Aug 25


Champion Listed as Top 100 Roofer


Champion Home Exteriors is proud to be named an industry leader in Roofing Contractor magazine’s Top 100 Roofing Contractors list. Champion came in at number 43, based on 2013 sales. Of note, 2013 was Champion’s first full year in the roofing market. Click here to find out how a Champion roof can be the last one you’ll ever buy.

Jun 17


Making a Difference in the Community


Champion Home Exteriors is excited to partner with Habitat for Humanity to get this home ready for the Nyilibakwe/Mukabalisa family.

Champion Home Exteriors, headquartered in Cincinnati, OH, recently partnered with Habitat for Humanity of Greater Cincinnati to help provide a deserving family with an updated home that will enable them to thrive.

As part of the partnership, Champion’s Cincinnati location is donating the company’s custom-manufactured replacement windows and its Comfort 365® roofing system—both of which will make the home more comfortable, energy efficient, and attractive.

“We’re thrilled to be able to make a difference in the community and help a family that’s working hard to succeed,” says Brandon McDonald, division manager, Champion of Cincinnati. “We’re also extremely pleased that our contributions will shorten the wait for the Nyilibakwe/Mukabalisa family to move into their new home.”

According to Charmaine Kessinger, development director, Habitat for Humanity of Greater Cincinnati, the partnership with Champion will help Habitat for Humanity complete the home rehabilitation more quickly and efficiently.

“Champion’s contribution is invaluable. We really appreciate it. Without it, we would need to either use operational dollars to purchase the replacement windows and roofing, or we’d need to raise money to fund those purchases,” Kessinger explains. “Either would delay the completion of the project and present the Nyilibakwe/Mukabalisa family with a longer timeline to move in.”
Immaculee Mukabalisa and Axel Nyilibakwe inside what will soon be their home.

Immaculee Mukabalisa and Axel Nyilibakwe inside what will soon be their home.

Axel Nyilibakwe and Immaculee Mukabalisa were approved as a Habitat for Humanity Partner Family in January of 2014. They live in Cincinnati with their eight-month-old son, Levi. Axel is a college graduate and is employed as a computer operator at United Mail in Cincinnati, OH. Immaculee is a college senior and will be graduating soon.

Axel and Immaculee have faced many challenges in their lives. Immaculee lost her parents, and Axel lost his cousins and uncle, in the genocide and turmoil in Rwanda. Despite these tragedies, the Nyilibakwe/Mukabalisa family is determined to make the most of the new life they have. Axel and Immaculee also are quite dedicated to helping others and supporting the community in which they’ll live.

As Axel and Immaculee put it, “Owning a decent house for our family is the best asset we can dream of and get in the United States of America, [and] owning our home can boost us in helping other families…. We are ready to do our part and go beyond in order to get our home in the United States.”

The rehabilitated house will be sold to Axel and Immaculee, who can expect a monthly payment of approximately $500, including loan principle, taxes, and insurance.

Champion Home Exteriors is proud to partner with Habitat for Humanity of Greater Cincinnati to complete this important project and wishes the Nyilibakwe/Mukabalisa family all the best.

Apr 3


Roof Replacement: Problems and Solutions

Roof Replacement - The Open Window

If you’re a homeowner, you’ll likely have to deal with replacing your house’s roof. Most elect to not tackle the work themselves, because—let’s face it—the experience, equipment, tools, supplies, and components necessary to do the job properly all make for a really big project. Any missteps in the process can lead to disastrous results for the home. Unfortunately, hiring a roofer isn’t without its pitfalls. Read on to learn about some of the common problems associated with roof replacement and how a professional approach to roof design, manufacturing, and installation solves them.

Inaccurate measurements result in overages (wasted money) and shortages (an incomplete roof). The use of aerial photos of the home ensures that all measurements are precise and that the roof-replacement project is managed properly from start to finish.

Existing roofs
Working on top of an existing roof can leave behind untreated problems, create unwelcome surprises, and void warranties. Removing the existing roof completely before the new roof is installed reveals unseen problems that can be remedied. Doing so also allows for the proper installation of a tested roofing system that’s backed by a powerful warranty.

Roof-deck inspection
Failure to inspect the existing roof deck before roof replacement can lead to premature failure, uneven appearance, poor anchoring, and other costly issues. Performing a complete roof-deck inspection is the only way to be certain that a sound nailing surface exists before replacing the roof.

The use of cheap drip edges, leak barriers, starter strips, fastening hardware, and roof-deck protection can lead to all sorts of very expensive and troublesome issues: rot in the roofing plywood, rotting fascia and gutter boards, soil erosion, leaks and ice dams, flying shingles and debris, nail pops, property damage, and more. Some roofers neglect to use some these components entirely! The use of premium components—all of which are proven to work effectively together and installed as part of a complete roofing system—prevents expensive surprises.

Rain flow
Failure to effectively divert rain flow can cause leaks at transitions, masonry deterioration, and more. The use of oversized flashing, step flashing, and crickets (water-diverting structures) provides maximum protection in the roof’s most leak-prone places.

Inadequate ventilation in attic spaces leads to ice dams, damage from thermal cycling, increased energy costs, premature roof failure, and voided manufacturer warranties. Ridge vents that are designed for the roofing system ensure that a perfect, gap-free fit is established for optimum exhaust and continuous air flow.

As you can see, hiring a roofer doesn’t always mean that you will have an expertly designed and installed roof. When evaluating contractors, be sure to ask how they take measurements, how the roofing components they use will work together to protect your home, and whether they guarantee their work so that you can have peace of mind.

Mar 6


Feeling the Stress of Thermal Cycling

The Open Window - Thermal Cycling

This winter has been a nasty one. Many homeowners have faced extremely cold conditions and the challenges that come with snowstorms and freezing rain. If you’re one of them, you likely dealt with slippery roads, school and business closures, and plenty more that you’d rather forget. Meanwhile, your home also had to fight the effects of the unpleasant conditions—effects that could have hindered the performance of its roof.

The root of the problem is thermal cycling. This phenomenon causes the expansion and contraction of building components. It’s ongoing, and it and corresponds to the changes in seasons. Expansion occurs during the warm months; contraction occurs during the cold months.

The damage caused by thermal cycling can put the integrity of the entire roof system at risk, and while no one can stop thermal cycling completely, you can limit its effects by ensuring that the temperature and humidity in your home’s attic space are as stable as possible. Having proper attic-space insulation and ventilation goes a long way to combating the harm caused to the roof by thermal cycling. Click here to learn more about the importance of attic-space climate.

Most building materials expand and contract at different rates. That’s why the stress caused by thermal expansion is intensified when different component materials are installed in layers. The roof is a perfect example of such a structure, where major layered components include ridge vents, shingles, underlayment for moisture resistance and roof-deck protection, and the roof deck. The shifting of layered components can be especially problematic, because when a layer shifts, all layers on top of it are forced to shift with it.

Damage from thermal cycling is more evident as your home ages, but serious problems could be lurking where you can’t see them—even in new homes. Consulting an expert in the field can help you learn some important information about how thermal cycling has affected your roof’s performance and whether your attic space is properly insulated and ventilated.

If an inspection reveals that roof replacement is necessary, ask the following questions when you’re talking to contractors: Who manufactures the roof? Is it a thoroughly tested and proven system, or is it being cobbled together with parts of unknown origin or quality? Are the roofing components made in America? What is the warranty on the roof? Does the warranty cover the roof and its installation? Will the roof be installed by professionals? Who will service the roof? In addition, be sure the contractor inspects your roof deck thoroughly before any work begins.

Jan 31


How to Handle Home and Garden Shows

Getting a Handle on Home and Garden Shows

Home and garden shows are great for checking out the latest in home improvement and beautification. Whether you’re looking for ways to enhance your home’s efficiency, comfort, and curb appeal, or you just want to see what the pros are doing to make properties prettier, there are some important steps you should take to make the most of the experience.

Jot down your project needs and related questions. You’ll kick yourself later for forgetting to ask that one important question or neglecting to bring up a critical detail in your discussion. Take a moment at home to put your questions, concerns, and requirements in writing. No detail is too small, and every project-specific question is important.

Bring photos. Detailed, high-quality images are always best. You can print them or store them on your mobile device. Take photos of your project site (replacement windows, siding, sunrooms, doors, and roofs). Include photos of project examples that you like. All of these pictures will help vendors create designs that fit your needs.

Take measurements. Document your project’s measurements to the best of your ability. Click here to learn how to measure properly for replacement windows.

Establish a budget. Know what you can spend before you get to the home and garden show. Vendors sometimes offer discounts that are tied to these special events. If you have a vendor in mind, make contact before the show to find out whether a promotional offer will be in play. Take advantage of the savings! And while we’re on the subject of specials and sales, some vendors also award prizes, so bring pre-printed return-address labels so that you can easily get your contact information on prize entries and product-information requests without having to do any writing.

Ask questions. The home-improvement industry is saturated with contractors. Posing the right questions will help you identify the good ones.

• Who designs your products?
• What makes you different from your competition?
• Who builds your products, and where are they made?
• Who installs your projects?
• What is your guarantee? Does your guarantee include installation?
• How long is the guarantee, and is the warranty transferable?
• Who will I contact for service or if there’s a problem?
• How many years have you been in business?

Dress for comfort and security. Wear shoes that will allow you to stay on your feet for extended periods of time. Consider using a backpack or other bag that will keep your hands free to takes notes and photos. Dress in layers. Wear clothing that has deep pockets so that you can keep your mobile device, project checklist, and other materials secure. Also, be sure to stay hydrated. You’ll be moving around a lot throughout the event, and event spaces can be quite warm.