You most likely stumbled across this article because you are in the market for a new roof or you just want to learn more about roofs. Replacing a roof is not an easy job. Shopping for a new roof is ever harder! Not only is it a big job, it is an expensive one as well. First and foremost, no shortcuts must be taken. This is an investment therefore you must treat it as one. Doing your homework in advance of starting the job will save you a lot of money, time and headaches down the road. As a result, it is imperative to gain an understanding of the roofing process and the types of materials available for your home.
Our roofing shingles guide will go through all the specifics you need to know before replacing the roof on your house. We broke down all the major facts you need to know before buying a roof into easy to read articles. Do your homework by browsing through the articles below!
Roof Replacement Guide
Warning Signs: Learn how to identify common warning signs which indicate that your roof is in need of a replacement.
Estimating Costs: Learn how to estimate the costs of your roof replacement. By being informed, you will save yourself from getting ripped-off by contractors!
Warranties: Learn about the different type of manufacturer and contractor warranties and what to look out for in a warranty.
Contractors: Learn how to choose a contractors.
Roof Repairs: Learn about the different kinds of roof repairs.
Roof Maintenance: Learn about roof maintenance and how you can extend the life of your roof!
Roofing Material Guide
Do you know what kind of shingles you will install on your roof? There are many different types of roofing materials. You can read our general guide on types of shingles here. It will give you a brief overview of the different kinds of roofing materials. For more detail on the different kinds of shingles and material, read the articles below:
Along with different kinds of materials, there’s also the choice of manufacturer. Which manufacturer produces the best shingle? If you want asphalt shingles, who should you purchase from? What about solar shingles? Which manufacturer provides the best warranty?
Asphalt shingles are one of the most common types of roofing material. They are fairly inexpensive compared to other materials and are also easy to install. This makes them an attractive choice for the majority of homeowners. In fact, asphalt shingles account for nearly 75% of all roof installations. Recent developments over the years have increased the durability and performance of this material.
Organic shingles are an old form of asphalt shingle. These are often made from recycled paper, infused with asphalt and subsequently compressed under high pressure. Organic shingles are much more flexible than their fiberglass counterparts and also a lot more difficult to tear. This makes them easier to install during cold winter weather. Organic shingles are quite durable given their heavy weight which makes them ideal for houses in cold climate or subject to heavy winds.
Fibreglass shingles are a new, popular choice. The mat is composed completely of glass fibres (also known as composition shingles). Asphalt as well as mineral granules are coated on the surface of the mat. These shingles are lighter given they have a smaller content of asphalt, about 40% less than organic shingles. This makes them also a more environmentally-friendly choice. Given the lower asphalt content they are also cheaper than their organic counterparts. To install, an underlayment of asphalt felt needs to be installed before placing the fibreglass shingles.
Asphalt shingles come in two popular models: three-tab and architectural (sometimes referred to as laminated. Each model is designed uniquely and has different features.
This model is one of the most popular given that it is the most economical. This model is not that heavy and is highly effective for low sloping roofs. It is not very effective at protecting against high winds. If your location is prone to winds stronger than 60 mph, it is not recommended to install three-tab shingles.
This model is known for its design features. When put in place, the shingles have a dimensional or layered look to them. The layers of shingles are bonded with an asphalt sealant. They are heavy but as a result are highly protective against strong winds up to 120 mph. Given their layered look, they do a great job at hiding imperfections in your roof. This is an aesthetic choice which is becoming popular among homeowners even if they are generally 20% more expensive than three-tab shingles.
Overall, there are not many differences between three-tab shingles versus architectural shingles. When it comes down to it, both models use the same material. The fundamental difference between the two is that architectural shingles use more shingles. Many contractors will try to sell you on architectural (laminated) shingles since they will charge you more thus they will make more money on them. Is the increased thickness and durability of an architectural shingle necessary for your house? Does the visually appealing look of architectural shingles justify the increased cost? Those are some of the questions you need to ask yourself before deciding which model is right for you.
Your roof is constantly exposed to weather elements, from getting beat by sun rays, drowned in rain, frozen by snow to blown by wind. A properly maintained roof can last up to twice as long as a roof that has been neglected. Do you get oil changes for your car every 3000 miles? Well your roof needs maintenance too!
If that reason is not enough, here are three others:
Regular maintenance saves your money as small repairs are much cheaper than a full roof replacement.
It will prevent unwanted animals and insects from entering into your home through exposed areas.
You will have peace of mind knowing that your roof is working like it should and in good condition!
Now let’s get down to the basics of roof maintenance. What should be done? At first you should visually inspect the roof. See if there is any visual wear and tear on the roof and if any shingles need replacement or if any of the shingles are loose and need to be secured.
Following a visual inspection, go through the following checklist:
Clear all drainage paths. This involves clearing the debris from the drains, gutters and downspouts. Also make sure that the drain screens are properly in place and still functioning.
Check the coating and coat any bare membrane. Look for punctures and tears in the membrane.
Ensure that all the plumbing caps on the vents are in place. Replace any if necessary.
Remove any excess debris.
Make sure all skylights are still sealed.
If your roof has any other forms of penetration such as pipes and they are waterproofed with pitch pans or concrete rings, make sure the sealer is not cracked and still properly sealed. Replace or seal if necessary.
Secure any loose shingles or nails.
Magnetically sweep the top of the roof to remove sharp objects
Replace broken or deteriorated shingles as necessary.
Should you hire a professional to maintain your roof or do it yourself? If you are a handyman, roof maintenance is simple enough to be done yourself. If you are not handy around the house, it is best to hire a professional to perform the maintenance instead of risking it yourself as it is possible you do more damage than good. You must remember that regular maintenance is both detective and preventative!