Residential Roofing: Main Types of Service and the Quality Standards to Expect

a beautiful red roof

Residential roofing services provide a durable covering for your home without fuss or damage to your home. They also repair, renovate, update and remove these roofs. Although these tasks have a large skill set in common, and there is certainly some overlap during any particular job, the philosophies of each phase of service are quite distinct.

Putting a New Roof on Your Residence

When someone asks a residential roofing company to build a new roof for them, that firm will take the whole job on. They start building upon the rafters that the house framers left them. Then, they attach a substrate of plywood or other roofing surface and then get to work. The main types of roofs offered by most residential roofing services are composite shingle roofs, tar and gravel roof, metal roofs, and a variety of unusual or regionally specific types of roof such as stucco or slate. It is possible to mix different types of roofs on one structure. Still, you should not combine roofing materials. Most home builders maximize visual appeal and contribute to their ease of servicing by choosing one type or another. It is also generally understood that simpler roofs are easier to maintain. Therefore, complex surfaces with multiple facets or curves are generally eschewed.

Residential Roofing Main Types

1. Residential Composite Shingle Roofing

red roof shingles

The type of roof that most people think of first is the composite shingle roof. These shingles combine great qualities of weather resistance with durability and insulation. They are relatively easy for a residential roofing company to install. Also, they do not require too much effort to remove. However, they are tremendously heavy. The roof of the building must be prepared to receive the weight of these shingles. Moreover, the roofing company will have to expend substantial effort just to move their raw materials around. Once the roof is in place, you can comfortably expect thirty to fifty years of service with only normal maintenance.

2. Residential Tar and Gravel Roofing

a flat roof paved with gravel

Tar and gravel are better known for commercial roofing, but any home with a flat roof may choose to use this tried and true method of weatherproofing. The residential roofing company will clear the surface, heat roofing tar to the required temperature and then spread it evenly across the roof. As the tar cools a layer of gravel can be added for additional protection from the elements and abrasion. This method is cheap, economical and designed to last for ten or twenty years without improvement. Unfortunately, it can be extremely challenging to remove.

3. Residential Metal Roofing

metal roof close-up

Many domiciles across the United States use metal roofs now. This is especially common in the southern states, Texas and California. Metal roofing is economical, durable, easy to install and cheap to repair. It handles rainstorms with ease. Also, it holds exceptional heat shedding possibilities four people in warmer climates. It is extremely simple for trained personnel to install, as the metal sheets are sold in pre-cut sizes and easy to shape to any particular need.

Residential roofing workers simply bolt these metal sheets onto the roofing surface beneath, which means that they can be removed and replaced in moments. There will also be no mess from tar residue or asphalt as there would be with other roofs. Perhaps the biggest drawbacks of residential metal roofing are the comparatively low thermal mass, the lack of natural insulation and the difficulty of installation for untrained personnel.

The metal sheets used in residential steel roofing have sharp edges, causing risk to those who must lift them and put them in place. They are also extremely reflective. This makes the metal roof to heat up quite a lot during summer months. Once it gets cold, though, the metal does little to keep the heat inside the house. This means metal roofs are best suited for hot, dry climates.

Residential Roofing Repair, Renovation, and Removal

Residential roof repair, renovation, and removal have a tremendous amount in common. In fact, at the beginning of the task, they can be nearly indistinguishable. First, contractors inspect the roof. Then they determine the scope of the job. You must remove any and all damaged material from the roof. If that involves so much material that you need to demolish and rebuild the roof, then so be it. Repair, renovation, and removal all begin by bringing out the dumpsters and the garbage chutes.

The residential roofing contractors pull every bit of unusable roofing material off of the surface and throw it away. Once workers finished doing that, they address the surface with the appropriate tools. This way, they make it as clean and free from protrusions as possible. Since many roofing substances such as roofing tar cannot practically be removed, the accepted notion is that it should be cleaned to the highest degree possible. After removal is complete, the service should clear the area of any obstacles or anything that would prevent another roof being added immediately. If their task is renovation or repair, then they will proceed from there on as if it were a new construction.

Residential roofing companies adhere to the same standards of professionalism that any construction or renovation company should. They must arrive on time for their appointment and work through the appointed hour. You should make a thorough inspection of the building where they intend to work on the roof. Also, they should openly discuss all questions and concerns with you.

Final Words

Cleanliness and preparation are essential in the world of roofing. You may confidently expect to see any professional residential roofing agency lay out tarps, arrange dumpsters and carry pallets full of raw materials up to the work area. If they do not observe the same basics of professional conduct that you expect, then you may see that as a cause for deeper concern. Asking questions and taking an interest in their work is a great way to stay involved in the residential roofing process, and you will be able to communicate your concerns more effectively if you have been part of the construction from the beginning. No matter what, remember that your roof is an investment and you have a right to demand the best service possible.

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