Alternative Roofing Materials

About three quarters of American homes are covered by composition asphalt shingles. They are cheap and easy to install but they have some drawbacks, primarily that they are bad for the environment and have a shorter life span than other roofing materials. If you do pick composition shingles, you had better be ready to pony up the cash for a succession of Denver roof repairs.

Even older than the asphalt shingle style are wood shake shingles. They last even longer than composition shingles. Wood is a more natural and softer look. Although they are made from trees, they are friendly in that they decompose unlike petroleum products. If well maintained they will last a long time, but wood shake is always a fire hazard.

Metal roofs are popular with those trying to save money on energy bills. Metal roofs make you save money on air conditioning bills because they reflect money in hot environments. If you choose a painted roof, you need to have periodic painting maintenance. However metal roofs last a long time, and do not need Denver roof repairs very often. Metal also does a good job of protecting your home from weather.

An older and environmentally friendly roofing material is tile. Tile is made of clay or sometimes concrete. These are naturally fire resistant materials. Clay is just earth, so it has no problems with decomposition. The main drawbacks of tile and concrete is that these are heavy, brittle materials. They provide good protection, but are liable to break and need a solid roof to support the heavy weight of these roofing materials.

Flat roofs have completely different roofing materials. Some are basically a giant asphalt shingle. It uses hot asphalt inlaid with stone. These are not very friendly because they use a large amount of smelly tar, which is a risk to installers as well as the environment.

Eco roofs that use soil on the top are very good for carbon consumption and global warming. They can basically have a garden on your roof that also provides insulation. Engineered rubber roofing is made of recycled materials but may be hard to find from your Denver roof repairs company.

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Mistakes to Avoid When Hiring Roofing Contractors

When it comes to an area like Houston, Texas that face hurricanes on a regular basis, you’re likely to find a wide selection of roofing contractors- it’s a much needed service. However, with so many companies available, you’re likely to run into one who can’t be trusted. Make sure you avoid these mistakes when hiring roofing contractors.

1. Not reading the contract before you sign it- The purpose of a contract is to ensure that both parties abide by the set rules. The roofer wants to make sure he gets paid when he does the work. Seems fair enough, right? Well, in the roofing business, not all contracts are created equally. While some roofing contractors just want guaranteed payment, those with less integrity may try to really stick it to you with some outrageous things thrown into the contract. With that in mind, read the contract thoroughly before you sign it. And whatever you do, save your copy.

2. Not checking the Better Business Bureau website- When you visit the Better Business Bureau’s website, in large, bold letters you see, “Start with trust.” There’s truth behind the slogan. Before you sign any contracts or give the green light for a group of roofing contractors to begin work, make sure they are a BBB member. If they’re a member, that means they’re governed by a higher authority and they can show proof of customer satisfaction. Read the reviews and see if any customers have filed complaints. If they are free of complaint, you’ve probably found reputable roofing contractors.

3. Not checking references- Even if you’ve checked the BBB site, you still should request a list of references. Since you don’t want to leave any stone unturned when searching for roofing contractors, calling references could turn up a dissatisfied customer who didn’t think to report their qualms on the BBB website. Past customers have experience dealing with the company you’re entertaining and can open your eyes to what they do badly (if anything) and what they do well.

4. Not inquiring about a guarantee- What happens once you have a new roof on your home, but you aren’t happy with the work? Maybe your roof is still sagging, or perhaps the roofing contractors left debris littered about your yard. Hopefully you asked about a guarantee. Trustworthy roofing contractors will guarantee your satisfaction. A quick phone call will result in them returning to your home to fix whatever work doesn’t meet your standards.

5. Not asking about technique- Plainly put, some roofing contractors do the job incorrectly. In order to rush through the job, they might fire up their nail guns and haphazardly race through roof replacement. The problem with this is that nail guns must be carefully set in order to use on roofing shingles. When attaching shingles, it’s important not to hammer the nail in too deeply. Doing so will compromise the effectiveness of the shingle, causing leaks in your roof. Nail guns are so powerful that they often shoot the nail too deeply into the plywood decking. That said, a manual hammer is preferred. So don’t forget to question your roofer’s technique. If you don’t you may find your roof failing inspection.

Asking the right questions and performing a bit of research will help you avoid the above mistakes. And steering clear of these mistakes means finding roofing contractors you can trust for professional roof replacement.

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Types of Roofing Materials That You Can Settle For

There are many determinants of the kind of material you use for your roof. Previously, the only options that were available were concrete tiles, clay tiles, slate, and asphalt shingles. However, presently, there are so many alternatives that you can go for when you want to replace or install a new roof.

If you want to install a new roof or replace one that is already in existence, there are some materials that you can consider. They include:

Solar tiles

This is an advanced roofing option that is integrated into shingles that are already in existence. This is an amazing option since they also help you in offsetting the costs of energy with that of solar energy. They cost much more than the typical solar options that are common.

Asphalt shingles

These are very common today and they are quite effective in almost all conditions. There is a wide variety of quality that you can choose from. There are some standards that can help you in knowing the quality of the shingles before you purchase. The upfront costs of the roof are not that high and may need to be replaced some 20 years later. For those who live in areas that are prone to hail, impact resistant shingles are the best option.

Metal roofing

This is available in the form of vertical panels or even shingles that look like shake, tiles, or slate. This kind of roofing can still be intact after 60 years. Metal sloughs off rain and snow and does not burn. Metal is also able to resist the high winds. Since its lightweight, it can be installed over other already existing roofs. The only issue that you may have with it is the noise, especially when there are rain storms. Such a roof can also dent when there is hail. The cost depends on the style and type of metal used to make them.

Stone coated steel

These are usually interlocking panels that look like clay, slate or shingles. They can resist the damage which is brought about by rains. They can also resist strong winds, freeze thaw cycles, and hail and so on. This means that they are the best option if you are in an area that is wet and windy. They are also the best in areas that have a risk of wildfires. Some of the coated steel options have a lifetime guarantee.

Slate

This is a kind of roof that is very durable. It can be intact for over 100 years. It doesn’t burn and it is waterproof too. The other great thing is that it doesn’t get fungus or mold. It is an effective option in climates that are wet. However, it is very expensive. It is also heavy and can be broken quite easily if you happen to step on it. It is therefore not a good option for people living in areas prone to hail.

Rubber slate

Rubber slate has a natural look and can be easily cut using a knife so as to fit the intricate roofs. This can remain intact for a century. However, they can be damaged by walking on them or installation of satellite dishes. This means that they are also not ideal for areas that get hail storms. It may be hard to find qualified professionals to install them.

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Roofing Cement – It’s All In The Mix

Why are some modern build roofs suffering ridge loss in heavy winds while older adjacent roofs stand firm? Similarly, roofs built in the last 10 years are suffering from more cracking of the roofing mortar. What can we learn from roofing practices of the past?

The most obvious difference between today’s roofing mortar and that used in the past is the mix. Traditionally lime was added to the mortar. A traditional lime mortar mix comprised of 1 part lime to 2 parts sand/aggregate mix. Horse hair was added to reinforce the ridge bedding.

Portland cement

The introduction of Portland cement has virtually eliminated the use of lime mortar in roofing situations. Its compressive strength and faster curing time make it ideal for roofing applications. Portland cement is a lot easier to mix and with added Plasticizers easier to trowel.

Up to the mid nineties it was common practice to include 4 parts cement to 1 sand/aggregate. Recent recommendations advise increasing the cement to 3:1 in order to strengthen the mortar and promote a secure bond.

The increase in cement proportions could be the reason modern roofing pointing is suffering from cracking and poor bonding. Increased cement content leads to a faster curing time or hydration. The mix simply dries out too quickly.

Slow down

it is important to ensure that the curing time is controlled especially during periods of warm weather. I use soaked Hessian draped over the roofing to slow the process down. Bungee cords are attached to the edges of the Hessian. The cords hook under the roofing tiles to keep it secure and away from the pointing. The Hessian will also protect against “wash outs” should the weather change. In warmer weather I constantly spray the Hessian to keep it damp.

To promote an adequate bond it is necessary to stop too much suction from the substrate. If the roofing tiles and ridge are too dry they will suck the moisture from the mix before a sufficient bond is made. Where possible the ridge tiles should be primed. Soak them in a large tub for an hour or so and wet down the top course of roofing tiles. If this is not possible a mixture of one part PVA to 3 parts water should be applied to the bonding area. This will prevent the roofing tiles from drawing too much moisture away from the mortar.

Pointing a roofing valley

If you have tried pointing a roofing valley on a hot day you will know the problems associated with cement slumping. You return to a beautifully pointed valley to find the mortar has slumped leaving a gap between tile and mortar. A drier roofing mix is often used in an attempt to alleviate the problem. This is not advisable because the cement mix requires sufficient moisture for successful hydration.

Take a tip from “back in the day” and reinforce the mix. You can use stainless steel products used in the plastering industry. This strengthens the valley and stops the mix slumping. I lay a length of L shaped stainless corner bead each side of the roofing valley. It’s fitted just behind the face of the valley clear of roofing batons and underneath the roofing tiles. Do not hole the valley with your fixing.

If you use the correct mix and control the curing time your mortar will remain secure and durable for many years to come.

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Starting a Roofing Service Company

When you decide to go into business for yourself starting a roofing service company it can seem very exhausting at first getting it off the ground with all that is involved to do so but in the end it can be a very rewarding business venture with a potential for a steady income that is substantial. Before you start your new business venture you should take the time to do your research to see what you need to do and how much start-up capital you will possibly need.

One of the first things that you need to realize when you start your new roofing service business venture that being in business for yourself is going to me long hours. There will be no more starting work at eight in the morning and stopping at five in the evening with weekends off. You may find yourself working twelve or more hours a day six or seven days a week. You need to put in a lot of hours getting your new business off the ground and making a profit.

You need to make sure that this is the type of business that you want to start. If you do not have the desire to be a roofer then you should look for a different business venture. If you do not have the desire to be a professional roofer with your own roofing services the business is doomed to fail from the beginning. You should also talk to your family and make sure that you have their support and understanding. With this you will have a better chance of making your new business successful.

Once you are sure that being a roofing contractor is what your new business venture will be you need to have a name for your business. Once you have a name you need to get it registered with the local governments and get any licenses you need to operate a roofing services business. You should also get some business cards to pass out in order to get clients that need the services you are offering. You should also get a home business phone and a cell phone with your business number. There is also insurance, tools, a truck, office space, space for the storage of your material, hiring office help and roofers, and so much more. It is best that at this time you have a notebook listing everything that you need to do and check it off with the date it was done.

You also need to start advertising to get business using the local newspapers, flyers, your business cards, etc. Once you have your first job you need to make sure that you do a great job and that the customer is satisfied because a satisfied customer is a great reference and a good way to get new clients.

As you can see, there is a lot of work that needs to not only get your roofing service business off the ground but also to keep it in the black.

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Choosing the Right Roofing Contractor for Your Property

One of the greatest issues that a property owner can face is fixing or replacing a roof. Also, the installation of a new roof is a very critical issue that should be handled by someone who is qualified in the area. There are many things that may make you look for a contractor. With the changes in weather, things like a storm can damage your property and in most cases the roof is the most affected part of the home. You need to get the issues fixed very fast so as to get back to the normal routines. However, you shouldn’t settle for the very first contractor that you come across. Here are some things that should help in the process.

Referrals

Choosing a contractor who is within your community may protect you from scams. This is because they are familiar with local codes, rules, and regulations. If they operate in the area, then it means that it will not be hard to get referrals from people who have already used their services and have been satisfied with it. Ask around for recommendations. A good company will definitely stand out from the rest.

Manufacturer designations

When a contractor has manufacturer designations, then it means that there are great chances that he/she will do a perfect job. Manufacturer designations are a kind of badge of honor. This is because before a contractor gets it, there are minimum requirements that need to be passed. Some manufacturers have very stringent requirements, meaning that not everyone gets the designation.

Ratings

There are some organizations that make it their aim to rate contractors. There are some contractors who do shoddy work and then disappear. Such organizations aim at rating the contractors so that you can know the best in your area without much of a hustle.

Warranties

Warranties should be another great consideration when you are choosing a contractor. It is important to know that not everyone can give you manufacturer warranties which will cover the workmanship of the contractor. If an installation is not done correctly, then it may be a long time before you notice the damage and as such, insurance may not make any payment. The contractor may refuse to fix it or he may already be out of business and you may end up paying for it. The best contractors should therefore offer you long warranties. This will cushion you incase faults show up in the future.

Safety

Contractors that lack in training and safety programs are not the best. A good contractor needs to be trained in the relevant fields so as to ensure that they offer the best services at all times. There are many bodies that specialize in offering the best training. Find out which is the best in your locality.

Insurance and licensing

Insurance and licensing is a very important thing. A contractor needs to have insurance for the employees. Check for an insurance certificate so as to validate the professional.

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Roofing Repair – What You Should Know

There are many homeowners that are reluctant to do this home maintenance task on their own. When doing roofing repair yourself it can be straightforward and economical. The first thing that you need to do to find out if you can do this repair yourself is to find the problem you need to repair. Often the cause is improper design or wind damage if your roof is new. To damage your roof winds do not have to reach hurricane strength. When having a storm it is possible to have strong winds or wind gusts that reach over fifty miles per hour, which is strong enough to lift part of your shingles. This wind gust could also pull the adhesive loose from the home or loosen fasteners.

If the roofing repair job is due to improper design it is often not a good idea to do the repair yourself. If you leave the design problem and just fix the roof then the problem will continue to reoccur. Some of the common problems that can happen with improper design include:

• Roof does not have adequate slope

• The support structures are too wide to support the weight of the roof

• Not enough consideration was taken for contraction and expansion in the decking structure

• Not having enough drains, which could allow water to pool on the roof

Any of these design problems will eventually lead to separation of the roofing materials and can cause even bigger problems. This roofing repair job is best left to professional who specialize in roof repair.

Roofing repair can be due to normal weathering in an older roof. To keep your roof in good condition there is a certain amount of maintenance that is necessary. If you do not do this maintenance, the roofing materials will begin to deteriorate. This can allow dirt and moisture into your home. If you live in an area that has a high level of air pollution from industrial factories or has frequent hailstorms the roofing material will deteriorate quicker. If you live near the ocean, exposure to the salt can also deteriorate the roofing materials.

The process of roofing repair is the same no matter what caused the problems. The steps to repair your roof include:

• Remove the damaged area of shingles to see how extensive the damage is under the shingles

• If only the shingles are damaged, you can just replace the shingles over the roofing felt, which is what covers the support or roof deck.

• You may need to remove the felt and repair the decking structure if the damage is so severe that you have moisture in your home

If you do not feel comfortable climbing on your roof to do roofing repair, call a professional roofing company.

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Commercial Roofing Basics

The main difference between normal residential roofing and Commercial Roofing is that the latter uses a flatter slope while the former uses a much steeper slope for the roof. People who need Roofing, usually approach companies which are specialised in dealing specifically with commercialised aspects of the same, called Commercial Roofing Companies. They professionally analyse the requirements of the customer and then accordingly take the best course of action.

The decision which makes all the difference to how effective the Roofing shall be is the building material chosen. If a material has high thermal absorption, then it does not allow the building to heat up thus mitigating the need for cooling. If not completely negating the need, it does save on cooling costs. Cost however, is just one criterion and cannot be used to judge the efficiency of the material. Important factors that determine the kind of roofing material chosen are dependent on the requirements of the space within the building. Ease of maintenance and durability rank very highly in the list of qualities desired in a Commercial Roofing material.

Commercial Roofing Companies usually start by using small tiles known as shingles as the basic building block for the entire roof. These tiles are placed in interlocked position on the roof to form a shield which then protects the building. The tiles are usually made of wood, clay, slate or asphalt. Asphalt which is covered with a layer of bitumen costs less but loses out in terms of longevity and maintenance issues. Wood is used very rarely for Roofing but looks quite attractive, while clay and slate are often popular choices considering their heat absorption properties. However, using clay and slate tiles works out very expensive as far as Roofing goes. They are also brittle and chip easily causing a lot of damage. Wood is very high maintenance and gets damaged due to constant exposure to water. It is also very vulnerable to attacks by insects such as termites.

There is one more category of Commercial Roofing, which may also be deemed as being more efficient than the others, called the membrane roofing system. These roofs often weigh less than conventional Roofing since PVC and rubber sheets are used as a building material. PVC has the ability to reflect sunlight and has the additional advantage of low costs as well. PVC also lasts long and is easy to maintain making Membrane roofing one of the most preferred methods of Roofing.

Thus Commercial Roofing Companies have to take all of the above factors into consideration, along with the specific needs and requirements of the building in order to decide which roofing material to select.

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All About Roofing Contractors

Having your roof done right is important for longevity. Whether you are working on a smaller job such as a little leak that needs a few shingles replaced, or a larger job like installing an entirely new roof, it is best to leave it to the professionals. Roofing contractors are trained in the field to do the job right the first time without allowing the progression of the problem.

A contractor can add value to your home. Simply by hiring a professional with all the right experience in the field, you can skyrocket the resale value for home. The initial investment may be more than what you would like to invest, but in the long run it will benefit you greatly. Your house will go from decreasing in value to increasing simply by adding a new roof.

There ARE different kinds of roofing available. You could have them install a shingle, slate or metal roof. Shingles are one of the oldest forms of roofing but they don’t actually last as long as other forms such as metal. When installing shingles they use special glue which after a while does get old and can get holes in it creating a leak. Whether it starts with an animal pulling on the shingles allowing water to get in, or a dip in the shingle causing it to create a puddle which will soften the glue and eventually rot and create a hole for animals to make worse and get into where they could start nesting and breeding. This will give you an added animal infestation.

Now, metal roofing is a great thing to have a contractor install. While the initial payment may be more, it will last a lifetime with few or zero repairs. The material that it is made out of is completely sturdy and rust-resistant as well as helps regulate the temperature inside your house. While it may seem to be a dream come true already, it has many more bonuses such as the fact that it can keep noise pollution from invading your space. Noisy cars, children playing outside, garbage trucks, birds and more will all be blocked out by the material. Metal roofing lasts three times longer than shingle roofing.

Depending on your climate and area of living, you may have more or less dependency on an ultimate roof. If you live in a place with lots of noise, animals and harsh seasons it may be better for you to invest in a metal roof where as if you live in a dry area, there aren’t many animals around you and you live in quiet conditions then you may just be OK with shingles.

There are lots of options for you when it comes to using a contractor. Having your roof checked on is the best way to start. Your contractor will tell you what is best for your home that coincides nicely with your budget.

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A Beginner’s Guide to Roofing Terminology

If you’re new to the world of roofing, then you’re going to be hearing a lot of terms you may not have any clue about. It’s better to get to grips with the terminology so you can save yourself a lot of confusion further down the road.

Whilst you may hear lots of different words being tossed about, most of the words used for the more important roofing terminology remain the same throughout the world. Hopefully this guide can help you with what you need to know.

Common Terms

Below we will be explaining some of the more common terms you may hear on roofing websites or from roofing contractors. This is the terminology every house owner should know about.

Shingles

Shingles are a type of roof covering that consists of a number of overlapping tiles. Usually you’ll notice that shingles are flat and rectangular and are laid in lines that go vertically up the roof.

Tiles will be managed so that each tile is overlapped by a tile above and underlapped by a tile below. You may often see stone shingles used for housing but other materials such as wood or metal can be used as well.

Eave

The eave is the edge of the roof which overhangs the side of your house wall. The eave goes horizontally across the bottom of your roof. Eaves are used in roofing to keep water off of the walls. Eaves can often be a point of decoration for home owners.

Fire Rating

A fire rating is used to determine the resistance a certain material will have to fire. When house fires can be a big concern, understanding the fire rating of your house and roofing materials is very important. Materials are classed as having A, B or C class fire rating, with A being the most fire resistant.

Dormer

This is a small structure that protrudes from the out the top of a sloping roof surface. You’ll often see dormers with windows – you might have one in your attic or on the top floor of your house. These are often used to provide headspace in rooms with low ceilings or as a means to let in natural light and ventilation.

Rafter

A rafter is found in series with other rafters to help support the roof and any associated weight. Rafters are often called members by roofing professionals, but you’ll see them in your house as a series of beams that extend diagonally upwards from the very outer perimeter of your interior, usually where the roof and your walls meet. For most home construction, you’ll often notice that rafters are made out of wood.

Deck

In roofing terminology the deck is an underlying layer of roofing material over which roofing is applied. The deck is often made out of wood boards, plywood or planks. The deck is one of the more important structural pieces that helps to keep most other structural components together. The roofing term for deck should not be confused with the architectural term of the same word, which refers to a flat surface or floor that is usually built outside, elevated from the ground but connected to the side of a building.

A Few More Valuable Terms

There are dozens of other terms used in roofing and whilst you don’t need to understand them all right away there are some more terms that may be useful for those looking into upgrading pr repairing their roof.

Blistering

Blistering is caused when bubbles or abnormalities are created in roofing materials. The cause of blistering is usually related to moisture from collected rain or snow. Blisters can be caused by moisture being trapped under the material or by moisture being trapped inside the material. This is most often seen in shingles.

Drip Edge

A drip edge is a piece of material that is installed along the edge of a roof to stop water dropping into areas that could get damaged, such as the deck or the eaves. In most cases a drip edge will be constructed from metal.

Flashing

Flashing is a term that refers to installing thin sheets of material onto your roof to prevent water from passing into unwanted areas. You’ll often see shingles or other materials pointed outwards on or around chimneys. This is a perfect example of flashing – the water will hit off of these materials, preventing any moisture from reaching the joints of a house.

Cricket

A cricket is a small ridge structure built at the highest side of a chimney that is designed to divert any water from pocketing between the chimney and the roof. Crickets are most often seen at the back of chimneys but they are also used on any other roof projections. A cricket is also sometimes referred to as a saddle.

Are you looking for a reputable roofing contractor to help you with your roofing needs? Contact us now and we’ll have our associates talk to you about it.

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