WEST MICHIGAN ASPHALT ROOFING

The most popular material in the business, asphalt roofs are a sensible, affordable, and durable option for your home.  At Werner Roofing we repair, replace and install all varieties of asphalt roofs.  If you’re looking for a new roof, or you need to replace an old one feel free to give us a call today! 

We specialize in GAF roofing materials:

Werner Roofing is proud to be among the top 3% of roofing contractors that hold the prestigious Master Elite certification.  As the only Master Elite roofing company on the West Michigan lakeshore, we take our craft seriously by providing our customers with top-of-the-line roofing materials manufactured by GAF.  GAF has been in the business for more than a century, and continues to produce the most reliable and durable asphalt roofing materials.  With four distinct types of shingles, GAF offers a protection level perfect for both your home’s aesthetic and climate.  Visit the GAF website for more information on their expanse of products and lifetime warranties.

OUR FREE ROOF INSPECTION

How do you know if you need a new roof? You might get another year out of your current roof or it might not last through one more summer. The only way to truly know if you need a new roof is to have a licensed professional come to your house and inspect your roof. Every Werner Roofing inspection comes complete with our promise: “We won’t recommend or sell a roof replacement unless it’s necessary.” 

What are the benefits of Asphalt Roofing?

Affordable – The number one advantage to an asphalt roof is the cost savings.  Perhaps the most affordable type of roofing material, an asphalt roof won’t set you back all that much, even with the cost of installation.  This is because shingles are easily mass produced, and are made of relatively inexpensive materials.  

Durable – If installed correctly, a typical asphalt roof will last anywhere from 12-20 years before it needs to be replaced.  If you live in a milder climate, and you’re vigilant about maintenance, it’s quite possible your asphalt roof could last even longer.

Look and texture – Another benefit of an asphalt roof is the great variety of color and texture you have to choose from.  You can pick shingles in almost any color possible, and there are often many different textures available to fit any type of home aesthetic.  

Sound protection – An often forgotten benefit of an asphalt roof is its ability to muffle noise.  Whereas a metal roof is likely to echo with precipitation, an asphalt will absorb most of the sound of any precipitation or wind that hits your home.  

Ease of installation – One of the reasons asphalt roofs are so inexpensive is because they are relatively simple to install.  Any roofing contractor should be able to put it together, and if you’re an experienced DIYer, you might attempt it yourself, though that’s not always recommended.  

Low maintenance – Asphalt roofs are fairly low maintenance since they are so durable, and because lost or broken shingles are easy to replace in the event of high winds or storms. Leaks are also a fairly simple fix with an asphalt roof.  

Light Weight – Though it’s not the lightest option, asphalt is much lighter than many other roofing materials, and is compatible with most home structures.  Unless your house is very old, or already has an existing roof, an asphalt roof is neither too light nor too heavy for the structure.  

 

Types of asphalt shingles

There are two different types of asphalt roofing shingles, fiberglass and organic.  While they are both asphalt on the top, exterior portion of the shingle, they differ on the mat, or backside portion that holds the shingle together.  Organic asphalt shingles are generally made of some organic material, like paper or wood, while fiberglass shingles are made of a fiberglass composite.  So, what’s the difference?

  • Organic
    • More common in colder climates, since they contain slightly more asphalt and handle the cooler temperatures better.
    • Slightly more durable, again because they contain more asphalt.
    • A heavier option than fiberglass, which means they will stay put in a high-wind area, but can a poor option if your roof is not as structurally sound.
    • A little bit more expensive, depending on which variety you end up going with
    • Can curl if exposed to rapid temperature changes
  • Fiberglass
    • Fiberglass shingles contain less asphalt, which makes them a more environmentally conscious option.
    • They tend to be lighter weight, because they contain less asphalt than the organic version.  Oftentimes, this can lower the cost of installation.
    • Slightly less expensive, again depending on which specific type of shingle you go with.
    • Fiberglass shingles have a higher fire-rating than organic shingles, which makes them well suited to warmer climates.  
    • Unfortunately, fiberglass shingles aren’t as durable as organic shingles since they don’t contain as much asphalt.
    • Fiberglass shingles aren’t as well suited to cold climates.  

 

How to maintain your asphalt roof:

The best way to make sure your roof lasts is to properly maintain it. That’s why it’s important to check it out after every harsh storm, and thoroughly inspect it about twice a year.  If you fix small issues regularly, they won’t turn into larger issues, and you’ll enjoy a much longer lifespan on your existing asphalt roof.  You might also consider having your roof inspected annually by a professional. They’ll be able to quickly and effectively repair minor damages, and tell you what needs to be done to keep your roof in tip-top shape.  Here are a few things you can do yourself to make sure your roof lasts:

Check for debris – Over time, leaves, sticks, and other debris can accumulate on your roof.  It’s a good idea to check for, and remove this, as it encourages water to pool, which can lead to greater damage.  Generally, this type of debris will collect in areas that project from your roof, like your chimney or your HVAC unit/pipes, so check there first.  

Check flashing – Usually, there are strips of metal or aluminum placed over the joints in your roof; these are called flashings. The areas of your roof with flashing are major culprits for leaks, so check these regularly to make sure they don’t have any holes, and water doesn’t seem to be seeping through.  

Check for moss and algae – In very damp or humid climates, it’s possible that moss or algae will grow on your shingles.  These tend to deteriorate asphalt shingles, so try to gently remove them if you can, or install zinc or lead strips to prevent them from growing. An experienced professional may also be able to come out and clean your roof for you.

Check gutters – No one likes this task, but it does have to be done. Unless you have a clog-free gutter system like LeafGuard, you should clean your gutters twice a year. Leaves, twigs, and other debris can build up in open gutters, which clogs them, and causes water to overflow. This overflow can damage your siding, as well as the foundation of your home.

Check shingles – It’s also a good idea to check your roof for broken or missing shingles, and fix them up with a bit of roof cement. One or two defective shingles are easily replaced, and it’s much less work to fix a couple now, rather than a large part of your roof later.  

Check surrounding area – You should also check to make sure that there aren’t any branches or limbs hanging over your roof.  If there are, carefully cut them back to avoid excess leaves falling on your roof, and any potential damage that could be caused by falling limbs.  

 

When should you replace your Asphalt roof?

No matter how proactive you are, and how much maintenance you do, unfortunately, your roof is going to wear out eventually.  Believe it or not, it’s often more cost effective to replace your roof rather than continue to make repair after repair.  You just have to know when the costs outweigh the benefits.  Here are 7 ways to tell that your roof might be ready for a replacement:

  1. It’s more than 20 years old – If your roof is more than 20 years old, it’s probably time to talk to a professional. Most asphalt roofs have a lifespan of 12-20 years, so if it’s older than that you’re starting to push it.  If you don’t at least get it inspected, you risk greater problems like structural damage and interior water damage.  
  2. Shingles are curling or missing – If multiple shingles are missing, or many shingles have begun to curl, it’s a good sign that you need a new roof.  Exposure to the sun and changing temperatures can cause shingles to curl, and high winds can blow some shingles right off.  If it’s only a few, you can probably manage a small fix, but if the damage continues or becomes more extensive, you should consider re-roofing.  Missing and curled shingles can lead to serious leaks.  
  3. Granules are missing – If your shingles look a little funny, are different colors in some places, start to seem patchy, or if you see little granules in your gutters, you should be thinking about a roof replacement.  The granules on the shingles of your roof keep the elements, like rain and hail, from getting inside your home.  When they begin to wear off, your house is susceptible to leaks, and therefore water damage.  
  4. You see leaks in your ceiling – If you’ve noticed some brown spots in your ceiling or in the attic, there’s a good chance that your roof is leaking.  Usually, by the time you notice the leak in your ceiling, water damage has already begun.  If it’s just one tiny leak you might be able to get by with a simple repair, but if it’s any bigger than that, a replacement might be the best option.  
  5. You can see sunlight – You’re not supposed to see sunlight from the inside of your roof, ever.  If you look up, and notice a hole, or multiple holes, you should get your roof repaired, right now.  The whole point of a roof is to keep the elements out, and a roof with holes won’t get that job done.  The next time it rains, you’re going to be a victim of water damage, which can lead to even more serious problems.  
  6. The whole roof is sagging – If you notice your roof sagging, call a professional right away.  This is a sign of serious structural damage.  Usually, it means your home has some large-scale water damage, and needs to be attended to by a professional roofer.
  7.  Neighbors are getting new roofs – A lot of times, homes that are built in the same area are built around the same time.  If you notice a few of your neighbors working on re-roofing projects, it might just be time for you to follow suit.  

 

How to know whether to repair or replace:

When you encounter damages to your roof there are a few aspects you’ll want to consider before you decide if you should just concentrate on minor repairs, or replace the entire roof:  

Age – How old is your roof?  Is it relatively new, or is it reaching the end of its life?  Remember that most asphalt roofs last for about 12-20 years, so if you’re at year 17 and need some serious repairs done, it might just be better to have the crew replace the whole thing while they’re out there.  

Cost – You’ll have to break down the cost-effectiveness of continuing to replace an older roof vs. starting over with an entirely new roof.  Consider the repairs you’re likely to have to perform in the next five years, and if it seems like you’ll have many, or if they’ll be expensive repairs, it might be time to get a new roof.  

Method – It’s also a good idea to know how you’d go about your new roof if you decided on one.  Would you layer another asphalt roof on top of the existing roof? Or does your home already have two layers?  If it has two layers, you’re required by the government to strip the roof and start over, which is likely to cost a lot more.  In this case you might attempt to string the existing roof along for a little while longer.  

 

In the end, it’s a good idea to talk to a roofing professional when you’re making the decision to re-roof or just repair.  At Werner Roofing we’re always happy to answer any questions you may have. 

 

FREE ROOF INSPECTION & QUOTE

If you’re considering a new roof, the first step is to have us come out for a FREE inspection. This will allow us to evaluate your current roof and give you estimates on your options.

REQUEST FREE QUOTE

ASK A ROOFING QUESTION

Do you have a roofing question? We’re here to help. If you are confused or would like information about our products or service just send us a message and a representative will get back with you shortly.

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