Need a New Roof? Three Things to Consider

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For every homeowner, there comes a time when you need to buy a new roof. A roof is a big investment, and in order for the investment to pay off, there are several important factors to consider. TAMKO Building Products, Inc. recommends keeping the following considerations in mind when buying a new roof.

Consideration #1: Quality

Like a house’s foundation, the roof is integral to the structural integrity of the home. The roof is the first line of defense against the elements, including wind, heat, rain, and snow. A low-quality roof won’t provide adequate protection or effectively stand up against the climate of your region. It’s important to buy roofing materials from a reputable manufacturer like TAMKO Building Products, Inc. Homeowners should work with a reliable roofing contractor to help avoid potential claims, complaints or disputes TAMKO literature states the choice of a contractor is an important decision.

Consideration #2: Energy-Efficiency

Energy-efficiency and quality go hand in hand. Better roofing materials are typically more energy-efficient. An inefficient roof loses cool air in the summer and hot air in the winter, resulting in higher energy bills. Buying an energy-efficient roof can save you money in the long run.

Consideration #3: Beauty

While your roof is a functional feature of your home, it can also be used to enhance your house’s appearance. A beautiful roof will add curb appeal to your home and increase the property value, which will benefit you when you go to sell your house. Choose a shingle color that complements your home’s design and enhances its beauty.

These are three considerations to keep in mind when buying a new roof. By considering these factors, you can get the most of your investment.

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How to Detect Granule Loss from Asphalt Shingles

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The granules on asphalt shingles are what protect the shingles from weather elements and UV rays that can cause the roof to deteriorate. Granule loss leaves the shingles vulnerable to damage, and depending on the severity of the granule loss, you will need to replace the shingles or even get a full roof replacement. It’s common for shingles to lose some of their granules as the roof ages. However, a defective product, inadequate roof maintenance, and a severe weather event can also lead to granule loss. Here are some ways you can detect granule loss from TAMKO Building Products:

Check the rain gutters and downspouts

As granules become loose, they can get washed away with runoff. So, if your shingles are losing granules, you may find some granules at the bottom of the downspouts or in the gutters themselves. If you’ve found a modest amount of shingles in the rain gutters and downspouts, then call your roofing contractor for a professional roof inspection and repairs.

Please note that it’s common for a newly installed roof to lose some granules. During the manufacturing process, the granules are embedded into the asphalt. Some of the granules may connect with embedded granules but are not actually implanted in the shingles. Many of these excess granules fall off during packaging, shipping and installation, but some may remain intact and fall off following installation.

Examine the shingle surface

If you’ve found granules in your rain gutters and downspouts, then you want to examine the shingles themselves. You will be able to notice granule loss by looking at the shingles’ surfaces. If you have a multi-story home, use binoculars for a closer look at the shingles. While performing your inspection, also check for other signs of shingle damage, including buckling, curling, cracking, blistering, and loose and missing shingles. If you detect any of these signs, schedule a professional roof inspection.

 

7 Ways to Reduce Your Energy Bills This Winter

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Whether you want to be more environmentally-conscious, save some money, or both, reducing your energy consumption will help you achieve your goal. While energy is often associated with comfort, there are several ways you can save energy without sacrificing your comfort. Here are some simple ways you can conserve energy in your home:

  1. Reverse your ceiling fans. Many ceiling fans have a switch that reverses the direction in which the blades move. In the summer the blades move counter-clockwise to put up hot air, but in the winter you can set your fans to move clockwise. The clockwise motion allows the fan to trap in the heat and push it back down.
  1. Use your thermostat to your advantage. Programmable thermostats can be programed to different temperatures depending on your schedule. For instance, if you work a 9-to-5 job, you can program the thermostat to set your home to a lower temperature while you’re at work, and then heat up again right before you come home. The U.S. Department of Energy recommends setting your thermostat back 10 or 15 degrees while you are away or asleep to save an estimated 10% a year on your heating and cooling bills. When you’re home and awake, keep your thermostat at the lowest comfortable temperature.
  1. Maintain your furnace. A clean furnace and vents can help you save energy. Check your furnace filter once a month, and replace it as needed. Also avoid placing furniture in front of or on top of the furnace or vents, as furniture will absorb the heat.
  1. Utilize the sun. During the day, open the curtains and window treatments on your south-facing windows to allow the sunlight to naturally heat your house. Close the curtains once the sun goes down to retain heat and minimize chill from cold windows.
  1. Bundle up. Rather than bumping up the thermostat, put on some cozy socks and a sweater to warm you up. Also keep warm blankets on the sofas for you to curl up in if you get chilly, and throw an area rug on hardwood and ceramic floors.
  1. Seal air leaks. The average home loses the most heat from air leaks and drafts. To prevent cold air from getting in and heat from escaping, use caulking and weatherstriping to seal drafty doors and windows.
  1. Apply a roof reflective coating. According to the roofing experts from TAMKO Building Products, reflective coatings reflect heat and therefore save energy, as well as extend the life of your roof. Reflective coatings can be applied to existing roofs, including those comprised of asphalt shingles and concrete.

These are some simple ways you can reduce your energy bills this winter. By following these tips, you can save money and minimize your environmental impact.

How to Prevent Ice Dams

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For areas of the country that are prone to snow, ice dams can be a problem for many homeowners during the winter months. After a snowfall, heat from the attic warms up the roof to melt the snow, except at the eaves. The water from the melted snow then refreezes along the eaves, where it accumulates to form an ice dam. An ice dam can prevent water from draining off the roof, and instead allows it to flow underneath the roof shingles and into your home, causing damage to your walls, ceiling, insulation and other parts of the house.

To help protect your home from ice dams this winter, follow these helpful tips from TAMKO Building Products Inc., the nation’s leading independent manufacturer of residential and commercial roofing products.

  1. Keep the roof cool. A heated attic will cause the snow to melt and refreeze as an ice dam along the edges of the roof. To prevent this from occurring, your attic should be no more than 5 to 10 degrees warmer than the outside temperature. The roof’s underside should be not be warmer than 30°F.
  1. Insulate the attic. In order to maintain a cool temperature in the attic, it needs to be properly insulated and ventilated. An insulated attic will help prevent the melting-freezing cycle that leads to ice dams. Make sure any areas where hot air can leak into the attic from your home are properly sealed, such as chimneys and vent pipes.
  1. Remove snow with a roof rake. After every snowfall, use a long-handled roof rake to remove packed snow from the roof. With a long-handled roof rake, you can remove snow safely from the ground and without damaging the roof.
  1. Maintain clear downspouts. Keep the area around the downspouts clear to prevent standing water from accumulating there and refreezing. Also make sure the rain gutters are free of debris so that the water from melted snow has somewhere to go.

By following this advice from TAMKO Building Products Inc., you can help ward off ice dams and keep your home protected all winter long.

3 Types of Roof Shingles

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Have you ever thought about what your roof shingles are made of? Shingles can be made of a wide range of materials, from wood to asphalt to aluminum. Approximately 80% of shingles are made of asphalt, while wood and aluminum shingles are less common. Here’s an overview of the different types of materials roof shingles can be made of:

Wood and Aluminum Shingles

In the past, wood shingles were made of old growth trees, but today they are cut from new growth pine and cedar trees. Shingles cut from new growth trees are treated with chemical preservatives to ensure they are fire resistant, durable and long lasting. This chemical treatment process was not needed for old growth trees, but those are no longer being used for shingles. Aluminum shingles are known for their longevity, but they are not as common as asphalt shingles because they tend to be more expensive.

Asphalt Shingles

Asphalt shingles have been manufactured in the United States since 1893. By the 1920s, their popularity was widespread, and they were available for purchase through mail-order catalogs. The technology for producing asphalt shingles had greatly improved by the 1950s. The shingles of those days resembled the modern shingles you see today. Since the late ’50s, shingle manufacturers have been trying to develop inorganic base materials to use as an alternative to the conventional organic felt. Inorganic base materials are more desirable because they are more fire resistant and absorb less asphalt in the manufacturing process, which makes them more lightweight.

Modern asphalt shingles, which are sometimes called composite shingles, have a foundation base of either fiberglass or organic felt. Asphalt is a hydrocarbon substance and a byproduct of crude oil refining.  Through a process called blowing, the asphalt is oxidized, and the air is removed to enable other minerals to be added before the substance is used to make shingles.

No matter what material your shingles are made of, it’s important that they were manufactured by a reputable roofing manufacturer like TAMKO and that they were properly installed to prevent a shingles lawsuit.

3 Common Roof Problems

shutterstock_148466369From severe storms to improper installation or maintenance, there are many factors that can cause problems within your roofing system. Whether a problem is obvious or unforeseen, neglecting to fix it can result in costly repairs or even roof replacement. Some issues can also cause damage to the interior of your home. It’s important to routinely inspect your roof and repair any minor issues before they spiral out of control. Here are some common roof problems to look out for:

  1. Leaks and Moisture

A number of factors can result in roof leaks, including faulty installation. A built-up roof, for instance, may experience leaks as a result of flashing details being improperly fastened during installation. With built-up roof systems, most of the leaks happen at flashing details. Cracked flashing, vent booting, and chimneys, as well as damaged shingles and clogged gutters can also contribute to leaks. Wind, rain, snow and debris can cause moisture to build up under your roof, leading to leaks, mold and/or dry rot.

  1. Shrinkage

A roof membrane is applied to a roof underneath the tiles or shingles. Roof membranes are resistant to extreme temperatures, UV light and puncturing. However, the roof membrane can shrink and cause cracking, crazing, splitting and blistering, which can lead to leaks and other problems. To prevent shrinkage, the roof membrane and shingles must be properly installed and be routinely inspected. Roofing experts at TAMKO explain poorly installed roofing can lead to a lawsuit.

  1. Ponding Water

Ponding water on your roof is a problem found on all types of roofs and can be caused by a number of things, including debris buildup or faulty drainage of rain gutters and HVAC systems. Be sure to investigate the source of the ponding water before a roof repair is made, so that you resolve the root of the problem

These are just some of the many roofing issues you should look out for. If any of these issues arise, contact a roofing technician for an inspection right away.