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The Differences Between Commercial and Residential Roofing

The idea of roofing in and of itself appears simple: people get on top of a roof and install whatever roofing is necessary for a specific building. But there are specific roofing procedures for residential buildings and commercial buildings. From roof repairs in Frisco, TX to commercial roof installations in Long Beach, CA, there is a multitude of differences between residential and commercial roofing. In terms of materials used, labor, and design, there is a multitude of differences between residential and commercial roofing.

Materials Used in Residential Roofs Compared to Commercial Roofs

Because commercial structures often house many more things than a residential structure, they use different materials. While it is true that both of them can use one or two of the same materials, the rest of the materials used in residential roofs and commercial roofs are much different.

One thing that both of them can use is asphalt shingles. This is especially true if the commercial structure has the same kind of design as a residential structure. This is seen in many commercial structures that make up strip malls, as the designs of the structures in those places often resemble the same kind of design as certain residences. In this case, roofers are often directed to use the same kinds of materials to install the roof.

When it comes to very large warehouses, shopping centers, or any other building that covers a lot of land and houses a lot of things, the materials completely change. Instead of using asphalt shingles, or clay shingles, roofers are often instructed to use metal roofing materials. This is completely different from asphalt roofing in that the metal as a roofing material is much more durable and can withstand a lot more impact than asphalt roofing material.

The Design of Commercial Roofs Compared to Residential Roofs

People in residential areas have options when it comes to the color or the general design of the roofs that they wish to install. Additionally, because most residences are not places of business, oftentimes there is no real stake in the long term existence of the building. For purposes of the content here, long-term is at least 50 years. Because people who own commercial buildings have a lot of stake in the long term maintenance of their buildings, they typically are low sloped or flat.

Because of this, people who own commercial buildings often do not have a choice when it comes to the design of their roofs. Additionally, even the owners of strip malls are forced to follow a specific design for their building. The next time you drive by a strip mall, pay some attention to how the roofs are designed on them. You should notice that they possess the exact same design for their roofs. This is done for a reason, and that reason is that when everything is consistent in the design of a roof for a collection of buildings, everything costs less, which is very important when it comes to commercial roofing.

Labor and Costs Associated with Residential Roofing Compared to Commercial Roofing

Perhaps the biggest difference between residential roofing and commercial roofing are the numbers associated with the labor and the costs. As mentioned in the strip mall example, there are times where a residential roof and a commercial roof can look similar. On some rare occasions, they can look the exact same. However, that is where all similarities end because there is a much different procedure with residential roofing when compared against commercial roofing.

Residential roofing still utilizes a lot of resources to construct and install the roof. This is important to understand, but commercial buildings and roofing utilize even more resources and require a lot more money to install and maintain the roof.

The most obvious difference between commercial and residential buildings in the area, which of course adds to the cost of anything. But there are also a number of things that commercial buildings need to deal with when they are getting their roofs installed and repaired. But there are other a host of other things that comprise the labor and costs associated with commercial roofing that is not issued in residential roofing.

A lot of commercial roofs, especially the ones that represent bigger buildings such as warehouses and shopping centers, need other things installed that are not one ounce relevant to residences. The best example of these is piping, smokestacks, and airflow systems. These are things that definitely exist and can be options in residences in the form of chimneys and fireplaces, but they are much more common (and necessary in some cases) for commercial buildings.

Residential and commercial roofing both follow the same kind of process: install a new roof on top of a new building. The idea is the same, and there are some instances where there are similar materials being used. The major differences between commercial and residential roofing have to do with their labor and costs, the materials used, and the designs of the roofs. These three factors make up the core of the difference between commercial and residential roofs.

Again, it is possible that a commercial roof can resemble a residential roof. Passing by a strip mall will prove this. However, that is when the similarities end. When it comes to large commercial buildings such as shopping centers, warehouses, and even some major business buildings, the roofing is often completely different than a residence. This is because commercial buildings are built with the intention of having them stand for many decades. For that reason, the roofs for these buildings are often made of metal, as opposed to the asphalt that comprises the majority of residences.

Commercial roofs cost much more to install because they cover much more area. They also use certain roofing accessories that certain residential roofs typically do not use, such as smokestacks and piping.

Detecting Roof Leaks: Fixing it Yourself vs Hiring a Professional

Of probably all components of a home, the roof often gets ignored the most. That is likely because they last very long, with most of them lasting 25 years or longer. So it makes sense that many homeowners ignore the condition of their roofs until they encounter a massive leak which they need to then hire somebody to fix. Then, the problem goes away for a while, but because the roof has not been repaired completely, another leak (or three) occurs. And then the cycle repeats: You get somebody to fix this newer, more intense leak, then you finally realize that you probably need to replace the entire roof.

All of this could have been stopped if you just knew how to detect a leak in your roof and fix it before additional problems arise. This will save you quite a bit of time and money in the long run. Some leaks need to be fixed by a professional, but some can be fixed by yourself.

In order to determine if you can indeed fix a roof leak in your home by yourself, you first need to learn how to detect it. There are numerous causes for a roof leak, but most of them revolve around the same issues and that is a combination of normal wear and tear as well as damage caused by acts of nature, trees or animals and other wildlife that may be on the roof of your home. Now the common roof is fairly strong, and it is not necessary for you to check the roof of your home every week for leaks. Once a month could be excessive for some, but it is ideal if you want to prevent a leak from happening.

What Exactly Causes Leaks?

According to some experts in the field, roof penetrations are the biggest source of leaks and, of course, they are likely the most overlooked. Water stains, mold, and black marks in the plumbing, roof vents, chimneys or dormers in the roof can cause a leak. If it is not fixed properly, the leak could spread and become something much worse. If could lead to mold which can infect the roof penetrations. Approaching these penetrations through the attic is the best way to find these leaks. If that is not possible, you will need to approach the leak from the roof itself.

That describes how to find a leak and where most of them come from. The specifics of these are also useful in detecting roof leaks and then figuring out if you can fix them yourself or if you should hire somebody. Roofing Calculator has listed ten direct causes of roof leaks. There are some similarities within them, but they also exist some differences as well.

Roofing professionals say normal wear and tear, eroded brick chimneys, missing shingles, vent boots between the roof and the piping, roof holes, outdated architecture, clogged gutters, and frozen nails in the attic (known as “shiners”) can all cause roof leaks. These are easy to check for, and you can fix most of them alone. However, there are tasks that require the service of a roofing company.

When is it Possible to Fix Leaks Yourself?

It’s not always necessary to hire a professional for every small repair your house needs to make after detecting a leak. Sometimes you can fix the problem yourself, which saves you money. Any leak that is caused by deterioration, erosion or any kind of break down due to wear and tear can usually be fixed on your own. It’s only a matter of gathering up the proper materials and putting in the time and effort. If a leak is caused due to a lack of cleaning, then you should definitely handle the task yourself. Something as simple as cleaning out a gutter costs nothing except a few moments of your time.

The roof leaks that require a professional roofer are often the ones that require multiple repairs. Old, worn down shingles are a great example of something that would likely require you to hire roofers to either repair the shingles or, in most cases, install a completely new roof. Missing a few shingles is alright and you can often replace them yourself. But if there are any missing shingles or shingles that are torn up, it would save you more money, in the long run, to get a new roof installed.

Another instance where you will eventually need to hire a professional to fix a leak is if the repair is only a temporary fix. A good example is if the flash metal around the base of the chimney, or any structure on the roof, that needs to be resealed. It is possible to reseal it yourself, but this only serves as a short term resolution. Unless you want to keep making these changes over and over, it would be best just to pay a professional and replace the entire roof.

Small leaks are usually solved by making repairs yourself. The best example of this involves shiners. Recall that shiners are nails in the attic that have been frozen over. When it gets warmer, the formerly frozen nails melt, producing condensation and causes leaks. This is easily solved by clipping the nails while they are frozen. This will permanently solve your shiner issue causing leaks.

When you see a leak in your home, the very first thing that you should be thinking about is when you are going to get a new roof. Because the majority of house leaks can only really be eliminated on a short term basis, the long term solution to (more or less) any house leak is to prepare to get a new roof installation. Just consider that the reason these leaks exist is because of important foundational parts of the roof that are transitioning from experiencing normal wear and tear to completely falling apart. To prevent this transition from happening, it would benefit you to start saving up enough money and allowing enough time to get a new roof installed.

Things to Ask a Contractor When Getting a Roofing Quote

There are numerous things to consider when replacing and repairing your roof. Making changes to the roof of your house is a very long, labor-intensive, and possibly costly process that involves many decisions and many people. Additionally, when you make the decision to alter the roof of your home, you are committing to making nearly permanent changes to the home. These things all must be kept in mind before even considering getting roof work done.

Probably the very first thing that you should consider is if you even need roof work done at all. There are plenty of roof repairs that you can do yourself if they only require some user-friendly materials or other things that do not require contractors. For example, cleaning or painting a roof does not require a contractor. That is something that you can do yourself. It is the same with cleaning out gutters or even removing and replacing some fractured shingles on the roof.

If this is the case for your roof, then it is not too difficult to search out some resources on how to make minor repairs on your roof by yourself. If you do this, you will save much more money than you would spend by hiring a contractor. And hiring a roofing company to repair a roof is not cheap. Most contractors will charge $3.50-$5 per square foot. The average roof is 1,700 square feet. Doing the math on this, it costs roughly $10,000 to install a completely new roof. This does not include the cost of replacing an old roof or anything else that might need to be done on a roof, as well. Those things should be factored in as well, and when everything is considered, it can get extremely costly to repair and replace a roof. This is why it is suggested that before you consider hiring any roofing contractors, you learn to perform minor repairs on your roof yourself. This will save you much more money.

Questions to Ask Yourself Before Hiring a Contractor

The first thing to keep in mind when hiring a roofing contractor is the price you are willing paying. This is much different than if you are renting a place and you call in the maintenance crew to fix something. Those individuals get paid by the hour and respond to hundreds of calls to work on hundreds of properties daily. Contractors sent in to work on a home are much different. Different ones will have different rates. So before asking any questions to the contractors, you should ask yourself a few:

“How much am I willing to pay?”

“How long do I need these contractors?”

“What kind of work am I paying these contractors to do?”

Before hiring a contractor, or anybody to do anything, for that matter, it is very important to weigh your options. Unless you just have money to throw away, you should always consider how long something will take and how much it will cost. This may appear to sound like common sense, but it is surprising how many people choose not to pay enough attention to this part of the process. Once you answered the necessary questions, for what you want to hire in a contractor fand how money you are willing to spend, you are now ready to prepare questions for the contractors.

Questions to Consider Asking Potential Roofing Contractors

As mentioned previously, roofing contractors have numerous responsibilities when they are at work. There are also numerous details that go into roofing in general, many of which will be mentioned here. So besides the usual “how much do you charge, how long with this project take,” and other basic questions, there are a host of many more specific questions that should be answered if you wish to hire a roofing contractor. Some of these questions may make sense, and some require a bit of explanation. However, they are all very important.

Some of these questions make sense, such as asking the contractors if they are licensed, if they have worker’s compensation insurance, and if they have general liability insurance. It is common sense for a good contracting organization to have these because the work they do can be dangerous, and if the contractors have all of these it means your assets will be protected. There is no real complication with these questions as they do not deal with the roof itself. Other questions, such as asking if the contractors have someone to contact while working, contact info for the company itself, and if they have written estimates are also matters of common sense.

The second set of questions you should have for contractors is if they can remove the old roof if they are going to install drip edge or edge metal when installing the new roof and if they are going to use ladder stabilizers and/or standoffs when to protect the gutters. These questions deal with how these contractors are going to directly affect your roof. Removing the old roof is obvious; it certainly is not ideal to simply lay down shingles on top of an old roof. Many contractors would claim that this can save money, but it will lead to future problems which will cost more money in the future. Drip edge is material that is placed under the shingles and it allows runoff to flow into the gutters instead of behind them. This is very important in preventing water damage. Ladder stabilizers will protect said gutters from being damaged when the contractors climb up to the roof.

The final set of questions involves making sure your neighborhood will not be too affected. Asking what contractors do with refuse material is important for this reason. Asking what they do if there is unsavory weather is also important. You should also ask how the contractors are going to protect the landscaping–and assume that they will do this.

Armed with the information that you will get from contractors by asking these questions, you will have a much easier time in your process of getting your roof replaced.


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Telling Signs That it Might be Time to Get a Roof Replacement

All things considered, it seems like there could not be many things that affect a roof to where it needs to be replaced. This is especially true if your home is in a place that is not around trees and other materials that could damage the roof. Like so many structures of a house, the roof is one structure of a house that very few know how to replace, much less when to know when it needs to be replaced.

Like with many things that need replacing, knowing when to replace a roof can prevent a lot of future costs. When you refuse to learn how to detect when your roof needs to be replaced, you run the risk of spending more money in the future as well as having to hire contractors for longer jobs. To prevent this, it is a good thing to know when to replace your roof.

Another reason to know when to replace your roof is to protect your home itself. A damaged roof could affect other structures of the house causing you to spend more money. Roof damage can cause leaks, or in more extreme cases, permanent damage to the upper structures of your home. This can happen when there is strong rain or winds. There is a reason why many suggest that you check the roof of your home to see if it needs to be repaired or replaced twice a year; it is to save money on replacing a roof by just repairing a damaged part of the roof.

Depending on the material it is made of, most roofs last about 25 years before they need to be replaced. This is another reason why it is good to check twice per year to see if a roof needs to be replaced. Unless you built the house you live in yourself or have just recently replaced your roof, you do not know how long it has been since the roof in your home has been replaced.

Potential Things to Look for That Show You Might Need a Roof Replacement

There are quite a few things to check to see if a roof needs to be replaced. Because it costs so much money and time, it is not very ideal to replace an entire roof if one shingle appears damaged. That said, if you wish to spend that kind of time and money and have it to spare, you can replace your roof as frequently as you wish. In fact, if you live in a place that regularly sees hurricanes, tornadoes, or other acts of nature that can damage large structures, it may be necessary to replace your roof many more than 20 or so years since the last replacement.

The first thing to look for when finding out if your roof needs to be replaced is to inspect the shingles. The shingles are the largest component of your roof and are also the most important. If you know that your roof has not been replaced in 20 or so years, or see that most of the shingles are worn out and heavily damaged, then that is one thing that means that your roof must be replaced. There are certain degrees of damage to shingles and if there is minor damage, you can even fix things yourself if you have the right materials for it. But as a general rule, if you see many damaged and worn out shingles, it would be better to replace the entire roof.

There are many other issues involving shingles that could warrant that your entire roof should need to be replaced. Nearly half of these items provide a solid set of signs that a new roof may be necessary. Most issues involve shingles, and it covers everything from curling shingles, cracked shingles, missing shingles and shingles that are covered with algae. This proves that the very first thing to look for when seeing if your roof needs to be replaced is the condition of the shingles. Also, some articles say, a couple of worn-out shingles can be fixed on your own. But when there are quite a few shingles that need to be replaced, that is a clear sign that the entire roof should be replaced.

It seems that there are a great many Do-It-Yourself solutions to roof repairs. So one useful thing to do is to inspect all the components of your roof and figure out for yourself whether you need to hire roofers or perform the repairs yourself. One thing that likely does require you to hire roofers if there are punctures in the roofing material. Like with heavily damaged shingles, punctures require repairs that often entail replacing an entire roof. It may be possible to fix punctures by yourself, but most roofing companies and contractors would argue that it is better to replace the entire roof.

Another portion of the roof that should be inspected to see if it needs to be replaced is the gutters. If there are granules in the gutter, it may also mean that your roof needs to be replaced. However, like the shingles, there is a matter of degree with this. If the roof is brand new, or even if it has been a few years since you have replaced the roof, nothing really needs to be done other than cleaning out the gutters. If it has been over 10 years since the roof has been replaced, it means that the granules that protect the shingles are subject to being burned away from the sun. This can cause the shingles to deteriorate over time. To prevent any further damage to the foundation of the home, it would behoove you to replace the roof.

Replacing a roof is ideally something that should be done rarely, and if you inspect the roof of your home properly, you can tell exactly what signs to look for when it comes to replacing a roof. However, there are also small repairs to a roof that you can do yourself instead of replacing a roof. In order to save the most money and time, it is very important to know when to do roof repairs yourself and when to get the roof replaced.


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Environmentally Friendly Roofing Options

Protecting the environment has become a rather popular trend in our culture, but it can seem difficult for homeowners to consider eco-friendly roofing options. Not many think that the components of a roof even has a negative effect on the environment. This does not make the common homeowner a bad person, it just means that these homeowners do not know that eco-friendly roofing options exist. This article will explore how exactly the common roofing practices can damage the environment, and will then explore a number of environmentally friendly options.

Roof Components That Can Negatively Affect the Environment

There are two issues that must be addressed when it comes to a roof’s effect on the environment: recyclable materials and energy efficiency. Most of the materials that make up the shingles of a roof are not recyclable. This means when they are disposed of, nothing happens. They get placed in a landfill or any other area in your neighborhood where garbage is taken.

Another issue is energy efficiency. Houses with traditional shingle tile roofs can affect the temperature of many houses, thereby requiring you, as a homeowner, to keep the house at a proper temperature. This, of course, requires energy to be used. And as it is commonly known, using energy affects all kinds of resources. This is what happens when the common asphalt shingles are used to construct a roof. Although they are common, they are not eco-friendly.

Possible Sacrifices to Consider by Getting an Environmentally Friendly Roof

Because eco-friendly roofing materials and contractors are not as common as traditional roofing materials and contractors, possible inconveniences can come up. It seems like this is how most things that involve eco-friendly materials are, and it is something that cannot be helped. So one sacrifice that you may need to make when pursuing eco-friendly roofing is that you may need to go past shopping at places like your local home depot for eco-friendly roofing materials.

The other sacrifice that must be made is that these materials may not last as long and may have some disadvantages compared to conventional materials. Some of them may need to be replaced more frequently. Some others may cost more or might be harder to find. Like with any form of home preparation, there are a great many things to consider before swapping out your conventional roof for an eco-friendly one. If you’re considering an environmentally friendly roof, make sure to get in touch with a local roofing contractor to discuss all your options!

List of Eco-friendly Roofing Options

There are many environmentally friendly roofing options available. And if you are willing to make the general sacrifices listed above, you should be able to find at least one that suits your home. The following is a list of all the options, along with a short description of some good and bad qualities of each.

1. The “White/Cool Roof”: This is an eco-friendly option that involves the least amount of sacrifice. The white roof has white shingles that can keep a house cool by bouncing the sun’s rays off of the roof, instead of darker shingles that absorb the heat. This is great because if you live in a hotter climate, it can lower energy costs by quite a bit. If the shingles are still made of asphalt, they cannot be recycled, however.

2. Recycled shingles: These are shingles that are made of recycled plastic, wood fibers, and even rubber. Because these are recycled, they can be recycled again when they need to be replaced. Many who use these to construct a roof also say that they last a bit longer than asphalt shingles. However, they likely absorb heat just as much as any other material, which can raise energy costs.

3. Metal roofing: These reflect light just like the white roof does, and are said to be much more durable than shingles. Certain metal roofing is also recyclable and there is an option to choose a brighter color, which can also save on energy. However, metal roofing can cause a lot more water and/or snow runoff to the exterior of the house. This can fill gutters rather quickly, meaning you will need to clean them quite a bit. Metal roofing is not ideal for people who live in areas where there is a lot of rain or snow.

4. Wood shingles: Wood is one of the most recyclable materials known to man. Using it to form a roof can ensure that you can recycle parts of your roof that must be removed. However, they can be dangerous as wood is also flammable. If you live in a place that is not affected a lot by acts of nature, wooden shingles are ideal. However, they do not last nearly as long as metal roofs.

5. Clay and slate: Along with white shingles, clay and slate have been a beautiful look for many roofs over the years and they are very common to come across. They last even longer than metal, and are also recyclable. Clay and slate roofing remains one of the most eco-friendly of all roofing options. However, they are extremely expensive. Also, they are heavy, meaning before you get them installed, you will need to make sure the foundation of your house is reliable as well.


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Hurricane Season: What to Check for and How to Prep Your Roof

People who live on the coast know all about hurricane season and all of the damage these storms can do. The common home is no exception. How many times have we heard about a hurricane ripping apart a whole neighborhood of houses? Who hasn’t seen footage containing the aftermath of such hurricanes? During hurricane season, your home is in danger. This is a fact almost everyone has to deal with. It just comes with the territory of living on the coast.

However, a silver lining does exist. While your home is in imminent danger during hurricane season, there are numerous ways to prepare your home for when these storms hit. There are many methods that exist which will cost little money and time. As many who have dealt with hurricanes would say, there is no such thing as being “too prepared” for hurricane season. And the roof of your home, and other things involving it, is no exception.

What to Expect During Hurricane Season  

This section is for anybody who is not familiar with places that are frequently hit by hurricanes. Hurricanes contain intense high powered wind, followed by heavy rain. This wind can take debris and throw it into your car or home. Anything and every car or home you own, no matter what, is suspect to getting some semblance of damage when a hurricane hits. It cannot be avoided, but the damage that your home, roof in particular, can be drastically lessened if you just prepare properly.

The Most Common and Popular Ways to Prepare Your Roof for Hurricane Season

Preparing your roof for hurricane season is not as difficult or as time-consuming as you may think. There are many things that you can do to make sure that your roof can survive as much as it possibly can during hurricane season. Although it can be a nuisance, and most roof work is, if you do these things, they will ensure that your roof will be protected as much as it can be. Certain things are only ideal for certain rooftops, and this will be mentioned in the list below.

  1. Use roof tie-downs: While this is not easy nor time-consuming, it may be necessary if you live in a crowded area that could be affected by a hurricane. A roof tie-down will essentially lock your roof in place, this way it doesn’t get blown around as much as the same roof would if a strong hurricane hits.
  2. Update the shingles on your roof: Compared to using tie-downs, this is much easier to do and can save quite a bit of time. If you do not live in a crowded area or you have a relatively new roof that may just need some of the shingles re-tightened. This is fairly easy to do. Just apply roof adhesive to any loose shingles. If this is done 2 to 4 weeks before hurricane season begins, it will ensure that the shingles on your roof do not fly off of your roof during hurricanes.
  3. Trim the trees around your house: This is another method that is very simple. It is almost necessary to do this if you live in a place that has a lot of trees. If you forget or just decide to ignore this task, these trees could get blown apart during a hurricane, landing on your roof and then damaging your roof.
  4. Clean the gutters and drain systems: This is not pleasant work. It can be time-consuming as well as dirty. But it is a very important thing to do to prepare your roof for hurricane season. If you do not clean the gutters and drain the system, you run the risk of backing up water from entering the drains. This can overfill the gutters and cause them to tumble down. Being from a place that is privy to hurricanes, I have actually witnessed this happen. While cleaning out the gutters, look for granules, which are fragmented shingles. Unless you have a brand new roof, granules in the gutter is usually a sign that a roof needs to be replaced.
  5. Reinforcing the roofing system (if necessary): This is an unconventional, yet efficient way to prepare your roof for hurricane season. There are two methods of doing this: The first is to just hire a roofer to do it. The second way is to attach and overlap 2×4 pieces of wood along the trusses of the roof, leaving roughly 11 and ½ feet of space in between each piece of wood. This method can cost some time and money, but it will protect your roof from a hurricane.
  6. Using hurricane straps: What does everyone do to their windows during hurricane season? That’s right, they place shutters in front of the windows. Would it not also be a good idea if you could place shutters on your roof? Hurricane straps function as shutters, but for a roof. They will protect the roof from everything involved in a hurricane.

Routine Roof Maintenance Should Never be Ignored

Among the aforementioned preparation procedures, some of them do indeed require you to hire a professional roofing contractor to do work. But there are certain things that do not require hiring a roofer that you can do to prepare for hurricane season. Things, like trimming the trees around the house and cleaning the gutters, can go a long way in making sure your home will be as protected as it can for the hurricanes to come.

The reason why these kinds of things are ignored is that they are not part of a routine. When something is not part of a routine, it can be ignored for weeks, months, or even years. Making sure your roof is in decent condition and ready for hurricane season would seem like it should only be a preparation to make once a year. But if you do this once a month, it will become a routine, which will then become a habit. If you do not want to spend a lot of money on repairing a roof after a hurricane, then you should consider inspecting your roof at least once a month.

This begs the question: How does one inspect a roof? Are you supposed to just walk around on the roof looking for torn up shingles, nails that can be hammered down, and rust on the flashings? According to some professionals, it is dangerous to casually walk on a roof. Most experts suggest climbing above the roof of your house, and with a pair of binoculars, seeing what needs to be taken care of. Then hiring the necessary crew (if any) after that.

Preparing for anything, let alone a roof for hurricane season, can be tedious. It can appear like a waste of time and something that is permissible to be ignored. However, long term consequences should be considered, especially when it comes to something like a home that you own. The few hours that you spend every month to make sure that your roof is in good shape will ensure that you will not need to spend as much money preparing your roof down the road.

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Best Drainage Solutions For a Flat Roof

Not many consider exactly how different the drain system operates in their home or building. Many typically have no idea how water and waste are drained out and disposed of. They do not consider nor explore any other form of drainage system other than the system that they have. And to their credit, many do not have the time to organize how each drainage system works and the good and bad points of each. Doing the research on these types of things can take a long time, and require a lot of attention, causing you to get overwhelmed. Listed below are drainage solutions for a flat roof, their good qualities, as well as their bad qualities.

Keep in mind that these are solutions for a flat roof. If the building or home you own does not have a flat roof, you can stop reading now unless you are considering owning a place with a flat roof in the future. This is because different roofs have different drainage systems and solutions. In particular, a flat roof has no slant, meaning that it cannot drain automatically. While this can also be an issue in slanted or sloped roofs, it usually is not. However, if a drainage solution below can also work for a building that with a slanted roof or can make drainage more efficient for a sloped or slanted roof, it will be mentioned.

Another thing to keep in mind is that although this is a list of drainage solutions, they are not the only drainage solutions available. Other drainage solutions likely exist outside of this, and they should certainly be explored. If you are interested in finding out the best drainage solution for your roof, get in touch with a trusted roofing contractor near you!

What is a Flat Roof Drainage System?

Before beginning the list, it is important to describe exactly what demands a flat roof drainage system. This information is important as it will describe many common characteristics of each drainage solution. All flat roof drainage systems possess a network of pipes and other plumbing, and they all should be able to flush out more than just water. Also, if a flat roof building does not have a properly maintained drainage system, the results can be pretty unsavory: water damage and leaks are still possible even if you have a very ideal drainage system.

3 Most Common Flat Roof Drainage Systems

There are three common flat roof drainage systems. They all accomplish generally the same thing; draining water and other materials out of the roof and away from it. However, they are all different in terms of size, cost, and design. Keep these in mind when choosing one.

Interior Drains

Description: An interior drain essentially turns your flat roof into a sink. A drain is installed in the roof, which is then followed by a network of pipes that transport the water and other debris outside of the building. Most interior drains are placed at the center of a flat roof. The network of piping and plumbing is inside the building, which makes interior drains the only drainage solution that is not visible outside.

Pros: The piping networks of an interior drain are protected from anything that happens outside of the building. It also “focuses” water (and other debris) to the center of the roof, reducing damage to the walls of the building.

Cons: Because of the fact that this drainage system involves opening up a separate drain line in your building, interior drains are the most expensive of the three drainage solutions. Also, even if you have a strainer to catch debris, it still must be cleaned out regularly.


Description: If you have ever seen a pipe at the end of a flat roof that water is shooting out of, this is a scupper. Installed on the edges of a flat roof, it shoots out water and other debris, usually onto a separate gutter or some other slanted surface which then gets funneled to reach the ground, this way water is not falling directly from the building onto anybody.

Pros: Scuppers are cheap to install and are the most efficient way of protecting a flat roof from debris. This is especially true if they are really big. The leaves and other debris that a strainer in an interior drainage system blocks (which also slows down water flow, causing leaks) are never an issue if scuppers are built, especially if the scupper is big enough to pass leaves through.

Cons: Ice and snow will render scuppers useless. This is because snow and ice can block passage to the scupper, resulting in massive leaks when the snow and ice melt. Also, ideally, scuppers should be coupled with another slope like structure, this way water and other debris do not fall directly off of the side of the building.


Description: Gutters are in virtually every building, even in buildings with a slanted roof. They will catch any and all forms of debris. They usually flow into pipes which then transport water and debris onto the ground. Of these three solutions, gutters are far and wide the most common.

Pros: Gutters are the cheapest drainage solution money can buy. They are also easy to install, and it is possible to install them yourself with the right materials. Different than interior drains, they can handle any form of debris.

Cons: Because they can handle any form of debris, gutters must be cleaned out–constantly. If you have made the decision to install gutters and have not made the commitment to cleaning them at least once per month, then you will not have an effective drainage system. Gutters can fill with debris (like leaves, or even dead birds and pests) quickly. And when this happens, they will overflow then water will begin spilling outside the edge of the building. It will cause massive leaks as well. If you do not clean your gutters at least once a month, you should expect major leaks.

As mentioned previously, these are not the only three drainage systems in existence. There are more out there, and it is not necessary to only choose from these three. However, these three should give you a decent start in your search for an efficient drainage system for your building or home.


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The Keys to Commercial Roof Maintenance

Nobody wants to talk about the quality of their roof. There are more exciting things to talk about. As a property owner, you have to take care of the roof as best as possible to ensure the happiness of the people that are inside. If you don’t take good care of the roof of your building, you’re going to deal with bigger and more stressful problems down the road. So, turn off the computer and put the pencil down for a couple of minutes. Trust me, it’s all going to still be there once you’ve taken a good, solid look at the roof.

The Power of Being Proactive

The best defense against roof problems is to always be aware of the status of your roof. If you catch a problem early, you’ll be able to take care of it as quickly as possible so you can save more money in the long run. The cost benefits are staggering and should be noted. Owners and property managers that only deal with problems when they’re obvious (reactive maintenance) pay an average of 25 cents a square every year for maintenance. On the flip side, owners and property managers that keep on top of their roof (proactive maintenance) pay an average of only 14 cents a square. That money adds up. Your business will thank you in the long run when you make a habit out of inspecting and repairing your roof.

Sometimes, you can even notice a roof problem without even having to go outside. If you notice water damage such as discoloration on the ceiling, that’s a sign that there might be a leak. Also if you notice mold in the building, and you have no idea where it’s coming from, it might be coming from a roof leak. Once even the smallest cracks are exposed in the infrastructure of the roof, you need to find it and take care of it before it turns into a problem that’s going become more costly if you put it off.

If you notice any of these things, you should plan a time to head to the roof yourself or schedule an appointment with your local roofing professional. When there are signs on the inside of your building, then you never know what’s going on on the outside of the roof.

What to Look For On the Outside

If you choose to head to the roof yourself, be sure to have someone that can spot you and make sure that nothing dangerous happens when you’re checking out the roof. Prolonged moisture is something that you look for. Check for things like puddles or bubbles. The moisture can cause deterioration and aging to your roof if they linger for too long. Places like chimneys and vents are popular places for cracks once they already broke through the roof’s infrastructure. You should also be on the lookout for things like cracked and lifted shingles or loose sealing.

You should definitely get your roof inspected after your building deals with extreme weather, such as a hurricane or a snowstorm. These instances can often weather down a once strong roof, bit by bit, until it finally breaks down. You never know what storm is going to be that last straw. It’s best to check each level of your roof to make sure that it never gets to that point of no return.

Finding a Professional

If you’re looking for professional guidance throughout this journey, be sure that you do your research first. Before contacting a professional, make sure to check the areas around the building that you can reach. Be sure to tell them everything you discovered throughout your walk-through so they can have an idea about what they will be looking for before they even walk in the door. Before you give money to them, you want to make sure that they’re as informed as possible about the building. Tell them things like how old the building is, when was the last time the roof was replaced, and other things that you’ve discovered while searching for roof damage. These tips will assure you that your money is well spent.

When determining a price range, you should think about who is going to save you time and money in the long run. You shouldn’t just be worrying about the amount of money that each job is going to cost. You might find low-price options that offer quick fixes, but end up spending more money long-term on maintenance than you would have if you paid that premium price upfront. Finding professional roofers with expert knowledge and quality technology provides you with the best service possible along with the ability to establish a lifelong relationship that will benefit you, your business, and your roof. Your main goal should be to maximize the safety of your employees by extending the life of your roof. This will make the time between each maintenance job longer and longer. This will, of course, be saving you the mighty dollar and unnecessary stress.

Experience is key. If you pick roofers that tend to be than experienced than other roofers, it can lead to faulty work and create bigger problems for you in the future. When you are confident in your choice for a professional to handle the maintenance of your roof,  you’ll know who to go to for not only costly problems but for advice that’ll help you get ahead of your roof and be more proactive in the future also.

To have a solid business structure, you need a solid roof. It’s a part of a building that can often be forgotten in a fast-paced work atmosphere. If you fit roof maintenance into your work routine you will not only be prepared, but you can also be proactive. When you’re proactive you prevent problems before they start and have more time to work on different aspects of your business. So, make sure to put roof maintenance on your to-do list today so you can soon breathe easy as you cross it off.


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Best Metal Roofing for Residential Homes

The roof on your house needs to be strong, sturdy, and reliable. Metal roofing can be a great option for your home because it does all three, and it does them extremely well. No matter what the weather’s like where you live, having a metal roof would benefit you. These roofs can withstand storms, extreme weather changes, and snow extremely well. If you’re thinking about buying a metal roof for your home, you might be thinking about what specific metal you’d like to utilize for your home. Read on to figure out the pros and the cons of each material, and figure out which one is the right one for you.

Types of Metal

There are a couple of different choices you have when it comes to the metal that you can choose for your roof. The most popular options are various types of steels, aluminum, copper, and zinc. There are also metals that are combinations of the few. All of these types of roofs have various pros and cons that will either convince you to purchase them or push you away.

Steel is the material that is most used in residential homes. That fact probably has a lot to do with its low cost. But often, galvanized steel (a low cost, thinner version) can corrode very easily when it’s exposed to heavy amounts of saltwater. In turn, you probably don’t want to use this material for homes that are by the water (beach homes, etc.) The prices of steel depend on the type of steel that you’re getting. If you’re looking at stone-coated steel it starts at about $400 dollars a square. If you’re trying to get steel shingles, that might be about $270 a square. But typically, if you’re not trying to go for the fancy stuff, ordering steel for your roof is going to set you back at least $300 dollars a square. If installed right, your steel roof should last you at least 50 years.

Aluminum is the second most popular steel for roofing. It’s so popular because it’s more durable than steel, while only being a fraction of the price of premium steels like copper and zinc. When it comes to how it would fair in a coastal home, aluminum works a completely different way than steel does. If you’re living in a place by the beach, then aluminum would be the best choice for your home. It’s often thought of as a step up from steel when it comes to the quality. In turn, you’re going to have to give up a bit more cash. In general, it costs about $100 more per square than steel. Along with steel, aluminum will also last you at least 50 years.

The most expensive metals and the most durable of the bunch are definitely copper and zinc. These are roofs that could last hundreds of years with the proper care. But, if you’re looking for that longevity, you’re going to have to cough up some serious coin. They both cost about $900 to $1400 dollars a square. Because of the pricing, most people don’t make roofs that are fully out of copper. They usually just use it for accents throughout the home. But hey, if you’ve got enough money to pay for a fully copper or zinc roof then be my guest. If you’re trying to calculate the full cost of setting up your copper or zinc roof, it usually will be around $1800 for materials and labor per square.

Benefits of Having a Metal Roof

No matter what type of metal you’d prefer to use, they’re going to bring most of the same benefits. When it comes to the horrors of the winter season like ice dams and snow, a metal roof is going to be your best protection against it. They are thought of like ice and snow shedding system, so you’re not going to have to worry about roof leaks. Speaking of weather, these roofs can withstand hurricane-level winds. That makes them great for people who live in states where hurricanes are more prevalent.

The durability of metal roofs is what separates them from other types of roofs. You won’t have to worry about it cracking, rotting, or splitting. You’re also not going to find any creatures or rodents in your roof. They’re not going to survive on metal. It’s fire-resistant, so you won’t have to worry about it like you would for a wood or asphalt roof. Whether you’re dealing with a hailstorm or sticks from overhead trees, it’s not going to damage the roof. This roof can handle almost anything that life might throw at it. When it comes to maintenance, you won’t have too many problems. The credit goes to the material’s incredible durability.

When you have a metal roof, you’ll see a difference in your energy bill. You can save at least 25%, due to the roof’s reflective nature. Copper and zinc aren’t as energy efficient as aluminum and steel. But, when you’re talking about energy-saving capability, it’s a lot better than dealing with asphalt. If you’re interested in saving the environment and reducing the amount of waste you produce, having a metal roof would be a great option. It uses the least amount of resources and can always be recycled. It can be recycled hundreds of times without worry about the material corroding. That means that it’ll never end up in a landfill once it reaches the end of its lifespan, reducing the country’s waste. Choosing a metal roof is one of the greenest choices that you can make when you’re finalizing your home.

Choosing the material of your roof can be difficult. There are pros and cons to each type of metal. But, they all are specialized enough that you can pick the perfect one for you from the choices given. Whether you choose steel or copper, metal roofs provide great benefits for your home that your family will love and adore for years and years to come.


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What to Check on Your Roof After the Winter Season

The cold, hard winter can be a trying time for your roof. It’s the part of your house that can get the worst damage from winter’s harsh elements. From ice dams to melting snow, it can be hard to bandage your roof after winter’s long gone. But if you know what to look for and what problems may reveal themselves dealing with the damage might be easier than you think.

Roof Damage from the Inside

There are many ways that you can check for winter roof damage without even leaving the comfort of your own home. Be on the lookout for water damage and discoloration on the ceiling. That may be a sign of a leaky roof which can lead to bigger problems down the road dealing with rain and snow. Your roof might not be completely sealed. Head up to the attic with a flashlight and look for more signs of water damage like mold and discoloration. Make note of the location of the damage so you can look for the opening on the outside of the roof.

Even if there isn’t any obvious damage to the inside of the roof, there still might be an opening that could cause more damage in the future. Turn all the lights off in the attic and look for any part of the roof that reveals the sunshine of the inside. The crack, no matter how small, will make problems for you in the future. Also, check around the protrusions of your home like vents and chimneys. These are places where cracks often form in the shingles. If you make checking your attic into a routine then you’ll be able to catch problems before they turn into a big deal.

Roof Damage from the Outside

As the weather’s beginning to get warmer, it’s the perfect time to get outside and check out your roof. Before you climb onto the roof, make sure that you find a helper to spot you while you’re climbing up there. This can turn into a dangerous situation very quickly and you need to make sure that someone’s looking out for you when you’re up on the roof. Once you have a helper strap on some gloves, get a sturdy ladder, and start the investigation.

If there are places on your roof that you know have been cemented or sealed in the past, make sure to give those a look. They might have cracked due to the cold weather. After that, go check out your shingles. There could be obvious damage like a broken shingle, but be sure to look out for less significant damage like cracks or raising. This could have happened due to the sudden temperature change that can happen during the winter season, or in the transition from winter to spring. There also might be snow or ice on it that had randomly thawed, causing the shingle to raise. Depending on the damage, the shingle might not even have to be replaced. It could just need to be resealed.

Inspect your gutters and eaves. If you see water damage through these areas, it might have to do with the area being overtaken with ice. This often happens because the snow thawed and froze at a fast rate, causing things to expand and holes to form throughout your roof. As soon as the weather gets consistently warm and you feel comfortable checking out your roof, you should do so as soon as possible. This will give you a base of problems that you’ll need to take care of as spring blooms throughout your home.

Preventive Roof Maintenance for Next Winter

Investing in preventative care for your roof will prevent hefty price tags in the future. Once you have realized the types of problems that your roof often has you can pay a premium now to save money and hassle in the future. Be sure to check your gutters and downspouts making sure that they’re clean and open. These places are often where ice dams occur. Things like leaves and debris can pack up gutters during other seasons. This makes for improper drainage. When improper drainage occurs it can back up the whole water system and make for very costly damage come winter.

Keep the ventilation levels high in the attic and seal the vents. This will reduce heat levels on the roof and cause snow and ice to melt at a less rapid rate to prevent pooling at the roof’s edge. Keep an eye out for the snow that might be lying around on the roof. If it’s looking to be a lot (for example, over 12 inches) you might want to try and remove it from the roof. Make sure that you do this as safely as possible if you wish to attempt it.

Consistently check parts of the roof that cause breaks in the infrastructure such as vents and chimneys. These parts have more potential to crack and break than other parts of the roof. Once you catch a problem, be sure to reseal the shingles or replace them as needed. Be sure to make it a habit to consistently check the current status of your roof and make sure that you are aware of the age of your roof. Winter is the worst possible time to notice that you have a serious problem with your roof, or that it’s a lot older than you thought it was. If you incorporate some of these things into your roof maintenance routine you will save yourself a headache along with a few hundred bucks.

After the winter season, your roof deserves all the TLC that it possibly can. It can go through many different problems that will force you to invest your time, money, and effort into getting your roof back in shape. But it will do you nothing but good to attempt to catch these problems early. If you’re proactive about the damage to your roof, the future will be even better. Winter won’t even know how to feel about it, and you can relax in your home for seasons on seasons to come.


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