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Scott Jasper Blog

Tips, Trips, and Stories From My Worldly Travels

How to Tell When It’s Time to Replace Your Roof

How to Tell When It’s Time to Replace Your Roof

No one wants to deal with the headaches and expense of putting on a new roof. Sometimes it’s okay to just patch some damaged areas and make a few repairs to your roof to prolong the lifespan. However, you want to know when it’s really time to replace your roof before you end up with more than just roof issues. Failure to replace a roof when it’s time could cause all sorts of significant household problems, from leaks and mold to structural weakness and drainage issues. 

This post is here to help you with some of the signs of when it’s time to replace your roof. 

 

The Roof Has Lived Beyond Its Useful Age 

 

With new materials coming out all the time, many roofs can last longer than ever. For more traditional roofs, though, there is a definite lifespan for the materials and going far beyond that increases the risk of significant issues. You can expect a standard roof to last between 10 and 20 years, depending on weather conditions, proper care, and other outside factors. While some composite materials can last much longer, a lot of the lifespan of your roof is outside of your control. 

Routine cleaning and maintenance will help improve the lifespan of your roof. Still, at a certain point, materials will begin to degrade to the point where a complete replacement is necessary. If your roof is at or past this point, it is essential to contact a professional and get started on a new roof right away. If you’re unsure about the exact age of your roof or the lifespan of the materials, a simple inspection from a certified roofer can tell you where you’re at and what to expect. 

 

You Start to Notice Interior Leaks 

 

This one should be obvious and is a dead giveaway that it is past time for you to replace your roof. If you notice leaks in your attic or into the interior of walls in your home, then the leak is likely coming directly from the roof. 

Failure to notice this can not only compromise your attic and insulation, but severe leaks that drain into your walls can damage sheetrock, wood, and even the electrical wiring of your home. This means a somewhat expensive but necessary fix to a problem can turn into a disaster for your whole home. It’s important, even if you notice slight signs of leaking, to act right away. Get in touch with a professional and cover your roof to prevent further damage and further leaks. 

 

General Signs of Damage 

 

There are a number of basic signs that your roof has seen better days besides it starting to rain inside your house. If you notice any of these signs, it’s time to get started on a roof replacement. 

Patches of cracked or broken shingles or granules of clay or other materials can be fixed, but if you start to see this in many spots all at once, then it’s time to replace the whole roof. Large patches of damage can indicate a compromised roof, and in the long run, it’s better to replace it than try to fix each spot of damage. 

Warping is another sign that something is wrong. Even the shingles are still whole. If the shape has started to warp, that means the integrity of the roof is at risk, and you could have a hole or a leak any day. There’s really no way to fix warped shingles, so you’d have to replace the entire section anyway. If you notice this happening a lot, first-order an inspection to determine the cause, then work towards a roof replacement. 

If you’re just plain missing patches of roofing and the bare plywood is exposed in spots, you’re likely going to need to replace the whole roof. Patching in new shingles or tiles may help to cover the holes, but it likely won’t change the damage to the rest of the existing roof, and you may have a severe underlying issue. In these cases, a replacement is a better option. 

Lastly, one of the biggest signs of damage and the need for a roof replacement is if portions of your roof actually sag. This is a sign that the boards underneath your shingles or tiles have been compromised, and it’s time to have the whole roof inspected, new support put in, and a new roof laid on top. If you notice this type of issue, contact a professional roofer immediately. 

 

Final Thoughts 

 

These are just a few of some of the major signs that it’s time for a roof replacement. If you notice one of these or other signs that your roof is damaged and beyond just simple repairs, contact a professional roofer and see about getting a new roof today.

How Storms Can Damage Your Driveway

How Storms Can Damage Your Driveway

You might think that your concrete driveway is nearly indestructible once it’s been installed and then properly sealed. While it is true that concrete driveways are incredibly durable and will last a long time under most conditions and with proper care, even a typical storm can cause damage and problems to occur with a concrete driveway that can make maintenance or repairs necessary. Much like tree roots can cause both small and large issues for your driveway, depending on the type of damage, storms can do the same. 

This post will break down some of the potential concerns and damage that storms can cause to your concrete driveway. 

 

Wind and Debris Damage 

 

Strong winds by themselves may not seem like much. But over time, they can erode the surface of your driveway. Even though driveways are typically sealed, no seal lasts forever, and prolonged heavy winds will wear down the surface of your driveway, leaving it rough and abrasive. Over a long enough period of time, this can make your driveway uneven and in need of resurfacing to get it back to that original smoothness. 

Additionally, high winds can toss around dirt, sand, and chunks of debris. This type of power can chip and crack your driveway and, depending on the type and size of debris, can cause damage and degrade the surface of your driveway. While an individual storm may not cause much of an issue, over time, this can become a recurring problem. 

One way to keep your driveway in shape and prevent wind and debris from damaging it is to make sure your sealant is applied regularly and keeping the area around your driveway clean of dirt, sand, leaves, and other debris. This will cut down on the number of damage winds can do and what they can throw at your driveway. 

 

Rain and Water Damage 

 

Rain by itself isn’t that bad of a problem for concrete, but over time, heavy rain can seep into the concrete and cause it to expand. Worse yet, hard ice and hail can damage and wear down the surface of your driveway. Water can easily erode concrete that has been in place for a while and make the surface less smooth and make it lose its shine and color. 

The biggest problem, however, is that water damage can make chips and cracks a severe issue. Water can eat away at chipped concrete and make a small chip into a major chunk of damaged concrete. The worst culprit is water that gets into cracks in the concrete. Water can not only worsen cracks and cause them to widen, but it can erode the soil underneath the driveway and cause cracks to become complete breaks and sunken spots in your driveway. 

The best way to prevent this is by sealing your driveway and repairing any chips or cracks as soon as possible. That way, you prevent rain from making those problems worse and potentially ruining your driveway entirely. In this case, a little routine maintenance can keep you from a complete driveway replacement. 

 

Additional Issues

 

One last thing to note about your driveway is that concrete is somewhat susceptible to cold temperatures. If your driveway frequently freezes over or gets hit with ice and snow, you’ll want to take extra care of it and possibly seal it more often to protect it from wear and tear. 

Built-up moisture can break down the integrity of concrete and can cause cracks which lead to further damage. That is why sealing your concrete is important. The sealant protects it from becoming porous and absorbing water and moisture. Most concrete driveways only need sealant every few years or so. However, if you see that you are in an area that gets a lot of rain or snow, then you may want to seal more frequently just as an added layer of protection. 

Apart from that, a concrete driveway normally has a long lifespan and is a great investment over traditional asphalt. 

 

Final Thoughts 

 

Well, that’s it. Our guide to storm damage and your concrete driveway. Hopefully, this has given you some tips and signs to look out for to protect your driveway over the long term. A little bit of preventative maintenance can save you a fortune in driveway repairs.

The Difference Between Search SEO and Local SEO

The Difference Between Search SEO and Local SEO

If you run a business on the web or have any kind of web presence, then you have probably at least heard of SEO, search engine optimization. Search engine optimization is the practice of making your website, content, ads, landing pages, business listings, and other items perform well and rank high in search engines, particularly Google. 

Even if you don’t know what all this practice entails, you probably know that this is important to getting traffic to your website and getting people to buy your products and services. It can impact everything from your advertising and sales budgets to your total profitability. This is particularly true if you run an eCommerce store. Proper SEO is the difference between popping up on page one of Google’s search engine results page (SERP) and being buried so far in the results that even a detective won’t find you. 

What you may not know is that there are essentially two types of Search SEO, the standard type of SEO which is for global search results, and a local search SEO that is focused on your local area and is designed to draw business to you from the area you serve or to your brick and mortar store in a particular location. Knowing the difference can significantly benefit your business. 

 

Search SEO

 

Most of the work of general SEO focuses on keywords and relevant content that makes your business appear when someone does a generic Google search for companies or products in your space. 

For instance, if you sell shoes, and you have good SEO, then when someone Google’s shoes, they might see your name in the page list of results. This is good for your business because it means someone might potentially click on your business website and then buy some shoes. However, if you don’t sell shoes and instead provide a service, then general search SEO won’t be as beneficial. 

The reason is that general SEO targets results from around the world. If your business lets you provide services, such as roof replacements, to your local area, then someone across the country finding your website isn’t going to be beneficial to you. While more search traffic is a good thing, unless that search traffic translates to more actual business, it isn’t doing much good. 

Thankfully, there is more to SEO than just ranking in the global search results. 

 

Local SEO 

 

There are some key differences between traditional SEO and Local SEO. In Local SEO, the keywords and information that you normally use for SEO are instead tailored for a specific location. This is done so that when people search for businesses in a specific area, the search page for that area comes up, and you want your business to be in it. 

The fact is, the most traffic on the web involves people searching for “___near me” if your business fits in that blank, then you want to make sure you appear in those specific search results. For instance, if you are a painter. Instead of just including keywords about painting on your website or blog, you want to include keywords that indicate the specific location, such as Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. So if your meta description for your business was something like “if you’re looking for the best residential and commercial painters in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, call ___,” you’d be more likely to show up in the results page. 

Having all your business’s location information on every page helps tell Google where you’re located, which helps identify you in local search as well. Additionally, listing your business on different business indexes will improve your relevance and search rank when people use the “near me” search terms. It’s a bit more specific than general search, but that’s the point, narrowing down the results to people in your area to whom you can actually provide services to. 

For brick and mortar businesses and service providers who don’t have a physical business but operate in a set area, these types of searches are where most of their business on the web will come from. Hiring an SEO agency that specializes in local SEO will help you generate a lot more business than typical results. 

Now that you know the difference, you can take advantage of both types of search to improve your business the right way.

Why You Don’t Need Insurance For Mobile Imaging

Why You Don't Need Insurance For Mobile Imaging

Medical screenings are an essential part of your daily life. Getting them done in the comfort of your own home can make them even easier. Rather than going from doctor to doctor to get referrals and appointments for the ultrasounds and echo screenings you need, you can schedule one appointment that comes directly to you. This lets you get the screenings you need and simplifies the process greatly. 

There are two primary concerns when it comes to patients getting ultrasound screenings. 

Many patients don’t like the idea of going to doctor’s offices or hospitals and having to wait for long hours amongst many other patients. Not only does this take a long time, but it also puts their health at risk by being around other people in a closed environment. After all, doctor’s offices are where sick people go to get help. This is made exceedingly worse with issues like the Covid 19 pandemic. 

Mobile Imaging helps to solve this issue by bringing the technology in a portable format directly to your door and inside your home. You’ll also only need to interact with just the personnel needed to provide your screening, and they all have the highest in safety training, including Covid safety. You can also expect excellent personalized service and trained diagnostics experts to make sure that your results are accurate every time. 

The second issue is one that is part of many medical procedures, and imaging is no exception. That is the cost. Getting insurance approvals is often a rigorous process of doctor visits, referrals, and approvals. This can mean hours or days of time wasted. Waiting weeks on a referral and even longer for your insurance to approve the procedure. Even if you get the procedure approved, you may still have to wait for an appointment at a medical center. 

Insurance approvals aside, you may still face a bill for screenings even with insurance, and once you file a claim with the insurance company, your rates may rise as a result. This can end up costing you more money than the screening itself. 

What folks may not understand is that much of the cost of imaging tests has to do with the fact that they are tied to doctor’s offices and major medical centers. Often, you are paying for a doctor visit combined with a specialist and the imaging screening and other personnel expenses, all of which have been overpriced to cover the cost of running a major medical practice. 

While it is true that medical procedures do cost money, they often aren’t as expensive as you are led to believe. When you go the traditional route for imagining screenings, the cost can become more than some patients can bear. 

That’s another problem that mobile imaging solves and one you’ll be glad to know. Mobile Imaging is not nearly as expensive as traditional imaging appointments, and no insurance is necessary. Mobile imaging offers upfront pricing and no hidden fees or surcharges. You can certainly go the insurance route if you prefer, but the costs are much lower, thanks to how the process works. 

You make the appointment and never leave your home. So when you pay for the screening, you’re not paying for doctor’s visits, specialists, the costs of going to a clinic or medical center, or all those other fees. You’re paying for just the cost of the machine for the time you’re in it and the time of the personnel involved in providing your screening: no surprises, no upcharges, just flat pricing. What you see is what you get. This makes paying for the screenings you need simple, quick, and painless. 

There’s much less paperwork this way, and even out of pocket, the cost is likely less than those pricey insurance premiums. You can even book your appointment the same day in most cases, so no need for long waits on approvals or worrying about what’s in your coverage network. 

When you’re ready to get the ultrasound or echo screening you need, try mobile imaging screenings today.

What Information You Need When Calling For Roadside Assistance

What Information You Need When Calling For Roadside Assistance

You may think that if you have a roadside assistance plan either through your insurance or a local towing service, all you need to do is call them up and say, “I need help,” and they’ll be on their way to rescue you. Unfortunately, even though drivers and roadside assistance plans want to be there for you when you need them, you’ll need some crucial information on hand to be able to give them so that they can access your plan’s information and, more importantly, find you when you’re stranded on the road. 

Towing companies can generally find you no matter where you are, but without all the proper information on hand, they won’t be able to provide the assistance you need, and in the worst cases, they may be unable to help you at all without additional equipment or resources. Bad things happen, but that’s why you should always carry pertinent information with you or be able to access it when you need it. 

To help you in your time of need, we’ll break down the types of information you should have handy right when you call for a tow or roadside assistance. 

 

Know the Type of Assistance You Need

 

This is the first thing you’ll want to know when you call for roadside assistance. You should be able to accurately describe your situation and the type of help you might need. This lets the tow truck driver better prepare to come to your aid. It’s as simple as saying whether you’re in need of a battery charge, fuel, a tire change, a tow, or whatever other services. If you’re broken down and unsure of the issue, it’s important to communicate your exact situation to the towing service. 

There’s no reason to be ashamed or to be upset, these things happen, but it’s important that you communicate your needs clearly to get proper help. 

 

Know Your Location 

 

It’s true tow truck drivers usually know the areas they service very well, but side roads, back roads, and highways all have different dangers. If your vehicle has GPS, then it is quite easy to find your exact location. If that isn’t an option, then knowing the nearest intersection, as well as any nearby landmarks, is important to help them find you. 

Determining where you are and what kind of road you are on will let the tow driver be better equipped to extricate your vehicle if necessary, besides being able to actually find your vehicle in heavy traffic or on a difficult-to-navigate road. 

 

Know Your Make, Model, and Condition

 

The other part of being able to find your vehicle and tow it or repair it successfully is being able to distinguish the make, model, and overall condition of the vehicle. You may want to include the color and any additional distinguishing features in case your car is in a crowded area. 

Knowing the shape of your car will help roadside assistance determine what equipment to bring and what actions may be necessary to get you roadworthy or whether you will need a tow instead. You may think you know what’s wrong, but there’s nothing worse than getting a jump start or a bit of gas and learning that wasn’t the only thing wrong with your car. It’s important to provide as many details as possible to help prepare for any possible problems. 

 

Have Your insurance Information Handy

 

In case you need to file a claim or have some sort of secondary issue, or if your insurance pays for your roadside assistance plan, then you want your policy and basic information handy to give to the operator and/or the tow truck driver so that you can speed up the overall process. There’s nothing worse than delayed service due to missing paperwork. 

 

Know Your Mechanic or Service Shop’s Location

 

When it comes down to it, you may not be able to get back on the road, so it may be that you need to be towed to a repair or service shop in order to get your vehicle back in driveable shape.  

It’s important to have your mechanic or shop of choice’s location and business information on hand so that the tow driver can get you to the right destination in the event that you must be towed instead of getting assistance on the scene. If you don’t have a preferred mechanic, then the driver may be able to recommend a reputable shop to take your vehicle to. Just be sure to be clear about the destination beforehand. 

 

Final Thoughts 

 

That’s it. Those are some of the key pieces of information you will need to have handy should you ever have the need to call for roadside assistance. This will make everything go much quicker and smoother.

How to Tell if a Tree is Damaged or About to Fall

How to Tell if a Tree is Damaged or About to Fall

Having trees around your home is a nice feature. They add greenery and extra detail to any home and a little bit of nature that is often greatly appreciated. Most people know that having too many trees too close to your home can be dangerous and will try to take out unnecessary trees using a tree service. 

Many times though, you want to keep a few trees around so that you have some trees in your yard to add a bit of character and for other reasons. Keeping tabs on the trees that are close to your home is very important. It can be difficult to distinguish a healthy tree that you’ve had manicured and maintained from one that may be damaged or about to fall. 

This post is here to help you determine the health of your trees and whether they are damaged or about to fall. 

 

Dead Branches or Holes in Your Tree

 

This is probably the most obvious giveaway that something is wrong with a tree. Dead branches are not only a sign that your tree is dying and may likely fall, but if you have a large tree with branches overhanging your home, patio, or vehicles, then you may have to prepare for consequences. Dead branches can hang on for quite a while before eventually falling off of a tree. 

If you notice dead branches, you’ll want to get a tree service out immediately. They will need to remove the branches and then examine the overall shape of the tree to determine if the branches were a one-off issue or a major concern. 

Holes in the trunk of your tree are another sign that the tree is ailing and at risk of falling. Holes are a much more severe sign of damage to a tree as it shows signs of internal rot and disease. Dead branches can result from overgrowth and lack of proper trimming, but holes, on the other hand, are a greater sign that your tree is dying. 

 

Raised Roots 

 

This is one that homeowners often miss because roots can be large and appear in many spots throughout the home. The fact is, if you have roots raised up out of the ground, this is a sign that your tree or trees are in poor health and maybe about to fall. 

You’d need a thorough inspection to determine the cause of the disturbed roots. There can be soil issues, pest issues, and other problems, but tree roots by themselves can be a big problem. A dead tree falling on your home, however, is a much more serious deal. 

 

Leaves or Bark Missing From the Trunk 

 

This one of the sure-fire signs that your tree has some sort of disease that may be weakening. If you notice that the leaves that grow closest to the trunk of your tree are falling off, going dead, or just not growing, this is a sign the tree is not getting enough nutrients and is dying. 

Another sign is if the trunk of the tree has bald spots where there should be bark and isn’t. This, too, can be a sign of disease, malnourishment, or weakness and can mean that your tree is likely to fall at any moment. A tree service or arborist can generally tell you what’s wrong and if the tree is in danger of falling and damaging your home or property. 

 

Branches Growing in a V or a Leaning Trunk 

These both seem like odd symptoms, but they are both signs that the tree is weakened or growing improperly and may be in danger of falling. It’s important not to mistake these issues as something that is just aesthetic. Now you know that if a tree is leaning, it’s not just crooked. It’s in bad health. V-shaped branches may look neat, but they are a sign the tree isn’t getting the right nutrients. 

 

Fungus or Parasites Infect Your Tree 

 

You would need to look carefully at your tree, but both of these are very easy to notice signs that your tree is in very bad shape. Most fungus that grows on the trunk of trees is bad for it and is a sign of disease. Much like their name suggests, carpenter ants eat wood, so an infestation is deadly to any tree. Once either of these things has afflicted one of your trees, the best solution is to have it removed. 

 

Final Thoughts 

 

Well, there you have it. Some of the more major causes of tree damage and decay can cause a tree to fall on your home and property. Now that you know the signs, you can better prepare yourself for what to do in case a tree near your house shows signs of sickness or weakness.