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  1. Thank you all for your thoughts and suggestions. Three follow-up questions: 1) hausdok and all, what exactly do you mean "take good care of the roof"? 2) how does one know they have a good inspector and/or one they can trust? Forgive me, I don't mean to be rude. Can one obtain references? Are there other references? How is an inspector going to help me? 3) Tom, I haven't been able to locate "Neff and Sons" via the internet, can you share more info? I tried the BBB also and they aren't listed there either. Also, why do you consider them the best? 4) My home was built in 1955 or so. I've been told that a quality roofing company should be asked the question, "How do you handle asbestos?" I then need to listen carefully . . . roofers simply can't "guess" about asbestos I'm told, tests are needed . . . licensed professionals if asbestos is there. I have no idea if there is any asbestos on my roof -- the shingles anyway are at least 20 years old (my best guess) Any thoughts on this aspect of the job? E
  2. I'm in the market for a new roof and I wondered what your thoughts might be on purchasing an extended roofing warranty. I'm thinking of using Certainteed Landmark and/or Premium Landmark shingles though my question is more general in nature. Usually I don't purchase warranties, much less extended warranties unless there's a very good reason. I live in the Western NY.
  3. Tom, Mike, Thank you for your thoughts. Tom your point about the radon test was a good one. We will wait until after the January radon test before changing the venting / insulation system. In the meantime, I am going to try to hire someone to actually go up and see and/or check from below as to what the situation is. As a homeowner, I find it would be easy to hire someone to do x or y with regard to these issues and never really know whether some of the work was actually dnoe (or had to be done). So I might as well find out how many soffit vents we have, if they are open. One last question. Apparently there are three types of baffles: cardboard, foam and plastic. I'm opting for the plastic because I've heard foam can crack. I've heard that I would have to check the foam baffles yearly (doubt I would do that . . . does any homeowner do this???). What types of baffles are best? Do you really need to check the baffles after they are installed on a yearly basis? - MK
  4. Tom, The attic is dry. There is a small section of the eave where we get some larger than usual icicles in winter. My concern was that the area needed to have more ventilation due to the icicles. The whole attic is insulated but under-insulated (probably done in the 50's or 60's). I can see daylight but not from all the soffit vents (not a continuous soffit). Though the attic is DRY. Maybe it isn't an issue? I am testing for radon this January, a second test. And I want to be able to compare it to the test taken this past summer. So I do not want to add insulation yet. I thought getting the baffles in might be somewhat helpful to the roof and prevent those large icicles. Then it dawned on me to wonder if I would actually know, once the baffles were installed, if the soffits were clear. I didn't know you could get to them from the outside. We have siding on our home and the placement of the soffits vents isn't really known for sure. In fact it may be that we have adequate ventilation - maybe we can't see daylight from because the soffit vents are not quite aligned with the vented piece of siding that is over it. All contractors that have come in to discuss the issue suggest baffles and tell me I ought to have them installed (of course, along with insulation). Most want to sell me foam insulation and I am not interested in that. I want batts as this will be easier to work with, in the future, should I need to get up there and check on things. Maybe I ought to simply put it off until next year. What I believe I understand is that this condition should be known by the contractor and/or insulation contractor and that I may have to pay someone to check to see what is going on first (open it up from the outside or inside?) We got up in the attic yesterday, but it was impossible to tell what was going on even when we got out to the end of the rafter. The insulation lays on the floor of the attic out to the "end" (that is what I can see). Day light peers out in some areas, but I can't see the actual soffit vents. Further advice or thoughts are welcome. - MK
  5. Mike, It "looks like" five soffit vents across the front and five across the back of the house. Frankly I am not 100% sure that the soffits are open. I assume so as I can see daylight from a few of the soffits from inside the attic. The attic is atop a two-story (1950-ish) colonial and is dry with older insulation (which, due to other projects I will not updating as yet). I have to hire someone to do this work. I have existing insulation and want to have someone pull the insulation clear of the soffits and install baffles. Should the contractor have already pulled the soffit grill off (outside) and checked for insulation? - MK
  6. Hi! I want to install baffles in the attic to prevent existing fiberglass insulation that is on the floor of the attic from blocking the soffits. My questions: 1) The contractor wants to install durovent baffles. What type of baffles work are best? (northern winters) 2) Will the contractor be able to tell if the soffits are really open when he begins the job? For example, when the job is done, I should be able to see daylight from each of the soffits. However does this mean the soffit is open - just because I can see daylight? 3) Also it is better to install baffles all the way across or only where there is a soffit vent? - MK
  7. Kurt, Yes, I am talking about gutter helmets - something that was "permanently" installed on top of the gutters to keep out leaves, etc. Thank you for your thoughts. It sounds like a do-it-yourself job. The roof does have ice and water shield on it - however I am not sure how it was installed, however will look into the issue. There has been some hesitancy on my part to remove the toppers because I was warned not to by the company and, as well, was a bit unsure how to do it and didn't want to damage the gutters or the roof in the process. - L
  8. I'm a homeowner and interested in removing a section of "gutter topper" material that is installed over the gutters on a porch and see if the ice damning issue is aggravated and/or caused by the gutter toppers this winter. I will need to put on a new roof, but my hope is to better understand the dynamics of the issue without the gutter toppers. My hunch is that the gutter toppers are the larger part of the issue. There is a flat metal piece attached to the roof above the shingles. I'm wondering if I can simply remove the metal piece and the gutter toppers and leave it be or e is there additional work that may have to be done (that I as a homeowner) may be unaware of and ought to do. For example, the metal piece is installed with a nail (I assume) and over that is some caulk. Removing the nail, will mean a hole which I would caulk up, but is this enough or are there more issues I should be aware of. I would call the manufacturer however the reps I have had come out in the past have not inspired me with confidence in there expertise. Any thoughts would be appreciated. - L
  9. Richard and all, Thank you for your suggestions! The pictures are great!!! Very helpful. - MK
  10. The front door to my home is locked shut. The screen door is locked - so I have no access to the other side. The front door door knob type deadbolt can be "unlocked" and turned, but the bolt doesn't fully come out of the slot. The door cannot be opened. The hinges are on the inside and I thought about removing them. I am concerned that I won't be able to remove the door in any case if the deadbolt is still engaged without damaging the door, etc. My question: How do you suggest I proceed? 1) purchase a new doorknob/ deadbolt 2) call a qualified locksmith 3) then install the new doorknob/deadbolt - MK
  11. Mike, Steven and all, Thank you for the clarification on the insulation. I will check it out. Sounds like you are saying that there is no fire hazard with the brown wrapping if the wiring is low voltage and that it is okay to lay new insulation (properly) on top of the wires. - MK
  12. Kurt and all, Yes, ventilation is an issue. The soffits don't appear to be open and the crawl space is not easy to get to (no access). The only ventilation are two "box" vents (not sure what kind they are) that sit just below the ridge line (where two roofs meet). This though is the top of the 30' deep area .... most of the rest of the roof is only about 12 feet deep and buts up against the house. I appreciate everyone's comments, I had previously thought I would not be able to have this part of the house shingled. - MK
  13. A roof at that pitch should have 100% ice and water shield underlayment - not just 6' from the eaves. Read the manufacturer's instructions. Mike, Normal shingles on top? or architectural shingles? Is there any point in more than one layer of I/W shield? - MK
  14. We have insulation laid on the floor of our empty attic - been there probably for 40 years or so. The paper backing is now quite brittle. We also have some wiring laying on top of that insulation: (1) extra phone wire that dead ends in the attic and (2) some wire that I believe was laid in by a security company. I know that vents, lights and the like must have some kind of housing around them - is wiring of the type I mention an issue when it comes to laying new insulation on top of it?
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