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Top Roofing Questions Answered

Top Roofing Questions Answered

As you start preparing to have a new roof installed on your home, it may seem to be a long and complex task. But, it’s important to remember how important this process is, since it will directly affect what is probably your largest single investment - your home.

In order to simplify these tips, we have taken our more than 30 years worth of experience and knowledge in the roofing and remodeling industry to generate some of the most commonly asked roofing questions with helpful answers.

  1. With so many different styles and colors to choose from, I feel intimidated. What is the difference between Architectural shingles and Traditional 3-Tab Design shingles?

    First, let us say - don't be initmidated. Don't be afraid to ask questions. This is probably the most misunderstood area actually. Architectural shingles offer a remarkable dimensional thickness and deep, blended shadow bands to simulate the appearance of classic wood shakes, enhancing the beauty of any home. Whereas, the Traditional 3-Tab design shingle gets its name from the three tabs - it is usually lower in cost and is available in a wide variety of colors. However, the Architectural shingles typically have more features, colors and are perfect for steep pitched roofs because of the amount of roof you will see curbside.

  2. What are the common signs that it is time to replace my roof?

    The three most common signs are curling, surface cracking and blisters.

    Curling begins to along the bottom edge of the shingles and particularly during cold weather. This is a normal occurrence of asphalt shingles and results from the natural loss of the oils from the asphalt. Surface Cracking is just like when your skin has been exposed to high amounts of the heat of the sun. Asphalt shingles develop small surface cracks and become more brittle over time. While Blisters occur largely from age and appear like large bubble-like blisters on the surface, some as large as a quarter.

    Keep in mind...small cracks, are often unnoticeable from the ground, and do not affect the ability of the shingle to protect your roof and home.

  3. There are granules collecting in my gutters. Is this a sign of much bigger problem with my roof?

    Excess granules that are not embedded in the asphalt during the manufacturing process will wash away with time and these granules during the life of the asphalt shingle will continue to collect in the gutters of your roof. Granule loss is not a concern unless patches of exposed asphalt and large areas of exposed asphalt start to appear on your roof then action is required immediately.

  4. There are dark brown or black streaks on my roof. Are these stains?

    These streaks you are noticing are often mistaken for dirt, soot, granule loss, moss or tree droppings and are actually caused by algae growth. Algae, while not cosmetically pleasing, does not affect the water resistance of asphalt shingles, and is not an immediate concern, but should be checked annually for any age changing effects.

  5. Are metal roofs mold and algae resistant?

    Yes, the smooth, hard surfaces of a metal roof make it difficult for airborne debris, dust, and plant materials to collect. Metal roofing materials are also water resistant, eliminating the damp, fertile, environment which lead to algae growth.

  6. Can a metal roof increase my resale value and save me as high as 40% in energy savings and 30% on my house insurance?

    Yes, due to the fact that a metal roof has such a long lifespan it is considered an asset of a home unlike an asphalt roof which usually requires replacing every 7-15 years. This same fact ties into the house insurance savings too. Metal roofs also are 100% fire resistant and can handle extreme weather conditions like up to 160 mph winds, heavy snow loads and hail without incurring high damage and replacement costs. Which leads to the high energy savings. Metal roofs due to the properties of steel do not absorb as much of the heat of the sun like asphalt shingles do, and yet lock in the heat or coolness existing inside the home.

  7. Why are metal roofs considered more green than asphalt shingles?

    The main reasons is that metal roofs are less likely to be replaced and are 100% recyclable. Unlike asphalt which currently accounts for 5% of the 33% construction related waste in landfills annually.

    According to a recyling resource: Asphalt shingles are not manufactured to be a long-lasting roofing system. Quite the opposite is the case; roofing shingles are known to be one of the least durable roofing materials, but their exceptionally low price compared to metal roofing still makes asphalt shingles the most popular roofing material choice, accounting for about 70% of all roof installation projects. What this means for the environment is that this polluting material (asphalt shingles are made exclusively of petrolium products) needs to be discarded as quickly as every 5-10 years and replaced (often once again with asphalt roofing shingles). As a result, collectively we are dumping a whopping 11 million tons of asphalt roofing shingles every year, taking up valuable landfill space!

  8. Are all roofing contractors or roofers the same?

    No. A roof repair or roof replacement is an important investment in your home. That’s why you should insist on working with a professional roofing contractor who has the training, product knowledge and professional experience to ensure a successful roofing project. Some roofers are more committed to their workmanship and after-sales service than other roofing contractors. Some may have better trained installers. And, unfortunately, there are roofing contractors on shaky financial ground who will not survive long enough to provide the roofer’s warranty service as promised. So interview wisely. At Residential Renovations we take great pride in making sure all of our installers stay current with the products and are certified by the manufacture on the process - no matter what the product - roofs, windows, siding, gutter protection or insulation. Read more on hiring a contractor by clicking here.

  9. One roofer said I needed roof vents. What is a roof vent and why is roof ventilation important to my home?

    Ventilation is an important component of any roofing system. Roof ventilation will help prevent damage, premature aging caused by moisture in the winter and excess heat in the summer and will provide year-round performance for consistent ventilation without energy consumption. Roof venting also allows outside air to flow naturally upward and out of attic while promoting a cooler, dryer attic. And, more importantly, proper roof ventilation helps prevent moisture from becoming trapped in the insulation, structural wood, shingles and roof deck which can cause rotting, mildew, drywall damage, peeling paint and warped siding.

  10. What does the Energy Star label mean to me when replacing a roof?

    ENERGY STAR® is a joint program of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy helping to save money and protect the environment through energy-efficient products and practices. The purpose of the ENERGY STAR® program is to recognize products and services that have been found to be energy efficient. Therefore, in roofs it can help reduce the amount of utilities you use throughout the year and especially in peak heating and cooling months which can save you lots of dollars and cents!

Want to find out what that new metal roof, vinyl siding, replacement vinyl or wood windows, insulation, asphalt roofing, gutter protection, sunrooms, pergolas, patio covers, decks or other exterior home remodeling will cost?

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