Exterior upgrades for rental properties showing a roof being replaced on a multi-family buidling

Educating Tenants on Exterior Maintenance: A Property Managers Guide

Commercial roof maintenance being completed by Custom Exteriors

Educating Tenants on Exterior Maintenance:
Tips for Property Managers

My husband and I own an exterior maintenance company and a handful of rental properties. Because of this, we understand firsthand the role exterior maintenance plays in maintaining property value and keeping tenants satisfied. This unique perspective provides us with the knowledge to help address property managers’ challenges in educating tenants on exterior maintenance and the important role it plays in keeping their properties in top shape. 

When a clogged gutter caused water damage to the ceiling of one of our rental’s front porches, it not only cost us thousands of dollars in repairs but also consumed a significant amount of our time. 

For us, this experience showed us the importance of proactive maintenance and effective communication between property owners, managers, and tenants. If we had conducted routine maintenance on that property, we would have never encountered the issues we did. They could have also been avoided if our tenants had a clear line of communication with us about anything that seemed out of the norm for the property, i.e., overflowing gutters. These simple steps could have helped us avoid both the financial burden and the inconvenience of extensive repairs. 

We aim to share our expertise and experience in hopes of helping owners and property managers educate their tenants on the role you both play in a properly maintained exterior. By implementing the tips and strategies we have put into place personally, property owners can not only save money on costly repairs but also streamline the maintenance process. Ultimately, this will improve the overall experience for both you and your tenant. 

Why exterior maintenance matters for rental properties

As business and rental property owners, we completely understand that busy schedules and work obligations take up much of our time. They can certainly take precedence over tasks like cleaning the gutters of your rental property. After all, with just our family and work obligations, it sometimes feels like there isn’t enough time in the day. This doesn’t even consider the time it takes to manage rental agreements, maintenance requests, and everyday property management tasks.

However, neglecting exterior maintenance can have serious consequences, including: 

Damage due to failing caulking discovered by Custom Exteriors while painting their home

The Cost of Neglect: why Exterior Maintenance Matters

As exterior remodeling contractors, we have seen the severe consequences of neglecting exterior maintenance. A common but dangerous issue we often encounter is mold or mildew. This can happen when the caulking used to seal the seams around your windows or other penetrations fails, as shown in the photo above. When caulking around windows, doors, and siding begins to deteriorate, it allows moisture to penetrate the property’s exterior. 

Over time, this moisture can cause wood to rot, mold growth, and even damage the siding. The danger in this situation is that mold often grows under the siding. In extreme cases, entire sections of siding and OSB may need to be replaced, resulting in significant expenses for property owners. 

We have also witnessed similar damage caused by neglected gutter maintenance. Without regular maintenance, gutters become clogged with debris and cannot properly channel water away from the property. This can result in water seeping into the walls and foundation, creating an ideal environment for mold to thrive. This lack of gutter maintenance then compromises the property’s structural integrity and creates health risks to the occupants. 

Proactive Protection: How exterior maintenance can save you money

Because of the many potential issues created by neglecting exterior maintenance, it should be a top priority for property owners. Your tenant also plays an important yet straightforward role in exterior maintenance: communication. By setting clear expectations and encouraging open dialogue, property managers can help tenants play an active role in identifying and reporting maintenance issues. Whether it’s loose shingles, a dripping faucet, or a crack in the siding, tenants should feel comfortable notifying their landlord or property manager of any irregularities they notice on the property. 

We sense the collective sigh that every landlord just let out. We know it isn’t realistic to expect a tenant to notify you or even notice many times. So, in addition to tenant communication, property owners should also take proactive measures to ensure the ongoing maintenance of their exterior systems. Conducting biannual inspections during the shoulder seasons of severe weather can help identify potential issues before they escalate. 

According to the NAHB, about 10.8% of a home's total operating expenses are associated with regular maintenance and routine repairs. By specifying average annual operating costs across the county, the NAHB can provide a reasonable idea of projected maintenance costs for your area. 

Clear communication tips for owners and property managers

Effective communication is an important part of successfully managing a property. However, with our busy lives, our property managers’ busy schedules, and our tenants’ schedules, communication can be difficult. If you expect effective communication with your tenants, you need to make it easy for them. For instance, some tenants may not want to have a conversation on the phone, whereas other tenants may prefer a phone call as their method of communication. 

We learned this from a local marketing company we used for Custom Exteriors. What stood out to me right from the start was their approach to communication. At the beginning of our relationship, they took the time to ask me about my preferred method of communication. I chose text messaging as I am a bit of an introvert, and I find texting convenient. I also like that it allows for quicker communication than some other methods. This simple act of asking for my preference made the entire communication process better. It also highlighted the importance of understanding and accommodating people’s communication preferences. 

Similarly, when managing rental properties, it’s important to recognize that tenants may have different communication preferences. Because of this, communicating with them may be easier if you utilize their preferred method. By asking tenants about their preferred communication method early on, you can use this method to tailor your communication and hopefully encourage communication. 

Protect your property with clear expectations

Setting clear expectations that your tenants contact you if anything changes about how the property looks or works is important. Whether it’s a leaky faucet, a cracked window, or a loose shingle, tenants should understand the importance of letting you know quickly. The best way to accomplish this is by having an easy and effective way to do so. When tenants move in, explain to them the importance of timely communication. This information often helps prevent minor issues from escalating into costly repairs. 

Additionally, property managers and owners should provide tenants with multiple ways to report maintenance issues. This may include providing contact information for emergency situations, creating an online portal for non-urgent requests, or posting signage with instructions for reporting issues. By making it easy for tenants to communicate maintenance concerns, property managers can ensure that issues are addressed promptly and efficiently. 

Educating tenants on seasonal maintenance tasks

While some tenants may be experienced in home maintenance tasks, it’s important to recognize that not everyone possesses the same level of knowledge or expertise. Many tenants simply may not be aware of how to keep the property in good condition. In our experience, a significant number of tenants are willing to work with you to help maintain the property if they are informed and know how to do so. 

By providing them a list of expectations for exterior maintenance and who is expected to complete the task (you, them, or an outside contractor), you significantly increase your chances of preventing neglect. A basic example of some important tasks looks like this:

1. spring Maintenance

2. Summer Maintenance

3. Fall Maintenance

4. Winter Maintenance

Every list will be unique, based on your particular property and the level of maintenance it requires. But, by providing tenants with a comprehensive list of seasonal maintenance tasks and clear instructions on how to perform them, you can significantly increase the chances they will actually get done.

Depending on your circumstances, this may translate into an outside company doing your exterior maintenance, or maybe you have the time and ability to complete the tasks personally. We are of the opinion that it is irrelevant who completes the tasks as long as they are getting done. On that same property with the leaking gutter, routine maintenance on our part would have also noticed the large sheets of OSB on the grass in the backyard before it killed it. Remember, in addition to protecting your home, it provides you the opportunity to personally lay eyes on the property and possibly save yourself some expenses down the line. 

Ultimately, the success of seasonal maintenance efforts relies on effective communication, clear expectations, and a collaborative approach between landlords and tenants. By working together, we can ensure that rental properties remain safe, well-maintained, and a place that tenants are proud to call home. We encourage you to continue prioritizing exterior maintenance for the benefit of everyone involved. Whether that looks like an exterior maintenance plan or dedicating a Saturday to your rental once a quarter, your bottom line will reflect your efforts! 

Infographic created by Custom Exteriors explaining 3 top things to look for in a commercial painter

The Essential Guide to Exterior Painting for Commercial and Multi-Family Buildings

The Essential guide to exterior painting for commercial and multi-family buildings

Protection against the elements

As the owner or manager of a commercial or multi-family building, you know the value of a good first impression. The exterior of your building is the first thing anyone sees when they arrive. You don’t need the reminder that a good-looking exterior or a freshly painted building can significantly enhance the appeal of your property to prospective tenants and customers alike. In addition to looking great, a properly maintained building sends a message that you care about your property and, by extension, about your tenants and visitors. A well-maintained exterior can attract more customers or tenants, making your property a place where people want to live, work, or shop. 

If you have owned your property for any amount of time, you also understand the need for exterior maintenance for your multi-family or commercial building. When left unchecked, even the smallest of issues, like a clogged gutter, can result in severe and expensive damage to your property. 

Beyond appearances, there’s a practical side to exterior painting that plays a huge role in the health of your building. Quality exterior paint serves as a shield to protect your building. It keeps severe weather, pests, and moisture at bay and can prevent costly repairs down the line. Keeping your building’s exterior in good condition should be viewed as a small investment that can and will save you from larger expenses down the line. 

Long-term costs savings

Because we are talking about commercial properties, the bottom line matters. So, let’s talk about the financial sense it makes to keep your building’s exterior painted and maintained. Ignoring peeling paint or the buildup of dirt and grime can lead to problems that become more expensive to fix over time. For instance, water damage from lack of proper sealing and maintenance can lead to costly repairs in both the interior and exterior of your building. By investing in regular upkeep, you are proactive about preventing future issues, leading to significant cost savings in the long run. Plus, a building that looks good and is well-maintained increases its value over time, which is good for your bottom line. 


Choosing the right painting contractor

Selecting the right painting contractor for your commercial or multi-family property isn’t about finding just any contractor. It’s about partnering with a professional who understands the unique needs of your property and can deliver results that enhance its value and visual appeal. It’s about finding a company with the experience required to complete the remodeling tasks at hand with minimal impact on tenants or visitors. From our experience, there are key factors you should consider to make sure you are making the best choice for your property. 

Infographic created by Custom Exteriors explaining 3 top things to look for in a commercial painter

1. Experience and Specialization

First and foremost, look for a contractor with a solid track record of working on commercial and multi-family buildings. These types of properties have specific challenges and requirements, from the scale of the project to the need for durable materials that can handle high-traffic areas. An experienced contractor will not only provide insights into the best practices for your project but also anticipate and manage any potential issues that may arise during the process. Experience also allows a contractor to complete exterior repairs and improvements with minimal impact on the tenants and visitors. 

2. Licensing, Insurance, and references

It’s essential to verify that any contractor you are considering is fully licensed and insured. This protects your property in the event of accidents or damage. Even the best contractors have accidents from time to time. So, ask to see proof of insurance and check that their licensing is up to date. 

Additionally, ask for references and follow up on them. Speaking to other commercial property owners or managers who have worked with the contractor can give you a clearer picture of what to expect. They can share insights on the contractor’s reliability, quality of work, and ability to complete the project on time and within budget. A reputable contractor will be proud to show off their work and provide references without hesitation. 

3. Detailed estimates and contracts

A professional painting contractor should provide you with a detailed estimate outlining the scope of work, the materials that will be used, the timeline, and the cost. This document is crucial because it sets the expectations for both parties and helps avoid misunderstandings later on. Make sure everything you’ve discussed is included in the proposal and that you completely understand each part of it. Don’t hesitate to ask questions if anything isn’t clear.

The contract should also specify the payment schedule, warranty information, and how changes to the project scope will be handled. A clear, comprehensive contract is the foundation of a successful project. It ensures that you and your contractor are on the page from start to finish. 

Choosing the right painting contractor for your commercial or multi-family property is a decision that shouldn’t be taken lightly. By focusing on experience, verifying licensing and insurance, and requesting detailed estimates and contracts, you can select a partner that will not only meet but exceed your expectations. Remember, the goal is to increase the value of your investment, and the right contractor is an important step to achieving that outcome.  

Selecting the right paint for your building

When you think about choosing the paint for your building, your first thought is likely, “What color?” However, choosing the right paint for your building is much more than picking colors that look good together. You need to consider finding the right paint to make your building look great while protecting it for years to come. Based on our experience, there are several key factors you need to consider to make the best choice for your property. 

Infographic made by Custom Exteriors to explain three steps in choosing the right paint for your exterior painting project

1. Types of exterior paints

  1. Acrylic Paints: These are water-based paints known for their durability and flexibility. They work great for most exterior surfaces because they can expand and contract with the building materials during temperature changes, reducing the risk of cracking. Acrylic paints are commonly seen on stucco surfaces or areas that need increased durability. 
  2. Latex Paints: Also water-based, latex paints are the most commonly used paint. They are popular for their ease of application and clean-up. They dry quickly and offer good coverage. This makes them a practical choice for larger projects. 
  3. Oil-Based Paints: Known for their robust and durable finish, oil-based paints are excellent for high-contact areas because they’re resistant to wear and tear. However, they take much longer to dry and require more effort to clean up. 

Choosing between these paint types depends on the specific needs of your building, including the materials of the exterior and the climate of your area. Your painting contractor will assist you in determining which paint will best serve your needs. 

2. Considerations for Climate and Building material

Your local climate plays a significant role in selecting the right paint. For example, properties in areas with high humidity need paint resistant to mold and mildew. Similarly, buildings in regions with intense sun exposure, like Colorado, require UV-resistant paint to prevent fading and deterioration. 

The material of your building is also a determining factor. Wood, masonry, stucco, and metal each have different requirements for adhesion, durability, and protection. A knowledgeable painting contractor can advise you on the best type of paint for your building’s material and the environmental conditions. 

3. Color Selection and Curb appeal

While functionality should be your primary concern, the aesthetic appeal of your paint selection can’t be overlooked. The right color can transform your property, making it more attractive to tenants and customers. Did you know that according to Zillow, homes with black front doors can sell for up to $6,000 more than similar homes? With this in mind, consider colors that reflect your brand image or blend well with the surrounding environment. Additionally, many areas have regulations on the colors you can use, so it’s important to be aware of these guidelines before making your final decision. 

According to Zillow, 77% of realtors recommended their customers repaint the exterior of their homes before a sale. A newly painted property can boost your curb appeal and selling price for a relatively low installation cost. 

When selecting paint colors, also think about longevity and maintenance requirements. Darker colors might fade faster in sunny areas, while lighter colors can help hide dust and reduce heat absorption, making them a great eco-friendly choice. 

Choosing the right paint for your commercial or multi-family property is a critical decision both in protection and increased curb appeal. Remember, consulting with a professional painting company can provide valuable insights and help you make the best choices for your property. 

Exterior Paint Maintenance: Ensuring durability and Curb Appeal

Maintaining the exterior paint of your property is a crucial part of property management that protects your investment and ensures its continued value over time. Based on our firsthand experience, we can speak to the fact that regular maintenance can significantly extend the life of your paint and your property and prevent costly repairs down the line. Here is what we recommend to keep your building in its best condition with exterior paint maintenance. 

Regular Cleaning and inspection:

Dirt, grime, and pollutants can gather on your building’s exterior over time, not only distracting from its appearance but also potentially damaging the paint. Regular cleaning, at least once a year, can help preserve the paint’s integrity and appearance. This can be done by hand for smaller projects or with a low-pressure wash to remove dirt without damaging your paint. 

informational pro tip to use the lowest setting when using a pressure washer to clean your building

Equally important is the regular inspection of your building’s exterior. Look for signs of wear and tear, such as cracking, peeling, or fading paint. These can be early indicators of potential problems. Pay special attention to areas exposed to harsh weather conditions like direct sunlight, as these are more likely to show signs of deterioration. 

Touch-up Strategies:

When you notice minor issues during your inspections, such as small cracks or chips, it’s important to address them promptly. Touching up these areas can prevent water infiltration and further damage, extending the life of your paint job and the investment you made in it. Matching the original paint color, type, and sheen is crucial for a seamless repair, so always keep records of the paint used on your property. Your painting contractor should be able to provide these details for your records. 

Professional Maintenance and Repainting:

Even with diligent maintenance, exterior paint will eventually need to be repainted. The frequency of repainting depends on several factors, including the quality of the previous paint job, the type of paint used, and the local climate. Typically, a well-done exterior paint job can last in excess of 10 years. 

When it’s time to repaint, consult with a professional painting contractor. They will be able to assess the condition of your existing paint, prepare the surface properly, and apply the new paint in a way that maximizes its lifespan and curb appeal. 

Wrapping it up: The lasting benefits of quality exterior painting

The appearance of your commercial or multi-family property is significantly influenced by the quality of its exterior paint job. Each step is crucial in protecting your investment, from the initial selection of the right paint and contractor to the ongoing maintenance and eventual repainting. A well-chosen and maintained exterior not only creates a positive first impression but also serves as a protective barrier against environmental elements, extending the lifespan of the building itself. 

Regular cleaning, inspections, and touch-ups play a vital role in maintaining the building’s curb appeal and structural integrity. By promptly addressing minor issues, you will avoid more significant repairs. 

Ultimately, the effort and resources invested in selecting the right paint, hiring the right contractor, and maintaining the exterior of your property pay off by increasing its value, attracting and retaining tenants, and projecting a professional image. As a commercial building owner, your proactive approach to exterior maintenance is a testament to your commitment to excellence and the long-term success of your property. By following these guidelines, you can ensure that your property remains a desirable and profitable asset for years to come. 

Customized infographic showing the components of a roof

The Components of a Roof

the components of your roof:
understanding your roof matters

The roof over our heads is easy to take for granted. Out of sight, out of mind, after all. However, peeling back all its layers reveals an engineering marvel that serves many functions. These include protecting, insulating, and enhancing our homes. Your roof is a complex system. Each part plays a crucial role in ensuring our safety and comfort. Additionally, when you know your home’s systems, you make informed decisions about repairs, replacements, and long-term maintenance. 

Your roof is a system. One that is carefully designed to direct water away from the home, insulate against extreme temperatures, and withstand the storms our area is famous for. In this article, your roof and all of its components will be inspected.  We will break down each of those components and unveil how it protects us day in and day out. You will have a newfound respect for what shields the elements from severe weather and more. Additionally, by understanding your roof, you see the following benefits: 

Understanding your roof, your home's protector

Understanding the components of a roof proves invaluable when it comes to roof replacements and repairs. Homeowners, armed with this knowledge, can make informed decisions about roofing materials and products. They can then choose the shingles best suited for their region’s climate and architectural styles. Moreover, knowing how a roof works makes maintenance easier. With this knowledge, property owners can spot missing shingles, rusted or damaged flashing, or clogged gutters. So, by recognizing these issues early on, they address them quickly. This prevents more significant and often more expensive damage.  

Your roof’s reliability and capacity to protect your home are primarily determined by the quality of the installation. So, proper installation is crucial for its dependable performance. But beyond installation, several other factors affect the performance of your roof. These include: 

An in-depth look at roofing system components

Your roofing system is more than just a protective barrier against the elements. Understanding the basic components of your roofing system is also important for effective maintenance. But more than that, it allows homeowners to make informed decisions about repairs or replacements. 

Some things you may wonder about your roofing system are:

What are roof Eaves?

Inforgraphic explaining what a roof eave is

Understanding Eaves: A Vital Component of your roofing system

Eaves are the overhanging edges of the roof. They are visible, extending just beyond the main structure’s wall. They protect the home from direct rainfall and minimize moisture exposure. When you look up outside your house, you’ll notice the eaves as they jut out slightly from the main structure. Sometimes, your eaves will be accompanied by your soffit beneath. 

While their presence adds style and dimension to your home’s exterior, their design also serves a practical and protective function. If you are outside during a rain storm, you will immediately notice the primary function of your home’s eaves. They are designed to guide water away from your home. This seemingly simple task protects walls from water damage and dampness. Over time, this compromises the structural integrity of the property. Your gutter system is attached to the eaves of your property.

Additionally, they play an essential role in protecting your home from soil erosion near your foundation. Eaves ensure water does not run directly down and erode the soil near the foundation. This, in turn, helps prevent foundation problems in the long run.

Lastly, your eaves house your soffit. Your soffit is a vital component of your roofing systems as it helps to regulate the attic temperature and moisture levels. Overall, the eaves seamlessly blend functionality with design. In doing so, they ensure our home remains beautiful and resilient against nature’s elements. 


What are roof Gables?

Infographic explaining what a roof gable is with illustrations and bullet points

Gables: Beauty meets function design

Gables stands out as a recognizable feature in many traditional homes. A gable is a triangle formed by the intersection of two sloping roofs. Gable roofs provide a sense of classic design to any home. But beyond their visual appeal, gables exemplify where form meets function. 

For starters, a gable’s shape is perfect for guiding rainwater away from the house. Their sloped design ensures efficient water runoff. In doing so, gables prevent potential water pooling around your home. In areas like ours, the gable’s design also prevents snow from piling up on the roof. Properties in areas with heavy snowfall have steeper gables to help shed snow more effectively. Because of this design, they reduce the weight burden on the roof and the associated damage it can cause. 

While the primary purpose of the roof gable is to ensure proper water shedding, it has several additional benefits to consider. Gables are also be used to improve ventilation. Because of this, gables also help keep the inside of your house comfortable. The design of a gable accommodates the addition of windows. This provides natural light and additional ventilation to attic spaces or upper rooms. So, while gables give houses a unique look, they also work behind the scenes to keep our homes safe and comfortable. 

What is the roof ridge?

The "peak" of your roof: The ridge

When you look at a house with a sloping roof, it’s easy to see the topmost line where both sides of the roof come together. That’s the ridge. It works similarly to the spine of a book. The ridge is at the center of the roofing system, running from one end to the other. However, the ridge is not just a design feature. It has some genuinely essential functions. First, it directs rainwater. When rain hits the roof, the slope and ridge ensure water flows down and away. This prevents any collection of water on the roof and, in turn, prevents leaks. 

But it’s not just about water. The ridge plays a part in the house’s ventilation. Some ridges have vents. These vents ensure that hot air from inside the house can escape during the summer, keeping the inside cooler. In contrast, during winter, it maintains a balanced temperature inside. This prevents issues like ice buildup as well. The size and shape of the ridge vary depending on the design of the building. 

Because the ridge runs along the top of the roof where the two sides meet, it is covered with a ridge cap. The ridge cap serves to seal and protect the ridge from weather damage. 

What is the roof Valley?

Infographic explaining what a roof valley

The crucial role of roof valleys

The importance of your roof valleys definitely cannot be overstated. A valley is a distinct V-shaped channel that forms where two sloping sections of a roof meet. The valleys on your roof guide rainwater with precision and purpose. Without valleys, water would pool, immediately increasing the potential for leaks and damage. 

As rainwater rolls down your roof, it needs a clear path to follow. The valleys provide that path, therefore ensuring that water flows swiftly away from your home. However, they must be built robustly because they handle such a significant amount of runoff. Because of this, even a slight oversight in their construction or sealing can lead to water entering the house. Therefore, the role that roof valleys play ensures a long life span of your roof and, by extension, the safety of the people inside! 

As an additional measure against leaks and to ensure that water flows smoothly through the roof valley without leaks or accumulation, valley flashing is installed. This helps the valley channel water and debris down the roof and off the building. In the roofing world, the valley is undeniably a testament to the saying that some unsung heroes bear the heaviest loads. 

What is the roof hip?

infographic explaining what is a roof hip

Unraveling they mystery of the roof hip

Among the many features of a roof, the “hip” sounds like a trendy term, but it’s actually a crucial and classic component of many home designs. Imagine looking at a home, and instead of seeing a sharp point at the top (like the peak formed by a gable), the roof slopes down on all four sides, kind of like a pyramid. That slope, where two sides of the roof meet at an external angle, is called the roof hip. 

But the roof hip isn’t just about aesthetics, though it certainly adds a sleek touch to any home. It also actively shields houses from the elements. A roof hip channels water and snow away, preventing them from gathering or causing potential leaks. So, while the name “roof hip” might sound casual, it represents a sophisticated blend of design and function, ensuring homes remain protected through the seasons. 

A hipped roof is more stable than other types of roofs. This is because they have a more complex design, making them better able to withstand strong winds. Overall, hipped roofs offer several benefits, including stability, durability, aesthetics, additional living space, and energy efficiency. Because of this, they are a popular choice. 

What is a gutter?

Infographic explaining what a gutter is and what purpose it serves on your home

the important job of your gutters

Gutters serve as an essential component of a home’s exterior defense system. Positioned at the edges of the roof, these channels play a critical role in managing rainwater. Without them, water flowing off the roof would be uncontrolled, possibly leading to erosion and other issues caused by moisture. 

A well-maintained gutter system ensures that rainwater is efficiently captured and diverted, reducing the risk of damage to your home, its foundation, and the property’s landscape. Debris like leaves, twigs, and nests can easily clog them, making them ineffective. Periodic inspections, especially after storms or during the fall after the leaves have fallen, are essential to ensure they are in good working condition. 

In areas prone to heavy rainfall or snow, gutters become even more vital. They help mitigate potential ice dams in winter by controlling the meltwater and preventing water from pooling on the roof. Also, a functional gutter system is essential to avoid flooding and to ensure the longevity of your home’s basement. 

It’s worth noting that while all gutters have the same primary goal – to control and divert water – several styles and materials are available. Depending on the style of your house and your specific needs, you can choose from various types, ensuring both functionality and a boost in curb appeal to your home’s exterior.

What is a downspout?

infographic explaining what a downspout is and what purpose it serves on your home

Downspouts: The protector of a home's foundation

While perhaps less noticed than gutters, downspouts play an equally pivotal role in a home’s rainwater management system. These vertical pipes seamlessly extend from the gutters to the ground, ensuring a clean, directed path for the water collected on the roof. 

The importance of downspouts lies in their ability to prevent many potential problems. By effectively channeling rainwater away from the home, downspouts safeguard against basement flooding. Some risks associated with flooding include interior water damage, mold, damage to the foundation, and more. In addition to protecting your home and its foundation, your downspouts also protect your landscape by preventing uncontrolled water. 

However, a downspout’s efficiency depends largely on its design, placement, and maintenance. Ideally, the end of a downspout should direct water several feet away from the homes foundation. Extensions can be added to achieve this if the initial design does not provide adequate distance. Sometimes, downspouts may also be connected to underground drain systems to guide water further safely away. 

What is roof flashing?

Roof flashing: The guardian against leaks

Roof flashing might not be a term that every homeowner is familiar with, but it is essential. Flashing is located around the openings of your roof. This means you will see it around skylights, chimneys, and more. It is typically a shiny metal material that entirely surrounds any vulnerable spots in your roofing system. It acts as a watertight barrier, preventing moisture from entering your home. 

Even the most meticulously designed roofs have vulnerable spots, including openings, meeting points of different roof sections, or where roof edges meet the walls. These are places where water could enter due to gravity, snow melt, or even just blowing rain. Flashing serves to bridge these gaps with additional waterproofing. 

Roof flashing forms a protective seal, usually made from corrosion-resistant metals like aluminum, copper, or galvanized steel. Doing so ensures that water is directed away from these weak points. When installed correctly, the flashing seamlessly integrates with the rest of the roofing system, creating slopes and channels guiding water. 

What is a soffit?

infographic explaining what a soffit is and what purpose it serves on your home

Soffits: The Underbelly of your roof's overhang

In architectural terms, many might not immediately recognize the name “soffit.” However, it plays a pivotal role in your home’s function and appearance. Situated beneath the overhang of your roof, the soffit is the panel that bridges the gap between a home’s siding and the roofline. Though often overlooked, it serves multiple important purposes. 

First and foremost, the soffit aids in ventilation. For homes with attics, soffits serve to prevent moisture buildup and regulate temperatures by providing additional ventilation. You will often see vents cut into the soffit all the way around your home. These allow fresh air to circulate through the attic, thus reducing the moisture levels and helping maintain a consistent temperature. 

Your soffit also serves as a barrier to keep pests out of your attic and boost your home’s appearance with a smooth, finished appearance. This visual appeal is customizable, as soffits come in various materials and colors. This allows homeowners to choose a style that compliments their home style. 

What is a dormer?

Dormer: Adding style and space

At its core, a dormer is a small structure that projects from a sloped roof, creating additional space within the home. It typically features a window, which adds light to interior spaces and enhances curb appeal from the exterior. When you see a house and notice a window poking out from the roof with its own roof, that’s a dormer.

One of the primary benefits of a dormer is the added space it brings to the upper levels of a home. It can transform an otherwise cramped attic space into a comfortable living area.  It also can have a significant impact on lighting and ventilation.

It is essential to note that adding a dormer is no small task and requires careful planning. Proper installation ensures that the dormer is watertight and integrates seamlessly with the rest of the roof. Regular maintenance is also vital, like checking for leaks or ensuring the window functions correctly. 

The form and function of your roofing components

Your roof is a complex system with many components, each offering its own functional and aesthetic benefits. From the eaves that safeguard our walls from rain to the stylish and spacious additions that dormers provide, every element enhances your home’s energy efficiency, value, and curb appeal. The intricate details of gutters, downspouts, flashing, soffits, and more work to ensure our homes remain dry, insulated, and ventilated. 

As homeowners, understanding and appreciating these elements not only empowers us to make informed decisions but also instills a sense of pride in our homes. As we’ve journeyed through each component, it’s clear that a roof, in all its intricacies, represents a perfect blend of design and function. This ensures our homes remain both beautiful and resilient for years to come. 

asphalt shingle installation

The Many Styles of Asphalt Shingles and Specialty Shingles

asphalt shingle installation

With all the styles of specialty and asphalt shingles, which roof replacement choice is right for you?

Oh, the Choices!

So it’s time to replace your roof. Maybe you were hit with one of Colorado’s notorious wind or hailstorms. Or, your property has an aging roof. You may be just looking for a refresh on your home’s curb appeal. Your roof occupies a substantial portion of that first impression! Because of this, a new roof can completely change the look of your home from the exterior!

Keeping this in mind, when the time comes for a roof replacement, rather than just putting back on the same shingle removed, why not look at all the many shingle options? 

Modern shingles come in a variety of styles and colors. These range from the most cost-friendly but dated choice of standard three-tab asphalt shingles to luxury and designer shingles. These shingles come at a significant price increase but have some benefits over traditional asphalt shingles. These benefits include thicker shingles with superior durability (less prone to damage), increased curb appeal, improved energy efficiency, and longevity. 

If you are in the market for a replacement roof, a skilled and local roofing contractor can tell you about each option’s advantages and disadvantages. This will, in turn, equip you with the knowledge to make an educated choice on the roofing system for your property. 

Asphalt shingles are the black sheep of shingles

Three Tab Asphalt Shingles, The Black Sheep of Shingles

If shingles could talk, we are pretty sure the three-tab shingle’s favorite word would be Baa-Baa. Let’s not get crazy; the three-tab shingle was the affordable, available, easy option in residential roofs for years. It is the easiest shingle to install and serves the primary purpose that shingles are supposed to serve. While in reality, the three-tab shingles are not necessarily inferior to other styles of singles, they do have some limitations compared to other styles.

  1. First, three-tab shingles have less dimensionality than other styles of shingles. Because of this, they can have a flat, uniform appearance, making them look less attractive. Additionally, this flat appearance can be less visually appealing than other shingles. 
  2.  Second, they have a shorter lifespan. Three-tab shingles are typically thinner and less durable than other styles of shingles. Taking this into consideration means they may not last as long or provide as much protection against severe weather as other styles. 
  3.  Third, are the limited color options. Three-tab shingles still come in a variety of color choices. Unfortunately, they have few options compared to other styles of shingles. This may limit your design choices. 
  4.  Finally, and most importantly, three-tab shingles have lower wind resistance. They are more likely to sustain damage in severe weather events because they may not be as resistant to high winds. This is particularly important in places like the Colorado foothills or southern Wyoming, where the wind is known to be particularly strong on occasion. 

Additionally, at this time, the costs associated with a three-tab shingle vs. a standard architectural shingle are similar. A professional roofing contractor can help you understand all the factors to consider when choosing a roofing system. 

Architectural Shingles

Remember that one kid back in high school? You know, the super popular one? The one everyone loved and with good reason, as they were amazing? That is the architectural shingle in the shingle world.

Discover how the vast range of architectural shingles can enhance your home’s beauty, value, and resilience. Architectural shingles, also known as dimensional or laminate shingles, have revolutionized the roofing industry.

 Unlike traditional three-tab shingles, these advanced roofing solutions are designed to mimic the appearance of natural materials like wood or slate. The result? A roof that not only performs flawlessly but also elevates the overall curb appeal of your property.

With multi-layer construction and high-quality materials, these shingles offer superior protection against wind, rain, UV rays, and temperature extremes. Say goodbye to frequent repairs and replacements – architectural shingles are built to last. Some of their key features include: 

Which is a better fit for you?

What sets architectural shingles apart is their layered composition. Each shingle consists of multiple layers of material bonded together, creating a three-dimensional effect. This not only adds visual depth but also enhances the shingle’s durability and ability to shed water effectively. The result is a roof that not only looks great but also performs exceptionally well, keeping your home safe and dry.

Styles of Architectual Shingles

There are many styles of architectural shingles, each with unique features and benefits. Property owners should consult a local roofing expert to determine the style best suits their aesthetic preferences and budget. Additionally, factors like durability and weather resistance should be considered. 

Whether you’re seeking standard elegance, indulgent luxury, fortified resilience, or high-definition aesthetics, our range of architectural styles has you covered. Discover how each type can transform your space into a masterpiece that reflects your distinct taste and lifestyle.

Different architectural shingle styles replicate the look of various materials, such as wood shakes, slate, or traditional shingles. Your chosen type can complement your home’s architectural design and improve its curb appeal. For example, if you have a standard or classic home, you might opt for shingles that mimic the look of cedar shakes. On the other hand, if you have a modern home, sleek and clean architectural shingles might be a better fit.

While the aesthetic aspect is necessary, the quality of the shingles is equally vital. Architectural shingles are known for their durability and weather resistance. Different styles may have varying thickness and material composition levels, which can influence their lifespan and performance against elements like wind, rain, and UV rays.

When selecting architectural shingles, it’s essential to consider factors such as the architectural style of your home, your personal preferences, the local climate, and your budget. Consulting with roofing professionals or design experts can help you make an informed decision that aligns with your vision and practical considerations. Remember that the right choice of architectural shingle style enhances your home’s exterior and provides long-lasting protection and value.

Standard Architectural Shingles

These shingles have a dimensional appearance and are designed to mimic the look of natural slate or cedar shakes. The come in a wide range of colors and textures to complement the design of your home. 

High-Definition Architectural Shingles

These shingles have a more pronounced dimensional appearance and deeper shadow lines. They are made by reputable shingle manufacturers such as GAF and can provide a more dramatic and eye-catching look! 

Luxury Architectural Shingles

Luxury Shingles are the most high-end shingles. They incorporate multiple layers, unique shapes, and intricate color patterns, creating a truly distinctive look for your property.

Impact-Resistant Architectural Shingles

Impact-resistant shingles look much like standard architectural shingles. The difference is in their design. They are designed to withstand damage from hail and other severe weather conditions. 

Your New Roof

First impressions matter; your roof is pivotal in defining your home’s curb appeal. Architectural shingles offer an array of styles, colors, and textures that allow you to customize your roof to complement your home’s architectural design perfectly. Whether you prefer wood’s rustic charm or slate’s elegance, these shingles let you create a roof that reflects your unique personality and taste. So, as you can see, choosing a new roof is more challenging than it seems.

 Your local roofing company can help you review your options and their pros and cons. Additionally, local roofing supply companies can provide samples of the actual product. If you are working with a roofing company, they can get these for you. You can also get the samples directly from the roofing supply if you still need to settle on a roofing contractor. 

Discover the benefits of architectural shingles firsthand – a harmonious blend of beauty, strength, and value that redefines your home’s exterior. Contact us today to schedule a consultation and take the first step toward upgrading your home with the extraordinary world of architectural shingles. Your roof deserves nothing less than perfection; with architectural shingles, that’s precisely what you’ll achieve. Regardless, when the time comes to replace your roof, take a moment and review the multitude of different asphalt shingle styles and colors. When you are the envy of the neighborhood, you can thank us! 

Hail damage roof replacement

I Have Hail Damage, What Now?

My roof has Hail damage, now what?

Living in Colorado and Wyoming, we are accustomed to hailstorms. Hail damage to our siding, roof, windows, and exterior belongings is a common experience during our summers. 

Once the storm has passed, we are often left with substantial property damage. This leaves some wondering what to do next. Restoring our homes and businesses to their pre-storm condition can be daunting. 

Fortunately, a qualified roofing contractor can help with this. They will be able to guide you from the time of the storm through the time when your property is repaired completely. This is a stressful time; it’s essential to partner with a qualified contractor to make this process as simple as possible. 

If you have experienced a hailstorm, it’s important to check for any damage that may have occurred. Some things that you should check after a storm are:


After The Storm

It’s important to note that until the storm is over, your personal safety should take priority over your belongings. Large hail stones and the associated weather can be dangerous and even deadly. Until the storm has passed, everyone should stay indoors and away from windows in case of broken glass. 

Once the storm is over and you can safely go outside, your priority should be securing your home. In severe weather events, windows are often broken, siding is blown off, and other risks of interior water intrusion are created. 

A temporary means of securing these items should be your priority to prevent further damage to your property. 

What to Look For

Roof Damage: Check your roof for dents, cracks, or missing shingles. Hail damage to roofs can be difficult, and there are safety risks associated with being on your roof, so this is best left to a professional roofing inspector. 

Gutters & Siding: Check your siding and gutters for dents, dings, or cracks caused by hail. Hail can also cause chipping in your paint. 

Windows: Check your windows for cracks, chips, or broken glass. Hail can cause significant damage to windows. 

Air Conditioning Unit: Look for dents or damage to your air conditioning unit. Hail damage can prevent it from functioning properly. 

Outdoor Furniture & Vehicles: Dents and scratches can be visible on cars and your outdoor furniture. 

Keep Accurate Records

It’s essential to keep records of your findings after the storm. Not only will you be able to provide an initial list of damages incurred to your insurance company, but it will be helpful once your professional hail restoration contractor arrives. You’ll be able to point out all the areas of damage you can locate, ensuring you are restored to your pre-storm condition. 

Also, any costs incurred in securing your property should be documented for reimbursement from your insurance company. These expenses could include the costs of tarps, board-up materials, and other incidental costs associated with securing your property. 

Contact Your Insurance Company

Once the storm has passed and your property has been secured from further damage, you should next contact your insurance company. Your insurance company will need certain information and documentation to process your claim. They may ask for the following:

Find a Professional Hail Restoration Company

A professional hail restoration company will provide a free roof inspection to assess your property’s damage from the hailstorm. It’s important to research local companies that are licensed and insured, have good reputations locally, and are certified and experienced in hail damage inspections. 

If you were impacted by a large hailstorm, you would likely have companies knocking on your door, asking to inspect. It is recommended that you do research on local companies rather than using these door-knocking companies. They may not be local, insured, or qualified. It’s important to choose a qualified contractor to work on your biggest asset!

What to Look For When Choosing a Roofing & Exteriors Contractor

  1. Licensing & Insurance: Licensing and insurance protect you and the contractor. They ensure quality repairs that meet local building codes and prevent any issues should there be any accidents on your property. 
  2. Reviews: What does their online presence say about them? Do you know if they have satisfied previous customers? Google reviews and the local BBB are good places to assess your contractor’s customer satisfaction. 
  3. HAAG Certified Inspectors: Inspectors who have completed the HAAG training have been formally trained to inspect roofs and completely understand what to look for after a storm. 
  4.  Comfort Level: Many property owners choose repair contractors based on price. Keep in mind this is likely an insurance claim. It is against the law for a homeowner to profit from an insurance claim. As such, pricing will be negotiated between the contractor and your insurance company. With proper insurance coverage, your only out-of-pocket costs will be your deductible, regardless of the costs associated with repairs. Because of this, you should choose a qualified, experienced contractor with whom you are comfortable. Factors such as experience, customer satisfaction, and quality of repairs should be your determining factor in choosing a roofing or exterior repair contractor. Be wary of contractors who offer to “pay your deductible.” That is illegal, and the insurance commission does make efforts to catch these contractors. 
hail damage roof inspection
hail damage roof inspection

What Will my Contractor Look For?

A certified roofing inspector should also be able to pinpoint damage to other areas of your home. The post-hailstorm inspection should include a complete assessment of your property. This will include inspecting the roof, siding, windows, paint, A/C unit, gutters, doors, garage doors and all of your exterior personal property. 

Your Repair Estimate

Most qualified roofing contractors can provide a roofing repair estimate for repairs immediately. They have access to software that prices repairs according to insurance standards. 

After the inspection, they will provide you and your insurance company with this estimate. Repair prices will be negotiated based on incurred damage, replacement costs, and material availability. 

As mentioned earlier, the repair costs should not affect your decisions as, with proper insurance coverage, your only associated out-of-pocket costs will be your deductible. This is when researching and choosing a professional and qualified contractor is essential. 

If you need a roof repair or a roof replacement or have sustained damage to your siding, windows, or paint, an exterior repair contractor should be favored over a roof-only contractor. Repairs will be more straightforward and completed faster if one contractor can replace your roof, siding, windows, and any other exterior damage you may have sustained. Along the Front Range, that contractor is Custom Exteriors! Please reach out if you need assistance restoring your home after a hailstorm. 

Class 4 asphalt shingle replacement completed in Colorado by Custom Exteriors

Do I need a Class 4 Shingle?

Class 4 asphalt shingle residential roof replacement by Custom Exteriors

Do I need a class 4 shingle for my roof replacement?

When you need to replace your roof, the topic of replacement materials is high on the list of considerations. In narrowing down roofing materials, the question of whether or not to invest in Class 4 (Impact Resistant) shingles often arises. This choice is not just about appearances and costs but also protection, durability, and long-term investment in your property. As a roofing contractor based in Colorado, our area is prone to hailstorms, and many homeowners choose to use Class 4 replacement shingles. In our area, some jurisdictions require a Class 4 replacement due to our tendency towards severe weather. In this article, we’ll talk about the significance of Class 4 shingles and whether they are necessary for your roof replacement. 

The decision to choose Class 4 shingles should be an informed decision based on your location, the typical weather patterns in your area, the design of your roof, and the long-term implications of your roofing material choice. By the end of this article, we hope you have a clear understanding of Class 4 shingles so that you can make an informed decision tailored to the specific needs of your property. Whether you are building a new home, replacing an old roof, or just upgrading your current roof for better protection, let our experience give you the insights you need to make the right choice! 

What is a Class 4 Shingle?

Class 4 shingles are the highest-rated shingles available on the market when it comes to impact resistance. These shingles are designed to withstand hailstorms and extreme weather conditions. They are also tested and certified to meet specific industry standards for impact resistance. You can get a Class 4 in many materials, including asphalt shingles and metal roofing products

Class 4 shingles come in a variety of colors and styles to suit different architectural designs. They are commonly used in regions that experience high winds, hailstorms, and severe weather conditions. 

How is a Class 4 Shingle Rated?

The impact resistance of a Class 4 shingle is determined by performing a test that simulates hailstones hitting the roof at high speeds. The test evaluates the shingles’ ability to resist damage from impacts of different sizes and strengths. Shingles that meet the test requirements are rated as Class 4 and are considered the most durable and impact-resistant shingles available. 

Class 4 shingles undergo rigorous testing to ensure they can withstand impact from a 2-inch steel ball dropped from a height of 20 feet without cracking or showing any signs of damage. This testing is conducted by organizations such as Underwriters Laboratories and the International Code Counsel.  The Class 4 designation comes from the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) D3462 standard, which measures the durability and impact resistance of roofing materials. 

The Differences of Class 4 Shingles

Impact Resistance: Class 4 shingles have a higher impact resistance than Class 3 shingles. So, they can withstand impacts from larger hailstones. Also, they are less likely to be damaged by falling debris, such as tree branches. Class 4 shingles typically have a larger hailstone impact rating. This means they can resist impacts from 2-in-diameter hailstones at a higher speed than Class 3 shingles. 

Durability: Class 4 shingles are made of thicker and more robust materials than Class 3 shingles. This makes them more durable and able to withstand extreme weather conditions. Class 4 shingles often have a longer lifespan than Class 3 shingles. This is because they are less likely to crack, break, or warp over time. 

Cost: Class 4 shingles are typically more expensive than Class 3 shingles. This is because they are made of higher-quality materials designed to provide better protection against impact damage. 

Added Benefits of Class 4 shingles

Insurance Discounts: Homeowners may be eligible for insurance discounts if they install Class 4 shingles on their roofs. This is because Class 4 shingles are less likely to sustain damage during severe weather events. Because of this, there is a reduced likelihood of insurance claims. Insurance companies may offer lower premiums for homes with Class 4 shingles installed. 

Ultimately, installing Class 3 or Class 4 shingles will depend on the homeowner’s specific needs, budget, and preferences. It may be a wise investment if you live in areas like Colorado or Wyoming, which are prone to hailstorms. A qualified roofing contractor can help you decide if a Class 4 shingle fits you well. 

Class 4 shingle benefits

The Impact Classes of Shingles

Shingles are rated in classes one through four. The decision to choose a Class 4 shingle is based largely on your local weather conditions. Each of the shingle classes is rated to withstand the following impacts:

It is important to note that the impact resistance of asphalt shingles is just one factor to consider when choosing a roofing material. Homeowners should also consider other factors, such as the style of their roof and home, fire resistance, durability, and resistance to other weather-related damage when selecting a roofing material. Your local, trusted roofing contractor can assist in determining your specific needs. 

When Does a class 4 shingle make sense?

Hail that damaged local roofs inspected by Custom Exteriors

Class 4 shingles, also known as impact-resistant shingles, are designed to withstand severe weather conditions. They easily protect your roof from hail, high winds, and other potential damage. Here are some circumstances in which it may make sense to consider getting Class 4 shingles:

Hail-Prone Areas: If you live in an area that experiences frequent hailstorms, Class 4 shingles can provide enhanced protection against hail damage. These shingles are specifically tested to withstand hail impacts, reducing the likelihood of roof leaks and costly repairs.

High-Wind Areas: If your region is prone to strong winds, such as hurricane-prone coastal areas or tornado-prone regions, Class 4 shingles can offer added resistance. These shingles are designed to withstand high winds and can provide greater security for your roof during severe storms.

Insurance Requirements: In some cases, insurance companies may offer discounts on homeowners’ insurance premiums for properties with Class 4 shingles. If your insurance provider offers such incentives, it can be financially beneficial to install these shingles, as they can potentially reduce your insurance costs over time.

Long-Term Investment: If you plan to stay in your home for an extended period, investing in Class 4 shingles can be a wise decision. These shingles are generally more durable and longer-lasting than standard shingles, which means they may require fewer repairs or replacements over time, saving you money in the long run.

Personal Preference: Even if you don’t live in an area prone to severe weather, you may opt for Class 4 shingles simply because you value the added protection and peace of mind they offer. If you have the budget and prioritize the longevity and durability of your roof, Class 4 shingles can be a good choice.

It’s important to note that the decision to install Class 4 shingles should be based on various factors, including your specific location, climate, budget, and personal preferences. Consulting with a professional roofing contractor can help you determine the most suitable roofing material for your specific circumstances.

Maintaining your roof for a long lifespan

If you have decided that Class 4 shingles are a good fit for your home or business, roof maintenance is key to keeping them in good shape and extending the life of your investment. While Class 4 shingles are designed to be durable, regular maintenance is important to ensure years of performance. 

Maintenance of Class 4 Shingles

Investing in a Class 4 shingle for your home or business isn’t just about the immediate benefits in terms of impact resistance and durability. With proper maintenance and care, these shingles offer long-term protection and provide peace of mind knowing your home is protected. The combination of durable materials, proper installation, and conscientious maintenance practices ensures your investment in your home will continue to provide long-term returns. 

Multi-family roof

Multi-Family Roofing Systems

Multi-Family Roofing Systems

The Many Systems of a Multi-Family Roof

Replacing the roof on a multi-family property can be an involved and complex process. Many factors differentiate a roofing project on a single-family home from one on an HOA-managed community.  

One of the most important is choosing, installing, and maintaining the correct roofing system for your property. Throughout the process, working with a qualified roofing contractor will ensure everything is done correctly. Additionally, you must equip yourself with the knowledge needed to understand your property. Many different roofing systems can be applied in a multi-family setting. 

Asphalt Shingles

Asphalt Shingles are the most common multi-family roofing material used in Colorado and the United States. Due to their affordability, they are a popular choice. In addition to that, they are relatively simple to install. They are available in various colors and styles and are made by multiple manufacturers.

Unfortunately, they have a relatively short lifespan of 15-40 years. In Colorado, it is imperative to consider their durability against hail or wind storms. Asphalt shingles do not perform as well as most other systems in the long term. Because the property’s exterior is typically the association’s responsibility, longevity should be a consideration when choosing roofing materials. 

Asphalt Shingles

Metal Roofing

Metal roofs are often used for multi-family roof replacements, not only because they are appealing to look at but are also durable. They have an average lifespan of 50-70 years! They are available in various materials, including aluminum, steel, copper, and zinc. It also comes in many color options, making your metal roof customizable. Because of this flexibility, a metal roof system can be a perfect fit for a multi-family home roof replacement!

Metal roofs are often more expensive than other options, but their longevity is superior. Another factor to consider is your location’s probability of severe weather. Metal roofs offer excellent protection against the elements. Because of this, a metal roof can be a good choice in our Colorado! 

Synthetic roofing

Sythetic Roofing

Synthetic roofing is a type of roofing material made from materials such as rubber or plastic, or a combination of both. They are designed to mimic the look and texture of natural roofing materials, such as wood shake, slate, or clay tiles. 

An advantage of synthetic roofing is often its affordability. They are often less expensive than their natural counterparts. They also offer improved durability and performance in severe weather. However, some homeowners may prefer the look of raw materials. Some historical multi-family properties may have architectural guidelines that do not allow synthetic roofing. 

Berthoud, CO roofing contractor
Flat roof replacement

Flat Roofing

There are many types of flat roofs for multi-family roof replacement. The most common include Built-Up Roofing, Modified Bitumen roofing (ModBit), EPDM Roofing, PVC Roofing, and TPO Roofing. Each has its advantages and disadvantages. 

When replacing a multi-family flat roof, partnering with a qualified, local roofer is essential. They will assist you in choosing your replacement roof based on factors such as durability, cost, energy efficiency, and the climate and weather conditions in your area.  

Choosing a multi-family roof replacement system

Several other roofing systems can be used on a multi-family replacement, including wood shakes, tile roofing, and slate roofing tiles. These systems are less common due to their cost, installation difficulty, or poor performance against severe weather and natural disasters such as fire. 

Whichever system you choose, ensure you consult with a professional roofer who is experienced in multi-family roof replacements with any of these systems. 

Exterior maintenance for a multi-family building

Exterior Maintenance Multi-Family

Exterior services including roof replacement and siding replacement on a multi-family complex by Custom Exteriors

Exterior maintenance for Multi-family properties

At Custom Exteriors, we understand that maintaining a property’s exterior is a demanding task for community managers, commercial property managers, and multi-family building owners. However, it’s vital for the safety of your tenants. These community maintenance tasks improve the community’s function and curb appeal and can even improve the value of the property and the satisfaction level of your tenants. 

Not only does regular exterior maintenance keep your investment visually appealing, but it also prevents minor issues from escalating into major, costly repairs. These repairs can quickly escalate into thousands of dollars, directly impacting your return on investment. With that in mind, let’s explore some ways to increase cash flow and decrease service calls from tenants. Proactively protect your property from expensive damage because it could easily force vacancy while repairs are being made.

Multi-family Roof Maintenance

With successful multi-family roof replacements, siding and window replacements, and paint jobs across the state, we know that regular roof maintenance is one of the most important aspects of exterior maintenance. By identifying and addressing minor issues early, such as leaks or damage, you avoid the high costs and disruptions of major repairs. Other benefits of a well-maintained roof include: 

In multi-family roofing, we often see three specific types of roofing systems: asphalt shingles, flat roofing, and metal roofing. Each has specific maintenance needs that, when addressed regularly, can prevent costly repairs, extend the life of your roof, and ensure the safety and comfort of your tenants. Let’s take a look at the basics of each type of roofing system’s maintenance needs.

1. Asphalt Shingles

Asphalt shingles are among the most common multi-family roof replacement materials. Many apartment and condo complexes depend on them for protection. Beyond basic roof inspections, it’s important to seal any areas that may be vulnerable to water intrusion. Inspect for missing, cracked, or curling shingles. Check the seal around vents, chimneys, and pipe flashings to make sure they have a water-tight seal.

While some property owners are capable of a multi-family roof inspection, it’s important to be cognizant of your physical limitations and prioritize your safety over all else. In order to inspect your roof safely, you may need to be able to climb a large ladder safely and be comfortable at heights. Many local roofing companies will provide no-cost annual inspections that will give a clear picture of your roof’s condition. 

2. Flat Roofing Systems

Flat roofs are often found on commercial and multi-family buildings. They are likely made of a rubber membrane designed to effectively drain water from an area with little to no slope. When conducting maintenance on a flat roof, begin by clearing debris and checking for standing water. Inspect for cracks or blisters in the membrane and check the drainage system to ensure there is no pooling water. 

For flat roofing, maintenance involves both cleaning and checking for punctures or wear in the roofing membrane. It’s important to repair any identified damage immediately to maintain the integrity of the waterproof barrier. Insulating layers should be checked to ensure they remain effective. Fortunately, as flat roofs approach the end of their lifespan, they offer a unique maintenance option of a roof coating. This unique option can add decades to the life of your existing roof. 

3. Metal Panels

While cost can sometimes prohibit a full metal roof replacement, metal roofing panels are often used as an accent on a roof. They can also be used as a full replacement for customers who are prioritizing lifespan and durability over replacement cost. A metal roof inspection should look for signs of rust, sealant failures, and loose screws or panels. 

Pay special attention to the areas around seams and junctions, where leaks are most likely to develop. Also, ensure that the roof is clean of debris to avoid corrosion and check for uneven wear patterns. 

Landscaping and Outdoor Spaces

Exterior landscape maintenance

In addition to aesthetic purposes, it is essential to keep outdoor areas clean, organized, and in good condition for the community’s safety. This includes outdoor landscape maintenance. Remember, this is the community’s first impression of the community, so it is important to keep it well-maintained. Some areas to prioritize maintenance include: 

1. Lawn Care: Regular mowing, fertilization, and aeration will promote healthy and beautiful lawns. 

2. Pruning: Trimming trees and shrubs not only maintains their shape and encourages growth but also ensures our safety. Additionally, any trees or shrubs that overhang your property should be trimmed to avoid damage in a wind storm, keeping us all secure. 

3. Weeding & Mulching: Removing unwanted weeds from garden beds helps make the grounds look well maintained. Applying mulch to garden beds helps to retain moisture, regulate soil temperature, and reduce weed growth. 

4. Seasonal Clean-Up: In Colorado and many surrounding states, fall means an abundance of leaves shed from trees everywhere. At the end of fall, it’s important to remove leaves and debris from the roof and gutters to prevent possible ice dams

Maintaining the landscaping and outdoor spaces of your property is just as important as the building itself. Well-kept grounds improve curb appeal, making your property more inviting. In addition to those regular yard work tasks, inspections should be completed to ensure walkways and patios are clear and in good shape. While time-consuming, these efforts not only make the property appealing but can also increase its value and attract more tenants. 

Siding and exterior walls

Spring is a great time to schedule an annual inspection of the exterior walls and the siding of your community. Power washing can help create a clean, crisp impression for community visitors. Furthermore, a thorough inspection of the siding, window trim, fascia, and soffits should be completed for any signs of damage or wear. These signs include cracks, peeling paint, or rotted caulking. If any of these items are found during these regularly scheduled inspections, they should be repaired immediately to prevent additional damage. In the end, a small amount of preventative maintenance could save much more by preventing extensive and expensive repairs in the long run, such as water damage and rot. 


Parking areas

After our harsh Colorado winters, spring is a great time to inspect another portion of the exterior of your property. The parking area. The parking area should be absolutely free of any debris or hazards. It is a great time to identify and correct any newly developed potholes or damage to parking areas. Additionally, parking lot lighting should be checked for functionality and repaired if necessary for the safety of the community. 

multi-family window replacement

Windows & Doors

Windows and doors serve as intricate parts of the beauty and safety of your community. They should be regularly inspected for broken glass, damaged frames, or hardware issues. In this case, repairs should be prioritized for the safety and security of the community. Replacing old or damaged windows and doors can substantially increase the energy efficiency of each unit and reduce heating costs for owners. 

Multi-family door replacement

Maintain your Multi-Family Property

Owning a property in an HOA-managed community can be challenging. We are busy and don’t always have time to prioritize these critical inspections. Luckily, full-service exterior maintenance companies can help schedule and complete these inspections. It is important to ensure licensing and insurance. Additionally, they will have experience dealing with the unique needs associated with multi-family properties. 

Whether you need an inspection, routine maintenance, a quick repair, or a complete restoration, Custom Exteriors can help. We understand you want to make the most of your time. Therefor, we help with this by addressing your exterior needs professionally. Contact us today if you would like to schedule a free, no-obligation inspection of your community.