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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.

Looking for Maryland Roofers? Check out our Maryland Roofing Information and Contractors page!

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.

Go here for more Maryland roofing information!

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.

Maryland Roof Estimates –

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.

Baltimore Roofing Estimates –

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 ( 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 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.

Get Roofing Estimates in PG County –

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.

More Maryland roof replacement information.

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