Our Current Blog Articles
April 18, 2017
The Long-Term Cost Savings of a Hail-Resistant Roof
Have you ever thought about the long-term cost savings of a hail-resistant roof? At GreenPoint Roofing, one of the common types of roof damage we encounter is damage caused by hail. For homeowners across Colorado, hail is an inevitable reality. Known as 'hail alley,' the Front Range of Colorado and the Eastern Plains of Wyoming experience the highest frequency of big hailstones in all of North America. If you live in this high-risk zone, it is well worth investing in some extra protection for your roof.
Adding Up the Cost of Hail Damage
Hailstones cause an astronomical level of damage to cars, homes, and property each year. It is estimated that over the last decade, hailstorms have cost over 1.7 billion dollars in damages. Depending on the policy of your home or car insurance, you may end up paying to fix these damages out of pocket. The worst time of year for hail damage in Colorado is between mid-May and late July. If you act right away, you may be able to make some adjustments in time to protect your home from expensive hail damage.
Hailstorms may be inevitable, but hail damage to your roof is not. With the right materials and design, you can give your roof the protection it needs. With our extensive experience in the roofing business, we have come to understand what makes a roof hail-resistant. The most important thing to avoid when trying to reinforce your roof against hail is re-roofing over existing shingles. For best results, remove the old shingles and replace them rather than just installing new shingles on top of the old ones.
Choosing the Correct Shingles
We are happy to share with you the most tried and tested methods of hail-proofing your roof. Firstly, you need to pay attention to the type of shingles used on your roof. Generally, shingles made with polymer-modified asphalt will be more resistant than those made from conventional oxidized asphalt. A more precise way to measure the hail-resistance of shingles is to use the 'Test Standard UL 2218'.
In 1996 Underwriters Laboratories designed a method to test roofing materials by dropping steel balls onto them and then classified them according to their hail resistance on a scale of 1 to 4. When shopping for shingles, you can compare the UL rating of different materials. A standard wooden shake will probably receive a Class-1 UL rating, due to its high susceptibility to damage from hailstones. Polymer-modified asphalt or concrete tiles are most likely to boast the highest rating of Class-4 UL due to their strength and resistance.
The Right Roof Design
Another factor that contributes significantly to hail-resistance is the pitch of your roof. Flatter roofs will suffer from a more forceful impact when hit by hailstones. Steeper roofs benefit from the inclined angle, as the hailstones are more likely to glance off the roof, saving it from having to absorb the full force of impact. A roof pitch over 6:12 will offer better resistance to hail damage.
Additionally, for maximum protection, you should opt for rigid roof decking. Tongue and groove style decking or well-supported plywood sheathing will give the shingles extra support. Using a thin, single layer underlayment is another way to fortify a shingle roof. Modern materials are thinner, stronger and allow for better air permeation than traditional asphalt-saturated roofing felts.
If you have the chance to install an entirely new roof or drastically remodel the structure of your home, you can incorporate the advice given on shingle type, roof pitch, decking and underlayment to create the optimum design for a hail-resistant roof. The reality for most homeowners, unfortunately, is that changing all the roof decking material and the pitch of a roof is costly, time-consuming, and unrealistic. For existing roofs, the easiest way to improve their hail resistance is to update the underlayment material and change your old roofing for high-quality shingles with a better UL rating.
Can I Really Save Money?
Some homeowners may ask if it is worth it. The cost of tearing off your existing roof and installing new underlayment and hi-tech shingles is substantial. If you plan to remain living in the house for the next 20 years and suffering through another 20 years of hailstorms then yes, it is in fact, worth it to invest in a hail-resistant roof. But how can you be certain of the long-term savings?
A standard asphalt shingle roof with a life expectancy of 20 years will cost approximately $1,800. For homeowners in 'hail alley,' a typical asphalt roof with no additional hail-resistance modifications can need replacing about every 7 years. Over the span of 20 years, the homeowner can end up paying a total of $5,400 out of pocket, or an average of $270 per year. Homeowners opting for Class-4 polymer modified asphalt shingles can expect to pay around $2,500 for their hail-resistant roof. Although this appears to cost much more, the hail-resistant roof has a life expectancy of 30 years and is much less likely to need replacement over this timespan.
A Worthwhile Investment
If you are willing to make the early investment in purchasing a hail-resistant roof, you will benefit from an overall lower cost in the long run. As if this wasn't encouragement enough, insurance companies are also eager for their customers to choose higher quality roofs if they are in areas with frequent hailstorms. Most insurance companies will reward their customers either with a cash incentive or an overall reduction in your yearly premium for choosing hail-resistant shingles. Immediate cash incentives can be as high as $500, and premium reduction as high as 25%.
Overall, the long-term cost savings of a hail-resistant roof are undeniable. When you combine, the money saved over the roof's lifetime, and the great discounts you will receive from your insurance company, it's a no-brainer! If you live in an area hit by hailstorms, such as the Front Range of Colorado, it really does make sense to make the switch to a hail-resistant roof. In addition to saving money, you will also save yourself the hassle of having to get your roof repaired or replaced so often. For more information on making the change to a hail-resistant roof before the upcoming summer hail season, contact GreenPoint Roofing.
March 14, 2017
6 Roofing Materials to Choose From
GreenPoint Roofing in Longmont provides quality roofing services and valuable information such as 6 roofing materials to choose from for your next residential or commercial project. When designing or renovating a home, one of the most important factors to consider is your roof. The material you use to make your roof can drastically affect its functionality, insulation properties, aesthetics, and longevity.
Asphalt shingles are the most popular material used to roof homes across the United States, and for a good reason. They are widely available, inexpensive, and easy to install. If you are looking for a fast and affordable option, asphalt shingles offer an excellent solution. Asphalt shingles are the most common on the market and are usually available in a few different colors. You can often find asphalt shingles on traditional suburban style homes, but they can work well with many different architectural styles.
Some disadvantages of asphalt shingles include their limited lifespan of around 20 years, variations in quality, and weak insulation properties. It is possible to have your shingles reinforced with fiberglass or cellulose without altering their appearance. For homes in freezing climates, it may be worth investing in additional insulation when using asphalt shingles. To avoid having to make these modifications and incur extra costs, you could consider choosing a different, harder-wearing roofing material.
Wood Shingles and Shake
Wood shingles, or their more rustic counterparts, hand-cut wood shakes, can certainly add character and charm to your home’s new roof in Longmont. Typically made from cedar, redwood, or pine, wood roofing materials have been used for centuries with great success. They tend to gradually weather to a grayer tone and last from 25 to 30 years
Wood shingles are not practical for all climates. In areas with hot, dry weather, fire codes may prohibit the use of wood roofing materials or require that they are treated with a fire-resistant coating. In wet climates, wood shingles can weather quickly and are more likely to mold, rot and split over time.
Slate roofs are beautiful, sustainable and built to last. Slate is a very hard-wearing, fire-resistant material that can be used successfully in all climates. You can choose from a number of different shades of green, red, gray, and purple slate to add a personalized appearance to your home
Due to the material's weight, a slate roof will usually require extra framing for support and professional roof installation. Slate is one of the most expensive options for roofing, costing around $600 per square. With a typical lifespan of 50 to 100 years, a slate roof may be worth the investment.
Clay or Concrete Tiles
Clay tiles can create a wonderfully textured appearance and work very well on Mission, Mediterranean, and Spanish style homes. Rounded terracotta tiles not only look great but they are also practical with their ability to quickly drain water. Clay tiles are long-lasting and can be found in different shapes including flat, scalloped, and ribbed. If you opt for concrete tiles, you can save some money and benefit from a higher energy efficiency rating.
Clay and concrete tiles are substantial enough to warrant additional framing and a professional installation, however, they are one of the most durable roofing materials. The classic look of terracotta tiles comes with a high price tag. After slate, clay tiles are the second most expensive roofing material.
Synthetic Roofing Products
Synthetic roofing products have been designed to mimic the appearance of traditional wood, slate, and tiled roofs. Usually, the actual materials are made from rubber, plastic or polymer blends. This means that synthetic roofing materials are much lighter than traditional shingles and tiles. They are sturdy, easy to maintain and can be installed without additional framing. Synthetic roofing is available in a wide range of styles, colors, and textures, allowing you to choose your favorite aesthetics without having to deal with the expense, maintenance, and fragility of traditional materials.
The major disadvantage of synthetic roofing materials is the lack of information we have on their longevity. These materials are so new that we have not had the chance to see how they endure long-term weathering, although many manufacturers offer a warranty of up to 50 years. Before buying, it is a good idea to view a synthetic roof that has been in place for at least 10 years in your area. This will give you an idea of the rate of wear to be expected.
Metal roofing materials are available in stainless steel, copper, aluminum and zinc. This lightweight material can be installed in panels or shingles and is a good option for those living in extreme environments. Metal roofing is useful when designing an efficient home as the material offers a high solar reflectance and can be suitable for use in harvesting rainwater. Metal roofing materials will last considerably longer than asphalt or wood.
Prices on metal roofing can vary widely, from $100 to $800 a square. Some homeowners do not find the appearance of metal roofing attractive and prefer to use traditional materials, especially on homes designed with specific architecture in mind. Depending on the type of metal used, these roofs can oxidize and change color over time.
A Few Important Factors to Consider
Now that you have an idea of the pros and cons of each different material, you should be better equipped to select the right type of roof for your home or commercial roofing project. Before you order your roof, it’s also important to talk over the following factors with your GreenPoint Roofing expert:
- Climate Suitability - Will this kind of home roofing material protect you from specific local weather conditions such as high temperatures, heavy rainfall, snow, hail, and the wind?
- Cost - Calculate the square footage of your roof and the total cost before saying yes to a new roof. Does it fit your budget? Will the cost pay itself back over time?
- Weight - Does this roofing material require additional framing for support and a professional installation?
- Fire Safety - If your area has restrictions on roofing materials, does it meet the fire code specifications?
- Aesthetics - Does the appearance of the material fit with the style of your home and is it available in the color or design you are looking for?
For more information on these 6 roofing materials to choose from, or to schedule a free inspection and quote, simply contact GreenPoint Roofing in Longmont. We have over 20 years of experience in providing quality roof installation and repair services. You can rely on our team to offer a wide variety of options in roofing materials and designs, customized to your individual needs.
September 14, 2016
How do I know if my roof needs replacement
A leaking roof is the most obvious sign that you need a complete replacement of your home roof. The majority of homeowners are not aware of the other simple signs that can indicate a damaged roof. So how do I know if my roof needs replacement?
Getting to know these signs yourself means that you can be aware of the condition of your roof and make an informed decision when it comes time to repair or replace it. If you ignore the maintenance needs of your roof until a serious leak occurs, you will risk causing extensive damage to your home and property. The best approach is to be vigilant and be sure to replace your roof before it presents a real danger.
As a general rule, typical home roofs will last between 20 and 25 years before they require replacement. When buying a house, it is wise to request information on the age of the roof as well as the age of the entire building. Once you know the approximate age of your roof, you can estimate how many more years it should last. Factors such as the climate you live in and the general upkeep you give your home can add or subtract years from this general figure.
Regular visual inspections from the inside and outside can give homeowners a good idea of the condition of their roof. From the inside of your attic, you can check for areas of sagging roof deck or water damage. Examine the inside of the roof for mold growth, dark spots, or trails. This discoloration could be evidence of water damage, especially if it occurs near the seams and joints of the roof. You can also test your insulation for moisture. Check during the day to see if sunlight enters through unsealed gaps in your roof. If sunlight can enter, that means rain, snow and cold air can also make its way into your home.
From the outside, you should be regularly checking your gutters for loose asphalt granules. Older shingles can start to lose their structural integrity, and one of the first signs of this is loose granules. Without walking on the roof or putting yourself in a dangerous position, visually inspect the shingles of your roof. If you notice more than a couple are missing, or that they are starting to curl upwards at the edges, this could indicate they are nearing the end of their functional lifespan.
Other key issues to look out for include broken or damaged metal flashing, extensive mold coverage, drainage problems and a high percentage of cracked shingles.
If you notice any of the warning mentioned above signs, you should get in touch with a qualified and licensed roofing contractor. Some specialists such as GreenPoint Roofing will even carry out an inspection free of charge. If your roof does need a complete replacement, it is best to get this done during the warmer months of the year. Temperatures below freezing make shingles brittle, difficult to work with and the roof will not seal as effectively. Avoid a hasty and difficult roof replacement by regularly examining your roof and knowing well in advance if it needs replacement.
August 14, 2016
Malarkey Roofing Products for Residential Roofing
Striking the balance between good value for money and high performance can be difficult. With Malarkey roofing products for residential roofing, you can be guaranteed high quality shingles that both look great and keep you within your budget. Malarkey has been offering practical solutions for residential roofs since 1956. It has never been so easy to get a premium class roof installed for homeowners all across the country.
When installing a new roof on your home, there are a number of factors to consider and prioritize. Before you settle for one brand or type of roof, evaluate how important the following factors are to you.
- Cost: What budget have you assigned to the new roof, and does this include maintenance costs for the next 10-20 years? What is the maximum you are willing to pay up front for your new roof?
- Aesthetics: Is the appearance of the roof a high priority? Would you prefer it to match your neighbors' roofs, replicate the appearance of your old roof or are you striving for a brand new look?
- Durability: Depending on the local climate, you may need to invest in a roof that can withstand heavy hail, strong winds, rainstorms, snow or intense sunlight.
- Energy Efficiency: Different materials used to construct your roof can have a huge effect on the total energy efficiency of your home. Consider your need for insulation if you live in a climate with fluctuating temperatures.
- Fortunately, Malarkey Roofing Products excel in all of the above areas.
Since their founding, Malarkey has been an industry leader in developing advanced roofing technology. After pioneering research into using fiberglass in the production of roof shingles, they developed the eternally popular fiberglass Built Up Roofing (BUR) system. Always striving for perfection, in 1994, Malarkey collaborated with Scotchgard to produce the world's first algae resistant shingles.
With such a huge variety of styles and colors available, choosing which type of shingles to use for your home can be challenging. Fortunately, the experts at GreenPoint Roofing can advise you on the differences between designer shingles and architectural shingles. Whether you want to create a traditional or modern appearance, we will stay true to your vision and work with the highest quality materials.
The Alaskan shingle, first produced by Malarkey in 1986, remains the benchmark for quality shingles in the United States. Highly impact resistant, wind resistant and algae proof, the Alaskan is the perfect choice for those living in a harsh climate. Malarkey is also a leader in eco-conscious roofing materials. Their specially designed solar reflective shingles utilize reflective granules to minimize the amount of solar heat entering your home. These shingles reduce the need for insulation and help to keep the interior of your home at a comfortable temperature without the need for AC.
Ask your roofing professional if they are a Malarkey approved contractor before beginning to work on your home. When it comes to residential roofing, Malarkey roofing products offer a winning balance in advanced technology, beautiful design and cost efficiency.
July 24, 2016
The Questions To Ask Any Commercial Roofing Company Before Hiring Them
Doing some research before contracting a roofer is always a good idea. For commercial, agricultural or industrial developments, it is particularly important to ask your commercial roofer some key questions before hiring them. If you are a property developer, take a look at this guide before making any decisions on your roofing contractor.
All roofers, whether residential or commercial, should be able to provide you with details of their operating license and insurance. You have a right to revise this and check that they are indeed licensed and insured to work within your municipality and that they have permission to carry out the specific type of commercial work for which you plan on contracting them. Another very basic piece of information to request is the details of their experience; how long they have been in the industry, examples of previous completed projects and referrals. You can check reviews on Angie's List, or HomeAdvisor can give an indication of their reputation. A high rating by the Better Business Bureau is another reliable indicator of quality.
Depending on your project and the functions of the planned building, there are different styles of commercial roofing to consider. The most common options used in commercial roofing today include modified bitumen roofing, liquid-applied roofing or built-up roofing (BUR). If you need a flat roof, the BUR technology offers the best option to ensure a long-lasting and highly leak-resistant roof. A separate base layer, ply layer, and cap layer are installed to create a seam-free membrane which will not suffer cracks when expanding and contracting due to temperature changes.
Make a list of your requirements including fireproofing, insulation, weather resistance, soundproofing, and aesthetics. If you are considering installing solar panels, skylights or a rooftop garden or terrace, remember to discuss this with your potential roofer. It is best to ensure they have the necessary technology and skills to install the roof with the features you need. Do you expect your commercial roofer to go the extra mile and also install any guttering and drainage systems, siding or additional features? For each item on your list, get a clear answer from your commercial roofer before proceeding.
Don't forget to ask about warranties offered by your commercial roofer. Most manufacturers will provide at least some guarantee on their roofing products. Some roofing companies will also offer additional warranty agreements. For example, GreenPoint Roofing offers a workmanship guarantee of five years on every job completed. Consumers should be aware of their responsibilities to prevent voiding the warranty. These can include keeping records of maintenance checks.
Big roofing brands such as GAF, Owens Corning, Malarkey and TAMKO run certification programs to provide specialized training to contractors working with their products. If you have already chosen the specific type of roof you want, you should check if your commercial roofer is a registered contractor with the manufacturer. These certifications mean there are experts working with these products and are more likely to offer high-quality results.
Working your way through this list of questions to ask before hiring a commercial roofer will give you the opportunity to select a qualified contractor capable of completing the job. Choosing the right commercial roofer is absolutely worth it when you think about the time and money saved with a stress-free, high-quality roof installation.