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Need a new Roof ? Know this…

Need a new Roof ? Know this…
June 18, 2014 SNH Editorial Team

A roof has both function and form. Of course, it keeps your home dry (function) and what many overlook, it has a lot of visual mass and therefore impact (form). What should you be thinking of when you know it’s time for a new roof?There are many roofing materials – traditional slate, tile, wood, asphalt, metal, composite and concrete shingles. They have different colors, longevity and weight.

Here are some important considerations: Weight – what structural weight can your house support You cannot assume that you can replace one type of roof with another – check the material weight or load with either an architect or engineer! I have seen homeowners replace an old asphalt roof with a wood shingle roof without checking into loads. This can be real trouble. Wood roofs are much heavier than an asphalt roofs since wet wood shingles add tremendous water weight.

Price -There are tremendous pricedifferences among the above-mentioned materials with slate and certain Italian tile, namely Luddovicci Tile, being the priciest. That said, both materials when installed and maintained properly should last forever- no kidding. Travel to Germany and see originals tile roofs dating back to the 13th & 14th centuries. Be sure the right copper nails are used as well! Asphalt is the least expensive. Never install more than 2 layers of asphalt shingles, since the structure of your house is likely not built to hold more weight!  

Color used to be just a personal choice. However, especially in warm climates and given today’s energy efficiency considerations select lighter, and much cooler, roofs in warm regions. You will likely have lower indoor cooling costs just because of the lighter, less heat absorbent color of your roof.

Here are three installation tips: (1) All roofs should have so-called ice and watershield installed over the base plywood. Ice and watershield glues to plywood and, most importantly seals itself around nails. These two features prevent water from damaging the plywood roof.   (2) All roofs should be properly vented – from the eaves to the ridge. Airflow lets moisture evaporate and prevents mold and other rotting conditions from damaging your roof and your house. It is very important. So don’t let your painters paint over and close of vents in the eaves….this is an absolute no-no and sure to shorten the lifespan of your roof considerably!   (3) Flashing commonly is made of aluminum or copper. Either one can work though copper is longer lasting and generally considered the best. Flashing is a critical step to getting a quality roof installation. Flashing covers all the edges and seams so that water does neither roll over or under your shingles.

Roofing troubles ALWAYS start with flashing issues.

Never mix or bring copper and aluminum near each other. You will have started an undesirable chemical reaction between the two metals. Never install aluminum gutters when your roof flashing is made of copper. This will shorten the lifespan of your roof.

Spend your money wisely by knowing the right selection criteria both for materials and labor. Find the right products to enhance the look of your house and find the right installers to get the right job done.