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Replacing Your Roof or Building a New Home? Here are Reasons to Consider a Slate Roof

Whether it’s time to replace your roof or you’re building a new home, the roof you choose is essential to the longevity and visual appeal of your home. There are many roofing materials to choose from, including asphalt, which is the cheapest and most common, to tile and slate, which are more expensive.

In this article, we look at the slate roof and why it’s a good value for the price, and why you should consider this option when choosing a new roof for your home.

What is a Slate Roof?

Slate tiles are constructed from rock which comes from volcanic ash and clay. Slate roofs are among the oldest used and date back centuries because of the availability of the material and the longevity of the tiles. There are slate roofs built hundreds of years ago that still hold up to this day.

There are two types of slate roofs available — hard and soft. The hard variety is strong and durable, making it ideal for areas that experience harsh weather. Hard slate tiles are also fire resistant and don’t absorb water, which makes them less prone to warping.

The soft slate tile isn’t as durable as the hard slate, but it does retain the fire and water resistance of hard slate. People may opt for the soft variety because it is somewhat less expensive while providing much of the same advantages.

How Long Do Slate Roofs Last?

As mentioned, slate roofs can last for a hundred years or more with proper care and maintenance, and many factors come into play when discussing the longevity of a slate roof. On average, a well-maintained slate roof in ideal conditions lasts about 60 years.

Weather plays a significant factor in the longevity of slate roofing tiles, and you will have to replace the underlay about every 30-40 years to maintain the health of the roof and the integrity of the tiles. Also, the longevity is mostly dependent on the maintenance you do, taking care to fix small problems before they turn into large ones down the road.

What is the Cost of a Slate Roof?

One reason many people steer clear of slate roofs is the cost, and to be fair, it is one of the more expensive roofing tiles you can buy. If your current home has a slate roof, the cost to upkeep it is minimal, and you likely won’t have any large expenditures during ownership.

However, if you’re installing a brand new slate roof, you can expect to pay about $1,500 per square, and in roofing terms, a square is a 10×10 foot area. By way of comparison, asphalt shingles typically cost about $200 per square, so you can see why so many people opt for asphalt over slate.

Another thing to consider when talking about the cost is the installation. Asphalt shingles are ubiquitous, and almost every contractor is familiar with this material. Because it’s so widely available, and because of its familiarity, the labor cost to install an asphalt roof is relatively cheap compared to more exotic materials such as slate or concrete.

Also, since not every roofing contractor is skilled at installing slate, you need to hire one who has the experience, which means higher labor costs. You don’t want to cut corners on a slate roof installation because doing so will cost you more money in repairs due to a shoddy job down the road.

what is slate roofing

Common Issues with Slate Roofs

While slate roofs sound like the perfect option, if you want a long-lasting roof that offers protection against fire and the elements, there are some disadvantages to installing these as well.

Cost

The major disadvantage, as mentioned above, is the cost of the tiles themselves and the cost of labor for installation. Depending on the type of slate you decide to install, the roof can cost anywhere from $1,000 to $6,000 a square installed. Also, as mentioned, not every roofing contractor has experience installing slate roofs, which makes it more difficult to find a qualified installer in some areas.

Thickness of Tiles Can Be Uneven

Another disadvantage to slate tiles it that they’re sometimes not gauged, which means the thickness varies from tile to tile.

Slate Tiles are Heavy

The weight of the roof is also something to consider. Slate tiles are heavy, and the deck of the roof needs reinforcing to deal with the weight. Slate roofs can weigh up to 1,500 pounds, and you’ll need an inspection of your roof’s support system to make sure it can handle the weight before you go down that road.

Difficult to Find Tile Replacements

Finally, slate roofing tiles can become damaged if you have roofers who have to go up and work on the roof. If tiles get broken, it can be challenging to find a replacement that matches the exact color.

Do you Need a Contractor to Fix your Slate Roof?

The best advice if you want to keep your slate roof in tip-top condition is to hire a professional when you need fixing or maintenance; however, because of the high cost, you can usually handle minor repairs and fixes yourself if you know what you’re doing. When you have your slate roof installed, ask the roofing contractor if they offer a maintenance package or maintenance services to keep the roof in shape.

The good news is because slate doesn’t warp, corrode, or attract mold, it doesn’t require as much maintenance like other roofing materials. Make sure you keep trees that overhang the roof trimmed to avoid any damage caused by falling branches and be aware of animals that may climb up on the roof and crack the tiles. Other than that, you should be fine.

Slate is a gorgeous and durable roofing material that is sure to give your home value and curb appeal. If you’re willing to shell out the high up-front expense and take care of it, you will have a roof that will likely last your entire lifetime.

 

 

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How to Get Rid of Moss on Your Roof

You may think a bit of moss growth on your roof adds character to your home, but that green carpet covering your shingles can wreak havoc on your roof. Moss grows in areas that get little to no sunlight but a decent amount of moisture buildup. This is why you will typically see moss growing on the north side of trees, fence posts and yes, roofs.

But no matter where you see moss growing on your roof you should address it as quickly as you can to avoid damages.

The Dangers of Moss Growth

In nature, moss plays its part. But on man-made structures, moss can have a devastating effect. Moss grows in blankets and establishes its roots on the shingling of your roof. These roots can actually start to lift your roofing shingles and deteriorate them over time. This will result in the immediate need to spend money and replace broken or damaged shingles.

In the long run, though, shingles that have been lifted up by moss roots can expose the underlayer of your roof to moisture which can cause even more damage. This is the beginning of roof erosion.

This exposure to moisture can cause mold and bacteria growth, which can eat away at your roofing and cause leaks and holes. Not to mention the respiratory health issues caused by breathing in mold. The exposed roofing can allow water and moisture into your inner roofing structure and even your home.

Besides the structural and health dangers that moss can lead to, it is dangerous to walk on a roof that is covered in moss because it can be very slippery. If you feel that moss on your roof has already caused significant damage, reach out to a roofing company to check it out for you. On the other hand, you just need to get the moss off your roof but no damage has been done, keep on reading!

cleaning moss on roof

Getting Rid of Moss and Dispelling Popular Misconceptions

So you are aware of the dangers and are ready to get rid of your moss but which method should be used. First, some misconceptions about getting moss off your roof should be addressed:

  • Bleach – It is often recommended that homeowners use bleach to weaken and wash away moss. This is a method that needs to be executed very carefully for it to be a viable option. That’s because bleach is very corrosive and can eat away at your flashing, which can cause leaks in the future. Bleach can also discolor your shingles, making them look uneven or older than they actually are. Your vapor barrier can be compromised if you spray your roof with bleach and there are broken or cracked shingles. Bleach will kill moss, but it can also kill other plants and vegetation that you did not intend to kill.
  • Pressure Washing – Pressure washing your moss away should only be done if you are very experienced with the practice. Pressure washers can cause more damage to your roofing and shingles than moss and in much less time.

Both of these methods are still technically viable, but you have to be way more careful with them than other methods such as:

  • Hand Scrubbing – You can start by gathering your garden hose and a sturdy scrubbing brush and wetting down the moss affected areas moderately. When the moss is good and soft, you can go to work on them with the scrubbing brush.
  • Roof Cleaning Solutions – If scrubbing isn’t enough, you may want to consider a ready-made roof cleaning solution. Many roof cleaners are moss and mildew specific. Some can be mixed with water and applied to the affected areas without having to rinse. They work by killing the moss so that it deteriorates and fades away altogether. Other store-bought solutions can be hooked up to your hose and sprayed on the moss-covered section of your roof. If you don’t feel comfortable doing this yourself, see if you can find a roofing contractor near you to clean it professionally.
  • Home Made Solutions – There are also safe home roof cleaning solutions you can make. One of them is a mixture of 8 ounces of dish soap (you can replace the dish soap with 1 and a half to 3 and a half cups of vinegar) and 2 gallons of water. You can apply this mixture with a garden sprayer or backpack sprayer.

Keeping Moss off Your Roof

Now that you have the moss off of your roof, it’s time to think about prevention, so you don’t have to tackle this chore again. Here are some ways you can prevent moss from growing on your roof:

  • Trim Trees – One of the simplest ways to ensure that moss doesn’t grow on your roof is addressing a root cause: lack of sunshine. Moss can’t grow where the sun goes so make sure you trim overhanging limbs from trees and branches that are blocking direct sunlight from your roof.
  • Zinc and Copper Strips – Applying a bit of science can go a long way. Zinc and copper are the natural enemies of moss. Pick up some zinc or copper strips from your local hardware store and place them under the uppermost layer of shingling on your roof.
  • Clean you Gutters – Gutters that are clogged with leaves and plant debris are a breeding ground for moss. Keeping your gutters clean will lessen the likelihood of moss growing on your roof and soffits.
  • Clean your Roof – Moss needs a substrate, such as dirt, to grow in the first place, so cleaning your roof once or twice a year is a great way to prevent moss growth. After each cleaning, you can also put some baking soda on the ridgeline of your roof since the baking soda will make an unsuitably high pH condition in which moss cannot grow.

The 5 Best Roofing Materials for Warmer Climates

If you live in a warmer climate, you may be wondering what roofing materials would be able to stand up to the heat. Dealing with triple-digit temperatures is no easy task. The unforgiving heat can cause you to turn up the air conditioner and send those energy prices skyrocketing. But there are roofing materials available that do a great job at keeping your home calm, cool, and collected. In this article, we are going to discuss some of the options that you have as a homeowner that will keep your home cool without you having to spend a ton of money on cooling your home through electricity.

1. Concrete

Utilizing concrete tile is a great way to cool your home for a more inexpensive price than other options. Even though it is a heavy material, it takes a long time to heat up while it’s standing in the sun. That means that, in turn, it will take a long time for that heat to get through your roof and start to heat up your home. Also, these tiles are often put into a wave pattern that improves airflow between the decking and the roof surface. This will have a hand in cooling your home as well. Painting these tiles a lighter color will help reflect heat even more and may give your home a more aesthetically pleasing look overall.

2. Metal

Picking a metal roof is a fantastic choice for anyone living in a warmer climate. Throughout cities in warmer climates, like San Antonio, Texas and Los Angeles, California, metal roofing is a very popular choice. There is often a higher up-front cost than other materials such as asphalt, but as time pasts the money that you will save on maintenance and electricity costs will surely help the difference. From aluminum to copper, there are many different options that you can choose from. Each will reflect the sun in their own way. But if you are looking for an even more reflective option there paints and coatings for metal roofing that will increase its reflectiveness even more.

With metal roofing, roofers airspace between those metal panels and the decking. This airspace is crucial in cooling down your home. It acts as a thermal barrier that lowers the heat from the sun as it transfers from the roof to the interior of the home below. Additionally, metal is fire-resistant as well. This makes it a great choice for those who live in a warmer climate. It is also a choice that is great for the environment since metal roofing is often made with recycled materials. Once the material finally reaches the end of its lifespan, the material can be recycled as well as it moves onto the next home.

roof materials

3. Green/Living

Aside from its intriguing and unique appeal, green roofs do wonders for making your home more energy-efficient. In order to bring a green roof to life, a waterproof membrane filled with soil and vegetation is incorporated into your roof. This is meant to cool the home naturally through the soil’s temperature and the growth of the greenery on top. Along with cooling your home, the plants also bring more oxygen into the air and improve your home’s air quality. This makes it great for those who are living in a highly congested area. Due to its pricing and the expertise needed to install this material, it’s not too popular throughout homes. But, that doesn’t take away from the immense benefits of having a green roof.

4. Clay

Clay is a fantastic choice for those who are living in a warmer climate. They’re incredibly long-lasting; they usually last for at least 50 years, if not more. If you’re looking for a Southwest flair or colonial style home, then tile is one of the best ways to pull it off. Clay is a material that has a history of protecting individuals from the heat, so you can definitely protect it to protect you and your family. Typical clays are lighter in color, which makes them more susceptible to heat without having to be painted. If you are looking for an eco-friendly option then clay would be a great choice. They are super easy to recycle, so you do not have to worry about the possibility of it landing in a landfill.

The curved shape of the tile makes a difference as well. It allows the air to circulate efficiently below the surface. Throughout the day, this helps cool your home. When it comes to cost, they are a bit more expensive than other materials on the market. Clay tiles are also very heavy; at least two to four times heavier than asphalt. In order to make sure that your home can handle the weight of them, you may have to reinforce the foundation of your home. But, after looking at the benefits of utilizing clay, you may find that the benefits of clay outweigh the negatives.

5. EPDM “Rubber”

EPDM is often referred to as rubber, but it is actually a synthetic rubber-like substance. This substance is very durable against harsh conditions. It is built to withstand the unrelenting heat of the summer without cracking or breaking down. If you are interested in mimicking the look of slate and cedar, this material would be a great cost-effective way to do just that. This roofing is lightweight and reflective which makes it perfect for those who are living in a warmer climate. It’s also a more affordable choice than tile or green roofs. Also, while implementing regular maintenance methods, it can protect your home for decades on end.

When combating the sun, protecting your home can be a tough task. That is why it is important to put a lot of thought into your roof’s material. Each has pros and cons you need to weigh in order to figure out what material is going to work best for you. Whether you are into metal roofing or green roofing, your home will surely benefit from bringing one of these energy-efficient choices to your humble abode.

What Is Roof Certification?

Roof certification is conducted by a licensed roofer who inspects the roof to assess its condition. Typically, this inspection is performed on the exterior as well as the interior of the roof. The inspector takes down information as well as photographs from a variety of angles to determine if there are leaks or other damage and then gives you an estimate on the state of the roof.

This process is helpful for people who are looking at purchasing a new home and don’t want to get stuck with expensive roofing repairs in a year.

Keep in mind. However, a roof certification isn’t a guarantee, but rather the opinion of the roofer you hired to do the job. Two different roofing contractors may give two different opinions regarding the state of your roof, so be aware of that fact when deciding whether or not to pay for the service.

When to Get a Roof Certification

When you’re in the market for a new home, one thing you’re going to want to know is how stable is the roof of the house you’re looking to purchase. The last thing you want is to buy a home and to find out a year later that the roof leaks and is need of replacement.

roofing companies

You should know that in many cases, a roof inspection isn’t included in the routine inspection of the house, and the condition of the roof may not be written down in your contract, and depending on where you live, your seller may not have to repair the roof before selling you the home.

Having said all that, a roofing certification isn’t always necessary. For example, depending on the market and your need to buy a home, you might find your dream property that happens to have a shoddy roof. If the price is right, then you might forego the roofing certification and just factor in a new roof to your budget. If, on the other hand, the market favors the buyer, you can opt for a roofing certification in the event that you might find an issue, which can drive down the price.

Another thing to keep in mind is that, in some cases, your homeowner’s insurance company may require you to get a roofing certification before they issue you a policy for the home you’re purchasing.

Do You Really Need a Roof Certification?

As mentioned above, you don’t need a roofing certification, however, it can be a good idea to get one to assess the state of the roof and let you know if you’re going to have to begin saving for a new roof now or if it’s something you can put off until later. Also, as stated, a roofing certification isn’t a guarantee, it’s an opinion of the particular contractor you hired to do the job. While one contractor might tell you the roof has a good three to five years left, another one might see things differently and suggest that you replace the roof as soon as possible.

In many cases, getting a roof certification is like getting a diagnosis from a doctor; you may want to get a second opinion just to be sure, especially when you’re talking about the expense of putting on a new roof.

How Do Roofing Certifications Work?

When you hire a roofer to perform a roofing certification, they’ll consider a variety of factors to determine whether or not your roof is in good shape and will stand up over time. Your roofer will look at:

  • The type of roof and materials used
  • How old is the roof
  • The roof’s pitch
  • How many layers are involved
  • Any prior roofing repairs
  • All of this information will be documented along with photographs of any problem areas that go into the contractor’s final determination.

Benefits of a Roof Certification

So, you don’t always need a roofing certification, and getting one is no guarantee that the roof is going to last as long as the inspector says, however, there are many benefits to getting one.

  • Detect Water Damage It’s tough to tell just by looking at the exterior of the roof whether there’s been any water damage, but a good inspector will see it and let you know if it’s going to involve a major or minor repair to fix it.
  • Saves Money Although you’re going to be shelling out money for the cost of hiring a roofing inspector, it’s peanuts when compared to the money you can save by detecting small problems before they become big, expensive fixes down the road.
  • Provides Protection As stated, getting a roofing certification gives you a degree of protection should it come time to file a roofing claim with your homeowner’s insurance company. Also in that regards, if you’ve been through a rough storm that’s caused damage to your home, a roofing certification will prove beneficial when dealing with your insurance company because you’ll have an expert’s idea of just how severe the damage is.
  • Extends Roof’s Lifespan It’s a good idea to have regular inspections performed on your roof because it allows you to find problems and fix them quickly. Little issues like broken shingles or water damage can be repaired relatively inexpensively, but if you let them go, they can become much more expensive to fix down the road.

What a Roofing Certification Isn’t

It’s important to keep in mind that a roofing certification isn’t a guarantee or a warranty on your roof — it’s just a person’s opinion. Remember that just because you have a roofing certification that says your roof is good for another three years, your roofing contractor likely won’t honor that if your roof suffered damage due to a natural disaster or damage caused by a worker installing a satellite dish.

A roofing certification is an excellent way to give you an idea as to the state of the roof, and it’s a quick and relatively inexpensive process that you should consider when you’re looking at purchasing a new home.

 

Getting a Roof Replacement? Here’s How To Save Some Money

A roof is expensive, but a necessary investment for your home. And when it comes time to replace your roof, you want the best quality, but you also want to get a reasonable price as well.

It’s estimated that a typical asphalt roofing job for a residential home can range from $8,000 to $16,500. And while there are a variety of factors that go into determining the price, we’re going to take a look at ways you can save a few bucks without sacrificing quality work.

Research & Learn

Thanks to the Internet, you have access to virtually every piece of information regarding roofing. Before you even talk to a roofing contractor, research materials, labor costs, and terminology, so you know exactly what you agree to when you negotiate. Also, keep in mind that you’ll likely have disposal fees and recycling fees to contend with when tearing down your old roof, so make sure you know approximately what those should be in your area before you agree to a price. Being informed means, you’re less likely to be taken advantage of.

Get a Roof Inspection

Getting a professional to come in and expect your roof is an excellent idea because it gives you a clear picture of the work that needs to be done. We’re not saying that all contractors are shady, far from it, but it’s better to know the work that needs to be performed by a third party rather than someone who may be trying to get a little more money out of you by selling you on something you may not need.

Getting a roofing inspector is relatively inexpensive, and you can generally get one for under $300. An inspector will be able to pinpoint any damage and advise you on whether you need a full-on roof replacement or if you can get by with a minor repair for now.

Lastly, when you hire an inspector, make sure you get someone who’s not associated with a company you may employ to do the work. As we said, they may not be as unbiased in their recommendation as you would like.

Repair or Replace

This goes hand-in-hand with getting a roof inspection because a proper inspection will help you decide whether you need a full-blown replacement or if you can get by with a repair. In many cases, what seems like a significant problem such as water leakage can be fixed with relatively inexpensive repairs.

Of course, you’ll eventually have to replace your roof at some point, but there’s no reason for spending the money now if you don’t have to. Repairing now allows you to begin setting aside money for when you’re going to replace it down the road.

Check For Warranties

Depending on when you purchased your home, there may be a warranty that’s attached to the roof from a previous replacement. If you don’t have this information, contact the previous owners and ask. Some roofs also come with manufacturer’s warranties, so be sure to check for that as well.

Depending on whether your roof has any warranty coverage will determine how much you have to spend to repair or replace it.

Get Plenty of Estimates

Just like when you’re shopping for a vehicle, it’s a good idea to shop around to try and get the best price. Most people have access to a variety of roofing contractors where they live, and you’re not doing anything wrong by getting estimates from all of them. Ask if they offer any warranties on their work and be careful of extremely low bids because that might indicate that you’re going to get substandard work.

Also, depending on how long you’ve lived in the neighborhood, you should ask your neighbors who they recommend to do the work. Chances are someone on your street had a roof replaced and will gladly point you in the right direction.

roof replacement

Check Out Financing Options

Because roof replacement can be so expensive, many of us don’t have that kind of cash laying around, and putting it on a credit card isn’t always the best option unless you have an amazing interest rate.

So, check out to see what financing options are available either through your bank or through the roofing manufacturer.

Of course, unless the roof is entirely shot, you’re probably better off doing a minor roof repair that’s going to buy you a year or two, and then begin budgeting so you can pay cash for that roof in a few years instead of having to finance and pay the extra fees.

Consider Alternate Materials

Just because your home came with an asphalt roof doesn’t mean you have to stick with that. True, asphalt is the most common and least expensive roofing material, which will save you money, but often there are incentives for going with different material such as something more energy efficient. You may get tax breaks and breaks on your homeowner’s insurance depending on the material you choose. And, you may end up getting a roof that lasts longer, which means you’ll save money from not having to replace it more frequently.

Consider The Timing

Most people opt for putting roofs on in the summer or early fall, which is when the contractors are the busiest, which means you’ll pay more. If you time your roofing project for early spring or early winter, you’ll likely get a much better deal on the labor.

DIY

If you’re handy, and if you have the time, try doing some of the work yourself. Removing the old roofing material before your contractor begins work saves them time and saves you money on labor costs.

Any way you slice it, a new roof is going to be expensive, but with a little planning, a little education and consideration, you can get a price that’s easier to handle than if you went in blind and went with the first estimate you were given.

 

 

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Common Types of Roof Damage to Look Out For

Your roof is one of the most critical parts of your home because it’s the barrier between you and the elements. Because of its importance in protecting your home, and because it’s constantly exposed to the weather, your roof will wear out in time and become damaged.

Knowing that your roof will become damaged, it’s essential that you conduct regular inspections to assess that damage and catch and rectify small problems before they turn into massive, expensive fixes.

In this article, we’re going to look at several types of roof damage and how to know when it’s time to call a roof repair company.

 

Cracks in Your Roof

If your roof is comprised of wood, tile, or asphalt shingles, then it’s more likely to develop cracks than roofs made from other materials such as slate or metal.

Roofs made from these materials suffer cracks mainly due to high winds, so if you live in an area that’s affected by storms in the summer months, it’s a good idea to perform regular inspections after the season to see if there’s any damage due to flying debris that’s impacted the roof.

To look for cracks, get up on the roof and note any damaged or missing shingles. This damage can be shingles that are split, curled, or blown entirely away.

The good news is that if there’s light damage (a few shingles), then the roof repair won’t be that expensive.

The key is to assess the damage regularly and not wait until a few small cracks that are easy to fix becomes an entire roof replacement that can cost in the thousands.

 

Roof Damage Due To Heat

If you live in a hot climate or a region that experiences hot summers, then your roof is susceptible to heat damage. Find professionals that are experienced with hot climates, like a Plano roofing company.

 Intense heat from the sun beating down on your roof for days on end causes cracks and curls in your roof’s shingles depending on the material used. Asphalt shingles and wood are among the most susceptible to heat damage, while metal, rubber, and clay are your best bet if you live in a hot climate. 

As with damage due to winds, you need to inspect your roof for damage regularly. Look for shingles that have shrunk due to the heat; you can spot this by seeing any nails that have popped up from below causing blisters to the shingles. Also, be aware that intense heat can affect the wood rafters, causing the joints to expand, which can lead to leaks.

 

Water Damage on Your Roof

Your roof bears the brunt of everything Mother Nature has to throw at it, which includes heavy rains and storms. Water is an incredibly destructive force when it comes to roofing and wreaks havoc on your home once it gets inside in the form of mold.

If the area in which you live gets heavy rain and snow on a regular basis, then it’s vital that you conduct periodic inspections on your roof.

What to look for when it comes to water damage is pooling water or water accumulation after heavy rain. This pooling occurs mainly in the attic. Also, check the ceilings for any sign of discoloration, which may indicate a water leak. Water spots can also appear on the exterior walls of your home as well, so when inspecting your roof, also do a quick walk around the house and look for spots.

If you do find any water in the home, or signs of damage outside, it’s vital that you call in professionals to do a more thorough inspection and recommend a roof repair as quickly as possible.

As mentioned, water damage can lead to serious health problems with mold and mildew, and it gets more expensive to repair the longer you wait.

 

Object Damage

When we speak of object damage, we mean physical objects that strike the roof due to high winds or an accident.

In most cases, object damage is caused during storms when tree branches and other objects are blown against the roof, but sometimes repair crews can inadvertently cause damage by dropping tools or being careless with equipment.

As before, it’s a good idea to check your roof for signs of damage at least once a season. Do a thorough inspection inside and outside and look for cracked, loose, blistered, or missing shingles.

It’s important to remember that most roof damage — when caught early — can be repaired quickly and at little expense. The last thing you want is to wait until the problem gets big enough that you need an entirely new roof.

 

Neglect

As much as all of the above can lead to roof damage, perhaps the number one cause is neglect. With proper maintenance, regular checkups, and repairs, your roof should last up to 30 years depending on the materials used.

Neglecting your roof when it becomes damaged radically shortens its lifespan and leads to more substantial expenses down the road. Even if your roof came with a warranty or if you have homeowners insurance it doesn’t mean you’re in the clear. Many warranties and policies don’t cover things such as damage due to having a dish or cable installed.

Also, remember that many insurance companies require you to do regular inspections on your roof to ensure it’s properly maintained.

Take care of your roof, and your roof will take care of you.

As mentioned, your roof is on the front line of protecting your home and bears the brunt of all types of weather and climate. While it’s a pain in the butt, and a job that no one likes to do, it’s vital that you regularly inspect your roof and repair small problems before they become large ones.

Your home’s roof not only protects your entire house and its contents, but it also protects your family too. Having a beautiful, well-kept roof enhances your home’s curb appeal, and makes it more attractive to potential buyers should you decide to sell it down the road.

 

 

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The Importance of Roof Vents on Your Home

Most people don’t think about roof vents, but the fact is they’re a vital part of your home’s ventilation system, and they’re an essential part of keeping your roof (whether in commercial roofing or residential) healthy and in proper working order for many years.

In this article, we’re going to take a look at the function of roof vents, how to install them, and why they’re vital to your house.

 

The Purpose of Roof Vents

When you think of your home’s ventilation system, it helps to think of it in terms of air intake and exhaust. Intake and exhaust are what facilitates airflow throughout the house. But what does this have to do with your roof?

Well, everyone knows that hot air rises, and in the house, the hot air naturally rises to the attic. This is known as the stack effect, and it creates high pressure within the attic. To ventilate, you need cool air coming in. This ventilation ensures that the hot air doesn’t linger in the attic, which can cause damage to your roof.

 

Roof Vents Protect Against Damage

As previously mentioned, roof vents and proper house ventilation protects both your roof and your house against damage. But what kind of damage are we talking about?

For starters, have you ever seen houses with icicles stretching down from the gutters or the edges of the roof? This is called an ice dam, and the cause is the heat that’s built up in the attic combining with the heat from the sun to melt the snow that’s sitting on your roof.

When the snow melts, the water runs down and — depending on how cold it is — begins to freeze again, causing the icicles. This ice buildup can cause water damage that occurs underneath the shingles, which can lead to major leaks down the road. When you have a good ventilation system, the hot air in your home is pumped out before it melts the ice and snow. Roof vents are also beneficial in the summer months to dissipate heat that builds up in the attic — heat that can loosen joints and warp supports.

 

Roof Vents Save You Money

Your roof is a magnet for everything that Mother Nature throws at it, and that includes the sun’s hot rays. When the sun’s rays hit your roof — and depending on the materials used in your roof — it can act as a solar oven. The buildup of heat coming from your roof and into your attic causes your home’s air conditioning unit to work harder to cool the house, which costs you more money.

Having a proper roof ventilation system ensures that hot air doesn’t build up in your attic.

In addition to saving you money on your home’s electric bill, having a good ventilation system ensures that the temperature in your house stays even throughout the house. If you’ve ever been in the attic or upstairs and swore it was 10 degrees hotter than the downstairs, it’s a sign you may need adequate ventilation to even out the temperatures.

 

How Much Ventilation Is Enough?

The number of roof vents you’ll need depends on several factors including how big the house is. A good way to determine the number of vents required is to use a formula in which you provide for one sq. ft. of vent space for every 150 sq. ft. of attic space. Most experts also recommend placing half of your vents near the bottom of the roof and the other half near the top to provide a healthy airflow.

 

Types of Roof Vents

Once you’ve determined how many vents you’re going to need to cool your attic properly, you’ll have to decide what types of roof vents you’re going to purchase.

There are many different types to choose from including ridge vents, gable vents, and soffit vents. Also, some vents are motorized while the wind powers others. Of all the vents available, neither one is superior to the rest; you’ll have to choose the best vent for your particular situation.

If you’re unsure about which type of vent to buy, it may be beneficial to call in a roofing contractor who can recommend the best system based on your home’s airflow needs.

The most common type of roof vent is the basic low profile box vent. This vent is unobtrusive and can be matched to the color of your roof so they blend in better. This ventilation system is passive, which means it’s not motorized, making it relatively inexpensive and easy to install.

 

Installing Roof Vents

If you’ve determined you need roof vents you have two options: hire a professional roofing contractor or do it yourself.

Installing roof vents isn’t particularly expensive, and the national average dictates that the job can be done for just under $500. Still, if you’re handy with tools, and want to save some money, installing a basic, passive roof vent system is pretty easy.

The first thing you’ll want to do is figure out where on the roof you want to install the vent keeping in mind that you’ll wish to vents at both the bottom and the top of the roof. Next, mark out on your shingles the dimensions of the vent so you can accurately make your cut. Use a circular saw to cut through the shingles. Once you have your hole cut, place your vent and if you live in an area with high winds, secure it with a bit of roofing cement and nail it down.

While most newer homes have adequate ventilation systems, many older homes don’t. To see if you need better ventilation, check your attic for moisture and excessive heat, which suggests that you need more ventilation. Take note during winter for ice dams that build-up, which also suggests better ventilation is required. A ventilation system not only protects your roof, but it also keeps your energy bills lower, keeps your family more comfortable, and ensures a healthier environment when you’re indoors.

 

 

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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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