Archive for the ‘Roof Materials’ Category

Old Tires Become New Roof Tiles

recycled rubber roofThe roofing industry has really changed with the advancement of technology. New roof products now come in just about every style, color and material imaginable, but that isn’t even the best part.

Trash Into Treasure

These days most of what many people consider trash can be recycled into roof materials. The push for environmentally friendly roof products has really sparked creativity in the manufacturing and recycling industries. One of the easiest materials to recycle into roof products is old tires.

The rubber from old tires can now be recycled into roof shingles that are longer lasting and more durable than some traditional roof materials. As an alternative to traditional asphalt shingles, recycled rubber shingles are becoming a popular green roof material.  These recycled shingles can be made to mimic the design of a slate tile shingles, asphalt shingle and even a wood shake shingle.

Not only are recycled rubber shingles an earth friendly option that offers flexibility in design, they are more durable than most other roof shingles. These shingles do no warp, rot crack or leak; leaving homeowners with less risk of damage or need for maintenance. Even better, most of these rubber shingles come with a 50 -year guarantee; that is nearly double the lifespan of other roof products.

Hail Resistant Concrete Roof Tile

California based Boral Roofing introduces the highest rated hail performance certified roofing tile. The concrete roof tile is Class 4 Hail Rated; it is a weather and impact resistant tile designed for high performance in hail storms.

The Boral Roofing Storm Series roofing solution also provides energy efficiency benefits and may lower your homeowners insurance. According to John Renowden, Technology VP of Boral Roofing “Tile roofs may help you qualify for insurance reductions in hail regions.”

Testing of the roof tile proved to be able to withstand 2 inch ice balls hurled consecutively at speeds up to 104 ft. per second.

The class 4 tiles are currently available in the Heartland, Texas and Rocky Mountain regions of the United States were hail storms are common and tend to do a lot of damage to a home.

Concrete Tiles Could Cut Energy Costs

Concrete roof tiles help reduce your energy bills by reducing the demand for heating and air conditioning. The Concrete maintains the inner temperature of the home. The combined effect of the roof tiles, air space and decking allow for better air circulation and reducing heat transfer.

According to a study of National Association of Home Builders, concrete tile, copper and clay tile are the only 3 roofing materials that will last a lifetime.

Boral Roofing also makes a “smog eating tile” for residential and commercial buildings.

Hydraulic Roof Being Tested

Researchers from the University of Stuttgart Institute for lightweight Structures and Conceptual Design have come up a lightweight wooden dome structure to adapt to changes in the roof load. Known as the SmartShell, the design incorporates hydraulic drives to adjust the structure.

The 100 square meters open air structure is currently displayed at the university’s Vaihingen campus. The curved shell is made of 1.6 inch thick wood and has 4 supports at the corners. One support is stable while the other three have hydraulic drives.

Sensors Record the Load Status and Adjust Instantly

The shell has sensors in different locations which are linked to a control system. The sensors detect even the slightest change in the structural load, such as rain, snow or wind and the hydraulics react to compensate for that load keeping stresses to the structure to a minimum.

Stefan Neuhauser said “We give the structure some ‘intelligence’ by means of being able to react to varying loading conditions to reduce the stresses in the material as well as compensate for vibrations.”

Drive and control technology experts Bosch Rexroth partnered with the university to develop the hydraulic units.

The scientists are hoping that the technology could be used for a wide range of structures including bridges, high rise buildings and stadium roofs. The SmartShell can minimize weight, cost of materials and structural fatigue.

Poor Roof Insulation is Costly Mistake for School

In Gaffney South Carolina the Cherokee County School District will spend $1.7 million to repair the high schools roof.

When the high school on Twin Lake Rd. was built 10 years ago the builder only used one inch of insulation instead of the standard two inches. Over the last 10 years heating and air-conditioning costs have reached $63,000.

School superintendent Dr. Quincie Moore said “We want to make sure we spend the taxpayers’ money very wisely. Now we’ve learned about it, and we’re trying to put things in place to make sure we don’t make that same mistake again.”

Consultant to Monitor Job Site

The school will have a consultant on hand to monitor the work and to ensure the roof receives adequate insulation this time. The new roof will have three inches of insulation with a projected savings of over $100,000 in the next 20 years.

The school district is also considering suing the original contractor and construction company to recover its losses.

Comparing The Basics Of Roof Materials

roofing materialsInstalling a new roof on your home can be tricky when it comes to deciding among one of several available roof materials. These days we have more choices than ever before, leading us into the tough decision of which material is best for our home. The right choice in roof materials depends on one of several factors.


Most homeowners are motivated by cost and tend to gravitate towards choosing the most affordable roof material. Asphalt shingles are among the most cost effective roof materials, as they are the cheapest to install and replace when a roof becomes damaged. However, they are also less durable than other roof materials and could cost more in the long run if repeated roof repairs are required. Metal and clay tile roofs are moderately priced for initial new roof installation, but also tend to last longer than asphalt shingles.


As mentioned, part of what influences the cost of a roof material is how often they require maintenance. Although many simple roof repairs cost very little, the repeated costs of having a roof contractor come out to inspect and repair damage can add up over time. Maintenance isn’t just a direct cost, but also a cost in one’s time and effort. Roof materials that require extensive maintenance can absorb much of a homeowner’s free time and weekend duties. Again, asphalt shingles tend to require a bit more maintenance than other roof materials like metal or tile, as they are easily damaged by wind or debris.

Environmentally Friendly

Not all homeowners are focused on the environment when it comes to choosing the right materials to be used around the house, but green roofs are actually gaining popularity. A truly green roof is environmentally friendly, affordable and less maintenance. A vegetation or grass covered roof can provide durable protection from the elements, as well as cool the home and save on energy consumption. Another alternative is solar roof panels. Although these panels installed on the roof are a bit pricey, but can save thousands in energy bills.

Roofing Company Introduces Smog Eating Tiles

Boral Roofing, an American company, is making a “Smog Eating Tile” they say will reduce air pollution. The concrete tiles are coated with titanium dioxide, a photo-catalyst that can oxidize harmful air pollutants emitted in the burning of fossil fuels.

Titanium dioxide then converts nitrogen oxide pollutants into harmless calcium nitrate when it comes in contact with natural light. John Renowden, Boral Roofing Vice president of technology said “Calcium nitrate… washes off your roof with normal precipitation and is a regular garden fertilizer.”

Renowden also states that the tiles on a 2,000 square foot house over a one year period would be like reducing the pollution equivalent of driving your car 10,000 miles that year. The company says the tile works like a catalytic converter does in your car.

The Technology is Not New

The technology began in Japan and in 2005 the European Commission’s Environmental Technologies Action Plan stated “Tests in urban settings determined that some pollutants, such as nitrogen oxides, which are a major pollutant contained in exhaust gases, could be reduced by 20-70%.”

Boral Roofing has corporate offices in Irvine California; they make clay and concrete roof tiles. You can find where to purchase the BoralPure Smog Eating tiles and installation guides on their website Your roofing contractor will be using the same techniques for laying clay or concrete tiles for the smog eating tiles.

Metal Theft on the Rise for UK Roofs

Lead and copper theft has increased in the last couple of years due to a rise in the international commodity prices. Many churches in the UK are taking new measures to protect their churches and metal roofs.

Yorkshire, Cambridgeshire and Suffolk churches are getting alarms for their metal roofs. Insurance carrier Ecclesiastical insures 97% of the Angelican Churches in the UK.

Insurance Claims Skyrocket

In 2011 the insurance company received 2,600 claims for metal theft. Ecclesiastical director of church insurance, John Coates said “It will make churches a harder target for criminals’ intent on stripping the nation’s heritage of roofing lead for their personal gain.”

St. John the Baptist Church in Broadstone was targeted 2 consecutive nights after completing a £100,000 restoration. The thieves stole lead from the roof causing water to leak into the newly refurbished church; they are using tarps to help keep the water out. Members of the congregation are now checking the roof for thieves every 15 minutes when it is dark.

Oxfordshire church roof was sprayed with ‘theft detection liquid’. Using ladders and hydraulic lifts, firefighters sprayed the liquid onto the Wantage Parish Church roof. The liquid has a unique code that can be read under ultraviolet light, allowing police to trace the metal back to a particular building.

Some churches have stopped using lead for their roof since the theft problem is so bad. Using other roofing materials has become an option for some UK churches. a Slough church is using a rubber substitute for their new roof since thieves hit them twice last year.

Metal Roofs Top Trends

metal roofOver the years roof materials have stayed somewhat steady in their composition. Although some green roofing improvements have spurred the need for more recycled products, many roofing materials are similar to what they were made from 100 years ago. One aspect of residential roofing that is changing in recent years, is the shift towards non-traditional materials.


Metal Reigns

Metal roofs have been used in commercial roofing for numerous years. Although some residential homes to boast a metal roof, the majority of homes are still made from asphalt shingles or clay tiles. As the benefits behind metal roofs become more apparent, more homeowners are looking to metal for their roof repair or replacement.

Metal roofs can be made from aluminum, copper or steel. Not only can they be recycled into new roof products, but they are also easily made from old scrap metal. Further, metal roofs can last upwards of 40 or more years, a good 10 to 20 years more than a traditional residential roof material. Metal roofs are perfect for wet, hot, cold or windy climates; which gives them a very versatile edge in the market. They even come with the added benefit of being a great material for applying a white roof coating, a material that is energy efficient and improves the home’s ability to maintain constant temperature.

Roof Components

The main function of a roof is to keep the interior dry and not allow moisture in. To achieve this your roof system must work together to provide shelter, drainage and ventilation.

From the top, your roof coverings are layers of shingles, usually asphalt, felt paper, sheathing and then your attic. To seal water out, metal flashings are installed around chimneys, vent pipes in valleys and in other protrusions from you roof.

Fascia and Soffit

Fascia is a horizontal board attached to the end of the rafters supporting gutters and soffit panels.

Soffits are on the underside of the eaves and cover and protect the area below the roof overhangs. Roof vents and soffit vents keep fresh air circulating throughout the roof system.

Gutters are attached to the fascia and carry water away from the roof and into the downspouts.

Vents can be on the roof ridge, soffits and external baffle types. The goal is to create a continuous flow of air, intake vents are placed along the soffits and exhaust vents are in the upper part of the roof to allow the air to be released.

Roof ridge vents

Roof ridge vents provide uniform cooling with a continuous flow of air into your attic. They are installed end to end on the roof with a low profile. Roof ridge vents come in metal and shingle-over vents and since it is one continuous vent it is quicker and easier to install than other vent types. Combining roof ridge vents and soffit vents will give you a very effective ventilation system.

Ridge vents work year-round without any motors to power the vents, evenly distributes the air to the entire underside of the roof, and provides a higher volume of airflow per square foot of attic area than any other fixed vent system.

Excess Moisture Can Be Expensive

Without proper ventilation, heat and humidity can cause serious problems to your home, trapping moisture in your attic and roof structure, your air conditioner will have to work harder to cool your home and excess humidity can cause mold, mildew and wood rot.

Installing roof ridge vents is a fairly aggressive project. It is best to use a roofing professional to do this job. The materials you will need are the ridge vent, 1 ½ inch roofing nails and shingles to match the existing roof. The basic steps are

• Remove existing shingles
• Remove sheathing
• Install vent
• Replace shingles

Good ventilation is vital for your home. If you are experiencing moisture on your walls or ceilings, ice dams in the winter or if you are considering getting a new roof, ask your contractor if roof ridge vents are a good option for your home.