Types of Roofing

Fresno Roofing Experts is the covering on top of buildings that protects against rain, snow, sunlight, wind and extreme temperatures. Roofs can be constructed in a variety of forms to suit technical, economic or aesthetic considerations.

Mineral wool insulation can be installed between roof rafters in new construction, replacing fiberglass. Rafters can be supported by purlins, or pre-fabricated trusses are used on larger spans.

Whether you’re building your dream home or simply replacing your old roof, choosing the right roofing materials is one of the biggest decisions a homeowner can make. Not only will your choice impact the appearance of your home, but it will also have a huge effect on its longevity and durability.

The good news is that there are far more roofing options available than the basic clay, asphalt and concrete tiles of the past. Now, there are even green roofs that add to the beauty of your home while helping with water runoff and putting clean oxygen back into the environment.

Slate is a premium roofing material that looks beautiful and can last upwards of 100 years. This natural stone can withstand high winds, resist moisture and prevent fires. However, a slate roof is expensive and heavy and requires extra framing during installation. This makes it difficult to install on older homes and a challenge for roofing professionals to handle.

Composite shingles are a great option if you’re looking for an affordable and long-lasting roofing material. These shingles can be made to look like other, more expensive roofing materials such as tile and wood shake and have high impact and fire ratings. However, these shingles can be damaged by walking or satellite dishes on the roof and are not suitable for flat or sloped roofs.

Metal is another durable roofing material that offers a contemporary look. The best part is that this type of roof is energy efficient, reducing your cooling and heating costs. The downsides are that metal can be noisy during rainstorms and prone to denting from hail storms.

Finally, rubber and plastic membranes are a popular roofing option that offer excellent durability. These roofs can withstand punctures, tears and chemical spills and also help fight bacterial growth and standing water. Membrane roofs are usually colored black, white or grey and reflect the sun’s rays, helping reduce your energy costs.

Of course, your choice will also depend on the climate where you live. A clay tile or slate roof can be a great choice for hot climates, while a flat rubber membrane roof works well in colder areas.

Roofing Systems

There are many different types of roof systems. The most common are single-membrane systems such as EPDM, rubber, and PVC. These membranes are typically applied to low-slope roofs. Metal panels are sometimes used on steep-slope roofs and are also available as single-membrane systems. Other options include a built-up roof, a plaza deck system, and high-density spray polyurethane foam (SPF) roofing.

Built-up roofing (BUR) is one of the oldest roofing materials and continues to be a popular choice for low-slope roofs, especially in commercial applications. It is constructed using a multi-layer barrier that is made up of 4 plies of felt impregnated with asphalt and then covered with an aggregate surface. This type of roof requires a large amount of time to install and is fairly labor intensive. However, a well-installed BUR system can provide 20 to 30 years of service life.

Membrane roofs are designed to be watertight and can provide a long-term, durable, cost-effective solution for low-slope or flat roofing. Single-ply membranes can be loose-laid or fully adhered and are available in a variety of thicknesses. Loose-laid systems require periodic re-tying of insulation and are subject to leakage problems caused by shifting of the insulation board over time. Fully-adhered systems, on the other hand, are very resistant to leakage and require little or no maintenance.

Spray Polyurethane Foam (SPF) roofing is a relatively new technology that can be spray-applied to provide a thick layer of insulation. This insulation is also watertight and offers the additional benefit of providing a roof surface that can be painted or coated to match other building finishes.

Standing seam metal panel systems are not typically considered to be an option for low-sloped roofs. These systems are either hydrostatic, which are totally water resistive and require a solid deck; or hydrokinetic, which rely on slope to shed water. Most metal panel systems are hydrokinetic and therefore require a slope of 3 inches per foot or more.

EPDM (Ethylene Propylene Diene) is a specialized roofing material that is typically installed on low-sloped or flat roofs. EPDM sheets are very durable and have proven to be highly resistant to UV degradation. EPDM can withstand exposure to most chemicals and petroleum products, but is not recommended for areas that are to be subjected to chemical discharges such as car wash and plant/warehouse operations. Epichlorohydrin (ECH) is an alternative to EPDM that provides good durability, resistance to chemical discharges and excellent UV protection.

Roofing Installation

Your roof is your home’s first line of defense against the elements. It takes a beating from wind, rain, hail, snow, ice, harsh sunlight and extreme temperatures. A top-tier roofing system will take all this abuse and keep your home safe, year after year.

The process begins with a thorough inspection of the existing roof. If it needs repairs the roofers will repair and reinforce those areas. They will also check to make sure that the frame and trusses can support the new roofing material.

Once the inspection and repairs are completed the roofing crew will start installing the new materials. If you are going with shingles they will be laid in layers and staggered and nailed. If you are going with metal panels they will be screwed in place. This is a labor-intensive part of the job and it is important that a quality contractor does this work.

After the shingles or metal are in place the roofers will install flashing, which is strips of metal that go around chimneys and joints where roofing planes meet. This prevents water from seeping in at those vulnerable points. The roofers will also install vents, either ridge or valley, to allow air to circulate and avoid moisture build-up. Finally, the peaks or ridges of the roof will get their own set of specialized shingles that provide both protection and a finished look.

When it comes to choosing a roofing contractor it is best to get recommendations from family and friends. However, it is also important to research the contractors thoroughly. Check to make sure they are licensed and insured, have a good reputation, and offer solid warranties. You can also ask the manufacturer of your chosen roofing product for a list of credentialed contractors in your area. It is also a good idea to get estimates from several different roofers and compare them. You should always pay attention to the details of each quote, such as the amount and type of materials being used and the total cost. A good roofer will be up-front and honest about their pricing.

Roofing Repair

Your roof takes a lot of abuse from the elements: wind, rain, hail, freezing temperatures, bitter cold, intense heat and strong sunlight. Over time, that abuse can take its toll in the form of cracks and leaks. When that happens, you need to re-roof.

A good roofing contractor will perform a quality check by walking the entire roof and looking for defects. They will also pay special attention to areas that are at high risk for leaks such as chimneys, skylights, vent pipes, and the area where roof planes meet.

If there are leaks or damaged areas, the roofing contractor will repair them. They will also reseal any flashing (thin metal that wraps around sections of the roof, such as vent pipes) that has been damaged or loosened. To do this, they will start by locating the area that is leaking or stained. Then they will follow the trail back to find the source of the problem, whether it is a hole in the roof deck, or broken sealant on a pipe.

To reseal the flashing, they will follow the same process as they did when they first installed it. They will also use this opportunity to add any roof vents that may be missing or clogged.

Joyce Carson