Winter Roofing

Generally speaking, “roofing season” begins when the temperatures warm up in the spring and ends when temperatures cool in the fall.  Of course, in some parts of the country it stays warm enough for roof replacement all year, but even in cooler climates it is often possible to install a new roof in the winter. 

The reason that asphalt shingle roofs are generally installed in warmer weather is due to the design of the shingles.  Asphalt shingles are installed beginning at the lower edge of the roof and working up toward the peak. Each row of shingles is nailed to the roof deck along the upper edge of the shingles.  The lower edge of the shingles overlap the row of shingles below it. 

Asphalt shingles have an adhesive strip on the underside of the lower edge of the shingle.  Where the shingles overlap the row of shingles below it, this adhesive helps hold the lower edge of the shingles in place and contributes to the wind resistance of the shingles.  Warm temperatures are required for the shingles to adhere properly and the challenge of installing an asphalt shingle roof in the winter is that the temperatures on the roof will not be high enough for the adhesive to work properly.

A good roofer can work around this issue by using a few dabs of roofing cement to hold each shingle in place until the weather warms up in the spring.  When it does, the adhesive strip will soften and the shingles will bond together.  The roofing cement will continue to provide additional bonding. 

Posted on behalf of Roofworks

Dealing With Ice Dams

For most homeowners, cold winter weather is a good time to take a break from outdoor home maintenance projects.  However, homeowners should remember to keep a watchful eye out for the formation of ice dams on their roof.  Ice dams can cause serious damage to an asphalt shingle roof so it’s important to take action if you notice ice dams forming along the edge of your roof.  Otherwise, you may end up needing a new roof.

What Are Ice Dams?

Ice dams are a buildup of ice along the lower edge of a roof.  Ice dams form when snow and ice melt on warmer sections of the roof and the water freezes as it reaches the colder edges of the roof.  The ice forms a dam which causes more water to back up behind the dam.

What is The Harm From Ice Dams?

When water backs up behind an ice dam, it seeps under the shingles where it can leak into the home.  In addition, the water under the shingle will eventually freeze and since water expands as it freezes, it exerts pressure against the underside of the shingles causing them to loosen and split.

What Causes Ice Dams?

Ice dams form in weather conditions that allow snow and ice on the main area of the roof to melt, then re-freeze along the lower edge of the roof.  Ice dams usually don’t form if the weather is consistently cold because the snow and ice does not have a chance to melt. 

How Can Ice Dams Be Prevented?

Poorly insulated homes are more susceptible to ice dams.  The lack of insulation allows heat to escape from the home into the attic where it heats the underside of the roof and contributes to the melting snow and ice.  Adding insulation to prevent heat loss and ensuring that the attic has sufficient ventilation will reduce ice dam formation.  In addition, use a snow rake from the ground to clear as much snow from the roof as possible.  This will reduce the amount of melted runoff and also allow the sun to warm the edges of the roof. 

Posted on behalf of Ken Christie, CZE Roofing and Remodeling

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Upgrade to Architectural Shingles

If you are considering a residential roof replacement, consider upgrading to architectural shingles.  Architectural shingles (sometimes called laminated shingles) offer many advantages over traditional three tab shingles at a modest premium in price.  Unless you only need the roof to last for 10 to 15 years, in most cases it makes sense to install architectural shingles. 

Architectural shingles are similar to standard three tab shingles in that they are made from a fiberglass matt soaked in asphalt and coated with ceramic granules.  However, while three tab shingles use a single layer of fiberglass matting, architectural shingles have several layers laminated together to form a thicker, heavier duty shingle. 

As a result, architectural shingles offer much better protection for your roof and your home.  Architectural shingles provide a higher level of resistance to hail damage and can withstand much higher wind speeds than three tab shingles.  In addition, they provide depth and texture to the roof and are more aesthetically pleasing than three tab shingles.

Most roofers who install composition asphalt shingles can also install architectural shingles.  The required skill and installation techniques are a little different for installing architectural shingles, but most of the general principles are the same. 

There is a modest price premium for installing architectural shingles, but they last much longer than standard three tab shingles.  Most come with at least a 40 to 50 year manufacturer’s warranty and lifetime warranties on architectural shingles are common.  Three tab shingles only last about 20 to 30 years.  In the long run, you will come out ahead by paying a little extra for high quality architectural shingles and you will have the benefit of better storm damage protection and the beauty of architectural shingles.

Posted on behalf of Ken Christie, CZE Roofing and Remodeling

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Roofing Inspections

Periodic roof inspections by a qualified roofing contractor, who is licensed and insured, is a wise investment that ultimately could prolong the life or your roof, as well as identify issues that could be quickly and economically repaired, before the roof fails and the interior of the home is damaged.  Roof failures are often the result of severe weather, poor roofing workmanship, the use of defective materials, specifying the wrong roofing materials, roof abuse, the failure to inspect the roof and the failure to perform timely preventative maintenance and ultimately age, as roofs have a limited lifespan.

Routine preventative maintenance is an excellent way to increase the lifespan of any roof.  The first step in preventative maintenance is to first have an experienced roofing contractor perform a visual inspection of the roof.  The roof inspector will determine the overall condition, note its current weaknesses and failures and identify current and future problem areas.  In addition, they will provide an estimate to make the necessary repairs and in many cases can make the repairs on the spot! Potential repairs could include such things as caulking, repair of valleys, correction of flashing issues and shingle replacement, where shingles have blown off or are otherwise missing.

The cost of the roof inspection, as well as the necessary repairs and preventative maintenance, is significantly less expensive than the cost associated with a total roof replacement.  In addition, without a periodic roof inspection, these small issues often go un-noticed and ultimately lead to larger and more expensive issues.  An example of this would be a small leak due to several nail holes in the shingle that allows water to come in contact with the roof sheathing.

Even if the water never makes it into the house damaging the drywall ceiling, it does cause rot on the roof sheathing and structural components of the roof over time.  The leak now has caused structural issues in the home, which are often very expensive to repair.  This scenario, which is quite common, could have been prevented with a periodic roof inspection that is quick, economical and is easy to schedule!

Posted on behalf of Ken Christie, CZE Roofing and Remodeling

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Hail Damage To Your Roof

One of the most dramatic weather events in the United States is large thunderstorms, which often produce heavy rain, heavy winds and in some cases damaging hail.  Many people are not aware that hail can severely damage the roof on their home, depending to the size of the hailstones, as well as the velocity that it impacts the roof.  One way to look at the impact that hail has on a roof is to consider how hail can cause dings and dents in a car made of steel.  Imaging what that is doing to an asphalt or fiberglass roof shingle! 

A qualified roofing contractor that is licensed and insured can perform a roofing inspection immediately after a hail event, to determine if the roof has been damaged by hail.  The experienced inspector will be able to immediately determine if there is roof hail damage or if there is just normal wear and tear occurring on the roof. 

One of the things they will be looking for is dings and dents in the shingle.  Sometimes the force of the hail hitting the roof can also crack the shingle as well.  Another clue they will be looking for is areas where granules are missing on the shingle exposing the surface of the shingle.  If the damage is a result of a recent hailstorm, the area will show up easily.  In normal wear and tear, the areas where granules are missing will not be as visible, because the sun has bleached out these areas and they tend to blend into the adjacent areas, indicating normal wear and tear. 

In the event that the roof has been damaged by hail, the inspector will provide the homeowner with the necessary information to file an insurance claim for a full roof replacement, which can be done promptly to protect the interior of the home from water damage.

Severe Weather, Roof Damage and the Danger of Carbon Monoxide

Most homeowners are not aware that improper storm damage roof repairs can not only lead to a leaky roof, but also to deadly carbon monoxide poisoning.  When home ventilation systems are damaged by storms and other severe weather, it can create a deadly problem: carbon monoxide, a toxic gas that’s both odorless and colorless. Carbon monoxide, or CO, can become trapped inside of a home because of damaged venting systems, and can endanger everyone who lives inside.

Every year, hundreds of Americans die from CO poisoning. The chance of being exposed to CO rise exponentially in any homes that are damaged by storms, as well as those houses which were repaired incorrectly. The entire purpose of a ventilation system is designed to direct CO and any other dangerous gas away from any internal living area and expel them safely out of doors. Ventilation systems can fail unexpectedly when they’re damaged by winds or hail, clogged by debris or installed incorrectly.  In addition, ventilation systems can fail when they are improperly reinstalled during roof repairs.

Once severe weather strikes and passes by, you need to check any pipes or connections from any appliances or machines that use gas inside of your home, as well as any piping in the attic – these should be checked to make sure they didn’t disconnect during the storm. Never, ever try to patch up a broken or damaged pipe with any material like tape or glue – this can create a CO build up, which can kill without warning. Make sure that any hail damage roof repairs are completed by a licensed contractor, and install a CO detector in your home.

Posted on behalf of Ken Christie, CZE Roofing and Remodeling

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What to Look For During a Roof Inspection

The roof is one of the most expensive parts of your home and it should be kept in good condition for as long as possible. The roof is exposed to all kinds of weather and it is important that it be cared for and maintained so it can continue to protect your home and family from the elements. Regular roof inspections are an important and necessary step in keeping your roof in top condition.

If you’d prefer to make your own inspection, it’s important to know exactly what you’re looking for. You can inspect the roof from the ground using a pair of binoculars, but if you choose to venture out on to the roof be sure to take the necessary safety precautions. Make sure to check for any obvious defects like sagging or uneven areas, which may be a sign of a damaged roof deck.

You should also look for missing, loose, cracked, pitted, broken or otherwise damaged shingles and inspect the flashing to make sure it has not pulled away from the surface.  Check the rubber boots on any vent pipes or other features for rot or decay and

Other areas to inspect are the attic space, if it’s accessible, and any interior ceilings within the house itself below the roof. If you enter any crawl spaces or attic areas, take extra care in where you step or explore to look for damage, since one misstep can cause unnecessary damage and costly repairs.  In the attic, look for signs of water entry such as water stains, wood rot, mold and mildew. Be sure to have any necessary roof repairs completed as soon as possible.  Delaying roof repairs only leads to more serious damage and more extensive repairs. 

It is easy for a homeowner to miss important signs of roof damage such as missing ceramic granules due to hail.  If you have any concerns about the condition of the roof, it’s worth a call to a reputable local roofing professional.

 

Does Your Roof Have Hail Damage?

If your asphalt shingle roof has been hit by hail, how can you tell whether your roof has suffered hail damage?  The answer to this question is that roof hail damage is not always obvious.  Large, golf ball sized hail will cause damage that is easy to see but smaller hail can cause damage to an asphalt shingle roof that is not as clearly evident.

First, It’s important to understand what hail damage to an asphalt shingle roof is.  For really large hail, damage includes bruised, cracked, split, and broken shingles.  This type of hail damage is easily apparent to even the most casual observer and can be seen from the ground.  There is no question that the roof will need to be replaced.

Smaller hail causes more subtle damage that is harder to see but may still require a roof replacement.  Asphalt shingles are covered with a layer of ceramic granules that give the roof color and texture, but most importantly these granules protect the asphalt from the harmful rays of the sun.  Without this layer of ceramic granules, an asphalt shingle exposed to the sun would dry out in a few months and fail.

Marble sized hail and larger is capable of dislodging some of the ceramic granules from an asphalt shingle.  If a significant percentage of the protective ceramic granules have been knocked loose by hail, the roof may look OK to the untrained eye and will not be leaking, but a few months down the road the sun damage will cause the roof to fail.

An experienced roofing contractor or roof inspector can identify this type of hail damage.  Most good roofing contractors offer free roof inspections so if you even think your roof may have hail damage, it’s a good idea to have the roof inspected.

Posted on behalf of Ken Christie, CZE Roofing and Remodeling

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Roof Hail Damage 101

With Spring right around the corner, this is a good time to review what homeowners need to know about roof hail damage.  Some parts of the country get hit harder, but hailstorms can occur just about anywhere and when they do, it’s important to check your roof for hail damage. 

Not all hail will cause damage to an asphalt shingle roof.  It depends on a variety of factors such as the size of the hail, the quality of the shingles, and the age of the roof.  Wind speed and direction and roof slope can also affect whether or not your roof will suffer damage from a hail storm. 

Pea sized hail and smaller generally will not cause any damage to an asphalt shingle roof, but when the hail is the size of a marble (about ¾ inch in diameter) or bigger, it can cause roof damage, especially to older roofs and you should have the roof inspected by reputable roofer.   Hail larger than an inch in diameter can cause significant damage almost any asphalt shingle roof.

Older roofs are more susceptible to hail damage than new roofs because years of sun exposure has usually caused the shingles to dry out a little and become more fragile.  Higher quality shingles such as laminated shingles are more resistant to hail damage than standard three tab shingles and steeply sloped roofs will usually suffer less damage than roofs with a shallow slope.

If you know or even suspect that your roof has been hit by a hailstorm with hail capable of causing roof damage, have the roof inspected by a reputable roofing contractor even if the roof is not currently leaking.  If your roof inspector identifies hail damage, call your homeowners insurance carrier before getting any work done.  Most hail damage is covered under your homeowners insurance policy.

How Roof Ventilation Can Save You Money

As we all know these days saving money is more important than ever. One way in which to do so that you may not have already considered is through ensuring that you take the proper measures to protect your roof and attic space.

For example, an asphalt shingle roof can cause your attic to retain a great deal of heat, particularly in the height of the summer months. When a roof is exposed to the sun for a significant period of time it can cause a poorly ventilated attic to reach extreme temperatures. After a while this heat will begin to radiate into the house and you will begin to feel the temperature of the home becoming unusually warm. In turn this will lead to a greater consumption of energy as your air conditioner begins to work harder in order to maintain a pleasant air temperature.

The key to lowering your energy bill revolves around keeping the air in the attic as cool as possible and there are a few ways in which to do this effectively. The ideal option is to improve the ventilation in the attic to ensure that the warm air is able to escape and fresh air can be drawn in. Don’t attempt to do this yourself, as it really requires the assistance of a professional roofer who knows exactly where vents should be placed to be most beneficial.

Increasing the thickness of your roof insulation can also help to reduce electricity consumption through making it harder for the heat to radiate through into the main home. If you are considering a residential roof replacement, take into account materials that will most effectively reflect the sun such as metal or lighter colored shingles.