standards for coverage.

 

Take care of your home

 

 

It’s important to understand that your roof is part of a system that works in conjunction with the rest of your home to protect it from Mother Nature’s harm. With that being said, you must regularly maintain other elements of your home to ensure that your roof continues to function properly. Things like making sure your windows are properly sealed so water doesn’t get through to your roof, trimming your trees so the branches don’t hit your roof, and cleaning your gutters so water doesn’t clog and drain into your roof are important factors in ensuring that your roof continues to properly protect your home. With that being said, if elements like this are neglected over time, your warranty may not cover the damage caused by them. With routine inspections and upkeep, you can avoid this issue altogether.

 

Follow up after severe weather

 

 

When severe weather strikes your area, it’s a good idea to inspect your home for damage or have a professional come do so. Check your warranty so you’ll know what to watch for. Many contractors do not cover national disasters under warranty, so be sure to verify what your state classifies as a national disaster.

 

 
Aspen will come inspect your home free of charge and provide a complimentary estimate as well. Paying to have your home inspected is the last thing we want you to worry about during such a stressful time.

 

Knowing the ins and outs of your warranty in addition to the steps you should take to take full advantage of your warranty can save you thousands of dollars and tons of time. Your home is an investment worth educating yourself on and maintaining over time. Interested in more information about our warranty program? Learn more here.

Covers 4 Others

 

According to a 2013 study from the National Center for Healthy Housing, 35 million metropolitan homes in the United States contain one or more health and safety hazards. Five percent of these homes have unrepaired roofing problems. Homeownership isn’t always a walk in the park, and when repairs start to accumulate, it can be a burden for many homeowners. Aspen Contracting is working to eliminate this problem for Americans across the country, one roof at a time. Our Covers 4 Others program allows us to do just that.

 

 

Covers 4 Others was established in 2015 with the mission to support the communities we live and work in. We saw a crucial need for roof repairs and wanted to contribute to solving this issue that burdens far too many homeowners and their families. We understand that the gift of home is one that is unmatched. Nothing provides peace of mind quite like the feeling of returning to a warm, safe, dry home after a long day. With the helping hands of hundreds of Americans, we’ve been able to provide this feeling for over 25 homeowners.

 

Each spring, we invite the public to nominate members of their community who they feel deserve a new roof. Past recipients have included military veterans, first responders, those who have experienced hardship, and underinsured homeowners. We select a final group of nominees and then invite the public to vote on the finalists. After voting, evaluations ensue and the final recipients are selected. On installation day, recipients enjoy a fun neighborhood bar-b-q with their friends, family and neighbors, a token of appreciation to show just how valued they are to their community.

 

 

 

In 2017, we hope to continue this spirit of service, inspiring others to uplift and support one another in efforts to better their communities. Join us! We are accepting 2017 nominations May 1 – August 1. Votes may be submitted August 7 – September 6 and the winners will be announced September 11. Visit covers4others.com to learn more.

Siding Maintenance Made Easy

You’re over the moon with your new siding, and you’re pretty sure your coworkers have seen pictures of your home from every angle. To keep your home’s curb appeal at its maximum, it’s best to clean your siding at least once a year. This removes grit, grime and mildew from leaving permanent stains. Here are a few easy ways to get the job done.

 

 

Vinyl, aluminum, steel

Mix 70% water with 30% vinegar to remove light mold and mildew stains. For stronger stains, mix 1/3 cup of laundry detergent with 2/3 cup of all-purpose household cleaner, 1 qt. of bleach and 1 gal. of water. Use a soft bristled brush to clean.

Use plastic coverings to protect your plants and landscaping from potential bleach damage. Double check that your area is clear of electrical cords to ensure there is no risk of electrical hazard.

Spray water at an angle to avoid small gap leaks, and be sure to rinse the siding before and after applying cleaning solution.

 

 

 

Fiber cement

Fiber cement siding is designed to be durable, lasting much longer than other siding materials. With that being said, regular cleanings will only stretch that longevity. To clean it, use water and if necessary, mild dish washing soap. Use a soft cloth or brush. Protect your landscaping with plastic coverings.

 

 

 

 

Cultured stone

You’ll need a garden hose, bucket of water, vinegar, mild soap or detergent and a soft bristle brush. Stay away from wire brushes and acid-based cleaners that may damage your siding. Rinse with fresh water after cleaning.

Brick Veneer

Rinse the surface with clear water and a sponge to clear dirt and dust.

We Stand for Equal Pay

In the U.S., women earn about 76 cents per dollar earned by men on average, but the causes of the gender pay gap are a bit more complicated. Here at Aspen Contracting we are committed to doing our part to close the gender pay gap, which is why we have pledged our commitment to equal pay for equal work and experience on Glassdoor.

 

 

 

Women make up over 30% of Aspen Contracting employees, and we are working to increase that number each day. These project consultants, production managers, field managers, office managers, location managers and more each play an important role in the continued success of Aspen Contracting and our commitment to our mission.

Our pledge to pay equality stems back to our commitment to, “Doing the right thing, through higher standards and integrity.” By taking the pay equality pledge, we are formally telling our employees, candidates and the world that we are committed to equitable pay practices. The more companies stand up for equal pay, the closer we get to closing the pay gap and making salary equity a reality for all.

 

 

Today, on Equal Pay Day, April 4, we stand alongside more than 3,000 organizations that have taken the Equal Pay Pledge on Glassdoor. Join us in this important conversation and share that you #StandForEqualPay alongside us.

Choosing the Right Roofing Material

Whether you’re building a new home, adding onto your existing home or simply re-roofing your home, choosing the right material for your roof is important. Many homeowners want a roof that will add value and curb appeal to their home, taking their style to the next level. In addition, a roof that is sustainable, safe, eco-friendly and cost-effective roof are all important factors that require much consideration. Here’s a starting point:

 

 

Asphalt

 

Pros

Most common roofing material

Budget-friendly

Various design options that offer 3D effect and mimick visual texture of wood shake, slate, etc.

50 year lifespan

Cons

Shorter lifespan than many other materials

Not as eco-friendly and recyclable as other roofing materials

Requires yearly or bi-yearly maintenance to correct weather and environmental damage

 

 

Slate

 

Pros

Durable

Easy repair

Recyclable

Can last for hundreds of years

Increases property value

Cons

May need additional structural support if house was not originally built to support a slate roof

Not recommended for areas with high heat, due to poor energy efficiency

More expensive than asphalt shingles

 

Wood shake

 

Pros

Various wood options to choose from

Natural

Requires less roof vents for ventilation, keeps attic cooler

Cons

No design variations between different types of roofs

Prone to splits, cracks, mold and moss growth

Attracts animals such as birds, squirrels, etc.

Not as fire resistant as many other materials

Appearance fades quickly as a result of weather and environment conditions

 

Clay/concrete

 

Pros

Durable

Non-combustable

Increase property value

Cons

May require additional structural support if home was not originally built to support clay or concrete

Limited color choices

 

Metal

 

Pros

Energy efficient

Watertight

Will not corrode or crack

Modern appearance

Fire resistant

Requires less maintenance

Cons

Costly, though less expensive than clay or concrete

 

Ready to get your roof serviced? Call Aspen Contracting today to schedule your free inspection, estimate and new roof! Still not sure what roofing option is best for your home? Don’t worry – our trained professionals will walk you through your options and serve as a helpful resource throughout the duration of your project.

 

5 Reasons to Replace Your Roof

 

 

Shingle tabs are curled

Shingles typically curl in two ways. Cupping occurs when the edges of a shingle turn upwards. Clawing happens when the edges remain flat and the middle starts to rise. These curls indicate signs of weather damage and they can even indicate potential leaks. It’s best to take action on curled shingles sooner than later, replacing your roof no more than 5 years from sight of damage.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Shingles are missing

As a result of weather damage, shingles may fall off or be blown off your roof. When this happens, be sure to check your roof to ensure severe damage hasn’t been done. Textured or laminated shingles may still leave a waterproof surface  if the base sheet remains. If the base sheet is missing or damaged, it could result in a leak. To ensure a waterproof roof check your attic for leaks, boards with dark spots, sagging boards or signs of daylight.  If you notice any of these signs, its best to have your roof serviced as soon as possible. Keep in mind that the leak may not be directly underneath your missing shingles. Aspen experts will check your roof in its entirety, complete with a full photo inspection. The best part? It’s totally free.

 

 

Your roof is old

If your asphalt roof is approaching the 20-25 year mark, it’s a good idea to have it inspected. Typical asphalt shingles last 20-30 years. If you have a metal roof, they’re expected to last anywhere from 40 to 70 years. It’s important to replace your roof before it causes damage to other areas of your home.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Neighbors are getting new roofs

If you notice that a few of your neighbors are having their roofs replaced, it’s a smart idea to have your roof inspected. The homes in your neighborhood were most likely built around the same time, so your roof may be approaching the end of its life expectancy, as well. Once you get your roof serviced by Aspen, you can earn prizes and rewards by referring your neighbors, friends and family.

 

 

 

 

 

Your roof has severe weather damage

Hail, wind, rain, snow, ice and condensation are your roof’s worst enemies. Having a durable, strong roofing system is key to protecting your home from further weather damage. However, your roof can only stand against so much. If you notice severe weather damage throughout the surface of your roof, it’s time for an update or a replacement.

The Aspen Standard: Meet Joy

 

Meet Joy,  a Manage Repair Support specialist here at Aspen. Read on to find out what the Aspen difference means to her.

 

What does a typical day look like for you?

Joy: My team helps coordinate the process of transferring information to and from manage repair companies. I oversee and organize documents and ensure that jobs are done in a timely, efficient manner. On a typical day, I send information on new jobs to general managers. I check with sales reps to get information on the progress of projects, and upload documents to manage repair dashboards. I also revise estimates and upload photos to appropriate jobs on the dashboard.

 

Can you speak to the benefits?

J: Aspen takes care of its employees better than any company I’ve ever worked for. As a cancer survivor, health insurance is a high priority for me. I take comfort in the awesome health benefits Aspen offers, as it takes away a portion of the burden health expenses can create. The 401k program we have is also a big plus. Saving for retirement can be a slow-going process. Having Aspen help with that process helps prepare me for the future. The technology-based benefits we have are also a big deal. Aspen is doing its absolute best to stay ahead and implement latest technology, which helps keep me ahead of the curve as a professional.

 

What does the Aspen difference mean to you?

J: As an employee, we get support, amazing benefits, training and there’s room to grow. One of the reasons I came on board is because I know the sky is the limit as long as I work hard and do my best. There are lots of opportunities for Aspen with anyone that comes on board. As far as our services, we have the best warranties. There’s a reason why we have a great rating with Better Business Bureau – it’s because of the service and quality of our work. It makes me proud to work for such a well-regarded company.

 

 

How would you describe the company culture?

J: It’s a hardworking, driven type of atmosphere with a very fun twist. We all have goals and everyone works hard to reach their individual goals. At the same time, it’s a pleasant, family-type atmosphere.

 

How has Aspen evolved from your perspective since you’ve been with the company?

J: It’s amazing how many new areas of roofing have been created and unveiled since I’ve been on board. I’ve learned that there are so many roles within the company that make it all come together, and it’s great to see how each department works together to achieve our company goals.

2017 St. Jude Dream Home Showplace

 

Aspen Contracting is proud to have been a part of the 2017 St. Jude Dream Home Showplace. This program supports St. Jude in its mission to save lives and find cures for childhood cancer and other tragic diseases. To support this program, we joined in on the 6-month build process, donating our roofing services to this beautiful 4,620 sq. ft. Lee’s Summit, Missouri home. Labor, materials and services were donated to cover 100% of the cost of the home. In addition, 100% of the profits will be donated to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

 

We installed Tamko Heritage Weatherwood shingles on this home, a choice that perfectly matched the rest of the home’s neutral palette. Aspen worked away on the roof, completing it in just 1 day.

 

The home’s 2-story Lexington floor plan was adorned with updated modern accents. Five spacious bedrooms and six luxurious bathrooms are just a few amazing features this home offers.

 

Before progress continued on the home, Summit Custom Homes invited everyone involved with the process to sign the unfinished floor, leaving a personal mark on the home to last through time.

 

Our New Construction Sales Manager Mike recounts his experience working on this project, “As always, working with Summit Custom Homes is wonderful. They make the process easy, and they are always readily available. The St. Jude collaboration is particularly special for me because it gives Aspen a chance to give back to the community. It’s bigger than us. It’s a great project that goes directly to children and ensures families can focus on their children’s health needs.”

 

We are so grateful to have able to be a part of this wonderful program that works to improve the health of children and make life more bearable for their families. We wish the absolute best for the children and families of St. Jude and the family who will soon get settled into this beautiful home!

6 Tips for Hiring A Contractor

Choosing a contractor for your home can be a daunting task. We’ve compiled a few helpful tips to make the process a bit easier to grasp.

 

Licensed, insured and bonded

Making sure your contractor is insured warrants that your service will be secured with coverage in the case of damage or a safety emergency. Aspen is licensed in 48 states, and we cover all of our employees on each job.

 

 

 

 

 

Industry knowledge

Trusting a contractor with your home means trusting that they’re equipped with the necessary skills and guidelines in order to effectively service your home. With over 10 years of experience under our belt, Aspen is nationally acclaimed as one of the largest, most effective exterior contractors. Our dedicated, trained and experienced roofers have serviced over 50,000 homes and strive to continue this service with the utmost integrity and the highest standards. When we initially inspect our customers’ homes, we provide thorough exterior inspections, complete with detailed photos of damage. We utilize our extensive knowledge and experience throughout the process to ensure all options and solutions for your home are explored.

 

References

The best contractors strive to maintain good customer relations during the time of service and beyond. When seeking references for a contractor, ask for photos of completed work and evidence of satisfied customers. Making customers happy is our priority at Aspen. Our customer incentive program allows customers to share their experiences, refer their peers and connect with us on social media in exchange for rewards. We update our social media with daily project examples for convenient review.

 

 

OSHA certified

Safety is paramount when it comes to any construction-based job. Your contractor should be up to date on all industry standards and practices vital to safe and effective job completion. Our installers are OSHA and EPA trained and certified. In addition, we support our crews with Project Consultants to oversee the build process and ensure standards are consistently met.

 

 

 

Communication

Vital communication during the build process ensures a peace of mind experience. Nothing is worse than trusting a contractor with your home only to realize their communication skills are nonexistent. When you call Aspen, you’ll be assigned a Project Consultant, who’ll be your point of contact for the duration of the project. They’ll be on site overseeing your project and ensuring the building process efficiently progresses.

 

 

 

Warranty

Warranty agreements differ across the industry. It’s important to make sure your agreement is best for your budget and your home. Aspen has an ironclad warranty that guarantees lifetime warranty on all labor and material.