metal roof

How Metal Roofing is Environmentally Friendly

When you think about environmentally-friendly products, metal is probably not the first thing that comes to mind. It doesn’t look particularly natural, after all, but it is actually quite favorable for the environment when used as roofing. In this article, we are going to discuss a few of the reasons metal roofing is a nice option when keeping the environment in mind. Armed with this information, you just may decide that a metal roof is the right choice for your upcoming project.

They Are Built to Last

One of the worst things a roof can do to the environment is to be replaced frequently. There is a lot of waste that goes into replacing a roof, as the old materials will need to be pulled down and disposed of in some way. This is a mark in the favor of a metal roof, as this type of roofing generally will hold up for a long period of time. In fact, there is a good chance you’ll never need to put another roof on your home after your metal roof is installed. In many cases, a metal roof will be able to outlast an asphalt roof, which is another common option on the market today.

Recycling on Both Ends

Recycling is one of the most environmentally-friendly things we can do, and a metal roof is going to score well on both ends of that equation. For starters, it is common for metal roofs to be made up of as much as 40% recycled material. That means you are already helping to keep material out of the landfill just by purchasing a metal roof. Then, when the roof has completed its useful life, it will be able to be recycled after it is removed. The ability to be recycled is not something that can be said of every roofing material, so consider this another big plus of opting for metal on your roof.

Save the HVAC

Using your HVAC system aggressively during the warm summer months is a major energy drain – one which is not great for the environment. Fortunately, metal roofs to a great job of reflecting away the sun’s rays, helping the inside of the house to stay relatively comfortable. That’s not to say that you will never need to turn the AC on during a hot summer, but the overall energy used to cool your home back down to a comfortable temperature should be reduced. Of course, having to use less energy is not only a good thing for the environment, but for your bank account, as well.

Even if you didn’t take its environmentally-friendly nature into account, there would already be plenty of reasons to think about a metal roof. However, when you add in the many ways that a metal roof can be good to the environment, this decision starts to look like an easy one. Whether you wind up going with metal or not on the top of your home, this material is at least worth some strong consideration.

metal roof

Four Commercial Roofing Trends to Watch for in 2019

In the commercial roofing industry, you can’t afford to fall behind. If you let the competition in your area gain an edge, you might not be able to recover in time to save your bottom line at years’ end. With that in mind, staying on top of the trends is an essential part of the job. With this article, we are going to point out four trends that are likely to be the talk of the industry in 2019.

Using the Right Products for the Job

There are plenty of products on the market which can make commercial roofing an easier task. Given the fact that it can be hard to find good labor for this job, it only makes sense that easy-to-use installation products would be a popular choice for contractors across the country. Of course, those products are only useful if they are used properly, so it seems likely that training is going to increase so that laborers are able to employ these options effectively.

A Lack of Help

As mentioned above, one of the prevailing storylines in the commercial roofing market is the lack of labor that is available to complete these projects. This is one of those problems that tend to arise in good times rather than bad. Since there are so many jobs that need to be completed in a good economy, it’s simply hard to find all of the people necessary to get the work done. Roofing contractors who are going to need skilled labor to work on commercial projects would be wise to plan as far in advance as possible to secure the crews needed for successful completion.

Only the Minimum

In what can really only be seen as a negative trend, many projects are designed with the goal of only meeting the minimum standards to get a project approved and past code requirements. Quite obviously, that’s not good news for the health of commercial roofing. Such minimum-viable projects might work reasonably well in some situations, but they will not be the right choice for all jobs. Often, more than the minimum is going to be needed in order to come away with a roof that truly suits the building and the situation at hand. The use of a roofing consultant is a good way to get away from this trend, since a qualified consultant is going to offer a better perspective on a project than simply to meet the minimum standards to get it done.

Sustainable Focus

It’s probably not breaking news that sustainability is a big topic in commercial roofing, as it is throughout the rest of the construction industry. While this subject has been on everyone’s radar for quite some time, it is ever evolving and the definition of what is sustainable is always changing. Companies who are committed to doing things in a sustainable manner will keep up with the newest ideas in this area so they can deliver clients a reliable, environmentally-friendly roof.

home roof with damage

Common Causes of Roof Leaks & How to Fix Them

Most of the time, you don’t think much about a passing rainstorm. You just tuck yourself safely inside and let the rain pass on by. That sounds good enough – but what happens when the rain no longer stays on the outside of the house? If you have a leak in your roof, you won’t be able to just sit back and enjoy the sound of raindrops against your windows. Instead, you’ll need to take action to solve the problem and keep the rain where it belongs – running into your gutters and away from your home.
What is it that can cause your roof to leak, and what can you do about the problem? Let’s take a closer look.

Failing Flashing

When installed and maintained properly, flashing can help you keep water from entering your home. However, it is possible for flashing to be installed incorrectly, and it can also wear out over time if it is not monitored. If you notice that water is making its way into your home, checking the flashing is one of the first jobs to tackle. Of course, if you are not comfortable venturing up onto your roof, bring in a professional to handle the task and keep yourself safe.

Absent Shingles

You don’t need to be an expert roofer to understand that missing shingles are a problem. The shingles on your roof are the first line of defense against rainwater, so having one or two go missing is an obvious problem. The fix here, naturally, is to replace the shingles. As long as this is the only issue leading to a leak, replacing your shingles should solve the problem and restore your roof to working order.

Old Age

Nothing lasts forever, and that includes the materials used to construct your roof. Over time, the weather is going to take its toll on your roof, and it may not be able to perform up to an acceptable level anymore. At some point, the only option may be to replace the entire roof before too much damage is done to the rest of your home. If you know that the roof on your home is coming up to the end of its useful life, it would be a good idea to start budgeting for a new roof in the near future. While you won’t look forward to spending the money required to replace your roof, the upside is that you should be left with a roof which requires very little maintenance in the years ahead.

In reality, there are nearly endless potential causes of a leaky roof. From just needing to replace a couple of shingles to needing to replace the entire roof, there are plenty of possibilities to consider here. As a homeowner, the best thing you can do is pay attention and respond to any issues you notice as quickly as possible. With swift action, you should be able to bring your roof back into proper condition in short order.

residential cedar shake roof

The Advantages of Cedar Shake Roofing

If you are getting ready to have a new roof installed, you have probably spent some time researching various roofing materials. There are a wide range of options on the market today, and each of them as something positive to offer. Before you settle on a solution, however, we would suggest that you take a close look at cedar shake roofing. This is a popular option for a variety of reasons, and you are likely to be thrilled with your decision if you go in this direction.

Let’s take a moment to highlight a few of the advantages of a cedar shake roof.

The Look

This is one of the main selling points of a cedar shake roof. The appearance of the roof, once completed, in unmistakable, and it is a perfect fit on many kinds of homes. If you love the rustic look that cedar shakes provide, there really isn’t any other way to achieve that look successfully. By picking real cedar shakes, you will have a roof that looks natural, because it is.

Plenty of Performance Benefits

In addition to the great look of a cedar shake roof, you may also find that some of the performance benefits are a selling point. For instance, this type of roof should have no trouble at all sending rain water away. You can expect it to be naturally resistant to things like mold and pests, and it can even last for multiple decades when it is installed correctly by an experienced crew.

As a naturally strong wood, cedar shakes are going to make the exterior of your roof strong simply by their presence. You can have cedar shakes treated in order to make them fire-resistant, and quality shakes will resist curling and warping over time. Simply put, there is a lot to like about going with cedar shakes, and very little to say in terms of drawbacks.

Justifying the Cost

There is no getting around the fact that cedar shakes are not the most affordable roofing option on the market today. In fact, they are one of the most expensive when you need to shingle your roof. So, should you just look for a cheaper choice rather than investing in cedar shakes? Not necessarily. As the old saying goes, you tend to ‘get what you pay for’, and that certainly includes roofing.

Yes, you will have to invest more in your roofing project when you opt for cedar shakes than if you used something like asphalt shingles. With that said, you get a lot in return. You will be able to enjoy a roof that looks great, offers plenty of performance advantages, and should stand the test of time. Installation is key with a cedar shake roof, so be sure to trust an experienced contractor with the knowledge to get the job done right the first time. When you combine a quality contractor with quality cedar shakes, the eventual outcome is a roof that will look great and protect your home for the years ahead.

roof installation contractor

When to Start Preparing for a Roof Replacement

Depending on the design of your home, you may not be able to see much of the roof from street level. As a result, it is easy to forget about the important role the roof plays in the day to day protection of your home. Your home’s roof is not something that should need to be replaced often – but it also isn’t going to last forever.

With this article, we are going to offer some tips on how you know when it is the right time to prepare for a home roofing replacement.

Take a Quick Look

As mentioned above, it might be difficult to see all of your roof from ground level. However, you should be able to see at least part of the roof, so take a look when you have a moment and see if you can spot any signs of trouble. Are your shingles looking a little worse for the wear? Are they broken, cracked, or are some of them simply missing? Problems with your shingles are the first sign that your roof may be headed toward needing replacement.

Of course, it is certainly possible to perform repairs on a roof, and that is probably where you will start if you are seeing issues with your shingles. However, it does need to be noted that you’ll likely wind up needing to replace the roof if you are consistently having shingle problems. It’s up to you to decide how long you want to keep investing time and money in repairs before you go ahead and have the replacement completed.

Check the Calendar

Beyond looking at the condition of your roof, you can simply look at your calendar and count how many years your roof has been protecting your home. If it’s more than 20, you can be sure that time is running out on this current roof. You probably aren’t going to get more than 30 years from a roof, and you may get as few as 15. Using time alone is not a good way to decide when roof replacement is needed, but it certainly can be a helpful gauge.

Attic Check

Perhaps the most important place you can go when trying to assess the condition of your roof is the attic. While in the attic, check for a couple of things. First, of course, are signs of water damage. If you see stains from leaks, or wet wood from a recent rain, it’s quite likely that you’ll end up needing to have the roof replaced. Also, if you visit the attic during daylight hours, pay attention to any spots where you may see light coming through the roof. The attic should be relatively dark even in the middle of the day, so light sneaking through the roof is a bad sign.

You don’t want to wait too long to replace your roof. Yes, this project is a significant expense, but your roof is responsible for the important task of protecting your home. You’d rather get the roof done right away so you can avoid the kinds of costly damage that can result from letting an old roof stay in place too long.

roofing vent

How Roof Ventilation Works for Your Home

It is amazing how many of the systems in your home you can simply take for granted, even if you have lived there for years. There are a variety of things which take place mostly ‘behind the scenes’ in your home, and those things are largely responsible for it being the comfortable, relaxing place that it is for you and your family.

Residential roofing ventilation is a great example of this concept. There is a good chance you have never before thought of roof ventilation, unless you had a specific problem with your roof that required you to address the ventilation system. With that said, proper roof ventilation is important for the overall functioning and well-being of your home.

Let’s take a look at the basics of how roof ventilation works in your home.

Natural or Mechanical

The two basic methods of creating airflow within an attic are mechanical or natural. As the names would indicate, natural air flow uses natural forces to circulate air effectively, while the mechanical option utilizes a power source to get the job done. It is generally preferred to use natural ventilation whenever possible. Fortunately, when designed and installed correctly, natural ventilation can work nicely in most homes.

When you utilize natural ventilation, you are taking advantage of the fact that hot air rises. The warm air in your attic is going to rise to the topic of the attic, creating higher pressure in those top sections. When there is cooler air at the bottom of the attic, and a pressure difference as a result, ventilation can take place.

It’s All About the Vents

When talking about natural ventilation, it is the vents which are key to the success of the system. Specifically, there are two types of vents to consider – exhaust vents and intake vents. Again, the names here say it all. Exhaust vents let the exhaust (warm air) escape the attic, and they are usually located at the ridges of your roof (and thus are known as ridge vents). Intake vents allow cool air to enter the attic, causing the warm air to move out the top of the roof through the exhaust vents.

If you don’t know what you are looking for, it can be hard to spot the vents on some roofs. Specifically, you may not notice the intake vents right away, since they tend to be tucked under the edge of the roof discreetly. In this way, intake vents are able to do their job nicely without detracting in any way from the visual appeal of the home.

It is important to understand that the ideal ventilation system for a given roof will depend on the specifics of the roof, the local climate, and other circumstances. This is not a case of one-size-fits-all, as homes are too varied to apply the same venting plan to each and every structure. We hope this quick look at roof ventilation has given you a new appreciation for one of the most important systems in your home.

roof vent

The Advantages of Having Proper Roof Ventilation

When you think of the key systems that keep your home running properly, what do you think of first? Most likely, you would like things like plumbing, the electrical system, your heating and cooling system, etc. And, of course, all of those items are extremely important. With that said, we would like to take time in this article to highlight another important system – roof ventilation. There are a variety of advantages associated with proper roof ventilation, and we are going to discuss some of those points below. Let’s get started!

Save on Energy Costs

Everyone likes to save money, and a properly vented home roofing system may be able to help you do just that. When your roof is vented correctly, that venting will help the air in the attic to remain at a lower temperature. The warmer air will work its way out through the vents, and cooler air will replace it. When your attic is cooler, your air conditioner won’t need to work quite as hard to keep the living spaces at a comfortable temperature. Good roof ventilation is not going to eliminate the need for an air conditioner on a hot summer day, but it can help to make the AC units job a little bit easier. And, of course, running your air conditioner less frequently will mean a lower energy bill at the end of the month.

Even Things Out

It can be rather frustrating to live in a home where one room feels dramatically warmer or cooler than another room. It’s hard to keep this kind of house comfortable, as you are constantly fidgeting with the thermostat to strike the right balance. When a home has a poorly vented roof, you may be more likely to experiences temperature extremes within the house. Work to improve your venting and you may be able to even out the temperatures between areas of your home.

Add Years to Your Roof

One of the most compelling reasons to concern yourself with roof ventilation is the fact that it may be able to help you to get a longer life span from your roof. The benefit of ventilation can be seen in both the summer and the winter. In the summer, good ventilation will help to keep your attic cooler than it would be otherwise, which will help to protect the condition of your shingles. Without sufficient ventilation, the significant heat buildup in the attic could damage your shingles from below, reducing the length of their effective life.

Once winter rolls around, the ventilation in your attic will pay off for another reason. In this case, we are talking about avoiding ice dams. If your attic is too warm in the winter, due to poor ventilation, that built-up heat can melt the snow and ice which may be resting on your roof. Water will then run down to the edge of the roof, where it may refreeze because it no longer as the warm part of the attic to keep it melted. You now have ice around the edges of your roof, and it can gradually build up farther onto the roof, potentially damaging the entire system in the process. With proper roof ventilation, you may be able to avoid this potentially serious winter issue.

damaged residential roof shingles

How to Tell if Your Roof Has Sustained Wind Damage

Even after the recent windstorm here in central Maryland, some wind damage to your roof can still be hard to spot. Depending on the design of your home, it may be difficult – if not impossible – to see all parts of the roof from the ground. Unless you have physical evidence on the ground that damage has occurred, such as shingles which have come down off the roof, you may be unaware that there is a problem. And, of course, that could mean trouble. If the damage is not repaired quickly, the long-term health of your home could be compromised.

If you think that your home needs to be physically hit by something in order to suffer roof damage, you are mistaken. While something like a falling tree or even just a branch can obviously do damage, it is possible for the wind alone to take its toll. Specifically, the edges and corners of the roof are most likely to be damaged by a strong wind, as they will usually experience the more powerful forces.

Take a Look

It may be obvious, but the easiest way to tell if your residential roof as sustained wind damage is to take a look for yourself. Start by seeing what you can see from ground level. Walk around the home and look up to the edges of the roof. Even if you can’t see the surface of the roof, you may be able to spot damage around the sides. For instance, you might be able to see that some shingles are missing or at least curled up on the edges. Also, you should be able to see the top line of the roof from ground level, so look over that area for damage as well.

At some point, it may be necessary to get up onto the roof, or at least a ladder, to get a better look. It should be noted that you should only take this action if you are comfortable doing so and have the proper equipment. If not, call in a professional for help. It is never worth risking your own personal health just to get a look at your roof.

Stay Inside

You can actually evaluate the health of your roof without heading up a ladder, or even going outside. Peek into your attic and shine a light up toward the underside of the roof. What do you see? If you notice discolored spots, those may be water damage. Obviously, this would be cause for concern, and you would want to take action right away.

In the end, any roof damage will likely need to be addressed by a trained professional. The health of your roof is not something you can afford to take chances with, since it is so important with regard to protecting your home as a whole. If you know that you have sustained wind damage on your roof during a recent storm, or even if you just suspect there is a problem, get help and restore your roof to proper condition as soon as possible.

new home roof

How a New Roof Can Increase Your Home’s Value

Your home is the largest asset you own – at least, that is true for most people. To make sure you are doing everything you can to protect that asset, you want to watch carefully for important maintenance points as the years go by. It is easy to take the health of your home for granted, but doing so can be a mistake.

One of the most important pieces of the puzzle when it comes to your home’s health is the roof. The roof is the first line of defense against the weather – especially with the variety of temperatures and elements here in central Maryland – and even just a couple minor leaks can lead to major problems. If there are any issues with the condition of your current roof, having a new roof installed may provide a big boost to the overall value of the property.

So, how can having a new roof on your home help you extract more value from this asset when it comes time to sell? Let’s take a look at some of the key points.

Great Return on Investment

It shouldn’t be a surprise to learn that a home with a new roof is going to sell for more than a similar home with an old roof. In the same way that a car with brand new tires is worth slightly more than a vehicle with worn out tires, a new roof is going to add value. But, of course, there is a cost to having the roof installed, so is it worth it in the end?

The statistics say yes. You are likely to recover more than 60% of the cost of your new roof when you go to sell the home. That is an impressive number, considering you will also be able to enjoy the benefits of the new roof for the period of time you remain in the home. And, the roof will do a good job of protecting the house, helping to maintain its value as time passes.

Add to Curb Appeal

Selling your home has a lot to do with curb appeal, as many buyers will rule out a property as soon as they drive up, if it is not visually appealing. Naturally, a home with a new roof is going to look nicer than one with an aging top. If you pick out a roof which blends nicely with the rest of the home, and the surrounding neighborhood, you can do yourself a big favor from a curb appeal perspective.

Steer Clear of Inspection Problems

You don’t want to have problems pop up during the inspection process when getting ready to sell your home. If you have secured a good offer and you are trying to close the deal, the last thing you want to deal with is unexpected inspection problems at the last moment. With a new roof, you are much less likely to run into such issues.

Is it necessary to install a new roof in order to sell your home? Of course not. It can, however, make the process much easier, and you’ll likely come away with better offers in the end.

How Ice & Snow Can Impact Your Roof

snow and ice on home roof
As a homeowner, you may tend to think of your roof as being indestructible. Day after day, it does its job, keeping you warm and dry while the weather rages on outside. Unfortunately, your roof is not indestructible, and some of the more powerful elements can do serious damage over time. You need to understand what it is that can make your roof vulnerable, and what you can do to protect it effectively.

In this case, we are talking about ice and snow, and how they can affect your roof. As you might imagine, the presence of snow and ice can have quite a damaging effect over time, especially if you live here in Maryland and the mid-Atlantic, where these conditions can be quite common during the winter months. So, what can ice and snow do to your roof? Let’s take a look.

Ice Dams

These should be a point of concern for anyone living in a cold weather environment. An ice dam is a buildup of ice at the edge of your roof. When your gutters and downspouts fill up with ice – or a combination of ice and debris – you may not have anywhere for thawing snow to drain when temperatures start to rise. The snow is likely to melt faster than the ice, meaning water will be building up on your roof and it may not be able to escape. In the end, this water could work back up under the shingles, damaging in the inside of your home.

For most homeowners, the prudent course of action when an ice dam forms is to call in a professional for help. Unless you have the right combination of equipment and experience, getting up on a frozen roof is a recipe for disaster. A professional contractor will know how to handle this job safely, and will have the equipment to do so.

Regular Inspections in Warmer Weather

Keeping your roof healthy throughout the winter actually starts during the warmer months. If you can have your roof inspected for any signs of trouble while the weather is nice, basic repairs can be performed before the snow returns. You may not be able to see these problems when standing on the ground looking up at your roof, so calling a professional home roofing contractor to diagnose and potentially repair problems is worth your time and money.

Use a Roof Rake

As mentioned above, it is dangerous to get up on a frozen roof as an average homeowner. However, you can work to protect the condition of your roof in the winter by purchasing a roof rake. This is a product with an extremely long handle that allows you to clear some of the snow off of your roof while standing safely on the ground. Of course, even while doing this job, you need to take care to avoid falling snow, or icicles which may come off the gutters.

By being proactive about the health of your roof, you can be in a much better position to maintain the condition of your home over the long run. Prepare for winter well in advance, call in professional help when necessary, and always be careful when performing any kind of maintenance on your own.