The Most Durable Roofing Products to Consider for a Hot Climate

Houston roofing contractors

Roofing materials can have a variety of styles and colors, but deciding what to use your for your home means taking into account much more than looks. The best material for a particular building will have to be chosen depending on the geographical location and local climate. Just as sloped roofs are very good for areas with a lot of precipitations, houses located in a hot climate can benefit from the use of certain roofing materials. Sun and heat exposure can take its toll on a roof, causing it to crack and degrade over time. This degradation will allow more heat to enter the house and make your efforts of cooling it more expensive. Even though asphalt shingles are still the most common roofing material, including in the hot climate areas, there are other popular materials suggested by Houston roofing contractors that should be considered due to their particular efficiency.

Ceramic tiles

These materials are very efficient in regions that have a warm climate, for several reasons. First, they allow natural ventilation of the roof, helping to reduce heat buildup in the attic and moisture problems. Ceramic tiles are natural; they are made of clay and baked at a very high temperature, which provides them a particular resistance, despite direct exposure to sun, heavy rainfall or extreme weather in general.

A ceramic roof is very durable, it will last up to 100 years, but you have to prepare for a larger initial investment, to which could be added works to strengthen the structure of the roof – which must be able to support the weight of the tiles ceramic tiles.

Concrete tiles

If the aspect of ceramic tiles is very attractive, but their price is not, concrete tiles are a slightly more affordable alternative. They also have important benefits, such as wind resistance, but they absorb more water and are more susceptible to damage caused by freeze-thaw cycles.

Concrete tiles are also part of the category of heavy roofing materials, but they have thermal benefits, helping to maintain a constant indoor temperature.

Green roofs

Green roofs are becoming more popular as the concern for the environment grows. They are extremely attractive, being more and more often incorporated in building projects with modern architecture, but they also have important advantages for the owners of residential or commercial buildings, as well as for the environment. This type of roof consists of a layer of soil put on a special membrane (which is waterproof and resistant to root growth), where vegetation is planted. Vegetation modulates heat transfer, which efficiently insulates the roof and increases the energy efficiency of the building.

In big cities, a green roof helps to reduce the greenhouse effect and improve the overall air quality.

Metal roofs

Metal roofs are an excellent choice for homes in a warm climate, because they have a space under the cover, which forms a thermal barrier, as in the case of ceramic roofs. This air cushion can reduce cooling costs, in summer, by 20%. These roofs are also reflective, they do not absorb heat and are a sustainable choice because they are recyclable.

How Important Is Filter Replacement to Your Home’s Heating System?

If you ask a lot of furnace services Denver experts, they will tell you that filter replacement for even a newer HVAC is just as important as in the case of older models. Unless you have a futuristic heating system that no longer uses air filters, you have to consider replacing your air filter on a regular basis, depending on how much your HVAC is in use and what its physical dimensions are.

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A good rule of thumb is to change larger filters more often and smaller ones less frequently. However, there is so much more to understand about these filters and how they might be linked to many other factors and considerations that most people don’t even think about.

Important Considerations

Most of the time, you’ll hear that the best time to replace your filter is when it’s about 90 days old. That means for three months you can generally relax, as your filter should be able to perform just right. Unfortunately, this isn’t always how it works. While the average time for filter replacement is somewhere around 60-90 days, there are a few very important things to consider before choosing that period:

  • How dirty is the filter? If you live in a dry area with a lot of dust, it makes sense that the air filter will be pretty dirty after as little as a month or two of use, in which case you might want to check on it even sooner and think about replacing it around that time.
  • You or someone in your family might have an allergy, or you might have pets or small children around. In such cases, your filter should be replaced about once every 30 to 60 days to ensure that the air quality inside your home is up to par.
  • If your heating system is running more than usual – such as, for example, when it’s very cold or your furnace is old and needs more time to heat your home properly – then it’s also important to check the filter and replace it if necessary.
  • You might notice some strange odors, especially near the HVAC system while it’s working. In many cases that’s a sign that the hot air has encountered some kind of debris or obstruction which will typically be located on the filter – or that the filter itself is damaged or affected by mold, after not having been changed for a while.
  • Finally, inspecting your HVAC and finding a dirty filter is always cause for concern and should warrant replacing the filter immediately, even if it’s relatively new. If that is the case, then make sure you consult with your HVAC experts to find out why the filter was affected so quickly and what are some ways that you can correct the issue.

Frequency of Change Based on Size

Filters come in different materials and sizes, and as you might expect, that will also weigh in when it comes to deciding on when to replace them. Cheaper fiberglass filters should generally be replaced after 30 days, while more advanced, pleated filters can last for 60 to 90 days.

A good rule of thumb when it comes to size is to have smaller filters (1-2 inches) replaced at least once every three months, while larger ones can last even longer. The limit for 4-inch filters should be around 6 months, and 5-inch filters should be able to last for 9-12 months under the most favorable circumstances.

What Is Cement Tile Roofing and Why Should You Choose It?

Tile roofing has been used for centuries in Europe and the Mediterranean, and today tile roofs such as clay and concrete (cement) roofing systems are prevalent throughout the world, especially some parts of America. While clay roofing is considered to be the “real deal” in terms of traditional appeal, new cement tile roofing systems are gaining in popularity quite fast. Affordable and easier to install, these roofs are considered by many to be an exceptional alternative to clay tiles.

Cement vs. Clay Tile Roofing

What makes clay tiles so unique and appealing? Their appearance and texture, for one, is among their most distinctive features. A clay tile roof can be identified from a distance based on its rugged exterior and attractive layout. Moreover, clay tile roofing is considered to be an excellent choice from a functionally viable standpoint as well. It is very durable and capable of lasting for an entire century, and it’s extremely dense, being known for its ability to absorb very little water and provide excellent waterproof protection.

Cement or concrete roofing tiles, on the other hand, can offer many of the same benefits as clay roofing, but at a lower budget. If your finances aren’t so great, and you still want the protective qualities of clay, you can opt for a cement tile roof at just half the price and still gain many of the same advantages.

Of course, both clay and cement tiles have their own particular drawbacks. Clay tile roofing is notorious for being expensive and for breaking down at the edges after prolonged exposure to elemental forces. Also, both clay and cement tiles tend to be quite heavy and difficult to manage. You will need to hire an experienced Gaithersburg roofer to get them installed, and you will likely need to pay more money than usual to cover the labor costs for the installation project.

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The Appeal of Cement Tiles

Cement tile roofing is seen by many roofing contractors Gaithersburg MD pros as the main alternative to expensive clay roofs. Cement is cheaper to prepare and can be very resilient, being often nicknamed as a type of “armor roof” that can withstand almost anything mother nature can throw at it.

Even though cement tiles don’t last as long as a well-designed clay roof, they can still retain a projected lifespan of about 50 years, which is more than decent and can compare to even some of the best metal roofing systems. Moreover, cement tiles are highly resilient in the face of strong winds and hail, sometimes to an even greater extent than clay.

Much of the appeal of cement tiles has to do with their more flexible and modern appearance. While clay has its own distinct look, cement can be shaped and designed to have a brighter, more polished look, which makes it an excellent option for a modern roof design. If you’re serious about making your home look more appealing and making sure you have a roof that can optimally withstand the test of the elements, then call your local Gaithersburg roofer and inquire about some cement tile roofing quotes that might suit your interest and budget.

Do I Have to Get A Brand-New Roof When We Have Hail Storm?

Austin roofing

Hail storms are devastating forces of nature that usually form very quickly, last short and can wreak havoc on even the best-kept roof. Whether or not the damage caused by hail stones requires complete roof replacement or can be solved through repair depends on many factors – here are some.

Types of Damage

Some forms of hail damage are quite obvious, others are insidious and start causing problems only later. Obvious hail damage includes visibly damaged components, such as cracked or chipped tiles, shingles that are curling or are no longer covered by ceramic or mineral granules, sagging gutters, dented metal surfaces or cracked flashing in the roof valleys or around openings. The most common form of damage that is not obvious upfront usually manifests in the form of leaks, caused by components becoming slightly displaced.

How Extended the Damage Is

How much of your roof is damaged by the hail storm is also an important factor that will influence the final decision. If only a couple of shingles and tiles are damaged, the best way to remedy the problem is to get only the damaged components replaced, but if the damage affects most of the roof, the best solution might be replacement.

How to Proceed in the Case of Hail Damage

The best way to cope with the hail damage sustained by your roof is to hire an expert Austin roofing contractor for the assessment of the damage, for consultation regarding the best way to proceed as well as for performing the repair or the replacement.

The first thing you should do if you notice or suspect any hail damage on your roof is to find the right Austin roofing contractor – while the roofers that show up at the door of devastated properties can be very convincing, most of them do not carry the licenses and insurances that will make hiring them a good idea, so you should find a reliable, reputable roofer for checking your roof. The person of the roofer is important not only for ensuring the quality of the repair or of the replacement, but also for the insurance claim process if you decide to file for a compensation – insurers consider only the claim files that include proof that the roofer who performed the repair or replacement is allowed to work legally in the state where the damaged property is located.

The roofer that you hire will inspect the roof from the ground as well as from roof level and from the attic and will document every sign of damage. If necessary, the roofer will also implement damage mitigation measures – if the hail damaged a large part of the roof, the roofer will probably cover the damaged portion in foil to prevent further damage, should another storm hit soon. The roofer will propose the most adequate remediation method based on the findings of the inspection and will also prepare a detailed cost estimate for the solution chosen by the building owner. The contractor might offer help with the insurance claim process as well.

What is a Single-ply Roofing System?

In today’s commercial building market there are many types of roofing systems, all with their own applications and benefits. Most fall into one of these categories: single-ply, built-up, modified bitumen or metal roofing.

Boca Raton roofer

Single-ply membranes are frequently referred to by their chemical acronyms. A local Boca Raton roofer informs us that the most common single-layer membranes are polyvinyl chloride (PVC), thermoplastic polyolefin (TPO) and ethylene propylene diene monomer (EPDM). These systems have a long life cycle that usually depends on factors such as the thickness of the membrane sheet and the type of attachment.

Single-ply systems are divided into two categories: thermoplastic and thermoset materials.

The joints on thermoplastic materials (PVC and TPO) will form a single membrane, if they have been properly welded with hot air. After that, the entire membrane will soften slightly in hot weather and harden slightly in cold weather. These types of roofs are very reflective of ultraviolet rays – if they come in white color -, have a low incidence of joint defects and are flexible enough to conform to the various movements of the roof.

Other benefits:

  • Long service life. Manufacturers typically indicate on their products an approximate service life of 50 years, provided that the roof has not been subjected to mechanical damage or its initial installation has been performed flawlessly.
  • All types of roof membranes, regardless of the manufacturer, are made in large sizes. The length of a membrane roller can reach 60 m, and its width varies between 0.9 and 15 m. Due to this diversity, you can choose the best option for your roof, which will ensure the best fit, without cutting too much material and complicate the roofing process.
  • The special characteristics of thermoplastic materials, such as non-combustibility, frost resistance and resistance to ultraviolet radiation, make the surfaces coated with this type of single-ply membranes retain their original properties, being also resistant to tear and perforation.
  • The installation of thermoplastic single-ply membranes is not very complicated. Due to their light weight (1.3 kg / sq. meter) and lesser thickness (from 0.8 to 2 mm), the material is easy to handle, even when working with large rollers. Additionally, the installation procedure of a single ply roofing system does not require compliance with any complex building codes.

A single ply roofing system can also be made of thermoset materials (EPDM), which include main polymers, chemically cross-linked; once the curing agent has been applied to a thermoset polymer, it can bind to similar materials only with the help of adhesives.

Improved characteristics of EPDM synthetic rubber products include: excellent stability against the influences of weather, sunlight, ozone, acids and caustic solutions. EPDM also has long-lasting flexibility and elasticity to avoid cracks, has good tensile strength and resistance to a very wide temperature range.

Additionally, EPDM is very long-lasting, it doesn`t really age, being therefore suitable for use wherever these special characteristics are needed – from waterproofing flat roofs, windows and door trims in the automotive industry, garden roofs, ponds or pools and many other waterproofing applications.

The Most Typical Causes of Window Failure

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Windows are exposed to all the elements as well as to the effects of aging, but it is not only natural causes that can lead to the premature failure of your windows. According to knowledgeable replacement windows Castle Rock pros, here are the most typical causes of untimely window damage.

Improper Installation

Window installation requires skill, knowledge, experience as well as special tools – any small mistake can damage your windows and might require replacement before time. The signs that indicate improper installation and that will eventually lead to improperly closing, drafty or otherwise damaged windows include gaps between the frame and the wall surrounding it, fogging, signs of water damage, such as rot or mildew around the window and windows that are out of level.

Accidents and Impact

Another very frequent form of window damage is shattered panes caused by a storm or by other forms of impact. While you cannot entirely prevent such accidents, using shutters and blinds can be a good prevention solution.

Improperly Executed Maintenance

While most aluminum, vinyl and fiberglass windows do not need any maintenance other than regular cleaning, solid wood and wood-clad windows do need to be checked regularly for signs of damage caused by moisture, harsh sunshine and insects and they also need to be regularly treated with suitable protective coatings. Failing to see to these tasks regularly might lead to the premature aging and deterioration of your window frames.

Wide Temperature Variations

The materials used in windows respond to varying extents to temperature changes by shrinking when the ambient temperature drops and expanding when the air around is becoming warmer. Wood windows are the most sensitive to such shrinking and expanding, therefore they are not recommended for climate regions with rapidly changing temperatures – if you live in such an area and you have solid wood or wood-clad windows, you should be prepared that your frames can crack or start warping any time.

High Levels of Humidity

Windows can get prematurely damaged by the prolonged exposure to high levels of humidity as well. High moisture levels can come not only from heavy rain – moisture is constantly being evaporated by plants as well, so your windows can suffer from the effects of humid air if you building is surrounded by dense vegetation as well. The solution is either to replace the window frames that can be damaged by humidity, such as wood, with frames that are impervious to water, such as fiberglass or to make sure that the surface of the frames is wiped dry several times a day when humidity in the surrounding air is high.

Age and Normal Wear and Tear

No window, not even the ones made from best and most durable materials, can live forever. Most windows are warranted to 20 years for the glass and for around 10 years for the other components – even though good-quality windows live for much longer than they are warranted for, if your windows are approaching the end of the period they are warranted for, you can expect issues to appear soon.


The Most Common Mistakes People Make in Their Basement Refinish

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Many homeowners who have unfinished basements dream about being able to make better use of the space, to use it for entertainment, for relaxation or for extending the living space available in the home. Basement refinishing might seem simple and straightforward, but in fact, the project is usually quite complex and involves more than just emptying the space, painting the walls and getting furniture for it – According to professionals like basement remodeling Southshore contractors, here are some of the most common pitfalls of basement refinishing projects, mistakes to avoid while you are addressing that complexity.

Not Paying Attention to the Condition of the Walls and of the Floor

One of the biggest mistakes while remodeling a basement is to finish damp or wet walls and floors. Most basements are prone to dampness, even to floods, so special attention must be paid to bare the floors and the walls, to allow them sufficient time to dry, then to install insulation and to continue with the painting and with the installation of flooring only when all the structural components are completely dry. Failing to address all the issues potentially caused by moisture can lead to the appearance of mold and mildew later and it can also be dangerous for the electrical and other systems in the space.

Using Unsuitable Materials

Basements being naturally prone to dampness, the materials used for the insulation and for the floor need to be able to withstand prolonged exposure to moisture and to form an efficient barrier in front of water in any form. Flooring made from hardwood or cork and drywall are not suitable for being used in basements, so replace them with synthetic materials that are unaffected by dampness.

Improper Design of the Electrical System

Failing to figure exactly how much power you will need in your basement and how many outlets you need can hinder your comfort and can be a mistake that is costly and difficult to remedy later. The best way to ensure that your electrical design will meet all your requirements is by leaving the task to an expert – hire an electrician and discuss every detail of how you want to use your basement and take the time to refine the design until it is perfect.

Not Replacing the Windows

The windows are very important components in any room, basement rooms included. One of the most common mistakes made during basement refinishing projects is to leave old, warping, improperly sealing windows in place – such dated windows will let energy slip out and they are also unattractive, not matching the rest of your beautiful, new basement interior.

Not Addressing Issues Related to Noise

Basements can be used for many different purposes, some of the purposes involving the generation of noise. If you are planning to use your basement as a music room, the room where you enjoy your home cinema or as a playroom, pay attention to adding suitable sound insulation – one of the mistakes that cause people to abandon their freshly refinished basements is the huge amount of noise that leaves the basement room and disturbs the members of the household who want to enjoy their comfort, peace and quiet in the rooms that are above the ground.

Tips for Hiring a Denver HVAC Company

Hiring Denver HVAC Services Tips

Denver is a city that gives home to many providers of HVAC-related services, including repair and maintenance, but the abundance of choice might make picking the right service daunting. Modern HVAC units are becoming more complex and more powerful with each new generation and the brands available on the market are becoming increasingly diversified as well, which also means that most HVAC companies don’t install, maintain and repair all brands or all types of equipment and they are different in term of experience as well. Here are some tips about how to identify and how to hire the Denver HVAC company that provides the most adequate services for your equipment type.

Do a Little Homework

To be able to identify the company that works best for you, you need to know the make and the model of your system, the maintenance history of your equipment and you need to be able to describe the fault or service that you need, too. You can find all the relevant details related to the equipment from the unit’s manual.

Get Recommendations and Do Your Own Research

Talk to your friends, family members, co-workers and acquaintances and ask them whether they have experience with any local HVAC company and also ask them to tell you their opinions about the companies they used. You can also carry your own online research, then check the websites of the companies for which you obtained word of mouth recommendations as well as the websites of companies that seem adequate based on your individual search. Look for companies that specialize in the type of unit or system that you have – it is a very important aspect – and when you check company websites, look for information related to the company’s licenses, certifications and, if possible, insurance policies as well. Try to find reviews and ratings provided by the company’s previous clients as well.

Contact Local Companies

Call at least four or five companies that specialize in your equipment and describe the problem that you are faced with in as much detail as possible. During the conversation, ask questions about the qualifications of the company’s technicians and their experience and try to find out as much as you can about how the service that you need will be delivered. Also find out about approximate costs – while most companies work with a list of rates for general maintenance, for complex repairs and installation services, they will probably be able to give only a rough estimate. If you need such complex services, it is a good idea to schedule a meeting where your equipment is or will be located, then to request an itemized cost estimate for the project.

You should know that not all HVAC companies work for the same rates or offer the specific components that you need for the same prices, so if you need an expensive procedure, such a complex repair for a complicated HVAC system or the installation of a custom system, it is a good idea to shop around the find the company that offers the best price to value ratio.

How to Hire a Trustworthy Colorado Roofer

Whenever Colorado residents face severe weather (hail, snow etc.) and must schedule roof repairs, or when they simply must install a new roof, they are faced with the not-so-easy task of finding and hiring a good and trustworthy local roofer.

Before doing this, home and commercial owners alike should consult the state`s residential roofing law and educate themselves on the current requirements. There are reviews for things to look for when selecting a roofer, consumer protection as well as for avoiding becoming the victims of scams (unethical roofing contractors).

When you start looking for a local Centennial roofer, the thumb rule is to be patient. Do not hire the first roofing company you can find, just because you want to finish the project as soon as possible. Nobody likes to deal with roof repairs or a new roof installation, but they are necessary and must be addressed properly to get a solid roof above your head, able to provide adequate protection and peace of mind for a very long time.

Therefore, take your time, make a list of Centennial roofing companies in your area and start evaluating them, in order to find out who you are working with. Do this even if you have a roof emergency, otherwise you will regret paying a roofer that did not deserve your trust and experiencing ongoing roofing problems.

Centennial roofing companies

Your checklist

If you already have a list with a few local Centennial roofers, you must learn as many information as possible about them, to make an informed choice and select the best roofing company for your needs.

  • License

Make sure they have a roofing license, because it is a proof that the roofing contractor has been in business for at least two years and had its professional competences tested. A professional roofer must pass a nationally recognized examination to be able to perform roofing work on residential/ commercial properties.

  • Insurance

A reliable Centennial roofing company must have at least a current Colorado Worker’s Compensation Certificate as well as General Liability insurance of at least $500,000.00.

  • A fixed address in Colorado

This way, you know that you are not dealing with a storm-chasing roofing company or a fly-by-night roofer.

  • Registration in your local chapter of the Better Business Bureau

Make sure to hire a Centennial roofer with an A or A+ rating, which has been operating in the business for a long time and does not have any unsolved disputes with previous customers. BBB provides you this kind of information.

  • Good referrals and reviews

A reliable roofing contractor will be happy to offer you a list of personal references that you can contact and get some more insight into the roofer you plan to hire. However, you should go even further and do some research online to find reviews on the company. There are websites like Google Reviews or Angie’s List that may help you with this, but you can also check the company`s profile on social networks, or the reviews section of its website.

All these resources will help you get an accurate judgment and choose a company which is a really good fit for your roofing project.

Why Do You Need Flashing on Your Roof?

Roof flashing is the roof component responsible for reinforcing the roof areas where the roof’s resistance to the elements is weakened, such as in the areas surrounding skylights, chimneys, vents and other roof openings or where two roof surfaces are joined. Roof flashing is used on all types of roofs, on sloping roofs as well as on flat roofs, whatever material the roof is made from – where there is a sensitive joint or an area where water can penetrate the roof structure, flashing is applied. Here are some more details from Lincoln roofing contractors about roof flashing.

The Materials Used for Roof Flashing

Roof flashing usually consists of stripes of resistant, durable, rust- and corrosion resistant material, such as plastic, rubber, roofing felt or from a metal alloy, such as galvanized steel sheets, copper or aluminum. The most common material used for flashing is galvanized steel, preferred for the affordability, the easy application and the durable protection that it offers. Aluminum flashing is also very popular, especially for DIY applications. Rubberized material is a great choice, but it is somewhat more expensive than the other options, while copper is the priciest type of flashing, used mainly when the roof’s style demands it.

Types of Flashing

Flashing solutions are usually categorized by the place of application:

  • Chimney flashing – installed around the chimneys, these flashing solutions use continuous stripes of material around the base of the chimney, step flashing that follows the line of the roof up the sides and cap flashing around the ridge of the roof;
  • Skylight flashing – most modern skylights come with integrated flashing, but if your skylights do not include flashing, the components that you need to create and use are the same as in the case of chimney flashing;
  • Valley flashing – these components consist of continuous stripes that run underneath and between the roofing components where two roof slopes meet and they are usually applied on top of roofing felt during the initial installation of the roof;
  • Vent flashing – the vents applied at the base or at the topmost edge of the roof also need flashing for protection against the penetration of water. Vent flashing is usually cone-shaped and is fixed underneath the shingles, the tiles or the sheets that make up the edge of the roof.

Lincoln roofing contractors install flashing

Things that You Should Also Know About

Roof flashing is a component that is made from very durable material, but also one that can fulfill its role only if it is installed and maintained properly. Most flashing types are soldiered onto the layer underneath, but soldiering is not as easy as it seems, so if you don’t have sufficient experience in performing soldiering work, it is a good idea to turn to a professional roofer – don’t worry, flashing installation services are usually available for affordable prices.

The other aspect that you need to pay attention to is maintenance. Flashing takes a lot of beating from the elements, therefore the stripes of protective material on your roof need to be regularly inspected for faults and any issue, such as cracks or loose parts needs to be addressed immediately.