Everything You Need to Know About Your Home’s Roof
The more you understand about your home’s roof the better you’ll be able to make an informed buying decision. No matter whether you are in your home to stay, or plan to move in the next few years, a new roof is an important investment.
Choosing the Right Roof
We offer you a wide range of roofing options, and are one of the few New England roofing contractors to provide so many choices in materials for your home. Choosing which type of roof is right for you will depend upon numerous factors, including your budget, taste and needs. Take time to consider the right roofing material that will deliver what you want.
Our consultants are happy to meet with you to discuss the merits of any of these roofing systems.
Asphalt Shingles – Asphalt shingles are still the most popular choice for roof coverings in America. The positive aspects of asphalt shingles include low installation and maintenance costs. Roofs made out of these shingles come in different grades. The better the grade, the longer the life expectancy, which can range from 15 to more than 30 years. The asphalt covering is actually a composite made up of either a fiberglass or rag mat with asphalt, which is covered with colored mineral granules. Multi-layered shingles give this otherwise thin material improved dimension making it resemble other, thicker materials. Asphalt shingles also come in a variety of colors and styles. Individual shingles may be replaced if damaged.
- Slate Roofing – This material is extremely durable and graceful, coming in a variety of looks, while offering low maintenance costs. Typical colors are grey, black and red. Slate is heavy, can sometimes require shoring up the roof structure and can be more costly than other options. However a slate roof can last over 100 years with little or no maintenance.
Wood Shingles & Shakes – Wood roofing, which comes in cedar, red wood and cypress, lasts longer and is more expensive than asphalt. It can last for up to thirty-five years. Many people enjoy it for the natural look it provides. Fire resistant shingles are pressure treated with preservatives are safest and last longest. With age, wood may become brittle or shrink, causing the roof covering to be compromised. Individual shingles may be replaced as needed.
Don’t Buy a Roof, Buy a Roofing System
You may view your roof as a single unit. But it is actually a complex system of components that must all work together to achieve the desired level of protection. At Hi Tech we address the entire roof structure to ensure that nothing is overlooked or omitted. All of these components go into an overall roofing system to protect you from the weather.
- Shingles – Today shingles can be formulated from asphalt (still the most popular), fiberglass, tile, wood, metal or slate. They are installed in overlapping rows to direct rainwater and snowmelt down and off the roof.
- Roof Deck – Flat panels, usually made of plywood, that are nailed to the rafters to form the base layer of the roof.
- Underlayment – Special layer of felt paper or rubber membrane installed over the roof deck to help seal and protect it against water, snow and ice.
- Water shield – A specially formulated rubber membrane that is typically placed along the bottom edge of the roof and in critical junctures like valleys and around vents to help seal out water.
- Starter strips – Securely fastened line of shingles placed at the roof’s lower edge, a starter strip is better able to withstand winds and resist water intrusion.
- Flashing – Aluminum, sheet metal or copper seals that are placed around vent pipes, chimney and valleys to prevent water from entering the gap.
- Ventilation – Proper ventilation helps to balance the temperature of the roof deck and the attic, helping to prevent the formation of ice dams, lower moisture levels, and extend the life of the roof.
- Shingle cap – A specially made shingle that is placed at the roof’s peak to cover and protect the seam where courses of shingles meet.
How Much Does a Roof Cost? And How Long Will It Last?
When installing a new roof on your home you want a roof that is both affordable and durable. Hi Tech can provide valuable guidance on roofing materials as well as installation costs.
Most people only consider the cost of a new roof at the time of installation. But you should really pay attention to the total the lifecycle cost of the roof. Unless your budget is very restricted, choosing premium roof materials is the best decision as they can more than pay for themselves over time with the energy and maintenance savings.
Your home’s roof can be expected to have a lifetime of 20-30 years, which is about the length of a standard roof warranty. But if you choose to install premium roof materials you can improve the lifecycle cost of your roof. Better materials have a longer life expectancy, are more energy efficient, and have higher performance standards than standard roof products. There is also a greatly reduced chance of leaking because of the higher quality of the materials. This will reduce maintenance costs as well as lowering the risk of damage to the interior of your home and to your belongings by avoiding potential leaks.
Other factors to consider include roof maintenance such as leak repairs and cleaning, and routine roof inspections. These costs will vary with the quality of the original roof installation, which makes it even more important to choose the best materials you can afford, and to work with a roofing contractor who will do the job properly.
How Do I Know My Roof Needs to Be Replaced?
Many people don’t realize they have a roofing problem until water starts to leak from the ceiling. After years of being exposed to rain, snow, ice, sun and wind, roof shingles can start to wear. Curling, peeling, and eventual disintegration of roof shingles can lead to permanent damage to your roof and, eventually, the overall house structure.
That’s why you should contact a professional roofing contractor to conduct a thorough roof inspection every 3-5 years. Any of the following signs that may indicate a serious roof problem:
- Shingles that are cracked, curled, worn or missing
- Granule loss from asphalt shingles
- Split wood shingles
- Mold or moss growth
- Leaks or spotting of interior ceilings
- Staining of rafters or in attic space
- Streaks along outside walls
- Expired roof warranties
- Storm damage
- Ice dams
Get the True Story About Roof Replacement
Your home’s roof is too important for the safety and protection of your family to trust to anyone other than an experienced, professional roofing company like Hi Tech. We’ll steer you straight when it comes to your roof. Call us at 800-851-0900 to an inspection of your home’s roof. Or use our convenient online form to get in touch. We’ve got you covered!