Colorful Fall Leaves in Gutter

Fall Home Maintenance

Holiday season has arrived, which means that colder, harsher weather is coming into view, and the days are getting shorter. With the fall will be in full swing soon! This article can serve as a quick exterior fall home maintenance checklist with a focus on windows, doors, roofing, siding and gutters to ensure the home’s ready and protected.

Windows

  • It’s time for that regular cleaning & inspection where you simply wipe them down to see any potential damage to the frames and sashes. 
  • Any repairs needed? Now’s the time to be proactive and make those repairs which were put off during spring and summer. 
  • Weatherstripping is an easy way to seal window areas and trap heat inside where it belongs (while lowering your winter energy bill). Also, repair any worn out rubber seals. 

Doors

  • Check not only the doors themselves, but everything directly around them like outdoor faucets, patio furniture which should be covered or come inside, doorway lighting, decks, steps and walkways.
  • Repair or replace anything that’s breaking down in the frame like rubber sealing and consider weather stripping, using door sweeps, etc., to conserve heat. 

Roofing

  • Schedule a roof inspection if one wasn’t conducted in the spring or summer. These are essential and required under most roofing warranties. Inspectors will spot a large assortment of potential problems most homeowners are unaware of.
  • Check any attic areas to see how insulation is holding up and whether the ventilation is blocked or hampered in some way. For those in much colder climates where snow and ice accumulation is a serious issue, this is a critical inspection. 

Siding

  • Check first around windows and doors, then the rest of the home to spot any loose siding which could let the cold air, water and moisture create problems for interior walls. If they aren’t addressed, the siding may expand during freezing temperatures and get worse.
  • Look for any cracking, warping, rot and other general signs of siding degradation.

Gutters

  • After the leaves have fallen check those gutters to ensure the home’s drainage system is working properly! Once it starts raining and getting icy or slippery, being on the roof is far more dangerous. And, once winds begins picking up being on ladders is also sketchy.
  • Get any damage promptly repaired and be sure fascia boards are in good shape.

Contact Us Today

While this isn’t an exhaustive or comprehensive list by any means, these are the basics of getting busy with fall home maintenance before any small issues or problems become big ones once the weather hits. If you need help preparing your home’s exterior for the fall season, our team at E.M. Snow is ready to assist! Reach out to us today by calling us at (781) 893-4546 or by filling out our team’s online contact form! We look forward to hearing from you and assisting with your exterior remodeling needs!

Ceiling Water damage

5 Ways to Find a Roof Leak

As any homeowner knows, your roof is one of the most important pieces of your home’s exterior. It functions as the umbrella of your home, keeping the elements and pests out of your home. However, due to its constant exposure to the elements, your roof often begins to break down after the constant exposure to the elements. Over time, your roof may develop leaks, allowing water into your home where it causes significant damage! It can often be difficult to spot a roof leak, but if you keep an eye out for any damage to your roof, you may be able to spot where the leak is coming from. Take a look at our guide to see what you should be looking for!

Take Note of Any Leak Big or Small

The first place to start is to find any sort of leak and take note of it. A lot of people might notice a little drip coming from a corner of the house and write it off as a little fluke. This is the easiest way to allow a small issue to become a big problem. For starters, make sure you know where it is, and what is directly above that spot in the house. 

Check the Attic

A lot of times, a leak in the roof can be traced to the attic. Of course, some homes don’t have a traditional attic, but you may have some sort of access to the area between the roof itself and the top level of the house. In this case, see if the leak is coming from the attic, or up above. It helps to know this so you know what needs to be done about the problem. 

Imitate Rain

To see where exactly the leak is coming from, it helps to imitate rain and watch where the water enters your home. Don’t do it with a ton of water, but just enough to see it get into a small crack or damaged shingle of sorts. 

Make Tiny Repairs Yourself

Something like a single shingle can be repaired with a hammer and nail. Likewise, caulking around the chimney is easy to apply. Of course, if there are bigger issues present, let the professionals take care of it. 

Contact a Professional

Need a roof replacement for your home? Our team at E.M. Snow is ready to assist! We can be reached over the phone at (781) 893-4546 or by filling out our team’s online contact form! We look forward to hearing from you and assisting with all of your roof replacement needs!

Old Asphalt Roof

Do I Need To Replace My Roof?

Replacing your roof is not a decision you want to have to make; as a homeowner, repairs can often be time-consuming, costly, and altogether a pain in the neck. That being said, ignoring the threat of something major like a damaged or aging roof is 100% necessary for the safety of yourself, your family, and your home. Waiting to work on repairs is a far cry from being proactive about the value and safety of your home, so rather than panic and worry, know the signs that it’s time to replace your roof. This list also helps you identify areas that might soon become a problem, so you can plan and save for a project you might need to get done in the future.

Why do I have to Replace my Roof?

While no one wants to replace their home’s roof, it is important to ensure your roof is kept in good repair! Take a look at a few of the signs that your roof needs to be replaced that you may have missed.

Old Roof

Some roofs simply age out. Even if you haven’t experienced any major damage, the shingles are only built to last so long as they weather the elements. If it’s been a long time since your roof replacement and you notice things like bent shingles or loose granules, it’s likely time to take a look at the age of your roof. Has it been a while since you replaced it? If you can’t remember the last time repairs were done at all, it’s likely time to make a call.

Weather Damage

An easy way to determine if it’s time to replace your roof is when the decision is forced upon you. Weather damage is a pain, but often cannot be ignored. If wind damage is blowing your shingles off, or if rain is starting to come into your home, it’s not much of a “should you replace your roof” as it is a “you need to replace your roof.” Don’t wait for another storm; just make sure to get it taken care of now before interior safety is at risk.

Energy Efficiency

It might seem a little obvious, but your roof plays a big role in maintaining the internal temperature of your home. New shingles can help keep air and heat in your home! As your roof affects your home’s internal temperature, homeowners spend more on A/C and heat than they need to be doing. If your energy bills have been soaring lately, take a look at your roof to determine whether it is still keeping your home protected and secure. Additionally, solar panels are growing more and more inexpensive, making it possible to harness solar power for your home.

Contact Us Today

Think it may be time to replace your home’s roof? Reach out to our team at E.M. Snow Inc. today to learn more about our roof replacement services! We can be reached over the phone at (781) 893-4546 or by filling out our team’s online contact form! We look forward to hearing from you and assisting with your roof replacement needs!

Two skylights with two chairs & table, sitting nook

Advantages Of Installing A Skylight

Skylights often get a bad rap from homeowners who believe that they simply lead to energy loss and potentially lead to leaks as well. However, there is so much to gain from having a well-installed skylight on your home. If you’re interested in learning about some of the benefits of installing a skylight in your home, keep reading to learn more!

Skylights Provide Natural Light

The first benefit is the one that every homeowner thinks of; skylights provide a great deal of natural light. If your home is surrounded by trees or even other home’s in an urban environment, installing a skylight is a great way to take advantage of the light that you would otherwise be missing out on. Studies show that more natural light increases productivity, making them a particularly smart investment for that gloomy home office!

Skylights Provide Ventilation

If you have a skylight that operates, it can be a great way to let fresh air into your home. Furthermore, heat rises, which means on those hot summer days when it seems like there’s no relief, opening up your home’s skylight can allow all of the hot air up through the top of your home.

Solar Heat Gain

Another benefit of installing a skylight into your home is the solar heat gain that a skylight can provide. Particularly during the cold winter months, a skylight can help heat up your home by allowing in sunlight all day! Well it won’t be the most significant energy gain, skylights certainly have the potential to cut down on your energy bills by providing a bit of extra heat!

Make Your Room Feel Larger

One often overlooked benefit of installing a skylight is that it will help make the room it is installed in feel larger. While adding a skylight to a room obviously doesn’t make the room any larger, the opening that is created to allow the light from the skylight down into the room will open the room vertically and flood it with light, which despite not actually adding any space to the room, does make it feel larger.

Aesthetics and Resale Value

Finally, installing a skylight on your home will help increase the resale value and aesthetics of your home. Many people love the way skylights look on a home’s exterior, and it indicates that you’re trying to improve your home by paying attention to the fine details. If you’re looking for an easy way to boost your home’s curb appeal, few options are better than installing a skylight!

Contact Us Today

Interested in installing a skylight in your home today? Reach out to our team today to learn more! We can be reached over the phone at (781) 893-4546 or by filling out our online contact form! We look forward to hearing from you and assisting with your skylight installation needs!

Replacement Windows

Benefits of Replacement Windows

Your windows are an important piece of your home’s exterior.  They provide a number of benefits for your home, from boosting curb appeal and resale value, to providing ventilation and natural light. Therefore it is important to keep your windows in good repair.  However, your windows may be nearing the end of their lifespan but still functioning, which begs the question, why would I replace my windows if they seem to be protecting your home? Take a look at our blog to learn about the benefits of replacement windows!

UV Protection

One of the first benefits of replacement windows is the UV protection that new windows can offer for your home.  Oftentimes, older windows are not fitted with Low-E glass, which consists of a reflective, metallic layer that helps cut down on UV rays coming into your home.  UV rays can damage your home’s carpet and upholstery, so if you find that if you move the couch across the room you can see an outline of your carpet from where it sat, take it as a sign that your windows need more UV protection.

Energy Efficiency

Another benefit of replacement windows is the energy efficiency they can provide.  Low-E glass has the dual benefit of decreasing UV rays, but also helping with solar heat gain by keeping heat in the home during the winter and reflecting excess heat out of the home in the summer. Installing new replacement windows can help increase your home’s energy efficiency if your old windows lack Low-E glass.

Increased Security

Another reason you may consider installing replacement windows is the increased security that new windows provide. Your replacement windows can be fitted with the latest hardware to help keep intruders out, as well as laminated glass that holds together when broken thanks to a polymer layer within the panes.  New replacement windows are certain to offer security benefits over old windows.

Curb Appeal & Resale Value

Old windows have chipped paint, rotted frames, and outdated designs. Installing replacement windows will help boost your home’s curb appeal, and subsequently, it’s resale value. If you’re considering selling your home in the next few years, installing new replacement windows will benefit you while you enjoy the home, and the resale value they provide means that when it comes time to sell the home, you will get back nearly all of the money you invested in installing the windows. In fact, you can expect a 70-80% return on your investment when it comes time to sell your home.

Easy Maintenance

Finally, one of the greatest benefits of replacement windows is the ease of maintenance that they can offer.  Old double-hung windows were a hassle to clean. If you have them on the second story of your home, you know what a nuisance it can be to have to grab a ladder to clean the exteriors of your windows. New double-hung windows offer the ability to tilt the sashes, allowing you to reach the exterior side of the glass from the interior or your home.  This has advancement has made spring cleaning far easier for homeowners!

Contact Us Today

There are so many benefits to gain from installing replacement windows.  If you need to replace your home’s windows this spring, our team at E.M. Snow Inc. is ready to help! We can be contacted over the phone at (781) 893-4546 or by filling out our online contact form!

Old Shingle Roof

How to Tell A Roofer is Legitimate

Investing in a roof is a big undertaking and can set you back a good chunk of change. That is why it is important to find a legitimate roofer with a strong reputation to take on your project. It is not always easy to find a reputable roofer, but it is not impossible. With the right knowledge of what to look for when seeking out a roofer, you’ll be one step closer to finding the right team. Check out these tips that can help you spot a fake roofer or a roofing scam and find a legitimate roofer.

Ask for Insurance

Not all roofers offer the same services or have the same qualifications. Legitimate roofers should have insurance, both workers’ compensation insurance, and liability insurance. A roofing company that means business and is worth looking into is one that has insurance coverage. This is an important in the roofing business and when people are working on your property. You want to avoid being held liable for any damages on injuries that could occur while roofers are working on your property.

Validate Certifications

If you want to put your trust in a roofing company, check to see if they are certified. A legitimate roofing company will possess training and certifications that grant them the right to operate as a roofing company. Having a qualified team, with the know-how to get the roofing job done right is what you need to ease your worries. A reputable roofing company should have no qualms about showing their roofing certifications when asked.

Check Their Reviews

A good reputation can signal to you if a roofing company is legitimate. You have the charge of verifying the integrity of a roofing company, and with so many companies with an online presence, you can find useful information that can help you to make your decision. Look up a roofing company’s rating and reviews to hear what past customers have to say about their service and performance. You can use Google as a source or check with the Better Business Bureau for a roofing company’s rating.

Ask Your Friends and Neighbors

If you have friends or even neighbors that have used a roofing company that you are interested in, get their scoop on the company. With their firsthand experience, you can learn much about the company, including why you should choose them or avoid them. Maybe they have used a company that isn’t on your list and could give you suggestions.

Contact Us Today

There are many roofing companies out there that are ready to meet your needs. To avoid getting scammed, be sure to work with a trusted roofing professional like E.M. Snow.  We can be reached over the phone at (781) 893-4546 or by filling out our online contact form! We look forward to hearing from you and assisting with your roof replacement needs!

Deck Over The River

Benefits Of Installing A New Deck

With spring time right around the corner, many homeowners are interested in spending more time outside, enjoying the fresh air.  For some homeowners, enjoying the spring and summer entails putting the chairs on their deck and lounging in the sun. If you’ve been considering installing a deck on your home to help you enjoy the warm weather ahead but you’re not sure if it’s worth the investment, take a look at our blog to learn about the benefits of installing a new deck.

Create An Entertaining Space

If you’ve been looking for a space where you can enjoy the warm weather with friends and family, a deck is just what you need! From family get-togethers, to graduation parties, to summer BBQ’s, a deck is the perfect place to entertain during the spring and summer months!

Increase Your Home’s Resale Value & Curb Appeal

If you’ve been looking for a way to increase your home’s value, installing a deck can be a fantastic option.  Generally, deck installations offer between a 70-80% return on your investment, meaning if you sell your home within a few years, you’ll have completely recouped the cost between the resale value and time you were able to spend enjoying the space.  Additionally, a brand new deck looks fantastic and indicates to potential buyers that you are focused on the upkeep and appearance of your home. You can choose to install a natural, wooden material, or you can install composite deck boards in any color to match your home’s exterior. No matter what materials you decide to use, installing a deck will increase your home’s curb appeal and value!

Quick Installation

Another benefit of installing a deck is a quick installation time.  If you’ve wanted to install a deck on your home but you’re worried about all of the noise that comes with constructing anything new on your home, a deck won’t be nearly as loud or never ending as other home improvement projects, such as building an addition or remodeling your home’s interior.  With an installation time of roughly two weeks for the largest decks, it won’t take long to complete your deck installation project!

Extra Storage Space

Installing a deck can help free up storage space that was being used by your outdoor furniture, plant pots, or even things like your bicycles. Adding a deck is an easy way to create outdoor storage space that looks great and give’s your unused furniture a home besides your shed or garage.

Relatively Inexpensive

Compared to most exterior remodeling projects, installing a deck is relatively cheap.  It can be an inexpensive way to add value to your home, with a cost that’s comparable to a low-end vinyl siding project.

Contact Us Today

If you are interested in installing a deck on your home this spring, reach out to our team at (781) 893-4546 or by filling out our online contact form! We look forward to assisting you with your deck installation or exterior remodeling needs!

Fiber Cement Siding Board being installed

Benefits of Fiber Cement Siding

Vinyl siding has long reigned supreme in the Northeast as the premier siding option, but there is another option that has been gaining in popularity as of late, Fiber-Cement Siding. Fiber cement siding provides a number of benefits to homeowners who choose to have it installed on their homes. Take a look at its benefits below!

Longevity:

Fiber Cement siding has a much longer lifespan than vinyl siding. While vinyl siding typically lasts for 20-30 years, fiber cement generally lasts for at least five decades, and potentially even longer with proper maintenance. This makes it one of the longest lasting siding materials on the market.

Durability:

Fiber Cement siding is renowned for its durability. It’s composition makes that it non-flammable, resistant to cracking, rotting, swelling, breaking, extreme weather, pests, and anything else Mother Nature can throw at it. It’s seamless design also means that it’s very resistant to moisture damage, which Eastern Massachusetts residents will appreciate, living so close to the ocean in such a windy state.

Appearance:

Fiber Cement siding is highly customizable.  It is available in a variety of color options straight from your manufacturer, which in our case is James Hardie. In addition to the factory colors, you can also order primed fiber cement boards that can painted on site. While it won’t last as long as a factory finish, painting your siding yourself should hold up almost as long as the factory, and it allows you to customize your siding any way you choose. In addition to the color options, fiber cement siding is also available in a variety of texture options. If you love the look of natural wooden siding, but you don’t want to deal with the damage it receives from the elements, you can opt to install fiber cement siding that has a natural wooden look.

Cost

This next benefit may seem a bit misleading. Fiber Cement siding has a higher installation cost than vinyl siding.  It is more expensive to produce, and more difficult to install, which makes it at the more expensive siding option at face value. However, what makes fiber cement such an enticing option from an economic stand point is its longevity. Fiber Cement can easily last twice as long as vinyl siding, and while it is a more expensive option, the fact that you will likely only need to install it once over the life of your home.

Eco-Friendly

While the manufacturing of vinyl siding requires the use of fossil fuels, fiber cement siding is made from partially recycled materials, which means it is a green option if you are looking to replace your siding with a more sustainable material. Furthermore, its longevity means it doesn’t fill up landfills like vinyl siding, and although the industry is still developing, it appears that there is potential for fiber cement to be recycled at the end of its lifespan. All-in-all, it is a far more environmentally friendly option than vinyl siding.

Contact Us

Interested in learning more about the our fiber cement siding installation services? Reach out to our team at (781) 893-4546 or by filling out our online contact form. We look forward to hearing from you!

Colorful Asphalt Shingle Roof

Pros & Cons of Asphalt Shingles Roofing

Asphalt shingles have long been the standard of the roofing industry, holding their title as the most popular roofing material in the United States for decades.  They offer a variety of benefits for homeowners, but they also come with their own set of drawbacks.  Take a look at this guide to learn more about the pros and cons of asphalt shingle roofs and find out if they are the right option for your home!

Pros:

Cost: If you are interested in replacing your roof on a budget, asphalt shingles are your best option.  They are inexpensive to manufacture, which results in an economical roofing option for homeowners.

Easy Installation: When it comes to installation, there is no easier roofing material to install than asphalt shingles. Slate roofing is heavy and brittle, which makes it easy to break. Metal roofing is complex to install, which makes it easier to install incorrectly.  If you are able to find a contractor who installs roofs, they most likely work with asphalt shingles.  If you are interested in installing a roofing material that just about any contractor will be able to work on, asphalt shingles are your best option.

Aesthetics: Asphalt shingles are available in an enormous array of style and color options. If you are interested in using your roof to help create a particular aesthetic for your home, asphalt shingles are your best bet.  With so many manufacturers, you can find asphalt shingles in nearly any color or style, and at any budget.  This makes them fantastic if you have a particular style in mind for your roof.

Long Lasting: Asphalt shingles longevity can vary greatly depending on the quality of the shingle  On the low end, inexpensive asphalt shingles might only last for 15 years or less.  However, if you are willing to spend a bit more for a higher-quality product, there are asphalt shingles that have the potential to last for 50 years or more! Overall, the average asphalt shingle lasts for about 20-30 years, meaning you may only need to replace your home’s roof once!

Cons

Environmental Impact: If you are interested in choosing an environmentally friendly material for your home’s roof, there are better options.  The manufacturing of asphalt shingles requires the use of asphalt shingles, which makes them an unsustainable option.  Additionally, while slate and metal roofing are recyclable, asphalt shingles are not and they end up comprising a large portion of the United States annual waste, with some estimates placing the number as high as 5%! If you are interested in installing a roofing material that lowers your home’s carbon footprint, there are better options than asphalt shingles.

Maintenance: Asphalt shingle roofs require periodic maintenance to keep up. You will need to clean debris off of your roof, and out of your gutters, clean off any algae or moss growth that occurs on your roof, and also periodically examine the flashing to ensure that your roof deck isn’t amassing any water damage.

Have more questions about installing asphalt shingles on your home? Reach out to our team at (781) 893-4546 or by filling out our online contact form! We look forward to helping you with any of your roofing needs!

Rotten Deck Boards

Four Signs Your Deck Needs To Be Replaced

Decks, just like any other part of your homes exterior, are constantly exposed to the elements.  As a result, eventually your deck will begin to fail.  If your deck looks worn out but you have still used it with no issues, you may be wondering why you would need to replace your deck.  However, sometimes the signs that your deck is in need of a replacement can be subtle.  Check out this guide to see some of the signs you may have overlooked:

Rot

When it comes to rot, there are two kinds that can affect your deck.  The first is the most obvious, your run-of-the-mill rot.  If you deck is exposed to high levels of moisture, and especially if it wasn’t finished properly, moisture will make its way into your boards and cause havoc to your decks frame.  However, there is another kind of rot that can affect your deck called Dry Rot.  Dry rot occurs when fungus gets into your decks boards and eats away at the cellouse in the wood which gives the deck its strength. Dry rot appears in long sheets, either grayish or white, and will make its way through your whole deck if left to spread.

Loose Railings

Another sign that your deck needs to be replaced is if your railings are loose.  While you may be able to get away with simply replacing the loose railings, they may be a sign that you have some rot damage in your deck.  At the very least, loose railings are a safety hazard, particularly for children, and you should replace any loose railings as soon as possible.

Cracked Boards

If you find any cracks in your deck boards, its a sign that the wood is nearing the end of its life.  While the wood may not fail today, or tomorrow, it will in the near future, and it could cause injuries to someone if left to continue cracking.  While minor cracks are nothing to worry about, if your boards are splitting down the middle, consider replacing them to increase your decks lifespan.

Failing Ledger Board

Your ledger board is what attaches your deck to your home.  If your ledger board is breaking away from your home, or if your deck is breaking off of your ledger board, you will need to replace the board as soon as possible.  If your ledger board fails completely, your entire deck could fall away from your home. Even if your deck itself is in perfect shape, if your ledger board fails, you could lose your whole deck.  Therefore, if you notice that the board is failing, be sure to replace it as soon as you can.

Have more questions about replacing your deck? Reach out to our team at (781) 893-4546 or by filling out our online contact form! We look forward to hearing from you today!