Top Tips For Roof Maintenance

A roof is a major investment in any building and needs to be properly maintained to maximize its lifespan. Small problems can become very costly if not addressed.

Roof Maintenance

Debris should be removed regularly. Accumulation restricts drainage and accelerates membrane deterioration. Inspect all drains and scuppers for blockage. Caulking is vital to keep metal flashings in brick walls and chimneys watertight.

The flashing is a metal piece connecting two elements on your roof, like a chimney, skylight, or vent. It’s also the area most likely to leak if not properly sealed. If the flashing is not doing its job, you could have moisture in the attic, which can lead to mold, ruined drywall, or rotten wood. This is a problem that can easily be prevented by a little maintenance.

While you’re on the roof, look for signs of rust or corrosion on the flashing. If you see any, a quick touch up with roofing cement should fix them. Additionally, you should be on the lookout for any dents in the flashing. These can be caused by a number of factors, but the most common is simply that the flashing was not installed correctly to begin with.

Another issue to watch out for is raised screw or nail heads on the flashing. This is because wood naturally flexes as it heats and cools, so the nails or screws tend to wiggle loose over time. These should be re-tightened or replaced as needed.

Finally, be sure to check the condition of the flashing at changes in plane as well as at penetrations through the roof. Many times, leaks from wall sealant or windows are disguised as roof leaks, and these should be addressed before the damage gets worse.

You should also examine the soffit and fascia from the ground. This will give you a better idea of the overall condition of the roof overhang and gutters, which are both important components of the entire roof system. If the soffit and fascia are in good condition, they will be able to keep water away from the roof and slow down its deterioration.

Trim Tree Branches

Trimming tree branches and limbs is one of the most important steps in roof maintenance. This helps keep your home safe from falling debris during storms and makes it easier to clean out drains on the roof. It’s also a good way to keep trees healthy and prevent damage from overgrowth.

Start by identifying the branch that needs to be trimmed. If it’s hanging low, rubbing your house or threatening wires, it’s time to cut it down. You should only remove about 25 percent of a tree at one time. It’s easy to kill a tree by over pruning it.

Once you have the limb you’re going to cut in mind, find where it connects to the trunk. This is called the branch collar, and it’s harder to see on some trees than others. It’s a slightly swollen area of bark around the base of the branch where it sticks out from the trunk. It’s usually easier to spot on deciduous trees than conifers, since their trunks are wider.

You want to make a clean cut just outside of the branch collar, leaving no stub. This gives the wound a better chance of healing quickly without forming rot or disease. It’s also a good idea to avoid cutting into the collar at any point, as this can weaken it.

After making the first cut, move up the trunk to find a location an inch or two further out from the branch collar. You don’t want to cut too close, but you should be able to eyeball the spot where it will be a good distance away from the collar. This will give the stub enough room to break free on its own when it gets some of its own weight.

Remove Debris

Debris can damage a roof if left unattended, and a debris-free roof helps ensure that it performs as intended by directing water away from the home. If leaves, twigs, branches, and other debris are left on the roof surface, it can impede the drainage system by redirecting rainwater into areas where it shouldn’t go or by blocking gutters altogether. It can also puncture shingles or leave behind holes where insects or small pests can get in. In addition, it can block vents and create a barrier between the attic and the living space below, which can reduce efficiency.

It’s also important to remove any debris from the roof on a regular basis, especially after storms and windy conditions. A lot of debris is blown onto the roof from surrounding trees, and it can cause leaks and other problems if not removed.

Debris can also introduce trip and slip hazards on the roof. Things like tripped-over limbs, garbage can lids, tarps, and even discarded furniture can pose major safety risks for those who are working on the roof.

Removing debris from the roof can be a time-consuming task, and it’s usually best done by a professional. A qualified roofing expert will have access to tools that can make the job faster and easier, such as a leaf blower or a broom.

It’s best to do the removal on clear, sunny days when the debris isn’t too wet. In addition, it’s important to work with a partner and to use an extendable ladder when climbing on the roof to avoid falls. It’s also a good idea to have a spotter who can help you if necessary.

Clean the North Side

Using a hose, spray the entire north side of the roof, including gable ends and all chimneys, skylights and vent outlets. While cleaning, check for a soot-like substance called creosote that is often found on chimneys and should be removed with a chimney brush. This will reduce the risk of fire and prevent damage to the roofing system.

Algae grows on the north side of the roof because it gets less sun and stays damp longer than the rest of the roof. It feeds on the limestone filler in shingles and darkens them until it’s washed away. Airborne spores can carry the staining to other roofs and create an infestation. Cleaning the shingles with a bleach solution usually removes the algae, but it won’t keep them from coming back. Installing zinc control strips along the ridge of the roof can stop the growth by adding minute traces of metal that the algae spores can’t tolerate.

After cleaning, inspect the area for shingle damage and any exposed foam (if necessary, make repairs). Examine the drains, scupper and gutters to ensure that they are free of blockage and are functioning properly. Ice and snow can restrict drainage and accelerate the deterioration of the membrane. If a drain, scupper or gutter is blocked with ice or debris the resulting water buildup can cause structural overload.

A consistent maintenance program is the best way to avoid the expensive emergency repair bills that can occur as a result of leaks or other roof problems. It is three times more expensive to dispatch a repair crew for an urgent call versus responding to it during a maintenance visit. The savings in cost alone will more than pay for the maintenance service.

Inspect the Attic

Inspecting the attic is important to the overall health of the roof. It’s where the air infiltration takes place and it’s a good place to look for leaks. Moisture leaves many visible clues in the attic and a visual inspection is a very effective way to spot problems that need to be addressed. Inspectors will check for proper insulation and ventilation as well. They will also examine electrical wiring to make sure it’s up to code and properly secured. They may also examine the plumbing and HVAC (heating, ventilating and air conditioning) systems if they’re located in the attic.

Cooper advises home inspectors to inspect the attic on a rainy day, when it will be easier to spot active leaks. They should also wear appropriate personal protective equipment, such as safety glasses, a dust mask and a hard hat or cap to protect themselves from nails and beams. They should also carry a flashlight as attics are often poorly lit. Inspectors should also make sure the access point to the attic is adequate, ensuring it’s safe and easy to enter and exit. They should also clear any items that might block their assessment of the attic, such as debris from the soffit or gutters, and ensure that there are no potential hazards.

Home inspectors should also watch for signs of pest infestation in the attic, such as droppings or nests. They should also monitor the attic for chewed or gnawed insulation and wiring, which is an indicator of a serious problem. If these issues aren’t addressed, they can contribute to moisture intrusion and structural damage. In addition, these issues can also contribute to poor indoor air quality.

Choosing the Correct Fence Height for Your Home

Residential fence heights range from about three feet tall to about eight feet tall, but there are several factors to consider when choosing the height of your fence. To choose the perfect fence height for your home you will want to determine the style and purpose of your fence, consider its location, and adhere to any local laws and regulations.

Determine Your Fence’s Purpose

What purpose do you want your fence to serve? Do want privacy from nosy neighbors? Do you want to keep out trespassers? Do you want to keep your dog and children in your yard? Do you want to secure your swimming pool?

Common Fence Heights

By determining your fence’s purpose, you will narrow down the height and material options.

Decorative: These ornamental fences tend to be more for aesthetics than for security. Typically around three to four feet high, decorative fences are often created with wrought iron, vinyl panels, tubular bars, and other metals.Privacy: Available in wood, vinyl, and chain link, six-foot high privacy fences are normally sufficient to prevent your neighbors from looking into your windows and yard.Boundary: Often added to a home to create a clear boundary between your yard and a street or neighbor, these picket or ornamental fences are often three feet high in front yards and six feet high in back yards.Dog: The important question is “How high your dogs can jump?” A four-foot fence is adequate for most dogs, but a six-foot dog fence might be necessary for larger breeds or higher jumpers.Pool: Pool fences keep uninvited guests out and keep people and pets safe. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission provides general guidelines on pool fencing (usually at least four feet tall), but it is important to check the specific laws where you live.Garden: A three to four foot garden fence allows you to show off flowers or vegetables, while keeping out large animals. If smaller animals are a concern, consider a solid fence.

Check Local Laws and Regulations

Counties, cities, and homeowners associations often have their own regulations regarding fence height, color, materials, and location. It is very important to be aware of these laws and regulations before beginning your fencing project.

Partner with First Fence of Georgia on All Your Residential Fencing Projects

At First Fence of Georgia, we can install and repair all fence types and help you find the height that best suits your needs. To schedule an appointment with one of our estimators, please call us at (770) 214-4235 or contact us through our online form today.

The post Choosing the Correct Fence Height for Your Home appeared first on First Fence.

Block Views with Wooden Privacy Fences

As opposed to the many styles (stockade, picket, lattice, post-and-rail, shadow box, scalloped, etc.) of decorative wooden fences where in-fill panels or individual vertical boards are widely spaced or omitted altogether, all wooden privacy fences are designed to block views. Adding a wooden privacy fence to your home or business is a beautiful and functional choice. Create a unique wooden privacy fence for your space by changing up the components and/or lumber options.

3 Basic Components of a Wooden Privacy Fence

Wooden privacy fences generally include three basic components:

Posts: As the foundation for your wooden privacy fence, these (often 4×4 or 6×6) vertical components hold all the other fence components in place, making proper installation and lumber selection crucial.Rails: Horizontally running rails connect one post to the next and provide the attachment points for vertical in-fill panels or boards. Wooden fence styles almost always include top and bottom rails and many also have middle rails.In-Fill Panels or Boards: Vertical in-fill panels or boards are the chief screening component in any wooden privacy fence. As the most visible part of a privacy fence, this component often requires the most maintenance and repair attention.

Lumber Options

Redwood is the most durable wood choice but it is also the most expensive. Pine, fir, and spruce woods are often chosen for their durability and affordability. Cedar and cypress are also excellent choices due to their natural insect-repelling oils. Premium-grade, pressure-treated wood requires a more significant initial investment but reduces maintenance needs. Other commonly chosen lumber options for wooden privacy fences include oak, ipe, teak, and bamboo.

Trust the Professionals at First Fence

From privacy and security to added appeal and an increased home value, the benefits of a wood privacy fence are easy to see—but don’t choose just any installation company! When choosing a fence installer you should verify that they are licensed, insured, and knowledgable of the latest installation standards. With over 15 years of experience installing some of the Atlanta area’s most elegant fences for both residential and commercial properties, you can be sure that you’re in great hands with First Fence of Georgia for all your fencing needs. We offer a variety of fencing options and as the premier fence company in Metro Atlanta, we provide our customers with a strong commitment to an excellent service experience and professional outcome. Our fencing professionals are happy to consult with you to determine which fence type, material, and design works best for you and your project and then install your fence properly for accuracy and longevity. Learn more about creating privacy with a wood fence, call 770-214-4235 or contact us through our online form today.

The post Block Views with Wooden Privacy Fences appeared first on First Fence.

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The Cicada Invasion vs. Your Wood Fencing


The Cicada Invasion of 2021 is well underway and we have answered a couple of common questions that might be crossing your mind right about now.

While cicadas can seem scary, gross, and loud, they are far from harmful. They are gentle and easy to handle even if they land right on your face. They emerge from the ground once every 17 years, do their thing, and then go back underground for another couple decades. We are merely their hosts while they live their above ground lives once every seventeen years.

If you do not live in a wooded area, there is a chance you will not see much cicada activity at all! The cicada’s life cycle is highly dependent on trees. They lay their eggs in small tree branches, burrow near trees because that is where the larvae fall when they hatch, and finally they come up near trees because that is where they fell 17 years ago. And so, the cycle begins again.

Will cicadas harm your wood fence?

No! Cicadas depend on wood in the form of trees, not fencing. You will probably see them crawling on your fence and using it as a good place to shed their outer shell, but they will not eat your wood fence or lay eggs on it. They may perch there for awhile until they are ready to fly, and when they are they will fly away and find a suitable branch on which to complete their life mission.

Will cicadas leave your fence a mess?

Cicadas do not excrete any kind of mess that will end up showing on your wood, or even vinyl, fencing. The worst they will do it is leave their exoskeleton hanging on the side of your fence. These skeletons can be easily swept away if you wish to take a broom to them. If left alone long enough, however, they will eventually get knocked off by the wind or rain. Over time they will deteriorate and disappear.

In summary, you not need to worry about Cicadas harming your fence. They may be loud and annoying, but they mind their own business for the most part. Bear with them for just a little longer and we guarantee you wont see them again 17 years or so

The post Blog first appeared on Frederick Fence Company.
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Residential Fencing in Montgomery County

Each County that we service has its own set of fencing regulations that we must adhere to. Montgomery County is no different. Any plans to install a fence within Montgomery County have to be submitted to and approved by the permitting department (DPS). Unless you have a lot of experience with the permitting world or take time to research all the material, it can seem impossible to make sure you follow every residential fence regulation.


General Permitting Rules

A permit is required by the county in most cases. The only occasion it is not required is if you are replacing a fence with the same fence design. It must

be the same height, have the same layout, and be made out of the same material. In addition, either you or the county must have record of a permit that was obtained for the original fence.

This is not often known, but the county requires an official property plat on which to show the location of the proposed fence. It must have a stamp of certification as well as show the location of the house on your property. If you do not have an official plat, it may exist in the county records, which can be searched via a records request form: .

If the county has no record of a plat for your property, one must be obtained through a survey company. This is often an unexpected additional cost, but a fence cannot be installed without a permit, and a permit cannot be obtained without a property plat.


Height Regulations

The maximum height for fencing in Montgomery County is 6.5.’ Additional residential fence regulations apply when installing fences close to roadways and on corner properties. The county always considers how fencing will affect the visibility of drivers on the road.  The general rule for corner properties is that a fence cannot exceed 3’ tall within 15 feet from the corner on each side. If a homeowner wishes to contest this rule, they are welcome to call and request a site visit. An inspector from the county will come out and take a look at the property in relation to the street and either confirm or change the regulation in that specific case.


Taller fences (up to 8′) can be approved for fencing that is meant to keep deer out of your property. It has to be made of either deer mesh or chain link to be considered a deer fence. The county takes deer, specially the danger of Lyme disease, very seriously.

Distance Rules

Montgomery County requires that all fencing be installed on the owner’s own property. Written permission from the adjoining neighbor will be required if that is not the case. Frederick Fence has made it a policy to install fences a few inches within the property line. We do this in order to avoid issues with neighbors, HOA’s, and municipalities. Knowing where the property line is located, however, is up to you. There is no way for us to know where it is unless there are property pins, or clearly marked in some other way.



If you own land in Montgomery County, there is a good chance that some of it contains an easement. Easements are portions of land that are technically owned by the landowners, but that the county or service companies have legal access and rights to. Forest Conservation, WSSC, Storm Drain, Public Utility, Flood Plain, and Bridle easements can all affect your potential to have a fence or not. The following picture shows the amount of Forest Conservation area in a portion of Montgomery County.

The company or county that has control over the easement has the right to forbid the installation of your fence within the easement. In most cases, fencing is allowed, but special approval from the appropriate company or county will be required when getting a permit for the fence.

They may also require that you alter the layout or the style of fencing before approving it. For example, fencing located within floodplains cannot exceed 42″ tall. It must also be a very open style of fencing to allow water to move through it, such as paddock or split rail fencing.



If you have any questions concerning the rules for fencing in your area, ask your sales representative when he comes out to meet with you! Our guys have specific areas that they work in, so they are well versed in the county, city, town, and even HOA rules that apply to you and your fencing. Give us a call at 301-663-4000 when you are ready to meet with someone and get an estimate.

The post Blog first appeared on Frederick Fence Company.
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7 Reasons you Should Consider Chain Link Fencing

Chain link fencing might not be the most aesthetic style that we offer, but it has almost every other important trait to its advantage. Beauty isn’t everything; especially when you consider the other qualities this fencing has, such as durability and low maintenance. Continue below to learn all our reasons for considering chain link to be one of the most practical fencing options.

1. Quick Installation – Chain link can be installed quicker than any other type of fencing. The posts are much smaller than any wood or vinyl posts, which saves time on digging the holes. Chain link posts are also round and more durably than square aluminum post, so they are installed much more efficiently without running the risk of damage to the posts. All that’s left to do after the posts are installed is unroll the chain link wiring, stretch it, and attached it!

2. Strength – The twisted steel wire design of the chain link fence makes it extremely durable and strong. If you have ever climbed (or tried to climb) a chain link fence as a kid, you understand how tough they are. The strength of chain link makes it an especially great option for dog fencing. It can also be a great barrier for keeping other unwanted animals out of your yard.

3. Color variety – Chain link comes in either galvanized, black, brown, or green. Color options may vary due to the time of year, but currently our chain link is our most consistently available material we have to offer.

4. Height Flexibility – You can basically be as precise as you wish with the height of your chain link fence. It comes in a few different heights, but the wire can always be cut down to whatever height you choose, down to the inches.

5. Security – Chain link is the favorite fencing option when it comes to security. It can be improved with additional security features to prevent any one or anything climbing over or under the fence like barbed wire, coil wire, or bottom railing.

6. Easy Repair – Even though chain link is connected down entire lines, it is extremely simple to just cut out damaged sections in order to replace them with a new one. Unlike with wood or other materials, chain link almost never changes, so you can sure that the repaired sections will match.

7. Low Maintenance – Chain link fencing will essentially take care of itself. There is no painting or staining necessary. It is not even practical to try and clean it. The vinyl coating that comes on the black, green, and brown options protects the inside from rust and deterioration. While the galvanized steel is simply resistant to rust naturally. Chain link fencing is also resistant to different kinds of pests and creatures that can destroy wood materials.

Chain link has its shortcomings when it comes to looks and style versatility. However, if you are looking for a fence that will effectively suit your needs for safety, maintenance, and strength, you might want to reconsider the idea that chain link might be just what you need.

The post Blog first appeared on Frederick Fence Company.

Frederick Fence Co, A Day in the Life



By 6:30 AM the fence crews are arriving to prepare for their jobs by fueling trucks, loading lumber, and collecting the tools they will need during the day ahead. Eric, our installation manager, oversees them all. He makes sure everyone knows where they need to go and that they get there in a timely manner.

You might also spot Eddie, our yard manager, helping coordinate and doing what he can to make sure everyone is sent off smoothly.

Jackie is here in the fence supply company office just as early as the crews. She is ready to take calls from any customers who might be wondering when their crew will be arriving. She is also available to anyone who might have questions, concerns, or need to notify of urgent last minutes changes to their schedule. In cases of inclement weather, Jackie is the one who lets customers know if there will be delays.


At the same time, Roxanne is at the front desk in the fence supply showroom taking early morning orders for materials and coordinating order pick up. It is not always easy to send crews out while we load materials for retail customers, but our team makes it work well.


As the morning goes on, a couple of team members are just about finished with the morning’s routine cleaning as additional office staff begin to trickle in. Joan is hard at work on HR tasks and processing new fence jobs in our system. Erica gets to work returning calls or emails from individuals who have asked for estimates over the past evening or weekend. The monotonous accounting, billing, pay role, and permitting tasks pick up where they left off the day before.

As you walk through the halls later on you may come across a sales representative or two when they are not out meeting with potential customers. Since the start of COVID, our sales reps have mostly been working from home. A few however, still schedule office days where they come in to do paperwork, turn in contracts they have sold recently, and check in with our sales manager, Bill.

You may also hear and spot Charlie, our beloved founder, coming down the halls and greeting everyone he meets with a “Hi! How are you?!” He does everything from assisting sales reps and meeting with customers to fine tuning certain methods or price lists and boosting moral! He might have a meeting or two with one or all of his children, who now own and run the company.

You will probably see Erin, Kelly, and Todd at multiple points throughout the day as well! Kelly and Todd handle ordering materials and managing different aspects of our fence supply company. Erin is the president and oversees everyone in the office and in the field as well as every fencing job that is sold, processed, and installed.


In the installation department, Matt and Jackie are busy taking and making calls to schedule fences that are due to go in within the next few days. They let customers know when they can expect the crew to arrive on the day of installation and what they can expect to see happen.

Eric is also available to handle any issues or questions that come in from customers who are currently having their fences installed that day. He also works on finalizing the installation schedule and determines which crews will install which fences. Not all our crews are alike. They all come in different sizes and abilities, but do not misunderstand us; all our crews are wonderful! Some are just better at installing certain materials or handling a larger or smaller amount of fencing per day.



By 3 or 3:30, crews start arriving back here and the office winds down for the day. Everything will start over again in the morning. The Frederick Fence team will give more estimates, install more fences, and make more customers happy. 

The post Blog first appeared on Frederick Fence Company.
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Wood and Vinyl Picket Fencing

When you say you want a picket fence, you may not have realized  just how many design options we have available! Everything from material, height, color, picket style and size, and post style are customizable. We want you to feel free to choose from all the options we have to create a fence that will be the perfect solution for. . .

Perimeter fencingPet fencingPool fencingGarden fencing

Wood or Vinyl?

Wood is a wonderful, natural material that you just can’t replicate with anything else. Wood picket fences are slightly more customizable than vinyl as well. There are more picket and post style options available. Our wood material options include pressure treated pine and premium western red cedar. Our treated pine has a life span of about 10-15 years, which is pretty good for a fence! Our cedar, on the other hand, is trusted to last 20 or even 30 years!

Our vinyl material comes into play from a whole different ball game when it comes to lifespan. How would you like to buy a fence that will last for the rest of your life? That is what vinyl will get you! So, depending on your needs and price point, we will be able to guide your decision to the material that is right for you!

Pictured here are very similar picket fence style, but in wood vs. vinyl.

Wood Picket and Post Styles

Before we discuss posts and pickets, let’s differentiate between the two when it comes to this type of fencing. The Posts are the 4″x4″ or 6″x6″ support structures that go into the ground. The rest of the fence is held up by and extends from the posts. Pickets are the smaller vertical pieces that are located in between each post and make up the majority of the fence.


Wood pickets come in a variety of styles. You can change the whole look of your fence just by changing the shape of the picket top. The Williamsburg is basic with its straight smooth top. If you want something more decorative, consider the Fredericktown or Victorian picket. The Seneca is a great “in between” option with its slight dog ear shape.


There are also a variety of post options to choose from. Some of them match the shape of pickets with the same name, but feel free to mix and match to fit your style. The following diagram also shows a couple of different sizes, which serve different purposes for certain fence needs.

Vinyl Picket and Post Styles

There are also picket and post cap style options available to choose from in the vinyl material.   Remember, you will have this fence forever, so be sure to pick something you will most likely love forever!

Space Board Picket

Our space board picket fences do not have any picket caps. Each section of this fence is topped with a horizonal board, which closes off the top of each section.  If you choose a space board picket fence there is no need to choose a picket style, but feel free to decide on whichever post cap you like.

Straight, Dipped, or Arched?

Picket fences can be straight along the top line of each section, dipped in the center, or arched in the center. Both wood and vinyl fences can have these characteristics. You can even customize the amount of dip or arch you would like! Some fences are dipped or arched more than others to create different looks.

Completely Customizable

Our desire is to build the fence you want! Everything in the following list can be customized to fit your specific needs and style. The sky is the limit . . . but not really because most municipalities have a height restriction. 

Fence HeightFence MaterialVinyl colorsWood picket widthVinyl picket width (contemporary or classical)Post sizeRadius of dip or archPicket stylePost cap styleWidth between picketsAmount of space between the ground and the bottom of the pickets


If you’re ready to get an estimate for a fence, call the office at 301-663-4000  and set up an appointment today! We would love to help you build the perfect picket fence.

The post Blog first appeared on Frederick Fence Company.
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