grey house with grey shingles

Benefits of Architectural Shingles for Your Roof

This is the time of year, we find ourselves feeling incredibly grateful—for the family around us, for the food on our table, and for the roof over our heads. Speaking of the roof over your head, if there’s a new one in your future, you’d be well advised to consider your options carefully. PJ’s Roofing is here to help.

Given their durability, cost, warranty, and aesthetics, asphalt shingles are popular choices for roof materials in Maryland. But choosing an asphalt roof isn’t the end of it. You’ll still need to decide on which type—classic 3-tab or architectural—will be the best choice for your needs.

Let’s compare the advantages of 3-tab versus architectural shingles, as each provides different benefits.  

Composition

Both 3-tab and architectural shingles are made with asphalt, adhesives, granules (for the outside layer), and fiberglass (for the backing). The difference is in the proportions of each element used, which affects the overall quality of the shingle. Architectural shingles are typically about 50% heavier than their 3-tab counterparts. Compared to 3-tabs, architectural shingles are made with a better-quality asphalt and stronger adhesives. They also have a thicker base mat and a denser layer of granules on their outermost surface, making them more substantial overall than 3-tab shingles. 

Aesthetics

Both 3-tab and architectural shingles come in a wide array of colors, textures, and styles. However, these two types differ significantly in their appearance. A standard, 3-tab shingle is flat with a single tab shape and size, giving it a flat, one-dimensional look. Architectural shingles, also known as dimensional shingles, have several layers of materials adhering to the base. This design feature allows them to be installed to resemble cedar shakes, or even slate—adding to your home’s curb appeal without the increased expense or weight.   

Wind Ratings

Standard 3-tab and architectural shingles vary widely in their wind resistance ratings. Since architectural shingles are thicker and of higher quality, they are more wind resistant than the 3-tab variety. Architectural shingles are typically rated to withstand winds of between 80–120 miles per hour, while 3-tabs are generally rated for winds of up to approximately 60 miles per hour.

Durability

With a thicker, higher-quality composition, superior wind rating, and their ability to withstand ice, snow, and high temperatures, architectural shingles generally last longer than the 3-tab variety—usually 18 to 20 years, and sometimes up to 30 years depending on conditions. When 3-tab shingles are exposed to severe summer temperatures, high winds, or extreme winter weather, their lifespan is typically 7–10 years. In mild climates, 3-tabs can last up to 12–15 years.     

Cost

Both 3-tab and architectural shingles are affordable, making them a popular choice for homeowners in Maryland and Pennsylvania. While 3-tab shingles are often less expensive to install, the money you save upfront may not offset the need for them to be repaired or replaced sooner than architectural ones.  

Warranty

Since 3-tab shingles typically have a shorter lifespan, they often have shorter warranties—usually in the 25–30 year range. An architectural shingle installation typically comes with a warranty of 50 years—and in some cases, a lifetime warranty.  

Our team at PJ’s Roofing talks to homeowners in Maryland and Pennsylvania every day about what type of roofing material will best fit their needs. When they decide that a roof using architectural shingles is the best choice for their home, we confidently recommend CertainTeed’s beautiful, durable, color-blended offerings. Available in a wide variety of colors to suit any siding, stucco, or trim color, the benefits they provide make them a solid choice and a great value for many years to come.

close-up of a copper roof

Everything You Need to Know About Copper Roofing

Copper roofing: It’s been featured atop some of the most famous buildings across the world. Its elegance in design and durability make it the perfect choice for those who don’t want just a roof. They want something beautiful. If you’ve ever asked, “What is copper roofing?” PJ’s Roofing has all the answers. 

History

It’s one of the world’s oldest metals. In the Copper Age––an era coined by archeologists––skilled craftspeople used the brown-orange material to create tools and weapons. Later, it became a mainstream building material for cathedral roofs and exquisite domes. 

Homes in the US and historic public buildings constructed in the 1600s and 1700s have seen several renovations. From interior updates to exterior upgrades, historic homes almost always have projects in the works. Yet, copper roofing requires minimal cleaning and touch-up. When properly installed, they endure and are virtually indestructible. 

Different Styles

This material can add an elegant touch that beats any stone walkway or bay window feature with an open mind, a little imagination, and a skilled installer. This roof style can be added to almost any house design, yet there are limitations when it comes to types of copper as a roofing material. Its styles include:

  • Continuous Copper Roofing—This specialty application is usually built to specification for each project and can be the priciest option. Sheets of copper are laid out on a roofing substrate and assembled in one piece without joints or seams.
  • Copper Panels—Less expensive than continuous sheets, these arrive in standard widths and are hand-installed with visible seams. Some seams are crimped while others are brazed or welded. 
  • Copper Roofing Shingles—Commonly used because of their lower cost, they are hand applied like other types of roofing shingles, yet TLC is a must during installation due to their soft surface. 

Benefits of a Copper Roof

Copper has been the choice of builders and architects for hundreds of years. Premium buildings are capped with it because their weather protection is above the rest. The benefits include:

  • Architectural appeal—They’re gorgeous, right? 
  • Durability—They improve with age.
  • Long-run cost-effectiveness—Initially more expensive, yet lasts for centuries.
  • Low maintenance needs—Freshening up the look is a matter of choice––aged patina is gorgeous.
  • Antimicrobial properties—Mold- and rot-free and easy to clean.
  • Lightweight—Easy on trusses compared to concrete tiles or slate shingles
  • High-heat threshold—Minimal expansion and contraction during hot and cold cycles.
  • Fire-resistant—It takes a tremendous amount of heat to distort or destroy it.
  • High-value retention—The visual impact alone gives it stellar curb appeal.
  • Sustainability—Natural and recyclable, they outlast every other product.

That Gorgeous Patina

Unlike iron which rusts and deteriorates over time, copper’s chemical change coats itself with a preservative. Oxide-sulfate patina is the phase where it shifts from glistening copper to a blackish-green. This preserves the underlying metal and prevents it from corroding like other metals. 

The aged green hue is what so many love about their copper roof. Some wonder how long the process takes to morph from shiny and clean to minty green. Several factors are involved:

  • Building location
  • Humidity levels
  • Climate conditions
  • Direct water exposure

Although the initial cost will be higher, the long-term benefits make it a winner in the budget and longevity departments. Copper roofs last several lifetimes, so always choose an experienced contractor to get the job done right. We have extensive expertise installing top-quality roofs and their supporting systems. Give us a call, and let’s design a custom roof for your home or next commercial project.

aerial view of neighborhood

Understanding Different Roofing Materials

When it comes to roofing installation, homeowners want it done right. A big part of that process is material selection, and which type caters to a home’s specific needs.

Shingle Roofs

Common and versatile, shingle roofing is the go-to choice for most homeowners. They’re usually warranted for at least ten years. These multilayered, sometimes known as architectural, roofing systems can be a little more expensive than others, yet the durability factor makes the investment worth it.

Built-Up Roof

A technique that’s been around for a long time, built-up roofs (BUR) have three layers within their structure. First comes bitumen, then fabric containing fiberglass ply, and, lastly, a gravel or crushed asphalt layer tops it off. BUR roofs can be pricier than their counterparts, yet are known for their durability and insulation. Good for 15 to 30 years, they’re an excellent choice for homes in warmer climates because of their inherent quality in keeping heat out. The most significant disadvantage of built-up roofs is living in an area that requires snow removal due to the top layer’s loose materials. 

Metal Roof

Popular for function and that famous farmhouse style, metal roofs are a tried and true favorite. They’re a less expensive option than built-up roofs and come in various choices: galvanized steel, copper, aluminum, tin, and stainless steel. Since metal can be compromised by rust, these roofs require a top coat to protect them from rain, snow, and sunlight exposure.

Green Roofs

If you’re curious about sustainable options that are good for the environment, a green roof may be the right choice for you. The roofing material, made up of plants, is naturally efficient at reducing water runoff and insulating your home. Going green can be a stretch for some budgets due to the need for additional structure support, thermal insulation, waterproofing, installing a dedicated drainage system, composting, and purchasing the plants themselves. When properly installed and cared for, green roofs can last 40 to 50 years—longer than traditional roofs and fantastic for the planet. 

Solar Power Roofs 

Shingled roofs with areas covered by solar panels that convert sunlight into energy are what solar power roofs are all about. Although the upfront installation cost can be considerable, many buildings that make the switch harness enough energy to eliminate their need for traditional electricity. Not only are the environmental benefits significant, but property owners in some states can also collect and then sell extra power their system collects to their state and are happy about the tax deduction possibility. 

When properly designed and meticulously installed by an experienced PJ’s Roofing crew, your new roof can reduce energy consumption, provide cost savings, and show an immediate return on your investment. Choose from a broad spectrum of materials, colors, finishes, and gauges that give you the look and performance you expect. At PJ’s Roofing, our experts are ready to help you make the perfect selection for your home.

home with labeled roof basics

Roofing Basics: Everything You Need to Know

When tackling a roofing project, whether it’s repairs or to-the-decking replacement, there’s homework to be done. That’s why we’ve put together a list of roofing basics to keep in mind during decision time.

Roofing Components 101

There are seven integral components to a roof system:

Rafters: Like scaffolding or a skeleton frame for your roof, these wood or metal slats inside the home support both sheathing and shingles.

Sheathing: Also known as decking, this board or sheet material attaches to the rafters and serves as the roof’s ground floor. 

Underlayment: Paper-like and water-resistant, this material is placed over decking to protect your home from the elements. From thunderstorms to snowmageddons, underlayment works in tandem with membrane and vapor barriers to keep air and water from permeating through the layers. 

Shingles: These are made from a variety of materials––metal, wood, slate, and composite materials––and protect the exterior from the weather. Typically, shingles are measured in squares. For example: if your roof is 2,000 square feet, and a square of shingles equals 100 square feet, you’ll need 20 squares of shingles for the job. 

Flashing: Its purpose is to prevent water damage by sealing joints on the roof where they change direction. Typically sheet metal is installed directly on top of the joints. 

Trim: This is installed to protect the seams of the roof’s hip or ridge, which is also known as the peak, or highest point. 

Drainage: Melting snow and rainwater need somewhere to drain. Drainage needs are measured by using the slope of the roof which is determined by the rise in inches for each foot of space that lays horizontally, which is also known as the roof’s “run.” 

Elements of Design

Now that we have an idea of what goes into the function of a roof, the design components are next.

Gable Wall: The triangular parts of the home extending from the eaves to the peak of the roof.

Ridge: The highest point or peak of the house.

Centerline of Ridge: Also known as the verge, this is the wall or rafter underneath the roof’s edge where a gable ends.

Valley: The areas where two sections meet and slope downward. 

Eaves: The edges that hang over the home’s exterior walls. 

Hip: A high point where two roof sections meet.

Abutment: A vertical area, such as a wall or chimney, that meets the roof.

Dormers: The sections of the home protruding from the roof. Not all roofs have them, yet they are designed to bring natural light into an attic or third-floor space. 

Your Roof Replacement/Repair Checklist

This checklist will help you gather information while deciding which system will work best for your home’s needs:

  • Age of roof and when it was last installed or repaired
    • Remember: asphalt shingles typically last 20 years and wood shakers close to 30 years.
  • If original or restored, are there two or more layers of shingles?
  • How is your roof ventilated?
    • Mold and mildew can occur without proper airflow, leaving home air quality unhealthy.
  • Quick attic check for:
    • Gap-free insulation layer in the attic to protect from warm or cool air loss.
    • A vapor barrier under insulation and next to the ceiling to prevent attic moisture.
    • Open, vented spaces for unrestricted airflow. There should be 1 foot of vent space for every 100 square feet of attic space. 
    • A minimum of 1 inch between the layers of insulation and roof sheathing.
  • What type of shingles do you have?
    • Research the warranty
    • Investigate best, durable material for your climate and conditions
  • What is your roof’s fire rating?
    • Class A, B, or C? Class A materials––clay tiles, fiberglass asphalt composition shingles, and metal roofs––have the highest resistance to fires beginning outside your home. 
  • Which shingles are best for your roof’s pitch and slope grade?
    • Low pitch and 1–3 inch slope—steel or water-tight material
    • Medium pitch and 4–12 inch slope—asphalt and composite shingles
    • High pitch and 5–12 inch slope—wood shaker or slate shingles

When you need to know more about the longevity and current condition of your roof, contact the professionals you can trust at PJ’s Roofing. Our full-service team is here to help, no matter the size or scope of your roofing project. Get in touch today!

large house with brown roof in summer

Answers to Common Maryland Roofing Questions

PJ’s Roofing has been answering questions for concerned homeowners for over twenty years. We find that some are asked more frequently than others, and we’re always happy to address your concerns. We’ve compiled the most common ones into a helpful blog post!

1. How often does a roof need to be replaced?

The longevity of your roof will depend on wear and tear and the quality of the materials used. Generally speaking, it needs to be replaced every 15 years. Investing a little more in your materials can increase longevity to 20 or 30 years. 

2. What can I expect to pay for a replacement?

There is no concrete answer to the price of a new roof in Maryland until you receive estimates. The final pricing will depend on the materials chosen, the cost of removing the existing structure, replacing any damaged decking, and physical factors such as chimneys and skylights.

Contractors understand that this is a big, often unexpected, expense that homeowners don’t consider until their current roof fails. Look for contractors that provide several different financing options so you can find one with the terms and conditions that suit your budgetary needs.

3. Will a new roof add to the home’s value?

Yes! Not only will it help protect your biggest investment, but it also adds instant curb appeal to the home. If you’re looking to sell the home, a new roof is attractive to buyers on a budget who aren’t looking to spend a lot of money on repairs. Your home will be even more appealing if your contractor includes a transferable warranty on the work and materials.

You may receive discounts on your home owner’s insurance, too, because a new roof means more protection for the structure.

4. Do I need a contractor?

If you’re looking for less expensive options, you may be tempted to do it yourself or hire a general contractor. Either of these options will involve purchasing materials from a big box store or hardware store, which will limit your options.

Initially, you may think you’re saving money, but when you factor in the underlayment, the decking, and the overall quality of the finished project, you won’t be saving as much as you thought. Removing the existing roof and materials from the property is another cost factor that DIYers don’t consider.

Additionally, the work is not guaranteed and the materials will come with limited non-transferable warranties. Hiring a contractor ensures that the project will be completed end-to-end with higher quality materials, experienced roofers, and all cost factors bundled into the final estimate.

5. How do I choose the right materials?

There’s a lot to consider when choosing your roofing materials. Aside from the shingles themselves are water barriers, underlayment, decking, ventilation, and flashing.

Your choice of materials will largely depend on budget, structure, longevity, finished appearance, climate, and availability of supplies. Your contractor is experienced in finding the best materials for your budget and needs at a price point well within your budget.

We can answer all your questions!

PJ’s Roofing has over two decades of experience in the industry. We’ve handled all kinds of projects, from repairs to replacements. Don’t put off your project because you have questions. Contact us today for the answers you need about the roof you want.

large house surrounded by shrubs

Common Spring Roofing Problems to Look Out For

Spring is here. Look down, and you’ll see beautiful flowers and green grass. Look up, however, and you may see problems with your roof, or even worse, you may not see these problems at all. Here’s what you should keep an eye out for.

Animal Nests

You’re not the only one who thinks your home is a warm and cozy place to spend winter. If you’re hearing noises in the attic or crawl space, seeing animals hanging around one area of the roof or home, or finding droppings, you may have an unwelcome visitor.

You’ll need to find the hole, usually created due to a structural weakness, and block it. Check for points of entry under the eaves, around loose or missing shingles, on the corners of the roof, and even around gutters.

Remember that animals who feel threatened are dangerous. Even squirrels, although small, are fierce when cornered. Never approach these animals on your own.

Leaks

A sure sign of a roofing problem is finding interior leaks. Brown spots, bubbling drywall, paint that’s separating from the wall, mold, and wet surfaces are all indications of a water problem with your roof.

Leaks don’t necessarily start where you’re seeing the issue. Water travels along pipes and internal structures from the source of the leak and makes damages appear elsewhere in your home.

The good news is that a professional roofing contractor can often find the source of the leak and repair it rather than having to replace the entire roof. 

Damages Around the Chimney

Chimneys can be an endless source of roofing issues in the spring. From the structure crumbling or cracking to gaps between the chimney and the flashing material, small chimney problems can become big issues fast. 

During the winter, any small cracks on the chimney will expand and contract as ice and water gather in them. Signs that it needs attention can include obvious deterioration or loose flashing materials as well as interior leaks. Sometimes the repairs are as easy as replacing or repairing the flashing around the chimney, while other issues may require an overhaul of the chimney structure.

Damaged Underlayment

Gaps and missing shingles can mean damage to the underlayment of your roof. A professional roofing contractor can identify and replace the damaged materials, stopping any leaks or further damage to the roof’s deck. 

Misaligned or Missing Shingles

Signs of issues with your shingles can include curling, warping, and cracking. In the most obvious cases, shingles will be missing altogether or there will be obvious signs of them shifting. You may find roofing materials around the home’s exterior. Wind damages and overhanging branches are frequent causes of problems. 

Shingles are your roof’s first line of defense against weather. If you note any signs of problems with them, get a professional’s opinion on how to proceed. The repairs may be as simple as replacing materials on the damaged areas of your roof.

PJ’s Roofing is the preferred roofing expert for both residential and commercial projects in and around the Frederick area. Have a question or concern about your roof? Contact us for a consultation.

roofer repairing roof

Top 5 Tips to Choose the Best Roofing Contractor for Your Home

A simple search of roofing contractors can send you down a spiral of confusion. Is it better to stick with a big name general contractor or an independent roofing contractor? How quickly can they get to my project? How much will it cost? Who has the best guarantee? Your choices can be overwhelming.

Here are a few tips to pick the best roofing contractor for your home:

Tip #1: Start With Online Reviews

The best place to start narrowing down your search is with online reviews and testimonials. Don’t be put off by one or two unrelated bad reviews if the majority of them are glowing; it’s not uncommon to find a customer who is unhappy regardless of the quality of the work. Be more concerned if several reviews are focused on one aspect of the company, such as timeliness, overall quality, or customer service. A pattern of bad reviews surrounding one or two areas of customer experience may be a good indication of a bigger problem with the company.

Tip #2: Pricing Should be Squarely in the Middle of Average

When it comes to pricing, everyone wants a bargain. Unfortunately, with roofing contractors, prices that are too good to be true…usually are. Heavily discounted services may cost you in different ways such as lower quality materials, sub-par craftsmanship, a lack of a warranty or guarantee, hidden fees, poor customer service, and slipshod project management. No one wants to pay too much for a roofing project, but beware of dealing with hidden pitfalls when choosing a “bargain” contractor. 

There’s no doubt that a roofing project is usually an unwelcome and unexpected expense. Choose a contractor that offers a wide selection of financing options.

Tip #3: Make Sure You get a Comprehensive Written Estimate

You’re not counting nails, of course, but you need to be aware of hidden project costs. Make sure the company does a thorough inspection of your roof and can give you an honest estimation based on what they’ve found. You never know what unexpected issues the project may uncover, but having a thorough written estimate in hand gives you a good idea of the rough cost of the project. Make sure to get estimates from at least three companies before choosing the right one for your home.

Tip #4: Warranty and Guarantee

Check the fine print for the contractor’s satisfaction guarantee. What options do you have if you’re not satisfied with the work, or if you run into an issue after the project is completed? How long after project completion will the satisfaction guarantee last?

A warranty is a slightly different side of the same coin. A warranty specifically covers the materials used in the project, such as the shingles themselves. To get the most value out of a new roof, look for warranties lasting fifteen to twenty years that can be transferred to a new owner.

Tip #5: Independent Contractor or Roofing Company?

There are differences between independent contractors and roofing companies. Both will be able to complete your project, but a one is far better suited for it. Can you guess which one? Independent contractors will usually take longer to complete the project, may not have access to high volume discounts and high quality materials, and may not provide the guarantees and warranties a roofing company can. Independent contractors typically source materials from a local home improvement store, limiting your choices in everything from quality to color. In addition, independent contractors will most likely subcontract projects to complete them in an agreed upon time frame. There are advantages to using them for various home projects, but a large roofing project usually isn’t one of them.

PJ’s Roofing Checks all the Boxes

We provide residential roofing in and around Frederick County. With a large selection of materials and a history of satisfied customers and over two decades of experience, we bring you the styles, affordability, and solutions you need for any roofing project, large or small. Reach out to us and let’s talk about your needs.

snow covered house with woods in background

6 Cold Weather Tips to Help Your Roof Survive This Winter

Winter is here, bringing with it snow, wind, ice, and other threats to your roof. Here are 6 tips to help your roof survive this winter.

1. Ice Dam Prevention

Ice dams are one of the biggest threats your roof will face during the winter. These occur when snow begins to melt as it warms, then refreezes into a top layer of ice when temperatures drop. This creates a barrier which traps snow and water beneath its icy surface. Eventually, this trapped moisture will penetrate your roof and drain into your home. Ice dam prevention involves snow removal from the roof, and stopping dam formation before it starts. 

2. Ice Dam Mitigation

If your roof already has an ice dam, you can take steps to break it up and allow normal water flow. Don’t ever get on your slippery roof, and never use hammers or chisels to break up ice dams! Here are a few safer methods:

  • Fill panty hose with ice melt and lay it across the dams from roof point to gutter, allowing the tubes to overhang your gutters. This will melt snow and ice and create a clear path for water runoff.
  • Refreeze the trapped water by directing cold air, such as created by a big fan, at the roof from inside your attic or crawl space.
  • Plug in snow melting mats or cables to keep the ice and snow moving by warming roofing surfaces from the outside, melting the icy surface and releasing trapped moisture. Having these in place prior to icy conditions will keep the dams from forming.

3. Snow Roof Rake

Snow weighs over 20 pounds per cubic foot. That’s a lot of weight to ask your roof to support! Snow roof rakes are designed to remove snow from the roof. Featuring long poles and wide heads, some of these even have wheels on the rake head to make them easier to maneuver. They are lightweight and durable, extending to 20’ or more for a better reach. Proper snow removal from roof surfaces is one of the best ice dam prevention methods and will lessen the weight burden on your roof.

4. Trim Overhanging Tree Branches

If you didn’t do this already when readying your roof for fall, it’s not too late. Tree branches become brittle with heavy snow and ice, and are more likely to break off and cause damage to your roof and gutters, especially in windy conditions. 

5. Clean Gutter Debris

Debris in your gutters will stop them from draining properly, resulting in a build up of ice and snow. While icicles on gutters may look pretty, collapsed or damaged gutters are costly to replace and can cause significant damage to your roof and your siding.

6. Fix Roof Issues Now

Missing shingles, uneven roof surfaces, sagging sections of the roof, and water spots on your ceilings all indicate major issues with your roof that need to be addressed immediately. Professional roofing contractors are trained to spot potential problems and repair them before they cause significant damage to your home.

Contact PJ’s Roofing, servicing homes in Frederick and the surrounding area, for a winter roof inspection to make sure your roof will survive winter’s icy grip.

drone view of roof with solar panels

Top 7 Roofing Design Trends for 2022

As we enter 2022, one thing is certain: roofing design trends throughout this year and beyond will embrace the concepts of environmentally friendly, energy efficient materials and designs. What do these designs mean for your new roof in 2022?

1. Money Saving Materials

With the prices of utilities going through the roof (pun intended), you will see more and more designs and materials used with the purpose of reducing energy bills and environmental impacts.

These can include solar roofs, cool roofs coated in energy reflecting and/or absorbing materials, and synthetic shingles made of more affordable recycled products such as plastics and rubber.

2. Simplistic Designs

The days of complex rooflines are behind us, with more homeowners turning to simplistic, clean designs that can also be incorporated with energy saving features such as solar panels.

These roofs not only provide cleaner lines to your roof, they can also be less expensive to design since they use less materials.

3. Metal Roofs

Metal roofs are a great option for any home. They can be another eco-friendly choice because they incorporate recycled materials while lasting decades longer than other traditional roofing choices. Metal roofs are less prone to leaking than asphalt shingles, and they encourage snow and rain to just slide off slanted surfaces far easier than their asphalt counterparts.

4. Green Roofs

Similar to a cool roof, green roofs (also known as garden roofs) provide an extra layer of energy efficiency. These are flat roofs that are covered with vegetation, providing shade to the structure underneath them and an efficient use of rainwater.

5. Solar Roofs

Solar roofing is a trend that has been growing over the past few years, but 2022 will most likely see these roofs gain even more popularity. And why not? Solar panels generate electricity without the pollution of traditional energy sources, eliminate the need for fuel, and produce no noise as they generate power.

6. Recycled Synthetic Roofs

Synthetic roofs require no petroleum products in the manufacturing process, making them far more eco friendly and affordable than traditional roofing materials. One of the more popular synthetic options is synthetic slate, offering a clean and classical slate appearance to any home.

7. Skylights

As energy prices continue to soar, homeowners are looking for ways to use less electricity to save on utility bills. Skylights are a great way to enhance the natural lighting in your home. Available in star-gazing skylights or tubular versions that add some light to your space, skylights are a great way to help trim your electric bill.

PJ’s Roofing Has the Experience You Need to Keep Up with 2022 Roofing Trends

Whether you’re looking to replace your roof now or sometime in 2022, call PJ’s Roofing to get an estimate and guidance in choosing the right design and materials for your project. We handle both residential and commercial roofing needs, from flat roofs to gables, asphalt shingles, synthetic slate, and everything in between. We also specialize in gutter replacement and skylight installation. Contact us now to schedule an appointment for your free estimate. It’s your first step in making sure your roof is the trendiest one on the block in 2022.

new home with new roof

Synthetic or Felt? A Simple Guide to Choosing the Right Roof Underlayment

Choosing your roof is complicated enough; architectural shingles or slate? Brown, black, gray, tan, or red? While your mind is spinning from the number of options in front of you, your contractor wants to discuss something else: synthetic underlayment, or felt underlayment?

You’ve seen roofing underlayment before, and maybe even called it roofing tar paper or roll roofing. You probably never knew there were two types of underlayment, and you probably have no idea which to choose.

Here’s a simple guide to roofing underlayment to take away the mystery so you can get back to focusing on the important stuff…like adding a skylight while you’re getting your roof done.

What is Roof Underlayment, and Why is it Important?

Roofing underlayment is placed over the bare plywood (or OSB) deck just prior to placing your shingles. Its purpose is to add another protective layer to your roof for increased weather resistance to rain, ice, or snow. Without underlayment, you risk water soaking into the roof deck and causing serious issues including leaks, rot, mold, and mildew. 

Underlayment adds another layer of insulation, creates a seal around flashing, gives roofers a more even surface to lay your shingles, and even acts as a sound barrier.

There are two primary types of roofing underlayment: felt underlayment and synthetic underlayment. 

Felt Underlayment: Pros and Cons

Many homes have asphalt-saturated felt as an underlayment. Felt underlayments are thicker and heavier than synthetic, making them harder to work with. It’s a good choice for a tight budget, however, and has a relatively quick installation time. 

Pros of Felt Underlayment

By far, the best reason to choose felt underlayment is its lower cost vs synthetic underlayment. Additionally, it is water resistant and readily available at most roofing supply companies, making it easy for a contractor to get. 

Cons of Felt Underlayment

Felt underlayment has its downsides, though. It isn’t as durable as synthetic and is prone to tearing during installation. It’s absorbability means it can soak up water and wrinkle, which makes shingle installation harder. On the flip side, if the felt is left in the sun or heat it can dry and lose its efficacy as an underlayment. It’s recommended that shingles be placed immediately after the felt is laid to avoid damage to the underlayment material.

The thickness and weight of the felt make it harder to work with, including difficulties when roofers need to drag it up the ladder. The weight also means that the rolls of material are smaller, so there is a potential to have more seams when it’s installed.

Finally, ff shingles are lost, the felt underlayment offers less weather-proofing and water resistance to the deck below it.

Felt underlayment may be a good choice if you’re on a limited budget and can guarantee that the shingles will be placed immediately after the material has been placed on the roof deck.

Synthetic Underlayment: Pros and Cons

A popular alternative to felt, synthetic underlayment is made from long-lasting polymers, which add to its durability both during the installation process and throughout the life of your roof. It adds better weather protection to the roof deck than felt, but it is a more costly option. 

Pros of Synthetic Underlayment

Synthetic underlayment is more durable and lightweight than felt, making it far easier to work with. Lighter than felt, synthetic underlayment comes in larger rolls and is easier to maneuver. Larger rolls also means more complete coverage with fewer seams.

Since synthetic options aren’t prone to damage from rain or heat like felt underlayment, your roofing project can be extended beyond the date the material is installed, if necessary. 

Synthetic roofing underlayment is water resistant and will not soak up water the way a felt underlayment does. The material itself is less prone to mold or mildew, and increased water resistance means it will offer more protection to the roof deck if shingles are lost.

Cons of Synthetic Underlayment

There really aren’t many disadvantages to choosing synthetic underlayment over felt. The initial price may be an issue for some budget-conscious homeowners, but the trade-off is an underlayment that is durable, longer lasting, and more weather resistant than felt. 

Synthetic underlayment is a great choice if durability, ease of use, and improved weather resistance is important to you for your roofing project. While it may be more expensive initially, it will save you money in the long run in increased protection.

PJ’s Roofing Will Help You Choose the Right Underlayment

With over twenty years in the roofing industry, PJ’s understands the importance of choosing the right material for your underlayment. Contact us and let us look at your roof and help you decide whether felt underlayment or synthetic underlayment is a better choice for your project.