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Undergoing Roof Renovations? Here Are Some Materials to Consider

If you have moved into an older home, chances are it will be a fixer-upper. To restore it to its previous glory, you would have to embark on some remodelling so as to bring it up to modern standards. One of the crucial aspects to consider at this time would be roofing renovations.

When engaging in roof renovations, it is not simply about selecting the cheapest materials or the most attractive and leaving it up to your roofers. You would have to consider the positives as well as the drawbacks of the different options so you can make an informed decision on what would be best suited for your home. The following are some of the materials that you can consider for roof renovations.

Asphalt shingles

Undoubtedly, this is one of the most popular options when homeowners are considering materials for their roofing. They are also referred to as composite shingles. Asphalt shingles are an economical option; this makes it easily available for a majority of people.

When it comes to these materials, there are two types of shingles that you could choose. The first are the organic asphalt shingles, which are the heavier of the two types. The second type of shingles are the fibreglass shingles, which offer you a lightweight and more economical option when compared to the organic alternative. With these shingles, you have two main styles that you could choose during installation. The first is the three-tab style whereby the shingles have slits in them, which works to create an illusion of three smaller shingles in one. The second style is the architectural style, which has no slits on the shingles.

Wood shakes and shingles

Another material you could consider during roof renovations is wood. The most commonly used wood species used to create these shingles and shakes include pine, cedar and redwood. It should be noted though that some local council codes may prohibit you from using wood shakes and shingles as your roofing. This is especially common if you live in an area that is prone to bushfires. As such, it would be best to first establish what the building codes are in your area before you invest in these roofing materials.

So what is the difference between shingles and shakes? Wood shakes have a rugged appearance, which lends a rustic charm to your roofing. Wooden shingles, on the other hand, are milled quite fine and are laid flat on your roofing, giving it a more contemporary look.

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Options You Can Contemplate When Considering Roofing Materials

Whether constructing a new home or looking to replace your current roofing, you will find there is a wide array of materials that you would have to make a selection from. As such, some homeowners tend to find the process overwhelming, especially if they do not know the different benefits and drawbacks the roofing materials come with. The following are some of the options that you can contemplate when considering roofing materials.

Asphalt shingles

These are the one of the more popular roofing materials used in residential roofing. One of the main benefits you get from asphalt shingles is that they are simple to install. Therefore, the roofers’ labour costs tend to be affordable. In addition to this, asphalt shingles come in an array of colours. This ensures any homeowner can get asphalt shingles that would suit their individual residence. It should be noted though that asphalt shingles are susceptible to being blown off if they are installed in areas prone to high gusts of winds, for example by the coast. As such, you may find yourself having to replace them on a regular basis. However, in the event of damage to the shingles, they are easy to replace individually without having to embark on full roof restoration.

Slate roofing

If you are looking for natural roofing materials, slate roofing would be an ideal choice. This type of roofing is made from rocks. Therefore, it is quite sturdy as well as durable. A misconception some people have is that slate roofing is only available in shades of grey. The truth is you can add colour to your roofing by opting for slate in hues of blue, green and even red. Although the heaviness of slate makes it a sturdy roofing option, it also makes it quite difficult to install. If you are opting to use slate as a retrofit to your residence, it would be ideal to consult with a structural engineer. This is so that you can establish whether your residence would be able to withstand the weight of this roofing material.

Cedar shakes

This type of roofing material is popular with homeowners looking for a rustic finish to their home. The cedar wood blends well with any environment. Additionally, the unique finish of the cedar shakes can enhance the value of your property. However, cedar shakes tend to require a significant amount of maintenance to keep them in pristine condition. Without the proper sealing and treatment, your cedar roofing can succumb to water damage over time. It should also be noted that cedar shakes are prone to bush fires. Nevertheless, you could opt to have them treated using flame-retardants. This would enhance their safety in the event of a fire.

For more information, talk to a roofer.

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How to get your house ready for the winter season

The colder months can take their toll your home; wear and tear caused by rain, wind and lower temperatures can lead to a variety of issues, many of which are costly and time-consuming to fix. There are however, several things which you can do in the run up to the winter which will help to lessen the negative impact this season has on your property.

Clean the gutters and drains

Many homeowners fail to regularly clean out the gutters and drains of their house throughout the spring and summer. Whilst this is understandable—it certainly isn’t the most enjoyable task, after all—it can cause serious problems when the temperatures begin to drop. Any dirt, leaves and other debris that have been left to fester will form blockages when the water that runs through them turns to ice. This can stop the drainage system from functioning, resulting in leaking or even flooding inside your home.

You can prevent this from happening by routinely tending to your gutters and drains during the warmer seasons; clear them out thoroughly about once a fortnight and make sure that the piping is properly aligned, so that the water flows across the joining pieces without leaking. Additionally, if you have any trees with branches that hang over the gutters, you might want to consider having them trimmed, as this will reduce the amount of leaves that need to be removed.

Keep the roof in good condition

You should carefully examine the roof of your house at least once a month, looking for potential issues which could lead to leakages come wintertime. Some of the things that you need to keep an eye out for include tiles that are either cracked or broken, bits of mortar missing from the chimney, and shingle granules; the latter resemble grains of sand—if you spot any of these in the gutters, it could be a sign that the tiles need to be replaced. Lastly, make sure to look for sagging along the roof line.

Should you spot any of these problems, get in contact with your local roofing services provider. They will able to carry out a full inspection and advise you on what work needs to be done to address any damage that is found.  Do not attempt to do this task yourself; not only is this dangerous, but without the necessary training it’s also unlikely that you’ll be able to complete the job to a high standard—this could lead to bigger repair bills later down the line. 

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Top Tips For Quick And Effective Gutter Cleaning

Your roof and guttering are the first line of defence in protecting your property from water damage.  Cleaning your gutters regularly not only keeps them working freely, it gives you the opportunity to check for damage.  Once the gutters are clean, you can contact a professional roofer to come and carry out repairs.

Here are some tips on how to clean your gutters quickly and effectively.

What you’ll need

  • ladder
  • gloves
  • trowel
  • buckets
  • garden hose
  • pressure washer (you can hire one from a good tool hire shop if you don’t have your own)
  • plumber’s snake (auger)
  • stiff brush

You’ll need to recruit a helper to ‘foot’ your ladder for you, as cleaning gutters does involve working at height.

How to do it

  1. Your first job is to get rid of any leaves and other debris from the gutters.  The easiest way to do this is by scooping out the muck with your trowel and dropping it into a bucket. Place your ladder on a level, firm base.  Ask your assistant to place their foot on the bottom rung and to hold the ladder firmly with one hand on each side.  When you stand on the ladder, keep your hips between the rails and don’t lean out to the side, which could destabilise the ladder.  
  2. Now you need to clean out the downspout.  If the downspout is clogged up, the water will back up into the guttering, causing the gutters to sag and eventually leading to overflowing and splitting.  To do this, pull off the end of the downspout and set it aside.  Push the hosepipe or power washer into the downspout and use the water’s power to flush out the blockage.  
  3. If the blockage in your downspout proves particularly stubborn, you might need to use a plumber’s snake to push it or pull it out.  You can hire one of these tools from a good tool hire shop.  
  4. Once you’re confident that the downspout is clear, you can set about cleaning the gutters.  Use the pressure washer to blast away any lingering debris.  Try to avoid hitting the gutters at a high angle in case you dislodge your roof tiles or drive water underneath them and into the roof space.  
  5. Any encrusted dirt can be removed by scrubbing it away using a stiff brush.

In conclusion

It’s a good idea to routinely clean out your gutters at least annually after the leaves have finished falling in the autumn, so that the winter rains will drain away.  This also gives you an opportunity to check the gutters for any loose spikes or damaged caulking that may require the attention of a professional roofer.

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4 Roofing Materials That Last

If you are in need of a new roof, you should first consider the different features of available materials. One great feature to keep in mind is longevity. This not only ensures you wont need to replace it again for a long time, but it also makes your new roof an investment. Here are some roofing materials that will last.

Clay and Spanish Tile

When you live somewhere that gets a lot of fires and extreme temperatures, you need fire-resistant materials like clay. This is an excellent material due to its durability and low maintenance requirements. There are many different types of roofing materials made of clay, from shingles to tiles. One popular style of clay roofing materials is Spanish tile, which is great for a southwestern or mission-style homes. Not only is clay resistant to fire and extreme temperatures, but also high winds, hail, and various weather conditions. 

Stone

One of the longest-lasting roofing materials is slate, which is a type of stone. It can last a century with proper maintenance and repairs. The main disadvantage to slate roofing materials is that they can be very heavy, so you will likely need to add reinforcements to your roofing structure. Slate is extremely durable. It won’t wear out from weather conditions or extreme temperatures, crack easily, or get destroyed from fires. You can find slate tiles in gray, blue, and green shades.

Metal

Another excellent roofing material to consider for its longevity is metal. Metal roofs are ideal for many different types of roofs, including low and high pitches. There are many styles of metal panels and shingles, so you don’t need to worry about your home looking too industrial or like a commercial building. Like the other roofing materials on this list, it is durable, difficult to crack, and resistant to fires and extreme temperatures. Metal also has the added benefit of being on the lighter side, so you may not need reinforcements on your roof. It can also be energy-efficient.

Concrete

You can also get concrete tiles for your roof. While these may seem like they wouldn’t be very attractive, the opposite is true. There are different styles of concrete tiles, with the added benefit of their excellent longevity. They can handle coastal regions with a lot of salt in the air, fire-prone areas, and climates with a lot of snow and ice, or extremely hot temperatures.

Roof installation experts can help you decide which type of roofing material is best for your house.

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Answers to Some of the Most Commonly Asked Questions About a Roof Restoration

A roof restoration is a type of coating that is applied over a roof so that it covers any holes or tears as well as shrunken or damaged roofing tiles. It’s usually much more affordable than the cost of an entirely new roof or even a large-scale roofing repair job. If you know that your home needs some work done on the roof, you might have some questions about the process of a roof restoration or re roofing. Note a few of those questions here and then discuss them with a contractor so you know if it’s the right choice for you.

1. Is every home a good candidate for a roof restoration job?

A contractor will want to inspect your roof before giving the go-ahead for a restoration job, but note that the coating applied to a roof for this work is very lightweight. If you’re worried about the added weight on an older home or one that needs repair to the structural beams, a roof restoration job shouldn’t interfere with the roof’s integrity. A metal roof that has rust may be treated with a rust-resistant sealer before the restoration coating is applied, so this too shouldn’t be a factor for your home’s roof.

2. Why opt for a roof restoration before there is damage?

You may have had a roof restoration job recommended to you even before there is damage to your roof. Note that this restoration or coating that is applied can protect your roof from damage before it occurs; in turn, your roof may not leak and your home may not suffer water damage on the inside. A roof that is older may also not be insulating your home very well, even if it’s not damaged. Shrunken tiles can mean letting out your heat or air conditioning so that your utility bills spike. A roof restoration can help you avoid repair bills and also ensure your home is protected no matter the condition of the roof itself.

3. Can a roof restoration work around an attic vent, TV antenna, and the like?

A roof restoration coating is usually applied with large rollers; it’s not a solid piece that is cut to fit your roof. If you’re concerned because you have an attic vent, TV antenna, satellite dish, or oddly shaped roof, your contractor can usually work around these without much issue. He or she will typically perform an inspection before the work begins and can note if anything needs to be removed from your roof, but don’t assume that the coating will damage these items or that they’ll automatically be in the way of the roof restoration.

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4 Tips for Maintaining Your Roof

You may not pay much attention to your roof unless you have a leak, but it needs regular maintenance and inspections. This helps you to look for early signs of trouble so you can get the repairs done before it turns into something more serious. It also allows you to perform tasks that reduce the risk for things like major holes in the roof or ice dams. Here are some tips for keeping your roof well maintained and in good shape.

Remove Snow from the Roof

When the snow starts to pile up on the roof, make sure you carefully head up on a ladder to shovel it off. This is important because if the roof gets warm and melts the snow, it will end up in the gutters. If it is still freezing out, the melted snow will refreeze, which can then cause ice dams. These has the potential to cause damage to your roof’s structure. Not only that, the weight of the snow can cause its own form of damage.

Clear Out the Gutters

The gutters need to be kept clean at all times. This is one of the most important things to focus on when maintaining your roof. Having leaves, dirt and other debris in the gutters causes water to sit in the sludge, which prevents any draining. This can cause extra weight in the gutters and start to damage them, not to mention the possible damage to your roof when that water builds up. It also increases your risk for ice dams and other issues.

Clean the Roof

The roof itself also needs to be cleaned on a regular basis. Cleaning the roof removes various debris that ends up on it,while also giving you a chance to inspect the roof structure and be warned ahead of time when you need roof repairs. Use a broom to sweep the roof’s surface, then wash it with a pressure washer. Do this after cleaning the gutters so the water has a place to drain. If the water doesn’t drain, you should be able to pinpoint the problem. If a leak occurs inside the home while using the pressure washer, you know you have a crack or leak somewhere on the roof. Pressure washing is going to help you remove mildew and grime.

Trim Nearby Branches

After you have cleaned and inspected your roof, then trim nearby trees and branches. If there are overhanging tree branches, they will start dropping lots of leaves and debris on the roof, making it harder to keep clean. There is also the risk of the branches hitting the roofing materials during strong winds and causing damage over time. Try to keep tree limbs away from the roof as much as possible.

If you need assistance with any of these things, or if you believe your house requires re-roofing, contact a professional in your area.

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