Your home’s roof is one of its most important components. After all, it’s what keeps the weather — sun, rain, wind, ice and snow — out, and is the very essence of the word “shelter”. A well-constructed, attractive roof not only adds to your home’s curb appeal, it also protects your family and all of your possessions for decades, which is not typically the case with most other major home systems.
Today’s roofs are complex systems designed to keep wind and weather out of your home and keep energy costs low. While you may think of your home’s roof strictly in terms of the shingles that are covering it, the truth is, they’re only the proverbial tip of the iceberg when it comes to what really constitutes a home’s roof!
Understanding Your Home’s Roofing System
You can think of your home’s roof as a system comprised of layers made of different materials. Each layer has a purpose and works in conjunction with each of the other layers to create a weatherproof structure that covers your home and keeps you protected.
Layer one is the decking, which is attached to the rafters. This is the base upon which the other components of the roof will lie, including the shingles. But before those rows of brand-new shingles are laid, the roofers first install an underlayment (asphalt-saturated material familiarly known as “tar paper”) on top of the decking. This acts as an extra moisture barrier which will protect the decking in case any shingles are lost or damaged in the future. The roofer will roll this layer out horizontally, beginning at the bottom edge of the roof and will make sure to overlap generously to ensure that there are no gaps.
Once the decking and underlayment are in place, the roofer will install a drip edge, which is essential an L-shaped strip (usually metal) installed along roof edges to allow water run off to drip clear of the deck, eaves and siding. (Flashing is also installed around roof structures like the chimney and plumbing vents to prevent water from seeping through the junction of the structure and the roof’s decking, and to guide water to the gutters, where it can drain through downspouts that are angled away from your home’s foundation.
Now it’s time for the part of the typical residential roof that most of us are thoroughly familiar with — its shingles. These can be asphalt, metal, clay or another material, and they make up the outer layer of your home’s roofing system.
Of course, that’s not the end of the story. There are still components to be added and they include soffit and fascia boards, gutters and downspouts and the all-important issue of proper ventilation. (Proper roof and attic ventilation can increase the durability and longevity of building materials and reduce heating and cooling costs, so this is an essential part of a good roofing system!)
So you see there’s a lot more to a roof than meets the eye, and that’s one reason that you’ll want to hire the most qualified, most experienced roofer you can find to get the job done right the first time.
Weather in Southeast Michigan Can Take a Serious Toll on a Poorly Constructed Roof
If you live in Canton or the surrounding region, you’re all too familiar with the type of weather we’re regularly treated to by Mother Nature (an entity with an obviously wry sense of humor!). Case in point: We Canton-ites experience an average of 44″ of snow each winter. That’s a full foot-and-a-half more than the average snowfall of 26″ that most other places in the country have to deal with! Add in wind, summer storms, relentless sun, etc., and you can see why a Canton area roof has to be tough and flawlessly installed!
No matter how well constructed your home’s roof is, it’s extremely important to maintain the structure to ensure that it performs the way it was designed to.
That means keeping gutters and downspouts free of leaves and other debris, keeping shingles free of moss and lichen, and having regular inspections to check for damaged or failing shingles or flashing. It’s also vital in a climate like Canton’s to keep the roof clear of snow after a heavy snowfall.
Investing in a roof rake or hiring a professional to remove snow and ice is also an important part of roof maintenance. (This is especially important if yours is an older roof, since it’s possible for the decking to collapse under the weight of a lot of wet, heavy snow!)
Having your home’s roof inspected by a qualified roofing professional every 3-5 years is a step that too many homeowners skip, and the result of that oversight can be disastrous and at the very least, can significantly shorten the lifespan of your roof. Of course, it’s a good idea to inspect your roof yourself, if you can, after every winter, but it’s important to realize that not every potential problem is obvious to the untrained eye.
A professional roofer will often spot subtle signs of trouble that you might easily overlook.
How to Know if You Need a New Roof
Eventually, even the very best roof will reach the end of its lifespan. So how can you tell if yours is at that point? Here are a few telltale signs to look for.
areas where the deck appears to sag
cracked, curled or missing shingles
excessive moss or other biological growth
staining along exterior walls
ice dams that form along the roof’s edges or in gutters
damaged or missing gutters or downspouts
stains on your ceilings or on interior walls
a leak in the attic
granules from shingles collecting in gutters
missing or damaged flashing
open seams or joints
If you notice any of these danger signs, it’s time to call a reputable roofing company for an inspection and a written assessment of the damage.
What About Roof Repairs?
Damage to your home’s roof doesn’t automatically mean that you’ll need to replace the entire roofing system. Properly executed repairs are often all that is needed to get your roof back into proper “working order”, restore its integrity, and keep it going for several more years.
This is especially true in the case of minor storm damage. Shingles can be matched and replaced and small leaks can be repaired as well. The only way to know for sure is to have the problem assessed by a roofing professional.
Choosing Roofing Materials
Installing a new roof is a big investment, so it makes sense to choose the best materials your budget will allow. High-quality materials are made to last, which means that with proper maintenance, you won’t have to worry about replacing your roof again for decades.
Whenever possible, you’ll want to engage a roofing company who uses high-quality materials from companies like GAF, CertainTeed and Owen’s Corning. These are all well-known names in the roofing industry with high-quality roofing products.
How to Choose the Best Roofer for the Job
According to the experts at Angie’s List, it’s usually best to choose a local roofing company with plenty of experience and a great reputation. In the Canton area, that roofing company is Tittle Brothers.
We’ve been roofing Canton area homes since 2004 and we’ve built up a great reputation in Canton and the surrounding region for providing superior craftsmanship, fast, efficient service and a stress-free experience for all of our clients.
The pros at Angie’s List also stress the importance of choosing a licensed, insured contractor. (Important Note: Don’t even consider hiring somebody who’s not licensed and insured! You don’t want to be held responsible for a job-related accident on your property and you want to make sure that the “professional” you’re hiring is actually officially recognized as a professional in their field. Anybody can call themselves a roofer or a contractor!)
At Tittle Brothers, we use the best materials by Owens Corning, a name that’s synonymous with quality. In fact, we’re an Owens Corning Platinum Preferred Contractor roofing contractor, which means that we’re one of the few roofing companies around who’s actually certified by Owens Corning to install their products in our neck of the woods!
That also means that we can offer you the entire range of Owens Corning roofing options, from their most economical asphalt shingles, to their top of the line BERKSHIRE® shingles, all of which are backed by Owens Corning’s industry-leading warranties.
Owens Corning is very particular about who installs their top-quality products, which is why our roofing professionals had to complete some pretty rigorous training and testing to qualify for certification. They’ve established rigorous standards for installation methods and procedures surrounding their products because their reputation literally depends on their entrusting installation of Owens Corning Roofing Systems to only the very best roofers in the country.
It’s a distinction we’re pretty proud to have earned, to say the least!
What to Expect When Getting a New Roof
Many folks, when faced with the prospect of having a new roof installed, envision weeks of chaos, mess and strange people tramping around their yard. That’s not the case when you choose Tittle Brothers.
We complete most roof installations in just a day or two, and we try to be as unobtrusive as possible, respecting your privacy and your property. Our ultimate goal — no our mission — is to provide you with a smooth, easy, stress-free experience that results in a high-quality, carefully crafted new roof built to withstand Michigan’s tough weather patterns and to last for years and years to come!
The process starts with a free inspection after which we’ll provide you with a written assessment indicating whether you need a new roof or perhaps just some key repairs that can add a few more years of reliable service to your current roof. We’ll patiently answer any questions you might have about materials, time-frame, or financing, and provide you with our quote.
One of the reasons we’ve been around for so long is because we’re committed to excellent customer service. We’ll never mislead you, talk down to you, leave you on hold, or do any of those other things that too many companies out there tend to do.
But Don’t Take Our Word For It!
We understand that you’ve heard too many companies extolling their virtues only to find out that it was all “sales talk”. That’s why we invite you to take a few moments to read our customer reviews. We’re proud to say that most of our customers have nothing but good things to say about the quality of our work and their experiences with us! We’re also proud to say that we’ve earned an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau!
And while you’re at it, take a few minutes to check out our gallery of local roofing projects to get an idea of the quality of our work! (We think you’ll be impressed!)
We’re a family-owned company and we’re your neighbors too, a fact that makes it very important to us to establish and maintain a great reputation for honesty, integrity and the highest quality workmanship. We top that off with a solid commitment to great customer service, and it’s a formula that works for us and makes us feel good about our company, our life’s work and the community we call home!
If you’re worried about the condition of your roof, why not pick up the phone and call us at Tittle Brothers Construction at 734-225-2525 today for a free in-home estimate on your roofing?
We’ll perform a thorough inspection and give you an honest assessment of your roof’s condition and all of your available options. You’ll find us on Fort Street in Southgate, but you’ll find examples of our work throughout the area including the Dearborn and Detroit metro regions!