Shingles protect more American homes than any other type of roofing material. Over 80% of homes coast to coast have asphalt shingle roofs. Even if you’ve always lived under a shingle roof, you might not know a whole lot about this material and what makes it so popular. When it comes time to replace your current roof, you’ll find these facts about asphalt shingles helpful:
1.Shingles are Cost-Effective
Asphalt shingles are much more affordable than other roofing materials like slate, metal, and wood shakes. They are much easier to work with, making installation costs cheaper too. They come with manufacturers warranties against defects for anywhere from 15 to 30 years and some manufacturers offer an extended warranty on higher grade products if they’re installed by a roofing contractor who is factory certified.
2. Shingles are Long Lasting and Durable
If installed correctly, asphalt shingles will last for at least 20 years, often longer. Their lifespan depends on their grade, the quality of installation, and their maintenance over the years. Keep in mind that certain weather events can damage shingles or pull them from the roof, but they are typically easy to replace with the help of a reliable roofing contractor.
3. Shingles are Recyclable
Replacing your roof might raise some concern about adding a lot of waste to the landfills. Most asphalt shingles are fully recyclable, so you will be making an eco-friendly decision when choosing them.
4. Shingles Come in a Wide Variety of Colors
There are so many different shingle options these days, it is almost overwhelming to make a decision. They are available in a wide range of both solid colors and blends. You can choose from the traditional neutrals like black or gray, warm earthy tones, and even contemporary greens, blues, and reds. You can choose color blends that will have the appearance of tile, wood shake, or slate textures.
5. Shingles Can Be Energy Efficient
In the past, asphalt shingles were considered to be the least energy efficient roofing materials due to how much solar heat they absorbed. Today, however, there are many types of shingles manufactured that actually reflect the sun’s heat, which will help reduce your cooling costs.
At Bill White Roofing and Specialty, we are experts when it comes to asphalt shingle roofing. We have been in the business since 1969 and work with the leading shingle manufacturers to provide top of the line products to our clients. Whether you need some roof repairs or are in the market for a roof replacement, you won’t be disappointed with the quality of work we provide. Give us a call today!
Do I cut costs by hiring a less experienced contractor? Can I buy my own materials to save money? Should I do my own repairs?
Your roof is a major investment, so it’s important to weigh your options before making any major decisions. Avoid these mistakes when making decisions about roof maintenance and preservation:
1.Start a major roofing project by yourself
Unless you are an expert on roofing, it’s best to leave the work up to an experienced roofing professional. Just climbing up on the roof is dangerous and can cause serious damage if you don’t know what you’re doing. Tearing off a roof is even more dangerous. In our years in the roofing business, we’ve seen people start a project and quickly realize they were in over their heads. This mistake is often made when someone is trying to save some money, but it ends up costing more in the long run due to the damage caused by lack of knowledge.
2. Purchasing your own materials
We all like to shop around for good deals, but when it comes to roofing materials, it is best to allow a qualified roofing contractor purchase the materials for you. Many roofing contractors have long-term relationships with suppliers and are able to get a more competitive price than you could. Not to mention they will know exactly what you need and how much. Having a new roof installed is typically a package deal, so a reputable roofer will be able to provide a manufacturer’s warranty as well as a warranty on the workmanship.
3. Installing products that can cause damage over time
Just because a product sounds like it’s great doesn’t mean it’s always the best thing for your roof. For example, rain diverters sound like something every roof should have, but in actuality, they can cause more damage than good by forcing rain water up under the shingles. Another example is a flush mounted skylight. While they look great, they typically aren’t very sturdy and are unable to support large volumes of water. Be sure to consult with a professional roofer about which products will perform best with your roof structure.
4. Hiring the wrong contractor
It is extremely important to do your homework before hiring someone to work on your roof. Price shouldn’t be the only factor you consider when it comes to the quality of work being done on your home. Talk to friends and family, and ask your neighbors and co-workers for names of roofing companies in the area with a good track record of quality work. Check online reviews, social media reviews, and the Better Business Bureau to get a better feel of what customers say about them. Your roof is one of the biggest investments you’ll make, so spend the extra time to find a company with integrity and a high quality finished product.
Buying a home is a great investment, but keeping up with all of the maintenance, repairs, and improvements can put a strain on your bank account. You can choose the right time to install new light fixtures or new flooring, but other items pop up out of the blue and can take you by surprise, like a busted pipe or a broken air conditioner. If you do some planning and put money aside each month to cover large expenses such as new windows or a roof replacement, when the time comes you won't be scrambling around to scrape up the funds.
Create a Budget for Home Repairs and Improvements
You first need to figure out how much money you need to set aside for different repairs and projects each year. You can either set aside between 1-4% of your home's value each year or base your calculations on the size of your home. If your home is worth $300,000 and you decide to save 3%, you should put aside $750 each month. Using the second method, if your home is 3000 square feet, you should set aside $1 per square foot, so $3000 per year or $250 per month.
If there are specific home improvement projects you'd like to save for on top of building your emergency fund, plan accordingly. Determine a time frame for the project and estimate the future costs for the project. Divide the costs into monthly amounts to set aside along with your amount for emergency repairs and replacements. For example, if your HVAC system is 12 years old, you should plan on replacing it within 3 years' time. If the top price for a comparable system is $7500 you should plan to save around $210 each month so you'll have that amount saved when the time comes to replace it.
Meeting Your Budgeting Goals
It's fairly simple to determine how much money you need to save each month to be able to fund all of your projects and be prepared to cover unexpected costs, but it's not always easy to stick to your budget. Take a very close look at your monthly income and expenses and create a household budget that is realistic. Once the necessities are covered, such as bills and groceries, take a look at your disposable income. How is it being spent? Look for ways to trim your spending on things such as technology, entertainment, social activities, and eating out. While you may have to sacrifice new clothes or a new cell phone, you'll thank yourself when the time comes to fork out the dough to replace your roof.
If you'd like to learn more about how you can best budget for a roof replacement, please give us a call at (205) 942-8374 or fill out our contact form.
We spend a lot of time discussing the importance of roof maintenance because it can help detect issues before they become major problems that can drain your bank account. If you're guilty of ignoring your roof until you spot a leak, it's important to place roof leak repair at the very top of your priority list. Roof leaks are caused by a number of reasons: wind and storm damage, improper installation, poor maintenance, or age. Even a small roof leak can cause major damage to your home, causing not only structural problems, but safety and health risks as well.
Here are some of the unexpected ways a roof leak can affect your home:
Your gutters are an integral component of your roofing system. Their main role is to redirect water off of the roof and away from the rest of the building, protecting not only the roof but the walls, foundation, and even your landscaping. When you don't maintain your gutter system and allow them to clog up with debris, you can end up with a major headache and an empty checkbook. Here are just a few of the major problems that can occur when you ignore your gutters:
While cleaning your gutters is not an enjoyable task, it is definitely a necessity if you want to prevent damage to your home or business. There is also an option to install leaf and debris guards over your gutters that will greatly reduce the amount of gutter maintenance you need to do. The guards are designed to allow water to flow through but to block out the majority of leaves, sticks, and other debris. If you decide to go with this option, be sure to consult with a qualified roofing contractor to ensure the gutter guards are not only good quality but installed properly. Many people think they should hire a company that solely performs work on gutters, but in reality, it is best to work with a company that knows the ins and outs of the complete roofing system.
At Bill White Roofing and Specialty, we offer gutter services including repairs, new installations, and gutter guards. Give us a call at (205) 942-8374 or fill out our contact form here.
While spring is just around the corner, we have already seen quite a bit of spring weather in Birmingham over the past couple of months. With great weather comes the desire to tackle spring cleaning and home improvement projects. So if you've already finished all of your spring cleaning, here are some fairly simple and inexpensive weekend home improvement projects:
1. Update Hardware:
This is one of the easiest things you can do to make a big impact in your home. You can either purchase new hardware to replace the old or you can spray paint your current hardware. Most older homes have gold hardware on cabinets and doors while most newer homes have bronze or nickel colored fixtures.
2. Build a Garden:
A well maintained garden will improve your home's curb appeal and give you something beautiful to look at. It doesn't matter how much space you have, as long as the area receives plenty of sunlight. Find some cool old pieces of wood to box it in and be sure to water it daily.
3. Paint Your Front Door:
You can either remove the door and paint it or leave it in place, it's up to you. Put painter's tape around the hardware, choose an eye-catching color, and paint away! Depending on the color of your home and the color you choose to paint the door, you can give your home an entirely new look in a matter of hours!
4. Install New Faucets:
Once again, this simple task can update your entire kitchen or bathroom. Be sure you find out exactly what type of faucets you currently have so you'll know which sizes you need to buy. Gather all the necessary tools, turn off the water supply, and replace the old with the new. You'll immediately add some shine to your room and give your sink a classier feel.
5. Minor Exterior Repairs:
Take a walk around the outside of your home to inspect the siding, deck, windows, gutters, and what you can see of your roof. Take care of any of the small things you uncover, and make a note of any issues you find that need to be addressed by a professional contractor. If you notice damaged or curling shingles, bare patches on your roof, damaged gutters, or just anything that doesn't look right, schedule a roof inspection with an experienced roofing contractor.
Spring is the time to refresh and revitalize your home after the winter, as well as prepare it for the hot summer months ahead. At Bill White Roofing and Specialty, we want to help you with any roofing needs you may have. Be sure to share any of your completed home improvement projects with us and contact us to schedule a roof inspection.
Purchasing a new roof is a large investment, so it is extremely important to hire the right roofing contractor for the job. Just because a company promises they will do the job quickly and cheaper than others does not mean that they are the best option. In order to find a reliable and knowledgeable roofer, you must ask some important questions and do some investigating to ensure they will do a good job on what we think is the most important aspect of your home or business. Here are some questions you should ask before you sign a contract and pull out your wallet:
At Bill White Roofing and Specialty we are committed to quality and complete customer satisfaction. We always say “Your roof is our roof” and our work reflects that. We know the importance of a strong and sturdy roof so we go the extra mile to ensure it is in the best shape possible. If you have any problems with your roof, have questions about your roof, or just want a roof inspection to give you peace of mind, give us a call. We would love to hear from you!
It’s almost spring cleaning time again! Your house needs to be cleaned from top to bottom, your garage de-cluttered, your landscaping refreshed, and your roof needs some attention too. After a winter full of storms, ice, and drastic weather changes, your roof could have possible leaks, missing shingles, mold, and other serious problems. Follow our spring cleaning checklist to assess the state of your roof:
Did you know that if your roofing shingles are not nailed correctly, your roofing warranty can be voided? When the warranty is void, roof repairs are not covered. Improperly nailed shingles will also cause significant problems for your roof. They will blow off easier during high winds and they will also leave the roof vulnerable to leaks and other damage.
You’re probably thinking, “If I hire a licensed roofing contractor to do the work, they have to know how to nail the shingles on correctly, right?” Unfortunately, that is not always the case. Even though most shingle manufacturers place the proper nailing instructions on every wrapper, most shingles are clearly marked where they should be nailed, and most manufacturers provide training and certification on proper shingle application, many homeowners end up with roofing problems due to improper shingle installation.
Because the proper placement of the nails takes training, knowledge, skill, and lots of experience, it is very important to do your research and hire a qualified roofing contractor in Birmingham to ensure the job is completed correctly. When you narrow down your potential roofing companies, be sure to read online reviews from previous clients, ask to speak with their most recent clients, and ask a lot of questions about their process for installing shingles.
A big topic in the roofing industry is the difference between hand nailing and using a nail gun when installing a roof. While there are many arguments for both methods, our preferred method is to hand nail each roof we work on. By hand nailing each shingle, we can ensure the nail is placed properly and is nailed in at the correct depth…flush with the shingle and not over-driven or under-driven.
When a nail gun is used to install shingles, there is more room for error, especially if the person using the gun is inexperienced or is moving too quickly. When we hand nail, we are able to feel whether the nail catches the wood and whether it is flush with the shingle. Nail guns have to be held at the correct angle to prevent the nail from going in crooked, and the air pressure of the gun must be adjusted according to temperature variations, wood type, and roof type. One small error with a nail gun can cost a complete roof warranty. So, while hand nailing can take more time, it is more precise and there is less room for error. Our roofing crew has years of experience with hand nailing roofs, so they are still able to install a roof quickly and correctly.
Please contact Bill White Roofing and Specialty about roof replacement in Birmingham or any of the surrounding areas.
Your roof is a very valuable investment that will last for a very long time if taken care of properly. While there are numerous things that you should do to help maintain your roofing system, here is our list of things you should NOT do to your roof: