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Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Looking for a New Home? Check the Roof Using These Simple Tips!

Purchasing a new home is an exciting prospect, but it can also be a stressful one. You want to make sure your new home is in good shape and will protect your family, keeping you comfortable and safe from the wind and weather. Whenever you visit a home for sale, keeping an eye out for a few details can help you assess the condition of the roof before you make any further decisions. Understanding the signs of major and minor roof damage can help you assess any potential home’s needs and whether it could be the right home for you.

Look for Water Damage
Water damage is one of the most common—and potentially costly—types of damage that affects residential roofs. While you’re making an outdoor inspection of any potential home, take a moment to look up at the roof. Keep in mind that you may need to step back to the edge of the property to get a clear view. Look for signs of water damage that include dark streaks or stains, peeling or curling shingles, visible rot, moss, or corrosion, bowed or clogged gutters, and pooling water on the roof or around the home if it has recently rained. If the roof is made from clay tile, look for deposits of dirt and debris, which signal poor water flow and drainage from the roof and could be the cause of leaks or other trouble later on.

Look for Signs of Age
An older roof doesn’t necessarily spell trouble, but a roof that’s showing clear and abundant signs of its age should be a cause of concern. Check asphalt roofing for signs of excessive granule depletion; when the coating of asphalt granules has washed or worn away, the shingles are left vulnerable to further wear, while granule runoff can clog or damage the gutters. Split, cracked, curling, or missing shingles are another clear sign of age, especially if you notice a large number of damaged areas over the entirety of the roof. Check clay tile roofing for cracked or missing tiles as well, which could let water inside and affect the weather-tightness of the roof. If the home has a metal roof, look for loose panels, signs of corrosion, or missing fastenings; check a foam roof for holes in the membrane or widespread discoloration or changes in texture.

Talk to the Roofer
One of the simplest ways to evaluate a roof’s quality is to talk to the roofing company responsible for installing the roof. If you are seriously considering a home for purchase, ask the current homeowners when the roof was last repaired or replaced and which company was hired for the work. Even if the roof looks fine to you—and your home inspector—it’s still worthwhile to perform a little research on the reputation of the company responsible for the home’s roof. Talking with the roofers themselves about the job they performed will also give you a clear picture of the roof’s current condition and whether there may be any potential roofing concerns in the short or long term.


Working with a trusted roofing contractor can make the purchase of your new home a smooth and stress-free process. You can find out more about our residential and commercial roof inspection, maintenance, repair, and replacement services in Alexandria when you visit us on the web.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Maintaining and Protecting Your Metal Roof

Metal roofing continues to gain popularity as a commercial and residential roofing option, with up to 30% of American homes currently incorporating metal roofs. Today, there are a variety of metal roofing materials and options available, including steel, stainless steel, aluminum, zinc, and copper; metal roofing can help to keep your home cooler in the summer and can even mimic the outward appearance of tile or shingles. With the right care and maintenance, your metal roof will last as long as the structure of your home, providing the water- and weatherproofing you need to remain safe and comfortable inside.

Inspect Your Roof Regularly
Just like any other roofing system, metal roofs require regular inspections to look for signs of trouble. You can inspect your roof on your own by walking around your home periodically to look at your roof from all angles. Make note of any areas that appear damaged, rusted, or corroded, and contact your roofing contractor with this information to discuss whether action should be taken. You should also look for loose panels or fastenings, which could lead to leaks if not repaired. Additionally, you should have your metal roof inspected professionally once a year; your roofing contractor knows how to spot even the smallest signs of trouble and address them before they grow, making the cost of a professional visit well worth it in terms of the longevity of your roof. A roofing contractor can also check your roof safely and thoroughly from above, which is especially important if you do not have the means to access your roof or don’t feel comfortable doing so. If your roof does need repairs, always go through your roofing contractor for service—any repairs made on your own may void your roofing warranty and cause further damage if not performed correctly.

Address Rust and Corrosion
Rust and corrosion are two of the most common problems homeowners encounter with metal roofing. These conditions occur when moisture or debris is trapped against your roof and damage can compound over time if not treated promptly. White rust can be cleaned away with a plastic brush; you can prevent further rust by painting your roof with a corrosion-resistant paint. Red rust, which is common on zinc, aluminum, and galvanized steel roofing, is a sign of runoff from other materials on your roof, such as wood, glass, or lead flashing. In some cases, positioning elements of your home made from one type of metal near your metal roofing can cause a reaction that leads to corrosion and rust. If your home has a swimming pool or is located near other potentially corrosive environmental factors, this may also cause your roof to rust as well. Red rust can be cleaned away, but will return if the source isn’t found and corrected. Rust-resistant coatings can be applied to prevent further corrosion from occurring, particularly on roofs situated near corrosive environments. You should also have your metal roof cleaned periodically to remove any sand, grit, grime, or other debris that could potentially cause rust or corrosion over time. Your roofing contractor can discuss the right cleaning schedule for your needs and provide you with tips you can use to clean your roof on your own between professional visits.


Taking care of your roof will protect this valuable investment, as well as the quality of your home and the belongings within. If you need help maintaining or repairing your roof in Alexandria, click over to our website to read through our full list of services or request a next-day estimate online.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Diagnosing Your Freezer Problems

Freezers make the long-term storage of many foods and drinks simple and safe. If your freezer is experiencing problems, however, you may feel at a loss as to how to find a solution. Thanks to today’s modern technology, most freezers require very little care—however, there is often very little a homeowner can do on their own to address problems, as well. Learning how to diagnose your freezer problems will let you know when it’s time to call in an appliance repair specialist to get your freezer back up and running properly.

Checking the Thermostat
If your freezer isn’t maintaining a cold enough temperature, your food will not be kept properly frozen. The first thing to check if you’re experiencing this problem is the freezer’s thermostat; if your freezer is part of a refrigerator-freezer appliance, the thermostat for the freezer may be located just inside the door of the refrigerator portion of the appliance. You can test the function of the compressor by waiting until the compressor is currently running, then turning the temperature up by several degrees on your freezer’s thermostat. The compressor should stop running at the higher temperature set point; similarly, if you begin to lower the temperature, the compressor should start up again. If the compressor does not appear to be responding properly to the thermostat settings, your thermostat may be the problem.

Checking the Seal
Your freezer door is equipped with a rubber seal to prevent air exchange and keep the system closed for more efficient cooling. If this seal is damaged or broken, cold air can begin leaking out of your freezer, reducing its efficiency and causing your food to thaw. You can check the seal on your freezer door easily; start with the door open and inspect the seal visually. Make sure it is clean by wiping it down with a damp cloth and use your vacuum’s hose attachment to remove any debris that may prevent the seal from sitting tightly against the appliance. Also check for areas of damage, such as cracks or crumbling rubber, which indicate that the seal should be replaced. Finally, close the freezer door and use your hand to feel for any areas that might be leaking air, which also indicate that replacement of the seal is needed.

Checking the Coils
If your freezer runs constantly, ice can build up on the freezer coils. This ice perpetuates the problem by affecting your freezer’s efficiency, thus causing it to run more often and resulting in additional ice buildup. To inspect the coils for ice, unplug the appliance and move it away from the wall so you can see the coils on the back of the unit. If you see ice buildup on the coils, you can use a hair dryer to melt the ice away. Wipe the coils clean with a damp cloth, then rub them dry and plug the appliance back in. Because ice on your freezer coils is caused by a constantly-running condenser fan, you’ll need to address the cause of this situation to prevent ice from recurring.


If you’re experiencing freezer problems, an experienced appliance repair specialist can help—visit our website to contact an appliance repair technician in Portland and request service for your freezer, refrigerator, dishwasher, disposal, or washer and dryer online. We also invite you to read through our blog to learn more about maintaining your appliances and spotting trouble quickly.

Friday, January 30, 2015

Check Out These Upcoming San Diego Events

With the new year comes new holidays and events worth celebrating. During the months of January and February, you’ll find plenty of culture, excitement, and good cuisine throughout the city of San Diego, all just a short distance from your luxury apartment at Carmel Pacific Ridge.

Winter Brew Fest
San Diego’s annual Winter Brew Fest is an intimate craft beer festival highlighting some of the best independent craft brews from the state of California. The event also features live music performances and plenty of food and other vendors. This year’s Winter Brew Fest will be held at the Hall of Champions in Balboa Park on February 20th and 21st. Proceeds from this event will go to Outdoor Outreach and the San Diego Mountain Bike Association. A special souvenir glass is included with your admission, and the price of attendance for designated drivers is only $10. Tickets can be purchased online in advance or at the door of the event.

Museum Month
February is Museum Month in San Diego, which means you can enjoy half-price admission at some of San Diego’s finest museums. To get started, you’ll need to pick up a Museum Month Pass at any Macy’s Store in town. Each Museum Month Pass is good for four half-price admissions throughout the month of February at 45 participating museums, including the USS Midway Museum, the New Children’s Museum, the San Diego Natural History Museum, and the San Diego Museum of Art.

San Diego Restaurant Week
San Diego Restaurant Week takes place from January 18-24 in 2015; this biannual event allows participants to try out discounted menus at nearly 200 San Diego County restaurants. No advance planning or participation fee is necessary—when you choose a participating restaurant for lunch or dinner, you’ll automatically have access to a two-course lunch menu for $10, $15, or $20, or a three-course dinner menu for $20, $30, $40, or $50. Participating restaurants include 333 Pacific, Anthony's Fish Grotto in San Diego Bay, Del Mar, or La Mesa, Azuki Sushi, Harley Gray Kitchen & Bar, NINE-TEN Restaurant, Nobu San Diego, Puerto La Boca Restaurant, Searsucker, and The Prado at Balboa Park. You can visit the San Diego Restaurant Week website to search the complete list of participating restaurants by name, location, or price.

San Diego Chinese New Year Food & Cultural Fair
2015 is the Year of the Ram on the Chinese calendar, which begins on February 19. The 33rd Annual San Diego Chinese New Year Food & Cultural Fair will be held the following weekend, running February 21st and 22nd from 10am until 5pm on Third Ave. and J St., near the San Diego Chinese Center. This free cultural event includes the sights, sounds, and tastes of an authentic Chinese New Year celebration—you’ll see dancers, martial artists, acrobats, and a lantern parade you won’t soon forget. Other activities include crafts, shopping, multiple demonstrations, and plenty of food vendors around every corner. The San Diego Chinese Historical Museum will also be open to visitors, including its Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Memorial Extension and Chinese garden and koi pond.


Life at Carmel Pacific Ridge means access to all that San Diego has to offer, all year long. You can check out our luxury apartment community online to learn more about our features, amenities, and floor plans, or contact us about rental rates, move-in dates, and any other questions you may have.  

New Year's Resolutions for Your Apartment

 A new year can mean great things for your apartment. Making a few New Year’s resolutions for your apartment will set the stage for a more enjoyable living space that better reflects your personality and style every day of the year. You can choose how big—or small—the changes you make will be to completely customize and refresh your home and your apartment lifestyle.

Use What You Have
It can be tempting to save candles, soaps, dishes, silverware, and many other items for decorative or seasonal purposes only. Maybe you like the way the packaging of a certain item looks, or want to use your favorite sheets sparingly to keep them in good shape. However, this can result in excessive clutter in your apartment and deprive you of the well-made or favorite items contained within. Rather than saving items for special occasions or simply because of how they look, make a resolution to use your favorite and high-quality belongings. Keeping these items in storage negates the worth of having them and deprives you of the enjoyment you’re sure to get when you use your good soaps, dishes, and linens more often.

Break Up Your Housework
Housework is one of the most oft-ignored tasks because it can feel overwhelming. This year, make a resolution to break up your housework into more manageable chunks so you’re more likely to get it done and enjoy the process. For example, set aside each day of the week to clean one area of your apartment, such as the living room, kitchen, bathroom, or bedroom. Alternately, choose one task you will complete throughout your entire apartment each day, such as vacuuming, dusting, wiping down counters and mirrors, or picking up clutter. Leave at least one day a week work-free so you don’t feel overwhelmed; taking a one-day break from housework will help you to recharge before your weekly cleaning schedule resets.

Get Creative with Décor
If your décor feels bland or outdated, the first months of the new year are the perfect time for a refresh. Take a look at your apartment’s décor and find the objects you’re least attached to or dislike the most. Get rid of these items right off the bat, which will clear space to make your apartment look and feel more open while allowing you to focus on the decorative items you do like best. You don’t need to purchase anything new to create new décor—consider using old items in new ways or simply moving furniture or art from one room to another to completely change the style of your living space while keeping the basic elements of your décor the same.


Carmel Pacific Ridge features large living spaces, breathtaking views, and a long list of resort-like amenities you’ll love. Click through our website to explore our luxury apartment community in San Diego, including our apartment floor plans, finishes, and nearby hotspots.

Friday, January 2, 2015

Caring for Your Skylights

Skylights are a handsome and energy-efficient addition to any home. Keeping your skylights in great shape will protect them from wear and ensure they always look great, providing the light and ventilation you expect. Caring for your skylights isn’t a difficult job; contact your Bethesda roofing contractor if you’d like more information about skylight care or need to schedule a roof and skylight inspection.

Cleaning Your Skylights
The key to maintaining your skylights is keeping them clean. Although you can clean your skylight just like a regular window, its unique location in your roof can make this task slightly more challenging. Start by cleaning the interior portion of your skylight; if you need a ladder to reach your skylight for cleaning, always use caution and make sure your ladder is in good condition before mounting it. Place a plastic tarp or drop cloth underneath the ladder to catch any stray cleaning solution and prevent slipping. To clean the glass, use a natural window cleaner such as a mixture of water and vinegar or water and mild dish soap; you can spray cleaner onto the glass with a spray bottle or spread it over the glass using a soft sponge. Use a squeegee to remove excess liquid and finish by drying any remaining moisture with a soft microfiber cloth. If you have plastic skylights, you can protect the surface using a thin coat of automobile polish or wax. To clean the exterior of your skylight, you’ll need to access your roof—only perform this task if you can safely do so. If you can’t reach your roof easily, your roofing contractor will be happy to help you clean your skylights safely. Once on your roof, never step or lean on your skylight or its frame. You can use a soft mop or spray bottle to apply the same cleaner that you used indoors, starting at the highest point if your skylights are angled. Use a long-handled squeegee to remove excess cleaner and wipe dry with a microfiber cloth attachment.

Checking Your Skylights
In addition to cleaning your skylights, you should check the glass or plastic regularly for scratches, pits, or cracks. If you notice damage to your skylight, contact your roofer for repairs or replacement. Check over the frame of your skylight as well to make sure it is tightly sealed in your roof to prevent leaks and air exchange, which will affect the energy efficiency of your home. If your skylight frames are painted, check with your roofer about the best type of paint to touch them up when they show wear and tear. Hinged skylights that open for ventilation should be opened and closed periodically to make sure the hinges work properly. Remove any dirt or debris from the hinges with a soft cloth and lubricate them with a dry silicone spray or other product as recommended by your roofer.


Well-maintained skylights will offer bright natural light to enhance the comfort and appeal of your home for many years to come. Please click through our website to find out more about our comprehensive roofing services in the Alexandria, Bethesda, Fairfax, and Arlington areas, including skylight installation and green roofing options.

Types of Roof Ventilation Systems

Proper ventilation plays an important role in the function and longevity of your roof. Ventilation is also necessary for a comfortable and energy-efficient home. Without adequate air circulation, your roof could be at risk for deterioration, ice buildup, leaks, or mold growth. Studies indicate that many American homes suffer from inadequate roof ventilation. There are many different types of ventilation systems available to protect your roof and improve the energy efficiency of your home—keep reading to learn more about your roof ventilation options in Alexandria, Fairfax, and Bethesda.

Ridge and Soffit Vents
Ridge vents are a common design used in peaked residential roofs. A ridge vent runs the entire length of the roof at the peak and blends naturally into the look of this structure. Ridge roof vents are simple systems with no moving parts; they are typically combined with undereave venting, called soffit vents, to create a complete system that moves air into and out of your attic. Air is drawn in through the soffit vents and expelled through the ridge vent via convection to maintain a cooler, moisture-free attic and protect your roof.

Box Vents
Box vents are a type of low-profile roof vent that form a low, box-like structure on your roof. A box vent is placed directly above a hole cut in your roof to allow air to flow up through the vent. Like ridge vents, box vents are passive systems that incorporate no moving parts. These vents also work best in combination with soffit vents to draw air up into the attic for better circulation. Because box vents are typically small, you may need to install many box vents over the surface of your roof to provide enough ventilation; however, these vents can be installed in any location on your roof for convenience or aesthetics.

Wind Turbine Vents
Wind turbine vents, sometimes called rotary vents, incorporate a moving system of vanes. Although a wind turbine vent doesn’t need the wind to work, this type of vent will draw more air up and out of your attic when the wind is blowing for increased efficiency. When there is no wind, a wind turbine vent acts just like a box vent, allowing hot air to escape from your home passively through a hole in your roof. Wind turbine vents have a slightly larger profile than box vents, but you may need fewer of them to achieve the ventilation you need because they can be more efficient.

Power Ventilators
Power ventilators incorporate motor-driven fans to actively draw hot air and moisture up out of your attic at any time. These vents can be tied into your home’s electrical grid or installed with a solar panel to provide natural power to each unit. Power vents may incorporate temperature and humidity sensors, which prompt them to activate when conditions in your attic indicate that ventilation is needed. These types of vents look much like box vents, but fewer vents may be required overall due to their efficiency.


Do you know if your home’s roof incorporates the ventilation it needs for efficiency and longevity? Visit our website today to reach an experienced roofing contractor in your area for more information about the needs of your residential roof, including maintenance, repair, and new roof or ventilation system installation.