One of the first things you will need to do if you intend to have a new roof laid or new gutters installed, is to check your local building code so see if there are any restrictions. When I was trying to find the best gutter repairs Liverpool has to offer, I ran into a number of problems with the local council. It is best to do your homework and check any restrictions that might be in place. Also take into account the slope of your roof and you can automatically eliminate some roofing materials that are not suitable for your roofing project. If the slope of your roof is very steep, then you will need a guttering system with enough volume to deal with the flow of water. Once you have done this, try to learn as much as you can about the materials that you believe might be suitable for your project and compare them. The things to compare and keeping in mind are:
- Cost versus durability: some materials might cost more than others but might last longer and will therefore be cheaper in the long run. Asphalt shingles, for an example, come in different price range but when taking into account the durability, you can calculate the cost-per-year-basis for a more accurate cost over time.
- Warranties: some materials come with warranties and will then cover replacement, providing you have following the instructions correctly. Some warranties cover both material replacement and labour – so make sure you check what you are covered for .
- Availability: some materials might not be available for purchase anywhere close by and it this is the case you have to take shipping into account. Roofing materials are heavy so if it has to be sent over a great distance you need to be prepared to pay for it.
- Application: some materials are easier than others to install and even the easiest material to install might be a challenge if you have a very steep sloping roof.
- Appearance: different materials provide different looks, styles and appearances. Make sure to choose a roof that goes with your house. Try to blend the roofing material you choose with the siding of the house. Look to see how different roofing colours go with the exterior siding of a house and try to find a nice balance.
When it comes to choosing the correct roofing and guttering colours there are some tips to follow:
- Wood shingles provide a weathered look and earth toned coloured asphalt shingles goes really well with natural settings, but these are obviously not suitable for gutters.
- Very bright colours such as blue, green and red will often emphasise a roof whilst natural and medium colours will play it down.
- A white or a very light coloured roof will make a house seem higher and it will also reflect heath.
- Dark coloured roofs make a house look more compact and it will absorb the heath rather than reflect it.
When you plan your budget for new roofing or guttering material, make sure to include things such as flashings, roofing cement and even nails. Flashings can be used for several parts of the roof area. The one most commonly used for chimneys, drip edges, valleys and vents are made of malleable, galvanised steel (28-gauge). If you have an asphalt shingle roof through you can use mineral surface roll roofing on valleys and vents. Another material than can be used is plastics and aluminium – even copper can be used for chimney flashings if you so prefer. Preformed flashings for drip edges, valleys and vents are available to purchase or if you are handy, you can make them yourself. These materials can be purchased from any good diy store.
Materials for the Job
Plastic roofing cement is another product that you will need if repairing or replacing a roof or gutter. It is a black and elastic waterproofing agent that you use under shingles, along flashings and between the different layers of felt. Plastic roofing cement comes in caulking tubes or in different size cans. Depending on what type you buy, you will need to apply it with either a caulking gun or a steel trowel.
A lot of people looking to do repairs to existing roofs or laying a new one forget to include the cost of nails to their budget. This might look like a minor thing but if you consider how many nails you will have to use to do the job – especially if you are working on a bigger surface or replacing the entire roof – the cost can creep up on you. Depending on the nature of your roofing project, you will need different type and size of nails. For underlayments and roof surfaces, it is best to use hot-dipped galvanised nails as these do not rust through and damage the surrounding materials. Remember to buy long enough nails so that they can penetrate roughly ¾ of an inch into the roof deck or if you use plywood sheathing – all the way through. When applying sheathing it is generally ok to use common nails or box nails and these are a cheaper option as well.
A quick way to apply shingles is to use a pneumatic staple gun but please check whether your warranty covers application with staples, otherwise stick to using nails. Keep in mind that if you do not know how to use a pneumatic staple gun correctly, the staples might not fasten the shingles securely to the deck or they can break through the asphalt. You can imagine how catastrophic the result from this might be.
There are several types of roofing materials to use if you are repairing or replacing your roof. Slate is often considered the cousin of the tile and it can successfully be used for roofs. It is a very durable material but it generally is too expensive to purchase for most home owner’s budgets and it also needs professional installation, therefore adding extra costs to the job. Due to this, slate is often only used in custom roofing.
Another material that can be used for roofing is aluminium shingles and they are shaped to interlock. This is to provide additional wind resistance and this also makes them extra durable in areas where it snows. They can be found in a range of different colours and often come corrugated. Galvanised steel panels are quite favourably used as roofing material in some situations due to its many positives. They are some of the easiest roofs to install and can be painted to any taste and colour and some manufacturers even make metal panels that looks like actual timber. Galvanised steel is a very good material to choose for roofing if you live in an area with heavy snow as it will shed the snow easily. Just watch out for the snow sliding off the roof – safety first!
Some houses that have flat or low-sloping roofs will have built-up roofing systems of either asphalt and gravel or polyurethane foam. Asphalt and gravel roofs are layered with roofing felts that are each coated with asphalt and the top layer is then surfaced with crushed rock or gravel. Polyurethane foam can be sprayed on existing built-up roofs or on new roof deckings. It is generally a bit more expensive than asphalt and gravel roofs but it has the advantage of providing a lightweight insulation as well as very durable roofing.
As mentioned before, the choice when it comes to roofing materials are many and it is important to choose one that is suited for you, your needs and your budget. You will also need to take into account if there are any restrictions regarding houses and roofs in your area and implement these into your plans. Remember that some roof materials are heavier than other and will therefore be more expensive to ship, especially if the manufacturer is based far from your house. Last but not least, remember to choose a roof that is suitable for the particular weather where you live. Happy roofing!
Owning your first home can be a great and exhilarating experience but as a home owner you also have responsibilities. Owning a house also means maintaining a house. Maintenance can be hard and also expensive work. One of the first things to check for when purchasing a house is the state of the roof. The number one reason to lay a new roof or repair an existing one is to protect the house and its contents from water and the elements. The material for this is called roofing felt. This is a water-resistant membrane made from wood fibres and recycled paper, drenched in asphalt oils. It is placed between the surface and the roof’s sheathing. Roofing felt prevents rain and moisture from penetration and damaging the sheathing as well as preventing the roof surface from coming into contact with wood resins and other moistures. It is milled in different thicknesses and is purchased according to the weight. The most common ones being either: 15-pounds, 30-pounds or 90-pounds per square of roof surface. Roofing felt is often sold in 36-inch wide rolls which are 36-foot long. These are to be laid slightly overlapping and will cover roughly one square of roof. The underlayment used for asphalt roofs is often a 15-pound felt whilst wood shake roofs uses a 30-pounds felt underlayment that is placed in an overlapping pattern. Sometimes a 90-pound felt of roll roofing and valley flashing can be used on some asphalt shingle roofs. Always speak to a professional roofer if you need any assistance or advice.
There are several choices you will need to make when putting down a new roof. One of the first decisions to make is what type of material to use: asphalt, wood, tile, slate, aluminium shingles or galvanized steel panels. If you decide to lay a roof using asphalt shingles, the next decision to make is between shingles manufactured with an organic base or a fibreglass base. After these initial decisions you are left with the most enjoyable ones: to choose between different colours, textures and patterns. Just keep in mind to make choices that will blend in with your house siding and the rest of the houses in your area. Depending on where in the country you live, there might sometimes be restrictions which mean you will have to use a specific material, colour or pattern. Make sure to look into this before purchasing and laying a new roof as this otherwise might be a very expensive mistake.
As with most things, there are different materials to choose between in the sheathing and underlayment of a roof and this is often based on the type of surface that is being used. Most of the time roofing materials are laid over solid sheathing while wood shingles and shakes are more commonly laid over spaced lumber. This is a more ‘open’ sheathing system which allows the air to circulate more freely.
The most common material used for roof decks requiring solid sheathing is plywood and it is easy to see why. It is a durable and strong material which doesn’t warp easily, even during bad and changing weather. Also, plywood often comes in 4 by 8-foot panels which allows for easy installing over rafters. Wood boards come in two sizes: 1 by 6 and 2 by 6 with tongue-and-groove edges for added stability. Houses with exposed beams in the ceilings can have either decks of tongue-and-groove lumber or manufactured fibreboard combining a solid nailing base, thermal insulation and with a finished underside providing a beautiful ceiling. Wood shingles are laid on spaced or ‘open’ sheathing. The boards used are laid horizontally and several inches apart, across either rafters or the existing roof. They usually measure 1 by 4.
Choosing the right wood for sheathing can be tricky for the novice roofer. I would advice to use plywood or really dry and well seasoned lumber. The reason for this is that if a roof is laid over so called ‘green’ lumber, which have an higher than 20 percent moisture content, it can buckle as the sheathing warps as it is drying. Always check the local building codes to find out the permissible thickness for the rafter spans. Quite a few codes permit the use of 5/16-inches plywood on roofs with 12-inch rafter spans. This would be 3/8-inches thickness on 24-inches rafter spans. I would recommend to go for a thicker one as it provides for a sturdier nailing base. Also remember to use exterior grade glues if you are using plywood on roofs. There is however no need to have exterior type veneers.
Use well-seasoned tongue-and-groove planks with a maximum width of 6 inches if you are installing board sheathing as any wider boards could easily warp. Do not use any wood that has a high number of knots or pockets of resin as it can penetrate and cause damage to the actual roof surface and this can cause a delay in the installation and further costs if it has to be redone.