Understanding the Complexities of Your Ann Arbor Roof

If you had to choose a system in your house that absolutely cannot fail, it just might be your roofing system. A good roofing system not only protects your home from the elements, it also protects and increases the value of the largest investment most of make in our lifetimes. In fact, according to a cost vs. value report published in Remodeling Magazine in 2013, a new roof can increase the value of your home by an average of nearly $12,000. A new roof, it would seem, might just be the one update that’s really worth making if you’re planning to sell your home in the next few years!

Climate Demands

Given the extremes in Ann Arbor’s weather — hot summers, an average yearly snowfall in excess of 4-1/2 feet, cold winter temperatures with lows consistently below freezing, seasonal wind and rain — a really good roof in Ann Arbor isn’t a luxury — it’s a necessity!

The Curb Appeal Factor

An older roof that no longer matches a newly sided or painted home or a roof that’s showing its age has a huge impact on curb appeal, and it’s not a positive one! Whether you’re looking for sharp contrast, a mellow blending of colors, or just a roof that coordinates nicely with your home’s exterior and style, the sheer variety of roofing choices available today all but ensure you’ll find exactly what you’re looking for.

Here are a few things to consider when deciding on roofing colors and materials …

  • Light-colored roofs tend to keep a house cooler inside, which is why they’re perfect for climates with more warm weather than cold.
  • In contrast, a dark-colored roof will keep a home warmer, and will also absorb sunlight to help melt accumulations of snow and ice.
  • Neutral colors like tans, creams, browns, grays and clay colors, are safe choices that will stay in style for many years and will also help to ensure a good resale value.
  • If you’re looking for a look that’s a bit trendier, consider shingles that mix tones of the same color, such as browns or grays, or a mix of coordinating colors such as blue, black and gray.
  • Remember, high-contrast roofs will highlight the features of your home, while low-contrast colors are better if you’re looking to downplay defects.
  • Consider the other homes in your neighborhood and the colors of their roofs. You don’t have to match anybody’s roof, but you do want to make sure your isn’t going to look odd or out-of-place in the neighborhood.
  • Consider your home’s architecture when choosing a roofing material. For example, a Mediterranean style (Italian, Spanish or French Country) will look best with a tile roof.
  • Consider a metal roof if you plan to be in your home for a long time. It’s considerably more expensive up-front, but it all but ensures that you’ll never need another roof again! Snow and ice slide right off a metal roof, and they’re available in a variety of colors to match, contrast or coordinate with your home’s exterior.

Your Roof is a System of Parts that Work Together

Most of us, when considering our roof, think of it as simply a shingle-covered expanse that covers our house like the lid on a box, keeping what’s inside protected from the elements. In reality, your roof’s shingle-covered deck is actually the largest component in a system of parts that work in orchestration. Below is a partial list of the components that make up a roofing system …

  • truss (the roof’s “skeleton”)
  • rafters (part of the truss; the beams that run from the top to the bottom of the roof)
  • decking (the material that covers the rafters, and to which the roof covering — shingles, tiles, metal panels, etc. — are attached)
  • underlayment (the heavy material — sometimes known as “tar paper” that goes under the roof covering as a moisture barrier)
  • drip edge (edging at the end of the roof to keep water from affecting the sides of your home)
  • fascia (trim that covers the rafter end of the eaves; this is the area where the gutter system is attached)
  • soffit (a finished underside of the eaves covering the area between the ends of the eaves and the house)
  • valley (internal angle formed where two sloping roof planes meet)
  • flashing (pieces of metal used to prevent water from seeping into seams at roof intersections, around vent pipes and chimneys, etc.)

As you can see, a roofing system is far more complex than a simple waterproof “lid” covering the top of your home!

How to Know When Your Roof Needs Replacing

It may look okay from a distance, but upon closer inspection, you may notice some of the following signs of damage …

  • missing, curled or damaged shingles
  • water damage (especially if it’s affected the decking or the rafters)
  • leaks/holes
  • missing flashing
  • wear and tear (missing protective coating)

Depending upon the extent and severity of the problems an inspection reveals, you may find that repairs will be enough, but in the case of an older roof with a deck that’s been shingled over several times, a new roof is often the best option. And speaking of inspections, it’s best to leave a roof inspection to a professional who’ll know what to look for, and who’s got the training to navigate safely on a steeply sloped, high surface! That leads to the next consideration: How will you choose an Ann Arbor roofing contractor you can trust to give you an honest appraisal of your roof’s condition, instead of one who’ll exaggerate problems simply to sell you a new roof when it may need a few key repairs instead?

How to Choose an Ann Arbor Roofing Contractor

Given the climate demands of the region, you’ll ant to be sure that your Ann Arbor roofers have plenty of local experience under their belts. You’ll also want to check their credentials and certifications. A2 Roofing knows that there’s plenty of competition in the Ann Arbor region, which is why we’ve taken pains to ensure that we remain heads and shoulders above our competitors. How do we do that? By offering our customers the following reasons to choose A2 Roofing for their Ann Arbor roofing repairs or replacement …

  • We use only the highest quality materials.
  • Every professional in our company is industry trained and certified in using GAF and Certainteed products and techniques (a distinction given to only a handful of the best roofers in the business)
  • We guarantee our work — both labor and materials. Your new roof will stand the test of time, or we’ll replace it for free. Every roof we install is guaranteed to stand up to whatever the Ann Arbor weather has to offer — without leaking!
  • We don’t take forever to complete your roof. (There’s no showing up for a few hours and not returning for a few days or a week.) We know what we’re doing, which is why we finish most roofs in just a single day.
  • We offer 24/7 emergency service. So if your current roof starts leaking during of a middle-of-the-night thunderstorm, we won’t make you wait until “regular business hours” for help.
  • A2 Roofing’s fully licensed and insured owner is on-site, and ready to answer your questions and offer assistance any time. (You won’t find that in many other area roofing companies!)
  • We’re versatile. No matter if your roof is on your business or on your home, and no matter what its style or materials, we can repair or replace it.
  • We offer free inspections and estimates. No strings attached. Really.
  • We’re insurance claim experts, so you won’t have to sweat figuring out how to fill out a lengthy and often confusing insurance form on your own. We’ll help you through the process to ensure that you receive reimbursement for repairs or replacement as soon as possible.

So if you’re considering a new roof for your Ann Arbor home or business, or you just need reliable, expert repairs, contact us at A2 Roofing today!