Roof shingles are the first line of defense to protect your home against intrusion by the elements. They serve as the chief protective layer on top of what is likely the single largest investment you will ever hold at one time. In addition, they make a huge contribution to the appearance of your home.
Whether it is your pride of ownership or a desire to boost curb appeal in order to increase the value of your home, shingles make a very significant aesthetic difference in a home’s appearance. However, replacing your shingles can be a large and daunting task. Today, the aim is to take the mystery out of roofing for you, so you’re ready to tackle your shingles with confidence.
Materials in Roof Shingles
First, there are several different types of material you can opt for when selecting your roof shingles. Asphalt shingles are by far the most common for a number of reasons, including:
- Asphalt shingles are highly affordable compared to other options
- They are energy efficient (energy efficiency should be a chief consideration when selecting a roof)
- Asphalt typically has the largest variety of color choices
Fiberglass is another material choice. Benefits of this fiberglass roof shingles include:
- Lighter weight than other roofing materials
- Typically have a long-term warranty
- Resistant to damage
Tile shingles can be used as well, although they tend to be a highly specific material suited only for use on certain styles homes and in certain climates. Benefits of tile shingles include:
- Gives homes a very Mediterranean flavor
- Has the longest life of any roofing material
Finally, there are also wood shingles. Although wood is not used as often as it once was, it deserves consideration for being the most environmentally friendly of all shingle types. Wood also has its own special visual appeal that can’t be replicated by other types of materials.
Architectural Vs. 3- Tab
The vast majority of older roofs are clad with 3-Tab shingles. These are the very traditional looking asphalt shingles that are thin and flat, with three segments on each individual sheet. These are more affordable than the architectural option, but are also not as long lived, nor as appealing in appearance. However, if you’re looking for the most cost-effective option, 3-tab shingles are certainly more than adequate to give you a sturdy, well-constructed roof.
Architectural shingles come in many more styles than 3-tab shingles. They are often shaped differently in order to add texture to the look of a roof. Although they are much longer lasting (with an accompanying longer warranty) architectural shingles are much heavier than their 3-tab counterparts.
This weight differential needs to be taken into consideration when choosing building material for your roof. If you have a roof structure that was only built to withstand the weight of 3-tab shingles, adding a new product that weighs as much as 50% more than the original roofing material could cause structural difficulties. You may need to add reinforcement to the underlying structure before you install this type of product if you have an older home.
How Do You Know it is Time to Replace or Repair Your Roof Shingles?
When your roof begins to fall into disrepair, it is vital that you either make the necessary roof repairs or replace your shingles wholesale. The problem with small repairs, although they can sometimes be effective, is that if one part of the roof is damaged there is a high chance that other parts of the roof have also worn out to the point of near-failure, even if they haven’t fallen apart quite yet.
Loose shingles, roof leaks, and warped or cracked roofing material can indicate that your roof needs some attention. If these problems are more widespread, repairs aren’t likely to be in order, and instead you may need to consider a full roof replacement.
If you’re an enterprising do-it-yourself enthusiast, you might be considering tackling the installation or repair of roof shingles all on your own. Now, this isn’t necessarily out of the question, but this is a very big job, and one that is much more complex than simply nailing down new shingles. In addition, roofing can be very dangerous if you don’t know what you’re doing.
Here are just some of the parts of the job of installing a new roof on your home. Equal complexity can even apply when simply repairing a section of the roof.
- Clearing off existing shingles
- Repairing roof flashing, vents, chimneys etc.
- Repairing any structural roof damage
- Installing appropriate underlayments including ice shields depending on the climate that your home is found in
- Installing shingles
In addition, a simple roof with minimal angles is much more straightforward than what most homes today look like. Every roof angle added to a home increases the complexity of the roofing job, and the number of considerations you need to accommodate in order to create a strong roof that will protect the home underneath.
This is where the expertise of a roof repair contractors becomes essential. Every roof is different, and professionals have enough experience to understand the requirements of your home. They can install new roof shingles while taking into account all of the variables and complications that might be present to ensure that you end up with an attractive, long-lasting, and effective end-product.
Maintenance of Roof Shingles
Once you’ve repaired or replaced your roof, you’re going to want to do everything in your power to keep that roof in good shape for as long as possible. Check out these tips for maintaining your roof. Also, remember that if you’re hiring professionals to come in and work on your roof for the purpose of replacing your shingles, you might want to consider also tackling other roof work that needs to be done, such as gutter replacement.
Professional Help Results in a Professional Product
We understand the desire to work on your own home. The difference between replacing or repairing a roof and other home renovations though, is that a mistake can leave your entire home vulnerable. To protect your home from the elements, when you need roofing work done, it pays to contact a professional. Reach out to Beyond Exteriors at any time to learn about how they can help you work on your roof today.