Top Tips for Replacing Your Roof

As much as we want them to, roofs don’t last forever. While they do have a pretty long lifespan when they’re newly installed depending on the roofing material— you might have some more trouble with an old roof.

And the signs when you know it’s time to replace your roof— they’re already pretty telling by themselves. You might have suspected a need for roof replacement, and if you’re looking for someone to confirm your hunches; then you’ve come to the right place! 

Maybe it’s because of old age, of irreversible damage, bad maintenance or a massive mistake from your previous roof installation. There are a lot of possibilities, but either way, these signs are a huge cause for concern in roofs. Do any of these tick your boxes?

  1. Black Streaking and Algae 

Look at the state of your roof. Do you see any black streaks or green patches in some areas? If so, it may be tar streaking and algae growth. It means that bacteria on the surface are slowly eating away at your roof’s shingle waterproofing. This usually happens when roofers replace shingle material with limestone to cut costs. This does not only look unsightly, but it also compromises your roof’s waterproofing characteristics which can lead to unwanted moisture in the structure.

  1. Mold and Mildew

With poor ventilation, comes condensation… and with condensation comes moisture. Once this starts, your roof might show signs of rust, as well as mold and mildew growth— and this is not a concern to be taken lightly. Mold and mildew are both health hazards, therefore they cause diseases in humans. Your roof might also rot from the inside if the damage from the moisture is already unsalvageable. With this, it’s best to call in your roofing contractor as early as possible.

  1. Curled or Missing Shingles 

This is the most telltale sign of roof replacement that you can get. Curved shingles can be an indication of old age, especially if the roofing is already in a dilapidated condition. Moisture can force out the edges holding the shingles together, so it might be evidence of you needing to replace your roof— particularly if the curled or missing shingles occur in large patches.

Ballwin Roofing Company

  1. Wiped-Out Granules

If you see granules where they’re not supposed to be (ground, exterior walls, gutters, downspouts), then they’ve probably been wiped out by the elements. And the most common scenario is, they’ve been building up there for quite some time already! Inspect your roof and see if it also has exposed spots where the granules were. This is also an impending sign of moisture damage that might imply a need for roof replacement.

  1. Through-the-Roof Electric Bills

If your electric bill came through the mail, and you could’ve sworn it was unjustifiably higher than before— then we might have the answer. Expensive bills might be the repercussions of energy escaping due to a bad roof. Ventilation and insulation is a huge deal for homeowners, especially if you don’t want to be sweating in the summer and freezing in the winter. Call your local roofing contractor to assess it!

Hiring a HVAC Contractor: Things You Need to Know

Hiring an HVAC technician will take time and a fair amount of research as well as checking on certifications, references, and credentials. Always follow up and ask contractors for customer references.
Ask about the contractor’s installation or service performance, and if the job was successfully completed. To prepare for hiring an HVAC contractor, find out about your state’s license and insurance requirements for contractors in your state. Be prepared and know the model of your current system and its maintenance history. Provide details about rooms or areas that have problems with temperature and moisture. Note the areas that have too cold or too hot problems. It is important to note the condition of windows and doors that leak air or let in air.

Ask trusted friends, neighbors, and family for HVAC contractor referrals. Contact local trade organizations, building code office, and other reputable resources in your area for a good recommendation.
Call about the contractor’s references. Ask the potential HVAC contractor for customer references. Ask about their previous jobs, installation, and service performance. Check to see if previous jobs were completed on time and within the agreed upon budget. Check for reasonable rates, seek out available rebates, and look for the energy star rating on HVAC equipment. Purchasing and installing a new HVAC system comes with a big price tag. Research at this website: Energy Star products meet energy guidelines set forth by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and they offer long-term savings.

Contractors should be able to conduct an evaluation by inspecting your current system and assessing your needs. Bigger is not necessarily better. The HVAC system should fit the size of your residence or business property. A system that is too big or too small is inadequate. Consider as well the condition of the home, the windows and doors, and the amount of insulation. Make sure the contractor inspects the duct system for air leaks, insulation, and measure the airflow. Whether you are updating a current system or installing a new one, the system must meet requirements and manufacturer specifications.

Obtain itemized written estimates. Before the work begins, sign a written proposal. Ensure that the proposal includes specific details about cost and materials. The job schedule, all costs, timeline, warranty information, and even model numbers and details should be in written contract form. Compare bids and check for cost, energy efficiency, and warranties. Don’t settle for deals that sound too good to be true. You need the best ROI (Return on Investment) when making a large budget purchase. If you install an inefficient system, in the long run, your utility bills will be higher. Get everything in writing and check the fine details before you sign any agreement. It will be a legal and binding contract. Be sure to do your due diligence. All parties are responsible for reviewing the contract before the final agreement is signed. Check with your insurance agent to ensure that you have the proper amount of coverage while workers are working on your home or property.

Which Limousine Company Should You Choose

There is possibly no better way to spend a special evening than cruising around in a fancy limousine.  However, there are A LOT of limousine companies out there.  Selecting the right one can have a huge impact on the experience.  Nobody wants to spend the night riding around in a dated, smelly limo.  Here are some tips for finding a respectable limousine company online.

Gateway City Limo

When you do a search for “limousine rental” on Google, you are sure to be met with a copious amount of companies ready to take your hard earned money. So how do you know which one to select.  First of all, read reviews.  Read as many reviews as you can.  Often the most popular limo companies in your area will have a lot of reviews, sometimes hundreds.  Read them all.  Sure, some of them may  be fake, but you will surely get the gist of a limousine company by reading pages and pages of reviews.  I would highly discourage you from choosing a limo company with ZERO reviews online.  This is a bad sign and these companies should be avoided at all cost.

Another important thing to consider is the particular companies fleet of limos.  Just because you book a limo, does not mean the company will show up with a brand new limousine for your special event.  Many limousine companies have very old fleets and the limos are full of mechanical and cosmetic errors and deficiencies.  When you call a limo company, ask if the photos on their webpage are photos of actual limousines that they own.  Many companies just use stock images of limos they find online on their web pages.  So always ask to see pictures of the limos they have available to rent.  If they do not have any photos online, demand that they email you some pictures of the limos they have available for you to rent.

Customer service is a huge part of an enjoyable limousine experience.  Nobody wants to be escorted around town by an idiot.  You would be amazed at how many limo drivers get lost…in their own hometowns.  From the first phone call to the day you are picked up in the limo, you should expect professional and accurate information.  Always ask for pricing up front that includes all fees and taxes.  You don’t want to get stuck with a bill that is twice as much as you were expecting.  It is also not a bad idea to ask who will be the driver the night of your limo experience.  If Bubba, the guy who sweeps the floors,  is going to be your guide, you may want to ask a few more questions.  Nothing against Bubba, but you deserve a professional driver.

Lastly, I would inquire as to what exactly the limo package you purchase comes with.  Are there drinks provided? Is Alcohol allowed?  Are you charged per mile?  How many people will fit in the limo? (this is huge).  Basically, ask as many questions as possible.  Leave nothing to chance.  Word of mouth is another great way to find a respectable limousine company in your area.  Ask any friends or family members who have rented a limo recently how their experience was.  Or post something on Facebook.  Lord knows people love to share their wonderful and not so wonderful experiences on Facebook.

What to Look for When Selecting a Fence Company

Selecting a licensed and insured fence contractor is an important step to ensure that your fence is correctly installed. Find a contractor that will provide a quality job. Conduct research and check with the Better Business Bureau (BBB). Below are some tips to aid your process while seeking a reputable fence installation contractor.


Check the fence contractor’s license and references. Don’t be defrauded, avoid fly-by-night and fake contractors. Don’t be fooled by the first contractor to pop up on a web search. The same goes for slick advertising campaigns. Avoid high-pressure sales tactics, which should be a big red flag to you. Stay away from fence contractors who use pressure tactics to obtain a contract from you. Perform a thorough and effective search and carefully check out all references. Conduct complete background checks.


Many people are swindled by disreputable companies. Obtain a written estimate from each contractor interviewed. Do not do business with a fence contractor that refuses to provide a written estimate. Check their knowledge. Make sure they know what they are doing. Check their track record to see whether they stick with their original estimate. Note their reputation for sticking to their timelines. Do they have a good reputation for finishing the contract on time? Ensure they are honest with their business reputation, skill level, fence contracting knowledge, and ability. Ask the contractor about what they would recommend for fence materials. Check out what type of warranty or guarantees are offered for the job.  I used a fence company in San Antonio, TX once, and the warranty that came with the fence saved me big time when the gate they installed began having problems.


Obtain several estimates and interview several companies before choosing a fence contractor.  Make sure the company is reputable before signing a legal contract.  The fence contractor should have a legitimate business address that can be checked.


Check on their advertising to ensure it links to their business address. Ensure that the contractor pulls the necessary building permits and is aware of local codes. Check out the financial details involved with the fence installation contract. Ask questions about the contract. Who pays for the materials and delivery? What type of payment or financing is available for the contract? Avoid anything that does not seem right to you.


For your part and responsibility, check with your local planning and zoning department and obtain a plat map. Use the plat map to obtain the correct property boundaries so the fence will be properly placed on your property. Before interviewing prospective candidates, make sure you know what type of fence that you want to have installed. Set a budget and stick with it. Do your own research and learn about fence materials, hardware, and fence installation contracts. The more knowledge you have the better prepared you will be to avoid contract fraud. Set a project timeline and make sure the contractor can adhere to it. Check the weather before the project begins. Make sure the contractor is aware of weather conditions. Have a communication plan, and ask for timely updates about the installation progress and timeline. Make sure all parties involved adhere to the stipulations of the contract.

Get Rid of Mice: To Call a Pest Control Company or Not

Several methods can be used for ridding your home of pesky mice. Some are natural methods and others involve using chemicals. Prevention tips involve the proper storage of food and garbage.   Keep the food in tightly sealed storage containers and clean up all spills. Keep indoor and exterior refuse containers closed. Place outdoor garbage receptacles away from your home. Seal all cracks and openings around pipes within the interior and exterior walls. Mice can squeeze through small openings in a foundation. They can enter through a chimney cap. Make sure your home’s chimney is covered with a cap and mesh wire to keep them out. Some people use mothballs outside of the home because they have a strong odor and they are poisonous. Use steel wool, copper scouring pads, or green kitchen scrub pads to fill in around pipes and holes. The mice cannot chew through the steel wool or scouring pads. It dulls their teeth and deters them from entry. Use caulk to tightly seal around pipes and add it to the steel wool. To deter mice from squeezing under a door, add door sweeps to all exterior doors. Add weather stripping to all exterior doors and windows to repel mice and other pests. Remember pests can fit into small spaces and cracks. Mice can squeeze through openings as small as 1/4 inch wide.


Natural home remedies include using peppermint oil, mint leaves, or mint plants. Put mint oil on cotton balls and place them near entry points. Mice do not like the strong odor of onions. The problem with using this natural method is that onions will rot within a few days causing another odorous problem. In addition, onions are toxic for some animals such as cats and dogs.


Predators, i.e., cats, barn owls, or other natural predators will scare away or eat mice. Using instant potatoes is a natural method. The mice eat the instant potato flakes which swell their bellies eventually leading to death. Keep the instant potato flakes away from family pets. Another natural method involves using a mixture containing Plaster of Paris and cocoa powder (chocolate milk powder or cocoa baking powder). Make sure the mixture is dry and place it near entrance points. The mice eat the mixture, seek water, and die. Keep the mixture away from children and family pets. Of course, every farm needs a few barn cats. Farmers claim success by placing trays of used kitty litter near entry points. The mice smell the cat’s urine and run away.


St. Louis Pest Control


Other methods for eradicating mice involve using baited spring-loaded mouse traps. Use cheese or peanut butter as bait. Using poisonous pellets or baited commercial traps will kill mice. Purchasing baited mouse house traps is an effective method. Glue board traps work but some people consider them to be inhumane. Many homeowners prefer the use of humane traps to capture and release mice. Electronic traps are considered to be a humane method. Some homeowners hire exterminators to rid their home of mice.