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What is the difference between wood shingles and shakes?

close-up of wooden shingles

A Range of Roofing Materials

There are many types of roofing materials, from asphalt shingles to ceramic tiles, and metal roofing to cedar shake roofing. Each type of roofing includes many different types within them, like wood roofing materials.

Within the category of wood roofing, there is wood shake roofing and wood shingle roofing, and that it what we’re going to discuss today. Let’s start by defining: what is a wood shake roof? Wood cedar shake roofing, the more popular wood choice, is made of a wood roofing material that is produced by a wooden log being split into thin rectangles. Typically one side is sawn, and the other side is hand split, making a thicker wood roofing material than often found with wood shingles. 

Where the main difference between wood shake vs wood shingle is defined in the manufacturing, it should also be noted that wood shingles are made from a log of wood, but both sides are sawn, making them thinner at the butt end compared to standard wood cedar shake roofing material. Both wood shingles and wood shakes are a wedge shape and are individually affixed to the roofing deck. 

How long do cedar shake roofs last?

A basic new roof is an investment, but when you go with a cedar shake roofing, the investment is higher, and a homeowner will expect to get as long of lifespan as possible. Ideally, a homeowner hopes to only have to go through a new roof expense once, or perhaps twice at the most. 

As long as a cedar shake roofing is installed correctly by the roofing contractor, and the homeowner keeps proper maintenance and upkeep, 30 years is the average life span. Depending on the quality of the materials used and factors such as the climate and environment conditions, some cedar shake roofing has been known to last 50 years. 

Because the shake for wood cedar shake roofing materials is naturally made, there isn’t a manufacturer warranty. That’s why you’ll want to find a roofing contractor that is experienced in cedar shake roofing installation and who offers a warranty on their work. It is that warranty that will be your best chance that the workmanship is of a quality level. 

What is the life expectancy of a wood shake roof?

The most common wood shake roof material in the United States is western red cedar shake roofing. It is available in abundance and has proven to be the most weather-resistant of all wood shake roofing. The other species of wood that are used, but not as commonly, are: 

  • California redwood
  • Cypress
  • Atlantic white cedar

Like cedar shake roofing, other types of wood are natural, so you’re depending more on the quality of the installation than the wood itself for lifespan. The average can be between 20 years and 40 years with expert installation and proper wood shake care by the homeowner. 

Are wood shake roofs safe?

Wood is a natural material, making it a flammable material and a fire hazard. However, it should be noted a fire retardant chemical is usually applied to cedar shake roofing and other types of wood roofing. The fire retardant chemical treatment on a cedar shake roofing or any type of wood roofing needs to be re-applied every 3 to 5 years by a professional. 

How do you repair a cedar shake roof?

A cedar shake roofing isn’t going to be any different than other types of wood roofing. When wet, it will swell, and when the weather is dry, it will contract. After years of swelling and contracting, even with preservation treatment it will still do this from time to time, and the cedar shakes weaken and the felt lining that is installed below them will deteriorate. 

The deteriorated felt, referred to as underlayment, is less resistant to leaking at that point, and with cracked, cupped, missing, and worn cedar shake roofing materials, the roof becomes susceptible to leaking altogether. 

Since OSB or plywood decking isn’t a water-tight barrier on its own, that leaking roof will begin showing on the ceiling inside your home. By then, it has come to the point that a professional repair is recommended. However, as a DIY homeowner, if you choose to try this yourself, the following steps will get you through the process.

Find the Source

As with the type of roofing, finding the source of the leak is a must. You need to start inside the attic during the day. With a flashlight in hand but turned off, inspect the roof from the underside for a pinhole of daylight. With the flashlight on, look for moisture or water stains on the roof’s underside or on the rafters. Because water flows or rolls downhill, follow the water stain to find the highest point, you’ll find the leak source there. 

Mark the area, measuring from the closest outside wall so you have an idea where it is when you get on the roof. Now, take the next step toward repairing your cedar shake roofing leak.

Up On the Rooftop

With safety gear on and an extension ladder firmly planted on the ground, take the measurement you have from inside the attic and add the measurement of the overhang This should get you at or close to the leak source and you can begin the actual repairing of your cedar shake roofing. Now follow these steps to make your cedar shake roof leak repair:

Place a flat wooden block just below the area of the cedar shake roofing to be repaired. This will protect the lower shakes from damage. With a 16-inch pry bar, pry the lower edge of a cedar shake to the side of the leaking area. With pressure against the block you installed, cut the roofing nails under the shake, then repeat this process on the other side of the leak. 

While wearing work gloves, with pliers, fold the opposite corners of a piece of sheet metal. Crimp each corner securely so they won’t catch under the shake and slide under both shakes you cut the nails under. Make sure it is completely over the leak and the lower edge of the metal is even with the lower edges of the shakes. 

Using five-penny cedar wood roofing nails and a hammer secure the shakes and metal shingle evenly spaced. The nails should be installed between the outer edges of the shingles’ exposed portions. 

Testing Your Work

With your equipment and materials collected, and safe on the ground, it is time to test your cedar shake roofing repair. Climb up the ladder and have somebody hold the garden hose as you spray over the area you repaired. Have a spotter inside the attic and house to watch for leaks. If you don’t see any water after 10 minutes, then your repair is done. If there is any leaking, this can often be patched with roofing caulk, usually around the nails. 

older gray wood shake roof

Topping Off Your Repair

What are the wood shake benefits that make them worth having? Cedar shake roofing is one of the oldest roofing materials and one of the most reliable. However, it isn’t as easily available as it once was, and that has made it more expensive.

The architectural appeal it gives a home is the biggest attraction and benefit. The natural color and rich dimensions along with the unique texture give any home a curb appeal that is beyond stunning. If you’re ready to learn more about wood shakes and cedar shake roofing, reach out to us at 865-238-2628.

Slate Roof Repair Vs. Replacement

Close-up of deep gray slate roof shingles.

What You Should Know About Slate Roofs

Slate roofs grace many older homes of grandeur architectural style in Tennessee. Potential homeowners considering such a home may be concerned with the maintenance and upkeep of such roofing, and for good reason. A slate roof is almost a piece of art, and there is more to the care of one than there is with an asphalt shingle roof. That being said, here are some things to keep in mind if you’re considering a slate roof in Louisville and Chattanooga, TN. 

What is a slate roof?

Slate roof tiles have been used for centuries, and are often referred to as the 100-year roof. This long lasting natural product is made with durable materials that are fireproof and waterproof. Slate roof tiles are made from metamorphic rocks that come from volcanic ash and clay that create sedimentary rock. 

There are no two identical pieces on a slate roof because there are no two identical pieces of slate itself. For example, a hematite mineral produces purple tones while a chlorite mineral produces green. This mixed with carbon tones of black and gray, and the presence of iron compounds in primarily fine-grained pyrite, gives us the “weathering” appeal that makes a slate roof a piece of unique beauty and art. Along with the various tones of brown and buff, a slate roof is a one-of-a-kind masterpiece. 

Why is slate used for roofing?

Slate roof benefits are what make a slate roof the gold standard in roofing. This all-natural product is created naturally from volcanic ash and clay, which is what makes metamorphosed sedimentary rock a reliable material. Homebuyers who have done their homework, will pay top dollar for the home with a slate roof. So what makes a slate roof so appealing and attractive to a homeowner? Read on ….. 

1. The Century Mark and Beyond

A slate roof will last almost into infinity, especially with expert slate roof contractors providing professional installation, routine maintenance, and meticulous upkeep, upwards of 150 years or longer.  With a roofing material cut from extracted natural stone that has been a part of the earth for millions of years, you’ll have a roof that is virtually indestructible.  Without worry of constant roof repairs that an asphalt or flat roof may have, the only repairs will be due to heavy objects falling on the roof, like a tree limb during a storm. 

2. Stunningly Attractive Beauty

Three words describe a pristine slate roof: Stunning. Attractive. Beautiful. Those are the hallmarks of a slate roof. Classy, stylish, opulent, and unique are other words that describe slate roofing. In an exclusive suburb, slate roofing is common on most homes, but because there are no two slate stones just alike, each home will have a unique color, style, and texture in various sizes. The experienced  roofing contractor that knows slate roofing will use their penchant for design to install a slate roof that is impressive. Working with the various color selections of black, gray, green, purple, and red, with mixtures of brown and buff, along with a few mottled tiles. The experienced slate roof contractor is an artist in a class all their own. 

3. Withstands the Elements

Slate roofs are fire-resistant and naturally mold-resistant with a low capacity of water absorption. A heavy roofing material that can’t be easily blown off in high winds like other roofing materials. Slate roofs are a money and trouble saving feature for both homeowners and insurance companies. 

4. Eco-friendly

Other roofing materials, like asphalt shingles and flat roofs, will need replacing after several years as they wear out. After that, the old roofing is torn off and those non-biodegradable materials are taken to a landfill and dumped. These roofing materials are known to harm the environment, but a slate roof is all-natural stone that will last a century or longer with no worries of it filling the landfills with harmful and negative by-products. It came from the earth naturally and can be returned to the earth without harming the environment. 

5. Boosted Value

A slate roof isn’t for every style of house. For instance, you wouldn’t pay thousands of dollars to roof a home that is in a moderate neighborhood – there wouldn’t be any ROI. However, in an above moderate, exclusive neighborhood, a slate roof will attract the attention of more potential homebuyers. It is the attention-grabbing you want when trying to get top dollar, not only for the beauty, but it confirms this house is structurally sound. 

How many years does a slate roof last?

At a minimum, you can expect a professionally installed, well-maintained slate roof to last 100 years.  A hard slate can have a lifespan up to 200 years or longer. A homeowner today that has a slate roof installed will most likely never need to replace it in their lifetime. 

Does a slate roof need replacing?

Because a slate roof is designed to last at least 100 years, and even longer, with regular inspection and maintenance, the only replacement that you may ever need is a shingle that has broken or cracked from the elements. 

Are slate roofs better than single ply?

When considering slate roof vs flat roofing, or any other type of roofing, yes, slate roofing is the better choice. Slate  is a durable, all-natural material, excellent for roofing. It typically comes with a 50-year limited warranty with a wind resistant warranty for up to 130mph.  

Close-up of multi-colored slate roof shingles.

In Closing  – Why is Slate So Expensive?

The biggest downside to slate roofing is the cost – without a doubt, it is the most expensive material for roofing. This is partly because it requires specially trained contractors to install and repair. With pricing reaching $2,000 per square foot, it is often referred to as the Rolls Royce of roofing. If you’re interested in learning more or getting your own slate roof in Louisville and Chattanooga, TN, reach out to the Burell Built Roofing, LLC team by calling 865-238-2628 today.

Why Is a Metal Roof More Expensive?

grey metal roofing

Is it cheaper to get a metal roof or shingles?

Not too many years ago, who would believe it if somebody said, “Metal roofs will be on homes one day.”?  Seems  an oddity maybe, but the time has arrived, and a metal roof looks awesome on a home of any size and style. 

So, when it comes to the cost of installing an asphalt shingle roof or a metal roof, no, the metal roof is more expensive. In recent years, more homeowners have discovered that a metal roof is better for several reason, one being the resale value. 

If you’re like most homeowners, you have gotten tired of the constant need for asphalt shingle repair or replacement, and wonder if there is a better options. Yes, and the growing popularity confirms that metal roofing is taking rooftops of America!  

As many as 12% of all homeowners doing a remodel have discovered that while a metal roof is more expensive to install, the investment pays off when the home is placed on the market. Considering the life expectancy of an asphalt shingle roof averaging 12 to 15 years, consider you’ll need to replace them and that includes the tear-off. 

As inflation continues, a new asphalt shingle roof will cost a little over $9,100 to install and in 15 years, a new roof with tear off the old one will cost  over $13,000. A metal roof could last you 50 years or longer! Chances are you’ll never need to re-roof your home again going with a metal roof. 

What are the pros and cons of a metal roof?

Other than the cost factor we just reviewed, there are several other pros to having a metal roof installed. Take a look: 

  • Control The Maintenance Costs of Your Home: A metal roofs won’t degrade the way asphalt shingles do. No more out-of-pocket or make-the-time for maintenance chores and repairs. 
  • Wind Resistant: A metal roof comes in panels that are interlocked, making it wind resistant. Other roofing materials are simply overlapped and depend on gravity to hold it in place. 
  • Light Weight: Metal roofing is lightweight, and when the structure moves, as they will, metal roofs won’t damage as other roofing materials do. A metal roof is the lowest weight available for residential roofing. It even be installed on top of the existing shingles if building codes allow which eliminates adding to the landfills.
  • Energy Efficient: With reflective coatings applied and integrated thermal breaks, a metal roof can reduce your cooling expense in the summer by up to 20% or more.
  • Fire Resistant: A metal roof is resistant to the wind and that makes is resistant to flying embers and sparks from a fire. 
  • Adaptable: Metal roofing can be adapted to any architectural design, and made to look alike slate, tile, or wood shakes. Low or steep roof pitches, a metal roof is a well-suited material for arched or rounded roofs.
  • Problem Solving: With matching metal flashing, a metal roof will surpass other roofing materials on eliminating failures. Flashing will last longer than any adhesive or sealant used on other roofing materials. 
  • Beauty that Is Recyclable: A metal roof will provide a lasting beauty with distinction and when it comes to replacing it years later, it can be recycled.  Most metal roofs installed are from recycled metal, but the beauty it gives a home will never show it. 

Does a metal roof need to be vented?

Yes, a metal roof should have adequate venting just like asphalt or any other type of roofing materials. Proper ventilation ensures the energy efficiency that a metal roof can provide and when effectively ventilated, you have less energy waste. 

Does a metal roof affect insurance?

Yes, because of the fire-resistance and wind-resistance that a metal roof provides, insurance companies love them.  Every homeowner’s insurance policy will differ, but on the average, they have been known to reduce the cost of a policy as little as 5% and as much as 35%. 

metal roof with an outcropping

Is a metal roof worth it?

The information provided here support that a metal roof is it worth it because of the savings overall on maintenance and energy expenses. Yes, that initial cost is higher, but you get a ROI each month on a lower utility bills. 

What about a metal roof is rusting, how can that be prevented? You can choose a galvanized metal, paint the roof. with a high quality metal paint or have a coating that is 80% zinc applied at the time of installation.  

The rare occasion where a homeowner claims their metal roof is leaking is typically due to installation error.  Over time though, a metal roof will work loose a screw and if it goes unaddressed, a leak could occur. This is why a roofing inspection is recommended annually by a professional to catch those issues before they start leaking. Call 865-238-2628 today for your metal roofing installation in Louisville and Chattanooga, TN.

How does a green roof work?

deck on a roof

Are green roofs expensive?

Is your commercial building needing a new roof but you’re not sure what type of roofing material to have installed?  Take a look at going with a green roof!  Green eco roofing will help your building with insulation, which will keep your building cooler or warmer as needed without putting more strain on the HVAC system.

Bilbo Baggins from Lord of the Rings had the right idea maybe. Bilbo lived in a house that was built inside a hill and the roof was covered with flowers and grass.  Today, we call that a green roof. 

A recent article discussed this topic and how the popularity of having a green roof among homeowners and commercial structure owners. A green roof can be planting a garden of grass, succulents, or other combinations of local plants. Or a green roof of vegetables that the occupants can harvest and enjoy. 

A green roof will be more expensive with initial install than a traditional black membrane roof. By using plants that are natural to the region for your green roof, that will help keep costs down considerably. The Environment Protection Agency estimates the cost of a green roof installation will be approximately $10 per square or he extensive style and $25 per square foot for the intensive style. The annual maintenance cost for extensive or intensive green roof can be as much as $1.50 per square foot. 

Do green roofs provide insulation?

A green roof provides extra layers that serve as insulation that decreases the heat that passes into the building. This reduces the cooling load, which lightens the electricity use, lowering your bill. There are several other  green roofing benefits to be enjoyed as well: 

Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reduced

By reducing the cooling load, this reduces the greenhouse gas emissions associated with HVAC equipment and the fossil fuel used to create the electricity. The photosynthesis is increased with each plant or tree that is planted on a green roof which reduces the carbon dioxide that surrounding industries, mechanical systems, and vehicles produces.  The overall oxygen production is increased. 

Roof Life Extended 

A green roof will increase the original roof’s life expectancy with extra layer of protection of the UV rays and extreme temperatures common in the Tennessee area during the summers. With this extra protection, less maintenance is needed, another money saving feature of a green roof. With proper green roof maintenance you can expect to double the life of the roof.

Urban Amenities Provided

With a green roof, urban green space is increased, providing a space of  comfort and enjoyment for the employees and visitors in the building. An aesthetic, pleasing view and environment where you can hold meetings or simply a relaxing atmosphere. A green roof also provides birds and insects a refuge when their natural habitat was destroyed by urban development. 

Why are green roofs eco friendly?

Green roofing solutions contribute to the sustainability efforts by conserving energy with building insulation and mitigating the gain of thermal heat. This reduces the need for cooling and heating.  

How long does a green roof last?

With proper maintenance and upkeep of a green roof, you can expect a 40 year lifespan. Over that over years, you will save as much as $200,000 with roof repairs and energy costs. The design of the green roof and the geographic location and surrounding will have an effect on those economic benefits and can vary from building to building. 

rooftop view from a green roof

How do you maintain a green roof?

Whether you choose between green roofs intensive vs extensive, there is a need to choose a strategy that will require your facilities team dedication to gain a green thumb and provide the maintenance and upkeep.  No matter which way you go with extensive or intensive, a roof garden will need some level of maintenance. There will be a need to apply fertilizer 3 to 4 times a year, pull weeds, and if you choose a vegetable growing green roof, you’ll need somebody that will harvest the production. 

Proper maintenance is a must to protect the investment and ensures that the green roof system achieves the original intention. Whether the intended purpose is for aesthetics, stormwater management, or thermal performance, maintenance will be required. 

Start your green roof organization by creating a maintenance plan and familiarize each member of the green roof team with the plan. The plan should include: 

  • A site map
  • Green roof type
  • Planting schedule
  • Irrigation controls
  • Routine inspections of the plant health, the moisture level, and the drainage

Keep a logbook of each time the green roof is fertilized, watered, and weeded. Keep records of the harvest acquired that includes what was harvested, how much, the date/time/temperature. 

A green roof is more than just being a part of the “green” lifestyle. It can also be great benefit to the building owner and occupants too, especially when everyone works together to make it happen. Call 865-238-2628 today for your green roof installation in Louisville and Chattanooga, TN.

Should You Insulate Between Roof Rafters?

Rafter Insulation

How effective is roof insulation?

The winters can get bitterly cold here in Tennessee, and the summers can get blistering hot. This means the cooling and heating system in your home has to work hard to keep your home comfortable. One of the best things you can do to help that is with roof insulation

Roof insulation isn’t the only part of keeping your home cool and warm as needed though. Roof insulation and ventilation in the attic are needed to make sure that the roof insulation does it work. Okay, so just how effective is roof insulation?

Energy costs are a concern for everyone unless you’re vastly wealthy, but even at that, do you really want to make the energy companies richer (unless that is part of your vast wealth)? Utilities are a big chunk of everyone’s budget, so you do what you can to minimize that hit and avoiding energy loss is one of the best ways to conserve the energy and save money. There are several benefits to roof insulation: 

  • Energy Efficiency Equals Cost-Efficiency: There is approximately 30% of the heat in your home going through the roof right now, and that is blowing money through the roof too. With a professional roof insulation job, you’ll keep that heat in the house where it’s needed and save money over time too.
  • Additional Protection: Roof insulation will prevent damage from ice dams and moisture build up over time. In the long run, this is another money saver.
  • Lessen Carbon Footprint: Professional installation with efficient insulation will reduce the CO2 emissions, lessening your carbon footprint.
  • Prevents Mold Growth: Roof insulation is a great tool in preventing mold from forming because it manages the moisture and temperature.

What thickness should roof insulation be?        

For keeping your home cool in the summer and warm in the winter, the higher the R-Value, the better the insulation performance. Remember, you’re not only insulating the attic for temperature purposes, but you also need your roof insulation to stop condensation too. 

If you think that your home may be one of the 90% of under-insulated homes in the United States, then a simple inspection can confirm that for you. Go to the attic and inspect the current roof insulation’s condition then calculate the level in place now. 

Depending on where you are in the country will determine the proper amount of roof insulation and for Tennessee, the ideal recommendation is 3 to 4 inches of R-38 to R-60. The older the home, the more insulation is needed to meet the recommendations set by the U.S. Department of Energy. Yes, the thicker the insulation, the more it will cost, but the more it will save you too. 

Can you insulate against a roof?

You should insulate the ceiling first for a few reasons: 

  • Keeping the living space temperature regulated.
  • Preventing loss of cooled or heated air saves money.
  • Preventing moisture damage.
  • Insulating the ceiling easier, the insulating roof makes the job faster.

However, if the attic is a living space in your home, spare bedroom, or home office, then you’d want roof insulation first. This means you will insulate above and below the rafters along the roof slope.  

Which will provide you the most energy-saving though: Ceiling insulation or roof insulation? A home with a finished attic or roof insulation is better for energy savings. There is less chance of air duct leaks or moisture from ice dams and frost. 

Yet, another viewpoint when it comes to insulating the ceiling, one advantage is this can be a weekend DIY job, saving money on professional labor. You can choose a loose-fill type of insulation or roll batts, even insulation boards, and even the highest R-Value is an energy saver. 

Do you need an air gap for insulation?

Yes, an air gap for insulation is a must in order to get the benefits of emitting heat, or a reflectivity quality, meaning the air gap provides radiant heat. Without an air gap, radiant heat will not exist, because it has been eliminated by closing off the gap. 

The typical recommended air gap is between half-inch and three-fourth inch, although a bigger gap will work well by promoting ventilation on the foil, keeping the air dry, and the temps lower in the air. 

Roof Insulation

Closing Words 

If you’re looking for ways to keep your home comfortable and your energy bills reasonable, then consider getting quotes on roof insulation or wall insulation, or both from Burell Built Roofing, LLC by calling 865-238-2628. They each will keep the cool air inside during the summer and the warmed air inside during the winter. So, what is the best insulation for roofs?

The most common roof insulation used is fiberglass batting installed between the attic rafters. Today though, experts in the field have discovered that  fiberglass insulation compresses, thus losing its  R-value. At that point, it isn’t stopping air leaks anymore. We have better solutions today: 

  • Spray foam: Referred to as SPF, this Spray Polyurethane Foam is applied between attic rafters and provides air and moisture barrier with a high R-value. 
  • Rigid foam: Rigid foam insulation comes in panels or sheets in various thicknesses. As an attic roof insulation, it is installed between attic rafters or beneath the attic rafters, and in some cases, both. Rigid foam insulation provides an air and moisture barrier too with an R-value rating. 

The type of roof insulation you choose should be based on the climate where you live, the age of your house, and while budget is a concern, remember what the ROI will be over time. 

Do solar panels ruin your roof?

solar panel roofing

Solar paneling on your roof

With a focus on saving money on energy bills and using less of Mother Nature’s gifts, many people have turned to solar roofing. What do we know about solar roofing though? Do we know enough to make intelligent decisions that it is the right thing for our home and our family’s lifestyle? 

Before you sign on that dotted line for solar roof installation, review the answers we have provided here in the article for commonly asked questions. Then do your own research on solar roofing. Yes, it is good for the environment, but make sure it is good for you before making that commitment. 

Let’s start with a question asked by skeptics: What’s the catch with solar roofing? You were browsing through a local flea market or home improvement store and somebody stopped and asked if you were interested in free solar roofing. Okay, maybe, but what’s the catch? Are they really “free” or is it some mail-in rebate that you’ll never see? 

Okay, any logically minded person, especially a skeptic, knows that a free lunch, or anything touted as “free” really isn’t going to be free, and that includes free solar roofing installation. That free solar roofing is going to cost you in the way of the electricity that solar roofing produces. 

How’s that again? You see, you will actually be leasing that solar roofing for the next twenty to twenty-five years under a PPA (power purchase agreement) and paying for the energy they produce too!  Basically, the solar roofing company will have a small power plant on your rooftop, and you’re paying them to have that power plant. 

However, you don’t have to do the PPA route for solar roofing. You can purchase solar roofing and actually own it.  The PPA way will get you the benefits of being a solar-powered house without paying anything upfront. What you aren’t going to get is some of the other benefits like EnergyStar tax credits. Why? Because whoever owns the solar part of the roof gets those credits. 

The other option you have is to buy your solar roofing outright or finance the solar roof cost of installation.  When you buy them outright, you will get that 26% tax credit, and with some banks, they’ll apply that credit to the loan balance instead of waiting to claim it on your taxes. 

What are the 2 main advantages to solar energy?

After reading the PPA or purchase solar roofing outright, you may be asking yourself, “Is solar viable?”, and we’re going to tell you yes!  So, what are two of the biggest advantages of solar energy? Well, there is way more than two advantages, and they’re all significant, but two of the biggest ones that solar roofing offers in our opinion are: 

  1. Pollution free way of generating power that doesn’t cause greenhouse gas.
  2. The dependence of fossil fuel and foreign oil is reduced. 

What are some other advantages that you can expect to get from solar roofing? 

  • Every day, even a cloudy day, you’ll have renewable clean power 
  • Lower utility bills will give you a ROI
  • Solar roofing is virtually maintenance-free 
  • You can sell your excess power back to the power company
  • Solar roofing gets you closer to living off the grid
  • You can store power for nights and dark days by using batteries
  • You can heat your home and water
  • Safer than traditional electricity 
  • Tax credits, rebates, grants, and more are available for solar roofing
  • Solar roofing is creating jobs 
sun shining on panels

What’s the difference between solar roof or solar panels? 

Any homeowner that is looking for more ways to go green to save the environment and save on energy cost too, solar power has their attention. When it comes to their home, which is the best way to do that: Solar Panels or Solar Shingles? 

Solar panels are those huge, black flat things you see installed on rooftops and in open fields. Solar shingles on the other hand is the same technology but in a more aesthetic, sleek style that are almost identical to traditional asphalt roofing shingles. In fact, solar roofing shingles can be installed to blend in with your current roofing. 

So, we know right away that solar panels will require a lot of room. Perhaps an engineering inspection if the plan is to install them on the roof to make sure the roof and structure can withstand any additional weight solar panels may add.  Solar roofing shingles need a solar inverter to perform at their maximum ability by utilizes the sun’s energy for immediate energy production. 

Then, with solar roofing shingles, there is the factor of solar roof flashing. Like any other type of roofing material, without flashing, you’ll have leaking around the vent pipes and additionally, the solar roof brackets and mounts. When you start getting quotes for solar roofing, make sure the flashing is included and ask about what material is used for the flashing.

The solar roofing contractor you choose to work with can explain the following options in solar roofing flashing: 

  • Aluminum flashing
  • Galvanized flashing
  • Rubber/EPDM flashing
  • Elevated flashing 
  • Microflashing

If you choose to go with solar panels, the first thing you may notice is your electric bill increased. What the heck is that all about!  Call your solar panel contractor and ask the to explain to you, “Why is my electric bill so high with solar panels?” Some common issues with solar panels and higher electric bills are: 

  • Your solar panels aren’t working properly which could be from faulty insulation or faulty materials. Either way, it is worth having the solar power contractor you use inspect the system. 
  • Salesperson over-hyped the expectation of solar panels. Or there was a misunderstanding what you should expect when you with the solar panel installation. 
  • A solar panel installation is not going to be your knight in energy saving armor!  The savings predicated for your future energy usage will depend on rate increases, power use increases you by, the appliances in your home, etc.  Some homeowners have felt if they were on solar power, they could be more frivolous with their electric use and increased their power consumption. 

Regardless of what the reason could be, if your electric bill isn’t what you expected, you need to have the matter looked into.  Whether you agreed to a PPA or purchased your solar power system outright, you did this with the expectations of saving natural resources and your money. Call 865-238-2628 today for solar panel roofs in Louisville and Chattanooga, TN.

Does Insurance Pay for a New Roof?

roof insurance claim

Does Insurance Pay for a New Roof?

Roof insurance claims can greatly assist when it comes to roof repair costs. Yet the question remains: will insurance actually pay for a new roof? The truth of the matter is that your homeowner’s insurance is a great resource for you when your roof is damaged. If there are provisions of your insurance policy that will cover the damages, then you should submit a roofing claim. For example, if there is part of your insurance policy that indicates that your roof can be replaced in certain situations, you should pursue this language when you submit your roofing claim.

How Do Roof Insurance Claims Work?

The first thing that you should do when you want to pursue a roof insurance claim is to check out the terms of your homeowner’s insurance policy. It’s essential to remember that not every kind of damage will be covered by your policy. However, any parts of the roof where the damage is clearly covered by the terms of your homeowner’s insurance should be pursued. Next, the damage should be documented by a professional roofing company with a good reputation in your area. Your local roofer will have the tools, capability, and experience to back up any roofing claim assertions. Moreover, they can help you when it comes to your insurance company.

What Roof Damage is Covered by Insurance?

There are specific types of roof damage that is covered by insurance. In general, it is important to recognize that roof damages caused by wear and tear are not covered by insurance at this time. Please review the following list to discover more.

  • Fire damage.
  • Vandalism.
  • Wind.
  • Rain.
  • Hail.
  • Hurricanes.
  • Tornadoes.

Once again, it is important to reiterate that the terms of your policy will dictate what will be covered. A professional roofing company is the best ally you can have in such circumstances.

How Do I Get Insurance to Pay for a New Roof?

After you have read the terms of your homeowner’s insurance policy specifically regarding roof damages, you will be armed with the knowledge to move forward. The next step is to have a reputable project manager from a roofing company to arrive at your property and document the damage. After the documentation has been compiled and recorded, you can submit a claim to your insurance company. Your insurance company will likely call in an adjuster, who will counter the claim. At this point, you will need to use your roofing company representative to counter their claim. Hopefully, all turns out well and you are able to receive a check for your roof damages.

How Can I Pay for My Roof with No Money?

If you do not have a lot of capital, it can be difficult to know where to turn with regard to your options. However, you do have some choices to choose from. Your home insurance policy is your first resource. If you exhaust that option, you can seek out a payment plan. You can also get financing through your local professional roofing company. Other opportunities include paying with a credit card, cash-out refinancing, and a home equity loan.

Can I Cancel a Roof Insurance Claim

Are you considering canceling a roof insurance claim? Whatever the prevailing circumstances of your situation, once you file a roof insurance claim, you cannot cancel it. Generally speaking, after an adjuster is assigned to your case, you cannot cancel it. Even if the adjuster doesn’t show up or the insurer doesn’t payout, the claim isn’t canceled. 

Insurance Claim for Roof Leak

Do you have a roof leak? If so, you will be happy to find that homeowners insurance may cover a roof leak if it is caused by a covered peril. Unless your homeowner’s insurance policy includes exclusions for wind or hail, you could have your roof repaired affordably. However, it is important to remember that wear and tear damage is not covered.

Insurance Claim for Roof Repair

How old is your roof? The age of your roof will be an important consideration for your insurance company. Generally speaking, the older your roof is, the higher the amount depreciated. For RCV, your insurance company will pay for the replacement cost value of your roof at the time of the covered loss. This translates to meaning the replacement cost value minus your deductible.

roof insurance claim

Insurance Claim for Roof Shingles

Asphalt shingles are very popular because they are affordable, strong, and have low maintenance costs. Depending on the terms of your policy, your insurer may cover the cost to replace the entire roof. Hail, wind, and pelting rain can wreak havoc on your roof, which is why roofing inspections are critical in the aftermath of a storm.

For the best roof insurance claim in Louisville and Chattanooga, TN, call the experts. You can reach us at 865-238-2628 today.

Is it cheaper to get a metal roof or shingles?

Shingles asphalt roofing with skylights

Metal Roofing vs Shingle Roofing

Metal roofing is becoming more common on residential structures ever year. What all does metal roofing offer that has made it so popular? Well, there are few reasons, but they are powerful reasons, especially when we compare them to asphalt shingles, which are still the most common and popular roofing material. 

  • Metal roofing offers supreme durability – chances are you will never need to worry with roofing again. 
  • Metal roofing is eco-friendly – when it is replaced, the metal can be recycled and the new metal going on a roof is mostly recycled metal already. Minimizing what goes in the landfills! 
  • Metal roofing is energy efficient – while this is an expensive roofing material, you’ll recoup your cost with the cooling and heating savings. Even in hot climates, metal roofing is energy efficient as it reflects the solar radiant heat, saving as much as 25% on cooling costs. 
  • Metal roofing is stylish – by today’s architecture design trends, you can choose metal roofing looks like shingles or several other options to offer to provide a home with a style.

Should you put a metal roof over shingles?

Metal roofing is lightweight, so installing it over shingles shouldn’t pose a structure to weight ratio problem, meaning, you can install metal roofing over asphalt shingles. However, this doesn’t take into consideration the different local building codes. Metal roofing contractors will check local building codes to see if there is such restriction and quote you accordingly. 

Additionally, the metal roofing contractor you choose to work with will inspect the current roof, including the decking and rafters. If they feel they won’t support two roofs, they will advise you if they believe this could create a problem. Why would installing metal roofing over asphalt roofing be an issue? A single residential structure may not be engineered to hold the weight of two roofs, which is what this would end up being. 

Another factor that can determine if the current asphalt shingle roofing should be removed first would be having metal roofing with insulation installed. The insulation is going to add weight to the metal roofing panels and the roof structure. To have a roof that is durable, strong, and the insulation to provide the best performance, a contractor will likely recommend that the old roof come off first. 

Does metal roof need plywood?

Yes, every roof, including metal roofing, should have an underlayment, and in some municipalities, it is required for building code purposes. Homes that have been built with roof joists and sheathing, then underlayment should be installed first. 

One exception: Metal roofing installed over asphalt shingles does not require a plywood decking. However, contraction and expansion of the asphalt shingles can damage the metal over time. This is why some roofing metal roofing contractors and metal roofing manufacturers  require plywood and underlayment. While it does make metal roofing more expensive, it also will provide a long life span for the metal roofing. 

How do you stop condensation on a metal roof?

Traditionally, condensation on metal roofing is managed by having it insulated. Vinyl-backed fiberglass insulation will keep the metal roofing from reaching the dew point that creates condensation by preventing humid air contacting the cooler metal roof. 

Do you need a ridge vent with a metal roof?

If you are going to have metal roofing installed correctly, then, yes, it needs to have proper ventilation installed, aka, a ridge vent. A permeable material is used in manufacturing a ridge vent and when installed in metal roofing, it allows damp, stale, warm air to flow from the attic year round. This minimizes the moisture in the attic and balances the temperature. When correctly installed, a ridge vent lowers energy costs while increasing energy efficiency.

metal roofing  roof with shingles

Is metal roofing better than asphalt shingles? 

Asphalt shingles a cost-effective, reliable roofing material that has been used on homes for years. A popular roofing material that is has it perks, but with metal roofing coming in behind it quickly, you have to ask yourself, which is the better choice?  

  • While shingle roofs are the traditional roofing material and look like slate, tile, or wood shakes. Get them with scalloped edges or terra cotta look and in almost any color you can want. 
  • Metal roofing is no longer those corrugated tin panels on a barn. They come in aluminum, copper, galvanized metals, and zinc. They can be made to look other types of roofing materials, including shingles, and come a wide choice of colors and finishes now. 
  • Metal roofing tends to be more durable, withstanding high winds and hailstorms. They can be dented by tree branches, but with a 50 year warranty, you’ll get up to 70 years lifespan.
  • Asphalt shingles have other weaknesses which gives them a shorter lifespan. They easily succumb to algae and fungus growth, ice dams, and temperature spikes. With a maximum 30 year warranty, you could get 20 year lifespan. 
  • Asphalt shingle roofs are less expensive up front with an average cost of $100 per square foot where metal roofing can cost up to $900 per square foot. These prices are wide ranging and can vary from area to areas and size of the home. The cost of metal roofing is recouped later with lower insurance rates and better energy efficiency.  
  • Metal roofing is eco-friendly by being made from recycled material and ten can be recycled if and when it is removed. Asphalt shingles are not sustainable and contribute as much as 20 billion pounds to our landfills. Asphalt shingles are made from petroleum, depending on fossil fuels for manufacturing.
  • Asphalt shingle roofing is easier to install and repair, metal roofing requires a contractor with specific set of skills. 

Whether you go with asphalt shingle roofing or metal roofing will depend on your budget first, then your home’s architecture style. If you’re plans are to stay in you house for 20 years, you’ll recoup your  metal roofing expense. If you’re planning on 10 years or less, asphalt roofing would be the better option. Call 865-238-2628 today for your roofing needs in Louisville and Chattanooga, TN.

How Important Is Roof Insulation?

roof insulation pile for installation

Keeping your property safe and cozy

Winter is about to hit these mountains in Tennessee any day now, is your house ready to keep you warm and cozy?  Firewood chopped and ready, HVAC system checked out, supplies for hot chocolate, and roof insulation installed? Whoa, what about roof insulation?  What is roof insulation

Roofing insulation is out of sight, so it is out of mind and doesn’t get much thought or respect., but roof insulation has a purpose.  It reduces the overall heat that transfers coefficient by adding low thermal conductivity materials.  Roof insulation provides thermal comfort for your family in the winter and summer by reducing  heat loss in the winter and unwanted heat gain in the summer. Roof insulation decreases the energy demands to heat and cool your home, making your HVAC system last longer by working less. 

What is the difference between Roof insulation vs attic insulation? It can be confusing to know  the differences between attic insulation and roof insulation if you’re not in the business of insulation. Both keep your home insulated against that cold Tennessee weather while reducing your heating costs. So, what is the difference, don’t they do the same thing?  The main difference between the two is where they are installed. 

  • Attic insulation= the ceiling plane
  • Roof insulation = the roof slope, above and below the ceiling rafters 

The installation of attic insulation is the biggest money save initially because it is the first layer of defense between the temperature in your home and the outdoor temperature. So, should I insulate between roof rafters?  To clarify the difference of the boards running through your attic: The boards on the attic floor are “joists” and the boards on the underside of the roof are “rafters”. 

The object of having your home insulated is to make it as comfortable as possible all year long and save on energy cost as much as possible, right? So, you need protect as much volume of your home as you can, meaning the part you want heated. So, the smaller the volume, the less energy is used and the warmer the area. 

  • If you aren’t planning on using the attic for anything more than the storage of holiday decorations and baby books, then there isn’t any need to keep it heated, and only the attic floor, the “joists” need to be insulated.  
  • If you are going to make a useable room out of your attic, then insulate the attic roof, the “rafters” on the pitched roof.
  • The best solution is insulating both the joists and rafters. This will keep heat from escaping the rooms below but keep the attic room comfortable too. 

Should a roof be insulated? 

Insulating the roof space in the attic helps to retain energy inside your home and save you money. It can prevent long term moisture damage and ice damming because of warm air escaping through the apex and heating up the snow. Roof insulation also provides sound proofing on the uppermost area of your home. 

fully insulated attic and roof space

What is the best insulation for roofs?

There are five types of roof insulation, each having pros and cons. The main value is the capacity of insulation for heat resistance, or thermal resistance. This is usually measured by R-value, the higher the value, the better the insulation.

  • Loose-Fill:  One of the most common insulation and is installed into wall cavities for a retro-fit any wall that lacks insulation. It is also blown into attic spaces that are unfinished and is made from cellulose or fiberglass with R-value between R2 and R4. The Pros: relatively inexpensive and easy install. The cons: settles over time which lessens its R-value and vapor barrier is required to absorb moisture. 
  • Batt and Roll: A the other popular type of insulation is a fiber, prefab blanked rolled material with foil or paper pressed on one side. Good to use on long expansions like attic floors and fits between the rafters. Comes in R-Value from R3 to R3.5. The Pros: Easy to install, inexpensive, and doesn’t settle over time.  The Cons: Can irritate the skin, so dressing correct to install is required. 
  • Spray Foam: Like the loose-fill described earlier but comes in a liquid that turns to foam when applied. Comes in two types, open-cell, and closed-cell. R-value open cell is rated at 3.5 per inch and closed-cell is R6 t and R6.5. The Pros: Has the greatest R-value of all insulation materials and covers all areas better. The Cons: DIY insulation not recommended because of the possible mess it creates.  Can be expensive and unsightly when completed. 
  • Radiant Barrier: This is typically used with other insulation materials and is installed under the roof’s interior for reflective purposes. The R-values are applicable or negligible. The Pros: Great for warm climates with higher temperatures and is easy enough to install for DIY. The Cons; The R-value. 
  • Rigid Foam Board: To be used above decking and comes in three types: bare foam, one-sided sheathing, or double-sided sheathing. It is made from various synthetic polymer family and has R-Value from R3.8 to R8.0. The Pros: R-value is excellent and provides soundproof quality. The Cons: This is a waterproof barrier that traps moisture if the roof isn’t vented. 

Is it better to insulate ceiling or roof?

Nobody will argue that insulation is needed to keep a home comfortable and utilities down, but if you can only afford to insulate the attic floor or attic roof, which one is the better option? The ceiling is the best choice for the following reasons:

  • Keeping temperature regulated in living space 
  • Prevent heat lost, saves on energy bills
  • Moisture prevention in attic
  • Easier to install, especially in older homes

What thickness should roof insulation be?

Roof insulation options depend on the roof type: Dormer, Flat, or Pitched. For blanket insulation, 250mm to 270mm is recommended. If there is already insulation but looks older, check the depth and add accordingly. 

The batt roll insulation, radiant barrier, or rigid board insulation are fairly easy as a DIY job. You can find videos online on how to install roof insulation with those products.  The loose-fill or spray foam insulation is better left to professionals. Need professional roof insulation help in Louisville and Chattanooga, TN? Call 865-238-2628 today.

What is the most eco friendly roofing material?

single ply roofing

Updating Your Roof for the Better

The world is all about being green, going green, everything as eco-friendly as possible. From the sky to the below the ground and everything in between, including environmentally friendly for roofing, aka ecofriendly roofing. What exactly is eco friendly roofing though? 

Eco friendly roofing in some respects is flat roof that have gardens planted on them. Those are the roofing systems that are helping the island heat effect as well as help with the cooling and heating of the building’s interior. 

In our piece today though, we’re going to discuss other roofing materials that are considered eco-friendly eco friendly roofing. From the type of material used to the color, which is the most eco-friendly for flat or low slope roofing. 

What is the coolest roofing material?

When considering the commercial and industrial sectors, no two buildings are exactly the same, therefore, there are different types of cool roofs. Each type of building will have a different cool roof designed to suit the design and structure, using different techniques for a flat or low-slope roof than what a pitched or steep-slope roof would have.

A flat or low-sloped roof will have an extremely flat roof line  with a thin incline for draining purposes.  These types of roofs are typically on commercial, industrial, and institutional structure and with their large flat area, makes them the perfect set up for cool roofs and eco friendly roofing application.  

Since a rooftop is the main source for absorbing heat that  enters the building, in warmer climates, a cool roof or eco friendly roofing can significantly lower the heat gain and energy expenses.  For low-sloped roofs, cool, eco friendly roofing techniques on these types of structures, the following  generally fit the requirements for eco friendly roofing options: 

  • Coated Roofing is a paint-like finish that brushed or rolled on a roof that enhances the roof’s adhesion and durability, extending its lifespan and reducing bacterial growth.  This type of cool coatings is ideal for existing structures with low-sloped roofs and can be added to a surface with an asphalt cap, gravel, metal, and  any single-ply material.  Available in other colors and is ENERGY STAR-rated.
  • Foam Roofing is as the name suggest, a foam type material sprayed on top of an existing roof for insulation. This has been on the market for more than 40 years and has a reputation for being affordable, dependable, and long-lasting cool roofing technique.  Because the foam attaches seamlessly with little to no waste, it is one of the most eco-friendly eco friendly roofing materials. 
  • Built-Up Roofing System is a multiple layer roof with various materials and minerals that stop solar heating when put together. The layers included is the base sheet, fabric reinforcement, and a protective surface layer.  Cooling strategies will vary from building to building with a built-up roof.  One method has a reflective material embedded into an asphalt coating that reflect the UV rays. Or the built-up roof is topped with mineral-surfaced sheets that consist of reflective mineral granules.
  • Modified Bitumen is an asphalt-based roofing system that is designed for cold or warm weather and has more elasticity.  
  • Single-Ply Membranes is eco friendly roofing for low-sloped roofs that typically need more maintenance and repairs.  Made from prefabricated sheets individually applied to the roofing surface.
metal roofing with venting

What is the most energy efficient roof color?

We are told to wear light-colored clothing to keep our bodies cool on a hot summer day. The same is true with a roof – the lighter the color, the better it will reflect the heat and UV rays. So, going with a white colored roof coating will keep your commercial, industrial, or institutional building cooler than a black coating.  A light colored roof can lower the temperature inside the building by up to fifty degrees.

In areas where cold weather is more prevalent, a dark colored roofing would be more energy efficient. The dark color absorbs the sun’s heat and UV rays and keeps the heat in the building. Both ways, choosing the right color for your building will save on your energy bills and ease the workload of the heating and cooling system. This is one method of eco friendly roofing that can help reduce the carbon footprint.   

What color roof reflects the most heat?

As we mentioned above, lighter colors are cooler for roofs just it is for clothing. Think of the roof coating being a hat on the building. Keep a light color hat will keep the building cooler, a plus in warm areas of the country. By choosing a color that reflects heat in hotter areas of the country and absorbs heat in cooler areas, this is a form of eco friendly roofing. 

How can I make my roof more energy efficient?

As the world is going to a greener way of living, here are some tips to having the best eco friendly for your commercial structure: 

Materials That Are Energy Efficient 

When it is time to replace your commercial structure’s roofing, choose a material that is energy efficient. Like eco friendly metal roofing. These come with fantastic insulation and will keep your business cool inside by reflecting the sun and the heat that comes with those UV rays. Any type of roofing you choose, make sure to get a light color for reflectiveness. 

  • Roof Coatings 
    • The best cost effective eco friendly roofing is having a cool roofing coating installed. A roof can reach 150 degrees in the summer and most of that heat radiates into your building. A professional installed cool roof coating will keep your roof from overheating and reflect the hot sun.
  • Roof Vents
    • Have the roof checked for proper ventilation. Improper roof ventilation can cause problems, starting with  moisture build-up. Proper ventilation will prolong the roof’s lifespan and keep cool air in when needed, cold air out when needed. Proper ventilation will also ease the workload on your HVAC system, which will help your energy costs. 
  • Sustainability 
    • Sustainable roofing materials ensure a long life for your roof, save you money on your energy bills, and help the environment too. This is truly the best eco friendly roofing you can have – a sustainable roof – choosing materials that are made from recycled materials or can be recycled after they have served their roofing purpose. The best materials for this are concrete, metal, or tile. 
  • Install Skylights
    • Skylights are just for residential structures They can reduce energy in a nonconventional way for a commercial structure by promoting energy efficiency because less electric lighting is needed. 
installing single ply roofing

Final Words On Commercial Eco Friendly Roofing

We mentioned metal roofing as being one of the best sustainable roofing materials, but not everyone agrees. What are the problems with metal roofs? Here are four issues that have been reported with metal roofing, all of which have easy prevention or solutions: 

Leaks: Metal roofs have a reputation of leaking, and like any roof, it can  if not installed and maintained properly. Ignoring small issues instead of repairing them will lead to leaks. This can happen where the sheets meet and aren’t fastened together properly. 

Oil Canning: Also referred to as stress wrinkling. This can be avoided with proper installation. 

Corrosion: Metal roofing will last sixty years or longer when maintained. Make sure the metal roofing panels you choose are coated and corrosion won’t be an issue. Metal roofing may be the oldest method of eco friendly roofing!