Buying a New Roof and Getting Your Money's Worth | Print |

Roof system components

All steep-slope roof systems (i.e., roofs with slopes of 25 percent or more) have five basic components:
  1. Roof covering: shingles, tile, slate or metal and underlayment that protect the sheathing from weather.
  2. Sheathing: boards or sheet material that are fastened to roof rafters to cover a house or building.
  3. Roof structure: rafters and trusses constructed to support the sheathing.
  4. Flashing: sheet metal or other material installed into a roof system's various joints and valleys to prevent water seepage.
  5. Drainage: a roof system's design features, such as shape, slope and layout that affect its ability to shed water.
Click to view larger illustration

Choosing a roof system

There are a number of things to consider when selecting a new roof system. Of course, cost and durability head the list, but aesthetics and architectural style are important, too. The right roof system for your home or building is one that balances these five considerations. The following roofing products commonly are used for steep-slope structures.

Asphalt shingles possess an overwhelming share of the U.S. steep-slope roofing market and can be reinforced with organic or fiberglass materials. Although asphalt shingles reinforced with organic felts have been around much longer, fiberglass-reinforced products now dominate the market.
    Organic shingles consist of a cellulose-fiber (i.e., wood) base that is saturated with asphalt and coated with colored mineral granules.
    Fiberglass shingles consist of a fiberglass mat, top-and-bottom layers of asphalt, and mineral granules.
Asphalt shingles' fire resistances, like most other roofing materials, are categorized by Class A, B or C. Class A signifies the most fire-resistant; Classes B and C denote less fire resistance. Generally, most fiberglass shingles have Class A fire ratings, and most organic shingles have Class C ratings.

A shingle's reinforcement has little effect on its appearance. Organic and fiberglass products are available in laminated (architectural) grades that offer a textured appearance. Zinc or copper-coated ceramic granules also can be applied to organic or fiberglass products to protect against algae attack, a common problem in warm, humid parts of the United States. Both types of shingles also are available in a variety of colors.

Regardless of their reinforcing type and appearance, asphalt shingles' physical characteristics vary significantly. When installing asphalt shingles, NRCA recommends use of shingles that comply with American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) standards-ASTM D 225 for organic shingles and ASTM D 3462 for fiberglass shingles. These standards govern the composition and physical properties of asphalt shingles; not all asphalt shingles on the market comply with these standards. If a shingle product complies with one of these standards, it is typically noted in the manufacturer's product literature and on the package wrapper.

Wood shingles and shakes are made from cedar, redwood, southern pine and other woods; their natural look is popular in California, the Northwest and parts of the Midwest. Wood shingles are machinesawn; shakes are handmade and rougher looking. A point to consider: Some local building codes limit the use of wood shingles and shakes because of concerns about fire resistance. Many wood shingles and shakes only have Class C fire ratings or no ratings at all. However, Class A fire ratings are available for certain wood shingle products that incorporate a factory-applied, fire-resistant treatment.

Tile clay or concrete—is a durable roofing material. Mission and Spanish-style round-topped tiles are used widely in the Southwest and Florida, and flat styles also are available to create French and English looks. Tile is available in a variety of colors and finishes. Tile is heavy. If you are replacing another type of roof system with tile, you will need to verify that the structure can support the load.

Slate is quarried in the United States in Vermont, New York, Pennsylvania and Virginia. It is available in different colors and grades, depending on its origin. Considered virtually indestructible, it is, however, more expensive than other roofing materials. In addition, its application requires special skill and experience. Many old homes, especially in the Northeast, still are protected by this long-lasting roofing material.

Metal, primarily thought of as a low-slope roofing material, has been found to be a roofing alternative for home and building owners with steep-slope roofs. There are two types of metal roofing products: panels and shingles. Numerous metal panel shapes and configurations exist. Metal shingles typically are intended to simulate traditional roof coverings, such as wood shakes, shingles and tile. Apart from metal roofing's longevity, metal shingles are relatively lightweight, have a greater resistance to adverse weather and can be aesthetically pleasing. Some have Class A fire ratings.

Synthetic roofing products simulate various traditional roof coverings, such as slate and wood shingles and shakes. However, they do not necessarily have the same properties.

Before making a buying decision, NRCA recommends that you look at full-size samples of a proposed product, as well as manufacturers' brochures. It also is a good idea to visit a building that is roofed with a particular product.

Ventilation and insulation are key

One of the most critical factors in roof system durability is proper ventilation. Without it, heat and moisture build up in an attic area and combine to cause rafters and sheathing to rot, shingles to buckle, and insulation to lose its effectiveness.

Therefore, it is important never to block off sources of roof ventilation, such as louvers, ridge vents or soffit vents, even in winter. Proper attic ventilation will help prevent structural damage caused by moisture, increase roofing material life, reduce energy consumption and enhance the comfort level of the rooms below the attic.

In addition to the free flow of air, insulation plays a key role in proper attic ventilation. An ideal attic has:
  • A gap-free layer of insulation on the attic floor to protect the house below from heat gain or loss.
  • A vapor retarder under the insulation and next to the ceiling to stop moisture from rising into the attic.
  • Enough open, vented spaces to allow air to pass in and out freely.
  • A minimum of 1 inch between the insulation and roof sheathing.
The requirements for proper attic ventilation may vary greatly, depending on the part of the United States in which a home or building is located, as well as the structure's conditions, such as exposure to the sun, shade and atmospheric humidity. Nevertheless, the general ventilation formula is based on the length and width of the attic. NRCA recommends a minimum of 1 square foot of free vent area for each 150 square feet of attic floor—with vents placed proportionately at the eaves (e.g., soffits) and at or near the ridge.

Even roofs have enemies

A roof system's performance is affected by numerous factors. Knowing about the following will help you make informed roof system buying decisions:
  • Sun: Heat and ultraviolet rays cause roofing materials to deteriorate over time. Deterioration can occur faster on the sides facing west or south.
  • Rain: When water gets underneath shingles, shakes or other roofing materials, it can work its way to the roof deck and cause the roof structure to rot. Extra moisture encourages mildew and rot elsewhere in a house, including walls, ceilings, insulation and electrical systems.
  • Wind: High winds can lift shingles' edges (or other roofing materials) and force water and debris underneath them. Extremely high winds can cause extensive damage.
  • Snow and ice: Melting snow often refreezes at a roof's overhang where the surface is cooler, forming an ice dam. This blocks proper drainage into the gutter. Water backs up under the shingles (or other roofing materials) and seeps into the interior. During the early melt stages, gutters and downspouts can be the first to fill with ice and be damaged beyond repair or even torn off a house or building.
  • Condensation: Condensation can result from the buildup of relatively warm, moisture-laden air. Moisture in a poorly ventilated attic promotes decay of wood sheathing and rafters, possibly destroying a roof structure. Sufficient attic ventilation can be achieved by installing larger or additional vents and will help alleviate problems because the attic air temperature will be closer to the outside air temperature.
  • Moss and algae: Moss can grow on moist wood shingles and shakes. Once it grows, moss holds even more moisture to a roof system's surface, causing rot. In addition, moss roots also can work their way into a wood deck and structure. Algae also grows in damp, shaded areas on wood or asphalt shingle roof systems. Besides creating a black-green stain, algae can retain moisture, causing rot and deterioration. Trees and bushes should be trimmed away from homes and buildings to eliminate damp, shaded areas, and gutters should be kept clean to ensure good drainage.
  • Trees and leaves: Tree branches touching a roof will scratch and gouge roofing materials when the branches are blown by the wind. Falling branches from overhanging trees can damage, or even puncture, shingles and other roofing materials. Leaves on a roof system's surface retain moisture and cause rot, and leaves in the gutters block drainage.
  • Missing or torn shingles: The key to a roof system's effectiveness is complete protection. When shingles are missing or torn off, a roof structure and home or building interior are vulnerable to water damage and rot. The problem is likely to spread-nearby shingles also are ripped easily or blown away. Missing or torn shingles should be replaced as soon as possible.
  • Shingle deterioration: When shingles are old and worn out, they curl, split and lose their waterproofing effectiveness. Weakened shingles easily are blown off, torn or lifted by wind gusts. The end result is structural rot and interior damage. A deteriorated roof system only gets worse with time-it should be replaced as soon as possible.
  • Flashing deterioration: Many apparent roof leaks really are flashing leaks. Without good, tight flashings around chimneys, vents, skylights and wall/roof junctions, water can enter a home or building and cause damage to walls, ceilings, insulation and electrical systems. Flashings should be checked as part of a biannual roof inspection and gutter cleaning.

Call Amherst Roofing today for a Free Estimate at 239-594-1133.
Roof Repairs in Naples, Florida | Print |
 No one plans on having problems with their roof. But it is a very important feature of keeping a household or business confident in their environments safety and security. When major storms roam into your area and cause hail or strong winds are the source of your damaged roof if you do not already know of a good roofing contractor or company then it can be a troublesome experience trying to find someone who can get the job done right the first time.

One of the big concerns starting out is just getting a temporary fix applied to the roof so that water and other materials do not cause any or further interior damage. One thing to always remember is to get the water source captured in a bucket or you could use a large trash can if it is available. If it is still raining you do not want to attempt climbing up on the roof for any reason. The water or lightning during a storm makes being on the roof very unsafe. After the rain has stopped and the storm has passed, if you feel comfortable climbing a ladder and capable of finding and temporarily attempting to fix any problems found, then it could be ok to try looking at and fixing the damages yourself if it is only minor damage. In many cases, when storms cause enough damage to start water leaking into your home or business, it usually needs a professional to asses and repair it properly. To fix the problems yourself for minor damages you can nail temporary shingles down and use some caulking to cover up any holes or areas of concern.

As you find out more about the damages on your home and you decide to contact a roofing contractor or company, you may want to decide to contact two or three of them to compare estimates. Roof repair estimates usually are a competitive market so sharing your prices with the others sometimes can work to your advantage and help you get the best price. In the end you want to make sure you pick the contractor that can the job right the first time in a timely manner though. Finding that combination of affordable pricing and a good contractor are the main keys to determining who to choose for your repair needs.

When searching for roofing contractors in Collier County Florida you will find there are many different options available and it may be hard to even decide which to start calling. Try using the search term "Roofing Contractors, Collier County” when Google searching and you will see most of the top ranked companies and contractors in the area.

Overall use your best judgment and try and contact family or friends for any word of mouth referrals they may have to offer. Most times, utilizing these techniques mentioned will help you along the way of getting your roofing problems addressed and find the right help to get your home back in line.

Contact us today if you have questions regarding your roofing needs – Amherst Roofing, Naples, Florida

 What to do after detecting a Roof Leak

Immediately after you discover that water is dripping in from your roof and you begin to lose faith in your roof’s structural integrity, there are three top things that you should do. The beginning step, should be handled soon, and the other steps can be performed when there is a stop of pouring rain. You want to begin by implementing a strategy to resolve the leaking roof to make sure the structure in question continues to uphold a safe and functioning condition. As well, being able to easily find a professional the same day to come and look at your leak will ensure the problem will be handled correctly the first time.

Gathering and Cleaning

Starting these unwanted tasks is usually the most encumbrance issue that homeowners deal with and add to the stress and difficulty of knowing which steps to start at first. Even though there is a leak and the constant dripping begins to disrupt your overall confidence in your home, the best thing to do is start managing the water that is coming in. Quickly absorb any water that has already entered onto any contents or the floor, and place a container under the leak to gather the water that is still coming in.

Make sure the area is dried up well and that the water in the container is not splashing out as it begins to fill. One major step is to avoid going outside during the rain and attempt to climb it to try and fix or assess the problem at that time. Your main goal during this time is to just gather and clean up any water that may still be a problem or that is going to cause any further damages. When you get your roof repair estimates from a professional they will get on the roof for you and mark the damaged areas and assess the damages so that professional repair teams can come in behind them and fix the areas of concern.

Determine the Problem

Specifically, after the rain has ended and the roof has had time to dry, you may want to assess the damages at that time and begin to uncover if your needs for a professional are warranted or if it is a job that you feel you could fix by yourself. If able, check out where the leak is coming from and determine if a simple fix such as re-sealing or re-caulking flashing or seams could fix the problem. Usually just putting up some new shingles or roof materials is just a temporary fix. There will still be a possibility the materials are not put together as they once were and could come loose again. If you are just unable to assess the problem yourself, your next process would be to contact a roofing contractor to determine the problems there for you. Many times after large storms or multiple structure damages roofers will be busy but they should still be able to get to your location the same day to help determine what problems there are and what steps should take place next. If the rain continues to fall all day or night it may be the next day or two before it is safe for someone to be on the roof.

Fix the Problem

When determined if you are going to be able to repair the roof damages yourself, you will probably find that the amount of money saved is much more financially beneficial than having to use the services of a roofing contractor. But, try not to embrace the desires of a less expensive bill and attempt to repair the damages yourself if you are not comfortable doing them. If you already have a known and reputable roofing contractor or company that you use, have them come to repair the leaks and damages for you. If you don’t know of any, try referrals from friends and family. That will often provide much better results than cold calling of roofers in the phone book. You can also search on Google for “roofing contractors” to help find a local roofing company that can help you.

While it may be tempting to let the problem go until it leaks again, it is best to get the problem taken care of right away. It is better to spend money re-caulking flashing or repairing a seam, than it is to re-coat the roof and repair beam damage because you waited too long. Waiting might seem like the best idea financially until later down the road when you see the bills for an overall replacement of beams or shingles. Get free roof repair estimates in Naples, Florida by contacting us today.

Finding the Right Roofer for the Job

Roof repairs and installing a new roof are not cheap home improvements. In fact, the roof is one of the most costly home improvement investments that you will make during your ownership of the building. That being the case, it is important to find the right roofer for the job. That can be especially challenging and daunting after hearing roof repair nightmare stories. If you are in the market to hire a roofer for your home, follow the steps below to help ensure that the person you hire will be the best person for the job. There are plenty of roofing contractors in the Collier County area. Google AmherstRoofingNaples.com for more information.

Word of Mouth
Forget about opening the phone book up and cold calling roofing companies right from the start. While you may have to resort to that at the end of your search, the best way to begin the roofing contractor search is to ask around. Talk with friends and family members who have had their roof repaired or replaced to find out which companies and contractors they recommend and which ones they suggest you shy away from. Word of mouth advertising is the best or worst free advertising. Many contractors, especially those in the roofing industry, know that jobs done right and to the customer’s satisfaction lead to recommendations and more business. Jobs that have not been completed properly or a string of dissatisfied customers will quickly lead to a loss of credibility. If homeowners in your neighborhood are currently getting their roof repaired or replaced, consider talking with about the people doing the job. Sometimes contractors will give a discount if they are completing work in the same neighborhood.

Free Roofing Estimates
Estimates should be given free of charge. Understand that roofing companies will usually try to find out what other companies have bid and manipulate their bids to look attractive to you. While this may sound like a good thing, the price should reflect all the work and material that will be needed to complete the job. Without an accurate estimate it will be difficult to determine if a contractor is going to be the best choice for your roof repair. An accurate estimate can only be gleaned by actually inspecting your roof, so if the contractor spends only a couple of minutes looking at your roof, chances are that he is not going to see all the issues that need to be taken care of. Also remember that the lowest bid may not be the best one for your roofing job. It is important to evaluate each estimate for what it contains and the estimated date of completion.

Trust your instincts.
  This may sound like an odd way of selecting a contractor, but in reality homeowners often have a gut feeling about those they are considering hiring. It is important to feel comfortable with the person you have selected, so be sure that you go with your instincts.

Finding the right roofer for the job can be incredibly challenging. Some companies never call you back, other companies give astronomical estimates and others just make you uncomfortable. However, by listening to the recommendations of family and friends, your chances of finding the right roofer greatly increase.

Deciding if you should replace your roof or repair it

At different stages in the time frame of a home there may come a few times that you need to replace the roof. No matter if your home is over 100 years old and has been fitted with long lasting materials such as copper roofing, of if your modest home with a shingled roof, at some moment in time it is going to need repair or be replaced. Roof replacement and sometimes even roof repairs can be expensive. Most homeowners try and stave off any expensive repairs as long as possible but eventually the work has to be done to make a home up to standards. Deciding if to make repairs or replace a roof is a very important question a homeowner has to determine. Most roofing companies will give you a free roof repair estimate. That will help you gather information about the range of costs to start helping decide what to do.

When is the time to repair?

If you decide to repair the roof you will usually accrue the least amount of costs. Obviously, repairing a roof is a much better option if there are just small localized leaks. For instance, the roof may be leaking because of a cracked flashing seam or along seams in flat roofing. These repairs are usually very simple to repair. These roofing damages are not usually a sign of materials that have failed so much as just a natural weathering on the caulking and patches. A simple tube of roof patch material and some form of all weather caulking could easily resolve this problem.

Flat roofs need to be re-coated every two to six years. Although this is not considered an outstanding home repair, if not taken care of the protective coating may experience bumps, cracking, and breaks. If not regularly maintained the chances of the underlying materials becoming damaged are greater. You can attempt to apply the roof coating by yourself or hire a professional to do it. There may be many reasons you do not feel comfortable being on the roof, or the roof may be steep or hazardous for your physical condition, then it would be in your best interests to hire a professional to do the job for you. The roofs coating and any shingles are what are thought of as the first line of defense. The importance that these materials are in good condition cannot be stressed enough to ensure the protection of the business or home in question.

When to Replace?

It is known that replacing a roof can be one of the biggest home improvements that you can ever make. While keeping this in mind, it is also one of the repairs that many put off for the longest amount of time. Many people are unaware of when it is time to replace the roof? There can be some telling signs you want to make yourself aware of.

If you discover that your roof has consistent leaks even after repairs or in various places, it is strongly suggested as the time to begin replacing it. After inspection, if it is noticed that a large amount of shingles or materials are damaged that cannot be fixed with minor repair work, then it also would be a suggested time to replace it before a major incident could occur to cause further damage to the interior of the structure. Another matter in replacing roofs would include replacing any roofing vents or additional structure that also may have the same age as the rest of the roof. Another point to understand is that if the age of your roof has exceeded is lifespan it is candidate to be replaced as soon as possible. As most people have heard the saying, “if you are going to do something, do it right the first time”. That saying also goes for roofing decisions as you will not desire to continue performing roof repairs that arise over and over again as it will quickly add up to or near the costs of just replacing it. So contact a professional in the Collier County, Florida area to give you free roof repair estimates so you can get the best deal on your repairs.

Contact us today if you have questions regarding your roofing needs –  239-594-1133 or visit our website at: www.amherstroofingnaples.com


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