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Fichtner Services Awarded Best Of Houzz

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Over 40 Million Monthly Unique Users Nominated Best Home Building,
Remodeling and Design Professionals in North America and Around the World

Fichtner Services has won “Best Of Customer Service” on Houzz®, the leading platform for home remodeling and design. The Annapolis-based contractor for exterior home improvements was chosen by the more than 40 million monthly unique users that comprise the Houzz community from among more than one million active home building, remodeling and design industry professionals.

The Best Of Houzz is awarded annually in three categories: Design, Customer Service and Photography. Customer Service honors are based on several factors, including the number and quality of client reviews a professional received in 2017. A “Best Of Houzz 2018” badge will appear on winners’ profiles, as a sign of their commitment to excellence. These badges help homeowners identify popular and top-rated home professionals in every metro area on Houzz.

“The Houzz community selected a phenomenal group of Best of Houzz 2018 award winners, so this year’s recipients should be very proud,” said Liza Hausman, Vice President of Industry Marketing at Houzz. “Best of Houzz winners represent some of the most talented and customer-focused professionals in our industry, and we are extremely pleased to give them both this recognition and a platform on which to showcase their expertise.”

6 Signs Your Roof Needs Replacing

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It is vital to know the tell-tale warning signs of a roof that’s at the end of its run. If you experience any of the following issues, it’s more than likely that your roof needs major repairs or a total replacement. This may sound like a bad thing, but when you have a team of trusted roofing experts like you’ll find at Fichtner Services working with you to find an affordable and stress-free solution, taking care of any roofing problems you might have is a breeze.

  1. CURLED & BUCKLED SHINGLES: Visibly distorted shingles are a clear signal that your roof has some age under its belt. Buckled shingles happen due to moisture in the attic space below that forces nails to push upwards and out of the roof’s exterior. This situation can leave your home exposed to the elements as well as making the shingles more susceptible to blowing off during strong winds.

 

  1. TAR STREAKING & ALGAE FORMATION: Tar streaking and algae growth is caused by pesky bacteria eating through the shingle’s weatherproofing coating. Cheap shingle manufacturing companies often use fillers like limestone to keep the cost of shingles at a minimum. This algae will break down the limestone, resulting in a visible black streak that can lead to leaks if left unattended. Fichtner Services utilizes GAF, America’s #1 selling shingle roofing brand, GAF offers a Lifetime Warranty on ALL of their laminated roofing shingle lines!

  

  1. GRANULES MISSING: Absent granules are a sign that your roof is quickly losing its weatherproofing capabilities. To check to see if you are missing granules, look to your gutters for granule accumulation when you clean them out. You can also check the area around your downspout for granules.

 

  1. MOISTURE & MOLD: If your attic is not properly ventilated warm moist air from your home will rise and get trapped in the attic. This moisture condenses, gathering on the underside of the roof, and causing nails to rust and mold to form. If left long enough, this will lead the plywood to rot out and you’ll have to replace the entire roof.

 

  1. MISSING SHINGLES: Dislodged shingles provide an open path for water, cold air, and pests to enter into your home.

 

 

  1. ICE DAMS: If snow and ice remain for considerable periods of time on your gutters and first few feet of the roof, but melts off faster above, you will most likely encounter ice damming. When the snow melts from above and rolls down into the still frozen blockage, it causes a ponding effect. Be proactive before this causes water to enter your home in the next big blizzard! Adequate attic insulation prevents this uneven warming effect on the different parts of the roof while proper installation of an ice and water shield will prevent this from becoming a problem inside your home. Fichtner Services can handle both for you!

A widespread misconception is that a roof is good for ten or fifteen years. While it’s true that a new roof should last at least that long, if there are construction errors or the builders used sub-par materials, the lifetime of your roof could be much shorter. If you notice any of these signs, don’t hesitate, give Fichtner Services a call.

Fichtner Services is a GAF Master Elite Roofing Contractor. Only the top 3% of roofing contractors nationwide qualify as Master Elite Roofing Contractors. With a GAF Master Elite roofing contractor, you’ll be sure to get high quality professional installation. And only a GAF Master Elite contractor can offer the GAF Lifetime Limited Warranties. 

2017 Angie’s List Super Service Award

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Fichtner Services is proud to announce that it has earned the home service industry’s coveted Angie’s List Super Service Award (SSA). This award honors service professionals who have maintained exceptional service ratings and reviews on Angie’s List in 2017.

“The service providers that receive our Angie’s List Super Service Award demonstrate the level of excellence that members have come to expect,” said Angie’s List Founder Angie Hicks. “These pros are top-notch and absolutely deserve recognition for the trustworthy and exemplary customer service they exhibited in the past year and overall.”

Angie’s List Super Service Award 2017 winners have met strict eligibility requirements, which include maintaining an “A” rating in overall grade, recent grade and review period grade. The SSA winners must be in good standing with Angie’s List, pass a background check, record a current trade license attestation and abide by Angie’s List operational guidelines. Service company ratings are updated continually on Angie’s List as new, verified consumer reviews are submitted. Companies are graded on an A through F scale in multiple fields ranging from price to professionalism to punctuality.

For over two decades Angie’s List has been a trusted name for connecting consumers to top-rated service professionals.

3 Tips to Get the Most Out of Your Roof

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With years of experience in the roofing business, believe us when we say we’ve seen it all. Buckets, coffee cans, trash bins, and anything else you could possibly think of, used by frantic homeowners to temporarily fix a leaky roof or neglected repairs.

Often, these unfortunate individuals think they’re buying time and saving money by fixing things D.I.Y. style. In reality, however, these temporary “Band-Aids” that appear to extend the life of your roof are only inflicting more damage and will end up costing you more of your hard-earned money down the road. That’s why the pros at Fichtner Services want to help you take a proactive approach to get more life out of your roof and actually save you money—and the good news is that you can start using this insight garnered over our extensive experience today!

Extending the lifetime of your roof beings around one simple word: MAINTENANCE.

Just like taking care of a car, you can get more so-called “mileage” out of your roof if you take good care of it year after year. However, unlike your car—which you typically use and see on a daily basis—you never really see or interact with your roof until there’s a major problem with it. It’s a crazy thought—especially when you consider that your roof plays a BIG role in keeping you and your family safe, secure, and protected. It’s the initial line of defense to protect you from the changing seasons and the wind, snow and rain they bring with them. Thus, it’s just logical to take your roof’s maintenance seriously. After all, proper roof care won’t just make your roof last longer, it’ll also save you tons of money and stress. So here’s some insider knowledge on how to get the most out of your roof!

  1. KEEP AN EYE ON THE GUTTERS: Gutters are easy to overlook, but that doesn’t mean they’re not important for your roof’s overall health and longevity. Gutters can get blocked up with leaves and sticks. When wet, this debris can weigh down your gutters, causing them to totally separate from the house itself. Don’t risk climbing up on a shaky ladder yourself—it’s not only dangerous, but you might fail to adequately de-clog those hard-to-reach spots that could lead to blockages down the road. Give Fichtner Services a call today to make sure your gutters—and roof—stay in tip-top shape!

  1. INSPECT YOUR ATTIC: What’s the first thing to keep an eye out for in your attic? Mold. If you detect mold taking over your attic, that’s usually a sign that your roof is compromised. If you find mold, contact professional help immediately so it can be properly and safely removed. Fichtner can keep you and your family safe from mold and fix the underlying issues that led to it forming in the first place.

  1. REGULARLY INSPECT YOUR ROOF: A general inspection is simply a walk-around the perimeter of your home. Keep on the look-out for granules from your shingles or visibly missing shingles. Spotting these problems early on can help you save thousands of dollars in repairs and lots of unneeded stress in the long run. Aside from self-inspections, be sure to get your roof professionally inspected at least semi-annually. Think of it like an oil change for your roof—it’s easy to put off, but before you know it, your engine is up in smoke and you’ve got bigger issues. Being proactive is key when it comes to extending the life of your roof and saving money.

Fichtner Services hopes your roof has a long lifetime and we are here to assist with its maintenance. Plus, when it does come time to have your roof replaced, please contact us to receive a free estimate.

Stress-Free Home Winterization

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It might still be sunny, but winter is fast approaching—making now the perfect time to start planning for winterizing your home. Here’s a handy checklist to help ensure your home is ready for the change in seasons. Begin by taking a good look at the exterior of your home, paying close attention to the roof, gutters, downspouts, grading and windows. These fixtures all require a little extra TLC before the cold weather hits.

THE ROOF

The burden of cold weather abuse is largely absorbed by your roof. The weight of accumulated snow and ice can be astronomical, freezing and thawing causes movement, and windy conditions can lift and tear at roofs. Typically, checking your roof requires perilously climbing that shaky ladder that’s been rusting away in your crawlspace. Thanks to Fichtner Services, there’s no need to put yourself through this dangerous exertion any longer. Our experts will clean off leaves and branches, trim overhanging tree limbs, and inspect for bulges, worn spots, or split seams that could lead to leaks during the winter months. Call today to get signed up for our Full Roof and Gutter Service before it’s too late!

GUTTERS & DOWNSPOUTS

The importance of free-flowing, leak-free gutters can’t be over-emphasized—they are integral to the overall health of the house, particularly the basement or crawlspace. If your eavestroughs can’t handle the rain or melting snow and ice, the ground will become soaked. If the ground is soaked around your house’s foundation, there is a substantially higher risk of a leaky basement—something you’ll undoubtedly want to avoid; especially in the winter! You can rest assured that the Fichtner experts will ensure you avoid this headache. With the expansion and contraction of aluminum gutters, debris clogging them up and weighing them down, it is important to have your gutters cleaned, tightened up and sealed at joints. We specialize in optimizing your gutters and downspouts to handle even the most torrential downpours—leaving you nice and dry all year long.

WINDOWS & DOORS

When the temperatures dip below freezing, there’s nothing worse for your comfort—not to mention your energy bill—than a drafty house. Checking you windows inside and out is an often-overlooked step in cutting down on the draftiness of your house. On the inside, and this might sound obvious, but check to make sure the windows are shut and locked all the way! I know at my house we like to open the windows in the fall for that fresh air. But sometimes when cool days turn to cold nights we just close the sash for the evening without locking it because we’re planning to open it the next day. Pretty soon it is too cold in the daytime as well and we’ve forgotten to LOCK the window tight. When the latch to that window is engaged, it completes the work for you in compressing that weather stripping and keeping the draft away. On the outside, make sure the caulk seals at the wall surface, such as siding or brick, to the window trim is nice and tight. If it is cracked or pulled away leaving a gap then you should re-caulk prior to the cold weather. This will prevent water intrusion that will later expand and contract in the freezing temperatures making the problem worse

For your doors, if your doors or storm door jiggles or doesn’t shut firmly, you’re losing that important seal to the outside.   Storm doors have an insulating pocket of air between it and the exterior door so make sure those are tight. Most storm doors have an adjustable strike plate—the metal tab with a hole in it that’s mounted on the jamb—and simply moving it up or down a fraction of an inch can keep the door from blowing off its hinges in a strong gust of wind. You’ll also want to take a look at your door sweeps—the long metal or rubber extensions that are nailed on to close the gap between the bottom of the door and the flooring—and make sure they are installed correctly on basement and attic entries as well as on exterior doors. Don’t take a chance of missing a gap—here at Fichtner Services, we pride ourselves in our attention to detail, outstanding customer service, and affordable pricing. Stop in or give us a call today to make sure your home is in tip-top shape for the coming winter.

ATTIC ACCESS & CEILING PENETRATIONS

The exchange of conditioned inside air with unconditioned outside air, whether summer or winter, is a constant source of energy loss and can cause serious condensation problems. One of the best things you can do to cut down on it is to re-insulate your attic above the ceiling and make sure the access hatch and holes through the ceiling (light fixtures, fans) are properly sealed or capped off in the attic. A plywood cover over the hatch with insulation adhered to it is a quick fix but there are also pre-made access covers that do a nice job of covering a set of dropdown stairs. Check the fans and light fixtures up close and seal gaps you might find with caulk. From inside the attic, if you can see exposed and uninsulated can lights, fans and other penetrations, then they should be safely covered up with pre-made insulated covers that won’t cause a fire. Taking these steps will pay dividends in the coming winters and summers!