Can You Replace A Roof In The Winter?

Can You Replace A Roof In The Winter

Winter weather has arrived, and you may have noticed you have some roofing problems. You may have missing shingles or leaks may have appeared in your attic. Now you may be asking yourself “can you replace a roof in the winter.” The answer to that question is yes, but there are certain steps that must be taken when replacing a roof during cold weather.

Best Temperature for Roof Installation

Asphalt shingles should be installed at temperatures between 40 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit. In the northeast, it is not unusual to have winter days with temperatures above 40 degrees, but there are also periods of long cold snaps as well. When asphalt shingles are hammered at temperatures below 40 degrees, they can crack, even if they are of high quality. When it comes to pricing, however, you may find that roofing contractors offer lower prices, but there may be a delay in installation since the contractor will need to wait until the temperature will remain above 40 for a few days.

Issues with Adhesive

Another problem your roofing contractor could face in winter is that self-adhesive shingles may not stick properly below 40 degrees. If your contractor will be using self-adhesive shingles, the answer to the question “can you replace a roof in the winter” will be “as soon as the temperature will remain above 40 degrees.” Sealing strips on self-adhesive shingles attach better in the spring and summer, but they can be installed in the winter during warmer days. Even if you choose a different type of roof covering, you may need to wait for the weather to warm up. Fiberglass shingles can fracture in the winter and cedar shakes may break if temperatures are close to freezing.

Winter Roof Replacement Guidelines

There are a few other guidelines for installing a roof in winter. These include:

  • Store shingles in a garage or warehouse to keep them warm before installation.
  • Consider hand-sealing shingles to insure that the shingles bond properly.
  • Use care at the rakes and eaves as these are the most common areas where shingles may be damaged in cold weather.

In addition to asking “can you replace a roof in the winter,” you also need to perform regular maintenance on your roof, especially in cold weather. Avoid walking on shingles when the weather is cold. Inspect your shingles often and reseal any that appear to be peeling away from the roof. Clear ice and snow from your roof whenever possible to avoid damage. Keep debris out of gutters to avoid ice dams that could cause additional damage. For more information, contact Tri-County Exteriors by giving us a call or filling out the easy form online.

Before You Hire: What Questions To Ask A Roofer Before You Hire

Before You Hire What Questions To Ask A Roofer Before You Hire

When it comes time to replace your roof, or if you are in need of a roof repair, you want to be sure that the roofer you choose will complete the job efficiently and thoroughly. For this reason, you will want to know what questions to ask a roofer before you hire them to protect yourself and your family.

What is the Name of Your Company and the Address?

It may seem like an obvious question, but you would be surprised how many people talk to roofers and fail to get the actual company name and address. There are many fly-by-night companies out there, so you want to find a company that has a valid address and whose company name you can research. If the roofer provides a post office box as an address, beware as roofers need a physical location to store supplies and materials.

Are You Insured?

When it comes to knowing what questions to ask a roofer, one of the most important is whether they have insurance. You want to be sure they have liability insurance as well as worker’s compensation to protect you if there is an accident. Worker’s compensation protects the roofing company employees should they get hurt and liability insurance protects you if damage occurs during the repair or replacement of your roof. If the roofer does not have worker’s compensation, you could be held liable for any injuries their employee suffers and the injury may not be covered by your homeowner’s insurance.

Do You Use Subcontractors?

Ask the roofer if they will use just their own employees or if they will subcontract out any of the work done on the roof. If they do plan to us subcontractors, you will want to ask them the same questions you ask the roofer, especially the questions regarding insurance.

Are You Licensed?

Each state has their own licensing requirements and your local city or county may have additional licensing regulations. Ask the roofer for a copy of their license and then verify that the license is valid. You should also be able to find out if there are any violations filed against the license. A business license and a contractor’s license are not the same thing, so make sure that your roofing contractor has all the licenses necessary to perform the job.

Can You Provide References

A qualified roofing contractor will gladly provide you with references from previous clients. Get addresses so you can check the workmanship as well and be sure to call any references that provide telephone numbers to get their viewpoint on the roofing contractor. Check online review sites and the Better Business Bureau as well to see if there have been complaints filed against the company.

Are There Any Warranties?

Although the manufacturer of your roofing material may offer long warranties, contractors may only offer a warranty of one year. This means that if something goes wrong with the material, the manufacturer will replace the faulty items, but you may still have to pay the contractor for their replacement. Some contractors do offer longer warranties, so it is important to ask before you hire to avoid surprises in the future.

Once you know what questions to ask a roofer, you are better prepared to make an informed choice. At Tri-County Exteriors, we have extensive experience with roof repair and replacement. We can provide you with references and warranty information as well as a valid address, insurance information and will provide you with information on our licensing. Give us a call today or complete the easy form online to learn more.

How To Choose A Roof For Your Pennsylvania Home

How To Choose A Roof For Your Pennsylvania Home


When it comes to choosing a roof, there are many factors to take into consideration before making a decision, which usually has to be lived with for a number of years. Homeowners today want a roof that is not only safe but has longevity, stability, durability and can be easily maintained, plus they want an attractive look to their roofline that provides curb appeal and lasting resale value.

Material Selections

The actual materials that go into creating a roof can be a big part of choosing one, and a final selection has to be one that meets the taste and standards that many homeowners want and demand today. With the number and type of natural and man-made products in the marketplace, it can be difficult to know what to choose. Whether your home is in need of a replacement roof, or you are planning and building a new home, there are selections out there that can meet the design and style of your home.

Natural or Man-made

Natural materials such as slate and wood may be good choices for some homeowners while others require manufactured materials like asphalt, metal and polymers. These different groups have their advantages and disadvantages, and with a little investigation, research and examination, a final choice can be made that suits your needs and the needs of your home.

Before making a material choice, there are factors to be considered to determine exactly what course to follow, and those factors include:

  • The lasting value of a particular roofing material
  • The durability of a particular material and whether it can withstand weather extremes and fire damage
  • Material weight and whether its heaviness will affect roof framing
  • Sufficient roof slope for certain materials
  • Material choice that will coordinate with housing style
  • Materials are recyclable and environmentally friendly
  • Building codes permit particular types of roofing materials
  • Material costs
  • Product guarantees and type of warranties available

Limitations

There are limitations when it comes to different types of roofing, as some may or may not be suited for a particular home. Selections can depend on the slope of a roof and the stability of its framing. Other factors depend on a region’s susceptibility to disastrous storms and wildfires, so material choices should include high fire and wind resistance ratings. The roofing installation process should include guidelines as to how a number of roof types can be improved upon for fire and wind resistance.

Different Roofing Materials

Roofing materials consist of a number of different types that include:

Asphalt/Composition

Asphalt shingles make up a large percentage of shingles used today. They are popular and economically feasible. Asphalt shingles are comprised of either paper mat, which is beneficial for both low temperatures and wind, or fiberglass that is resistant to fire and moisture. Fiberglass is infused with asphalt and contains a coating of mineralized granules. Asphalt shingles come in 3-tab shingles or what are called architectural shingles, which are thicker and laminated. They are conservative in their weight and could be more durable, but they can be used on lower to steeper sloped roofs and are recyclable, though they are not as environmentally friendly as other products.

Metal

Metal roofing may be a bit more costly than asphalt but it lasts longer, is more durable, is resistant to fire and wind and absorbs considerably less heat than asphalt. Metal roofing is usually comprised of aluminum, steel, cooper or zinc alloy and is either zinc coated or finished in paint. If a metal roof is totally copper, it will remain unfinished when installed and will gain a patina protection as time progresses. Metal roofing comes in sheet or shingles and is installed with hidden or visible fasteners. It is lightweight, environmentally friendly and is made for both low or steep sloped roofs.

Plastics/Polymers

Synthetic roofing shingles are reasonably priced, durable, yet lightweight and long lasting. They are quite similar to high end slate or wood shakes. They are molded from plastic polymer materials and are environmentally friendly as they can be formed from recycled materials as well as recycled when they require replacement. Polymers are wind and fire resistant and are usable on both steep sloped and more moderate roofs. They are reasonably priced.

Clay

Clay tiles, though expensive, heavy and somewhat fragile can endure and are extremely fire resistant, plus they are easy to maintain. They are made from natural clay that has been fired and are Spanish or Italian looking in appearance, but they can be fashioned to resemble slate or shakes. Since clay is a natural material it is environmentally friendly, but it does take significant energy output to produce them. Clay tiles are heavy and do require reinforced framing for support. They can be utilized on steeper and moderate roofs. Clay tile is fire resistant, but its resistance to wind is not as effective.

Concrete

Though subject to possible breakage, concrete tiles are not as expensive as their clay counterparts, yet they are enduring and resistant to fire with limited wind resistance. They are made from sand and Portland cement and can appear to look like wood shakes, clay tiles or slate. Concrete tiles can have color within or applied to its surface. They are long lasting and heavy and do require roof framing that is reinforced to support their weight. They are both usable on steeper sloped and more moderate roofs.

Slate

Slate has been utilized as a roofing material for a considerable time. It is very expensive and breakable, but it is durable and resistant to fire and wind. It is natural slate rock that is dark gray in appearance and is environmentally friendly. Slate is heavy and requires a reinforced structure to support it, and is designated for steep sloped roofs. Specially trained and expert installers should be used with any slate roof installation.

Wood Shingles/Shakes

Wood shakes are made from woods that are resistant to rotting and require treatment to lower their resistance to possible fire. Cedar is usually the main wood used, but they can also be made from redwood that is also resistant to rotting. Wood shingles are natural in appearance, environmentally friendly and eventually weather to a silver gray in color. Wood shakes are available in sawn or cut shingles or split shakes that are thicker. They are moderate in cost and weight and can hold their own in wind but, again, do require retardant treatment to resist fire. Their lifespan is short and even shorter without routine maintenance. They can be used on both steep sloped and more moderate roofs.

The Big Picture

Choosing a roof involves looking at the big picture and weighing all the factors, limitations and material costs, coupled with the intricacies of the installation and the labor costs. Guarantees and warranties also need to be taken into consideration to protect the investment. These areas need to be seriously deliberated before taking the plunge into making a final roofing selection and signing the contract.

If you are trying to choose a roof for your home, or simply need information on how to go about the process, complete the online form and a roofing expert will help guide you through the process of choosing a roof that is right for your home and your budget.

How Long Should A Roof Last? The Average Lifespan Of A Shingle Roof

How Long Should A Roof Last The Average Lifespan Of A Shingle Roof

It is the proverbial question that every homeowner or business owner asks and wants an answer to when it comes to installing or replacing a new roof. How long should a roof last is the question, and the answer does not have to be confusing if it is explained in terms of materials used, the climate concerns of an area, ongoing maintenance, original installation standards and warranty and guarantee coverage.

Materials Used

The lifespan of a shingled roof or other type of roof really hinges on the materials used. The various materials that are commonly used on roofs and the average time that they last include the following:

  • Asphalt Shingles that are 3-tab usually last from 15 to 18 years.
  • Architectural Asphalt Singles can last anywhere from 24 to 30 years.
  • Metal roofing material is enduring and can last from 30-45 years.
  • Concrete tile has longevity as well and can last from 35-50 years.
  • Modified Bitumen or Built-Up Roof Membranes (BUR) refer to tar and gravel roofs that are made up of layers of bitumen and reinforcing materials that help create a finished membrane. This type of roof can last anywhere from 10-16 years.
  • EPDM (synthetic rubber membrane) is a durable oil and natural gas derivative of ethylene and propylene utilized in low-slope roof construction. It can last anywhere from 10-16 years.

Common and Other Types of Roof Coverings

Asphalt shingles are the most common of roof coverings and have been in existence for over 90 years, so they have endured the test of time. Most homes that are built today incorporate asphalt shingles for new and holder homes, and they have become the usual option of most homeowners. Depending on the asphalt shingle manufacturer, shingles can last anywhere from 20-40 years.

More organic type shingles consist of a composition of a considerable amount of asphalt (40%) as opposed to standard fiberglass shingles. The increased amount of asphalt saturation and the overall composition of the shingles gives them considerably more weight, stability, durability and wind and water resistance.

In comparison to organic shingles, glass fiber or fiberglass shingles are comprised of a fiber mat of reinforced glass that is configured in a shingle’s shape. The mat is coated with a asphalt filler that sticks to the mat, which enables waterproofing. A final coating of adhesive and ceramic granules covers and seals the mat. The granules actually protect the shingles form UV rays that can age and damage shingles.

There is a cost factor with organic shingles, so fiberglass or glass fiber shingles usually win out over their counterpart. They are less expensive to manufacture and are cost effective for both homeowners and roofing contractors.

Climate/Temperature Variations

The climate of a region can definitely affect the longevity of asphalt shingles and that factor also depends on temperature variations, proper installation and the location of the installation. With the average life of shingles being around 20 years, shingles that have been installed in cooler regions, like the North or Northeast, are going to last from 19-20 years; whereas, in the extreme climate environments of the West or Southwest, the lifespan of asphalt shingles is going to be about 14 years.

Temperature variations also influence a shingle’s life. When up and down temperature extremes occur, shingles are unable to expand and contract as they should, which usually results in cracks, splits and water damage.

Other Factors that Affect a Roof’s Longevity

Water damage can occur through the accumulation of water in cracks and slits on a roof, which can precipitate fungal and algae growth. These problems usually arise during colder parts of the year as the expansion of water in cracks and splits on roofs can bring on further shingle damage. Even more damage can arise in colder months because of inadequate attic ventilation. The appropriate amount of ventilation will further the life of shingles and other roof parts.

Here’s a list of conditions that affect roof longevity:

  • Color of roof – A dark roof absorbs more heat, which shortens the lifespan
  • Angle of roof slope – Higher pitch roofs tend to last longer.
  • Orientation of roof surface – A roof slope facing south will get more sunlight, and have a shorter life.
  • Multiple-layer roof – A roof installed over an existing roof will have a shorter life.
  • Quality of roof material – “Economy” roof materials have a shorter life.
  • Installation – Sloppy or improper installation shortens roof life.
  • Attic ventilation – An unventilated or poorly ventilated attic reduces roof lifespan.
  • Trees near roof – Tree branches rubbing on a roof or the acidity from the accumulation of leaf debris on a roof shortens its life.
  • Harsh climate – Severe weather, both harsh winters and hot summers, along with big temperature swings within a 24-hour period, also shorten lifespan because of the expansion and contraction of roof materials.

Additional Factors that Relate to Longevity

Something as simple as a roof’s color and the color of shingles can jeopardize a roof’s lifespan. Dark roofs absorb heat and lighter shingles can repel heat. A roof’s angle, slope and directional orientation can affect a roof’s life as well. Roofs that are higher pitched endure while those with a southern exposure will retain heat and have a shorter lifespan. More than one layer of roof over another will also compromise the life of a roof. More importantly, the quality of roofing material assuredly affects a roof’s life as does the proper installation of roofing materials. An improper or careless installation can shorten the life of a roof.

Ventilation and Barriers

Another factor that goes along with a roof’s longevity that was previously mentioned is an attic’s ventilation as well as actual physical barriers around the roof of a house, like trees and debris accumulation in gutters and openings in cracks of a roof. Skylights, chimneys, vents and any other structures on a roof can also play havoc with a roof’s function and hinder the life of a roof.

Maintenance

Maintenance and playing watchdog with a roof are two important elements that can prolong the life of a roof. Taking care of roofing issues, like curling and deteriorating shingles as soon as they are identified, and following through with roof maintenance on a regular basis are two factors that keep a roof in stable condition

Warranties

Warranties are another important aspect concerning a roof’s longevity. If there are material defects or manufacturing flaws, it is relevant that a warranty be carefully scrutinized for coverage as well as proper installation requirements and other essentials before making any commitments. Warranties through shingle manufacturers go from 20 to 40 years and longer.

Even with all the available information concerning the lifespan of a roof, there still may be questions and inquiries as to how to prolong the life of shingles or other parts of a roof. The professionals at TriCounty Exteriors are more than willing and able to answer any questions about extending the life of your roof. Just complete the online form and a roofing expert will get back to you with the answers you need to keep your roof in shape and add to its longevity.

What Is Hail Damage, and How Does It Affect My Pennsylvania Home

What Is Hail Damage, and How Does It Affect My Pennsylvania Home?

Hail damage is not something new to homeowners in Pennsylvania as they understand the ravages of hail storms and know how such storms can affect their homes. Reports in 2014 from The Weather Channel indicated that Pennsylvania came in seventh on a list of 10 states for insurance claims related to hail, so Pennsylvanians are well aware of hail damage and understand how it can affect a roof, areas outside a home, vehicles and other property. Additional weather related statistics indicate that hail has created billions in damages throughout America and is capable of creating widespread destruction.

So, if you live in Pennsylvania and own a home and are not sure about how hail can affect it, take a look at the information here, which will help you determine whether you need a roof inspection, roof repair or replacement because of hail.

What is Hail DamageWhat is Hail Damage?

Morrison (1999) defined damage to roofing as a diminution of water-shedding capability or a reduction in the expected long-term life of the roofing material.

Hail damage intensity can be affected by a number of issues. Several factors, such as the type of roofing materials used, the age of materials, the slope of a roof and the quality of construction and installation can all contribute to the degree of damage. Shingle layering also has an effect as does the size and shape of hail and the power and angle of its descent to a roof.

Functional or Cosmetic

Hail damage is also classified as functional or cosmetic. Functional damage has to do with the stability and longevity of a roof; whereas, cosmetic hail damage refers to any damage that does not interfere with a roof’s ability to carry out its function. A roofing inspector can help a homeowner determine the type of damage and can assist with any insurance issues as well.

Hail Size and Damages

Very large hail, baseball size and larger, causes the most damage to property but smaller hail can inflict destruction as well. Hail an inch in diameter and above can inflict damage on asphalt shingles, so there is no getting around the fact that hail can destroy shingles and many other roof coverings. When it damages a roof, a homeowner may not be able to completely verify the extent of damage that has occurred, particularly when a roof or items on a roof are viewed from ground level.

Traditional Shingles and Other Roof Coverings

Traditional Shingles and Other Roof Coverings

Hail damage to traditional asphalt shingles usually entails the loss of surface granules. Further damage can be harder to see and may take the trained eye of an expert to determine whether roof leaks will develop over time because of the impact made from even the smallest pieces of hail.

Whether your Pennsylvania home has asphalt shingles, wooden shakes, slate, clay or metal roofing, hail can damage any one of these coverings. Wood shingles can split while clay and slate can crack and gouge, and metal roofing can sustain impact dents. So, no roof is impenetrable when hail decides to make its mark but if there is any consolation concerning damage, hail indentation is easier to locate on metal roofing and other soft metal parts.

Inspect for Damage

It usually takes the expertise of a roofing specialist trained to see underlying damage caused by hail, but if you want to inspect your roof on your own, just be sure you have the right footwear, a steady ladder, a few chalk sticks to mark damage and any other safety gear to help prevent slips and falls.

The indicators or signs of hail damage include:

  • dented or dimpled gutters
  • dented or dimpled downspout or drain spouts
  • dented gutter screens
  • damage to vents
  • damage to shingles
  • damage to flashing and siding
  • damage to windowsills and casings
  • damage to chimney covers and other soft metal covers
  • damage to skylights
  • damage to air conditioners
  • other damaged outdoor items in close proximity to the home or roof

If you’re seeing the type of damages outlined here, and they are affecting your home or business, and you need answers as to how to repair the damage caused by hail, fill out the contact form on the our website and a representative will get back to you to answer your questions and consult with you about the options available to you concerning hail damage. Don’t let hail get in the way of further protecting and securing your Pennsylvania home and roof from any future damage.

Winter Preparation: Is Your Roof Ready For Winter?

Winter Preparation Is Your Roof Ready For Winter

You feel it coming, and you know there are plenty of chores inside and outside that need to be done before winter weather keeps you bound to your house, but one of the most important of all tasks rises above your head, and you know that means securing it before winter takes effect.

Between wind, rain, hail, snow ice and other inclement weather, you want to prepare your roof as best you can for any impending winter damage. Preventative maintenance is the key and there are steps you can take to stop leaks, debris accumulation and other problems that can keep you from getting to other important home “to do” lists.

Here are a few preventative steps that can prepare and protect your roof for winter weather.

1. Leaking, venting and flashing

Scouting for leaks, loose vents and inadequately sealed flashing are some of the first areas to tackle when it comes to roof winterization. Telltale signs of leaks can be observed from water spots on ceilings and walls and other places where water can get into a home. Shingles that are loose, warped, cracked or missing are often signs of roof damage as are vents that are not secured, and flashing that is detached. All of these areas signal likely problems that need to be addressed before winter arrives.

2. Stopping Leaks

Stopping leaks really needs to be a major concern when it comes to winterizing a roof, so pesky leaks don’t continue to cause problems when winter moves into second gear. If leaks are neglected, they can cause mold growth, insulation damage and make life miserable. You may be able to do a few precautionary measures on your own, such as taking care of simple leaks, shingles, flashing and drip edging replacements, but positioning yourself on a roof to attempt major repairs with leaks can be a risky proposition and should entail calling in a professional.

3. Cleaning Gutter and Downspouts

Debris seems to be a continual problem, particularly in late fall and early winter when it finds its way into gutter and downspout areas. When autumn winds stir up leaves and tree remnants, the loose debris plugs gutters to the point that moisture has nowhere to go and a roof suffers the consequences. All gutters and downspouts should be thoroughly cleaned, so any accumulated moisture and water has somewhere to go other than the roof.

4. Trimming Overhanging Branches

Once gutters and downspouts have been cleaned, any tree branches that overhang a roof area should be trimmed away from it so there is no chance of heavy snowfall or ice accumulating on the branches and limbs and causing them to break or snap and crash on the roof, or some other area of a home.

5. Inspecting your Roof

It’s hard to discover every little thing that can prevent winter weather from damaging a roof, whether it’s the source of a major or minor leak, the displacement of shingles, or deteriorating flashing and venting systems, overflowing gutters, and excess tree limbs, there is nothing disgraceful in inquiring about a roof inspection for problems that may go unseen. Professional roof experts are trained to see areas that others may not, and they can usually alleviate problems as they come across them. Just find a roofing inspection individual or team that is trustworthy and has the necessary experience to do the job.

Whether you simply want a roof inspection, winterization of your roof or have other preventative maintenance issues that need explanation, get in touch with the specialists at Tri County Exteriors. Fill out the online form and a roofing expert will provide you with the information you need to protect and ready your roof for winter.

Make Your Home More Energy Efficient With A Metal Roof

Make Your Home More Energy Efficient With A Metal Roof

When your home is energy efficient, it will be cooler while also allowing you to enjoy lower utility costs. Installing a metal roof on your home can greatly impact your energy use while giving you a roof that may last for 50 years or longer. Metal roofs have become increasingly popular because they are highly durable and cost-effective. They are lighter in weight than asphalt and other roofing materials and are less likely to sustain damage from hail. Choosing to install a metal roof on your home can provide you with a fast return on your investment with ongoing energy savings for your roof’s life.

What is a cool roof?

Cool roofs are roofs that help to keep interior temperatures lower. They are typically light-colored or white, and they are designed to reflect heat rather than absorbing it. They have high solar reflectivity and thermal emittance. Since metal absorbs little heat and releases it quickly, it is ideal to use as a roofing material. On the other hand, asphalt roofs absorb heat, which leads it to build up rather than being released.

There are other features of cool metal roofs that help to keep the interior temperatures comfortable. They have protective coatings with a number of different reflective materials that work to help with deflecting the sun’s rays. The highest reflective coatings that are used can help to reflect as much as 90 percent of solar radiation away from your home.

Cool roofs, Energy Star & LEED ratings

The Environmental Protection Agency’s Energy Star program allows cool roofs to be rated as Energy Star. For this rating, a roof must be a cool roof that helps to reduce heat effects. Steep-slope roofs must have a minimum solar reflectance of 0.25 when they are first installed. After three years, the minimum must be at least 0.15. Low-slope roofs must have a minimum reflectance of 0.65 when they are first installed. After three years, the minimum must be 0.50.

LEED certifications are also used to help you to determine your home’s energy efficiency. The LEED certification is granted by the Green Building Council. Builders and designers earn points toward LEED certification by using certain designs and materials that meet a specified Solar Reflectance Index, or SRI. Cool roofs are materials that earn points because of their energy efficiency and because they are recyclable. Steep-slope roofs must have a minimum SRI of 29 for LEED certification. Low-slope roofs must have a minimum SRI of 78. The roof must also cover a minimum of 75 percent of the surface area not counting skylights, equipment and parapets.

Sustainability

Most metal roofs are made out of steel, a highly sustainable material. It is 100 percent recyclable and may be made out of as much as 95 percent recycled steel. Using recycled steel to create new steel takes just 25 percent of the energy that it takes to create virgin steel.

Discounts and incentives

If you install a metal roof, you may receive a discount on your homeowner’s insurance because of its fire resistance and durability. You can also expect your utility bills to be reduced by as much as 40 percent each year. Finally, you may be eligible to claim tax credits for installing a metal roof.

Variety

Manufacturers are able to create cool roofs in the shade you want although light colors or white will be needed to obtain the highest solar reflectance. The roofs can be formed to look like a traditional shake or asphalt roof. You can also choose to use the standing seam style because it sheds water well and is perfect for an installation of solar panels.

Installation

You will need to make certain that the professional who you are considering is one who has the expertise that is required to replace your roof with a cool metal roof. Installing metal roofs requires specialized skills. The company you choose needs to be knowledgeable about metal roof materials, local codes and the standards in your area. It is possible to install a metal roof on top of shingles if it is needed because the metal roofs are light in weight.

As people have become more aware of the environmental impact structures can have, new green-living initiatives have been instituted. A metal roof is something that you should definitely consider for your home.

Why Metal Roofs Have Become So Popular: What you need to know

Why Metal Roofs Have Become So Popular What you need to know

Metal roofs have grown in popularity over the last few years. Metal roofs are most popular among peple in their 20s and 30s as well as those who are building or purchasing homes valued at $100,000 or more. Some of the reasons metal roofs are so popular may actually surprise you.

Life Expectancy of Roofing

One of the reasons metal roofs are becoming more popular is what is known as the roofing cycle or the life expectancy of roofing material. Despite the warranty on many types of asphalt shingles, the average roofing cycle for that type of roofing material is between 17 and 18 years. A tin roof that is installed properly can last between 40 to 50 years while galvanized steel can last as long as 60 years.

Cost of Roof Replacement

The cost to replace a roof is another reason why people are switching from asphalt to metal. If you plan to remain in your home 20 or 30 years, a metal roof is a good investment. Although it may cost more initially, the fact that it will not need to be replaced as quickly as other roofing materials makes it a better investment.

Energy Efficiency

Metal roofs are more energy efficient than other types of roofing material. Some homeowners report savings of as much as 20 percent on their energy costs after installing a metal roof. A metal roof that includes integral air space adds even more efficiency to your home. This also means you can reduce your carbon footprint as reducing energy dependency helps the environment. Metal roofs may also be made from recyclable materials, further increasing benefits to the environment.

Home Value

During the recent housing market downturn, homeowners with residences that required less maintenance were able to sell their home more quickly and at the price they wanted than those with homes that required more maintenance. Because metal roofs require little maintenance, they add value to your home, helping you justify a higher price than with other types of roofing materials.

There is no question that each home and homeowner are unique, so it is important to understand as much as possible about metal roofs before you make the decision to install one. You can learn more from the knowledgeable, helpful customer service staff at TriCounty Exteriors. Contact them by phone at 215-322-0110 or complete the simple form online if you are considering a metal roof for your home or business.

Home Repairs That Should Be Fixed Imediately

Home repairs are never fun and exciting things to do. Many are expensive and take a considerable amount of time and energy. Because of this, we often put them off indefinitely. Things like squeaky floors or light switches that don’t always work may get pushed to the side so that you can concentrate on other things in the house. However, there are some home repairs that you should not neglect as they can lead to costlier repairs down the road or safety issues that could be deadly.

Roof Repairs

If you notice water stains on your ceiling or walls, you need to have your roof repaired immediately. Failure to fix a leaking roof can lead to mold growth, structural damage or even fire if the water connects with an electrical source.

Missing Shingles

After a storm that includes heavy rain and wind, you should inspect your roof for missing or damaged shingles. It is possible a loose shingle may not be visible from the ground, so climb on the roof to check for any that may have been damaged. Replace any missing or damaged shingles immediately to avoid roof damage as well as damage to the interior of your home.

Sagging Roof

If it appears that a section of your roof is sagging, you need to have it repaired as soon as you can. A sagging roof can allow moisture to build in your attic and could weaken the structure of the wood. This can lead to exterior wall cracks and poor ventilation in your attic.

Foundation Cracks

Over time, it is possible small cracks could develop in your foundation. If an inspection reveals small cracks, you need to repair them before they become large cracks or it could require a full foundation replacement. This can cost as much as $100,000. Cracks can also lead to leaks under your home and parts of the concrete could actually collapse. If your home is not supported properly, the results could be life-threatening.

Gas Odor

Propane and natural gas are heavier than air, leading them to pool in low areas of your home. If you detect a rotten-egg-like smell, vacate your home immediately and call the gas company. Open doors and windows before you leave the house to dissipate the gas as accumulated propane or natural gas can lead to an explosion.

Leaking Pipes

Water can cause significant damage to your home, including structural damage and mold growth. Mold can lead to health issues, some of which can be severe. If you use municipal water, a leak can cost you hundreds of dollars in extra water fees as well. Check under your sinks several times each year to be sure pipes are not leaking. You should also check exposed pipes in basements, attics and crawlspaces regularly. If you see any leaks, even small ones, contact a plumber immediately.

Mold and Mildew

There is really no “good” mold or mildew, so when you see evidence of mold growth, you need to deal with it as quickly as possible. Just eliminating the mold is not enough, however, as you need to determine what caused the growth in the first place. Minor mold and mildew growth, such as in a corner near a shower where a shower curtain has not been completely closed, can be easily treated with common household bleach.

Electrical Problems

Electrical issues cause more than 40,000 fires each year and many of them could easily have been avoided. Circuit breakers that kick unexpectedly, flickering lights or outlets that are warm to the touch are all symptoms of an electrical problem. Contact an electrician if you notice any electrical issues in your home.

Gutter Debris

Probably one of the least pleasant household chores is clearing debris from gutters. It may seem like a minor problem, but clogged gutters can lead to major problems in your home. Gutters pull rainfall from your home and if water cannot drain, it builds up in pools. This can lead to fascia rot or damage to your foundation when rainfall overflows the gutters and does not drain away from the home. In areas where there is extreme cold, clogged gutters can lead to ice dams that can damage your roof. Clean your gutters twice each year to allow water to flow properly away from your home.

Driveway Cracks

Although you may look at cracks in your driveway as nothing more than a cosmetic issue, your driveway is actually designed to pull water away from your foundation. Cracks could lead to water build-up which may damage your foundation. In addition, cracks could grow larger and become a tripping hazard to guests and family.

Damage to Decks

Worn or missing flashing, the thin layer of material designed to keep water from your home, can lead to water damaging the ledger board. It can also weaken the fasteners that keep yoru deck together. Weakened wood and connectors can have deadly consequences if the deck is overloaded. Worn and wooden boards can also be tripping hazards, so replace any damaged wood as soon as possible and check the flashing on a regular basis.

Dryer Vents

Cleaning the lint filter before each use may seem unnecessary, but it could actually save your home. It is also important to clear the vent, the hose that connects the dryer to the outside, of any debris or lint as well. According to the U.S. Fire Administration, a division of FEMA, there are an average of 2,900 home clothes dryer fires each year, many due to build-up of dryer lint in the vents. The lint screen in the drum of your dryer only removes about 25 percent of the lint, with the remaining 75 percent traveling through the ducts and often getting trapped on the sides.

These simple but important tips can protect your home from significant damage and many of them will protect your family and friends from potential illness or injury. For more information on keeping your home safe, contact TriCounty Exteriors at 215-322-0110 or visit us online.

Pitched Roof or Flat Roof Which Is Better

Pitched Roof or Flat Roof: Which Is Better?

Your roof plays a key role in your home’s value as it protects it from the elements and offers insulation from hot or cold air.

When you are building a house, you may have the option of a pitched or flat roof but you may have no idea which option is better.

There are five main reasons why a pitched roof is the better option, even though they are often more expensive than flat roofs.

Longer Lasting

Pitched roofs have a longer life than flat roofs and are much easier to fix. Like everything in your home, your roof can suffer wear and tear, especially since it is exposed to the elements at all times. The materials used for pitched roofs tend to be more durable and resistant to weather. This means that, although flat roofs may cost less initially, a pitched roof is less expensive for the long term.

Better in Inclement Weather

In areas of the world that receive a significant amount of ice and snow, you will notice that the roofs are often steeply pitched. This allows snow, ice and rain to drain from the roof easily, preventing damage. Flat roofs do not drain as well and must be inspected regularly to be sure any drains installed are working properly.

Ground-Level Inspection

It is easier to inspect a pitched roof from the ground, allowing you to identify problems before they become big issues. Unseen roof damage can lead to extensive water damage inside your attic or around flashing that separates roofing materials from skylights, chimneys or other fixtures. However, if you do need to access the roof for inspection, a pitched roof is much more difficult to stand on than a flat roof. You may want to consider hiring a specialist to inspect the roof if yours has a steep pitch.

Better Storage Options

A pitched roof gives you the opportunity to include an attic in your home design. Most pitched roofs allow ample space at the top of the house for an attic or even a cozy loft bedroom or office. If you begin using the attic area for storage, it is not difficult to convert the space to finished room in the future.

Whether you choose a pitched for flat roof, there are many options available for roofing materials, including composition dimensional, asphalt and wood shingles. You can select a material that will not only protect your home but also match the design of your home’s exterior. If you are considering replacing your roof, contact us today to learn what options are available. You can speak to one of our friendly customer service representatives by phone or complete the simple form online to learn more about our roofing products.

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