Guidelines for Repairing, Altering or Installing a New Roof

The first line of defense for all structures is the roof. It provides protection from the elements of nature if correctly installed. There are a variety of functional and aesthetic considerations necessary when repairing, altering or installing a new roof. Because of this, it is advised that one consult a qualified architect, and roofing company.

The pitch of the roof dictates the type of materials that must be used. A roof that has a flat to low pitched roof may rely on the use of a continuous surface to prevent moisture penetration. Roofs that display a moderate to steep pitch can effectively use slate, wood shingles, metal shingles and asphalt shingles.
Following the culmination of the Civil War, sheet metal became a popular roofing option. This type of roof provides owners with a roof lasting over 100 years when properly installed and well maintained. However, changing temperatures can cause expansion and contraction of this type of roof leading to warping. Another consideration is that some types of metal lend themselves to corrosion.

A slate roof can last up to 125 years. This material is very popular in Victorian architecture offering a large variety of colors and shapes. Slate provides a durable, fire resistant surface. The down side of this version is the loosening or corrosion of fasteners and split or cracked slate. While minor repairs can successfully be made, it is advised that if more than 20% of the roof is damaged one needs to consider replacing the entire roof. Today fiberglass asphalt shingles can be manufactured to mimic slate.

Asphalt shingles have become a popular and relatively inexpensive roofing material. Originally constructed of asphalt soaked felts, today they can also be manufactured using fiberglass. One can expect a life of 20-25 years when opting for asphalt shingles. The downside of this type of material over time includes curling, becoming brittle, or being displaced by wind or snow. While these are easier to install, it is still recommended one rely on the expertise of a professional roofer.

Roofing lends itself to many dangers. A reputable roofing company will provide experienced, reliable roofers to install an efficient defense against the various elements. A competent roofer will not only offer suggestions for the most appropriate material to use, he/she will also verify the condition of the substrate prior to repairing or installing a roof.