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Stylizing Your New Roof

Allstate Roofing Blog

Simple Roofing Ideas

When an asphalt shingle roof needs to be replaced, one of the considerations that a homeowner must make is whether to have a second layer of shingles laid on top of the first layer or to have the worn out roofing torn off and fully replaced. There are pros and cons to both choices. Roofing experts assess each roofing situation to work with the property owner in deciding the optimal method for the residence.

If the roofers feel that the roof can support a second layer of shingles, the homeowner may opt for the overlay. Two layers of asphalt shingles are heavy and place considerable pressure on the roof's trusses, rafters and joists. So long as these materials can support the weight, an overlaid roof is generally less costly than a complete tear off of the old shingles and laying down of a new roof.

If any of the first layer of shingles are curled, bent or broken, these will need to be trimmed or otherwise fixed before a second layer of shingles can be added on top of them. Even during an overlay process, the home will need to have new flashing installed as well as new roofing nails. Most of the decrease in costs will only be a result of the labor savings of not needing to tear off the old shingles.

Some city codes and insurance companies require special inspections of homes with two layers of shingles before such projects can proceed or before the homeowner's insurance policy can be renewed.

In most cases, homeowners benefit from total removal of the worn out shingles and a completely new roof. Because it can be difficult for roofing installers to determine whether or not the old shingles are in a safe condition, removal can speed up the roof replacement process. Tearing off of the old shingles does not add much work time to a roofing project and can be done in one day's time for most homes.

Simply replacing the shingles does not require that any extra structural inspections take place. No additional bracing of the roof's substructure is needed and no special warranties are required in order to renew or receive a homeowner's insurance certificate. When the old shingles are torn off, the roofing experts have a chance to examine the roof's trusses and decking for weaknesses, rot, insect infestations and other problems. Any issues can be repaired before the new shingles are placed.


Many homeowners are interested in ways to improve their energy efficiency without having to cut back on comforts such as hot showers or air conditioning. One cost effective way of reducing the size of a household's carbon footprint is by installing what Davis roofing professionals and other industry experts refer to as a "cool roof." A cool roof uses a variety of materials to increase the structure's Solar Reflectance Index (SRI). This index ranges from zero to 100, with 100 being a perfectly efficient and environmentally friendly roof. The higher a home's SRI, the less heat is absorbed by the roofing system. This in turn lowers the amount of energy needed to cool the home during the summer months of the year. There are many advantages of increasing the SRI of a home.


The vinyl coating used for SRI enhancement can be applied to the existing roofing structure. The lightweight sheets can help to extend the roof's lifetime. This waterproof barrier also lessens the chance of roofing leaks as well as other problems, such as blown off shingles or tiles.

Less roof maintenance is needed after the vinyl sheeting is installed as there won't be any asphalt granules clean out of the rain gutters or flashing to repair.


Another advantage of increasing a home's SRI is the reduction of household utility bills. During the summertime, homes with a high SRI require less cooling. This is because the vinyl reflects the sun's heat and light back into the atmosphere, rather than absorbing it. Since the air conditioning system cycles fewer times, there is less energy used for keeping the house comfortable. This also works to extend the lifespan of the AC unit, saving even more money on repair and replacement costs.

In urban environments, cool roofing systems help minimize the heat island effect. The heat island effect is a result of the heat emitted by asphalt shingles and roofing tar. Covering these materials with vinyl helps reduce this urban heating effect. The vinyl coating also helps lessen air pollution as heated asphalt and tar leak airborne volatile organic compounds. One time tax credits may also be available when an energy efficient roofing system is used to replace an inefficient one.


Many homeowners find that the installation of a new cool roof saves them money at tax time as well. Local, state and federal government agencies often offer rebates and other tax incentives for the installation of environmentally friendly replacement products.

Roofing Ventilation Options

Although roofs many appear to have a closed or airtight structure, they must also have a strong ventilation system to reduce stress across all layers. When a Roofer evaluates a roof for basic repairs, they'll also inspect the ventilation system to improve or clean it out.

All basic roofing vents have a covering called louvers. These slats allow air to flow unimpeded through the roof system without admitting any foreign objects. However, these slats can get clogged over time. Any minor blockages create poor air flow, increasing temperatures across the roof and contributing to accelerated aging. Contractors must remove any blockages and verify strong air flow with preventive maintenance appointments.

Vents aren't just located randomly around the rooftop. Incoming air normally flows from the roof's base or soffit. The soffit is the underside of the roof's eave, creating a sheltered space perfect for an incoming air vent. Highly skilled contractors locate all soffit vents quickly to examine them before moving onto other roof ventilation areas.

Exhaust vents are normally located at the roof ridge. Air moving out of the roof system is perfectly located at the ridge because it creates a positive flow against any incoming rainwater. If air flowed into the home from the top, it would be accompanied by some moisture, subsequently damaging the structure.


Most air moving up through the soffit vents eventually heats up as it passes near the roof, allowing warm air to use its rising nature while exiting the ridge vents with no help from fans or other mechanics. Roofers simply verify the ridge vents are clear and working in conjunction with the soffit vents for a sound system.


Although roof penetrations aren't ventilating the deck directly, pipes moving exhaust air out of bathrooms and kitchens helps the entire home remove moist and warm air efficiently. If there was limited pipe penetrations within the rooftop, humid air would become trapped in the living space and seep into the attic. Condensation and other damaging moisture could affect the roof from the interior as a result. Roofers check for these vents too as part of a normal service call.

If a home has some previous alterations, such as finishing an attic, the structure's roof ventilation may not be updated. During the next preventive maintenance appointment, homeowners should point out any new remodeling projects so contractors can match ventilation standards to the unique household layout. Proper ventilation through box vents only increases roof lifespans even with strong weathering.

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