Posts Tagged ‘Roofing materials’

Outstanding Beauty Of A Slate Roof

October 5, 2010

A Slate Roof For Outstanding Longevity & Natural Beauty

Why use slate?

Slate roofing can be applied to any permanent structure. The intrinsic beauty of slate will enhance any building from schools to homes, as well as commercial and government structures.  Slate’s extended life expectancy and durability creates a low cost of ownership.

Slate also provides these benefits:

Natural material

• Fireproof

• Waterproof

• Permanent

• Insulating factor saves energy

• Resists climactic change

• Impervious to fungi and mold

Slate contributes to design elegance through:


• Thickness

• Surface texture

• Overall roof texture

Guaranteed to last one hundred years!

Slate Grades

Slate is “graded” according to the uniformity in thickness that each piece exhibits.  Since slate is a natural product, the more demanding the physical specification, the more the demanding production requirements.  Therefore, a slate’s grade has great bearing on the availability and overall cost of the material.

Important facts about slate…

Slate is a tried and true material for building a beautiful and very long lasting roof for any structure.  The 100 year life expectancy is no projection—it is the result of “field application”. There are thousands of slate roofs still in service today installed in the 1800’s!  With such a long history, many terms describing the material have been coined and over the years, and some have evolved into misinterpretation.  For example, a common misconception associated with the nomenclature of describing slate occurs when the terms weathering and fading are erroneously interchanged.  Here’s the clarification:

Nomenclature of Blue Black & Black Slates


The term fading refers to certain slates, that after prolonged exposure to the elements, exhibit a chalk-ashen residue on the exposed surface of the slate.  The chalk-ashen residue is the result of a chemical reaction and the associated release of calcium from the body of the slate.  This release weakens the structure integrity of slate and is detrimental to the slate’s life expectancy.  The term is most often used in conjunction with the Blue Black or Black slates of Pennsylvania and Virginia.

Non-fading or Unfading

The term refers to certain slates that after a prolonged exposure to the elements do not produce the chalk-ashen residue.  Non-fading or Unfading slates usually have greatly extended life expectancies over those slates prone to calcium release.

Classification of Colored Slate

Colored slate does not fade, but it will experience varying degrees of color change.  This weathering of slate is due to the oxidation over time of minerals embedded in the slate.  Depending on mineral content, the weathering process slowly changes the slate color.  The color change is often a movement toward buff, brown, gray or tan.  This surface oxidation is not detrimental to the slate’s structural integrity and does not shorten the life of a roof.

Colored slates are classified in three types.  This classification is based upon the degree of color change  over time:


The term refers to slates that will exhibit the largest number of individual pieces that will transform from the original color to an earth tone.


The term refers to slates that exhibit the least amount of color change.


The term refers to roofing slates that are manufactured from slate that has varying mineral content.

Some of these slates will undergo a color change while others remain their original shade.  The percentage of semi-weathering slates that will experience color change is variable depending upon the location in the quarry from which the slate was extracted.

If you would like more information, contact a Minnesota roofing contractor that is experienced in slate roof installation.


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

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.

What Type Of Material Is Best For Your Home Roof Comparisons

September 9, 2010

Are You Thinking About A New Roof?

Wondering what type of material might be best for your home?

There are many types of roofing materials—some of which are brand new with a range of plusses and negatives.  You can re-roof with the same type of roofing material that you currently have or investigate alternatives.  Some materials are environmentally friendly and some are long lasting or low maintenance.  And who doesn’t love low maintenance?

Before making your choice, consider the life-cycle cost of your roofing material.  Some materials, though much more expensive, require less maintenance and have a longer life expectancy than others.  An asphalt composition roof might last just 20 years whereas a metal roof might last more than 50.  Consider both the current and potential value of your home, and its age when calculating whether a roofing material is actually “too expensive.”  It might just be more cost-effective in the long run.

The following table describes some of the roofing choices available.

Roof Type House Style Advantages Disadvantages

Composition (asphalt shingles)

Can be used on any house from contemporary to historic.  False thatched roof with the wrapped roof edge on 1920s Tudor style.

  • inexpensive
  • ranges from low-cost 3-tab shingle to architectural shingles with extra durability and style
  • many colors, types, and manufacturers
  • suitable for most residential applications
  • easy to repair
  • fire resistant
  • relatively short life-span (15–30 years)
  • scars easily when hot
  • subject to mildew and moss
  • environmentally unfriendly
Wood shingles or shakes

Bungalows, ranch, contemporary, cottage, historic

  • natural look weathering to a soft grey
  • offers some insulation value
  • blends in with the environment
  • easy to repair or replace
  • long lasting if maintained (30–50 years)
  • expensive
  • usually requires professional installation
  • high maintenance
  • tends to rot, split, mold, and mildew
  • poor fire rating unless pressure treated
Metal (steel, aluminum, tin, copper)

Bungalows, ranch, contemporary, cottage, historic (virtually all)

  • available in different looks including cedar shingles, slate, or standing seam
  • many colors
  • light weight
  • durable
  • long life span (at least 50 years)
  • low maintenance
  • can be installed over existing roofs
  • excellent performance in high wind, hail and rain
  • environmentally friendly
  • may be difficult to install
  • can be expensive
  • may need periodic painting
Tile (concrete, clay)

Mediterranean, Italian, French Eclectic, Spanish Eclectic, Beaux Arts, Mission, and Prairie. May also be attractive on some contemporary or ranch style homes.

  • non-combustible
  • many colors and styles
  • attractive
  • fireproof
  • easy to maintain
  • extremely durable when maintained
  • expensive
  • heavy
  • used primarily in new buildings because of weight and structural requirements
  • installation and repairs can be tricky
  • fragile; walking on roof may break tiles

Colonial, French, Italianate, Exotic Revivals, Chateauesque, Beaux Arts

  • beautiful, distinctive appearance
  • fireproof
  • long life span
  • low maintenance
  • very expensive
  • requires specialized installation
  • heavy
  • fragile
  • high maintenance
Concrete (fiber reinforced)

Virtually any style of home

  • many colors and styles including shakes, tile, and stone
  • relatively lightweight
  • fire and insect resistant; meet many of the more restrictive fire codes
  • low maintenance
  • extremely durable
  • resource efficient
  • can be expensive
  • uneven quality among products
Hot mopped asphalt with decorative stone

Flat roofed California-style modern

  • inexpensive
  • easy to repair
  • stinks
  • health risk to installers
  • fumes promote smog
Engineered rubber/plastic

Virtually any style of home

  • about 1/3 the weight of slate
  • long lasting (30–50 years)
  • cost effective
  • attractive
  • available in a large range of styles and colors with more appearing constantly
  • made of reclaimed materials
  • new to market

Flat to moderately sloped roofs.

  • Environmentally friendly; filters rainwater through a roof system of vegetation and soil
  • Low maintenance; can extend the life of the roof membrane substantially
  • Provides insulation to even out climate variations; in particular, keeps houses cooler in summer
  • Attractive
  • initially expensive
  • unconventional in US, though used more than 30 years in Europe

Think about your choices , then call your local roofing contractor to help you make the best decision for home and budget.

Roof Design Considerations

June 10, 2010

 Roof Pitch Is The Number 1 Factor In Roof Design

A roof with a 12/12 pitch that looks aesthetically pleasing can add as much as 50% or more to the initial cost of a roof when compared to the same house with a 4/12 pitch.

Why does a steeper pitch add so much to the price?

Here we are going to compare a 12/12 pitch to a 4/12 pitch.
12/12 has 37.5 % more roof area 
12/12 roofing labor is 50 % + per roofing square
Rafter and sheathing labor is 50% more
Roof framing lumber is more

Other factors that add to the increased price can include:

  • Taller chimney
  • More attic ventilation
  • Increased painting costs
  • Increased stucco or siding costs
  • Roof maintenance costs, although the need is less frequent
  • On the plus side most roofing materials can last 50% longer

This means that if you are going to use a steeper pitch it would be wise to use one of the better top end roofing materials available.

Long Term Savings With A Metal Roof

May 27, 2010

Residential Metal Roofing For Long Term Savings

Have you been thinking about changing the look of your house?  A new metal roof may be just the solution.  Residential metal roofing is great because its lightweight, durable and energy efficient.  Metal roofs come in a variety of styles and materials to coordinate with any architecture as well as personal budget.

These roof materials come in three different metals: steel, aluminum and copper.  The most common is galvanized steel, which is actually coated with aluminum and zinc.  Most roofing contractors offer this roofing material in different grades or thicknesses, and a variety of colors.  Steel roofs are actually the strongest of the three common materials.  It also happens to be the least expensive, meaning you’ll have the lowest roofing estimate if you choose this material.  Aluminum is the lightest of the three metals. It has the longest durability and also happens to be in the mid price range.  The third type of roof used is copper, which tends to be the most expensive and is usually reserved for flashing or entryways.

Metal roofs are one of the longest lasting roofs you can buy, most having 20 to 50 year warranties.  They are very good about sealing out water and shedding snow. They also hold up very well in wind and storms.  Because they are metal, they resist mildew and termites and they dont catch fire.  If you live in an area that is prone to fires, a metal roof on your home can give your home the security of a class A fire rating, which is the highest rating available.  Some states will even give you a lower insurance rate if you have a metal roof.

Metal roofing is a lightweight building material (about 50 to 150 pounds per 4 ft section), as opposed to tile (around 750 pounds per 4 ft section) or concrete (around 900 pounds per 4 ft section).  This will save you money by allowing you to place a new roof over the old one, thus reducing the overall cost of labor.

If you live in a hot or cold climate, metal roofing can save on your energy costs as well.  The metal reflects the heat of the sun, keeping your house cool in the summer and making snow melt faster in the winter.  Metal roofs have a low R insulation value, and when properly installed, they are more efficient than a conventional shingle roof.  You may even qualify for a tax credit with a metal roof because of its energy saving properties.  Consider how much money metal roofing will save you in the long run when deciding if you want to undergo the project.

When you contact your roofing contractor, take advantage of the labor savings involved with metal roofs, since they are relatively easy to install.  The materials come in big sections that go up with little trouble.  They can also come in single sheets for repairing sections.

Metal roofing is a great upgrade to your home; it’s very attractive and will save you money in the long run.  They do have higher up-front costs, but the advantages will outweigh the initial investment.  Also, by saving on energy, these roofs are also good for our environment and these days, that is a big plus.

A Look At Some Of The New Roofing Shingle Options For Your Minnesota Home

March 30, 2010

Roofing Shingle Options For Your Minnesota Home

The sky is the limit when it comes to types of roofing shingles, roof styles and materials for designing a distinctive roof for your home.  Traditional asphalt-shingled roofs continue to be the most popular in the United States, but many other new roof styles and types are gaining popularity.  Here are some general tips and factors to consider when deciding what roofing shingles and roof styles will be best for your home:

  • Consider the life-cycle cost of the roofing material you are thinking about: Some roofing shingle materials are very expensive but require less maintenance and have a longer life expectancy than others.  For example, asphalt roofs will generally last 20 years while more pricey roofs, like metal ones, will last about 50 years with low maintenance.
  • Consider the current and potential value of your home and think about how long you plan to stay in your home.
  • Consider your roof’s age when calculating whether certain roofing shingle materials would be too costly of an option.

Asphalt Shingles are currently the most common roofing shingles used in the United States; they come with the most options and choices.  These roofing shingles are relatively inexpensive when compared to other options, but they generally require the most maintenance.

Concrete Roof Tiles have some really fantastic advantages over other types of roofing shingles, such as long warranties and natural noise insulation.  The contemporary finished look of concrete roof tiles makes a trendy, polished statement.

Wood Shingles and Shake Roofing are becoming roofing shingles of the past.  With too many risks, including flammability, these roofs will soon be part of our history.

Eco-Shake Roofing is affordable and great for the environment, plus it lasts long and requires no maintenance.

Rubber Roofing is commonly installed on flat roofs, where water may sit.  Rubber roofs are known for their simple installation.

Metal Roofing is one of the strongest roofing materials available and often comes with a 50-year warranty.  Metal roof styles are vast, so you will have a great selection to choose from.

When it’s time to think about roofing your home, contact a local roofing contractor who can help educate you on the best roofing shingles and roof style choices in your area.

Basics Of The Five Types Of Roofing Materials

December 8, 2009

Five Major Types Of Roofing

Ever since man decided to have shelter, he has been aware of the roof over his head.  First, it might have been the stone of a cave. Then, over time, he must have decided to improve upon it.  Eventually what we now know as much more advanced technology came along and we now have a variety of materials available to suit the place and condition in which we live.

The materials used for roofing have always been and still are those things which are available easily and serve the purpose.  Today, there are enough roofing materials on the market to suit any taste or budget.

The most popular of the five types of roofing is asphalt shingle, which accounts eight percent of all residential roofing material sold in the United States.

Wooden shingles and shakes are types of roofing, which create a natural rustic look, while tile and slate are types of roofing prized for their fire-resistance, beauty, and longevity.  Metal roofing, which is made in both shingles and sheets, is both lightweight and fire resistant, and can be finished to make it attractive, as well as rust and corrosion resistant.

The Various Types Of Roofing Available

Asphalt Types Of Roofing

While there are many types of roofing available on the market today, Asphalt shingles are the most popular types of roofing surfaces for residential buildings in the United States.  This is because they stand up well against fire, wind, tearing and other key performance indicators. These come in both “standard” (and 3-tab) and “designer” (architectural or multi-layered).  The standard ones have a lightly textured flat surface, while the designer shingles have a highly textured surface.

Wooden Types Of Roofing

Wooden shingles are made from cedar, redwood or southern pine.  They are popular because of their natural look.  These shingles are sawed by machines.

Tile – Clay Or Concrete Types Of Roofing

Tile roofing is made from either clay or concrete.  They are usually used in Mission and Spanish-style round-topped homes that are located in the Southwest as well as in Florida.  These heavy types of roofing are available in a variety of colors and finishes.  Clay tiles have excellent insulation properties and are ideal for maintaining a home’s or building’s interior temperature at a comfortable level.

Slate Types Of Roofing

Slate roofing comes from Vermont, New York, Pennsylvania and Virginia.  There are different colors and grades of this type of roofing, depending upon its origins.  This roofing is considered to be virtually indestructible.  However, it is also more expensive than other types of roofing materials. Its application does requires special skill and experience.  Nevertheless, many old homes, especially in the Northeast, are still protected by this long-lasting roofing material.

Metal Types Of Roofing

Metal is actually a type of low-slope roofing material.  It has been found to be a good roofing alternative for homes and buildings that have steep sloped roofs.  There are actually two types of metal roofing products that you can use.  These are panels and shingles.  A lot of different metal panel shapes and configurations are in existence today.  Metal shingles are typically intended to simulate traditional roof coverings, such as wood.  This is a long lasting type of roofing that is both lightweight and it also is also a lot more resistant to adverse weather and it is also aesthetically pleasing.

Although the roofing material used is very important, proper installation is essential to a long-lasting roof.  When it comes to roofing, unless you have experience and all the proper know-how, this job is best left to roofing professionals. With over 20 years of experience, United Roofing & Remodeling can provide all your residential or commercial roofing needs.

Contact Us today for a Free Quote at 612-617-1717
Or Request a Quote online

What Is A “Cool Roof” Anyway?

November 26, 2009

What’s So Cool About A Cool Roof?

A cool roof is one that reflects the sun’s heat and emits absorbed radiation back into the atmosphere.  The roof literally stays cooler and reduces the amount of heat transferred to the building below, keeping the building a cooler and more constant temperature.  Imagine wearing a white or a black T-shirt on a hot day.  By wearing the white T-shirt you will remain cooler than if you wore a black T-shirt because it reflects more sunlight and absorbs less heat.  A cool roof is like a white T-shirt, they keep the internal temperature of the building cooler.

However, a cool roof need not be white.  There are many “cool color” products which use darker-colored pigments that are highly reflective in the near infrared (non-visible) portion of the solar spectrum.  With “cool color” technologies there are roofs that come in a wide variety of colors and still maintain a high solar reflectance.

The two basic characteristics that determine the ‘coolness’ of a roof are:

  • Solar reflectance (SR)
  • Thermal emittance (TE)

Both properties are rated on a scale from 0 to 1, where 1 is the most reflective or emissive.

Cool roof is a term used to describe roofs that reflect light instead of becoming hot.  According to a paper presented by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, if every roof and area of pavement in the 100 largest cities in the world were to switch to a cool roof and more reflective pavement, the reduced heat would offset 44 metric gigatons of greenhouse gases – an amount greater than all the greenhouse gases emitted by all the countries on our planet each year.

United Roofing & Remodeling is the leading commercial roofing contractor for high-performance roofing systems for commercial and industrial properties in the Twin Cities. Our expert sales staff will work closely with you to custom tailor a job to fit your needs.  Whether maintaining a specific budget, acquiring a desired warranty, saving energy or developing a tapered insulation system, we have the solutions and capabilities to solve your commercial roofing problems.

Contact United Roofing & Remodeling for all of your commercial roofing needs at 612-617-1717
Or Request a Quote online

Selecting Roofing Material for Your Home or Business

October 10, 2009

Roof Materials

Cost, durability, and appearance are all factors to consider when choosing roofing materials.  The best roofing system for your home depends on which of these factors you weigh more heavily.  The following roofing materials are commonly used for residential “steep slope” roofs.

Asphalt Shingles – The most common roof covering across the U.S. is asphalt shingles.  The major advantage of an asphalt shingle roof is its relatively low initial cost.  Shingles vary significantly in quality and warranty, so check with your roofer for your options.  A typical asphalt shingle roof may last about 20 years.

Metal Roofing – Metal roofs are becoming increasingly popular among homeowners, especially among homeowners in warmer climates.  Metal roofing costs significantly more up front than asphalt shingles ($100 to $600 “per square” or 100 sq. ft.).  But the costs of the roof over the life of the roof may be competitive because metal roofs last significantly longer and may lower annual utility bills because they reflect heat very well.

Tile Roofing – Made from clay or concrete, tile roofs are extremely durable with warranties typically covering 50 to 75 years.  Tile roofing is heavy, so if you are replacing a lightweight material with tile, be sure that your roof supports are strong enough to bear the weight.  If not, reinforcing your roof structure can add significant cost to installing a tile roof.

Slate Roofs – Slate roofing is also very durable and looks great, but also costs more than other roofing materials.  Slate is quarried in the Northeast United States and a variety of colors and grades are available.

Choosing a new roof is a big decision and a major project.  There are many good choices in the market today, so it pays to spend a little time doing some research on what type of roof will best suit your needs.  You will want to make sure you are choosing the right roof for your house and budget.

No matter which roofing system your home or business needs, United Roofing has an assortment of materials to suite your needs as well as your budget.  Our skilled roofing experts are up to date and on top of the latest advancements in technology so that we can provide you with the materials and techniques to get the job done to your complete satisfaction.

Contact Us today at 612-617-1717 for all your home or business roofing needs!