West Michigan Asphalt Roofing
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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.
Get a Free Roof Inspection
How do you know when it’s time for a new roof?
The only way to be sure of your asphalt roof’s current condition is to have a licensed professional personally inspect it. Werner Roofing is proud to offer free roof inspections for every client, so you can be sure of your roof’s condition.
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?
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 & 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.
Ease of Installation
Asphalt roofs are fairly low maintenance since they are so durable. 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.
Types of Asphalt Shingles
There are two different types of asphalt roofing shingles, fiberglass and organic. While they both contain 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 difference does it make for your roof?
ORGANIC ASPHALT SHINGLES
- 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 be 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 fluctuations.
FIBERGLASS ASPHALT SHINGLES
- Contain less asphalt, making them more environmentally conscious.
- Tend to be lighter-weight 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.
- Have a higher fire rating than organic shingles, which makes them well suited to warmer climates.
- Not as durable as organic shingles since they don’t contain as much asphalt.
- They aren’t as well suited to cold climates.
How to maintain your asphalt roof
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 them, as they can encourage 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 these areas first.
Most asphalt roofs have strips of metal or aluminum placed over the roof joints — 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 & algae
No one likes this task, but it does have to be done. 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. You should clean your gutters twice a year, or have a professional take care of them for you.
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
When should you replace your asphalt roof?
No matter how proactive you are, and how much maintenance you do, 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 a few ways to tell that your roof might be ready for a replacement:
- It’s more than 20 years old – If your roof is more than 20 years old, it’s time to talk to a professional. Most asphalt roofs have a lifespan of 12-20 years. If you don’t get it inspected, you risk problems like structural damage and interior water damage.
- Shingles are curling or missing – This is a sign that you need a new roof. Exposure to sun and changing temperatures can cause shingles to curl, and high winds can blow shingles right off. Missing and curled shingles can lead to serious leaks.
- Granules are missing – If your shingles look funny, are different colors, seem patchy, or you see granules in your gutters, you should consider a roof replacement. When granules begin to wear off, you’re more susceptible to leaks and water damage.
- 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. By the time you notice the leak in your ceiling, water damage has already begun.
- You can see sunlight – If you notice a hole (or holes) in your ceiling, you should get your roof repaired right now. The next time it rains, you’re going to be a victim of water damage, leading to more serious problems.
- The whole roof is sagging – This is a sign of serious structural damage and means your home probably has large-scale water damage.
- Neighbors are getting new roofs – Homes built in the same area are generally built around the same time. If you notice your neighbors working on re-roofing projects, it might be time for you to follow suit.
How to Know Whether To Repair or Replace Your Asphalt Roof
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.
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.
You’ll have to break down the cost-effectiveness of continuing to repair 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.
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 Roofing Estimate
Planning some work on your roof? Is your roof in need of repair? Werner Roofing can help. Contact our roofing team for a free estimate for your upcoming roofing project.
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