Close-up of home with Fiber-cement siding, a GAF residential building product

Residential building materials

Solutions for your residential construction projects

Building materials for your residential needs

Close-up of fiber-cement siding

Fiber-Cement Siding

Specially designed to replicate the look of classic siding.
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Close-up of ductwork by GAF

Ductwork

More than 300 different items for appliance, bathroom, and other ventilation projects
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Ventilation building products by GAF

House Fans and Ventilation

Products that help ventilate homes and attics
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24 inch Master Flow Whole House fan

Master FlowTM Whole House Fan 24" ‑ Direct Drive

Pulls cool, fresh air in and helps force hot, moist air out, and includes 24” aluminum shutter and 2-speed pull-chain switch

Related Blog Post Row - Residential building materials

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

Roof intake vent
Residential Roofing

5 Common Installation Mistakes When Venting Attics

Roof vents form the base of a home's attic ventilation system, helping it breathe while preventing roof system damage year-round. That's why it's important to understand how the various components work together to create a balanced, effective attic ventilation system. Here are five of the most common ventilation installation mistakes—as well as how to avoid them. 1. Placing Intake Vents Too High or Exhaust Vents Too Low A balanced attic ventilation system draws in fresh, cool air at the lowest part of the attic space and exhausts warm, moist air at the highest point. If either of these vents are placed incorrectly, they reduce the entire attic space's exposure to continuous air flow, reducing the overall system's effectiveness. If an exhaust vent is placed too low on the roof, or if two exhaust vents are stacked, one of the vents might then act as intake and disrupt—or short-circuit—the airflow through the entire attic space, reducing how effective it can be. Make sure that the intake vent is placed at the lowest possible point of the roof (usually at or near the soffits) so that it lines up with the lowest part of the attic space. Exhaust vents should always be placed at the highest possible point on the roof (at or near the ridge) which typically aligns with the highest part of the attic space. 2. Mixing Exhaust Products within the Same Attic Space Installing two or more different types of exhaust vents within the same attic space can also short-circuit proper airflow. When this happens, some of the exhaust vents may act as intake vents, restricting airflow to only the part of the attic space underneath those exhaust vents. Mixing exhaust products could also allow weather or debris to infiltrate the home. If the wrong type of vent for a specific roof design is installed, that can lead to mixing products. When a ridge vent is installed on a hip roof with very little ridge line, for example, it may not provide enough exhaust for the attic space. When this happens, another exhaust fan such as a roof louver or a power vent will be added to boost the ridge vent. However, doing this can lead to problems. A best practice is to install one type of exhaust vent on the attic space that is able to meet the exhaust NFVA (net free ventilating area) requirements, allowing the air to flow continuously throughout that attic space. 3. Cutting the Ridge Vent Opening Too Long Sometimes, a ridge vent might be installed across the entire ridge because it looks good, but there's no need to cut open the entire ridge air slot below the vent. Cutting an opening that's too long could lead to too much exhaust, disrupting the balance of the entire ventilation system. Check that the opening of the ridge air slot matches the amount of exhaust NFVA required for a specific attic space. For example, if an attic space requires 288 square inches of exhaust and you're using a 4-foot plastic ridge vent with 18 sq. in. per lineal foot of NFVA, then only 16 ft. of the 40-ft. ridge should be cut open. Always open the ridge air slot according to the required exhaust NFVA for the attic space, and then balance that with the same amount of intake NFVA. 4. Clogged or Blocked Intake Vents Even when intake vents were correctly installed, they may become ineffective over time if the outside portion becomes clogged with paint, dirt, dust, or even spiderwebs. Vents may also get blocked from the inside if the attic insulation is installed over the vents. Keep the intake vents clean by removing any debris that may have accumulated over time. If necessary, use attic baffles to keep insulation away from the intake vents. Don't forget to check that a hole has been properly cut in the soffits to allow air to enter the intake vents. 5. Having Missing or Inadequate Intake Intake is arguably the most important part of an attic ventilation system. When there is inadequate intake—or none at all—an exhaust vent may not function properly. Static exhaust vents like ridge vents or roof louvers hinge on adequate intake, but the same also goes for powered exhaust vents, which will have to work too hard to pull air through the attic space, resulting in the premature failure of the power vent's motor. Always check that you have a balanced attic ventilation system with the proper amount of intake and exhaust ventilation for the attic space being ventilated. For more information and tools to calculate the amount of ventilation products needed for your attic roof vents, visit gaf.com/ventcalculator.

By Authors Wendy Helfenbaum

January 25, 2024

Roofer working on a roof
Residential Roofing

Securing a Roofer Salary for a Competitive and Worthwhile Career

The roofing industry can provide a reliable and rewarding living with potential for growth. As the industry faces an unprecedented labor shortage, pay rates are increasing, and the industry has expanded offerings for training and certification programs to elevate roofing practices across the board.How Much Do Roofers Make?A roofer salary will vary based on a number of factors, including whether the work is residential or commercial. Residential roofing is more straightforward and can usually be completed in a short time.Commercial roofing, on the other hand, may require more specialized training. The jobs are also much larger—sometimes lasting weeks or months, depending on the size and complexity of the roof.The US Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that in the top five states with the highest employment level in roofers, the average annual salary ranges from $42,000 to $63,000. Depending on where in the country you work as a roofer, the annual salary can be as high as $87,000 per year. In 2022, the median roofer salary was reported to be $51,910 annually or $24.96 per hour.What Makes Roofing a Rewarding Career?The roofing industry can deliver a rewarding career with plenty of opportunities for advancement. Being able to work outside every day with amazing views from the rooftop inspires many craftsmen to consider a career in roofing. Often, workers start as an installer and then advance their way up to roles with more responsibility such as project manager, superintendent, estimator, or sales. Some even go on to start their own roofing companies.Working in the roofing industry is typically stable. According to the US Census Bureau, there were roughly 144 million homes across the country as of July 2022. Every one of those homes has a roof that will need to be replaced at some point. On the commercial side, the Commercial Buildings Energy Consumption Survey estimated in their most recent report from 2018 that there are 5.9 million commercial buildings in the US. These commercial buildings will require regular maintenance, repairs, and eventually a new or restored roofing system.What's Elevating the Modern Roofing Industry?Working in roofing was not always seen as a professional, reputable line of work, but organizations like the National Roofing Contractors Association have worked hard to elevate the reputation of the industry. They have established the Training for Roof Application Careers (TRAC) program to provide training for commercial and residential roofing installation as well as prepare workers to become successful foremen and managers.In addition to the TRAC training program, the NRCA has started a ProCertification® program that allows experienced roofing installers to demonstrate their knowledge and skills and become certified in the installation of specific roofing systems.How Can You Get into Roofing?If you think that a career in the roofing industry might be a good fit for you, there are plenty of opportunities. In the past, many installers could only learn on the job. Today manufacturers, including GAF, offer programs that prepare workers to enter the industry.The GAF Roofing Academy is held in locations across the country and offers one- or two-week hands-on training programs that arm you with the skills you need to start your career in the roofing industry. Learn about the experience from recent graduates, and explore upcoming courses in your area.

By Authors Karen L Edwards

January 12, 2024

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