Give Santa a Safe Landing Strip on your Roof in the Twin Cities

Tis the season to be jolly, and Santa is currently rushing to get his sleigh ready for Christmas deliveries. That means your roof should be prepared for the big man in the red suit to make his landing. A damaged roof won’t make a safe landing strip, but there are other issues to consider besides a potential lawsuit from old Saint Nick.  Roof damage during winter can turn into a nightmare for homeowners. Leaks are the most common issue that can lead to substantial repair costs. However, a roof can completely detach in rare cases when the winds are high. To keep Santa happy and your family warm, consider having your roof inspected before the worst of the weather emerges. 

Free Roof Inspection

Just like Santa, Van Horn Construction is committed to offering our customers a gift in the form of a free roof inspection. You won’t have to pay a penny to have your roof inspected for damage and maintenance needs.  A professional roof inspection identifies all current and potential problems. Once you get the report, you can decide whether the required work is merited. We are impartial and will always provide our customers with accurate and honest recommendations. 

Roof Repairs in the Twin Cities

Roof repairs are an essential part of home maintenance. The last thing you want is a leaking or draughty roof in the middle of winter when the temperature dips. Invest in roof repairs, and the structure will last much longer.  Contact Van Horn Construction if you think your roof is ready for an inspection. We do a thorough job to ensure that your issues are detected, and our customers benefit from practical solutions. If you wish to address the issues raised in the report, our team of professionals will gladly oblige.

Attic Condensation, Its Causes & Consequences

Did you recently pull the holiday decorations down from the attic only to find the box soggy or worse yet, covered with mold spores, and wonder if there is a leak?  The problem with attic condensation is that most homeowners do not go into their attic except to store or takedown decorations or other items stored there. Some might not even consider the “dust” as a problem, thinking it is just dust. While others, discovering a wet box of decorations, might panic and think they have a roof leak. It’s relatively easy to tell whether condensation or a leak caused your attic condition. Most roof sheathing is a light color, and you can spot the stains.   If you find a dark stain close to a gap that goes through your roof, it is probably a leak. However, if the darkened sheathing spreads across a vast expanse, it is more likely a problem with condensation.      

Common Causes of Condensation

One of the most common sources of problems that cause condensation in the attic is an exhaust fan hose that came unhooked and allowed that hot air to vent into the attic rather than outside as it was intended. Dryer and range hood vents are the most likely culprit.  Another source that is not as obvious is blocked soffit or roof vents. Articles stored in the attic could have been places over these vents. Check to make sure the attic vents and soffit are clear, and no boxes or insulation is lying over these areas.  Periodically, inexperienced siding and soffit installers do not use the perforated soffit intended to allow air to circulate through your attic. Some old school installers think these vents allow heat to escape from the home, which is inaccurate. 

Common Consequences of Not Fixing the Problem

The consequences of condensation in your attic might not be apparent for years. When the condensation forms on rafters and roof supports and then dries, it causes a structural problem known as “dry rot.” Dry rot can weaken roof supports and eventually lead to collapse if not remedied. It’s much cheaper to get an annual inspection of your attic by qualified roofing professionals than to assume everything is fine.

Contact Van Horn Construction to Inspect Your Attic for Condensation   

Contact Van Horn Construction to ensure your attic is not subject to condensation buildup because of improper ventilation.

Does Your Roofing Estimate Include These Necessities?

When most home and business owners consider roof replacement, there are many expenses they fail to consider. That’s why it is essential when you get an estimate for roof replacement, you get a statement of work and compare each construction company’s cost analysis.  When a company gives you a price for roof replacement and does not include the following roof-related necessities, you will not get your money’s worth. You might have to pay more to get these items and have another company complete the installation.

Gutters & Downspouts

Gutters and downspouts come in a variety of shapes, sizes, colors, designs, and prices. The most popular and perhaps cheapest is the K-style gutter, which is available just about anywhere. Another popular choice is the seamless gutter, which would be more popular if available in more areas.   One popular addition is the gutter guard, which keeps leaves and other debris out of your gutter so that there’s no need to get your gutters swept or cleaned year after year. Having these installed can save you money over time.


Regardless of the roofing material used, flashing will need to be installed. Flashing is typically a thin metal material, such as galvanized steel or aluminum.  Roofing installers use metal sheets or other pliable waterproof material to direct rain and melting snow away from chimneys, vents, skylights and other roof areas like dormers or walls. After the roofing material is put in place, roofing cement, caulk, or sealant is used to waterproof the area susceptible to leaking.   

Soffit & Fascia  

Although most professionals in the exterior design and construction field consider these as part of siding installation, when you replace the roof and gutters, chances are you will need to replace these as well. The soffit is a portion of the overhang where the siding meets the roof. Depending on the new roofing install, these may not need to get replaced. The soffit is essential to maintain continuous ventilation around the eaves. Typically, every third panel has vent holes to allow airflow to prevent moisture and eventual dry rot of the wood or other supports. When you install new gutters, you will likely need to replace the fascia at minimum, as the gutter supports are usually nailed to the fascia.   These two minor parts of your building’s exterior may seem trivial, yet these are a significant portion of curb appeal and should be addressed with a new roof.  

Consider Contacting the Professionals at Van Horn Construction   

Contact the roofing professionals at Van Horn Construction to discuss your roofing-related needs. Our professional technicians can walk you through the process we will use to replace your roof and related items, give you a no-obligation, free estimate and schedule a start date.

The Most Obvious Signs a Roof Needs Repair

While the average homeowner may not have the experience or tools to conduct a full roof inspection, there are some signs of disrepair that are obvious to spot. The following symptoms should prompt you to hire a professional roofing contractor to conduct further investigation. 

Roof Sagging

When a roof begins sagging it is typically caused by some sort of water damage. Heavy rain and snow are the usual culprits if the roof isn’t built to withstand that type of weather, or there are underlying structural problems. Reinforcing the roof with repairs and additional support can solve the issue. 

Loose roofing Tiles or Shingles

Again, the weather is the most likely cause of loose roofing tiles or shingles. Hail, snow, rain, and debris from strong winds can cause roofing tiles damage to roofing tiles. You should be able to spot these issues with the naked eye from the ground. However, using a suitable ladder to more closely inspect the roof will provide a more accurate assessment. 

Clogged Gutters

Clogged gutters can cause water to back-up and pool on your roof. As explained earlier in the blog, water is one of the most destructive forces when it comes to roof damage. If moisture can seep through any compromised area into the roof space, ceilings, or walls there is the potential for significant structural damage occurring. 

Moss and Mold Growth

Moss and mold growth can cause or indicate that there is excess water pooling on your roof. The problem with removing moss is that it often protects your tiles by creating a barrier where spaces exist. If you want moss and mold removed from your roof, it is important to hire a professional roof contractor who can remove the material, clean the roof, and repair any damaged spaces to prevent moisture intrusion.  For more advice on safe roof inspection or to book a free inspection, call Van Horn Construction today.

A Free Home Inspection Can Uncover Hidden Maintenance Needs


What do you think a property inspection will uncover about your home? Even if the sidings, windows, roof, and guttering systems look in good condition, you may discover there are hidden maintenance needs that could save you down the road.

Roof Damage or Instability

The roof is perhaps the most likely place where damage or instability can go unnoticed. It’s one of the least accessible features on your property, making it difficult to inspect with the naked eye. Even minor damage to a roof can have serious consequences. Leaking water can destroy other structures in the home and even lead to electrical fires.

The second and more dangerous issue with a roof is potential instability. As a major structure, it doesn’t take much to imagine what could happen if a roof collapses or detaches. This is a problem that may only manifest during strong winds, by which stage it could be too late to avert disaster.

Windows & Draughts

It is rare for window frames to suffer structural damage so significant that the entire installation detaches. However, draughts from windows are a problem that you should not ignore. There is a monthly cost associated with poor insulation and potential damage from condensation to consider.

If you notice that your energy costs are rising, or there is condensation building up around windows, an inspection can identify the root cause of the problem. Repairing windows is one option but replacement often results in further savings when more energy-efficient glass and frames are installed.

Siding Problems

Most siding damage is visible except for erosion. When siding materials are weakened or become brittle, the issue is not always easy to detect unless you know what to look for. A construction specialist can walk you through an inspection and point out any problems.

If you would like a free inspection of your home’s exterior features, reach out to Van Horn Construction today.

Innovations in Roofing Technology

Technological advancements are apparent in nearly every aspect of contemporary life. The construction industry is no different. Manufacturers are developing new roofing materials that last longer and protect homes and businesses better than previously thought possible. Advancements in roofing materials display improvements. We will look at some of these advancements so building owners looking at a roof replacement can see how they can benefit from roofing innovations. New roofs in the Twin Cities area will not only provide the building owner protection from nature’s elements but also play a crucial role in energy-efficiency and cost-effective developments.  Local construction firms like Van Horn Construction demand better roofing materials with more extended warranty periods to give homeowners a roof that will last for the full lifespan of their building.  Van Horn now provides or will soon offer many of these cutting-edge and innovative advancements in the roofing industry that boost efficiency for homes and businesses. We’ll look at roofing materials with insulation built-in, less expensive synthetic roofs, the benefits of solar, fireproof roofs, and the benefits of cool roofs.   

#1 — Roofs with Built-in Insulation

Manufacturers now make fiberglass and asphalt shingles with higher R-Values. According to the Federal Trade Commission, Consumer Information, “R-value means resistance to heat flow. The higher the R-value, the greater the insulating power.”  Therefore, roofing materials with more insulation built-in means less insulation needed in the attic. Nowadays, many homeowners are making better use of their space. Subsequently, more homes have a mother-in-law suite or family entertainment center instead of an attic. An energy-efficient roof means using less fuel to heat your home or business.

#2 — Synthetic Roofs

Many homes and businesses prefer a synthetic stone or tile, which are more durable, lightweight, and more economical than terracotta or slate. Slate roofs are incredibly attractive. These are also incredibly expensive and bulky. The added weight can strain your building’s support systems. Synthetic slate or tiles look precisely like their counterpart at a fraction of the price and weight.

#3 — Solar Roofs  

Whether you are looking at installing solar panels or an entire Tesla solar roof, the energy savings could pay for the installation over time. Typically, this new concept of roofing tiles come in four designs, slate, smooth glass, Tuscan glass tile, or a textured glass roof tile.  Although Van Horn Construction is not yet installing solar roofs, tomorrow’s only a day away.  

#4 — Fireproof Roofs   

Fireproof roofing can significantly hamper wildfire spreading and protect your home from destruction. The need for these materials is not as necessary for Twin City area homes and businesses like those in California, Arizona, and other at-risk areas. However, using fire-resistant roofing materials on suburban homes and summer cabins could be wise. Concrete and slate tiles, metal, and synthetic roofing materials are naturally fire-resistant, but new developments add durability, aesthetics, and safety.

#5 — Cool Roofs 

Another innovation many Minnesota residents will not consider attractive or necessary for their home or business is the “cool roof” technology. Although it could be beneficial for businesses that use fire and heat for manufacturing, these roofing materials take in less heat by reflecting more sunlight. Cool roofs can significantly reduce air conditioning during summer months. 


Although some of these innovations do not apply to the Twin City area, it’s always good to know what’s available when looking at high-priced renovations like roof replacement. When you consider replacing your roof, you should look at every possibility to ensure you are getting a building material that prolongs your building's life and adds value. Talking with a professional about the costs and benefits of each material could be more cost-effective long-term. 

Contact Van Horn Construction To Discuss Your Project

Contact the roofing professionals at Van Horn Construction. Call 612-756-7080, Monday through Friday, 7:30 am to 8 pm, or 9 am to 5 pm on Saturday. The roofing experts at Van Horn will provide you with a free quote for roof repairs and replacements. 

Spend on Windows, Save on Energy Bills

Have you noticed a considerable increase in your energy costs? For many homeowners, soaring costs are directly associated with low-quality or damaged windows. Energy efficiency is reduced because of drafts or because windows do not help to maintain ambient temperatures throughout the home.  Feeling comfortable in your home is important. If indoor temperatures are constantly shifting, despite your best efforts to set the air conditioning just right, your windows may be to blame. The constant battle to manage ambient temperatures will only result in higher energy costs. 

Identifying the Problem

Before having your windows replaced, identifying the cause of your skyrocketing energy bills is a good idea. There are other reasons that could be causing costs to increase, including poor insulation or a damaged roof. While upgrading your windows will increase energy efficiency, finding the most cost-effective solution for your budget is probably the most sensible approach.  Van Horn Construction offers a free inspection to help homeowners identify areas of concern, such as drafty or low-quality windows. Once it is established windows are causing the increase on your energy bills, investing in replacement units is a much easier decision. 

Window Replacement

For all your window replacement needs, Van Horn Construction is here to help. We can install windows that keep out drafts and increase the energy-efficiency in your home. The alternative is continuing to pay an excessive amount of cash just to keep temperatures and humidity at tolerable levels. This is your opportunity to achieve improved comfort and save on your outgoing costs at the same time.  To discuss your window repair or replacement needs, reach out to Van Horn Construction today. We also provide services for repairing and replacing other structures, including the roof, sidings and guttering. A free inspection could mark the first step on your journey toward a more comfortable home.

Why You Shouldn’t Rule Out a Smaller Roofing Contractor Business

When you are looking for electrical equipment, gaming consoles, cell phones, etc., the obvious strategy is to opt for the big players. For many homeowners, it makes sense to apply the same logic to choosing a roofing contractor. The thinking is the larger the company, the better the craftsmanship.  However, this is not necessarily true. You may actually find working with a large construction company becomes a nightmare. There are a number of reasons a smaller contractor is a better option for your roofing project. 

Customer Commitment

Whether you are in need of a roof inspection, general maintenance and repairs, or roof replacement, you want to know you can rely on your contractor. Large roofing companies typically cater to an equally large number of customers. This can result in several issues when it comes to completing the work at your premises.  First of all, there is a risk the contractor you are working with will take an impersonal approach. While you are not likely to add each other on social media, communication and rapport is important. You want to know your contractor is passionate about completing the work you have requested. If a company is juggling multiple customer projects, forging close working relationships is not always a priority. 

Time Management

If a large roofing contractor takes on a lot of projects at the same time, they need to prioritize their time and may not meet time deadlines. This can cost you in a number of ways, including incurring financial penalties on loans or paying additional rent for another property while work is ongoing. With a reliable smaller contractor, you know your project is the main priority and work will be completely according to the agreed schedule.  At Van Horn Construction, we have made a conscious decision not to upscale our business. This ethos allows us to concentrate on passionately serving each and every customer. If you need a roofing contractor who will form a cooperative working relationship with you throughout a project, reach out to our offices today.