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.

Six Benefits of Installing Skylights in Your Home

kitchen roof opening
If you have been thinking about ways to breathe some new life into your home – without having to move – you may want to consider a skylight installation. There are a number of ways in which these structures can help you enjoy living your home, and you might be surprised to learn just how quickly and easily one can be installed. Consider the following six benefits!

#1 – Add Daylight

Obviously, one of the biggest benefits to adding skylights is the natural daylight that you will welcome into your home each day. Rather than having to keep your lights on all day to see inside the house, allow the sunlight to come in and fill up your spaces. Even if you spend most of the day inside, you will feel as though you have been out thanks to the sun that comes pouring in.

#2 – Energy Efficient

As you already know, there is more and more attention being paid to energy efficiency these days. If you would like to lower your utility bill each month – and lessen your impact on the environment – consider adding a skylight or two to your home. These “openings” in the ceiling will let you keep your interior lights off more frequently, and you may gain some heating benefits as well.

#3 – Ventilation

Some skylights include the ability to vent to the outside, meaning you can take advantage of some natural air conditioning rather than having to use your appliance to do the same thing. This is another way that you may be able to save energy, and it can also introduce some fresh air into your house as well.

#4 – Save Money

This point goes along with the point regarding energy efficiency. When you use less electricity and other forms of energy, you will have lower bills each month – and everyone loves lower bills. Also, you may even be able to qualify for some tax credits thanks to the positive impact you are having on the environment.

#5 – Brighten Up a Small Room

If you have a few small rooms in your home – such as a hall bathroom – you may find that those spaces are uninviting due to their closed in, dark feeling. Rather than trying to expand the space, consider adding a skylight to make the room feel larger and more open. You won’t have added a single square foot to your home, but those small rooms will suddenly feel quite a bit bigger.

#6 – Privacy Benefits

Is your house within close proximity to your neighbors? If so, you may want to opt for skylights as a way to introduce daylight without a loss of privacy. It might not really be practical to install a big floor to ceiling window in your bathroom, for instance, but there should be no problem with bringing in a lot of light through the roof instead. Adding daylight to your home without sacrificing privacy is the best of both worlds.

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 Gutters and Downspouts

barn spouting
Water is necessary to sustain life, but it is also a major problem when it comes to your home or storage building. If you would like to keep your buildings healthy and free from leaks and structural problems for many years to come, you are going to need to find a way to deal with the water that falls from the sky from time to time. To manage that rain effectively, the best option you have available to you are gutters and downspouts. There are many advantages to having both gutters and downspouts to take water away from your home, and they are as follows.

Keep Your Home Looking Great

Even before we look at more serious long-term damage issues, we can see a benefit from using gutters in the way of preventing staining on the side of your house. Without gutters and downspouts, you would likely see staining damage on the side of your home due to splashing water taking a toll over the years. The look of your home is a key component of its value when you decide to sell, so keeping quality water drainage in place is an investment in your future.

Avoid a Flooded Basement

Walking down the stairs to find the basement flooded is a nightmare scenario for any homeowner. Flooding in the basement can cause serious structural damage to your home, and it can also destroy anything that was being stored in the basement at the time of the flood. Even worse, mold can develop when there is excess moisture in the basement, which could create a dangerous living condition in the home. By using a quality gutter and downspout system, however, you can move water away from your foundation and you should be able to avoid any of the problems that stem from a flooded basement.

Take Control

When designing a gutter and downspout system, you can take control of the situation by deciding where the water should be drained around your home. By looking at the slope of the ground near your house, you can decide where you should take the water to minimize the damage it can do to your structure. The exact design of your gutter and downspout system will depend on a number of factors, so working with an experienced professional is the best idea to ensure top-notch performance.

Protect the Roof

If you have a gutter system on your house that is not working properly, you could find that water is backing up onto your roof – where it can do major damage. To protect residential roofing over the long term, homeowners need to make sure that water is getting off of it as quickly as possible. By having a good gutter system installed, and then caring for that system with regular maintenance, you should be able to get water off of your roof fast enough to prevent it from doing any kind of long term damage.

Dealing with water is one of the most important things that you can do in the care of your house. Water has the potential to be incredibly damaging when it is found in places where it doesn’t belong, so using gutters and downspouts to control it successfully is a wise choice.

PJ’s Named As Top 5 Best Roofing Company in Frederick MD

best roofing companies
We are very proud to have been selected by the community as one the Top 5 Best Roofing Companies in Frederick, MD, as it will be announced next month in the Frederick News-Post’s 2016 Best of the Best!

On August 5, the Top 5 will be announced in a special section of The Frederick News-Post, as well as online. Ballots will then be open through August 21st, so get out and vote for us!

A big “thank you” goes out to everyone for your support!

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

Problem Areas For Roof Leaks – Infographic

When it comes to a leaky roof, there can be a variety of contributing factors. The quality of the original installation and the age of the roof can also factor into this equation. The following infographic examines a variety of conditions that can contribute to a leaking roof, including deteriorating shingles & pipe boots, rotten fascia, as well as clogged gutters and downspouts.
roof leaking issues