March 2018 Maryland Windstorm Notice

We want our roofing customers to know that we are doing the best we possibly can to manage the number of phone calls and emails since the windstorm here in central Maryland. We are asking everyone to leave a voicemail and we will get back to you as soon as possible. Please do not leave multiple messages and emails as it makes it very confusing and harder for us as there are multiple people in the office trying to get back to everyone regarding roofing repairs. We appreciate your patience and rest assured everyone is working as quickly as possible to get back to you.



new home roof

How a New Roof Can Increase Your Home’s Value

Your home is the largest asset you own – at least, that is true for most people. To make sure you are doing everything you can to protect that asset, you want to watch carefully for important maintenance points as the years go by. It is easy to take the health of your home for granted, but doing so can be a mistake.

One of the most important pieces of the puzzle when it comes to your home’s health is the roof. The roof is the first line of defense against the weather – especially with the variety of temperatures and elements here in central Maryland – and even just a couple minor leaks can lead to major problems. If there are any issues with the condition of your current roof, having a new roof installed may provide a big boost to the overall value of the property.

So, how can having a new roof on your home help you extract more value from this asset when it comes time to sell? Let’s take a look at some of the key points.

Great Return on Investment

It shouldn’t be a surprise to learn that a home with a new roof is going to sell for more than a similar home with an old roof. In the same way that a car with brand new tires is worth slightly more than a vehicle with worn out tires, a new roof is going to add value. But, of course, there is a cost to having the roof installed, so is it worth it in the end?

The statistics say yes. You are likely to recover more than 60% of the cost of your new roof when you go to sell the home. That is an impressive number, considering you will also be able to enjoy the benefits of the new roof for the period of time you remain in the home. And, the roof will do a good job of protecting the house, helping to maintain its value as time passes.

Add to Curb Appeal

Selling your home has a lot to do with curb appeal, as many buyers will rule out a property as soon as they drive up, if it is not visually appealing. Naturally, a home with a new roof is going to look nicer than one with an aging top. If you pick out a roof which blends nicely with the rest of the home, and the surrounding neighborhood, you can do yourself a big favor from a curb appeal perspective.

Steer Clear of Inspection Problems

You don’t want to have problems pop up during the inspection process when getting ready to sell your home. If you have secured a good offer and you are trying to close the deal, the last thing you want to deal with is unexpected inspection problems at the last moment. With a new roof, you are much less likely to run into such issues.

Is it necessary to install a new roof in order to sell your home? Of course not. It can, however, make the process much easier, and you’ll likely come away with better offers in the end.

How Ice & Snow Can Impact Your Roof

snow and ice on home roof
As a homeowner, you may tend to think of your roof as being indestructible. Day after day, it does its job, keeping you warm and dry while the weather rages on outside. Unfortunately, your roof is not indestructible, and some of the more powerful elements can do serious damage over time. You need to understand what it is that can make your roof vulnerable, and what you can do to protect it effectively.

In this case, we are talking about ice and snow, and how they can affect your roof. As you might imagine, the presence of snow and ice can have quite a damaging effect over time, especially if you live here in Maryland and the mid-Atlantic, where these conditions can be quite common during the winter months. So, what can ice and snow do to your roof? Let’s take a look.

Ice Dams

These should be a point of concern for anyone living in a cold weather environment. An ice dam is a buildup of ice at the edge of your roof. When your gutters and downspouts fill up with ice – or a combination of ice and debris – you may not have anywhere for thawing snow to drain when temperatures start to rise. The snow is likely to melt faster than the ice, meaning water will be building up on your roof and it may not be able to escape. In the end, this water could work back up under the shingles, damaging in the inside of your home.

For most homeowners, the prudent course of action when an ice dam forms is to call in a professional for help. Unless you have the right combination of equipment and experience, getting up on a frozen roof is a recipe for disaster. A professional contractor will know how to handle this job safely, and will have the equipment to do so.

Regular Inspections in Warmer Weather

Keeping your roof healthy throughout the winter actually starts during the warmer months. If you can have your roof inspected for any signs of trouble while the weather is nice, basic repairs can be performed before the snow returns. You may not be able to see these problems when standing on the ground looking up at your roof, so calling a professional home roofing contractor to diagnose and potentially repair problems is worth your time and money.

Use a Roof Rake

As mentioned above, it is dangerous to get up on a frozen roof as an average homeowner. However, you can work to protect the condition of your roof in the winter by purchasing a roof rake. This is a product with an extremely long handle that allows you to clear some of the snow off of your roof while standing safely on the ground. Of course, even while doing this job, you need to take care to avoid falling snow, or icicles which may come off the gutters.

By being proactive about the health of your roof, you can be in a much better position to maintain the condition of your home over the long run. Prepare for winter well in advance, call in professional help when necessary, and always be careful when performing any kind of maintenance on your own.

How to Prepare Your Roof for Winter

snow on roof of maryland home
For a roof, winter is the toughest time of year in many parts of the country. If you live in a location that frequently sees winter storms, you should know that your roof is the first line of defense for your home. A healthy, strong roof can go a long way toward keeping that winter weather where it belongs – outside of your house.

But what can you do to make sure your roof is up to the challenge? With winter fast approaching, it is best to act fast. The tips below should help you get ready for the long, cold winter ahead.

Make Sure It Is Clean

One of the easiest things you can do to get your roof ready for the winter is simply to clean it of loose debris that may have built up over the year. Things like leaves and branches can allow mold or mildew to develop if they are left alone while the wet season arrives. Additionally, it is important to check your gutters and downspouts at this time. Those are the pathways used by water to get off of the roof – if they are clogged, the water will have nowhere to go, and it may pool up on the roof, causing serious damage. Of course, you should always exercise great caution when cleaning your roof, or turn the job over to a professional.

Check Around the Edges

If there is anything wrong with your roof, the first sign may come in the form of issues around the edges. Walk the perimeter of your home and look up at the edge of the roof for any signs of trouble. If you do see something that gives you cause for concern, call in a professional who can take a closer look and help you understand what the problem may be – if there is a problem in the first place.

Monitor the Condition of Your Insulation

It is a good idea to check inside the attic of your home to view the condition of your insulation. How does it look? Are there any obvious signs of water making its way into the home? If your insulation is wet, it is almost certain that your roof has sprung a leak in one or more places. With winter approaching, you will want to get this taken care of right away. Don’t just think you can replace the insulation and move on. Rather, it is just as important to address the root cause of the problem so you don’t find yourself right back in the same situation months from now.

Paying attention to the condition of your roof over time is the best way to make sure it can handle the harsh winter months. It is easy to take your roof for granted, but this part of your home can degrade just like anything else. With some simple attention and perhaps a little bit of repair or maintenance, you can brave the cold winter elements knowing that your home is ready for the challenge.

All About Metal Roofing: The Benefits & the Myths

home with metal roof
When building a home, or any other kind of structure around Maryland, you always have to think about roofing. The decision of which roofing material you will choose is one of the most important choices throughout the entire construction process. The right roofing material for one building may be all wrong for another, based on factors like our local climate, building style, etc.

In this article, we are going to be discussing some of the benefits and myths related to metal roofing. While metal is a great choice as a roofing material, it will not be right in every circumstance. Read on for a quick education on this impressive product.

Benefit – A Great Investment

It is true that you will typically need to spend more money upfront when installing a metal roof as compared to other options. However, that investment is usually going to pay off in the long run. There is a good chance your new metal roof will last a lifetime, which means avoiding another large expense down the line. Also, a metal roof can add to your home’s value, and it may even get you a break on your insurance.

Myth – It Is Heavy

This is a confusing myth, as the opposite is actually true. Metal roofing is quite a bit lighter than many of the other products on the market, such as concrete tiles or asphalt shingles. If you have been discounting the possibility of a metal roof due to weight, you can cross that point off your list of concerns right away.

Benefit – It Is Strong

If you would like to set your worries aside when it comes to storms and other issues which may damage a roof, metal is a great pick. A metal roof will be able to stand up to just about anything Mother Nature can bring along, and it is designed to last for the long run.

Myth – They Rust

This is also not true. While there may have been metal roof rusting issues in the past, modern products get around this possibility through the use of zinc coating. As long as you buy a quality product from a respected dealer, you should have no issues at all with regard to rust.

Benefit – Environmentally Friendly

You can do a favor for the earth when you choose metal roofing. There are a number of reasons why a metal roof is considered environmentally friendly, including the fact that it can be recycled and won’t be filling up landfills at any point in the future. Also, this type of roof is efficient, meaning you may have to run your appliances less to heat or cool your home.

Myth – It Is Loud

This might be the most common myth of all, but it too is one that shouldn’t be believed. Your metal roof will be installed on top of sheathing, just like any other roof material you may select. That means the roof will likely sound just all other roof options, and it may even be a little quieter, depending on the exact type of metal roofing you choose.

Four Commonly Used Home Roofing Designs

maryland home roof
If you are in the process of planning a new home, you will have to confront the topic of the roof at some point along the way. It should go without saying that the roof is one of the most important components of a house. Without a solid roof design, the rest of the effort that has gone into building the house will be wasted. In this article, we are going to look at four of the commonly used residential roof designs you will want to consider during the planning phase.

Gable Roof

This is probably what you picture first when you think of a roof. Basically, a gable roof is an upside-down ‘V’. However, since the pitch of the roof can be varied within a gable design, this option is actually capable of creating many different looks. One of the best features of a gable roof is its ability to deflect water away from the home. The relatively steep slopes of the roof mean that rain and snow will likely be gone in a hurry. On the downside, this kind of roof doesn’t always hold up well when faced with high winds. Geography will play a big part in determining whether or not a gable roof makes sense for your project.

Hip Roof

If you want to add some architectural interest to your roof, you may want to consider the hip roof option. This kind of roof has four sloping sides which come together at the hip. On larger homes, it is common to see multiple hips integrated into a single, complex roof layout. Strength and durability are selling points of this type of roof. In addition to their toughness, many people find them to be visually appealing. If there is a downside here, it is the cost. This is a complicated design, and therefore a complicated and expensive installation.

Mansard Roof

This is an option which is not as popular as choices like gable or hip. There are a total of four slopes included on this type of roof, which two on each side of the house. One of the main reasons this roofing option is used is to maximize interior space. Attic space will be maximized in this design as there are no steep slopes to deal with. However, since there is limited slope on the roof, snow can build up quickly (if you live in a snowy area).

Flat Roof

Just as the name sounds, this is a roof which has a flat design. Relatively few residential buildings opt for a flat roof, but it is an option to at least keep on the table. Of course, you won’t be surprised to learn that the simplicity of this kind of roof is a major selling point. They are rather easy to install, and take very little effort to design. Of course, water is going to have a hard time finding its way off of a flat roof, so repairs are common. This is another roofing option that is going to more useful in certain parts of the world than others.

All About That Slate: The History of Slate Roofing

classic slate roof on a house
Nearly everyone would agree that slate is one of the most beautiful materials you can use to cover a roof. But where did this idea come from? At what point did it become possible to use slate as a roofing material? As slate is a natural material – unlike many of the products used for roofing today – you will probably not be surprised to learn that it has a long history as a reliable roofing option. As you are considering your options for the roofing material you are going to use on your own home, it may be interesting to learn a little more about the history of this beautiful rock.

It Goes Way Back

To find the roots of slate roofing, you have to go way back in the history books. More than 700 years, in fact, as there is evidence that slate was used as a roofing material in North Wales, England during the early 14th century. As is often the case when a material is used for a new purpose, it was too expensive for most people to acquire initially. However, it was commonly seen on castles, where the budget would allow for such a high-end product.

Although slate can be dated to many centuries ago as a roofing material, it really didn’t pick up steam until just a couple centuries back. It was actually the Spanish who developed a way for slate to be harvested in a relatively affordable manner, such that it could be used on homes. Spain has carried on a tradition of slate mining, and most of the slate roofs seen in Europe were born somewhere in Spain.

A Natural Fit

So why would slate be chosen as a roofing material, when there are so many rocks in nature to pick from? It comes down to composition. Slate is naturally a good fit for roofing because of the characteristics that it offers. On the one hand, it is breakable, so it can be formed into thin sheets with relative ease. Yet, on the other hand, it is also extremely tough, so it works as a covering for homes and other structures. Where other rocks would be too hard to break, or too soft to provide protection, slate perfectly falls in the middle of those extremes.

Coming to America

In the United States, it was only in the late 1800s when slate roofing would become available to more than just the elites. Much of the slate roofing produced today comes from the state of Vermont. One of the things that separates Vermont – and other Northeast locations – from the rest of the world is the unique colors which are found in the slate throughout that region.

Recently, slate has largely been overtaken by cheaper asphalt shingles in the residential market. However, plenty of homebuyers still love the look and performance offered by slate, even if it does require a greater upfront investment. If you decide to go with slate on your home, you can be sure that you will have a beautiful roof which will stand the test of time.

10 Tips to Help Homeowners Find the Best Roofing Contractor

md home roofer
Is your home in need of a new roof? If so, the first task on your to-do list should be to find the best home roofing contractor. While there are plenty of roofing contractors to consider, you will want to make sure that you settle on one who has demonstrated an ability to do this kind of work. To help you find the right person or team for the job, please review the tips below.

#1 – Start with the BBB

While a good rating with the Better Business Bureau is not a sure sign that you are dealing with a great contractor, it is a good place to start. At PJ’s, we are proud to be recognized with an A+ rating by the BBB of greater Maryland! If the contractor you are considering is in good standing with the BBB, you can feel free to move on to other points.

#2 – Find a Designated Contractor

If a contractor has earned a designation from a manufacturer, you can feel good about that contractor’s ability to handle the job. Those designations are not given out for free, as the company needs to prove that they can meet certain requirements in order to gain this endorsement.

#3 – Safety Matters

You always want to place a priority on safety when anyone is working on your home. Should you find that a specific contractor has a questionable record when it comes to safety, you will be better off going in a different direction.

#4 – Ask for Referrals

If you happen to know anyone in your life who has recently had their roof repaired or replaced, ask them about their experience with the company they selected. Or, even if you don’t know anybody in this category, consider asking neighbors for help if you notice they have had work done.

#5 – Insurance Issues

When filing an insurance claim as part of your roofing project, be sure that the contractor is willing to play by the rules with regard to the insurance policy. If, for example, the contractor says that you don’t need to pay your deductible, you should be suspicious.

#6 – Deal with Your Own Insurance Company

Speaking of insurance, you should be dealing with the insurance company personally, not going through the contractor. Not only is this often illegal, but it also doesn’t make any sense. The claim is a matter between you and the insurance company, so you should be the parties involved.

#7 – Watch for Pressure Tactics

There are too many contractors out there to allow yourself to be pressured into a decision by an overaggressive salesperson. If you aren’t yet comfortable with the terms of the contract for this project, don’t sign anything and don’t give in to pressure.

#8 – Study Up

Before you even contact any contractors about this work, do some research and learn about things like roofing materials. If you know your stuff ahead of time, you will be better prepared to negotiate successfully.

#9 – Always Work with Licensed and Insured Contractors

This one is an easy decision. Anytime you are hiring a company to do any kind of work on your home, you should confirm that the contractor is both licensed and insured. It’s just that simple.

#10 – Get a Warranty

Is the labor going to be covered under warranty, in addition to the roofing materials? Be sure to ask this question, and only work with a home roofing contractor who can offer a warranty on their workmanship.