Author Archives: Keystone General Contracting, LLC

Can you repair a chimney in the winter?

chimney on a shingled house

Quality chimney repair

Here in Louisiana and the general area of the country, winters don’t get too bad. So, maybe our fireplaces are more for looks than use, but many of us around here will light up that fireplace at the first “cold” snap. During the summer, we probably didn’t notice that a chimney repair was needed either, right? 

The state of Louisiana is filled with beautiful old southern charm homes, each having a fireplace with a brick chimney.  Since winter hasn’t settle in yet, it is a good time to have your chimney inspected and cleaned by a professional. If you don’t have a company for chimney repair service, inspection, and cleaning already, you can find several with an internet search of “chimney repair nearby me” to call for quotes.  Get it done before you need to panic for chimney repair after winter has arrived. 

Will homeowners insurance cover chimney repair?

Well, we have good news and bad news for you about the coverage of chimney repair by your homeowner’s insurance. If chimney repair is needed from damage happened from an unexpected incident, it probably will be covered. If the damage is the result of normal wear and tear, then you’re on your own. Basic chimney repair and cleaning is considered homeowner maintenance and responsibility. 

So, what kind of damage dan you claim for chimney repair? Two of the most popular claims that insurance companies will pay for chimney repairs are:

  1. Lightning Strike: The chimney is typically the highest point of a house, especially the crown and with the metal mesh inside the chimney, lightening is often attracted there, resulting in damage. 
  2. Chimney Fire: A chimney can be damaged inside as well when fire escapes the firebox, charring and cracking the flue interior.

Both of these events will happen unexpectedly, but you’ll want to check your policy about non-excluded perils. Tips and tricks to filing an insurance claim for chimney repair: 

  • Homeowners that are claim-free and have been a client for years with packaged insurance are often given more privilege. 
  • A push and unreasonable homeowner that fights a denied claim for chimney repair, or any claim, beyond reason will not win the dispute and may see a cancellation notice. 
  • Without solid proof that an event occurred unexpectedly will be denied.

Of course the final decision of paying for your chimney repair is ultimately the insurance company’s whether they will approve or deny a claim for chimney repair. It always pays to review your homeowner’s policy once a year and check these things with your agent if you aren’t sure or don’t understand the coverage.

Why does chimney leak when it rains?

There are five common causes of chimney leaks. Review this list and check them against your chimney. If none of these seem to be the issue, then  you have another problem causing the leak. 

  • Rain Coming In: If your chimney doesn’t have a cover, this isn’t that difficult to picture happening. A chimney cover keeps more than the rain out. It keeps birds, critters, and debris out too. 
  • The Chimney Crown: The cement part on the chimney top is the crown which stops rain and snow from falling in around the chimney tiles. If the crown in cracked, which happen as the house shifts, water can seep in and leak through the chimney. 
  • Condensation: Older homes, like 1900, the chimneys were not lined as they are today. A chimney liner is key in stopping condensation.
  • The Flashing: Flashing is installed where the chimney brick and roof meet to cover the gap that is natural left during construction. This is usually a thing piece of flexible aluminum and is installed over the shingles. When it is bent, loose, or missing, rain will seep in around the flashing. 
  • Loose Bricks. Over time, mortar will often begin to crumble, leaving loose bricks. As the ice freezes and thaws, the mortar is damaged more, and water begins to seep into the mortar and chimney. 

The good news about these five scenarios, chimney repair is possible! 

How do you fix a chimney cap?

Well, the easiest way is to hire a company that specializes in chimney repair for brick chimneys. A chimney may not be the foundation that your entire home rests upon, but chimney repair is important because it can cause major damage to the roof and your home if not done properly. 

We are going to give you general step in chimney repair, but keep in mind that if you aren’t comfortable you can achieve proper sound chimney repair or rebuild, it is worth the money to call a professional masonry. 

The chimney crown is the concrete cap sitting on a brick chimney masonry walls.  The crown  sheds water and seals the flue to the masonry, and a good chimney repair will prevent water damage from occurring. A cracked chimney crown, chimney repair is possible, whereas a crumbling chimney cap will need a new chimney built. 

  • Step One: Place a ladder firmly and securely against the chimney so that you can safely climb up where the crown is within your reach. Remove any loose debris and particles, clean any mildew, and mold off with a stiff wire brush.  Around the chimney flue, apply duct tape an inch above the crown. Now, around the chimney brickwork , apply more duct tape an inch below the crown’s base edges.
  • Step Two: With acrylic or silicone caulk, fill in cracks that are one-eighth to one-fourth inch wide. Work the same patching material into the smaller cracks with your finger. Smooth the tops of the patches, then let it sit for fifteen minutes. 
  • Step Three: Brush a liquid crown seal coating thoroughly covering the outer edges of the crown and the inner edges where the chimney flue and crown join together. Read the label as some crown-seal coating products require two coatings. Apply second coating after first dries. Now, carefully remove the duct tape. 
chimney in need of tarping

How do you tarp a chimney?

To place a tarp on a chimney is for short term temporary means and shouldn’t be left for more than 30 days. To tarp a chimney, follow these steps: 

  • Spread the tarp out around the chimney and cut a hole where the chimney protrudes. 
  • Nail strips of wood on the tarp around and diagonal to the chimney to hold in place.
    Leave the upper edge of the tarp beyond the boards.
  • Make sure the tarp is secured tightly around chimneys and other protrusions.
    Secure the tarp to keep the wind from lifting it off. 
  • Take a smaller tarp and cover the chimney, securing the edges around the base of the chimney with duct tape and/or rope. 

Your chimney is more than a decorative part of your home’s structure, even if you don’t utilize the fireplace for its intended purpose. The home was built with a chimney, making it a part of the structure.  Ignoring leaks will lead to bigger problems beyond what chimney repairs we’ve discussed here can correct. Call (318) 300-3660 today for your chimney repair in Shreveport, LA.

Is Premium Roofing Better than Asphalt Shingle Roofing?

architectural shingle roof

Getting the best roofing protection

To answer this question, let’s define exactly What is premium roofing and what makes it premium first.  The roof on your home is an important component in protecting your home and your family. It stands to reason that you want the best possible roofing material, and premium roofing is the best. 

What makes a roofing material premium though? Premium roofing shingles are high-end shingles, but what makes them high end and better  than standard asphalt shingles? Well, the first thing about premium roofing shingles is the longer lifespan compared to the traditional asphalt shingle, up to 10 years longer. There is more to being a premium roofing shingle though: 

  • Easy Install and Repair: Premium shingles are often referred to as architectural shingles, and with a single-placement, installation makes repairs easier later on if needed because of the many options to choose from. Because they are larger in size, shingle repairs or replacement can usually be done with one shingle instead of several. 
  • Resistant to Weather and Elements: Premium roofing shingles offer a stronger reinforced resistance to impact, UV rays, and wind.  multiple hazards like wind, impact, and UV rays. Premium roofing shingles are larger in size, therefore offering a larger area of protection to your home. They are resistant to breaking and tearing, unlike traditional asphalt shingles.  

When looking at premium roofing vs asphalt shingle roofing compare side by side? Well, let’s set the record straight about premium roofing shingles: They are asphalt shingles too!  Yes, you read that right. In fact, there are three grades of asphalt shingles and premium roofing shingles are one of those three. A roofing manufacturer or contractor may refer to them as good, better, and the best. 

The good asphalt shingles are the 3-tab shingles, name for their design. These are the most common of shingles because of their price point. They are the thinnest of asphalt shingles, have a short lifespan, and a minimal warranty.  

Premium roofing shingles are considered to be the best shingle because they are thicker, making them heavier and longer lasting. Because they are heavier with more layers, they are more expensive. Because they are heavier, they cost more to have installed too. Premium roofing shingles can weigh two times more than the traditional asphalt shingle. 

Why is a new roof so expensive?

Roofs don’t have any complex, moving parts like a car or an HVAC system. So, why are they so expensive, especially if you upgrade to a premium roofing shingle? Well, there are three main factors that can cause roofing, especially Premium roofing installation and repair, to cost so much: 

  • Materials: The roofing materials aren’t cheap, and asphalt shingles, whether they are the lowest price point or the most expensive premium roofing shingles, are an oil-based product. Between 2008 and 2009, the price of asphalt shingles increased by almost 60 percent! Like any business, the roofing business needs to make a profit and that means roofing material manufacturers and contractors had to increase their pricing. Standard or premium shingles aren’t the only material a roofing contractor uses either. They have nails and wood too, which aren’t cheap for good quality.  A roofing contractor’s reputation will depend on the quality of the work they leave behind, and cheap materials make for a cheap reputation.
  • Labor: Then there is the labor for premium roofing installation. You want the job done right, you hire the best possible laborers, which come at a price. A good roofing is a precise job and if there is the smallest error, like insufficient overhang, the roof won’t hold up as it should. A poor installation can void the manufacturer’s warranty and cause insurance issues too. 
  • Insurance: You know your homeowner’s insurance isn’t cheap, and maybe you’re familiar with business insurance and you know that isn’t cheap either. A roofing contractor needs to be covered for any possible damage to the property they are working on and cover possible employee injuries.  Roofing isn’t the most dangerous job, but it isn’t the safest either. They are up to two or three stories, on a sloped surface! 

What is the best roof covering?

For the tight budget, basic asphalt shingles are the best. They are lightweight, making installation cheaper and as a roofing material, they are the cheapest price point. They can be purchased in layered look that will “look” expensive, but they aren’t. 

Premium roofing aside, for longevity, metal roofing is the best choice. You can choose from aluminum, copper, steel, or alloy strips. Metal comes in many shapes, including shingle-looking, and different colors and textures. With a life expectancy of 100 years, you’d never need another roof.

What type of roofing lasts the longest?

Next to metal roofing, slate roofing has a long life expectancy up to 150 years. Slate can be the ultimate in design incorporation for almost any architectural style, perhaps what some may consider to be a “premium roofing” material because of the elegance it offers.  The one downside to slate roofing is the weight. If you are planning to upgrade to slate roofing, you’ll need an engineer inspection to make sure the structure can handle the weight of a slate roof. 

What color roof lasts the longest?

Opinions vary on this topic. Many say that black is basic, goes with any color scheme you choose for your house. It hides everything, maintain it looks the longest.  Other say lighter colors are the best because once they do start aging, it doesn’t show, whereas black or any dark color begins to fade.

The color choice seems to be temperature concerned, not long lasting. Choose a lighter-colored premium roofing shingle to get better UV reflection and keep your house cooler in areas where summer temps are hot. A lighter color will keep the attic cooler and that keeps the energy bills lower.  If your home is in an area with cooler temperatures, a dark color premium roofing shingle is best because it will retain the UV rays and keep the attic warmer, which keeps your home warmer. 

close up of brown red shingles

What is the most popular roof shingle color?

Popular color choices in premium roofing shingles are black, browns, grays, and reds. A lighter exterior looks good with contrasting roof colors of black, dark blues, or grays. Dark brown shingles pair well with red brick. 

Because roofing is an important component of your home, you don’t want to choose a roofing contractor based on pricing only. As it is said, you get what you pay for, but again, you don’t want to overpay either.  Choose a contractor that has the experience on how to replace premium roofing, or they tell you that repairs are all that is needed. Quality of work is as important as the quality of roof materials.  Call (318) 300-3660 today for your roof material installation in Shreveport, LA.

Is a Metal Roof Worth It?

Is a Metal Roof Worth It?

One of the most important things to consider when you are contemplating a metal roof installation is whether it is really worth it. Please review the following list of benefits to discover more.

  • Metal roofs are the sustainable choice. Metal roofs can be recycled over and over again because they are made from metal. Asphalt shingles are problematic when it comes to being able to be recycled. 
  • Longevity. Metal roofs can last longer than a lifetime. This means that if you are installing a roof for your forever home, you will only need to install a metal roof once.
  • Fewer maintenance costs. Due to the fact that metal roofs are built to last, you can certainly expect to pay fewer repair costs over the years. You will want to keep your eyes open for signs of rust and roof leaks from drill holes, but those signs should be minimal in the first twenty or thirty years of ownership.
metal roofing

Is it Cheaper to Get a Metal Roof or Shingles?

If you are a homeowner or property developer, it will be important for you to consider all of your costs. This includes how much it costs to install a metal roof versus an asphalt shingle roof. While there are instances where a metal roof installation can be comparatively affordable, metal roofs tend to be more expensive than asphalt shingle roofs. This is because the material and labor to produce a metal roof installation are higher. One must also remember that metal roofs are very durable, which is why the price of a metal roof can positively balance a cost-benefit analysis.

What is the Best Color for a Metal Roof?

When you are contemplating the best color for your metal roof, it’s critical to measure the reflectivity of the color. Lighter colors such as white and light beige will have more reflectivity than dark colors like black or dark brown. Optimally, homeowners should select a light-colored roof as this will maximize energy efficiency in the summer.

Can I Put a Metal Roof Over Shingles?

Are you wondering whether it is a good idea to install a metal roof over your old shingle roof? The answer may surprise you. As much as it may seem like a good idea, any professional roofing contractor will confirm that it is a bad idea to install a roof over another roof. That is because the architectural integrity of your property is important. The weight of one roof on top of another roof will be unnecessarily heavy on the structure of your home or property. That’s why it’s always a good idea to start from scratch if you are installing a new roof.

Does a Metal Roof Affect Wi-Fi?

Your internet connection is understandably important for your home. If you are purchasing a home with a metal roof or thinking about a new metal roof installation it will be important for you to have all the answers at your disposal. According to leading experts in the metal roofing industry, having a metal roof will have a very small impact on your Wi-Fi network. Apparently, if you have noticed poor connection speeds or dropped signals on a regular basis, it is probably because you have poor localized coverage in certain areas of your home. The problem could also be due to the geographical layout of your house.

When to Install Metal Roofing

Are you wondering when it is best to install your new metal roof? Having the best weather possible is a must. Optimally, the weather outside is cool and sunny. When the weather stops being good, like in the case of a thunderstorm or a rainstorm, production on your new metal roof must stop.

What Metal Roof is Best

There are many different types of metal roofs out there. But the question remains: which one is the best? If you live in a coastal part of the country, your best bet may be an aluminum or zinc roof. This is because these metals are particularly resistant to rusting and corrosion. It’s also worth it to consider that aluminum roofs are less expensive than copper or zinc roofs. Steel is the most widely used roofing material. This means that steel is the most affordable metal roofing option for homeowners. This is also true of steel roofing for commercial roofing applications.

What is Metal Roofing Benefits

Metal roofs have the admirable quality of reflecting solar radiant heat. This means that they can reduce cooling costs for your home or property by ten to twenty-five percent. This is a sizable margin. 

metal roofing

How Metal Roofing Is Made

Are you wondering how metal roofing is made? There are many different processes that are involved. For example, standing seam metal roofs go through a roll-former which is a machine that turns a metal coil into actual metal roofing panels.

If you would like to discuss metal roofing in Shreveport, LA, our roofing team is here to help. Please reach out to us at (318) 300-3660 to discuss all of your options.

How Long Do Asphalt Shingles Last?

asphalt shingles

How Long Do Asphalt Shingles Last?

If you need asphalt shingle roofing, it is important for you to select the best experts. A good project manager will be able to ascertain how long your properly installed asphalt shingles will last. A good general estimate is that asphalt shingles will last about twenty years or so. The reason why a good project manager is so important is that the prevailing weather patterns will have a great influence on the longevity of your asphalt roof shingles.

Are Asphalt Shingles Good?

Asphalt shingles are a very popular option for property developers and homeowners alike. This is because asphalt shingles can be quite affordable and quite customizable. While asphalt shingles do not possess the same longevity as tile roofs, slate roofs, or metal roofs, they still have a considerable roof lifetime. One of the best advantages of asphalt shingles is the fact that they come in a wide array of colors. The odds are that if a homeowner is desirous of a burnt sienna-colored roof, there will be an option available in the kind of shingle that fits their budget.

What are the Best Asphalt Shingles?

As a good consumer, it is important for you to choose the best shingles for your property. Here is a list of characteristics that a good asphalt shingle will possess.

  • A good shingle will have a Class A, Fire-Resistant rating.
  • A good shingle will have built-in algae resistance.
  • A good shingle will have great wind-resistance. A good measure of wind resistance is being able to withstand winds of 130 miles per hour.

What is the Difference Between Architectural Shingles and Asphalt Shingles?

Are you wondering what the difference is between architectural shingles and asphalt shingles? Believe it or not, many people in the United States are in the dark about this distinction. Three-tab asphalt shingles are characterized by having one shingle tab size and shape. Three-tab shingles are composed of three separate tabs that are spaced twelve inches wide. These shingles are coated with asphalt in order to properly shed water. In contrast, architectural shingles are dimensional or laminate and come in lots of sizes and shapes.

How Often Should Asphalt Shingles Be Replaced?

Generally speaking, it is important to consult with a professional roofing contractor if you have noticed that your asphalt roofing shingles are broken, missing, or curling. However, if you have had your asphalt shingle roof for over twenty to twenty-five years, it is important for you to secure an appointment with a professional roofing company. A good roofing contractor will be able to navigate the circumference of your roof and deduce if there are any vulnerable areas.

Can Asphalt Shingles Be Painted

If you are wondering whether or not your asphalt shingle roof can be painted, you are in luck. It is entirely possible for you to paint your asphalt shingle roof. However, many roofing contractors advise against this process. That is because the roof is directly exposed to the weather elements. Due to the fact that wind, rain, and hail can impact the roof, it is probably best to opt for a total roof replacement in the color that you desire. 

Can Asphalt Shingles Be Glued Down

As mentioned earlier, asphalt shingles are quite inexpensive and durable. In terms of repair, it has been suggested that gluing the shingle back to the roof is an appropriate and feasible way of repairing the roof. However, it is inadvisable to opt for any sort of DIY roof repair without first consulting a professional roofing company. 

When Did Asphalt Shingles First Used

Asphalt shingles were first used in 1901. That means that amidst the revolutions at the turn of the century, in America, ingenuity was taking place. By about 1911, people started to use asphalt shingles on a larger scale. By about 1939, about eleven million shingles were being produced. Since then, asphalt shingles have only blossomed further in popularity.

asphalt shingles

Who Invented Asphalt Shingles

Apparently, Henry Reynolds is the inventor of asphalt shingles. Henry was from Grand Rapids, Michigan. His asphalt shingles were first used in 1903. In addition, his asphalt shingles were in general use in several different locations in America by 1911. As alluded to previously, asphalt shingles have grown to become a staple of the roofing industry. Originally, all shingles were organic, with the base material being felt. Felt was primarily cotton rag. When cotton becomes more expensive in the 1920s, different materials were used. In lieu of cotton, other materials were used, such as wool, jute or manila, and wood pulp. The types of granules that would have been used include mica, oyster shells, slate, dolomite, silica, and clay.

Our team are here to help you when it comes to asphalt shingles in Shreveport, LA. Please feel free to reach out to us at (318) 300-3660.

What Does Roof Restoration Mean?

Contractors Coat a Metal Roof.

What does roof restoration mean?

Roof restoration is a process of applying a coating like acrylic or silicone over a roof to seal the roof and protect it from leaks as well as harsh ultraviolet rays. More often than not, restoration is used on commercial buildings, especially those with flat roofs, and is an alternative to replacement. It involves cleaning the roof, making minor repairs, and then adding the coating. These coatings can add as many as 10 years to your roof’s life expectancy, and can be reapplied several times. While they are primarily used on commercial buildings, homeowners with flat roofs or metal roofs can also benefit from restoration.

If your roof is aging but in otherwise good shape, you may want to consider restoration as a cost-effective alternative to roof replacement. If you are considering roof restoration in Shreveport, LA, the first step is to have a reputable roofer like those at Keystone General Contracting, LLC inspect your roof and find out if it’s a good candidate for restoration. Once we inspect your roof, you can count on us for an effective restoration that will have your roof looking like new. Find out how we can help by calling (318) 300-3660.

Is roof restoration worth it

Roof restoration is often a good option if your roof is in relatively good shape. Many building managers choose restoration over replacement because restoration is the most cost-effective option. You’re not going to have to tear off the old roof, which might delay business operations, and go to the expense of putting on a new roof. Roof restoration rarely disrupts business operations, even if minor repairs need to be made to your roof. It takes just a few days, and once the job is complete, you’ll have a roof that is protected from problems like leaks and from harmful UV rays. You’ll also extend your roof’s life by about a decade, and as the coating wears off, a new coating can be applied. 

Roof restoration or replacement

While roof restoration can be a great solution for an older roof that has few problems, roof replacement sometimes may be the best option. It’s probably best, for instance, to replace a roof with really severe damage. In this case, a coating might just cover up an issue rather than fixing it permanently. This could lead to further, and more expensive, problems in the future. Restoration also won’t help if there is structural damage below the roof causing problems on the roof. Repair of the structural damage and replacement is usually the best course to take in that case. 

Roof restoration and repairs

With a roof restoration, many minor repairs will be made before the coating can be applied. Often these include repairing minor leaks that the coating won’t seal or other damage such as punctures or tears that might lead to leaks. Sometimes, repairs may be a better option than restoration. This will depend primarily on the roof’s age and severity of damage. If your roof is just a few years old and has a few easy-to-repair damages, the repairs are probably cheaper than getting a coating.

How do you restore a roof?

Roof restoration is generally a pretty easy process, although the process may vary slightly depending on the type of roof you have and the coating you use. But a typical restoration follows this process:

  • Roof is inspected: The roof is inspected to find out its condition and determine if it is a good candidate for restoration.
  • Repairs are made: Any minor repairs are made such as patching small leaks.
  • Roof is cleaned: Most of the time, cleaning involves spraying the roof with a pressure washer, which will clear off debris and remove built-up dirt and grime.
  • Roof is coated: Coatings, usually either silicone or acrylic, are applied. Most of the time the coating is sprayed on, though some coatings are rolled on. 

How do you restore a metal roof?

The process to restore a metal roof is similar to roof restoration for other roofs. With metal roofs, one of the big problems is rust. With a restoration, rust spots are removed and other repairs are made. The roof is then cleaned with a power washer and the coating is applied. Coatings will help prevent rusting and leaks and improve the roof’s energy efficiency.

How long does roof restoration take?

For the most part, roof restoration takes very little time, and is rarely disruptive to day-to-day business operations. On average, the restoration takes about 2 to 3 days to complete, depending on the size of the roof and any repairs made. Repairs are usually the most time-consuming aspect of the restoration process. Once they are made, the roof will be cleaned and coated. The coating usually takes about 24 hours to dry.

How long do roof coatings last?

On average, a roof restoration coating will last anywhere from about 10-20 years. A new coating, however, can be applied over the older coating as the roof ages and the old coating wears out.

A Roof Restoration in Progress.

Roof restoration near me

If you’d like a cost-effective way to preserve your roof and want experienced professionals for roof restoration in Shreveport, LA, count on the professionals at Keystone General Contracting, LLC. We offer a full range of commercial and residential roofing services. Call us at (318) 300-3660 to schedule a service appointment and get an estimate.

Can Gutters Be Repaired?

A Gutter in Need of Repair

Can gutters be repaired?

Are your gutters sagging? Have you noticed your gutters leaking? These are common problems homeowners have with gutters. While these could be signs of a significant problem that might require your gutters to be replaced, more often than not simple gutter repair is in order. In some cases, with the right tools, you can make the repairs yourself. Sometimes all you need is some sealant, material to patch the gutter with, and hangers and fasteners. Other repairs could require significant repair work, not only to the gutter but to the fascia boards the gutter is attached to, especially if those boards are rotted or damaged.

If you don’t have the time or materials for gutter repair, or want to make certain the repairs are done right, you may want to call a professional. For any home repair services in Shreveport, LA, rely on the experts at Keystone General Contracting, LLC. We offer a full range of services. Find out how we can help by calling (318) 300-3660.

Do roofers repair gutters?

If you are wondering who does gutter repair, the answer is fairly simple: general contractors and roofers. You can also get help from big box stores like Home Depot. Because gutters are essential for drainage, when they are in need of repair, you want to make sure to get reliable professionals to do the job so no problems develop later on. Often local professionals like those at Keystone General Contracting, LLC have years of experience and can be relied upon to do the best job at affordable prices.

Gutter repair and cleaning

As with any other part of your home, regular maintenance can help you avoid costly gutter repair. Keeping your gutters clean is essential to good gutter maintenance. Most professionals recommend cleaning your gutters at least twice per year. If you live in an area with many trees, you’ll probably want to clean them more frequently, especially with evergreens like pine or cedar. The evergreen needs can clog a gutter pretty quickly. If you go too long without cleaning your gutters, you risk problems like sags or even leaks. When gutters clog with debris like leaves or sticks, the clogs become heavy and eventually the gutter gets weighed down and pulls from the fasteners and sags. These clogs can also cause leaks. Water can back up and overflow or seams can break from the weight and leaks develop. Gutter guards can prevent some of these problems, but even with guards, the gutter will still need to be cleaned.

How do I stop my gutters from leaking?

Leaks are a common problem requiring gutter repair. Leaks are also some of the simplest repairs to make. Usually, leaks develop at the joints between sections. To repair a leaking gutter:

  • Look for indications of standing water or sags. Adjust the hangers to adjust the sag and clean out the gutter if there are clogs.
  • Let the gutter dry out, and clean the seams with a brush.
  • Seal the leak by applying silicone caulk or special gutter caulk along the inside and outside of the seam.
  • Use roofing cement to patch small holes by spreading the cement over the hole with a putty knife.
  • For larger holes use roofing cement to apply sheet metal patches.

Gutter repair kit

For simple gutter repair, you might want to gather up materials as a gutter repair kit. Keep on hand silicone or specially made gutter caulk, roofing cement, and various size sheet metal patches. You may want to keep extra fasteners or hooks to replace missing or damaged ones. Of course, you also want to have a caulking gun and putty knife available, as well as tools like a power drill or screwdrivers and similar standard tools. A ladder is also necessary.

Why does water leak behind my gutters?

If the gutters themselves aren’t leaking, you may see water leaking behind them. One possibility is that the gutters are clogged and causing water to overflow. The clog needs to be cleared to stop the overflow. If water draining from your rooftop doesn’t quite make it to the gutter, you may need to have a drip edge installed. In addition to a drip edge, you will also want to install a gutter apron, which directs water from the roof to the gutter. Another possibility is that the gutters have pulled away from the roof and are beginning to sag. The gutters will need to be refastened to the roof. In some cases, the fascia board where the gutters are fastened may need to be replaced.

How much does it cost to repair a gutter?

Gutter repair costs can vary. A simple leak repair may cost under $50 for the materials involved. Other repairs on average cost anywhere between $75 to $230. For some repairs, you may need to replace whole sections of the gutter, and you’ll have to purchase these sections by the square foot. If you hire professionals, you will pay either hourly labor rates or a set fee, depending on the contractor you hire. Always check on contractor credentials. You don’t want someone providing a shoddy repair that could cost you more later. Some contractors like tree trimming services or landscapers might clean gutters but not repair them. They may, however, know of a reputable general contractor or roofer who can do the job right.

A Person Cleans Leaves from a Gutter.

Gutter repair near me

If you are looking for a reputable contractor for gutter repair in Shreveport, LA, count on the team at Keystone General Contracting, LLC. We offer a full range of home repair services. Find out how we can help you or schedule a service appointment by calling (318) 300-3660.

Are Windows Energy Efficient?

window repair

Updating Your Home for Energy Efficiency

How important are the windows in your home, really? Yes, they provide natural light to dark areas and access to the outside, but what else are they good for? Windows are necessary in any property for a number of reasons. One way is they help your home with energy-efficiency. It’s true, they do! When a window is properly installed and maintained, your home will be more efficient and waste less energy. If you need a window repair in Shreveport, LA to make that a guaranteed thing your home, contact Keystone General Contracting, LLC. We’re available now at (318) 300-3660.

What is Window Repair?

Window repairs are any service that patch, update, or maintain the window structures in your home. This could involve replacing glass panes, resealing damaged caulking, or installing new weatherstripping. It could also mean removing and replacing the window frame after it has been damaged by weather or rot. Keeping up with repairs when they are needed will ensure you have a safe, healthy and efficient space. You may want to try and save money by trying to find examples of how to do window repairs on your own, but that is not always advised. Though many services seem easy to complete, they are just as easy to mess up. Instead, it’s best to rely on professional contractors, like those with Keystone General Contracting, LLC. We can help with most home repair needs and services. Give us a call today to learn more.

window repair and replacement

Signs You Need Window Repair Services

When will you know it’s time for repairs? More importantly, how can you decide between window repair vs replacement? These are great questions! When it comes to your home, you’ll know when something is wrong. There are a number of signs to pay attention for, though. Any of these listed could indicate the need for window repair or replacement services. The best way to make that decision is to hire a professional contractor to inspect the windows. 

  • Faulty Operation: One indication that it’s time for repairs or replacement services is faulty operation. Windows that are always sticking or unable to open need to be repaired. Rust or rot may also be a factor in this, which needs to be addressed as well. 
  • Condensation: Condensation is normal with any window, damaged or not. That in mind, when there is excessive amounts of condensation in between the panes, there is something wrong. Broken or damaged seals may be letting moisture in between the glass panes and causing condensation to build up. When that happens, you’ll have to deal with mold, rust, and more on top of everything else. 
  • Drafts: If you are noticing cold drafts, or even warm drafts, even after you’ve closed a window, the seals may be failing. When this happens, it’s not just your windows that will suffer. Your HVAC system will have to work double time to regulate internal temperatures, causing increases to your energy bills. 
  • Damage or Decay: When you notice visible mold, decay, rot, rust, or any other damage to your windows, it’s time to address them. Age and extreme weather can cause just about any of these problems and they’ll only get worse the longer left unattended. 
  • Noise: If and when you are able to hear every car horn, dog bark and more, something is wrong with your windows. It could be the window panes are thin, but it could be faulty sealing, improper installation, or more. No matter what, the more noise you can hear, the more pressing it is that you get your windows repaired. 

Window repair costs will vary based on the extent of the damage as well as the type of window you have. It can be easy to assume you can fix most problems on your own, but when it comes to windows, it’s best to rely on the experts. For that, look no further than Keystone General Contracting, LLC. We can help ensure you have quality windows that will be able to withstand just about anything.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How much does it cost to replace a broken window in a house?
    • The final costs will depend on a number of things. The extent of the damage, if only the glass is broken or if the window pane also needs replacement. On average, homeowners should expect to pay between $300 and $1,000 per window for replacement.
  • Can home windows be repaired? 
    • Yes, most windows and be repaired or resealed so the operate as good as new. The extent of your repairs will be determined by the damage, the type of window glass your have, and more. 
  • Can you reseal a window?
    • If there is no water damage but there is air leaking in through your windows, you can reseal the windows. You’ll need someone to either use caulk to reseal the area or install new weatherstripping. Either way, professional services are advised to guarantee quality results. 
  • Why do my windows leak when it rains?
    • More often than not, your windows are leaking because of faulty or improper installation. It could also be because the weatherstripping or seals have been damaged. Regardless, if they windows are leaking, they will need to be repaired or replaced to avoid future damage.
  • Are broken window seals a big deal? 
    • It ultimately depends. Most of the time, broken window seals are not as big of a deal as you may think. What will happen is that air will be allowed to leak in and out of the home, resulting in higher than normal energy bills. It’s not a terribly serious situation that needs to be addressed, but if you are wanting to save money, repairing broken seals as soon as possible will help with that.
window repair

Connect With Our Team Today for More Information

When you need a window repair in Shreveport, LA, dial (318) 300-3660 to connect with the professionals at Keystone General Contracting, LLC. 

What is foam roofing?

White flat foam roof

Commercial foam roofing systems

Foam roofing! Is that really a thing? If you’re not familiar with roofing, especially for commercial buildings, that may very well be your first question. The answer to that question is yes, foam for roofing is really a thing, and what’s more, they spray it on! 

This material is a polyurethane that comes in liquid form. Commercial roofing contractors spray this liquid on commercial roofs, and it expands into a foam on an existing roof. It becomes a solid foam roofing layer, providing a solution for some hard challenges on commercial building roofs, inside and out.

In this article, we will discuss the spray foam roofing benefits and answer the question is foam roofing good for all commercial buildings or only for certain applications? When put to the test, which is better, foam roofing vs. TPO? Read on for the answers to these questions and more.

How long do foam roofs last?

Possibly the ultimate advantage of spray foam roofing is longevity. Where most commercial roofing systems promise a 40 to 50-year life expectancy, foam roofing may be the game-changer that commercial building owners have been wanting.

An original spray foam roofing application has a life expectancy of 20 to 35 years if properly maintained. Other factors that can affect this are the climate, foot traffic, weather, and the elements it is exposed to. While that isn’t a long time, it is a respectable length of time and when you factor in a recoat in 20 years, that longevity extends past other commercial roofing materials.

Because spray foam roofing has only been around approximately 50 years, there isn’t a solid reference to reference for comparison. What commercial roofing experts will tell you is that it has had drastic improvements since it was first introduced to the commercial market. With the weather testing available in the roofing industry, experts expect it that foam roofing might last 80 years or longer.

Can you walk on a foam roof? 

Yes, you can walk on spray foam roofing according to National Roofing Contractors Association and the Spray Polyurethane Foam Alliance. Spray foam roofing has been tested and proven to sustain up to fifty pounds per square inch. The downside to this type of commercial roofing material, it is easily damaged, thus compromising its integrity, if poked with a sharp object that creates a hole. 

With this being noted, your HVAC or plumbing contractor can have access to the roof as needed, without special temporary flooring placed, no problem. However, if they drop anything with a sharp edge or poke a hole into the foam roofing, it will need to be repaired promptly. 

Can spray foam rot your roof? 

This is a reasonable question, and the answer is straightforward – no spray foam roofing will not rot the original roofing. The polyurethane substance that is used for spray foam roofing is an open-cell material that is breathable, meaning that air flows and moisture pass through it. Foam roofing ensures that any water will not sit there and rot your roof. Instead, this spongy foam absorbs the water and then it passes on through.

Does spray foam stop leaks? 

Because spray foam roofing expands as they apply it, it fills in cracks. It will bond to any roofing surface, effectively and quickly resolve roof leaks. A polyurethane spray foam roofing has many benefits for a commercial structure:

  • Easy to Install: Polyurethane spray foam roofing is easy to install, which means the roofing contractor installing the material will get the job quickly. This saves the commercial building owner money because it is done so fast and because it doesn’t disrupt the daily business. Spray foam roofing will fit even the most irregular, odd shape of a roof, eliminating the need for the contractor to make special cuts. Even better, they can apply spray foam roofing over existing roofing materials after they have cleaned it.
  • Energy Saver: Foam roofing provides air and moisture barriers at the highest R-value, providing a commercial building better insulation. Polyurethane foam keeps heat in during the winter and out in the summer, easing the strain on your HVAC system which lowers your energy costs. With an added silicone top coating, it will resist UV light and protect the foam roofing while absorbing heat.
  • Ease of Maintenance: Once foam roofing is installed, there is minimal upkeep, and if maintained properly, industry experts expect it last 50 years or longer. A roof inspection should be performed semiannually, typically in the Fall and in the Spring, with additional inspections recommended if there was a harsh weather event that could have damaged the roof, like a hailstorm or high winds. Should there be any damage caused, they can reapply the spray foam roofing without having to remove the old roofing.
  • Seamless, Waterproof: Because foam roofing doesn’t have any seams, there is little to no possible penetrations typical of roof leaks with other roofing systems. They apply it in liquid form, fills any cracks, gaps, or seems of the existing roof.  An experienced roofing contractor will work the polyurethane foam to level the roof, which minimizes water ponding common to commercial roofs. The polyurethane will expand, contracting to fit the building and roof, and is less likely to crack or split. 
foam roof

What happens when spray foam insulation gets wet? 

When spray foam roofing material gets wet, it completely dries. Because of that, it is not an attracting, breeding, or feeding ground for mold. This can be an extra benefit for areas subject to flooding. 

Foam roofing is renewable and sustainable roofing material. The materials that are used for foam roofing are all environmentally friendly:

  • Zero Ozone Depleting Potential
  • Low in the Emission of VOCs
  • Chlorofluorocarbons Free
  • Ultra-Low Global Warming Potential

There is very little waste during its lifespan and because it can be applied on top of other roofing materials, there is no material waste with the old roofing being removed. Dial (318) 300-3660 today for quality foam roofing in Shreveport, LA from Keystone General Contracting, LLC.

What should you do if a roof is storm damaged?

lightning cracking across the sky

Storm Damage To Your Home

Regardless of where you live, experiencing roof damage from a wind storm, hailstorms, hurricanes, tornados, etc., is not something you want to relive. It can be dangerous, deadly, expensive, and inconvenient. Other than the loss of life or total home, the next worst thing a homeowner can experience is roof storm damage.

Roof damage by a storm can be as minor as replacing a few shingles to storm damage roof replacement required. If you’ve never experienced it, you may ask, “How do I know if there is storm damage to my roof?”, along with many other questions. It can confuse and be scary all which is why we have taken those most commonly asked questions and have found basic answers and explanations.

How do you know if you have roof damage?

Your home is like your vehicle. Preventive maintenance is a must, especially a roof. You may feel fortunate when you see homes destroyed by a tornado that are miles, even blocks away. However, that doesn’t mean that your home didn’t have any roof storm damage.

Roof repairs or replacement are less expensive when you catch problems before a leak begins. Besides, finding a roof leak is challenging, almost impossible even. If you wait until you see a sign of roof leak, like a wet spot on the ceiling, that doesn’t mean that is the actual area where the roof leak is. Of all the damage a roof can sustain, roof storm damage can be the trickiest.

Water will enter the roof at a weak point and make its appearance somewhere else. So, by doing a regular inspection of the roof, you can find problem areas and repair them before the leak begins. This couldn’t be truer when there is roof storm damage. Besides the visual inspection, here are other tips you can follow to avoid surprises.: If a visual inspection finds any of the following, you need to call a professional roofing contractor to repair or replace as necessary:

  • Broken, cracked, curled, missing, or split shingles
  • Gutters filled with roofing granules
  • Decay, mildew, mold (indicated by black spots and streaks)
  • Blisters, cracks or tears on a flat roof
  • Loose, missing flashing
  • Decayed, missing, or stained fascia and soffits
  • Bent, clogged, loose, or missing flashing or vents
  • Broken, loose, missing gutters and downspouts
  • Leaning chimneys
  • Tree limbs on the roof

What causes roof damage?

There are many things that can create problems with a roof, which is why experts recommend a regular inspection. By doing this, you can find minor issues before they are major problems. When it comes to your home, there several aspects to be watchful regarding structure improvement. Having a high significance is the roof, which is why finding roof storm damage is important, as well as other damage that can weaken your roof.

Five of the most common causes of roof damage are:

  • Maintenance. It can’t be stressed enough – regular roof inspection is very important. Not only is structural saving, but it can often be a lifesaver too! An inspection can find minor roof storm damage that turns in to small leaks. Those small leaks can create mildew and mold, infecting the air your family breathes, and eventually, can grow into a large leak that requires all new roofing.
  • Ice. Ice and snow are not a friend to roofing. As they melt and thaw on the surface of your roof, small particles will settle under the shingles. Then when it refreezes, it will lift the shingles as well as the flashing, all in the progress of creating water damage. This will eventually create corrosion, causing the roofing and the underlayment to deteriorate. With ice storms, there are usually high winds, sometimes hail. Always inspect for possible roof storm damage.
  • Wind. Even the daily gusts of winds will weaken the nails, shingles, and other roofing components that keep the roof in place. A regular inspection will help you spot these things and you can have it repaired before it turns into a larger problem. After a round of bad weather, it is important to check for possible roof storm damage.
  • Mother Nature. While she is nurturing, she can also be destructive, especially to roofs.  Mother Nature can cause a plethora of issues when it comes to roofing. The UV ray alone can slowly contribute to the deterioration of the roof, more pointedly, to asphalt shingles. After this damage had taken place, the interior sheathing can’t be protected, exposing the roof to the raw elements.
  • Poor Installation. Any time you have roof repairs or replacement done, make sure to hire only a certified, licensed, and insured roofing contractor. This will give you peace of mind that all is secure and if there are any issues, you’ll have leverage and recourse, and don’t forget that it is better for your property value.

What wind speed causes roof damage?

Roof storm damage includes high winds, with or without hail, broken limbs, trees, and more. In a high wind, shingle roofs can take a pounding up to 90 mph, but it takes only up to 50 mph to damage it even. Again, we can’t stress enough, the need to inspect your roof after the lightest high winds for damage.

Is a leaking roof an emergency?

A leaking roof is not good, but it is an emergency if it happens during ice, snow, or rain. With that in mind, roof storm damage can become a major problem that can affect the stability of your whole home and your content.

Take all the precautions you can, such as the electricity turned off and the gas. Place tarps over what you can and take shelter as needed. A phone call to your insurance agent should be the first thing you do. Some will have their own emergency crew to send out or they will advise you to call a roofing contractor.

fallen tree on house

Will insurance fix a leaking roof?

This will totally depend on your homeowner’s insurance policy. In most cases, yes, roof storm damage will be covered. However, a leaking roof because of homeowner neglect most likely won’t be.

The roof of your home is one of the most important components of your home. The points we’ve mentioned here are provided advice and guidance so you can make sure your home is well protected by the roof. If you have roof storm damage in Shreveport, LA, dial (318) 300-3660 for quality repair and insurance assistance from Keystone General Contracting, LLC.

How Do I Clean My Chimney?

Chimney Against A Cloudy Sky

Chimney Care

Most people forget to clean their chimney as it is out of sight so it tends to be out of mind.  However, neglecting the cleanliness of your chimney can have harsh consequences as detailed below.  Abide by a regular schedule of proper chimney maintenance and this important part of your home will be clean and safe for use as often as you desire.  Without further ado, let’s take a look at the importance of chimney cleaning and delve into chimney maintenance tips. 

How Often do You Need to Clean Your Chimney?

There is no need to bother cleaning your chimney at the same frequency as you clean your home’s floors, bathtub or cookware.  Chimney maintenance should be performed once per year.  Otherwise, the chimney sweep will not be able to properly remove soot, creosote, blockages and other gunk.  Abide by a regular schedule of chimney maintenance/cleaning and you will be able to use your fireplace in full confidence.  At the very least, your chimney should be professionally inspected at least once per year to ensure everything is in worker order and functioning as it should. 

When in doubt, have your chimney cleaned once per year even if it is not egregiously dirty.  The venting systems connected to your home’s stoves and furnaces should also be cleaned once per yer to boot.  When in doubt, rely on our heating services for assistance with home heating maintenance and cleaning.  Even if you do not use your chimney as often as expected, it should still be cleaned as animals ranging from birds to raccoons might have ventured in, making the use of the fireplace unsafe.  However, it might be necessary to clean your chimney more than once per year.  According to the Chimney Safety Institute of America, if more than 1/8” of soot has accumulated within the chimney/flue system, a cleaning will be necessary.  Furthermore, if you spot any glaze within the flue, cleaning should be performed sooner rather than later.

How Much Does It Cost to Have Your Chimney Swept?

Do not let the potential cost of cleaning a chimney stop you from having this important part of your home tended to.  Chimney cleanings are worth every single penny.  Most chimney cleanings cost between $150 and $400.  This is money well-spent as the inspection and cleaning of a chimney will prevent potentially costly repairs and the buildup of creosote that causes fires. 

If you are intimidated by the prospect of spending upwards of $400 for a chimney sweep, consider the cost of a home fire.  The little bit of money necessary for a chimney sweep is significantly less than the cost of building a new home destroyed by a fire.  Furthermore, most chimney sweeps do not run in excess of $250.  In the end, you will likely end up spending between $100 and $250 for your chimney sweep.  The final cost ultimately hinges on the type of chimney at your home and the roof’s accessibility.

What Happens if You Don’t Clean Your Chimney?

The failure to clean a chimney is likely to result in the gradual buildup of creosote.  The burning of wood leads to the formation of creosote within the chimney or its liner.   Creosote spikes the chances of a chimney fire.  The rate at which creosote accumulates is higher if improper burning practices are used or if the fireplace is not functioning as designed.  If enough creosote accumulates, it will eventually decrease the fireplace’s draw, reducing efficiency and posing a legitimate fire hazard.

Abide by a few key chimney maintenance tips and you won’t have to pay for the comprehensive cleaning of a creosote-filled chimney as often as those who neglect their chimney.  Every homeowner in Shreveport, LA should adhere to the following chimney maintenance tips:

  • Check the damper a few times per year to ensure it properly closes
  • Take a look at the mortar bricks and joints to see if they have been compromised
  • Pay for a chimney inspection and cleaning at least once per year
  • Ideally, the chimney should be cleaned every 50 burns
  • Waterproof your chimney with the addition of a water sealant to the exterior that guards against moisture and mold formation
Two Chimneys Needing Repair

Do Chimney Cleaning Logs Really Work?

Some Shreveport, LA homeowners have enjoyed success with chimney cleaning logs.  After all, soap and water will only do so much for a chimney loaded up with creosote.  Chimney cleaning logs, sometimes referred to as creosote sweeping logs, are touted as an easy means of cleaning chimneys.  Though these logs make it easier to maintain your chimney, they will never serve as an effective replacement for professional cleaning performed once each year.  These logs will only work if they are used in the proper manner.  In short, chimney cleaning logs make it easier to remove creosote.  Such logs have chemical additives that move up through the chimney, sticking to creosote deposits and eventually turning it into a flaky material that is significantly less flammable. 

Chimney cleaning logs will decrease the buildup in the chimney yet industry experts are adamant such logs are merely supplemental to professional chimney sweep cleaning.  A chimney sweep’s specialized chimney cleaning equipment is necessary to perform a truly comprehensive cleaning of this structure.  As an example, a chimney sweep will use a chimney inspection camera to get a clear look at chimney damage, plan the cleaning and execute it to perfection. For your chimney services in Shreveport, LA, dial (318) 300-3660 for Keystone General Contracting, LLC!