HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO REPLACE A ROOF?
Anyone who’s lived through a roof replacement will tell you it felt like months went by before the process was finished. In the heat of summer, a tar-based roof replacement fills the air with not-so-pleasant smells that may make residents feel the project is never-ending. But the average home roof can be replaced in as little as three days.
- Of course, there are factors to consider in projecting a timeline for any roofing project.
- How big is your house? A bigger house obviously means a bigger roof, and a bigger roof takes more time to replace than a smaller one.
- What vintage is your house? If you’re trying to maintain historical accuracy, roof replacement will entail more than simply replacing one set of roofing materials for another.
- How steep is your roof? Not only does the pitch of your roof add to the square footage of materials required; it also adds to the challenge – and timeline – of the job itself.
- How accessible is your roof? Safety concerns add to the cost of the job as well as the amount of time required.
- Is there structural damage to contend with in replacing the roof? Taking up one set of roofing materials and replacing it with another is a lot less complicated than having to repair or replace parts of the roofing structure. That adds time (and cost).
- What kind of roofing materials will be used? There are six basic types of roofing materials (asphalt shingles, clay or cement tile, slate, wood shingles, wood shakes and metal). Just as each has a different lifespan and cost, each requires a different amount of time to install.
- What time of year is it? In south Louisiana, we know all bets are off in August and September as the brunt of hurricane season makes any outdoor activity questionable. Roofing jobs scheduled for those months are not only often interrupted by storms, but the demand for roofers is higher because of storm-related projects.
As with any roofing project, clear communication with INFINITE CONSTRUCTION, your roofing contractor, is key. Talk about the timeline and any possible issues that might affect the speedy completion of your roofing project before anything gets started.
WHAT’S SO GREAT ABOUT SLATE?
Perhaps you’re considering the purchase of a house with an existing slate roof, and you want to know if you’ll be buying a new roof any time soon. Or maybe your own house needs a new roof, due to renovations or repairs, and slate is one of the roofing materials you might select. How do you know if a slate roof is the way to go (or stay), or if you’re better off putting your money elsewhere. Here are some reasons slate is a great roofing material.
Long life. Slate roofs are durable, with a potential to last 100 years or longer.
Variety. We tend to think of slate as gray, plain and not very interesting. But that’s not accurate. Slate comes in different colors, textures and patterns, making it easy to customize the look of your house through its roof.
Easy installation and repair. For trained professionals, a slate roof is a relatively easy roof to install or repair.
Easy maintenance. Slate roofing doesn’t require sealant or paint. In fact, use of either could cause your roof to age quickly. Slate is also fire and mold resistant. And because it has a slow water absorption rate, it resists freezing damage in cold climates.
Are there any drawbacks to slate? Sure, there are. Slate, like every roofing material, has its drawbacks. Slate is expensive. Because of its long life and durability, it costs more. It’s also heavy; it can add up to 500 pounds to the weight of your roof.
One way to educate yourself about slate roofing is to read “The Slate Roof Bible: Understanding, Installing and Restoring the World’s Finest Roof,” an award-winning book by Joseph Jenkins. It will help you more easily communicate with your roofing contractor, INFINITE CONSTRUCTION, about the installation or repair of your slate roof.
HOW COOL IS YOUR ROOF?
There’s lots of discussion about ways to make houses more energy efficient, but talk about energy and roofs seems to be limited to solar panels. Yet roofing materials can have a significant impact on the temperature within any building, including your house.
Roofs are the main way heat gets into a building. So, looking at ways to control your building’s temperature should start at the top, literally.
Cooling techniques for roofs have been around for 40 years, but it’s only been during the past 20 years that these techniques have been seen to be very effective. With increased urban temperatures in the past few decades and increased energy demands, the ability to keep a house cooler through better roofing design and materials will affect homeowners – positively – and pay off in terms of lifestyle and money.
Cooler roofs mean cooler houses, which mean there’s reduced need for air conditioning. That means your utility bill is lower, saving you money. Some projections mean cost savings of 7-15%. And some utility companies even have rebates for cool roof technology installation. And there is some evidence that cool roofs last longer because they don’t absorb heat the way a regular roof does, saving more money in the long run.
Less power also means reduced environmental impact and better air quality overall. And the EPA says these cooler interior temperatures can reduce heat-related illnesses and deaths.
How much does it cost to make your roof cool? It depends on the slope of the roof and the materials used in the cooling process. A low-pitched roof, found on many office and warehouse buildings, can be fixed in a number of ways, including paint coating, a membrane or foam covering or a structural build-up. Steep-pitched roofs use various types of materials – shingles, tiles, metal – to help reduce temperatures. Because steep roofs account for so much of the exterior of a building (up to 40%), appearance is also a factor in the choice of cooling materials.
The wide variety of options – and the associated costs and savings – for creating a cool roof on your building makes it essential that you discuss your options with INFINITE CONSTRUCTION, your roofing contractor. You can also check out the Cool Roof Rating Council, a nonprofit that educates the public on the positive effects of cool roofs.
IS IT TIME TO REPLACE YOUR ROOF?
How old is your roof? Depending on the materials used, roofs can last 20-100 years. Unless you have a problem, you probably don’t think about the age of your roof on a daily basis. But you should know when your roof was installed or repaired and keep an eye on the calendar. If you have wood or composition shingles, they’re meant to last up to 20 years. Asphalt shingles should be good for up to 30 years and rubber roofs up to 50. A metal roof should have a 50-75 year lifespan, and slate is good for 100 years.
But it’s not always age that necessitates a roof repair or replacement. Anyone who recalls the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina recalls the prominent “blue roofs,” actually the tarps that covered homes that waited many months for repair. If you live in one of the geographical areas in which bad weather is a constant or annual event or you’ve experienced recent bad weather – especially the severe rain and wind that comes with hurricanes or tornadoes – you’re probably missing shingles or other roofing materials. You can easily see they’re gone. That means possibly major repairs and maybe a complete replacement.
But it’s not always a major event that creates the need for a new roof, and the signs are often small and go unnoticed for quite some time. A leak is one pretty obvious sign of a need to new roofing. Flashing around vents (or chimneys and skylights, if you have them) can signal the need for repair or replacement.
Buckled, cracked or curled shingles, sunlight beaming through roof boards and shingle granules in gutters are also tangibles that indicate the need for a call to your roofing contractor. Moss and algae growing on a roof can also create damage that needs to be addressed.
If you suspect your roof needs a little TLC or a complete facelift, let INFINITE CONSTRUCTION, your roofing contractor, perform an inspection and give you an estimate, based on your roofing needs.
PLASTIC MAY BE PERFECT FOR YOUR ROOF
Mention plastic on your roof, and people assume you’ve got a tarp on it. Plastic as a roofing material has traditionally been considered cheap and tacky, unsightly and a bad investment.
But advances in plastic as a roofing material have changed all that. New means of fabrication and recycling have made plastics a viable option for roofing materials, and the ease of installation, strength, long life and resilience of plastic have made it popular.
Despite its lighter weight, plastic can be significantly stronger than glass when it comes to impact, making it a good choice for buildings that must endure hail or stone damage. It can withstand fluctuating external temperatures, like 30° winters with 90° summers. And it’s obviously water-resistant. That means the chances that types of mildew and fungus that might grow on your roof are reduced. And plastic is fire-resistant as well.
Polycarbonate materials are also UV light blockers, even in a clear composition, making it excellent for patio and deck covers.
Polycarbonate materials come in sheets, tiles and panels. They can be molded into corrugated or rounded tile textures and shapes, come in various colors and thicknesses and can be “personalized” to your building. They’re easy to clean; with the right cleaning materials and simple garden hose, you can easily clean your plastic roof.
As with all roofing materials, there can be drawbacks. Because plastic as a roofing material hasn’t been around as long as other products, the longevity of the roof hasn’t yet been established. The look of a plastic roof is different and may not conform to what people think a roof “should” look like. And plastic scratches.
If you’re interested in the possibility of a plastic roof in your upcoming roof replacement, discuss that option with a representative from INFINITE CONSTRUCTION, your roofing contractor, to find out if plastic if the way to go.