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We love the bright lights, but don’t damage your roof in the process! Here are our light hanging tips.

Holiday Outdoor Light Hanging Tips

The start of the holiday season in the Seattle area is a time when everyone gets excited about hanging up lights inside and outside of their home. One of the biggest concerns is that your roof may be damaged if you are not careful. Use these tips for hanging your lights this season, and you shouldn’t have to worry about roof repair.

Before you hang your lights test them

You really don’t want to go to the trouble of hanging your lights only to find out some of them are not working. Before trying to hang your lights on your home, check them for frayed wires or burnt out bulbs. Broken lights can lead to electrical dangers which is a definite recipe for disaster. The best option, if you find a strand that doesn’t work, is to just throw it out and get a new one. You also need to make sure the label says the lights are suitable for outdoor use.

Avoid walking on your roof

To begin with, try to use a ladder when hanging the lights. Your roof can be damaged if you walk on it, and besides, if you slip up there you can cause serious injury to yourself. Avoid walking on your roof to help maximize its lifespan and rather use a ladder which will work just as well.

Attach the lights to your gutters or eaves

If you can, once you are on your ladder attach your lights with plastic clips to your gutters or to the eaves of your roof. Be careful about attaching the lights to your shingles, as this could potentially result in roof and shingle damage.

More tips

Here are some extra tips about hanging holiday lights that you should keep in mind.

  • Make sure to have an assistant with you while hanging lights.
  • Start from whichever part of the roof is closest to your power outlet to be sure the cords will reach the outlet.
  • Hang up the lights, clipping them in the same direction, either pointing down or up.
  • Set a timer so your lights come on and go off just when you want them to and they don’t stay on all night.

For all your roofing needs call Four Seasons Roofing and don’t let a damaged roof ruin your holiday spirit.

Look for the tell-tale signs of a roof leak. And then get it fixed!

Find a Roof Leak and Fix It

Water damage is a common reason for major home repairs. This is why you need to maintain your Puget Sound home properly and make a point of looking for any possible leaks. That’s particularly true if you live in a high rainfall region like we do in Snohomish, Bellevue, Everett and the surrounding area. An unnoticed roof leak may possibly result in infrastructure damage and health problems for your family. Here are some things to look out for when checking for leaks.

Discoloration

The most obvious way to spot a leak is to look out for dark stains or yellowing on your walls or ceiling.

Musty Smelling Attic

An indication that mold is developing in your attic, is the musty smell caused by dampness in the air, most likely as a result of a leak.

Shingle Damage

Shingles take a real hammering from the weather. Besides hail damage, they can be blown off the roof by strong winds, and harsh sunlight can dry them out causing cracking. Once this happens water finds a way to get under the surface, and this is why it is essential to replace damaged or missing shingles as soon as possible.

Flashing Damage

Flashing is used as waterproofing and reinforcement around skylights, vent pipes and chimneys. Unfortunately, without proper maintenance, extreme weather causes them to crack or start peeling and they become ineffective barriers against water.  Minor damage can be patched with roof sealant, but we generally recommend replacing the whole flashing in a lot of cases.

The easiest way to prevent long term damage to your Washington home is to have your roof inspected regularly. Be careful to guard your safety when inspecting your roof. It can be hazardous, particularly if there is rain or snow, and your safety comes first. Why not give Four Seasons Roofing a call for a professional inspection or repair. We offer quality services at competitive prices.

Do I have to replace my roof? Or can it just be repaired?

Should I Repair, Patch, or Replace My Roof?

We all know regular maintenance is the best thing for your Seattle home. By proactively maintaining your interior and exterior, you’re doing the best possible job preventing big issues in the future. But sometimes you can find yourself in confusion, particularly when it comes to a big ticket item like your roof. If there’s a roof issue, should it be repaired or patched? Or will the whole roof need to be replaced?

The answer depends on several factors, and it’s not completely cut and dry. To be sure, you may need a roofing professional to provide their professional opinion. However here are a few guidelines that should help you make your decision.

Can I Replace Shingles?

Yes, in some cases, all you may need to do is replace shingles. Modern asphalt shingles are made to last decades, and if the underlying roof structure is solid, then you are probably good to go.

The hard part is knowing about that underlying roof structure. That’s where a professional roof inspection will probably come in. You need to determine whether you’ve just lost a few shingles due to heavy winds or whether the issues go much deeper. If the damage extends into the deeper layers of the roof, you may be headed toward a roof replacement.

Another issue you may run into is color matching. Even with a spare bundle of the original shingles lying around, they likely won’t match the color. After all, your shingles have probably spent years being exposed to sun and rain, and the color has usually faded a bit. If the area to be replaced is small, or in an inconspicuous area, that may be no problem at all. But if it’s front and center on the house, you might wince every time you pull into your driveway.

What About Patching a Roof?

Patching a roof brings pretty much the same issues as replacing a few shingles, it’s just over a larger area. Patching may involve replacing just a section of the roof that might be water damaged or sagging. However, you need to be completely certain that the damage is limited to only that area. If it’s spread further and it’s not addressed, then you’re likely headed for more future problems. The chance of having color matching issues is much greater, too.

Replacing Your Roof

How do you know it’s time for a whole new roof? Here are some factors to consider:

  • Moisture or Water Damage. Water is pervasive – it wants to get inside your house, and it never stops trying. If you see signs of moisture in your home – things like peeling paint or mold, or brown spots on your ceiling – then the damage may warrant a full roof replacement.
  • Big Storms. If your area was recently hit with a violent storm, your roof could be damaged. Even one really harsh Seattle winter can push a roof over the edge (so to speak).
  • Is your roof leaking even though it’s only a few years old? Then it’s probably defective materials or installation, and those can usually be repaired. If it’s 18+ years old and has issues in several areas, it may be time to think of replacement.
  • What is your roof made of? The most common roofing material is asphalt composition shingles, and today’s manufacturers offer up to a 50-year warranty. But many composition roofs get replaced between 18 to 25 years of age. In fact, many new construction home builders use the least expensive roofing system available utilizing low quality components. Your roof is only as good as its weakest link. You may want to think about a new roof with quality roofing materials.

When it’s time to replace your roof, it’s vital that you consult with a roofing expert. Price will be a factor, but don’t let it be the only factor. Invest in a quality product and expert installation, like what we offer at Four Seasons Roofing. Contact us today. You’ll be glad you did

A roof is a big investment. Make sure you ask the right questions to find the best roofing contractor near you.

7 Tips to Find the Best Roofing Contractor Near Me

We hear people ask all the time, “How can I find the best roofing contractor near me?” If you’re in the Snohomish, Everett, and Bellevue areas, then follow these tips and you won’t go wrong.

1. Talk to at least three different roofing contractors.

Contact a few different companies, ask them questions, and get to know how they do business. You’ll want to find out things like how they inspect a roof, the materials they recommend, and a rough estimate of how long they feel it might take to do the job. After these conversations, you’ll usually get a feeling about which company you can trust.

2. Hire a local roofer.

Often people are approached by roofing contractors who aren’t local, sometimes even from outside Washington. Why would you hire someone who doesn’t know the area and local codes and ordinances? Why hire someone who doesn’t live and work in the Puget Sound area and know exactly what it takes to handle our Pacific Northwest weather? Stick with local companies, and you’ll be much more satisfied.

3. Don’t automatically go for the lowest bidder.

Obviously, we all want to save money. But accepting a lowball bid just to save a few dollars may end up costing you big in the future. Often the lowest bid is achieved with substandard materials or service. Either that, or they’ll come out with hidden fees and extra charges that will make for an ugly surprise. Examine exactly what the company is offering and ask lots of questions. A good roofer won’t be afraid to be transparent about exactly what their fees will be.

4. “License and proof of insurance, please.”

A reputable roofing contractor is properly licensed for the local area and possesses the necessary insurance for the job. The insurance should not only cover their team, but the customer as well in case of an accident. Ask them to show you their paperwork. You can check with people like the Better Business Bureau and seek out information about past performance. You want a roofer with a local track record, not a fly-by-night company trying to make a fast buck.

5. Talk up front about payment terms.

Reputable companies are open and honest about payment policies. Be wary of contractors who ask for half or all the money before the job is finished. They may move slowly after being paid, and a few may be outright hustlers who will take the money and run. It’s your money – be careful with it.

6. Ask about estimates and deadlines.

A great roofing contractor will give you detailed, accurate estimates of both the materials and cost, as well as when the job will begin and be completed. Make sure to ask about who is going to clean up after the job, and if that cost is included in the estimate.

7. Make sure they use quality materials.

Trusted companies use high-quality roofing materials. Ask the contractor what materials they work with and what company certifications or partnerships they may have. Ask for their warranties and guarantees, as well as estimate of the durability of their materials and workmanship. You want a strong, leak-proof roof. Don’t be afraid to ask what is going on top of your home.

If you look around, ask some questions, and do a little homework, you can find a great roofing contractor near you. Four Seasons Roofing serves Snohomish, Everett, Bellevue, and the greater Puget Sound area. Contact us today to start getting to know us.