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.

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.