Know Your Roofing Materials

Roofing Materials

A variety of roofing materials, each with advantages and disadvantages, can top a house. Location is a main concern when selecting materials, for example in coastal areas where hurricanes are common a sturdier material is used. In the medical world a popular phrase is “doctor heal thyself,” but for homeowners it’s “owner know thy roof.”

One type of roofing materials is fiberglass asphalt shingles, which have a base of glass fibers covered with ceramic coated mineral granules. This inorganic shingle is highly fire resistant and has a longer expected life than other shingles. This type of shingle does not absorb water, and it resists cracking. According to Underwriter Laboratories it can also withstand high winds. Seems like a winner!

An inorganic, three dimensional shingle is architectural shingle. It is made of multiple layers which gives it a depth and thus an appearance closer to wood or slate roofing. Disadvantages are weight and cost, both more than other shingles.

Roll roofing is less expensive than shingles. It can be used on roofs with shallow grades, or on steeper roofs as a compliment to shingles. These roofing materials are most often used on industrial buildings. It has a heavy felt base, saturated with asphalt, covered by a smooth or mineral surface. This roof is easy to install and will last a long time, 10-20 years.

Metal roofing is steel panels used in place of shingles. Zinc is used in the best steel panels. Like roll roofing this is more common on industrial buildings. Durable, long lasting and resistant to fire, metal roofing is a great choice among roofing materials.

Wood shingles are the oldest type of shingle. Cedar is the most common wood used for these shingles, but many consist of a variety of woods. Wood shingles are amongst the most difficult to install. As expected, wood shingles are susceptible to fire. A fire-retardant coating reduces the flammability, but does not eliminate it.

A roof has other elements in addition to the shingles. These are not roofing materials such as shingles or tiles or total roof coverings, but nevertheless are elements of a roof. Flashing consists of strips of sheet metal or roofing material placed to cover joints, to make the joints waterproof. A special type of flashing is a “boot,” made to fit around a vent pipe. The boot is sometimes plastic. A Drip Edge is an “L” shaped, weather-resistant material placed at exposed roof edges to shed water and protect the roof’s wood parts. Felt paper, or building paper, is a sheet with a tough, fibrous base saturated with asphalt installed under shingles. Building paper helps keep water away from the wood frame under the shingles.

The truth is that even if you get maximum care of your roofs, there could be times when you experience emergency fixes. In the event you remember it and do the necessary at the right time, your roof will certainly possess a problem-free, longevity.

A great source of information on roofing materials is the Internet. Do your research or you could be all wet.



Finding a roofer is one of the tedious tasks of home ownership. It’s essential to pick someone you can count on to do solid, lasting roof work. Many homeowners are uneducated about the signs of roof deterioration. If you educate yourself on the signs of roof damage or deterioration, you can pick up on problems before it’s too late. A qualified roofer will be able to identify problem areas in your existing roof and point them out to you. Putting a new roof on a building is complicated; fortunately, a lot of roofing will survive for at least twenty years if it is installed properly.

Use your connections when looking for a roofing professional. Start with recommendations from family and friends. Price is a consideration in your selection, but not the only one. Don’t hire the first company that gives you an estimate. Aim to have at least three estimates. Getting too many estimates may be overwhelming. Getting too few estimates runs the risk of inaccurate pricing. A company that offers an extremely low bid may also be one that cuts corners, so be mindful.

It pays to interview prospective roofers thoroughly. Always ask how long the company has been in business. Since most states require roofers to be licensed and bonded, be certain the one you’re considering is. Inquire about standards for worker training, especially with regard to safety. Ask for information on the company’s financial stability.

A contractor who is committed to quality often belongs to professional roofing organizations, so ask if yours does. Don’t overlook the step of getting references and calling previous clients to check their satisfaction. Look into whether local organizations have received complaints about a roofer from dissatisfied clients.

Find out how quickly the roofing company will be able to complete their work. Inquire whether your roof can be re-roofed (have new materials installed over old ones). Your best choice may be a complete tear-off, with all-new materials. Be sure to get information on different types of shingles, what type is recommended, and why. Your contractor should tell you how long you can expect your new roof to last. Carefully go through any warranties that are provided and ask questions.

Any roofer worth his salt wants his client to understand the work being done. A roofer that tries to talk you into a product without explaining options should raise a red flag. Estimates should be clear, detailed, and always in writing. Never sign something without understanding it; ask the roofer to spell things out if needed. Get contact information for the person who will be in charge of your roof work so you can get questions answered. It’s worth paying a little more for a company you can trust to perform quality work on your home.

Roof contractor you hire should have a valid license and insurance policy. All contractors should also have insurance, like worker’s compensation and liability insurance. Be sure to personally examine jobs that have recently been done by a contractor. Get an estimate from a few different contractors, and always have your chosen contractor draft you a contract.

Easy Steps For Tiling Your Kitchen Floor

Tiling Your Kitchen Floor

Tiling is one job that most people would rather not learn how to do since it can be scary that you make some mistakes in the process. However, it is actually a lot easier than what many might think. In fact, it can save you a whole lot of money contrast to hiring a professional for the job. As long as you know the do’s and don’ts, then this task is a no-brainier for you.

Choosing Your Tiles

To start off, you have to choose the tiles that you want to use. You may get surprised with the number of variety choices when doing this. Tiles may come in different sizes, colors, textures, materials and finishes. There are times that you may encounter tiles with odd sizes. This is done on purpose by companies so that you would have to buy extra.

Choosing a tile highly depends on you. It can also depend on how you want the room to be and the over all design and feel of the room.

Measurements And Computations

You also need to measure out your floor area. You also have to deliberate on whether you want the tiles to go under any kind of fittings and units. Generally, it is better if you tile under the fittings. This is because if you would have to move appliances in the future, like a fridge, then you do not have to lift it up over the edge of your new tiles.

When you have chosen what kind of tile you want to use, you need to do some computations. You have to get your floor’s width and divide it by the width of one tile. This is to know the number of complete rows that you’ll have. Also, this can help you decide the optimal wall edge to place your cut tiles against.


After doing the math, you can now start applying tiles on your floor. Be sure that you have an even coverage of adhesive placed on your sub-floor. The type of adhesive to use would depend on your sub-floor or the surface you are tiling. If it is a concrete floor, then you can use a rapid setting adhesive. However, be sure that you do not spread too much of the mixture at once, since it can set as fast as 30 minutes.

If it is a wooden sub-floor, then you need a flexible adhesive. You can know if an adhesive if flexible if it is written on the bag or the tub. If you have slate, then you need to use gray adhesive. If you’ll be having marble, then you need a white adhesive. This is so that no color coming from the underside would bleed and ruin your design.


When you are done fixing your tiles on the floor, and after you have allowed enough time for it to dry, then you would have to do some grouting. If you have natural tiles, like marble, slate, limestone, granite, travertine, and porcelain, you need to seal them first before you can grout them. You have to use a specialized impregnating sealer so that they will be waterproof and can be more resistant to dirt and staining.

Mix up the grout and apply it using a grout float to your tiles. Try to work over the gaps until they’re all filled. If you have white marble tiles, then you need to use a white grout instead of gray since the gray kind can stain the marble.

To finish off, wipe out the excess grouts that are bulging from your tiles using a sponge. Also, use a grout finisher or your finger to smooth out the grout lines. After this, stand back, relax and chill while you wait for your work to dry up!

The Traditional Appeal of Wood Floor Covering

Traditional Appeal of Wood Floor

Wood floor covering can boost the value of any home. For an addition of class and traditional value, hardwood flooring is one of the best avenues. A high quality maple or oak wood floor can add tremendous value to a residence, while also building a base for an elegant atmosphere. Hardwood floor covering is available in a wide variety of shades, colors, patterns, and finishes. Finding the best kind of flooring can be a little daunting, but the process is very much worth the time. Although carpet can certainly work in some situations, wood floor covering has a traditional appeal that is hard to deny.

Wood flooring can be very appealing, but it is also expensive and high maintenance. Wood flooring can bow or buckle with water damage and moisture exposure. The flooring is also susceptible to expansion and contraction as time passes, eventually leading to cracks in the surface. Vinyl flooring does not suffer from these problems, and with its interlocking tile system, damaged tiles can be very simply removed and replaced.

The first step to take is to assess the value that hardwood can add to the home. When in climates that experience temperature extremes every season, hardwood may have a tendency to crack and split with expansion and contraction. High humidity is also a significant problem when considering wood floor covering. Excess moisture can wick up from the sub floor and into the wood through spills, leading to warping and buckling as the years pass. Crowning and cupping are common problems for wood floor covering exposed to moisture. When a floor crowns or cups, it bows out of shape, most frequently in the middle of the floor. This can be a difficult issue to correct once moisture has caused the problem.

Once you have decided that hardwood is the right choice for you as a homeowner, there are many products and manufacturers from which to choose. Maple and oak are more traditional species, while cedar is a species that provides a more relaxed feel. A higher gloss finish will produce a shinier surface, while a lower gloss fits in with a more subdued setting. The thickness of the boards is also crucial when determining the best hardwood. Thicker boards will provide a longer lasting and more reliable surface.

Moisture is a big problem for hardwood floor covering. Avoid exposing wood floor covering to moisture as much as possible. If storing the product outdoors before installation, be sure to cover it with a tarp in case of any precipitation. Clean up spills on the wood floor covering immediately in order to prevent eventual warping and cracking. If water beads up on the surface of the flooring, the finish of the flooring needs to be redone. Protect your investment, and wood floor covering will maintain its value for generations.

Although floor covering once meant less than great materials, there are materials available today that are both appealing and cheap. Flooring and expensive carpeting are not a requirement to realize a great looking design anymore. There are a number of manufacturers out there today that can supply quality flooring at a very low price.

Looking for Floor Tiles?

Floor Tiles

When your home flooring is not up to scratch it is time to make a decision on what to do about it. Making that decision often will depend on the room that requires the work. If it is only a small area you will find there are much greater inexpensive options available as you can buy last of stocks or end of line products. Bathrooms and kitchens require durable materials due to the traffic and the exposure to moisture.

For the wet or kitchen areas there are two popular choices in the lower budget categories, these are laminate flooring and vinyl flooring. The main differences is that laminate tends to be thicker and give a more realistic wood effect without the cost of real wood.

There is of course vinyl that has a wood look as well. In fact there are so many colour and pattern options you will be amazed. Go for a symetrical pattern such as a chessboard effect or go for completely different and contrasting tiles in rooms such as your kitchen, bathroom, WC or laundry room. Many years ago, vinyl tended to come with no more than one or two colour options, but not today. As with the rest of the world, flooring and the options available have improved in leaps and bounds.

Your first decision relates entirely to your budget. For cost efficient options laminate and vinyl are the two most desirable choices. Laminate is generally the least expensive choice. However, you can also find vinyl at comparable prices with a wide range of styles to suit your floor space.

Many people would love to be able to use real wood or real marble for their flooring but overall the cost factor usually makes this out of the question. Don’t despair as there are many vinyl and laminate options that give you that look of wood or marble but without the price tag. Obviously the quality can not be compared, but the overall results are surprisingly effective.

There are of course real wood or marble options for the areas of your house, again it all comes down to what it is you are looking for that will suit your home and of course the all important costs involved.

Immitation floor tiles have many benefits and you will often find they are manufactured to be very easy to clean and low maintenance and many also have excellent durability.

Vinyl often comes in large sheets as well as tiles so you can choose the look that suits your specific area of the house. You will find in both vinyl and laminate that there are so many colour and style options available that once you have made your decision on the type of floor it will be many hours before you can choose the colour or pattern option that you want.

A good tip for getting an excellent bargain if you only need flooring for a small area or need to re-floor a small section is to look out for ‘clearance’ sales at local suppliers. These clearance sales are often because of over-stocking or end of line products. Be careful if you want to cover a particularly large area of floor as they may not always have the exact amount required.

Whatever you choose, make sure you take the time to check out what is on offer and as above, make sure you search out specials! Especially for smaller areas of your house like perhaps the bathroom and toilet areas. There are so many good deals to be had and so many choices to be made.

What You Should Know About Roofing Shingles

Roofing Shingles

Most homes have roofing shingles, but most homeowners don’t spend much time thinking about them. Roofing Shingles provide a single layer solution to a leak resistant roof. Roofing shingles are generally laid from the bottom of the roof, with each higher row overlapping the row below it. Early shingles were made of wood and were capped at the top with a row of copper or lead sheeting. In modern shingle roofs this has been replaced by a row of roofing shingles that includes a plastic underlay.

In the old days wood roofing shingles were considered good. But in time, modern materials such as asphalt and asbestos cement replaced wood as common materials. Fiberglass based asphalt shingles are currently the most popular shingle used in the United States. The obvious issue with wood is fire, and fire is the reason wood and paper backed shingles are used infrequently in modern construction.

There’s another type of roofing shingles that many people have seen but few would be able to name. This roofing shingle is named a shake, which is a wooden shingle made from split logs. Shake roofs were commonly used in building log cabins, and with many wood frame homes. They’re still in use today, most commonly cut on site then transported by helicopters, but it wasn’t always done that way. Before the invention of helicopters the shakes were tied into packs and transported by pack animal or even by human power. Often cut in hilly areas, they were carried down the slope with the help of a long line run from the bottom to the top. This line served as a hand hold so people carrying the shake packs wouldn’t fall.

The main difference between a shingle and a tile is flexibility. Tiles are generally made from ceramic. They’re brittle and ill suited to locations where tree limbs might impact a roof. Shingles are flexible and therefore better able to stand up to tree limbs. Wood shingles rot, while ceramic tiles don’t., but modern materials such as the asbestos base for most shingles don’t rot. Another difference is the shape. Roofing shingles are flat, while ceramic tiles commonly have an “S” profile to allow them to interlock for strength.

Believe it or not slate is also used for roofing shingles. Slate can be easily split into thin sheets. Such sheets, the slate roofing shingles, make for a worn look for a roof. Slaters, tradesmen trained to work with slate, cut and install slate roofing shingles. The same qualities that make slate excellent for roofing shingles, it is fireproof and an electric insulator, made it useful for early twentieth century switchboards and relay controls on large electric motors. Imagine making a phone call on your roofing shingles.

Roof restoration is unavoidable because of different factors which usually consist of seepage of water, damages from storms, common decay, unsuitable design, flashing problems and so forth. If not repaired at the right time, maybe you have to improve the entire roofing unnecessarily. Considering that roof is the most susceptible as well as most essential section of virtually any building, you need to be cautious about it.