Posts Tagged ‘asphalt shingles’

Dimensional Shingles For Your Minnesota Home

September 30, 2010

Dimensional Shingles

Dimensional shingles provide an opportunity to customize your roof to fit with the style of your home. Dimensional shingles, also known as architectural shingles, are thicker than other shingles and are used by many homeowners to achieve a unique appearance.  These shingles are also very durable and can last for 40 years or more. Read on to learn more about dimensional shingles.

Dimensional Shingles Materials
Dimensional shingles are constructed by fusing together two asphalt shingles.  This provides a more three-dimensional appearance.  Sometimes this resembles a shake roof, but dimensional shingles have better fire resistant qualities.  Plus, the material is thicker and provides added strength to the roof.

Dimensional shingles

Dimensional shingles

Durability
Dimensional shingles are extremely durable.  They are designed to withstand extreme weather conditions, including wind, ice and snow.  This material is also heavier and longer-lasting than composite roofs.  When using dimensional shingles, you don’t need to make structural improvements on your home, unlike with some heavy roofs.

Increased Safety
Dimensional shingles allow you to achieve a shake wood effect without the fire hazard.  In fact, some regions don’t even allow shake roofs to be built because of the safety risk.  A dimensional shingled roof is a better option for protecting your home against fire.

Maintenance of Dimensional Shingles
If you decide to install this type of roof, make sure to keep up with moss buildup.  Dimensional shingles are more prone than other types of roofs to have this issue.  Also, you’ll want to make sure the roof has adequate venting to reduce moisture buildup.  Most roofing companies offer maintenance services to keep your roof in good condition.

Warranties on Dimensional Shingles
Most dimensional shingles come with a warranty that will guarantee the product for 20 or more years.  However, some of these warranties have specific conditions.  For example, the homeowner may be required to have regular maintenance and moss removal on the roof.  Contact your local roofing contractor today to schedule your next roofing inspection.

Hiring a Professional for Dimensional Shingles

Dimensional shingles aren’t a difficult roof to install, however, as with any type of roofing, unless you have experience and all the proper tools, this is a job best left to the professionals. Roofing companies are skilled in installing dimensional shingles and have the experience to do the job quickly and accurately.  Get several quotes before deciding on a roofing contractor so you can compare materials, costs and warranties and ask if you can speak with other customers to determine if they were happy with the work.

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Architectural and Designer Shingles

September 28, 2010

What Is A Designer Shingle?

Dimensional shingles provide an opportunity to customize your roof to fit with the style of your home.  Dimensional shingles, also known as architectural shingles, are thicker than other shingles and are used by many homeowners to achieve a unique appearance.  These shingles are also very durable and can last for 40 years or more.

Dimensional shingles are constructed by fusing together two asphalt shingles.  This provides a more three-dimensional appearance.  Sometimes this resembles a shake roof, but dimensional shingles have better fire resistant qualities.  Also, the material is thicker and provides added strength to the roof.

Architectural | Asphalt Shingles

  • Dimensional shingles are extremely durable.  They are designed to withstand extreme weather conditions, including wind, ice and snow.  This material is also heavier and longer lasting than composite roofs.  When using dimensional shingles, you do not need to make structural improvements on your home, unlike with some heavy roofs.
  • Dimensional shingles allow you to achieve a shake wood effect without the fire hazard. In fact, some regions do not even allow shake roofs to be built because of the safety risk. A dimensional shingled roof is a better option for protecting your home against fire.
  • If you decide to install this type of roof, make sure to keep up with moss buildup.  Dimensional shingles are more prone than other types of roofs to have this issue.  You will want to make sure the roof has adequate venting to reduce moisture buildup.  Most roofing companies offer maintenance services to keep your roof in good condition.
  • Most dimensional shingles come with a warranty that will guarantee the product for 20 or more years.  Some of these warranties have specific conditions. For example, the homeowner may be required to have regular maintenance and moss removal on the roof.

As with any type of roofing, unless you have experience and all the proper tools, this is a job best left to a Minnesota roofing professional that is skilled in installing dimensional shingles and has the experience to do the job quickly and accurately

Part 3 of Selecting Your Asphalt Shingles

September 23, 2010

Selecting Your Asphalt Shingles For Minnesota Homeowners

The Roof Environment
Let’s visit the roof environment.  Subjected to harsh environmental weathering, shingles must endure everything from the scorching heat of the sun and its ultraviolet radiation, to the effects of seasonal and environmental changes.  They may even be subjected to the effects of thermal shock, caused by quickly changing weather conditions.

The Heat of the Sun
The scorching heat of the sun can raise the temperature of the roof’s surface as high as 25 – 33ºC (45 – 60ºF) above ambient temperature.  This can affect the life expectancy of asphalt shingles.  Proper ventilation helps to reduce the fluctuation in the temperature of your roof over the course of the day, and can reduce your roof’s overall ambient temperature.

Ultraviolet Radiation from the Sun
Besides the heat, the sun is also a source of ultraviolet radiation, which can make the asphalt layer of the shingles age more rapidly.  In order to protect against this, asphalt shingles are covered by colored granules to protect the asphalt from the sun.

Thermal Shock and Cyclical Fatigue
Sudden changes in weather can put an enormous stress on your roof.  As an example, a cold front may enter an area and change a bright and sunny day into a dark and rainy one, suddenly dropping roof surface temperatures 30 – 45ºC (54 – 81ºF) almost instantaneously.  This may cause the roof deck beneath the shingles to expand and contract, causing stress on the asphalt shingles.  This process, along with the yearly change from summer to winter, may result in cyclical fatigue.

If your home or complex has suffered roof top hail damage or you are considering reroofing your home, contact a Minnesota roofing contractor today for more information.

Part 2 of Selecting Your Asphalt Shingles

September 21, 2010

Selecting Your Asphalt Shingles For Minnesota Homeowners

It is useful to look at the anatomy of an asphalt shingle to understand how the different components work together, and to see how asphalt shingles are designed to protect your home.  The life expectancy of asphalt shingles is based on the performance of three components, and their ability to resist weathering.  Made from petroleum, asphalt contains oils that make asphalt shingles easy to work with and effective at protecting your roof and home.  As time goes on, these oils come to the surface and are weathered away by the elements.  This weathering process ages a shingle.

Roofing shingles

The Anatomy of an Asphalt Shingle

  • Reinforcement: Asphalt shingles start out with an asphalt-coated fiberglass mat.  This reinforcement is the structural base of the shingle, to which the other raw materials (asphalt and granules) are applied.  In order for asphalt shingles to provide protection, the reinforcement must resist tearing, warping and shrinkage when applied on stable, well-ventilated decks.
  • Asphalt: During shingle manufacturing, the reinforcement is coated with asphalt to provide the water-resistant layer that protects your roof from the elements.  The thickness of this layer of asphalt determines the weight of the shingle.  Many believe that the heavier the shingle the greater the protection offered to your roof and home.  This factor is only one of many that determines the life expectancy of your roof.
  • Granules: A layer of granules is pressed into the surface of the asphalt.  The granules protect the layer of asphalt from the ultraviolet radiation from the sun.  Without this layer of protection, the asphalt layer would quickly deteriorate.

If your home or complex has suffered roof top hail damage or you are considering reroofing your home, please contact a Minnesota roofing contractor today.


Part 1 of Selecting Your Asphalt Shingles

September 16, 2010

Selecting Your Asphalt Shingles For Minnesota Homeowners

As you start preparing to have a new asphalt shingle roof installed, it may seem to be a long and complex task.  It is important to remember how important this process is, since it will directly affect what is probably your largest single investment – your home.  In order to simplify this process, we have developed a guide to help you through the many choices to be made.  We walk you through the different styles of asphalt shingles available, and give you the easiest way to start the process.  Getting involved in each step of the process is advisable to do away with any hassles that may crop up later.

The first step in the life of your asphalt shingle roof is selecting a shingle.  At first glance, with so many different styles and colors to choose from, it may seem a little intimidating.  But when you get right down to it, there are really only four decisions to make.

1. Selecting a Shingle Style

The different styles of shingles can be divided into two basic categories: Architectural shingles and Traditional 3-Tab Design shingles.

The first type is the architectural shingle.  Their remarkable dimensional thickness and deep, blended shadow bands simulate the appearance of classic wood shakes, enhancing the beauty of any home.  The traditional 3-tab design shingle gets its name from the three tabs incorporated into its profile.  Always a popular choice, traditional 3-tab shingles are available in a wide variety of colors.

2. Choosing a Limited Warranty Length

Architectural and traditional fiberglass shingles also come in different weights and limited warranty period lengths.  Once you have decided on one of these styles of shingles, check with your roofing contractor to determine the choices in warranty periods offered.  Ask your roofing contractor to show you a good, better and best selection of products.

While architectural shingles may cost more than Traditional 3-Tab shingles, it is important to remember that laminated architectural asphalt shingles may last longer.  Amortized over that length of time, the difference in price between Traditional 3-Tab shingles and upscale architectural shingles is less than you might think.

  • Note: Product availability may vary per region.  Depending on location, materials, roof design, underlayment, installation, slope and other factors.

3. Choosing a Color

Now, it is time to choose a color.  Although it sounds like a simple process, it is usually the step that causes the homeowner the most difficulty.  After all, choosing a color is a very personal and subjective process.  Since everyone has a unique sense of style and taste, it is impossible to give a hard-and-fast rule on how to choose a shingle color.  One of the best ways to pick a color is to drive around your neighborhood.  Check out the different color combinations of roof, brick / siding, and trim colors that your neighbors have tried.  Make a list of the ones you like, and steer clear of the ones you don’t.

Once you have narrowed down your choices, it is important to view several full size shingle samples, or an existing roof completed with the same style and color shingles, before making a final decision.  Often overlooked, getting actual shingle samples from your contractor is the best way to see how a shingle color will look in combination with the other color elements (brick / siding, and trim color) of your home.

If you are considering new trim paint or siding, grab those samples as well, and take them outside.  Hold them out in the natural sunlight, and see how the colors interact together, and how they change under different lighting conditions.

Here are some additional questions you may want to ask yourself when selecting a shingle style

Remember that laminated architectural asphalt shingles may last longer.  Amortized over that length of time, the difference in price between Traditional 3-Tab shingles and upscale architectural shingles is less than you might think.

  • Depending on location, materials, roof design, underlayment, installation, slope and other factors.

Here are some additional questions you may want to ask yourself when selecting a shingle style.

Do I live in an area where algae discoloration is a concern?

If you live in an area where algae discoloration is a concern, some shingles feature an algae resistant system to protect against algae discoloration.  You may also want to consider selecting a dark color shingle, which is less likely to show the staining associated with algae discoloration.

Do I have a steep pitched roof?

With a steep pitched roof you can see more of the roof while standing on the ground.  To give your roof an interesting and complex texture, consider using architectural shingles.  With their multi-layer, laminated construction, architectural shingles are a perfect match for steep pitched roofs.

Do I want my home to stand out from the crowd?

If you want to give your home a more distinct and individual look, consider using architectural shingles.

4. Choosing Your Roofing Contractor

After selecting a shingle style and color, the next step is choosing a roofing contractor.  This is an important step in the process, and should not be taken lightly.  It is important to do your homework, since not all contractors are alike.  Some are more committed to their workmanship and after-sales service than others.  Some may have better-trained installers.  There may even be contractors on shaky financial ground who will not survive long enough to provide the roofer’s warranty service.  A contractor who stands behind his work typically has a good reputation in the community, and wants to keep that reputation by making sure his customers are satisfied.  Take whatever time is necessary to select the right contractor.  Having the right contractor can make a big difference.

Points to consider when assessing the qualifications of various contractors:

  • How long have they been in business?
  • Are they bonded and insured, including worker’s compensation and general liability?
  • Do they have the appropriate licenses for your community? (Ask to see written proof.)
  • Will they give you the names and phone numbers of some of their customers you may call for a reference?
  • Do they have a satisfactory record with your local Better Business Bureau?
  • Are they willing to put all agreements, promises and understandings in writing
  • Whether you need a new roof, roof replacement, or roof repair, find a reliable Minnesota Roofing Contractor to provide you with an estimate for the services you need.

More Information On Felt Roofing Underlayment

May 4, 2010

To Felt or not to Felt, That is the Question!

One of the most common mistakes being made today in the installation of asphalt shingles on new or re-roofing work is the practice of not using felt underlayment.  Many thousands of new homes do not have felt beneath the shingles.  This is a HUGE mistake!

Many asphalt shingles that are installed on residential roofs carry a Class A fire rating.  This rating is given to the shingles by independent laboratories.  The ratings are granted only when the shingles are installed as they were tested in laboratory conditions.  The shingles are tested with felt in place under the shingles.  As such, if felt is deleted on your job, the shingles have no fire rating.  This may not seem to you to be a big deal; however, it may be a very big deal to your insurance company.  It may be in your policy that they won’t pay a claim if the shingles are not installed or maintained according to manufacturer’s specifications, etc.  I surely would check into this if I were you.

Remember, shingles rely on gravity to keep water from entering your house.  It is very possible for wind driven rain to get underneath your shingles or to enter along valleys (especially when the valley shingles have been improperly trimmed!)  Without felt, you have no hope of stopping a leak.  With felt, there is a possibility that the water will travel down the felt and not enter your house.

Felt also helps to bridge irregularities in roof decking.  It can make your shingle job look better.