view from roof

Making Your Home Energy Efficient

To help save energy and money on utility bills, look to your home’s roof, siding, windows and doors.

Your home’s exterior plays a big role in helping you stay cool indoors over the summer. Whether or not you have air conditioning, you’ll want to keep the cool air inside to feel more comfortable and to save energy and money on your utility bills.

Here are a few simple things you can do.
  • Turn off your AC and open the windows at night to let in cool air.
  • Install awnings or shutters.
  • Throw shade—in a good way—on your house with a wall trellis, lattice with vines or deciduous trees on the south side of your home to provide maximum summertime roof shading.

You might also want to do some larger upgrades to make a big difference in energy and cost savings, like getting a new roof or siding, or upgrading doors and windows. Here are a few tips to save energy with your roof, siding, doors, windows and HVAC system.

Roof

  • Ready to replace your roof? Opt for a “cool roof” that’s lighter in color and uses ENERGY STAR-certified products that help reflect sunrays. Bonus: Decreasing your roof temperature can add years to your roof.
  • Hands down, insulation is the most cost effective way to save energy. It helps reduce heat transfer from outside air to inside your house. While you’re at it, consider adding a radiant barrier to the underside of the roof deck (between it and the insulation) to further reduce heat transfer.

Siding

  • Just like your roof, your siding should have a layer of insulation. It provides a good weather barrier to help protect your home during storms while helping to keep your home cool in the summer and warm in the winter. You can’t add insulation to installed siding; when you’re shopping for new siding, ask about how much insulation the siding has.
  • Check for rotten areas on wood siding, making sure there are no cracks or spots where air can infiltrate or escape. Also check the caulking at least once a year — it can shrink and crack over time.

Front Door

  • Make sure the door closes properly with a good seal, and check that all the areas around the frame are covered with weather stripping. If the door does not close properly, or you can feel a draft, it may be time to consider getting a new door replacement.
  • If you have glass in your doors, check for cracks in the glass.

Windows

Check exterior and interior caulking around windows for cracks. Make sure your windows close and seal correctly. You can buy new low-E windows, which minimize ultraviolet and infrared light, or you can hire a tinting company to apply a film to the interior of the windows to reflect UV light.

HVAC

Have your HVAC system serviced once a year to make sure it’s running efficiently. And be sure to trim any plants near the air conditioner for adequate airflow.

Practicing proper heating and cooling preventive maintenance techniques can go a long way when trying to make your home more efficient.

fall leaves

Why You Should Replace Your Roof In The Fall

With winter in Nashville just around the corner, you may be noticing some issues with your current roofing system. From missing shingles to ceiling leaks, you might just now be realizing that you need to replace that roof.

But can you replace a roof in the fall or winter? This is a great question that we get every year from Tennessee homeowners. The fact is that you yes, you CAN replace your roof, but it’s important to use proper technique from start to finish. This way you can ensure that your roof performs at peak condition at every season.

These are the best techniques that professional roofing contractors use for winter roof installation:

What’s the Best Temperature for Roof Installation?

In an ideal world, asphalt roof shingles should be installed between 40 degrees and 85 degrees Fahrenheit. Even high quality asphalt shingles can crack when hammered, and installing in the wrong temperature can promote breakage. This is one of the biggest problems when you install asphalt shingles when it’s under 40 degrees.

With that said, winter is often a great time to get a good deal on a new roof, however we will need to wait until the temperature is in the right range before scheduling an installation date.

Top Troubles of Roofing Installation in the Winter

 

Aside from asphalt shingles becoming brittle in the winter, there is another important reason as to why it’s important to wait for the right temperature.  Any ideas? It’s all about adhesive! When the temperature drops below 40 degrees, some self-adhesive shingles have a hard time sticking. The sealing strips typically have no trouble bonding in the spring and summer, but in the winter we need to wait until the temperature is higher.

If you choose another type of roofing aside from asphalt, you’re not necessarily out of the woods. Fiberglass shingles are very susceptible to fracturing in the winter, and shakes can also break apart as temperatures approach the freezing mark.

If I Waited Till Winter, Can I Still Replace My Roof?

Despite a handful of obstacles that come along with winter roofing installation, winter is still a perfectly acceptable time to replace your roof, and as mentioned before, the best deals are often offered as the roofing business slows down.

In addition, we use numerous techniques to ensure that your new roof isn’t impacted by cold temperatures.

Keeping Your Roofing Shingles Warm

One of the first steps is to make sure the roofing shingles are warm before they’re installed. This is as simple as storing them in a heated garage or warehouse before delivering to the homeowner.

Properly Sealing the Shingles

In addition to keeping the shingles warm, it’s also important to use proper technique for sealing shingles in the winter. Most roofing shingles are designed with thermally-activated asphalt sealant. This bonds the shingles to the roof using sunlight, and it can take up to a couple weeks for the shingles to completely stick.

The approach is a bit different in the winter, where sunlight can sometimes be a bit scarce. In the winter time, a professional roofing contractor may choose to hand-seal the shingles with an approved asphalt roofing cement or other adhesive that’s provided by the manufacturer. Every tab should be sealed with one or two dabs (roughly 1-inch in diameter) of asphalt roofing cement. The cement should be near the shingle’s edges, but never exposed.

Rakes and eaves are two of the most susceptible areas for wind blowing shingles off the roof. Use a lot of care in this area and be sure that each shingle has the proper amount of sealant for best results.

What About Winter Roof Maintenance?

Even if you don’t intend to replace your entire roof this winter, your roof still may require maintenance. Be very careful about walking over shingles when it’s cold, since they can easily break under the weight of your foot—especially if the shingles are located on an uneven surface or they’re slightly curved.

Activity on your roof may also break the sealant bond on the shingles, so be prepared to hand-seal shingles that are peeling away from your roof.

If you have any questions regarding a new roof replacment, now is the time, feel free to initiate a chat with us online or give us a call at (615) 794-4001.

white house with shingle roofing

Common Roofing Terms You Should Know

Like any technical profession, roofing has a language all its own, and that language involves words unfamiliar to most people. It’s important for homeowners to familiarize themselves with some common roofing terms if they’re considering roof repair or replacement. This way they can communicate effectively with roofing professionals and express concerns when they have them.

Basic Parts of a Roof

Sheathing: Boards made from wood or another material that are secured to the rafters and used as a base for the rest of the roof covering. Also called a deck.

Felt: A fibrous material that’s used as a layer underneath the outermost surface of the roof. Also called underlayment.

Flashing: Pieces of durable metal used for weatherproofing. Flashing is applied around projections and in places where there’s an intersection between two sections to funnel water toward the gutters.

Covering: This refers to the felt plus the outer layer (which may be shingles, metal, slate, or tile).

Drainage: These are the features that allow water to drain off and can include the roof’s shape, its slope, and the way it’s laid out.

Structural Features

Ridge: The angle at the top of a sloped roof, where the two sides meet to form a peak.

Valley: The angle that’s formed when two downward sloping roof sections meet. Valleys can be tricky in terms of placing shingles and flashing, but experienced contractors know how to get this done properly.

Eaves: The bottom edges of the roof that hang over the exterior walls.

Fascia: Boards mounted on an exposed rafter end or at the top of an exterior wall to protect from the elements.

Repair/Replacement Terminology

Bond: The method that’s used to secure the shingles or other covering to each other. There are many different types of bonds, including cross, broken, and staggered.

Nesting: A method of re-roofing that involves laying new shingles over the top of the old shingles in a specific pattern.

Normal Slope Application: This is when shingles are applied to a roof with an average degree of incline (the slope or pitch). Pitch is generally expressed with two numbers which indicate the number of inches the roof rises vertically for every 12 horizontal inches.

As with any situation when you hire contractors, don’t be afraid to ask questions if your roofer starts talking about things you don’t understand. You might feel awkward for a moment or two, but that’s a small price to pay for being on the same page.

white house with black shingle roofing

Asphalt Architectural Shingles

A short post today, we’ll just discuss asphalt architectural shingles and what they are compared to standard 3 tab shingles. Most of us know what an asphalt shingle roof is. It is an asphalt steep slope residential and commercial roof covering. You see them on most homes and on many commercial buildings. They have always been popular because they are cost effective, perform well, and they last 20 plus years. Because of these reasons they are right now the steep slope roof work horse. In other words, they are driving the market.

We’re talking about architectural or “dimensional ” asphalt shingles. The price gap has closed much between them and 3 – tab shingles , which are a lesser product in every way so architectural shingles are really coming on strong. The bottom line is, the architectural shingle looks better, performs better, lasts longer, is heavier, and has a much higher wind warranty.

 

4 Questions To Ask When Replacing A Roof

Don’t let all the different roofing options available go over your head.

Don’t put off thinking about a new roof until it’s too late and there’s water dripping into the living room. With so many roofing options available, it can be easy to feel like you’re in over your head and overwhelmed with choice. Read more

white house with grey shingle roofing

Roof Designs and Styles

Sometimes we like to link over to other websites because we believe the content is rich and engaging and has lots of good information regarding a specific roofing topic. In this case we like this slideshow over at Better Homes and Gardens magazine. Check it out below to see some cool examples of roof design and different roofing styles.

http://www.bhg.com/home-improvement/exteriors/roofs/roof-designs-styles/#page=1

 

dimensions of roof

Measuring A Roof

Do you know how it’s done?

Measuring a roof from the ground can be a much safer way to get the information you need to do a roof. This week I was asked to teach a new solar estimator how to measure a roof from the ground. The basic idea of measuring a roof from the ground may sound ridiculous but it can be done, and done very accurately. I think everyone should measure at least the perimeters of the roof from the ground because the risk of a fall walking along the eaves of the roof can be avoided. If you are a professional and you are up and down ladders, crawling around steep, wet, damp and slippery roofs year in and year out, the odds are against you. These tips can reduce the risk of a fall. This web page is to show how the whole roof can be measured from the ground and a order for materials be placed.

So, What tools do I need to measure a roof?

1, Tape Measure. a 25 foot or longer works good. I use a laser for speed and it is very accurate. There a measuring wheels that work well also.

2, Graph Paper, some basic graph paper will help keep straight lines and scale your roof drawing. I use a two-foot scale drawing and most sizes homes will fit on a 8.5 x 11 sheet of paper.

3, Calculator, is a important tool since it will help you with complex math with less or no errors.

4, Pitch Gage, will be needed to find the pitch of a roof. There are pitch gage Apps for smart phone free to download.
Familiarize your self with the names of the parts of a roof, like the Gable, Hip, Valley, Eave and Ridge. Take a minute before you measure and Google your roof then highlight these parts of the roof like seen here to the left. It will help with your drawing later. Start from the left corner and start taking measurement from the eave to eaves all around the home. Using the graph sheet you should end up right where you started. If you don’t, then you made an error some where.

Once the site drawing is done look at the drawing and in a red marker draw out squares like seen in this drawing. {drawing has been cropped}

A, Is { 48′ x 24′ } B, { 16′ x 24′ } C, { 12′ x 24′ } and D, { 6′ x6′ } Do you see the squares? Add these four totals and you have the foot-print of the roof which is 1860 sq. ft. Now we need to add the pitch factor which is the rise of the roof. Most homes have about a 4:12 pitch or 18.5 degrees. This is as low a pitch as you want when installing asphalt shingles. This roof we are measuring today is a 6:12 pitch or 26.5 degrees. The pitch factor I use for this is 1.12. This factor should be times the house foot print, 1860 sq. feet and your roof size equals 2084 or 20.84 sqs. Lets call it 21 sqs. Determine the waste factor and you have the total roofing sqs. you need to complete this roof.

Now to determine the length of the valleys and hips needs to be calculated using the hip factor of 1.50 for a 6:12 pitch. So here in the front right side is a hip roof and the width being 24 feet. x 1.50= 36 feet, divided by 2 for each side which equals 18 feet for the hip length. The valleys are the same formula as the hips. For this short valley on the right being 6 foot equals 6 x 1.50 = 9 ft.
The eave should be looked at by a ladder to see how many layers of shingles there are on the roof. With a good roof flashing count, you can place a materials order to the supply house. Here are the pitch factors rounded up for calculating the sqs. of a roof.

Degrees converted to roof pitch

9.5° = 2:12,  14° = 3:12,  18.5° = 4:12,  22.5° = 5:12,

26.5° = 6:12,  30° = 7:12,   33.5° = 8:12,   37° = 9:12,

40° = 10:12,    42.5° = 11:12,   45° = 12:12

roof with layover work

Why We Don’t Do Layovers

While laying a new roof over an old roof may be faster, cheaper, and it happens frequently, we refuse to do it. Check out this article we recently read from ProRemodeler.com: Read more

atlas chalet roof

When To Replace A Roof

No matter how little you want to deal with them, roofing issues sometimes appear. There is never a right moment for a roofing problem to arise, although it is best to tackle them on a clear, sunny day and definitely instead of during winter. Unfortunately, you cannot always predict when your roof is going to get damaged or how. That is why you should make it a habit to take a regular look at your roof to prevent any problems. Sometimes it can be very hard to detect a problem, which is why a thorough inspection by a professional roofing contractor is required to get to the bottom of anything questionable. Unless of course, you are fully acquainted with roofing issues (including the dangers) and how to deal with them. Repair or replace? That is always the question. Both options can end up a pretty costly affair but as far as the quality of life is concerned, doing one or the other is worth every cent. So how do you determine the best option for your roof and your situation? Check out this short article on the topic. You might find it useful.

First off, let’s have a look at some of the telltale signs that something is wrong with your roof.

Exterior Signs:

  • Your storm gutters often end up clogged with granules
  • You notice broken tiles or shingles on your roof
  • Your shingles lack granules
  • You notice that the attic insulation is wet
  • Flashing is damaged or missing

You should know that problems with roofing generally occurs on the exterior first, so it is important to be able to recognize any changes in the structure itself. Bear in mind that unless you fix an problems you may find fairly soon, the damage will spread to the inside, making repairs much more difficult and expensive.

Interior Signs:

  • Your wallboards have started to discolor
  • Paint has started peeling or cracking
  • Wallpaper is peeling
  • Mildew or mold has formed on the walls and ceiling
  • Your ceiling has some very suspicious brown spots, the nature of which you are not familiar with

If you miss  the exterior signs, at least make sure you act fast as possible when you discover any of the telltale interior signals  just noted above. The sooner you find a solution, the better. No matter if you currently live in that property, you have rented it out or you are intending to sell it, it is up to you to care for your roof and make sure that it is regularly and routinely cleaned and taken care of. That is unless you want to make all matters worse and end up paying why will probably amount to a king’s ransom for a costly, total replacement.

If you are not sure whether the damage on your roof requires a repair or a total replacement, call  a qualified, licensed local roofing contractor.

When to Repair:

  • If your roof is new (less than 20 years old) depending on the life expectancy of the material and application
  • If the warranty period of the roofing materials has not yet expired
  • If a leak does not reappear once you have it repaired
  • If there is only a small leak that needs repair
  • If this is the first time you have had to hire a contractor to repair your roof

When to Replace:

  • If the warranty period of the roofing material has expired
  • If the roof is too old (over 20 years old or dependent upon the life expectancy of the material/application)
  • If the roof has been repaired a number of times previously
  • If there are leaks found in numerous locations of the structure
  • If leaks keep on reappearing after they are repaired

Unfortunately, sometimes there may not be any visible signs that the roof structure has been damaged and needs repair or replacement. Unless you are an expert at roofing, let a certified, licensed roofing professional inspect the roof. A trusted expert will be able to detect the problems you are facing (if any) and provide the best solution for your situation and one that will make you worry much less.

white spring flowers

What Time Of Year To Replace A Roof

Truth be told, the best time of year to replace your roof is whenever you’ve been able to adequately plan for it. Acting under pressure from a leaking roof or a gaping hole can push people to make rash decisions that they’ll regret later. Not to mention that depending on the time of year, scheduling a replacement could take weeks if your roofing contractor is busy.

When it comes to roofing, busy season usually falls between late summer and fall, but that doesn’t mean that the other parts of the year are better or worse for getting your roof replaced. U.S. News & World Report does suggest avoiding seasons known for bad weather, which may change depending on your climate, so it’s worth taking a look at all the times of year that you could replace your roof and decide which is best for your needs.

What time of year is best to replace a roof

Spring 

spring

As winter fades away and takes the cold weather with it, many homeowners start thinking about all of the home improvement projects they can tackle now that it’s enjoyable to be outside again. And if they’re experiencing leaks, drafts or cave-ins thanks to harsh winter weather, it’s also the time of year many homeowners start thinking about replacing their roofs.

Winter can be too cold, summer can be too hot and fall can be too busy, so for most areas of the U.S., spring is the best time of year to get your roof replaced. Asphalt shingles in particular need time to adhere to your roof and create the sealing that keeps them in place, which can’t happen in temperatures below 45°F. This makes spring an ideal time to consider a roof replacement.

The only downside to replacing your roof in the spring is that the weather can be a little unpredictable. Rain interrupting your install can result in some delays, but good roofers know how to accommodate for the changing weather and often come prepared with backup plans if the sky decides to open up. If you can plan ahead to avoid the weather, you don’t have to let spring storms rain on your parade (or install).

Summer 

summer roof replacement

For most roofing contractors, summer through fall is the busiest time of year. The weather is typically consistent and warm enough to allow all tools and materials to function, making it a time when most people book their roof replacements. Late spring to early summer is often marked as one of the best times of year to replace a roof since, in most climates, the rain has stopped and the extreme heat and humidity of late summer haven’t set in yet.

One downside to this optimal time, however, is that there are a lot of people trying to schedule roof replacements at once. This means that prices go up and time slots become very limited. Roofing contractors will work with you to schedule the best time to come do your roof, but due to the significant increase in appointments during this time, it may be a while before they’re able to get to your house.

If your project gets pushed too far back into the summer season, you may end up having to install your roof during the dog days of extreme heat and humidity. Not only does this type of weather have an effect on the working conditions and hours your installers can reasonably work, but it can also affect the roofing materials themselves.

Extreme heat can start to melt asphalt shingles, making them less durable during installation and more prone to getting scuffed and damaged.

Fall 

fall roof replacement

A basic Google search will tell you that fall is the best time of year for roof replacements. The combination of cool, stable weather and the onset of winter leads most homeowners to start thinking about how their homes will be affected by the upcoming cold, snow and sleet — which is why fall is one of the busiest seasons for roof replacements.

Since the temperatures average between 45°F and 85°F with little threat of unpredictable rain, fall is typically one of the best times of year for shingles to set and seal. With the overall cooler temperatures, roofers are also able to work longer days without getting overheated, helping your project get finished faster.

But replacing your roof in the fall can have some drawbacks. Since so many people are often vying for the same appointment slots for their roof replacements, it can be weeks or longer between when you sign your contract to when you get your new roof. Roofing contractors will also often tackle the most needed roof replacements first, possibly pushing your roof replacement into the beginning of winter depending on your roof’s condition.

For these reasons, Devon Thorsby, a real estate editor for U.S. News & World Report, advises that if you hope to replace your roof in the fall, it’s wise to plan a month or two in advance so you’re prepared for any delay that may arise.

Winter

winter roof replacement

Winter can be a difficult season for roofing contractors to complete roof replacements. If winter is when your schedule allows for a roof replacement, or a sudden emergency forces your hand, it’s important to try and plan ahead as much as you can.

Replacing a roof becomes problematic when temperatures drop below 40°F. Shingles need thermal sealing in order to set, and while this process can happen quickly in warmer temperatures, it could take days or weeks in colder temperatures. If shingles get too cold, they can also crack or break during your install. Plus, snow, sleet and other winter weather can make it extremely unsafe for workers to complete an install.

Fortunately, it is still possible to replace your roof in the winter as long as your roofing contractor knows what they’re doing and everyone’s schedule is accommodating to any changes in weather. When shingles are properly stored in a warm environment and are quickly applied with specialized tools, they can seal just as well as shingles applied in the spring or summer. Another benefit to winter roof replacements is that there’s a decrease in the amount of work that roofers are able to book, which means you may be able to snag a good deal.

Any reputable contractor can guarantee the quality of their work regardless of the weather, so replacing your roof in the winter may be the best option for you if you want schedule flexibility.

Call Five Points Roofing today and we can help with any other questions you may have: (615) 794-4001