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Ten Things Every Homeowner Should Know

things homeowners should know1. Water Shut-off Valve Location: Know the location of the water shut-off for the whole house. Most sinks and toilets have a shut-off valve under the fixture but knowing how to kill the flow throughout the home is imperative if needed in an emergency. If a leak pops up, shutting off the flow will limit the amount of damage, repair costs, and headaches.

2. Gas Shut-off Valve Location: Same issue as the water valve but with greater emphasis toward safety. A gas leak can cause a fire or explosion so shutting it off at the sign (smell) of a leak or other danger is imperative.

3. Electric Box Breaker Switches: Be sure everyone in the home knows the location of the electric panel. Each breaker should be labeled for efficiency and safety. This will save you frustration and time during electrical issues.

4. Repair Water Leaks ASAP: A huge percentage of home repair costs can come from water damage. Once you have detected a water leak have it repaired immediately. The longer you let it continue, the more it will cost you to repair.

5. Foundation Blocks and Concrete Slabs: One of the most costly home repairs is leveling a house. To help avoid this expensive repair you should keep your home’s slab nourished during spells of very dry weather. Install flowerbeds along the sides and keep them moist. If you have no flowerbeds then you should actually water the edges of the slab. Do not over water, just be aware that cracks in the dirt can be a sign of future problems in your home’s foundation.

6. Install Gutters/Downspouts: Water should be directed away (4 to 6 feet) from the foundation, sidewalks, or patio/driveway slabs. Just like too much dry weather is bad for your foundation; too much water is also bad. Never let water pool at the base of your house.

7. Keep Gutters Free Flowing: The gutters and downspouts cannot push the water away from the house (and away from the basement) if they cannot do their function. Clean the gutters and downspouts several times a year or install gutter protection.

8. Keep Debris Off Your Roof: If you have trees dropping leaves on your roof you need to clear them off so water is not trapped under the debris. Trapped water will work its way through your shingles and ultimately through to your ceilings. When you see the water stains on your walls or ceilings, you should repair the leak immediately.

9. Weatherproof Your Home: Repairs to doors and windows is another costly area. When you take the time to caulk and weather strip your doors and caulk around all your windows (in addition to saving money) you will remain aware of developing issues. Your job is to know your home.

10. Know Your Neighbors: Chances are your home was built at the same time as other homes in your neighborhood. Keeping tabs on home issues your neighbors are experiencing can go a long way in predicting possible problems at your home!

Your Summer Storm Reminder

emergency-roofing-repair-1It’s definitely not pleasant to think of, but it’s a reality in life that all homeowners must face during these summer months. These are some of the most active storm months. Storms can mean “bad news” for your roof!

You might be faced with leaks, missing shingles, or some other type of damage. If that’s the case, please, be sure to call us!

Areas that are hit by large storms are often the first targeted by storm chasers. You’ve likely heard me talk about storm chasers before or read about them in this publication! Storm chasers can be “contractors” from hundreds of miles away, even from out of state, who rush to areas hit by storms.

Often, their only goal is to replace as many roofs as possible, collect as much money as possible, and then leave as quickly as possible. Few storm chasers put any type of value into customer service, roof quality, or craftsmanship. Speed is their only concern. And in a year or two, when a big rain hits and a few leaks pop up, you’ll call them only to find a disconnected number!

That’s something you never have to worry about with Schneider Roofing and Remodeling. We’re from here. This is our town. We value great work, and in the uncommon occurrence that a problem arises, we’ll be right there to fix it!

There’s another reason why you will want to call us soon, should
something happen to your roof: We have a long history of working
with insurance companies! We will be more than happy to meet with your insurance adjuster as they evaluate your property. We can act as an advocate for YOU, so you receive the absolute best outcome with your claim! Often, we can point out things to an adjuster that they may have missed—as a result, you benefit!

At Schneider Roofing and Remodeling, we hope that you don’t have to call us for any emergencies created by nasty storms. Just in case one does occur, and you need help, be sure to have our number handy: 314-378-6623. Remember, your interests are our first priority! And
you can count on us to provide you with excellent, long-lasting customer service!

Buyer Beware

BBB warningWhen hiring a service contractor to do work in your home, it is so important that you hire a quality and reliable company.  The Better Business Bureau issued a warning in the St. Louis area last year for a roofing contractor who pleaded guilty in Arizona to several charges, and on that very same day he established a business here in Missouri.  There are numerous complaints about his work here and several homeowners have found themselves in a bind with payments made and work still to be completed. Sadly, this is not uncommon and homeowners must stay informed and protect themselves.

You can trust Schneider Roofing and Remodeling.  We live in St. Charles and our company has been in St. Charles since it was established in 1991.  We guarantee your satisfaction, stand behind our work and will be here for you if you ever have any roofing or siding problems.

Please click here to read the warning from the Better Business Bureau.

Seven Signs That You May Need A New Roof

Seven SignsBefore realizing that they need a new roof, too many people wait until their roof has a horrible leak with water flooding into their home. It’s a shame, as it can cause extensive, expensive damage—and certain things, like valuables or pictures, can’t be replaced if contacted by water.

Instead of waiting for a nasty leak to give you a sign that you need a new roof, here are some less destructive signs:

1. Roof age – How old is your existing roof? You should have your roof inspected by a professional every year, but once it passes the 10-year mark, it should absolutely be inspected annually. With each passing
year, it will deteriorate more and more. A roofing professional can give you an honest evaluation of how much time you’ll have left with an older roof. It could be 10 years, it could be 20 years.

2. Curling and buckling of shingles – Shingles that are curled or buckling is another sign that you may need a new roof. Look at the slopes of your home that have direct sunlight. Do the shingles look like they’re curling away from the roof? Do they look like they’re losing granules? If so, that’s a sign of defect and your roof should be inspected soon.

3. Valleys – If your shingles are falling apart or missing in valleys, it is a definite sign you may need a new roof. Valleys are one of the most important areas of your roof. Water runs through valleys into gutters. Should a valley be compromised, it’s not a matter of if you will have a leak, but when.

4. Missing shingles – These are another sign your roof could be failing. Check to see if all of the “tabs” are intact. If you notice an area where several have blown away, it’s important to contact a professional to evaluate the situation.

5. Chimney flashing – This is another area to be concerned about. If your flashing consists of roof cement or tar, it may need to be replaced with a long-term, watertight fitting, which would be a metal flashing system.

6. Shingle granules in the gutters – Look in your gutters to see if they are loaded up with granules. Roofs tend to lose more granules toward the end of their lifecycle.

7. Daylight through the roof boards – Go in your attic and see if there is any daylight coming through the roof boards. Also check for moisture in the insulation.

If you’re not comfortable climbing in your attic, or you’d simply feel more comfortable with a professional giving you an honest, upfront opinion about your roof, you can always call your friends at Schneider Roofing and Remodeling at 314-378-6623. We will never pressure you into a new roof—instead, we’ll give you an honest answer about your roof’s life expectancy. Your safety and satisfaction are what’s most important to us.

Flashing Tips

flashingFlashing is usually aluminum or galvanized steel that’s used over joints in a roof and wall construction to prevent water seeping in and causing damage. Depending on the style of your home’s roof, you probably have it in the valleys, around the chimney and pipes, and around any dormer windows or skylights. Most damage shows up either in flashing that’s deteriorating due to weathering and oxidizing, or in flashing that has come loose.

If your flashing needs repairs, consider giving your friends at Schneider Roofing and Remodeling a call. We can give you an upfront price on the work, and depending upon the severity of the repair, in many instances, we can get the work done immediately!

Five Financial Benefits of Spring Cleaning

spring cleaningSpring cleaning is something thousands of households across the country participate in. During the chilly winter months, it’s easy for dust and clutter to overwhelm your home and sanity.  This year, you can combine your spring-cleaning strategies with your big-picture financial objectives. Here are five ways that spring cleaning can help you save some big money.

1.Reduce taxes. Have piles of clothes that you’re planning on ditching? Well, when you drop off your old sweatpants and T-shirts at your local charity, keep a total of how much you’re giving. If you don’t have a receipt, be sure to ask for one!2. Get better organized.Speaking of taxes, make it a point to start organizing all of your financial documents, especially donations. It will make tax time a breeze. You also will likely notice that you’re taking full advantage of any tax incentives or deductions that you can make. Often people forget the different organizations they’ve contributed to.
2. Get better organized. Speaking of taxes, make it a point to start organizing  all of your financial documents, especially donations. It will make tax time a breeze. You will also likely notice that you’re taking full advantage of any tax incentives or deductions that you can make. Often people forget throughout the year the different organizations they’ve contributed to.

3. Keep an inventory. 
Like most households, you probably forget just how much stuff you have shoved in closets and under sinks. Make a conscious effort of tracking

down and documenting what you have. Often people overbuy certain items they don’t believe they have, but really do. 

4. Fix it up.
 Cleaning gives you a chance to evaluate your home. Notice and fix any little problems now, before they become much bigger and require you to hire a handyman or a contractor for help. You could save hundreds over time.


5. Sell it.
 Fill a box (or two or three) of any items that you really don’t use anymore. Explore selling them at yard sales, second-hand stores or online.You might be shocked the value of the stuff just lying around your home.

Only Two Hours of Your Time

roof inspectionConsider for a moment what you spend a couple of hours doing: two hours watching a movie, more than a few hours going to a sporting event with the family, a couple hours window shopping at the mall, etc. If you’re like a lot people these days, you spend two hours surfing the Web! These are all activities that most people don’t think twice about spending a few hours doing. 

 

Keeping that in mind, wouldn’t you be willing to spend a few hours walking around your home with a highly trained technician from Schneider Roofing while he evaluates your home and your roof—especially if it could enhance your family’s comfort and safety? I’m sure you would agree that would be a good use of your time.

 

Your home’s roof can change over the course of a year. You would be amazed to know how much it can shift, alter, and even begin to breakdown. Sometimes changes can present safety concerns you wouldn’t know about… if not for a highly trained technician’s eye. Knowing how much your home’s roof can change in a year, we recommend that you have your roof completely inspected at least once a year. Often it may not even take two hours. But at the end of that short amount of time, you’ll receive a report on the shape of your roof. You’ll learn of any sections that should be “watched” and you’ll know if it’s in 100% proper working condition.

It’s Tornado Time: Is Your Homeowner’s Insurance Up To Par?

With tornado season right around the corner, a question you might want to ask yourself is, “Does my homeowners insurance cover all tornado related damage?”

The answer is NO.  While the image of a tornado striking a residential home may be of a swirling wind tunnel ripping off a roof, tornadoes can cause all sorts of damage to your property – from water damage to uprooted trees. 

So What Is and Isn’t Covered? 
What’s important for homeowners to be aware of is that a typical homeowners insurance policy does NOT cover the following:
* flooding
* uprooted trees strewn on property
* food that has spoiled because of a power outage

What Defines a Flood?Tornado hitting a house
In order for water damage to be considered a “flood” and therefore, not covered by homeowners insurance, the water has to have hit the ground before entering your home. Consider this scenario: Your neighbor’s pipes burst during a tornado. Your house, sitting downstream from your neighbor’s house, is flooded from the ground. Because the water came into your house from the ground, it’s considered a flood, and the resulting damage won’t be covered by your homeowners insurance. For this, you need a separate flood insurance policy. 

If, however, a tornado damages your windows and roof and then a rain storm dumps water into your house the next day, your homeowners insurance will cover this because the water entered your home before touching the ground. 

Uprooted Trees
Some tornadoes are strong enough to uproot trees. If this happens on your property, your homeowners insurance will not cover the removal of the trees. If, however, an uprooted tree falls on your house, the damage to your house, along with the tree removal, will be covered by your homeowners insurance. 

Rotten Food
Power outages are more common during tornado season and food can begin spoiling within just a few hours. Unfortunately, homeowners insurance does not cover rotten food in the refrigerator and freezer so you’ll have to determine what and when to save and what and when to start throwing stuff out.

If you keep the refrigerator door closed as much as possible, much of your food can last up to 4 hours.  However, if perishables such as raw fish, meat, poultry, or eggs sit for over 2 hours at 40 F or more, throw them out. The same rule goes for milk products and baby formula. 

What Should My Insurance Policy Cover?
Depending on your insurance policy, tornado coverage may fall under the category of “windstorm.”  This is a broader category that can include hurricanes as well as tornadoes. In general terms, your homeowners insurance policy should cover losses caused by a tornado, a.k.a windstorm. This includes damage caused to your home and property and the loss or damage of personal property, such as furniture.

While the best case scenario is that you’ll never have to file a homeowners insurance claim as a result of a tornado, it’s important to be prepared and knowledgeable about what is and isn’t covered by a basic homeowners policy before the damage is already done.

Are Gas Prices Rising Again??

rising fuel costsHere are 10 ways to lessen the impact of increased gas prices:

1. Condense your small trips.  Try to plan your day so that you can accomplish everything in one trip rather than several smaller ones.
2. Minimize your idle time.  Any time you’re stopped at a light for more than 10 seconds, you’re better off stopping your engine and then restarting it. You’ll save more gas!
3. Accelerate from stops at a slow and steady pace.  Quick, rapid acceleration drastically hurts your gas mileage!
4. Don’t go over the speed limit.  The faster you go the worse your gas mileage will be.
5. Coast whenever it’s possible.  Constant break-tapping followed by acceleration eats up gas unnecessarily. Set your car to coast if you’re on road trips.
6. Keep your car aerodynamic.  Remove any flags or antenna-toppers from your car. You may also wish to eliminate any bike racks, especially if you don’t use it often.
7. When it’s warm outside, keep your windows rolled down when driving 35 mph or less.  Roll your windows up and use your A/C when driving faster than 35 mph.
8. Keep your tires properly inflated.  It’s much more difficult for a car to spin flat tires. The harder your engine works, the more gas you waste.
9. Get any needless items out of your car.  Added, unnecessary weight drops your gas mileage several percentage points. So, take out the golf clubs when you aren’t using them!
10. Replace your car’s air filter regularly.  This is the most important thing you can do! A bad air filter could waste as much as 30 cents per gallon!

Is It Time To Replace Those Old Gutters?

gutterYou can count on your roof to keep you warm and dry from the elements. And it does a good job. However, unless you have good gutters, your home can still fall victim to Mother Nature! Gutters are the unsung hero of your roofing system. They direct the gallons of rainwater and other precipitation that fall on your home every year away from your foundation.

If you have aging gutters and notice that they’re beginning to break and not work properly, give us a call. Without properly functioning gutters, water can settle next to your home’s foundation, rather than being carried safely away from your house. That’s dangerous because those gallons of water can eventually make their  way into your home, which is the last thing you want! As you can imagine, a leaky foundation can create a variety of nasty, expensive problems. That’s why if your gutters are beginning to breakdown and leak in spots, it’s probably time to replace them.

Only the best roofing technicians can work for Schneider Roofing, which means they’re highly trained, regularly drug-tested, and background checked. Only top quality people and professionals will be around your home and family. Give us a call (314-378-6623) or email us if you need help with your gutters or roof!