Archive for the ‘Roof Materials’ Category

Metal Roofing Faces Opposition

metal roofMany homeowners love metal roofs and the variety of styles and colors they offer. They have great aesthetic appeal and can really add value to the look of a home.

These roof materials also offer great wind resistance and are energy efficient. A quality metal roof can reflect the sun’s UV rays, keeping the home at a more even temperature and protecting the home from sun damage.

Homeowners also love metal roofs for their green roofing impact, as they are easily recycled into scrap metal or made from recycled materials. However, not everyone is a fan and they have begun to meet public opposition for the first time.

All Opposed?

While we can all agree that not every roof material is appropriate for every home, there has been very little negative feedback about metal roofs until now. One roof contractor in California is speaking out about the dangers of metal roof for California residents.

Much of California is susceptible to wildfires and the threat of fire damage. Metal roofs come with a basic level of fireproofing that, generally, does not require additional maintenance or additional treatment for the average home. However, homes that are at a greater risk of fire danger require additional fireproofing to be sure the home is as safe as possible.

Just because one California roofer does not feel metal roofs are appropriate for  California homes doesn’t mean that they can’t be used at all. Homeowners that are interested in metal roofing should shop around for the best material, making sure to find a metal roof that has a “Class A” fire rating. Copper roofs are considered Class A roof materials and aluminum roofs must have fire resistant underlay materials to meet the Class A standard. Many metal roofs may also come treated with chemicals that increase their fire safety rating.



New Face For Old Roof Product

rustic shingleMany homeowners choose new roof materials for their appeal and overall look for the house. While many older roof products may bring a sense of class and history to a roof, they may also bring increased roof problems. Traditional roof products like wood shakes give great curb appeal to a home, but at the additional cost of maintenance and roof repair.

Classic Problems With A Classic Product

Wood shakes are one roof material that can really cost a homeowner in repairs. Despite their appeal, they are one roof product that is the most susceptible to water and pest damage. Wood shakes split, rot and break much easier than asphalt shingles or other roof materials. They are also more vulnerable to water damage, leading to mold and mildew problems. Pests an easily eat or damage wood shakes, causing for more reliance on general maintenance to keep their performance up.

Several companies now offer a product that gives the aesthetic appeal of a wood shake without the need to compromise the roof’s integrity. Rustic Shingle manufactures a product that  looks like traditional wood shakes, but is made from aluminum. Homeowners can now take advantage of the benefits metal roofing has to offer with the design and style of a traditional wood shake. Rustic Shingles are fade and crack resistant, offer unbeatable protection against high winds and hail, and even provide energy savings by its high reflectivity of the sun’s UV rays.



Lead Roof Jacks

Also called roof vent jacks, are used over plumbing vent stacks extending from your roof to keep water from getting under your roofing material. The roof jacks should be checked yearly for leaks and cracks and chew marks from pests. The sun can crack the material over time on the galvanized steel and rubber jacks (boots), and squirrels often like to chew on the soft lead to sharpen their teeth.

For the Do It Yourself Types

If you are a DIY type, you can replace the lead roof jacks by using a pry par to carefully remove the shingles around the old roof jack, remove any roofing nails and take out the shingle. Remove the old roof jack by sliding it up over the vent pipe. Put the new lead jack over the vent and secure it by putting a couple of nails into the flange. Replace new shingles, cutting to fit if necessary, put nails at the top of the gaps. Once the shingle is firmly in place, use a hammer to bend the lead jack over and into the vent opening.

Rubber or Aluminum Jacks

Other options are rubber or aluminum roof jacks, but they generally are not as durable and efficient at keeping out the rain as the lead roof jacks.

Call a Roofing Contractor

If this sounds like too much effort, or if you are not comfortable working up on your roof, you can call a roofing company in your area to come out and inspect and install new lead roof jacks.

Church Roof Goes Green

church roofThe Shepherd of the Hill Presbyterian Church in Chaska Minnesota, removed the shingles and insulation on their roof and added structural insulated panels.

The foam plastic panels are squeezed in between two boards. The 7 ½ inch wide panels are energy efficient and expected to save as much as 50% of the churches energy bill.

Going Green

When the 40 year old church had water leaking into the sanctuary, they decided to go green with their new roof. Reverend Gordon Stewart said “what we’ve come to realize is that we’ve got to live collaboratively and in friendship with the earth itself, and not treat the earth as a garbage dump.”

$79,000 for the Job

The 80 church members were able to raise the $79,000 needed for the roofing project. When talking about the sustainable roof, Reverend Stewart said, “practices that are energy efficient, that don’t waste energy that recycle, all of the things we can do, that are within our reach to do, to be responsible stewards of the earth itself.”

The panels were provided by Extreme Panel Systems, Inc. of Cottonwood, Minnesota and Progressive Panel Builders, LLC in New Richmond, Wisconsin installed the panels.

New Rooftop Solar Shingle

Dow Chemical and a Fort Worth Texas based Homebuilder D.R.Horton will be showcasing the new Dow “Powerhouse” shingle in a Denver suburb. Dow called its new solar shingle “a revolutionary new roofing product that combines the performance and protection of a conventional asphalt roof with an integrated photovoltaic (PV) system that powers the home. It is designed to install, look and function in a way that has never been done before.”

It is not clear how much the shingles will cost or how much energy they will create, but the company says the shingles will be cost-competitive and the total cost will be less than buying the components separately.

Low Cost Photovoltaic Cells

The shingle made by Dow based in Midland, Michigan, will unveil its new Powerhouse shingle at the Spring Mesa project in Arvada Colorado. The company says the shingles will be in a dozen other states next year. The technology from Dow Solar Solutions integrates low cost, thin film CIGS photovoltaic cells into a proprietary standard asphalt shingle materials.


Jane Palmieri, Managing Director of Dow Solar Solutions said, “Consumers reap the benefits of our innovation. This is about providing roof protection and electricity generation all from one product, with lower costs, improved aesthetics, easier installation and long-lasting performance”.

Easily Installed by Roofing Contractors

Roofing contractors are showing enthusiasm for the product since they don’t need solar array installation knowledge or special skills to install the shingles.

Still Popular Asphalt Shingles

Residential homes still prefer asphalt shingles according to senior director Tom Bollnow at the National Roofing Contractors Association (NCRA). Asphalt shingles account for 70% of roof installation projects. The two types of asphalt shingles are organic and fiberglass.

Low Cost Big Factor in Choosing Shingles

Their popularity is due to their low price, starting at about .80 cents per square foot installed. They come in a variety of colors and styles; they are lightweight, attractive, durable and easy to repair.  Advancements have been made to the asphalt shingles making them more fire retardant, wind and weather resistant and longer lasting. Warranties generally range from 20 to 50 years.

Replacing Shingles

When you spot a possible leak inside your home, you can usually trace the leak to a cracked or missing shingle. Asphalt shingles are easier to repair and replace than most other roofing materials.  Missing or torn shingles can easily be replaced and raised or curled shingles can be flattened with roofing cement.

If you are going to do it yourself, remember shingles are more pliable when warm, a cold shingle can be brittle.  To remove a damaged shingle, carefully lift the surrounding shingles and remove the nails and then slide out the old shingle.  Put the replacement shingle back in place and secure with galvanized roofing nails. Use roofing cement and make sure the edges and corners are firmly set in place.

When To Call A Roofer

If you have more than a couple of shingles to replace or if they come up too easily, you may want to call a professional in to inspect your roof and see if it’s time to replace the entire roof system.

New Roof Tile To Give Urban Areas A Break From Smog

smog roof tilesResidents of urban areas are about to get a break from the toxic gases in the local air. Roof materials have recently made the leap into a new type of green roofing, providing environmentally conscious tiles that can actual absorb smog.

What’s New

Recent advances in roof materials have brought welcome relief for homeowners and residents of urban areas. Urban living is plagued by air pollution and residents have very little option for avoiding it. Improvements in the green roofing industry have brought rooftop gardens into urban areas to help combat some of the effects of air pollution, as well as add a much needed green space to an otherwise concrete filled city.

Clay tiles and a cement roof product are now available in a smog reducing variety. Made from titanium dioxide, these new roof materials combat pollutants by reacting with nitrogen oxide in the air. The result is the breakdown of toxic gases into harmless nitrate gases. The tiles are activated by the sun’s rays, which starts the chemical reaction that breaks down the nitrogen oxides in the air into oxygen and nitrates.

Cleaner air means happier homeowners and renters. Big cities have face numerous challenges, but luckily are getting a little help from roofers that are committed to finding top quality products.

Winterize Your Roof

Is your roof ready for winter? Before you know it your rooftop will be assaulted by water, ice and snow. If you have existing damage, such as shingles that are lifting up or cracked, flashings that are missing or damaged or just an older roof that may have used up its life expectancy, you might want to check out the new roofing products that can protect your home.

Asphalt Shingles

The standby asphalt shingle is still the least expensive and reliable option. For a more ice and snow resistant shingle, the architectural shingle is a good choice. It can cost up to 20% more but it is thicker, more durable, and wind and storm resilient.

Metal Roofs

Metal roofs, although more expensive than asphalt roofs, generally last longer and have a longer warranty. A reflective metal coating can cut your energy costs in the summer by deflecting the sun’s rays and keeping your roof and attic cooler.

Cedar Shakes and Shingles

Cedar shakes and shingles withstand high winds and hail but the wood shakes can expand and contract causing splitting and cracks in your roof. There are synthetic cedar roofing products available that cost about the same as real cedar shingles and won’t split or decay.

Rubber Shingles

Recycled rubber roofing materials, rubber shingles are impenetrable to water and resistant to hail. They cost more than asphalt shingles but will last longer and can be returned to the recyclers after the roof has outlived its usefulness.

Concrete, Slate, Clay

Other options are concrete and slate they are very durable but very expensive and heavy. Clay can freeze and crack so it is not a good option if you live in a cold climate.

Trying to hold off on making roof repairs until a better time comes up, may cost you more in the long run by having to replace the decking, insulation and interior walls due to leaks and water damage.

Rubber Shingles

Recycled tires are making their way to the rooftops. Shingles made from old tires look like slate or cedar shakes but are generally much lighter, carry a class A fire rating, can withstand 80 mph winds and make excellent insulators against outside weather conditions and noise.

Annually, millions of tires and asphalt shingles are thrown into our landfills. Rubber shingles are made from recycled materials that are heated and molded into strong, firm and flexible shapes. After the life of the roof, 30-50 years later, the shingles can go to the recycle center again.

Green Roofing

The environmentally friendly rubber shingles are durable and impervious to water and plants. The rubber shingles are also hail and fire resistant. Rubber shingles are less expensive than cedar or metal roofs, but more expensive than asphalt shingles, although they require much less maintenance because of their sturdiness.


The rubber panels interlock holding down the shingles at the corners. The shingles can also be walked on during installation and will not cause any damage. You may notice a rubber smell on your new roof, exposure to elements and time will cause the odor to go away.

The warranties on rubber shingles run from 30 years to lifetime warranties. Ask your roofer or contractor if rubber shingles is a good option for you and your home.

Cedar Shingles Not Getting A Fair Shake

wood shinglesWhen it comes to choosing the right roof material for your home, sorting through all the choices can be exhausting. With so many different types of materials, each available in a variety of colors and styles, many homeowners tend to shy away from non-traditional materials.

Wood shingles, also known as shakes, have a checkered past. Depending on who you ask, these unique roof shingles come with their fair share of risks, but they also bring many benefits as well. Due to the costly nature of roof repair and replacement, many homeowners simply don’t want to risk installing a roof material they haven’t used before.


Wood shingles offer a variety of colors, style of cut and dimensions. They can be easily tailored to fit many angles and roof lines, as well as cut in various styles. Many homeowners may use them to cover the entire roof, or provide a designer style accent to a portion of the roof. Some homes even use wood shingles to accent portions of the exterior wall to the home.

Wood shingles are typically made from cedar, a naturally water resistant and aesthetically appealing wood. They are lightweight and allow air to flow beneath the shingle to the underlying materials, which can provide necessary heating and cooling effects to the attic of a home.  These days, wood shingles are available in a recycled version, which is made from recycled wood and scrap lumber. Recycled roof materials have become popular among the green roofing movement.


Wood shingles do require a bit more maintenance than other roof materials. Since they are made from wood, they tend to be more vulnerable to water damaged, mold and insects. However, regulations require that wood shingles get chemically treated to reduce the risk of fire or water damage. The increase maintenance requirements can also lead to an increase in the costs associated with maintaining the roof materials.

Wood shingles can be a great roof material choice for many homeowners. Choosing an unfamiliar roof material is not a bad idea as long as special considerations for the weather conditions and maintenance requirements are upheld.