Oh, and Asphalt Shingle Roofing, but there’s nothing exceptional about shingles – any roofer can nail it down.
Some manufacturers say that only 2% of roofing contractors in North America are a Master Installer, but even fewer, approximately .5%, can do Slate or Cedar Roofing, which are the oldest roofing types in America, as well as 10 times more difficult than a simple architectural shingle.
All manufacturers offer Limited Warranties, which in most cases are given with roofing installations, but the problem occurs when a manufacturer backs out for one of the following reasons:
- Ventilations – the houses are often built in such a way that the space below the shingles heats up significantly, and ends up cooking the shingles and shortening the life of the shingles, and which ends up voiding the warranty. Full roof installers should take this into consideration and make recommendations to improve ventilation.
- Roof Pitch Too Low – if the shingles are installed at a low pitch (angle of the roof) the shingles will deteriorate faster than expected, can leak, and could also void the warranty. Professional contractors should be able to ensure that your roof is not installed with too low a pitch, or to ensure that the pitch that is in place has the correct type of roofing material installed to ensure long durability.
- Roof Pitch Too High – if the shingles are installed on a high pitch roof incorrectly the shingles can start blowing off, and the manufacturer can make the contractor responsible for the damage (which is why it is important to install shingles with real nail strips!). Professional contractors will know the correct materials needed and available to ensure long durability on high pitch roofs as well.
- Installation – Most roofers follow the instructions on how to install the shingles, but there are installations where the shingles have a defect and 10 years later, when the seal starts separating because of local storms or dust, the shingles will come off in big pieces or sections. At this point it is often a fight as to who is responsible for the damage – the manufacturer with the instructions to install it a certain way, or the contractor who installed it following the instructions. Professional contractors should be able to ensure that the installation is done correctly, and will provide you with a long-lasting, quality product.
- Manufacturer Required Components – Some warranties require using more of the Manufacturer’s products not because they are the best product for the purpose, but because the manufacturer is pushing their specific product line. This can result in lower quality installations. Professional contractors will help make the best total solution for your roofing needs, sometimes helping make hard decisions that may be a little more expensive, but will dramatically increase the lifespan of your roof.
- Certified Contractors – Every manufacturer has their preferred contractor list, and all roofers have to work to be on those lists, and to become certified with that manufacturer’s products. Often, however, it comes down to how much the contractor sells of that manufacturer’s products. Ultimately, the homeowner should confirm that their contractor is be a certified contractor with that manufacturer to get the guaranteed warranty.
- Code Regulations – Most contractors follow the local codes, which are implemented to ensure quality construction. For roofing, this would be to ensure they avoid leaks, and to not accumulate more ice and water in the shingles. If ice and water get under the shingles you may not see the damage for quite some time, even years later. Most manufacturers don’t cover this type of damage because of improper installation, and would not be likely to also cover repairs for the interior of the home to be repaired from the interior damage. Make sure your contractor follows the code regulations.
- Fine print – Lifetime warranties and limited lifetime warranties are completely different. Please read through the warranties that are offered, and ensure that you are choosing the one that is right for you.
Types of Roofing
There are many pros to slate roofing, and it is considered by many to be the best long-term roofing system that you can purchase. Slate roofs, when installed correctly, are one of the longest lasting roofs available. Depending on the type of slate you select, these roof systems can last from 80-120 years, offering a solid long-term investment. These roofs often require maintenance every few years, and AEGC would be happy to come out and do this for you.
When you have a slate roof installed or maintained, the work should only be done by a roofing professional with extensive background in the application of slate. Slate is a very difficult roof to install, and requires lots of measurements up and down, copper nails, and custom copper metal valleys with a W to break the snow. The extensive background needed is crucial, considering the special handling required for slate shingles – a roofer with little or no knowledge of slate is liable to make mistakes during an installation that could lead to costly problems soon after completion. A common mistake among roofers is to employ the same application methods that work for other types of roofing materials. For starters, the roofer might break tiles while walking across the roof during the installation process. Even worse, the roofer might leave the fasteners exposed to rain and snow. Roofers who are inexperienced with slate will often now know how to distribute the tiles on a roof properly, as well. When doing partial roof repairs, the roofer might mismatch the color of the new and pre-existing tiles. Mistakes like these can be difficult and costly to resolve.
With slate shingles, the slightest imperfection could cause a shingle to fall off. In addition to the fallen tile damage, this would leave an exposed area which would then be vulnerable to leaks. Due to the price of slate, and the complicated nature of the installation process, a missing slate shingle is more difficult to replace than a wood or asphalt shingle. Make sure any company you hire for installation or repair work on a slate roof has plenty of experience with handling the stone.
Humans have used clay roof tiles for thousands of years. It is one of the oldest building materials on the planet, with origins that date back millennia. As a testament to clay’s durability, some of the earliest surviving artifacts are made from clay and can be found intact today in China and the Near East. According to historians, the use of clay as a roofing material occurred independently in two distinct hubs: First, around 10,000 B.C. in China and shortly after that in the Middle East. Later, the use of clay roofing quickly spread into the rest of Europe and Asia, where it quickly replaced thatch as a roofing material for important buildings such as religious buildings, government buildings and the homes of the upper class.
In order for a clay roof to maintain its durability, it must be installed properly. If not installed properly, clay roofing can be subject to water damage as well as damage from high winds or other extreme weather. All fasteners should be resistant to corrosion, and all other materials like drip edge flashing and gutters need to be very high quality to match the durability of your tiles.
When we Install your tiling, we work from one side of the roof first, installing your tiling. As we get your tiling installed in one area we can start moving along the length of your roof. If you have battens, we nail the clay tiles into those. If not, we nail the tiles directly into your sheathing. We follow the manufacturer’s directions to ensure they are properly installed. As we work our way along your roof, we may also have to cut your tiles to fit around obstacles like chimneys and skylights. All tiles should fit snugly around these areas.
Throughout the 17th and 18th centuries, wooden shingles were hand-split from the inner section of logs. After the invention of the steam-powered sawmill, wooden shingles could be more easily manufactured. Still, hand-split shingles continued to be a popular option. The type of wood used in a historic roof depends on the region.
In New England, white pine was the most common choice. In the south, oak and cypress were the most popular. In the west, redwood or red cedar were used most often. When it comes to wood historical and restoration roofing, the roofers’ first job is to try to match the shape, texture and pattern of the original roof.
In general, cedar shake shingles will last much longer than asphalt shingles. With correct maintenance, you can anticipate that your cedar roofing will remain in quality condition for 50 years or longer. To achieve the best longevity from your cedar shingles, you will need to hire a team of experienced roof contractors for your initial installation. Your contractors will know how to properly treat, seal, and install your cedar shingles so that they are completely protected from rain, wind and other weather conditions. If you are seeking roofing materials that are built to last, cedar shake shingles may be suited for your needs.
Homeowners today have many options when it comes to replacing or installing a roof. From commercial asphalt shingles to more enduring products such as slate, clay tile and wood. One other viable alternative is corrosion resistant metal roofing such as copper or stainless steel. Metal roofing is stylish and durable, making it an excellent choice for high-end homes.
Some of the main benefits of choosing a custom metal roof include:
- Longevity: When installed by a qualified team, a metal roof can last longer than conventional products. While an average asphalt roof may have a lifespan of 25 years, a durable copper roof can last 50 years or longer with a minimal amount of maintenance and upkeep. While a standing seam copper roof is initially more expensive than asphalt, the yearly, life cycle cost makes it much more competitive even without factoring in the lack of maintenance required for a properly installed copper roof.
- Light weight: Metal roofs are lightweight, which makes it possible to install them without affecting the structural integrity of your home. Because they require fewer significant modifications, metal roofs are a great choice for any property with historical significance.
- Safety: Metal roofs are naturally fire resistant and can be configured to withstand intense tropical storm events to arctic winters.