Spring has finally sprung in West Michigan, and Premier Roofing & Exteriors is celebrating by offering $500 off any new roof!
We’ve delivered high-quality results to over 5,000 happy homeowners in the greater Grand Rapids area and beyond. Our friendly estimators work with you to choose the best roofing options at affordable prices, and we’re committed to being fast, thorough, and friendly. As a locally owned and operated roofing company, we care about our community and know how to make a roof stand up to West Michigan winters.
To take advantage of our $500 Off Spring Special, call us at (866) 497-7663 or fill out our Free Estimate Form.
Be sure to act fast, though — this offer expires May 31st, 2018.
After a comparatively gentle winter in 2017, the northern phenom of ice dams are back in West Michigan with a vengeance. Sub-zero conditions and building snow have homeowners scrambling to prevent the kind of problems nearly everyone experienced in the harsh winter conditions of 2014.
What Causes Ice Dams?
You might think the obvious answer to this question is “snow.” However, that’s only part of the complex interaction that actually causes ice dams. The variables that interact include the amount of heat loss from a house, snow cover, and outside temperatures. For ice dams to form there must be snow on the roof, and, at the same time, higher portions of the roof’s outside surface must be above 32°F while lower surfaces are below 32°F. For a portion of the roof to be below 32°F, outside temperatures must also be below 32°F.
The snow on a roof surface that is above 32°F will melt. As water flows down the roof it reaches the portion of the roof that is below 32°F and freezes. Voila! – an ice dam.
The dam grows as it is fed by the melting snow above it, but it will limit itself to the portions of the roof that are on the average below 32°F. So the water above backs up behind the ice dam and remains a liquid. This water finds cracks and openings in the exterior roof covering and flows into the attic space. From the attic, it could flow into exterior walls or through the ceiling insulation and stain the ceiling finish.
Here’s a brief guide of what to do now, and what to do in the future to help prevent breaches from built-up ice dams. Call us if you need assistance, and never climb your roof in winter conditions.
What You Can Do Now:
1. The Roof Rake is your friend. It may not SEEM like it’s your friend when you’re bracing against the arctic chill and gently scraping the accumulating snow off your roof, but don’t worry, the workout will warm you up soon enough! Reducing the snow load on the approximate 2 feet to your warm wall line will help stop water from backing up under your shingles because you’re eliminating one of the ingredients necessary for the formation of an ice dam. However, take care not to damage the roofing materials. To prevent damage, we like roof rakes that have wheels like the Garelick shown right.
2. In an emergency situation where water is flowing into the house structure, making channels through the ice dam allows the water behind the dam to drain off the roof. Hosing with tap water on a warmer day will do this job, or loading calcium chloride into nylons will also melt out a channel. Work upward from the lower edge of the dam. The channel will become ineffective within days and is only a temporary solution to ice dam damage. We do not recommend chiseling out a channel as you may cause substantial damage to your roofing material.
3. Something to try: Take a box fan into the attic and aim it at the underside of the roof where water is actively leaking in. This targeted dose of cold air should freeze the water in its tracks. This will only work if your attic is already vented well enough for the air to be very cold. Don’t do this if the attic air is warm.
Premier Roofing can assist in emergency ice dam remediation that requires getting up on the roof, channeling, and planning remediation measures. Do not go up onto the roof yourself without a safety line and do not use tools to channel into the ice – Contact Us for help. Read on for remediation recommendations below regarding the installation of water shield and correcting attic venting to create a more uniform temperature and improve air flow.
What You Should Do Later:
A three-pronged attack can help you combat future ice dam damage. First, you want to create uniform temperatures across the surface of your roof. This is where insulation and attic ventilation come into play. In addition, you want an impenetrable barrier to prevent water damage even if a dam develops. This is where modern underlayment options can vastly improve the protection of your roofing system and deck.
Sealing Areas Where Heat Transfers to the Attic:
Heat from the house travels to the roof surface in three ways: conduction, convection, and radiation. Conduction is heat energy traveling through a solid. Heat can transfer from inadequate or ruined (wet) insulation, through chimneys, ductwork, or exhaust vents. One way to help identify air leaking is called a blower door test. Infrared cameras will also help identify areas where additional sealing and insulation should be added. Long-term, sealing the “envelope” of your home heat from the attic will help avoid ice dams overall.
Seal all points where warm air leaks from the living space into the spaces immediately below the roof sheathing.
Insulate the living space well enough to prevent conduction and convection of heat through the ceiling.
Vent the space between the insulation and the roof sheathing, so any heat that does leak through is carried away.
This diagram shows an Atlas Techni-flo engineerd Ridge Vent.
Ridge Vents – An Economical Improvement
In the old days, homes were built with soffit vents alone. More current ventilation strategy depends on the installations of ridge vents to help keep the roof temperature uniform. This will improve air flow that cools the deck. However, once snow-covered, ridge vents are less effective, so are not a stand-alone solution in an ice dam emergency. But long-term, ridge venting is shown to extend the life of your roofing materials and improve the energy envelope of your home throughout every season, including winter.
Install Water-Repellant Membrane
This extra protection will have to wait until you’re ready for a rip-off and replace of your shingles, but don’t miss the opportunity when getting a new roof to install today’s space-age water-repellant membrane. The extra protection is wholly worthwhile.
This video by roofing material manufacturer, Certainteed, shows the installation of its Winter Guard underlayment, one of several options available through Premier Roofing:
Adding Heat Tape – Sometimes
If carefully installed and turned on only during freezing conditions, a zig zag line of heat tape on trouble spots near your eaves may help reduce ice damming. However, heat cable doesn’t fix the root cause of the problem: too much snow on a roof that’s overheated because warm air is leaking into your attic. At best, heat tape is a band-aid solution. However, there are some instances where it can improve conditions when all other efforts have been exhausted.
One hallmarks of a West Michigan summer is the occasional violent storm. Do you know what to do if your roof is damaged by wind, rain or hail? In this video, two pros from Premier Roofing and Exteriors explain the best steps to take to prevent further damage and experience a smooth insurance claim. Don’t go it alone, and don’t DIY dangerous roof work. Call Premier for rapid storm response and professional evaluation of West Michigan storm damage. Premier is a trusted name in the insurance industry.
We had a great time at the West Michigan Home and Garden Show over the weekend. If you missed the home show or didn’t have a chance to stop by our booth, check out the quick video below where Josh Bell will fill you in on some of the favorite trends in new roofing and siding materials. Talk to us if you’d like help give your home a complete makeover, or about any of your roofing, siding and window needs!
Premier Roofing and Exteriors will be welcoming visitors their booth at the West Michigan Home and Garden Show Thursday, March 2 through Sunday, March 5 at the DeVos Place in Grand Rapids, MI. Stop by to see the latest roofing surfaces popular for West Michigan weather, including lifetime shingles, standing seam metal options, cedar shake and slate. Learn how you can save up to $500 off your next project.
Premier will also be available to discuss the latest home renovation products to give your home a full makeover, from vinyl siding that looks like batten to vinyl replacement windows to light up your favorite spaces.
Home Renovation Trends in Roofing & Siding in 2017
“There are so many options today to beautify your home and save on energy costs and future maintenance at the same time,” said owner Ryan Balcom. “We’re really excited about some of the new material options offered by our product partners — the quality keeps going up, and the comparative costs of materials is coming down,” Balcom said.
For example, CertainTeed has introduced Belmont Luxury Shingles that replicate slate roofing for a fraction of the cost of genuine slate, and are far more cost-effective to use than their synthetic predecessors, Balcom said. (See our review here.)
As baby-boomers age, home renovation experts are finding more people wanting maintenance-free exteriors that will outlast retirement. Lifetime shingles and new siding options, or longevity items like metal roofing, have become increasingly popular. Stylish designs are achieved by using a mix of products to bring out the natural beauty of your home’s architecture and setting.
Stop in and say Hi to our team of Roofing and Exterior pros!
“We love helping people design their dream renovation,” said Balcom. “We’re locally-owned and are proud to have helped more than 5,000 homeowners in Grand Rapids, Holland, the Lakeshore, and other areas of West Michigan transform their homes.”
In addition to planning your dream renovation, the Home and Garden show features lots of fun activities for the whole family. On Saturday, there’s a Pancake Breakfast from 9 a.m. until 11, and kids get in free till noon. The Blandford Nature Center will give a LIVE Birds of Prey Presentation from 1-2 p.m. Throughout the weekend, the seminar schedule features tips on organization, gardening, cooking and more.
Admission is as follows, and tickets can be purchased online here. Adult – $10 | Child (6-14) – $4 | 5 & Under – Free Multi-Day Pass – $20 – come and go as you please for all four days of the West Michigan Home & Garden Show! Available only at the DeVos Place Box Office.
As Dave Ramsay says, “For Affordably Quality, Choose Premier.”
Premier Roofing and Exteriors has earned high praise for its quality workmanship and competitive pricing in more than 5,000 homes across West Michigan. This introductory video will show you what sets Premier apart from the rest: from local ownership to passionate staff craftsmen and women.
Transcript for those using assistive technologies:
I’m Ryan Balcom, owner of Premier Roofing and Exteriors, serving Grand Rapids and West Michigan. We’re family-owned, local, and like any service company, we’re only as good as our last job.
We’re different from other home improvement companies because of our people, our passion, and our solutions. I hire professionals that’ll treat your home like it’s their own.
We employ our teams year-round to keep the best talent with the most experience. Our state-certified professional estimators won’t give you a hard sell — they’ll give you solutions on your budget and your timeline.
We love what we do, and we enjoy making homeowners happy. With every Premier project, you can expect first-class workmanship from passionate craftsmen. It’s why 5,000 homes in West Michigan have Premier roofs and exteriors.
Premier Roofing and Exteriors has helped more than 5,000 homeowners in West Michigan get the high-quality results they want at an affordable price. How do we do this? It starts with a professional estimate, includes volume purchasing to keep material costs low, and concludes with beautiful and long-lasting roofing and siding installations. Check out the video below:
Transcript for those using assistive technologies:
We don’t give away free windows to set a high-pressure sales appointment. But we do give free, professional estimates.You can get started day or night by telling us what you’re looking for.
Once we receive your request, we get to work — using satellite imaging, aerial views, and field measurements. One of our state-certified estimators will meet you at your home to discuss your project and provide a free inspection. Then we plan and design options to fit your needs and your budget.
Here’s where you’ll notice another difference: we’re independent, and work with a wide range of high-quality materials. We’ll help you choose the right finish for your roof or siding project for the right looks and performance. And we’ll do it all for a competitive price, because we volume-purchase and warehouse our supplies.
With Premier’s quality workmanship, materials, and price, your dream home is just a step away.
It’s officially autumn in Grand Rapids, MI, and that means winter is not far behind. Is your roof ready for another West Michigan winter? In our three-part series, we’ll help local homeowners avoid the scourge of ice dams and other winter weather perils with some simple pro-active tips and possible advance remediation. Don’t want to do it yourself? Contact Us for a Free Pre-Winter Roof Inspection, gutter cleaning services, gutter guards, or repair estimates!
1. Clean Your Gutters
The first, and simplest thing to do come autumn is to clean, and guard your gutters. If you’re a Do-It-Yourself type, you can clean your gutters on most homes using a ladder, safety harness, and hose or hand-scoop. If you’re truly intrepid, you may use a power washer, but be careful you don’t apply too much force or cause unsafe conditions. After removing debris from your gutters, be certain to clean the area around your downspouts. You want to avoid a build up of debris, ice and snow here to prevent gutters from backing up during freezing rain and snow melt events.
To make this job easier for NEXT year, consider “guarding” your gutters. Gutter guards help avoid blockage in gutters that ultimately can lead to ice dams.
2. If Able, Visually Inspect Roof Surface
While you’re cleaning your gutters, it’s a great time to look for the following problems that should be repaired before winter:
a) Missing Shingles – do not leave these for spring. Call us for a repair estimate but do not go through winter with missing shingles!
b) Flashing condition – look for areas where flashing is coming away from your chimney, soil stack, vent or other roof projections. Flashing prevents these areas from leaking.
c) Shingle deterioration and/or organic growth – Moss and lichens are more than a cosmetic issue on many kinds of roofing materials – asphalt shingles, roll roofing, wood shingle roofs, wood shake roofs. By holding moisture against the roof surface, lichens and moss speed the wear of the asphalt shingle surface in freezing climates by increasing frost damage to the mineral granule coating on the shingles.
In some cases, a roof cleaning can gently remove organic matter to extend the life of shingles. In other cases, shingles may be too fragile to withstand cleaning and may require replacement, preferably with algae-resistant asphalt shingles.
d) Hail Damage – If you’ve had a hail storm over the last year and haven’t had your roof inspected, now would be a good time to get a Free roof inspection. Damage can be difficult to assess and document if you let it over-winter.
3. Next stop is your ATTIC
Check for stains and evidence of past leaks
Inspect your home for air leaks in the ceiling so warm air doesn’t leak into the attic. Doing so will not only prevent ice dams from forming, it will limit cold air drafts inside and reduce energy bills.
Read our next installment coming soon about Roof Ridge Vents and Air Flow to Avoid Ice Dams.
Some winters are rougher than others in Michigan in terms of Ice Dams, and while at Grand Rapids Roofing by Premier, we’re hoping for a mild winter, we’re ready if it’s rough! Understanding and managing attic air temperatures through insulation and venting is one of the best proactive steps you can take to avoid ice dams this winter.
To prevent ice dams, you need to keep the roof cold so that the snow on the roof dissipates without making large amounts of meltwater that then refreezes. The underside of the roof deck should not exceed 30 F. The way to achieve this is to ensure that there is adequate insulation, ventilation, and to seal all gaps that let warm air pass into the attic from the house.
Ventilation introduces cold air into the attic and allows heated air to escape rapidly. One of the best things homeowners can do to help prevent ice dams is to add Ridge Vents to their roof to improve ventilation.
Benefits of Ridge Vents
Works year-round to ventilate the attic
Provides evenly distributed ventilation along the entire underside of the roof
Slim design for visual appeal
Provides a higher volume of airflow per square foot of attic area than any other fixed-vent system
Design maximizes airflow across the entire underside of roof sheathing
Changes in wind direction have no significant effect on vent performance
Wind driven rain resistant to 100 MPH
Contact Us for information about economical and pro-active Ridge Vents.
If you decide to add more insulation to your attic to help control the temperature, note that it is important to keep an air space between the roof deck and the insulation in order to prevent a condensation buildup that can delaminate the roof deck. Prior to insulating, install polystyrene rafter air channels.
More insulation on the attic floor helps keep the heat where it belongs.
Additional Tips to Stop Heat Leaks
An unsealed attic hatch or whole-house fan is a massive opening for heat to escape. Cover them with weatherstripped caps made from foil-faced foam board held together with aluminum tape.
Make sure that the ducts connected to the kitchen, bathroom, and dryer vents all lead outdoors through either the roof or walls, but never through the soffit.
Spread fiber-reinforced mastic on the joints of HVAC ducts and exhaust ducts. Cover them entirely with R-5 or R-6 foil-faced fiberglass.
Seal around electrical cables and vent pipes with a fire-stop sealant. Also, look for any spots where light shines up from below or the insulation is stained black by the dirt from passing air.
Old-style recessed lights give off great plumes of heat and can’t be insulated without creating a fire hazard. Replace them with sealed “IC” fixtures, which can be covered with insulation.
Need help getting your home ready for winter? Contact Us for a free attic and ventilation inspection.
At Grand Rapids Roofing by Premier Exteriors, we’re helping West Michigan Homeowners get ready to meet — and beat — old man winter. Though the leaves have barely started to turn, early-bird homeowners can help ensure their roof is ready to withstand the rigors of a Michigan winter.
In this primer, learn from the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety how to assess the risk of rooftop snow and ice accumulation.
If you’d like to inspect the condition of your roof before the snow flies, Call 866.497.7663 or Click for a FREE pre-winter roof inspection by Premier.
Evaluate Your Risk of Rooftop Snow/Ice Accumulation
Melting snow tends to more quickly run off of steep sloped roofs with slopes greater than 3 inches of slope in 12 inches of horizontal distance, particularly the steeper ones that are typically found on houses in northern climates. Ice and snow tend to more readily accumulate on low slope and flat roofs over porches, lanais, or parts of a home that are next to a taller section of the house, especially during high winds.
How much snow is too much for your roof to handle?
Estimate How Much the Snow on Your Roof Weighs Using These Guidelines from IBHS
Fresh snow: 10–12 inches of new snow is equal to one inch of water, or about 5 lb per square foot of roof space, so you could have up to 4 feet of new snow before the roof will become stressed.
Packed snow: 3–5 inches of old snow is equal to one inch of water, or about 5 lb per square foot of roof space, so anything more than 2 feet of old snow could be too much for your roof to handle.
Total accumulated weight: 2 feet of old snow and 2 feet of new snow could weigh as much as 60 lb per square foot of roof space, which is beyond the typical snow load capacity of most roofs.
Ice: 1 inch of ice equals 1 foot of of fresh snow.
Snow Removal May be Necessary to Avoid Roof Collapse
If you are in the “danger zone” according to chart above or if the loads you estimate based on the thickness of the various types of snow and ice exceed 20–25 psf, you should consider removing snow from your roof. For safe removal that won’t endanger you or damage your roof, use a snow rake with a long extension arm that will allow you to remove the snow while standing on the ground or hire a snow removal contractor.