Roofing Shingle Colors

Shingles Color

Things are looking up for homeowners who want to customize their curb appeal. Thanks to vibrant new colors now available in asphalt roofing, there are more choices than ever to boost a home’s image. And that’s good news since design experts say that 40 percent of a home’s exterior is the roof.

In recent years, asphalt has become the preferred roofing material over the more traditional wood or slate. Much of this is due to its higher fire resistance, durability and new shingle styles with authentic, classic appeal. Asphalt shingles can replicate the look of wood shakes, and some, such as Centennial Slate™ by CertainTeed, even simulate the natural beauty and color variations of blended slate at a fraction of the cost.

The new color palettes go a long way to enhance designer or architectural roofing and complement the bolder curb appeal that is becoming so popular. The array of roofing on the market allows homeowners to coordinate roofing with siding, accessories such as shutters and trim, and even fencing for appealing and distinctive looks.

Such advancements in building materials provide homeowners the same freedom to customize a home exterior and reflect individual preferences through interior design. In other words, don’t get stuck in the brown and beige rut. Go for the bold new generation of asphalt roof styles and make your neighbors green with envy.

Flat Roofing Materials

flat roof

It’s a fact that your roof is one of the most important parts of your house and is the one thing that provides the building structure, the building occupants and the building contents with protection from the elements. Many roofs are in a state of disrepair but homeowners ignore this until the roof gets worse or until the weather gets worse. With regular maintenance and the early identification and fixing of any problems, you can usually avoid the big problems that have equally big price tags attached to them. Regular maintenance in this way will also help extend the life of your roof.

Selecting flat roofing materials.

Flat roofs have extra difficulties associated with them. Because they do not slope rainwater does not automatically run down the roof and drain off. It is absolutely vital that flat roofing materials are as water resistant and watertight as possible to prevent serious damage to the roof itself and to the rest of the building and it contents. New types of flat roofing material are being used and while these offer more in the way of protection they are also more expensive as a general rule. There are still three main types of flat roofing materials that are used on a regular basis on new and older houses.

Built up flat roofing materials.

Built up roofing is basically just that. Built up roofing consists of laying down several layers of tar and water resistant materials and then covered with gravel. This is quite an old technique but the introduction of new waterproof materials has seen the strength and durability of this technique increase. The gravel acts as a good fire resistant layer and can be made to look very attractive. It is usually the cheapest of the flat roofing materials available, however, it is very heavy and may require strengthening of the joists. It is also impractical to use on residential houses that are being lived in because it smells terrible. The gravel itself can clog gutters and other vital aspects of water drainage.

Modified Bitumen flat roofing.

Modified bitumen is another stalwart in the world of flat roofing materials. Once upon a time, it was necessary to use torchdown techniques that involved burning the roll of material onto the roof, however, it is now possible to get adhesive varieties, thus cutting out the potential fire hazard that is sometimes associated. The mineral surface that is used to create modified bitumen can be created in light colors, effectively reflecting the heat and sun. This will cut down on your energy bills during the summer months, and it can even be installed by any avid (and competent) do it yourself fanatic.

Rubber membrane is another method of coating your flat roof. As far as flat roofing materials go it is durable and resistant to general wear and tear. Leaks are easy to find and repair, but the cost is really quite high. The standard black rubber does not reflect heat and paying for a lighter membrane will cost you more, however, it is quick to fit and will cause little disruption to your house life during the process.

Storm Damage Do’s and Dont’s

Storm Damaged Roof

The roof is the one part of a house that really protects occupants against the elements. Wind, rain, snow, sun and any inclement weather are constantly beating down on the roof of your house and this combination can have dire effects. Using a quality roofing firm and superior roofing materials means that you will be protected from all but the harshest of these conditions. However, when the weather really strikes, there is very little we can do to ensure the integrity of our roof. Storm damage repair can be costly, however, it is much cheaper than leaving it to get worse and worse.

Why you shouldn’t do storm damage repair yourself

Regardless of the quality of your roofing and how well you look after it, certain circumstances invariably lead to damage that must be replaced as quickly as possible to avoid further, much more costly damage to the roof and to the structure of the home itself. Paying for good storm damage repair is absolutely essential in maintaining the integrity of your home, and having the storm damage repair done quickly is also vital. Small cracks or holes can quickly lead to bigger problems so you should get a quote from a trusted and respected company as soon as you possibly can.

Very few people really know anything about storm damage repair and unless you have been in the unfortunate circumstance of needing it done it is unlikely you will know where to start. Attempting storm damage repair yourself can prove more costly than paying a professional to complete the job properly. Obviously, though, you will want to stop the rain and the wind from getting inside the house and if the storm has hit several houses in your area it may be a short while before you can get a roofer to come and fix your problems.

Temporary storm damage repair

Temporarily you might want to consider securely fixing some tarpaulin over any holes. It is important that you do this very securely and that you don’t leave any gaps, no matter how small the gaps may be. If you do leave even a small hole then the wind can easily get underneath the tarpaulin and rip it up taking yet more of the roof with it. You should fix the tarpaulin to the outside of your roof because while fixing it inside may prevent it from catching in the wind, rain will collect and run into the house, making your temporary storm damage repair useless.

Adequate temporary storm damage repair

The tighter you can pull the tarpaulin over the hole the better, so tightly secure one end and then gradually move around pulling it tight and securing it in place with plenty of roofing nails. If you get it tight enough with no holes there is no reason that you will take on further leaks while you wait for a professional roofing contractor to come out and complete the required storm damage repair. Bear in mind that full storm damage repair will first involve a thorough checkup of the whole roof and simply fixing the holes that have appeared might not be the full picture of what is required.

Slate Roofing Tiles

slate roofing tiles

Slate roofing tile is a wonderful look for any home. Slate is natural stone, and it is one of the best roofing tile mediums available. The look of Slate roofing tile is exceptional and some of the most famous houses in America are adorned with Slate roofing tile. Many historical homes have Slate roofing tiles, and this makes it even more alluring to homeowners. For those who are investing in an old home, and want to remodel but keep its original look, slate roofing tiles are a must.

Slate Roofing Tiles: The Look of Elegance

Slate roofing tiles will give any home a look of elegance and a touch of class. Slate roofing tiles come in a variety of colors, sizes, shapes, and details. Choosing to add Slate roofing tiles to your roof should be a matter of serious thought and decision. You will want to browse the various styles and choose the color and texture slate that feels best for you. You should do your homework before deciding upon Slate roofing tile.

If you aren’t that experienced with roofing materials, you should find a contractor who has great references and is a licensed contractor. By working with a professional, you can have all of your questions answered ahead of time, and feel more competent that you are making the best tiling decision for your roof. Don’t hesitate to look up the information yourself either.

Feel free to browse the Internet or resources at your local library to help you decide which Slate roofing tile options are best for you. If you know someone who has had their roof redone, then ask them for recommendations. The colors of Slate roofing tiles vary and they can be spectacular.

The effect and enhancement that Slate roofing tiles will add to your house will not only make it more beautiful, but it will increase your home value as well. You should look for contractors who will offer you a free estimate before you make a final decision. Make sure that you verify with the contractor that the estimate will be free.

Roofing Leaks – Disastrous Consequences

roof leak snow dam

The roof of your home is the first line of defense against the elements of nature, such as high winds, heavy rain, sleet, and snow. Conducting a complete inspection-inside and out-each spring can help avoid costly problems later on. Look for these key danger signals that indicate your roof is not adequately protecting your home:

• Water, water, anywhere? a home inspection should start with a check for leaks in the attic. This can occur and be most obvious after heavy, driving rains. Also, walk through each room of the house and inspect walls and ceilings. Ceiling spots can be another warning sign your roof needs repairs. And peeling of interior or exterior paint or wallpaper, sometimes from excessive moisture or high humidity, can be a sign of possible inadequate attic ventilation. If more ventilation is needed, it can be relatively easy and inexpensive to install even if you don’t need a new roof.

• Crackdown on cracks-The most common leak sources on the outside include cracks in flashing around the chimney and vents, or worn-out, decayed or missing shingles. Check your gutters for debris, including granules in the gutter. If you find an excessive amount of granules, it may indicate aging shingles that should be replaced. While up there, check for any missing, cracked or curled shingles. These should be replaced quickly to avoid structural damage to your roof deck and the interior of your home. If any shingles are blistered, decayed or “dirty looking,” they need to be replaced, too.

If you find any of these potential problems and are in need of repairs, the first and most important step to take is to find a competent roofing contractor.

Poorly installed or constructed roofing systems waste American homeowners billions of dollars every year, according to GAF Materials Corporation, North America’s largest roofing manufacturer. Fortunately, most risks can be avoided with a professional roofing system that’s correctly installed, maintained and/or repaired.

GAF offers access to a database of factory-certified, prequalified roofing contractors. Every contractor is licensed and insured and pledges to work on the homeowner’s roof as if it were its own.

Choosing a Quality Roofer

Choosing Roofer

The life expectancy of your roof depends on several factors; type of roofing, quality of material, and exposure to harsh weather elements among the top. With regular maintenance and normal weathering factors, a roof can last anywhere from 10 – 100 years.

Common roofing material such as built up roofing usually lasts 12 – 20 years, metal roofing 15 – 40 years, wood shake or shingles 10 – 40 years, asphalt shingles 15 – 20 years, and specialty material like slate up to 100 years under good conditions.

Leaks start as small cracks in roofing material that may not be visible; water may collect in an adjacent area. To detect such damage, a close inspection of the roof may be necessary.

A certified roofing contractor can be called to avoid further damage to the roof or personal injury to the homeowner caused by trying to inspect it his or her self. A roof inspection should be performed annually; constant weathering by sun, heat, rain, snow, hail, wind, and cold can cause roofing material to break down. A certified roofing contractor will know what to look for.

A roof and soffit system should be properly vented to prevent over-heating and moisture retention, two factors that can cause a roof to break down prematurely.

Selecting a Qualified Roofing Contractor

A certified, experienced contractor offers various services. From completely tearing off an old roof and replacing it with a new one, to inspecting and “certifying” an existing roof. The latter is a process in which the roof is inspected and “guaranteed” to function properly for a certain period of time; usually 2 years. The contractor takes responsibility for any necessary roofing repair during that period.

A certified contractor is knowledgeable of roof system types, materials, and installation procedures best suited to each project, and will ensure there is adequate venting.

Ask potential roofing contractors questions such as whether or not they are licensed and bonded. What liability insurance coverage they carry, and whether it is up to date. Ask which roofing product manufacturers they are licensed and approved by, for installation of products and warranty purposes. Also, ask if they are a member of any regional or national trade organizations.

Several resources are available to find a certified roofing contractor; referrals, local government licensing agencies, and websites that offer contractors for hire, or a list of contractors who are licensed and bonded.