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.
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.
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.
As with all such questions, the answer to how long a metal roof will last depends on a lot of varying factors. Manufacturer, gauge, type and quality of metal, environment, and maintenance will all go a long way in determining how long a metal roof will last. That said, a metal roof is distinguished by its durability. Copper and zinc, for instance, are known to last as much as 100 years without a lot of upkeep at all. Some of the metal roofing products of today are even designed for specific environmental concerns, which further encourages their long lifespans.
A correctly and adequately installed good quality metal roof that is properly maintained will not break down, split, burn or splinter like many non-metal roofing materials will. Correctly installed thin gauge metal roofing, with acrylic or polyester based paint, will typically last twenty to thirty years. Most modern metal roofing materials offer twenty-five to fifty year warranties. Some commercial and residential metal roofs made of copper, zinc, aluminum, stainless steel and modern blends often last 50 to 100 years and more. Theoretically, a well-maintained, very high quality metal roof can last indefinitely. There are copper, zinc and other high quality metal roofs in place today that have survived their installers by a hundred years.
Emergent technologies, like nanotechnology coatings, promise to further extend a metal roof’s longevity by lessening the strain on bolts and joints through temperature-provoked expansion and contraction. Metal roofing with specially designed PVDF polymer high-end metal paints are widely considered maintenance-free lifetime products within the industry.
While properly constructed and installed stainless steel, zinc, copper or other high-end roofing products will rarely require maintenance over their lifetime, there are usually maintenance steps that will extend the lifespan of lesser grades of metal roofing materials. Once the factory finish on the average utility panel wears off, corrosion will occur. Metal roof recoating with acrylic or polyester based paints help the roof stay elastic and resist the weather and temperature damage.
No matter the type of metal, an adequately manufactured and installed metal roof will survive long after most other roofing materials have gone to dust.
Few home repairs are as important as repairing a missing roof shingle. The roof, after all, keeps us out of the rain and snow, and it does so by acting as a unified system of several layers. The system works best when each layer is intact.
A missing shingle allows water to penetrate the wooden layers below. Even if things have not reached the point of breaking out the buckets because it’s raining indoors, moisture that gets past the shingles will quickly start to compromise the entire system. Wood and water are never a good mixture.
A torn shingle can cause similar problems, but it may not need replacement if it is in decent shape otherwise. Instead, apply roofing cement beneath the tear, press the shingle down into the cement and apply another bead of cement on top of the tear. That may be enough to hold things together.
If the shingle is missing or too far gone, it needs to be replaced. For that job, you will need a pry bar, a hammer and a utility knife. You will also need roofing nails and, unless this is a large-scale job that needs gallons of cement, a tube of roofing cement. Finally, you need a new shingle. If you do not have shingles left over from the original roofing job, your only option is to buy a bundle of new shingles that are the closest possible match.
When shingles are first installed, roofers work from the bottom up, nailing down one course at a time until they reach the peak. As a result, replacing a shingle starts from the top down.
Begin by sliding the pry bar under the row above the missing shingle and lift that upper shingle enough to loosen it. Loosen the next row above in the same way, since nails from that row go through the layer to be replaced.
Using the pry bar, remove the nails that are holding the damaged shingle in place. If the shingle is completely gone, remove the nails that would prevent you from sliding a new shingle into place. The goal is to install the new shingle directly onto the roof’s wood sheathing. If the edges of adjacent shingles are ragged, use the utility knife to straighten those edges. Use the same tool to cut the replacement shingle to fit.
Next, add a bit of cement to the back of the new shingle and slide the shingle into place so that it goes beneath the two rows of shingles above. While holding the upper shingles away from the replacement, nail the shingle to the sheathing. It never hurts to apply a dab of cement to each of the new nails and to add some to the back of the new shingle along its bottom edge, so that it adheres to the row below.
The upper rows of shingles that were loosened can now be nailed down in their original positions. If the original nail holes were not used, cover each of those spots with a dab of cement.
Sometimes shingles are reluctant to lay flat after they have been raised. In that case, use cement where anything is curling and place a brick on any problem area overnight.
Repairing a missing shingle is relatively straightforward, but roof work can be dangerous. Take sensible precautions and avoid working when the roof is icy or wet and when the weather is especially windy.