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Six Roofing Options | Print |
With the variety of roof materials available these days, here are six options to help make choosing the right one for your roofing project a little easier. Roofing Material #1: Asphalt Shingles Asphalt shingles are the most common roofing material seen on American homes these days. They are an inexpensive roofing option and they come in a variety of colors. They are generally guaranteed for 20 to 30 years and require no maintenance. The drawback is that this roofing material is so common your roof won’t stand out from the crowd, however the asphalt shingles have great value in their durability and ease of installation. You can choose from the standard 3-tab shingles or upgrade to a thicker architectural shingle. Ask your contractor for samples of each to determine which type of asphalt shingle is the roofing material best suited for your residential roofing project. Roofing Material #2: Wood Shingles Wood shingles are beautiful. This is a classic roofing material that ages and weathers to a beautiful gray or silver. If installed properly wood shingles can last 30 to 50 years. This roofing material, however, has some drawbacks. First, it’s not fireproof. Second, it’s expensive to install and often requires maintenance, such as washing to remove mildew and application of new oil. If this is your roofing material of choice, make sure your contractor is knowledgeable about shingle selection and installation. Roofing Material #3: Engineered Tiles and Materials These days there are many types of roofing shingles that are manufactured to look like wood or shake, among other things. These products meet fire codes and restrictions and can often be cost effective and low maintenance. A good contractor can help guide you in your selection of engineered roofing materials. Roofing Material #4: Slate Slate is a beautiful for residential roofing. It is a high end roofing material, it sheds ice and snow, and it has a classic appeal. Slate is also very heavy and requires a structure built to withstand that amount of weight. It is also expensive to buy and install. It is, however, now available in an engineered product which is less expensive and considerably lighter. This option makes a slate look-alike roofing shingle an affordable consideration for many builders and contractors to suggest to their clients. Roofing Material #5: Metal Metal shingle roofs are cheap, rugged, and long lasting. They vary from the low end of galvanized metal, like you would see on a barn, to high end copper. Metal roofing materials can be a great residential roofing option, as it is generally maintenance free and can protect from fire damage in high fire areas. Metal is another roofing material that requires proper installation as even small mistakes can cause leaks. Roofing Material #6: Ceramic Ceramic roofing material is most commonly seen in Mediterranean style homes. The most often used ceramic is the barrel tile, or the half cylinder, but also common is the ceramic clay tile roofing material. Ceramic roofs are beautiful but are heavy and the installation is quite labor intensive. A good contractor can locate master roofers to ensure proper installation of a ceramic roof. Call Amherst Roofing of Naples, Florida today for a free estimate at 239-594-1133. Amherst Roofing has been serving all of South West Florida since 1988.
 
How Often Do You Look at Your Roof | Print |
How often do you look at your roof? If you're like me, you run in and out of the house, shuttle the kids back and forth, and glance up at the roofline only occasionally as you back out of the driveway. But inspecting your roof regularly and making little fixes as needed can prevent some costly repairs down the road -- and keep those raindrops from falling on your head. There's another benefit, too: Keeping your roof in good condition will also be a big plus if you decide to sell your home. Take it from the top So, what should you look for when inspecting your roof? The National Roofing Contractors Association (NRCA) recommends you do a roof inspection at least two times a year -- spring and fall. The best place to begin is inside your house -- grab a flashlight and make a trip to the attic. Here are four things to look for on the inside: 1) Places where the roof deck is sagging 2) Signs of water damage or leaking 3) Dark spots and trails 4) Outside light showing through the roof. Exterior check When you take a look at the exterior of the roof, pay attention to such things as damaged flashing, missing shingles, curling, blistering, buckling, rotting and algae growth (which occurs most often in humid climates and appears as dark or greenish stains). The HomeTeam Inspection Service offers these tips on what to check on the outside: 5) Visually inspect your roof for cracked, torn, bald or missing shingles. 6) Scan the roof for loose material or wear around chimneys, vents, pipes or other penetrations. 7) Watch out for an excessive amount of shingle granules (they look like large grains of sand) in the gutters -- this is a sign of advanced wear. 8) Check for signs of moisture, rot or mold. Note that wet spots may not be directly under your faulty shingle; water can travel down to its lowest spot before it drips. Mold, fungi and bacteria can grow quickly -- within 24 to 48 hours of a water-related problem. 9) Examine the drainage, and make sure gutters and downspouts are securely attached. Also ensure all drains are open and allow water to exit, and all gutters and downspouts are free of debris. 10) Check that all bath, kitchen and dryer vents go entirely outside of your home, not just into the attic space. What's the roof made of? Dean Bennett, president of Dean Bennett Design and Construction, Inc. in Castle Rock, Colorado, says determining when you need a new roof also depends on roofing material as well as the part of the country in which you live. With that in mind, he offers tips on the following roofing materials: •Cedar: A cedar roof in need of repair or replacement will split and fall apart in dry climates. In moist climates, it will get mossy. The lifespan of a cedar roof is about 20 years. •Tile: "Look for broken or cracked tiles," Bennett says, "but don't walk on the roof to do so or the tiles will break. Tile roofs can last up to 100 years, but individual tiles can break. They can be replaced, but only by a specialist." •Concrete: should never need replacing If you have a roof with wooden shakes, you should also watch out for damage from termites, carpenter ants and/or other wood-boring pests. Check the simplest solutions first If your roof has water damage, don't jump the gun and assume you need to start all over with a brand new roof. The California Contractors State License Board says that if your roof was properly installed and is less than than 15 to 20 years old, it can often be repaired rather than replaced. Contact a licensed roofing contractor -- or three -- to find out what they think needs to be done and to get an estimate. Starting over If you do decide to go ahead and replace the whole roof, keep weather and other issues specific to your locality in mind when choosing materials. For example, wood and asphalt shingles aren't especially fire resistant -- and this could be a problem if you live near a lot of dry brush and trees. Slate, tile and metal are more expensive materials, but they are a worthwhile investment because of the extra protection they offer against fire. If, on the other hand, snow loads are an issue where you live, you might want to consider a durable and lightweight standing-seam metal roof. These can typically cast off the snow before it becomes a problem. But before setting your heart on slate or tile -- and we know they look really gorgeous -- realize that these are very heavy materials. Some house framing just isn't strong enough to support the extra weight of this sort of roofing. Start now -- before you have no choice Don't wait until water is unexpectedly pouring into your home by way of a leaky roof. Start protecting your home by using some simple observation skills. If you find problems, it doesn't necessarily mean you need to replace your roof. Many repairs can be made before a major rebuild is necessary. If you do need a new roof, be aware that this isn't an average "do it yourself" type of project. It's tough work -- especially if you're taking off the old roof -- and can be dangerous, too. (Roofs slope and are up high... need we say more?) It's all looking up Most people list "Having a roof over my head" as one of life's essentials -- and there's a reason for that. It's not just a matter of practicality or aesthetics (though both of those play a part). Your roof is what keeps you and your family safe from the sun and snow, lightning and rain. So cozy up with the knowledge that once your roof is in tip-top shape, it will stay that way for years to come. Call Amherst Roofing today for more information at 239-594-1133.
 
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