Fall, The Ideal Time of Year to Replace Your Roof

Installing a new roof on a home or business is a job that most property owners will need to accomplish at one time or another, and there are several things to consider about the issue. Because the time of year makes a huge difference as to the finished quality of a roof and also affects the price that is paid, informed consumers look into the issue and plan for the best results. While most roofing companies work throughout the year, there are several reasons why choosing to complete a project in the fall is the best idea.

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Addressing the Heat
The fall is the ideal time for a roof replacement because the weather is just warm enough to make installation easy, but temperatures are also cool enough to prevent the risks of damaging soft roofing materials. Most residential roofing products, like asphalt shingles, are easily damaged by installers during extremely hot weather, and the granules that protect the underlying asphalt-fiberglass mat may be compromised. Hot summer weather can easily reach temperatures on the top of a roof that are over 100 degrees Fahrenheit, and when a person steps on roofing material with the wrong type of footwear, marked surfaces are incredibly common. During the fall months, temperatures are in the ideal range and ensure that projects proceed on a timely basis. While many people consider having their roof installed during the winter for a lower price, there are several concerns about roofing during the cold. The winter also poses a number of problems for installers because weather is usually too cold to ensure a flat installation of asphalt shingles. In addition, with heavy snow storms, jobs may be shut down for an extended period of time, and homeowners may have to wait several weeks to have their roofing project finished.

Avoiding Rain and Storms
At any time of year, rain storms and severe weather can impact a new roof installation job, and wise homeowners and experienced roofing contractors regard the fall as an ideal time for a project’s completion for several reasons. During the autumn months, the daily weather is generally mild and storm free. While rain may fall on an occasional basis, the chances that a job are shut down for an extended period of time are minimized. Having a roof installed in the fall months virtually ensures that homeowners can quickly have their project finished and return to daily living on a timely basis. For property owners who need to have their existing roofing material removed, the issue of wet and stormy weather is a prime concern. Because removing asphalt shingles is labor intensive and subjects a home to leaks, most contractors try to schedule their jobs for period of clear weather, like the fall.

Choosing the right time of year for a new roof depends on several factors, and the two prime issues have to do with temperature and the threat of storms. Temperatures that are too hot or too cold can pose problems for a finished roof installation, and most people generally agree that the mild weather in the fall is an ideal period for re-roofing or new construction jobs.

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How Long you Should Expect a Slate Roof to Last in the Northeast United States

Efficient and good looking are two reasons why people cover and protect their homes with roofing. There are other benefits too. Slate come in numerous and naturally occurring colors, which can be attractively blended with other materials. The range of size and thickness is almost endless. Slate is water repellent, fireproof, and low maintenance, especially because it is resistant to the growth of moss and algae.

For all these reasons to buy slate roofing, it can still be a questionable investment because it is one of the most expensive roofing systems to install. So most people when considering slate as a new roofing system have to ask: How long will it last? This is especially important in the northeastern United States where winters can be long, harsh, and destructive.

Just how long can a slate roof be expected to last in the northeast? The American Society of Home Inspectors puts the longevity of slate roofing at 30-100 years. That makes it a good buy when compared with asphalt at 15-20 years, wood at 10-40, metal at 20-40, and clay at 20 years or more. That makes slate a good buy even with the most expensive installation price.

However, if you are considering slate, but longevity is a concern, do some research before installing a slate roof, especially in the northeast. Not all slate is the same and some roofs just are not designed for such a covering. So, begin your search for the right slate with a consultation with a contractor who knows the product.

Slate has been quarried in the United States since the 1850s from states in the northeast and Virginia. Vermont roofing slate, quarried in the Green Mountains, carries a life expectancy of up to 200 years and with proper maintenance is said to last indefinitely. The rate for Pennsylvania roofing slate, which comes in solid gray or multi-color patterns, has a life span of about 50 years. Slate from Buckingham County in Virginia, with its blue/black color and high mica content, is said to be one of the world’s hardest. The life span is averaged at about 175 years or indefinitely.

Ribbon slates have lines or ribbons of color that make them distinctive looking. Although some of these slates are very durable, care should be taken in selecting them. In some slates, the material that forms the ribbons of color has been found to be soft enough to weather rapidly.

In some cases, the answer to “how long will a slate roof last in the eastern U.S.?” has to be: It depends. Maintenance is an important concern for longevity. However, with careful study of these generally highly durable materials and the aid of an experienced and knowledgeable contractor, the answer might be: Long enough to keep your home safe and you happy with the choice.

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What are the Subtle Signs that You Need a New Roof

A durable roof is one of the most essential, protective components of a home. Faulty roofs commonly result in water getting into the home, which can destroy the drywall, carpet, wood, and personal belongings. The moisture also promotes mold growth, which can be hazardous to the home’s inhabitants. Even a small leak can cost thousands of dollars in damages, so it is best to be proactive and know when to replace the roof before disaster strikes. Sometimes the signs that a roof is deteriorating are not blatantly obvious, and it is crucial to be aware of the more subtle indicators.

At least twice a year, perform a thorough inspection of the outer exterior of the roof. Be on the lookout for missing or damaged shingles. If the roof has even one missing shingle, this can be a warning that the tar strips are wearing out. This is caused by repeated exposure to the elements and granule loss. Shortly after, the roof will likely lose more shingles and increase the chances of serious water damage to the home.

Damaged shingles are a major warning sign that the roof is nearing the end of its life. Prolonged sun exposure causes the asphalt layers within the shingle to break down, thus warping its shape. Weakened shingles tend to coil onto themselves and take on a curled appearance. Curled shingles are likely to catch a gust of wind and fly off, which leaves an exposure for water to eventually leak into the house. Shingles with cracks are also more susceptible to blowing away, and serious cracks can allow water to seep into the home.

During biannual inspections, it is also important to look for shingles with dark spots. Discoloration indicates that the shingles are losing granules. Granules shield the roof’s asphalt layers from being weakened or deteriorated by the sun’s UV rays. Shingles that lose a large portion of their granules leave the asphalt unguarded and vulnerable to rapid erosion. Aside from discoloration, another sign of granule loss is brittleness and frailty of the shingles. Shingles in this condition often have slight cracks that only worsen with time. Eventually, this will lead to water damage.

While inspecting the roof’s color, also look for apparent signs of plant or fungal growth, as this also results in discoloration. Organism growth on shingles is a warning sign that water is building up on areas of the roof instead of being repelled. A moist roof results in an environment that is conducive for the growth of moss, mold, lichen, and algae. In chronically moist or tropical climates, this may not be a surefire sign that a complete roof replacement is necessary, but it is important to be certain. Moss and mold may result in loosened shingles, so removal is always required. It may be best to hire a professional, as some organism growths can lead to a very slippery roof.

In addition to inspecting the roof’s exterior, it is also pivotal to inspect the highest point inside the home, which is often an attic. Look around the attic for dark blotches, water spots, or any damp areas. Compromised roofs usually have an effect on the attic before the rest of the home. There could be shingle damage, or the underlayments may be worn out. Underlayments are supposed to protect against leaks and usually consists of tar paper, rubberized asphalt, or a synthetic. These are all vulnerable to wear and tear, especially with repeated sun exposure. It may also be a sign of deteriorated flashings. Flashings are thin pieces of impermeable material placed around the roof’s joints and seams to prevent water from seeping into the home. Another good way to check for signs of roof degeneration is to inspect the attic during daylight hours. Do not turn on any interior lights, and see if any rays of light are coming through. This indicates a roof that has holes or rotted sections.

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Architectural versus 3 Tab Asphalt Shingles

The most commonly used shingle in home construction has been the 3 tab asphalt shingle.  However, in the 1970’s, the architectural shingle was introduced.   There are many differences between these two, but choosing the correct one is simple, once the differences are understood.

3 Tab Asphalt Shingles

These shingles are named for the three tabs that are created by two grooves, cut into each shingle.  When on a roof, they have a flat, smooth appearance, and look like individual shingles.  Because of their flat appearance, any imperfections in the roof line are easily seen.  Care must also be taken in their application, so that the grooves in the shingles line up perfectly.  Grooves that do not line up give a sloppy appearance.

Three tab shingles are made of layers of cellulose or fiberglass fibers, and asphalt.  They are thinner, and lighter than architectural shingles, and easier to handle.  The thinner construction of 3 tab shingles makes them more susceptible to wind, hail, and curling in high temperatures.  Typical lifetimes for 3 tab shingle roofs are 20 years, and they can withstand up to 60 mile per hour winds.

The cost of 3 tab shingles is less than architectural shingles, and they cover more area when applied, so usually fewer are needed to complete a job.

Pros

Low cost compared to architectural shingles
Larger coverage area
Less labor intensive

Cons

Shorter lifespan than architectural shingles
Wind resistance only 60 mph
Can be less aesthetically pleasing if uneven roof line, or badly applied

Architectural Shingles

Architectural shingles are also called dimensional, or laminate shingles.  They have a textured appearance that makes them look three-dimensional.  These shingles were originally introduced to give the appearance of cedar or slate roofs, but with the advantages of a lighter and more durable asphalt shingle.  Because they are textured, they break up any straight-line imperfections in the roof line, making them difficult for the eye to detect.  They come in a variety of colors, and can be easily matched to any housing style.

The mat base used in the construction of architectural shingles is heavier than that used in 3 tab shingles.  It is made of cellulose or fiberglass fibers, and asphalt layers, but can be as much as 50% heavier.  The increased thickness makes architectural shingles more resistant to wind damage, up to 120 miles per hour in some cases, and hail damage as well.  Some styles have inter-locking tabs, which increases their wind resistance.   They can be susceptible to algae growth, so algae resistant shingles are recommended.  Architectural shingles are typically guaranteed to last a minimum of 25 years, and can go as long as 50 years.

Architectural shingles are usually 20 – 40% more expensive than 3 tab shingles, due to their heavier construction.  They also cover less area than a 3 tab shingle, so more are required to finish the job.

Pros

Durability, up to 50 years in some cases
Higher wind resistance, up to 120 mph
More aesthetically pleasing, especially for complicated roofs

Cons

Higher cost than 3 tab shingles
More labor intensive
Susceptible to algae growth

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Emerging Roofing Trend – Georgian Style Roofing

Georgian style architecture, including Georgian style roofing, first originated in the year 1720, and is the name used by most English speaking countries to describe the architectural style from that time until 1840. Its name comes from the monarch King George the First and his three successors – George II of Great Britain, George III of the United Kingdom, and George IV of the United Kingdom. These four monarchs represent the consecutive British rule from the summer of 1714 to the summer of 1830.

Georgian Roof

Georgian Architecture replaced the English Baroque style commonly found in Europe in the 1700s, with transitions taking place with works designed by the likes of James Gibbs, one of Britain’s most prominent architects at the time. While his style can be classified as Georgian, it also included detectable influences form the English Baroque style, as well as nuances likely informed by his time studying to be an architect in Rome. Other prominent architects who pioneered this style were Colen Campbell, Robert Taylor, and John Wood the Elder, the latter two being held responsible by many as key developers of this type of design.

The term “Georgian” is rather wide in scope, and so must be seen as the header of other distinct sub-styles. Among them are Palladian Architecture (inspired by Andrea Palladio, an influential architect from Venice), Gothic, and Chinoiserie. Also included are Neoclassical (seen as a response to the Rococo style), the Regency style (which can be seen in Regent’s Park in London), and Greek Revival, which occurred mainly in Northern Europe and the United States.

While Georgian architecture contains variable characteristics, some basic elements can be understood as standard. Among them are the tendency toward symmetry and what the European designers at the time referred to as “regularity” (adhering to classical rules). The most traditional materials for Georgian style buildings are stone and brick. The colors most commonly found in traditional Georgian buildings were red, white, and light brown. However, many colors are now found in modern homes that take cues from Georgian style architecture.

As for the Georgian style roofs, they are traditionally side-gabled (a triangular structure at both ends of the building), include a gambrel (a symmetrical two-sided roof with two downward slopes on each side) and are hipped (sides slope down toward walls of structure). The roofs also typically feature a chimney on both sides of the building.

Many modern homes can still be found with Georgian style roofs, which presents some advantages and challenges alike. This style still evokes a sense of historic significance, with its origin found almost three hundred years ago. For those with an interest in history and the story of design, a Georgian style soof is remarkable. Also, to many, it conjures the idea of elegance. Many prestigious properties feature Georgian style roofs, and therefore some associate this feature with class and grandeur. It remains, especially to those for whom symmetry is enticing, aesthetically pleasing.

Some of the challenges of living under a Georgian style roof relate to its interaction with inclement weather. This style of roof is said to be one of the worst in terms of protecting a home from hurricane damage. The gabled nature of this roof allows it to easily peel off in high winds, and can even catch wind like a ship’s sail. Additionally, a Georgian style roof, with its hipped feature, often allows for very little space inside the roof. This not only cuts down on possible storage and/or attic space, but also may make it very difficult to gain access to this area for any maintenance or repairs.

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Asphalt Shingles for Maryland Homes; Why and Average Costs

When installing a new roof on your home, there are several materials to consider. Metal, wood and asphalt are all available, but the region you live in will affect the building material you choose. The best choice in Maryland is asphalt shingles because they can handle the temperature range, including hot weather, snow and ice.

Popularity of Asphalt Shingles in Maryland
Homeowners in Maryland commonly chose asphalt shingles for a variety of reasons. The state does not typically see extremely hot temperatures, but it does experience higher temperatures in summer and freezing conditions when winter arrives. Asphalt shingles in this region last up to 30 years, and that lifespan is appealing to local homeowners.

Asphalt shingles are also one of the most affordable options. They carry a lower cost than copper or other metal roofs, and that makes them a top choice for homeowners who are on a budget. They also require very little maintenance. Unlike wood roofs that require regular care to keep them in top condition, asphalt shingles do not need regular maintenance. This helps consumers save money both on the installation and in the long run.

Available in a multitude of colors, asphalt shingles can be customized to suit your home. You can choose different colors, and you can also look for various styles that will match your home better. In addition to choosing shades that match your shutters or siding, you can also opt for asphalt shingles that mimic the look of wood.

The Cost of Repairs
Another benefit of asphalt roofs is that they can be repaired if they are damaged in a storm or with age. Dimensional shingles interlock and are not likely to blow off in a storm, but they are also relatively easy to replace is that should occur.

Shingled roofs are more likely to fail in the valleys and around roof protrusions. Head walls, skylights, chimneys and vents are protected with flashing, mortar and caulk. Over time, the mortar can give way, allowing the flashing to bend away from the structure and grant water access. Caulk eventually shrinks, cracks and fails as a waterproofer.

When you have a water leak in your home, the most time-consuming process is often finding the source of the leak. Checking caulk, flashing and other materials takes time, but it’s the only way to determine the source of the leak. Once the problem is identified, roofing professionals can replace caulk, fill in fresh mortar, reform flashing and replace damaged or missing shingles. The average cost of a roof repair is $700 to $800. Simple repairs that are performed quickly may cost less than $200, but more complicated ones can run well over $1,000 to take care of.

Cost of Replacing Asphalt Roofs
When more than 30 percent of a roof is in disrepair with missing shingles or other problems, you will probably need to replace the entire roof. This is a costly endeavor, but ignoring the problem will lead to water leaks, structural damage and even higher repair bills. There are several factors to consider when having a roof replaced. This makes it impossible for a roofing company to provide you with an estimate over the phone. They will insist on viewing the property first, and you should only work with companies that will take the time to do a thorough inspection and provide you with a written estimate.

Size of Roof – Shingles come in something called bundles or squares. Each square covers up to 100 square feet on the roof. The first thing a contractor will do is measure the various roof planes to determine how many squares are required.

Pitch – A roof that is very steep requires extra safety equipment and care. You can expect to pay a premium on these types of roofs. They also have more squares to cover, and that drives the price up.

Design – Valleys are the inside corner where two roof planes meet. If you have areas where two roof planes meet to form an outside corner, then you have a hip area. These areas all require special considerations to protect the corners from the elements. Skylights, vents, chimneys, head walls and other protrusions will also have an impact on the final price.

Removal – Removing the old shingles drives the cost of roofing up slightly, but not as much as you might think. You could try to save a little money by removing the shingles yourself, but you will still have to pay a fee for dumpsters and disposals. After pricing out both options, you may decide to that it’s well worth the price to have the professionals remove the old shingles.

Quality – You pay for what you get, and higher quality shingles do carry a premium. However, they are also more durable, less likely to sustain damage in a storm and more attractive. When you consider that cheaper shingles will have to be replaced sooner, the more expensive ones may become more attractive.

Attic Inspection – Roofers won’t just look on the roof, they will also look inside your home at the attic. This allows them to see if there might be water damage to the roof decking, problems with mold or ventilation issues inside the structure. They will correct all of these problems when replacing your roof, and that is taken into account with the price.

A simple roof with two opposite planes that covers a small to modest home will easily run $8,000 or more for professional installation. As the roof becomes more complex and larger, the price will rise. However, it’s a necessary investment to protect your home and ensure that it remains dry in a storm.

You can save a substantial sum by installing the roof yourself, but it is best to turn the job over to professionals. Incorrectly installing a roof can void the warranty, and it won’t last as long if certain steps are not taken during installation. When calling for roofing estimates, talk to several companies. They will do an inspection of the home, and they should be willing to provide you with written estimates. You can then use the information to choose the right company for your needs.

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The Primary Reasons Why Terracotta Roofing Tiles Are Not Ideal for Maryland’s Climate

Driving through Maryland and glancing at the roofs of houses won’t show visitors red tiled roofs. That is a shame because terra cotta roof tiles are not only pretty, but they typically outlast the building they are roofing. It is not uncommon to take away the rubble of a building that has fallen in and use the red roofing tiles on another incarnation of the building. Red tiles have been proven to last several hundred years.

A remarkable property of red tiles is that they are fireproof. This meant something in the early years of the country’s building, because people remembered the fires that obliterated London and Boston in the 1600s. In fact, that was how fire codes were established. People built using the natural clay deposits found in Georgia and Southern Maryland. In time, however, terra cotta tiles, which are quite heavy, gave way to wooden shingles. Houses and other buildings didn’t need such heavy framing to hold wooden shingles.

The typical Maryland roof is protected by black shingles for a few reasons other than fire. The Maryland climate is volatile, given its proximity to the Chesapeake Bay and the Shenandoah Mountains. One would think the mountain chain would protect Maryland from the vestiges of weather patterns coming from Canada and the West. Instead, the mountain range exacerbates any weather patterns hitting Maryland.

Another reason is hurricanes. Some hit the Carolinas and then travel across the states before they run out of steam. Other hurricanes roar up the Chesapeake Bay, doing untold damage before pouncing on Pennsylvania, Delaware, New York and points north. These storms demolish houses, so a terra cotta roof would do the homeowner no good. Trees will fall onto houses and rainwater would pass through unimpeded. Terra cotta is a porous material, not waterproof unless it is glazed.

One more reason Maryland homeowners prefer a black shingle roof is snow. Snow sits atop a house until it melts and runs off the roof into the gutters and drainpipes. If a roof were composed of terra cotta tiles, the glaze would keep the tiles from absorbing the water from the snow. However, it would seep between and under the tiles, damaging the support of the roof. Eventually it would rot the wood sheath underneath the tiles.

This is a concern due to the way the tiles are applied to the roof. After the framing is completed and the roof is sheathed, the red tiles are applied. The tiles come in different shapes, most of which to not interlock to make them waterproof. In that case, a waterproof material is laid underneath the tiles. The tiles are then applied beginning at the eaves, with each course overlapping the previous. This prevents leaking and guides any water toward the eaves, where the moisture will escape via gutters.

Indeed, since red tile is porous, if it is not glazed there is a danger of cracking and breaking during a freeze. Ice build-up beneath the tiles causes cracking and breaking when the tiles thaw. All this is nothing compared to the danger of mold and mildew caused by the moisture being trapped under the tiles. Professionals would be required to clean the roof and remove the mold and mildew, then seal the roof tiles.

It is much simpler for Maryland homeowners not to use terra cotta tiles to roof their homes. The durability and soundproofing qualities of terra cotta tiles cannot be denied, but the disadvantages to a Maryland homeowner also cannot be denied. Red tiles are better suited to a hot dry climate than to one as volatile as the Maryland climate.

The Maryland homeowner should also keep in mind that red tiles are quite heavy. It would be costly to build enough support into the roof to hold the terra cotta tiles. Added to this would be the cost of repairing storm damage to the roof.

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Maryland Roofing Contractors License Requirement

The path to becoming a licensed roofing contractor in Maryland begins with working as a subcontractor for a general contractor. Interestingly, a general contractor for new home construction only needs to register and does not need to be licensed in the state of Maryland. If working for a contractor, a subcontractor does not need to be licensed.

In order to enter into a contract with a homeowner to modify or remodel a roof on an existing structure, a Home Improvement License from the Maryland Home Improvement Commission is required. Home improvement refers to any modification or alteration to a single family home or to the individual living quarters of a condominium. It does not refer to any improvements made to the common areas or buildings associated with the condominium.

In order to apply to the Home Improvement Commission for a roofing contractor’s license, an applicant must pass a written test with a score of at least 70 percent. The test covers all laws and regulations applicable to the home improvement business. The application for taking the written test requires an applicant to submit the following to the commission:

1) Proof of two years of experience in “home improvement work, construction, and/or related education.”

2) Proof that the applicant’s business is financially solvent.

3) If the business is a corporation, the articles of incorporation must be submitted with the application to take the written test.

4) If the business is using a trade name, proof must be submitted with the test application that the name is available and registered.

5) Proof that the applicant’s business carries liability insurance in the amount of $50,000.

6) Proof of Worker’s Compensation Coverage or explanation that the applicant is not an employer required to provide such coverage.

7) If the applicant has a criminal record of either a felony or misdemeanor “relating to a home improvement transaction” the criminal record of the conviction must be submitted with the application.

8 ) Submit a $150 licensing fee along with a $20 application fee.

9) Include the work history and provide names of the contractors the applicant has worked for.

10) The application must be signed declaring, under penalty of perjury, that all the information is correct.

Some colleges offer a test preparation course. The MHIC offers free seminars to help with the application process. Neither the course nor the seminar is required. They are only offered to assist those who feel they could benefit from them.

If the applicant does not pass the exam the first time, it can be retaken. The second application can be made 21 days after notification that the applicant did not pass. If subsequent retakes are necessary, 60 days must elapse between the notification date and reapplication.

No temporary license will be issued and the license must be renewed every two years. At renewal, a fee is charged and a credit check performed. If there are any problems with the credit check related to the business, the contractor will be given an opportunity to explain.

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The Average Lifespan of a Roof in Baltimore, Maryland

Baltimore homeowners can count on their new roof to provide several decades of protection from the weather. The particular material that is installed has a dramatic effect on the longevity and price of a new roof. Asphalt shingles are one of the most common Baltimore residential roofing materials and come in a range of qualities, colors and styles. Asphalt shingles are ideal because the material is affordable and is usually backed with a minimum 20-year warranty. Metal panels are another great choice for a new roof and can last for 50 years with proper maintenance.

Asphalt Shingles–20 to 40 Years
Asphalt shingles have been the leading Baltimore residential roofing material for years and are ideal for their low price and long life. The product is usually made from an organic or fiberglass base that is waterproofed with petroleum tar. The thickness of the base is one of the main differences between individual products. Thicker shingles are designed for a longer life, but they are also more expensive. On the top of shingles, UV-resistant granules provide color and protection. The granules protect the underlying material from the sun and ensure a long-lasting roof. Most asphalt shingles are rated according to their lifespan, and 20 year warranties are the bare minimum. Thicker shingles usually have a longer warranty, and the highest quality products are usually good for 40 years. Between the 20 and 40-year shingles, there are a range of other choices. Thus, Baltimore homeowners can expect a new asphalt shingle roof to last for anywhere from 20 to 40 years.

Metal Roofing–20 to 50 Years
Metal roofing is quickly gaining popularity in the Baltimore roofing industry. The product is ideal because it is designed to provide years of reliable service with minimal maintenance. Most metal roofing manufacturers back their products with a warranty that is good on the finished surface. Because the finished paint is specially applied, it is usually guaranteed for at least 20 years. Homeowners can also repaint their metal roofing, and the product can easily last for 50 years or more.

Cedar Shakes–15 to 50 Years
Cedar was one of the most common roofing materials during the early part of the 1900s but has largely been replaced by asphalt shingles. Cedar is often chosen for its aesthetic appearance because it brings a rustic look to the home. The quality of cedar varies, and homeowners have several choices. Most products last for at least 15 years. There are also better quality cedar shakes that can easily last for 50 years with proper maintenance.

Clay or Cement Tiles–Up to 100 Years
Clay tiles are not as common in Baltimore as in other cities, but the material is one of the most durable residential roofing products on the market. Clay tiles have been used since ancient Greece and Rome and are usually made from cement, stone or clay. The tiles require little in the way of routine care and can easily last up to 100 years. Clay is one of the most expensive materials on the market, but the price is incredibly affordable when its long lifespan is considered.

Baltimore homeowners have several choices for their new roof, and the particular choice will affect the cost and longevity of a project. Asphalt shingles are among the most popular choices and easily last for 20 years. Some products feature a thicker mat, and the longest-lasting shingles are good for 40 years. Metal roofing is another ideal choice that lasts for 20 to 50 years. A range of different quality levels is available for metal roofing, and some products are custom made for a durable lifespan. Clay tiles are one of the most durable options and can easily last for 100 years.

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Roofing Contractors License Requirements in Delaware

In most states in the US, roofing contractors need to obtain a license to operate. The license regulations vary between states. Becoming a roofing contractor in Delaware requires aspiring professionals to obtain a roofing license. Obtaining a license involves more than just making an application to get the certificate.

The first thing that applicants or aspiring roofing contractors need to do is to train to be roofers. This is obviously the first step in the process. There are various institutions in Delaware where apprenticeship or construction courses are offered. Taking the course makes an apprentice eligible to undertake the licensing exam. Though people do not require college degrees to be roofing contractors, they should however, have advanced knowledge on roofing in order to pass the licensing test. Most state community colleges in Delaware offer construction or vocational courses in roofing.

It is also important to obtain a personal injury and property insurance policy. Roofing contractors in Delaware require liability insurance to protect the assets of their clients. The aspiring roofing contractor is required to attach proof of insurance when applying for a contractor’s license in Delaware.

Before filling out and submitting the application forms, inquire from the licencing board if a bond needs to be posted for the license. It is also essential to secure the bond and license application fees beforehand.

Application forms for a roofing contractor licence can be obtained from the Division of Professional Regulation or The Licensing Board. The forms have various questions. Some of the questions are of a basic nature requiring information about the applicant. There are also specific questions about the roofing service that will be provided by the applicant. All relevant areas should be filled and the completed forms submitted to offices of The Licensing Board.

When the applicant is through with the paperwork, they can embark on passing the licensing exam. The exam covers different subjects on roofing including roofing types and other technical aspects involved in roofing. On passing the roofing contractor’s exam, the applicants only have to wait a few days to get their license. A Delaware roofing contractor’s license is valid for two years after which a contractor is supposed to renew it by going through the roofing test again.

There are a few tips that can help with getting a roofing contractor’s license. The applicant needs to make sure that they contact the licencing Board to inquire about the requirements needed to get a roofing licence because the regulations and requirements may change with time.

It also important to prepare adequately before taking the exam. The money spent on the license application and exams are not refundable if a candidate fails. Being a licenced roofing contractor in Delaware does not mean that the contractor can work in the same capacity in other states. In case a Delaware contractor wants to work in or expand to other states, they will have to undergo the licencing procedures of the relevant states.

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What a Roofer in Prince George’s County Maryland Must Go Through to Receive an Official Roofing Contractors License

Prince George’s County, Maryland roofers (http://www.roofing-directory.com/maryland/) must go through a state-licensing process that is designed to protect the general public. The Maryland Home Improvement Commission (MHIC) licenses all contractors and subcontractors in the state. Licensed roofing contractors are required by the state to display their MHIC number on advertisements and contracts, and homeowners benefit when they trust their job to a licensed professional.

To ensure quality workmanship in Prince George’s County, the MHIC has a guaranty fund that is administered by the commission. The fund applies only to projects that are handled by licensed contractors and is designed to allow homeowners to recover damages up to $20,000. The state’s home improvement licensing process is one of the most comprehensive in the nation, and Prince George’s Country homeowners can trust a professional roofing contractor that has an MHIC number. Before a roofer is licensed in the state, they need to pass a contractor’s exam, show financial solvency, demonstrate their experience in the industry and have another contractor co-sign their application.

The MHIC Test
The application for an MHIC roofing contractor’s license consists of a number of steps. Each contractor needs to fill out a thorough application and is required to pass the state’s official examination. The contractor test covers Maryland home improvement law, and takers must demonstrate their knowledge of local issues. For example, contractors need to answer questions that relate to the amount of money that is payable during the course of a job’s completion. Maryland law only allows roofers to take 30 percent of the contract’s amount at signing. Contractors are then allowed another draw when the job is started, and the last payment is made upon completion. In addition, contractors need to demonstrate knowledge about local safety issues, overtime and wages.

Showing Financial Solvency
Because the MHIC provides protection to homeowners in the event of damages that are caused by a state-licensed contractor, the issue of financial solvency is considered by the commission. If a homeowner has trouble with their new roof, the MHIC actually provides financial remedies. The MHIC wants to ensure homeowners that their contractors have the capital to ensure a quality job and can pay for any damages that may arise during the course of a project. Many times, the MHIC asks contractors for information about their finances. In addition, some contractors are required to provide a letter of credit from their local banker. Liability insurance is another essential component of financial solvency and is required by the MHIC. The state requires contractors to show proof of liability insurance in the amount of $50,000.

Experience
Experience is another crucial factor that is considered by the MHIC before it grants a license. The state has minimum requirements to assure Prince George’s County, Maryland homeowners that their jobs are handled by experienced professionals. Contractors need to show that they have at least two years of experience in the industry. In addition, applicants for the MHIC license need to have their application signed by a contractor who currently holds a home improvement license.

Installing a new roof in Prince George’s County, Maryland is an expensive job, and the state designed the MHIC to ensure homeowners of quality workmanship and financial protection. Roofing contractors are required by the state to have a valid MHIC number to perform home improvements. The licensing process entails several steps, and contractors need to take a comprehensive examination, demonstrate financial solvency, have liability insurance for at least $50,000 and have at least two years of experience in the industry. Contractors are also required to display their MHIC number on advertisements and contracts. The licensing process protects homeowners, and the MHIC actually covers damages up to $20,000 that are caused by licensed roofers.

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The Average Lifespan of a New Roof in North Carolina

Choosing the right roofing material has a dramatic effect on the lifespan of a particular product, and North Carolina homeowners have several options for their next project. Because the area gets its fair share of rain and stormy weather, it is essential to pick a residential roofing material that is especially designed for local conditions. Asphalt shingles are an ideal North Carolina residential roofing material, and there are a range of different quality levels available. Metal roofing is another great choice and comes in a range of different styles, sizes and thicknesses. Cedar shakes and terra cotta tiles are other choices that are ideal for residential roofs in the Tarheel State. Choosing the right material is often a matter of budget and expectations, and many of the longer lasting products are more expensive. However, when the total price is considered as a function of time, some of the higher quality products are actually more affordable.

Asphalt Shingles—20 to 40 Years
Asphalt shingles are one of the most common residential roofing materials and are known for their affordability, style and lifespan. Because there are a range of different thicknesses, some materials are backed with a 40-year warranty while others are only guaranteed for 20 years. The most affordable products are usually backed with a minimum 20-year warranty, and asphalt shingles are often chosen for their durability and low price. Asphalt shingles require little in the way of routine maintenance to ensure the longest life, but the roof should be kept clean and free of leaves, limbs and other debris.

Metal Roofing—20 Years and Up
Metal roofing is quickly gaining a foothold in the North Carolina residential roofing market and is one of the most durable products on the market. The affordable option is a panel that usually has a 20-year warranty on the painted finish alone. Because metal can be repainted, it easily lasts for decades with proper maintenance. It is not uncommon for North Carolina homes to receive 50 years of protection from their metal roof. Custom metal roofs are on the high end of the quality and price level, and homeowners have a wide range of choices that are usually backed with a long-lasting warranty of up to 50 years.

Terra Cotta Tiles-Up to 100 Years
Clay, cement and terra cotta tiles are some of the most durable residential roofing materials and are known for their strength and long lifespan. The products are actually made from a mixture or clay or Portland cement and designed to provide unsurpassed protection. Terra cotta tiles are also ideal because they are virtually maintenance free. While it is true that single tiles may break, entire roofs can easily last for 100 years. Clay tiles are expensive, but when the lifespan of the material is considered, it is one of the most affordable choices for North Carolina homeowners. This type of roofing material primarily only applies to the middle and eastern part of North Carolina. The mountainous western part of the state typically would not use Terra Cotta roof tiles.

Cedar Shakes—15 to 50 Years
Cedar shakes are another common material that was one of the most popular choices in the past. Because today’s cedar shakes are usually made from second growth trees, the current quality level is not as high as products of the past. That being said, cedar shakes have a great aesthetic appearance and are often chosen for their rustic look. Depending on the actual product that is installed, cedar shakes may last for anywhere from 25 to 50 years.

North Carolina homeowners have a number of choices for their home’s roof, and most products are guaranteed for at least 20 years. A wide range of quality levels is available in each different product line. Homeowners can expect asphalt shingles to last between 20 and 50 years, metal roofing to last for up to 50 years and clay tiles may last a century.

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3 Things You Should do to Prepare Your Roof for the Fall Season

Fall is a beautiful time of year when the leaves change colors and the weather cools down. However, the autumn season also comes with several tasks that homeowners must do to their roof in order to prepare for fall.

1. Clean the Gutters
Homeowners need to clean off their roof during the fall season because the temperatures are mild and storms are less frequent. One major problem that comes with fall is the large amount of leaves that can accumulate on a roof. As fall wears on, more and more leaves will fall on the roof making it heavier. These leaves can cause a buildup of moisture which is not good for the roof, especially if the shingles are damaged. Once the roof is clear from leaves and debris, check for any holes in the roof.

Homeowners also need to clean the gutters so they do not get clogged with leaves. Leaves tend to weigh down the gutter and could cause damage to the fixture. A pile of leaves in the gutter can cause a clog when it rains. As a result, the water will overflow and could seep under the roof’s shingles and eventually into the house. If the water is left standing in the gutter it could cause the wood to rot. Leaf guards can be installed into gutters to prevent the clogging of leaves. The leaf guard uses a mesh net to prevent leaves from bunching up yet water can still flow through it. These contraptions are not very expensive and can save the homeowner a lot of work in the future.

2. Replace the Shingles
Shingles are an important part of any roof because they protect the home from the natural elements. Homeowners need to check their roof for missing or damaged shingles during the fall season. They can visually inspect the roof using a pair of binoculars to look for any problem areas. Any shingle that has started to curl or crack needs to be replaced immediately. Replacing these shingles will prevent moisture from seeping into the house.

To prevent a buildup of leaves from getting onto the roof, trees that are hanging over or near the roof will need to be trimmed. This will cut down on the number of leaves that will build up on the roof. Trimming the trees in the fall season is the perfect time because the weather is nicer and storms are not as frequent.

3. Inspect the Roof for Damage
Inspecting the roof in the fall season is a good idea because there is no snow or ice. Before checking the roof for damage, home owners need to first clear out any roof valleys, or places where the roof meets and creates a groove. Leaves can build up in this space causing rain water to build up and possibly find its way into the house. Another way to inspect the roof is check the flashing. Roof flashing is the metal component of chimneys and ventilation systems that is used to prevent water from entering inside the home. A strong storm or a hard rain can move these metal flashings out of place. Home owners can check for weak spots or flashing movement themselves but it is recommended that they call a roof inspector first. Home owners also need to watch out for cracking, warped wood and holes when inspecting their roof.

By preparing the roof for the fall season, homeowners are saving themselves a lot of trouble in the future. They will also not have to make repairs in the bitter cold of winter. Keeping the roof clean and repairing any shingles or holes are ways that home owners can prepare their roof for the fall season.

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How to Choose the Material and Color of a New Roof to Your Home

Building a new home can be a rewarding experience for many individuals and their families. While home ownership can be a huge accomplishment, it can be challenging to coordinate different design elements in modern homes. The following guide provides simple tips and tricks on how to match the color of a new roof with a home.

When designing a home, it’s important to make sure that the exterior follows a cohesive theme. While each room in a home can have a different theme, the exterior of a home should have a single unified appearance. If a home has several different themes or construction styles, it may appear tacky. In addition, the transition points between different types of themes may detract from the overall appearance of a home.

There are three different types of roofs commonly used in modern homes. These include metal, stone and shingles. Each of these different roofing materials have benefits and disadvantages.

Metal Roofs
Metal roofs are commonly used for industrial buildings and modern homes. While a tin roof doesn’t have the same aesthetic appeal as a shingle or stone roof, they do have several advantages.

A tin roof will not need a lot of maintenance over time. Since a tin roof won’t crack or degrade under UV exposure, it can be a great choice for homes in warmer climates. In addition, a tin roof will resist damage from tree limbs and other falling debris. This can make it a great choice for homeowners in areas with lots of trees.

In addition, a tin roof is less likely to leak than a stone or shingled roof. Since a tin roof is made from durable metal, it’s not susceptible to the same type of damages that can result in leaks.

While tin roofs can be a good choice for many homes, they are more expensive than shingled roofs. In addition, installation costs are usually higher. However, these increased costs can be offset by the reduced maintenance costs for a tin roof.

Stone Roofs
Stone roofs are often used in higher-end construction projects and buildings. While a stone roof is extremely durable, it’s important to understand some of its limitations. In addition to a high cost, stone roofs require a very solid foundation.

The average stone roofing shingle weighs almost 10 pounds. Since a roof may have hundreds of these shingles, weight can add up very quickly. This can can make a stone roof impractical for some types of homes. For example, it may not be possible to install a stone roof on a home that is three or more stories. In addition, it may not be possible to use traditional wood construction materials on a home that has a stone roof.

While stone roofs are expensive to purchase and install, they usually have very low maintenance requirements. Stone roofs will usually outlive the life of a home. In some cases, stone shingles can be recycled from homes that were built hundreds of years ago.

In addition, stone roofs are an environmentally friendly choice. Since stone in a natural product, it doesn’t need to be produced in a foundry or other industrial setting. This can be a great way to promote a healthy, green planet.

Asphalt Shingles
Asphalt shingles are one of the most common types of construction materials. Asphalt shingles are manufactured from byproducts in the oil industry. While asphalt shingles are very common, they do have several significant disadvantages.

Most asphalt shingles will need to be replaced every 10 to 20 years. Since asphalt shingles aren’t very durable, they can be damaged by falling debris and tree limbs. In addition, they are subject to UV damage. They may leak if they aren’t installed correctly.

Selecting a Coloring Scheme
It’s possible to get metal, stone and asphalt shingles in a variety of exciting colors. When choosing a color for a roof, it’s a good idea to find one that blends well with the overall appearance of a home.

There are many resources homeowners can use to find the perfect color for their roofs. For example, homeowners can travel to different open houses to see how other homeowners have chosen to decorate their homes. While it’s important to ask permission, taking photos of a model home can be a great way to find a design that works well for a certain setting.

Choosing Energy Efficiency
It’s important to understand how different colors can impact the energy efficiency of a home. While a darker colored roof may be a good choice for some homes, it will absorb more heat than a lighter colored roof. For cooler areas, this may not be a problem. However, homes in warmer areas should have a lighter colored roof. This can be an excellent way to reduce heating and cooling costs.

In addition, some homeowners may choose to incorporate water conservation systems into a roof. While rainwater can’t be used as a potable water source, it can be used for gardening and other outdoor uses.

There are many different design elements that can improve the appearance of a home. By incorporating different colors and styles, it’s possible to create a unique and beautiful home.

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A Description of the More Common Styles of Roofs; Gable, Mansard, Dutch Colonial, Gambrel, Flat, Shed and Salt Box

Roofs form a protective layer over homes, and they are as architecturally diverse as the many buildings that are covered. The residential industry is known for its complex designs, and some styles appear again in different styles and with their own pitch. Here are some of the most common residential roof designs.

Gable: Gable roofs are very popular and are rather simple in the most basic form. Gable roofs are known for their peaks at the center ridge. The roofs slope away from the center ridge towards the exterior walls at the same pitch. The ends are referred to as gable ends and look like a big triangle. Dormers may be added to the roofs and are miniature gables that are perpendicular to the main structure. Because dormers usually have a window, they allow more light into a home. In addition, dormers are an ideal way to create extra space in the upstairs.

Cross Gable: Cross gables are like two different gable roofs that have been put together. The distinguishing feature of a cross gable roof is that there are two ridge lines that are perpendicular. The ridges may be at the same height, or they can be at different levels. Cross-gabled roofs are usually found on homes that have several wings that are joined together. The cross gables form what looks like a triangle at the front of each wing.

Mansard: Mansard roofs are like a gable roof, but there are two distinct pitches. Usually the lower portion of the roof has a steep pitch, and the top is at less of an angle. This style is named in honor of a French architect who pioneered the design in Paris, France. At the time, there was a building code that required single-story buildings in the city. The code was enacted to provide firemen access to all areas of the roof. To get around the code, Mansard brought the shingle level down to the first story, and his clients built homes that were multi-story yet in compliance with the local ordinance.

Dutch Colonial: Dutch colonial homes are very similar to Mansard roofs and were actually designed to address many of the same concerns. The roofs feature a steep pitch at the bottom. At the middle of the roof, there is a marked change in pitch, and the Dutch Colonial roof is not as steep at the top. Often, the Dutch Colonial style is characterized by winged gable ends. The roofs were very common in the 1920s and 30s and were first designed to avoid taxes. Because there was an extra tax on two-story homes, architects developed the Dutch Colonial as a single-story home.

Gambrel: Gambrel roofs are more common on barns, and they are often referred to as barn roofs. Homes that have a gambrel roof look a lot like a Mansard, but the pitch change is reversed. At the exterior wall, the roof is low-pitched, and it gets steeper towards the ridge line. The gambrel also has vertical walls at each gable end. Gambrel roofs are inspired by Dutch architecture, and a Dutch Colonial design is one specialized type.

Flat Roof: A flat roof is more common on commercial buildings, but Spanish Revival homes often feature the same style. A flat roof is flat and is one of the easiest styles to identify. Several benefits are associated with a flat roof, and minimal construction costs are just one. Flat roofs are ideal because they are accessible. Many homeowners design flat roofs with a deck. A home with a widow’s walk is a type of flat roof that usually has four gable or hip sides around the upper portion of the roof.

Saltbox: Saltboxes are a specialized type of gable roof. A typical gable roof has the same pitches on either side, and both exterior walls are usually at the same height. Saltboxes feature two different pitches on either side of the ridge line. In addition, a saltbox traditionally moves from a second floor exterior wall on one side to a single floor exterior wall on the other.

Shed Roof: A shed roof is easy to visualize as a flat roof that has been raised on one side. Shed roofs only have a single pitch and are named in honor of the storage areas that are often attached to a home.

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The Average Cost of a Roof Replacement in Maryland

Homes are an expensive investment, and roofs offer protection from the weather. The average cost of a roof replacement in Maryland depends on a number of factors, but homeowners can expect to pay anywhere from $2,000 to $25,000. A variety of different residential roofing materials are common in the state, and the product that is used is one of the chief factors in the cost of a project. Asphalt singles are among the most affordable and offer years of protection. Cedar shakes, slate and clay tiles are other common materials and are generally more expensive that asphalt shingles. The pitch of a roof is another issue in the average cost of a roof replacement in Maryland. Flat roofs require special materials that are generally more expensive. Steep roofs may also have higher expenses because they require additional labor.

Material Choices
Maryland homeowners have several choices for their roofing material, and asphalt shingles are among the most affordable. The product is made from a mat of tar and fiberglass and has granules that come in a variety of finished colors. Asphalt shingles are generally sold by the square. One square is enough material to cover 100-square-feet of roofing surface and represents the area of a square that is 10-feet on each side. Asphalt shingles are available in a range of qualities and usually run from $50 to $100 per square. The most affordable shingles are usually backed with a 20-year warranty. The top of the line products are generally warrantied for at least 40 years. Slate and cedar shakes are other common materials, but they are much more expensive than asphalt. Homeowners can expect to pay up to $1,000 per square for slate, and about $500 per square for quality cedar shakes.

Installation Expenses
The general rule of thumb in the roofing industry is that the cost of material and labor is about the same. For this reason, a home that requires $4,000 in materials will run an average of $4,000 for labor. Because some roofs need to be removed before new material is installed, the labor on these projects can run over twice the material cost. Some homes have more than a single layer of roofing material. In addition, many older homes have cedar shakes that have been covered with asphalt shingles. This practice was common in Maryland for decades and leads to a more expensive roof.

Pitch, Size and Slope
Because a variety of different roof styles are found across the state, the installation costs vary with particular buildings. Large homes that have simple roofs are among the cheapest to install, and contractors usually charge anywhere from $40 to $65 per square. Homes that have steep pitches and complex angles are labor intensive and cost more. Access is another issue that is especially pertinent for homes that need to have old roofing material removed. More labor is necessitated for homes that are located some distance from truck access. The increased labor leads to higher prices, and homeowners should expect to pay more for homes that are surrounded by bushes and mature landscaping.

Finding the average cost of a roof replacement in Maryland depends on a number of factors. The material that is used is one of the chief influences, and products range in cost from $50 to $1000 per square. The size and location of a home is another feature that will influence the cost of a Maryland roofing project.

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Why Many People Who Own Classic Homes in Montgomery County Maryland Choose Slate Roofing

Montgomery County, Maryland is full of classic homes, and slate is the roofing material of choice for historical, high-end properties. Chevy Chase, Kensington, Bethesda and Silver Spring are just a few of the oldest cities in the area. Many homes date to the earliest days of the United States, and slate is an ideal choice for architectural roofs. Slate is made from a natural stone and is the top-of-the-line roofing material. The product lasts for years with little regular maintenance and is one of the best-looking products on the market. The longevity of slate makes it an ideal choice for classic homes, and Victorian properties in the area were often built with slate roofs.

Architectural Appearance
Homeowners in the Montgomery County area are sure to appreciate the finished looks of slate. Because the product is mined from natural rock sources, it has a look that is unrivalled in the roofing industry. Slate usually comes in a dark gray color, and a variety of different designs can be used to create an individualized roof. Shades of different colored slate are commonly used in the industry. Slate routinely comes in green, black, purple, red and gray. The sheer assortment of colors lends the roofing material to a number of different finished designs.

Durability
Slate is one of the most durable products on the market, and some Kensington homes have had slate roofs for more than 75 years. Because the product is obtained from quarries and cut by hand, it is one of the strongest products on the market. Slate does not decompose like cedar shakes and is generally one of the strongest roofing materials. Slate is also highly resistant to fire. Unlike cedar shakes and wooden shingles, slate withstands fires and has saved numerous homes from utter destruction. Since slate has one of the longest lifespans, it is actually a very affordable roofing material for Montgomery County homeowners.

Minimal Maintenance
Several different roofing materials are used in Chevy Chase, Kensington and the surrounding areas, but none of them are as maintenance free as natural slate. Because slate is used in high-end installations, it is essential to trust a Montgomery County roofing contractor that is a specialist. Slate needs to be hand cut to match a roof’s angles. In addition, the material is a natural stone and is easily broken by an errant footstep. Slate requires little in the way of routine care, and most homeowners pay no attention to their roof for decades.

Montgomery County, Maryland homeowners are sure to realize a number of benefits from a slate roof. The material is one of the best and has a lifespan that is more than 75 years. Slate is mined from rock sources and cut to thin tiles that are fastened with nails. For an aesthetically appealing roof, slate is one of the best choices and has often been used on classic homes in Bethesda, Silver Spring and Chevy Chase. Many Victorian-style homes in the area have slate roofs that have lasted since they were first built nearly 100 years ago.

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Why Marylanders Should Consider Metal Roofing

Metal roofing is an ideal choice for the Maryland climate, and the material offers a number of benefits. The product does have a higher initial price than asphalt shingles, bit it is cheaper when consumers consider the lifespan. Metal roofing panels are commonly backed by a 20-year warranty on the paint alone. Often, the product lasts for decades when it is properly maintained. Metal is also a lightweight choice that is perfect for the Maryland environment. The state has a mild climate, but there are severe snow storms that buffet most counties every year. Metal is strong and holds up to the added weight of a snow load.

Metal Roofing – An Affordable Choice in Maryland
Metal panels are one of the most affordable Maryland roofing options. Asphalt shingles used to be the least expensive option, but the price of the material has risen according to the market value of petroleum. Because the shingles feature a tar-base that is made from petroleum, its price is often a function of world oil prices. Over the last few years, the price for asphalt shingles has steadily risen. Metal is now more affordable because of this price increase. In addition, metal panels are designed to last for decades, and when the price is figured out over the lifespan of a roof, the product is one of the most economical choices on the market.

Snow Loads
Every year, several buildings around the world collapse because of the added weight of a heavy snow load. This is another reason why metal panels are ideal for the Maryland climate. The state is not generally in the Snow Belt, but most areas receive several feet of snow each year. The added weight of snow can impair the function of some roofs. Metal panels are lighter than most other roofing materials, and they can easily withstand the weight of added snow.

Energy Efficiency and Air Circulation
Today’s buildings feature efficient air conditioning and heating systems, but most homes are sealed tight. Ensuring optimal air circulation extends the life of a building’s roofing material and reduces heat buildup in an attic. Metal roofing can be used with other ventilation products to ensure that there are no problems with ice dams. Ice dams occur when there is a large temperature difference between the exterior and interior of the home. Icicles are one sign of ice dams. Because ice and snow constantly freeze and thaw, the water may work its way under asphalt shingles. There is only one course of metal roofing on most structures, and there is no chance for melting ice to get between individual layers.

Maryland homeowners can receive several benefits from metal roofing. The product is designed to provide years of durable service, and it is one of the strongest on the market. Because metal is light, it can withstand the added weight of an occasional heavy snow. In addition, metal roofing allows buildings to breathe. Air circulation is essential in today’s buildings, and metal panels ensure that heat does not accumulate in an attic and lead to ice dams and other problems.

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One Common Maryland Roofing Problem that is Easily Repaired

Maryland homes are subject to intense storms on a regular basis. The Chesapeake Bay splits the state in half, and acts as a funnel for hurricanes. Hurricanes and tropical storms work their way up the coast and cause immense damage to buildings throughout the state. Ensuring prompt response is essential, and professional contractors can help home and commercial property owners with several issues. These contractors are fully licensed and insured. Maryland has a unique program in place that protects homeowners. The Maryland Home Improvement Contractors license is granted by the State Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulations.

Residents can rest assured when they choose a licensed contractor to handle their storm repairs. These firms should have an MHIC number. This provides protection, and Maryland actually provides financial remedies in the event of a problem. Contractors are required to submit detailed financial reports prior to licensure. The state also tests for practical knowledge and ensures that contractors have the skills that are required by the general public.

Several issues can occur as a result of high winds during hurricanes and tropical storms. Asphalt shingles are one of the most common products in the Maryland residential roofing industry. They are an economical product that offers years of service. The only problem occurs in high winds. Sometimes, shingles will blow off the roof. This creates a dangerous situation and can lead to leaks. Local contractors can remedy this issue, and many homeowners rely on a preventive maintenance inspection after storm season. This is a great way to have a professional inspect a home’s condition and make any minor repairs. Most jobs are covered by homeowner’s insurance, and contractors will often help with the claims process.

Leaks may also occur after a storm because of missing flashing. Flashing is an essential component of roofs. It is usually a metal and prevents water access at roof obstructions. Flashing is installed around chimneys and exterior wall lines. It is feathered between each course of shingles and extends up the wall. Flashing can be damaged in storms and may even blow off. Inferior installations can also lead to leaks. Inspectors can check flashings to ensure that they have been installed in accordance with industry standards.

Commercial properties can also be hit severely by storms, and Maryland contractors are experienced with this issue. High rain and heavy winds can be too much for the roofing system on commercial buildings. Most structures have a flat roof and rely on drains to get rid of the water. The drains are usually up to the job, however, during heavy rain the water can easily build up on the roof’s surface. This creates a dangerous situation and can lead to leaks. Contractors usually have emergency crews that can respond to any type of problem. Experts can get rid of any standing water and ensure that any leaks are repaired.

Maryland homes and commercial buildings are prone to excessive storm damage each year. The area is a magnet for hurricanes and tropical storms. These hit the region on a regular basis and cause thousands of dollars in property damage. High winds are responsible for blowing asphalt shingles off a roof. Replacing these is essential, and most repairs are covered by homeowner’s insurance. Contractors should have their MHIC license, and this provides an added level of protection. Commercial property owners can also rely on professional contractors to help with storm damage. Hurricanes have high winds and rain. Heavy rain can inundate a roof and lead to a number of problems. Emergency services are essential, and experts can remove water from the top of a structure.
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The Most Commonly Used Roofing Material in Texas

The most common roof covering on homes and other residential structures in Texas is the asphalt shingle. This readily-available material helps protect homes against sun, rain and other damaging weather, but it does have some disadvantages in Texas’s often severe conditions. Asphalt shingles’ primary advantages are their low cost and ease of installation.

Asphalt Shingle Manufacturing in Texas
This kind of roof material is slightly flexible, with a fiberglass backing that supports the rest of the shingle. An asphalt coating over this backing helps keep water out of the roof and supports the mineral grit that makes up the top face of the shingle. This grit comes in a wide range of colors and helps the roof avoid sun damage and shed snow. These are essential elements when it comes to roofing in Texas.

Asphalt Shingles and Texas Weather
Texas experiences two of the most damaging weather phenomena a roof can suffer: hail and high wind. These can batter and shred shingles or lift them and tear them from their nails, creating leaks in the roof’s protective surface. The Texas Department of Insurance recommends that homeowners choose only asphalt shingles that comply with ASTM D 7158 Class H or ASTM D 3161 Class F. Because asphalt shingles use a petroleum base, they can also be damaged by very hot days and cool evenings in some parts of Texas.

Shingles should always use at least number 15 underlayment and at least two layers of felt for roofs with slopes of 2:12 to 4:12. Higher slopes require only one layer, but are less common in Texas than in many northern states. Texas homeowners with flat roofs should never install asphalt shingles. To minimize shingle loss in high winds, homeowners should use 12 gauge stainless steel nails with a head of 3/8 inch in diameter. Staples are a tempting alternative, but won’t keep the shingles on the roof in a severe wind storm.

Alternatives to Asphalt Shingles for Texas Homeowners
While asphalt shingles are inexpensive, they have a relatively short lifespan when compared to many other materials. Most last only 15 to 20 years, with more replacement and maintenance required in areas of Texas with harsh weather. Once they have been removed from a roof, shingles usually cannot be recycled. They also don’t work on the flat roofs common on some commercial buildings and in some styles of Southwestern architecture.

Texas homeowners who have roofs that aren’t appropriate for asphalt shingles or who want to avoid this material’s disadvantages can choose from several different options, including metal, wood, clay and concrete. Many of these products qualify for impact-resistant roofing credits from the State of Texas itself. These credits have been designed to encourage homeowners to use roof coverings that can stand up to hail and high winds, and come in four levels.

Red cedar shakes and shingles, polymer roof tiles and fiberglass shingles are all highly impact-resistant, as is synthetic slate. Formed and coated impact-resistant steel panels are common on commercial buildings in Texas, though fewer homeowners use them. Traditional clay tiles are attractive and part of Texas heritage, making them a distinctive and fairly common roofing material in the south, but they don’t qualify as impact-resistant and can be easily damaged by hail.

The Most Popular Roofing Material in Florida

The most common roofing materials in the state of Florida are asphalt shingles, metal, roof tiles and built-up roofs. These roof coverings account for a majority of home and commercial roofs throughout the state. Some people also use cedar shakes and shingles, a traditional roofing material for beach houses, as well as the less popular slate, copper and synthetic coverings. Each of these materials has its own benefits and downsides in the Florida climate.

Asphalt Shingle Benefits for Florida Homeowners
As in most of the United States, asphalt shingles are king when it comes to Florida roofs. These shingles are inexpensive, attractive, easy to install and come in several different colors and styles. They work on roofs with a wide variety of slopes, making them suitable for the many different types of architecture found in Florida. Asphalt shingles hold up to most weather and require relatively little maintenance. This makes them an excellent choice for vacation homes, where the owner may not be present to maintain the roof year-round.

Installation
Florida is prone to severe weather, including high winds and driving rain in hurricane conditions, that can damage or destroy asphalt shingles. The state of Florida recommends that all shingles chosen for use in that state meet either ASTM D 3462 or ASTM D 225. Homeowners should check their local wind zone to decide which shingles are best for them; Florida residents may live in High Velocity Hurricane Zones, wind zones of 110 mph or greater, or wind zones with speeds below 110 mph. In high wind zones, special shingles and extra nails are required to maintain roof integrity.

Shingles for high wind conditions should have the Miami Dade NOA logo and/or labels indicating that they comply with FBC sections 1507.3.5 and 1507.3.7. They should be installed using 6 nails per shingle to provide the greatest protection in Florida hurricanes. This, plus use of shingles with an interlocking design, allows asphalt products to stay on the roof in good condition when other materials could blow off or become damaged. Asphalt shingle installations in windy areas of Florida may be more expensive than roofs in regions with less severe weather, but the best quality allows the roof to make it through even hurricane-level winds.

Other Roofing Options in Florida
While asphalt shingles are the most popular option for Florida residents, they’re not the only kind of roof covering in use. Sheet metal roofs, both coated and uncoated, are common on commercial buildings. Some residential buildings also use this type of roofing, as well as copper or steel shingles. Metal is more wind-resistant than asphalt, but also more expensive and less insulative.

Some Florida homeowners also choose roof tiles. These may be made of ceramic or concrete material and tend to be very heavy. They’re common on traditional Spanish-style structures, but don’t qualify for government discounts that favor roof materials that resist hurricanes. Roof tiles can blow off or be broken by high winds. When a roof loses its tiles, they often damage nearby cars, buildings and other structures. That means that asphalt shingles, despite their less charming appearance, are often considered a more desirable roofing material in Florida.

Value and Cost Savings from a New Roof Replacement

Have you ever wondered how much money a new roof will save you on your energy bill and how much that new roof is worth to the resale value of your home? These are two very commonly asked questions and we have the answers. We just posted an article that gives you data on how much money a new roof will save you and will add to your home’s resale value. See the article here: http://www.roofing-directory.com/articles/how-much-value-and-cost-savings-a-roof-replacement-adds-to-a-home/

The Most Popular Roofing Material Choice in New Jersey and Why

Asphalt shingles are the most popular material used to cover New Jersey roofing, primarily for their low cost and ease of installation. This material comes in several different types, designs and colors, with a longevity of between 15 to 20 years. It provides reasonable protection from weather if installed during the warm season and provided with proper ventilation. Asphalt shingles also need relatively little maintenance.

Structure
This popular roofing material is made up of a fiberglass base material that provides strength. Over this, manufacturers lay a thin layer of sticky asphalt, similar to that used on roads. The asphalt is used to hold a granular coating made of crushed minerals. This coating helps repel water and protects the roof from the sun. It can be dyed to produce a wide range of shingle colors.

Most homes in New Jersey still use roofs with a relatively steep slope that discourages buildup of water and snow. These roofs work well with asphalt shingles, which require a pitch of at least 4:12 and can be installed on roofs with a pitch of up to 12:12. On low slope roofs as low as 2:12, asphalt shingles require significant extra waterproofing and ventilation to prevent leaks and other performance problems.

Types of Asphalt Shingles in New Jersey
New Jersey roofers use several different types of asphalt shingles on homes and businesses. The most common and least expensive is the strip shingle. This shingle is rectangular and has several cut-out tabs. It is nailed directly to the roof sheathing, with each course overlapping the previous one.

Roofers may also use dimensional, or laminated, strip shingles. These are thicker and provide the illusion of depth. Laminated shingles look more like traditional slate and are much more expensive than strip shingles. In very windy parts of New Jersey, it’s often smarter to use interlocking shingles, which are less likely to blow off of the roof during a storm. These mechanically attach to one another instead of using a sealing strip.

Disadvantages of Asphalt Roofing in New Jersey
Despite the fact that asphalt shingles are among the most common New Jersey roofing materials, they have some disadvantages for use in this state. For instance, this type of roof covering can decay rapidly when exposed to sudden weather changes. The climate in New Jersey is much less consistent than the climate in many other states. Sudden storms and changes in temperature and humidity are common, as are the famous winter and spring “nor’easters.”

This means that New Jersey homeowners who choose shingles may have to replace their asphalt shingles more frequently than those in areas with a more moderate climate. As asphalt shingles are non-recyclable, they end up contributing heavily to the waste stream.

Alternate Roofing Options for NJ Homeowners
While they’re the most popular option for New Jersey homeowners, asphalt shingles are not the only roofing material used in this state. Other options include steel, aluminum or copper sheeting, which is used heavily in commercial buildings, as well as clay, concrete and slate tiles, which last for a long time but are heavy and much more expensive than other options.

Why Terra Cotta Roofing is So Popular in Southern California

Terra Cotta Roofing has become more and more popular in  Southern California area over the past few years. Terra Cotta roofs are put together using shingles made out of clay. The term Terra Cotta derives from Latin, meaning baked earth. Terra Cotta has been used for thousands of years to build everything from pots and sculptures to the roofing tiles that they are often used for today. The following are five reasons for Terra Cotta roofing’s growing popularity in Southern California.

1. Fire Resistance
Terra Cotta is one of the few materials used for roofing that offers resistance to fire. This is a huge advantage over a number of different materials for several reasons. If the building includes a fireplace there is always the chance that any flying ashes or coals can cause the roof to be lit ablaze. If the home is near a lot of trees, happens to be in a populated area, and/or is near a lot of power lines, it can be more susceptible to accidental fires than homes in other areas. Having a Terra Cotta roof in place will prevent the roof from catching fire. This is most likely the number one draw to having a Terra Cotta roof in Southern California. Forest fires break out all the time in southern California, in fact, the state is notorious for it. The last thing they need is a building accidentally catching fire and spreading. Having Terra Cotta roofs in place keeps the fire from spreading rapidly in a populated area. And there are a lot of populated areas in Southern California. Los Angeles alone has over ten million inhabitants. That’s a lot of power lines and homes congested together.

2. Insulation
Because roof tiles made out of Terra Cotta are much more dense, they help provide more insulation than any other type of roof. They help reflect the sun’s heat, keeping the home cooler. This is a huge advantage in the southern California climate, where temperatures rarely drop below fifty. And it keeps the home warm during the winter as well. This has a great affect on energy savings too, helping to keep energy bills low.

3. Long Lasting
Terra Cotta roof shingles have a tendency to last much longer than any other roofing material, up to two to three times as long in some cases. Although a little pricier than the average roof, Terra Cotta roofs may not have to be replaced for an entire life span.

4. Durability
Terra Cotta roofing holds up well in all weather conditions, as well as being resistant to insects and birds. Because of this, it requires much fewer repairs than most other roofs, and most of the time the only repair required is the replacement of a broken shingle.

5. Environmentally Friendly
Terra Cotta roofs are made out of clay, which is a natural resource that will not run out any time soon, and the process of making Terra Cotta shingles has little effect on the environment. Because they last so long, replacements do not have to be made often, resulting in less wasted material.

These are five reasons that Terra Cotta shingles are becoming more and more popular, especially in Southern California, where they have an even more positive effect.

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