closeup of roof cap

A Shingle Roof’s Lifecycle

A roof replacement is a major investment – one that most homeowners go through at least once. So, it’s natural to wonder how long you can expect your shingle roof to last.

While there is no set formula for a roof’s lifespan, most manufacturer warranties guarantee asphalt shingles for anywhere from 15 to 30 years. Why the huge span?

“Actual roof system lifespan is determined by a number of factors, including local climatic and environmental conditions, proper building and roof system design, material quality and suitability, proper application and adequate roof maintenance,” notes the National Roofing Contractors Association (NRCA)

The fact is, from the moment a new roof is completed, it begins to age. A home’s roof is exposed to harsh environmental conditions and constant weather woes. Sunlight, wind, moisture from rain, hail, snow, and physical threats such as falling tree limbs, stray soccer balls, and even wildlife like squirrels and birds can all cause premature aging of a roof system.

So, how long does a shingle roof last? To get the most out of your investment, it helps to understand the three main stages in the lifecycle of a shingle roof.

The lifecycle of a shingle roof

Shingle lifecycle.

Stage one: New roof

The new roof phase generally lasts for about two years and begins as soon as the last shingle is nailed in place. This stage in a roof’s lifecycle is a period of rapid aging, at least initially. This period is also known as the curing phase.

For up to a year or so after installation, homeowners might notice some significant granule loss, curling along the edges of some shingles (particularly during a cold weather spell), and even minor blistering. Don’t worry: this is perfectly normal and temporary as the new roof adjusts to the harsh environment and weather conditions it is constantly subjected to. As long as the roof’s integrity is sound and there are no leaks, there’s no real cause for concern.

Stage two: Mid-life roof

After the initial curing phase, a shingle roof enters an extended period of aging slowly, which lasts for the major portion of the shingles’ natural life, typically between 12 and 15 years. Signs of normal aging include: minor granule loss, cracking, and other signs of weathering, but not in any significant amount that would be cause for concern.

What is important for homeowners to remember during this relatively quiet stage of a roof’s lifecycle is to keep up with roof maintenance. Regular inspections, either annually or biannually, and maintenance is critical to ensuring that all the various roofing system components are performing optimally and guarantee your roofing investment lasts a long time.

When inspecting your roof, you want to make sure your roof, gutters, and vent openings are clear of debris like leaves and tree limbs, and be sure to check for moss, mildew, or mold — a sure sign of moisture seeping into the surface of your roof. Treat any affected areas with a roof moss remover spray or cleaner from your local hardware store. Or try this DIY version from This Old House. Look for and secure any lifted or loose shingles and give the flashing a quick scan and tighten any bolts, if needed.

Remember, small defects can lead to major repairs that can compromise the entire roofing system and make a major dent in your wallet. Even a warranty can’t protect a homeowner from shouldering the responsibility of an ill-maintained roofing system. A warranty can be voided if there’s been extended neglect.

Stage three: old roof 

After 12 to 15 years, a home’s roof is entering its declining years and the aging process generally accelerates pretty rapidly. It’s during this stage in a roof’s lifecycle that homeowners should start considering replacement.

“Sooner or later, every roof needs to be replaced, usually due to the long-term effects of weathering. If a residential roof is more than 20 years old, it is a prime candidate for reroofing,” says the Asphalt Roofing Manufacturers Association. ARMA lists a few signs to determine if you need a new roof: cracked, missing or broken shingles, staining, blisters, excessive loss of granules, or exposed bald spots.

If you’re roof is getting to the age of replacement, give us a call and we can provide a free estimate! (615) 794-4001

wood roof

You Might Be Surprised! 10 Roofing Facts You Didn’t Know.

You see your roof every day. You see your neighbor’s roof every day. You see dozens, maybe even hundreds of roofs every day.

But what you don’t know just by looking at them is that the typical roofing system is incredibly complex, employs some of the best cutting-edge technology in the construction industry, and hides a bevy of “trade secrets.”

We’re pulling back the curtain (or shingles, in this case) and revealing 10 roofing facts that might surprise you.

1. Where you live dictates what style of roof you should get.

It’s a roofing fact: some roof types just work better in certain regions and climates. Gable roofs, or roofs formed with two triangles at a 90-degree angle, work best in colder, snowier climates or when homeowners want to build attics or have vaulted ceilings.

Hipped roofs, which have four slopes of equal length on all four sides that meet at the top to form a ridge, are more wind resistant than gable roofs and might work best in windy areas.

Water tends to pool more easily on a flat roof, which means this type of roofing system might be best in a drier, less rainy climate.

2. Flat roofs are not flat.

Don’t be fooled by the name. Flat roofs are not entirely flat. They actually have a slight slope of at least ¼ inch per foot.

3. A roof is a lot more than shingles and wood.

Facts about roofs.

A good roof system has no fewer than seven necessary components. There’s the roof decking, which has to support all the weight of the roofing system. Next comes the ice or water barrier to help prevent damage if ice damming occurs. A roof also needs a waterproof or water-resistant underlayment that will protect the deck directly from moisture creeping in. Then there’s the metal flashing, which ensures the water runs off the edges, and a drip edge, which has a similar function. Finally, a roof has to have shingles. And don’t forget the ventilation system–the soffits, eaves and vents which allow air to circulate.

4. It’s not okay to cover an existing roof.

While it may seem like an inexpensive, quick fix to a roofing problem, double-layered roofs can cover up big roofing issues that need to be addressed. In addition, a double-layered roof adds weight and just hides the corroding material, allowing the problem to get worse. If previous roofing materials were installed over the top of your existing roof, you should replace the entire roof as soon as possible.

5. You can’t DIY a roof.

Yes, it seems to run counter to what all the DIY programs tell you. The true roofing fact is, a roof is actually a complex system of layers that require proper installation from skilled professionals with the right training and tools to ensure it all works together correctly. Going the DIY route can result in damage to your attic, walls, wood frame, and even electrical systems.

6. Roofs breathe.

Roof ventilation facts.

As funny as it may sound, a roof needs air. Roof ventilation, ie: the flow of air on the underside of a roof deck, is one of the most critical aspects of the whole roof system. Roof ventilation allows warm, moist air to escape and cooler, drier air to come into the attic. Without ventilation, condensation is going to build up in your attic, which can damage walls, wood and insulation.

7. A roof can be good for the environment.

Environmentally friendly or “cool roofs” reflect infrared and ultraviolet rays from the sun away from the building and have a higher thermal emittance, or ability to efficiently emit radiation. According to the EPA, cool roofs not only help homeowners conserve energy, but they reduce air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions as well by mitigating the heat radiated into the atmosphere.

8. Professional roofing cleaning companies are a thing.

It’s a roofing fact that it’s important to keep your roof clean and clear of moss, algae and fungus/lichen, but did you know there are professionals who specialize in keeping roofs clean? They have special techniques and products to do it, including equipment that doesn’t harm shingles and biodegradable cleaning solutions that are less harmful to plants and the environment. They even have a trade association, the Roof Cleaning Institute of America.

9. A faulty roof can break a home sale.

A new roof can be a major selling point when you go to sell your home. Conversely, a roof with leaks, missing or damaged shingles, or other visible signs of disrepair can send a potential buyer running. The last thing a new homeowner wants to do is spend money on a costly roof replacement. It’s far better to replace your roof before you sell your home.

10. My roof will last forever.

Almost, but not quite. The typical lifespan of a roof really depends on the materials and installation. A simple, 3-tab shingle roof may be warranted for 20 to 25 years. Shake style shingles can be warranted for up to 50 years.

5 hundred dollar bills

How Much Does A New Roof Really Cost?

The fact is, roofs don’t really have price tags dangling off of them. So, how do you know how much a new roof costs? There are quite a few factors to consider. As Middle Tennessee’s leading Roofing company, we’ve got answers that can help you budget your roof replacement.

First, it helps to understand the various parts that make up your whole roof.

Understanding your roof system

A roof is made up of several layers that work together as a system to protect your home. Proper installation of each component protects the roof, attic, walls, and foundation from wind, rain, ice, heat, and humidity.

In addition to shingles, a complete roofing system includes:

  • Deck: The main wooden structure.
  • Underlayment: A layer installed under the shingles to keep the deck dry.
  • Flashing: Material used to deflect water away from seams or joints around chimneys, exhausts, etc.
  • Vents: Items that optimize airflow through the attic to keep the roof dry.
  • Drip edge: Material along the edge of the roof that guides water to the ground or in the gutters.
  • Soffit: The area underneath a roof overhang.
  • Fascia: The horizontal roof trim on the end of the rafters that often holds the gutters.
  • Winterguard: waterproofing shingle underlayment – key in fighting water penetration

Factors that affect new roof costs

Now that you understand the complexity and interconnectedness of your roof replacement, here are five factors that will impact the cost:

  • Size

    The biggest factor in determining how much it will cost to replace your roof is the size of your roof. The cost of roof replacement is calculated in terms of roofing squares; one roofing square is 10 feet by 10 feet, or 100 square feet. Whenever possible, we use state-of-the-art, satellite technology to precisely measure the roof of your home. This ensures the right amount of roofing materials are ordered—thereby saving costs and reducing waste—and helps provide a better estimate on how long the project will take.

  • Removal

    Before a new roof can be installed, your roofing professional will need to remove and dispose of the old roof, which can include layers of old shingles and underlayment. Any debris must be moved to a proper landfill site, which typically charges by the weight of the materials. The costs associated with this process depend on the amount of time and labor it takes to remove the old materials, as well as the landfill charges.

  • Style & Shape

    The slope of a roof can make a big difference in determining the cost of replacement. The slope is the angle of incline and indicates the vertical rise compared to the horizontal run. For example, if your roof’s slope is 6:12, it means the roof rises six inches vertically for every 12 inches it runs horizontally. The steeper the slope of the roof, the more shingles it takes to cover it. In addition, a roof with a very steep slope requires greater staging and safety equipment, which can cost more.

  • Materials

    There can be a major cost difference between the different types of roofing materials. Asphalt is generally the most affordable option, with slate and shake, or wood shingles being the most labor-intensive and the most expensive. Five Points Roofing has a whole range of shingle options, including luxury and designer asphalt shingles.

  • Features

    Chimneys, skylights and vents can improve the look of your roof but for a roofing contractor, these features can all be potential obstacles to carefully work around during the installation process.

Paying for your new roof 

Roof replacement is an important investment. The good news — there are plenty of financing options available to make sure you’re not breaking the bank, shingle by shingle.

Five Points Roofing has convenient financing that fits every homeowner’s budget. We work hard to keep our financing options as simple as possible. Our goal is to give you the peace of mind you need.

storm damage

Help! I Have Storm Damage!

Strong winds, heavy rains, scorching sun and massive snowfall – your home’s roof takes a beating 365 days a year.

This year’s spring weather has been particularly damaging to roofs across the country. Hail storms and tornadoes damaged the roofs of two residence halls and the sports coliseum at Jacksonville State University in Alabama, a thunder and hail storm in Sacramento caused leaks and soaked 250 books at the California State Library, and the mid-Atlantic and New England got pummeled by no fewer than four nor’easter snowstorms in less than three weeks.

All of these annual and relentless weather events can leave you with a damaged roof and even cause leaks that can impact your home’s interior.

What storm damage might look like

Sometimes, the signs of a damaged roof are pretty obvious, like water spots on a ceiling or curled, buckling or missing roof shingles. You may also see broken or damaged roof flashing, wet walls, water issues around your home’s exterior, or winter ice damming.

What to look for:

  • Shingle condition. Missing shingles are one obvious sign, but pay attention to the granule buildup on your shingles as well as early signs of damage. Hail storms can cause dings and dents in asphalt shingles and should be noted as well.
  • Missing flashing along the edges of the roof and along skylights, vents, and chimneys.
  • Loose or pealing sealant along those same penetration points.
  • Water damage in the attic or along the ceiling.

Other time, the signs aren’t so obvious, which is when it might be time to call in a professional roofing expert. The National Roofing Contractors Association recommends that homeowners get their roof inspected by a professional twice a year—once in the fall and once in the spring.

How to start the process of roof replacement

Once you’ve assessed the damage, the next step to replacing your roof is to request an estimate.

At Long Roofing, an expert will sit down with you and your family to select the perfect roofing materials — from the protective underlayment to the shingles that will cover your whole roof system.

We’ll also work through financing options, discuss warranty packages, and accommodate your schedule to find the perfect day to complete your new roof installation.

What your homeowners insurance covers

Homeowners insurance and roofing.

Figuring out what your homeowners insurance covers and does not cover can be confusing.

Homeowners insurance covers your roof in cases where it is damaged for reasons outside of the homeowner’s control – a few examples are fire and vandalism. Your policy will also usually cover damage from extreme weather events or “acts of God” like hurricanes and tornadoes. Similarly, roof damage caused by moderate weather incidents such as hail, wind, and rain are often covered by homeowners insurance.

When filing a claim, it’s important to thoroughly document any damage that occurred. Also, make sure you keep receipts for all work done on the home. Many policies will cover these expenses when submitted with a claim.

However, keep in mind that coverage will often depend on the age of your roof, the area you live in, and may other factors. The easiest way to know what’s covered or what’s not when it comes to storm damage is to contact your insurance provider and go over the specifics of your policy, including what’s covered and what your deductible may (or may not) be.

What your warranty looks like

When you purchase a new whole roof system, that roof will come with its own warranty. But not all roof warranties are the same. In fact, many homeowners learn the hard way that most roof warranties only cover the cost of materials or just manufacturer or installation defects—not weather-related issues.

Beware of storm chasers

Roof storm chasers.

The last and final point we’ll make about natural disasters is that they can be a magnet for dishonest contractors.

“Unfortunately, severe storms can bring out the worst in people, especially unscrupulous roofing contractors who scam consumers needing to repair or replace their storm-damaged roofs,” the Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety said after Denver’s record-breaking hail storm in 2017. “These fraudsters will often make false promises, insist on full payment before work begins or is completed. Sometimes, they will even create damage where none existed.”

Do your due diligence when choosing a roofing contractor. Check with local and state agencies to find out if your anticipated contractor is licensed and qualified to do the work.

The Importance Of Commercial Roof Cover

The roof is a commercial building’s first line of defense from natural hazards such as wind, rain, fire, hail, ice, snow, and extreme heat. It is also the most vulnerable part of your building. Every day, your roof is exposed to weather and other elements that may contribute to decay and deterioration, increasing the risk of damage to the roof itself and the contents below it. Read more

How To Choose Custom Windows

When picking a custom window for your home it is very important to consider multiple factors.

Why Custom Windows?

There are numerous benefits to using custom windows. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet. Read more

How Custom Windows Work

You probably have quite a few questions on how choosing custom windows works.  Read more

Common Roofing Problems

Watching for the 10 most common roof problems can save you significant money. Catching damage early and repairing it can save you the cost of a complete roof replacement.

Here are the 10 most common problems to be on the lookout for…

Poor or Faulty Installation
A faulty installation of your roofing material can dramatically increase the likelihood of problems and reduces a roof system’s life expectancy. You need to hire a professional to tell you if your roof has been installed correctly.

Leaks and Moisture
Wind, rain, hail, snow, ice, and debris … all of these and more can lead to moisture getting under the layers of roof and causing everything from leaks to mold and rot.

Improperly Installed Flashing
Flashing is what seals the areas where your roof has been penetrated (like vent pipes, sky lights, chimneys and heating and cooling systems. When flashing is poorly attached, it can cause open seams and laps and ultimately cause tiles to blow-off. Improperly installed flashing can also reduced puncture resistance in your roof.

Critters
Small animals, birds and insect can cause a surprising amount of damage. It’s best to evict them before they get a foothold.

Ponding Water
Water that ponds or stands on your roof is a sure sign of a problem. Common cause range from debris buildup to improper drainage of HVAC units and gutters.

Punctures and Penetrations
Wind and hail damage can cause punctures in roofing material. The sealant and flashing around penetrations (such as vents for household appliances and HVAC) added after the roofing was completed need to be looked at regularly.

Trees
Overhanging tree limbs can rub on a roof, abrading the surface of the shingles and wearing away the protective top layer. Branches can also fall on the roof creating even more serious damage. Tree limbs should be trimmed back away from the roof as much as possible and if a tree is close enough to pose a threat to your home, it should be removed.

Something as simple as walking on your roof can cause damage. Many roofers install walkways with a double layer of roofing materials to allow access to HVAC or other areas in order to prevent damage.

Ventilation
Roof and attic ventilation is an integral part of making a roof last, and occurs naturally when vents are placed at the base of the roof (at the eaves or in the soffits) and near the top of the roof (the ridge) so that warm air can leave through the top, and cool air can be drawn through the bottom. Since warm air naturally rises, no mechanical process is necessary to create this air movement. Adequate ventilation regulates temperature and moisture levels in the attic. Left unchecked, heat and moisture can build up causing damage to rafters, sheathing, shingles, insulation, and raising energy costs, any may also lead to some ugly mold and mildew problems.

Shrinkage and Blistering
Shrinkage is caused when the roof membrane (the stuff under the tiles or shingles) shrinks, most often causing cracks or crazing in the upper layer. Blistering, ridging, splitting, and surface erosion of shingles can eventually lead to bigger problems.

Improper or Lack of Maintenance
Lack of roof maintenance is probably a roof’s worst enemy. Many problems start out as minor, such as the need to remove overhanging tree limbs or cleaning backed up gutters. But when not corrected these problems can create serious damage. Routine inspection and maintenance can extend the life of your roof and that can save you a lot of money.