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What are the Differences Between Asphalt, Fiberglass, and Tin Roof Shingles?

Not many homeowners are aware of the diversity when it comes to the materials on their roof. While it is true that they may have some knowledge, it is also true that they also do may not be as knowledgeable as they could be when it comes to what a roof is constructed from. There are over a dozen varieties of shingles on a roof, and three of these will be analyzed and discussed in this article: Asphalt, Fiberglass, and Tin.

Asphalt Roof Shingles

Across all the varieties of roof shingles, asphalt are the most common. They are the most common because they are easy and cheap to install and also because they come in a plethora of designs.

Because they are so common, it is very easy to have these installed. Nearly any roofer, from Plano TX to Boston MA, will be able to install, work on, repair, or replace asphalt shingles. And because they are so cheap to maintain and easy to install, most roofers can be finished installing asphalt shingles in a matter of hours. Additionally, they can keep a house cool by deflecting UV rays. This is very important for anybody who lives in hot climates year-round.

You do get what you pay for with asphalt shingles, however, so they do not last long. They only last an average of 20 years, with many repairs likely needing to be done within that time frame. Additionally, if you live around a lot of trees, the limbs and branches from them can easily damage the asphalt shingles. This is also a cause of constant repair. If you live in a dry area where there is a small chance of outside impact on your roof, it would be ideal to install asphalt shingles. They will keep the house cooler and will be much cheaper to maintain.

Fiberglass Roof Shingles

A variation of asphalt shingles are fiberglass shingles. These are a bit more expensive than asphalt shingles, but last a bit longer and are resistant to even more things than asphalt shingles. Similar to asphalt shingles, fiberglass shingles will reflect UV rays. But because fiberglass is not flammable, they are also somewhat fire-resistant as well. They are not completely fire resistant because they are combined with asphalt shingles, which are flammable, but they provide a bit more protection from fire than standard asphalt shingles.

As mentioned previously, fiberglass shingles do cost more money than traditional asphalt shingles. To provide some perspective, asphalt shingles can be installed for as low as $1700. Fiberglass shingles can be installed starting at $3800 on average. However, because they cost a little more, fiberglass shingles also last a little longer, about ten or so years longer than asphalt shingles do. They are also slightly more durable than asphalt shingles. If you do not want to spend a lot of money on a roof but also want more protection than asphalt shingles, then install fiberglass shingles.

Tin Roof Shingles

The first thing to know about tin shingles is that they are made of metal. Roofs that are made of metal last incredibly long, in particular, because they can obviously absorb a lot of impact and exposure to outside elements. Any metal roof, tin included, can last as long as fifty years. This makes metal roofs a very good long-term investment that will provide almost maximum peace of mind when it comes to any homeowner’s roof.

Tin shingles can and will protect your roof from nearly anything and everything. However, because metal absorbs heat and doesn’t reflect it, tin shingles can and will increase the temperature of the house. However, there are now options to modify most tin roofs to not absorb so much heat. Additionally, installing a tin roof is deceptively expensive. Because the procedures of building and installing tin shingles is much different than the procedures involving any other kind of roof, not only does it cost more money, it also takes a lot of time.

How much money and how much time would something like this cost? Around $10 per square foot across a few days. But the price is well worth it, especially if you live in an area that encounters a lot of intense weather. Installing a tin roof in a place that experiences a lot of hurricanes, for instance, will save thousands in the long run, as asphalt and even fiberglass shingles are not nearly as durable as tin shingles.

After learning that there are so many kinds of shingles that can be placed and installed on a roof, it is easy to get overwhelmed by all the options. So the best way to go about choosing which shingles are right for your home is to go through a simple checklist, and always seek consultation from a roofing company near you.

First, you should determine how long you will stay in the home. Remember that different shingles have different lifespans. For example, if you plan to stay in your home for over 20 years, it would not make sense to install asphalt shingles, as they last a maximum of 20 years. But if you are planning to move within 10 years, it would probably not make sense to install tin shingles that last a really long time.

Second, take a look at what is surrounding your roof as well as the consistency of the weather in your area. Is it underneath a lot of tree branches and other things that can fall and damage the roof? Are you in an area that experiences hurricanes every fall? Answering these questions will also determine what kind of roof you should have installed.

These are considerations that many do not think about. And because they do not think about these kinds of things when installing a new roof, they either spend a lot more money than they need to on installing a roof, or they end up getting a roof installed that they then need to replace or make constant repairs on. These descriptions of these three types of roofs are designed to get you to think about which kind is best for you in the short term or in the long term.

 

Slope Roofs vs. Flat Roofs for Commercial Buildings

Commercial buildings need to last a very long time. Because of this, they need to have roofs that can stand the test of time. One thing that makes the process of installing and maintaining the perfect roof for any given commercial building is that there are options to choose from. When it comes to a commercial building, there are really only two options to choose from: A roof that has a slope or a roof that is flat. The real decision-making process begins when measuring the benefits and drawbacks between the two. Both types of roofs will be analyzed for this purpose and by the end, you will be much more confident in your choice to have either a slope roof or a flat roof installed for your commercial building.

Flat Roofs

Although no roof is completely flat as there needs to be some sort of semblance of pitch in any kind of roof no matter what the building may look like, there do exist roofs that have a pitch that is so even that it could certainly pass for a flat roof. Any very large commercial building, like a warehouse or a shopping center, could benefit greatly from a flat roof.

There are four reasons why a flat roof is very beneficial to a large building. Of these four, the most significant benefit is that they last a very, very long time, especially if the shingles are composed of metal. If a sloped roof with metal shingles can last upwards of 40 years, a flat one with metal roofing can last even longer, and they often do. Because flat roofs have no real slope, the chances of the roof coming off during any given major storm are much, much lower than a roof that has a steep slope.

Because of their surface, flat roofs very rarely require maintenance. This is especially true if the roof is equipped with proper drainage systems and devices. Once it is constructed and installed, it is likely that it won’t need any updates or repairs for several years. This makes a flat roof a very good long term investment and is ideal for any owner of a commercial building who is planning on using that commercial building for a very long time.

If a commercial roof repair crew does need to get on top of a flat roof to do some repairs, it is much easier for them to do this on a flat roof rather than a sloped one as well. One reason why sloped roofs usually stay untouched is because walking on them is very, very dangerous. This is not the case with a flat roof.

Flat roofs are not perfect, however, and do contain some drawbacks. First, flat roofs are not appealing at all. They are not appealing because they are simply not visible. There is no way to “see” a flat roof. Second, if one is to have a flat roof installed, they must have some kind of drainage system for the building installed. If one is not installed, rain will gather on top of the roof and cause leaks. The final drawback a flat roof has is that they cost much more money upfront than any sloped roof.

Slope Roofs

A roof with a slope is more common for residential buildings, but commercial buildings can also benefit somewhat from slope roofs. Different than a flat roof, a slope roof has a lower pitch. Most roofs with a slope will use asphalt shingles, especially if they are residential buildings. For commercial buildings, there is a better solution, which will be mentioned later.

Perhaps the best thing about a sloped roof for a commercial building is that it will make the building visible. This is useful if the building would be difficult to find among other buildings if it had a flat roof. It is much easier to notice a slope roof building among dozens of flat roof buildings. If the commercial building does not take up a lot of area, this is even better as the risk of having a sloped roof is not as high.

Installing a sloped roof costs much less than a flat roof. It costs less because of a few reasons. First, they do not take as long to install. Flat roofs can take days to install. A sloped roof, especially with clay or asphalt shingles can take hours. Second, there is no drainage system necessary to be installed onto a sloped roof. Simply attach a few gutters and drainage pipes, keep them maintained regularly, and thousands of dollars are now saved on a drainage system.

Sloped roofs can protect a building almost as efficiently as any flat roof by installing metal shingles. Some say that metal is by far the most durable. It can hold up well during storms and are a bit more eco-friendly than any other roof material. However, they can cost a bit to install. But if you are considering installing a flat roof for a commercial building, it would behoove you to install metal shingles.

Sloped roofs present a high risk to any building. This goes double for a commercial building, as residential buildings can be insured for a lot less money than a commercial one. They require a good amount of regular maintenance because of the debris that can bounce off of it. And when people climb up the roof to make repairs, there is a risk to them. As mentioned previously, the gutters and drain pipes around a slope roof act as its drainage system. This is another thing that must be cleaned out regularly.

Choosing a roof for a commercial building involves many more decisions other than “what kind of roof do I want.” It is important to know that between flat and sloped roofs, there are many advantages and drawbacks to each. Flat roofs are built specifically for the long term. When a flat roof is installed, it is designed to last a very long time without much regular maintenance. Any commercial building that covers a lot of area and that stands alone would benefit greatly from a flat roof.

Sloped roofs need to be maintained regularly. More risks are taken when these are installed. They do not last long unless extra time and money is spent on getting metal shingle materials installed along with the sloped roofs. They will make a commercial building stand out, however, as most commercial buildings have flat roofs installed.

Epoxy Roof Coatings: What You Need to Know, and Why is it so Important?

The most important concern that anyone getting a roof installed should have, whether the building is commercial or residential, is protecting the roof from leaks. Fixing a leak can be one of the most costly ventures one could possibly take when repairing a roof. Whether you hire a roofing company to fix the leak or take the time, money, and effort to fix it yourself, it can be agreed that the best way to address roof leaks is by making sure that they never happen.

Another thing that anyone who has a long term investment in a roof should be aware of is protecting the roof from impact. In fact, it is because of debris that bounces off of an unprotected roof that causes leaks in the first place. Protecting your roof is priority one, and using the right coatings to protect your roof will provide peace of mind that will last. Epoxy roof coatings were invented for this very reason, to make sure that any given roof is protected from anything that could permanently damage it.

What is Epoxy?

Before any discussion about epoxy roof coatings can even begin, it is imperative to understand what epoxy the substance actually is. The reason why this needs to be known is because when using epoxy as a roof coating, it is possible to apply too little of it to where the roof is not as protected as it needs to be, and it is also possible to apply too much of it onto a roof to where it could permanently damage the roof.

Epoxy is a resin that almost immediately sticks onto any surface and makes the surface much harder. It is similar to cement but it does not bind anything permanently like cement does. Think of epoxy as a cross between plaster and cement. It is designed to hold things in place like plaster does, but it is also designed to create very, very hard surfaces, similar to cement.

So, to summarize, when epoxy is used as a roof coating, it is effectively cementing any material on the roof. This is why knowing about it is so important. If too much epoxy is applied onto a roof coating, the roof will literally turn into cement. It will get heavier and heavier as a substance, will cause the roof to be heavier than it needs to be, and it could cause damage to the walls in the attic.

Before you Buy – Necessary Precautions

Keeping this in mind, before you shop for epoxy roof coatings for your roof, there are few things to keep in mind. Drawing on the previous observations, that too little epoxy content will not protect the roof enough and that too much can cause damage to anything related to the roof, it would be a very good thing to use this information to make an educated decision on what kind of coating you need.

Different coatings have different amounts of epoxy in them. For example, the epoxy roof coating that is sold by Armor Garage has no chemicals to mix and lasts about 15 years. This seems like a good investment, but there is more information that needs to be gathered before using it on your roof. Because no roof is created the same, it is important to check to see what kind of coating is necessary for your particular roof.

There are a few ways to do this. The first way is to save this chart to a device of your choosing to see all (or most) of the coatings that exist. This will give you a general guide of what you may want to use. Another thing to do is to check what kind of materials your roof is made of, and how old they are. This requires you to climb on your roof, which can be extremely dangerous. It is not recommended that you do this alone.

Different rooftop materials have different durabilities and this should give you an idea of how strong the coating you want to get needs to be. For example, a roof with asphalt shingles, which is the most common roofing material, probably does not require coating with a high epoxy content, especially if it has been a long time since it has been installed. A metal roof that was just installed may need coating with a bit more epoxy content.

One thing that can ensure that you are not going to permanently damage your roof with an epoxy coating is to err on the side of applying too little. While it is true that applying too little coating will not protect your roof completely, at least it will protect your roof somewhat. Applying too much coating can weigh the rest of the house down, especially if the roof is made up of asphalt shingles.

Every roof should be protected as much as possible. Even in areas where there is not a lot of bad weather or a lot of debris hitting the roof constantly, it is still a good idea to consider protecting the roof. This is possible and very easy to do with epoxy coating, and it is a much cheaper alternative to not doing anything and then fixing a roof leak yourself or hiring somebody to do it.

While it is a very good idea to protect your roof with epoxy coating, this process can backfire if too much coating is applied. One solution for this is to protect the roof somewhat by only applying a little coating, or consulting with an expert in roof maintenance. These are just small things that can protect your investment of a roof in a big way that can save a lot of time and money in the long run.

 

 

 

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The Differences Between Commercial and Residential Roofing

The idea of roofing in and of itself appears simple: people get on top of a roof and install whatever roofing is necessary for a specific building. But there are specific roofing procedures for residential buildings and commercial buildings. From roof repairs in Frisco, TX to commercial roof installations in Long Beach, CA, there is a multitude of differences between residential and commercial roofing. In terms of materials used, labor, and design, there is a multitude of differences between residential and commercial roofing.

Materials Used in Residential Roofs Compared to Commercial Roofs

Because commercial structures often house many more things than a residential structure, they use different materials. While it is true that both of them can use one or two of the same materials, the rest of the materials used in residential roofs and commercial roofs are much different.

One thing that both of them can use is asphalt shingles. This is especially true if the commercial structure has the same kind of design as a residential structure. This is seen in many commercial structures that make up strip malls, as the designs of the structures in those places often resemble the same kind of design as certain residences. In this case, roofers are often directed to use the same kinds of materials to install the roof.

When it comes to very large warehouses, shopping centers, or any other building that covers a lot of land and houses a lot of things, the materials completely change. Instead of using asphalt shingles, or clay shingles, roofers are often instructed to use metal roofing materials. This is completely different from asphalt roofing in that the metal as a roofing material is much more durable and can withstand a lot more impact than asphalt roofing material.

The Design of Commercial Roofs Compared to Residential Roofs

People in residential areas have options when it comes to the color or the general design of the roofs that they wish to install. Additionally, because most residences are not places of business, oftentimes there is no real stake in the long term existence of the building. For purposes of the content here, long-term is at least 50 years. Because people who own commercial buildings have a lot of stake in the long term maintenance of their buildings, they typically are low sloped or flat.

Because of this, people who own commercial buildings often do not have a choice when it comes to the design of their roofs. Additionally, even the owners of strip malls are forced to follow a specific design for their building. The next time you drive by a strip mall, pay some attention to how the roofs are designed on them. You should notice that they possess the exact same design for their roofs. This is done for a reason, and that reason is that when everything is consistent in the design of a roof for a collection of buildings, everything costs less, which is very important when it comes to commercial roofing.

Labor and Costs Associated with Residential Roofing Compared to Commercial Roofing

Perhaps the biggest difference between residential roofing and commercial roofing are the numbers associated with the labor and the costs. As mentioned in the strip mall example, there are times where a residential roof and a commercial roof can look similar. On some rare occasions, they can look the exact same. However, that is where all similarities end because there is a much different procedure with residential roofing when compared against commercial roofing.

Residential roofing still utilizes a lot of resources to construct and install the roof. This is important to understand, but commercial buildings and roofing utilize even more resources and require a lot more money to install and maintain the roof.

The most obvious difference between commercial and residential buildings in the area, which of course adds to the cost of anything. But there are also a number of things that commercial buildings need to deal with when they are getting their roofs installed and repaired. But there are other a host of other things that comprise the labor and costs associated with commercial roofing that is not issued in residential roofing.

A lot of commercial roofs, especially the ones that represent bigger buildings such as warehouses and shopping centers, need other things installed that are not one ounce relevant to residences. The best example of these is piping, smokestacks, and airflow systems. These are things that definitely exist and can be options in residences in the form of chimneys and fireplaces, but they are much more common (and necessary in some cases) for commercial buildings.

Residential and commercial roofing both follow the same kind of process: install a new roof on top of a new building. The idea is the same, and there are some instances where there are similar materials being used. The major differences between commercial and residential roofing have to do with their labor and costs, the materials used, and the designs of the roofs. These three factors make up the core of the difference between commercial and residential roofs.

Again, it is possible that a commercial roof can resemble a residential roof. Passing by a strip mall will prove this. However, that is when the similarities end. When it comes to large commercial buildings such as shopping centers, warehouses, and even some major business buildings, the roofing is often completely different than a residence. This is because commercial buildings are built with the intention of having them stand for many decades. For that reason, the roofs for these buildings are often made of metal, as opposed to the asphalt that comprises the majority of residences.

Commercial roofs cost much more to install because they cover much more area. They also use certain roofing accessories that certain residential roofs typically do not use, such as smokestacks and piping.

Detecting Roof Leaks: Fixing it Yourself vs Hiring a Professional

Of probably all components of a home, the roof often gets ignored the most. That is likely because they last very long, with most of them lasting 25 years or longer. So it makes sense that many homeowners ignore the condition of their roofs until they encounter a massive leak which they need to then hire somebody to fix. Then, the problem goes away for a while, but because the roof has not been repaired completely, another leak (or three) occurs. And then the cycle repeats: You get somebody to fix this newer, more intense leak, then you finally realize that you probably need to replace the entire roof.

All of this could have been stopped if you just knew how to detect a leak in your roof and fix it before additional problems arise. This will save you quite a bit of time and money in the long run. Some leaks need to be fixed by a professional, but some can be fixed by yourself.

In order to determine if you can indeed fix a roof leak in your home by yourself, you first need to learn how to detect it. There are numerous causes for a roof leak, but most of them revolve around the same issues and that is a combination of normal wear and tear as well as damage caused by acts of nature, trees or animals and other wildlife that may be on the roof of your home. Now the common roof is fairly strong, and it is not necessary for you to check the roof of your home every week for leaks. Once a month could be excessive for some, but it is ideal if you want to prevent a leak from happening.

What Exactly Causes Leaks?

According to some experts in the field, roof penetrations are the biggest source of leaks and, of course, they are likely the most overlooked. Water stains, mold, and black marks in the plumbing, roof vents, chimneys or dormers in the roof can cause a leak. If it is not fixed properly, the leak could spread and become something much worse. If could lead to mold which can infect the roof penetrations. Approaching these penetrations through the attic is the best way to find these leaks. If that is not possible, you will need to approach the leak from the roof itself.

That describes how to find a leak and where most of them come from. The specifics of these are also useful in detecting roof leaks and then figuring out if you can fix them yourself or if you should hire somebody. Roofing Calculator has listed ten direct causes of roof leaks. There are some similarities within them, but they also exist some differences as well.

Roofing professionals say normal wear and tear, eroded brick chimneys, missing shingles, vent boots between the roof and the piping, roof holes, outdated architecture, clogged gutters, and frozen nails in the attic (known as “shiners”) can all cause roof leaks. These are easy to check for, and you can fix most of them alone. However, there are tasks that require the service of a roofing company.

When is it Possible to Fix Leaks Yourself?

It’s not always necessary to hire a professional for every small repair your house needs to make after detecting a leak. Sometimes you can fix the problem yourself, which saves you money. Any leak that is caused by deterioration, erosion or any kind of break down due to wear and tear can usually be fixed on your own. It’s only a matter of gathering up the proper materials and putting in the time and effort. If a leak is caused due to a lack of cleaning, then you should definitely handle the task yourself. Something as simple as cleaning out a gutter costs nothing except a few moments of your time.

The roof leaks that require a professional roofer are often the ones that require multiple repairs. Old, worn down shingles are a great example of something that would likely require you to hire roofers to either repair the shingles or, in most cases, install a completely new roof. Missing a few shingles is alright and you can often replace them yourself. But if there are any missing shingles or shingles that are torn up, it would save you more money, in the long run, to get a new roof installed.

Another instance where you will eventually need to hire a professional to fix a leak is if the repair is only a temporary fix. A good example is if the flash metal around the base of the chimney, or any structure on the roof, that needs to be resealed. It is possible to reseal it yourself, but this only serves as a short term resolution. Unless you want to keep making these changes over and over, it would be best just to pay a professional and replace the entire roof.

Small leaks are usually solved by making repairs yourself. The best example of this involves shiners. Recall that shiners are nails in the attic that have been frozen over. When it gets warmer, the formerly frozen nails melt, producing condensation and causes leaks. This is easily solved by clipping the nails while they are frozen. This will permanently solve your shiner issue causing leaks.

When you see a leak in your home, the very first thing that you should be thinking about is when you are going to get a new roof. Because the majority of house leaks can only really be eliminated on a short term basis, the long term solution to (more or less) any house leak is to prepare to get a new roof installation. Just consider that the reason these leaks exist is because of important foundational parts of the roof that are transitioning from experiencing normal wear and tear to completely falling apart. To prevent this transition from happening, it would benefit you to start saving up enough money and allowing enough time to get a new roof installed.

Things to Ask a Contractor When Getting a Roofing Quote

There are numerous things to consider when replacing and repairing your roof. Making changes to the roof of your house is a very long, labor-intensive, and possibly costly process that involves many decisions and many people. Additionally, when you make the decision to alter the roof of your home, you are committing to making nearly permanent changes to the home. These things all must be kept in mind before even considering getting roof work done.

Probably the very first thing that you should consider is if you even need roof work done at all. There are plenty of roof repairs that you can do yourself if they only require some user-friendly materials or other things that do not require contractors. For example, cleaning or painting a roof does not require a contractor. That is something that you can do yourself. It is the same with cleaning out gutters or even removing and replacing some fractured shingles on the roof.

If this is the case for your roof, then it is not too difficult to search out some resources on how to make minor repairs on your roof by yourself. If you do this, you will save much more money than you would spend by hiring a contractor. And hiring a roofing company to repair a roof is not cheap. Most contractors will charge $3.50-$5 per square foot. The average roof is 1,700 square feet. Doing the math on this, it costs roughly $10,000 to install a completely new roof. This does not include the cost of replacing an old roof or anything else that might need to be done on a roof, as well. Those things should be factored in as well, and when everything is considered, it can get extremely costly to repair and replace a roof. This is why it is suggested that before you consider hiring any roofing contractors, you learn to perform minor repairs on your roof yourself. This will save you much more money.

Questions to Ask Yourself Before Hiring a Contractor

The first thing to keep in mind when hiring a roofing contractor is the price you are willing paying. This is much different than if you are renting a place and you call in the maintenance crew to fix something. Those individuals get paid by the hour and respond to hundreds of calls to work on hundreds of properties daily. Contractors sent in to work on a home are much different. Different ones will have different rates. So before asking any questions to the contractors, you should ask yourself a few:

“How much am I willing to pay?”

“How long do I need these contractors?”

“What kind of work am I paying these contractors to do?”

Before hiring a contractor, or anybody to do anything, for that matter, it is very important to weigh your options. Unless you just have money to throw away, you should always consider how long something will take and how much it will cost. This may appear to sound like common sense, but it is surprising how many people choose not to pay enough attention to this part of the process. Once you answered the necessary questions, for what you want to hire in a contractor fand how money you are willing to spend, you are now ready to prepare questions for the contractors.

Questions to Consider Asking Potential Roofing Contractors

As mentioned previously, roofing contractors have numerous responsibilities when they are at work. There are also numerous details that go into roofing in general, many of which will be mentioned here. So besides the usual “how much do you charge, how long with this project take,” and other basic questions, there are a host of many more specific questions that should be answered if you wish to hire a roofing contractor. Some of these questions may make sense, and some require a bit of explanation. However, they are all very important.

Some of these questions make sense, such as asking the contractors if they are licensed, if they have worker’s compensation insurance, and if they have general liability insurance. It is common sense for a good contracting organization to have these because the work they do can be dangerous, and if the contractors have all of these it means your assets will be protected. There is no real complication with these questions as they do not deal with the roof itself. Other questions, such as asking if the contractors have someone to contact while working, contact info for the company itself, and if they have written estimates are also matters of common sense.

The second set of questions you should have for contractors is if they can remove the old roof if they are going to install drip edge or edge metal when installing the new roof and if they are going to use ladder stabilizers and/or standoffs when to protect the gutters. These questions deal with how these contractors are going to directly affect your roof. Removing the old roof is obvious; it certainly is not ideal to simply lay down shingles on top of an old roof. Many contractors would claim that this can save money, but it will lead to future problems which will cost more money in the future. Drip edge is material that is placed under the shingles and it allows runoff to flow into the gutters instead of behind them. This is very important in preventing water damage. Ladder stabilizers will protect said gutters from being damaged when the contractors climb up to the roof.

The final set of questions involves making sure your neighborhood will not be too affected. Asking what contractors do with refuse material is important for this reason. Asking what they do if there is unsavory weather is also important. You should also ask how the contractors are going to protect the landscaping–and assume that they will do this.

Armed with the information that you will get from contractors by asking these questions, you will have a much easier time in your process of getting your roof replaced.

 

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Telling Signs That it Might be Time to Get a Roof Replacement

All things considered, it seems like there could not be many things that affect a roof to where it needs to be replaced. This is especially true if your home is in a place that is not around trees and other materials that could damage the roof. Like so many structures of a house, the roof is one structure of a house that very few know how to replace, much less when to know when it needs to be replaced.

Like with many things that need replacing, knowing when to replace a roof can prevent a lot of future costs. When you refuse to learn how to detect when your roof needs to be replaced, you run the risk of spending more money in the future as well as having to hire contractors for longer jobs. To prevent this, it is a good thing to know when to replace your roof.

Another reason to know when to replace your roof is to protect your home itself. A damaged roof could affect other structures of the house causing you to spend more money. Roof damage can cause leaks, or in more extreme cases, permanent damage to the upper structures of your home. This can happen when there is strong rain or winds. There is a reason why many suggest that you check the roof of your home to see if it needs to be repaired or replaced twice a year; it is to save money on replacing a roof by just repairing a damaged part of the roof.

Depending on the material it is made of, most roofs last about 25 years before they need to be replaced. This is another reason why it is good to check twice per year to see if a roof needs to be replaced. Unless you built the house you live in yourself or have just recently replaced your roof, you do not know how long it has been since the roof in your home has been replaced.

Potential Things to Look for That Show You Might Need a Roof Replacement

There are quite a few things to check to see if a roof needs to be replaced. Because it costs so much money and time, it is not very ideal to replace an entire roof if one shingle appears damaged. That said, if you wish to spend that kind of time and money and have it to spare, you can replace your roof as frequently as you wish. In fact, if you live in a place that regularly sees hurricanes, tornadoes, or other acts of nature that can damage large structures, it may be necessary to replace your roof many more than 20 or so years since the last replacement.

The first thing to look for when finding out if your roof needs to be replaced is to inspect the shingles. The shingles are the largest component of your roof and are also the most important. If you know that your roof has not been replaced in 20 or so years, or see that most of the shingles are worn out and heavily damaged, then that is one thing that means that your roof must be replaced. There are certain degrees of damage to shingles and if there is minor damage, you can even fix things yourself if you have the right materials for it. But as a general rule, if you see many damaged and worn out shingles, it would be better to replace the entire roof.

There are many other issues involving shingles that could warrant that your entire roof should need to be replaced. Nearly half of these items provide a solid set of signs that a new roof may be necessary. Most issues involve shingles, and it covers everything from curling shingles, cracked shingles, missing shingles and shingles that are covered with algae. This proves that the very first thing to look for when seeing if your roof needs to be replaced is the condition of the shingles. Also, some articles say, a couple of worn-out shingles can be fixed on your own. But when there are quite a few shingles that need to be replaced, that is a clear sign that the entire roof should be replaced.

It seems that there are a great many Do-It-Yourself solutions to roof repairs. So one useful thing to do is to inspect all the components of your roof and figure out for yourself whether you need to hire roofers or perform the repairs yourself. One thing that likely does require you to hire roofers if there are punctures in the roofing material. Like with heavily damaged shingles, punctures require repairs that often entail replacing an entire roof. It may be possible to fix punctures by yourself, but most roofing companies and contractors would argue that it is better to replace the entire roof.

Another portion of the roof that should be inspected to see if it needs to be replaced is the gutters. If there are granules in the gutter, it may also mean that your roof needs to be replaced. However, like the shingles, there is a matter of degree with this. If the roof is brand new, or even if it has been a few years since you have replaced the roof, nothing really needs to be done other than cleaning out the gutters. If it has been over 10 years since the roof has been replaced, it means that the granules that protect the shingles are subject to being burned away from the sun. This can cause the shingles to deteriorate over time. To prevent any further damage to the foundation of the home, it would behoove you to replace the roof.

Replacing a roof is ideally something that should be done rarely, and if you inspect the roof of your home properly, you can tell exactly what signs to look for when it comes to replacing a roof. However, there are also small repairs to a roof that you can do yourself instead of replacing a roof. In order to save the most money and time, it is very important to know when to do roof repairs yourself and when to get the roof replaced.

 

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Environmentally Friendly Roofing Options

Protecting the environment has become a rather popular trend in our culture, but it can seem difficult for homeowners to consider eco-friendly roofing options. Not many think that the components of a roof even has a negative effect on the environment. This does not make the common homeowner a bad person, it just means that these homeowners do not know that eco-friendly roofing options exist. This article will explore how exactly the common roofing practices can damage the environment, and will then explore a number of environmentally friendly options.

Roof Components That Can Negatively Affect the Environment

There are two issues that must be addressed when it comes to a roof’s effect on the environment: recyclable materials and energy efficiency. Most of the materials that make up the shingles of a roof are not recyclable. This means when they are disposed of, nothing happens. They get placed in a landfill or any other area in your neighborhood where garbage is taken.

Another issue is energy efficiency. Houses with traditional shingle tile roofs can affect the temperature of many houses, thereby requiring you, as a homeowner, to keep the house at a proper temperature. This, of course, requires energy to be used. And as it is commonly known, using energy affects all kinds of resources. This is what happens when the common asphalt shingles are used to construct a roof. Although they are common, they are not eco-friendly.

Possible Sacrifices to Consider by Getting an Environmentally Friendly Roof

Because eco-friendly roofing materials and contractors are not as common as traditional roofing materials and contractors, possible inconveniences can come up. It seems like this is how most things that involve eco-friendly materials are, and it is something that cannot be helped. So one sacrifice that you may need to make when pursuing eco-friendly roofing is that you may need to go past shopping at places like your local home depot for eco-friendly roofing materials.

The other sacrifice that must be made is that these materials may not last as long and may have some disadvantages compared to conventional materials. Some of them may need to be replaced more frequently. Some others may cost more or might be harder to find. Like with any form of home preparation, there are a great many things to consider before swapping out your conventional roof for an eco-friendly one. If you’re considering an environmentally friendly roof, make sure to get in touch with a local roofing contractor to discuss all your options!

List of Eco-friendly Roofing Options

There are many environmentally friendly roofing options available. And if you are willing to make the general sacrifices listed above, you should be able to find at least one that suits your home. The following is a list of all the options, along with a short description of some good and bad qualities of each.

1. The “White/Cool Roof”: This is an eco-friendly option that involves the least amount of sacrifice. The white roof has white shingles that can keep a house cool by bouncing the sun’s rays off of the roof, instead of darker shingles that absorb the heat. This is great because if you live in a hotter climate, it can lower energy costs by quite a bit. If the shingles are still made of asphalt, they cannot be recycled, however.

2. Recycled shingles: These are shingles that are made of recycled plastic, wood fibers, and even rubber. Because these are recycled, they can be recycled again when they need to be replaced. Many who use these to construct a roof also say that they last a bit longer than asphalt shingles. However, they likely absorb heat just as much as any other material, which can raise energy costs.

3. Metal roofing: These reflect light just like the white roof does, and are said to be much more durable than shingles. Certain metal roofing is also recyclable and there is an option to choose a brighter color, which can also save on energy. However, metal roofing can cause a lot more water and/or snow runoff to the exterior of the house. This can fill gutters rather quickly, meaning you will need to clean them quite a bit. Metal roofing is not ideal for people who live in areas where there is a lot of rain or snow.

4. Wood shingles: Wood is one of the most recyclable materials known to man. Using it to form a roof can ensure that you can recycle parts of your roof that must be removed. However, they can be dangerous as wood is also flammable. If you live in a place that is not affected a lot by acts of nature, wooden shingles are ideal. However, they do not last nearly as long as metal roofs.

5. Clay and slate: Along with white shingles, clay and slate have been a beautiful look for many roofs over the years and they are very common to come across. They last even longer than metal, and are also recyclable. Clay and slate roofing remains one of the most eco-friendly of all roofing options. However, they are extremely expensive. Also, they are heavy, meaning before you get them installed, you will need to make sure the foundation of your house is reliable as well.

 

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Hurricane Season: What to Check for and How to Prep Your Roof

People who live on the coast know all about hurricane season and all of the damage these storms can do. The common home is no exception. How many times have we heard about a hurricane ripping apart a whole neighborhood of houses? Who hasn’t seen footage containing the aftermath of such hurricanes? During hurricane season, your home is in danger. This is a fact almost everyone has to deal with. It just comes with the territory of living on the coast.

However, a silver lining does exist. While your home is in imminent danger during hurricane season, there are numerous ways to prepare your home for when these storms hit. There are many methods that exist which will cost little money and time. As many who have dealt with hurricanes would say, there is no such thing as being “too prepared” for hurricane season. And the roof of your home, and other things involving it, is no exception.

What to Expect During Hurricane Season  

This section is for anybody who is not familiar with places that are frequently hit by hurricanes. Hurricanes contain intense high powered wind, followed by heavy rain. This wind can take debris and throw it into your car or home. Anything and every car or home you own, no matter what, is suspect to getting some semblance of damage when a hurricane hits. It cannot be avoided, but the damage that your home, roof in particular, can be drastically lessened if you just prepare properly.

The Most Common and Popular Ways to Prepare Your Roof for Hurricane Season

Preparing your roof for hurricane season is not as difficult or as time-consuming as you may think. There are many things that you can do to make sure that your roof can survive as much as it possibly can during hurricane season. Although it can be a nuisance, and most roof work is, if you do these things, they will ensure that your roof will be protected as much as it can be. Certain things are only ideal for certain rooftops, and this will be mentioned in the list below.

  1. Use roof tie-downs: While this is not easy nor time-consuming, it may be necessary if you live in a crowded area that could be affected by a hurricane. A roof tie-down will essentially lock your roof in place, this way it doesn’t get blown around as much as the same roof would if a strong hurricane hits.
  2. Update the shingles on your roof: Compared to using tie-downs, this is much easier to do and can save quite a bit of time. If you do not live in a crowded area or you have a relatively new roof that may just need some of the shingles re-tightened. This is fairly easy to do. Just apply roof adhesive to any loose shingles. If this is done 2 to 4 weeks before hurricane season begins, it will ensure that the shingles on your roof do not fly off of your roof during hurricanes.
  3. Trim the trees around your house: This is another method that is very simple. It is almost necessary to do this if you live in a place that has a lot of trees. If you forget or just decide to ignore this task, these trees could get blown apart during a hurricane, landing on your roof and then damaging your roof.
  4. Clean the gutters and drain systems: This is not pleasant work. It can be time-consuming as well as dirty. But it is a very important thing to do to prepare your roof for hurricane season. If you do not clean the gutters and drain the system, you run the risk of backing up water from entering the drains. This can overfill the gutters and cause them to tumble down. Being from a place that is privy to hurricanes, I have actually witnessed this happen. While cleaning out the gutters, look for granules, which are fragmented shingles. Unless you have a brand new roof, granules in the gutter is usually a sign that a roof needs to be replaced.
  5. Reinforcing the roofing system (if necessary): This is an unconventional, yet efficient way to prepare your roof for hurricane season. There are two methods of doing this: The first is to just hire a roofer to do it. The second way is to attach and overlap 2×4 pieces of wood along the trusses of the roof, leaving roughly 11 and ½ feet of space in between each piece of wood. This method can cost some time and money, but it will protect your roof from a hurricane.
  6. Using hurricane straps: What does everyone do to their windows during hurricane season? That’s right, they place shutters in front of the windows. Would it not also be a good idea if you could place shutters on your roof? Hurricane straps function as shutters, but for a roof. They will protect the roof from everything involved in a hurricane.

Routine Roof Maintenance Should Never be Ignored

Among the aforementioned preparation procedures, some of them do indeed require you to hire a professional roofing contractor to do work. But there are certain things that do not require hiring a roofer that you can do to prepare for hurricane season. Things, like trimming the trees around the house and cleaning the gutters, can go a long way in making sure your home will be as protected as it can for the hurricanes to come.

The reason why these kinds of things are ignored is that they are not part of a routine. When something is not part of a routine, it can be ignored for weeks, months, or even years. Making sure your roof is in decent condition and ready for hurricane season would seem like it should only be a preparation to make once a year. But if you do this once a month, it will become a routine, which will then become a habit. If you do not want to spend a lot of money on repairing a roof after a hurricane, then you should consider inspecting your roof at least once a month.

This begs the question: How does one inspect a roof? Are you supposed to just walk around on the roof looking for torn up shingles, nails that can be hammered down, and rust on the flashings? According to some professionals, it is dangerous to casually walk on a roof. Most experts suggest climbing above the roof of your house, and with a pair of binoculars, seeing what needs to be taken care of. Then hiring the necessary crew (if any) after that.

Preparing for anything, let alone a roof for hurricane season, can be tedious. It can appear like a waste of time and something that is permissible to be ignored. However, long term consequences should be considered, especially when it comes to something like a home that you own. The few hours that you spend every month to make sure that your roof is in good shape will ensure that you will not need to spend as much money preparing your roof down the road.

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Best Drainage Solutions For a Flat Roof

Not many consider exactly how different the drain system operates in their home or building. Many typically have no idea how water and waste are drained out and disposed of. They do not consider nor explore any other form of drainage system other than the system that they have. And to their credit, many do not have the time to organize how each drainage system works and the good and bad points of each. Doing the research on these types of things can take a long time, and require a lot of attention, causing you to get overwhelmed. Listed below are drainage solutions for a flat roof, their good qualities, as well as their bad qualities.

Keep in mind that these are solutions for a flat roof. If the building or home you own does not have a flat roof, you can stop reading now unless you are considering owning a place with a flat roof in the future. This is because different roofs have different drainage systems and solutions. In particular, a flat roof has no slant, meaning that it cannot drain automatically. While this can also be an issue in slanted or sloped roofs, it usually is not. However, if a drainage solution below can also work for a building that with a slanted roof or can make drainage more efficient for a sloped or slanted roof, it will be mentioned.

Another thing to keep in mind is that although this is a list of drainage solutions, they are not the only drainage solutions available. Other drainage solutions likely exist outside of this, and they should certainly be explored. If you are interested in finding out the best drainage solution for your roof, get in touch with a trusted roofing contractor near you!

What is a Flat Roof Drainage System?

Before beginning the list, it is important to describe exactly what demands a flat roof drainage system. This information is important as it will describe many common characteristics of each drainage solution. All flat roof drainage systems possess a network of pipes and other plumbing, and they all should be able to flush out more than just water. Also, if a flat roof building does not have a properly maintained drainage system, the results can be pretty unsavory: water damage and leaks are still possible even if you have a very ideal drainage system.

3 Most Common Flat Roof Drainage Systems

There are three common flat roof drainage systems. They all accomplish generally the same thing; draining water and other materials out of the roof and away from it. However, they are all different in terms of size, cost, and design. Keep these in mind when choosing one.

Interior Drains

Description: An interior drain essentially turns your flat roof into a sink. A drain is installed in the roof, which is then followed by a network of pipes that transport the water and other debris outside of the building. Most interior drains are placed at the center of a flat roof. The network of piping and plumbing is inside the building, which makes interior drains the only drainage solution that is not visible outside.

Pros: The piping networks of an interior drain are protected from anything that happens outside of the building. It also “focuses” water (and other debris) to the center of the roof, reducing damage to the walls of the building.

Cons: Because of the fact that this drainage system involves opening up a separate drain line in your building, interior drains are the most expensive of the three drainage solutions. Also, even if you have a strainer to catch debris, it still must be cleaned out regularly.

Scuppers

Description: If you have ever seen a pipe at the end of a flat roof that water is shooting out of, this is a scupper. Installed on the edges of a flat roof, it shoots out water and other debris, usually onto a separate gutter or some other slanted surface which then gets funneled to reach the ground, this way water is not falling directly from the building onto anybody.

Pros: Scuppers are cheap to install and are the most efficient way of protecting a flat roof from debris. This is especially true if they are really big. The leaves and other debris that a strainer in an interior drainage system blocks (which also slows down water flow, causing leaks) are never an issue if scuppers are built, especially if the scupper is big enough to pass leaves through.

Cons: Ice and snow will render scuppers useless. This is because snow and ice can block passage to the scupper, resulting in massive leaks when the snow and ice melt. Also, ideally, scuppers should be coupled with another slope like structure, this way water and other debris do not fall directly off of the side of the building.

Gutters

Description: Gutters are in virtually every building, even in buildings with a slanted roof. They will catch any and all forms of debris. They usually flow into pipes which then transport water and debris onto the ground. Of these three solutions, gutters are far and wide the most common.

Pros: Gutters are the cheapest drainage solution money can buy. They are also easy to install, and it is possible to install them yourself with the right materials. Different than interior drains, they can handle any form of debris.

Cons: Because they can handle any form of debris, gutters must be cleaned out–constantly. If you have made the decision to install gutters and have not made the commitment to cleaning them at least once per month, then you will not have an effective drainage system. Gutters can fill with debris (like leaves, or even dead birds and pests) quickly. And when this happens, they will overflow then water will begin spilling outside the edge of the building. It will cause massive leaks as well. If you do not clean your gutters at least once a month, you should expect major leaks.

As mentioned previously, these are not the only three drainage systems in existence. There are more out there, and it is not necessary to only choose from these three. However, these three should give you a decent start in your search for an efficient drainage system for your building or home.

 

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