Home Improvement Month – Week 2 Tips – Roofing and Siding

In honor of May being Home Improvement Month, Angeles Millwork and Hartnagels will publish weekly blog posts to highlight important tips to know when tackling projects around your home.

Roofing

Repairing or replacing a roof is one of the most important decisions you can make for your home.  Wait too long and the repairs get very costly.  Replacing it before it is time is flushing money down the drain.  Rather than playing Russian Roulette with your home, these three tips will help you know when it is time to replace your roof.

Start by finding a great vantage point where you can see your entire roof.  Once you are there, start looking for shingles that are curled, broken, or otherwise missing.  If you see any of these signs, a new roof should be in your immediate future.  From this vantage point you should also look for moss.  Moss does not always mean a new roof is needed but a treatment for this particular issue is a must.  If you are not comfortable doing this job, any reputable roofer in your area should offer this service.

In step two of your research, take a ladder and look into your gutter.  If you are seeing lots of granules in the gutter or at the end of your downspout, these are coming off the roof as the UV deteriorates the asphalt composition of the shingle.  This is also a sign that a new roof may be in your future.

Tip three is the simplest but not always the easiest.  Do you know when your roof was installed?  Knowing the age of your roof is the surest way to know when it should be ready for new shingles.  An average composition roof in our climate will last about twenty years.  (Metal and other rubber modified shingles will last considerably longer.) If you are approaching this time span, it is time to start saving for the inevitable.

Replacing your roof is going to be an expensive task any way you look at it.  Maybe you can do a re-roof this time but that usually keeps the weakest links in the system, the vents and flashing living well beyond their useful life.  It is better to tear off and redo the entire system to keep from any costly water damage repairs later.

Siding

The siding of a home is the visible part of the building envelope that keeps the home warm in the winter and cool in the summer.  Buying the right system is the only way to make sure you are getting what you are paying for when it comes to the siding of your home.  Building science is a masters level topic but we will break it down into simple terms here to help you make the best choice.

Underneath the siding on your home should be some form of water barrier whether it is asphalt impregnated felt paper of synthetic, the purpose does not change.  That product exists to keep the water that gets under your siding from entering your home.  Think of the wrap as an added layer of protection.

Low quality wraps will allow significant moisture to get in and but also out pretty quickly, so they work based on significant air movement.  When your siding is tight to the building, these systems are prone to have long term issues.

High quality wraps work to keep all the water out and work as a one-way valve to allow the water vapor from the condensation in the home to escape.  These systems require a high-quality seal with tape and window wraps to be fully functional.  With siding tight to the house, these different elements breathe at separate rates creating a potential conflict in the envelope.

Regardless of the wrap you choose, one thing will make your siding last and give you the peace of mind that your home is not rotting from the inside out.  That this is an air gap between your siding and moisture barrier.  The use of treated battens of other products designed to allow water to run off and air to move will keep you paint looking better and your walls healthier for the long haul.  Now you are free to choose any siding that matches your dream exterior.

We understand that the above suggestions for roofing and siding cannot answer all your questions. We encourage you to come talk with one of our customer service pros and see our roofing and siding displays at Hartnagel Building Supply.