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A Certified Roofing Contractor-Your best Choice

This informational article gives insight to the various choices in roofing and their special needs. A certified roofing contractor knows how to meet those requirements; this article offers valuable information to help select the best contractor for your project.

roofing, roofing contractor, roofing contractors, metal roofing, roofing material, roofing product, roofing repair

The life expectancy of your roof depends on several factors; type of roofing, quality of material, and exposure to harsh weather elements among the top. With regular maintenance and normal weathering factors, a roof can last anywhere from 10 – 100 years.

Common roofing material such as built up roofing usually lasts 12 – 20 years, metal roofing 15 – 40 years, wood shake or shingles 10 – 40 years, asphalt shingles 15 – 20 years, and specialty material like slate up to 100 years under good conditions.

Leaks start as small cracks in roofing material that may not be visible; water may collect in an adjacent area. To detect such damage, a close inspection of the roof may be necessary.

A certified roofing contractor can be called to avoid further damage to the roof, or personal injury to the homeowner caused by trying to inspect it his or her self. A roof inspection should be performed annually; constant weathering by sun, heat, rain, snow, hail, wind, and cold can cause roofing material to break down. A certified roofing contractor will know what to look for.

A roof and soffit system should be properly vented to prevent over-heating and moisture retention, two factors that can cause a roof to break down prematurely.

<b>Selecting a Qualified Roofing Contractor</b>

A certified, experienced contractor offers various services. From completely tearing off an old roof and replacing it with a new one, to inspecting and “certifying” an existing roof. The latter is a process in which the roof is inspected and “guaranteed” to function properly for a certain period of time; usually 2 years. The contractor takes responsibility for any necessary roofing repair during that period.

A certified contractor is knowledgeable of roof system types, materials, and installation procedures best suited to each project, and will ensure there is adequate venting.

Ask potential roofing contractors questions such as whether or not they are licensed and bonded. What liability insurance coverage they carry, and whether it is up to date. Ask which roofing product manufacturers they are licensed and approved by, for installation of products and warranty purposes. Also ask if they are a member of any regional or national trade organizations.

Several resources are available to find a certified roofing contractor; referrals, local government licensing agencies, and web sites that offer contractors for hire, or a list of contractors who are licensed and bonded.

In Canada, visit www.handycanadian.com for a listing of certified roofing contractors in your area.

 

Bipv: Built-in Photovoltaics: Solar Energy That Takes The Place Of Conventional Glass And Roofing

A promising renewable energy technology that breaks down pre-existing concerns and hesitation about solar energy is called Building Integrated Photovoltaics (BIPV). These systems actually build solar cells into the construction of a building. They look as natural as what would have been a conventional roof, window, awning, and even concrete. They are often made of flexible “thin film”, which is also a relatively new and exciting technology.

BIPV systems can provide savi...

bipv,building integrated,photovoltaic,thin film,solar,panels,cells,roofing,roof,shingles

A promising renewable energy technology that breaks down pre-existing concerns and hesitation about solar energy is called Building Integrated Photovoltaics (BIPV). These systems actually build solar cells into the construction of a building. They look as natural as what would have been a conventional roof, window, awning, and even concrete. They are often made of flexible “thin film”, which is also a relatively new and exciting technology.

BIPV systems can provide savings in electricity costs for years to come. In some areas solar energy can almost completely replace conventional electric sources, but in almost every area the electricity provided can at least provide enough benefit to make conversion to photovoltaic worthwhile. In fact, the cost of the technology is coming down so fast that even a minimally effective BIPV system can bring financial reward.

BIPV systems can be made to be “on-grid”, or interfaced with the local electric utility. That way, not only does the homeowner get “free” electricity for their own use, they also can automatically sell it back to the utility. Not only might you receive no electric bills, you might actually receive a check back from the electric company some months! The on grid system also guarantees a back-up source of power as necessary.

BIPV systems can be designed to blend in and look like conventional building materials and designs, such as:

- The façade of a building, such as traditional view or decorated glass. This is an emerging technology that has not been perfected, but can still have a significant impact.

- Photovoltaics can be incorporated into external structures such as awnings. In this case they are obviously most effective in areas or sides of the building that get the most sun.

- The most common use of building integrated photovoltaics are in roofing systems, where solar shingles or panels are substituted for traditional roofing. Again, these solar cells can often be made of flexible thin film.

- Skylights made of solar cells can be a very effective form of BIPV, particularly if the face a direction where the sun is strong.

BIPV has become so advanced that you have likely driven by a structure that uses it and you probably had no idea. In fact, the technology encourages the use of more windows, skylights, and built-ins like stained glass. Building and houses with BIPV, far from being less attractive, may actually be the most attractive on the block.

As exciting as the above technologies are, there has even been research about building photovoltaic solar cells into concrete and other building materials. Soon this technology may be widespread and conventional, but for now you can get a head start while saving electricity, reducing your carbon footprint, and serving as a model for others.

 

Roofing Disasters And How To Avoid Them

Conducting a thorough home inspection--inside and out--can help prevent problems or keep them from becoming costly.

Roofing Disasters And How To Avoid Them

The roof on your home is the first line of defense against the elements of nature, such as high winds, heavy rain, sleet and snow. Conducting a complete inspection-inside and out-each spring can help avoid costly problems later on. Look for these key danger signals that indicate your roof is not adequately protecting your home:

&#8226; Water, water, anywhere?-A home inspection should start with a check for leaks in the attic. This can occur and be most obvious after heavy, driving rains. Also walk through each room of the house and inspect walls and ceilings. Ceiling spots can be another warning sign your roof needs repairs. And peeling of interior or exterior paint or wallpaper, sometimes from excessive moisture or high humidity, can be a sign of possible inadequate attic ventilation. If more ventilation is needed, it can be relatively easy and inexpensive to install-even if you don't need a new roof.

&#8226; Crack down on cracks-The most common leak sources on the outside include cracks in flashing around the chimney and vents, or worn-out, decayed or missing shingles. Check your gutters for debris, including granules in the gutter. If you find an excessive amount of granules, it may indicate aging shingles that should be replaced. While up there, check for any missing, cracked or curled shingles. These should be replaced quickly to avoid structural damage to your roof deck and the interior of your home. If any shingles are blistered, decayed or "dirty looking," they need to be replaced, too.

If you find any of these potential problems and are in need of repairs, the first and most important step to take is to find a competent roofing contractor.

Poorly installed or constructed roofing systems waste American homeowners billions of dollars every year, according to GAF Materials Corporation, North America's largest roofing manufacturer. Fortunately, most risks can be avoided with a professional roofing system that's correctly installed, maintained and/or repaired.

GAF offers access to a database of factory-certified, prequalified roofing contractors. Every contractor is licensed and insured, and pledges to work on the homeowner's roof as if it were its own

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