A roof is much more than its shingles. The underlayment, flashing, gutters, skylights, vents, and materials to keep it all in place are all important to protecting the top of your home. However, without the shingles, you don’t technically have a roof. Shingles protect your house and contribute to the look of your home.
Roof shingles on Gaithersburg homes can take a beating in the DMV’s four-season climate. Whether you are in the market for a new roof, need to repair your current roof, or just want to know how your shingles work, here’s a brief guide to get you started:
Asphalt is the most common type of roofing material you will find on American homes. Invented in 1901, asphalt shingles are generally inexpensive, lightweight (compared with other shingles), easy to install, and durable. When expertly installed and properly maintained, asphalt roofs can last 30 years or more.
GAF is the leading manufacturer of asphalt shingles in North America. The company backs its shingles with one of the best warranties in the business. Moreover, GAF offers its Master Elite program, in which the manufacturer certifies contractors as uniquely qualified to install its products. Only three percent of contractors are GAF Master Elite–qualified—the best of the best. Gaithersburg homeowners considering GAF asphalt roof shingles are best served by choosing a Master Elite roofer for installation: The level of service and expertise is simply unparalleled, and your home deserves nothing less.
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A red cedar roof is a classy, rustic option for just about any home. If you consider this type of roof, you should know the difference between cedar shakes and cedar shingles. Shakes are split from the wood rather than sawed, whereas cedar shingles are specifically cut to look like a traditional shingle—thinner, tapered, and evenly symmetrical. Both choices offer numerous advantages, including energy efficiency, hail protection, long life, increased home value, green installation, and the already mentioned aesthetic. Cedar shingles and shakes cost more to install and require expert installation for the job to be done right, but the benefits for Gaithersburg homeowners are well worth the extra effort.
Slate roof shingles, or tiles, offer another opportunity to increase the value and aesthetic of your home. Slate has been used to top homes for hundreds of years, and it brings a longevity that stands above other shingles; when we say a slate roof can last decades, we literally mean decades—60 years or more when properly maintained. In fact, slate is so durable that the other parts of the roofing system, such as flashing or valleys, may encounter problems before the tiles do. Slate requires an extra level of diligence and does cost more, but the elegance and durability it brings to your home can last a lifetime.
Adequate maintenance is necessary to maximize the life and effectiveness of your home’s roof shingles. Keep gutters clear of debris, inspect your attic for leaks, and when you are outside your house, get into the habit of looking up to see if any shingles are damaged or missing or if any moss is growing on your roof. A cracked, buckling, or absent shingle can quickly escalate into a bigger problem if left unfixed. If you have some experience fixing a shingle or two, you can attempt the repair yourself, but don’t hesitate to call a professional for any roofing problem beyond your expertise (or even just for a thorough inspection). A good contractor not only will make the repair but will also determine if any additional damage has occurred.
What is the state of the roof shingles atop your home?