when to call it quits on your old front door

when to call it quits on your old front door

Need A New Roof? Learn How A Many Layered Roof Creates A Warm, Dry Home

Carrie Castillo

Much of the United States experiences extremes in weather conditions. If you're in the "snow belt" you get plenty of the white stuff piled on your roof, with perhaps a touch of freezing rain. The Pacific Northwest is subject to torrential rains, mostly in the fall and winter, but anything can happen. If you are in the market for a new roof, it pays to know the layers needed to keep your home warm and dry. You can then click here for more info and make an informed decision about calling a contractor or buying the materials and doing it yourself. If you aren't comfortable with heights, the contractor option is your best bet.

The Roof Layers

The following is an outline of the various roof layers.

Self-Sealing Barrier

All roofs have seams. A self-sealing barrier is used to prevent moisture from creeping in from around skylights, near the eaves and dormers. The latter is a window that is built out from the roof line. These are usually rectangular in shape with a peaked "mini-roof" that is attached to the main roof. It is an architectural style seen often on Victorian or Cape Cod style homes. The barrier material comes in strips or rolls and can be opaque or clear.

Roof Underlay

The next layer is the roof underlay. This waterproof material, usually made of fibreglass and reinforced felt, comes in large rolls. It's laid out over the entire roof, and acts as a barrier to rain and snow melt. It is effective at protecting your roof from water that is driven under the shingles during high winds and heavy rains.

Starter Strip Shingles

Starter strip shingles are placed at the edges of your roof, along the eaves and on the rake. The rake is the overhang found over entry ways and on some types of windows, like the dormers described above. These shingles come in strips or rolls, have an adhesive backing and are applied in one continuous piece to prevent leaks.

Basic Shingles

Basic shingles cover the entire roof, giving your home personality and adding curb appeal. In the residential market, these are some of the most popular varieties.

  • Asphalt shingles are one of the most popular options. Their overlapping design makes them an excellent choice for slanted, or sloped, roofs. The roofer starts at the bottom of the roof and works his way up. The first shingle is nailed in place, and the second sits over the top half of the first shingle. This prevents water from getting caught in seams as it runs down the roof. Asphalt shingles come in a variety of colors, so it's easy to match your home décor. 
  • A take-off on the asphalt shingle is the solar shingle. These are made with photovoltaic cells that generate electricity, just like a solar panel. These shingles are used along with the regular asphalt shingles, placed on the parts of your roof that get the most sun. They are typically more expensive than regular shingles, but the cost is usually offset by lower utility bills and monetary credits sometimes offered by government agencies. All the incentives to "go green" are making solar shingles quite popular.
  • Wood and shake shingles give a rustic look to homes and are particularly popular in rural or woodsy areas. Historically, wood shingles were hand cut pieces of wood. Today they are made of real wood or a synthetic material. Popular woods include pine, redwood, cedar and cypress.

Hip and Ridge Caps

Hip and ridge caps are the finishing touches to your roof. These are shingles that have a fold in the middle so they will easily fit over the peaks and ridges. These also overlap, starting from the bottom of the roof. Water follows the ridge lines down to the gutters and the downspouts, safely depositing it away from the home's foundation.  All homes, except those with flat roofs, have at least one ridge. Victorian, Edwardian or Cape Cod style homes have several because of their more intricate architectural features.


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About Me
when to call it quits on your old front door

How old is the front door on your home? Have you ever walked past the door and felt a cool breeze coming from under it? Could it be time to replace your front door, or can you repair the one that you have? My site is filled with advice and tips for learning when to replace and when to repair a front door. You can learn from my personal experience of living in older homes how to know when it is time to call it quits on the old stuff and invest in new. Hopefully, my failures and successes can help you avoid the failures and go straight for the success.

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