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Roofing Contractor Terminology

Have you recently had your roof inspected by one of our roofing professionals or an Insurance adjustor? Did you have trouble understanding a lot of the words we used in our FREE Property Inspection? With all these recent storms, the city of Indianapolis has been under inspection it feels like, but no worries! At Community Exteriors, Inc. we try to make the Roof Replacement Process hassle-free!

Although our roof claims specialists and roofer crews do their best to explain what this terminology means, sometimes it’s still difficult to understand. The following is a list of commonly used terms in the roofing contractor business that most homeowners are not familiar with:

3-tab shingles v Architectural (or 3D) shingles: 3-tab shingles have cutouts along their lower edge and look like three shingles in one. Architectural shingles are laminated with an extra layer of asphalt on their lower edge instead of cutouts.

Gutter Apron: The gutter apron directs water into the gutters, but it hangs off the edge of your roof into your gutters.

Ice & Water Shield: (roof leak barriers) This is a waterproof underlayment that is installed under your roof shingles. This is typically installed on your roof valleys and eaves, around your skylights, chimneys, and any other penetrations on the roof.

Soffit: The material that forms a ceiling from the exterior of the house to the outer edge of the roof; typically found between your gutters and the exterior walls of the home.

Downspouts: The pipe that carries water from your gutters to the ground to get it off your roof.

Drip Edge: The lower edge of the roof that is extended beyond the shingles. Found along the exterior trim boards on your roof and has a slight “kick out” to prevent water from getting into your attic and rotting the trim of your home. 

Fascia: This is a longboard that runs along the lower edge of the roof to support the bottom shingles and gutters

Decking: This is the material between the weatherproofing (shingles) materials and the insulation on your roof. This is the layer your roofing materials are secured onto (typically made of plywood).

Turbine/power fans: This is a type of vent on your roof that uses electricity to ventilate your roofing system.

Flashing: The material (galvanized steel or aluminum) placed under joints on the roof to prevent seeping water damage.

Ridge Cap: The bent shingle that goes on the very top of your roof where all the planes meet.

Hip Shingles: The other bent shingle that goes on the corners of your roof where two planes meet. 

Eaves v. Valleys: Eaves are the area of the roof that overhangs the lower edge of your roof (or the 3ft of your roof above your gutters). Valleys are the area of the roof where two planes meet and make a V-shape.

Ventilation: This part of the roofing system includes insulation, ridge vent, soffit vent, and your home’s attic ventilation. Ventilation allows your attic to breathe, keeping your home nice and cool.

Categories Giving Back

The Zionsville Volunteer Fire Department 9th Annual Golf Outing!

Community Exteriors and the Zionsville Volunteer Fire Department!

Before we dive right in, we take this moment to say: Thanks to the Zionsville Volunteer Fire Department! As roofing and siding contractors, we do not get many opportunities to have fun AND give back! Again, thank you for letting us partake in their golf outing this past Monday.

For those who don’t know, Monday (8/28) was the Zionsville Volunteer Fire Department’s 9th Annual Memorial Golf Outing. As always, proceeds went to the Larry K Rust Memorial Scholarship fund, the Hossier Burn Camp, and the ZVFD Bereavement Fund. Because of this, it was such a pleasure to participate! While we could have just paid a sponsor fee and call it a day, that is not our style. After discussing it at length with the ZVFD team, we found out a sizable group of the Firemen simply did not have the funds to participate. Of course, we took it upon ourselves to take care of their bill! We were even able to get a team of our own Community Exteriors roofing & siding contractors in the tournament!

As you can tell from the pictures, we enjoy every moment of this partnership and we can’t wait until next year! Again, major thanks goes to the Zionsville Volunteer Fire Department. Not only do you deserve praise for this even, but also what you do in the community every day. We can not wait for next year!


Categories Local Siding Contractors

How to Install Fiber Cement Siding

Installing Fiber Cement Siding is not as hard as you think!

The proper way to install fiber cement siding intimidates a lot of homeowners. Simply put, it is not as complicated as you might think. Installing fiber cement siding is distinctly different than installing wood siding. While how to install fiber cement siding can vary depending on the manufacturer, there are some standard steps you can take to ensure a final result you are happy with.

Before show you how to install fiber cement siding, let’s talk about safety first: 

  1. Make sure to wear safety glasses
  2. Use ear protection
  3. Always cut siding outside. Using a circular saw creates a lot of dust. Dust can lead to lung diseases.
  4. Therefore, wear a NIOSH approved N-95 dust mask or respirator

When you/we order materials, make sure you:

  1. Inspect siding for any damages upon arrival
  2. Don’t store on the ground. Make sure it’s laid out flat on a strong foundation
  3. Of course, do not let it get wet
  4. Support the siding along its long side when cutting

Before starting this project, cover the walls with plywood, foam, or oriented strand board. Cover the sheathing with house wrap or felt paper and chalk lines to mark the location of any studs. There are a few ways to cut the siding. Whether you use a circular saw, fiber cement shears, a jigsaw, or the method of scoring; make sure to take this step seriously. One wrong cut can cost you a lot of dollars as replacement materials can balloon your budget.

Fastening the siding

Depending on how you are nailing the siding, you will have to determine what type of nails to use. Use siding nails for face nailing and roofing nails for face nailing. Be sure to use stainless steel nails or hot dipped galvanized nails too! Once fastened securely, install the inside and outside corners of the trim.

Installing your fiber cement siding

Fiber cement siding should be installed a certain grade level of the house with a certain gap between horizontal surfaces like decks, steps, or adjacent roofs. Be sure to flash above doors and windows leaving a small gap between the flashing and the fiber cement siding. Start by placing a wide strip above the bottom of the first row to provide a nice angle for the fiber cement. Nail the first row of siding into the studs. Leave a small gap at the corner boards for caulking. Center the joints over studs unless you are using special off stud joiners. Loosely butt the joints together and make sure the felt overhangs the previous row of siding to prevent water damage repair from being needed down the road.

To properly finish the install, paint the fiber cement siding as soon as you finish the install. Clean and dry the siding before painting. Beforehand, caulk joints and ends with latex caulking. Finally, prime siding and any exposed cuts.

Are you still a bit intimidated?! Think you’ll need an expert to help you through this process?

While installing fiber cement siding can save budget, we always recommend vinyl siding installation.

Want to know why? Give us a call!

Categories Indianapolis, Local Roofers

Roofers help you with Flat Roof Leak Repair!

In our last roofer blog post, we answered how to find a leak inside a wall. This week, we want to talk about flat roof leak repair & flat roof replacement in general. As those of you with flat roofs know, they leak. They are more susceptible to problems simply because water doesn’t run off of the roof surface as quickly. Due to this fact, the water has a better chance of finding spacing in the roofing surface. Trusted roofers know, flat roof leak repair can be a hassle, but hopefully we can help you understand the issue so you can be more prepared when you call us out!

When it comes to flat roof leaks, there are many factors that can contribute to your issues: Is the environment your property in harsh? How much standing water gets stuck on the roof typically? How long ago was the roof installed? Were outdated roofing materials used? While storm damage and your harsh environment issues can be covered by your insurance, there are some things you can do to combat standing water.

Any rain or water that hasn’t dissipated within 48 hours is a serious problem. Standing water causes your flat roof to sag and leak as it increases the overall weight your roof must now bear. Too much water and your standing roof will likely collapse! Understand that flat roof collapses can end in damaged equipment and even LOST LIVES!

Now, before we hand you over these tips, we need everyone reading this to understand: These DIY roofer tips are just BAND-AIDES to the problem. Don’t think for a second these will completely fix the problem:

  1. Roof pumps
  2. Check any faulty roofing fixtures (AC Units, Coolers, Drain lines, Skylights etc.)
  3. Call your local roofers and get a flat roof replacement!

Does this help? Need more assistance? Again, don’t get caught with a problem you thought was minor!

Categories Siding Contractors

Installing vinyl siding over wood siding? Indiana Siding Contractors answer

Many people think installing vinyl siding over wood siding, heck installing vinyl siding in general, is an easy task. Sure, it’s duty-free, resists insects, rotting, and doesn’t need to be painted. Before moving forward we always say, DON’T SELF DIAGNOSE your siding issues. You never want to get caught doing diy on a problem you thought was only minor. Call the Indiana Siding Contractors for all your siding repair needs.

For those homeowners who are looking for advice from local vinyl siding contractors, we’ve compiled this list of dos and don’ts for those doing research for what comes with installing vinyl siding over wood siding. In new builds, usually it’s installed over wood wall sheathing wrapped with insulation and a moisture barrier. On older homes, any old siding (vinyl or metal) needs to be removed. While we recommend a full replacement, vinyl siding can be installed over old wood siding, but it requires an expert attention to detail, knowledge of rotting wood/mold, and considerable preparation. Again, we urge you to get a free property inspection from the best vinyl siding installers as you may even need to adjust your window & door frames.

On that note, the first thing you have to check is if the wood on your home is sound. It’s got to be in great shape & tightly attached to the wall sheathing. If the wood is beveled or lapped, you’ll have to figure out a way to provide a flat surface as vinyl siding must be installed against a flat surface only.

Next, you need to make sure you’re planning to install this vinyl siding over a moisture barrier. If none exists under the wood, then you will have to take a major step back on this project and have your house wrapped with the proper material.

Now that you’ve got your moisture barrier all set, it’s time to install that siding. Make sure to use enough fastening straps, your J-Channel strips & utility trim are installed in the correct places, and to keep your seams apart when installing your 2nd, 3rd, 4th etc. panels of siding.

All that being said, THIS IS THE FURTHEST THING FROM EASY. Listen, we get it: It’s your house and you want to control the outcomes of any and all of its construction projects…but this isn’t what it’s chalked up to be. Again, it takes serious preparation and expert knowledge.

Call the experts? We are just one click away!

Categories Roofing Contractors

My ceiling is leaking water! What do I do? Licensed roofers Community Exteriors answers.

Finding the source of a ceiling leak can be extremely complicated. A process often leaving you screaming in anger “My ceiling is leaking water! What do I do?” as it is frustrating game of trial and error (cat and mouse). The secret to finding a leak is based on simply understanding where the water enters the home may not be the source of the leak. Water looks for the easy route; constantly looking for the path that will get it to the lowest point or obstruction so it can pool and finally leak.

Before we start our list, please keep in mind: Finding the source & trying to fix it are two different things. The latter task of repairs should be left to the roofing contractors!

Below we’ve compiled a list that can hopefully help you get to the source:

  1. Determine if the leak is only happening during severe weather OR if it happens no matter what’s going on outside. Is the leak stopping between storms? Good chance it’s coming from up top on your roof.
  2. Examine the water leaking from the ceiling. Is it appearing dirty or is it staining the ceiling? Chances are again it’s from the roof.
  3. Check your attic for wet spots near your roof joists, water stains, or light shining through.
  4. Call trusted roofing contractors to inspect the roof’s exterior. If you couldn’t find anything on your own, make sure to have us check valley flashing, gaskets around plumbing vents, dormer vents, etc.
  5. Have us check all areas on the roof where two different materials meet (siding, shingles, or flashing)
  6. Check gutters and downspouts for clogs. Backed up water can also cause your ceiling to leak!

As we mentioned, it’s a lot easier said than done and, when you do find the leak, fixing it is another jigsaw puzzle itself.

Don’t get caught with a problem you thought was minor. The longer you wait the more complicated it is usually to fix.

Notice any leaks? We are just one call or email away!

Categories Local Siding Contractors

Does your homeowners insurance cover wind damage to siding? Community Exteriors can help.

Your vinyl siding blew off. Do you try just replace the panel & try to match the colors to the rest of the house? Does homeowners insurance cover wind damage to siding? DIY or hire a local siding contractors?

Replacing siding can make your home a lot more attractive, giving it a look that adds character and curb appeal. It can also make your home more energy efficient by keeping heat in and saving on utility bills  Siding replacement has consistently been one of the best home improvement projects for adding value to your home and is one of the few projects that can show a direct return on your investment.

If you have replaced old siding with new siding, then you may be both competent and confident enough to take this exterior restoration project on yourself. The Do it yourself path will most often save you money, but it can take longer to complete and there’s no guarantee your craftmanship will last. For instance, we offer a 10 year warranty. Also, this will take much longer than a weekend. Local siding contractors working full time can take only half the time to side a home depending on the size and the weather conditions. If an expert takes weeks to finish siding a home, your do-it-yourself siding project will most likely exceed that amount.

If you have had little to no experience putting vinyl siding on homes, leave it up to trusted local siding contractors to help. Siding installation may look relatively easy, but this is not for beginners. Working around corners, eaves, soffits and fascia, along with trimming openings like windows, screens, and doors; are all technical aspects of the project that can be easy to get wrong.

If you choose to replace the siding yourself, you need to know the extent of the storm damage to figure out whether to repair or completely remove old siding. Often times, when you have an expert who understands what to look for when approaching your insurance company about help covering damages, they will pay for a full replacement. 

Some factors to consider: You need to know how to spot, repair, and replace where mold, water, or vermin have damaged it. Most people don’t. If you have someone who does next to you when an insurance adjuster is at your house, your chances of getting more of the damages are much higher.

Know what you’re getting yourself into before you begin to DIY your siding project…

Categories Indianapolis, Local Roofers

Local Roofers, Community Exteriors, launch new site to serve Indianapolis better!

In an effort to service the Indianapolis area better, bonded and trusted local Indiana roofers, Community Exteriors, Inc. launch their new website to get you, the homeowner, all your roofing, siding, and gutter needs in less clicks! Having worked really hard on this project, we hope you enjoy the experience and the content we will come to provide.

Take a look around! Our news section will feature quality do it yourself roofing & siding tips. Answering questions like “How do I know it’s time for a new roof?” “Can I paint Vinyl Siding?” and more. Beyond the usual insider general contractor tips, we will also broadcast any internal company news, we’ll run giveaways and contests to local sporting events, and give you more details on our many planned charity partnerships.

All that being said, we won’t know if we did a good job unless you let us know! Any and all feedback welcome. Just let us know in the comments!

As always, We do more than build homes…We Build Communities!

Need Help?

Community Exteriors, Inc.

Looking for a FREE PROPERTY INSPECTION? Have general questions? Simply, let us know your issue to the best of your ability and we will get back to you ASAP! We are here to help!