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Adam Clabaugh

how do i know my roof is end of life

How Do I Know If My Roof Is End of Life?

By Resources, Roof Washing

How do I know if my roof is at its end of life? You might find yourself wondering. It is essential to know the life span and condition of your roof because overlooking these can lead to costly repairs. In this article, we will explore the key signs that indicate the current state of your roof so that you can make informed decisions and allocate a budget for replacement accordingly.

The roof is often the most neglected part of a house. Since we expect roofs to have a life span of at least 20 years, we tend to forget all about them. We only pay attention once there’s a leak or we notice physical damage. But, if you want to avoid trouble down the road, you need to be mindful of the state of your roof today.

Regular inspections and proper maintenance will not only help you avoid expensive roof repairs but will also extend the life span of your roof. Regularly inspecting your roof and knowing what to look for will also let you know when it’s almost time to prepare for replacement.

Signs That Your Roof Is Nearing Its End


Your roof is meant to last many years. Whether you have shingles or metal roofs, they are designed to withstand harsh weather. But, years of wear and tear will cause the roof components to deteriorate. Understanding your roofing system will help you know when a roof needs replacing.

Granules in the Gutter

One of the early signs of a deteriorating roof is granular loss. This is especially true with shingles. These granules are a stone coating meant to protect the asphalt underneath. Losing too many granules will expose the asphalt to direct UV rays and cause it to dry, crack, and leak.

When you start seeing granules in the gutters, you’ll know that your shingles are getting old and might not be as effective. Once you closely inspect the shingles and you start seeing asphalt, it’s time to contact a roofing contractor.

Roof Shingles Are Starting to Curl and Blister

Another sign that your roof is nearing the end of its life is when there’s curling and blistering. It might not seem severe initially, but curling, cracking, and blistering might cause leakage, which will be a problem when the rain comes.

Consider consulting a professional roofing contractor at the first sign of blistering. When your roof has poor ventilation, there will be high humidity, which causes blistering. Low-quality shingles can also cause curling and cracking because they dry out faster.

Moss and Dark Spots

If your roof is made of brick tile and concrete, you must check for stains, dark spots, moss, and fungi. Most dark spots are caused by moss or algae, which is expected if the roof is not getting much sunlight or if you live in an area with a moist climate. In some cases, moss growth is not harmful. But there are cases when moss holds moisture and can damage your roof in the winter.

If you have metal roofing, stains and dark spots are usually a sign of corrosion and aging. Once rust sets in, it will start compromising the structural integrity of the whole roofing system until you’re looking at replacement.

Droopy or Sogging Spots

One sure way to tell if your roof needs replacement is sagging or droopy areas. This is a problem that requires immediate action so that it doesn’t end up causing further damage to the house. 

Sagging roofs could be a sign of trapped moisture or rotting boards. It could be a sign that your roof is weak and poorly installed.

Whatever the cause, you should engage a professional to rectify the problem. You don’t want your roof to collapse and injure anyone.

Know Your Roof’s Life Span

A roof’s life span depends on the type of material it is made from. It is essential to know what your roof is made of and when it was made to understand how many years you can expect from your roofing system.

If you have flat roofs, the life expectancy depends on the materials used on top. If your flat roof has asphalt coverings, you can expect that covering to last for about 10 years. Meanwhile, you can expect no issues in 40 to 50 years if you have rubber roofing. Slate and concrete tile roofs can last up to 100 years, and clay tiles can last up to 60 years.

Wood shingles are rot-resistant but can only last up to 30 years. Asphalt shingles will last between 20 and 40 years. But if you have metal roofs or fiberglass shingles, you can expect a reliable roof over your house to last for more than 50 years.

However, even the most durable roofs will not last forever. Many factors affect your roof’s life span. As such, maintenance and regular visual inspection is still vital.

Hire a Professional to Help with Your Roof Maintenance

Your roof is your first line of defense against the harsh elements. So, you should stay proactive regarding your roofing system’s maintenance and proper care. And if you need a reliable professional to help with your roof care and inspection, our team at Blue Collar can help. We have a team of roofing experts with years of experience who can help maintain your roofs and prevent premature damage.


how to restore historical building

Historical Buildings – How Can I Restore and Rejuvenate Safely?

By Roof Washing

History is an integral part of life. It helps us understand the changes around us and learn from our mistakes as a community. As such, we must protect and preserve everything related to our history, including historical buildings. These buildings are symbols of a city’s culture. Also called heritage buildings must be preserved so that future generations can enjoy their beauty.

However, restoring a historical building is not an easy task. Old buildings need special care, and you must be prepared to deal with many surprises. This undertaking requires attention to detail, careful planning, and commitment. And if you’re asking yourself, “How can I restore and rejuvenate a historical building safely?” this article is for you!

If you are looking for a safe way to rejuvenate and restore your historical building, soft wash is a great option.

Soft washing is a  technique that has emerged as a savior for restoring historical buildings to their former glory. Unlike traditional high-pressure washing methods that can cause irreparable damage to delicate surfaces and intricate architectural details, soft washing employs a gentle approach that combines low-pressure water streams with specialized biodegradable cleaning solutions. This method proves particularly beneficial for historical buildings, which often feature ornate facades, delicate stonework, and aged surfaces that require a gentle touch. By avoiding the abrasive force of high-pressure jets, soft washing effectively removes layers of dirt, grime, algae, and pollutants that accumulate over the years without compromising the structural integrity or aesthetic appeal of these priceless architectural gems.

Get in touch with our soft wash team and receive a free estimate.

One of the most remarkable aspects of soft washing’s suitability for historical building restoration is its ability to penetrate into the nooks and crannies that are characteristic of intricate designs. The biodegradable cleaning solutions used in soft washing effectively break down and dissolve contaminants, without causing harm to the original building materials. This approach not only revitalizes the appearance of the historical structure but also extends its lifespan by eliminating factors that contribute to deterioration.

Furthermore, soft washing is environmentally friendly, as the cleaning solutions used are designed to be eco-safe and do not harm surrounding vegetation or ecosystems. This ensures that while historical buildings regain their former grandeur, the surrounding environment remains unharmed, creating a harmonious blend of preservation and sustainability that honors the past while safeguarding the future.

Safely Restoring and Rejuvenating a Historical Building

If you want to do a full restore of a historic building, you’ll need a lot of passion and dedication. But passion alone is not enough. You’ll need precise planning, a big budget, and the help of professionals.

Understand the Type of Renovations Necessary

One of the first steps to take in historical building renovations is to have an assessment report and understand it. This will help you decide whether a part of the structure can remain. It will also dictate whether you’re undertaking a primary, intermediate, or advanced type of renovation.

If it’s a basic renovation, you will only need to restore the historical element of the building—a facelift. In an intermediate renovation, there is a need to remove some non-heritage features. Lastly, in case of advanced renovations, remove everything else except the historical elements.

Create a Financial Plan and Secure Funding

Another challenge in successfully renovating a historical building is the budget. In most cases, securing funds for this kind of project is a significant obstacle. Restoration is expensive. As such, you need a financial plan that outlines how and where you will secure funding for the project.

It is advisable to start securing the funds as early as possible and work with various non-profit organizations or private donors. Potential sources of funds for historic building restoration include state grants, tax credits, donations, and private funding. You can contact private foundations or individual donors for the latter. For state grants, you can get your local preservation office to inquire about historic preservation grants.

Secure Necessary Approvals and Building Permits

Depending on where the historical building is located, you must secure various approvals and building permits before starting construction. Along with a building permit, you also need planning and zoning permits. You also need support from the historic district commissions and local architectural boards.

All these necessary documents are essential to ensure that the works included in the planned renovation meet the building code and that the historic building will be safe for use after completion. If you anticipate the project completion to last for a few years, make sure to state that when you secure your permits.

Ensure the Building Is Architecturally and Structurally Sound

It is essential to check if the building is solid and can withstand its intended use. You also need to check if the historical elements you want to retain align with the current state of the building. For example, if you need to save old walls, windows, or chimneys, make sure that they are not just retained for their history but also if they will fit the future use of the building.

Along with retaining the historical elements, checking if the building can handle modern amenities is critical – in case you plan to add some. When restoring a historic building, retaining and repairing as much of the original structure is the primary goal. However, if your assessment dictates that more amenities are needed, check if the building can support them.

Remove Hazardous Materials

Due diligence is critical when restoring or rejuvenating a historical building. As such, you might need the help of an expert to assess and catalog hazardous parts or materials. Harmful materials such as asbestos and contaminated parts of the building must be treated and disposed of properly. Doing so will save you time and money and a lot of headaches later.

Sequence Your Construction

Another way to ensure a successful and safe renovation is to do the construction in sequence. Planning the sequencing will depend on the scope of the work, who is working on the project, and the time of the year.

You also need to sequence the construction depending on the areas within the building that need to be considered, such as elevators and other existing services. For elevators, old buildings may have them but with limited size and load capacity. So, if you use these elevators, you must consider what materials or workers can use them. Also, make sure to protect these structures against construction wear and tear.

Get the Experts to Help with Your Renovation

Remember that each historic building is unique, and the restoration process may vary. It is critical to tailor such a process according to the needs of the structure. And to ensure everything goes smoothly, consult with experienced professionals. The team at Blue Collar is ready to provide a soft wash that will protect and restore the historical building. Click here to receive a free estimate for your historical building rejuvenation.

hardie board dark siding and roofing

How to Maintain Your Hardie Board Siding and Protect Your Warranty

By Resources

If you’ve invested in James Hardie siding for your house, one of the reasons for your purchase was probably its durability. It is resistant to rot, pests, heat, moisture, and many other things that can destroy a home. But that doesn’t mean it is indestructible. Like any product, homeowners must give it some TLC. That way, it can perform its best and last you many years.

In addition, proper maintenance will preserve your James Hardie siding’s 30-year limited warranty. It is one of the best guarantees you can get in the industry, so don’t let it go to waste. Make sure you take care of it, or your warranty can get voided. Fortunately, caring for it is easy. Here are some expert tips to keep your siding in tip-top shape:

Regular Cleaning

Wash your siding once or twice a year with a garden hose. The low-pressure water will remove dirt, debris, and dust. Don’t use a high-pressure power washer because that can wreck your siding. The warranty doesn’t cover damages that occur while cleaning.

If the garden hose can’t remove stubborn dirt, go in with a soft brush or rag. You can also add some mild detergent. Rub gently from side to side in the same direction as the planks to loosen the grime, and wash it away with your garden hose. Never use rough tools because they can ruin your home’s beautiful exterior finish. Again, the warranty won’t cover it.

When cleaning your siding, start from the top and work your way down the house. All the gunk will run down while rinsing, so you’ll save a lot of time by going from top to bottom. In addition, you should never let the detergent settle and dry on your siding. You can prevent this by working in small sections. It also helps to have several brushes and rags nearby so you can swap them out when they get dirty.

We have a fantastic soft wash system that can take care of your Hardie Board – so give us a call!

Mold and Oil Stain Removal

Mold, mildew, and oil stains on your siding require more elbow grease than dirt and dust. If you spot mold and mildew, get your garden hose, a soft sponge, and a mildew cleaner designed for fiber cement siding. Apply the cleaning solution to the affected area and gently scrub with the sponge. Wash away the residue with the garden hose. Follow the instructions on the mildew cleaner’s label to avoid damaging your siding.

If oil and grease stains are your problem, you should be able to remove them with mild liquid dishwashing soap. Wet a soft cloth with soapy water and gently rub the affected areas on your siding. Wash away the soap suds with the garden hose. Remember to keep rinsing the dirty cloth as you work through your siding. Also, keep your siding wet throughout the process to prevent the dishwashing from drying on your siding.

It might be tempting to use harsh cleaners on your siding to remove unsightly spots. But that will do more harm than good. Stick to gentle products like dishwashing liquid and cleaners specifically for siding.

Minor Repairs

The paint on your James Hardie siding will look pristine for around 10 to 15 years. But you might have to repaint it once it reaches that age range. The James Hardie ColorPlus Technology Touch-Up Paint Kit can do wonders for minor scrapes, nicks, and nail holes.

You might also have to re-caulk your siding at some point. Inspect the trim connections, flashings, and penetrations so you know where to apply the caulk. It’s best to use a permanently flexible caulk for your James Hardie siding. Again, this is something we can help you with. Click here to learn more.

You can also perform minor repairs on your siding if you spot small chips, dents, and cracks. You can use a concrete patching compound to get rid of these imperfections. However, it’s better to replace the whole section if it has a dime-sized chip or larger.

General Exterior Maintenance

Aside from regular cleaning, you can keep your siding in great shape by maintaining the exterior of your home. You can install downspouts and gutters to keep moisture damage at bay. In addition, keep these fixtures free of twigs, leaves, and other debris so water can flow away from your home.

Your siding will also thank you for trimming the trees, bushes, and vegetation surrounding your house. Doing so prevents moisture buildup and the growth of mold and mildew. Another tip is to point your sprinklers away from your home’s exterior to keep your siding from getting soaked.

In the winter, it’s better to use gravel or sand instead of deicing salt to manage icy surfaces. Deicing salt can damage the siding you’ve worked so hard to maintain.

Let the Professionals Handle Roof and Siding Maintenance

Homeowners spend a lot on their roof and sidings, so it’s heartbreaking to see these structures with damages. If you want your James Hardie siding to last as long as possible and preserve your warranty, get professional help. Here at Blue Collar, we have the expertise and tools to keep your siding pristine. We will also maintain your home’s exterior and eliminate any organic matter that could cause premature deterioration.

Hello, World!

By #news No Comments

Roughly a year ago, the team at Blue Collar started a journey to fix one of the largest problems currently plaguing the world of rental real estate–maintenance management.

Rental properties have always been an important part of the housing industry, providing quality affordable living to over 35% of Americans. Before the commercialization of scattered-site rental homes after the market crash in 2012, much of the rental housing stock belonged to professional landlords and large apartment enterprises with the experience and resources to manage their maintenance operations effectively. As investment into rental properties has exploded over the last decade, many of the new landlords and institutions who own massive numbers of these assets have little-to-no experience managing maintenance operations, or the incentive to build out these networks and systems internally, leaving an enormous inventory of underperforming properties due to large maintenance costs and frequent tenant turnover.

While this is a significant pain point for the investors who own and manage all of this real estate, the other part of the story is a remarkably frustrating living experience for the millions of people who reside in these properties. At Blue Collar, we are fundamentally changing the experience for both parties. We believe there is something incredibly unfortunate about an industry that could be providing an amazing experience for everyone involved, but consistently fails not due to a lack of desire, but because of a lack of resources.

Blue Collar is designed differently


We’re using technology to bring rental property maintenance into the 21st century, but we’re also providing a much needed upgrade to the level of service this industry has long been lacking. Instead of viewing maintenance as a necessary evil, we view every interaction as an opportunity to delight both our clients and their tenants. This means an amazing level of communication, lightning fast turnaround, and super fair pricing.

To power all of this, we’re building technology that streamlines communication with our experienced maintenance professionals, as well as conversational AI support and a robust self service catalog that provide tenants with all of the resources they need to handle their issues quickly and cost efficiently.

Chicago, Blue Collar is ready for you!


We’re starting our nationwide rollout in Chicago, offering landlords and property managers an expert partner to take all of the property maintenance and turnover operations off your plates!

Let’s get going!