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Applying roofing and siding

Finish roofing is generally installed as soon as possible after the roof sheathing has been applied. The idea is to protect the sheathing and what’s beneath it from possible rain damage. It is, however, a good idea to make sure any projections through the roof deck, such as plumbing and exhaust vents, are in place before the roofing is installed. Siding can wait slightly longer; it’s usually applied just after the doors and windows are set.                                          As with most home building products, you have options in roofing and siding.

custom home design

The choices you make not only affect the style and appearance of your home, but also determine its maintenance needs over time. Installation methods also play a big part in the service life of roofing and siding materials.                                                             

While traditionalists are likely to prefer such natural roofing material as cedar shingles and slate, it’s also worth considering some of the newer, lower maintenance (and sometimes lower cost) alternatives. Asphalt roofing shingles are available in a wide variety of colors, patterns and weights, some resembling natural wood roofing from a distance. Premium asphalt shingles can last 30 years or more, so their higher price can be a bargain when compared to standard asphalt shingles, which last only 15 to 20 years.                                                                          

Depending on the geographical region and the architectural style of your home, you might also consider clay tile roofing, lighter weight aluminum, fiberglass, and composition roof tile designs. Slate like roofing made of concrete and polymers is another option, as Is metal roofing.     

new roof cover


Among siding materials, a host of newer products emulate traditional materials. Affordable, low maintenance vinyl sidings are now available with embossed wood grain patterns. Aluminum panels simulate individual wood shingles, and there are many interesting options among genuine and limited stone veneers, and, of course, brick veneer. EIFS, stucco like coatings applied over insulating foam, offer yet another alternative.                     

Roofing basics- The effectiveness and durability of most roofs, however, depend largely upon proper installation of the underlayment, flashing and ventilation, as well as the finished roofing material. Roofing underlayment acts as a safety net between roofing material and the bare roof deck. It also protects the roof sheathing during construction. Underlayment comes in several thickness and weights, with 15-pound asphalt impregnated felt the most common choice. Generally, the steeper the roof, the lower the acceptable grade of underlayment. On some more trouble some shallow sloped roofs, underlayment often takes a beating. Your contractor must glue both the overlapping paper edges to gather and the paper to the roof deck using roofing cement, a thick, semi liquid, petroleum-based product.                                                                                                                                                           Relatively the new residential construction, rubberized asphalt membranes offer a no mess alternative to roof cement. They are extremely effective at preventing water damage from ice dams, and these self-adhesive membranes work even on low slope roofs.                                                                                                                                                 

Roofing material- Each roofing material offers its own advantages and disadvantages. In some cases, your options may be limited by the load bearing strength of the roof frame, the roof pitch and architectural style of the house. Here’s a listing of the most used roofing materials and some important points regarding proper installation.                                                                                                                                                                                         

Roll roofing- Most often used on low slop roofs and on outbuildings, mineral surfaced roll roofing is inexpensive and easy to install. The material comes in 3-foot-wide rolls and is made of an asphalt impregnated mat densely covered with mineral particles in clack, gray or white. To avoid rippling or cracking, the product should be installed only during warm weather. Look for a metal drip edge, as well as asphalt cement at the roof perimeter and at every overlap.                                                                                                                                                                                  

Asphalt shingles- They are suitable for virtually any roof with a slop of 3 in 12, 3-inch drop in height for every 12 horizontal inches or greater; standard asphalt shingles can also be used on 2 inch 12 slopes with waterproofing underlayment. 

working on roof shingles

                                                                                                                                                                           Heavier weight, thicker shingles last longer than lighter, thinner ones. Dark colored shingles get hotter than light colored ones. Excessive heat tends to shorten shingle life. Long lived, premium grade asphalt shingles can cost up to twice as much as the standard grade, but the best asphalt shingles come with a 30-year warranty.                            

Case studies suggest that shingles should be nailed to the roof deck 9not stapled) with the exact number of nails specified by the manufacturer. Using too few nails or installation on roofs with inadequate ventilation may void your shingle warranty.                                                                                                                                                                          

Clay and concrete tile- Clay tile roofs often last 100 years or more, modern concrete based products make similar claims. But as single square (100 square feet) of clay tile can weigh 100 pounds more. Therefore, the roof frame must be considerably stronger than for asphalt, wood, or metal roofing. If you choose tile roofing, talk to your builder about using a premium rubberized underlayment; often, underlayment and flashing fail many years before tiles.  

European roofs


Metal roofing- Along with the popular pre-painted standing seam panels, new metal roofing products are available in designs suggesting wood shakes, slate, or clay tile. Installing any metal roof requires a skilled crew because most metal systems use proprietary components for flashing, edging and ridge caps. Metal roof failures typically result from improper installation, such as too few fasteners or failure to apply the recommended caulking between panels. Edges of all cut metal pieces should be resealed at the job site.       

custom roof home design


Wood shakes- Although banned in some parts of the fire prone Southwest, wood shake roods provide good service for many years. Covering the entire rood deck with rubberized underlayment should ensure increased longevity.                                                                                                                                                                                Flashing- Flashing refers to the material that shields and directs water away from the roof’s problem areas, chimneys, vent stacks and valleys (where one roof plane intersects with another). Flashing materials may be copper, aluminum, stainless steel or 90-pound roll roofing. Many of the most common leakage problems in new homes can be attributed to incorrect or missing flashing.                

roofing contractors

Drip edge- At the eaves and edges if every roof, a piece of metal drip edge guides water away from fascia boards and prevents it from creeping beneath the underlayment.                                                                                                   

Valley flashing- The point where roofs intersect should be protected with flashing that extends horizontally several inches up each slop, away from the point of intersection.                                                                                   

metal roof

Step flashing- Where a sloped roof intersects with a vertical plane, such as the side of a house or a chimney wall, small pieces of step flashing provide necessary waterproof transition.                                                                               

Chimney flashing- good chimney flashing is set in a groove etched into the mortar between rows of bricks. The metal penetrates the brick, forming a permanent watertight seal.


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