Return to the Blog Home Page

Home Advice

3 Durable Roofing Options for Your Home

Friday, September 22nd, 2017

If it’s time to replace your roof, one of the most important decisions you can make is the type of material to use. Materials commonly used to create shingles include metal, asphalt, concrete, rubber, wood and slate. Some of these materials last longer than others. If you’re specifically looking for a material that will live the longest life, the following three are among the most durable roofing options out there.

stack of new concrete roof tile (gray color) at construction site

Concrete

Concrete is among one of the most durable roofing materials, with a lifespan of 100 years or longer, according to the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors (InterNACHI). Along with having a very long life, concrete roof tiles also tend to be fireproof, since they are non-combustible. A concrete roof might also help lower your energy bills, as the material is able to help keep your home cool in a warmer climate. Another benefit of concrete is that it is made from a recyclable material. An old concrete roof can be recycled into a new roof at the end of its life.

copper roof on store in banff township, banff national park, alberta, canada.

Metal

Metal roofs can be made of copper, steel or aluminum. No matter which type of metal you choose, you can expect a long life. According to InterNACHI, a typical metal roof can last for anywhere from 40 to 80 years. Copper roofs can have a lifespan of up to 70 years. Like concrete, metal roofing materials can help to keep your home cooler in the summer, as the metal reflects the sun’s energy instead of absorbing it. Metal is also a rather lightweight material, making it a durable roofing option for homes that aren’t able to support the weight of heavy materials like concrete or slate.

Slate

Slate might be the granddaddy of all durable roofing materials, with a lifespan of 150 years or longer. According to Bob Vila, slate is so durable that it will outlast the materials used to fasten it to the home. It’s also fully recyclable, meaning it’s possible to remove century-old slate from an older home and reuse it in a new roof. The big drawback of slate is its price: It’s one of the most expensive roofing materials available.

Other Things to Consider When Replacing Your Roof

Although lifespan is an important consideration when choosing a roofing material, it’s not the only thing. The style of your home can play a big role in determining the type of material that best suits the roof, as does the existing roof. Your budget is another important consideration. Some materials cost more up front, but since you don’t need to maintain or repair them as frequently, may end up costing less in the long run.

The roofing specialists at Findlay Roofing can help you choose durable roofing materials that are just right for your Atlanta home. Contact us today to learn more.

The Value of New Roof for Your Home

Thursday, September 21st, 2017

When you think of remodeling projects that boost the value of your home and make it more likely for buyers to shell out the big bucks, what comes to mind? Plenty of homeowners think about kitchen and bathroom renovations. While those projects do bring a great return on investment, it’s often the less visible projects that have the biggest impact on your home’s value. While few people might proudly show off their new shingles to visiting friends and family members, don’t underestimate the value of new roof for your home.

Financial Value of New Roof

According to Remodeling’s Annual Cost vs. Value report for 2017, the average mid-range cost to replace a roof nationwide is $20,664. The average resale value of a new roof is $14,214, meaning the typical homeowner recoups about 70 percent of the total cost.

Data from the National Association of REALTORS and the National Association of the Remodeling Industry’s Remodeling Impact Report from 2015 reveals something similar. The report examined the overall satisfaction and resale value of 20 home projects, including 12 interior and eight exterior projects. Of those 20 projects, replacing a roof had the highest resale value of all.

Happiness Value of New Roof

Money is not the only way to measure the value of a roof replacement. It also helps to look at how satisfied people are with their new roofs. The Remodeling Impact Report used a metric known as a Joy Score to rate how happy people were with a particular project. According to the report, new roofing had a Joy Score of 9.6 (out of 10), putting it among the top five exterior home projects when it came to overall customer satisfaction. New roofs also make buyers happy, according to the report.

Replace vs. Repair: Which to Choose?

Whether you plan to sell your home soon or not, replacing an old, worn-out roof can pay off. But you might be wondering if replacing your roof is the way to go or if you’re better off repairing it. The answer depends on the age of your roof and the amount of damage it has sustained. If your roof is more than 15 years old, has been leaking for no identifiable reason or if the shingles look bare, it might be time to replace the roof. If you have a newer roof and you have noticed small areas of damage due to a storm or other identifiable reason, repairing the problem areas might be a better option.

Having a professional from Findlay Roofing in Roswell, Georgia, perform a free roof analysis can help you decide if a full replacement is the best choice for you. The roof analysis includes an examination of your roof’s shingles, pitch and dimensions, as well as determination of its age and ability to withstand certain types of weather. Contact us today to learn more.

5 Common Roof Pests in the South

Thursday, September 21st, 2017

Living things have basic needs, including food, shelter and water. That goes for humans as well as critters such as squirrels, mice and even insects. Your home and the roof on top of it provide sufficient shelter for you and your family, but you may also be providing a home for roof pests. Learn more about common pests in the South and what you can do to keep them from damaging your roof.

Two eastern gray squirrels (Sciurus carolinensis) survey the landscape from the gutter on the roof of a house in Joliet, Illinois.

Squirrels, Rats, Bats and Raccoons

Because eaves and attics are seldom visited by humans and predators, many furry invaders like to use them as nesting sites. According to the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors (InterNACHI), these pests look for areas that look weak and easy to puncture, such as decayed roof sheathing. Once they find a spot, they’ll chew through it to get inside your home, where they can build a nest for their young. Not only do they cause damage to your home, they often carry diseases and bacteria that can be harmful to your health.

Carpenter Ants

Don’t confuse carpenter ants with the ants that spoil your picnics. Carpenter ants build their nests in wood, which can spell trouble for your roof and other areas of your home. According to building expert Bob Vila, carpenter ants are attracted to moist structures, such as a leaking roof or chimney, or the area around a bathtub or window. Fixing any leaks in your roof and restoring any damaged shingles or flashing will help reduce the chance of carpenter ants calling your home theirs.

Several carpenter eastern subterranean termites on wood

Termites

Termites can also invade your home and cause damage to wood. The location of termites and the type of damage they cause varies based on the type of termite. Three types of termites can be found throughout Georgia and other areas of the south. Drywood termites are most likely to cause damage to a roof since they typically make their nests under wooden shingles or beneath the eaves.

Bees and Wasps

According to InterNACHI, bees and wasps are the most common types of roof pests. The trouble with bees and wasps isn’t only that they can sting you. As the stinging insects build up their hives, the weight from the nests can put pressure on the roof or walls, causing damage.

Bird on the roof

Birds

Birds can also cause damage to your roof in several ways. Bird droppings are usually somewhat acidic and can wear down the surface of your roof’s shingles over time. A family of birds might also build a nest on your roof or in the gutters, keeping water from properly draining away.

If you suspect that a pest problem is causing or contributing to damage on your roof, eliminating the pest is the first step. Next, you’ll want to repair your roof to prevent further damage. To learn more about roof repairs, contact Findlay Roofing today.

Choosing the Best Roof for Your Historic Atlanta Home

Wednesday, September 20th, 2017

Living in a historic Atlanta home brings great pleasure and responsibility. Two of your most important tasks are ensuring that the home’s roof remains stable and that its appearance remains consistent with its time in history. If it’s time to replace the roof, you can choose from several roofing types that will enhance your historic home. The following are three of the most common options that you’ll find for Atlanta’s historic homes.

Slate

Slate roofs date back to the 18th century in the U.S. The materials were traditionally imported from Wales, but after the Civil War, craftsmen began making slate in the U.S. Though it’s heavy and can be expensive, slate is a long-lasting, fireproof material well-suited to historic home roofing. It can often be found on Atlanta Tudor-style houses.

Wood Shingle

Dating back to the 17th century, wood shingle is one of the oldest roofing materials in existence. Wood shingle is a common roofing material on many types of historic homes in the Atlanta area. Wooden shingle roofs vary in color, style and wood type, depending on the style of the home. Pine, oak and cedar have been used over the years. Cedar is now the most common.

While standard wood shingles have their drawbacks, they are flammable and may absorb heat, Owens Corning Duration Premium Cool shingles are solar-reflective and keep rooftops cool.

Tile

Though often used in more arid areas of the U.S. and in historic homes with Spanish-style architecture, clay tiles are also a good fit for some historic Atlanta homes. Tile is an expensive option, but some homeowners find clay tiles well worth the cost. In addition to being beautiful, they are fire-resistant.

If you’re replacing a tile roof and want to replicate the look you now have, concrete tile roofing may be the answer. This material allows you to choose from a wide range of design shapes. This means you can replicate older roofing materials with a long-lasting, durable material.

Choosing the Best Roof Material for Your Historic Home

Deciding which roofing material to use depends on several factors. Here are several questions to ask if you are considering replacing the roof on your historic Atlanta home:

  • How “historically correct” do you want to be? Would it work to replicate a certain style of roof, for instance, with concrete tile? Or do you wish to use the original roofing material, if possible?
  • What is the architectural style of your home? Certain materials tend to blend better with certain styles.
  • Are you concerned with fire safety? If so, a fire-resistant roofing material would be your best bet.
  • Are there restrictions on the type of roof you can use? If your home is on the National Register of Historic Places, or on a local or state historic list, you’re required to preserve the home’s original construction. This means repairing the existing roof or replacing with the same roofing material.

Preserving your historic Atlanta home’s roof is an important task. Get answers to your historic home roofing questions by contacting Findlay Roofing today for a free roof analysis.

What to Do About Roof Leaks from Storm Damage

Tuesday, September 12th, 2017

In the wake of Hurricane Irma, thankfully a tropical storm by the time it hit metro Atlanta, countless area homeowners suffered damage to their roofs, though many of them may not know it yet. Here’s how to make sure that any leaks in your home don’t turn into much larger and more expensive problems and what steps to take to protect yourself from future storms.

Do a Visual Check

As soon as possible, access your attic and check the ceilings and drywall throughout your home (including closets) for any signs of water leaks–streaks, wet spots, drips or puddling. If your shingles are damaged or not installed properly, they are compromising your home by letting water below your roof deck and into your attic. As the water sits and seeps into the ceiling, it causes the brown ceiling stain you may recognize as the outline of a small puddle. Also be sure to check around your fireplace for any signs of water.

Outside your home, walk the perimeter to check for any sign of roof damage, including shingles that may have blown off or that look loose, as well as any displaced flashing around your chimney or damage to the chimney itself.

Contact the Professionals

If your investigation shows any sign that your roof has been compromised by Irma’s strong winds and heavy rain, please call a professional immediately for a thorough examination of your roof. We offer a free roof analysis to assess the extent of the damage and recommend repairs, and can help you communicate with your insurance company.

Beware of Storm Chasers

In addition to fallen limbs and power outages, storms can also bring predatory businesses to your home. Storm chasers are roofers–often unlicensed, unbonded and uninsured–who are looking for a quick buck from anxious and vulnerable homeowners. As a rule, it’s a bad idea to work with a business that shows up at your door, uninvited. Instead, it’s best to use only known, reputable roofing companies to work on your home.

Protect Your Shingles for the Future

Cutting down trees and trimming branches near your roof will help eliminate the proximity of shingle-damaging material near your home. But it can also limit shady spots on your roof that can encourage the growth of algae and moss, which can compromise the integrity of your shingles.

Keep Gutters Clear

If you can’t remember the last time you removed debris from your gutters and downspouts, it’s time to schedule a cleanup. Neglecting gutters can cause water to back up, soaking into eaves and other part of your roof and home. This inability to drain properly can eventually lead to a roof leak and can perpetuate water damage. If gutter screens and covers aren’t enough to keep debris out, routine gutter cleaning and repair can keep your home protected from water damage.

Being able to recognize any of these early signs empowers you to stop water damage from becoming a big problem. Contact Findlay Roofing for a free roof analysis today.

Why It’s Important to Remove Roof Mold

Friday, September 8th, 2017

This summer, Greater Atlanta’s rainy conditions and high humidity created the ideal conditions for roof mold. When allowed to grow unchecked, mold stains and damages roofs.

Mold is usually the result of algae growth. In rainy, humid weather, algae (and other botanical growths like moss and lichens) can take hold and grow quickly on your roof. This causes the roof materials to remain damp, which promotes rot. When rot sets in, so can mold. Even with no rain, warm, humid weather creates ideal conditions for quick mold growth.

Roof mold thrives in shady, moist conditions. The problem commonly occurs on the northern section of the roof and in areas that remain shaded throughout the day from surrounding plants or buildings. Throw in excessive moisture from rain and humidity, and you get mold overgrowth.

Here are five good reasons to remove mold and moss from your roof as quickly as possible.

Roof Mold Is Unsightly

Roofs are the most visible element of the home. Drive down the street, and you’re likely to notice a home’s roof from a distance. Mold is often black and creates streaky, ugly stains on your roof. These stains can make an otherwise attractive home seem neglected.

Mold Can Travel

Mold can wash off your roof in the rain and get tracked into your home. Indoors, mold can take hold and create health problems. If there’s a great deal of rotting on the roof because of moss, mold can penetrate roofing materials. Mold promotes wood rot and erodes the asphalt in shingles. It can also spread onto adjacent structures.

Mold Is Stubborn

As a fungus, mold is pervasive and persistent. The more entrenched mold becomes on your roof, the more difficult it’ll be to control. Clean the mold from your roof when you first see it, or have a roofing professional take it off. The sooner you deal with the mold, the better.

Mold Can Attract Rodents

Roof mold provides an inviting habitat for rodents such as mice, rats and squirrels. These unwanted critters climb up gutters to reach the roof. If the roof is moldy, damp and soft, rodents often chew on roofing materials, causing serious, costly damage. They may even cart off portions of your roof to create nests.

Mold May Result in the Need for a New Roof

Let a mold situation linger and the damage may become irreparable. Mold left to feed on rotting wood can create an unstable roof that requires replacement. Avoid this expensive project by having regular maintenance done on your roof. Keeping your roof clean helps to increase its longevity.

If your roof has mold or moss, have it cleaned as soon as possible to minimize damage and staining. Contact Findlay Roofing today for a free roof analysis.

Eco-Friendly Roofing Options

Friday, September 1st, 2017

One remodeling project likely to make homeowners happiest is replacing the roof. According to HouseLogic, homeowners who participated in the 2015 Remodeling Impact Report from the National Association of Realtors gave replacing their roofs a “Joy Score” of 9.7 (out of 10). If a roof replacement is in your near future, it can be worth it to consider eco-friendly roofing options. Eco-friendly options might cost a bit more up front than other choices, but they tend to have the biggest return on investment, both financially and in terms of overall happiness, in the long run.

Eco-Friendly Roofing Materials

If you want to go green on your roof, you have several options. Begin by paying close attention to the materials used on your roof. Some materials are more “green” than others. For example, as Mother Earth News points out, recycled shingles might be the most eco-friendly roofing option available. These shingles are made out of post-consumer or industrial waste that otherwise would have found its way to a landfill.

Recycled shingles don’t just reduce the amount of new resources need to replace a roof. They also have a longer than average shelf life, according to Mother Earth News. Even better, some recycled shingles can be recycled again when it is time to replace the roof.

If you don’t like the look of recycled shingles, other eco-friendly roofing materials include metal, rubber and slate tiles.

Eco-Friendly Colors

Dark colored roofs absorb heat and can be up to 100 degrees hotter than the outside air, according to HouseLogic. All that heat can mean your air conditioner needs to work extra hard to keep the house cool. A roof with lighter colored shingles or white shingles reflects the heat, instead of absorbing it, so it doesn’t become quite so hot. You don’t have to run the air conditioner so much, and you can enjoy reduced energy usage and a lower cooling bill.

Going Green (Literally) on the Roof

A green roof is perhaps the most eco-friendly roof option out there. It involves growing plants on the top of a house or building, helping to reduce the amount of storm water that runs off the roof and helping to replace some of the greenery that was removed when the house was built.

Green roofs might be very environmentally friendly, but they aren’t always the best option for homeowners. For one thing, they are usually the most expensive eco-friendly option. Not every house is suitable for a green roof, and a considerable amount of retrofitting might be needed to ensure that the house can bear the weight of the roof.

If you’re looking to go green at home, start with the roof and call Findlay Roofing today. We’re committed to being eco-friendly and recently won the Green Pledge Recycling award from Owens Corning for recycling 65,000 tons of shingles last year–the most in the country!

Choose the Right Gutter Colors for Your Home

Thursday, August 24th, 2017

When you think about ways to improve the exterior appearance of your home, or its “curb appeal,” what comes to mind? You might think of painting the front door, adding some planters or shrubbery or repairing parts of the roof. You might not immediately think about the gutters, but changing gutter colors can improve the look of your home significantly. Along with protecting a house and roof from water damage, gutters can also add to (or detract from) its visual appeal. Here’s what to think about when selecting gutter colors.

Stand out or Blend in?

The big question you want to answer when picking out a color for your home’s gutters is this: Do you want the gutters to serve as an accent that stands out from the home, or do you want them to blend in? The traditional advice, from Better Homes & Gardens (BHG) and home improvement expert Bob Vila, is to have the gutters blend in with the rest of the home.

The other option, to choose gutter colors that stand out or accent the other colors on the exterior of your home, can seem like a bold choice. You’ll be calling attention to a part of the home that plays a functional role and that many people want to conceal. If you choose a color that accents your home, you’ll shine a spotlight on the fact that gutters can be both functional and attractive.

How to Blend in

One way to have your gutters blend into the rest of the exterior is to choose a color that is the same as the trim on your home. For example, if the trim around your home’s door frames and window frames is white, your gutters will look part of the picture if you also paint them white.

Another way to have the gutter colors blend into your home is to pick a color that is the same as the exterior walls of your home. If your house has a brick exterior, either copper gutters or copper-colored aluminum gutters would be an excellent choice for blending in, for example.

How to Stand out

If you’ve always marched to the beat of your own drum or just want your home to fully reflect your tastes, you can opt for a gutter color that stands out from, but still coordinates with, the rest of your home. For example, you might choose aluminum gutters that are painted colonial blue or Sherwood green to contrast with a white house or a brick front home.

Whichever option you choose, Findlay Roofing offers a full spectrum of colors for aluminum gutters, as well as galvalume and copper finishes. If you’re ready to update your gutters, and your home’s curb appeal, contact us to learn more about new gutter installation today.

5 Storm Damage Tips for Your Roof

Friday, July 28th, 2017

Tornadoes and turbulent weather can cause serious storm damage to your home and your wallet. Your roof, siding and other areas of your home can be damaged by wind, heavy rain, hail and ice. If your home has experienced a severe storm, it’s important not to panic. Here is a step-by-step guide to explain what to do after a storm.

Protect Your Home
First, protect your home as much as possible. If you have active leaks due to storm damage, cover the roof with a tarp to provide emergency protection. Keep in mind that a tarp is only a temporary measure until you call in a roofing professional. You may see additional signs of damage near your property, such as fallen shingles or other roof materials. Inspect your siding for telltale dimples caused by hail. Don’t forget to check your car for damage, as well.

Contact a Roofing Professional
Although you might be tempted to assess or fix storm-related damage yourself, it’s best to leave this to a professional roofing company like Findlay Roofing. You’ll receive an accurate report of the damage and an estimate of what it will cost to repair any problems caused by the storm. Professional roofing companies can ensure that you don’t overlook a hidden problem invisible to the untrained eye. Beware of storm chasers, who try to cheat and scam homeowners. Storm chasers typically visit neighborhoods after an intense storm. They may tell you that you need your roof replaced, when in fact, it only requires repair.

Call Your Insurance Agent
Be sure to report the storm damage to your insurance company immediately. Contact your agent to discuss your policy and what will be covered. It’s a good idea to keep a copy of your insurance policy handy, along with the phone number to file a claim. Take an inventory of your household items, and make a list of belongings that were affected by the storm. Take photos of any damaged items, as some insurance companies may ask for them. Review your homeowner’s insurance policy carefully, and note your responsibilities. You’ll need to know your policy limits, deductible and how to file a claim.

Look for Additional Damage
If the exterior of your home has visible signs of storm damage, check the interior of your house, too. Your walls may show signs of water damage, including water stains or discolored areas on the ceiling. Have floors, furniture or appliances been affected by the storm? Keep a list of each item that requires repair.

Stay Safe
If your home is uninhabitable due to major damage, consider staying in a hotel or with a family member until repairs are completed. Some insurance policies provide reimbursement for living expenses if your property is deemed unsafe due to extensive damage.

If your roof has been damaged by a storm, have it repaired or replaced as soon as possible to minimize water damage. Call Findlay Roofing today for a free roof analysis.

5 Signs You Need New Attic Insulation

Friday, July 14th, 2017

When your home’s attic insulation is doing its job, it is helping to keep the heat in your home when it’s chilly, and keep the warm air out in the summer. Insulation also helps control the moisture levels in your home and can block out sounds. But insulation doesn’t last forever. Here are five signs it is time to get new attic insulation.

1. Your Utility Bills Have Increased

If your heating or cooling bill seems to be increasing for no reason, it could be that you need new attic insulation. The older your insulation, the more like it is to be worn out and not as effective at keeping warm air in or blocking heat or cold. As a result, your energy bills creep up, even if you don’t think you’re running the heater or air conditioner more than usual. In areas around Atlanta, new attic insulation can shave anywhere from 9 to 14 percent of off your annual heating and cooling bill.

2. You See Icicles on the Roof During Winter

Icicles might look pretty, but they also signal a pretty big problem. Heat rises in the winter, and if your attic insulation is worn out, it will rise right up to the roof. If there’s any moisture or snow on your roof, the heat from the attic will melt it. But, by the time the water gets to the edge of the roof and the gutters, it will freeze again, creating heavy icicles. Thanks to the weight of the icicles, you might need a full roof replacement, along with new insulation.

3. Some Rooms Are Warmer Than Usual

When the attic isn’t properly insulated, the temperature in your home is likely to feel uneven in certain rooms. Some rooms might be hotter than others or might feel warmer than they felt in past summers. In the cooler months, some rooms might be colder than others.

4. You Feel Drafts

Insulation helps cut down on draftiness in your home. When insulation is old and worn, outside air is able to get in and move throughout the home, creating breezes and drafts.

5. Your Insulation Appears Old and Worn

Sometimes, you can just look at the insulation and know that it’s time for a replacement. If you see mold or water spots on the insulation, you’ll be better off getting new insulation. Older types of insulation can also pose a health hazard, as it could contain asbestos, according to This Old House. If you know that your insulation was installed before 1990 and it’s grainy with shiny pieces in it, it’s best to call in a professional to replace it.

If your home is hot in summer and cold in winter, or you notice any of the signs above, contact Findlay Roofing to learn more about your attic insulation options today. With the proper insulation, you can enjoy a more comfortable home and lower energy costs.