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The 5 Types of Metal Roofing

Metal roofs are designed with durability and style in mind, providing both a functional and aesthetically pleasing finish to your roof. There are five common types of metals that can be used as roofing materials, and each has distinct advantages and disadvantages.  You should understand what each type of metal roofing has to offer so you can choose the best material for your roofing needs.

Steel Metal Roofing

Steel is one of the most common types of metals used for roofing and construction purposes, largely because of its high degree of natural durability. Steel roofing panels and shingles will usually be coated with another metal (such as zinc) that helps protect them from rust and corrosion that water exposure can cause.

Steel also offers a wide selection of different coloring and shading, which is baked onto the metal itself. This layer of paint acts as a secondary level of protection against water and weather exposure.

The main downside associated with steel as a roofing material is its weight. You’ll have to have your roofing supports professionally checked to ensure that they can hold the load of a steel roof without caving in. Furthermore, the hefty weight of steel can make the installation process lengthier and more complicated.

In addition, while steel is coated in layers that help keep rust away, those layers will wear off over the course of years, causing your roof to begin to degrade. Additional coatings can be applied, or the roof can be replaced, but either way steel roofs will require some long-term maintenance.

Aluminum Metal Roofing

Roofs made of aluminum are a compelling alternative to steel as a roofing material. Aluminum is lightweight, which means that it can be installed on any roof without worrying about the load bearing capacity.

Further, and perhaps most importantly, aluminum is completely immune to rust, which means that it won’t degrade over time no matter the climate it is exposed to. Aluminum can also be painted to customize the appearance of your roof.

However, aluminum does come with a significant downside: aluminum is a relatively soft metal. It won’t be able to withstand physical trauma as well as steel roofing will. This means that hail, falling branches and other pieces of debris can actually cause dents or holes in your roof that can be expensive to fix.

Copper Metal Roofing

Copper provides a highly durable solution to your roof. Like aluminum, copper is completely immune to rust, but this metal also possesses a number of antibacterial qualities that prevent mold and algae growth on your roof. Further, copper will develop a natural patina over time based off the weather exposure that it experiences, giving your roof a truly distinct appearance.

The main downside of copper as a roofing material is its extremely high price point. While copper won’t rust or need constant cleaning, which will help keep long-run costs down, its high initial cost makes it harder to fit into a budget.

Zinc Metal Roofing

Zinc is similar to copper in that it is naturally resistant to rusting and corrosion and will prevent mold and algae growth on your roof. These features cut down on overall maintenance. Unlike copper, however, the patina that zinc develops over time can actually cover up small scars and nicks on the roof, which allows zinc roofs to maintain their appearance longer.

However, zinc also suffers from a high price point comparable to copper roofing. In addition to its initial cost, zinc will require frequent cleaning to maintain its appearance. When zinc is exposed to water, the metal will build up a white, chalk-like residue on the roof that can ruin the aesthetics of your roof. Finally, zinc is relatively soft, which means that physical damage can pose a problem.

For any of your roofing repair or installation needs, you can contact us at Burke’s Roofing. Our staff of highly trained professionals will be happy to answer any questions that you may have.

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4 Primary Benefits of Installing Screens on Your Gutters

One of the last items on most people’s outdoor to-do list is gutter cleaning. Cleaning gutters is a time-consuming and physically demanding task. You can reduce the frequency of how often you have to clean your gutters by installing gutter guards. Gutter screens or guards can also help protect your gutters from damage, keep critters out of your gutters and even improve the quality of your rainwater collection system.

#1 Reduce Gutter Cleaning Frequency

One of the most significant benefits of installing screens over your gutters is, with gutter screens in place, you will not have to clean out your gutters as frequently as you have in the past.

Gutter screens are uniquely designed to keep waste, such as leaves, out of your gutters. With less waste getting into your gutters, you will be able to reduce how often you clean out your gutters.

When you do clean your gutters, you will no longer have to scoop out sludge. Instead, all you will need to do is wipe away the debris that has accumulated on the top of the screens. You should also make sure that the screens are still securely in place when you clean them off.

Certain types of screens can reduce your cleaning schedule even more. For example, reverse curve gutter guards slope downwards so that leaves fall off the guards and don’t get stuck on top of them. Nylon gutter guards prevent snow from freezing and clogging up your gutters. Foam gutter guards block large pieces of waste from getting into your gutters.

#2 Keep Critters out of Your Gutters

All the debris inside of your gutters is a perfect food source for a variety of pests. Pests as varied as squirrels, mice and ants like to feast on all the food that gets left behind in your gutters.

Installing gutter guards over your gutters will prevent leaves and other debris from accumulating in the first place, which will help keep the critters away. Additionally, gutter guards will close off easy access points, further helping protect them from critters.

#3 Protect Your Gutters From Damage

Gutter guards can also extend the life of your existing gutters. Your gutters will experience less weight and strain when they are debris-free.

With gutter screens in place, your gutters will not get weighted down with debris, which would put a strain on the fascia brackets that hold your gutters together. When the fascia brackets are strained, your gutters can come loose from your home.

If you have gutters that have slip connectors that attach the pieces together, debris can also strain these brackets. Enough debris can cause the slip connectors on your gutter to malfunction, causing your gutters to come apart.

With gutter guards in place, your gutters are far less likely to experience broken or damaged fascia brackets and slip connectors.

#4 Improve Rainwater Collection System

If you have a rainwater collection system set-up, installing screens over your gutters can improve your system. Screens will keep debris out of your rainwater, making your rain water cleaner. Debris in your rainwater can reduce the quality of the water that you collect.

Screens will also increase the flow of water through your gutters. Water will no longer get stopped by waste in your gutters. Water can move more freely through your gutters to your collection system, and you will be able to collect the maximum amount of water from your gutters.

You don’t need to install new gutters to enjoy the benefits of gutter guards. Gutter guards can be installed over your current gutter set-up. The professionals at Burke’s Roofing can help you choose the right gutter screens for your home.

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7 Ways to Maintain a Healthy Roof

Your roof is an important part of your home because it protects you from rain, snow, and other elements. Whether your roof is new or a decade old, it needs to be maintained properly. If you neglect to take care of your roof, you may have to replace it sooner than you would like.

The average cost of a new roof is $7,083, so you definitely want to keep your current one around as long as possible. Here are seven ways to maintain a healthy roof.

1. Clean the Gutters

Cleaning your roof gutters is not the most fun job, but it is a necessary one. If you do not remove leaves and other debris from the gutters, rainwater can flow inside your house and cause significant damage.

Dirty gutters can also attract rats and others pests. It’s a good idea to clean your gutters in the fall and the spring. Cleaning gutters can be dangerous, so you might want to hire a professional to do the job. A professional can remove debris from your gutters and check for damage in an efficient matter.

2. Trim Overhanging Branches

If there are trees near your home, it’s important to trim the overhanging branches regularly. Otherwise, these branches can fall on top of your roof during heavy storms and damage the shingles. Squirrels and other rodents will also have easy access to your roof through these branches. Tree trimming is a tough job, so it may be best to have a professional do it.

3. Don’t Ignore Moss

Moss can cause your roof to deteriorate over time. If you see moss growing on your roof, you should remove it as soon as possible. Just apply a commercial cleaner to the moss and use a long-handled scrub brush to remove it.

Avoid using a pressure washer to remove moss, as it can damage the shingles. If you notice that there’s a consistent problem with moss growth on your roof, consider installing zinc strips to both sides of your roof.

4. Add Insulation to Your Attic

If your attic does not already have good insulation, you should give some serious consideration to installing it. Insulation might seem like a pretty big investment right now, but it can help your roof last much longer. It will keep the inside of your home at a stable temperature, keeping water vapor from accumulating on your roof.

5. Inspect Your Roof Regularly

Even if your roof is brand new, you should still inspect it for issues on a regular basis. Make an effort to check out your roof a few times a week and keep an eye out for problems, like cracked or missing shingles, detached gutters, and cracks on the roof. If you detect any issues, you should have an experienced roofing contractor come look at your roof right away.

6. Control Ice Dams

Ice dams can form on your roof during the winter and cause serious damage. One of the simplest ways to prevent ice dams is to remove snow with a snow rake from your roof as soon as possible. If you see ice on your roof, you can melt it with calcium chloride.

7. Look Out for Leaks

It’s a wise idea to check for leaks periodically, especially after storms. If you detect leaks, it’s important to call a roofing professional as soon as possible. If you don’t take care of these leaks immediately, they can cause some major problems.

Maintaining a roof takes work, but it is worth the effort. If you have any questions about proper roof maintenance, you should contact Burke’s Roofing.

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Common Misconceptions About Metal Roofing

Modern design vertical roof window with black light metal covering

From its durability and energy-efficiency to the amazing return on investment, there are several reasons to choose metal roofing.

The only thing that is keeping you from choosing metal roofing over traditional asphalt shingles is some second-hand information you’ve received from your friends, family, and neighbors. The majority of this information is based upon myths and misconceptions, and once you learn the truth about metal roofing, chances are you will get excited about your purchase.

Here are a few of the most common myths associated with metal roofing.

A Metal Roof Will Eventually Rust

Rust occurs when oxygen and moisture come into contact with iron, an alloy that is found in steel. This natural phenomenon is often the reason why many people mistakenly believe that a metal roof will eventually rust.

With proper care and the right product, your metal roof will last a lifetime, and you will never notice a single spot of rust. This corrosion-resistance is possible because quality metal roofing features a metallic coating on both sides of the steel or aluminum core. This metallic coating, in addition to primer and paint, will protect the interior metal and help prevent rust formation.

In addition to traditional steel and aluminum roofs, if you want the most corrosion-resistance possible, opt for a zinc roof. In addition to naturally preventing the formation of rust, zinc is also very low-maintenance, and because it’s pliable, it can be formed into several different interesting architectural shapes.

A Metal Roof Will Be a Lightning Rod

You may have a friend or neighbor tell you to stay away from metal roofing because of an increased risk of lightning strikes. In reality, metal roofs are no more prone to lightning strikes than asphalt, clay, or any other type of popular roofing materials.

Additionally, you may have also been told that metal roofs are very loud during the rain and are extremely prone to hail damage. But in fact, the majority of metal roofs are very well-insulated, meaning they are not any louder than an asphalt roof. When it comes to hail damage, the majority of metal roofs will easily stand up against small or moderately-large pellets of frozen rain.

If you live in an area that is prone to hail storms, consider a textured metal roof. The threat of hail damage is minimal, but if there is an extremely violent storm that produces large pellets, the textured roof will hide most defects.

A Metal Roof Will Make My House Frigid in Winter

Finally, one of the most pervasive myths associated with metal roofing is the idea that if you live in a frigid climate, the metal will make your home much colder. If you have trouble keeping your home warm in the winter, the culprit is probably the insulation and attic ventilation—not which type of roofing material you installed.

In actuality, metal roofing is a great insulator, and you might notice your heating bills go down during the winter. In addition to insulating your home, any snow and ice that accumulate on your roof will easily slide off, which will help prevent the formation of ice dams.

If you live in an area that is prone to heavy snowfall in winter, consider having a snow guard or heat cables installed along with the metal roofing system. These devices help prevent any larger chunks of ice and snow from falling off your roof.

Purchasing a metal roof is a great way to protect your home while increasing its value. If you have any further questions about metal or asphalt roofing, don’t hesitate to contact the professionals at Burke’s Roofing.

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What Lies Beneath: 3 Things Located Beneath Your Roofing Shingles

Many homeowners think their roof is made up of nothing more than a series of overlapping asphalt shingles. Although the shingles are certainly the most important element, they are hardly the only one. Roofing incorporates a number of other key components to provide lasting waterproof results.

Find out more about three lesser known features often found beneath shingles.

Roofing Felt

Roofing felt is a ubiquitous feature of virtually every single shingle roof. You may have heard roofing felt called names like roofing tar paper, roll roofing or simply underlayment. Roofing contractors install roofing felt directly on top of the wooden roofing deck, where it provides a base layer to which the shingles are then attached.

Two main components make up roofing felt: a fabric-like base and a protective top coating. The base may either be made from materials like wood cellulose or recycled fabric pulp, or it may be comprised of synthetic materials like fiberglass or polyester. In either case, this based is coated with an asphalt-based substance capable of repelling water while still permitting the fabric to “breathe.”

Roofing felt is used mainly as an extra measure of protection against any water that manages to penetrate beneath your shingles. This is especially important for homes in cold climates, where melting snow and ice greatly increase the amount of water on the roof at certain times of year.

Roofing felt also protects the deck of your roof while work is being done on it. Even when the roof is stripped of shingles, the felt helps protect the vulnerable wooden deck from damage caused by either workers or the elements.

Drip Edge

The edges of a roof represent one of its most vulnerable parts, thanks to the prevalence of what are known as blow-under leaks. Your roof may experience these leaks during rain storms that are accompanied by windy conditions. The wind is often capable of driving the rain right back up below the shingles attached to the roof’s edge, leading to rot and other forms of structural damage.

To protect against blow-under leaks, install drip edges. A drip edge is a piece of sheet metal manufactured in the shape of the letter T. Roofers attach this metal to the terminal edge of the roof using galvanized roofing nails. They then place shingles all the way to the edge so that they overlap with the top of the drip edge.

The stem of the drip edge’s T prevents water from blowing back up underneath the shingles, yet the flat top of the drip edge is just as important. It provides stability to the shingles above, giving them added strength. This is especially important in winter, when the weight of ice can easily cause the overhanging edge of unsupported shingles to break off.

Ice and Water Shield

When you live in a cold climate — a climate where snowfall is a regular part of winter — you must take especial precautions to keep your roof safe from water damage caused by ice dams. An ice dam is, as its name would suggest, a tall ice barrier that forms at the edge of the roof.

As ice and snow melt from higher up, the ice dam prevents the water from running safely off the roof. Instead it pools up behind the dam, where it will soon begin finding ways to penetrate beneath the shingles. An ice and water shield is a waterproof strip that gives a roof an extra degree of protection against such ponding water.

Understanding the elements that make up a roof will help you ensure that your roof withstands the worst the elements can throw at it. For more information about the components of your roof or to discuss issues leaks and roofing repairs, contact the experts at Burke’s Roofing.

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Beyond Repair: 4 Signs That Your Shingle Roof Needs Replacing

As a homeowner, you understand that the protection your roof provides is important. However, because your roof is out of your line of sight during your daily activities, its condition may usually be out of mind.

While many roof issues can be repaired by an experienced roofing contractor, your home’s roof won’t last forever. In fact, the average shingle roof lasts between 20 and 50 years, depending on the quality of the materials, so many homeowners find that their roof needs replacement before their mortgages are fully paid off.

Replacing a failing roof promptly is essential to keeping your home warm and dry. In this blog, we list four of the most common signs that it’s time to consider replacement.

1. Cracked Shingles

Often, roof replacement becomes necessary due to extensive weathering. One of the most common types of weathering is cracking caused by wind and sun damage. If you notice a few cracked shingles, repair is probably still an option.

However, if a third or more of your shingles have cracked or lost pieces, you may need to replace the entire roof. As shingles break, you may find small pieces or granules in your gutters. Large amounts of lost granules usually indicate the need for re-roofing.

Cracking that appears over most or all of the roof also indicates the need for replacement. A small section of cracked shingles may have come from the impact of a tree branch or other debris and can usually be repaired without needing to replace the entire roof.

2. Warped Shingles

Your roof shingles should lay flat against the sub-roof. This position ensures that precipitation runs off the roof and into the gutters as it should. When shingles begin to warp, this change may indicate water intrusion, heat damage, or excessive roof age. Warped shingles are more likely to break, blow off, or allow leaks into your home.

Shingles can warp in several ways. Your shingles may cup, claw, or buckle. Roofers use the term “cupping” to describe shingles that have curled upward around the edges, creating an indentation in the center of the shingle.

Clawing occurs when the middle of a shingle becomes raised, creating a pocket in the center while the edges remain flat. The term “buckling” describes a warping in a waved pattern that appears to travel up the roof.

3. Excessive Organic Growth

Moss and algae can look like a major problem on your roof. These types of organic growth can usually be removed and don’t necessitate replacement.

However, the presence of excessive organic growth may indicate a drainage problem that can cause roof deterioration over time. In some cases, your roof could also become the home of toxic mold species that must be abated by a professional.

4. Holes or Leaks

By the time a roof begins leaking, it usually has needed significant repairs for some time. These leaks are sometimes overlooked because they may not start as a torrent of water coming from above. Watch for stained sections of ceiling, peeling ceiling paint, and new mildew growth.

You can also check for holes in your attic space. Any hole big enough that you can see daylight through it indicates a major problem. These holes mean that there’s a problem in every layer of your roof and that the sub-roof, moisture barrier, flashing, and shingles may all require replacement.

If you notice any combination of the warning signs listed above, begin planning to have a new roof installed to protect both your home’s interior and exterior.

Is your roof showing irreversible signs of wear and tear? Have a reputable roofing contractor from Burke’s Roofing assess the damage, remove your old roof, and complete your roof replacement.

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Best Roofing Options for a Rainwater Collection System

If you’re worried about the safety of your water supply, you may wonder whether supplementing your home’s public water system with purified or distilled rainwater can be a good way to ensure you always have a backup source of fresh water.

While installing a rainwater collection system can provide you with a great deal of water, the purity of your final product will largely depend upon the roofing material with which it will be in contact before being funneled to your filtration system. Read on to learn more about some of the best roofing types to have when it comes to installing a rainwater collection system, as well as what you’ll need to get started.

What Roofing Types Are Most Conducive to a Rainwater Collection System?

Unless you have lead or asbestos shingles or parts of your roof are in disrepair, your roof is likely a workable option for a rainwater collection system—regardless of whether it’s composed of rubber, asphalt shingles, cedar shake shingles, or sheets of aluminum or steel. However, if you’re already considering a new roof, it can make sense to focus on one of the few types of roofing material that pass along the lowest levels of contaminants to rainwater that flows over it.

Galvanized metal roofs, like aluminum or steel, tend to minimize the amount of contaminants that wind up in your final product. However, a metal roof that isn’t properly maintained or is only washed once every few years may have years of built-up particles from auto exhaust, fertilizer, and other airborne pollutants that can settle onto hard surfaces.

New asphalt shingles can also be a good option when it comes to rainwater collection—because the surface of these shingles is uneven, it can be more difficult for them to become coated in soot or dirt particles like flatter roofing surfaces. Any stray pieces of asphalt that wind up in your rainwater should be easily spotted and filtered out. Keep an eye out for wear and tear on these shingles, as the quality of water you’ll be able to retrieve can take a dive once your roof begins to show its age.

What Will You Need in Order to Install a Rainwater Collection System?

Rainwater collection can be as simple or complex as you like—from a rain barrel at the bottom of your downspout to a dedicated set of gutters and pipes designed to funnel fresh rainwater into a filtration or distillation system. In general, regardless of the type of system you use, you’ll want to discard the first few gallons you collect after each rain to ensure that any debris, chemicals, or other contaminants on your roof have been well-rinsed before you get to your usable water.

In most cases, you’ll want to purchase some galvanized aluminum gutters and downspouts to connect to your rainwater collection barrel, as this type of metal (as long as it’s regularly cleaned) is shown to have the lowest levels of fecal coliform bacteria as compared to other roofing materials. Even if you don’t already have a galvanized metal roof, making the other components of your system metal will reduce the amount of filtration and purification you’ll need to perform on your rainwater before drinking or cooking with it.

Regardless of whether you’ll likely need a new roof before installing your rainwater collection system or would simply like to install this system on your existing roof, contacting Burke’s Roofing to survey your needs and recommend your best options can ensure you’ll make the right decision for your needs and lifestyle. We’ll help you decide what to do next for the best quality rainwater collection.