Answering Some of Your Most Difficult Roofing Questions

Between different layers on your roof to the various materials you get to choose from, we understand that roofing can become a bit confusing. No matter what your question is, your Dallas roofing company is always a phone call away. In the mean time, read below to get some of the more common roofing questions answered. 

Covering Your Roof Issues

Putting a safe roof over your head isn’t necessarily a one-time deal. Shingles stain, condensation collects, and high winds carry roofs wherever they please. That’s where the TOHcrew’s knowledge and your sweat equity enter the picture. Here, we cover roof-related scenarios to help prevent future mishaps, like a missing roof.

Spot a Failing Roof

Q: How do you know when an asphalt shingle roof needs replacement? Are there clues to look for before telltale water stains appear on our plaster ceilings?

—Pat, Plymouth, Minn.

A: Tom Silva replies: There are several clues, and the biggest one is age. If your roof is more than 20 years old, there’s a good chance it’s due for replacement. But younger roofs can fail too, so it’s a good idea to inspect a roof at least once a year. Don’t use a ladder, though. Binoculars are easier and a lot safer, and you can spot most problems from the ground.

Here’s what to look for: numerous shingles that are lifting up, cracked or missing, with curled edges, or with smooth dark areas, which indicate that the protective granules have worn off. Also, go into the attic on a sunny day and, with the lights off, check the underside of the chimney and the stack vent. If you see little pinhole spots of light, the flashing is shot—another indication that the roofing might not be in good shape.

While you’re in the attic, scan the underside of the roof sheathing for any new signs of water staining since the last inspection, as well as any soft or moist spots, which tend to show up after a heavy rain. If these problems are widespread, it’s a sure sign that you need to call a roofer.

The Importance of Roof Pitch

Q: Everything being equal (ventilation, shingle type, climate, etc.), which roof will last longer: one with a steep pitch or one with a shallow pitch? Seems to me a steep hillside erodes more quickly than a low slope, so I’d think that roof shingles would wear out more quickly on a steeply sloped roof.

—George, Oglesby, Ill.

A: Tom Silva replies: It’s difficult to say. On one hand, a steep roof is less likely to collect leaves and other debris that hold moisture against the shingles and invite the growth of moss and algae. On the other hand, that same roof in an unshaded area facing due south will take the full brunt of the sun, which is hard on any roof.

Actually, factors other than pitch have a greater effect on shingle durability. The side facing your worst weather typically fares worse than the leeward side. Likewise, a roof system that isn’t vented properly and allows heat to build up beneath the roofing has a shorter life than one that is vented.

Lightweight Roof Protection

Q: Why is felt paper used in roofing?

—Bill, Pleasant Hill, Miss.

A: Tom Silva replies: Felt paper is typically used in most roofing as a release between the two materials, wood and asphalt. Years ago, it was used on roofs because when sap would come out of the wood, it would break down the “backside” of the asphalt shingles and cause them to deteriorate, which isn’t a problem anymore. But I also think of it as a lightweight protection against any damage on a stormy day. Let’s say a shingle or a tile should break in a storm. If the roof has a layer of felt paper over it, it has got some protection that will resist the driving rain at least for a little while. But you need a different weight of felt depending on the type of roofing product you’re using.

Read the full article here: 29 of Your Toughest Roofing Questions Answered

The Dallas Commercial Roofers Working For You

When you’re choosing roofers for your Dallas business, it’s important to know who your roofer is, what their values are, and that they care about your investment as much as you do. At American Pride Roofing we work hard to make sure your business remains as productive as possible during any repair or replacement job. Contact us today to find out what makes us the best choice for your commercial roofing project.

[Read more of the “Top Things to Consider When Hiring a Commercial Roofing Contractor” here]

Taken from the article:
Things to Consider Before Saying, ‘You’re Hired’

Hiring the wrong contractor can mean much more than shoddy workmanship—it can mean legal battles, the need to bring in other contractors, and ongoing roof repair expenses in the coming years to address the problems resulting from the initial poor workmanship.
Before you forge an agreement with any roofing contractor, you need to qualify the work of your candidates. For instance, it is important to pre-qualify their safety programs.

To protect yourself and your business, perform your due diligence and find out the following facts about your prospective contractor’s past performance:

  • Experience Modification Rate: One way to determine a safe contractor is through their experience modification rate, or EMR. This is what insurance company’s use to rate a contractor’s prior claim experience. An EMR below 1.0 indicates a contractor with good performance, while 1.0 is average and greater than 1.0 shows poor performance.
  • Quality Insurance: Reputable insurance companies will not typically take on a contractor with a poor performance record, so find out whether a contractor is insured by an A+ rated company. It is also important to check the exclusions on a contractor’s insurance policy and make sure you would not be left without coverage should you need to file a claim.
  • Financial Track Record: Take a look at a contractor’s financial statements going back at least three years if possible. A good contractor doesn’t lose money, so healthy financial statements are a good indicator that a contractor is doing solid work, working safely and satisfying customers—addressing their concerns and attending to them rather than filing for bankruptcy and leaving them to deal with the issues on their own.”

Upgrades to Consider When Re-Roofing Your Home

Re-roofing your home is not the most glamorous of home improvements. You’ll note that HGTV shows rarely even mention the roof. Unlike decks, kitchens, and baths, the roof is not really something you’d invite your friends over to admire. But re-roofing does present some appealing opportunities for the homeowner who wants to reduce maintenance and unnecessary expenses for years to come. During the re-roofing process, your Dallas roofer will work with you to make sure your home is safe and easy to maintain. 

1. Install an airtight chimney cap
Unlike masonry and metal chimney caps that are designed to keep rain and (if screened) birds and other critters out of your chimney, airtight caps are about saving energy.

When your fireplace is not in use, warm air from inside your home is literally gushing out the chimney when the weather is cold. The damper in your firebox does little to stop it because it is not airtight.

3. Improve roof ventilation
Attics become like furnaces in summer if they are not well ventilated. That heat buildup radiates to the rooms directly below the attic, making them uncomfortable. To keep the attic—and your home—cooler, be sure your roofing contractor installs ridge vents across the top of your roof. Barely noticeable from the street, ridge vents allow air movement beneath the ridge cap shingles. For ventilation to be effective, soffit vents located under the eaves draw cooler air into the attic as hot air is being expelled. Gable vents, which are located near the roof peak of exterior walls, may also be needed to ensure adequate airflow. A cooler attic means your home will be more comfortable during the summer without your having to spend a fortune on air conditioning.

5. Install low-maintenance gutters
While you’re having your home reroofed, it’s also a good time to scrap your old gutters and install new ones—especially if your existing gutters are misaligned or unsightly. Gutter systems with built-in curved hoods, such as those from Englert LeafGuard, are designed to be maintenance-free. The patented design works on the scientific principle of water adhesion, allowing rainwater to travel down and around its curved hood and into the gutter while deflecting leaves. This prevents clogs and unsightly staining on gutters and siding due to gutter overflow. It also means you can forget about the messy and hazardous chore of climbing a ladder to clean your gutters. The one-piece, seamless LeafGuard Brand gutters are generously sized for the heaviest of downpours, and homeowners like the clean architectural way they define the roof eaves. They even come in a variety of colors, allowing you to choose a tone that will complement your trim, roofing, and siding. Use LeafGuard’s design tool to get a preview of how the gutters will look with your new roof.

Read the full article here: Roof Upgrades – 5 Improvements to Consider When Re-Roofing – Bob Vila

Roof Ventilation Fundamentals

Keep your home healthy by protecting against heat and moisture problems.

As many roofing companies in Dallas will know, the build up of moisture in a home can lead to devastating damage. This damage may not be noticed for years, and so when you go to start a remodel or prepare your home to be put on the market, these damages can be quite the headache.  Prepare your home and save time and money by ensuring you have the proper ventilation system. 

Roof ventilation helps to keep the attic dry and cool, but it’s also important to maintaining a healthy environment. Normal household activities such as doing laundry, running the dishwasher and taking showers generate warm, moist air, which rises from the living space and into the attic. When the warm, moist air meets the cooler attic air, it condenses, wetting the surrounding framing members and insulation. Continuous wetting without drying can cause mold growth on the roof rafters and insulation, which can lead to respiratory problems for homeowners and eventual structural problems with the roof.

In addition, heat buildup in the attic can cause premature aging and cracking of roofing materials. In the winter, warm attic air can cause uneven snowmelt on the roof, which encourages ice damming. Ice dams form when melted snow runs down the roof to the eaves and then refreezes as icicles along the roofline. The ice expands and backs up under the shingles, exposing the roofing paper and sheathing to water. This can lead to delamination of the roof sheathing, which allows attic framing members and insulation to continuously get wet without drying. As previously described, this leads to mold growth and associated problems. In addition, wet insulation has a diminished R-value, which puts additional strain on the HVAC system, thus increasing the homeowner’s energy bills. Water leaks in the attic also can eventually damage drywall in the living space.

A properly ventilated attic can prevent these heat and moisture problems. Air within a properly ventilated attic should never be more than 15 degrees warmer than the outside air. Furthermore, snow on a roof that has a properly ventilated attic will melt evenly, without any icicles at the eaves.

Read the full article here: Roof Ventilation Fundamentals

64 Important Numbers Every Homeowner Should Know

Room-by-room guide takes the guesswork out of where to hang that towel rack or how long a curtain rod to buy

Some spaces just feel good, and you can’t put your finger on why. Chances are, it’s because everything is where it should be: Handles are easy to reach, drawers open unobstructed, there’s light where you need it. The key is knowing the right numbers. Whether you’re starting fresh or just adding a few upgrades, your home is sure to measure up. These are great numbers to know, please do ask your Dallas roofing contractor if you have any further questions. 

A note on the numbers: The recommended dimensions and clearances are based on national building and design industry guidelines. You can—and should—adapt them to your own size, circumstances, and preferences. Just be sure to comply with local building codes to ensure your safety.

Bath Numbers

Inch for inch, the bathroom packs in more functionality than any other room in the house. With scant space to hide mistakes, though, even tiny miscalculations can create big problems—not to mention compromise safety. For maximum comfort, convenience, and utility, keep these magic numbers in mind.

Bath Numbers: Toilet

Consider the height and distance of the toilet paper holder in relation to the toilet rim.

Kitchen Numbers

Keep the most popular room in the house functional and safe with these simple design guidelines for the placement of appliances, cabinets, and countertops.

Kitchen Numbers: Range Hood

Don’t forget to account for the depth of your range hood, too.

Kitchen Numbers: Sink

Creating a functional food prep space means allowing the right amount of room.

Read the full article here: 64 Important Numbers Every Homeowner Should Know

Determining Roof Pitch

An easy, safe way to calculate roof pitch from inside your attic

Determining your roof pitch is something you can do on your own, but your Dallas roofer is always there to answer any questions you may have.  

The angle, or pitch, of a roof is calculated by the number of inches it rises vertically for every 12 inches it extends horizontally. For example, a roof that rises 6 inches for every 12 inches of horizontal run has a 6-in-12 pitch.

Knowing the pitch of your roof is useful when designing an addition, installing skylights, or cutting new rake boards. Here’s an easy, safe way to determine the pitch from inside your attic. You’ll need an 18- or 24-inch level, a tape measure, and a pencil.

First, measure 12 inches from one end of the level and make a mark. Then, in the attic, place the end of the level against the bottom of a roof rafter and hold it perfectly level. Now measure vertically from the 12-inch mark on the level straight up to the underside of the rafter, as illustrated. That measurement is the number of inches the roof rises in 12 inches.

Read the original article here: Determining Roof Pitch

Roofing: A Guide to the Options

A roof replacement is one of the biggest financial commitments a homeowner will make, so here’s a guide to roofing materials that will help you spend your money wisely.

Replacing a roof is a substantial undertaking, with an average cost of $7,600 for an asphalt roof, “2015 Remodeling Impact Report” from the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®. The price jumps if you upgrade to standing-seam metal and better quality underlayment and flashing.

With help from your Dallas roofing contractors, the replacement process doesn’t have to be such a hassle. 

But while you might get more immediate pleasure from those upgrades, they can’t compare to the long-term value of a solid, attractive, and leak-free roof. About three-quarters of homeowners get new roofs not because they want to but because they have to. If you’re one of them, here’s a guide to your options.

Composition Shingles

Commonly called asphalt shingles, these are the most popular residential roofing material in the country. Most products consist of a fiberglass mat between two layers of asphalt. Tiny stones embedded in the top help protect the shingles from the sun’s damaging rays.

Basic three-tab shingles have slits in the front, so each piece looks like three small shingles. Architectural shingles are a more upscale choice. They are thicker, longer-lasting, and don’t have slits where debris can collect. They also create a more textured look, which many people prefer.

Benefits: Relatively inexpensive, and all roofers know how to install them. Good fire resistance. Some types are suitable for hail regions and available with wind warranties up to 130 mph. May contain zinc or copper to inhibit algae growth.

Read the full article: Roofing: A Guide to the Options   

12 Ways Keep Your Home Cool Without Touching The Air Conditioner

In warmer months, it’s tempting to crank the AC or plant yourself in front of the nearest fan. But these aren’t the only tricks to keeping cool. It turns out there are plenty of ways to buffer your home from the heat without racking up your electric bill. And they’ll make you feel like a DIY champ, too.

Keeping cool in the heat of summer can be a challenge especially in Dallas, roofing and AC sometimes aren’t your only options in keeping your home cool. Read below about some great alternatives. 

1. Keep your blinds closed.
As simple as this tip may seem, Family Handyman notes that up to 30 percent of unwanted heat comes from your windows, and utilizing shades, curtains and the like can save you up to 7 percent on your bills and lower indoor temperatures by up to 20 degrees. In other words, closing the blinds essentially prevents your home from becoming a miniature greenhouse, which is especially the case for south- and west-facing windows.

2. Be smart about your doors.
Closing off rooms will prevent the cool air from permeating these areas during the hottest part of the day. You’ll want to capitalize on the cooler night hours, too, letting air flow naturally through your home.

3. Hack a fan instead of turning on the AC.
Not even an air conditioner can give off a faux sea breeze… but this simple trick can. Fill a mixing bowl with ice (or something equally cold, like an ice pack) and position it at an angle in front of a large fan, so that the air whips off the ice at an extra-chilled, extra-misty temperature. Trust us: it’s magic.

4. Swap your sheets.
Not only does seasonally switching up your bedding freshen up a room, it’s a great way to keep cool. While textiles like flannel sheets and fleece blankets are fantastic for insulation, cotton is a smarter move this time of year as it breathes easier and stays cooler. And as an added bonus, buy yourself a buckwheat pillow or two. Because buckwheat hulls have a naturally occurring air space between them, they won’t hold on to your body heat like conventional pillows, even when packed together inside a pillow case.

Read the rest here: 12 Ways Keep Your Home Cool Without Touching The Air Conditioner

8 Most Popular Types Of Roofs To Choose From When Building Your Own Home

8 Most Popular Types Of Roofs To Choose From When Building Your Own Home

When designing and building your own house there are a few major elements that you need to keep in mind. They are the basics of design and include elements such as the type of material, the shape of the house, the shape of the roof and all sorts of other details. Choosing a roof shape is more difficult than it seems. There are many different types to choose from and they all have unique characteristics.

As your Dallas roofing contractors, we want to help you understand as much as you can about roofing and the details associated with the process. Read below and get to know the different types of roofing shapes and styles available.  

The gambrel roof

This is a Dutch-inspired type of roof and it’s similar to a gable roof with the exception that one side is steeper than the other. It features vertical gable ends and it hangs over the façade of the house. It’s a type of roof mostly common in barns. 

The mansard roof

This French-inspired type of roof is made up of four slopes, two on each side of the house. The lower slope is steeper and more vertical than the upper slope. There are some similarities between a mansard roof and a gable roof but the differences are also major. This type of roof is wonderful for creating additional living or storage space at the top of the house.

The flat roof

Very easy to identify, flat roofs are one of the oldest and simplest types of roofs. They are extremely common and one of their main advantages is the fact that the construction of the building becomes significantly easier and it also eliminates the need for perpendicular or parallel walls. Flat roofs have a shallow pitch that’s around 1 or 2 degrees but since they feature no slope or tilt they cause debris and water to accumulate at the top. Flat roofs require high maintenance and are best suited for dry areas and tall buildings.

The sloping roof

Also very common, sloping roofs refer to any type of roof that is either slightly or completely tilted. It’s a general terms that defined most common residential roofs. Their main advantage is the fact that they don’t allow water or debris to accumulate at the top.

MORE: 8 Most Popular Types Of Roofs To Choose From When Building Your Own Home

The Best Siding Options You Can Consider for Your Home’s New Look

With the low-maintenance, easy to install siding materials available today, giving your home a makeover and strikingly changing its appearance shouldn’t be much trouble.   With the best siding options for homes available on the market, you can benefit from affordability, fast results and a home that looks as good as new. Depending on w3hat you need, the following siding solutions can easily provide you with everything you require for your home’s brand new appearance.   Cedar Shingle Siding – A Fashionable Choice   Cedar shingle siding is considered to be one of the most stylish and durable types of siding you can consider. Although slightly on the expensive side, this type of wood has many impressive qualities, including its natural appeal, soothing earthen colors and amazing ability to blend in with natural landscapes.   Vinyl Siding as a Budget Solution   A vinyl siding is the next best thing to natural materials, since aside from the fact that it can still be made to look quite natural, it doesn’t rot or flake, and it’s also much more affordable. Of course, vinyl isn’t the most durable or sustainable products you can use for siding, but it’s easy to install, and lighter weight makes it a more practical choice when you’re in a hurry.   High Resilience and a Longer Lifespan with Seamless Steel   Seamless steel siding for Dallas has all the qualities of a durable, energy-efficient and surprisingly stylish siding solution for your home. It is by far the material with the longest lifespan we have presented so far, and its strength will withstand the harshest winds, worst storms and most pronounced temperature fluctuations.   Moreover, seamless steel siding offers a wide range of design options, allowing you to choose between a modern, metallic look and a more traditional, wood-like texture recreated without much effort by the best manufacturers.   These options are flexible when it comes to making them look great regardless of the design of your home or the appearance of your roof or yard. You can contact your local contractors for additional insight on what may work best for your home, and get some informative quotes to find out the pricing range.