Services and Products
We specialize in:
New Roof Construction
Emergency Roof Repairs
The bulk of domestic roofing is executed in shingles, mostly triple-tab asphalt and laminate asphalt. Shingles are typically installed atop a solid roof deck and can be safely used on a roof slope down to a 3″ on 12″ (the roof angle has a vertical rise of 3 inches for every horizontal foot of span) without special precautionary measures. Asphalt shingles are manufactured in a wide variety of colors and a narrow range of surface textures. Triple-tab shingles cost less than the laminates such as Timberline or Heritage shingles.
Asphalt shingles also come in various grades, from the low end 30 year, to “lifetime” or 50 year product warranty.
In many parts of the country wood shingles are still used. Due to the high cost, maintenance, fire hazard and raised insurance premiums, wood is used less. Man-made wood look alike products continue to be designed to replace the natural cedar wood shingles.
Specialty shingles include items such as metal units, stamped and colored to imitate wood, slate, terracotta tiles and also asphalt to imitate a wood or slate effect . These are very popular with homeowners who have now decided to remove the wood roof they now have but wish to remain with “wood” look on their home. Most of these products represent and attempt to create a market niche and have been very popular in the western United States.
Specialty shingles cost between the high end shingles and the high end tiles. In weight they demand little or no special structural considerations and in water tightness they perform as well as other shingle systems. They require simple tools and application procedures for installation and they also demand a critical departure from the more traditional roofing systems and require precision attention to deck dimensions.
Slate is used particularly in the northeastern U.S. Slate used to be the material of choice for the housing market. It came into prominence after the Civil War, replacing wood shingles and remained quite popular and reasonably priced until after World War II. Since then, its popularity has decreased as its cost has increased. Roofers now charge about $600 per square for the plain blue- gray colors and up to $900 for the rare red material. Slates are really stone shingles. They require the same underlay that shingles do. It’s also extraordinarily fragile, particularly in the thinner pieces now in common use. Simply walking on the roof will risk slate fractures,as will ice damage at roof valleys or eaves. Slate is not attractive to the do-it-yourself market.
Roll roofing is an 80+ year old technology based on three foot wide strips of asphalt impregnated felts lapped on modestly-pitched roof decks. Edges and exposed nail heads are then daubed with roof cement. Over the decades until the 60’s it penetrated the cost conscious commercial market but never was deemed respectable enough for anything but the cheapest housing. It is rarely used for anything but underlayment for other products or small outdoor sheds.
When Bitumen-based designs fell from grace in the 70’s the industry came up with a true innovation: Large sheets of neoprene or similar rubber based products which could be draped over a low or no-slope deck. It is chemically welded to adjoining sheets at the seams and similarly detailed at the flashing. In the domestic market, membrane systems have not been popular except for walk-out decks and porches above enclosed spaces. These applications afford truly reliable and relatively low-cost solutions. It is not easy for do-it-yourself enthusiasts to obtain membrane materials, because the manufacturers prefer to distribute their products only through franchised roofing professionals who have the experience required to properly install their products.
Panel roofing includes pre-cut metal sheets (I include only the non-metallic panels) which are typically two or three feet wide,eight to twelve feet long, are corrugated for strength and drainage and are edge-lapped and nailed or screwed through the high part of corrugation onto the sloped roof deck. A neoprene washer is used to ensure that no leakage occurs on the mechanical fasteners. They are not recommended for sloped below 3:12. They don’t need a solid deck, but can use a lower cost system of light spaced mailers over rafters.
Most people thing of the pre-cut corrugated panels, but these are newcomers to and ancient industry which used long strips of metal folded over each other or sometimes soldered at the edges. Corrugated pre-cut panels came during the 20’s and a particularly popular variety, the five-veer crimp was on every supply house shelf until a couple of decades ago. The pre-cuts required only a tin snips for cutting and a hammer for nailing and have been popular with do-it-yourself enthusiasts for ease of application and low cost. The pre-cut panels with exposed fasteners and a more or less corrugated appearance, never appealed to the upscale market, never really competed with the traditional standing-seam or solder-seamed sidings which go back to Williamsburg, Independence Hall and the Capital Building. It is not usually expensive, but it can be expensive if you elect to have it executed in copper, stone coated stainless or similar metals, rather than plain or even painted stainless or similar metals, rather than plain or even painted galvanized stock. Yes it can be expensive if you deal with roofers who think that all customers for standing seam are wealthy, trendsetters and price their services accordingly
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