The Southwest Journal Home Improvement Fair

We recently had the opportunity to participate in the Southwest Journal Home Improvement Fair at the Burroughs Community School in Minneapolis, MN.

The Southwest Journal Home Improvement Fair is a fun, casual get together for the community that helps educate homeowners on home improvement options. Two of our estimators, Aaron Hinton and Micah Driskell, along with some helpful hands from friends and family, set up and operated the booth for Midwest.

Our booth comprised of many different product samples and literature for roofing, siding, windows, insulation and ventilation, and more for the adults to browse over, while we offered some entertainment for the kids. Owens Corning was wonderful for lending us their life size Pink Panther costume (representing their logo) that a few of our representatives were able to switch off wearing. The kids just loved it! We also did some face painting and had a coloring page for the kids to color there or bring home. A local restaurant in Minneapolis, Rusty Taco, provided lunch for all and seemed to be enjoyed by many, as the turnout for the fair was great!

Our estimators both agree that the Southwest Journal Home Improvement Fair had a very upbeat and friendly environment, with a staff that was prepared to offer assistance if needed.

When asked about what surprised him about the fair, our estimator Aaron Hinton said, “People were very interested and excited to explore their home improvement options, especially insulation, ventilation products and issues.” Aaron walked the homeowners through the benefits of insulation and what energy efficiency means for a home, primarily lowering heating costs. He stated that insulating your home is the “number one thing you can do to your home that will pay for itself.”

We look forward to participating in the Southwest Journal Home Improvement Fair next year for a third consecutive time!

How to Prevent Ice Dams

Throughout Minnesota winters the weather varies from below freezing blizzards to snow melting on a sunny, 40 degree day. With ice building up and melting in a vicious cycle, it’s not easy to keep up with maintaining your roof. Ice dams, if left untreated or without any preventative steps taken, can destroy any roof. When a roof has ice building up on it, it is suspect to leaks that can cause mold and water damage to ceilings, walls, and insulation, not to mention exterior structural damage due to the weight and pressure of the ice.

Let us walk you through the cycle of  ice dams and help you take preventative steps to maintain the quality of your roof!

An ice dam forms throughout winter when:

A) Hot air escapes into an unheated attic space and warms the roof deck and/or

B) Changes in temperature that cause snow to melt, and refreezing over the eaves as temperatures drop.

Under either circumstance, the snow begins to melt and travels down the roof.  Once this water reaches a cold spot – typically where the eave begins and there is no heat – it freezes and begins to form a dam. This cycle of melting snow turning into solid ice continues and begins to form higher and higher on your roof.  The pressure from the build-up can cause shingles to lift, buckle, and dislodge, allowing water to find a new pathway under the shingles and into your home.

Ways to help prevent ice dams:

1. Clear your roof from snow on a regular basis. In most cases it is safer to have a roofing contractor remove snow and ice dams to prevent homeowners from risk of injury, and to prevent further damage to a roof throughout the process of removal.

2. Seal all penetrations to the attic that are allowing air leaks (such as plumbing stacks, electrical cords, chimneys etc.)

3. Along with sealing penetrations, add insulation to increase the R value (thermal resistance) to help eliminate condensation and improve the energy efficiency when heating your home. Insulation will help reduce the amount of heat escaping your home.

4. Make sure you have the proper ventilation system for your roof according to building codes allowing cold air to pass through and hot air to escape quickly. This will help keep the roof deck cold.

For a free evaluation of your home or business click here.