RoofViews

Residential Roofing

How to Pick the Right Attic Vent

By GAF Roof Views

January 10, 2020

How-To Pick the Right Attic Vent | GAF Roofing

How do you pick the right attic vent? The first step is to check out this 60-second video and learn about the 1:300 rule, the difference between intake and exhaust ventilation, and why proper ventilation is so important to get right.

To help calculate your attic ventilation needs, visit GAF Ventilation Calculator.

About the Author

More homes and businesses in the U.S. are protected by a GAF roof than by any other product. We are the leading roofing manufacturer in North America, with plants strategically located across the U.S. As a Standard Industries company, GAF is part of the largest roofing and waterproofing business in the world.

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A couple looks at their home from the ground.
Your Home

How to Conduct a Roof Inspection from the Ground

As a homeowner, it's always a good idea to stay on top of routine maintenance that will help protect your biggest investment—and that includes a regular roof inspection. Catching leaks or damage early can help preserve your roof's longevity and prevent major issues.But getting up on a ladder to walk around on your roof can be dangerous. It's safer to visually inspect your roof from the ground. Read on to learn how to conduct a routine roof check, so you'll know when it's time to bring in a professional.Walk around the Entire PropertyTo see all the angles of your roof, you'll first need to walk around your home, looking up and down. Check for any fallen shingles or debris on the ground or any missing spots on the roof where shingles may have broken off.Using binoculars, look for moss, piles of leaves, algae, or other debris on the roof. If left unaddressed, this debris can damage the structure by trapping moisture, eventually causing it to seep into the sheathing beneath your shingles. After some time, this can develop into serious water damage and leaks.Look for Damaged ShinglesExcessive heat and moisture in your attic, typically caused by inadequate ventilation, may compromise the roof system's performance or even cause shingles to become misshapen or damaged. Loose, curled, cracked, or buckled shingles can leave room for water to seep in and damage your roof's underlayment.If you see shingles that don't look right or are missing altogether, consult a roofing professional. They can help you understand if it's a simple fix or indicative of something larger, meaning it could be time to replace the roof.Check Your Gutters, Fascia, and SoffitNext, look for obvious damage, such as holes, dents, mold, or cracks. Gutters clogged with branches, leaves, or dirt can prevent water from draining off the roof. Also, asphalt shingles contain small, gravel-like granules, and if you see this material has ended up in your gutters, it can mean the shingles are nearing the end of their lifespan. Inspect the downspout to be sure it's clear of debris, too.While you can remove leaves or sticks yourself, hire a gutter cleaning service for a larger blockage. If you need to climb a ladder to reach any part of your gutters, it's best to leave that to an insured service.Peek at the Flashings from the BalconyIf you have a balcony or other way to safely view your roof from above, get a closer look at the flashings. These are the metal components that redirect water from your roof, located around your chimney, vent pipes, and dormers.Flashings are often the most vulnerable areas around your roof and the first to show wear and tear. If they're dented, rusty, or otherwise damaged—or if the caulk is brittle or cracked—water can get into your roof's interior structure and lead to rot.Examine the Attic or CrawlspaceAfter your exterior inspection, head inside. Some hidden roof damage or water infiltration can be seen from your attic. Using a flashlight, look for signs of rotting wood joists, sunlight coming through the joints, water damage on the floor, or any vulnerable spots around vents, skylights, or the chimney. Also check your rafters, insulation, and any other wooden structures for signs of mold, moisture, and rot.Scan Your Home's InteriorSome early signs your roof might be leaking are obvious from inside the house. Look for damp spots near the fireplace, water stains on the pipes that vent your furnace or water heater, dark patches, or peeling paint on your ceilings.When to Go with a ProPerform a visual roof inspection twice a year—in the spring or early summer and again in the fall. Conducting regular inspections helps you get to know your roof and spot any issues immediately.If your roof looks like it's in good shape after your inspection, you probably don't need to call in a licensed roofing contractor. However, if you've seen any worrisome signs of damage or leaks, it's best to book a professional inspection before the issues worsen. A GAF-certified roofing contractor* can make any necessary repairs, so your roof continues to protect your most valuable asset.*Contractors enrolled in GAF certification programs are not employees or agents of GAF, and GAF does not control or otherwise supervise these independent businesses. Contractors may receive benefits, such as loyalty rewards points and discounts on marketing tools from GAF for participating in the program and offering GAF enhanced warranties, which require the use of a minimum amount of GAF products. Your dealings with a Contractor, and any services they provide to you, are subject to the GAF Contractor Terms of Use.

By Authors Wendy Helfenbaum

March 22, 2024

Schoolyard with basketball court and school building exterior in the sunny evening. School yard with
Commercial Roofing

Branching Out into Commercial Roof Maintenance for Schools

Commercial roof maintenance programs are a great way to expand your business and build long-term relationships with school facility managers. You may already be offering commercial roof maintenance services, or perhaps you're interested in branching out. Providing roof maintenance to K-12 schools and universities can be a good source of reliable, ongoing work. But you'll need to consider these facilities' nuances.Schools' Current Roof Maintenance ChallengesIn an educational environment, students' safety and comfort come first. Buildings must be secure and functional, and they must provide an atmosphere conducive to learning. Creating this environment starts with the roof, but this can easily be put off or forgotten about as many school facility managers focus on day-to-day maintenance issues. If students and teachers complain about a lack of hot water or classroom temperatures that are too hot or cold, facility managers swiftly address these issues.However, facility managers should prioritize regular roof maintenance in addition to addressing the most immediate facility concerns. Even something like a small leak from deferred roof maintenance can lead to much larger, and more costly repairs, creating headaches for everyone involved, that could have been avoided.The Value of Commercial Roof Maintenance ProgramsThe roof protects everything inside the school—from books and computers to shop equipment and musical instruments. If a roof leaks, many items could suffer damage. At the end of the day, ensuring a quality roof through regular maintenance not only protects everything inside the building, it can also help extend the life of the roof. Moreover, some roofing system manufacturers may require regular roof inspections to maintain warranties or guarantees. A roof maintenance program can meet this requirement, providing inspection records and evidence that any issues were addressed.How to Develop a Maintenance Program for SchoolsA commercial roof maintenance program for schools isn't much different from what you already do for other commercial buildings. And while regular maintenance inspections can be completed anytime, a neglected roof can often end up requiring repairs that need to align with the school's calendar to plan for minimal disruptions to the students. This can cause inconvenient delays, or date changes that could be avoided with regular inspections and maintenance.GAF Senior Product Manager Benjamin Runyan says that it's important to identify the manufacturer of the existing roofing system to ensure you are using compatible products that won't void the warranty or guarantee. "You want to be looking at this from a maintenance standpoint," says Runyan. "What does the roof look like? How was it built? How have they been maintaining it?"To start, Runyan recommends that you inspect the entire roof system and document its condition with photos and notes. Pay particular attention to the more vulnerable areas, such as seams, fasteners, flashings, edge metal, drains, and gutters. Look for cracks, missing roofing materials, evidence of ponding water, or of birds or other animals, and signs of moss or algae. An infrared scan of the roof can determine if any moisture is present and help pinpoint areas that need immediate attention.Your program should include basic tasks such as clearing debris from drains and gutters, removing leaves or branches, and making minor repairs where existing sealants are losing pliability or are showing signs of deterioration. If you identify larger concerns, you can document that with photos and provide an estimate for the repairs. Also, note how long the repairs should take and what products you'll use.Getting Started with SchoolsPreventative maintenance programs aren't just a benefit to the schools, they can also lead to other school roofing work including re-roofing opportunities. If you're ready to add school commercial maintenance programs to your business plan, GAF has the resources you need to get started. Runyan explains, "Your first step should be talking with your GAF Territory Manager as they will likely already have established relationships with school districts, colleges, roof consultants and architects in your service area."From commercial roofing system specifications to WellRoof® Guarantee Extensions, plus roof restoration options, GAF meets all your needs for stepping into the world of educational buildings.

By Authors Karen L Edwards

March 06, 2024

Contractor installing a residential roof
Residential Roofing

When Is the Best Time to Replace a Roof?

If every day was sunny, mild, and a pleasant 75 degrees, there'd be little reason to wonder about the best time to replace a roof. Of course, not everyone lives in areas with ideal weather conditions, as climates vary greatly across the country.So if a client ever asks, "When is the best time to replace a roof?" your answer will likely vary based on where they live and what each season is like. However, you can share some general pointers in response. Here's what to consider for each season to help answer the question, "when is the best time to replace a roof?"SpringSpringtime is traditionally recognized as the kickoff of roofing season, as outside temperatures begin to warm and activity increases. Thanks to melting ice and snow, it's also the time of year that homeowners may want to have their roofs checked out for damage.While spring offers outdoor temperatures that are more friendly for workers, the season also typically comes with an increased chance of severe thunderstorms (and potentially tornados, depending on the region). Spring is usually a good time to schedule a roof replacement if you just monitor the weather forecast for major events to help reduce the chance of delays.SummerWith spring showers in the rearview, most areas of the country see longer stretches of nice weather during summertime, which lends itself well to working outside. Accordingly, summer tends to be the most ideal time for installing a new roof.But with potentially hot days, when is the best time to replace a roof in the summer? Workers will need to start as early in the day as possible because temperatures are usually cooler in the morning. Depending on the forecast temperatures, the job may need to be spread over a few days, so most of the work can be done in the morning hours before it gets too hot. It's also wise to remind customers that workers will need to have breaks in the shade and access to water to stay hydrated.FallThe autumn months can be an equally good time for a roof replacement as summer, as the hot and hazy days have passed, and severe weather isn't as common. The only exception to this is if you're working in an area prone to hurricanes. Hurricane season runs through the end of November and can cause project delays.In addition to the favorable weather, fall is a popular season for roof replacement because many property owners want to fortify their homes and buildings with a new roof before the winter months.WinterIn some areas of the country, it may be possible to continue roofing installations year-round, including during the winter. In southern regions, for example, roofing replacements can often be completed in the winter, as there's less chance of inclement weather. Temperatures may drop, but not as drastically as in areas that see ice and snow more regularly. Of course, it's still important to reference the relevant local forecast when scheduling upcoming work.Sustained stretches of very cold weather does not constitute suitable weather for the installation of asphalt shingles. All self-sealing shingles must be exposed to warm, sunny conditions for several days before they completely seal. Before sealing occurs, shingles are vulnerable to blow-offs and wind damage. Shingles installed in fall or winter may not seal until the following spring. Shingles that are not exposed to direct sunlight, adequate surface temperatures, or that are not fastened or installed properly may never seal. Failures to seal, blow-offs, and wind damage under these circumstances result from the nature of self-sealing shingles, and are not covered under most manufacturer's warranties. Be sure to follow the manufacturer's instructions for proper installation. While most provide guidance about cold weather installations, it will ultimately be up to you to exercise discretion about when to move forward with an installation vs. postponing the work until more favorable weather conditions are present.Other Factors That May Affect Project TimingWhile weather is likely the leading factor that can disrupt scheduled roofing work, if you want to best answer your client's question of "when is the best time to replace a roof?" you'll need to take other factors into account when setting timeline expectations for property owners. One such consideration is the lead time needed for materials. If your customer chooses an uncommon color or a specialty product, it may take longer for materials to arrive.Another factor to weigh is your own backlog. If your production calendar is booked weeks out, clearly communicate the timing to your customers with the knowledge that weather events could impact the schedule. Regularly communicating with customers and setting accurate expectations are key to a positive experience.Looking to learn more roofing best practices and further expand your knowledge base? Check out GAF's CARE Contractor Training Center to help build your skill set and receive valuable training.

By Authors Karen L Edwards

February 12, 2024

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