What You Need To Know About Roofing Ventilation

What You Need To Know About Roofing Ventilation

Proper ventilation in your roof is critical in your home as ventilation not only provides circulation throughout your home, it also keeps air fresh and reduces moisture levels. Choosing the right type of roofing ventilation, however, can be tricky as it can depend on several factors.

Box Vents

Box vents work best with soffit ventilation as they are designed for use in open attics. In addition, the vents do not need to be placed close to roof ridges for optimal performance. Box vents are static and not mechanical. They are placed in a whole that is cut into the roof and then use natural winds to remove hot air and moisture. Most homes need more than one of these types of vents. The actual number will depend on the square footage of your attic.

Continuous Ridge Vents

Continuous ridge vents are installed at the peak of your roof ridge so that warm air can escape from the attic. The vents also create a vacuum that draws the air from the attic and they are the best option if you have vaulted ceilings. Only one is required as opposed to the need for multiple box vents. Continuous ridge vents are also non-mechanical so there is no concern about electrical failures that could lead to problems. However, continuous ridge vents are more expensive than box vents.

Soffit Vents

In most houses, soffit vents draw air up through the attic and then out a ridge vent. However, not all houses have continuous soffit and ridge vents, but instead have an opening at the gable ends. Houses without rafters or overhangs may not soffits and older houses may not have vents that open into attic spaces. Because older homes were not as airtight as modern homes, condensation may not be as much of a problem although roof ventilation may help reduce energy costs in those homes.

Prevent Condensation

Improper roofing ventilation causes colder air in an attic to mix with warm, moist air from the rest of your house. The combined temperatures cause condensation to form which can damage your home. If you have noticed peeling or blistering paint on gable-ends or exteriors, it could mean you do not have proper ventilation in your roof. Buckling roof shingles can also indicate improper ventilation. Ice dams, which occur often in the Midwest and Northeast where there is significant winter weather may indicate that you need to address your roof ventilation. Even water stains on a ceiling may not mean you have a roof leak, but that you have condensation dripping from your roof.

If you are interested in learning more about roofing ventilation, contact us today to speak to one of our knowledgeable customer service staff. You can speak to them by phone or complete the form online to learn more about the types of ventilation available.

Choosing the Right Shingles for Your Home

Choosing the Right Shingles for Your Home

Building or remodeling a home allows you to spend time picking out all types of new patterns, styles and accessories for your home. This may include countertops, light fixtures or flooring styles. Although not as exciting as a new granite countertop, there is one aspect of a home that is just as important – the shingles on your roof. Choosing the right shingles is not only important because they are visible from the outside, but you also want to be sure the shingles you choose provide other benefits in your home. Before choosing shingles, it is important to know more about the types of shingles available, their life expectancy and how they protect your home.

Types of Shingles

Before choosing the right shingles, it is important to understand the differences between types of shingles. Traditional asphalt shingles are coated in asphalt and ceramic over a fiberglass or organic base. Fiberglass creates a shingle that is lighter but more durable than other types of material. Architectural shingles, which are also known as laminated dimensional shingles, are also made of fiberglass and asphalt, but weigh as much as 200 pounds more per square. Traditional shingles look like three flat rectangles when placed along the roof. Architectural shingles are not cut into tabs, but are over-layered in order to create a more dimensional appearance. They provide a unique look to a roof line and are considered more durable than traditional shingles. Because they are heavier, they can withstand higher winds. Builders prefer them because they can hide errors and flaws better than traditional shingles. They also work better with turrets and gables often found in roof lines. Architectural shingles are more expensive and are not recommended for low-sloped roofs, however.

Recognizing Worn Shingles

Architectural shingles last about 40 years while traditional shingles last around 20 years. It is recommended that homeowners check their shingles for wear periodically and replace any that may be damaged or worn. Signs that your shingles need replacing include small circles or cracks at the edges as well as algae or moss growth. Worn shingles may have bald spots where the granules have been lost as well as divots and pitting. Damaged shingles can cause water to be trapped underneath, damaging the roof structure. Shingles that are blistered may be due to trapped moisture or they may indicate a defect that could be covered under the shingle warranty.

Purpose of Shingles

The main purpose of shingles is to protect your home from inclement weather. In addition, shingles also protect your home from pests like insects and rodents. Properly installed shingles provide drainage from the roof peak, also protecting your home from excess ground water that can cause damage to the foundation. Shingles need proper ventilation as well to provide adequate protection. Your builder will more than likely recommend insulation in your attic as a way to help shingles protect your home. Without adequate ventilation, shingles may buckle, compromising your roofs protection. Shingles also act as a barrier, keeping water and heat from entering the home, damaging interior supports.

If you are building a new home or performing maintenance on the roof, you need to be sure to choose the right shingles, not only for aesthetic purposes but to protect your home from water and sun damage. For more information and guidance on choosing the right shingles, contact Tri-County Exteriors today.

Roof Types, Vocabulary and Things You Should Know

Roof Types, Vocabulary and Things You Should Know

When replacing an old roof or building a house from scratch, you may quickly find yourself confused by the number of unfamiliar terms used when looking at the different roof types.  Not to mention the seemingly strange lingo being thrown around by those in the roofing profession. Square feet or squares? Gabled roof or hip-and-valley? Crickets, soffits, flashing and rakes…

The sometimes mystifying vocabulary employed by roofers may not be quite as arcane as, say, a football playbook or quantum physics. But there are a number of terms and definitions that the average homeowner should understand before talking with a pro. To this end, we’ve created an infographic that explains the basics of roof vocabulary, materials, construction and general things you should be aware of before you dive into a roofing project.

Roof Types, Vocabulary and Things You Should Know

What Is The Best Color For My Roof?

What Is The Best Color For My Roof

It’s not always easy to find the perfect colors for your new roofing installation, especially when you discover how many choices are out there. Not only do you have to choose the right color, there are even more shades and color combinations to decide among.

A new roof has the potential to last more than 20 years, so it’s important to make a decision that you can live with long-term.

The Light vs. Dark Debate

In any area with really hot summers, possible heat retention in the roof can be a big concern. Dark colors are known to absorb heat from the sun, with solid black shingles being 10 degrees hotter than plain white. The difference in grays and browns are considerably less significant so there really is no sense in worrying about anything except quality and style.

Match Shingles to Your Brick

It’s always possible to change the color of shutters or wall paint, but the exterior bricks never change. Most homeowners start finding attractive options by comparing samples with the existing brick before taking paint colors into consideration.

Find a Material That Looks Good With the Exterior Paint Color

If you do plan to freshen up the paint on the outside of your home, it’s a smart idea to compare each of these different styles. Put a paint sample next to the roofing material options to find a combination that is appealing to your preference.

Add Dimension with a Complementary Color

Matching roofing too closely with brick or siding is going to make the house look dull and lifeless. A little variation is a very good thing because it defines the different materials for a more interesting visual.

Don’t Rule Out the Simple Colors

There is no requirement stating that shingles have to be multicolored or feature some type of pattern. Rather than risk making the house look too busy, use a simple shingle style to tone down the different exterior elements. If the home features a lot of neutrals, it would be a good idea to make sure that the shingles do stand out on their own.

Compare Shingles in Different Lighting

Brick, shingles, and siding all take on a slightly different look when comparing them in shade and direct sunlight. View samples at different times during the day to be sure that any variations do not throw off the overall harmony.

Keep Resale Value in Mind

Pleasing your personal style is important, but it is valuable to consider a broader audience if you ever plan to sell. A unique shade of green might be your favorite option, but it’s going to be a tough sell for a lot of buyers. Neutral is always a safe way to protect the resale value of your home when investing in a new roof.

3 Things That Nobody Told You About Metal Roofing

3 Things That Nobody Told You About Metal Roofing

Metal is a traditional roofing option that has recently grown even more popular than before. It looks great and offers so many benefits, such as fire resistance and energy efficient home cooling. There is very little leak potential when installed correctly, and the material is actually designed to make the task very simple.

Some roofing materials are very heavy and do not suit the foundation of all homes, but metal is versatile and lightweight. This benefit does not come at the cost of sacrificing strength because it offers maximum wind resistance. Metal will never become weak from water damage, extreme heat, ice, snow, or other adverse conditions that damage less durable roofs.

Expected Lifespan of a Metal Roof

Every homeowner that is making an investment in a new roof wants to know that they are getting a product that will last. With adequate maintenance throughout the years, metal is expected to last a minimum of 50 years before needing a replacement.

Compared to other roofs, it is not going to lose value over time or begin to deteriorate through years of changing weather conditions.

Types of Metal Roofing Materials

Each of the material options has different properties that vary in durability and appearance, with a price difference as well. Steel is one of the more conventional options that can be sealed with a rust and corrosion-proof coating. It is finished with paint to offer a bit of style variation when this material is preferred.

If you are more interested in a high-end metal, there are other options available at a larger expense. Considering the value of a roof that will last at least half a century, it might not be such a bad idea to splurge on one of these options:

Stainless-steel – The matte gray finish is a signature look for the metal material that will never rust or corrode.
Alloy – Emphasis on strength, durability, and weather-resistance makes alloy a very worthwhile roofing investment.
Copper – With a very unique look, copper does not require a special finish to offer rust resistance or graceful weathering.

Metal Panel Roofing or Metal Shingles

Style is the biggest factor when deciding if you prefer panel or shingles for your metal roof. The panel option is easy to recognize for the sleek style that does not deviate from the traditional metal appearance.

Metal shingles actually come in a multitude of styles that are made to imitate wood shakes, slate, and other weaker options without sacrificing any of the positive qualities.

The Beginners Guide To Asphalt Shingles

The Beginners Guide To Asphalt Shingles

It’s no secret that asphalt shingles are incredible popular in home applications. Compared to wood shakes, slate, tile, and other roofing materials, it stands up as the most favorable option on the market. The material itself is economical, easy to install, and comes in many different styles to match any home.

Base Materials

Fiberglass is one of only two asphalt shingle variations, with the other being traditional organic material. It is created with a base mat of woven fiberglass that is coated with waterproof asphalt. Ceramic granules cover the top layer for added protection against ultraviolet rays. Less asphalt is used to give this product superior durability and strength because of the fiberglass mat. The benefit is a thinner and lighter roofing material that has a longer warranty than the organic option.

Organic mat shingles make use of recycled felt paper that is saturated with asphalt for an element of waterproofing. Adhesive asphalt coats the outer layer to embed ceramic granules to the surface. The increase in actual asphalt used in composition makes organic shingles more expensive, heavy, and thick in comparison. They are less environmentally friendly due to the asphalt content and they can warp over time as they absorb moisture.

Shingle Types

Shingle TypeThe measurement of these materials is a standard 12 x 36 inches, regardless if they are architectural or three-tab shingles. The architectural shingles featured a laminated layer in the bottom portion and are completely uniform to provide a dimensional, contoured look once applied. Special sealant bonds the layers together and improves the capability of waterproofing as reinforcement. They are susceptible to damage from wind-driven rain so it is not recommended to use in a low-sloping roof design.

Three-tab shingles feature cutouts along the lower edge to create the appearance of separate pieces when in reality it is only one. The results of this style do appear flat, but they are more economical and popular than the architectural option.

Style and Color

Asphalt shingles have truly come a long way from their traditional style, with current options that are designed to mimic other roofing materials. Shapes vary from scalloped-edges to the square appearance of a Colonial style home. There are more options than ever to create a unique looking roof with the benefits of asphalt shingles.

Color variations fit any style of home, with tones ranging from shades of blue to neutral grays. Rather than feature a solid, flat color there are more options that mix different tones in a single shingle. There is even the option to select a weathered look that features the charm of a vintage home with the durability of a new structure. Additional style benefits include the introduction of cool-roof technology to resist heat and boost the effort to save energy.

Durability and Cost

Durability and CostThe guarantee of life when using asphalt shingles ranges between 15 and 30 years depending on environmental factors in the area of application. Long summers with exceptionally high temperatures will cause a roof to wear down much faster than in a relatively cool climate. Sudden temperature spikes are very harmful to asphalt because it can cause tiny cracks that can grow into bigger problems.

Shingle life can be increased when used in a steep roof pitch that allows for fast water draining. The less moisture and ice can remain on the surface of a roof, the longer it can hold up against potentially destructive conditions. Subtropical areas that are often damp create susceptibility to developing fungus and algae on the surface. It is possible to use shingles that are resistant to algae if this is a concern so that damage and discoloration is less likely, but the materials will come at a higher cost.

Asphalt shingles are the least expensive in terms of installation cost because it is the easiest material to apply. Finding a decent price may require multiple estimates because the labor fees can vary greatly from contractor to contractor. The materials themselves generally cost a little above or below $1 for each square foot, with an average equaling $100 for every 100 square feet.

If you are in the process of considering a new roof, give us a call to get an estimate on asphalt shingles exclusive to the style of your choosing. We are more than happy to provide multiple options for you to compare before making a decision. Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Asphalt Roofing Shingle Comparison

Asphalt Roofing Shingle Comparison

Choosing an asphalt shingle doesn’t have to be complicated if you understand the key features to compare. It’s understandable that every manufacturer is going to market their product as the best, which is why we have simplified the information so that you can reach a conclusion based on your own roofing project. Styles we cover include the architectural laminates, key-cut or tri-laminate, and 3 tab offerings from each major manufacturer.

There is so much to consider about the quality of a roofing shingle, aside from the basic aesthetic appeal. Performance against local weather conditions, wind rating, warranty, and life expectancy are a few of the key factors we recommend evaluating to narrow down your final decision.

CertainTeed

The home owners association includes the Presidential series as their top choice for shingles. Consumers feel confident with the assurance provided by upgraded warranties and the reputation of such a popular roofing brand name.

CERTAINTEED SHINGLE LINE UP

CT 20 3 Tab Shingles Click here to view CT 20 Brochure

  • 20 year limited lifetime warranty/3 years non-prorated
  • 60 mph wind rating
  • Class A fire rating
  • 3 bundles per square
  • 196 lbs per square w
  • True roof life 8-15 years w/ maintenance

Landmark Architectural Laminate Shingles Click here to view Landmark Brochure

  • 50 year limited lifetime warranty/10 years non-prorated
  • 110 mph wind rating. 130 mph w/ 6 nails
  • Class A fire rating
  • 3 bundles per square
  • 240 lbs per square w
  • True roof life 17-25 years w/ maintenance

Presidential TL Tri-Laminate Shingles Click here to view Presidential Brochure

  • 50 year limited lifetime warranty/10 years non-prorated
  • 110 mph wind rating; 130 mph available
  • Class A fire rating
  • 5 bundles per square
  • 480 lbs per square w/ new advance technology fiberglass mat
  • True roof life 25-40 years w/ maintenance

GAF

This top seller in the roofing industry has earned such prestigious awards as Contractors Choice and Womens Choice for their high performance materials. A 2011 release of advanced mat technology that featured a 50 year limited lifetime warranty made waves within the industry and forced other manufacturers to follow suit.

GAF SHINGLE LINE UP click here for GAF’s Full Line Brochure

Royal Sovereign 3 Tab Shingles

  • 25 year limited warranty/3 years non-prorated
  • 60 mph limited wind warranty
  • Class A fire rating
  • 3 bundles per square
  • 225 lbs per square
  • True roof life 8-15 years w/ maintenance

Timberline HD Architectural Laminate Shingles

  • 50 year limited lifetime warranty/10 years non-prorated
  • 110 mph wind rating; 130 mph w/ 6 nails
  • Class A fire rating
  • 3 bundles per square
  • 210 lbs per square w/ new advance technology fiberglass mat
  • True roof life 17-25 years w/ maintenance

Grand Canyon Heavyweight Key-Cut Shingles

  • 50 year limited lifetime warranty/10 years non-prorated
  • 110 mph wind rating; 130 mph available
  • Class A fire rating
  • 5 bundles per square
  • 450 lbs per square w/ new advance technology fiberglass mat
  • True roof life 25-35 years w/ maintenance

IKO

Since the establishment in 1951, this manufacturer has grown from popularity in multiple states to a strong global presence. Among the broad variety of roofing products are the shingles that measure 10% larger than traditional options.  Click Here for IKO’s Guide to Asphalt Shingles.

Marathon 3 Tab Shingles Click Here for Marathon Brochure

  • 20 year limited lifetime warranty/3 years non-prorated
  • 60 mph wind rating
  • Class A fire rating
  • 3 bundles per square
  • True roof life 8-15 years w/ maintenance

Cambridge AR Shingles Architectural Laminate Shingles Click Here for Cambridge Brochure

  • 50 year limited lifetime warranty/15 years non-prorated
  • 110 mph wind rating; 130 mph available
  • Class A fire rating
  • 3 bundles per square
  • 240 lbs per square w
  • True roof life 17-25 years w/ maintenance

Armourshake Heavey Weight Shingles

  • 50 year limited lifetime warranty/15 years non-prorated
  • 110 mph wind rating; 130 mph available
  • Class A fire rating
  • 5 bundles per square
  • True roof life 25-40 years w/ maintenance

Malarkey

Popular in the Northwestern United States, the Portland based company specializes in algae resistant shingles. The rubberized and SBS modified shingles provide protection against extreme weather conditions that would damage less durable products.

MALARKEY SHINGLE LINE UP

Dura-Seal 20 3 Tab Shingles Click here for Dura-Seal Brochure

  • 20 year limited lifetime warranty
  • 60 mph wind rating
  • Class A fire rating
  • 3 bundles per square
  • 200 lbs per square w
  • True roof life 8-15 years w/ maintenance

Legacy SBS Architectural Laminate Shingles Click here for Legacy Brochure

  • 50 year limited lifetime warranty/20 year scotchguard
  • 110 mph wind rating, 130 mph available
  • Class A fire rating
  • 3 bundles per square
  • 275 lbs per square w
  • True roof life 17-25 years w/ maintenance

Owens Corning

Ease of installation is the major advantage of choosing the unique Surenail Technology offered by Owens Corning. Their reputation was built on offering high quality fiberglass shingles that are well-insulated and reliable.

OWENS CORNING SHINGLE LINE UP

Supreme 3 Tab Shingles Click here for Owens Corning Supreme Shingles Brochure

  • 25 year limited lifetime/5 years non-prorated warranty
  • 60 mph wind rating
  • Class A fire rating
  • 3 bundles per square
  • 180 lbs per square w
  • True roof life 8-15 years w/ maintenance

Duration Architectural Laminate Shingles Click here for Owens Corning Duration Shingles

  • 50 year limited lifetime warranty/10 years non-prorated
  • 110 mph wind rating
  • Class A fire rating
  • 4 bundles per square
  • 260 lbs per square w
  • True roof life 17-25 years w/ maintenance

Woodmoor Heavyweight Shingles Click Here for Owens Corning Woodmoor Brochure

  • 50 year limited lifetime warranty/10 years non-prorated
  • 110 mph wind rating; 130 mph available
  • Class A fire rating
  • 6 bundles per square
  • 450 lbs per square w/ new advance technology fiberglass mat
  • True roof life 25-40 years w/ maintenance

Get in touch with us through the contact form if you would like more assistance comparing the products offered by the most popular roofing manufacturers. We would be happy to provide personal recommendations of solutions that meet the requirements of your residential roof style.

Does Your Roof Need To Be Repaired?

Does Your Roof Need To Be Repaired

I just bought a house with a roof that has seen better days. The shingles are worn and cupped, and there’s lots of rough-looking flashing. Anything I should worry about before I start interior repairs?
“The roof comes first” is an old expression, but it remains as meaningful as ever. The roof is your home’s first defense against the elements, so don’t tackle any interior remodeling projects until you evaluate what’s above the eaves. “If the roof is bad, everything below it gets wet: walls, ceiling, insulation, electrical wiring, floors, carpets, furnishings, and heating and cooling equipment,” says Jason Joplin, program manager of the Center for the Advancement of Roofing Excellence, which offers professional courses under the aegis of GAF, the nation’s largest roofing manufacturer. “If any of this stuff stays wet, mold can formand there’s a real danger of structural deterioration.”

If a roof inspection reveals problems serious enough to warrant repairs, the next step is to decide whether to fix it yourself or call a professional. In most cases it’s better and safer to hire a pro. Still, it’s important to educate yourself before making the call so you know what to expect.

If your roof is shallow and low to the ground, and you’re confident you can walk on it safely, climb up there and start inspecting. Watch your step and avoid low-hanging electrical cables. If it’s too steep or high, inspect it from the ground using binoculars.

Start by checking the roofing material. Look for loose or missing shingles, as well as those that curl up, cup down, are chipped or torn, or have lost their granule coating. Generally, if more than one-quarter of the shingles are bad, it’s time to replace them all. That can cost as much as $10,000, though the bottom line depends on the type of roof, its size, its pitch, and the number of valleys it has.

Next, inspect the roof deck for sagging areas that could indicate a compromised structure beneath. Then note any loose, damaged, or previously repaired flashing, and check the valleys for cracked roofing material. Look for severe weather deterioration or previous repairs around skylights, vents, and chimneys. While you’re up there, check that the gutters are well secured.

Finally, head into the attic and inspect the underside of the roof deck. Mold or water stains on the plywood sheathing and the insulation could mean that moisture is coming in through the roof or that condensation is forming inside the attic.

Staff Writer (2015 January 14) Does Your Roof Need To Be Repaired? Retrieved on February 7, 2015 from PopularMechanics.com

How Much Snow Can a Roof Handle?

How Much Snow Can a Roof Handle

We’ve all seen the unbelievable pictures of the record-breaking snow that recently buried the Buffalo, NY area.  While homeowners have been asked to stay in their homes and off the impassable roads, a new worry has surfaced – can their roof handle the pressure?   Here’s some information you can share with your homeowners while they are stuck inside.

Signs that a roof may be at risk from bearing the weight of the heavy white stuff:

  • Visible sagging
  • Noises that sound like creaking or popping
  • Leaking coming from the roof

Flat or low-pitched roofs are more vulnerable, but pitched roofs can still be at risk when the snow is very heavy.

When it’s safe to travel, contractors in the area or within driving distance have an opportunity to help homeowners repair an unsafe roof (see our article “The Benefits and Risks of Replacing a Roof in Winter”). In general, as much snow as possible should be raked off their roof, but leave a few inches to avoid damaging the shingles.  Also, make sure the snow is thrown away from the building and be careful using metal tools around power lines.  Contractors should advise homeowners to call their insurance company to see if they are covered in the event of a roof collapse.

Liza Barth (2014 November 14) How Much Snow Can a Roof Handle? Retrieved on December 10, 2014 from GAF.com

5 Tips for Holiday Decorating Without Damaging the Roof

5 Tips for Holiday Decorating Without Damaging the Roof

It may be the most wonderful time of the year, but installing festive lights on a home can be a headache and potentially cause damage to your roof. Avoid the hassle and make decorating more enjoyable with these tips for contractors to share with their customers to avoid roof damage.

  1. Don’t let your shingles jingle. Never hang Christmas lights from your shingles. To properly put up lights, they need to be secured to something (that’s why it’s so easy to wrap them around trees). Making even the tiniest of holes in a shingle or roof component will let moisture or leaks in and potentially rot the roof. The best way to put up lights is with clips that hang from the gutter or eaves. Also, before you even climb up to work, untangle the strands and test them to make sure they all light up.
  2. Don’t let ‘er rip. We know you don’t want to be that house that leaves decorations up until summer, but don’t dissemble hastily either by pulling lights off the roof from the cord.  This can cause damage to the gutter or potentially your shingle if you didn’t clip them correctly in the first place.  Take the time to remove each clip individually. It’s cheaper than replacing gutters or shingles.
  3. Avoid the shock. Make sure decorations, including inflatable items, are away from power lines and plugged into a portable outdoor circuit. In addition, don’t overload the breaker, which can be a potential fire risk.
  4. Bring a buddy. Another person should be on hand to help secure the ladder, carry items, or to help in case of an injury or emergency.
  5. Call a pro. We know most people don’t have extra money lying around during the holiday season, but if you want elaborate decorations, are not comfortable on a ladder, or have areas that are hard to access, it’s best to leave it to a professional to install lights properly without risking damage to the roof—or yourself.

By sharing these tips you can help protect a homeowner’s biggest investment from damage and allow them to safely bask in the season’s glow.

5 Tips for Holiday Decorating Without Damaging the Roof. Retrieved on December 10, 2014 from GAF.com

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