Roofs are the most exposed parts of any building. For this reason, roof problems arising from wear or damage are inevitable. It is important to be aware of the most common malfunctions that your roof is likely to develop so that you can detect such issues early and have them addressed before they escalate. With that in mind, below are 5 of the most common problems we have helped homeowners to solve over the years while offering our New Albany roof repair services.
Roofs develop leaks for a number of reasons. Poor flashing, lack of a moisture barrier, wind, rain, snow, and ice are all factors that may expose the roof to leaks. Regardless of the cause, a leaking roof can be a big nuisance. Even if it is minor, have it fixed quickly since water may damage your ceiling, insulation, wallboard and other items in the home.
4. Ponding Water
Ponding refers to water that stagnates on a roof for extended periods. This leads to moisture getting under the layers of the roof, thus causing everything from blistering and wood rot, to mold growth and leaks. Ponding is common on flat roofs. However, it can also occur on sloping surfaces for a number of reasons. For instance, tapered roofs with poor insulation cause melted snow to back up during winter when ice dams form along the eaves. Buildup of debris on the roof as well as improper drainage of gutters and HVAC units can also cause water ponding on the roof.
3. Overgrown Trees
Generally, it is advisable to grow trees in and around your home compound. Trees not only provide roofs with shade against destructive UV rays, but also act as natural windbreakers that can very well prevent strong gusts from blowing off your shingles. However, a common roofing hazard that crops up when trees overgrow is the presence of overhanging branches just above the roof. The problem with overgrown tree limbs that rub on roofs is that they gradually wear out the protective top layer of shingles. In the worst-case scenario, fallen branches result in even more serious structural damage to a roof. Fortunately, you can keep this common roofing hazard at bay. All you have to do is trim back tree limbs as far back as possible away from any nearby roofing structure.
2. Exposed Flashing
Exposed flashing is another common issue we encounter when called upon to provide New Albany roof repair services, especially on homes experiencing a leaking problem. Flashing is the protective cover that seals areas where the roof has been cut through to accommodate fixtures like chimneys, skylights, and vent pipes. The caulking around flashing edges requires routine reapplication since it dries out or shrinks over time. If left unchecked, exposed flashing leaves behind seams and exposed parts on the roof that cause leaks or weak-points where tiles can blow off.
1. Clogged or Broken Gutters
Gutters and downspouts drain water away from the roof to keep it dry. If these structures are broken or clogged, water can back up and seep into the eaves, eventually resulting in rot. For gutters that collect a lot of plant litter from a nearby tree, cover them with a screen to keep twigs and leaves out. In addition, have your gutters and downspouts checked every year just after fall to make sure that your roof’s drainage system is in good condition for winter.
This list does not exhaust all of the many problems that roofs develop over the course of their service life. However, it highlights 5 of the most common issues for you to look out for and have them addressed before they require major repairs. Keep in mind that all roofs develop problems as they age. On the plus side, you can always count on our New Albany roof repair expert to fix most roof malfunctions. However, it is prudent to have a proactive approach when trying to keep your roof in tiptop shape. Scheduling routine inspections and maintenance can save you the cost of a complete roof replacement since this makes it possible to catch and repair damage early.
Attic insulation is often overlooked yet it is an important working component for a healthy roof. Many New Albany roofing companies these days advise homeowners to make sure that there is proper insulation in the attic space if this is found to be lacking during regular inspections. The reason for this is because an insulated attic will offer more benefits other than preserving the structural integrity of your roof. With that in mind, here are three reasons why an insulated attic is good for your New Albany home.
Protects the Roofing System from Deterioration
With no insulation in place, heat and moisture tend to build up in the attic, which in turn may lead to wood rot. This also creates the perfect breeding ground for mold growth. Bedsides from the health risk posed, mold growth may cause physical damage to your roofing system.
During winter, we tend to heat our homes for warmth. However, if the heat rising up to the attic escapes through the roof due to lack of insulation, this causes increased melting of snow. And, as melting snow trickles down a tapered roof, ice dams form on the cooler areas along the eaves. These ice ridges prevent melting snow from draining properly. Eventually, water backs up behind the ice dams, which can leak through roof shingles or cause damage to exterior walls. Proper insulation can prevent these undesirable outcomes from occurring.
Brings Down Your Energy Consumption Bill
It might seem financially inconvenient when New Albany roofing companies recommend attic insulation that only serves to bump up the already incurred cost for roof inspection. But, the savings you get in return from an insulated attic more than make up for the added cost.
There is no way to contain warmth inside your home during winter if the attic lacks insulation. As such, your HVAC system may have to work overtime throughout the cold season. In the process, your power consumption bill will skyrocket. But, when your attic is sealed and insulated, you save money on energy. In fact, savings will be more if you take into account the avoided cost of having to repair heating and ventilation fixtures that malfunction all the time due to being overworked.
Creates Comfortable Living Space
Many homeowners turn the attic into a storage area because it becomes too hot during summer and uncomfortably cold in winter. By putting a barrier between the interior and exterior of your home, this allows the HVAC system to work more efficiently. Thanks to proper insulation, you can even turn the attic into an extra room that’s comfortable for occupation.
It is easy to see why many New Albany roofing companies advocate for attic insulation. This is a surefire way to enjoy greater home comfort, reduce energy costs, and preserve the lifespan of your roof. Whatever type of attic insulation you decide to have installed, make sure that it is within the R49 to R60 values recommended by Department of Energy (DOE) and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for homes in Indiana, New Albany.
Many people choose to design their roofs with cedar shake shingles, and with good reason. For sheer looks, this roofing material is hard to beat. However, like with all roofing materials, cedar shakes are not without fault. Before contacting New Albany roofers to help you cover your home with cedar shingles, it is important to weigh the pros and cons of these roofing materials.
What is Cedar Shake Roofing?
As the name implies, this type of roofing shingle is made from cedar trees, the Atlantic White and Western Red cedars to be more specific. However, spruce, California redwood, cypress, and pine wood are also used in the manufacture of wooden roofing shingles.
Normally, cedar roofing comes in ‘shake’ form where roof pieces are made from split logs. Once split from logs, cedar shakes are finished with a textured, rough-hewn look with distinctive thick butt ends. The shakes generally cut to measure 24” in length while the butt ends can measure anywhere between ½” to ¾” thick.
Cedar roofing can also come in ‘shingle’ form, with each piece featuring smooth and tapered finishing on both sides. The shingles generally measure 18” long and only 3/8” in butt thickness. Both cedar shake and shingle roofing options can be pressure treated with fire retardants and chemical preservatives to enhance longevity and performance.
When it comes to advantages, this roofing option offers several long-lasting and practical benefits that will win any homeowner. These benefits of cedar shake roofing include:
Cedar shades are one of the most beautiful choices when it comes to roofing materials. Available in gray shades or red, brown, and orange, cedar shakes are a naturally beautiful roofing material that will add sophistication to any home. What’s even better is the fact that these shingles retain their great looks to the very end since cedar ages gracefully to a beautiful grayish silver shade. In addition, cedar shingles tend to differ in appearance thanks to this lumber’s natural variance. This means that you could potentially have a distinctly unique look wooden roof that makes your home stand out.
Beyond looking naturally beautiful, cedar shakes feature versatile design options that enhance the architectural beauty of any structure. And, since cedar shakes have a rustic look, the roofing material will work for any architectural design, be it traditional or modern.
Wind and Weather Resistance
When it comes to protecting your home, cedar shakes have several qualities that offer excellent protection against weather elements. For starters, New Albany roofers install cedar shakes to a flat, straight, and tight hold that is resistant to both water and strong winds. Because of this installation technique, cedar shakes are known to resist heavy downpour, snowstorms, and even wind speeds of up to 245 miles per hour. What’s more, the cell structure of wood allows the roofing material to take a beating from chunks of ice in a hailstorm without suffering so much as a dent. Cedar shakes can also be built to resist fungus, moss, and insects as well.
Great Thermal Insulation
Most woods are natural insulators, and cedar is no different. This roofing material will resist UV rays, give off heat when the weather gets too hot, and hold onto as much heat as possible during winter. As a result, cedar roofs can survive in areas with high temperature as well as offer great savings on energy bills in temperate regions.
Relatively Long Lifespan
Cedar wood has the natural ability to handle everything from strong winds, to heat, to hailstorms. As such, this roofing material has an incredibly long lifespan that stands at twice as long as asphalt shingles. You can expect 30 to 60 years out of a cedar shake roof. However, that is only under the right conditions. Cedar shake roofs require quality installation, proper maintenance, and ideal conditions (little exposure to moisture, distant from seawater, etc) to live out their full lifespan. Using cedar wood that is chemically treated can also help to enhance the roof’s durability.
Despite the amazing benefits explained above, cedar shakes also have a few downfalls you should be aware of. They include:
Just as cedar shingles inherit all of wood’s good qualities, they are also susceptible to the undesirable qualities. The potential for burning is so high that areas with increased risk of fires ban the use of cedar roofing. There is some good news to this downside however. Using cedar wood that has been treated with fire retardants can help make the roof a little less flammable.
With most roofs, maintenance simply includes cleaning the structure once or twice a year and checking for damaged or loose shingles. Cedar shake roofs however require much more work to keep in good condition. Wood needs to breathe so debris must be kept off the roof at all times while the ventilation system needs to be maintained in top shape to ensure airflow around the shakes. Gutters in turn need to cleaned regularly and nearby trees cut to prevent moss, mildew, and mold growth. Regular application of chemical treatments is also advisable for helping the shakes age slowly and hold onto their natural color for longer.
While cedar roofs can handle heavy rain and snowstorms well, constant exposure to moisture will cause the wood material to rot. Because of this, cedar roofs do not last long if installed under a shade or in areas where the sun is rare. Ample sun exposure is necessary to evaporate water and moisture from a wet cedar roof after it rains.
Since cedar roofs offer an appearance and performance that is superior to many other roofing materials, this bumps up the cost of installation. You might have to pay 2 to 5 times more than you would for an asphalt roof.
In the event of damage, repairing cedar shakes will also be costly. Unlike other roofing options where a damaged shingle or tile can be removed and replaced, cedar roofing is laid by nailing one piece over the other in a stacking fashion. So, in the event of rot, crack, or any other damage, New Albany roofers will need to replace many cedar shake pieces or the whole roof in some instances.
When it comes to cedar shake roofing, many homeowners agree that the benefits of this material far outweigh its downsides. After all, what is a little extra money or more maintenance work if in return you get to enjoy exceptional beauty, durability, and great resistance to weather elements? However, it is up to you to decide if cedar roofing is a good option for your home. And, if you are not sure, you can always seek the advice of professional New Albany roofers.
Replacing a roof is a costly affair. If you are not prepared for it, then you are in for a financially stressful experience. But, that does not have to be the case if you decide to invest in a homeowner’s insurance policy. If your property is covered, the insurance policy will protect you from financial loss in case of unexpected roof damage. This is why many New Albany roofers now work with insurance companies to help homeowners plan in advance for roof replacement costs. Whether your property is protected or not, it is important to understand what to expect from home insurance policies that include coverage for roof damage.
Know What Your Insurance Policy Covers
Cause of damage is the first thing that any insurance company will look at in order to decide whether a damaged roof qualifies for replacement. In most cases, coverage is provided for damage caused by unpreventable accidents. Vandalism and fires are two such perils that fall in this scope. It is also standard practice for most insurance companies to offer coverage for roof damage in the event of natural disasters such as destructive lightning strikes, hail or wind storms.
Most insurance companies send over their own inspector to assess damage and determine whether you qualify to make a claim. Keep in mind that it is the responsibility of the homeowner to care for and maintain his/her roof. Therefore, claims may be denied if it is established that damage resulted from poor roof maintenance or negligence.
Factors that Determine How Much You’ll be Reimbursed
There are two factors that determine whether your homeowner’s insurance policy will cover the full or partial cost of a new roof. First of all, the extent of the damage will play a big role in determining how much you will be reimbursed. For instance, your roof could incur damage from one of the specified perils in your policy but a large part of it remains intact. In this case, the insurance company may opt to repair or replace only the damaged section instead of footing the bill for a complete replacement.
Having been one of the long serving New Albany roofers, we seen various home insurance providers take into account the age of a roof in different ways when it comes to covering property damage. For instance, some insurance companies cover the full cost of replacing or repairing the damaged section if your roof is less 10 years old. Other carriers will only reimburse the depreciated value depending on how much service life your roof had left prior to damage.
How to Increase Chances of Having Roof Damage Insurance Claims Approved
The process of filing an insurance claim for roof damage is not always easy. That is why it is important to be proactive in ensuring you receive proper settlement for your loss should you incur damage from a covered peril. To begin with, chop down any dead trees or trim overhanging branches that could potentially fall on a home during violent storms. If you ignore such obvious danger, it could be grounds for having your claim denied because of property negligence. In addition, make sure that your roof is always in good condition to avoid having your claim denied due to poor maintenance. This can be achieved by scheduling regular inspections from professional New Albany roofers like us so that minor problems can be caught early and repaired on time.
We can also take before and after photos whenever repairs are done for your own record keeping. Having such information on file along with roof repair invoices and any bills you receive will ease the claims process.
In conclusion, remember that home insurance providers may have different policies when it comes to coverage offered for roof or property damage. The best way to know what your policy covers is to read the fine print or speak to your home insurance carrier.
Assuming you hired expert New Albany roofing contractors during the installation of your roof, you might be looking at 15, 20, 50, or more years of use depending on the materials installed. However, constant changing weather conditions can decrease the life expectancy of a roof. Luckily, there are a few measures that can be taken to ensure a roof lives out its expected lifespan. Roof coating is one of these measures that you might want to consider.
Designed to be placed on an already completed roofing structure, roof coatings add an extra layer of protection against outdoor elements thereby enabling the roof to last longer. Below, we delve into the topic of roof coating to help you have a good grasp of what it entails.
What is Roof Coating?
A roof coating is basically a monolithic, fully adhered membrane with elastic properties. The elasticity allows the roof coating to expand and contract alongside roofing materials as the weather changes from hot to cold. This helps to keep a roof coating adhered to the roof even during extreme weather.
When it comes to roof coatings, commonly used options include:
On the downside, this roof coating option can be expensive and prone to holding dirt. Silicone also tends to lose its reflective powers over time, so, regular reapplication is necessary.
Benefits of Roof Coating
The main benefit of coating a roof is that you will get to enjoy an extended lifespan from the structure. A good roof coating will create a resilient barrier that will increase your roof’s waterproof quality, protect against harmful UV rays, and drive heat away from the roof’s surface. With this kind of heightened protection against the elements, a coated roof will not only last longer but also avoid damage. This potentially means you will not have to do or pay much for maintenance work. Other benefits of having New Albany roofing contractors coat your roof include:
Is Roof Coating Right for you?
Whether you are dealing with a commercial building, an office, or your very own home, roof coating is a great investment that will help make the roof more robust and durable. In fact, there are several instances that call for it as a necessary measure. These include when you are looking to extend the lifespan of your roof or upgrade a building’s appearance; when the roof’s existing coating no longer protects the underlying roofing material; and in instances when coating can be used in conjunction with roof repairs to restore an old roof to a functional watertight structure. Similarly, roof coating is a good idea in areas where the sun burns too hot.
That said, coating the roof is not a viable option for everyone. For instance, roof coating cannot be used to squeeze out more life from a roof that has already outlived its usefulness. Alternatively, roof coatings are susceptible to problems in areas where dust, debris, steam, and other contaminants are in excess. So, applying roof coating in such areas would be pointless. The same goes for environments where pooling is a problem since water that is left standing for too long can cause degradation, loss of adhesion, and flaking in roof coatings thereby making the material useless. Therefore, when it comes to determining if roof coating is right for you, it is best to get New Albany roofing contractors to assess your situation.
When it comes to home improvement projects, there are many tasks you can pull off safely and efficiently. This can include decorating the walls, putting in new doors, tiling floors, building shelves from scratch, and even updating old lighting fixtures if you are a handy person. However, fixing the roof is not one of those tasks. Regardless of how handy you think you are, or how much research you have carried out, roofing DIY projects are something you should never try to do on your own. Here are 3 simple reasons why it is better to hire a roof repair New Albany contractor over trying to fix leaks and other problems on your own.
You might think that it will be cheaper to fix damage to your roof yourself, but the truth is nothing good can come of it. If anything, a DIY roof fixing project will only work to make things worse. Repairing a roof is way complicated than fixing up the walls, replacing windows, or even unclogging a sink. A roof needs to be impervious to water, heat, moisture, wind, and other weather elements. So, a wrong move like a stray nail hole that is left unsealed, or a shingle that is not installed to an airtight seal can cause major and probably costly damage when the weather turns to rain, snow, or even strong winds. For an amateur who does not even know exactly what you are doing, chances of making a costly mistake are almost at a 100%.
Besides, there are a few perks that come with roof repair to the pros. In addition to understanding the ins and outs of repairing a roof, expert roofers know where to get high performance, premium roofing products that will not only provide your home with superior but also long-lasting protection from outdoor elements. What’s more, an expert roofer will know how to make crucial decision like choosing the right products to meet specific needs, or deciding the best form of repair to ensure the perfect fix.
Expertise aside, roof repair is a dangerous undertaking. More so, if the roof in question has a steep pitch or is located a dozen or more feet above the ground. Risk of slipping and falling is great since a good number of roofing materials are slick to walk on, a problem that is only made worse when dealing with high pitched roofs.
Considering that you will not just be walking on the roof but also using tools and both your hands to work, there is also a possibility you might injure yourself. Balance, coordination, and impeccable roofing skills (all qualities that you definitely do not have) are needed to get the job done without causing personal injury. Professional roofers take the risk of falls out of your hands. In fact, most roof repair New Albany companies have trained and insured crews that make sure to use safety gear.
Roofs are built to last which is why manufacturers offer warranties that cover the homeowner for 15, 25, and even 50 years in some instances. However, poor installation or improper roof repair work that accelerates wear and tear can void a warranty, leaving you to foot the bill when an unfortunate disaster like a fire or storm claims your roof.
When it comes to repairing a roof, the stakes are too high to attempt a DIY approach. You not only risk the structural integrity of your roof, but your own personal safety as well. So, do the right thing and find roof repair New Albany contractors who are qualified for the job. That way, you will make a sound investment on your roof, avoid thousands of dollars in damage control, and everyone including the contractors will stay safe.
When it comes to performance, flat roofs can hold up very well. For one, flat roofs offer better wind resistance than sloped roofs, which means when the wind picks up, roofing material will not be lifted or blown away easily, leaving behind repair concerns. Flat roofs have also been known to stand up to the ravages of weather quite well. However, like with all roofing options, flat roofs can suffer damage or outlive their usefulness leaving you with the chore of frequent repairs or complete replacement. When that happens, it is important that you know what your options are. Therefore, we have compiled a list of some of the best materials that New Albany roofing companies offer for flat roofs.
The grandfather of flat roofs, built-up roofing or BUR goes back more than a century. It entails building up the roof with layer upon layer of a special type of waterproof felt material, which is alternated with hot tar, with a final layer of gravel added on top for extra protection. In the past, BUR consisted mainly of bitumen felts, but today newer technologies see the use of more advanced materials like fiberglass membranes and torch on felts.
Thanks to its multiple layers, BUR system practically solves the low pitch downside of flat roofs (which causes water pooling) by providing excellent leak resistance. The same multi-layer feature also provides great uplift resistance, long-term weather performance, and high tensile strength. The top layer of gravel in turn gives the roof a very nice look while also providing extra UV and fire resistance. With BUR however, a roof needs to be strengthened first because the use of several layers of roofing material makes for a heavy roof. This adds onto the expense and time required to install a built up roof.
Developed in the 1960s as a replacement for BUR technology, modified bitumen roofing adds layers of reinforced polymer (or cap sheets) to the built up roof construction. The added polymers not only provide added protection and an extended lifespan but also give the roof extra elasticity and flexibility.
Typically applied as a 3-layer system, modified bitumen roofing can be installed in a number of technologies including heat and torch application, cold application, and a self-adhered system where the roofing material is literally peeled and stuck onto the roof. The specifics of a roofing project as well as the materials being used are what will determine the application method to be used.
Single Ply Membrane
The latest technology offered by roofing companies, single ply membrane roofing is the general term used to describe any flat roof material that provides a waterproof cover in just one layer. Available in an array of materials, single ply membrane roofing materials share the desirable traits of being lightweight, flexible, environmentally friendly, and resistant to UV rays, microorganisms, and chemicals. As for performance, most single ply membranes are fire resistant and self-extinguishing and can handle extreme weather and temperature changes. Some of the popular single ply membranes include:
On the aesthetics front, nothing beats GRP (Glass Reinforced Plastic) fiberglass as far as flat roofing materials are concerned. The jointless finish of the material coupled with the endless array of color options offered by some New Albany roofing companies gives fiberglass its rightful place as the best looking flat roof. Even in the event of damage, fiberglass roofs are usually repaired with an invisible material allowing the roof to retain its good looks.
The biggest benefit of fiberglass however is durability that sees a roof last up to 30 years. As a material, fiberglass is highly resistant. It will resist wind, rainfall, storms, and even several forms of abuse including foot traffic, knife cuts, and falling tree branches. Unfortunately, the excellent performance and unrivaled beauty of fiberglass roofing comes at a cost, since this option is the most expensive of flat roofing materials. Maintenance of fiberglass roofing is also not easy, as you will need proper guidance as well as appropriate materials to deal with damage.
As you can see, flat roofing materials come in many options each with its own pros and cons. Get in touch with New Albany roofing companies to discuss which option is best for you. Once you have honed in on what your roofing needs are, expert roofers can answer questions regarding the roofing materials you are interested in and therefore help you find the right fit for your roof.
All roofing materials come with an established life expectancy. For asphalt shingles, the number is up to 30 years, metal roof can go as much as 70 years, while slate roofs can last well over 100 years. These numbers however are not a sure guarantee because while New Albany roofing contractors can promise you say 70 years, there are many unpredictable factors that can affect a roof’s lifespan. Some of these factors can be controlled while the rest are simply out of our hands. Knowing these factors can go a long way in helping you choose the right roofing material for your home as well as learn how to best protect your roof to ensure it reaches its full potential. So, keep reading to learn more about issues that can diminish the service life of your roof and how to mitigate them.
Securing quality roofing material is one thing, whereas ensuring that the material performs and lasts as advertised is another matter altogether. Sloppy or improper installation work will cause a roof to wear faster than it is supposed to or create other structural problems that might cause your roof not to survive even a moderate storm. Installing a new roof over an old one will have the same effect. This is why it is important to always check the credentials of the New Albany roofing contractors you wish to hire for a roof job.
Extreme Inclement Weather
Roofs are designed to withstand sun exposure, rain, wind, and snow, with some materials even being able to weather extreme elements like hailstorms and heavy downpour. However, weather that consists of brutal winters, harsh summers, or regular and wide temperature fluctuations will take a toll on even the strongest of roofing systems. This kind of environment can reduce a roof’s lifespan by as much as 20 or even 50 percent.
If you live in an area where weather changes are extreme, make sure to consult with expert roofing companies about the best material for your roof. You may not be able to change the weather, but you can at least have a roof that will take on the extremes of weather without suffering too much damage.
Inadequate Attic Insulation and Ventilation
Inadequate attic insulation coupled with poor ventilation can be just as bad as exposure to extreme weather changes. With poor attic ventilation and insulation, the roof is exposed to warm and moist air buildup, which in turn cooks a roof from the inside while also exposing both the deck and available roofing material to moisture damage.
With roofs, you get what you give. Put in some time and effort to give your roof the attention and care it needs, and it will repay you with maintained aesthetics, optimal performance, and a long life. Neglect your roof and you will be lucky to see it reach even half of the expected lifespan. What’s even worse it that you will not be able to cash in your warranty card in the event of neglect since for many roofing companies, poor maintenance are grounds for voiding the validity of a warranty.
Because of their tendency to absorb heat at a greater capacity, dark colored roofs do not last as long as light shade roofing. Too much heat exposure can cause brittleness, breakage, or melting in a roof, all of which result in a shorter lifespan. The darker the roof, the higher the rate of absorption and the greater the lifespan will be affected. It is important to keep that in mind especially if you experience very hot summers.
Thanks to gravity, roofs with a higher pitch (slope or gradient), discharge snow and rain water fast and consequently dry up quickly. Flat roofs on the other hand do not have the same luxury and are therefore likely to suffer extended periods of ponding during wet and cold seasons. This simply means that if your home features a flat roof, you are already doomed to a fate of not seeing your roof reach its full potential.
When looking for help with your roofing in Indiana, you can rely on the expertise of professional New Albany roofing contractors. A certified roofer can help you with installation, maintenance and repairs to increase your chances of using your new roof to the very end of its expected lifespan.
The hierarchy of roofing materials starts off with asphalt shingles, which despite being the little guy in the industry have a lot to offer. Asphalt has become a long time favorite for homeowners and many New Albany roofing companies because of being affordable, easy to install, repair, maintain, and relatively long lasting. Ranked number two is metal roofing, which lasts longer and handles tough weather conditions better than asphalt shingles but costs more. Up the ladder are roof tiles, best known for braving the toughest of conditions to offer a lifetime’s worth of use. Then there is slate roofing, the only material that can hold up as long as and even surpass the life expectancy of tiles.
Referred by experts as ‘the best of the best’, ‘the cream of the crop’, and even ‘the holy grail of roofing material’ slate is held in high esteem among roofing circles. But, does it live up to the praise or is it all just hype? Read this quick introduction to slate as a roofing material to better understand what to expect from it.
Slate is a naturally occurring metamorphic rock that forms under intense pressure and heat underground. Despite being a hard rock, it is valued for its ability to split smoothly and evenly, a benefit that makes slate easy to turn into smooth, flat roof shingles of various shapes.
One of the benefits that draw homeowners to this roofing material is the classic beauty of slate. Manufactures complement the stone’s natural ability of adding a touch of timeless beauty with a wide variety of textures and patterns that significantly boost a roof’s curb appeal. The result is a roofing material that will not only enhance the look of any architectural style, but also give your home an air of class and elegance. Variety in options also extends to different color choices, which include gray, black, green, purple, and red.
Durability and Maintenance
Being a natural stone formed under intense conditions, slate is way tougher than your average man-made roofing material. Since slate is one of the strongest of natural stones, the material has an inherent durability that makes it hail-proof in addition to being fire, mold, and fade resistant. Slate is also highly resistant to temperature fluctuations, which means damage from frost or snow is unlikely. Moreover, manufacturers give slate a high density that makes it waterproof, meaning the roof will not absorb water even during heavy rain. Some New Albany roofing companies also tend to double lap slate tiles to create an even more watertight layer. Since slate is difficult to damage, the roofing material is practically maintenance free.
When it comes to longevity, slate is king. Even tile roofing which is designed to last a lifetime cannot compete with this roofing material. Slate roofs are routinely built to last at least a century. In fact, hard slate can last 150-200 years if properly maintained.
While there are many reasons to install slate roofing, there is one huge reason that makes it a little impossible for everyone to have it – high cost of installation. Slate is the most expensive of roofing materials, with installation costs going as high as 5 times that of conventional materials. However, given that it can last several lifetimes, the roof will more than pay for its initial cost.
Another drawback of slate is that it is not appropriate for every home. With a weight of 800 to 1500 pounds per square foot, not all homes have the structural support necessary to take on a slate roof. So, you will need to have your residence evaluated from a structural standpoint if you are interested in slate roofing.
Slate roofing material also has fragility and replacement issues. Poor installation and walking on can result in breakage. And once a tile is broken, replacing it is nearly impossible since all slate rocks come in unique looks. Because of that, it will be hard to find a perfect match for replacement tile pieces.
Despite the downsides, slate is still considered the best invest you can make for your home since it is not only the highest quality material but also the longest lasting option. However, the performance, durability, and longevity of slate roofing are highly dependent on proper installation and maintenance. More so since slate is a highly specialized roofing system which requires professionals with proper training and experience. So, as you talk to various New Albany Roofing Companies, choose a qualified roofer who actually specializes in slate roofing to get the best results.
How much do you know about your roof? Not much, other than the fact it is a protective barrier, which stands between you, your family, and the wild outdoor elements? If so, you are certainly not alone. Most homeowners only see shingles or tiles when they look at their roofs. And, when it comes to repairs or replacements, their roofers bombarded them with roofing jargon that they do not understand.
Indeed, there is a lot more to the roof than meets the eyes. Here we peel back the shingles or tiles and introduce you to the various components that make up your home’s roofing system. This inside information can be handy in several occasions like roof inspections, during the maintenance of your roof, or when the time for a roof replacement comes. Well, not to mention you will be able to keep up with your New Albany roofing contractors when they talk too much roofing lingo.
Roof Decking and Rafters
A house needs a solid foundation to stand on, and so does the roof. In the case of roofs, this foundation comes in the form of a deck and rafters. You have probably seen your roof’s decking and rafters from the attic but have no idea what they are or what function they serve.
Rafters are wooden beams that run from the top to the bottom of roofs. They are critical to the overall health of a roof and as such need to be kept in mint condition at all times. Rot on rafters can cause the roof to sag, which can in turn create breaches within the outside roofing material causing water to leak into the home.
Decking on the other hand consists of panels (commonly made of plywood or composite material) that cover the rafters. The decking provides the final layer of protection for your home and also supports the rest of the roofing system. It is also what shingles and other roofing materials are nailed to. A poorly installed deck or one that is damaged can void the warranty of a roofing material. Fortunately, there are many New Albany roofing contractors who can check on the deck’s condition whenever you are repairing or replacing your roof.
The roof deck may be the last line of defense between the inside of your home and the outdoors, but it too needs protection from outside elements. And this is where a sub-roof comes in. Also referred to as an underlayment, the sub roof is typically made of a breathable synthetic waterproof material. A sub-roof is laid directly on top of the roof’s deck where it acts as a barrier, which prevents water from accumulating and ice from building up beneath roof shingles or tiles in the event of windy rains or heavy snow.
This is the part of the roof laid by roofing contractors and visible from the outside of the home. Roofing materials come in several options ranging from asphalt shingles and metal panels or shingles, to clay, concrete and slate tiles. These materials come with all manner of features (waterproof surfaces, UV reflection capabilities, wind resistance, etc), which help keep the inside of your home dry and comfortable during all weather seasons.
Gutters and Downspouts
While a roof’s underlayment and the roofing material itself do a great job at ensuring water does not seep through and compromise or ruin the deck, water from rain or snowmelt can be more than the roofing components can handle. This is where gutters and downspouts step in to offer some much-needed backup. Roof gutters, (also known as eavestroughs) collect excess water and channel it away from the roof and into downspouts, which run the water to the ground.
Ventilation is an important part of the roofing system, which helps extend a roof’s service life by keeping everything functioning well. Proper ventilation balances air intake with air exhaust to keep the attic free of moisture, which is a precursor to wood rot. A roof’s ventilation intake, or soffit as it is known, is located under the gutters while the exhaust is situated on the roof.
Termination Points and Flashings
Areas on a roof where chimneys, skylights, vent pipes, and other rooftop accessories create an opening on the roofing material are called termination points. These points are fitted with metal pieces (known as flashings) which cover the edges of the opening. Flashings provide an airtight seal that prevents water from seeping through even as two different components (e.g. roofing material & chimney surface) expand and contract between each other. Flashings come in different types including:
Remember, knowing the basic roofing system layout will help you understand what you are paying for and why it is important to fix should the need for repairs arise. Unfortunately, some roofers may take advantage of unknowledgeable homeowners and overcharge for their services. It is always prudent to ask questions (and even proof in the form of photos) when having your roof repaired to avoid paying for non-existed problems. Good New Albany roofing contractors will explain everything you need to know in as far as repairs are concerned.