When it's time for a new roof, you've got a lot of new choices these days, many of which will last more than 50 years. New engineered shingles are made to look like cedar or tile using recycled materials. Even metal roofs, the old standby for barns, have made a comeback with new colors, styles, and an unbeatable maintenance-free life expectancy.
Here's a tip on how to increase the life of old wooden gutters. The first step is to lay a new rubber liner along the inside the gutter. Adding copper flashing along the edge seals the liner, adds extra durability, and allows water to run off easily. Finally, add a second strip of rubber on top of the flashing for extra protection.
Regardless of your roof type, hurricane straps are designed to help hold the roof to the walls. Ask your builder to install hurricane straps of galvanized metal. Don't wait until after your house is constructed; although some people attempt hurricane-strap installation as a do-it-yourself project, the straps are difficult to fit, and improperly placed, they can turn into sharp projectiles in a strong wind.
Removing old, cracked, and brittle shingles for replacement is easy. Here's how: assemble an assortment of flatbars and shingle removers. To remove a number of shingles at once, start at the bottom and work your way up. Pry shingles from the side to avoid flying splinters and nails. In a short time, the exposed sheathing is ready for re-shingling with new material.
When hiring a roofing contractor, the lowest-bidder is not always the best for the job. Roofers with good insurance, good safety equipment, and well-trained, skilled employees charge more than fly-by-night outfits, and rightly so. Quite often, that roofer will have a standing relationship with a reliable manufacturer who puts out a good product and backs it up. Check the insurance, license, professional certifications, and references of any roofer you interview. The right shingle and the right roofer will make for a lasting job.
The number one cause of problems with roofing products is faulty installation and the leading installation problem is incorrect nailing of roof shingles.
Rubber slate can be a good choice when re-roofing a Victorian. Made from the same material as car bumpers, rubber slate can last up to 100 years. The slates are flexible, predrilled and calibrated. They can be cut with a knife and installed in any weather conditions. Rubber slate is an ideal product for a steep, complex roof with turrets, valleys, and crickets.
When repairing smaller tears in roof shingles, apply a thin bead of roof cement both under and over the tear, then smooth out the top bead with a putty knife. To camouflage the repair, collect some of the color chips that have washed from the shingles into the rain gutters and sprinkle them over the cement.
When installing roof shingles, do not nail above the sealant strips or the mid-section of the shingle.
How you put the roof together is just as important as the materials you use. When framing and sheathing the roof, for example, how many nails you use and where you put them may determine how well your roof stays in place. Fasten your roof incorrectly and it may blow away in a high wind or collapse under a heavy snow load. The same applies to the roof covering itself. Whether you install asphalt shingles, wood shakes, slate, tile, or a low-slope membrane roof, the fastening details can make the difference between success and failure. Roofing details such as underlayment, flashing, and edge detailing must all be accomplished with care for your roof job to succeed. You must also be aware of underlying structure. Heavy materials like slate and tile need a beefier frame under them than lighter products such as asphalt shingles or sheet metal; so, be sure to have the supporting structure evaluated before reroofing.