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Can Slate Roofs Be Patched?

close-up of slate roofing tiles

Can Slate Roofs Be Patched?

In the Coppell, Texas area, homes have a variety of roofing types. From the basic asphalt shingles to slate shingles, depending on the age and the architecture. With more upscale homes being built, a popular choice is a slat roof. Repairing this roofing material is a concern for many homeowners, but once they have a slate roof installed, they find the repairs are minimal and seldom, and the results of the roof are pleasantly surprising and extremely pleasing. 

What is the biggest problem with slate roofs?

Depending on the architectural style and the budget, a slate roof may not be the right choice. Some notable disadvantages of slate roofing include: 

1. A Heavy Weight

One of the most significant issues with slate roofing tiles is the weight. Slate has a significant extra weight compared to other roofing materials, weighing up to 800 pounds per square foot. If a home doesn’t have existing slate roofing, it is important to have an engineering inspection to determine if the structure can hold the weight. 

2. The Installation 

After a slate roof has been installed, the maintenance is minimal, the installation is difficult and takes longer than other roofing materials. Where an asphalt roofing job takes approximately 8 hours or less, slate roof installation can take as long as 3 months or longer depending on the size of the house. This time can be longer if structural reinforcement is required before the slate tiles are installed. 

3. Slate Roof Repairs and Replacements

Another downside is the difficulty in slate roof repairs and replacing broken tiles. Slate roof repair or replacement tiles is possible, but it is challenging to get an exact color and texture with slate tiles, and because the color, sizes, and thickness are all-natural, chances are exact replacement tiles are few and far between. 

4. Easily Broken

A slate roof will be a durable roofing material when it comes to extreme weather conditions and fire. However, walking on a slate roof is not recommended because it can be broken when stepped on wrong. When a slate roof repair is needed, hiring an experienced professional is recommended. They will know how to walk on the roof and make the repairs correctly and successfully.

5. Inexperienced Installers 

When it comes to installing or having slate roof repairs done, it can be challenging to find an experienced professional roofing contractor who works with slate roofing. 

6. Expensive

A slate roof is as much as 5 times more expensive per square foot than other roofing materials. The material itself is more expensive, and because fewer professional roofing contractors are experienced with slate, they can often have higher rates.  If the home needs additional structural support added, that increases the cost as well. 

How are slate roof repairs done?

The most common method for slate roof repair is referred to as the “nail and bib method”.  The broken, damaged slate tile is removed with a slate ripper, a specialized tool that not all roofing contractors have. 

Then the replacement slate is put into place and using a nail, it is anchored between the two, overlying slate tiles. Next, the roofing contractor will slide a square of flashing under the two slate tiles and overlay the above slate, nailing it into place. 

Can a slate tile be repaired and left in place? 

A roofing contractor with experience in slate roof repair can advise you if a crack is small enough to repair and leave the slate tile in place. In most cases though, the roofing contractor will advise replacing any broken or cracked slate tiles. 

Can a slipped slate roof tile be fixed?

If you have slate tiles that have slipped out of position, you may be able to do a slate roof repair yourself by reattaching it with a tingle and mailing it into place as described above. Remember to use extreme caution walking on the tiles and be aware that loose slate tiles are often caused by weakened nails or the slate tiles breaking down or disintegrating. Just as with any slate roof repair, it is always recommended to hire a professional roofing contractor who has experience in slate roofing. 

Are slate roof repairs worthwhile? 

Because a slate roof is expensive to have installed, most homeowners will want to get the longest lifespan possible, which can be up to 100 years or longer. So, if your slate roof is fairly new, any slate roof repair will be worth the cost!  However, if your home and the slate roof are close to 100 years old, you may consider getting estimates on other types of roofing materials. 

Closing the Roof Off

A slate roof can give a home of any size an elegant appearance. It can also look out of place if other homes in the area have the basic asphalt shingled roof. If you’re considering a slate roof installation, take the time to get several quotes and have a real estate expert give you advice and opinion on whether a slate roof would be too much for the neighborhood. 

How Often Do You Need to Replace a Roof?

A Shingle Roof Replacement

Roof Replacement

Like anywhere else, homeowners do not want the expense of having a roof replacement in Coppell, TX. While it may be an investment in your home, if it isn’t covered by insurance, it is an expense we can’t afford upfront.  So, just how much does a roof cost?

There isn’t just a flat rate across the board when it comes to anything to do with your home, especially the roof. There are several factors combined that will determine the cost of a roof replacement, starting with the square footage of the roof. Other factors include: 

  • The type of roofing material used.
  • The decking and roofing felt below the roofing material.
  • Any repairs needed during the roof replacement.

If you’re needing a new roof, look to the professionals at Alpha Exteriors and Construction. Set up a time for a free inspection by calling 214-444-8209.

What is the least expensive material for a roof replacement?

For the budget-minded homeowner, this is the first question, and with good reason. There are multitudes of roofing materials available, but logic tells you that going with the cheapest may not be the best idea. In addition to saving money upfront, you want to choose something that is going to last beyond the first hailstorm, right? After all, you don’t want to pay for another roof replacement for a long, long time! 

If you drive the streets of Coppell, TX, or any city in America, you’ll notice that asphalt shingles are the most common roofing material. Why? Because it is an affordable material and is still durable. But within the category of asphalt shingles, there are three choices to make your roof replacement: 

  • Three-Tab: This is installed in a single layer without any overlap and has a lifespan of up to 15 years and typically holds up well under wind speeds of up to 60 miles per hour.
  • Architectural: These asphalt shingles are installed with some overlap, providing a home with a slight dimensional look that can last up to 30 years and withstands wind speeds up to 120 miles per hour. 
  • Luxury: These are the most expensive asphalt shingles with a lifespan of up to 50 years, withstanding all types of weather better and longer, and they are more fire resistant. This is the top-of-the-line in asphalt shingles and you won’t be looking at another roof replacement probably for the rest of your time in that house.

How often does a roof need to be replaced?

As you can see by the lifespan of the three different asphalt shingles, you may need a roof replacement in 15 years (or less) or you may not need another roof replacement for 50 years.  The average time most asphalt shingle roofs in Texas need to be replaced is between 12 and 15 years.  

What is the best roof for your money?

Metal roof replacement is said to be the best for the money by most roofing contractors. It is more expensive than asphalt shingles, including the architectural or luxury shingles we described above. Going with a corrugated metal roof replacement doesn’t mean your home will look like Grandpa’s old barn either! 

The metal used for roofing homes in Texas today comes in a wide choice of colors so that you can match your home’s architectural style. It has a lifespan on average of 50 years, but some have lasted 75 years or longer. It is installed in flexible sheets, available in different thicknesses, getting heavier with each increase in thickness. Other advantages of a metal roof replacement include: 

  1. Strength: A metal roof replacement can withstand winds up to 150 miles per hour and provide better protection in a lightning strike. 
  2. Insect Resistance: A metal roof replacement is insect resistant, including termites.
  3. Energy Efficient: With a proper ceramic coating, a metal roof will keep your home cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter. 
  4. Recyclable: The metal used for a roof replacement typically is made from recycled metals and can be recycled again with the next roof replacement. 

What type of roof is the most cost-effective?

Again, metal wins! This is your most cost-effective choice for a roof replacement because of the extreme durability it provides. Even though it has a higher cost for installation, it will last two to three times longer than the best asphalt shingle.

In Closing

So, when you’re faced with needing a roof replacement, or you’re just trying to stay ahead, is a roof replacement a good investment? Yes, absolutely! The roof is the first line of defense against the climate and environment and is protecting your family.  

A roof replacement in Coppell, TX will make your home more appealing on the real estate market too. If you are planning to sell your home, new buyers are always looking for a home with the most expensive work done already, and a roof replacement is at the top of that list! You’ll have a better chance of getting your asking price with a new roof than if you use that as a bargaining chip with price negotiation. When you need a new roof, set up an appointment for a free roof inspection today at 214-444-8209.

A Roofer Replaces Shingles.

What Do Professionals Use to Clean Roofs?

A Roofer Washing a Roof

Roof Cleaning

Everything is big in Texas as they say, which includes a business’ image. So, when you own a business here, you want your appearance to be the image your clients recognize. And that is why commercial roof washing is so important here in the DFW area, especially if your business structure is a single story! But even for a sky-rise structure, commercial roof washing is important, not for the visual aspect, but for other reasons. Find out more about how Alpha Exteriors and Construction can help with your commercial roofing needs, give us a call at 214-444-8209.

Why is commercial roof washing important? 

The roof of your business is the first line of defense against mother nature and the climate, and here in Texas, that climate changes by the minute some days! With that in mind though, it is important to realize the exposure and stress that the roof endures every day. With a regularly inspected and maintained commercial roof, washing is one of the most important things you can have done for several reasons: 

1: Performance Improvement

To get the most out of the energy efficiency and lifespan of a commercial roof, washing it on a regular basis will keep the surface temperature lower, a big plus during Texas summers. This keeps the building interior cooler too, and this all helps ease the workload on the HVAC system too, which helps keep the utility bills down.  

2: Moisture Removed

Moisture is the number one enemy of the roof and regular commercial roof washing will keep the roof clean of debris like fallen leaves, limbs, and other materials that stick to the roof and hold moisture in.  This minimizes and even eliminates the possibility of roof membrane blistering, ponding, and splitting, which lessens the chance of roof leaks.  

3: Fire Hazards Minimized

A commercial structure that stores or manufactures combustible materials is an automatic fire hazard.  With regular commercial roof washing, the roof surface is clean and this minimizes the potential of being a fuel source.

4: Roof Damage Revealed

The usual inspection prior to a commercial roof washing allows you to discover any possible roof issues that can become an expensive, massive roof repair or replacement. 

5: Keeping Building Code Current

For any structure that contains a food-related business, commercial roof washing will help keep the structure within the building code standards. 

7: A Clean Roof Equals A Great Appearance 

First impressions are the cornerstone for any business and with a commercial roof washing, your business will have a ‘ready to do business’ appearance for your clients and potential clients, as well as vendors and visitors. 

What do professionals use for commercial roof washing?

After they have swept the roofing surface free of any loose debris and dirt, most professional commercial roof washing services use a combination of sodium hypochlorite, aka chlorine bleach, sodium hydroxide, and TSP (trisodium phosphate). This combination is sprayed on after wetting the roof with clear water, and then using a push brush, they’ll cover the entire surface.  Once that has been completed, they will rinse the roof with clear water. 

Another method used that is chemical-free and the first choice for many commercial structure owners is done with the same process as described above.  This process typically costs more because the chemical-free products aren’t as strong, so the process takes longer to remove all the algae, lichen, and moss. 

Is power washing a commercial roof safe and worth it?

Any experienced commercial roof-washing contractor knows when to use power-washing methods and when not to use that method. While power washing is the fastest way to blast the algae, lichen, and moss off of a roof, when it isn’t done correctly, it can cause more damage than it is worthwhile. 

Should a rinse be done after a commercial roof washing?

As we described in the process typically used for commercial roof washing, yes, a rinse is included.  After the wash and rinse steps, the contractor will do another inspection of the roof to check for any possible damage they caused as well as any pre-existing damage exposed after the wash. 

What is the difference between pressure wash and power wash?

The key difference between the two is temperature. Power washing is done with highly pressurized steam and pressure washing is using the power of the water. If not done correctly, either can damage a roofing surface.

Looking Your Best

As a business, you want your services and products to look their best. That should carry on to the outward appearance of your business structure too, including the roof. A commercial roof washing, along with the roof inspection, can go a long way in making that first impression as well as follow-up impressions of your potential and existing clients and visitors. This includes when those surprise building code inspections and insurance inspections occur, especially if you operate a franchise of a corporate business.

Roof Cleaning

What Is a Cool Roof System?

Cool Roof System

Cool Roof Installation

Texas, hot summers, and cool roofs.  In our minds, those words do not go together, but thanks to technology, they can with a cool roof installation in Coppell, TX. What is a cool roof?   Before we answer that question, let’s talk about a conventional roof installation. 

During a sunny hot Texas summer, a conventional asphalt roof can reach 150°F or higher. A conventional roof absorbs the heat from the UV rays and holds it, where it radiates into the attic and the occupied area. 

With a cool roof installation, the UV rays are reflected out into the atmosphere. This reduces the heat by 50°F and the heat from radiating into the attic and the occupied area. So, does cool roof installation work? Yes, by shedding heat with a high thermal emittance. Want to learn more about cool roofing? Give Alpha Exteriors and Construction a call at 214-444-8209.

What are cool roof requirements?

There are two ways to meet the requirements of a cool roof installation:

  • Meet or exceed the minimum solar reflectance and thermal emittance values. 
  • Meet or exceed the minimum SRI requirement. 

When a cool roof installation meets these requirements, it can reflect more sunlight than a conventional asphalt roof, meaning it is absorbing less solar energy. With the temperature lower on the roof, it makes the attic and interior of the home cooler, using less air conditioning. 

How much energy does a cool roof save?

A cool roof installation provides an average energy savings between 7% to 15%  in cooling costs. This reduces the inside temperature and the amount the air conditioning system works. This, in turn, saves money, as much as 25% of the typical energy bill. 

Are there other benefits of a cool roof installation?

In addition to lowering the need for air conditioning, which lowers the cost of power, and makes the interior of a home cooler, other benefits include: 

  • Peak Energy and Grid Stability

Cool roof installation creates solar reflective walls which reduces the use of the air conditioning even at the hottest time of the day. This reduces the stress on the energy grid and minimizes power shortages, blackouts, or brownouts. 

  • Combat Climate Change

Cool roof installation directly reduces greenhouse gas emissions by lowering the demand for air conditioning. This results in fewer carbon dioxide emissions from the power plants. Cool roofing reflects the UV energy back to the atmosphere which mitigates global warming and can save as much as $600 billion from CO2 emissions reduction.

  • Urban Heat Island Mitigated

In the city, the temperatures during the day are up to 7°F warmer and up to 5°F warmer at night compared to the surrounding rural area. This is caused by heat-absorbing materials like paved streets and sidewalks, and roofing materials. This is referred to as the urban heat island effect, and with a cool roof installation, the solar radiation is immediately reflected back into the atmosphere, dropping the temperature on the urban island, and making homes more comfortable. 

Are there negative aspects of a cool roof?

In addition to the higher cost of a cool roof installation, the other negative is the possible increase in global warming. This happens because the cool roofing surfaces create a chain reaction in increasing the amount of sun the roof would traditionally receive. 

How much more expensive is a cool roof installation?

While it isn’t possible to provide an exact quote on a cool roof installation when compared to the cost of a conventional asphalt roof installation, it is pennies on the dollar higher. The ROI is in the monthly savings with the utilities. 

How long do cool roofs last?

The average residential asphalt roofing can have a lifespan between 15 years and 30 years, dependent on the quality and type of asphalt shingle used. Because the materials used in cool roof installations have a higher durability rate, they can last up to 50 years when properly installed. 

What is the difference between a cool roof and a green roof?

Both serve the purpose of lowering monthly utility expenses and keeping the interior comfortable and cooler. However, a cool roof installation is less expensive on the household budget than green roofing for one major reason:  Cost.  

Once a cool roof installation is completed, the upfront cost and routine maintenance of keeping the roof clean are the only expenses. 

With green roofing, the first expense is a required engineering structural inspection. This is needed to ensure the structure can withstand the additional weight. The installation process is another expense, followed by the maintenance and upkeep of the greenery planted. 

Cool Roofing Material

Dollar For Dollar

When it comes down to the dollar being spent, is a cool roof installation worth the higher cost?  Yes, when installed correctly and maintained as recommended, yes, the ROI comes from the lower utility costs, making it worthwhile. The additional bonus is the reduction in carbon footprint on the environment.  We are the cool roofing experts to call. Reach out to us at 214-444-8209.

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