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10 July 2023

Residential Roofing and Re-roofing Thoughts (Part One)

Introduction

 

There are several elements you should know that are important when thinking about getting either a new roof or re-roofing your existing home. In this three-part series, I will discuss Roofing Materials and Color Options, Tips for Hiring a Roofing Professional, and Lifetime Tool® & Building Products Roof System Components. The goal of these articles is to help you develop a trouble-free, low maintenance roof.

 

Roofing Materials and Color Options

 

Asphalt Shingles

 

Asphalt roof install by Colonial Contracting, Inc.

Photo courtesy of Colonial Contracting, Inc.

One of the first considerations you may want to start thinking about is what type and/or color of roof you would like for your home? They’re also many material choices starting with the most common, asphalt shingles, probably what’s on your home now.

 

The “entry level” asphalt shingles can range from the classic three tab, which are the least expensive, most economical, and the lightest weight. The weight and thickness of an asphalt shingle has often been used as a standard to gauge its quality and longevity. Next up are architectural asphalt shingles where there are lots of choices of colors and styles with many choices from the different manufacturers, these tend to be heavier in weight and thickness and range in price considerably.

 

Most roofing material manufactures make a very good product that will last you for many years, but obviously like with everything else, the more expensive materials generally look and perform better than the less expensive alternatives. With that said, a properly installed and maintained roof with the least expensive shingle should give you a minimum of 15 to 20 years of service life, the higher end could easily last fifty or more years. Chances are you will have an opportunity to see many samples of the available roofing materials from your local roofing contractor, their salespeople or even at the building material big box stores.

 

Premium Roofing Materials

 

Slate Roof

Slate Roof

Metal shingles are another choice, they too are available in many finishes and colors. There are also much more expensive roofs like real slates or composition/synthetic slates, both are generally premium roofing materials. The synthetics are made from Polymers (recycled and virgin plastics and rubbers) that exhibit exceptional weather/UV resistance and may be a great choice in areas that are prone to damaging hailstorms. In addition, there are many beautiful tiles (terracotta, ceramic, and some porcelain that come in many shapes and colors. or perhaps even Western Red Cedar shakes or shingles.

 

Standing Seam metal roofs can be an excellent choice for many homes. Traditional in early architectural designs and often seen on the roofs of homes in older towns and cities, they’re available in pre-Painted Metals, Copper, and Stainless Steel. These panels come in lots of profiles or design configurations with many of them truly more suited for commercial buildings. The preferred panel for residential use by most metal experts is hands down the traditional double lock standing seam.

 

Ice and Water Shield

 

Ice and Water Shield Material

Ice and Water Shield

Regardless of the roof material chosen, regions that are cold enough to have wintery weather should use ice and water shield (waterproof underlayment) at least on the eaves. Many contractors will also install ice and water shield in the valleys and transitions if not the whole roof. I would also recommend the use of Stainless-Steel roofing nails with most roofing materials, they’re available in the same coils the installer already uses with their air guns.

 

Whether your home’s roof is architecturally simple or complex, it is not a bad idea to use ice and water shield over all the roof decking, especially for a metal roof where a high temperature rated underlayment should be used.

 

Underlayment has a sticky backing that attaches to the substrate (sheathing) to seal the roof making it watertight underneath the roofing material itself, thus preventing any moisture from penetrating the system and allowing any breach to exit at the drip edged eaves and into the gutter. Ideally, no moisture should penetrate any roof be it shingle or metal, but underlayment is cheap insurance and when it’s properly installed, pretty much guarantees the roof’s watertight integrity.

 

Roofing Components

 

Lastly, you need high quality roof system components, these are critical and one of the most important elements that go into a watertight roof, also known as the flashing details. Flashing details are where the roofing materials run into a roof deck transitions, such as valleys, dormers, walls, skylights, fireplace chimneys or where flu and plumbing vent pipes pass through the roof itself. These details could be described also as the place in the roof system most likely to be the source of a leak if there is one. Primarily two things can prevent these leaks from occurring, a company with skilled tradesmen along with quality roof system components.

 

This is part one of a three-part article called Residential Roofing and Re-roofing Thoughts. Read Part Two – Tips for Hiring a Roofing Professional.

 

About the Author

 

Lifetime Tool® Lifetime Roof System ComponentsMy name is Roger Cline, and my company is Lifetime Tool® & Building Products LLC. We manufacture only premium roof system components for roofing professionals, architects, home and building owners that demand real quality and value.

 

A little bit about me, I have more than 25 years in technical roofing sheet metal experience, not selling but complex design and installation, primarily double lock standing seam and flat lock, some slate, and shingles. I’ve been in the industry twice that long and have developed many patented roofing products. Several have changed the way things are done and one, how nearly all things globally attach to a standing seam metal roof, especially for solar panels and snow fences.

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