Archive for December, 2012

Roofing Terminology

When talking with roof contractors or material suppliers it is advisable to know a little roofing jargon. Confusion could be a costly mistake if you are unaware what you are agreeing to.

The “ridge” is the top edge where two sloping roof surfaces meet. “Valley” is a downward sloping juncture of two roof surfaces that are at right angles with one another. “Hip” is the downward sloping ridge like juncture of two roof surfaces on an outside corner of the building.

“Coverage” is another common term used in connection with application of roof materials. “Single coverage” is roofing material designed for used with minimal lapping so most of the area of the roof is a single layer. “Double coverage” is where the strips shingles lap just over half of their width, and the roof will have two layers of shingles over most of the area.

Exposed to Weather

“Exposure” is the amount of a roofing product left exposed to the elements.

“Coursing or “courses” refers to horizontal stretches of the roofing. If the strips are applied so that their butts line up horizontally, a single layer of stretch of shingles is called a “course”.

The lower part of the roof is called the “eaves” and the outward facing is the “fascia” and underside is the “soffit”.

“Square” is a common term used in the roofing industry, it simply means 100 square feet used as an area of roof measurement. When you order roofing materials, you obtain sufficient amounts to be applied on so many squares of roof. Materials are usually bundled or packaged so that a certain number of packages will cover a square.

These are by no means all the terms you will encounter when discussing your roofing project but they will give you a basic understanding of the general roofing terms.

Roof Conditions

If you have a leaky roof sometimes it makes it self known by drips from the ceiling. Sometimes you can pinpoint the approximate point of leakage on the underside of the roof sheathing from the attic and then go up on the roof and determine what is causing the leak.

Most of the time roof repair is not going to be that easy, water meanders from the roof leak making it difficult to find the point of origin. Water wanders across and downward and comes through the under surface of the roof boards and then again channeling under the boards to find a place in your ceiling to drip from.

Often Looking for Leaks While it is Still Raining

Vents, chimneys and flashing can be another source of leaks. Common places for roof leaks is around flashings and vents due to roof penetrations. Visual spotting of faulty flashing can be difficult, you will have to determine the general condition such as looseness, cracks in material, folds and separations.

Check for loose shingles, and missing tabs or roofing nails. Also check for tree limbs or debris that has fallen on the rooftop. Moisture can also accumulate enough water to flow down and become a leak. Moisture can cause long term damage without ever reaching the ceiling level.

While having your roof inspected either yourself or a roofing contractor,besides checking the top side of your roof looking for damaged shingles or flashings, the inspection should also include a close look at the underside of the roof checking for discoloration and water marks.

Emergency Roof Repair for Connecticut School

The West Gym at Cheshire High School is closed as workers start repairing the roof. Earlier in the month a maintenance worker found that the rubber roof membrane had shifted, moving the under layment and insulation and exposing metal bolts on the 21 year old roof.

Officials believe it was a combination of age of the roof and the wind from Hurricane Sandy that caused the damage. The roof work will begin as soon as possible to prevent upcoming snow loads to further damage the roof and possibly collapse. Approximately half of the 11,000 square foot roof was damaged.

Board Filed Insurance Claims

The Board of Education approved a contract with Silktown Roofing of Manchester to replace the gym roof for $219,000. The project is eligible for a 40% reimbursement from the state due to the emergency situation and may also qualify for FEMA funds if it is found that the winds from Hurricane Sandy caused the damage.

The roofing project is expected to take 8 days and will begin next week. The roofers will only remove the damaged roof in what they can replace each day.

Testing was done to insure there was no asbestos to remove. After the roof repair is complete, the gym will need to air out and make sure all the dust and debris has been removed.

Approximately 1,600 students attend the public Cheshire High School on South Main Street.

Waxahachie Civic Center Roof Repair

Waxahachie City Council in Waxahachie Texas has approved a contract with Exterior consulting Innovations for roof repair for the civic center on Civic Center Lane. ECI contract is for $66,955 to prepare bid documents and select a contractor to recommend to the council. The roofing project will be to fix the failed repairs, shoddy workmanship, cracks and nearly 50 different leaks found.

City manager Paul Stevens said “The issues at the civic center are much more extensive than originally thought. The roof problems appear to be a result of both poor initial design and installation. While the work in 2007 may have addressed some of these issues it by no means went far enough. The estimate for the roof repairs is about $1,675,122. This would include re-roofing and also placing a recovery roof on the main barrel roof and all other metal roofs. Additionally, all gutters and flashings would either be replaced or re-worked.”

Recovery Roof System

The recovery roof is a system of metal panels with insulation in between the panels. The current roof would not need to be removed and the additional weight would not cause any structural issues. Other options besides the recovery roof was to use a coating system applied to the roof to make it water tight. This option was not recommended due to the maintenance involved and life of the roof.

Board President John Sanders said “As a board we were obviously shocked as well when the first report came in and we saw the severity of the issues. Clearly we knew that there were many, many leaks that they were getting worse and were impacting events. All the initial discussions centered around repairs and none of us had an idea that the budget would be to this extent. We have capital dollars set aside from the last election to use for these repairs. We had several other projects in mind that the board was considering, but we also knew we had to fix the roof first.”

Moisture is a Roof’s Nemesis

Wood roofing materials will last for many years with the absence of moisture. Measures are taken to control moisture in the wood building materials of your home to help it last longer.

Ventilation helps control moisture by allowing the wood to dry out quickly. When wood materials to become moist the wood gets larger with swelling and contracting smaller when dry. The action of expansion and contracting can case cracks in materials. Caulking in joints or openings will keep the wood material flexible and bend with the movements.

Excess Moisture can Cause Serious Damage

Moisture can accumulate in spaces of exterior walls and attic areas. Trapped moisture can reduce the thermal resistance value of insulation materials and can cause blistering and peeling of paint. Brown lines and discoloration on boards can be caused by spreading moisture.

When the underlying felt of asphalt roof coverings become wet the roof can buckle in built up tar and gravel roofs. Often wood surfaces appear to be dry, by scratching across the grain with a screwdriver or coin. If scratching produces indention marks and no wood fibers break loose, the wood is probably wet. If however slivers of wood break loose then the wood is probably dry.

Keeping your home dry and controlling the moisture is a key concern for most homeowners. A leaky roof will allow rain and snow to come into your home, you will either need to perform roof repair or replace your roof. Moisture is also generated in your home from cooking, bathing, washing dishes and clothes.

A vapor barrier on the inside over the wall and ceiling insulation will keep the wood dry. Adequate ventilation for attic and eave areas is a good measure to control moisture in your home.

Decisions for a New Roof

Repairing a leaking roof often means installing a whole new roof. A homeowner’s decision to put on a new roof often takes into consideration the existing exterior, eliminating maintenance and cost and availability of roofing materials. Other reasons can be to improve the homes appearance and increase the value of their home.

Trending in the roofing industry is to improve the home’s energy efficiency as well as keeping the home safe and dry. Among the considerations are the immediate results such as reducing the heating and cooling costs as well as long term effects on landfills and the heat island effect in many cities.

Do It Yourself Types

Choosing a contractor or deciding to do the re-roofing yourself can also be a big decision. You may very well be capable of doing the work yourself, but oftentimes it is more cost efficient to hire a crew to do the work in terms of time loss from work and the demanding physical aspects to roofing a house.

There are more choices than ever in roofing materials. The standard asphalt shingles now come in thicker and heavier varieties with a choice of colors never offered before. Depending on the climate where you live, slate, clay or concrete tiles are another option. In fire prone areas people are getting away from wood shakes and shingles and replacing them with more fire retardant roofing materials.

With the advent of technology, you can now buy concrete tiles that “eat” smog, glass type shingles that run channels of water underneath to keep the home warmer, and shingles with photovoltaic cells to harness the sun’s rays for electricity.

Talking with your roofing contractor and discussing the features that you want will help you in making the decisions easier when it comes time to putting a new roof on your home.

Green Roofing For Homeowners

green homeThe construction and roofing industries are working hard to take part in the growing use of eco-friendly products, and many homeowners are also becoming more aware of their role. For many, this comes as a huge undertaking, as learning about the different product possibilities can often seem overwhelming. Luckily, there are a few green roof products available to help homeowners make their stamp towards their efforts of helping protect the environment.

Green Roofing Products

The term green roof is often associated with the idea of a rooftop garden or vegetative plant-based roof covering. While these are two easy ways to make your roof more environmentally friendly, the look and upkeep isn’t always conducive to all families. Other green roof products include:

Photovoltaic roof systems — also known as solar roof panels, these roof panels absorb energy from the sun; which is then turned into electricity that can be used to power the home. Helping to reduce the need for traditional energy consumption, these roof systems save the homeowner money and help reduce the amount of carbon emissions needed to generate electrical power.

White roof systems —  also known as cool roofs, the existing roof materials are coated by a protective white coating. By reflecting the suns heat rays, a white roof system reduces the energy consumption of a home by 30% or more.

Alternative tile roof systems — come in two main eco-friendly forms; metal roofs or tile roofs. Metal roofs are made mostly from recycled metal materials. With the ability reflect 35% of the sun’s heat rays, a metal roof is also more durable and longer lasting in most climates. A tile roof can be made from slate, stone or clay; all earth-bound materials. The eco-friendly materials these are made from are also more resistant to fire, pets and severe weather.



Community Support Needed for New Roof

The Zanesville Ohio landmark, Stone Academy Historic Site and Museum needs a new roof. Pioneer and Historical Society Director Jim Geyer said $16,000 is needed to make the needed repairs.

The Ohio Historical Society will match what is raised locally. Over $2,000 has been raised so far. The Historical Society would like to see donations from various sources to show community support for the project.

While doing routine maintenance on the over 200 year old building they found structural problems with the roof. The entire roof needs to be replaced in addition to 145 tile slates. New slates would come from other buildings built in the same era to maintain historical authenticity and save money on the roof repair.

Roof Addition Not Connected to Gutter System

The Stone Academy was built in 1809 with a roof addition made in 1840. The addition was not properly built and water has been missing the gutter system and leaking down into the side of the building.

Geyer said “Looking at it from the outside, you really don’t see where the root of the problem is. You might see a symptom. If you look up you can see the sagging part. The bulk of the cost and expenses is going to be to take and repair the rafters, the structure underneath the roof.”

Originally Planned to be New State Capital

The Stone Academy is one of the oldest public buildings in Ohio; it was a public building and school until it was converted to a private residence in 1840.

The Stone Academy serves as a historical library and archives are available for research. The Museum has murals, paintings, furniture, pottery, documents and Native American artifacts. The building was used in the anti-slavery movement and has a trap door under the stairs that was used when the building was a stop for the Underground Railroad.

Winterizing A Roof

As the temperatures drop it is important to pay close attention to specific parts of your home to avoid problems next spring. For many people, the checklist of winterizing a home includes making sure pipes are clear and dripping to prevent water from freezing, covering plants from the frost or snow, and making sure doors and windows are sealed correctly. What many people often overlook is any need for roof repair or maintenance.

Making The List

A properly maintained roof can reduce damage and problems down the road, saving thousands in avoidable repair costs. When it comes to winterizing a roof, it is important to do the following:

Inspect the roof — look for obvious signs of damage like broken or missing shingles, loose flashing or warped underlayment. You may even want to hire a roof contractor to take deeper look into the integrity of your roof before that big snowfall hits.

Clean the roof — make sure  the roof is free from debris, pests and plant materials. These materials can compromise the integrity of a roof and lead to further damage when severe weather strikes. Existing buildup of these materials is likely to increase the weight on the roof, making it less able to support additional weight like ice or snowfall.

Check the ventilation — roof vents are often overlooked by homeowners and can easily become clogged, causing air to buildup in the attic. If the attic cannot properly vent the insulation can become compromised that leads to additional heating costs.

Needing repairs while snow or ice is coming down is not any fun. Properly carrying out some basic winterization techniques can save you a lot in the long and the short run.

Church Roof with 175 year Old Shingles

Wanda Methodist Church in Wanda Missouri was undergoing roof repair when the roofers found a layer of old wood shingles under 3 layers of asphalt shingles. Phillip Camerer’s roofing crew out of Neosho is completing the roof project.

Currently with 35 members, the Wanda church was founded in 1837. The church is located in the former home of Jones Weems who along with the Ellis family settled the area. Wanda is a small community in the Missouri Ozarks near Neosho. The church is said to be the oldest standing Methodist Church west of Springfield.

Last Re-Roof Over 20 Years Ago

A few years ago the Methodist Church in Wanda installed indoor bathrooms, a handicap accessible ramp and air conditioning. They estimate 20-25 years ago was the last time the church had a new roof.

Church member Ed Schultz said “The roof has finally got to a point where we needed to do something about it. Every time the wind blew hard out of the south, we were losing shingles; they got brittle and were peeling up. Several times we had to have people come down and replace shingles here and there. It just got to the point where we needed to fix it right.”

The crew re-decked the roof and put the new shingles on Friday. Schultz said there are no leaks in the roof and the church is ready for Sunday church services.