Summer is the time we all love to be outdoors. Whether your preference is the beach, lake or your own back yard – summer is the most fun time of the year.
It’s also the hottest time of the year, which can be hard on your AC system. Be sure that you are regularly checking/replacing your filters as needed to keep your system at peek performance.
Many people host get-togethers at their home during summer for grilling & swimming. Be sure to keep your grill at least 8′ away from your home or further for safety. A hot grill can melt soffit and siding if too close – or worse… If your deck is not large enough to accommodate a safe distance, give us a call. We can help you plan your deck expansion or repairs.
Summer can throw us some severe storms too. Keep us in mind when an emergency strikes. We offer emergency roof tarps, tree removal from roof top and many other services.
Call any time 865-771-4085. If after hours or on weekends, leave a message and we will return your call.
Hello all. We hope everyone is staying warm & safe during this unusually snow/icy winter we are having here in east Tennessee.
We have been receiving a lot of calls about roof leaks that are occurring due to ice dams. Ice dams are more familiar to people who live in northern states where winters are more harsh and snow/ice precipitation is normally expected. Although not completely unheard of, this is not typically an issue that affects most of us in the southern United States. Since this concept may be new to some people here in Tennessee, here is some educational information on ice dams:
What is an ice dam? A formation of ice on the lower roof line that continues to grow up and over the side of the roof line forming large and potentially dangerous icicles.
What causes an ice dam? An ice dam can form when the attic space is not properly insulated and ventilated. This allows heat above freezing (32 degrees) to rise and melt snow on the top of a roof. The parts of the roof that are furthest away from the heat escaping are at or below the freezing point. This would typically be where the gutters, eaves, soffit and fascia are located. The snow at the top of the roof melts and runs down the roof line toward the lower shingles where it will freeze and become ice. As the snow or ice continues to melt, run down and refreeze, this ice will build up and continue to find places to expand. It can force its way under shingles and up the roof line and overflow past the gutters forming large icicles.
Will an ice dam cause damage? As the dam continues to grow, the water/ice can push underneath the shingles and penetrate (soak through) the decking on a roof. If the penetration is heavy, it will result in a visible leak on the ceiling or running down the walls, etc. Anytime water enters a home the damage can be substantial.
Can an ice dam be prevented? There are preventative measures that can be taken to reduce the likely hood that an ice dam will form. Properly insulating & ventilating the attic space is a must. Escaping heat on the roof causes the melting of the ice/snow that will result in an ice dam. Another preventative measure would be to ensure a preventative product such as “ice and water shield” is used during the installation of new roofing. (Some homeowners or roofers may choose the less expensive option of using felt when installing a new roof.) Ice and water shield must be installed on roof in the Northern states by code to prevent damage from wind-driven rains and ice dams, but is not necessarily code in most southern states. To verify current building codes, please check with your local authorities. Also, when installing a new roof, ensure the proper flashing techniques are used around vulnerable areas such as penetrations in the roof and roof to wall areas.
How can the damage be repaired? Each ice damming occurrence is different & unique. A professional should assess the situation and present a resolution.
Below is an illustration courtesy of the popular television show This Old House to help visualize an ice dam.
If you live in the greater Knoxville area and need a professional to assess your roofing conditions, give us a call at 865-771-4085. We can assist with restoring the exterior and interior of your home.
If you are asking yourself this question, consider the following:
Is there an existing leak that you are aware of or have you noticed stains/discolorations on the ceiling/running down walls in any room of your home?
If your answer is YES to either of these questions, it would be best to examine the roof (if you can safely do so) or call a professional to look at the roof for you. Our Spring schedule will fill up quickly, so schedule your evaluation today and get a jump start on the spring rain!
If you are in need of a professional evaluation, feel free to call us at 865-771-4085!
Our service area includes Knox County and most surrounding counties in East Tennessee.
After a long cold winter (like the one we just had) everyone is excited to get out and enjoy the sunshine. Most people will be making spring or summer vacation plans and scheduling get-together social events. Some may be working on landscaping or building a new deck.
Before you get too busy with all these exciting activities, here are a few DIY spring maintenance items worth checking out around your home. Each item shouldn’t take much time and your wallet will benefit as you do some small maintenance that could save you a lot of money later on.
Take a few moments out of one of your days to do a walk around your home/property and check on these things:
Gutters – did you get around to cleaning them out in the fall? If not, you may want to make time to get them cleaned. Clogged gutters can lead to a multitude of costly repairs later on – such as foundation damage, fascia rot, mold growth and excessive erosion around the base of your home. If you are unable to clean your gutters safely on your own, hire a professional to clean them out for you. If you are tired of cleaning your gutters often (or paying someone to do it for you) consider installing a good gutter protection product.
Look at your yard – Take into consideration the lay of your land and consider if the hard rains/storms have washed away parts of your lawn soil in places. If this has occurred, rain water will begin to settle in those areas and can cause further erosion to occur. If you notice the land pitting near your home’s foundation, it is important to redirect the water and raise the soil level to prevent foundation damage. If you are unsure how to do so, please contact a professional. Standing water can also present a breeding area for insects like mosquitoes.
Roof – Examine your roof either from the ground or by climbing up a ladder. Has the rough long winter caused any visible signs of wear such as cracked, damaged, pitted, or missing shingles. If so, starting a roof budget is a great idea to have your roof repaired or replaced. The hot summer months can do further damage to worn or heavily weathered roof and its shingles. Flashing around chimneys and boots around pipes should be checked by a professional roofer.
Firewood – Remove any firewood stored near the home. Firewood should never be stacked directly against a home’s exterior and should be stored several feet away from the home. If you have firewood near or leaning against your home make plans now to move it.
Check your window and door frames/seals – if existing caulk has weathered poorly, consider re-caulking. If the wooden frames are cracked or show signs of rot, these areas will produce further damage as the summer months progress. Address these areas soon.
Faucets and hoses – check outside hoses and exterior faucets for freeze damage. Dispose of busted hoses and replace. If everything appears to be working fine, consider replacing the small inexpensive rubber seal between the faucet and hose. This will help ensure a good seal and prevent leakages.
Heating & Air system – Be sure to check on your heating & cooling system. If it is not time to replace your unit, it is a good idea to have your coils cleaned by a professional. Clean coils operate more efficiently and prolong the life of your unit. We offer a Spring/Fall maintenance at LukesGC that includes cleaning coils, cleaning blower housing, squirrel cage & blades, clearing drain lines, checking your refrigerant charge, and lubricating motors (if necessary), and checking electrical connections.
As always, if you are not able to do any of these items yourself as a DIY project, please feel free to contact us Mon-Fri 8-5pm at 865-771-4085 or call 865-200-9627 for emergencies.
Fall is the perfect time to do home maintenance. Aside from Gutter cleaning, a roof inspection is just as important to protect your home from future potential issues.
If you are physically unable or uncomfortable climbing a ladder tall enough to reach your roof safely, please consult a professional.
Before climbing ladder, ensure the ladder is level and does not rock from side to side or front to back. Wear appropriate shoes for walking on shingles, metal, or slate, etc. type roofing. (Footwear could vary depending on the type of roof you have installed.)
Below is a list of items to check during a DIY fall roof inspection for homeowners.
Check for up-turned, bent, or missing shingles – damaged shingles can lead to a leaking roof. As the weather cools down, shingles can become brittle (which could result in further damage).
Use a proper roofing sealant to seal shingles where damaged.
Use a proper roofing sealant to seal cracks and obvious damage in and around valleys if damage is apparent.
Remove loose debris from roof top – you could remove debris piece by piece or by using a gas powered blower
Check chimney flashing
Check chimney opening – if you plan on using a fireplace or stove during the winter months, check to ensure no large debris is clogging your chimney stack.
If you do not have a shingle over ridge vent system, check turbines to ensure they are not bent closed to ensure proper venting of your attic. Clean debris and leaves away from turtle vents. Also, check the flashing/seal around each.
Take notice of “soft spots” when walking on the roof. Soft spots could lead to a potential problem later.
If you have low hanging tree limbs near your roof line, trim them back to keep trees limbs and debris off your roof.
If you are unable to complete this type of maintenance safely, please contact a professional.