Your roof has multiple antagonists over its life. Water, wind, snow, ice, and storm damage are the biggest enemies of your roof. Water intrusion in any form is a major culprit. Whether it is from rain, snow, ice, or a poorly ventilated roof that traps humidity all of them can promote premature roof damage and aging.
Water and humidity are the arch enemies of wood. If water penetrates or gets underneath shingles and pools it can cause wood rot, mold, and mildew. Each of these is an open invitation for wood-destroying insects like termites or carpenter ants. Your roof can have multiple barriers to moisture depending on the age of your roof.
The average homeowner looks at a residential roof and sees shingles, but a professional roofing company is looking at the layers of the roof that not only include the shingles but the underlayment. Each layer provides additional protection to your roof. Modern roofing has multiple layers for protection. There is a leak barrier, starter strip shingles, roof decking, proper ventilation, and edge cap shingles. These various layers work together to form a water seal for your roof.
These layers can be broken down into various stages of roofing:
Framing is the first layer. The framing provides the foundation for the remaining layers of your roof. Framing consists of wood or metal which supports the weight of your roof. Framing balances the weight distribution of your roof so the final weight is balanced and not punishing one section of the roof more than another. This is why professional roofing companies want to get below the shingle so they can inspect the framing both on top of the roof and from the attic. They will inspect for signs of water intrusion, mold, mildew, or wood rot. In many cases, your roof will not need framing repair, but you want to make sure it is inspected to rule out water intrusion or damage.
Insulation is the second layer from the underside of the roof in your attic. Insulation helps keep your home cool during the summer months and warm in the winter. Under-insulation can cost you utility bills and also contribute to the deterioration of the roof layers above if it is not the right amount of insulation.
Roofing ventilation is vital to ensure the proper amount of airflow is traveling through the attic during hot and cold months. Ventilation provides an escape for hot and humid air in the summer months that if trapped can cause moisture damage over time leading to costly repairs.
The roof deck is the plywood that ensures the connection of the framing between the roof trusts and joints. It provides a layer of protection for the layers above.
A water barrier goes on top of the wood roof deck and framing. This is a layer of protection to prevent water from intruding onto the wood surface underneath the underlayment and shingles should a heavy storm push water deep into the roofing surface.
Roofing underlayment provides an additional layer of protection underneath the shingles and on top of the roofing deck. It creates a smooth surface so shingles stick to the roof, form a more uniform shape, and fight blown off shingles in storms.
The starter strip is critical for the rest of the shingle layout and application. This strip is applied below the underlayment and it seals the edges and sides of the roof. It defends the edges against storms, high winds, and rain to help maintain shingle integrity during strong weather conditions.
Shingles are the final layer of the base roofing protection. They provide protection against harmful UV rays and premature aging due to water, ice, and snow. Shingles are fiberglass that provides protection and the look and feel of your roof exterior.
Ridge caps help keep rain, snow, and excessive moisture out of the roofing system. They run along the top of your roofline, but their positioning forces water, snow, and ice away from the roof system due to its position against the slope of your roof. Ridge caps also vent the roof so heat and moisture can vent from the attic maintaining a property attic humidity level.
Additionally, flashing provides layers of protection for the previous layers of roofing. Flashing is metal and is installed around chimneys, pipe venting, and other areas where seams or breaks between the shingles and the roofing exist. They are sealed with roofing tar or silicone that forms a water barrier so water cannot intrude into the seams or crevices that meet the shingles.
The multiple layers of a roofing system are vital to protecting your home. Having an annual roofing inspection by a reputable roofing company will ensure proper maintenance and extend the life of your roof. For example, your shingles may be fine upon inspection, but the roofing professional may find you need repair to your flashing around the chimney or other roof venting. Getting ahead of trouble before it becomes a problem is critical in regular roof maintenance.
At Gilstrap Roofing we have been serving the Upstate longer than any other roofing contractor accredited by the Better Business Bureau, spanning four generations. We live, work and play here so we have a lot at stake when it comes to providing quality roofing with certified crews.
Brian Gilstrap, President
Greenville, SC 29611
There are so many things to consider when buying a home. Are you going to build, buy a spec home, an existing house, a new neighborhood, or an established one? Which side of town, basement, deck, or patio, pool or no pool? Kitchen size, layout and how long will you be in it? These are all important questions in addition to the area, schools, amenities, accessibility, and more. Having a solid and experienced realtor is a great first step. However, he/she is going to want to know some basics in terms of location, house preferences, and your needs.
There are pros and cons to buying a new or preexisting home. Much of it is personal preferences and being in the right place at the right time. And the market will have a big impact on your selection too.
Homes, like cars, can break down over time. Think about the number of moving parts in a home on everything from garage doors, closets, doors, and cabinets to opening and closing windows. Everyone wants to be able to buy a pre-owned car that has a long track record of solid maintenance so they know what they are getting. Real estate is a different story. If there have been multiple owners you do the best you can in researching the condition of major issues in hopes of heading off an expensive home improvement during the first few months of moving into the home.
While you can’t put an entire house under an x-ray or run a scope to search for “code” issues like you can in a vehicle, you can go over the home with an expert. Nearly all FHA, VA, and USGA home loans require an inspection by a state-certified inspector. A home inspection is like letting a doctor giving you a complete exam. They will check the electrical service coming into the home, wiring and breaking panels for proper amperage, water pressure, plumbing, foundation, and basements, attics, appliance operations, outlets, and the roof. They are looking for structural and safety issues as much as anything because no house is perfect.
The average life of an asphalt shingled roof is 25-30 years if it has been maintained and been free of storm damage. Curled, cracked shingles and valleys along with attic signs of previous water leaks are not a good thing. However, as professional and diligent as most home inspectors are there can be underlying damage that only a roofing professional can find, or assess. More than one home inspector has been fooled on roofing assessments and analysis. If you know it going into the purchase you can leverage the replacement cost against closing costs, or reductions in the price. However, too many homeowners have their personal story of having to replace a roof within the first 18 months of owners without being prepared to do so.
This isn’t to say anything negative about home inspectors. An overwhelming number of them get it right. But if you have any doubts about the condition of a roof on a home you are considering take the extra step and contact a professional roofing contractor. Ask them to walk the roof, tour the attic, and give you their professional opinion. More than once a professional roofer has discovered storm damage on the roof of a house for sale that the homeowner was unaware of. Enter the home seller’s insurance company. These professionals look for signs of aging, shingle nail tears allowing water ingression, curled shingles, drip edge, gutter, or ventilation issues that are causing problems. Many of them can be rectified without replacing the entire roof within that first year. And many homebuyers go ahead and purchase a property knowing the need for a roof replacement and including it in their overall budget.
Reputable and established roofing contractors will perform an inspection at your request because they usually get the job for replacement or repair. However, they also care about people and homeowners. It’s why they do what they do! A roof replacement is one of the biggest expenses you can incur when purchasing a home, but it’s also relative to the protection, safety, and insulation it provides during extreme weather and weather-related events. Next to your garage door, the biggest opening to your residence is the roof. If you look at it from a 3-D comparison with the walls and other entry points you would see the roof covers the entire house, not just a portion thereof.
And established companies back up their workmanship with warranties in addition to the individual material warranties for shingles, etc. Companies that care aren’t out to fool customers because they don’t need to for business. They are locally owned and operated which means they have a vested interest in the community in which you are about to purchase a home. The name on the side of their truck means much more than a single roofing job!
Gilstrap Roofing has been covering the roofing needs of the Upstate since 1935. We are a family-owned, local business. We are proud of our BBB and Angie’s List ratings. Contact us today for all your roofing questions and needs.
Brian Gilstrap, President
Greenville, SC 29611
A roof is something everyone wants over their head whether it’s a residential or commercial application. You have to have a roof. It is one of the biggest expenses and investments for home and business owners. Few of us ever think about our roof until something happens whether through storms, winds, or the natural aging progression of human-made materials over time. Everything wears over time, even the best products and materials.
Typically no one considers their roof until there is a problem such as a leak, cracks, missing pieces like shingles, rubber, or deteriorated metal. Because roofing is expensive there are several things to consider when trying to decide if you should restore the existing roof, or replace it.
Restoring a roof is cheaper than replacing one. While it won’t extend the life of the roof as much as a new one it will get you farther down the road than you think. If your company is trying to save capital, planning on relocating, or expanding down the road this might be a great option for you. You get an improved roof with an extended life without having to shell out more capital than you want to at the time. This frees up capital to focus on growing your business, marketing, equipment investments, etc.
A restoration involves fewer material and labor costs than a new one. A commercial roof usually lasts between 15-20 years and with the restoration, you can usually stretch that to another 10-15 years before you would have to replace it. This provides valuable time to make long-range capital improvement and corporate growth plans.
Restoration reuses your existing roof. By doing so you are helping the environment. This is sustainability in action. Your facilities can be made more energy-efficient and you may qualify for energy credits.
When you restore your roof it is categorized as an upkeep/maintenance expense, but replacement is categorized as a capital expense. Taxwise the maintenance expense can be an advantage because you are taking a deduction as opposed to trying to recoup the cost through depreciation. Commercial roofing is depreciated on a 39-year timetable per Federal tax code. By extending the life of your current roof you are receiving a bigger tax advantage. Consult your accountant or tax preparer for the exact tables and numbers.
The decision to restore or replace a commercial roof is dependent upon the condition of your current roofing. Only a trained professional can assess whether your roof is a candidate for being restored, or if it needs to be replaced. Time is critical and it’s up to you to make the call and consult a professional roofer. Make sure you get more than one quote or opinion on the condition of your current roof.
A reputable roofing company will inspect your roof for things like ripples, tears or bubbles in the roofing material. They will look to see if there is any standing water on the roof, cracking in seams, or gaps. They will also inspect the interior of your building to see if there are wet spots, leaks, mold, and odors.
Commercial roofing is an investment and you need to make sure you have a professional giving you an informed opinion/recommendation after proper inspection. At Gilstrap Roofing our trained team strives to help customers make wise decisions in regard to roof repair, or replacement.
Brian Gilstrap, President
Greenville, SC 29611