17
Apr

Architectural Shingles or 3-Tab Shingles

Architectural Shingles or 3-Tab Shingles is a question most new roof buyers ask themselves.

But what are Architectural Shingles?  Should you get them for your roof even if you had 3-Tab before?

First, architectural shingles are asphalt shingles just like 3-Tab.  Most of us know what an asphalt shingle looks like, whether we know it or not.  Just look at your roof and more than not you have asphalt shingles; unless you have a specialty roof such as tile or metal.  Second, an asphalt shingle is one of the most widely used roofing covers in North America because most varieties are affordable and straightforward to install. 

Main types of asphalt shingles

The first type of commonly used asphalt single is the “3-Tab”.
Architectural Shingles or 3-Tab Shingles. This is 3-Tab

3-Tab Shingles

As you can see, it is a very straight forward simple shingle.  It is called a 3-Tab because it comes in 3tab sections.  This types of asphalt single is more commonly found on lower value properties but is still very popular.

Why is 3-Tab found more frequently on lower valued properties?

3-Tab is inexpensive compared to most types of roofs and can be installed very quickly.  But all asphalt shingles will protect your home so choosing between the various types is as much about the look and feel as it is the protection and price.   3-Tab shingles used to be the “Go To” shingle but over the last several years architectural shingles have quickly gained traction and are now the “Go To” shingle for most roofers and homeowners.

Architectural or 3-Tab?  Look, warranty, and price are the key drivers for most homeowners.   3-Tab also comes in many colors and has acceptable warranties for most people.

The second most common type of asphalt shingle is the architectural or “dimensional” shingle.
Architectural Shingles or 3-Tab Shingles. This is Architectural

Architectural Shingles

These shingles have more character and customization options than 3-Tab.  As you can see, this type of shingle has dimensions to it and more of a 3-D “custom” look.   These types of shingles are heavier than 3-Tab and have better warranties in many cases.  Also, more and more Property Owner Associations are demanding that roof replacement use architectural style shingles; unless you live in a neighborhood with tile roofs.

Comparison: Architectural or 3-Tab

Both types of these shingles can last for many years but the architectural shingles are thicker and come with a larger variety of warranties. Rarely do you see an architectural or “dimensional” shingle with less than a 20 year warranty.  In fact, some even come with what is being styled a “Lifetime Warranty”.

At the end of the day an architectural shingle is still an asphalt shingle but it looks better, performs better, lasts longer, is heavier, and usually has a much longer warranty.    Just look at these compared side-by-side and you can see that an architectural shingle is more attractive than a 3-Tab.

Architectural or 3-Tab Singles Comparing

Compare the differences.

 


Confused or want more information? Trying to understand the costs associated with replacing a roof?  Call, email, post to Facebook, or tweet to us.  No Fee, No Obligation, Just help for you.

Don’t want to talk to anyone and just want a quick, satellite photograph measurement to help estimate the cost for your roof?  Order the Quick Report

If you have a specific roof issue and can send us a photo via email, Facebook, or Twitter, we will do our best to advise you on the specific issue.

 

14
Mar

Most Common Low-slope Roof Problems : Part 1

Low-slope roof in Chicago

Low-slope roof in Chicago

Common Low-slope Roof Problems

Many “standard” housing in the United States primarily uses what is considered a “low-slope” roofing style.  So what are some of the most common issues with low-slope roofs?

“Obvious or unforeseen, roof problems are always a pain and undoubtedly a significant expense,” says Jane Madison at Builders Magazine, who posted a great article about low-slope roof issue.   Below I posted the first part if her article.

Problems Plaguing Low-slope Roofs

Buildings magazine examined which problems are most common and the conditions that can either cause or be the result of premature failure and reduced service life of low-slope roof systems. This is not a self-diagnostic guide, but rather an informative list of some of the problems most often battled by building owners and facilities professionals.

“If you look at a failure curve, most roofs are the best they’re going to be at the time they are installed. The curve is pretty flat in terms of their deterioration for the first several years, and the last 25 or 30 percent of the roof [life], the curve becomes more steep,” explains Ron Harriman, vice president, Benchmark Inc., Cedar Rapids, IA. Unfortunately, problems are inevitable as the roof ages. Without proper and routine maintenance, these minor problems can even become catastrophic.

ROOF LEAKS AND MOISTURE

“With any roof – no matter what type – if you’ve got roof leaks, then you’ve got a problem,” explains Charles Praeger, executive director, Metal Building Manufacturers Association (MBMA), Cleveland.  Leaks can occur for a number of reasons. Built-up roofs (BUR) might experience leaks due to flashing details that weren’t fastened properly during installation. “The problems an owner is typically going to have [with a BUR system] is that 95 percent of leaks occur at flashing details – anywhere the membrane itself is terminated or interrupted,” explains Helene Hardy Pierce, director of contractor services, GAF Materials Corp., Wayne, NJ. Additionally, hot bituminous and torch-applied modified bitumen roofs may experience leaks when a proper moisture barrier is not installed underneath a coping cap on parapet walls, according to Avoiding Common Roof Installation Mistakes, a CD-Rom produced by the Center for the Advancement of Roofing Excellence (C.A.R.E. Ltd.).

The C.A.R.E. CD-Rom also pinpoints improper installation of flashing as a source of leaks on torch-applied modified bitumen roofs. Inadequate head laps and backwater laps are another mod bit installation problem that can allow moisture infiltration. “Water can get under the membrane if the field of roof is installed so that water flows against the lap. The consequences of backwater laps are leaks and blisters, which can lead to roof failure,” C.A.R.E. explains. With cold-applied modified bitumens, improper storage of materials can result in moisture infiltration built into the roofing system, and under-application of adhesive can result in poor lamination and roof leaks.

Leaks can result when single-ply membrane roofs are installed with poor seams. “You’ve got to have good seams with single-ply, because if you don’t, you don’t have much. The membranes themselves will hold water. You’ve got to have the seams either glued or heat-welded properly,” Harriman explains.

BLOW-OFFS, TENTING, REDUCED WIND UPLIFT RESISTANCE, AND BILLOWING

Leaks are not the only problem that can result from improperly installed flashing. Hot bituminous roofs where flashing is poorly attached may experience open seams and laps and ultimately cause blow-offs, reduced puncture resistance, and code issues, advises C.A.R.E. Poor gravel embedment and the use of an inadequate number of fasteners in the base sheet during application of both hot bituminous and torch-applied mod bit roof systems can also have similar consequences.

Wind uplift resistance can be reduced greatly if seams are not cured adequately on cold-applied mod bit systems. C.A.R.E. notes, “Seams made with cold adhesives do not have good integrity until the adhesive has cured. If the seams are exposed to wind and rain before they are properly cured, moisture can infiltrate the roof system or wind uplift can damage the roof membrane.”

If not adhered properly to the substrate, single-ply roofs are at risk for blow-off and billowing. “With single-ply membranes, we do a little more to hold things in place, and if it’s not done properly, then we end up with tenting of the flashings [and] we end up damaging the membrane,” says Pierce.

POOR INSTALLATION AND UNSATISFACTORY WORKMANSHIP

A faulty installation dramatically increases the likelihood of problems and reduces a roof system’s life expectancy. “Workmanship does tend to be one of the more common problems or common reasons for problems that crop up at some point in the life of the roof,” Harriman comments. BUR system installation can be problematic if specific preparations are not taken. According to Harriman, problems with adhesion can result when the area isn’t cleaned, dried, and primed properly prior to installation. “Those are things that are difficult to walk up on a roof and visually see, but could lead to future problems, premature aging, or premature failure,” he says.

Torch-applied mod bit system performance can be compromised if crews do not relax the sheets prior to installation. Material preparation is important to a quality installation. C.A.R.E. notes, “Sheets installed that have not relaxed or are installed when ambient conditions such as temperature are not right can result in wrinkles, leaks, fish mouths, contraction of sheets, or blisters.” Be sure that the contractor and crew you’ve hired are educated in proper installation techniques specific to the roof they are installing.

LACK OF MAINTENANCE

There are many reasons not to neglect the roof – including financial and business continuity reasons. Being wise to problems can prevent their escalation. “The problem in roofing is a lack of education on all levels. But if the owner of the property is better educated, the whole industry does better and less problems [occur],” explains Chris Mooney, GAFMC/C.A.R.E. national training manager, C.A.R.E., Wayne, NJ. Specific levels of maintenance are required to prevent voiding the warranty. “Perform routine inspections. You don’t have to know a lot about roofing,” Pierce explains. “Things like ponding water, a piece of slipped base flashing, pitch pockets that haven’t been filled – those should be obvious whether you know a lot about roofing or not.” Addressing minor problems before they escalate maximizes roof life as well as minimizes headaches and expense.

PONDING WATER

“Another common problem across all roof types is what I call ‘incidental ponding water.’ If we move the water off the roof, the roof has a really good chance of performing the way it should,” notes Pierce. During the design of a dead-level roof, slope should be added with tapered insulation or crickets. “If we don’t take proactive measures when we’re actually designing the roof, then we’re building in ponding water,” she stresses.

UV rays compounded by ponding water can have adverse effects on BUR and asphalt-based mod bit roofs. During installation of hot bituminous systems, C.A.R.E. warns that improper mopping can produce voids in the membrane, block drains, and result in ponding water as well as void the warranty.

Pierce cautions that before roof repairs are hastily made, the source of the ponding water should be investigated.HVAC units without condensate drain lines could be the culprit. Always inspect thoroughly before making a repair. Check drains to make sure they are free of dirt, silt, and debris.

This wraps up the first part of Common Low-slope Roof Problems. 

Thanks again to Jana J. Madsen (jana.madsen@buildingsmedia.com) the managing editor at Buildings magazine.   For more information about C.A.R.E., visit (www.gaf.com) or e-mail (care@gaf.com).

Next week I’ll post-up the rest of this great article.

Want more information? Trying to understand the costs associated with replacing a roof?  Call, email, post to Facebook, or tweet to us. No Fee, No Obligation, Just help for you.

Don’t want to talk to anyone and just want a quick, satellite photograph measurement to help estimate the cost for your roof?  Order the Quick Report

If you have a specific roof issue and can send us a photo via email, Facebook, or Twitter, we will do our best to advise you on the specific issue.

 

25
Nov

Roof Maintenance Tips for Winter

roof maintenance needed for snow on roof

Snow laden roof

Winter Time – Tip for Preventive Roof Maintenance

Fall has quickly passed and we’re moving into Winter, although in the South it stills feels like Fall.  Yesterday, I had a Christmas light installer put lights on my home.  He pointed out that several sections of the roof had “slippery” shingles – meaning the granules easily came off.   I assured him that I knew and asked him to use a ladder instead of running around on my roof.

Preventive roof maintenance is an absolute necessity.  The heat of the summer is behind us, but it’s possible that you have buckled shingles, dried out caulking, or leaking roof areas which are unidentified.  Strong winds over the past several months may have lifted shingles or blown debris such as tree limbs onto your roof.  Take a good look at your drains which easily become clogged which then results in improper drainage which can set up a water penetration situation in the future.

Cold weather issues

Winter brings cold weather, higher winds, and blowing dead or loose debris, which will damage your roof.   As your roof continues to be exposed to nature’s elements, your roof integrity will degrade resulting in damage that can go undetected until it becomes a serious problem.  It is good to remember that your roof is the skin protecting your home or commercial building.  If you have a lot of snow then you should consider snow guards such as those designed by Rock Mountain Snow Guards like this:

Roof maintenance instrument snow guard

Snow Guard from Rocky Mountain

Roof maintenance is as important as auto maintenance

Preventive roof maintenance should be viewed as important as preventive maintenance on a car and truck.  Skipping oil changes or mileage service points will slowly degrade your vehicle – roof maintenance is no different.  I encourage you to have your roof inspected by a professional every three years, or more frequently if you do no engage in preventive maintenance or have moved into a new home and have no idea if the seller did any type of roof maintenance.

Remember though to not jump to conclusions about your roof needing to be replaced simply because a single roofer says you need one.  A quality roofing company will present ideas on how to patch or otherwise mediate your damage.  When you are ready to replace your roof get multiple bids from quality roofing contractors.

Maintenance conclusions

If you are able to get up on your roof, even if only partially via a ladder, do it.  Do your own inspection looking for problems that need to be addressed.  You will save a lot of money by proactively maintaining your roof and heading off issues before they become big problems.

Confused or want more information? Trying to understand the costs associated with replacing a roof?  Call, email, post to Facebook, or tweet to us. No Fee, No Obligation, Just help for you.

Don’t want to talk to anyone and just want a quick, satellite photograph measurement to help estimate the cost for your roof?  Order the Quick Report

If you have a specific roof issue and can send us a photo via email, Facebook, or Twitter, we will do our best to advise you on the specific issue.

8
Nov

Roof mold – Is it dangerous?

Black "roof mold" on shingles

Black “roof mold” on shingles

Roof Mold.  What is it and is it dangerous?

Is it algae, moss, lichens, fungi, or possible deadly black mold?   We have all heard about deadly black mold growing in homes.  But rest assured, that roof mold is not that rare deadly black mold.

But on houses receiving the right conditions of shade and moisture/humidity, growth of things like algae, moss, or fungi will grow.  In areas with high humidity or frequent rainfall, ensure that your roof is exposed to as much sunlight as possible.

Roof mold or other growths may be merely unsightly; but in more severe cases, can begin destroying shingles.

With algae and some fungal growth, the extent of the damage may only be shingle discoloration.  In warm, humid conditions, certain airborne algae can grow on shingles, leaving “roof mold” that is black or dark-green stains.

Moss or lichens growing on a roof are more likely to hold moisture against the shingles, which can accelerate damage.  Furthermore, if left untreated, their roots or growth structures will eventually penetrate and shorten the life of roof shingles.

Another likely source of damage is the cleaning methods used to combat roof mold or algal growth.

Pressure washing and harsh chemicals can cause rapid granule loss or other shingle degradation.   As is the case with algal treatment, the removal methods for roof mold may cause more damage than the growth itself.  But that does not mean you just leave the growth.  Take preventative measures to combat these growths since roof mold can be destructive.

Tree damage is also a leading cause of of the discoloration attributed to roof mold.

Roof damage from tree branches are a major contributor to needed roof repair or replacement.  Branches that rub against the roof cause granule loss and in some cases cut through the shingles or pull them out of place.  This loss of granule will change the color of the shingles as they are removed.

Unsightly “roof mold” may be the least of your concerns if branches are not trimmed when they come in contact with the roof.  During a storm, heavy winds may cause branches to break off and land on your roof causing major damage to the shingles and decking.

Trim away any overhanging tree branches and maintain your gutters and downspouts so that rainfall will drain quickly.

Confused or want more information?

Trying to understand the costs associated with replacing a roof?  Call, email, post to Facebook, or tweet to us.  No Fee, No Obligation, Just help for you.

Don’t want to talk to anyone and just want a quick, satellite photograph measurement to help estimate the cost for your roof?  Order the Quick Report

If you have a specific roof issue and can send us a photo via email, Facebook, or Twitter, we will do our best to advise you on the specific issue.

24
Oct

How do I know when to replace my roof? Danger signs for a roof. – part two

Roof problems that help answer the question, “How do I know when to replace my roof?” part two

Last week we pointed out that the guys over at GAF, who manufacture roofing materials, posted a really good set of photos to help you determine if you have red flags that need to be carefully examined.   They call them Key Danger Signals of a Failing Roof?

Let’s look at the other danger signs that likely point to a roof replacement need.  But remember that not every type of roof damage means you have to replace your roof.  You might be able to patch it and then prepare and plan to have it replaced in the near future.

But be on the lookout for the issues below to help answer the question, “How do I know when to replace my roof?”

Stains on Interior Ceilings and Walls or Mold and Mildew Growth

Possible cause: Leaking water supply or drain line OR inadequate, faulty shingle underlayment which allows leakage.  Mold could also be caused by inadequate ventilation which traps moisture.

 

Stains leading to roof replacement

Stains indicating water penetration

Exterior Decay, Sheathing, and/or Siding

Possible cause: Poor attic ventilation.  If the exterior of your home looks like this picture you have a real problem.  Does this answer the question, “when to replace my roof?”  Not yet.  But you need to figure out what is causing this problem. You might have a leak which is slowly eating away at your sheathing or siding.

 

exterior damage indicating roof replacement need

Siding damage

Missing, Cracked, or Curled Shingles

Possible cause: Shingles have reached the end of their useful life OR a major storm tore up the roof.  Sometimes your shingles have just reached their end of life and you need to replace the roof.  If you have 20 year shingles, have had your roof on for 25 years, and it looks like this photo you can answer the question, “How do I know when to replace my roof?” in by nodding your head repeating after me, “Yes.  I need a roof replacement.”

 


singles destroyed indicating roof replacement  need

Major damage to shingles

 

Dark, “dirty-looking” areas

Possible cause: Loss of granules due to age of shingles.  This one is tough.  Your singles might have simple been worn down over time or you might have mold growing on your roof.  It is important to take a closer look.  Do not jump to roof replacement mode just because you have a few worn shingles.  In this photo, the granules have definitely been worn away.  This is a warning sign that a roof replacement is in your future.  But does this answer the question “when to replace my roof?”  Not exactly but it is a warning sign.  At some point these shingles will fail but you still might have a few years if the rest of the roof is in fair shape.

shingles  missing granules indicating time to replace roof

Shingles with missing granules

Confused or want more information? Trying to understand the costs associated with replacing a roof?  Call, email, post to Facebook, or tweet to us.  No Fee, No Obligation, Just help for you.

Don’t want to talk to anyone and just want a quick, satellite photograph measurement to help estimate the cost for your roof?  Order the Quick Report

If you have a specific roof issue and can send us a photo via email, Facebook, or Twitter, we will do our best to advise you on the specific issue.

8
Oct

Roof Warranty. What are the Costs?

No one beats my roof warranty.

Roof warranty! Mine costs less!

Roof warranty covered your issue?  Really?

Roofing materials have one warranty lifespan and the roofing contractor has a second and separate warranty.

Along with overall shingle lifespan, homeowners should understand that the roofer’s warranty, usually called workmanship, and the shingle warranty (or what most call the roof warranty) are two separate affairs, which may or may not overlap.  Fixing something after the warranty has expired will cost you money!  Understand the limits.

In regard to the roofing shingles themselves, understanding what is actually being warranted, who covers it, and what things can void a shingle warranty is all important.  Discussing roof warranty  details with your roofer so that everyone is on the same page is helpful, and reduces the chance of surprises should there be an issue that puts the warranty into play.

When comparing roofing contractor bids it is important to consider how long you plan to live in the home and the warranties provided.

Going to leave within the next few years?  Maybe you don’t want to buy a 30 years roof warranty shingle.  Maybe a excellent 10 year shingle will work fine.

With all of this food for thought, it’s probably easy to see how there is a lot more involved in deciding on the best roof shingle to use on your next roofing job.  Spending a little time researching the various options will pay off in the long run with a quality, durable roof that will last for years without a problem.

Still confused or want more information?   Call or email us at RoofBidders.com    We love to provide FREE education to property owners.  Don’t want to talk to anyone and just get a quick quote?  Order the Quick Report.

We will talk with you at no cost.  If you have a specific roof issue and can send us a photo via email, we will do our best to advise you on the specific issue.

 

3
Oct

Choosing the Best Roofing Material for Your House

What kind of roof do you want?

What kind of roof do you want?

There are so many kinds of roofing shingles on the market, choosing the best roofing material AND the one you really want one can become quite a task.

Just looking at the various types can make you dizzy.  For starters, homeowners should consider first and foremost which products are appropriate for their home in consideration of the style of the home, weather patterns, property owners association rules, deed restrictions, or a combination.  Doing so will narrow down the field substantially making the task easier, albeit with fewer choices.

Also, keep in mind that different materials have different life expectancies, too.

We recently spent time analyzing the pros and cons of metal roofs.  Further, slate and ceramic tile can seemingly last forever, but they’re extremely heavy, expensive, and not every home is suitable for them.  Asphalt and certain types of wood and treated wood products are the most popular since they not only last a while, but they are affordable in comparison with some other “lifetime” materials.  Even asphalt singles, which are the most common have life expectancies from as short as 7-10 years to 25-30 years.

Lastly, you’ll want to think about whether there is any kind of maintenance required to keep shingles in good condition, and if so, what it involves.  Buying a new roof should be thought out.  How long do you plan to stay in the home?  What kind of investment do you want to make?  Do you simply want to replace what you have with another cost affordable look alike?

Still confused or want more information?   Call or email us at RoofBidders.com    We love to provide FREE education to property owners. We will talk with you at no cost.  
If you have a specific roof issue and can send us a photo via email, we will do our best to advise you on the specific issue. 

 

 

30
Aug

When Does an Asphalt Shingle Roof Need Replacement?

Roof-Replacement-in-process

Each roof’s condition is unique, and needs to be carefully looked at in order to determine whether replacement shingles are needed, or if an entirely new roof is needed.

Typically, an asphalt shingle roof will last roughly 20 years unless it was installed improperly, or a severe hail or wind storm damaged the shingles. Each roofing system is unique and should be looked at by a professional.

Still confused or want more information?   Call or email us at RoofBidders.com    We love to provide FREE education to property owners. We will talk with you at no cost.  If you have a specific roof issue and can send us a photo via email, we will do our best to advise you on the specific issue.