Re-roofing isn’t really a glamorous home improvement but it’s certainly a necessary one. If you’re planning to re-do your roof consider these upgrades that will make your roof look better, function better and last longer.
If you have a chimney, install airtight caps. Unlike masonry and metal chimney caps that are designed to keep rain, birds and other small creatures out of your chimney, airtight caps are about saving energy. Whenever your fireplace isn’t being used, the warm air from inside your home literally gushes out the chimney during cold weather. With an airtight chimney cap you can eliminate this, it also has the added benefit of keeping animals from nesting inside your chimney. Ask your roofer about the possibility of installing one.
You might want to spend a little extra to have an eave flashing installed, especially if you’ve experience damage from ice dams. Membranes are applied prior to shingling to a depth of about 2 feet inside the exterior wall plane. They self-seal around roofing fasteners, forming a watertight seal over the eaves. Bituminous eave flashing may also be used for other vulnerable roof areas, such as over valleys and around skylights.
If they aren’t properly ventilated attics turn into furnaces in the summer. That buildup of heat radiates to rooms beneath the attic, making them uncomfortable. To keep your attic cooler, have your roofing contractor install ridge vents across the top. They allow air movement beneath the ridge cap shingles. A cooler attic means your home will be more comfortable during the summer and you won’t have to spend a fortune on air conditioning. For ventilation to be effective, soffit vents located under the eaves draw cooler air into the attic as hot air is going out. Gable vents, which are located near the roof peak of exterior walls, may also be needed to ensure adequate airflow.
Choose energy efficient shingles. Light colored or white shingles use to be the recommendation for a cooler roof but it’s not appealing to many home owners. Most people prefer the new reflective shingles that come in assorted colors, from popular slate to wood tones. The granules reflect the sun’s radiation and also quickly reemits a lot of the absorbed heat.
While having your home re-roofed, it might also be a good time to scrap your old gutters and install new ones. Gutters with built-in curved hoods are designed to be maintenance-free. They are specifically designed to prevent clogs and unsightly stains due to gutter overflow. This means you don’t have to go through the hassle of climbing ladders to try and clean the gutter.