The Best Roofing Materials for Spring Storms

rain on rooftop
If many parts of the country – including here in Maryland and around the mid-Atlantic – spring means that storm season is here. As the winter weather gives way to warmer patterns, the convergence of the two can lead to nasty storms which offer rain, wind, and even the occasional snow. While many people enjoy the wild weather that comes along with the spring season, it can be hazardous to the health of your house. Specifically, spring storms have the potential to damage your roof. To give your home the best possible chance to survive some difficult conditions, it is important to have the right roofing material in place.

The material used on your roof will go a long way toward determining how well your home fares in a storm. As you consider your own needs, weigh the pros and cons of the three following options.

Metal Roofing

If the ability to stand up to a storm is one of your top concerns, you are certainly going to want to consider metal roofing. Few roofing materials are able to perform as well as metal when faced with howling winds, so you should be able to expect your metal roof to stay firmly in place until the storm has passed. Of course, the roofing needs to be installed properly from the start if it is going to work as intended, so be sure to work with an experienced and licensed roofing company.

Tile Roofing

Also known as slate roofing, tile is more popular in certain parts of the country than others, as it is best in specific environments. The best feature of a tile roof, when faced with a storm, is its weight. Tile roofing is extremely heavy, meaning it takes a major gust to move these tiles out of place. A properly installed slate roof can be expected to do well in high winds, and it will also hold up nicely in a hair storm. So what is the downside? Cost. Slate is expensive to purchase, and it is rather expensive to have installed as well. Choosing tile for your roofing material is a strong option for fighting back against storms, but you will need to be prepared to make a significant investment to add this material to the top of your home.

Shingles

Asphalt shingles are the most popular roofing material in the country, and it is easy to see why. Often the most affordable option, shingles bring a nice combination of performance and low cost. An asphalt shingle roof which is in good condition should hold up nicely when faced with high winds, although any damaged shingles may lift up and fly off the roof. Unlike with some other roofing materials, shingles can typically be replaced one at a time, meaning storm damage may not result in a need to redo the entire roof. As long as storm damage is localized, a roofing company should be able to come out and repair/replace the damaged shingles for a modest price.

Three of the Best Home Roofing Materials for High Wind Areas

house with metal roof
If you live in an area that is prone to high winds, you should think carefully about the materials you are going to use to cover your roof. The wrong roofing material can quickly be blown off the roof in a high wind event, leaving your home susceptible to damage and leading to expensive repairs. On the other hand, the right material can give you a great chance of coming through the high winds without any damage to your home. Fortunately, there are at least three options which are particularly well-suited for the job of protecting homes where high winds are a factor – especially for roofing in Frederick and other areas of central Maryland!

When you are ready to pick out a roofing material for your home in a high wind area, be sure to keep the following three options in mind.

Fiberglass Shingles

You are certainly familiar with shingles as a roofing material, as they are one of the most popular choices in the world. Fiberglass shingles are a particularly good choice in high wind areas, as they are a strong product which is unlikely to come apart. Not only is it important to pick a good product like a quality fiberglass shingle, but you also need to be sure that those shingles are installed properly. Many roofing problems develop not because of poor materials but rather due to poor craftsmanship. Installing shingles in accordance with the manufacturer’s recommendations is the best way to receive optimum performance from the product.

Metal Roofing

Metal roofing is not used as commonly in residential applications as shingles, but it is a smart choice for high wind regions. When installed correctly, metal does a great job of keeping water out of the house, and it will hold up quite well against high winds. Many metal roof designs have a limited number of seams and overlaps, meaning there are few places for the wind to get in and cause havoc. As long as your metal roof has been installed correctly, and it is then maintained correctly as well, it should do well when faced with high wind speeds.

Clay Tiles

There is a lot to like about using clay tiles for your roof, although they might not be the first thing you think of when roofing in a high wind area. After all, a clay tile that gets loose and is blown off of the roof can create a dangerous situation. However, if your clay tiles are installed correctly, they should remain secure for years to come. When clay tiles are used in a windy area, it is typically best to secure them to the roof deck with a foam adhesive. This adhesive will help to prevent the tile from flying away, meaning you can enjoy long-lasting performance from this type of roof. If you do go with clay roofing, you will enjoy a number of non-wind related advantages, such as energy efficiency, visual appeal, and water resistance.

Six Benefits of Installing Cedar Roof Shakes & Shingles

hand split cedar
There is just something about a cedar roof that demands attention from nearly everyone that walks by. The look of cedar shake roofing is something that really can’t be replicated with any other kind of product, and there are plenty of performance benefits to this kind of roofing which run beyond the aesthetic appeal. If you are thinking about using cedar shakes and shingles on your roof, review the following list of benefits to confirm that you are making a great choice.

#1 – Strong

You obviously want your roof to be as strong as possible, as it has the important job of protecting your home. Cedar is one of the strongest woods around, meaning you can trust it to keep weather out of your home for many years to come. When installed properly by a trained professional, there are few options that beat a classic cedar roof.

#2 – It Can Be Flexible

There are an incredible number of options available when talking about a cedar roof, thanks to the flexibility of the product. If you would like to have it finished in a certain shade, or if you would like to even have it painted, there are a number of possibilities in play with cedar. It is also relatively easy to work with, so roof installers generally appreciate dealing with this material.

#3 – Insulation

Energy efficiency is a big topic these days, and cedar roofing can go a long way toward making your home more efficient. That is the case thanks to the way cedar can insulate your home, causing it to feel cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter. Overall, you should find that you have to spend less on heating and cooling when you have a cedar roof over your head.

#4 – Holds Its Shape

Unlike some other roofing materials on the market, you shouldn’t expect much in the way of shrinkage when you turn to cedar. Even in a variety of weather conditions, cedar shakes and shingles do a great job of holding their shape long after they have been installed.

#5 – Dealing with Elements

Most roofing materials have at least one weakness when it comes to the elements, whether it be bright sunlight, wind, rain, or something else. However, that really isn’t true of cedar. A cedar roof will stand up to just about any kind of weather you throw its way, and it can even be treated to make it fire resistant. Also, moss is less likely to grow on cedar as compared to other roofing materials, which is a nice bonus for those living in parts of the country where moss is a problem.

#6 – That Great Look

It would be a mistake to finish this article without touching on the great look that is provided by cedar roofing. It is the appearance of a cedar roof that first draws most people to this option, and they are then sold when they learn that the great looks are also accompanied by a long list of performance benefits. Don’t try to replicate the look of cedar with some other kind of artificial shingle – go with the real thing and enjoy that timeless appearance for years to come.

How to Protect Your Home’s Roofing System Against Ice Dams

snowy house roof
Your roof is one of the single most-important parts of your entire house, as it has the job of keeping the weather out of your home year after year. A healthy roof can do wonders for the condition and longevity of your home, while a faulty roof can be an expensive and time-consuming problem to fix.

If you live in a cold part of the world, you will need to worry about the possibility of ice dams forming on your roof in the winter. What is an ice dam? Simply put, an ice dam is an accumulate of ice near the edges of your roof. It is natural for ice to form during the course of a cold winter, and these large chunks are commonly found on many different kinds of residential roofs. However, while they might not look like a big deal from street level, they can actually be extremely harmful if ignored.

A Pooling Problem

The problem with allowing ice dams to exist on your roof is the possibility of water backing up behind those dams during warm parts of the day. For instance, if the temperatures are well below freezing overnight – but warm into the low 40’s during the day – there will be water on your roof that can pile up behind an ice dam. When that happen, the water may work its way back up under your shingles, doing damage to the roof below.

So how can you protect your home from this quiet but serious problem? Surprisingly, one of the best things you can do is to keep your roof as cold as possible in the winter. The water that develops on your roof is often the due to a warm attic, which can head the roof up to a temperature above that of the outside air. This kind of warming from the inside will accelerate the melting of ice and snow on your roof, and you will suddenly have a pool of water that can cause trouble for your structure.

Proper Insulation is Key

To avoid heating your attic during the winter, make sure your insulation is in good shape heading in to the cold season. Most building codes call for at least a foot of insulation in an attic, so check with your local regulations to make sure you are in compliance. By checking on the thickness of your insulation, you can then add more if necessary to keep your attic and roof colder in the winter.

A Manual Fix

If you aren’t able to keep your roof as cold as necessary, or if there is water pooling due to the air warming during the daytime hours, you may need to manually pull snow off of your roof from time to time. Of course, this can be a dangerous job, so be sure to take all necessary precautions, and look into the possibility of purchasing a snow rake which can allow you to do the job while standing on the ground (for a single story home). Never pull snow down toward you while standing on a ladder, and the snow could potentially knock you down.

Ice dams are a serious problem in cold parts of the world, but there are steps that can be taken to prevent them from doing damage to your roof. Plan ahead for this potential issue and you should be able to avoid any costly repairs down the line.

The Six Most Popular Roofing Materials

home roof with asphalt shingles
When it comes time to put a new roof on your home, you will not be short of options. There are a number of great materials on the market today, each with their own unique strengths and weaknesses. The choice is, of course, up to you in the end, but the following information should help you make the right decision for your needs.

Asphalt Shingles

This is the most-popular choice in the U.S., and for good reason. There is a lot to like about asphalt shingles, including their affordability, the many color options, and the ease of installation that they offer. Also, since they don’t add a significant amount of weight to the roof, the structure usually will not need to be reinforced as may be the case with other, heavier options. Where asphalt shingles might not have offered a great look once upon a time, this product has come a long way and it is now possible to install an asphalt shingle that both looks great and performs well for years to come.

Metal Roofing

Metal roofing is a product that has gained in popularity in recent years, thanks to the efficiency that it can offer the inside of a home. By keeping out much of the heat provided by the sun, you may be able to keep your house at a more comfortable temperature without having to use a cooling unit. However, metal roofing is more expensive than some of the other options available.

Slate

There is very little debate on this point – slate roofing simply looks great! However, in exchange for that visual appeal, you will have to sacrifice on a few fronts. First, this is an expensive product, both in its purchase price as well as with installation costs. Also, you may have to add support to the roof to handle the tremendous weight of the product, which will only add to the cost and duration of the project.

Synthetic Roofing

This is a general category that includes a number of different materials such as plastic, rubber, and more. On the plus side, many of these products are lighter and more-affordable than other, more traditional options. However, these kinds of roofs have not be tested as thoroughly as more popular choices, and they may not do as good of a job in terms of protect in your home from the elements.

Wood Shingles

It doesn’t get more traditional than a beautiful wood roof. There is something about the time-honored look of this kind of roof that will make your house stand out from the neighbors. However, wood roofing does increase fire risk, and the product may not perform well over the long run in a damp climate.

Concrete Tiles

If you are looking for a roofing product that has what it takes to stand the test of time, there is a lot to be said for concrete tiles. On the issues of energy efficiency and durability, concrete is a strong pick. On the downside, however, is the fact that concrete tiles are expensive and extremely heavy. Most homes will need additional framing in order to accommodate the weight of this kind of roof.

Which Roofing Material Should I Use? Infographic

Here at PJ’s, we offer a variety of residential installations. From standard shingles to slate and metal roofing, we can handle any job in and around central Maryland. If you are wondering about the differences in the types of roofing materials, check out the graphic below to learn more!
slate, metal and wood materials

The Benefits of Copper Roofing

house roofBefore you install a new roof on your home or office building, be sure to consider the many benefits of copper. While it might not be quite as popular as asphalt shingles or even wood shakes, copper is a material that offers many benefits and few drawbacks when used in a roofing application.

Light is Right

Some roofing materials can add a significant load to the structure of a building due to their overall weight. That is not the case with copper. Copper roofing is going to be one of your lightest options, which is especially nice when roofing an older building, or when doing a roofing project in an area known for heavy snowfall.

Ready for the Long Haul

You can expect to get an incredibly long useful life from a copper roof. While shingles and shakes can last for a long period of time when installed and maintained properly, neither is likely to outlast a quality copper roof. Considering the time and money that you are going to invest into your new roof, you certainly don’t want to have to put on another roof anytime soon – which is why copper is such a good pick.

It Looks Great

Simply put, your copper roof is sure to turn heads as people walk by. This is one of the leading reasons for people to choose a copper roof, and it is easy to see why. You will love the look of your roof from the moment it is installed, and it will only get better as it develops a patina over the years. Where other roofing options are likely to get less-attractive as they age, copper will continue to look better and better many years into the future.

Protect Your Home

Any building that is covered by a copper roof is going to enjoy a number of safety advantages. First, copper won’t catch fire, so it is a great material to have on top of your home or office building. Also, it is excellent at keeping rain and snowfall outside – where it belongs. If you live in an area where the rain or snow can come down hard from time to time, you don’t want to take the risk of using a roofing material that may spring a leak at the worst possible time. By choosing copper, you can have confidence that any water that falls from the sky will be whisked away from your building with ease.

The Advantages of Metal Roofing

roof closeup
When you think of roofing, you probably think about asphalt shingles. Asphalt shingles cover an incredible number of buildings across the country, and they are not without their advantages. However, there are certainly other options available when you need to put a new roof on a building that you own – and one of the best options is metal. A metal roof might not be the first thing you think of when taking on a roofing project, but there is a chance that it will wind up being the best material for the job.

It is important to understand that there is no one ‘best’ roofing material on the market. The best material for your job is the one that is best suited to your needs. Each roofing job is unique, so each job must be approached with an open mind before a material is selected and installed.

Bring on the Weather

One of the most important characteristics of metal roofing is its ability to stand up to just about anything that Mother Nature can deliver. UV rays from the sun have been known to do plenty of damage over the years to a standard asphalt roof, but you will have no such worries when your structure is topped by metal. Also, the cycle of freezing and thawing that takes place during the winter in colder climates can be trouble for many roofing materials, but metal will have no problem at all with this issue. Basically, if you want the roof of your building to stand up to whatever Mother Nature has in store, metal is the material for you.

Savings in the Long Run

It is true that a metal roof will likely cost more upfront to install than an asphalt roof of the same size. The materials needed for a metal roof installation are usually costlier, and the actual labor to install the work will be more expensive as well. However, that is money that you should expect to recover in the long run. Many metal roofs come with a warranty that runs as long as 50 years, meaning there is a good chance this roof will be the last one you have to pay to put on the home. Also, there is less maintenance involved with caring for a metal roof as the years go by, so you can save on that front as well.

Environmentally Sound Choice

Have you ever thought about what happens to all of those old asphalt shingles when they are torn off of a roof? Usually, they head straight to the landfill. That is an incredible amount of waste that is being created by the roofing industry. On the other hand, metal roofs usually contain a large percentage of recycled material, lessening the environmental impact of this project. Metal roofs are great at providing insulation to your house as well, meaning you may be able to reduce your usage of both heating and cooling systems.

There is a lot to like about the prospect of a metal roof. If you are thinking of putting a new roof on any structure that you own, make sure you give metal careful consideration before making your final selection.

The Pros & Cons of Synthetic Slate Roofing

composite roof
When picking a roofing material for your home or any other building, you will likely come across slate as one of your options. While slate is undeniably beautiful, it also comes with a few drawbacks that can give buyers pause. However, there is another option on the market that you may wish to consider. Synthetic slate (also known as composite) includes made of the features that have made actual slate a popular roofing material, but it attempts to cut back on some of the drawbacks. The following list will highlight some of the pros and cons related to this product.

Pro – Save Money

As you would expect, synthetic slate roofing is not nearly as expensive as the actual slate that it is imitating. The savings when you choose this product will likely come in two forms – both the purchase of the material itself, as well as the installation costs. Real slate is heavy and difficult to install properly, meaning you will have to pay an experienced team to do the job. With synthetic slate, you will be looking at an easier job and lower costs related to the install.

Con – Questionable Longevity

This point is not meant to say that synthetic slate will not last a long time, because it might prove to be extremely durable. The problem is that the question is still open. Since this is a product that has not been on the market for very long, there is uncertainty around how long it will last in practical application. It very well may prove to be true that synthetic slate is a durable material, but that has not yet been proven in the field.

Pro – Environmental Benefits

When actual slate is pulled from the ground, it obviously cannot be replaced. On the other hand, there are plenty of composite roofing products which are made from recycled materials. If you are someone who likes to make decisions based on their environmental impact, this is a point worth keeping in mind.

Con – Fire Rating Issues

When dealing with roofing, a Class A fire rating is what you want to see – this is the highest grade that is given to roofing materials. Unfortunately, some of the synthetic products on the market fall short of this mark. Should you decide that you are going to go ahead with a synthetic slate roof on your property, be sure to check on the fire rating for each brand that you consider.

Pro – Easier to Find Help

The number of roofing companies who are willing and able to install a slate roof is somewhat limited in certain areas. Depending on where you live, you may have trouble finding a qualified contractor to do the job. That shouldn’t be a problem when you pick synthetic. This is a product that is relatively easy to install, so most roofing companies will be happy to take on the job.

Con – How Does It Look?

This is a point that isn’t necessarily a con, but it is something that will be in the ‘eye of the beholder’. Some composite roofs look great and do an excellent job of imitating the real thing, while others look obviously fake – and cheap. You will need to pick a product that you feel does a good job of representing actual slate if you are to be pleased with the outcome of the project.
In the end, there is a lot to like about synthetic slate roofing, even if there are a couple of drawbacks to weigh. Take your time as you decide between synthetic slate and the real thing so you can be sure to walk away with a choice that you will be happy with for years to come.

The Differences Between Metal & Asphalt Roofing Infographic

When it comes to residential remodeling, one of the fastest growing roofing products is metal roofing. Did you know that metal roofing has grown to well over 10% of the residential roofing market over the past seven years?

One of the main reasons homeowners have opted for metal over asphalt shingles is because metal is considered to be a “green” product. Metal roofing also has aesthetic appeal and it actually costs less than asphalt over its long lifespan!

Check out this easy to understand infographic which compares the differences between metal roofing and traditional asphalt shingles.
metal and asphalt roofing comparison