The roof is your home or business' first line of defense against sun, rain, snow, or wind...but it is often forgotten about until there is a problem. As a homeowner, you will probably only purchase one roof in your lifetime. It is crucial that you make educated decisions on this protective barrier to avoid moisture problems and structural damage.
There is a lot of information out there about roofing, but not all of it is true. (You really can't believe everything you read on the internet????) Here are the most common myths about roofing and why they are just that, myths:
Myth #1: All asphalt shingles are the same.
All shingles are not the same. There are a wide variety of shingle types to choose from, and they all have their own advantages and disadvantages. They are rated by durability and wind resistance, and some shingles are created to protect against specific issues such as black mold and algae. An important point to remember is that the price of the shingles is not always an indicator of their quality. Some inexpensive shingles are very reliable while other expensive shingles are known to have problems. At Bill White Roofing and Specialty, we will be able to help you determine the best shingles for your particular roofing needs.
Myth #2: You don't need to replace the flashing
Flashing is the metal material put in place to divert water away from roof openings. Because it is made of metal, most people think that it is indestructable. As time progresses, however, it can become loose or knocked out of place, become rusted, crack, or break. If your flashing is compromised, you will have major roof problems. It is best to inspect it twice a year to catch any damage at an early stage.
Myth #3: Pressure washing won't damage the roof materials
While you may think pressure washing is a great way to clear your roof of dirt and grime, it can actually harm the roof and cause its lifespan to shorten. High pressure washing will force water underneath the shingles and behind the siding, resulting in mold and mildew. It will also damage the texture of the shingles, causing them to deteriorate pretty quickly.
Myth #4: Insulation in the attic saves energy and aids in roof performance
While insulation in the attic is exremely important, it must be executed properly. Adding more than the necessary insulation will block ventilation and possibly trap moisture, resulting in mold and mildew growth and damage to the roof decking. It is best to consult with a qualified roofing contractor to determine the appropriate levels of insulation necessary for your roofing system.
Myth #5: Gutters are not part of the roofing system
Gutters are actually a crucial piece of the puzzle when it comes to diverting water from your structure, which is what your roof is designed to do among other things. The gutter system prevents water from dripping down the exterior walls and onto the foundation of the building. If the gutters are damaged or full of debris, water will build up and cause serious problems such as leaks and rotting wood in the fascia boards, soffits, and decking. You should have your gutters cleaned out frequently and inspected for damage to avoid costly problems.
We can't stress enough the importance of regular roof maintenance. Be sure to contact a reliable roofing company like Bill White Roofing and Specialty to help keep your roof in prime condition. It is one of, if not the, most important aspects of your building.
We are really into roofs here at Bill White Roofing and Specialty, and we enjoy sharing our knowledge and expertise with anyone who may be interested in learning more about the most important aspect of their building's structure. As a leading roofer in Birmingham, we feel that education and awareness are very important when it comes to prolonging the lifespan of your roof.
Here is a list of common terms and phrases that are used in the roofing industry with (hopefully) easy to understand explanations:
The decorative molding, usually metal or wood, found at the ends or edges of the roof. The fascia, frieze board, and rake are all types of cornices.
A relatively small peaked area of the roof constructed to divert water around projections such as chimneys, walls, and expansion joints.
The surface over which the roofing materials are applied. Roof decking is usually made of wood boards, plywood, or planks and is attached to the rafters. Also called sheathing.
A raised, framed section projecting through the sloping plane of the roof, usually with a window.
This metal strip is installed along the edges of the roof in order to help channel water away from the roof deck, eaves, and siding.
The lower edge of the roof, usually the area from the fascia to the building's outside wall.
A vertically positioned board or trim that is placed around the outer edge of the roof. It typically helps with waterproofing the interior of the building.
The material used to keep water from entering the roof system anywhere there is a projection or intersection. Examples of places roof flashing is installed are: chimneys, vent pipes, valleys, wall joints, perimeters, expansion joints, and any other place the roof covering is interrupted.
The triangular section of the building that is directly under the slope of the roof and above the eave.
The slatted devices that are installed in a gable or on the underside of the roof eaves to help ventilate the attic and regulate temperature and moisture.
The structural beams that extend from the ridge to eave in which the roof deck is attached.
Sloped edge of the roof that is adjacent to the outermost rafter
The horizontal line across the highest point of the roof where the two sloping sides intersect.
The enclosed area under the roof eave that extends past the building structure.
The material (usually felt) that is placed between the roof deck and shingles to serve as an extra layer of protection from moisture.
The area where two sloping roof sections intersect, creating a "V" shaped indention.
Our mission is to be the best roofing company Birmingham has to offer. Please give us a call at (205) 942-8374 or check out the rest of our website to learn more about how we can help you with anything roof-related!
Owning a home or business is a huge responsibility. Maintenance must be done throughout the year to ensure your investment is protected. As winter is quickly approaching (thank goodness for some cold weather finally!), there are several things you can do to winterize your roof. Performing preventative maintenance will save you from a roofing emergency. By checking and repairing these parts of your roof, you can cruise through the winter knowing that your roof is in good shape:
1. Remove or trim overhanging tree branches
Branches can cause a lot of problems for your roof, so they need to be trimmed or removed. Large overhanging branches will become very heavy with snowfall and will break and fall onto your roof. Low hanging branches will scrape your roof and damage your shingles.
2. Clean gutters and downspouts
We can't stress enough the importance of keeping your gutters and downspouts clear of debris. Rainwater and melting snow need to be able to drain properly in order to prevent water damage to your roof, siding, foundation and other parts of your home or business.
3. Inspect the roof and repair
Repair loose, damaged and missing shingles to prevent leaks. Check the roof flashing (the material placed around joints and openings in your roof) for signs of wear or damage. Cracked caulk should be removed and replaced. Have a qualified roofing contractor in Birmingham inspect and repair any issues that are found.
4. Insulate your attic
Your attic should be properly ventilated and insulated in order to prevent heat loss as well as the formation of icicles and ice dams. Be sure to consult with the experts at Bill White Roofing and Specialty on proper insulation levels and ventilation techniques.
5. Look for warped wood
Inspect the woodwork around your home or business especially around the roof and in the attic for warping and mold growth. These are signs of water damage, usually pointing to a larger problem like a leak.
While it hasn't rained here in Birmingham in quite some time, it's still important to safeguard your home or business from potential roof leaks. If it ever does rain again, the last thing you want is a bunch of drip buckets strategically placed throughout your living room or office.
Whether your roof is 3 years old or 30, a roof leak needs to be taken care of immediately so as to prevent further damage. Repairing a small leak could save you a lot more money by preventing the need for a roof replacement or major remodeling job.
At Bill White Roofing and Specialty, we are your roof repair experts. We've compiled a list of the most common causes of roof leaks, what they look like, why they occur, and what needs to be done to fix them
1. Cracked Roof Flashing
2. Broken Shingles
3. Improper Sealing of the Valleys
4. Clogged Gutters
5. Attic Condensation
Roofs take a beating from heavy storms, strong winds, and extreme temperatures. If proper care and maintenance is put into place, a roof will keep you safe and dry for many years. Review this list of common causes for roof leaks and be sure to add these areas to your maintenance plan so you can avoid major damage to your roof and home. As an experienced roofer in Birmingham, Bill White Roofing and Specialty will be glad to assist you with inspecting and maintaining all of your roofing elements.
Just as in selling a home, there are numerous things to take into consideration when buying a home. If you find a home you love, it is extremely important to have a home inspection performed by a qualified contractor to determine if it is worth it for you to make such a large investment. Unless it is a brand new home, chances are there will be a list of items suggested by the inspector that need to be addressed before purchasing the home. You can ask the seller to repair things on that list or lower the purchase price of the home to cover the cost of repairs. So what happens when the inspector tells you that the home you are thinking about buying needs a new roof?
Before you decide to move on to another house, keep in mind that you have several options, and that you have some negotiating power in this particular situation. Insurance companies typically won't issue a policy on a home with a roof that is at the end of its lifespan, and most mortgage lenders require homeowner's insurance before approving the loan. That results in the seller only being able to sell the house to someone who can pay cash, and they would have to discount the sales price of the home significantly. It is in the seller's best interest to work out a deal with you to replace the roof, especially because the same issue will come up with anyone else interested in buying the house. Your options at this point are:
Don't let a bad roof cause you to change your mind on a home you are interesting in buying. Ask your realtor to help you figure out the best way to move into a home with a brand new roof that will last for years to come. At Bill White Roofing and Specialty, we will be glad to help you in any way we can.
If you're planning on selling your home, you probably have a mile-long list of things that need to be taken care of in order to get the most money out of the sale. When someone is looking to buy a home, one of the biggest expenses they worry about is whether they are going to have to replace the roof in the near future.
If your roof has a huge gaping hole in it, then you already know you're going to have to replace it before selling your home. Most homeowners, however, are faced with a less obvious decision to replace the roof before selling, and find themselves asking questions like: Will replacing those shingles help me sell my home? Do I really need to repair my roof or can I sell it as is? Do potential buyers really care about the moss on the roof? If you find yourself in this second category and are having trouble making a decision about your roof before putting your home on the market, you definitely need to have a roofing contractor do a thorough inspection to assess the overall condition, scope of repairs needed, and the projected lifespan of the roof if left alone. If the roofing contractor determines that a roof replacement is necessary, then you can consider the following things before making a decision:
Be sure to discuss your options with a professional roofer as well as your realtor. As discussed above, there are numerous factors that will be in play when it comes to selling your home. The best decisions are always educated decisions, and you don't want to spend more money than you have to. If you are in the Birmingham area, give Bill White Roofing and Specialty a call for roof inspections, roof repairs, or roof replacements.
Now that the weather is starting to cool off, most homeowners in Birmingham are starting to tackle all of those outdoor projects they've been letting pile up over the excruciatingly hot summer. If you're one of those homeowners who loves to take on DIY projects, be sure to continue reading to learn about why roof repairs should be left for a professional roofing contractor.
Keeping your roof in top condition is extremely important in keeping you and your family protected from the elements. Sure, you might think that regular inspections and repairs sound fairly simple, but that's not actually the case. Roofing is a very dangerous job. According to Forbes, roofing is the fourth deadliest job in America. Over 2000 people a year die from falling off of a roof, whether that be an amateur or a professional. Even with the strongest safety precautions, there are still many dangerous situations that can occur up on a roof.
Aside from falling, someone who is not experienced with working on a roof can be injured by twisted ankles, bruises, and back injuries. They can also miss weak, soft spots in the roof decking, step on them, and cause more damage than before. Then there are insects like wasps and bees that build nests, and if you disturb them, you'll more than likely be stung. Weather plays a factor in the dangers of working on a roof. A brief rain shower will transform your roof into a slick, slippery surface and quick wind gusts will make you lose your balance. So no matter how safe you think your roof may be, it's actually a very dangerous place to spend your time.
Quality roofing jobs require skill and precision, and the only way to develop these skills is through lots of practice. At Bill White Roofing and Specialty, we have over 45 years of experience in the roofing industry. When someone uses the wrong tools or techniques to install shingles, severe problems will pop up in the long run. Trust an experienced roofing contractor to get the job done correctly so you don't stress yourself out every time it rains or storms.
Another reason roof repairs should be left to professionals is that not all roofing problems are obvious or easy to spot. Some issues will lead to major damage of the rest of your home if not detected and repaired properly in a timely manner. A good roofing contractor will do a thorough inspection to determine all areas that need to be addressed, and will be able to detect conditions that could lead to future problems.
If you're still considering an attempt at DIY roofing, keep in mind that it's probably not going to be as cost effective as you think. A reputable roofing company buys materials in bulk from the manufacturers, lowering the cost significantly, and the roofing crew works quickly and efficiently to get the job done in a timely manner. Do you really want to spend your time working on a project that is not only dangerous but can cause more damage if not completed correctly?
Give Bill White Roofing and Specialty a call for all of your roofing needs. We always say "Your roof is our roof" and will do the job right, the first time.
When it comes to your roof, making the right decision is important for both the lifespan of the roof as well as your bank account. The most common decision we see that homeowners have to make about their roofing in Birmingham is whether to repair a damaged area or replace the roof, either partially or completely.
Damaged or missing shingles are relatively easy to replace, as well as inexpensive. The damaged shingles can be removed and new shingles can be applied very quickly. One thing to consider is the age of your roof and whether you have extra shingles available. If your roof is relatively old and you do not have any spare shingles, the repair job will probably not match your existing roof. This may not be a big deal to a lot of people, especially if the shingle replacement will extend the roof's life by 10-15 years, but if you are planning to sell your home in the near future, a huge eyesore can make or break the deal.
If the damage to your roof is more significant than the shingles but is only found in a small area of the roof, a partial roof replacement is a much less expensive option than reroofing the entire house. The replaced section can easily be blended with the older roof and will keep your home safe from the weather elements.
An important factor in partial roof replacements is how many layers of shingles your roof already has on it. If your roof has several layers, they will all have to be removed in order to complete the work, resulting in additional costs and an uneven roof due to the extra layers of the old roof meeting up with the new part of the roof.
Whether your roof has a small area that needs to be replaced or several areas, it is important to consider the age of the roof. What is the life expectancy of your shingles and how long has it been since they were replaced? If they only have a few years left in their lifespan, it may be best (and cheaper) to replace the entire roof all at once.
If you decide to have your roof completely replaced, you then have to decide whether to tear the old roof off or install the new roof over the old roof. You can either save money now but face the risk of bigger expenses in the future, or spend more money now, get the job done correctly, and lessen the chance of future problems.
If your roof already has two layers of shingles on it, you have to tear off before adding more. Your roof structure cannot handle the weight of another layer of shingles. Sure, they may not seem heavy when you're holding one in your hand, but covering the roof with 1500 square feet is almost the same as parking an SUV on top of it.
If your roof only has one layer of shingles, the decision is up to you. You'll want to consider the fact that shingles hold better when attached directly to the roof decking, so if you live in an area that sees high winds, you'll probably want to tear off the old before applying the new. Another point to keep in mind is the fact that the entire roof deck can be inspected and repaired if the old shingles are torn off first. This is important because not only can all of the damage be spotted at once, small repairs can be made, and the roof decking can be reinforced, but extra water shields and other protective layers can be installed.
A complete roof replacement is expensive, but will last for decades. If you find yourself in a situation requiring some form of roof repair, do not hesitate to contact us so we can help you make an educated decision.
If it's time for a new roof, there are many different things to focus on such as brands, materials, and colors. Many people fail to realize that proper insulation and ventilation are also critical for an effective roofing system.
A solid roof will not only protect your home or business from harsh weather conditions, pesky intruders, mold and mildew, but will also help keep your energy costs lower. Adequate roof ventilation and insulation is necessary for comfort as well as efficiency.
Proper ventilation in your roofing structure helps to manage the airflow in your home or business. During hotter temperatures, a poorly ventilated roof will cause your attic to become extremely hot, which will damage your shingles and shorten the lifespan of your roof. During colder temperatures, a poorly ventilated roof will cause excessive moisture to build up, resulting in wood rot, mold, and mildew. Ensuring your roof is able to breathe properly will lengthen its lifespan and help keep your building protected during extreme temperatures.
Insulation is yet another key factor of the roofing system. A poorly insulated attic, which is very common in older homes because building codes did not require much insulation, will result in much higher energy costs. Without proper insulation, all of the warm or cool air running through your building will escape through the roof, resulting in extremely high energy costs.
If you aren't sure if your roof has the proper ventilation or insulation, it's best to contact a reliable roofing contractor to determine what is best for your particular roofing system. The professionals at Bill White Roofing and Specialty are just a phone call away from helping you keep your roof in tip top shape.
Your roof is one of, if not the, most valuable aspects of your property, but is often taken for granted until it is too late. Just like any other large investment, regular maintenance of your roof will help it lengthen its lifespan. Here are several maintenance tasks that homeowners can handle on their own: