Spring Specials

Mid Atlantic Construction and Technology is working hard for our customers and clients to provide them with the best quality construction services available in the Northern Virginia area. As the leading contractor in the area we make it our job to provide the best residential and commercial construction and remodeling services. Our company is qualified to do everything, from kitchen, baths, roofs, siding, windows replacements, fire and water restoration. As the spring season arrives many home owners will be looking to do some remodeling to their homes and businesses. We at Mid Atlantic Construction and Technology will be here to assist our Northern Virginia family with whatever they may need help with. We’ve been in business many years and we’ve never had a company beat us as far as pricing and craftsmanship.

Mid Atlantic Construction and Technology is in the business of treating its customers with the highest respect. That’s why our company has made customer service our number one priority. Our customers never have to worry about our company getting over on them, because we always want our customers to come back and do business with us. Many of the local remodeling companies and contractors are really just in the business of one thing, and that’s make a quick dollar. Our company is in the business of making an honest living and treating our customers right. We believe in building relationships with our customers, and that’s why most of our business has come from word of mouth.

Mid Atlantic Construction and Technology deals with only qualified contractors and remodeling companies that are license and insured to do the work for our clients.We do everything from roofing, siding, windows replacements, bathroom and kitchen remodeling. From our engineers to our laborers, all our contractors are qualified to do any kind of remodeling work our customers may have. We only deal with contractors that provide superior construction materials, because we only want to do the work once and right on the first try. All our contractors are have over 15 years experience on the average and love what they do as a profession.

Mid Atlantic Construction and Technology also specialize in insurance and claims. If you’ve experience storm and wind damage, we can help you get started. As the start of storm season gets started we’re bracing ourselves for the rains and hurricane seasons that are going to come in the summer seasons. Many home owners experience ripped off shingles and siding, our company offers free inspections at no cost to you or your insurance company. We’re into doing only honest business and making sure our customer is happy with the work that our contractors have provided them.

Repairing Damaged Roll Roofing

Mid Atlantic Construction and Technology doesn’t ever recommend you fixing your roof by yourself. If you need help fixing your roof, our company will be glad to offer you a free inspection. But even if you do decide to go against our warning and still want to do it, there’s a set of instructions we can give you and hopefully you can get your roofing project done successful.


Look for cracks or blisters in the roofing material.
 As you would with a shingle roof, check for damage on the exterior that corresponds with the water stains you’ve seen on the ceiling. Look closely for small cracks around joints, vents, chimneys, or other objects that come through the roof. More obvious signs of leaks include open splits in the roofing material and blisters or bubbles where water and air have collected.[7]

  • You can mend a small gap at a joint, vent, or chimney with roofing sealant. Any gaps wider than 14 in (0.64 cm), open splits, or blistered areas will need to be patched.
  • Like shingle repairs, mending minor damage to asphalt or rubber roll roofing is relatively easy. However, if you notice widespread wear, water stains, mold, or rot on the roof or ceiling, call a professional.

Cut any blisters or bubbles to release air and water. Sweep away any gravel from the damaged area, then carefully slice through the middle of the blister with a utility knife. Cut only through the blister at the top layer of roofing; do not cut the roof substrate, or the fiberboard beneath the rubber or asphalt.[8]

  • If the blister contained water, soak it up with a dry rag. After thoroughly mopping up water, allow it to dry for 12 to 24 hours. If you’re in a rush, dry it out with a blow dryer; just be sure it’s completely dry before you attempt repairs.
  • Blisters often occur with leaks in roll roofing. If there’s no blister associated with your leak, skip this step and proceed to mending the tear.

Spread a generous amount of roofing cement under the split. Inspect the fiberboard substrate beneath the tear in the rubber or asphalt. If the substrate is sound, use a small trowel to apply a heavy layer of cement under the edges of the tear. Push the cement as far under the edges as you can without further tearing the roofing material.[9]

  • After cementing the edges of the tear, press it down flat, then drive galvanized roofing nails along each side of mend in 3 in (7.6 cm) intervals.
  • If the fiberboard substrate is unsound, you’ll need to replace the damaged section.


Replace the roofing substrate, if necessary.
 If you’re dealing with a large, open seam, check the roof substrate beneath the rubber or asphalt for rot or holes. If it’s failing, use a straightedge and sharp utility knife to remove the damaged area. Carefully cut a rectangle-shaped section that contains all of the damaged roofing material.[10]

  • Check for and remove any metal washers and screws that secure the roof substrate to the structure beneath it.
  • Using the section you removed as a template, cut a new piece of substrate from a sheet of high-density fiberboard, which you can purchase at your local hardware store.
  • Set the new substrate into place, then secure it with 1 12 in (3.8 cm) roofing screws with built-in hex washers.


Cover the repaired area with a patch of roll roofing.
 If you didn’t need to replace the roof substrate, cut a patch of tar paper or rubber roll roofing 12 in (30 cm) wider and longer than the mended section. Apply a generous layer of roof cement over the repaired tear, then set the patch over the cement-covered area. Press it lightly, and drive 1 14 in (3.2 cm) galvanized roofing nails around the patch’s edges in 3 in (7.6 cm) intervals.[11]

  • If you did replace the substrate, add layers of rubber roll roofing until the area is flush with the surrounding roofing material. Cut a piece of tar paper or rubber roll roofing 12 in (30 cm) wider and longer than the repair area, apply a generous layer of cement, then set the patch over the cement-covered mend.[12]
  • After setting the patch in place, press it lightly and drive roofing nails around its perimeter. Ensure the nails that secure the patch don’t overlap with any hardware you’ve used to hold the fiberboard substrate in place.


Add a final layer of roofing cement for a watertight patch.
 After covering the mend with the patch, use your trowel to apply a heavy layer of roofing cement over the entire repaired area. Spread the cement over the patch’s perimeter, and be sure to cover the nail heads. Use a putty knife to feather the cement past the patch’s edges, and try to make a smooth surface that won’t collect water.[13]

  • If your roll roofing is asphalt, spread a layer of asphalt gravel over the cement while it’s still wet. This will help protect the roofing material.

How To Fix A Roof Leak

Mid Atlantic Construction and Technology is the leading roofing company in the Loudoun and Fairfax county areas. As the leading roofing company we highly don’t recommend that you fix a roof leak yourself. If you are going to fix a roof leak make sure you got enough knowledge about the subject of roofing. If you are about to fix your roof we’ve got some tips for you.

Check for roof damage above water marks on the ceiling. If you haven’t already tracked down the leak, trace the water damage inside your home. If you have an attic, head up there with a flashlight, and look for water stains or mold. Note the location of any evidence you find, then inspect the corresponding spot on the exterior of your home.[1]

  • If your roof is slanted, inspect areas that are higher than where you’ve found interior evidence of a leak. Water enters the leak then, due to gravity, it gets into the attic at a point farther down the roof’s pitch.
  • If you have trouble, run a hose for 1 to 2 minutes along different sections of the roof. Have a person inside alert you when they spot water.


Inspect your roof for widespread wear and tear.
 Look for curled, cracked, or missing shingles at the leak site, and evaluate your roof’s overall condition. See if there are numerous failing or missing shingles, wide gaps where roofing material meets vents or a chimney, and other signs of widespread wear and tear.[2]

  • Repairing 1 or 2 shingles and resealing minor gaps are relatively easy fixes. However, patches of failing shingles and widespread wear are signs that your roof needs to be replaced, especially if it’s over 20 years old.
  • Additionally, if you find widespread rot or mold on your roof boards or trusses inside your attic, you might have structural issues that require a professional roofer.

Straighten and reattach curled shingles. Over time, the corners of asphalt shingles often begin to curl. Carefully smooth out any curled-back shingles, then use a caulking gun to apply a dab of roof sealant under the raised corners. Press the shingle down, then use a trowel to cover the shingle’s edges with roof cement.[3]

  • Shingles are pliable in warm temperatures. Since they’re brittle in colder weather, you might need to soften a curled shingle with a blow dryer. Don’t use a heat torch or any heat source more intense than a blow dryer, or you’ll damage the shingle.

  1. Repair a clean crack with roof sealant.
     There’s no need to replace a shingle with a clean tear. Instead, apply a thick bead of roof sealant under the crack with a caulking gun. Press the shingle down, then apply another bead of sealant over the crack. Use a putty knife to spread the top bead over both edges of the crack.[5]
    • To disguise your repair, look around the roof and in the gutter for accumulations of asphalt granules. Collect a small amount, then sprinkle them in the sealant to match its color to your shingles.


Replace broken or missing shingles.
 If part or all of a shingle is missing, head to the hardware store to find a matching replacement. To remove the broken shingle, carefully lift the edges of the shingle above it with a pry bar. Use a hammer to remove the nails at broken shingle’s 4 corners, slide it out, then scrape the area beneath to remove any leftover roofing cement.[6]

  • If necessary, use a blow dryer to make the surrounding shingles more pliable. After removing the old shingle, use a sharp utility knife to round the back corners of the new shingle; this makes it easier to install.
  • Slide the new shingle into place, gently lift the shingle above, and drive 1 14 inch (3.2 cm) galvanized roofing nails into the new shingle’s corners. If you removed any nails that secured the shingle above the broken one, replace them.
  • Finally, use a trowel to apply roof cement over the nail heads and edges of the new shingle.

Built Up Roofing

This heavy roofing consists of layers of asphalt, tar or adhesive topped with an aggregate and is only for flat roofs. Tar and gravel roofs, also for flat roofs, are best for roof-top decks with heavy foot traffic. These roofs may become sticky in summer, and it is harder to shovel snow off of these roofs when compared to smooth surfaces. They can last 20 to 25 years.

The best type of roof for you really depends on your climate, budget and house. To see what’s best in your area, talk with licensed roofing contractors and look at some of the newer developments nearby to get ideas on what type of roofing material to use.

Regardless of what type of roof you go with, there is always a chance it can be damaged. Roofing can be expensive, so you want to make sure you’re covered when the unexpected happens.

Green Roofing

green roof or living roof is a roof of a building that is partially or completely covered with vegetation and a growing medium, planted over a waterproofing membrane. It may also include additional layers such as a root barrier and drainage and irrigation systems. Container gardens on roofs, where plants are maintained in pots, are not generally considered to be true green roofs, although this is debated. Rooftop ponds are another form of green roofs which are used to treat greywater. Vegetation, soil, drainage layer, roof barrier and irrigation system constitute green roof.

Green roofs serve several purposes for a building, such as absorbing rainwater, providing insulation, creating a habitat for wildlife, increasing benevolence and decreasing stress of the people around the roof by providing a more aesthetically pleasing landscape, and helping to lower urban air temperatures and mitigate the heat island effect. Green roofs are suitable for retrofit or redevelopment projects as well as new buildings and can be installed on small garages or larger industrial, commercial and municipal buildings. They effectively utilize the natural functions of plants to filter water and treat air in urban and suburban landscapes. There are two types of green roof: intensive roofs, which are thicker, with a minimum depth of 12.8 cm (5.0 in), and can support a wider variety of plants but are heavier and require more maintenance, and extensive roofs, which are shallow, ranging in depth from 2 cm (0.79 in) to 12.7 cm (5.0 in), lighter than intensive green roofs, and require minimal maintenance.[7]

The term green roof may also be used to indicate roofs that use some form of green technology, such as a cool roof, a roof with solar thermal collectors or photovoltaic panels. Green roofs are also referred to as eco-roofsoikostegesvegetated roofsliving roofsgreenroofs and VCPH

Green roofs improve and reduce energy consumption.[10] They can reduce heating by adding mass and thermal resistance value, also can reduce the heat island by increasing evapotranspiration.[11] A 2005 study by Brad Bass of the University of Toronto showed that green roofs can also reduce heat loss and energy consumption in winter conditions.[12] A modeling study found that adding green roofs to 50 percent of the available surfaces in downtown Toronto would cool the entire city by 0.2 to 1.4 °F (0.1 to 0.8 °C).[13]

A green roof reduces cooling (by evaporative cooling) loads on a building by fifty to ninety percent,[14] especially if it is glassed-in so as to act as a terrarium and passive solar heat reservoir.

A concentration of green roofs in an urban area can even reduce the city’s average temperatures during the summer, combating the urban heat island effect.Traditional building materials soak up the sun’s radiation and re-emit it as heat, making cities at least 4 °C (7.2 °F) hotter than surrounding areas. On Chicago’s City Hall, by contrast, which features a green roof, roof temperatures on a hot day are typically 1.4–4.4 °C (2.5–7.9 °F) cooler than they are on traditionally roofed buildings nearby. Green roofs are becoming common in Chicago, as well as in Atlanta, Portland, and other United States cities, where their use is encouraged by regulations to combat the urban heat-island effect. Green roofs are a type of low impact development. In the case of Chicago, the city has passed codes offering incentives to builders who put green roofs on their buildings. The Chicago City Hall green roof is one of the earliest and most well-known examples of green roofs in the United States; it was planted as an experiment to determine the effects a green roof would have on the microclimate of the roof. Following this and other studies, it has now been estimated that if all the roofs in a major city were greened, urban temperatures could be reduced by as much as 7 degrees Celsius.

Slate Roofing

Slate can be made into roofing slates, a type of roof shingle, or more specifically a type of roof tile, which are installed by a slater. Slate has two lines of breakability – cleavage and grain – which make it possible to split the stone into thin sheets. When broken, slate retains a natural appearance while remaining relatively flat and easy to stack. A “slate boom” occurred in Europe from the 1870s until the first world war, allowed by the use of the steam engine in manufacturing slate tiles and improvements in road and waterway transportation systems.

Slate is particularly suitable as a roofing material as it has an extremely low water absorption index of less than 0.4%, making the material waterproof. In fact, this natural slate, which requires only minimal processing, has the lowest embodied energy of all roofing materials. Natural slate is used by building professionals as a result of its beauty and durability. Slate is incredibly durable and can last several hundred years, often with little or no maintenance. Its low water absorption makes it very resistant to frost damage and breakage due to freezing. Natural slate is also fire resistant and energy efficient.

Slate roof tiles are usually fixed (fastened) either with nails, or with hooks as is common with Spanish slate. In the UK, fixing is typically with double nails onto timber battens (England and Wales) or nailed directly onto timber sarking boards (Scotland and Northern Ireland). Nails were traditionally of copper, although there are modern alloy and stainless steel alternatives. Both these methods, if used properly, provide a long-lasting weathertight roof with a lifespan of around 80–100 years.

Some mainland European slate suppliers suggest that using hook fixing means that:

  • Areas of weakness on the tile are fewer since no holes have to be drilled
  • Roofing features such as valleys and domes are easier to create since narrow tiles can be used
  • Hook fixing is particularly suitable in regions subject to severe weather conditions, since there is greater resistance to wind uplift, as the lower edge of the slate is secured.

The metal hooks are, however, visible and may be unsuitable for historic properties.

Slate tiles are often used for interior and exterior flooring, stairs, walkways and wall cladding. Tiles are installed and set on mortar and grouted along the edges. Chemical sealants are often used on tiles to improve durability and appearance, increase stain resistance, reduce efflorescence, and increase or reduce surface smoothness. Tiles are often sold gauged, meaning that the back surface is ground for ease of installation. Slate flooring can be slippery when used in external locations subject to rain. Slate tiles were used in 19th century UK building construction (apart from roofs) and in slate quarrying areas such as Blaenau Ffestiniog and BethesdaWales there are still many buildings wholly constructed of slate. Slates can also be set into walls to provide a rudimentary damp-proof membrane. Small offcuts are used as shimsto level floor joists. In areas where slate is plentiful it is also used in pieces of various sizes for building walls and hedges, sometimes combined with other kinds of stone. In modern homes slate is often used as table coasters.

Stone-Coated Metal Roofing

stone coated metal roof is made from steel or some other metal; the metal is then coated with stone chips and attached to the steel with an acrylic film. The goal is a more durable roof that still retains the aesthetic advantages of a more traditional roofing material

Stone coated metal roofing was refined during and after World War II in the United Kingdom, when the government requested materials that would protect corrugated steel roofs from the harsh climate. A coating of bitumen and subsequent covering by sand, stone or other materials proved effective at protecting the metal roofs and serving as camouflage against potential attack.

In 1954, L.J. Fisher, an industrialist from New Zealand, secured the rights to produce stone-coated metal roofing outside of Great Britain. The company he founded, AHI Roofing, operates the largest metal roofing factory in the world, and has continued to make changes to the metal roofing product.

Metal Roofing

Copper has played a significant role in architecture for thousands of years (see: copper in architecture). In the 3rd century B.C., copper roof shingles were installed atop the Lovamahapaya Temple in Sri Lanka. The Romans used copper as roof covering for the Pantheon in 27 B.C.  Centuries later, copper and its alloys were integral in European medieval architecture. The copper roof of St. Mary’s Cathedral, Hildesheim, installed in 1280 A.D., survived until its destruction during bombings in World War II. The roof at Kronborg, one of northern Europe’s most important Renaissance castles (immortalized as Elsinore Castle in Shakespeare’s Hamlet) was installed in 1585 A.D. The copper on the tower was renovated in 2009.

Metal roofs can last up to 100 years, with installers providing 50 year warranties.Because of their longevity, most metal roofs are less expensive than asphalt shingles in the long term.

Metal roofing can consist of a high percentage of recycled material and is 100% recyclable. It does not get as hot as asphalt, a common roofing material, and it reflects heat away from the building underneath in summertime. On a larger scale, its use reduces the heat island effect of cities when compared to asphalt. Coupled with its better insulating abilities, metal roofs can offer not only a 40% reduction in energy costs in the summer, but also up to a 15% reduction in the energy costs in the winter according to a 2008 Study by Oak Ridge National Laboratory. This finding is based on the use of a strapping system of four inches between the plywood and “cool-color” metal on top, which provides an air gap between the plywood roof and the metal. Cool-color metals are light, reflective colors, like white. The study went on to say that re-sealing and insulating air ducts in the attic will save even more money.

Metal roofing is also lightweight, creates little stress on the load bearing roof support structures and can be installed on top of an existing roof. A lightweight roof is very useful for large and or old structures, as it helps to maintain the overall structural integrity of the building. Despite its light weight, metal roofing provides increased wind resistance when compared to other roofing materials. This is because metal roofing systems use interlocking panels.

Originally, metal roofs were made of corrugated galvanized steel: a wrought iron–steel sheet was coated with zinc and then roll-formed into corrugated sheets. Another approach is to blend zincaluminum, and silicon-coated steel. These products are sold under various trade names like “Zincalume” or “Galvalume”. The surface may display the raw zinc finish, or it may be used as a base metal under factory-coated colors. Another metal roofing product comes in a rolled form of various widths of so-called standing seam metal. The material is “seamed” together using a special roof seaming machine that is run vertically up the panel to seal the joints and prevent water intrusion.

Metal tile sheets can also be employed. These are usually painted or stone-coated steel. Stone coated steel roofing panels are made from zinc/aluminium-coated steel with an acrylic gel coating. The stones are usually a natural product with a colored ceramic coating. Stainless steel is another option. It is usually roll-formed into standing seam profiles for roofing; however, individual shingles are also available. Other metals used for roofing are leadtin and aluminium and copper.

Copper is used for roofing because it offers corrosion resistance, durability, long life, low maintenance, radio frequency shielding, lightning protection, and sustainability benefits. Copper roofs are often one of the most architecturally distinguishable features of prominent buildings, including churches, government buildings, and universities. Today, copper is used in not only in roofing systems, but also for flashings and copings, rain gutters and downspouts, domes, spires, vaults, and various other architectural design elements. At the Lyle Center for Regenerative Studies in Pomona, California, copper was chosen for the roofing on regenerative principles: if the building were to be dismantled the copper could be reused because of its high value in recycling and its variety of potential uses. A vented copper roof assembly at Oak Ridge National Laboratories (U.S.) substantially reduced heat gain compared with stone-coated steel shingle (SR246E90) or asphalt shingle (SR093E89), resulting in lower energy costs.

Asphalt Shingle

Asphalt shingles are an American invention first used in 1901, in general use in parts of America by 1911 and by 1939 11 million squares of shingles were being produced.  A U.S. National Board of Fire Underwriters campaign to eliminate the use of wood shingles on roofs was a contributing factor in the growth in popularity of asphalt shingles during the 1920s. The forerunner of these shingles was first developed in 1893 and called asphalt prepared roofing which was similar to asphalt roll roofing without the surface granules. In 1897 slate granules were added to the surface to make the material more durable. Types of granules tested have included mica, oyster shells, slate, dolomite, fly-ash, silica and clay. In 1901 this material was first cut into strips for use as one-tab and multi-tab shingles.

All shingles were organic at first with the base material, called felt, being primarily cotton rag until the 1920s when cotton rag became more expensive and alternative materials were used. Other organic materials used as the felt included wool, jute or manila, and wood pulp. In 1926 the Asphalt Shingle and Research Institute with the National Bureau of Standards tested twenty two types of experimental felts and found no significant differences in performance. In the 1950s self-sealing and manually applied adhesives began to be used to help prevent wind damage to shingle roofs. The design standard was for the self-sealing strips of adhesive to be fully adhered after sixteen hours at 140 degrees Fahrenheit. Also in the 1950s testing on the use of 3/4 inch staples rather than roofing nails was carried out showing they could perform as well as nails but with six staples compared with four nails.In 1960 fiberglass mat bases were introduced with limited success; the lighter, more flexible fiberglass shingles proved to be more susceptible to wind damage particularly at freezing temperatures. Later generations of shingles constructed using fiberglass in place of asbestos provided acceptable durability and fireproofing. Also in the 1960s research into hail damage which was found to occur when hail reach a size larger than 1.5 inches.

Asphalt Roofing Manufacturers Association (ARMA) formed the High Wind Task Force in 1990 to continue research to improve shingle wind resistance. In 1996, a partnership between members of the U.S. property insurance industry, the Institute of Business and Home Safety, and the Underwriter’s Laboratory (UL) was established to create an impact resistance classification system for roofing materials. The system, known as UL 2218, established a national standard for impact resistance. Subsequently, insurers offered discounted premiums for policies on structures using shingles that carried the highest impact classification (class 4). In 1998, Texas Insurance Commissioner Elton Bomer mandated that Texas provide premium discounts to policyholders that installed class 4 roofs.

Two types of base materials are used to make asphalt shingles, organic and fiberglass. Both are made in a similar manner, with an asphalt-saturated base covered on one or both sides with asphalt or modified-asphalt, the exposed surface impregnated with slate, schist, quartz, vitrified brick, stone, or ceramic granules, and the under-side treated with sand, talc or mica to prevent shingles from sticking to one-another before use.

The top surface granules block ultra-violet light, which causes the shingles to deteriorate, provides some physical protection of the asphalt core, and provides color – lighter shades preferred for their heat reflectivity in sunny climates, darker in cooler ones for their asborption. Some shingles have copper or other biocides added to the surface to help prevent algae growth. Self-sealing strips are standard on the underside of shingles to provide resistance to lifting in high winds. This material is typically limestone or fly-ash-modified resins, or polymer-modified bitumen. American Society of Civil Engineers ASTM D7158 is the standard most United States residential building codes use as their wind resistance standard for most discontinuous, steep-slope roof coverings (including asphalt shingles) with the following class ratings: Class D – Passed at basic wind speeds up to and including 90 mph; Class G – Passed at basic wind speeds up to and including 120 mph; and Class H – Passed at basic wind speeds up to and including 150 mph. An additive known as styrene-butadiene-styrene (SBS), sometimes called modified or rubberized asphalt, is sometimes added to the asphalt mixture to make shingles more pliable, resistant to thermal cracking, and more resistant to damage from hail impacts. Some manufacturers use a fabric backing known as a scrim on the back side of shingles to make them more impact resistant. Most insurance companies offer discounts to homeowners for using Class 4 impact rated shingles.

Organic

Organic shingles are made with a base mat of organic materials such as waste paper, cellulose, wood fiber, or other materials. This is saturated with asphalt to make it waterproof, then a top coating of adhesive asphalt is applied, covered withd solid granules. Such shingles contain around 40% more asphalt per square (100 sq ft.) than fiberglass shingles. Their organic core leaves them more prone to fire damage, resulting in a maximum class “B” FM fire rating. They are also less brittle than fiberglass shingles in cold weather.

The early wood material-based versions were very durable and hard to tear, an important quality before self-sealing materials were added to the underside of shingles to bond them to the layer beneath. Also, some organic shingles produced before the early 1980s may contain asbestos.

Fiberglass

Fiberglass reinforcement was devised as the replacement for asbestos in organic mat shingles. Fiberglass shingles have a base layer of glass fiber reinforcing mat made from wet, random-laid glass fibers bonded with ureaformaldehyde resin. The mat is then coated with asphalt containing mineral fillers to make it waterproof. Such shingles resist fire better than those with organic/paper mats, making them eligible for as high as a class “A” rating. Weight typically ranges from 1.8 to 2.3 pounds/square foot.

Fiberglass shingles gradually began to replace organic felt shingles, and by 1982 overtook them in use. Widespread hurricane damage in Florida during the 1990s prompted the industry to adhere to a 1700-gram tear value on finished asphalt shingles.

Per 2003 International Building Code Sections 1507.2.1 and 1507.2.2, asphalt shingles shall only be used on roof slopes of two units vertical in 12 units horizontal (17% slope) or greater. Asphalt shingles shall be fastened to solidly sheathed decks. Shallower slopes require asphalt rolled roofing, or other roofing treatment.

Architectural or 3-Tab

Asphalt Shingles come in two standard design options: Architectural (also known as Dimensional) Shingles, and 3-Tab Shingles. 3-Tab are essentially flat simple shingles with a uniform shape and size. They use less material and are thinner than Architectural Shingles, and are therefore lighter and lower cost for both the material and the installation. They also do not last as long or offer Manufacturer’s Warranties as long as good architectural asphalt shingles. 3-Tab are still the most commonly installed in lower-value homes, such as those used as rental properties. However, they are declining in popularity in favor of the architectural style. Dimensional, or architectural shingles are thicker and stronger, vary in shape and size, and offer more aesthetic appeal; casting more distinct, random shadow lines better mimics the appearance of traditional roofing materials such as wood shake shingles. The result is a more natural, traditional look. While more expensive to install, they come with longer manufacturer’s warranties, sometimes up to 50 Years – typically prorated, as virtually all asphalt shingle roofs are replaced before such an expiration could be reached. While 3-tab shingles typically need to be replaced after 15–18 years, Dimensional typically last 24–30 years.

Solar Tiles

Solar shingles, also called photovoltaic shingles, are solar panels designed to look like and function as conventional roofing materials, such as asphalt shingle or slate, while also producing electricity. Solar shingles are a type of solar energy solution known as building-integrated photovoltaics (BIPV).

There are several varieties of solar shingles, including shingle-sized solid panels that take the place of a number of conventional shingles in a strip, semi-rigid designs containing several silicon solar cells that are sized more like conventional shingles, and newer systems using various thin-film solar cell technologies that match conventional shingles both in size and flexibility. There are also products using a more traditional number of silicon solar cells per panel reaching as much as 100 watts DC rating per shingle.[1]

Solar shingles are manufactured by several companies but the three main manufacturers of solar roof shingles are RGS EnergySolarCity, and CertainTeed.[4] Other active companies in the US include SunTegra Solar Roof Systems.

Solar shingles are photovoltaic modules, capturing sunlight and transforming it into electricity. Most solar shingles are 12 in × 86 in (300 mm × 2,180 mm) and can be stapled directly to the roofing cloth. When applied they have a 5 in × 86 in (130 mm × 2,180 mm) strip of exposed surface. Different models of shingles have different mounting requirements. Some can be applied directly onto roofing felt intermixed with regular asphalt shingles while others may need special installation.

Some early manufacturers used solar thin-film technologies, such as CIGS to produce electricity, which are less common in the solar industry than silicon-based cells. Current manufacturers, such as RGS Energy, CertainTeed, and SunTegra, have chosen to use the industry-standard monocrystalline or polycrystalline silicon solar cells in their POWERHOUSE 3.0, Apollo II, and SunTegra Shingle, respectively. The installation methods for some solar shingle solutions can be easier than traditional panel installations because they avoid the need to locate rafters and install with a process much more similar to asphalt shingles than standard solar panels.

Solar shingled roofs tend to have a deep, dark, purplish-blue or black color, and therefore look similar to other roofs in most situations. Tesla Solar has developed shingles in several styles to better match traditional roofs. Homeowners may prefer solar shingles because they avoid having large panels on their roofs. Coming in 2018 Tesla will offer shingles in slate and Tuscan styles, these are the first of the solar shingles which look the same as a slate or Tuscan style roof but still provide solar power. They also have been “Test video for the highest (class 4) hail rating, filmed at 2,500 frames per second. Each 2″ hailstone is travelling 100 mph on impact.” which shows how these new options are also safer in disasters than tradition materials.

Combination Roof

Combination Roof

A combination roof incorporates a design using various roofs on the same structure for aesthetic and practical reasons.

For example, a house may have a hip roof with a gable roof over dormers and a skillion over the porch.

Pros: Using a variety of roofs adds architectural interest to a house. It’s also a great way to use the best type of roof for each section of the home.

Cons: The more complex the design, the more expensive it will be. Adding different pitches and roof types will require more building materials and labor costs.

Joining different roofs always adds valleys and ridges. These are the weakest areas of the roof where water can pool and leak.

When choosing a roof, first determine what type will and won’t work for your area. For example, if you live in a snowy area, a higher pitched roof that is designed to easily shed off high accumulations of snow, can be one the most practical options. Once you’ve narrowed down your choices, then consider your needs. Do you need extra space or would you rather build an Eco-friendly house? Lastly, decide on the style.

Take these important factors into consideration and you’ll have the roof and house of your dreams.