What are the Two Methods of Excavation?

An Excavation Project

Pennsylvania has some of the most beautiful terrain, including hills, mountains, valleys, and beautiful trees. Sometimes though, as beautiful as they are, this landscape can make construction of any shape and anything a challenge. And that is where professional excavating services are needed! 

What are the basics of excavation work?

The definition of excavation is the process of digging and/or the removal of something specific from the ground, often using heavy equipment and machinery. When using professional excavating services, the crew will prepare the site by removing any debris and scanning the area for unseen obstacles. 

Are there different types of excavation? 

Yes, depending on the purpose of the excavating services, the techniques can vary.  For example, construction companies use a few different types of excavating services based on what material is being removed and the end goal. In the construction industry, excavating services are grouped in two classifications with sub-classifications in those two:

Material Classification

  • Topsoil Excavating Services: 

This type of excavation service removes the exposed, topmost area of the ground surface. This includes removing decaying material, soil, and vegetation with the purpose of making the land unsuitable for structural loads.

  • Rock Excavating Services:

This type of excavation service clears various surfaces such as rocky surfaces that are inhibiting the construction process. Compared to other types of excavating services, it can be more challenging because it takes special equipment and techniques. Those techniques can include blasting or drilling the rock and/or clearing a tough surface.

  • Muck Excavating Services:

Muck excavating services work is where there is a combination of soil and water that makes an area undesirable for construction. The result of this removal is what creates the ‘muck’ and once it has been excavated, it is then transported to a different area. Sometimes, it is spread out until dry.

  • Earth Excavating Services:

This type of excavation service is needed when the foundation of bridges and structures is being built or for the construction of drainage ditches.

Purpose Excavation Classification

  • Cut and Fill Excavating Services:

Often referred to as stripping excavation, this is used to clear a large area by removing wide and shallow layers of rock, sand, topsoil, and other unwanted materials.  Grading the surface is often included when needed. 

  • Trench Excavating Services: 

In this type of excavation service, the length is larger than the depth. This type of excavation service is used for burying service lines where pipelines and sewer systems are to be installed.  The type of excavation process and equipment used will depend on the depth of the trench needed and its purpose. Other factors considered are the ground conditions,  the number of and type of obstructions, etc. 

  • Basement Excavating Services:

The basement is an area below ground level and excavating services for a basement are done prior to the start of construction. Depending on the plans of the structure being built, it is typically done just below ground level, which can be challenging. 

  • Dredging Excavating Services:

Sediment build-up can make construction difficult. This type of excavation service includes dredging and the removal of debris and sediment from underwater for water vessels to pass or other construction needs. 

 What is the difference between digging and excavation?

Excavating services are a process of digging, but deeper, using larger equipment with special techniques. The act of hand-digging using a shovel is typical for smaller areas like flower beds and gardens.

What is the difference between trenching and excavation?

Like digging, trenching is also part of excavating services. The difference is how wide the area that is being excavated is. 

How deep can you excavate in Pennsylvania?

You can dig as deep as necessary once you have called 811 and permission is granted. This non-profit corporation has the sole purpose of protecting the underground to minimize issues with assorted utilities and water.

What must take place before excavating services can start?

The first thing excavating services do at the job site is an assessment of the job site and then the plan is created. This could include professionals in engineering, architecture, or surveying. The purpose is to determine current conditions on the job site, including the topography and soil composition, as well as if any existing underground utilities are on the property. If the excavation area is deeper than four feet, atmospheric testing is required to determine if there is any oxygen deficiency or hazards. 

Getting Down and Dirty

If you have anything larger than a flowerbed, or garden, or is beyond basic farming, professional excavating services are typically needed. This is typical for the construction of structures, which can include making trenches for electrical, plumbing, and other utilities as well as constructing roadways. When using professional excavating services, they will typically take all the precautions needed and obtain any permits needed for the job.

Storm Damage and Your Roof: What to Do After Severe Weather Hits

lifted three-tab asphalt shingle

After the Storm, We’ve Got You Covered

Severe weather has the potential to cause significant damage to your roof. And after a roofing emergency, every second counts. If you need storm damage roof repair in Philadelphia, PA, call Armour Seal Exteriors, Roofing, Masonry and Contracting at 267-622-7158. We can guide you through the roof repair process and make sure you feel confident in the decisions you’re making. What’s more, in many instances, your home insurance company may cover some or all the cost of repairing or replacing your roof.

After an emergency, it’s essential to first contact your home insurance company. They will provide guidance as to your next step. Afterward, reach out to a local roofer. Armour Seal Exteriors, Roofing, Masonry and Contracting will help you file your roof insurance claim, so don’t hesitate to reach out today for roof repair in Philadelphia, PA.

What to do After Severe Weather Has Affected Your Roof

Before inspecting your roof, make sure that it is safe to do so. Wait until the weather has completely cleared, and there is no risk of falling debris or unstable conditions. As you wait for the weather to clear, check your home’s interior for signs of water damage. Look for water stains on ceilings, walls, or in the attic. Leaks and dampness can also indicate roof damage.

When safe to do so, examine your roof from the ground. Binoculars and drones are helpful. Look for indicators of damage, including missing or lifted shingles, cracked or damaged roofing material, or debris such as branches or tree limbs. Take pictures and/or videos of any damage to the roof and property. These will be necessary for filing your insurance claim.

After you’ve assessed the damage, reach out to your home insurance company, as they often will cover repair and replacement costs. Then, call the best local roofer. In Philadelphia, PA, that’s us, so dial 267-622-7158 now.

Can You Reinstall a Chimney?

Discover More About Chimney Maintenance and Repairs

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania is full of history as proven by many old structures, some in various levels of dilapidation. Among those different levels of dilapidation, many include minor and extensive chimney repairs, even chimney rebuilding! 


What causes most chimney deterioration?

A chimney begins to deteriorate the first time you light a fire in it, and each time it is used , it will deteriorate a little bit more.  The lifespan can vary based on the type of chimney and how frequently it is used. However, by keeping it well maintained, you can extend its lifespan and useability while eliminating the need for expensive chimney repair. 

A chimney made of concrete will be strong, but you need to consider the intenseness of the heat from the fires you build, as well as the weather conditions it is exposed to outside. Some other factors that contribute to the deterioration of a fireplace include: 

  • A fire can produce corrosive components that erode the silicate hydrates that bond the concrete, weakening the surface so that moisture can get inside, leading to cracking and spalling.
  • Flue gases leach into the area between the chimney’s shell and the liner, causing it to corrode. Over time, the liner’s coating begins to break down, allowing the hot flue gases to leach through to the chimney shell.
  • Carbonation is a process that will cause extreme amounts of carbon dioxide. That carbon dioxide comes in contact with the concrete, causing it to weaken. That in turn causes the reinforcement steel to start rusting. Over time, this puts the structure in jeopardy. 

While it will take years before you begin to see these effects damage your fireplace, when they do become apparent, you can be sure that the chimney repairs will be costly! You can avoid this expense by having a professional chimney sweep inspect and clean your chimney each year either after or before winter use begins. 

Can a chimney with cracks be repaired?

A chimney that is well-built and well-maintained will give you years of enjoyment and warmth. However, if your chimney begins showing any indication of damage, it’s just a matter of time before you can experience more than expensive chimney repairs. 

When it comes to small cracks that aren’t zigzagging throughout the chimney, it isn’t in any immediate danger of collapsing. However, it is prone to water infiltration that can lead to more serious damage and costly chimney repairs. Just like the streets we drive on, once the water has infiltered into the cracks of a chimney and the temperature drops, that water freezes, expands, and expands the crack. 

From there, it is just a matter of time for the concrete to expand, and eventually, the melted ice water will gain access to the inside of the chimney. So, yes, even the most minor of cracks can be addressed by you. You can use a waterproof coating that fills and seals the crack, following the package instructions. Or if you’re not one to climb on the roof, or the cracks are large enough and the bricks are crumbling, call a professional chimney repair service. 

How is a crumbling chimney repaired?

A crumbling chimney isn’t always related to poor maintenance. They can be constructed with poor quality materials (bricks or mortar), or poor labor and crumble.  So, you see some crumbling or spalling on the chimney, it can sound frightening, but if you address it quickly, either doing your own or having professional chimney repairs done, it will save the chimney and your home. 

If you want to try your chimney repairs, we can give you the steps to follow, starting with inspecting and assessing the situation. This will allow you to isolate the problem so that you make targeted chimney repairs. Before you begin your chimney repairs, determine if it is a widespread issue or if you can’t identify the problem, stop right there and call a professional. 

If you see that there is just a handful of crumbling bricks in one location, inspect all around the areas, checking the mortar, chimney cap, and crown. Check the sealing around the cap and crown, and if you don’t see sealant, apply a waterproof sealant. 

Next, chisel out any mortar where the bricks are crumbling, and replace them with new mortar, new bricks if they are completely or over 25% crumbled. 

Will homeowners’ insurance cover a cracked chimney liner?

Maybe, maybe not, it will depend. Any chimney repairs needed due to a sudden, unexpected incident are typically covered by homeowner’s insurance. However, if the insurance adjustor deems that the chimney repair is needed simply because the chimney has been worn out based on normal use, your homeowner’s insurance will not pay. They will also not pay if the adjustor deems the chimney and fireplace have been neglected. 

The Final Dollar

If your chimney has been completely destroyed, it may be necessary to either close the fireplace off or replace the chimney.  How much does it cost to replace a chimney? That will depend on the type of material used for the chimney. You can expect on the low end to pay around $3,500 and this can go upward to $10,000 or more, with the average around $5,000 to $6,000.

Do you need chimney repair in Philadelphia, PA? If so, call us today at 267-622-7158!

How Often Does HVAC Need to Be Replaced?

HVAC unit sitting outside a building

When do I need to replace my HVAC system?

As with anywhere else, homeowners in the Philadelphia, Pennsylvania area know that their home is an investment that requires ongoing maintenance. And to keep their homes comfortable year-round, sometimes that requires HVAC repair and replacement.  

Is HVAC replacement necessary?

If the following situations are happening with your current HVAC system, it is time to get a replacement unit, which will save you money in the long run: 

1. Running Longer

The older an HVAC system gets, it will often start to run longer to reach the desired temperature setting.  Schedule an appointment with a service tech, and they will inspect the unit, checking parts like the coils and blower motor. If they are in proper working order, they can advise you accordingly.

2. Loud Sounds

As the HVAC system ages, the parts get worn out and start making loud sounds. This includes the blower motor humming loudly, the furnace banging and clanking, the air conditioner rattling, and the outdoor component having loud sounds coming from it when the air conditioner is running. What can determine between HVAC repair and replacement is whether the technician finds there is a loose part or a part can be replaced at a reasonable cost. 

3. Constant Repairs

If your HVAC system needs more repairs every year, it may be time to replace the system. The expensive parts like the compressor, motor, and coils are the more expensive parts, and when you consider the labor for replacing these parts, the investment in a replacement will be more expensive upfront, but in the long run, the better choice. 

How much is a new HVAC system? 

Once you have a professional service technician inspect your system and you weigh the decision between HVAC repair and replacement, several factors have an impact on the cost of a new HVAC unit. This will start with the size of the unit, which will depend on the square footage of your home. Other factors that affect the cost of an HVAC replacement will include new duct work and the complexity of setting up the system like additional electrical or gas lines needed. The cost can range between $6,000 to $20,000, with the cost varying between companies.

Is a new HVAC system worthwhile? 

When you’re faced with the decision of HVAC repair or replacement, and you get quotes for installing a new HVAC system, you’ll have sticker shock with the replacement cost. But take some time and consider these benefits you’ll have with a new system: 

  • Energy Expenses

You may not even realize how much more your current HVAC system is costing you in the energy expense category. An older system, or a system that has numerous, repetitive repairs, or expensive repairs has been using more energy just to keep up with demand. After getting a new HVAC system, you’ll notice a drop in the energy bills each month. 

  • Dated Technology

The technology of HVAC systems has changed and improved over the past 25 years, including the type of refrigerant used. Where R-22 was the common refrigerant, it has been taken off the market and replaced with R-410A. This new refrigerant keeps an HVAC system running cooler as it absorbs and efficiently releases heat more than R-22 refrigerant does because it functions at a higher pressure.

The HVAC systems today are less likely to burn out because of the new refrigerant because it’s easier on the components, especially the compressor. This will give you a more reliable system and minimize the amount of allergens, dust, humidity, and mold in your home. This ensures a comfortable, healthier, and safer home for your family. 

  • Increased Resale Value

If you don’t have plans to sell your home, you’ll have years of comfort in your home with a new HVAC system. But if you are considering selling your home, when it comes to deciding between HVAC repair or replacement, the replacement option will give you more value to attract potential buyers. 

How can you extend the lifespan of your HVAC system?

The first step in having a long lifespan from an HVAC system is to have professional HVAC repair and replacements. Having repairs and new installation done by a certified, licensed professional is always recommended, and when it comes to the refrigerant, it is required.  Professional service for repairs and replacement will always ensure that the job is done properly and thoroughly, including the ductwork. 

Another factor that will extend the lifespan of your HVAC system is an annual inspection by a professional. They will inspect all aspects of the system, cleaning, oiling, and adjusting as needed, replacing any parts if needed, and keeping you advised of any possible issues. 

And for your part …. Keep the air filter changed or cleaned a minimum of every 30 days. A clogged, dirty air filter will minimize the airflow, which affects the overall temperature in your home. At the same time, you address the air filter, check the drain pan and drain lines, and empty and clean as needed. Keep the exterior component clear of any debris and grass around it and check the insulation on the cooling tubes coming from the unit. 

In Closing

Nobody wants to spend large sums of money these days, and when it comes to choosing between HVAC repair and replacement, that can be a large amount of money. You need to look beyond that initial cost and consider the money you’ll save going forward, as well as the improved comfort level your family will enjoy. And remember, if you need HVAC repair and replacement in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania our team can be there to help, so give us a call! Reach out at 267-622-7158.

How Long Does Excavation Take?

crawler excavation of construction job

The Start of Construction

The first thought that may come to mind when you hear the word “excavation’ may be a paleontologist on a dinosaur dig. But there is a more common type of excavation service that uses the same process of using special tools, sometimes explosives, to move earth, rock, or more to get under the earth’s surface. 
Excavation services are needed for other applications besides dinosaur exploration. It is needed for construction purposes, mining, and environmental restoration. Construction is the most commonly known reason for excavation services that is part of building foundations and roads and creating reservoirs, a step needed for preparing a site for construction.

What are the different types of excavation services?

An excavation service is more than just digging up dirt though. An excavation service contractor is responsible for overseeing the changes as a part of a careful and well-engineered design for creating a firm base of building projects.

What are the basics of an excavation service: 

The excavation service process starts with an analysis of the landscape and creating careful planning that includes:

  • Digging a foundation to precise dimension and placement
  • Grading the ground to create a level surface
  • Digging trenches for underground utilities
  • Leveling the site to meet specific elevation requirements
  • Compact the soil to create a stable building surface
  • Installing special soils

Are there other services an excavation service company provides? 


The excavation service contractor will make certain that the construction site has the infrastructure in place that is needed, including digging trenches for electrical lines, sewer lines, wells, and the support needed for a stable foundation. The service may include shaping the ground for the landscaping plans for the ideal project aesthetics.


The excavation service contractor is responsible for managing and scheduling a crew and the needed equipment to meet the specific demands of a project in order to meet the timeline. This often requires working with other contractors in order to accomplish tasks in an orderly manner for a smooth process of preparing the site. 


In most cases, the excavation service company is responsible for building roadbeds, temporary or permanent, for heavy equipment to be efficiently and safely delivered where needed on a job site. This includes concrete mixing trucks, cranes, and lifts and can include the construction of the following: 

  • Demolition
  • Dirt hauling in/off
  • Drainage
  • Driveways
  • Roads
  • Sidewalks


Mass excavation service is often required for large-scale projects using an advanced technique to prepare for the footprint and foundation for a structure, like a skyscraper. This requires a large crew and a heavy equipment fleet where precise measurements are followed.

What methods are used by an excavation service to ensure accuracy? 

Always go with an excavation service that has experience in the type of excavation you need. A contractor with experience will use the following steps to ensure a positive outcome: 

  • Planning Ahead

An experienced excavation service knows they are required to contact 811 between 48 hours and 5 days or longer before starting work. They will know that more than one phone call is needed to cover all the utilities, including communication cable lines, electrical, plumbing, and more. 

  • Site Marking

Where possible, an excavation service contractor will draw white-line boundaries of the project site before having other services done. This involves using flags, stakes, and/or white paint to pre-mark the dig or drill site for accurate communication with facility owners and service providers.

  • All Clear

An excavation service contractor will wait to receive the all-clear message on the project site before they begin construction. This includes having all the utilities in place and the areas marked with flags or spray paint and having documentation in hand. 

How long before an excavation service can start? 

There are many steps before construction can start of a structure, and the excavation service is vital for a solid foundation. There are several factors that can determine and influence the beginning of the excavation service, which takes between 3 days and 3 weeks.  The factors include the depth of the required excavation service, obstructions like large boulders and trees, or the excavation service equipment getting stuck in clay or mud.

excavation construction

Down Under It All 

Excavation equipment is an expensive investment, and while any construction crew could do their own excavation by renting the heaving equipment, there are benefits to using an experienced excavation service. An experienced, professional excavation service will know the proper methods that ensure a reduced erosion and siltation potential once the job is complete. 

An experienced excavation service crew is aware of the environment and soil and will know what steps to take that benefit both as well as the structure itself, making sure all is safe during construction and afterward. 

When you need an excavation service in Philadelphia, PA, count on the team at Armour Seal Exteriors, Roofing, Masonry and Contracting. We’re here for you at any time at 267-622-7158. Call us now!  

What is the Life Expectancy of Hardie Board Siding?

A Home With Hardie Board Siding

Siding Experts

Hardie board siding is a fiber cement board used for the exterior siding of homes in the Philadelphia, Pennsylvania area. It is a combination of cellulose fibers, cement, and sand that is pressed together. 

James Hardie, the company founder, originated from Scotland and immigrated to Australia in 1888 where he began dealing in the tanning trade. He invented what we know as Hardie Board Siding in the mid-1980s along with a wide range of other building products with the fiber cement technology he invented. He then brought the durability, strength, and versatility of this material to the United States in the early 1990s.

Want to install Hardie board siding in Philadelphia, PA? We are siding experts. Set up an appointment with us by calling 267-622-7158.

Is Hardie board better than brick or vinyl?

A brick exterior is the longer lasting between brick, vinyl, or Hardie board siding, with brick lasting up to 100 years or longer. When comparing Hardie board siding with vinyl siding, the Hardie board is the winner. Vinyl siding has an expected average lifespan of 25 years versus up to 50 years lifespan of Hardie board. 

How much does Hardie board siding cost?

This can vary based on the amount of the siding material needed, as it does with any type of exterior siding for a home. The cost is based on the square footage needed and comes in planks of 12 feet long by various widths between 5¼ inches to 12 inches and approximately half an inch thick. When you compare that vinyl siding is approximately half an inch thick and in 12-foot long strips, it is easy to see why Hardie board siding has a longer life span. 

What are the other benefits of Hardie board siding? 

Hardie board siding has the appearance of wood which is created during the manufacturing process. That wood grain appearance gives the siding a richer appearance and provides the following benefits: 

  • Resale Value Increased

Installing vinyl siding will most likely not get a high ROI if you sell your home. However, Hardie board, which is more expensive, will get most of your investment back. It is a definite higher value, getting up to 75% or more of return. 

  • Fire Resistance

Hardie board siding is fire resistant, not fireproof. This means that it doesn’t contribute to a fire like vinyl and wood siding, which is a combustible material. However, this doesn’t mean it is fireproof, as it can still burn once it reaches a certain heat level.

  • Insect & Vermin Resistant

With wood siding, carpenter ants and termites are problematic. But Hardie board siding, even with its cellulose content, does not attract insects and vermin. 

  • Green Building Material

The cellulose fibers used in Hardie board siding aren’t made from any endangered wood species. The materials used to manufacture this siding, cement, and sand, are available in abundance naturally, thus there aren’t any toxic materials.  And because it has a long lifespan, it doesn’t contribute to the landfills like vinyl siding. 

What are the downsides to Hardie board siding?

With all of its positive attributes, Hardie board siding does have some downsides, starting with the upfront cost. Generally, it cost up to 3x more expensive than vinyl siding, especially when considering it needs to be painted. 

Other factors that make it more expensive include that there aren’t as many contractors experienced in installing Hardie board as there are vinyl siding, which allows them the ability to charge more with less competition. It is more difficult to install, which takes longer, it is heavier, so the delivery cost is higher, and it has to be painted. 

How often does Hardie board siding need to be painted?

With a professionally applied primer and initial painting, Hardie board siding won’t need painting again for another 10 years, maybe 15 years in some cases. While painting may be seen as a downside to this material, consider that other types of siding like aluminum and stucco typically need to be repainted every 5 years. 

Can you power wash Hardie board siding?

To clean Hardie board siding, it is recommended to use only low pressure and a soft medium bristle, nonmetal brush twice a year. In between those times, using a garden hose with a jet nozzle will keep your home covered with Hardie board clean and sparkling. 

Is Hardie board waterproof or water-resistant?

Hardie board siding will absorb moisture, which means it isn’t waterproof. However, with outstanding drying capabilities, it won’t deteriorate with water exposure. Over time, uninstalled Hardie board will shrink and stain, a clear indication that the contractor is using unprotected material.

It’s A Wrap!  

All in all, comparing the benefits and pluses of Hardie board siding to other types of siding materials is a good value for any home. Even a brick home with wood trim can benefit by replacing that wood trim with Hardie board.  Whether you plan to sell your home or you are in your forever home, the addition of a Hardie board siding in Philadelphia, PA will bring value-add and years of beauty and enjoyment. Learn more about this siding by calling 267-622-7158.

Plants in Front of Hardie Board Siding

How long does a kitchen remodel take?

A Remodeler Works on a Kitchen Remodel.

Kitchen Remodeling

Maybe your family has outgrown it, maybe you’re just tired of it, or maybe you’re planning on selling your home soon. Kitchen remodeling in Philadelphia, PA could be on your radar for any of these reasons, or many that we don’t have space to list.  

A kitchen remodel, or any type of change or upgrade to your home is considered an investment. So, speaking of reselling your home, a common question among homeowners is, “Is a kitchen remodel worth the investment?” For 2023, experts say that what a homeowner spends on a kitchen remodeling job, they can expect to get between 30% and 86A% ROI. Ready to upgrade your kitchen? Call 267-622-7158 to schedule a consultation today.

How much does kitchen remodeling cost?

It is hard to put a number here when it comes to anything to do with a house,  especially a bathroom or a kitchen remodel. It will all depend on just how intense you get with the remodeling. The more you can do yourself as opposed to hiring professionals will help with the overall cost. 

And that leads us to the next common question, “What adds the most value to a kitchen remodel?” Kitchen remodeling can entail a wide range of possibilities, which is why the ROI has such a wide range. From as simple as repainting the walls and changing the curtains to changing out the cabinetry, countertops, appliances, and more. 

So, what will give you the most stunning kitchen and get you the most ROI? Keep reading for the top 5 kitchen remodeling upgrades:

1. Kitchen Island

Real estate experts tell us that adding a kitchen island will increase the storage and workspace in the kitchen, which increases the value too. This can be a costly upgrade, especially if you’re going to have electrical and/or water running to it. The pre-built kitchen island is less expensive and adds less value to kitchen remodeling. 

2. Cabinetry

Another value-add to kitchen remodeling is the cabinetry. Either replacing them, painting, or refinishing them will bring you the most impact both in appearance and financially. You may be able to simply upgrade the hardware and give them a good thorough cleaning if the budget is tight.

3. Appliances

This is the biggest attraction, or distraction, for potential homebuyers. Everyone is looking for stainless steel, but if you can’t afford that upgrade right now, make sure your existing appliances are in good working order. That one rear burner that doesn’t light may just be normal for you, but a home buyer is going to want things glowing! Especially when it comes to the required home inspection when they make an offer. And remember, a good thorough cleaning can help when selling your home almost as much as kitchen remodeling.

4. Countertops

Granite countertops were once the thing to have in your kitchen, but styles have changed. Today, the more popular choice in kitchen remodeling is dark-colored countertops. If your desire is to brighten your kitchen, go with a neutral color in porcelain or quartzite.  

5. Multipurpose Workspace

Whether your kitchen remodeling is in preparation for selling or to make your day-to-day life easier, functionality is key. More people are working from home today, so adding a small area with a desk could prove to be valuable to you or future buyers. This way, your computer is right there in easy reach while making dinner, but not at risk of having something spilled on it. 

What costs the most in a kitchen remodel?

Believe it or not, if you plan to get all-new cabinetry, that will take up to 25% of your kitchen remodeling budget! The next biggest expenses of a kitchen remodeling job are any electric or plumbing changes and the appliances. 

What is the first thing to do when remodeling a kitchen?

It’s not just a matter of picking a paint color and cabinet style for a kitchen remodeling project. Every contractor and designer will have their own order of how they work a kitchen remodeling, but the basics will include the following: 

  • Budget and Planning: An all-encompassing plan will help you keep your vision in line with your budget.
  • Demo and Prep: With your budget and plan in place, time to take down and out what isn’t going to stay in the kitchen remodeling.
  • Electrical and Plumbing: If you removed the cabinets in the demo step, now is the time to put in the electrical and plumbing.  You may need to hire a professional for this part to be on the safe side.
  • The Drywall: Measure twice, cut once! Go ahead and measure three times just to be certain. 
  • The Walls: If you’re painting the walls or placing some type of wall covering (paneling, wallpaper, etc.), now is the time this needs to take place. 
  • Cabinets and Flooring: Install the cabinetry first then the flooring. That way anything you may drop while installing the cabinets won’t damage the flooring.
  • The Countertops: If you haven’t already done so, now is the time to install your countertops and install them. 
  • The Backsplash: This is where your kitchen remodeling will get its “pop”! 
  • Appliances and Sink: The finishing point of your kitchen remodeling is the appliances and sink. 

In Conclusion

Once all of this is completed, depending on where you live, and if you had any professional services like an electrician or plumber, it is time to request the city inspection. This can set you back to make changes or corrections, or you may get a green tag, and your kitchen remodeling is complete! Enjoy! For expertise in remodeling, schedule an appointment with Armour Seal Exteriors, Roofing, Masonry and Contracting by calling 267-622-7158.

A Modern Kitchen

Is a Hole in the Roof an Emergency?

A Roofer Repairs a Roof.

Is a Hole in the Roof an Emergency?

If you’ve never experienced one, you may be wondering just what counts as an emergency roof repair? Well, if you have water coming through the ceiling of your Philadelphia, Pennsylvania home, that will definitely deem an emergency roof repair. Why is it an emergency, just how urgent is a leaking roof?

Down to the roofing matter at hand, there are specific situations that qualify as needing an emergency roof repair: 

  • A tree branch, tree limb, an entire tree, or other wind-borne objects that smash a hole into the roof or have caused the roof to cave in, which allows more water, or critters, into your home, you need an emergency roof repair. 
  • If the metal flashing or a large number of shingles have been blown off your roof, allowing a major leak from the roof, you need an emergency roof repair.
  • If you’ve had to fasten a plastic tarp over a section of the roof to cover damage and keep water out of your home, or you’ve made a temporary patch, you need to get an emergency roof repair sooner than later.
  • If your roof has been subjected to a fire, even if there isn’t a hole in the roof, the integrity of the roof has been compromised. You should get emergency roof repairs made or evacuate the property.

Why is a leaking roof considered an emergency?

The number one reason that a roof leak is an emergency is the integrity of your home’s structure is now compromised! The foundation and the roof are essential in maintaining your home in a safe manner. 

Additionally, your personal belongings, including the carpeting, drapes, electronics, furniture, and other personal items are at risk of being damaged, even ruined beyond repair.  Even the smallest leak can become massive if the rain last more than one day. 

After one day, what was a small leak will grow, allowing more water inside your home, puddling up on the floor, making it hazardous to walk on. The ceiling and walls become water stained, paint begins to peel, flooring buckles, and this is all weakening the structure. 

When That Roof Leak Happens

So, it isn’t an everyday occurrence, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be prepared and know what to do if your roof is leaking, whether it is small or large. By knowing what to do in a roofing emergency and when to reach out for emergency roof repair can keep from causing severe damage or totally destroying your home. The following steps will help minimize the damage until you are able to get professional emergency roof repairs: 

  • Place a plastic tarp and bucket under the leak to catch the water coming in. 
  • Then climb to the rooftop, if safe, and measure the size of the hole.
  • Cut some 2×4 boards in half.
  • Take the 2×4, a plastic tarp, screws, and roof sealant.
  • Position the tarp over the hole and position the cut 2×4 board around to hold the tarp in place. 
  • Screw the boards into the tarp and roof then cover with roof sealant.
  • Go in the attic, take more cut 2×4 boards and a cut piece of plywood or extra shingles.
  • Position the plywood or shingles over the hole and hold in place with the 2×4 boards and screws, then cover the edge of the plywood or shingles with roof sealant.

So, do you know what to expect with roofing emergency calls? If there has been widespread severe weather, you can expect the contractor you call for an emergency roof repair may take several hours. The contractor will inspect the roof from on top and in the attic, inspecting and measuring. 

Once they have completed their inspection, they will provide you with an estimate which should have details of what is needed and the cost. Ask for two copies so you can share one with your insurance company. 

If you haven’t already, call your homeowner’s insurance company and file a claim. Be sure to advise them you had an emergency roof repair already done. The insurance company will assign an adjuster to your home who will contact you for an appointment. Try to arrange for the contractor to be there at the same time so they can work with the adjuster, pointing out things they found the adjuster may overlook. 

On The Bottom Line for The Top of Your Home

A big question for any homeowner is, “What is the cost of emergency roof repair?”, but there is no flat rate for this work. The repair will depend on several factors like the severity and size of the roof damage, the type of roofing material, and how many crew members will be needed. 

The importance of getting emergency roof repairs done cannot be stressed enough. There amount of damage that can keep happening will be expensive and if the insurance adjuster deems that had repairs been done in a timely manner, the additional damage would not have happened.

For immediate help with emergency roof repair in Philadelphia, PA, reach out to the pros at Armour Seal Exteriors, Roofing, Masonry and Contracting by calling 267-622-7158.

A Roof With a Tarp on It.

How to Repair a Commercial Roof

New Commercial Building with Retail and Office Space available for sale or lease

About Commercial Roofs

There are several types of commercial roofing materials, and while they serve the same purpose, they are not all the same. When it comes to commercial roof repair, the importance and urgency are the same though, but how they are repaired may vary. How well a commercial roof repair is done is extremely important, especially with the winters here in the Philadelphia, Pennsylvania area.

How are commercial roofs constructed?

There are different roofing materials and there are different construction variations with commercial roofing, with most being what is referred to as a flat roof. While they appear to be flat to the naked eye, there is a slight slope for drainage purposes.  This is a cost-effective way for structures as big as most commercial structures. 

 With flat roofing, there are 3 categories as follows: 

  • Traditional membrane: These are the built-up roof, mastic asphalt, or tar & gravel.
  • Synthetic membrane: These are the PVC, TPO (thermoplastic olefin), or EPDM (ethylene propylene diene monomer).
  • Metal roofing: These are often aluminum, copper, or steel.

What is the most common type of commercial roof?

EPDM (ethylene propylene diene monomer) is probably the most popular commercial roofing material. EPDM commercial roofing is a low-cost, resilient roofing material made of natural gas and oil synthetic rubber. When it comes to commercial roof repairs, it is one of the easiest to work with, although repairs are rare because the elasticity properties make it a tough roofing material that can withstand the constant damaging ultraviolet rays. 

What is the best type of commercial roof?

Metal is often considered to be the best for commercial roofing, and because it has a long lifespan, up to 60 years or longer, with little need for commercial roof repairs, makes it a popular choice. The various types of metal give it more appeal for the architectural aspect too, and in areas like Pennsylvania where snow is a big factor to consider in roofing, a snow removal system is possible with any of the following types of metal: 

  • Aluminum
  • Coated or stainless steel
  • Copper
  • Corrugated galvanized steel
  • Tin
  • Zinc

A downside to metal commercial roofing is the corrosion factor which can lead to more commercial roof repairs. Today, thanks to technology, protective layers are added now that minimize the need for commercial roof repairs due to moisture, pollution, UV exposure, and overall environmental factors. 

New Commercial Building with Office Space available for sale or lease

What is PVC roofing?

PVC roofing is made from polyvinyl chloride, aka plastic as a single-ply roof. A strong and stable material that is installed by the seams being heat welded or solvent welded, allowing the seams to contract and expand with the building. It is chemical-resistant, water-resistant, and fire-resistant, and holds up to the UV rays without discoloring, all leading to a few commercial roof repairs.

What is the difference between TPO and EPDM?

EPDM, TPO, and PVC are all excellent roofing materials for commercial structures. Each has advantages and benefits; each has disadvantages and possible issues. The important factors to consider when choosing a roofing material are: 

  • Budget
  • Climate
  • Lifespan

EPDM is an inexpensive option that comes in 50’ wide sheets, making installation easier and faster, which accounts for its inexpensiveness. 

TPO roofing membrane is the less expensive option compared to PVC. It is Energy Star certified as a cool roof that is flexible, and it is impact, function, and tear-resistant as well. It flexes with the building and temperatures and maintains its performance making commercial roof repairs few and far between.

How long should a built-up roof last?

A better roofing material in warmer climates, it will last up to 30 or 40 years. In a colder climate, the life expectancy is around 15 years with routine roof inspections and maintaining any commercial roof repairs as needed. 

When do I need to replace my commercial roof?

New commercial roof installation is something you want to make sure is necessary due to the expense and inconvenience. Routine roof inspections are recommended so that any possible commercial roof repair needs can be identified and addressed, prolonging the need for a new roof. Indications when a new roof cannot be delayed any longer are: 

  • The Age

Age is an important factor in deciding whether it is time for a commercial roof replacement. A commercial roof that is properly installed and has been well-maintained roof can have a lifespan of 30 years, some longer. By the 20th year, it is important to make those roof inspections more frequent, stay on top of commercial roof repairs, and hopefully keep it in place for another 10 years before needing a new roof. 

  • Leaking

If a commercial roof is leaking, commercial roof repairs should be made immediately. At some point, the leaks may be too close together or too frequent. Having a new roof installed could be cheaper than constant roof repairs.  

  • Weather Damage 

No matter the age of your commercial roof, after a significant weather event, an inspection should be performed to determine if commercial roof repairs are sufficient or if a new roof is needed. 

In Closing – The Lifespan Matters

When you put the money into a new commercial roof, you want it to last a lifetime. But, how long does a commercial roof last? In cold climates, as we stated earlier, a built-up roof can last 15 years, 30 in warmer climates. Other commercial roofing systems can have lifespans as follows: 

  • TPO roofing between 22 and 30 years
  • EPDM roofing between 22 and 35 years
  • Metal roofing between 30 and 45 years

Armour Seal Exteriors, Roofing, Masonry and Contracting provides professional services with your commercial roof in Philadelphia, PA. Call 267-622-7158 to get started.

Do I Need Chimney Repair?

smoking brick chimney on top of a roof

You’re sitting in the living room watching television when suddenly you hear a noise on the roof.  “Who’s up on the rooftop, click-click, click …. “.  Since this isn’t December 24th, you know it isn’t ol’ Saint Nick, so what was that noise? With a flashlight, you conduct a brief inspection and find bricks inside the fireplace and possible chimney water damage. And so, chimney repair has been added to your neverending to-do list. 

Apparently, the chimney has been leaking for some time, maybe you’ve noticed it or not, it has been, and now chimney repairs are needed, the sooner the better.  Why does my chimney leak when it rains? The chimney is extended outside and above the roof of your home. It is faced with constant exposure to the climates and elements, including heavy rain, high winds, snow, and sun exposure.

Here are some common areas that often require chimney repairs:

  • THE CHIMNEY MUD CAP: Mortared around the top of the chimney, if it gets cracked or comes loose, the rain will get through and typically noticed in the fireplace hearth. Occasionally, the rain will take a different course and appear somewhere else in the house. 
  • CHIMNEY MORTAR JOINTS: Mortar joints deteriorate over time, leaving holes where water can enter. If the holes are large enough, or mortar is missing, blowing rain will allow more water to come through, and once that water has entered a hole, it travels to the bricks and zigzags its way past the flashing. It ends up leaking through the ceiling or lands on the slab. 
  • CHIMNEY FLASHING: Leaks around or under chimney flashing can be difficult to identify because even the smallest hole can create a lot of damage. 
  • ROOF SHINGLES: Roof shingles that are damaged, loose, missing, or word can be a source for a leaking chimney. 

What causes chimney damage?

The chimney on your home may seem small and perhaps it is just architectural for you. However, if there is a fireplace connected to the chimney, it has an important role in the health and safety of your home. If you notice a leak, like water seeping through walls or entering the fireplace, the sooner you get chimney repairs made, the better. 

Three areas common to chimney leaks are: 

  •       Cracked or loose mortar
  •       Cracked or missing chimney flashing
  •       Damaged, loose, or missing roof shingles

How much does it cost to repair a leaking chimney?

After the leak source has been identified, chimney repairs can begin. The source of the chimney leak will determine the chimney repair cost, but they can start around $200 to $300 and go as high as $1000 or more. 

How do you repair a chimney?

The two most common areas needing chimney repairs are the chimney cap and the flashing. The other areas that need repair should be done by a professional. Do roofers repair chimneys? They can do some repairs, especially if the problem is from poor installation of the chimney. A brick mason is another profession you can call, but your best source is a chimney sweep. They can do more types of chimney repairs than a roof or brick mason. 

For the two areas that need chimney repair most often, we provide the following tips:

The chimney cap: As we mentioned earlier, these are exposed 24/7 to the climate, and they are the most vulnerable part of a chimney for cracking along the joints where the mortar shrinks.

To repair, you’ll need to chip out and scrape off the old deteriorating mortar, then brush it clean. Using a trowel, apply a new layer of ready-mix mortar, sloping it away from the flue to allow rain to drain properly. The mortar should be kept damp for 4 days so that it can cure.  

The flashing: Using a wire brush, rough the area around the area and brush it clean. Cut a piece of the flashing larger than the damaged area and apply it with roofing cement. Cover the patched area with additional roofing cement. If the flashing is too corroded or damaged, replacing it is recommended using the same process. 

Can you repair a chimney in the winter?

The best time of the year for chimney repairs is spring and summer, however, if your chimney is leaking in the winter, it should be repaired as soon as possible. Once winter is over, have the chimney inspected and the repaired area can be checked again. 

When should a chimney be replaced?

A properly built chimney that has proper maintenance and upkeep can last for 100 years. Annual inspections are essential to the well-being of a chimney, as well as any needed or recommended chimney repairs. 

worker on a roof repairing a chimney

Topping It Off: Is chimney repair covered under homeowner’s insurance?

Yes, if the chimney repairs are needed because of natural acts and unexpected incidents like fire, hail, high winds, or vandalism.  If chimney repairs are needed because the chimney has aged, no, your homeowner’s insurance will not pay for repairs.