Blog

How Can I Make My Flat Roof Look Better?

close-up of a worker installing roofing material on a flat roof

Taking Care of a Flat Roof

It isn’t exactly unknown that the winters in Pennsylvania and the surrounding area take a toll on everything. And after a few years of those harsh winters, flat roofing can start looking old and worn, even if a roof isn’t that old. So, does this mean your need to invest in a new roof? 

Not necessarily! A cheaper option is to have a professional roof coating applied. What is the best coating for a flat roof? Experienced commercial roofing contractors will recommend a silicone coating for flat roofing update. It has become a popular material above the other roof coating materials that have been used for the past decade. But why? 

The benefits of using silicone for flat roofing coating may seem very few, but they are important: 

  • Aesthetics
  • Leak protection
  • Improved sustainability
  • Extends flat roofing lifespan by 10 to 15 years

For the aesthetics, it won’t have the chalky, shedding that other coatings applied to flat roofing gain after some time. It can indefinitely withstand ponding water because it isn’t water based and doesn’t absorb any moisture. And it doesn’t need to be reinforced with roof fabric, which is a money save on install time and labor. Another money saver is that it takes less silicone for roof coating than other coating materials, almost half as much! 

What material is used for a flat roof?

What we refer to as flat roofing is actually Low Slope Roofing. The structures with this type of roofing are used for big box stores, shopping centers, and warehouses. The flat roofing on these structures can be made of four different most commonly used materials: 

  • EPDM: Ethylene propylene diene monomer is a chemical compound that has elasticity and toughness, which has made it ideal for commercial structures for many decades. It is resistant to ultraviolet light and the damaging rays of the sun. It is inexpensive for commercial roofing but is durable and long-lasting. 
  • PVC: PVC roofing consists of two layers and has a reinforcement of polyester scrim in between the layers. The top layer is UV resistant, and the bottom ply provides the flexibility that roofing contractors prefer. A durable membrane that is fire resistant. The seams are welded to make it watertight and when completed, it has an appealing visual. 
  • TPO: This material includes reinforced roof sheets that are heat-welded. A highly reflective membrane made of polypropylene and ethylene-propylene rubber, available in several colors and can be attached with adherence ballasted.
  • Modified Bitumen Roofing: A combination of asphalt and a chemical polymer makes this a flexible flat roofing material that is temperature resistant. It is applied in multiple layers using either self-adhesive sheets, hot-mopped asphalt, or torch applied, as well as cold-applied adhesive. Because of how it is installed, it can be installed year-round and when the seams melt together, they are a secure bond that holds up to hail, fire, and high winds.

How long does a flat roof last?

The weather, the material, and the quality of the workmanship installation will all factor into the lifespan of commercial flat roofing. A typical commercial flat roofing membrane can last up to 25 years before it needs replacing. If the workmanship is low quality and the weather is brutal, it may only last 10 years. A professionally installed roof coating of silicone can extend the life by another 10 years. 

What is the longest-lasting flat roof material?

A single-ply PVC flat roofing is the longest lasting. It is typically has a lifespan of 15 year minimum and up to 30 years. 

What are the disadvantages of a flat roof?

It is important to choose the right roof style and material for your commercial structure. So, if you go with flat roofing, what are the downsides you can expect? 

  • The larger the building the more unstable flat roofing becomes. They are less costly to construct, but there are important measures that have to be taken to keep them safe. 
  • A limited lifespan of up to 15 years on average. However, some can last up to 25 years and professional roof coating can help with the longevity. 
  • Drainage is a common problem with flat roofing. When installed correctly with plenty of drains, it may never be a problem. 
  • Shrinkage is another common problem. Some flat roofing membranes are more prone to shrinkage than others, and with shrinkage comes leaks. 

How do you waterproof a flat roof?

A silicone coating over flat roofing is one of the best waterproofing steps you can have done to your commercial structure. 

Can a flat roof be metal?

Yes, and corrugated metal for flat roofing is ideal when coated with zinc. Whether you choose aluminum, copper, stainless steel, or tin, a commercial structure with metal flat roofing is durable, will have a long lifespan, and is heat resistant. Additionally, metal flat roofing will withstand high winds and is impact resistant. 

Can I turn my flat roof into a green roof?

Yes, after you’ve had a structural engineering inspection performed. A green roof can help with the utility bills, lessen its footprint on the environment, and be a place for employees and visitors to relax. However, they do require a weight load and you want to make sure the structure can hold up that load without causing any problems. 

worker applying membrane to a flat roof

At The Top Of It All

What are the parts of a flat roof called? Just because it is flat roofing doesn’t meant there isn’t much to one. Maybe not as much of the same things as a sloped roof, but the main components include: 

  • The Plasterboard Ceiling – The interior part visible to everyone inside the building. All other materials for flat roofing will be on top of the plasterboard. 
  • Decking: This is the skeleton part of flat roofing, typically made of wood beams that are attached together to form the roof. 
  • Insulation and Vapor Barrier: Two important parts of flat roofing is the insulation and vapor barrier. Both work to keep the roof cool and dry while it protect the decking from heat or moisture damage. The insulation absorbs and retains sunlight, so the roof isn’t damaged by heat easily. 
  • Waterproof Layer and Covering: Every roof, flat roofing or sloped roofing needs waterproofing fabric or sheet on top of the other parts. This keeps rain and snow away from the flat roofing should a leak develop. 

By bearing all this in mind, you can take the necessary steps to keep your flat roof in shape and looking great.

Will a metal roof interfere with cell phone service?

close-up of a standing seam metal roof

Learn More About Metal Roof Installation

Today, there are more homes having metal roof installation, especially in areas like Pennsylvania where the weather can go from one extreme to another and back again at the drop of a hat. Those who aren’t sure about this type of roofing have concerns and questions, like how long does a metal roof last?

That is a valid question when you consider the cost of a metal roof installation is more than the typical asphalt shingle roof installation. So, how long will a metal roof last and what are the other benefits of a metal roof?

The average lifespan of a metal roof installation is between 40 years and 70 years, with some types of metal, like copper, lasting up to 100 years or longer! Of course, there are several factors to be considered that can lengthen or shorten that lifespan like the quality of the metal used, the quality of the installation, and the weather. Along with the homeowner’s maintenance routine and upkeep, these are all important factors in the lifespan of a metal roof installation. 

Other benefits you can expect from a metal roof installation are: 

  • Light Weight:  There isn’t any concern with the structure holding a metal roof installation like there is with concrete or slate tiles. Concrete tile roof installation can weigh as much as 900 pounds per square versus the maximum of 150 pounds per square for metal roofing. 
  • Speed and Easy Installation: Because it is a lighter material, a metal roof installation is easier and faster, which can save you money and time! 
  • Minimum Roof Pitch: For a home with a low-slope roof less than 3-in-12, a standing-seam metal roof installation is ideal because it is less expensive and is flexible yet strong for a low-profile roof. 
  • Rain and Snow Shedding: In Pennsylvania, there are times of the year where there is heavy rains and heavy snowfall, a metal roof installation is ideal because of the slippery surface won’t let the rain puddle or the snow stick. 
  • Energy Efficiency: A metal roof installation will cost more upfront, but the monthly benefits from lower utility expenses will recover much of that extra expense over time, up to 30% per month! A metal roof offers reflectivity of the sun’s UV rays, decreasing the amount of heat that is transferred into the attic. And the emissivity allows the roof to cool faster on the evenings of hot summer days. 
  • Environment Friendly: Not only will a metal roof installation help your monthly utility costs, but it is eco-friendly material too. With a Cool-Metal Roof installation, you will also reduce your home’s use of other natural resources that are not renewable. Another eco-friendly benefit is metal roofing is made from recycled materials and can be recycled again when the end of its roof life is done. Add solar panels to your metal roof installation and have a great combination of energy savings!
  • Moss and Fungus: Asphalt and wood roofing lifespans are shortened by fungus, mildew, and moss, all of which a metal roof installation will resist. A metal roof is impervious to critters and insects too! 
  • Fire-Resistant: For homes in wildfire-prone areas, a metal roof installation provides fire resistance. Most metal roofing materials are Assembly-Rated Class A, meaning that the covering and underlying material are an additional level of fire protection. Will a metal roof attract lightning? It is a well-known fact that lightning is often a fire starter, but a metal roof is Assembly-Rated Class A which makes it a fire-resistant option in roofing materials.
  • All Climates and Seasons: A metal roof installation can withstand any kind of climate and season, even high winds, heavy snow, and hard rains. 

Will a metal roof make my home hot?

No. Because of the low thermal mass, a metal roof installation will reflect the UV rays and the heat they generate, keeping your home cooler. This is less strain on the HVAC system because metal roofing isn’t absorbing and holding the heat like asphalt shingle roofing.

Are metal roofs noisy?

It can be if not installed with proper insulation boards. If you’re thinking about an old barn in the country being loud when it rains, that is because they don’t have insulation. A roofing contractor experienced in metal roof installation will discuss the options of insulation boards that will keep the noise factor to a minimum, maybe even quieter than your current asphalt shingle roofing!

Will a metal roof rust?

Again, with a roofing contractor experienced ins metal roof installation, they will discuss the options of metal roof coating that will eliminate any oxidation and rust forming on your metal roof. 

Is it cheaper to get a metal roof or shingles?

The upfront cost of a metal roof installation is going to be more than an asphalt shingle roof installation. Anytime you use a contractor with specific experience for anything, it is going to cost more. Using a roofing contractor that is experienced in a metal roof installation is going to cost more than the basic roofing contractor with asphalt shingles. The ROI you get with lower utility bills and the longevity of the roof is where you’ll get your money back.

Which metal roof color is best?

In a typically colder area, go with a dark color roofing material. This will absorb the sun’s UV rays and hold the heat to keep your home warmer. In an area that is prone to being hot, you want to go with a lighter color that reflects those hot UV rays and keeps the house cooler. 

Can a metal roof be painted?

Maybe the metal roof installation was done before you purchased the house, and you want to change the color. Or you’re simply tired of what you have! The answer to this question is yes, you can paint metal roofing. 

All types of metal roofing can be repainted. If the metal roof installation is brand new, it is recommended to wait 6 months or longer before painting though. This allows time for the metal to weather and the paint will stick. 

Prior to painting your metal roof, you need to prep it first, starting with removing the dirt, loose paint, and mildew. You can use a jet power wash and get the job done quickly. If you’re changing the color, it is recommended to remove the old paint first by using a water and vinegar solution. 

close-up of corrugated metal roofing

Topping It Off

So which metal roof is best? In Pennsylvania, the area is more prone to cold weather than hot weather, so choosing a dark color is recommended. Go with the heavier gauge of metal for strength against the heavy snow and standing seam metal roof installation is the most recommended for a residential property. Any of these metals are ideal: 

  • Galvalume steel 
  • Stainless Steel
  • Aluminum 
  • Tin
  • Copper 
  • Zinc

These can all be great options for metal roof installation.

How Often Should Windows Be Replaced?

two workers providing a window replacement

Oley, Pennsylvania, and the surrounding areas have some of the oldest homes in this country. Founded in the 1700s, many of these homes haven’t been updated in ages. So, how protective are these homes and their existing windows to the climate? Probably not and most are way overdue for window replacement

Of course, there is a concern with the historic value when you have window replacements done.  And with that in mind, you want to find a contractor that values the historic nature as much as you do, but the comfort and energy savings of a professional window replacement job could do so much for a home here. 

If you’ve lived in a house your entire life, you’ve become accustomed to how it feels in the hot summers and cold winters, so, how do you know when you need window replacements? And you may question is a window replacement worth the cost? Those are two of the questions that we’re going to explore and answer today in this article. 

Not all homes in this area were built in the 1700s, but chances are the windows haven’t been replaced in a while. So, when do you know that it is time? Here are five indicators that it is time, maybe even past time: 

  1. Sky High Energy Bills: Even if your home is newer than 1700, chances are you have single-pane windows or double single-pane windows. These windows lack insulation and that makes the air conditioning and heating system work harder because there are cold drafts coming in during the winter and cold air leaking out in the summer.
  2. Moisture or Visible Damage: If the windows in your home have cracks or decaying frames, if you’re wiping moisture off the windows to see out, or you can hear the wind coming through, it is time for new window replacements. 
  3. Opening or Closing is Difficult: If you can’t open and close the windows with ease, it could be the window jams need cleaning. Or the spring inside the windows is too tight. It could also be because they are worn out and only new window replacements are going to fix this. 
  4. Time for Updating the Appearance: Along with the roof, the windows are notable features of the curb appeal of your home. If they are looking old and worn out, consider a window replacement job. This will not only make it look cleaner and healthier, but the energy efficiency will help pay for the cost! 
  5. Outside Noises Are Inside: If you’re hearing outside noises and sounds as if the great outdoors has come inside your home, it is time for new window replacements. 

Can a window replacement save money on utilities?

Yes! You will save money on your energy expenses with new window replacements!  And the answer to the second question, “Is a window replacement job worth the cost?”, is YES! Because not only will your home look updated, cleaner, and healthier with new windows, but all of that will also increase the value of your home too.

 If you’ve never thought about new window replacements, your first question could be, “How much does window replacement cost?”. There isn’t any standard cost per house because of the different factors involved.  Those factors include: 

  • The type of window 
  • The window frame style
  • The window size(s)
  • The level and type of energy efficiency 

A typical window replacement job will cost for the window itself is anywhere from $200 per window up to as much as $1,800 per window with an average of around $600 per window. Add the cost of labor to remove the old window and install the new window replacements, along with any repairs or additions that need to be made, add another $200 to $300 per window. 

So, for a single-story, 3-bedroom home, you could estimate a new window replacement job to be around $12,000 to $15,000 total. From an energy-saving point, you can expect to save as little as $150 a year and as much as $500 a year. From a real estate perspective, you can get as much as 60% to 75% of the window replacement cost back when you sell your home. 

How long does a window replacement take? 

A single-story home with less than 20 average-sized window replacements can usually be done within eight hours. A multi-story home with an average-sized, and standard number of window replacements could take up to two days.  

Do replacement windows need flashing?

Yes, and this should come with any window replacement job.  The contractor you choose to work with should discuss the different types of materials available for the style and type of window you select. The flashing can come in acrylic, aluminum, rubber, or stainless steel to provide the water barrier windows need. 

How often do windows need to be replaced?

While vinyl window replacement will typically come with a 25-year warranty, on average, the energy efficiency and sealing begin to weaken between 15 and 20 years. Can you make windows last longer? Yes, there are four things you can do that will extend the life of your windows: 

  • Clean Them 
  • This is the number one thing that will extend the life of your window replacement job. Clean the glass, casing, and the walls around the windows. Keeping dirt and dust minimized is essential for long life. 
  • Inspect Them 
  • As you clean the windows on a regular basis, inspect them too, seasonally is recommended. Make sure the frame and sash are in working order and check for any moisture infiltration and rot beginning. 
  • Seal Them
  • As you’re inspecting them, check the seals and replace any that look cracked or worn. 
  • Repaint Them
  • If you choose metal or wood frame window replacement, repaint them every three to four years to keep them protected from the elements. 
close-up of a new window being installed

In Closing 

A window replacement job is an investment for your most expensive investment – your home. The ROI will be received in comfort and energy efficiency.

Are metal roofs more energy efficient?

windows in a metal roof

Is a metal roof better than shingles?

In Pennsylvania, it isn’t any secret that the winters can be harsh, even downright unbearable. So, a homeowner that is contemplating a new roof, a metal roof installation could be the better choice. However, the tried-and-true roofing material has been asphalt shingles for decades, so the question a homeowner is likely to answer is: 

The first two factors that determine this is the quality of the metal and the quality of the metal roof installation. Other factors to considered when comparing metal roof vs asphalt shingles are: 

  • Multiple finish options

You can’t judge which is better by looks because both an asphalt shingle roof installation and a metal roof installation can give you the same finished look today. Yes, an asphalt shingle roof is the more traditional, but shingles are made to mimic other roofing materials today like slate, tile, and wood shakes. Get scalloped edges for the Victorian style home or get terra cotta for the Mediterranean style home. 

When it comes to colors and finishes, both asphalt and metal roof installation can complement any home’s color scheme. Today, metal roofing isn’t the old, corrugated tin panels found on your grandparent’s barn. You can choose aluminum, copper, galvanized metals, or zinc.  Today, a metal installation is more likely on a refined architectural style home than a traditional farm-style home. 

  • Durability – Metal Roof Installation Wins

Mother Nature and metal roofing go way back, and that metal roof installation is more likely to withstand almost anything Mother Nature throws out. How long does a metal roof last? A 50-year warranty is common with metal roofs, but their lifespan can expand up to 70 years. A metal roofs does have some weaknesses though, like hailstones or falling branches can dent them. So, what metal roof is best then? Most roofing contractors will recommend a steel metal roof over an aluminum or copper metal roof installation. 

When you’re looking for durability, asphalt shingles come in different grades, architectural asphalt shingles being the better choice. But, compared to a metal roof installation, a shorter lifespan is typical because of their own weaknesses. Like pooling water and damp conditions to algae and fungus growing, possible ice dams in the winter (a big concern in Pennsylvania), and then spike in the temperature between sun rise to sunset. An asphalt shingle roof average warranty is 25 to 30 years, but the actual lifespan is closer to 15 to 20 years. 

  • Upfront Cost vs Long Run Cost

Asphalt shingle roof installation is going to be cheaper than a metal roof installation, but over the long run, you get more from the metal roof. Some of the upfront cost of the metal roof will be recoupable later because you won’t replace it anytime soon. In some instances, a metal roof installation earns tax credits and homeowner’s insurance is often discounted with a new metal roof. Each month, the energy efficiency of a metal roof will save you on your utilities. 

  • Eco-Friendly – Metal Wins Again

A metal roof installation will consist of recycled material and when that roof must be replaced, the metal can is recycled again. That makes metal roofing more sustainable because asphalt shingles contribute over 20 billion pounds to the landfill annually. 

Because a metal roof blocks heat transmission to the inside with its reflective quality, it is another bonus to the energy-efficiency metal roof installation offers. Upgrade to a specialized paint coating will reduce the cooling bills even more. The asphalt shingles, however, are a petroleum-based product that require fossil fuels for manufacturing.

  • Repairs and Upkeep

Asphalt shingle roofing is easier to install and doesn’t take a specialized contractor that has the specialized equipment and tools like a metal roof installation. Asphalt shingles are easier to repair, and the installation is done with half a day in most cases. A metal roofing installation can take up to a week because there is less forgiveness in errors. 

There is always the concern will a metal roof leak, and the answer is yes, if it isn’t installed correctly. Other than the specialized installation, a metal roof doesn’t have any more chance of leaking than an asphalt roof. 

Do metal roofs attract lightening?

A metal roof installation will be a conductive roofing, but, according to experts in the metal industry, they do not specifically attract lightning. What has been discovered is that a metal roof will protect your home and keep it from being struck by lightning. 

Lightning strikes are influenced by more than just metal roofing. several factors. Those factors include: 

  • Topography: A home built on the elevated side is more like to be hit by lighting than in a low area because lightning strikes hit higher elevations first. Doesn’t matter if the house has asphalt, slate, tile, or metal roof installation. 
  • Height: Again, because lightning strikes the highest things first, a two-story home is likely to be struck before a single store, even with an asphalt shingle roof. 
  • Size: The larger the home is spread out, the more surface area is available for lighting strike, regardless of the roofing material. 
  • Geographical: Some areas of the country are more prone to lighting strikes than other. 

Is a metal roof noisy when it rains?

This is one downside to a metal roof installation. If it has adequate and proper roof decking, along with insulation, it will muffle the sound of rain better than if it doesn’t.  

Will a metal roof rust?

Request a proper coating me applied during your metal roof installation will help the metal roofing fight the oxidation that causes rust.

home with a metal roof

To Top Off Your Metal Roof Installation – Which metal roof color is best?

It can depend on the design of your home and where it is located.  In Pennsylvania, we have brutal winters and cold temperatures, so darker colors are best. They absorb the heat during the day and keep the heat in during the night.  

Homes in the south deal more with hotter weather, so a lighter color of roofing is recommended. It will reflect the sun and its heat, keeping the interior cooler. 

Mistakes to Avoid with Metal Roof Installation

roofer working on top of a metal roof

Thinking of a metal roof?

Have you considered a metal roof installation for your Pennsylvania home? It is a growing trend among homeowners these days, and for several good reasons. Is metal roofing cheaper than shingles? Yes and no, but that isn’t one of the reasons that metal roof installation has gained popularity. 

When it comes to the costs of a corrugated metal roof installation, the materials actually cost up to 20% less than asphalt shingles per square. However, the savings are used up with the additional accessories like flashing, ridge caps, and screws, bringing the total cost within a few hundred dollars of an asphalt shingle installation. 

The cost savings come with lifespan savings. An asphalt shingle roof will give you up to 20 or 25 years, depending on the quality of the singles. A metal roof installation can often give you up to 100 years or longer when properly maintained. So over time, the metal roof installation is the less expensive choice. 

What are the different styles of metal roofing?

There are several advantages and pros to having a metal roof installation, like the longer lifespan we mentioned. They need minimal maintenance too, and believe it or not, they are energy efficient too. Choose the right color for the area where you live, and a metal roof will reflect the hot sun in the summer to keep your home cooler. Or it can absorb the sun’s heat and keep your home warmer in the winter. 

Here we list four of the most common materials used for metal roofing on homes around the country: 

  • Aluminum Metal Roof Installation: Aluminum is lightweight, making installation easier and faster, but it is also durable. The weight ratio is higher when comparing aluminum metal roofing to other types of roofing metals, giving you the same amount of strength.
  • Copper Metal Roof Installation: Copper metal roofing has a unique appearance that creates a focal point as it patinas over time. Starting out as shiny as a new penny, eventually changing to a blue-green in most cases, and sometimes, depending on the climate, a brown patina. 
  • Steel Metal Roof Installation: Steel metal roofing is what you will normally get when you ask for a metal roof installation. If you desire another type of metal, you’ll need to specify the type. Steel metal is an alloy that is made from a combination of several elements, including iron. More common among commercial buildings until recently. Because it is an affordable material, it has grown in popularity for residential roofing. 
  • Zinc Metal Roof Installation: Zinc metal roofing material is like copper and has that beautiful, unique appearance that patinas over time, changing colors. Many zinc metal roof installations are done with pre-patinated panels that haven’t developed a protective layer. 
  • Tin Metal Roof Installation: Looking for a “hot tin roof” for your home? You’ll get a rolled steel metal that is coated with tin and chemically bonded to the steel metal. This creates a durable metal roof that is resistant to cracking.

What colors does metal roofing come in?

Getting a new metal roof installation is exciting, and it is long-lasting. So you want to choose a color and style that will match your home’s architecture for years to come, even if you change the basic color of the house. Some recommended color selections based on architectural style: 

  • Modern style:  Charcoal Gray, Matte Black, Regal White
  • Ranch style:  Charcoal Gray, Dark Bronze, Solar White
  • Craftsman style: Ash Gray, Slate Blue, Sierra Tan 
  • Spanish style: Colonial Red, Terra Cotta
  • Cape Cod-style: Medium Bronze, Sandstone, Slate Gray
  • Victorian style: Charcoal Gray, Dove Gray, Hemlock Green
  • Barn or Farmhouse Style: Colonial Red, Regal Red, White

Can you paint metal roofing?

Yes. For all metal roof installations, following the proper prep work before applying the paint is necessary; the recommendation is to use an airless paint sprayer. This will give you a clean and even coating. Keep in mind that once it has been painted, you’ll need to repaint it every two to five years, depending on the thickness of the original paint applied, the climate, and the environment. 

What do you install under metal roofing?

The roofing contractor you choose to work with will discuss the options of what to apply underneath your metal roof installation. The most common and traditional material for roof underlayment is asphalt-impregnated, non-perforated underlayment. There are other types of felt underlayment the contractor may recommend including an organic reinforced and an inorganic reinforced choice.

What type of fastener is used for metal roofing?

It depends on which type of metal material you have for your metal roof installation. An experienced roofing contractor that does metal roofing will know the best type of fastener and recommend accordingly. Follow their advice, they’ve been there and done that. The choices are usually along these lines: 

  • Aluminum Metal Roof Installation – A stainless steel 304 screw in a matching roof color. 
  • Copper Metal Roof Installation – A stainless steel copper plated 410 screw.
  • Corten Metal Roof Installation – A dark brown painted stainless steel.
  • Metal Roof Installation – The zinc metal roof installation will require zinc plated screws, aka galvanized screws that are painted to match the roof panel color.

What is the best way to cut metal roofing?

Before you start your metal roof installation, the metal sheets should be cut to fit prior to installing. Fortunately, using a good pair of shears or snips isn’t as difficult as you may think. You may also be able to use a circular saw in some instances and always, plan the cuts before you make them so that you have the perfect fitting pieces for your roof. 

overhead view of a metal roof installation

Topping Off This Metal Roof Installation Subject 

If a homeowner wanted to attempt a DIY metal roof installation, is metal roofing easy to install? It would be considered an advanced-level DIY project, but certainly possible. You would want to make sure you had the right safety equipment and follow the instructions that come with the metal roof installation materials, each type of metal will vary slightly on instructions. Always have the help of two or three others working with you. 

You should also keep in mind the manufacturer warranty stipulations. Many will not honor their warranty if the metal roof installation is not done by a certified, licensed roofing contractor. This could also affect your homeowner’s insurance should you have a claim later. Another factor to consider is if you ever sell the house, the prospective buyer’s inspection may raise a red flag of caution on the installation.

Why Roof Inspections Are Important

worker examining a ceiling during a roof inspection

An Important Step in Protecting Your Roof

Every 30 days, you do the responsible homeowner duties of changing the batteries in the smoke alarm and changing the air filter in the HVAC system. You have your gutters cleaned professionally once a year, or maybe even do it yourself. Do you schedule a roofing inspection service once a year or every other year though? 

Probably not, most homeowners don’t think about that, and you should. What’s the purpose, should I get a roof inspection? You may be asking this question. A roofing inspection service will thoroughly check your roof for everything, including small issues that can become a bigger problems. With roofing, there is always the possibility of finding things you can’t see from the ground during an inspection. There are also many things with roofing that the untrained eye may not realize is a small issue. 

How often should roofs be inspected?

As a homeowner, you have committed to the maintenance and upkeep of your home, and that should include the roof. Just like having the HVAC system inspected and serviced to expand its lifespan, the same is to be said of the roof too. Roofing contractors that offer roofing inspection services recommend having the roof inspected every two years, with one exception.

The exception to this rule is after a bad weather event. Having a professional roofing inspection service performed after a night or day of hail, hard rain, and heavy strong winds is recommended. You want to make sure your roof endured the bad weather without any damage left behind. If there is damage, you need to have it repaired sooner rather than later. Even the smallest damage can leave your roof and even the rest of your home susceptible to further damage. 

Other times that a roofing inspection service should be scheduled is for any of the following: 

The Roofing Material

The longevity of your roof will depend on the type of roofing material you have on your home. Ceramic tile or slate roofs have extremely long lifespans with little maintenance required. However, an asphalt roof can wear faster than the 20-year warranty that most of them have. So if you’re noticing asphalt granules in the gutter runs and downspouts, or along the flowerbeds of your home, a roofing inspection service is recommended. 

Roofing Features

Weatherproofing is essential to a roof for the prevention of leaks. The waterproofing roof features include the flashing that is installed around the chimney, pipes, and vents, and in the roof valleys. The drip edge along the roof is another roofing feature. A roofing inspection service to check these things when you notice any are loose or missing is recommended. If the flashing isn’t in a firm position, your roof is susceptible to leaks. 

Roof Age

Most asphalt shingles have a 20 to 25-year warranty, and some have a 30-year warranty. However, the average lifespan will usually be between 15 and 25 years. The weather conditions can affect these lifespans, especially extreme weather conditions like hail, hot sun, or piles of ice and snow. A roofing inspection service annually in areas like Pennsylvania where we get a lot of snow is recommended with asphalt roofing. 

How are roof inspections done?

A professional roofing inspection service will take the following steps: 

  • Inspect the Interior: The first area a professional roofing inspection service will check is your home’s interior, including the attic. They will be looking for indications of water leaks. They will be looking for openings in the roof where streaks of light are entering, and they will inspect the insulation and rafters for moisture and mold, all indications there is a roof leak.
  • Inspect the Exterior: The next thing a professional roofing inspection service will include is the exterior part of the roof. The technician will be looking for signs of damage like loose missing shingles, damaged or missing flashing, and cracked caulk. 

What do roof inspectors look for?

What a professional roofing inspection service will look for depends on the roofing material on your home. With most homes having a shingle roofing, we’ll review what the inspection focuses on: 

  • Water Damage – There are many things that cause water damage to an asphalt shingled roof. Clogged gutters, and damaged, loose, or missing flashing are two of the biggest culprits. 
  • Mold – Mold growth around the chimney or on the attic insulation are usually indicators of excessive water damage. During the interior portion of a roofing inspection service, the technician gives these areas detailed attention.
  • Deteriorating Shingles – this includes loose and missing, algae growth, or signs of rot.
  • Clogged gutters – roofing inspection service will check the gutters for excessive amounts of shingle granules, a key indication that your shingles are wearing thin. 

How long does a roof inspection take?

Factors that will determine the time a roofing inspection service takes is the size and shape of a roof. The larger the house, the more steep angles of a roof, the longer it can take. The length for a roof inspection on a one-story home can take between 45 and 60 minutes.

Are roof inspections free?

If there have been recent storms coming through your area, most reputable roofing inspection services will offer a complimentary inspection. Some will charge a fee with that amount being deducted from any roofing service you have them complete. 

How much should a roof inspection cost?

As with the time to complete the inspection, the cost of a roofing inspection service will vary. The roofing materials, the roof pitch, and the detail of the inspection, you can expect a fee between $200 and $300. Again, this fee will usually be deducted from the cost of any roofing work you have performed. 

What happens when a roof fails inspection?

If you live in the home and the roofing inspection service gives you bad news about your roof, get a second inspection. If both produce similar concerns, get the repair or replacement they are recommending. 

If you’re selling a home that fails the roofing inspection for a potential buyer, you have the option of getting the work done as recommended or reducing the sale price by the amount of what it will cost. 

workers on top of a roof performing an inspection

In Closing 

Another common question – Do roofers do roof inspections? The answer is yes. Most roofing contractors offer roof inspection services. However, you will need to clarify that when you’re calling to schedule an appointment. There are some roofing contractors that do nothing but installations and repairs, working as third-party contractors. Home inspectors can also do a roofing inspection service as part of their general inspection during the sale of a home.

What is single ply roofing?

single ply roofing system

Types of single ply roofing

In Pennsylvania, the spring and summer are beautiful. The winters, although beautiful to look at, they can be brutal on flat roofing of commercial and industrial structures. So getting best single ply roofing is important. With the many different types of single ply roofing materials on the market though, how do know which is the best one? 

Single-ply roofing was introduced in North America in the early 1960s with the EPDM material. With the success that was experienced with that single ply roofing material, it became popular.  

As they have developed, they have become easier to install and have longer lifespans, a bonus for commercial structures with low-sloping roofs. What is a single ply roof membrane? Single-ply roofing has few seams compared to asphaltic rolled roofing materials. They are installed without the use of hot asphalt or torches. Within the single ply roofing materials are two categories: 

Thermoplastics

This type is known as PVC (polyvinyl chloride) and TPO (thermoplastic), both are excellent single ply roofing membranes, each with their own specific single ply roofing pros and cons: 

  • TPO Single Ply Roofing Systems: In the commercial roofing industry, TPO is fast growing in popularity, especially in the southern states where cooling a commercial building is important. This light-colored single ply roofing membrane is ENERGY STAR® and qualify as CRRC certified with its attributions of reducing energy consumption in large buildings. 
  • PVC Single Ply Roofing Systems: This has been a trusted membrane for decades in Europe and North America. Most of the single ply roofing in this category are also CCRC certified and ENERGY STAR qualified, providing building owners lower cooling costs. PVC has a strong acid, chemicals, grease, and oil resistance, making this white colored single ply roofing material popular for restaurants. 

Thermosets

Thermoset single ply roofing systems, an ethylene propylene diene monomer rubber, an EPDM material, is flexible upon installation to fit around protrusion in the roof and around corners. It has a strong resistance to abrasions, heat, ozone, and UV rays. Installed with pressure-sensitive tapes joining the seams together makes for a safer installation.

  • EPDM Single Ply Roofing Systems: EPDM is a basic rubber material with a low maintenance reputation. A top rating for weather resistant and easy repairs, an ideal single ply roofing material for any type of weather. The standard color is black, but can be ordered in white, making it a good choice for colder regions or hot regions.  

How long does single ply roofing last?

As with anything, the quality of the material used and an experienced, professional installation will make a difference in the lifespan of single ply roofing.  If properly maintained after installation, a single-ply roofing membrane on a commercial structure can last thirty years or longer.  Other benefits of a single ply roofing membrane are: 

  • A Proven Track Record – EPDM single ply roofing has been used for more than 60 years and is still popular today.
  • Insulation is Customer Choice – Because single ply roofing membranes are not insulated at the factor, the building owner can choose the type of insulation used. 
  • Class A Fire-Rated – EPDM and TPO single ply roofing membranes are UL rated as Class A fire resistance with fire retardant chemicals added during manufacturing.
  • Reflective or Retentive – EPDM single ply roofing, the black roof, is ideal to absorb and retain heat. The TPO single ply roofing, the white roof, is highly reflective to keep a building cooler.

What is the difference between TPO and PVC roofing?

Roofing contractors prefer working with PVC because of its flexibility over TPO single ply roofing material. However, TPO roofing material is more weather resistant, doesn’t break or tear easily like PVC  does.  Both are easily welded for ease installation and repairs. 

How long does an EPDM roof last?

EPDM single ply roofing membranes is made from natural gas and oil products, ethylene, and propylene. It will remain a reliable and stable roofing material for more than 50 years. 

flat gray roof

What is the best material for a flat roof?

When it comes to flat roofing, single ply roofing materials are the most popular and preferred. Whether it is the Thermoplastic or Thermoset, they are the chosen because of the affordability, dependability, and reliability. 

When choosing a roofing material for your commercial structure, it is important to choose a roofing contractor with experience in single ply roofing, how to install and repair. Using the same contractor is always best so they gain familiarity with your structure and what it entails in regard to climate and environment. 

If you don’t already have a roofing contractor, get estimates and inspections from 2 or 3 commercial roofing contractors.  Compare their quotes and the products they recommend.  Doing your research before the roofing is installed can go a long way in customer satisfaction. Call 610-689-3737 today for your single ply roof installation in Oley, PA.

What is a single ply roofing system?

flat roof on commercial building

What does single ply mean?

Typically, commercial buildings of large size have flat roofing, and here in Pennsylvania and surrounding areas, the material and system used needs to be able to handle ice and snow as well as other weather system. Single ply roofing is a popular choice, but there are different types of materials to choose from. 

Single ply flat roofing is wide sheeting installed with few seams for low slope roofs. There isn’t any danger with the installation process like with the roofing systems that require hot asphalt and torches. Because they arrive at the job site with prefabricated detailing accessories that are needed, single ply roofing installation is easy and fast in terms of commercial structure. 

The installation of single ply roofing is one of these four methods depending on the location of the structure itself: 

  • Ballasted: An easy and fast installation takes less labor and time, making this single ply roofing material an economical choice.
  • Mechanically Attached: This single ply roofing is an upgrade from the aforementioned ballasted single ply roofing systems and is lightweight, requiring little maintenance.
  • Fully Adhered: This single ply roofing offers a high level of stability with uplift protection, ideal for commercial structures locate at a high elevation or in a windy area.
  • Metal Retrofit: This single ply roofing system fully encapsulates an existing metal roof without having to remove the existing roof. 

 There are three types of single ply roofing build up materials in the single ply roofing group: 

  • EPDM (ethylene propylene diene monomer) is a durable, long-lasting membrane with strong weatherability. Ideal for structures that get abundance of snow because the black surface holds in heat from the sun and melts the snow melt while keeping the structure warm in the winter. It has a strong elasticity that is ideal for hailstones and freeze/thaw temperatures. 
  • PVC (polyvinyl chloride) is a highly flexible membrane that is chemical resistant and animal fat resistant making it a popular choice for building that house restaurants. The high reflectiveness is ideal for structures in the house because it reflects the UV ray outward, helping to easy the use of air conditioning.
  • TPO (thermoplastic polyolefin) is the most popular single ply roofing material because of its economical features. The heat-weldable membranes make easy detailing and seaming, and the high reflectiveness reduces the need for air conditioning.

What’s the best flat roof material?

Experienced commercial roofing contractors will recommend PVC single ply roofing material for most flat roof structures. It is on the higher end of cost for installation, but has a longer lasting record, making it cheaper in the long run. 

What are the benefits of single ply roofing?

There are several single ply roofing pros and cons with the benefits far outweighing the cons. Some of the advantages of a single ply roofing that attract more building managers and building owners are:

  • Easy and fast installation lowers installation costs
  • Maintenance and repair costs are lower
  • Longer lifespan before replacement is needed
  • Removed single-ply flat roof membrane materials can be recycled
  • Easy access for maintenance and repairs
  • Can be easily converted to a green roof installation
  • Tear resistant so less damage from storms 
  • Provide flat surface for HVAC equipment
  • Energy efficient
  • Resists UV ray damage, thus less deterioration and repairs 

What is single ply TPO roofing?

Thermoplastic Polyolefin is a fast growing single-ply roofing membrane for commercial structures with flat roofing. The layers of TPO consists of a single layer of synthetics with reinforcing scrim.

TPO single ply roofing membrane is manufactured in 10 foot, 12 foot or 20 foot wide sheets that are rolled up then delivered to the job site.  Because of its UV reflectiveness, the NRCA (National Roofing Contractors Association) has take notice and found that approximately 40% of all commercial structures today. 

How long does an EPDM roof last?

EPDM single ply roofing membranes are made from natural gas and oil, creating a synthetic material that is durable and stable, with a lifespan of fifty years or longer. EPDM single ply roofing material is a cross-linked thermoset material, giving a strong stability dimensionally and can recover quickly to its original state with temperature flexing or weather events. EPDM is pliable and absorb impacts without fracturing. 

flat black roof

Is TPO better than EPDM?

Both are excellent choices for single ply roofing material, but each has its highlights for the are it will be installed. For example, TPO single ply roofing has a better dimensional stability, but EPDM has better flexibility in temperature charges. 

When time to replace the flat roofing on your commercial structure, you want to get several quotes and compare them to each other. Check that the contractor is properly insured, licensed, and has current references you can follow up with. Call 610-689-3737 today for your single ply roofing needs in Oley, PA.

What are synthetic shingles?

synthetic shingles

What does shingles look like?

There was a time when a roofing shingle was a roofing shingle, they were all alike.  Then, as time marched on, manufacturers found ways to make better shingles, aka, thicker and more durable, fire resistant. Today, they make asphalt, metal, slate, tile, and wood shingles. Because of environmental concerns with recycling and more, today, we have synthetic roof shingles

What is the definition of synthetic? According to the Oxford Dictionary, the definition reads, “a synthetic material or chemical, especially a textile fiber, made by chemical synthesis, especially to imitate a natural product.” With that, we now have synthetic roof shingles that look like they are one of these many different materials. 

It is no secret that the roof on your home is there for protecting your home from the elements, but synthetic roof shingles also add curb appeal to your home. Because roofing is an expensive component to you home, you want a roofing materials that will last. It must be durable and resistant against the weather, whether they are synthetic roof shingles or otherwise. 

There are several types of shingle available today, and we’ll give a quick description of several, starting with asphalt shingles, which are found on approximately 70% of all home in America. The many varieties on the market,  there are some that are specifically designed for different types of weather.  Read on for information on the different type of roofing shingles:

  • 3-Tab Roofing Shingles: Features three distinct but equal size tabs to give a symmetrical appearance along the roof. Repeating rectangular shape that is separated by slots, these are the less expensive option in asphalt roofing shingles. 
  • Architectural Roofing Shingles: The premium level of asphalt shingle, often referred to as dimensional or laminated shingles because of the 2 layers laminated together. A thicker style of asphalt shingles that has a higher wind resistance. 
  • Impact-Resistant Roofing Shingles: These shingles are enhanced and modified to withstand hailstone and other debris impacts by being reinforced on the backside or manufactured with a mixture of polymers for a rubber-like effect. 
  • Other type of roofing shingles are COOL roofing shingles that have solar-reflecting granules for energy-efficiency.  Specialty Asphalt Roofing Shingles that are available in bold colors and styles, mimicking roofing materials like tile or wood shake.  
  • We can’t leave out Tile Roofing, a concrete material typically used on historic homes in the Southwest or Slate Tile Shingles, from natural stone. These are manufactured into thin pieces but becomes heavier as installed on a roof, requiring a structure to have an engineering report for integrity purpose. Then there are wood shingles and wood shake shingles, and metal roofing, which can be made to look like average asphalt shingle, all made from synthetic roof shingles. 

Are thicker shingles better?

At one time, yes, thicker roofing shingles were thought to be the better shingles, but not today. Ninety-five percent of roofing shingles today have a fiberglass matt which is stronger against the elements while remaining light-weight and thinner. The tough fibers that these newer fiberglass synthetic roof shingles are made from are fire resistant and do not absorb water. 

What color shingles are most energy efficient?

It has been assumed over the years that only white color roofing was the best for energy efficiency. Today though, because of the advancements in technology and the creation of synthetic roof shingles, and while white does reflect the sun’s UV rays and heat better than black, there are other colors available that are energy efficient.  

The materials used to make synthetic roof shingles is where the UV resistance is found, not necessarily in the color.  A light-colored roofing shingle still absorbs less heat in the summertime, but you can go with light beige, blue, gray, or green, even a pale pink will be UV resistant. 

Which brand of shingles is best?

With all the different brands and types of roofing materials on the market today, it can overwhelm a homeowner to navigate and make the best choice. Consumers Reports released a list of the best overall, including the  best synthetic roof shingles on the market today: 

  1. Atlas – The Pinnacle Pristine
  2. GAF-Elk – The Royal Sovereign
  3. CertainTeed –The  XT 25
  4. Atlas – The StormMaster Slate
  5. Tamko – The Heritage
  6. Owens Corning – The Oakridge
  7. Owens Corning – The Duration
  8. Owens Corning – The Berkshire Collection
  9. IKO – The Crowne Slate
  10. IKO – The Cambridge

What are synthetic shingles pros cons? 

When it comes to synthetic roof shingles, slate has become the most popular for many homeowners around the country. Why? Slate synthetic roof shingles includes features that are desired in a roofing material and has lost some of the drawbacks that kept homeowner from going that route. The pros and cons of slate synthetic roof materials are: 

  • Pro – Cost

Today, the cost of synthetic roof shingles in slate are not as expensive as actual slate, making it less expensive to have that elegant curb appeal that slate offers a home. 

  • Con –Longevity

Slat synthetic roofing shingles are durable and have a long lifespan, but because it hasn’t been on the market that long, it can’t be stated it is longer lasting than other synthetic roof shingles. 

  • Pro – Environmentally Friendly

When real slate is excavated, there is no replacing it. With slate synthetic roof shingles, being made from other recycled materials though, you get the look you want without impacting the environment.

  • Con – Fire Rating

Class A fire rating is the best you can have in roofing materials, but not all synthetic roof shingles offer this high level. 

  • Pro – Installation

The are few roofing companies that are able to install slate roofing, however, slate synthetic roof shingles is different with plenty of contractors able and willing to install this material. 

  • Con – Appearance

This is a con and a pro because slate synthetic roof shingles appearance are all in the eye of the homeowner. Some composite synthetic shingle roofing looks great  when installed by an experienced roofing contractor. Or it can look cheap and fake. Choose the best contractor and you’ll have a great looking roof! 

shingle roof

Which is better, asphalt shingles vs synthetic slate? 

At the end of the day when you’re down to making that final decision, which is the better choice? The traditional asphalt shingles or  synthetic slate roof shingle products? Asking roofing contractors and experts, they’ll choose synthetic roof shingles every time. Why? 

Slate synthetic roof shingles are installed with regular nails and there isn’t any need for precision cutting tools like natural slate. When it comes to the ease of installing, slate synthetic roof shingles are lighter and easier to handle than traditional asphalt shingles. Call 610-689-3737 today fo your roofing installation in Oley, PA.

What is Roof Flashing?

flashing

What is roof flashing for and is roof flashing necessary? 

Your roof is covered with asphalt shingles or some other type of roofing material. While these are protection for your home, keeping the rain and other elements out of your home, they can’t do it alone.  Every roofing material needs a form of roof flashing too in order to do the protection job intended. 

Roof flashing is a flat metal stripping that is made from aluminum, copper, or steel. It is instead on roof so that water can’t get up under the roofing shingles or other roofing material. It is an added layer of protection that keeps the underlayment and your home safe from roof leaks. 

There are certain sections of a roof where roof flashing is critical in the safety of your roof. Those areas include where walls and roof surface meet, roof valleys and protrusions like the skylight and vents. Roof flashing is critical around the chimney and at the roof edge too. 

What are the different types of roof flashing?

There are several types of roof flashing, each have a specific purpose. A partial list of those different roof flashings is: 

Common Roof Flashing Types:

  • Continuous roof flashing: A long piece of continuous roof flashing that protects where a vertical wall and sloped roof meet. 
  • Drip edge roof flashing: Usually installed along the eaves under the roofing felt to keep water dripping off the roof. 
  • Step roof flashing: A rectangular piece at a 90 degree bend in the center used in an overlapping manner that prevents water from getting behind the walls.
  • Valley roof flashing: A metal flashing in a W-shape that is installed on top of roofing felt where two roof valleys join.
  • Vent pipe roof flashing: This cone-shaped flashing installed around vent pipes over the shingles.

Additional Roof Flashing Types:

  • Base roof flashing: Fits around chimneys to ensures rain is redirected out and down the roof. 
  • Counter roof flashing: Installed opposite to or above base flashing as the second part of a two-part roof flashing team.
  • Cap roof flashing: This L shaped roof flashing is installed to lay flat against the roof, windows, and other fittings to ensure water runs off  such as windows. The shape of the structure runs the other direction and off the roof. 
  • Chimney roof flashing: Roof flashing is necessary around chimneys to prevent water from pooling in the gaps between the roof and the chimney. 
  • Saddle roof flashing: This flashing covers any protruding beams or attached railing.
  • Skylight roof flashing: Most skylights have built-in roof flashing to keep water from seeping around and inside the house. If a skylight doesn’t have this flashing the roofing contractor will install one.
  • Kick-out roof flashing: This roof flashing bridges any  gap between the step flashing and the gutter to direct water to the gutter. 

What is counter flashing in roofing?

Counter roof flashing prevents moisture from getting behind a headwall or sidewall vertical flashing. In some cases, a roofing contractor will use the exterior wall-covering as the counter roof flashing, but most common is a separate counter roof flashing installed.

What is drip edge flashing?

Drip edge roof flashing is a flat thin metal flashing installed at the roof edges to control water flowing away from the fascia while it protect the underlying roof components. 

Does flashing go over or under shingles?

It depends actually, roof flashing is installed both ways. Picture rain coming down on your roof with the wind blowing. You need something in place to divert that rain before it gets behind or under the shingles. 

So, installing the roof flashing over the shingles may be the best scenario for one area, where installing roof flashing under the shingles may work better in a different area of the roof. Roof flashing should be installed so that is diverts water around any protrusion skylights and vents, or were the shingles are parallel to the wall, install flashing where water can’t get under the shingles. 

Which is better aluminum or galvanized flashing?

If you’re looking for long lifespan with durability, aluminum roof flashing is the best choice ad easy to install. If cost is your concern, galvanized-steel roof flashing is your best option, but isn’t as durable and may need replacing before the roofing material does. 

Is roof flashing required by code?

If you’re asking about building codes, that can vary from city to city, county to county. You’ll need to check with the local governing offices for that information. If you are asking about the roofing material manufacturer, most will require roof flashing be installed at the time the new roofing material is installed. The roof flashing used must follow their design and system with proper material application requirements followed.

flashing along siding

How long should roof flashing last?

There are several variables that can affect roof flashing’s life expectancy. When installed by a roofing professional with proper procedures and the homeowner maintains regular roof inspections and consistent maintenance, flashing can give you up to thirty years of longevity. Good quality and properly installed roof flashing won’t need repairing or replacing until the shingles are replaced unless a significant weather event pulls the flashing off or loosens it. Call 610-689-3737 today for your roof flashing needs in Oley, PA.