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Do Metal Roofs Mess Up Cell Phone Reception?

worker nailing down a metal roof

Choosing a Commercial Metal Roof

For businesses and industries, commercial metal roofing is one of the best ways to protect the structure, save on energy, and lengthen the timeframe it must be replaced. But there are many companies that are hesitant about having commercial metal roofing installed because of things they have heard, like the fear of lightning and the noise level.  

So, we are going to address some of those concerns and their validity by answering some questions.  Like, will a metal roof attract lightning? Not sure where or when this rumor became a fact, but there has been extensive research proving that commercial metal roofing is not any more likely to attract a lightning strike than other types of roofing material. 

Yes, metal is a conductor of electricity, but it is also a Class A in fire resistance and is non-combustible. Homes and business structures in regions prone to lightning storms can often get a discount on insurance with commercial metal roofing. 

When commercial metal roofing is struck by lightning, it is quickly conducted away toward the ground or another conductor close by. Where it is thought that lightning starts a fire on commercial metal roofing, it is because of the intense heat it produces catching something on the roof or inside the structure, not the metal roofing itself. 

Are metal roofs noisy?

When installed properly, quality commercial metal roofing isn’t going to be any louder than other types of commercial roofing materials. You may be saying to yourself, “Wait a minute! I got caught in my grandpa’s old metal barn during a hailstorm and it was LOUD!”. Well, that would be because it wasn’t installed with roof decking, insulation, and underlayment under the metal roofing panels. 

Will a metal roof make my office hot?

Right about now, the St. Louis, Missouri area is probably feeling as it is going to melt away. While a few parts of the country are still having snow, this area is having summer in June. Crossing a blacktop parking today, the temperature can feel another 20 degrees hotter than it is. Why? Because the material on a surface affects the temperature. Walk that same distance on grass, and the temperature cools down. 

The same results with commercial metal roofing. Choose a dark color and it will absorb the heat UV rays creating, and the roof will get hotter. That hotter roof will make the interior hotter. Choose a light color, like white, and it is reflecting that heat from the UV rays back out into atmosphere. 

Will a metal roof rust?

Well that depends on the type of commercial metal roofing you choose and if it has a finish on it that protects. Today, finishes, paint systems, and other technology can protect commercial metal roofing that keeps if from oxidizing or rusting. Some of those technologies used today to prevent corrosion and rust on commercial metal roofing are: 

  • Galvalume Steel: This coating is applied over the top of steel and is composed of aluminum, silicone, and zinc corrosion and rust resistance and has a matte-looking appearance.
  • Galvanized Steel: This is a carbon steel with a zinc oxide for a protective alloy that keeps commercial metal roofing panels protected for decades. It has a resin coating that gives it a shiny, smooth finish that is scratch and scuff resistant. 
  • Weathering Steel: This type of commercial metal roofing panel will rust to a certain extent with a copper, phosphorus, and silicon coating. It is a strong option for a steel roof, and after the top coating is gone, it will ionize. 

Are there different types of metal roofing materials?

There are several options for commercial metal roofing. Here we have four of the most popular choices: 

  • ALUMINUM: The third most abundant metal, meaning there is plenty to around for commercial metal roofing as well as residential. 
  • COPPER: Many will say this is the grandfather of commercial metal roofing because it has been around forever! 
  • STEEL: The cheap cost of this commercial metal roofing material is what makes it so popular! Within this group are the three primary types we mentioned earlier: galvalume, galvanized, and coated steel. 
  • ZINC: This commercial metal roofing material has stood the test of time, making it one of the most popular choices. 

Which metal roof is best?

Commercial roofing experts and insurance experts both agree that exposed fastened metal roofing and wall panels are not only an economical option, but the sturdiest. Because the panels overlap and then are directly fastened to the roof decking or to the wall framing, making them more durable and stronger. 

Can a metal roof be painted?

Yes, after a thorough cleaning and prepping, commercial metal roofing can be painted if desired. Make sure it is thoroughly cleaned of any debris, dirt, and dust, the primer any rusted areas, make any repairs to fasteners before painting.

How long does a metal roof last?

That is one of the benefits of commercial metal roofing – longevity! They are known to last up to 70 years or longer.

worker installing a metal roof

At The End of the Month – It’s All About Saving A Dollar! 

The only thing a business owner likes better than a paying customer is saving money! And that is what a commercial metal roofing will do! So, is it cheaper to get a metal roof or shingles? No upfront, but at the end of the month when you’re reviewing your utility bills, you’ll find you saved as much as 30% on cooling or heating!

How long do metal roofs last?

home with a standing seam metal roof

Choosing a Metal Roof

Metal roof installation has been used for commercial and industrial structures for some time now, and it has been growing in popularity for residential properties over the past few years. Still, there are many homeowners and property owners that haven’t been convinced yet that a metal roof installation is the best solution for them. The questions are many and they are based on legitimate concerns, like will a metal roof leak?

The answer to that is yes, but so will any other type of roofing material! The concern that metal roofing will always leak is based on misinformation. No, a metal roof installation is not going to give any homeowner or commercial property owner endless worries of leaking!

A metal roof isn’t indestructible though, and there are five things to watch out for that can make even a metal roof installation leak. 

The screws: The majority of what causes metal roof installation to leak are the screws used for installing the material. Metal roof installations are done with screws that have a rubber washer under the screw head that forms a “gasket” between the metal panels and the screw head. So how does it leak then?  There are four reasons the screw could be the cause of a leaking metal roof: 

  • Under driven screws
  • Overdriven screws
  • Installed at the wrong angle
  • Missed the frame  

Stack flashings: The stack flashings for a metal roof installation are a prone area for leaking. The flashing is either metal or rubber and is what seals up roof penetrations like exhaust or plumbing pipes, air vents, and HVAC vents. These flashing keep the roof waterproofed. If the flashing is rubber, the rubber is exposed to the elements and will eventually become brittle and dry, not flexible with the roof’s contracting and expanding. Instead of recaulking the boot or the flashing, it is best to replace them instead. 

Missing sealants: A metal roof installation will have sealants that typically will not share the long lifespan of the metal roofing. These sealants are used under trims like the metal ridge caps and Z flashings, the roof transitions and counter flashings, the pitch pans, and reglets. Periodically reapplying the sealant will keep the metal roof from leaking. 

Curb Flashings: When the HVAC unit is installed on the metal roof, there are ‘curbs’ involved that raise the unit up to allow easy access for servicing the HVAC unit. The curb must be kept dry, but because it is uphill, it isn’t as easy as it may sound. Water can become trapped behind the HVAC unit and puddle there, eroding the sealants and can begin leaking in the roof itself.  Again, recaulking is not recommended, instead replacing the metal panel and curb is the best solution.

Seams and Overlaps: Anywhere there is a seam or overlap, it can create a capillary draw, and the metal roof installation can begin to leak. A capillary draw is when water travels uphill between two tight pieces of metal. 

Do metal roofs rust?

They can, but with the right choice of protective coating, a metal roof installation will resist the oxidation that forms fust. Zinc coating is commonly used on metal roof installations, a process referred to as galvanization. When the metal roof is properly maintained, it won’t rust for 5 to 10 years. 

Another type of protection is galvalume, a combination of aluminum, silicon, and zing that is more corrosion-resistant, giving it a longer lifespan. However, the downside to aluminum any cut edges or scratches are less protected. There are several other options for metal roof installations. 

There are some coatings specially designed to enhance the life expectancy of metal roof installations. Your roofing contractor will be able to share these with you, along with their pros and cons. 

Do metal roofs scratch easily?

Anything that is painted can be scratched or scuffed, but the chance of a metal roof installation being scratched will be during the installation. Most manufacturers and metal roof contractors use extra precautions to ensure there isn’t any scratching during the process.

However, it does happen and if you notice any scratches or scuffs, notify the contractor immediately. The sooner it is addressed, the better, and it that can usually be done with a touch-up pen that matches the color of the roof. 

What is the best metal for a metal roof?

For commercial or residential metal roof installation, they have common and unique aspects with each of their structures, the best metal recommendations are: 

  • Galvalume
  • Aluminum
  • Zinc
  • Copper
  • Stainless steel  

Which metal roof is best?

Standing seam metal is the most recommended type for metal roof installation on commercial or residential structures. There are several metal roofing options today that come in almost an endless list of colors and different panel styles.  A vertical seam panel that runs from eave to ridge or choose a simulated version of asphalt shingles, cedar, slate, or tile roofing. 

Which color metal roof fades the least?

Choose a lighter color like grays, tan, or white for less fading on your metal roof installation.  The darker colors are more vibrant but are more likely to fade with time.  The lighter colors are better for UV ray reflection, keeping your home or commercial structure cooler in the summer. 

Can a metal roof be repainted?

Yes, with proper preparation, which includes a thorough cleaning and allowed to get completely dry. A primer may be recommended based on the type of paint you choose to use.  The job should be done by a professional that is experienced in painting metal roofing. 

When should a metal roof be replaced?

Here are four common indicators that it is time for a new metal roof installation: 

1. The painted finish has reached the 30-year mark 

2. The painted finish has been damaged

3. The screw-down fasteners are beginning to wallow out

4. The roof has storm damage

close-up of a corrugated metal roof

At The Top of The Building – Is it worth getting a metal roof?

Absolutely! You can get up to 50 years or longer from a metal roof installation compared to the 20 years for asphalt shingled roof or 30 years for EPDM, PVC, or TPO roofing common on commercial flat roof structures.  Metal roofing with or without added insulation will maintain the cool or heat within your home or structure, saving on utility bills. These two factors alone make a metal roof installation worthwhile.

When does a roof need to be replaced?

worker replacing roof shingles

When does a roof need to be replaced?

Across the United States, there is a section of the country referred to as Tornado Alley and St. Louis, Missouri is a part of Tornado Alley. This region has differing weather that creates this high amount of tornadic activity and generates the need for roof replacements. As a homeowner in this area, it is crucial to know how to tell if a roof need replacing or if repairs are sufficient. 

When can a roof be repaired instead of replaced?

Knowing when to repair a roof rather than replace it can save you a lot of money. Here are some indicators that can help you tell what you should do.

The Roof Age

The average lifespan of an asphalt shingle roof is 15 to 20 years with the basic asphalt shingles. A higher grade of asphalt shingles has a typical lifespan between 20 to 25 years, possibly up to 30 years. How often does a roof need to be replaced? When your roof is reaching the 12-year mark, have a professional roofing contractor inspect your roof. They can advise you if a roof replacement is needed now or how much longer lifespan it has left.

Buckling, Curling, Missing

Walk around your home and look for buckling, curling, or missing shingles on the roof, especially the side that gets the most direct sunlight. When asphalt shingles are buckling or curling, it is an indication that a roof replacement may be needed. Missing shingles warrant a professional roof inspection can confirm if your roof is vulnerable to leaking. If there are only 1 or 2 shingles missing, they usually be replaced, and your roof will be as protective as ever. 

The roof valleys are a crucial part of the roof. This is where different roof slopes meet, and the water runs off to the gutters and not inside the walls. If these valleys are damaged, or if flashing or shingles are missing, it leaves a vulnerable area for leaking to begin. 

Droopy or Saggy Areas 

If your roof has droopy or saggy areas, the under decking that provides support for the roof likely has issues. These problems could indicate the decking is damaged and weakened from moisture, and roof replacement is the best option. A roof should never feel spongy or have a bounce when walking across the roof. 

Damaged Chimney Flashing

The metal flashing makes the chimney water-tight and will typically last up to 30 years. However, it can become cracked and start to rust. This weakens the stability of the flashing and leaves the roof vulnerable to leaks. A professional roofing contractor can inspect your roof and if it is just the flashing to be concerned with, usually the flashing can be replaced, a complete roof replacement isn’t always necessary. 

Daylight Shining Through

A trip to the attic will tell you if there is the need for a roof replacement if you can see daylight coming in through the roof joists and under decking, you need a roof replacement. Other indicators are moisture or water stains on the insulation, roof decking or roof joists, showing you probably have a roof leak. 

Greenhouse Roof 

When the roof is looking like a greenhouse with vegetation growing, a professional roof cleaning may be all it needs. However, plant life and vegetation will damage the roof over time, and small critters, insects, other varmint type critters will make home on your roof, chewing their way inside. Once the roof is cleaned, have a professional roofing contractor inspect the roof and advise you if a roof replacement is needed now. 

How much does a roof replacement cost?

When cracks or leaks in the roof are unaddressed, it can lead to water damage and rotting, often under the shingles where you can’t see them. Your home should be a place of comfort, and if the roof is damaged, that comfort can be unexpectedly disrupted. 

A roof replacement is a large expense and not one that most homeowners can immediately afford.  And once you’ve paid for the roof, you don’t have any direct enjoyment, but it is an investment in your home that is a necessity. 

On average, a roof replacement can cost between $10,000 and $ 20,000 for an average-sized, single-story home. The two variables that can affect the cost is the size of the roof, if one-story or multiple stories, and the roofing material you choose. If there is damage to the existing roof joists and decking, that will influence the cost too. 

What does roof replacement include?

A complete roof replacement differs from re-roofing in that the roof replacement is exactly that – the existing roof is torn off and replaced with all new materials. A re-roofing is the process of having new shingles installed over the existing shingles.  A roof replacement means the roofing contractor team will replace the following layers:

  • Shingles: The outermost layer is the visible part of the roof, something like a suit of armor that sheds debris and water. The shingles keep the underlying layers dry and keep them from being damaged. 
  • Decking: The decking is the significant protection layer made with flat boards, typically plywood, and the joist and trusses are attached on the underside. And the decking is what the roofing felt, shingles, and underlayment are attached on the outer side. 
  • Underlayment: In-between the decking and the shingles is the underlayment, a waterproof material is directly attached, providing an additional protective layer from the weather.
  • Flashing: This is a thin strip of metal that is essential to the roof because it keeps water directed away from areas of the roof that are vulnerable. One crucial area for flashing is where two slopes of the roof meet, or where roofing is against a chimney or wall. 
  • Drip Edge: Like flashing, the drip edge is a thin metal piece that the roofing contractor installs all around the roof perimeter and is a final barrier that keeps water from penetrating the underlying layers of your roof.
  • Soffit and Fascia: These two components are thought to be architectural elements, but they have a crucial job for the roof. The soffit covers the underside of the eaves to keep the rafters from being exposed to the elements. The fascia is the long piece that follows the roof line along the lower edge.

Is roof replacement covered by insurance?

A homeowner’s insurance policy will cover roof replacement for damage that is the result of acts of nature or sudden unexpected accidental events. What they do not cover are any roofing problems due to age of the roof or general wear and tear. Insurance companies consider these problems are avoidable with proper maintenance by the homeowner. 

Should you replace gutters when replacing a roof?

Most of the time, a homeowner will choose to replace the gutter system with a roof replacement. However, if the gutter system is new or the gutter material integrity is still strong there is no need to replace them. 

Can you replace your roof yourself?

A homeowner with basic tools and carpentry knowledge, along with assistance, could do their own roof replacement. There are videos online that provide instructions and the materials are readily available at home improvement stores. 

workers providing roof replacement

In Closing

The age of a roof has been mentioned a few times in this article, but do you know how to find out when your roof was last replaced? There are three ways this can be done: 

  1. If possible, ask the previous homeowner. 
  2. Check with the city for a record of building permits.
  3. Have a professional roofing contractor inspect your roof, they should be able to give an estimated time of the last roof replacement. 

All of these things can help you be certain your roof is always in the best shape possible, and potentially keep you from spending more money than necessary to make that happen.

How do you repair asphalt shingles?

close-up of lifted asphalt shingles

How do you repair asphalt shingles?

Missouri is in the middle of tornado alley. What does that mean? That means the state gets a lot of hail, high winds, and rain, leaving homes needing asphalt shingle repair or replacements. The hailstones dent the shingles, the high winds bend, crack, and lift them up, and then the rain gets under them and through to the decking. 

So, can you repair lifted shingles or do you need a completely new roof?

If there are only a few shingles lifted, you can do an easy asphalt shingle repair without having to replace them or replace the entire roof. Lifted shingles happen when the seal on the back didn’t adhere well and will typically be on the north side of the house. 

Over time with high wind and other harsh weather exposure, it isn’t unusual for roof shingles to curl up. The problem is this exposes the felt covering and decking, leaving the roof susceptible to leaking. Fortunately, this is an easy asphalt shingle repair with these items: 

  • A brick
  • A putty knife
  • A caulking gun
  • Roof sealant
  • An utility knife
  • Prybar 

With these things on hand, the following steps will walk you through this asphalt roof repair: 

  1. Load the roofing sealant in the caulking gun.
  2. With the prybar, gently remove the lifted shingle.
  3. Apply a liberal amount of roofing sealant on the backside of the shingle.
  4. Return the shingle in place.
  5. Press down on the shingle down with the brick then leave the brick sitting for 24 hours.

Can asphalt shingles be restored?

Yes, if they aren’t in too bad of a condition. There are few different manufacturers that have released a spray coating that restores asphalt shingles, making them flexible again and water resistant. These products may vary from company to company, but each are natural oil and when applied to asphalt shingles, it soaks right in, much like hand lotion does with dry hands. 

Why would you want to restore existing shingles? Here are six benefits your asphalt shingle roof will gain: 

  • Protect the roof and your home from the weather 
  • Extend the existing roof’s lifespan  
  • Minimize or even eliminate costly asphalt shingle roof repairs 
  • Improve the energy efficiency for your home
  • Renew your home’s curb appeal 
  • Prevent mildew and mold from growing 

Are there different grades of asphalt shingles?

There are three different grades of asphalt shingles – they are as follows: 

  • Three-tab shingles – Manufactured as three separate tabs, they are the most common because they are the least expensive. 
  • Architectural shingles – Manufactured as two or three tabs that are then laminated to create a dimensional appearance.
  • Impact-resistant shingles – These roof shingles have a Class 4 rating, UL2218 and can take winds of 110mph and the brute force of large hailstones. 

What type of roof shingles are best?

If we’re comparing standard asphalt shingles to other types of shingles besides asphalt, the better choice is the asphalt shingles. They are inexpensive and lightweight. The lightweight makes them easier to install which means less labor for you to pay, and they work on any type of house style. 

They are available in a wide range of colors and are manufactured where they resemble a more expensive type of roofing material. As we discussed above, they come in three different categories, and the more expensive is the impact-resistant option, which is also the best of the three categories of asphalt shingle. Repairs are easy with matching shingles, though sometimes simply applying a roof sealant will do the trick. 

How long are asphalt shingles good for?

The 3-tab asphalt shingles typically have a 25-year manufacturer warranty and the Architectural asphalt shingles have a 30-year manufacturer warranty. When they are installed on a roof that is properly vented, you can expect to get up to 85% of those warranty periods. So, for the 3-tab asphalt shingle, that is up to 22 years, and for the architectural shingles that is up to 28 years. 

How much does it cost to repair shingles on a roof?

A professional asphalt shingle repair job can start at around $375 and go up to $1,600. The amount and type of damage will play a factor in this pricing. To do the job yourself, the materials will cost you around $150 and up for a 10-foot by 10-foot area of asphalt shingle repair. 

How often should shingles be replaced on a roof?

Unless your asphalt roof has storm damage or another type of damage, the lowest quality of asphalt roofing will need replacing usually within 20 years. The better quality of the asphalt shingle, the longer lifespan you’ll get – some even up to 30 years if Mother Nature is kind. 

Will asphalt shingles burn?

Yes, because they are made from petroleum products, they are very flammable. However, they are fire-resistant, meaning they will impede a fire. Because they can withstand an external fire, most asphalt shingles have a fire rating of Class A. If a house catches on fire from the inside and the flames reach the roof, the asphalt shingles will burn up with the roof decking below. 

worker replacing asphalt shingles on a roof

In Closing

Can asphalt shingles be painted? Yes, with a little preparation and using exterior acrylic paint, you can improve and renew the look of your asphalt shingle roof. If your roof is looking old and tired, but still in good condition, there is no need to get a new roof, adding to the landfill with the tear-off materials. Simply apply a good coat of acrylic paint for exterior use and your roof can look good as new again. 

The Basics of Roof Decking

Worker on a roof installing shingles.

What is roof decking?

Under the asphalt shingles of your roof you’ll find roof felt, and under that is roof decking. The shingle part of the roof and decking are both essential to a house having a solid and sound structure along with the foundation. Every material that is used to build a roof is important, but it is the roof decking that is the most vital. The roof decking is the groundwork the rest of the roofing system is built upon. If you need help with your roof decking in Chesterfield and St. Louis, MO, our team at ProCraft Exteriors can be there to help when you call (314) 786-3732.

What is the best option for roof decking?

Roof decking, also referred to as the sheathing, consists of the boards that frame the roof and the shingles attached over the roofing felt. Two types of wood are used for roof decking: 

  • Plank Roof Decking

This was the most commonly used roof decking before plywood came along. The wooden boards are elongated and rectangular, measuring either 1×6’ or 1×8’ in size. While plywood has taken over the roofing industry, plank roof decking is still used.  

  • Sheet Roof Decking

Just like the name sounds, this decking consists of flat sheets of wood. There are two different types of this roof decking: 

  • Oriented Strand Board, OSB as it is commonly known, is the most commonly used type of roof decking today. OSB is composed of wood chips and wood strips compressed together to a 7/16” thick sheet.
  • Plywood, an option many higher end home builders prefer, comes in four thicknesses. Which one a home builder or roofing contractor will use depends on the distance between rafters. 

How thick should roof decking be?

Thickness for standard roof decking is between half-inch to 5/8” thick. When OSB is used for roof decking, a 5/8” thickness is recommended. When using plywood, the stronger roof decking compared to OSB, a half-inch thickness is acceptable. 

The spacing between the rafters or trusses is also factored in when choosing the proper roof decking thickness. Any 24” spaced trusses will need thicker roof decking than 16” space rafters. If there are any gaps between the framing and roofing, the thicker the roof decking is, the better. 

Is roof decking treated?

Always choose roof decking that is made from pressure-treated lumber. This will give your roof extreme durability and built-in water resistance. Pressure treated lumber for roof decking will also be insect-resistant and rot-resistant. 

Should you have roof decking with insulation?

Preventing super cold or superheated air from getting in will keep your home more comfortable, and extend the lifespan of your roof as well. Along with a well-ventilated attic, insulating along the roof decking will be ideal, especially if your home has cathedral or coffin ceilings. This insulation will help with energy savings too. The most commonly used materials for roof decking insulation are: 

  • Rigid Foam Insulation Boards
  • Radiant Barrier
  • Spray Foam Insulation 

What causes roof decking to warp?

The condition of your home’s roof is a crucial factor in the safety of your home and, therefore, taking care of it properly is incredibly important. If you notice any irregularities, like warping with the roof structure, you need to have it addressed and corrected immediately. Here are some of the most common causes for warped roof decking: 

  • Uneven Rafters: This is usually an error during installation that occurs when the contractor doesn’t make sure the rafters are level or evenly spaced. 
  • Underlayment Problems: The underlayment needs to be installed dry and flat in order to stay put. Otherwise, it wrinkles up and can create warping of the roof decking. 
  • Insufficient Ventilation: An attic without sufficient ventilation will accumulate moisture, which will get to the roof decking and all the materials attached to it, creating a warping of the roof decking. 
  • Water Damage: A plywood roof deck will warp when it gets wet, usually because there are holes in the outer roofing, loose or missing shingles, loose or missing flashings, or other similar issues. 
  • Multiple Roofing Layers.  Some roofing contractors will tell you it is okay to install a new roof over existing shingles, but shingle manufacturers recommend not to do that. It is a money saver, but if the shingles aren’t lying flat as intended, there can be weaknesses in the roof structure. This also minimizes attic ventilation.

How long does roof plywood last?

There are many factors that will affect the lifespan of plywood roof decking. The installation, the finished roofing project, and the environment of the house can all have an impact on the lifespan of plywood or any other wood. 

The average for T-111 plywood decking is approximately 35 years. Some plywood roof decking has been known to last 40 to 50 years. Every roof will be different, which is why annual roof inspections are recommended. 

When should roof decking be replaced?

Anytime you are experiencing a leaking roof, the roof decking should be replaced. If you’re getting a new roof because it is time, leaks or not, the roofing contractor will inspect the roof decking and advise you on if it should be replaced. 

They will determine this by searching for any signs of roof rot or noting whether the spacing between the existing roof decking planks have separated. Additional roofing rafters may also be required in a situation like that. 

Close-up of a shingle being nailed into place.

Wrapping Up Your Roof Decking Questions

Every homeowner wants to get the most out of their homeowner’s insurance. This is especially true when it comes to roofing. So, does homeowners insurance cover roof decking? As is the case with anything concerning homeowner’s insurance, the answer is, it depends. 

A homeowner’s insurance policy’s normal coverage is for damage caused by acts of God, fire, and vandalism, and this includes the roof decking along with other parts of the roof. This includes damage done by weather events such as hurricanes and tornadoes. However, when it comes to paying for hail, rain or wind damage, it will be spelled out in your policy what is covered. 

Another factor the insurance adjuster will consider is the age of the roof. A roof that is 10 years old will have a good chance of getting full replacement, and anything older than that will typically be prorated. If you are looking for more information, or you’re interested in the installation of roof decking in Chesterfield and St. Louis, MO, call ProCraft Exteriors today at (314) 786-3732.

How Do You Repair a Flat Roof?

damaged and worn flat roof

Keeping your flat roof at its best

The majority of commercial or industrial buildings are in large buildings that have expansive flat roofing. The roof of these structures is flat for a couple of reasons, one being it is less expensive to build and another reason, the HVAC system is installed on top of the structure.  With the HVAC on the roof, it leaves more real estate on the ground for parking, an important feature for a business. 

Unfortunately, this leaves the building open for some issues like the abuse flat roofing is susceptible to from the environment and weather. Because they are expansive and flat, they get more of the sun’s UV rays beating down on them. There is more area with flat roofing for hail, ice, rain, and snow to plummet, leaving behind damage. 

Flat roofing requires a different type roofing material that is durable and can hold up to the elements and environment. What is the best material for a flat roof?  That deciding factor must be made building by building because not all flat roofing materials are the same.

With several key factors for consideration, like the cost for installation and the material, the energy rating, maintenance requirements, and life expectancy, along with the aesthetics. The roofing application will determine which of the following flat roofing materials will work best for any commercial or industrial building. 

  • Modified Bitumen: This asphalt-based flat roofing material is modified using special polymers that enhance its performance and malleability. Arrives at the job site in rolls from the factor and has a finished surface that is either granulated or smooth. It can be installed in 3 different manners: cold-applied, heat-applied, or self-adhered. In general, this is the more costly flat roofing material and offers a lifespan up to twenty years, which is relatively short compared to other materials. It is an energy efficient roofing material that is fairly durable and can endure extreme temperatures while diminishing the heat on the roof surface. Locating a leak source can be difficult  with this flat roofing substrate.
  • Built-Up Roofs (BUR): Used on flat roofing surfaces for over than one hundred years, making it the most common type of material on commercial or industrial buildings. The name built-up comes from the several alternating layers of asphalt and reinforcing fabrics with a finishing top layer of an aggregate like gravel, mineral granules, or slag. This flat roofing material has an expected lifespan up to thirty years with little maintenance required. Provides excellent UV ray and waterproofing protection with the aggregate layer making it fire-resistant. An visually pleasing flat roofing material, it is the more expensive of materials that take more time for installing. It is not as resistant to water or wind damage as other flat roofing materials offer.
  • EPDM Rubber: This synthetic rubber compound is used on many low-slope flat roofing structures because of the versatility it provides, proving to be effective solution for many commercial or industrial structures. Most structures have it installed in black, but it is available in gray, tan, or white. A conformable, durable, impervious, and lightweight flat roofing material that has a life expectancy of 30 years or longer and is one of the less costly options in flat roofing materials. A relatively easy maintain material when compared to other commercial flat roofing materials, but because it is easy to puncture and has the tendency to shrink, it isn’t the best choice for every flat roofing commercial or industrial structure. With the popular choice of black roofing color, it isn’t as energy-efficient as the lighter color flat roofing materials. 
  • Single-Ply: PVC and TPO are single-ply membranes and are more common for commercial flat roofing materials. While they look similar, both are white, applied by heat welding, and are thermoplastic systems, they are different. The PVC, polyvinyl chloride, a durable flat roofing product with a 20 year lifespan is fire and water resistant and withstands heavy winds. Compared to EPDM and TPO flat roofing materials, is more expensive and punctures easily. The TPO, thermoplastic polyolefin, is a flexible flat roofing material that can last up to 25 years and is  less expensive than the PVC flat roofing material. It is easier to install and maintain but is a “younger” material that has only been around since the 1990s. 
  • Spray Polyurethane Foam: The least common of flat roofing material options but the most effective with a combination of closed-cell, plural-component, offers an insulation and protective elastomeric top-coating. With routine maintenance, it has a lifespan of more than 50 years with a superior insulation barrier that provides superior energy efficiency and R-value. A strong material that increases the integrity of commercial building structures but should only be installed by flat roofing  contractors that are experienced in spray foam installation. A lack of experience can affect the integrity of this commercial flat roofing material.

How many years does a flat roof last?

As we stated earlier, the type of flat roofing material you choose will have various lifespans. They range anywhere from as little as 10 years and up to 50 years or longer. Installation and maintenance are key factors in the longevity of any flat roofing materials. 

How do you stop a flat roof from leaking?

 Not the ideal situation, but you can perform flat roof repair in rain for a temporary stop. Schedule proper flat roofing repair as soon as the weather permits to keep any further damage from happening in the next rainstorm. 

Any debris and ponding water will need to be cleaned from the flat roofing surface before you can patch the roof to stop leaking. Using a silicone patching material and a dense brush, apply the silicone over the leak and if the leak is around or near flashing, coat the flashing too.  Then, once the silicone has dried,  apply a plastic tarp, held down by heavy boards or other objects.

Reminder that this should only be a temporary repair and a professional roofing contractor should be scheduled for installing a permeant flat roof repair or replacement once the weather permits. 

Can you patch a flat roof?

There are a few options to patching flat roofing: 

1) An EPDM rubber flat roofing can be patched with a DIY repair kit available from roofing supply stores. Included in the kit will be adhesive and tape for quick repairs. 

2) For patching and repairs, call a flat roofing expert contractor. This may cost you a few hundred dollars, but at the same time, could be saving you thousands. 

3) If your flat roofing is modified bitumen, you will need to call a professional flat roofing contractor due to the welding required. 

4) A tar and gravel flat roofing will be a challenge to find the leak source, even for the most experienced commercial roofing contractor. Many times, after an inspection, trial and error in finding the leak, a full replacement is recommended. 

5) For a flat roofing with single-ply membrane, you can have a coating applied, but expect it to need recoating or replacing within the next two to three years. This is an expensive solution and not long lasting. 

flat black roof repair

How do you repair a flat roof?

While it may be easier to call a professional roofing contractor, a commercial property owner also knows the value of a dollar (or hundreds of dollars in this case). With the right equipment, supplies, tools, and some hands-on skills, minor flat roofing repairs are possible with these steps: 

  • Inspection: Locate the leak and determine what needs to be repaired. 
  • Clearance: Clear any debris and dry up any pools of water. Chances are those pooled areas is where you’ll find the leak(s).  Be sure to brush or sweep away all loose debris and obstructions. 
  • Blisters: Any blisters on your flat roofing should be removed by slicing them in the middle and raise the slices up to expose the roofing felt below. 
  • Water: Remove any water under the blister using rags and shop vacuum. Let the area dry completely before going forward. 
  • Cement: Fill in the area with roofing cement and spread the cement around the affected areas too. Even out an y areas that are unlevel and damaged. Do this with any cracks and holes as well. 
  • Membrane: Final step is installing a new layer of your flat roofing membrane while the roofing cement is still wet. Once in place, seal the edges with galvanized nails. 

If you need flat roof repair in wintertime, it is recommended to call a professional roofing contractor.  They will have the experience and safety gear to do the repair safely. The winter can make flat roofing slick and dangerous.  Simply do an internet search for “contractors for flat roof repair near me” and get 2 to 3 estimates before choosing who to work with. Want to get started on your flat roof repair in Chesterfield and St. Louis, MO? Call (314) 786-3732 today.

Do I need soffit and fascia?

Soffit & Fascia along roof

Parts of your home and roofing system

Your house has several structural components. Ceilings, flooring, walls, and a roof, and each of those things have components with them when they are constructed. Like the roof example, it has rafters, decking, shingles, and the soffit & fascia. Today, we’re going to discuss two of the components in the roof: the soffit & fascia.

Let’s start by discussing what do soffits and fascia do, because to the unknowing person, they may just seem like decorative parts to the roof. Both the soffits and fascia on a house have important functions for the roof.  

The soffits keep the attic ventilated so that moisture doesn’t build up in the attic and rot the rafters. The roll of the fascia is different but just as important in preventing damage and rot to the attic and roof by covering the ends of the rafters. With out the soffit & fascia, the roofing would go bad faster and need replacing way before the 20, 25, or 30 year warranty was expired on the shingles! 

Do I need to vent my soffits?

If you haven’t got the message yet, attic ventilation is important to the health of your roof and your home. One reason, for homes in warm climates and hot summers, you’ll have a cooler attic with soffit vents. They help keep your home cooler so that you need the air conditioning less.  In the winter, soffit vents keeps the moisture build up minimal by providing attic ventilation. This keeps the water condensation all but eliminated and that keeps mildew, mold, and rot away. 

When soffit & fascia are installed on a home, the soffit is typically an aluminum, vinyl, or wood. There is non-vented soffit and standard for homes with a narrow eave. There are two primary types of soffit vents, one is the continuous soffit vents. They are long and narrow vents running the entire length of the soffit and used for homes with narrow eaves. The other soffit vents is the more common and are individual vents that are cut to size when installed between the soffit joists.

Does roof replacement include fascia?

The original timing for soffits and fascia installation is during construction of the house. Then when the roof is replaced, usually 20 to 30 years later, the roofing contractor will inspect the soffit & fascia and determine if they need repairing, replacing, or can be left alone. While a roofing contractor can certainly replace the fascia & soffit while replacing the roof, if they only repairing, the contractor may sub that job to general handyman contractor.  

What goes on first fascia or soffit?

When deciding if the soffit and fascia or siding first, in most cases the fascia is installed first. This is the long straight piece that runs along the lower edge of the roof and is fastened to the trusses. The job of the fascia is to protect to support the bottom row of roofing material. The fascia board is also where the gutter runs are fastened.  

Next, the soffit board is positioned so that it tucks under the fascia board. When you are standing on the sidewalk, you see this as you look up at the roof. The fascia board protects the eaves and keeps things out of the attic. Without a fascia board, your attic would be open to all the critters and insects. 

Is it OK to pressure wash soffits and fascia?

Because of the importance the soffit & fascia are to your home, it is recommended to have your home, including the soffit and fascia cleaned by a professional service. They will have the proper equipment and tools with the experience on how to wash them without damage. 

fascia along roof

 How do you clean soffits and fascia?

However, if you choose to do this yourself, follow these tips:

  • Water Pressure: Use a low pressure setting. Hard setting can bust through the fascia board and into your attic. 
  • Make sure your ladder is firm and secure in place, climb with caution.
  • Wear rubber sole shoes with a good tread. 
  • Watch for falling debris as you wash.

As you can tell from our piece the soffit & fascia may appear to be nothing more than cosmetic features for your home. They are more than a place to fasten the gutter run and Christmas lights. They have a strong purpose and if you left them off your home for a week, you’d find out quickly why you need soffit & fascia on your home.

While your roofing material may have a 25 to 30-year lifespan, the soffit & fascia may need repairs or replacement earlier. They are just as important at the roof itself, so when you see any rot or sagging areas, call a professional contractor to for repairs or replacement. Call (314) 786-3732 today for your roof’s fascia and soffit in Chesterfield and St. Louis, MO.

Do roofers repair skylights?

open skylight

Wait a minute, can a skylight be repaired?

A skylight can give a room a completely different look, adding a dimension and bring in natural light. However, when there is damage to the roof from storms, a skylight is typically damaged as well. So, you’re left not only with roof repair, but skylight repair too, and fortunately, both can be accomplished with an experienced roofing contractor. 

With a skylight, you get more natural light, and your comfort and privacy aren’t compromised. When a skylight begins to leak though, how do you know that you need just  Skylight repair or replacement going to be required? Just how complicated and expensive is a skylight repair? 

Well, before you go into a panic and decide to have the skylight permanently covered up or removed, have an experienced roofing contractor inspect it first.  A roofing contractor that is experienced in skylight repair and installation will be able to give you advise and an estimate, even help you decide if permanently covering it up or removing it an option. 

A skylight that has a continuous leak usually indicates a damaged skylight. A skylight that has  condensation building up on the inside can  be results from the room, like a bathroom or kitchen. Sometimes, it can be an indication that skylight repair is needed. Some possible issues that cause a skylight to leak and require skylight glass repair:

  • Flashing Damage: Your chimney, exhaust pipes and skylight have metal flashing around them to prevent them from leaking. Because it exposed to the elements continuously, it can weaken and allow leaks. A professional roofing contractor with skylight experience can replace or repair skylight flashing and inspect the entire roof while up there. If the skylight flashing is corroded and worn, most likely flashing in other areas is too. 
  • Roofing Cement: A skylight that was installed and secured with roofing cement will likely begin to leak as the cement ages and cracks over time. Usually, there are tiny holes in the roofing cement and the skylight repair to stop the leak can removing the aged and cracked roof cement and applying new roofing cement. 
  • Poor Installation: Not all roofing contractors are experienced in installing a skylight or will take short cuts to stay under budget and on time. This often ends up with a leaking skylight, but that isn’t anything that a qualified roofing contractor can’t fix. The contractor will inspect the skylight and roofing around it, and will advise if skylight repair is possible, or possibly the only option is to replace the  skylight entirely.      

How do you repair a leaking skylight?

What appears to be a skylight leak may not be a leak, but condensation formed on the inside of the skylight. This is common during the winter or if the skylight is in the bathroom or kitchen where moisture is common. 

If you have confirmed the skylight does have a leak, you’ll need to clean the skylight from the rooftop. Remove any debris and limbs so that you can examine the skylight’s exterior and the flashing around it. If you don’t find anything obvious, use a water hose and run water over and all around the skylight to duplicate the possible leak. Once you have found the leak, you can do repairs yourself using one of these options: 

  • Reattach the flashing or seal up gaps and holes with roofing cement.
  • Apply silicone caulking around the skylight lens.
  • Replace the metal flashing.

If these don’t stop the leak, you’ll need to contact a professional roofing contractor that has skylight experience. 

How do you cover a broken skylight?

Missouri is in Tornado Alley, where severe weather is common during the spring and early summer. When you know that extreme weather is coming, you can protect your skylight by covering it with a blanket, boards, or a tarp. This will keep hail from directly hitting the skylight glass and minimize the possibility of needing skylight repair or replacement.

If you don’t have the opportunity to take preventive measures and your skylight is broken or damaged during a storm, you should have a professional roofing contractor inspect the skylight and roof. While waiting for the contractor, you can cover the skylight with a plastic tarp and use 2×4 boards to hold the tarp in place on top of the roof.  Once the repairs are made, have the contractor install a protective film that will protect the skylight going forward. 

Skylights in a room

Is A Skylight Worth Installing? 

Newer homes often have a skylight installed during construction, but an existing older home can have a skylight too.  Get several quotes from roofing contractors that are experienced with skylight installation, remember the best isn’t necessarily the most expensive and the cheapest quote, you may get what you pay for.  

So, with all the information we’ve provided here, you may wonder if a skylight is worthwhile. A common question is what is the life expectancy of a skylight? The typical lifespan of a skylight is around eight years. A skylight that was professional installed by an experienced contractor and is made of high quality glass can give you up to fifteen years of enjoyment. Need skylight repair in Chesterfield and St. Louis, MO? Call (314) 786-3732 today!

How often does roof decking need to be replaced?

home with a roof decking in good condition

Roof decking under your materials

What’s up on the rooftop is one question, what is under the shingles, roof decking vs sheathing is another question. There are a many components to a roof, most of it we don’t see from the ground, like the roof decking. To understand your roof better, explaining what roof decking and other components are, we have a break down what is under the shingles: 

  • Trusses: The foundation of the roof, this creates the peak of your roof and provides support for the rest of the roofing components, especially the roof decking.
  • Chimney: If your home has a fireplace, it needs a chimney to carry the ash and soot from the fireplace out, so it doesn’t fill your home. 
  • Flashing: This metal strip is installed where different roof angles meet, around the chimney , and other areas that are prone to leak.  
  • Vent pipe: This small pipe extends up, allowing fresh air into the plumbing so that sinks, toilets, and tubs can drain. 
  • Sheathing: This is the subject of today’s article, sometimes referred to as the roof decking, and the first layer of the roof, and maybe called roof decking or sheathing. This will be either roof decking osb vs plywood and is attached to the trusses, creating the foundation for the shingles. 
  • Underlayment: This thin layer of material is attached to the sheathing, aka roof decking, is typically an asphalt coated felt, is the barrier from element and helps water to shed when a shingle is loose or missing, minimizing the chance of roof decking exposed. 
  • Shingles: This is the part you see and comes in several colors, styles,  and textures. 
  • Ridge Vent: This is at the peak of the roof, runs the entire length and keeps moisture from collecting in your attic and maintains a consistent temperature in the attic. 
  • Ridge cap: These are some shingles that cover the ridge vents and keep moisture out so the ridge vents can do their job. 
  • Fascia: This is the board you see running along the bottom of the roof trusses to keep things out of the attic and the elements blowing up under the roof decking.

What is better for a roof OSB or plywood?

When comes to choose between OSB or plywood for roof decking, both having structural characteristics, both rated Exposure 1 for temporary element exposure, and resistant to nail withdrawal, is one better than the other? It really becomes the builder’s or roofing contractor’s choice, with the following facts helping them make their decision. 

OSB, an engineered wood with particleboard like feel and look, is manufactured with strands of wood compressed together in specific orientation, unevenly, creating the rough surface you feel. It is available in different rigidity, sizes, strengths, and thickness.  It is a water-resistant material but does need the addition of an additional membrane to create complete water impermeability. 

OSB offers consistent density and doesn’t have knot holes other natural flaws that can create weak areas. A structural uniform product that is less expensive than plywood and has a stronger load-bearing capacity. 

Plywood has an advantage in stiffness, making the ideal material for subflooring, and is often used as roof decking with 24-inch truss spacing in 7/8-inch thickness. A higher quality material than OSB, and still dominates the market for many builders, contractors, and homeowners. 

What is the best option for roof decking?

When your builder or roofing contractor is choosing the roof decking for your home, they are choosing a material that they feel  will last for years, protecting your investment. In most cases, OSB has become the first choice. 

In 2006, almost 60% of all new houses had OSB for their roof decking. The intertwined and bonded wood strands provide optimal resistance to moisture, however, if water does work its way to the roof decking, OSB will rot faster than plywood. 

This reiterates why roof decking must be covered in quality roof felt and why regular inspections of the roof are important. Making sure there aren’t any missing shingles or flashing where water can penetrate to the roof decking. 

How thick should roof decking be?

Roof sheathing should always be nailed to the trusses, never stapled, using 8d ring-shank nails.  The roof sheathing itself should be no less than 19/32-inch thick and up to ¾ inch thick, the most common thickness. 

When a house is being built, the builder may choose to use roof decking with insulation, using a foam board insulation product. A homeowner can have a contactor install insulation  to the underside after the home is built as well, usually with a spray foam insulation material for ease. Other types of insulation like bat rolls and foam board aren’t as easily attached to the roof decking after construction is completed. 

How do I know if my roof decking is bad?

The roof of your complement the exterior and is also a layer of defense against the elements. Under the shingles that does all this is the roof decking. If the roof decking is compromised, your entire home is compromised Indications that your roof decking may be compromised are: 

  • Shingles buckling and curling.
  • Asphalt granules thin on the shingles.
  • Holes in the roofing.
  • Mildew or mold in the attic.
  • Loose or missing shingles.
  • Roof has spongy feel when contractor or inspector walk on the roof.
  • Damage found around the chimney, pipes, or other penetration.
roof with quality decking

Should I replace the plywood on my roof?

If you, a roofing contractor, or inspector find any of the things we just listed with your home’s roof, then yes, a roof decking replacement may be needed. An experienced roofing contractor can advise you if the entire roof decking needs replacing, or just certain areas. Either way, follow the advice after getting two to three estimates. The roof decking is what is protecting your home under the asphalt shingles. Need help with your roof and its decking in Chesterfield and St. Louis, MO? Call (314) 786-3732 today!

Is spray foam insulation worth it?

spray foam insulation

What homeowner isn’t conscious of their energy bills every month?

No matter if it is summer or winter, we are all turning things off to save money, or find a way to make things work more efficient, like the cooling and heating. With that mind, are you have you looked at having spray foam insulation added to your attic? 

Here, we have answered a few commonly ask questions about spray foam insulation, and hopefully that includes information to help you determine if this is the way you need to insulation your home. The first question is what are the pros and cons of spray foam insulation?

Spray Foam Insulation – The Pros

Industry experts recommend spray foam insulation in existing and new build homes. Considered to be high performing product, spray foam insulation provides an air barrier and vapor barrier while insulating your home, making your home more energy efficient so that your HVAC system doesn’t work as hard to cool or heat your home. Your electric and gas bills are lower because of this efficiency. Other benefits of spray foam insulation include: 

  • air leakage is essentially eliminated
  • heat loss is prevented
  • ideal insulation for attics, floors, roofs, walls
  • a higher R-Value other insulation materials  
  • reduced moisture accumulation
  • additional  vapor barrier not needed
  • seals up any awkward spaces 
  • effectively eradicates air drafts

Spray Foam Insulation – The Cons

There is only one con, but it something to be considered. Because spray foam insulation is a superior performing product in comparison to other insulation materials, the initial installation has a higher upfront cost that is often more than most homeowners have budgeted. While the ROI is great, it is achieved over a longer period of time.  

Other Insulation Materials: Fiberglass and Foam Board

When comparing spray foam insulation or fiberglass for your home, consider that fiberglass insulation is manufactured from glass fiber in either batt rolls or blown in loose fill. It does provide satisfactory capacity and is ore affordable for most homeowners, a DIY homeowner can do their own installation. Using it in the basement requires additional installation of vapor barrier, an additional expense that should be factored in the decision.

  Between spray foam insulation vs foam board, the following facts about foam board should be considered when choosing: 

  • Opportunity increased for penetrations because it is mechanically fastened
  • Decreased  flexibility due to rigidity format
  • When installed perfectly, provides the best air sealing and insulation
  • Increased install cost for time-consuming process
  • Often need addition of other form of  insulation to get the best results 

Should I spray foam my attic?

There isn’t any shortage of insulation products to choose from today, but the most recommended is spray foam insulation, contractors boast about the long-term and short-term benefits offered by this product when the open-cell form of spray foam insulation is used. While it is not a DIY insulation product, only installed by professional contractors with the proper equipment and training, it will have the biggest ROI over time in comparison to other types of insulation materials. 

Is it better to insulate attic ceiling or floor?

For your home to get the optimal energy efficiency, it needs to be insulated starting at the roof and to the floor. If your attic is unfinished, insulation should be placed between the floor joists and then over the floor joists, using an open-cell with spray foam insulation.  If the attic has air distribution, insulate the rafters as well. For a finished attic, insulation should be installed between the wall studs and exterior wall and roof rafters. The exterior walls, including the internal walls attached, unheated garage should be insulated. 

foam insulation application

Can you over insulate a house?

The purpose of spray foam insulation, or any insulation, is to make your home more efficient in cooling or heating by sealing the interior from the elements. However, it is possible to over-do the insulating to the point the house isn’t breathing. When a house can’t breathe, moisture is trapped inside the layers, creating the perfect place for mildew and mold to grow. 

When asked how long does spray foam insulation last, we can tell you that between spray foam insulation and mortgages, you’ll have your mortgage paid off long before you’ll need to reapply the spray foam insulation.  

The International Association of Certified Home Inspectors advises that spray foam insulation and wrap tape insulation have a life expectancy of eighty years or longer. Other types of insulation have a life expectancy of 100 years which includes, cellulose, foamboard, loose fill, and rock wool insulation materials. 

The number one concern for any homeowner when choosing an insulation material is the expense.  Spray foam insulation is the most expensive, but also will have a higher ROI over a longer period of time.  If you’re going to be in your house for years, then it is worth the investment. Call (314) 786-3732 today.