With more than 60% of Americans owning their own homes, roofing repairs and improvement projects are in high demand. Many people are now working remotely from home, and the desire for better home maintenance is increasing.
Contractors looking to help their clients enjoy a strong roof, and a little extra peace of mind, should familiarize themselves with the best techniques and tips. This guide can help you find the information and inspiration you need to make a sturdy roof.
Common Roof Hazards
When it comes to roof damage, there are two primary culprits. Firstly, there are environmental dangers such as prolonged UV radiation, high winds, and excess moisture.
Secondly, there are poorly built roofs that cannot withstand ordinary day-to-day hazards. While it can be nearly impossible to battle the elements, it is entirely possible to learn and practice improved roofing techniques.
Doing so could help your clients enjoy a stronger and more durable roof. Well-designed roofing could also increase a property’s value, resulting in a more lucrative form of compensation for contractors.
Additionally, contractors and roofers can mitigate these issues by investing in high-quality roofing materials. While building materials may have been relatively limited in the past, there are now thousands of options available that extend beyond shingles.
And while you might not be able to stop the sun from bleaching a roof’s shingles or snow from corroding roofing seams, you can help counteract these environmental factors by investing a little extra time and energy into known trouble spots.
How to Create a Strong Roof
Learning how to create a strong roof begins with a blueprint. This doesn’t necessarily have to be a physical blueprint, at least not a first. But starting a roofing project with a well-defined idea or concept is crucial to designing the strongest possible roof.
Still, planning is only the very beginning step to the roofing process. To make a strong roof, you may want to:
- Start with a roof framing plan
- Compare your potential building materials
- Consider any design or engineering challenges
- Opt for reinforced joints and framing
- Alter the surrounding landscape
- Invest in superior attic and roof ventilation
- Ensure that there’s an adequate layer of insulation
- Protect gutters from harmful debris build-up
- Focus on reinforcing flashing
- Provide clients with consistent roofing maintenance and repair
By following these steps, you can ensure that any roof remains in optimal condition throughout the years. Homeowners and residents are bound to enjoy the benefits of a strong, long-lasting roof that never poses pricey repairs or health hazards.
As a roofing contractor, it’s crucial to invest in the best possible techniques and tools. Word of mouth is a powerful form of advertising, especially for small business owners.
By investing in the best roofing strategies, you could help your business thrive and grow. Without further ado, let’s take a closer look at how each of the above steps can help you build a better, sturdier, and more satisfying roof.
1. Start With a Roof Framing Plan
When you’re tackling a roofing improvement or installation project, you’ll need to start with a plan. Be sure to compare any existing plans or blueprints with your own ideas, and always keep your clients involved in this planning process.
By sharing ideas and potential designs, you and your client can ensure that you both end up with a satisfyingly strong and stylish roof. It may also be worthwhile to contact a structural engineer for assistance during the planning phase.
Still, clients may be more eager to discuss roofing materials than converse about angles and heights. As such, it’s a great idea to have a few roofing options available for clients to choose from.
2. Compare Materials
Every homeowner has a unique vision of their ideal home. It’s important to listen to your client’s ideas and be able to shift your own pre-existing plans to meet those new demands. Being familiar with many types of roofing materials can help.
Before settling on asphalt shingles, be sure to mention metal roofing options. Depending on your inventory and experience, you may also want to let your clients know about clay tiles, slate, and solar options.
3. Consider Engineering Challenges
You may need to balance your client’s ideas and desires with more practical engineering challenges. While it is vital to keep your clients satisfied, you may also need to consider any potential design flaws inherent in the provided blueprints.
If you haven’t already contacted an engineer for assistance, this may be the best time. A professional engineer will quickly be able to identify any weak areas or potentially destructive issues.
Completing this step could help you and your clients save tons of time and resources.
4. Opt for a Reinforced Roof
If you’re building a roof from scratch, you may want to suggest that your clients opt for a reinforced roof. This is especially helpful for homeowners living in coastal areas that may be prone to tropical storms or hurricanes.
A reinforced roof often has additional beams, trusses, and supportive joints. It can be more costly than a traditional roofing option, but it is often far more durable.
Additionally, a reinforced vaulted roof has a classic charm and appeal that may attract clients and homeowners. Combining an attractive design with a well-manicured property can help inflate any property’s initial value.
5. Alter Landscaping to Help
It is easy to forget just how impactful the environment is on a roof. Nearby trees and buildings can affect how much sunlight hits a roof each day and how much rain and snow end up making a home up there.
Perhaps more importantly, nearby trees could leave tons of dead and decaying vegetation on a roof each year. Without consistent cleaning and maintenance, this usually spells disaster for a roof. Mold, mildew, and pests love a leaf-strewn roof.
Consequently, it’s a fantastic idea to alter a property’s landscaping to help ensure that there are no overhanging limbs or branches. Doing so just might save homeowners hundreds of hours in chores and thousands of dollars in maintenance.
6. Invest in Superior Ventilation
Though the purpose of a roof is to provide shelter and protection from the elements, it shouldn’t be a pressurized box of air. A strong roof should be able to breathe slightly, which is why ventilation is crucial.
Warm air rises, and it often needs a place to escape. Always check to ensure that your roof has enough exhaust vents to keep beams and shingles from bowing outward due to trapped air.
Intake vents can help cool air sink into the roof and attic, balancing this exchange of air from the interior and exterior of the home. Plenty of insulation can help homeowners and tenants enjoy improved air quality.
Insulation may also help to lower central heating and cooling costs.
7. Don’t Skimp on Insulation
While it is important for a roof to have proper ventilation, it’s just as essential for it to have excellent insulation. These two ideas might seem to conflict, but they actually work in tandem with one another.
Ventilation keeps the roof from air pressure damage. Insulation helps to keep a roof safe and protective, ensuring that residents don’t suffer from temperature fluctuations, moisture problems, or ceiling leaks.
8. Protect Gutters from Debris
Gutters can be destructive when they’re allowed to fill up with dirty leaves, dead twigs, and tons of bacteria or mold. Dirty gutters can lead to structural and foundational issues in a home, pest problems, and interior mildew build-up.
Because gutters are in close proximity to a home’s roof, they can also contribute to expensive and unpleasant roofing repairs and replacements. Fortunately, you can install gutter guards to keep your home’s gutters safe from excess debris.
The benefits of gutter guards include less DIY home maintenance, fewer necessary professional cleanings, longer-lasting gutters, reduced pest problems around the home, and a prettier property.
9. Double-Down on Flashing
Be sure to check all of the flashing for signs of wear and decay. The seams on a roof tend to be prone to multiple forms of damage, so it’s crucial to ensure that all joints and edges are properly protected. If necessary, apply flashing to weakened areas.
10. Offer Consistent Maintenance
Always offer your clients maintenance services after completing a roofing project, repair, or upgrade. While they may reject your offer, they may also be glad to know that you’ll be there to help their new roof enjoy a better and longer life.
Annual roofing maintenance could mean the difference between an enjoyable summer at home and a sweaty, hellish few months trapped in the house. Be sure to let clients know about the benefits of roof maintenance and upkeep.
You may also want to contact previous clients within a day or two of a large storm. Storm damage repair is often something that homeowners struggle with, especially when dealing with multiple forms of property damage. Your services could help.
Enjoy the Benefits of Durable Roofing
Making a strong roof doesn’t have to be a costly or complicated challenge. By starting with a smart roofing plan, you can avoid a significant amount of frustration. It’s also wise to shop around and compare various roofing materials.
As a roofer, you’ll also need to consider the various engineering challenges involved in reinforcing a roof. Ensuring that there are no overhanging tree limbs or vegetation can also help keep a roof in tip-top condition.
Still, ventilation and insulation are as crucial as ever to maintaining and creating a durable roof. Protecting gutters from excess debris can also keep materials in good condition for a longer amount of time. Lastly, you’ll need to check flashing often.
Consistent maintenance is essential to any roof, so always offer bi-annual and annual diagnostic and repair services to clients. They’ll be sure to enjoy the lowered heating and cooling costs, reduced mold and mildew issues, and sturdier home.
If you’re interested in learning more about home repair and maintenance, be sure to check out our blog now!