install Asphalt Shingles

How to Install Asphalt Shingles

The difference in how you install (replace) a roof in the present compared to the past is like night and day. Thanks to a gazillion “how-to” blogs and instructional videos on YouTube, anyone with the confidence, tools, and the right physical condition can do it.

But here’s the thing: installing a roof is still not a project you should undertake if you’re not confident in your DIY skills. It’s a physically demanding job that requires safety precautions, including working from heights. One misstep could mean serious injury.

So, while we won’t try to dissuade you from taking on the challenge as we’re advocates of DIY, we’ll provide you with valuable tips before you start swinging those hammers.

Step 1 – Focus on safety above all things

The inexperienced homeowner is more likely to fall off the roof while attempting to install asphalt shingles than a qualified roofer. The difference between the former and the latter is that the roofer has presumably been properly trained and knows how to work on a roof safely.

That’s not to say that you can’t install asphalt shingles – you absolutely can, but be sure to take all necessary precautions, including using a ladder or scaffold when working from height, wearing a hard hat, and using safety ropes.

Pro Tip: Not many DIYers realize the value of wearing the right shoes when working on a roof. Many roofing accidents occur because people are wearing the wrong type of footwear, which can cause them to slip and fall. When installing asphalt shingles, wear shoes with soft rubber soles and good tread. That’ll help you maintain traction on the roof and prevent slips and falls.

Step 2 – Study how sloped roofing systems work

It’s not all about you getting up there and hammering away. You need to understand the roofing system you’re working with to install the asphalt shingles properly.

Asphalt shingles are most commonly used on pitched roofs with a sloped surface. The slope of the roof is necessary so that water can run off the roof and away from the building. If you’re not sure how to determine the slope of your roof, there are a few ways to do it. You can use a level to find the pitch of the roof or, if you have access to the attic, measure the rise and run of the roof rafters.

Once you’ve determined the slope of your roof, you need to purchase asphalt shingles designed for that slope. Asphalt shingles come in various grades, each of which is designed for a specific sloped roof.

Pro Tip: If you install asphalt shingles that aren’t designed for the slope of your roof, they won’t perform as well and may even come loose and fall off. So, be sure to purchase the right shingles for your roof.

Step 3 – Gather your tools and materials

You’ll need a few essential tools to install asphalt shingles, including a chalk line, utility knife, hammer, pry bar, and nails. In terms of materials, you’ll need asphalt shingles and felt and cement designed for roofs.

Pro Tip: Be sure to use galvanized or stainless-steel nails when installing asphalt shingles as they won’t rust like regular nails.

Step 4 – Prepare the roof surface

Before installing the newly purchased asphalt shingles, you need to prepare the roof surface. This means getting rid of any existing roofing material and making sure the roof is clean and debris-free. If you’re replacing an existing roof, you’ll need to remove all of the old shingles and the felt paper and any nails left behind. Once that’s done, you can sweep or blow off the roof surface to remove any small debris.

Pro Tip: Be sure to inspect the roof deck for any signs of damage, such as rot or water damage. Any damage must be fixed before proceeding with the installation of the new shingles.

Step 5 – Begin working from the bottom up

Once the roof surface is prepared, you now begin with the drip edge. It’s important to work from the bottom up so that water runs off the shingles and doesn’t seep underneath.

The drip edge serves as the first line of defence against water infiltration and should be installed at the roof’s eaves. It’s a metal or vinyl strip placed along the edge of the roof, extending over the gutter.

Pro Tip: The drip edge should overhang the gutter by at least an inch.

Step 6 – Install the felt paper

The next step is to install the felt paper. Felt paper is a water-resistant material placed between the roof deck and the asphalt shingles. It helps protect the roof deck from moisture and extends the life of the shingles.

You only need to nail the felt paper down with galvanized or stainless-steel nails to install the felt paper. Be sure to overlap each row of felt paper by at least two inches.

Pro Tip: Don’t forget to install a strip of felt paper along the rake edge, the edge of the roof extending over the gutter.

Step 7 – Install an ice and water protector

If you live in a region with harsh winter, installing an ice and water protector is a good idea. An ice and water protector are a synthetic underlayment that helps prevent ice dams and water damage.

The ice and water protector should be installed before the final row of shingles. This will help keep your roof protected from the elements.

Pro Tip: Consult with a professional roofer to see if an ice and water protector is necessary for your region.

Step 8 – Add the roof underlayment

Before installing the roofing cement, you’ll need to install the roof underlayment. The roof underlayment is a layer of asphalt-saturated felt that helps keep the roof deck dry. If your area isn’t prone to harsh winter, you’re better off starting the underlayment at the eave rather than the whole length of the roof.

Installing the underlayment is a simple process. Just unroll it and nail it in place. As in the previous step, you need to overlap each piece by two inches.

Pro Tip: You must also use galvanized or stainless-steel nails to avoid premature rusting when installing the roof underlayment.

Step 9 – Cover the joints and valleys

Some areas or components of the roof need flashing, the purpose of which is to divert water and moisture. The flashing needs to be covered in roofing cement to create a waterproof seal.

The flashing is found at the joints and valleys of the roof. The joints are where two pieces of the roof meet, while the intersection of two sloping roofs forms the valleys.

Simply cut it to size and nail it in place to install the flashing. Then, apply a generous amount of roofing cement over the seams and allow them to dry.

Pro Tip: If you’re not sure how to install the flashing, consult with a professional roofer. You can’t “redo” this step, so it’s better to learn everything about it before proceeding.

Step 10 – It’s time to shingle

Starting at the bottom of the roof, install the first row of shingles. Align the shingles and nail them in place. Be sure to stagger the joints of the shingles as you install them. This will help keep water from seeping underneath the shingles.

Pro Tip: It’s good to use a chalk line to help you keep the first row of shingles straight.

Step 11 – Proceed with the installation of the rest of the shingles.

Once you’ve installed the first row of shingles, continue working your way up the roof, installing one row at a time. Like the previous step, don’t forget to stagger the joints of each row of shingles and use a chalk line to keep the rows straight.

Pro Tip: Use a utility knife to trim any shingles that hang over the roof’s edge.

Step 12 – Don’t forget the hip and ridge caps

If your roof has a hip or ridge, you’ll need to install hip and ridge caps. The hip and ridge caps are pieces of metal or asphalt that cap off the hips and ridges of the roof.

Installing the hip and ridge caps is a simple process. Just measure the length and width of each hip and ridge, then cut the caps to size. Once you’ve cut the caps to size, nail them in place.

Pro Tip: It’s best to use longer nails for ridge cap shingles for them to penetrate the roof deck.

At this point, you already have a clearer picture of how to set up and install asphalt shingles. That’ll help you acknowledge the cost as you purchase the necessary materials for the project and the intricacies that often go into roofing. There’s no shame in consulting a professional if you don’t feel confident.

Roofing Budget on Track

5 Tips to Keep your Roofing Budget on Track

No roofing project is cheap. Many property owners are wrong to think that they can skimp on the costs and get away with a subpar roofing job because “it’s just a roof.” That’s the elephant in the room we need to get over with as we talk about keeping track of your budget for a new roof.

But your roof is one of the most important investments you’ll make for your home. It protects you and your family from the elements, but it also adds curb appeal and can affect your home’s resale value.

But having said that, it doesn’t mean you just lay it all out there without any planning. You still need to be strategic about your spending, which is why we’ve put together these five tips to help you keep your roofing budget on track:

1 – Know your priorities

The first step in any roofing project is to determine your priorities. What are you trying to achieve with this project? Are you looking for a complete overhaul or just some minor repairs?

Your priorities will help you set your budget and ensure that you’re not spending more than you need to. For example, if you’re only looking for some minor repairs, you can probably get away with a smaller budget. But if you’re looking for a complete overhaul, then you’ll need to be prepared to spend a bit more.

Note: Whether it’s a small repair job or a total replacement, you must hire a professional roofing contractor to do the work. No roofing project is meant to be DIY.

2 – Come up with an outline

You first must obtain multiple quotes from local roofers. The idea is to get a feel for the market rates in your area. You probably have a budget in mind at this point, and you want to align that with what the roofers are quoting.
So, what’s in a roofing quotation?

For starters, the roofing contractor will look at your property and assess the damage. They will then estimate the materials needed and the labour required to fix the problem.

This is where things can quickly get out of hand if you’re not careful. Some contractors will try to upsell you on materials or add extra fees for things you may not need. Therefore, it’s important to get multiple quotes and compare them side-by-side.

After you’ve collected quotes from different roofing contractors, the next step is to come up with an outline for the project. This will help you keep track of the costs and ensure that you’re not going over budget.

Your outline should include all the materials, labour, and other costs associated with the project. Once you have an outline, you can start comparison shopping to find the best deals on materials and labour.

There’s no way you’ll memorize everything in your head, so an outline is key. This document will help you keep track of the costs and keep you from overspending.

3 – Be practical when it comes to material choices

One of the biggest mistakes that property owners make is choosing roofing materials that are too expensive. Just because you want the best for your home doesn’t mean that you have to break the bank. There are plenty of practical and affordable options out there.

Talk to your roofing contractor about your options and find something that fits your needs and your budget. There’s no need to go for the most expensive option when a more affordable one will do the job just as well.

Even inexpensive roofing materials offer great durability and performance with the latest technologies. For example, asphalt shingles have come a long way in recent years and can now offer the same level of protection as more expensive options.

4 – Shop around for financing

If you’re not able to pay for the project upfront, you’ll need to finance it. There are many different financing options available, so shop around for the best rates and terms.

You may ask your roofing contractor if they offer financing options. Many contractors offer financing, which can help you get the project done without worrying about the upfront costs.

Financing is a sensible option when it comes to long-term cost considerations. With proper financing, you can spread out the project’s cost over a longer period, which can make it more affordable in the long run.

5 – Have a contingency fund

Always expect the unexpected when it comes to any kind of roofing project. There may be unforeseen problems that arise during the project, which can add to the costs. It’s always good to have a contingency fund for unexpected costs.

By having a contingency fund, you come prepared for these unexpected costs and can avoid going over budget.

Hire a Competent and Honest Roofer

Keeping track of your budget is just one of the several concerns in a roofing project. Just as critical is finding a competent and honest roofer; unfortunately, not everyone you meet in this industry will have your best interests at heart.

To avoid getting ripped off or overcharged, take the time to do your research on potential roofing contractors. Put a premium on two attributes: licensed and insured. You can’t risk hiring an unlicensed and uninsured roofing contractor for cheap labour only to end up with a shoddy roof over your head.

what are shingles

What Are Roofing Shingles?

No other roofing material is as versatile and practical as shingles. They come in a wide variety of colours, styles, and textures to complement any home design and can be used on roofs with different pitches.

A shingle is a roof covering type originally designed for pitched roofs. These shingles are laid using an overlapping design to shed water. Shingles are made of different materials, i.e., asphalt, ceramic, metal, organic material such as wood or slate, and composite materials like fibre cement or fibreglass.

Aesthetic Properties

Shingles are a preferred roofing material because they offer a wide range of aesthetic options. They’re available in multiple patterns and textures that add curb appeal and value to your home.

Asphalt – Asphalt shingles are the most popular type of roofing shingle. They are made of a mat of organic materials like cellulose and fibreglass, which are then coated with asphalt and covered with ceramic granules.

Ceramic – Ceramic roofing shingles are made from clay or other inorganic materials. They’re fired at high temperatures to create a hard, durable surface.

Metal – Metal roofing shingles are steel, aluminum, or copper. They offer a classic look and are very durable.

Organic – Organic roofing shingles are made from materials like wood or slate. These shingles offer a natural look but require more maintenance than other types of shingles.

Composite – Composite roofing shingles are made from various materials, including fibreglass, asphalt, and ceramic. They offer the best features of other types of shingles and are known for their durability, too.

Underrated Performance

Roofing shingles are often underrated for their performance in extreme weather conditions. Shingles are designed to withstand high winds and heavy rain and even help protect your home from fire.

A roof shingle’s composition is what makes it so durable. The mat is made of organic materials that are coated with asphalt. This combination makes shingles flexible to expand and contract in extreme temperatures without cracking or breaking.

The ceramic granules on the surface of the shingle also add to its durability. These granules deflect UV rays and help keep your home cooler in summer. They also add weight to the shingle to withstand high winds.

Fun Fact: Henry Reynolds, a roofer from Grand Rapids, Michigan, is credited for inventing the first asphalt shingle in 1903. He experimented with saturated asphalt rolls by cutting and making individual shingles from them. He managed to cut the individual pieces and used them as roofing shingles. It took twelve years before the first-ever machine was built to mass-produce these shingles.

Fire Resistance

One of roofing shingles’ most important performance properties is their fire resistance. Shingles are rated for their fire resistance by class. Class A shingles are the most fire-resistant, and Class C shingles are the least.
Asphalt shingles are the most common type of roofing shingle, and they are also the most fire-resistant. The combination of organic materials and asphalt makes them very resistant to fire.

Ceramic roofing shingles are also very fire-resistant. They’re created at high temperatures to produce a surface that fire can’t easily penetrate.

Metal roofing shingles are also fire-resistant, but they’re not as common as asphalt or ceramic shingles. Aluminum, copper, and steel are all resistant to fire, but they’re only a second option to asphalt or ceramic shingles because they’re more expensive.

Organic roofing shingles, such as those made from wood or slate, are not as fire-resistant as other shingles. However, new technology allows them to be treated with fire-retardant chemicals to improve their fire resistance.
Composite roofing shingles are made from various materials, so their fire resistance varies. Some composite shingles are as fire-resistant as asphalt or ceramic shingles, while others are not.

You must pick the right type of shingle for your home – if you live in an area prone to wildfires, you should choose a shingle with a high fire rating.

Cost-Effective

Roofing shingles are a cost-effective way to roof your home. They’re less expensive than other types of roofing, such as metal or tile. They’re also easier to install, saving you money on installation costs.

Did you know that roofing shingles carry most of the concrete and slate tiles attributes? Yet, they’re almost half the price of these materials, making them a great option for budget-conscious homeowners.

Straightforward Installation

Another advantage of roofing shingles is that they’re easy to install. Most shingles can be installed by a qualified do-it-yourselfer, although we’re not saying everyone should do it.

  • Asphalt shingles are the easiest type of shingles to install. They weigh less than other shingles, so they’re easy to carry and maneuver. They also have a self-sealing adhesive strip that makes them easy to install.
  • Ceramic shingles are also easy to install. They’re slightly heavier than asphalt shingles, but you can cut them with a utility knife. They also have an adhesive strip for convenient installation.
  • Metal shingles are the most difficult type of shingles to install. They’re heavy and difficult to maneuver. They also need to be installed with special tools, such as a power drill.
  • Composite shingles are made from various materials, so their installation difficulty varies. Some composite shingles are as easy to install as asphalt or ceramic shingles, while others are more difficult and require experience and training.

The best option is to hire a professional roofer to install your new roof if you’re unsure how to do it yourself. Roofing is a dangerous job, and it’s best to leave it to the pros.

Less Maintenance

Another advantage of roofing shingles is that they require less maintenance than other types of roofing. Asphalt and ceramic shingles don’t require any special care, and they can last for decades with minimal upkeep.

On the other hand, metal roofs need to be cleaned and sealed regularly to prevent rust and corrosion. Composite shingles must likewise be kept clean and sealed regularly to prevent mould and mildew buildup.

The best way to maintain your roof is to have it inspected annually by a qualified roofer. They will be able to spot any problems before they become serious, and this applies to all types of roofing material, including shingles.

tips to replace roof

Tips for Vancouverites Looking to Replace Their Roof

Vancouver is known for its mild climate and temperate environment, but these perks can’t protect your home from the weather. Regardless of where you live, roofs play an indispensable role in preventing water and moisture from entering the walls and, subsequently, in your living space.

However, if your roof is old and damaged or has construction defects that can’t be fixed, then it’s time to look into a replacement. Roof replacement makes sense in a few situations, including:

  • If your roof is damaged or has several leaks
  • If you need to add insulation to your attic
  • If you have shingles that are over 15 years old
  • If you are building a new home

But navigating this pricey endeavour can be overwhelming if you’re not sure where to start.

Assess the Damage First

Before doing anything else, assess the damage so you can find out exactly what your roof needs. For example, you’ll likely need a new roof if there are several leaks because shingles can’t be patched together.

Unless your roof is still under warranty, you must look into a replacement immediately because shingles don’t last forever.  Even if there aren’t any leaks and your shingles look perfectly fine, it’s still a good idea to replace them when they’re almost two decades old because of weather damage.

The sun and rain will slowly erode your shingles over several years, potentially leading to leakage.

Finding a Skilled and Reliable Roofer

The most important aspect of a roof replacement project is finding the right contractor. Mind you, it’s easier said than done, knowing the fact that there are hundreds of prospective roofers in Vancouver alone. But you don’t have to overwhelm yourself – all you need is to follow these tips:

Tip 1 – Consult with family, friends, or other members of the community.

Expect other homeowners to have personal experiences with a contractor with similar credentials to what you’re looking for. If someone can recommend a reliable contractor, then this is the best way to get started.

Be sure to validate any information through the Better Business Bureau; you’ll see if there’ve been complaints or violations with the contractor in their previous projects.

Tip 2 – Work with a certified and licensed roofing contractor.

The roofing industry comprises several specialties, so you’ll need to find one that has the credentials for your particular project, whether it’s a simple asphalt shingle replacement or designing and installing metal roofs.

By looking up their membership database, you can check if your contractor is certified with the Canadian Roofing Contractors Association (CRCA). This tells you that they’ve been vetted and provided quality workmanship to their clients for several years now.

Credentials vary depending on the project, so you must look into your contractor’s specific experience and background.

Tip 3 – Narrow your list down and do interviews. 

>Once you’ve compiled a list of roofers, it’s time to narrow them down further by interviewing each one. This will allow you to ask specific questions about their work history and qualifications, giving you an idea of whether they are well-suited for your project.

When doing interviews, there are several key points that you should consider:

  • Does your roofer have a strong affiliation with a company or business?
  • How long has the contractor been in business?
  • What kind of experience does the contractor have with roof replacement projects like yours?
  • What’s included in their quotes, and how do they measure up to the competition?

At the end of your interview, there must be a good rapport between you and your contractor. It’ll make working together much easier in the future when problems arise with your roof replacement project.

Tip 4 – Get a reasonable quote.

After doing interviews with your shortlisted contractors, it’s time to get quotes from them. You’ll need to ask each contractor for the same set of information so you can compare their quote against one another.

Be sure to ask about their company profile and qualifications; this will give you a good idea if they’re capable of handling your roof replacement project.

Their quote should include the following:

  • A breakdown of costs associated with their project
  • The length of time it will take to complete your roof replacement
  • References from other satisfied clients
  • A timeline for the project if you must coordinate multiple contractors during a specific period

Tip 5 – Dig deep on project logistics. 

You should have a list of qualified roofers at this stage, and they’ve provided their quotes for your approval. Now it is time to do some digging into the logistics of the project.

By asking these questions, you’ll know if your chosen contractor has all the necessary skills to complete the project:

  • How long will the roof replacement project take, from start to finish?
  • What’s included in their quote, and what are the price variations if you need additional services or materials?
  • Are there any extra charges for late-night work so your home won’t be disturbed?
  • How will they prepare your home for roof replacement, such as putting up protective tarps, and how long will it take to do so?

It’s crucial your contractor is reliable and can provide you with accurate information about their company. However, you should also feel comfortable with them; if they fail to answer your questions, you must consider this a major red flag.

Tip 6 – Get everything in writing.

Negotiating with a contractor can be stressful and confusing, especially if the two of you aren’t on the same page about specific details. However, some things may seem trivial now, but they’re important to note as you’ll need them later down the line.

When working with your contractor, make sure you get everything in writing regarding the following:

  • Their company profile and qualifications
  • The costs involved for your project
  • If there are any additional charges, what they are and how much they cost
  • Any warranties available to you upon completion of the project
  • What is included in your quote and the variations if you need additional services
  • The timeline for completion of your roof replacement project
  • Your responsibilities as a homeowner
  • Their responsibilities as a contractor, including any liability should accidents or damages occur on site

It’s best to draft up a contract that both parties can sign. This will remove any confusion about what was agreed upon and help you get on the same page.

Don’t Be Afraid to Look Elsewhere

Reliable contractors are worth their weight in gold, but there may be times when you feel that your roof replacement project has taken too much of a toll on you. Other reasons for getting quotes from other contractors include feeling that someone else can do the job faster or better than your preferred person.

Take the time to compare different quotes and ensure you’re getting the best value for your money. If you’re not, then it’s time to look elsewhere and find someone who can help you with your roof replacement project.

Drainage Solutions for Flat Roofs

Three Drainage Solutions for Flat Roofs in Vancouver

There’s no denying the preference for flat roofs in Vancouver. From apartment buildings to residential homes, Vancouverites love the simplicity of flat roofs over other types.

But what about the downfalls? Flat roofs are known for their vulnerable design in inclement weather, puddling water and quick saturation. So, anyone planning to install a flat roof or replace an old one must have a failsafe drainage solution.

Importance of an Adequate Drainage on a Flat Roof

Proper drainage on a flat roof ensures that both rain and snow are adequately removed. In addition, it’ll prevent leaks, water damage and structural problems with your building’s foundation.

Both the outer surface of the roof and any insulation applied to it become saturated with water, particularly after a heavy rainfall or snow. That’s why a drainage system is necessary during both the summer and winter months as it ensures that the roof doesn’t freeze, causing cracks in the material.

Proper drainage will also reduce ice dams – when thick accumulations of snow form on your roof under shingles or tiles where they melt and refreeze again with water trickling down, causing leaks over time. Unfortunately, if this melting process happens frequently, it’ll also damage the insulation under the roofing material, allowing ice bridges to form.

What Happens If There Isn’t Enough Drainage?

Flat roofs in Vancouver won’t last long without an established drainage solution. The first thing to go will be the roofing material. With enough water exposure, your shingles start peeling at their bottom layers. The underlying roof deck will then be damaged, resulting in leaks.

And if your building’s insulation is affected by water damage, expect to pay more out of pocket for heat in the cold winter months. Plus, the humidity build-up in the insulation leads to mould growth in your attic space. It even speeds up shrub growth on the roof surface that also leads to roof leaks.

Further compounding these problems is polluted rainwater. With inadequate drainage, rainwater will sit on your roof’s surface for extended periods. You don’t want those contaminants to find their way into your indoor environment, contaminating both the soil and groundwater where they eventually reach groundwater used for drinking.

These problems can all be prevented with a well-planned drainage design for your flat roofing project.

Choosing the Right Solution for Your Building

If you have a flat roof on your house or building, these three drainage solutions offer the best protection:

1 – Gutter System

The best thing about gutters is that you don’t need to perform a pricey modification on your flat roof to install them. Gutters work by directing water from the roof into a downspout. The bigger the gutter and downspout, the more effective it is at draining off excess water.

Aside from being a cost-effective drainage solution, a gutter system doesn’t require a ton of maintenance, provided you install protection, i.e., gutter guards or mesh. Of course, you’ll need a professional who’s experienced in installing gutters and their accompanying protection, but it shouldn’t be expensive either.

Warning: Gutter systems often accumulate debris over time and may need to be maintained or cleaned. Otherwise, you’ll experience blockage and overflow, especially if you don’t equip them with protection.

2 – Scuppers

Scuppers aren’t as common as gutters, but they’re an excellent drainage solution for flat roofs. Scuppers are simply openings in the roof that allow water to seep into a perforated pipe leading to cleanouts and downspout extensions.

The perforations on the scupper’s pipe direct rainwater to the downspout, avoiding any overflow. In addition, it means they protect your building’s foundation from water seeping through cracks and holes, which could lead to irreparable damage.

Scuppers are a better drainage option for flat roofs because it’s one of the least expensive solutions that offer excellent performance. It works best for homes or small commercial buildings with minimal roof area that can accommodate scupper openings.

Warning: The drawback to using scuppers is that small debris or fallen leaves can clog the roof opening and prevent water from draining. You may need to maintain them regularly, i.e., by cleaning out any excess dirt and debris.

3 – Interior Drains

For larger flat rooftops, using interior drains is the best option. It requires drilling holes in your roof decking and placing drainage pipes below to direct water elsewhere.

This drainage solution comprises guttering, pipes, and a system of drains that ensure water is never allowed to remain on your roof. The system works if the density of your insulation is higher than other flat roofs, where water accumulates faster after heavy rainfall. The downside of this solution is that you’ll need to cut through the roof decking, which can be an expensive process.

Warning: Installing an interior drain system requires hiring a professional plumber and roofer who’s experienced in installing drainage systems for flat roofs. You’ll also need to regularly clean the system to avoid blockage, leading to water build-up.

Why Not DIY?

If you’re tempted to design your own drainage solution for your flat roof, don’t.

A DIY approach may save you money initially, but there’s a high chance it will cost more in the long run. Flat roofs are difficult to work with and require specialized designs that aren’t possible without professional installation. You’ll end up wasting time and money if you try to do it yourself.

Of course, a DIY approach might work for a small roofing structure with a less complicated design. However, for anything more extensive or complicated, hire a professional.

COVID and cost of your roof

How COVID-19 Will Impact the Cost of Your Roof

How COVID-19 Will Impact the Cost of Your Roof? There’s every reason to believe that property owners hoping to replace or install a new roof will have to prepare for significantly higher costs amid the pandemic.

As there is no reason for optimism about COVID-19, it’s no surprise that costs are already on their way up. The average price of a new shingle roof rose by at least 5% in 2021.

And it gets worse – the impact of COVID-19 on affordable housing providers will be even more significant. There is no simple way for them to make roof installation more affordable; in other words, local roofers expect to spend more across the board.

Economic Shutdown’s Impact on Roof Materials

The shutdown of several manufacturing plants and the loss of skilled labourers have meant that roofing suppliers and manufacturers have had to import materials from overseas.

Though the materials aren’t any different, they’re imported means there are additional shipping costs. For the most part, the added expense is shouldered by property owners who need to replace their roofs and buy products.

Opting for imported roofing materials is a costlier option – but with local supplies hit by the stranded economy, both property owners and roofing contractors don’t have much choice.

Even if a substantially lower number of property owners spend on a roof replacement during the pandemic, this trend doesn’t translate to cheaper materials. Companies, especially those that struggle to compete with well-established brands, are forced to adhere to COVID-19 adjustments in the factories.

This means social distancing, limited physical contact, and constrained work hours. All in all, everyone in the roofing industry must deal with reduced production.

Costlier Supplies + Lower Demand = Higher Prices for Your Roof

Whatever your roofing needs, it’s almost guaranteed that you’ll need to prepare for higher costs.

For homeowners struggling to maintain their properties, this means putting home improvement projects on hold. But when the roof can no longer function the way it’s expected, you have no other choice but to have it replaced, even if it means having to take the risk of exposure to COVID-19.

Manufacturers of roof materials know all too well that property owners are forced to pay a premium for their products. And since many homeowners are compelled to turn to less affordable options, they’re also more likely to sell at a higher price.

We’re not saying that everyone’s taking advantage of it. Nevertheless, even big-time manufacturers and suppliers are struggling to meet ends, forcing them to increase the price of roofing materials.

Mandatory Safety Guidelines Make Everything Difficult

Roofers and manufacturers don’t dictate the price of roofing materials, at least for the most part – they’re not the ones to blame for the increased cost of roof replacement.

Government-mandated safety guidelines and policies in the workplaces across all service industries make it almost impossible to stick to the usual turnaround time. This is quite true in the construction sector, where roofing belongs.

The result?

  • More delays
  • More time for the roof to deteriorate
  • Increased construction costs all around

As a result, you’re forced to pay more if you want your roof replacement as soon as possible.

So, aside from paying more for the materials, property owners are likely to acquiesce to higher cost estimates for labour. Several factors come into play, including that workers must be cautious not to get infected with the virus on site. It usually means a higher demand for paid overtime, extra compensation, and hazard pay.

Some property owners decide to do things cheaply, i.e., hiring a handyman to install a new roof. But this, too, could cost you more in the long run. Working with an unqualified roofer means increased susceptibility to mistakes. This only makes the roof more vulnerable to leaks and expensive repairs sooner than later.

Is It Best to Delay Roof Replacement?

If your roof is in good condition, then you might want to consider deferring the replacement for now. However, when there’s a massive storm approaching or when it starts leaking, you’ll have no other choice but to replace it in time.

You need to protect your family under the assessment of a professional – regardless of whether COVID-19 already hit your community or not.  Fortunately, there are ways to limit physical interaction while you’re weighing your options.

For example, you can search and hire a roofing contractor without meeting them in person. You can also arrange for a virtual appointment and a simulation of their work sites.

An online meeting with your prospects will suffice when it comes to figuring out the best options available. Another alternative would be to have a third party contact them on your behalf.

Cost Of Your Roof And COVID-19

With most roofing companies adapting to the new normal, you expect them to be fully versed in online correspondence. After all, working with clients online reduces overhead costs and maintains productivity.

There always will be a handful of prospects out there who’ll give you a reasonable quotation to get some work done in otherwise slow trade.

So, the problem isn’t finding a qualified contractor to install your new roof in the middle of the pandemic. The more obvious concern is the cost – will it be too much for anyone to back off and put the project on hold? Even with the pandemic ravaging the entire construction industry, there’s no way that roofing companies will cease their operations.

The roofing industry is going through a tough time, but if you’re smart about it, then there’s no need for you to pay an outrageous price to have your roof replaced in time. Know how to compare prices online, get free quotes from multiple contractors, and ask the right questions.

Keep in mind that COVID-19 is already making impact over the cost of your roof. Be ready to deal with it while saving money in the long term.

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What Are Some Environmentally Friendly Roofing Choices?

Roof replacement usually takes a backseat whenever you think about spending money on home improvement. It’s not surprising, considering the fact that it’s one of the priciest investments for your home or building.

Nonetheless, you really don’t have a choice because all roofs must be replaced sooner or later. And when that time comes, you’re hard-pressed to find a decent replacement that won’t break the bank.

While cost is the primary consideration for most people, there are other things to factor in choosing the material for your next roof, one of which is sustainability. Simply put, you must look into the possible effects of your roofing material on the environment.

The following are some environmentally friendly roofing materials you might want to consider:

1 – Cool Roofing

Cool roofs are designed to keep the inside of your house cooler during hot days and warmer during cold nights.

Cool roofing materials don’t absorb the heat from the sun, which makes them a good choice for homes in warm climates. They come in white or light shades to reflect heat from the sun and then release them slowly instead of trapping and holding it inside, allowing the house to warm up.

2 – Rubber Roofs

Rubber roofs usually come in a rolled-out form which can be installed on top of your existing roof. It’s a viable option for roof replacement because it looks more natural and doesn’t carry that much weight. In addition, rubber roofs are low-maintenance, highly durable, and waterproof too.

Roofs reinforced with rubber are eco-friendly because the material used in them are repurposed. This means they’re already deemed undesirable and cannot be used for anything else; instead of throwing rubber waste in landfills, they’re ingeniously used to prolong the life of the roofing structure.

3 – Metal Roofs

On the surface, metal roofing sounds like a poor choice because it’s one of the costlier materials for roofs. But don’t be fooled by its initial price tag – metal is actually quite affordable in the long run because it lasts longer than most other options and can withstand extreme weather conditions.

A standing seam metal roof is eco-friendly since it’s made from recycled material. The roof’s design naturally reflects heat, thereby helping you reduce your heating and cooling requirements. In addition, metal prevents the buildup of ice dams in the winter and can last over 50 years with regular upkeep.

4 – Corrugated Roofing

Just like metal roofs, corrugated roofs are also eco-friendly because they’re made from recycled materials. Corrugated roofs can last more than five decades – way longer than traditional roofing choices. They’re suitable for homes in areas with heavy snowfall because the corrugated design effectively sheds water away from the building.

The corrugated roof’s inherent durability makes it a sustainable choice for homeowners who hate the idea of spending money on constant maintenance and repair.

5 – Green Roof

A green roof is considered the most sustainable choice for roofing. Essentially, they’re built to serve as an extension of your garden, where plants and grasses grow and thrive on top of your building. It makes sense in the perspective of eco-friendliness since the plants help clean the air and minimize the scorching heat.

Green roofs provide insulation benefits, plus they help conserve energy by absorbing heat from the sun during summer days and vice versa during winter seasons.

6 – Recycled Shingle Roof

A recycled shingle roof is made from repurposed material, i.e., plastic, rubber, wood fibre, and asphalt. The material is versatile in design because the manufacturer emulates the appearance of those expensive but unsustainable roofing materials like slate and tiles.

The best attribute of a recycled shingle roof is its price. You get a lower price for a roofing material that’s built to last and has a flexible design that’ll help boost your home’s curb appeal.

7 – Green Wood Shakes

Green wood shakes are made from reclaimed wood, which means you don’t contribute to deforestation. In addition, you’re confident about this roof’s durability because the material is treated to withstand rotting and insect infestation.

If you need a natural-looking roofing material that comes with several colour options, then consider green wood shakes as your choice. This eco-friendly roofing material is popular among environmental advocates because it’s cost-effective and requires low maintenance.

8 – Clay Roof

Clay is one of the oldest materials used to build roofs, and there are excellent reasons why it’s still relevant today. For example, a clay roof is fireproof and weather resistant. Likewise, it has a very sophisticated aesthetic, which makes it the perfect choice for Mediterranean-style homes.

Did you know that clay is an excellent insulation material? A clay roof promotes comfortable temperatures inside your living space.

Additionally, they come in different designs to complement your taste and preferences. Like most eco-friendly roofing materials on this list, clay roof tiles require little maintenance, and you can’t see any other cheaper alternative to them.

Why an Eco-Friendly Roof?

There’s more to your roof than protecting you and your property underneath it. Choosing a sustainable roof means you care about the welfare of future generations. Imagine how many roofs will be built in the next decade or so, and you immediately understand why it’s essential to select eco-friendly roofing materials right about now.

A sustainable roofing solution also helps minimize energy consumption, which is beneficial to the planet because less greenhouse gas emissions equals cleaner air for everyone. That alone is enough reason for you to go for an environment-friendly material to replace an old roof.

How to Remove Moss from Shingles to Preserve Your Roof

How to Remove Moss from Shingles to Preserve Your Roof

Quick and simple: Remove moss from shingles if you want to extend your roof’s life span. Shingles with a dark green appearance may look harmless, but it’s a sign of moss buildup. Moss grows in the roof’s shaded area, like when tall and thick trees cover it. Some homeowners think that their shingle-type roofing system doesn’t look bad with moss in it, not realizing that it speeds up the roof’s deterioration.

A thin layer of moss isn’t a cause for alarm, but when it grows into large clusters, it’ll find its way under the shingles and wreak havoc to the whole structure. You’ll read a boatload of tips on DIY moss removal, but it doesn’t mean they’re legit. You may even damage your roof in the process.

The idea is to safely remove moss on the shingles to maintain your roof’s structural integrity. While it sounds relatively straightforward, there’s a bunch of issues you need to address after the removal. How do you prevent it from growing back? If you’re getting rid of it on your own, how do you prevent further damage to the shingles?

Why Remove Moss in the First Place?

Aesthetics and charm aside, moss is bad for your shingles. No matter how you look at it, it doesn’t change the fact that it damages the roof and will shorten its life. Unlike plants that collect water through their roots, moss uses its leaves instead.

In other words, mosses don’t need soil to get the nutrients and water needed for growth. The dry surface of the roof shingle is no deterrent for its roots to grow and spread. If you ignore the presence of moss on your roof, it’ll slowly tear the shingles apart and cause leaks.

You don’t want moss on your roof when it rains; it soaks up and retains water naturally, putting unwanted weight and moisture on the shingles. Furthermore, moss buildup impedes proper water drainage. Instead of finding its way straight down to the gutters, water must go around the moss growth.

If left unattended, moss finds its way underneath the shingles, forcing them to lift and open up for water to penetrate. As soon as water penetrates the inner layer of the roof, it’ll result in leaks.

Removing Moss: How to Address a Moss Problem

Don’t wait for the growth to spread to the entire roofing surface before you act. The last thing you need is an expensive roof replacement project – a severe moss infection means that the shingles are no longer salvageable.

There’s a handful of ways to remove moss from your shingles; the strategy you choose depends on the state of your roof, budget, and severity of the infection. The easiest yet nastiest method is to scrub it manually. But the task is doubly difficult because of the “height” factor and the complexity of your roof’s design.

Put the ladder close to the affected area; this way, you don’t have to walk through a distance on the roof. Wearing protective equipment is a must, i.e., rubber gloves, slip-resistant shoes, and eye protection. Grab a safety rope to secure yourself – there’s a constant risk of falling.

Find a soft-bristled brush with a long handle so you won’t have to bend over and potentially lose balance. To remove moss, start scrubbing from the top to prevent lifting or damaging the shingles. Remember, there’s a difference between scrubbing the shingles gently and scraping them. You don’t want to scour or pound it either.

What If Scrubbing Doesn’t Work?

Scrubbing the roof doesn’t work at all times. Fortunately, there are other ways to get rid of the moss, including:

1 – Liquid Moss Killer

You need sufficient water pressure that reaches the roof’s ridge to apply a liquid moss killer. It comes in a container that conveniently attaches to the garden hose. You can also mix liquid bleach and water and spray the solution on the affected area. See to it that you let the solution adhere to the surface by leaving it for about half an hour before rinsing. You may have to repeat the process in severe moss growth.

Pro Tip: Never use a pressure washer on asphalt shingles since it might result in granule loss.

2 – Dry Moss Killer

Any home improvement store sells dry moss killer in powder form. You have to sprinkle the powder in lines parallel to the roof ridge. Be sure each line is about four feet from the other. The idea is for rainwater to combine with the dry powder, finding its way to the eaves.

Pro Tip: Don’t go for the dry moss killer powder if there’s no rain forecast for several weeks.

Prevention

Don’t wait for the moss to appear on your shingles before you do something. Put in place preventive measures that’ll help suppress moss’ growth; clean the gutters regularly (or install gutter protection), trim tree branches that grow near or over the roof and get rid of anything that collects moisture, such as seedpods and leaves.

Lastly, roofing professionals recommend the installation of copper or zinc-coated strips below the roofing ridge caps. Rainwater flows over the strips, releasing the zinc particles into the shingles. This effectively thwarts any sign of moss growth.

Proper Roof Maintenance Will Extend the Life of Your Roof

Proper Roof Maintenance Will Extend the Life of Your Roof

Proper Roof Maintenance will extend the life of your roof, that is a fact you need to keep in mind.

Very few home improvement projects cost more than a new roof. This alone is enough reason to keep it in pristine condition for as long as possible. Regardless of the roofing material, the structure will eventually give in to wear and tear, exacerbated by extreme weather and the lack of proper maintenance—even the most affordable composite shingle roof costs at least $12,000. So, after investing your hard-earned money to install a new roof, you need to protect it.

You couldn’t be more wrong to think that a newly installed roof doesn’t need your attention. Again, proper roof maintenance will extend your roof’s life span.

Regardless of age, the structure must be regularly inspected to ensure that it’s in excellent condition. Appropriate maintenance will extend its life. But as someone who doesn’t really go up there to check what’s going on, you’re clueless about what comprises the term “proper maintenance.” Here’s what you need to know:

1 – Gutter Cleaning

Did you know that when your gutters are clogged with debris, the overflow can both go downwards and upwards? Aside from the wet basement and damaged paint on the side of your house, clogged gutters force water into the roof decking and rafters. Since these components are usually made from wood boards, the presence of water in them leads to rotting. That type of damage could amount to thousands of dollars in repair work.

You can avoid costly repair on your roofing components caused by water penetration by merely cleaning the gutters – do it every fall and spring. If you’re not up to the task, you can hire a contractor for a $100 job.

Pro Tip: Installing gutter protection, i.e., gutter guards and mesh, helps prevent clogging and reduce the need to clean the gutters.

2 – Mind the Moss

Some roofing materials are vulnerable to moss, i.e., wood and composite shingles. Moss looks like black algae, but you need to get rid of it from the onset, unlike black algae. Black algae affect the roof’s aesthetics, but it doesn’t hurt it. You’ll easily remove it with bleach and water.

On the other hand, moss must be dealt with right away because it traps water. If you ignore the buildup of moss on your roof, it’ll cause multiple problems such as added weight to the roof, rotting, and blocking the drainage points. Prevent the growth and eventual buildup of moss by using potassium salts of fatty acids. A more aggressive approach requires the use of chemicals like zinc sulfate.

Pro Tip: Put zinc strips on your roof to prevent the likelihood of another growth. Hire a roofer when using pesticide on your roof, especially when you’re near a river or lake.

3 – Find a Solution Against Ice Dams

Ice buildup puts all types of roofing material at risk. The pressure and weight take their toll even on the most durable and expensive roofing material. Although removing some of the snow in between storms provide a remedy, it’s wrong to try to pry off an ice dam. Doing so may damage the roof and cause a leak, which you wanted to prevent in the first place.

The key is finding a way to reduce the risk of ice dams forming on your roof. Start by improving attic insulation and sealing air leaks. You’ll notice a significant improvement in the next winter if you invest in better insulation.

Pro Tip: Use heated cables to prevent ice dams. Attach the cables along the roof’s edge using clips. The heated cables work by balancing the roof’s temperature by heating it from the outside. It’s an alternative to the traditional method of blowing in cold air.

4 – Detect Roof Damage

The roof is at its most vulnerable state after a hailstorm, torrential rain, or strong wind. The key to extending its life is to inspect it right after a storm hits. You don’t have to do the fixing yourself, but you must learn the signs of a damaged roof. Look for the telltale signs like:

  • Damaged flashing around the chimney, skylight, vents, and all other roof openings
  • Missing or loose shingles
  • Visible water infiltration
  • Broken gutters and downspouts
  • Loose debris
  • Granule loss

If you notice something out of the ordinary, call a local roofing contractor right away for a comprehensive inspection. The idea is to act on it as soon as possible. Most of the roof damage after a storm can be fixed at a cheap. The cost goes up if you continue ignoring it.

Pro Tip: Don’t forget to call your insurance company. Figure out if the damage is extensive enough for it to be covered by your home insurance. If not, it’ll be more practical to hire a roofer directly to perform the minor repairs.

5 – Prevent Tree Damage

Preventing tree damage is a critical part of your roof maintenance routine. Trim overhanging branches to keep leaves from accumulating on the roof and gutters. By keeping a reasonable space between a tree and your roofing system, you reduce the risk of moss growth, too. Even a small branch can puncture a roof when it breaks. It’s best to get rid of an overgrown tree near your house.

Pro Tip: Maintain a gap of 10 feet between your roof and tree branches. If branches get any closer, they’ll act as a bridge for rodents to gain access to your home via the roof. If there’s a significant presence of rodents on your property, wrap the trunk of a nearby tree with a sheet metal bank to discourage them from climbing.

To Get Proper Roof Maintenance, Hire a Pro

Local roofing contractors offer a customized maintenance plan for your roof, so there’s no reason to get stressed out. Find one that suits your budget but see to it that you compare multiple quotes. It makes sense to spend on maintenance and repair instead of paying top dollar for a roof replacement job.

Hiring a Roofing Contractor Checklist

Hiring a Roofing Contractor Checklist

It’s not easy hiring a roofing contractor for the first time. You’re here because you need help for a repair or replacement project, but you’re clueless on where (or how) to begin your search. Unsurprisingly, many homeowners abandon the plan of a roofing project simply because searching, vetting, and choosing a roofer is way too much of a burden. 
Hiring a roofer doesn’t have to be that hard if you know what you’re doing, including the questions to ask and the red flags. If you continue reading this post, you’ll realize that it’s relatively uncomplicated after all. We’ve put together a checklist to explain every element of the search and hiring process. 

Work with a Contractor You Trust

Roof repair is unlike any other home renovation job. Once you figure out that there’s something wrong, hiring a local roofer is no longer just an option. To restore the roof’s structural integrity, you’ll have to cover the repair or replacement as soon as possible. The first step is to find a trustworthy roofing contractor. Here’s what you have to do: 

  • Ask your family, friends, coworkers, and neighbors for recommendations. 
  • Call or visit the local organization of roofers for referrals. 
  • Search for prospects online.
  • Find prospects via local newspaper and TV ads. 

Assess Your Prospects

Not every roofer is a fit. If possible, avoid hiring someone who’s not based locally. You want a quick turnaround and response in case something goes wrong after the completion of the job. Working with a company headquartered outside of the city could prove difficult because of the distance. 
To figure out which among your prospects is the best fit for the roof repair or replacement project, follow these steps:

  • Request individual quotes from at least four local roofers. Focus on those who are willing to visit your home to see the site. Some roofers hand out an estimate without an inspection. 
  • Visit the website (provided there’s one) of each roofing prospect. Favor those with an established online presence and with multiple positive reviews from previous clients. 
  • Read all reviews, especially negative feedback. Figure out if there’s a pattern of bad practice from the roofer. If you notice a trend, remove that prospect from your list.

Questions to Ask

Narrow down your list to two or three local roofers. Request a phone interview and ask these questions:

  • How long have you been in the roofing business?
  • What is your experience in a similar roofing job?
  • Can you give me a list of references?
  • Can you furnish a copy of your liability insurance? Does it cover property damage and worker’s compensation?

You’ll have a much better understanding of each prospect based on how they answer those questions. One of them will likely stand out. 

In-Person Interview

You have all your questions answered on the phone, so why go the extra mile for an in-person interview? You must personally meet the remaining prospects to review all the roofing job details; it’s also your best opportunity to temper expectations. If possible, come up with a spreadsheet to help you compare each contractor’s pitch. Discuss the technical details, including:

  • Get some more details on the insurance, i.e., policy number and limits.
  • Talk about the warranty details and the person responsible for the claim. 
  • See to it that you agree to a fixed price and that it must be included in the contract. 

Red Flags when hiring roofing contractors

As honest as your intentions are, some roofers will rip you off, while others engage in bad practice. Be wary of door-to-door contractors who go to areas devastated by storms and tornadoes. They usually scam innocent homeowners with outrageously cheap offers and misleading pre-payment deductibles. These are the common warning signs:

  • The contractor demands an upfront payment or a large down payment
  • They compel you to sign a contract right away
  • It sounds too good to be true. Whether it’s shockingly cheap bid compared to others, or whatever other reason.

Final Meeting

The final meeting is as crucial as the other steps in the hiring process. There’s a handful of things to iron out before the project begins:

  • Reconfirm the roofer’s initial quote
  • Explore payment options and make sure both parties agree on a payment plan
  • Ask for a copy of the contract, project plan, bills and invoices, proof of insurance, local government permits, and order changes

Wrapping It Up – Roofing Contractor Services

There’s no turning back once you sign the contract, so see that you get it right the first time. If you follow these steps, then you should see yourself hiring the best available roofing contractor. A roof repair or replacement project is one of the priciest investments for you this year, so there’s no room for mistakes.