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Choosing the Most Fire-Resistant Roofing Material for Your Home

In 2018, nine million acres of U.S. land were destroyed by over 58,000 fires, according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). This includes 18,137 residential dwellings and 229 business buildings burned, with California suffering the most property loss. In recent years, a growing emphasis has been placed on developing fire-safe housing and building design due to the numerous wildfires and destroyed structures.

Homes in states like California and Nevada are prone to wildfire damage. So if you live in the area, you might want to consider fire-resistant roofing for your home.

This article will compare the best fire-resistant roofing materials so your property can be secured and withstand wildfires.

How is Fire-Resistance Measured?

So how can you tell if a roofing material is fire-resistant? The roofing industry uses three standard ratings: Class A, B, and C. If you're only looking for fire-resistant roofing materials, materials that are unrated or have not attained any of these ratings' minimum standards should be avoided.

The highest fire resistance grade is Class A. Roofing materials with this grade can withstand intense fire exposure. Although Class B and Class C roofing materials are available, you don't have to settle for less. Several reasonably-priced choices meet Class A grades, so you don't need to break the bank.

6 of the Best Fire-Resistant Roofing Materials 

If you're looking for the best fire-resistant roofing materials to consider, we've rounded up the top picks for your convenience.

Metal Roofing

One great example of fire-resistant roofing material is metal roofing, which won't burn in a fire, and while it can eventually melt, very few fires can reach temperatures high enough to cause this. Not all metal roofing systems are made to the same standard of quality, so ensure the particular metal roofing system you select passes the Class A testing.

In the short term, metal roofing is an expensive choice but less costly in the long run. These roofing systems have a 40 to 70-year lifespan. They also offer various color and aesthetic options in metal alloys, including zinc, copper, steel, and stainless steel. (Related: The Different Types of Metal Roofing Materials for Your Home)

Concrete Tile Roofing

If you prefer the look of tile, concrete is a fantastic fire-resistant roofing material to consider. Compared to other tile materials, concrete tiles are more cost-effective, weather-resistant, and non-combustible. Additionally, concrete tiles are available in a vast array of hues, finishes, and forms. Concrete offers more customization options than slate or clay if you want a unique roof look.

Clay Tile Roofing

Clay is not as heavy as slate but is similarly made using organic, inflammable elements. It is famous for Spanish-style architecture as well as other structures with a Southwestern or mission theme. This material is flame-resistant, but just like other roofing alternatives on this list, it's crucial to ensure the particular tile components you've selected are Class A fire-rated. Fire embers can enter via any holes between the tile and the underlayment.

Clay tiles are generally not as long-lasting as the other roofing materials we've discussed. It can be challenging to find a roofer that can work with the material because they can be difficult to install. And although they are more affordable than metal roofs, they will require replacement sooner.

Asphalt Shingles

Although asphalt is a petroleum-based material, shingles can be a fire-resistant roofing option. Asphalt shingles with fiberglass backing offer some fire protection– primarily when used in conjunction with fire-resistant underlayment.

Today, you'll find plenty of asphalt shingles with a Class-A fire resistance certification on the market. As a result, you can select practically any of them and receive excellent fire protection. Although shingles are not as effective at fending off the fire as metal roofs, you will probably be delighted with their performance. If they fall in, it's pretty improbable that they will catch fire or contribute to one.

Additionally, they have several advantages over metal and other roof kinds that you might like. They come in far more shapes and colors and are more cost-efficient upfront. They are also easier to install. (Related: Are Shingles A Good Roofing Material In Portland?)

Slate Tiles

Another example of fire-resistant roofing material is slate tiles. Since slate is a rock, it has a strong flame resistance and is unlikely to melt or distort in the presence of extreme heat. As a roofing material, slate has a lot of drawbacks. It is difficult to install, expensive, and heavy. However, homeowners with older homes or who prefer an aristocratic design could benefit from this choice.

Synthetic Roofing

Lastly, another fire-resistant roofing material is synthetic roofing. Durable synthetics or composite shingles and tiles can be produced to resemble wood, asphalt, or natural tile, and they have highly reflecting qualities that can lower the cooling costs of your home. They are also made of eco-friendly components like polyurethane. So if you're looking to make greener choices to make the planet better, this choice is for you.

Synthetic roofing is an immensely versatile choice that can be used on any property. Like metal roofing, it is available in various styles and colors.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it really possible to have a fire-proof roof?

Your roof serves a variety of vital purposes. It acts as the first line of protection for your home or business property against the wind, sun, precipitation, and other environmental hazards. To maintain the overall infrastructure integrity of your building, your roof will be crucial. An attractive roof also helps increase the value of your curb appeal, which is a great bonus.

However, does a fireproof roof exist? Unfortunately, there is no such thing because even materials that are not flammable can still warp or melt when exposed to the extreme heat of a raging fire.

What is the difference between fireproof vs. fire-resistant roofs?

While a fireproof roof may not be realistically possible, a reliable fire-resistant roof is something that can be achieved. Nowadays, various fire-resistant roofing materials are readily available to give you excellent fire protection for your property, home, and the important people your roof covers.

How are roofing materials rated?

All roofing materials that may be used to install a roof on your home have been evaluated for their ability to resist fire. The rating system is relatively straightforward and ranges from A to C. "Class A" is the highest rating, which refers to the most fire resistance, and can endure extreme fire exposure. The following rating is "Class B," which indicates moderate exposure, and the lowest rating is "Class C."

Why should you choose fire-resistant roofing?

Wildfires frequently occur in states like California, Nevada, New Mexico, and Colorado because of the occasionally dry weather (particularly during the summer.) The result was the establishment of the Wildland-Urban Interface (WUI) Code by the US Forest Service. The WUI, as defined by the Forest Service, is the meeting of residential areas and wildlands, and it was designed to lessen the risk of wildfires spreading from the forest to populated areas.

Using specific types of construction products for residential structures is one of the measures the WUI takes to stop wildfires from spreading. One such product is fire-resistant roofing materials, which may significantly slow the spread of wildfires and protect urban areas from more severe destruction. WUI-approved fireproof roofs are resistant to ignition during a wildfire and are also resistant to the entry of fire embers and fire radiation.

What Are the Common Roofing Problems You Shouldn’t Ignore?

Given that your roof protects your home from the elements, including sweltering heat and intense snowstorms, it must be able to withstand any weather. However, roofing issues are inevitable. Your roof will inevitably show signs of wear and tear regardless of how resilient it was when it was installed. As such, you must fully understand any potential roofing problems before they arise. Once you spot any issues, take action to fix them ASAP.

If you overlook the tell-tale signs of roof damage, this may result in serious problems that can be costly and damage your entire house. Let's go through some common roof issues so you'll know what to do and how to address them.

15 of the Most Common Roofing Problems

Let's get started.

1. Roof Leaks

We talk to homeowners daily; the most frequent roofing issue they report is roof leaks. Numerous roof problems, such as cracked shingles, inadequate insulation, and poor ventilation, could cause leaks. These leaks are typically found next to vents, pipes, gutters, flashing points, and the chimney. (Related: The Most Common Causes Why Your Roof is Leaking)

Pro tip: The best way to find a roofing leak is to inspect the attic thoroughly. Use a flashlight to search the attic for water stains, mold, or dark spots. If the ceiling is vaulted and you can't access the attic, it is best to hire a qualified roofer to handle it with their expertise.

Other indications of roof leaks include water stains or mildew. And if you notice water dripping down your walls, your roof most likely leaks. Request a thorough assessment from an expert to confirm the leak if you see any tell-tale signs.

2. Improper Roof Ventilation

Poor (or improper) ventilation in the attic can also become a roof problem– as it increases the heat that builds up, damages the sheathing and shingles, and eventually cause the roof to fail. Improper ventilation can result from several factors:

  • having spray foam insulation and a ridge vent
  • having a ridge vent and an attic fan
  • too many intake points (gable vents, soffit vents, etc.)
  • having a ridge vent where there should be an attic fan on a hip and ridge roof
  • using a ridge vent when an attic fan would be more appropriate

Additionally, inadequate ventilation raises the internal temperature of your home and causes moisture to build up in your attic. This damages your shingles by forcing them to blister and crack. Additionally, it can contribute to ice jams in the winter, which can compromise building stability and safety. Have a contractor examine your ventilation system to avoid or resolve these problems.

3. Damaged Flashing

In case you're unfamiliar with what flashing is, it is a piece of plastic or metal sheeting that is used to protect the folds of skylights and chimneys. It also protects the pipes that let the air out from under your roof. If this flashing material breaks or comes loose– water and other moisture can get into the fixtures. Check all the places where there is flashing. If any of it is broken, replace it with a new one.

4. Faulty Roofing Materials

Another common roofing problem involves faulty roofing materials. This involves tiles that weren't put on right, broken shingles, or some materials that flew off in a storm. And when roofing materials get damaged or moved, it affects the roof's strength and causes many problems.

Even a high-quality roof installed correctly will wear down and break over time because of extreme weather conditions. Some roof parts don't last as long as the shingles and must be replaced partway through the roof's life. The longer you wait to fix broken shingles, the more likely you'll have more profound problems, like rotting sheathing. With that said, call a professional roofer to look at the roof and fix any problems before they worsen.

5. Water Damage

Standing water on your roof (after it rains or snows) can lead to mold or mildew. This can eventually damage your roof and cause leaks or structural damage.

Important note: Standing water can get through small holes or weak spots in your roof and cause a leak. This problem happens more often on flat roofs, but every type of roof needs good drainage. A professional contractor should check your roof regularly to help you avoid leaks and other long-term problems.

6. Shrinkage

All roof materials can shrink, but it happens more often on roofs with synthetic rubber membranes or other roof coverings. Cracks or tears in the flashing or shingles are often signs that a roof has shrunk. Most shrinkage can be avoided with a proper installation by a professional, combined with regular checks and maintenance.

7. Poor Installation 

Hiring local roofers without enough expertise can cost you money in the long run. Poorly installed roofs are a common cause of mold, short life spans, and problems that last for a long time. You might save some money initially, but taking this risk will cause much trouble. Since installing a roof can be dangerous if you don't have experience, it's best to hire a reliable roofing contractor to do it for you.

8. Pest Problems

Homeowners often find it annoying to deal with pests, but when they damage your roof, it can lead to dangerous situations. Pests can get into chimneys and make nests there. When you want to use your chimney, the nests make it hard (if not impossible) for dangerous gases to leave your home. Carbon monoxide and smoke will fill the room, and too much of either can put your health at risk.

9. Improper Repairs

If your roof needs fixing, you should always hire a trusted professional with the proper certifications and expertise. Repairs that aren't done correctly cost even more money and make your home unsafe for you and your family. You should always go to a reputable company if you need to fix your roof.

10. Freezing Damages

If you live where ice and snow are constantly falling on your roof, it may not last as long as the roofs in other regions. Water from melting ice doesn't run off fast enough because it melts slowly. This can look like water that has stopped moving and seeped under the roof, causing several problems.

Even worse, when it's cold, water that gets under the snow can freeze when the temperature drops. When water freezes, it gets bigger and pushes against the shingles. This makes a hole that more water can get through. And around the time it gets warm, you'll have many problems with your roof.

11. Poor Maintenance

Roof maintenance is crucial, but many homeowners don't know it. If you don't do routine maintenance, minor problems you don't notice can grow into big, expensive ones. (Related: Roof Maintenance Tips for Portland Oregon Homeowners)

Schedule a roof inspection at least once yearly to ensure your roof is well taken care of. If you live in an area with heavy rains or winds that happen often, you should also have your roof checked afterward. Get in touch with a local roofing contractor to set up regular maintenance. Pros also say that you should check your roof every 8 to 12 years.

12. Broken or Missing Shingles

When your shingle's sealant wears off, it may tend to lose, break, or come off ultimately. Force of nature, rodents, or wear and tear are the common causes of a damaged sealant. It is expected for your shingles to begin tearing off, depending on your roof's age.

13. Damaged Roofing Materials

These might include the likes of shingles, tiles, nails, and sealants. A roof's deterioration is caused mainly by nature, so routine maintenance is the best option. Some problems must be discovered quickly before they develop into more severe ones.

For instance, holes may allow moisture to leak into the roof, damaging it. Roof materials that shrink can crack and deteriorate, and the flashing may come apart.

14. Clogged or Defective Gutters

Defective or clogged gutters can cause leaks around the roof's edge and water backups that may eventually seep into the eaves and cause them to rot.

When constructing or replacing your roof, ask a roofer to install a drip edge to avoid this problem. Cleaning your gutters regularly and installing gutter screens, which may stop blocked drains, are other ways to prevent troubles. Check for potential gutter problems such as decay, corrosion, or cracks if your gutters are clean but still overflow with water.

Although clogged gutters can first appear like a minor issue for the roof, they have the potential to result in leaks and costly structural damage eventually.

15. Tree Damage

Damage from fallen branches is one of the most frequent issues people encounter with roofs. You would assume that only large branches could harm your roof, but tiny components can also erode the top layer of your roof if they come into touch with it and brush against it repeatedly.

Trimming your tree branches before they reach the roof is the best solution in this case. If the tree poses a severe threat, remove it and replace it with another tree. This is especially important if you live in an area prone to strong winds and storms.

Roofing Guide: What Are the Most Common Types of Roof Flashing?

Your roof is more than just the visible shingles you see at first glance. At a closer look, you'll see it is composed of different parts and pieces that all work together to shield your family from harmful elements.

One of these crucial roofing components involves roof flashing – a thin material commonly made of galvanized steel that's designed to direct water away from specific areas. Without it, you will be more prone to roof leaks which can be costly, messy, and time-consuming. (Yikes!) Today, let's learn the different types of roof flashing and the materials used.

11 Common Types of Roof Flashing

As previously mentioned, roof flashing is a thin metal material designed to redirect water away from specific areas of your roof. This includes chimneys, roof valleys, and walls. That said, here are the most common types of flashing for roofs:

1. Step Flashing

Step flashing takes on a rectangular shape with a 90-degree bend in the center. It is typically applied to chimneys and wall sides. It functions by inserting a metal piece (flashing) under each shingle installed directly up against the side of a wall to prevent water from draining into it.

True to its name, "step" flashing is installed by placing a shingle, a piece of flashing, another shingle, and a part of flashing until you've covered the wall thoroughly. In short, numerous parts will be fitted as layers under the shingles.

2. Continuous Flashing

Continuous flashing is also known as "apron flashing" since it acts similar to one. Water is directed down to the shingles underneath through a single, long piece of metal.

3. Base Flashing

Chimneys are one example of a roof feature that needs two flashing sections. To send rainwater downward, it must always meet a flashing surface. Keep in mind that flashing installation around a chimney is particularly challenging.

4. Counter Flashing

Counter flashing is commonly positioned either above or the opposite of base flashing. Like step flashing, counter flashing is usually applied to walls and chimneys. The flashing is sawed into an existing mortar joint, and the metal extends over the top of the brick.

It is occasionally installed using a step-by-step process, just like step flashing. So, how do you tell the difference? Simple. If it's flashing that is visible– it's counter flashing.

5. Skylight Flashing

Some skylight manufacturers also offer flashing along with their products, while others may require you to make or buy it separately. If you plan to install skylights at home, knowing your options in advance would be best.

6. Vent Pipe Flashing 

Vent pipe flashing (used to seal ventilation pipes and other protrusions) can aid with draught exclusion and also helps avoid leaks.

7. Apron Flashing

You'll often find an apron flashing at a wall or a penetration's base. It has an L-shape and can be up to 14 feet long to accommodate the standard base size. It is often utilized around dormers to keep water from entering into windows.

8. Valley Flashing

Your roof's exposed valleys are protected by metal flashing since they are a crucial part of the roof. Valley flashing is commonly put in place around open roof valleys (where two differently sloped sections of roof meet). It prevents debris buildup and directs rainwater off the roof.

9. Drip Edges

Drip edges refer to a thin metal flashing at the roof's edge. It allows water to trickle down the roof without causing harm to the house or creating an annoying leak that could lead to further consequences. (Related: What is the Difference Between a Drip Edge & Gutter Apron? We Help You Figure Out)

10. Kickout Flashing

Generally, contractors need a means of bridging the space between the end of the step flashing and the start of the gutter. Water is directed away from the wall and into the gutter using kick-out flashing.

11. Cap Flashing

Like counter flashing, cap flashing is a type of roofing flashing that offers perpendicular protection to overlap another flashing. You can usually find these installed around chimneys.

Roof Flashing Materials

Most roof flashing types are made of thin metal material. Here are the three most common metal materials used for roof flashing:

  • Aluminum roof flashing ─ Aluminum material is known to be accessible, easy to work with, and lightweight. However, if aluminum flashing is used with brick and concrete, it will need coating. Uncoated aluminum reacts and degrades when it comes into touch with alkaline surfaces.

  • Copper roof flashing ─ Copper flashing is malleable and takes soldering well. Also, it tends to be quite durable and has a longer lifespan. Depending on the homeowner, there can be some discoloration in the patina. This is often found around chimneys.

  • Steel roof flashing ─ Steel flashing is considered the most frequently used option for roof flashing. It has a unique aesthetic appeal, aside from being bendable and corrosion-resistant after being galvanized.

  • Sealant ─ Another essential component of roof flashing is the sealant. Historically, roofers nailed the flashing to the roof, but roofing cement is most frequently used today. Roofing cement is typically preferred over nails since it can occasionally cause issues with inflexibility, preventing the roof from expanding and contracting in response to changing weather conditions. Building codes may specify a particular sealant material. We recommend consulting with your roofing contractor to protect you if the material is forbidden.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is roof flashing important?

Roof flashing is just as important as replacing or installing a new roof. Besides being essential to home improvement procedures, it is also a key factor for good roof maintenance, mainly because it protects the roof deck and structure. 

How does roof flashing protect my home?

Flashing prevents water from entering your home and protects the roofing materials. That said, water can quickly enter your home without it. Apart from the damage to the appearance, it can also cause severe problems in your home interior and expenses.

The main reason behind most roof leaks is the improper installation of flashing. Water damage to your roof deck or any other materials used to build your roof structure is often caused by improper flashing, which allows water to infiltrate underneath your shingles quickly.

Why should I repair a roof flashing leak?

These are the things you must look out for: (1) cracks and dents that are noticeable, (2) rust or corrosion, (3) growing mold or mildew, (4) damaged fascia board, (5) damage caused by water, and (6) missing pieces or nails.

These signs will be more noticeable on the exterior or siding of your walls. Look out for any mold growth, water stains, or paint bubbles. Corrosion and rust buildup clearly show a need for roof flashing repair or replacement. Materials can easily break down and bend because of rust. This will only lead to more roof flashing replacement and higher repair costs.

How much does roof flashing cost?

The cost for roof flashing may vary depending on many factors, such as: (1) type of flashing and materials used, (2) difficulty of installation, (3) scope of damage and labor, and (4) flashing damage location.

For instance, using aluminum is less costly than using steel sheet metal. It will be less expensive to repair or replace the vent or valley flashing than to step-flash the whole roof. The price range for chimney and skylight flashing is $250 to $600. On the other hand, the amount of step flashing you would require would depend on the project's scope.

Other things to keep in mind are tools, labor, and miscellaneous fees of the home improvement process, including transport and material accessibility. It can cost you between $100 to $700. However, it will still likely depend on your roofing professional's assessment.

The Different Types of Metal Roofing Materials for Your Home

The popularity of metal roofs continues to rise – and for a good reason. This roofing material offers low maintenance, easy installation, and impressive durability.

So if you're considering a metal roofing installation, keep in mind that several metal roofing materials are available today. Now, there's no need to be overwhelmed. We've prepared this article so you can easily understand your options. (Related: Metal Roof Types: Choosing the Best Type for Your Roofing Project)

What Are the Different Types of Metal Roofing Materials?

Regarding the different types of metal roofs, remember that the term "metal" may refer to several materials – including aluminum, copper, steel, and zinc.

Each metal roofing material has its own pros and cons, especially in terms of appearance, cost, and longevity.

Aluminum Roofing

Aluminum roofs are notably lightweight, corrosion-resistant, and suitable for coastal environments. The lightness of this metal roofing material is one of its most distinctive features. Nonetheless, it is highly durable. It has a higher strength-to-weight ratio than other popular metal roofing types in the market. So, you can expect the same strength (or more) without using a heavier material that's difficult to work with. It also offers easy maintenance, impressive longevity, and different appearances.

Here's what you can expect in aluminum roofs:

  • Corrosion-resistant
  • Lightweight
  • Malleable

The downside is that some environmentalists do not recommend using aluminum roofs, as it requires tremendous energy in its production. But, if you're removing an old aluminum roof– it can still be recycled to breathe a new life into it.

Copper Roofing

Copper roofs are known to be very long-lasting. Over time, it also develops a protective layer that changes in color. But, it can be rather expensive. Copper roofs are easily distinguishable thanks to their striking, unique aesthetic. The copper changes color after a while, from looking like a brand new penny to a brown or blue/green patina. Note that this patina color will vary depending on the environmental conditions this roofing material is exposed.

Many homeowners choose a copper roof for its uniqueness. Since it develops natural variation in color over time, you'll have a roof that will stand out from the rest! Lastly, copper is known to outlast most other metal roofing materials. So, it can last up to 60 to 100 years more than its counterparts. You can count on a copper roof to stand the test of time.

Metal or Steel Roofing

Metal or steel roofs are considered the most common type of metal roofing available in different finishes. Generally, metal roofs are constructed from steel– a heavier material than aluminum. Some homeowners also refer to metal roofs as "steel roofing," made from different materials (such as alloy, iron, and other elements).

Steel gauge may impact its overall durability and performance. Fortunately, it is available in different gauges. Thin gauges are more cost-effective and are used for low-end corrugated and ribbed metal roofing panels. For many years, steel roofs were exclusively used on commercial buildings. But today, metal roofs are also a popular choice for residential construction.

Zinc Roofing

Zinc roofs also come at a cost (like copper), but it is known to be a long-lasting metal roofing material. It will also develop a patina that changes color over time. Zinc roofing can be linked to copper roofs, as it has a gorgeous appearance that develops a patina and changes color after some time.

Nowadays, zinc roofing panels are already pre-patinated or yet to develop a protective layer that changes the look of zinc. Zinc roofs are more common in Europe due to their high aesthetic appeal. In the United States, most homeowners opt to consider other metal roofing types that aren't as expensive.

Tin Roofing

Tin roofs are no longer used today. If anyone mentions "tin roofing," it mainly refers to steel roofing material. Though tin roofs are no longer used today, we'll include this metal roofing type in this list for reference.

The material has been used for roofing as early as the 70s and the 80s. It became a favorite metal roofing option due to its lightweight properties, making it easy to install. But due to the rise of aluminum material, the tin roofing option eventually started to decline in popularity. That said, a tin roof is rare to find nowadays. The next time someone mentions they're considering installing a tin roof– they are most likely referring to a metal or aluminum roof.

Final Thoughts

If you're confident with your metal roofing project due to its signature look, appeal, and easy maintenance– there's no need to be overwhelmed with all the options available!

Now that we've rounded up all the famous metal roofing material picks you can consider, you can start weighing its pros and cons to select the best one for your needs. It always pays to do your research ahead of time as a metal roof is one significant investment. (Related: The Pros & Cons of A Metal Roof In Portland)

Frequently Asked Questions

Does a metal roof cost more than a standard roofing material?

You should expect your new roof to cost around two to three times as much as an asphalt shingle roof because metal roofing is a high-end home product. A metal roof, however, costs about the same as tile or cedar shake roofing. It is likely for you to pay less for a metal roof if your current roof is slate.

How much longer will a metal roof last than asphalt or wood shingle?

A metal roof should last at least two to three times longer than a typical roof. In general, expect a metal roof to last 30 to 50 years or longer because they may usually be repainted rather than replaced. To put it into perspective, an asphalt roof typically lasts 12 to 20 years. Depending on your area's weather conditions and the roof's pitch, that lifespan may be shorter. Asphalt, made of oil-impregnated paper or fiberglass, starts to deteriorate as soon as it is exposed to normal weather conditions. However, a metal roof will never rot.

Are metal roofs environmentally friendly?

Yes! Metal better reflects solar radiation than other roofing materials, keeping your home cooler in the summer. Metal roofs are also the ideal base for installing solar panels if you're seeking different ways to lessen your reliance on energy.

Will metal roofing improve the appeal of my home?

There are several different panel profiles available for metal roofing. When using metal, a huge variety of design appearances can be achieved. You can also utilize low-profile panels or high slim rib panels to create eye-catching shadow lines and unique designs for your home.

How will a metal roof affect my property insurance?

One of the few kinds of roofing that can reduce your insurance costs is metal. Due to metal's resistance to fire, termites, and other pests, many insurers will give you a preferable rate if you have a metal roof.

Can metal roofing be installed over my existing roof?

Yes! Depending on the gauge, metal roofing weighs less than 1.6 pounds per square foot. In most cases, it won't overload already installed roofs. Usually, asphalt or fiberglass roofing can be installed directly over metal roofing. In some cases, the existing roof also provides additional insulation.

Will a metal roof make my home hotter?

No. Metal roofs can cool your home. Our premium metal roofs are coated with a reflective material that deflects solar heat away from your home. They lower the temperature in your attic and cut your energy costs by up to 20% annually. Metal roofing cools down your home while asphalt shingles make it hotter, especially in the summer.

Can I walk on a metal roof?

Yes, you can. A metal roof is durable and long-lasting and endures foot traffic better than a shingle roof. Just make sure to wear slip-resistant shoes if you decide to walk on your roof. Additionally, it's better to avoid going out on it if it's wet or icy and instead call a skilled professional for assessment.

The Most Common Causes Why Your Roof is Leaking

Dealing with a leaking roof is never fun. If anything, it can be a hassle-filled experience that will drain your time, effort, and money. So once you notice visible leaks on your sealing, you may want to determine the root cause to find the correct fix for the problem at hand.

This sounds ideal than scrambling to find the nearest bucket to catch the water and avoid puddles. That said, let's get to the most common reasons behind why a roof leaks! (Related: What Are the Most Common Causes of Roof Leaks?)

12 Common Causes of Roof Leaks

Knowing the most common causes of roof leaks is crucial so you know how to avoid dealing with the problem and how you can address it.

Broken Shingles

First on our list are broken shingles, which are among the most common culprits behind a leaky roof. Fortunately, shingles are easy to assess by a layperson since they are immediately visible.

Whenever a major storm or strong winds hit your home, always check the integrity of your shingles.

Broken Flashing

Eventually, the tarring that secures your shingles together is subject to wear and tear. If your roof leaks, opt to check the flashing around the leak source. Since it is susceptible to roof leaks, always make sure it is adequately sealed by checking visible cracks from time to time.

Pipe Boot Failure

Similarly, a boot that goes around a pipe is also prone to eventual failure. Note that the term “boot” refers to a roof flashing that surrounds the base of your roof pipes to make them waterproof. This can be made of different materials such as copper, lead, and plastic. Its primary role is to prevent water from following the pipe down the roof and making its way inside your home.

Unfortunately, pipe boots do not last as long as your roof’s life span. It is expected to last for ten years, but this may change depending on external factors (location of your home, weather conditions, etc.)

Attic Condensation

During the winter months, condensation in your attic can become an issue as the outdoor temperature is lower than the indoor temperature in your home. Once the warm air finds its way into the attic and cools down rather quickly– this can result in condensation. Condensation may eventually lead to roof leaks and mold, incredibly so when overlooked.

One good way to avoid condensation-related problems is to regularly keep a close eye on your attic’s insulation and ventilation system.

Improperly Driven Nails

Another common cause of roof leaks is when your roofing nail starts to back out of a shingle. We’re talking about nails that aren’t driven securely in place– as this may cause the head of the nail to go back up through the shingle. If it rains, the head will catch the water that will go down your roof and may eventually find its way inside.

Note that roofing nails used on shingles aren’t only the ones at risk. Decking nails may also have a similar problem, especially if it doesn’t hit the wood during the framing construction. Keep an eye out for any nail heads sticking up your ceiling/roof so you can avoid dealing with a roof-related leak.

Clogged Gutters

We get it. The idea of cleaning out gutters seems like a tiresome chore, but it’s a must. Clogged gutters may only result in leaks on your roof. Gutters in a valley (two roof slopes adjoined in a V-shape) allow water to flow down the roof freely.

When there’s no flashing on the fascia board, the board usually found in the roof’s lower edge carrying all the gutters, you are at a higher risk of dealing with roof leaks. When the gutters in your roof valley are clogged with leaves and other debris during extreme rains – leaks may occur.

Age of the Roof

In particular, asphalt shingles are constructed with petrochemical oils– allowing them to expand and contract according to different weather conditions. Since these oils dry out eventually, your asphalt shingles may break, crack, or curl. This means they may lose their water-shedding capability unless they are repaired. If you have an asphalt shingle roof at home, you may want to monitor your roof’s current condition regularly.

General Negligence

Taking good care of your roof helps you avoid common problems like roofing leaks. Keep in mind that negligence may result in extensive damages that may only drain your wallet. Here are some excellent roof maintenance tips to start with:

  • Remove any tree branches that are close to your roof
  • Clear the roof of any debris after strong storms
  • Monitor any signs of roof discoloration
  • Monitor any telling signs of algae, fungus, or moss growth on your roof
  • As much as possible, avoid DIY fixes. Hire a professional to ensure that the right fix will be done.

Chimney Wear and Tear

A chimney can leak in a variety of ways. It may be the metal flashing that is placed under the chimney's shingles. The mortar joints may be the problem if it's brick. If it rains for a few days, the bricks and mortar joints may become so saturated that water may start to leak inside your house, causing damage to the ceiling and walls.

Another possibility is that water is dripping from the chimney's top. For instance, a masonry top can crack due to being wet and freezing. Additionally, a metal top may simply be rusted or have lost some of its holding power. Water can enter the corners of the chimney siding where the siding butts into the corner boards. The planks behind the chimney that you cannot see can rot just as quickly as those boards.

Holes in the Roof

Snow, hail, and strong winds can damage your roof, resulting in water damage. During your routine roof inspection, it's critical to keep an eye out for these kinds of holes and repair them as soon as you notice them.

Ice Dam Buildup

An ice dam is a buildup of ice at your roof's edge. As water accumulates behind the ice dam, these ridges of ice obstruct the flow of water and may allow moisture to enter your home. Ice dams are caused by a combination of snowfall, prolonged below-freezing temperatures, and uneven surface temperatures on your roof, as opposed to many other causes of roof leaks, resulting from poor installation or erosion.

Snow may melt and then refreeze when it approaches the edge of your roof due to several factors that might result in warmer surface temperatures at higher points and colder towards the edges. Ensure all icicles are contained in the gutters, and there is no water gathering behind them. You should also check for any stains along the ceiling or in the attic.

While ice removal may seem simple, remember that shingles can come off with it. Any chemicals you apply (such as calcium chloride) can harm nearby plants and shrubs as they are soaked in the chemical as it drips off the roof. A permanent solution requires addressing the cause of the temperature imbalance. Therefore, removing the ice is only a temporary fix.

Poor Installation

There is very little room for mistakes when it comes to installation since roofing is a specialized profession. Installers without experience or pop-up roofing companies, which are particularly common after storms, will perform substandard work that is often not apparent until the bill is paid and the company has long since gone.

To check the quality of the work after repairs or installation, you can look for a few signs rather than waiting for a roof leak to occur, such as:

  • Materials are poorly aligned
  • The roof surface has bumps or ripples
  • Shingles are damaged or missing
  • Not enough drip edges
  • Not cleaning the leftover debris or garbage
  • Noticeable damage on your home's exterior
  • Using too few or too many nails contrary to the manufacturer's guideline

These are some of the more visible signs that most homeowners are supposed to recognize; if they do, they need to be taken care of immediately. However, doing your research in advance to ensure you choose a reputable company is the best way to avoid sloppy installation. Be sure to always request reliable referrals from your friends and loved ones!

Metal Roof vs. Shingle Roof: Is there a Better Option for the Portland Area?

With various roofing options available in Portland, it can be quite an overwhelming task to choose one that fits your needs. The choice usually boils down to two popular options: metal roof vs. shingle roofing.

Metal roofs will cost more in terms of installation, but they will have easier maintenance in the long run. It is also known for its durability and resilience. Meanwhile, shingle roofs are still considered the most common choice in many Portland homes as they are dependable and cost-effective.

The material you'll choose for your roofing project will not only affect the aesthetic appeal of your home but will also define your long-term maintenance needs and total energy costs per month. Let's take a closer look at the difference between metal roofs and shingle roofing so you can select the better roofing option for your home in Portland.

Metal Roof vs. Shingle Roofing: Which is Better for Your Portland Home?

First, both materials are available in different finishes to complement any home type. Shingles present a classic, traditional appearance, and some are now made to mimic the look of slate, wood shakes, or tile. They do not last as long as metal roofs as the material is prone to algae and fungus and damage brought by cracking and fluctuations in the temperature.

On the other hand, metal roofs are seen as bleak corrugated tin panels– but that is a thing of the past. Today, metal roofs are available in different colors and finish to suit any home. Metal roofs have generous lifespans of about 40 to 70 years, but they can be damaged or dented by extreme hail and other factors.

Metal Roof vs. Shingle Roofing: Average Costs

Since a metal roof is determined to last longer than shingle roofs, this will cost you more in terms of professional installation. You can expect to recoup the total costs in the long run as you won't need to pay for a replacement soon. On average, metal roofs start from $180 to $950 per 100 square feet, while asphalt shingle roofs cost between $150 and $250 for the same area coverage.

Expect higher installation costs when:

  • Your Portland home has multiple stories
  • The roofing is complex (gable roofs or roof areas)
  • You have a roof with a steep pitch
  • Your roof underlayment needs timely replacement
  • You opt for a standing seam-type roof than a shingle or sheet roof
  • You opt for higher-quality metal material (copper or zinc)

Metal Roofing

Many homeowners in Portland, OR, have chosen metal roofs for years. This material remains a crowd-favorite choice thanks to its durability, long lifespan, and low maintenance requirements. This means you won't likely need to shell out cash for a roof repair soon. Metal roofing is commonly made from fusing vertical, metal-blend panels. Today, they are available in different designs and can mimic the appearance of other standard roofing materials.

Commonly, metal roofing is made available in large flat sheets that are folded longitudinally depending on the specific pattern: such as flat seam and corrugated metal roofing. The flat seam metal roofing variety will cost you more regarding material costs and installation, but you can never go wrong with its interlocking seam design. This features fasteners that hold the metal surface to the frame underneath, ensuring stability for long years. (Related: The Pros & Cons of A Metal Roof In Portland)


  • It has a generous average lifespan ranging between 30 to 70 years. Notably, metal roofs are known to last longer than other standard counterparts in the market today.
  • The material is both fire and leak-resistant and has relatively low maintenance. Also, Having a metal roof increases the chances of energy savings for your home.
  • Metal roofs are environment-friendly, as most of their blends are made using recycled materials.


  • During the rainy season, metal roofs can be quite noisy
  • It will cost you more in terms of professional installation
  • The installation process is quite challenging, so DIY attempts are almost impossible
  • The material is heavy, which may present complications depending on the load-bearing capacity of your home

Asphalt Shingle Roofing

Asphalt shingle roofs are considered the most common choice for residential roofing projects in the Portland area. Just ask any contractor or roofing company in the area! Shingles made from asphalt are efficient, cost-effective, and don’t need heavy maintenance on your end. What more can you ask for, right?

Shingles are usually sold in sheets, stacks, or rolls and have a uniform design. They take on a ceramic granular surface and smooth asphalt that's layered over a standard fiberglass base. It is usually nailed onto wooden-framed wood structures. Since shingles are relatively inexpensive, it proves to be a popular choice for homeowners with a tight budget. The material is also easy to install, so you can count on the fact that most contractors are knowledgeable enough to work with them.


  • Relatively inexpensive and widely available
  • It is a durable roofing material for Portland homes
  • Easy to install for most professional roofing contractors


  • No chances for energy savings and it has poor snow retention capabilities
  • This roofing material can be damaged in extreme weather conditions
  • When compared to metal roofs, asphalt shingle roofing has a shorter lifespan

Which Roofing Material is Best for Your Portland Home?

The better roofing material between metal and shingle roofs for your home in Portland can depend on several factors, including your budget, maintenance requirements, and average lifespan. 

  • Maintenance and Care ─ The required upkeep for a metal roof is considerably easier than looking after an asphalt roof, but this will depend on the roof's angle and slope (and whether a professional roofer completed the installation). Ideally, consult with a roofing professional in your area to determine the best maintenance activities you can follow.
  • Lifespan ─ A metal roof is expected to last for half a century (and more). But, depending on the environmental conditions it is constantly exposed to, you can expect about 40 to 70 years of good use with this roofing material. In contrast, asphalt shingle roofs may deteriorate faster than their metal roofing counterparts. Extreme weather, hailstorms, and strong winds may wear your shingle roofs rapidly.
  • Costs ─ Generally, metal roofing costs more per square foot than asphalt shingles, sometimes by a magnitude of two or three.
  • Resale Value ─ Homes with metal roofs typically sell for a little bit more, probably due to the material's longevity and a recent surge in popularity. Homes with asphalt shingles on their roofs often sell for slightly less than comparable homes with metal roofs. However, in most circumstances, a shingle-roofed home's age and maintenance level will have a more significant impact on the property's resale value than the material choice.

Ultimately, a metal roof is an excellent investment for your Portland home if you have a sufficient budget. Not all hope is lost if you're working with a limited budget. You'll find that asphalt shingle roofs are a popular choice in the area as it is reliable and cost-efficient.

We strongly encourage consulting a roofing professional in the Portland area to determine the best material for your home's roofing needs.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can metal roofs be added to shingles?

Metal roofing may be installed on top of shingles. One of the benefits of metal roofing is that it is lightweight. It is, therefore, the perfect material to place directly over an existing shingle roof.

What are some alternatives to consider?

Here are some alternatives that you can consider:

  • Terra Cotta Tiles/Shingles ─ Homes built in hot climates may occasionally benefit from ceramic tile or shingle roofs, which can help to reflect and dissipate heat due to their greater surface area.
  • Green Roof Construction ─ Homes that could support a roof composed of soil that allows for the growth of grasses and small plants are often able to achieve significant energy efficiencies throughout all seasons. The roof themselves frequently require little to no maintenance aside from the upkeep of the structure supporting them.

Will a Flat Roof Work in the Pacific Northwest?

When choosing the best roofing option for your Pacific Northwest home, one front runner is a flat roof. It is increasing in popularity by the day primarily because of its unique look and modern aesthetics. True to its name, flat roofs are laid horizontally on top of your home (with a slight slope). Asphalt and torch are the most common materials for a flat roof project.

Whether you're looking to replace your old roof or install one from scratch, let's discuss whether (or not) a flat roof will work in the PNW areas: Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, and Alaska.

Flat Roofs in the Pacific Northwest: Is It a Good Idea?

Generally, flat roofs are not considered the most suitable for homes in the Pacific Northwest, considering the immense rainfall in the area every year. But this doesn't mean a flat roof is a bad idea. You can expect it to last for decades if you're going with the correct design, proper installation, and construction for your flat roof.

Contrary to popular belief, flat roofs aren't 100% flat. The design has a slight pitch to ensure proper water drainage. If you choose to work with a roofer experienced in installing flat roofs, you can expect that your new roof will drain water well (without the pooling). (Related: A Great Roof Following the Best Standards in Tigard)

Advantages of a Flat Roof in the Pacific Northwest

Flat roofs in Pacific Northwest buildings provide an increased surface area, giving you more storage space and installing various HVAC units. Its aesthetic is also enough to give your home a modern look.

Aside from storage, the increased space can be turned into an outdoor living space extension (garden or patio). Installing a flat roof is also considerably cheaper than standard pitch roofs, as you won't need many building materials.

Disadvantages of a Flat Roof in the Pacific Northwest

Since flat roofs have a low pitch, expect to deal with several water leakage-related problems. One way to get the most out of flat roofs is to opt for seamless material, including PVC, TPO, and rubber membranes.

A flat roof installation project costs less when compared to other roof types– but this doesn't mean you'll save a significant amount of money. In the long run, you may need to spend more on their upkeep, especially in high rainfall areas such as the PNW.

4 Important Flat Roofing Considerations to Keep in Mind

Before giving your flat roof installation project the green light, here are some of the most important considerations to remember.

  • Maintenance ─ You must devote sufficient time (and money) to your flat roof maintenance activities. Unlike traditional pitched roofs, water may collect on your flat roof over time. The last thing you'd want is to let standing water and other debris accumulate on the roof surface, as this may only result in more costly repairs and possibly extensive damage.
  • Cost ─ Installing a flat roof will cost you more than what you'd typically pay for a standard roof installation, as they require more components such as a cover board, proper insulation, and vapor retarders. This makes the roofing Class A fire-rated. Since roofers can easily access a flat roof, this project can be completed fast. They also won't need engineered trusses usually required in pitched roofing projects.
  • More Space ─ Flat roofs provide the additional space you need in your home, which can be great news if your house has drastic or extreme angles. For instance, you can opt to add an entertaining outdoor space such as a rooftop deck or patio.
  • Average Lifespan ─ Flat roofs made of asphalt notably has a shorter lifespan because of their frequent direct water exposure in the PNW area. But, you can count on your new flat roof to last for up to 15 years of good use.

Finding a Reputable Roofer for your Flat Roof Project in PNW

You can never go wrong with going straight to the experts to decide whether or not a flat roof fits your home well. Here are other tips to keep in mind when choosing a local roofing company to handle the project.

  • License ─ Always ensure that your roofer has the proper license (up to date) before permitting them to start with the project.
  • Worker’s Compensation Insurance ─ Roofing companies are required by law to have workman's compensation insurance, but it won't hurt to double-check. This protects any worker who may get injured on your property, saving you from footing the medical expenses.
  • Past Customer Reviews ─ You can always check their past customer reviews if you want to get an idea of how a local company installs flat roofs. This will also help you manage and set your expectations. Consider testimonials indicating unprofessionalism and poor workmanship as red flags.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the most common issues with flat roofs?

If water can penetrate through the roof barrier or membrane covering, this may lead to leak-related problems. It may also damage the insulation and structure underneath it. Be wary, though. The damage can be easily overlooked as it can go unnoticed over time. That's why we recommend consulting a professional roofer to ensure your flat roof installation project is well toward its maximum life expectancy.

What is the best way to maintain a flat roof?

The best flat roof maintenance activities take some time and effort on your end. Ideally, it would be best if you did everything you could to ensure an even roof surface to avoid pooling. If your roof needs better pitch, use roof leveling products such as RoofSlope to fill the lower spots. This allows you to improve the roof's current drainage level and avoid the possibility of leakages. Also, always ask questions about your new flat roof with your roofer. Consult about the annual maintenance requirements to avoid pressing issues such as roof leaks.

Why is there such a drainage problem?

Since there is little to almost no pitch, drainage problems are common in flat roofs. Flat roofs with excellent drainage are primarily because of their large pitch, allowing water to run down the gutters or on the ground. If your new flat roof deals with poor or inadequate drainage problems, expect to deal with persistent leak-related issues eventually. Since the water will only pool on the surface without anywhere to go, it may only drip down from any hole. In the event of heavy rains, you will most likely deal with the headache of leaks until you decide to do something about it.

Why are there low spots on a flat roof?

Another common issue in new flat roofs is having low spots, which can be attributed to the little drainage in the area. Rainwater will only pool into various areas of your roofing. When overlooked, the weight of these puddles will lead to low spots after quite some time. This issue may result in leaks and other problems that require costly extensive repairs. As previously mentioned, opt to fill in the visible low spots on your flat roof as soon as possible. Doing so evens out the roof and prevents the existence of roof holes, the culprit behind puddles and pools.

Why do flat roofs crack?

Unfortunately, flat roofs are notoriously prone to cracks. Though it is constructed with an asphalt layer, it is still directly exposed to the sun daily. During scorching temperatures, the asphalt may crack. Also, the harmful UV rays may wear down the asphalt and other roofing materials on your flat roof. It may cause the roof to split in the long run, requiring new roof coating to avoid further unforeseen maintenance issues.

What is the Difference Between a Drip Edge & Gutter Apron? We Help You Figure Out

The terms drip edge and gutter apron is no stranger to most roofers in the country. But, it can be confusing to some homeowners.

Drip edges and gutter aprons are essential components in a roof system installation. They channel all the water from the attic right into the gutter, maintaining the roof's stability and effectively preventing roof leaks. The only difference is in their different shapes and placements. If any of these aren't installed correctly, this may only pose future problems to your home's entire gutter system.

Now, let's delve into the difference between the two so you can quickly tell them apart the next time.

What is a Drip Edge?

Generally, a drip edge is a T-shaped metal flashing installed on the outer perimeter of your roof to create a watertight seal. It is designed to protect your roof from potential damage such as rotting, preventing moisture from getting in, and directing water away from the internal areas. Remember that a drip edge is not always installed during your home's initial construction. Forty-nine states require a drip edge installation per the International Residential Code (IRC).

Drip edges are available in various colors, the most common being black, brown, and white. You can always opt to match the drip edge color with your roof shingles and gutters if you want a more consistent aesthetic for your home.

Common material types of drip edges:

  • Aluminum
  • Copper drip edge
  • Fiberglass drip edge
  • Galvanized Steel Material
  • House wrap
  • Plastic and Vinyl flashing

Advantages of a Drip Edge

Let's look at the benefits of having a drip edge, primarily in keeping your home in good shape and preventing costly unforeseen repairs.

  • Protection from strong winds and rain ─ Under extreme weather conditions, water is often forced into the corners and cracks on your roof. As the water drops on your metal flashing, there's no way they can directly be reverted into the gutter– unless you have a pump. In contrast, having a drip edge will help you direct the rainfall straight into the gutter instead.
  • Avoids insect infestation ─ A drip edge will also protect your home from possible insect infestation as it covers a gap between the deck and the fascia board. Commonly, this gap is called the void. Various pests can enter your home through the large opening. If they manage to penetrate the wood cavity, it may lead to roof damage.
  • Basement protection ─ Beneath your rooftop, the ground may be prone to water leaks. Installing a drip edge will prevent leakage problems by directing the water straight into the gutter. If water enters the ground and you do not have a drip edge flashing, it may soon find its way into your basement and cause extensive (and costly) damage.
  • Attic stabilization ─ Your roof may become unstable due to heavy rains, ice dams, excessive moisture, and strong winds. But if you have a drip edge, this limits the formation of the ice dam and water movement on your roof's surface. It prevents water from leaking into any cracks otherwise.

Disadvantages of a Drip Edge

The most notable drawback of a drip edge is its strict code specifications. Sometimes, you cannot install it on an old roof edge. It is best to talk to a professional to ensure you follow local drip edge requirements in your area.

What is a Gutter Apron?

Like drip edges, gutter aprons are designed to direct water down the roof edges and into the gutters. What separates them from each other is the shape and material used.

A gutter apron takes on an L-shape rather than a drip edge's T-shape, making it easy to distinguish. This comes in metal strips featuring aluminum and steel sheets, and it is widely available in different colors to fit your home's aesthetic. Popular color trends include bronze, black, and white.

Advantages of a Gutter Apron

Here are some of the benefits to expect in a gutter apron:

  • Exceptional defense ─ A gutter apron keeps the attic from deteriorating before you know it. During harsh storms, your home is in safe hands as it directs the rainwater into the gutter channels. It also protects the roof deck and the fascia as it doesn't allow water from creeping in. For your reference, standard gutter aprons are made from galvanized metal to allow free-flowing water into the gutter.
  • A cost-efficient investment ─ Installing a gutter apron on your roof will also allow you to save up to a few hundred bucks in the long run. Without gutter aprons, your roof will be frequently exposed to various environmental conditions (moisture and water damage), which may only shorten its lifespan. Or, if it leads to cracks and other related issues, you may need to shell out additional cash for a residential re-roofing project. Investing in gutter aprons is a great way to protect yourself from these expenses.
  • Less maintenance ─ The presence of a gutter apron on the roof will mean fewer maintenance requirements on your end. You can count on it to capture the rainwater and re-direct it to the gutters– instead of allowing it to penetrate the inside of your home. Suppose you do not have a gutter apron (or a drip edge) at home. In that case, you will need to manually collect the rainwater from your attic and clean it afterward. This can be rather time-consuming and exhausting.

Disadvantages of a Gutter Apron

Similar to a drip edge, a gutter apron follows strict code requirements based on your roof's borders and styles. Also, you cannot put it atop an existing, old roof. If your gutter is located far from the edge of the shingles, a gutter apron won't be necessary for such a situation.

Gutter Apron vs. Drip Edge: The Difference

In summary, let’s compare the main distinctions between a gutter apron and a drip edge to make it easier for you to distinguish one from the other.


A gutter apron is built on the corners of the roof decking. It is installed under an attic's shingles to direct water into the gutter.

Meanwhile, a drip edge is connected to the trim and typically hangs straight past the gutter. A gutter apron is used when the distance between the shingles and the gutter edge is insufficient. It is recommended that you get professional advice before choosing. They may be used for various functions depending on your ideas' design and roof.

A gutter apron is a better option than a drip edge if your attic is designed with several sides and curved edges. A drip edge's curved edge sides may be noticeable. When installing a drip edge, ensure it is positioned to guide water into the gutter alongside the roof edges. It can be firmly secured with nails. In an ideal situation, nails should be spaced every 12 inches. It shouldn't be any longer than 16 inches. (Related: Ultimate Roof Repair and Upgrade in Aloha)


Drip edges and gutter aprons must be durable to UV rays and humidity. You'll need to consider alternative roofing options if your gutter apron isn't installed correctly. Meanwhile, the drip edge cannot be reinstalled on the roof and is available in various forms. They are highly durable and made of the same materials, such as steel and aluminum.

Installation on Existing Roof

Any kind of flashing should always be installed before building a roof structure. However, preserving your newly built roof from water is not difficult. When installing an existing roof, use a drip edge. Lifting the shingles will be unnecessary and adding a drip edge is simple.

Cost Difference

The cost difference between the two isn't that great. They are relatively affordable and achieve the same result. The price varies according to the material type and length selected, with each linear foot of installation estimated to cost between $5 and $7.

Ideally, you should always pick a professional with the right expertise and experience in installing a drip edge and gutter apron at home.

What Are the Most Common Causes of Roof Leaks?

When you see unsightly water stains on your ceiling or notice more obvious signs such as water dripping– your roof may be leaking. Leaks happen when the roof is damaged, so you might want to get the leakage to stop and repair it at your earliest convenience. Nobody wants to run for a drip bucket every time it rains. It's impractical and a hassle!

Let's discuss the many root causes of water leakage in your roof to make the repair easier. This will also help you prevent future issues from taking place.

10 Common Causes of Roof Leaks

From old age and gutter issues, here are some of the most common reasons roofs leak.

1. Holes

Having holes in the roof gives water an easy, obvious entry point. It will be quite a challenge to stop the water from flowing into your home and damaging everything in your living spaces. Over time, holes in the roof occur, especially if you don't follow routine roof maintenance activities. It may also happen if something hits the roof so suddenly.

In some cases, you may also have holes in the roof after removing objects such as old antennas and satellite dishes. The spots where they were anchored might leave behind holes. It would be best to have any visible holes on your roof patched correctly to prevent leakage problems.

2. Cracked Flashing

Flashing refers to thin metal pieces that go over the joints and seams to create a water-resistant barrier. Unfortunately, broken flashing may cause leaks, especially with large cracks. This happens because the tar that seals the flashing together may naturally rust over time.

3. Missing or Damaged Shingles

Yes, shingles protect your roof and redirect the water to the gutters… But if they are damaged, they may also allow leaks on the roof. This may be brought upon by an improper installation or the use of faulty roofing materials. Other factors include storm or wind damage– which may puncture the shingles.

The best way to deal with this is to inspect the roof periodically and keep an eye out for visible signs of damage or missing shingles.

4. Gutter Issues

Since water runs down the roof and the gutters, making the gutter prone to leaves, sticks, and other debris build-ups. Homeowners who do not clean their gutters regularly may suffer from build-up, which may only restrict the water from flowing freely. This may lead to water build-up on your roof and pool under the shingles and eventually cause leaks.

The solution? Opt to clean your gutters at least thrice a year. This will help you keep them clean and clear. If your property is located in an area with several trees, you may want to increase the cleaning frequency accordingly.

5. Old Age

Regardless of material and type, all roofs will eventually need replacement due to wear and tear. The life expectancy of roofs will depend on the roofing material you are going for.

Asphalt shingles last for about 20 years, while others last longer or shorter, depending on the quality of the roofing material you've selected. Fiber cement shingles are known to be more long-lasting, up to 25 years of good use. Wooden shakes or shingles last for about 30 years. While slate, tile, and metal roofs are known to have the most extended lifespan– up to 50 years or more.

Once your roof exceeds its average lifespan, it is expected to deteriorate and eventually become brittle. This may place your home in a very vulnerable spot prone to leaks. Damage or neglect may shorten the lifespan of your roof, regardless of its material.

6. Improperly Sealed Valleys

Valleys are where two planes of roof come together. Since these are sloped, rainwater may flow inside your home once it runs down the roof– especially if they aren't sealed properly. Look for wet spots along the roof's seams to detect this problem. Aside from improper sealing, it may also be cracked once stepped on. Other causes include excess rain and ice.

7. Vent Booting is Cracked

Roof vents are small pipes that stick out on top of the roof. They expel excess moisture from inside your home. Any leaks in this area leave dark spots and mustiness. These are often sealed using flashing around the opening and areas where the pipe peeks outside the roof. After a while, the flashing may break, or the roof might decay.

8. Roof Slope Issues

A flat roof or a shallow roof slope may only increase the likelihood of leaks. The slope of your roof helps water to run off relatively efficiently. So, if it doesn't have much of a slope, water may slow down or pool up on your roof. Eventually, this may result in water leaking into your home.

9. Ice Dam Buildup

Ice dam refers to a ridge of ice that forms at the roof edge. This prevents melting snow or water from draining off completely. The weight of the ice in itself may damage your roof and the water pooling on the surface.

The heat from the attic and the rest of your home is above freezing, so it causes the snowfall to melt (despite the cold temperatures outdoors). Once the water runs between the roof's surface– it will refreeze upon hitting the exterior edge.

10. Vents, Skylights and Chimneys

Chimneys, skylights, and vents are essential additions to your home– but they may also increase the risk of leaks on your roof. If these aren't installed correctly, it may leave gaps in between where water may seep inside.

Ensuring a proper installation will give you peace of mind knowing the features are adequately sealed and watertight. However, it's still best to have them re-sealed periodically to keep them protected.

  • Skylights ─ Your skylights may be susceptible to leaks if they do not match the skylight size accurately. The insulation surrounding it may also deteriorate after a few years.
  • Chimneys ─ Like skylights, chimneys may also break over time, allowing water to flow inside your home. Other potential causes include damaged or missing mortar and holes in the chimney.

Once you determine there are leaks in the roof– we recommend investigating the situation as soon as possible and finding a proper fix. This may just decide whether you need a quick repair or a major remodel. (Related: Fixing Up a Rotting and Leaking Roof in Portland)

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does a roof leak repair take?

The minimum time required is usually 2 to 3 hours. If you need to replace a whole roof section, the project may be completed in two or three days. Roof repairs take time, depending on the type of roofing solution needed.

How do I know if I have a leak?

Any form of discoloration or stains on walls, ceilings, and floor sections on the floor closest to the roof are common symptoms of a roof leak. However, depending on where the water is entering, indications of roof leaks might also appear on the lower floor. Siding is another common cause of leaks, especially if it is not properly installed.

What should I do when there's a leak in my roof?

First, determine where the water is most likely coming from. Consider where you believe the source is and where the water is entering. Second, attempt to contain the leak temporarily by using buckets, towels, and other items to collect the water inside the house. Lastly, look for a local roofing expert to assist you in adequately repairing the leaking problem.

What does a leaky roof look like from the inside?

Cracked paint, discolored plasterboard, peeling wallpaper, and an odd mildew odor that develops after rain are all signs of water damage from a leaking roof.

Metal Roof Types: Choosing the Best Type for Your Roofing Project

The term "metal roof" usually covers a broad term– comprising different materials, styles, and sizes. Since there are various metal roofing options today, it can be challenging to determine the best metal roofing type for your home needs. (Related: The Pros & Cons of A Metal Roof In Portland)

We've rounded up the different metal roofs in this article so you know exactly which one would be best for your next roof replacement project.

4 Types of Metal Roofs: By Material

It's natural for many of us to picture a steel roof whenever we hear "metal roof." But in reality– there are a variety of materials this could refer to.

Depending on your property's location, you need to choose the best type of metal roof material that can handle its unique environmental conditions.

Copper Roof

This long-lasting metal roof material can last you over 200 years (and more). And the best part? Copper roofs can be fully recycled, so they're an excellent green roofing choice. But, it can be rather expensive with a similar price point to zinc roofs. You'll get what you pay for, though. Installing a copper roof will give you a fire-resistant roof, resistant to hail damage, mildew, and pest infestation.

The material is also incredibly lightweight. It won't add too much stress to your roof's structure. Due to its soft nature, copper may be easily damaged in hail-prone regions. Hailstones may easily dent this soft metal.

Aluminum Roofs

Long-lasting and saltwater corrosion-resistant, aluminum roofs are another durable metal roofing option. It offers a quick and easy installation with several advantages:

  • Longevity
  • Energy-efficient
  • Resistant to fire
  • And prevents pest activity

This relatively lightweight metal naturally resists rust, making it an ideal choice for many homeowners located near coasts. Aluminum is versatile and matches different home aesthetics and designs pretty well.

Zinc Roofs

Known to be highly long-lasting and corrosion-resistant, Zinc roofs are a durable metal roof option. Although, the material is not as popular among many homeowners today.

In the United States, Zinc roofs are still highly uncommon, unlike those in European homes. It is known to be an expensive metal roof material, but for a good reason– you can expect it to last for more than a century. (No kidding!) Additionally, it doesn't need rigorous maintenance after installation and helps you prevent the onset of mold, fungus, and mildew. So if you have the budget to invest in a reliable metal roof material, we recommend checking out zinc for your roofing project.

What's the catch? The chalking affects its aesthetic appeal. And, it will cost you quite a hefty sum as zinc material costs similar to copper.

Steel Roofs

There are three variations of "steel roofs" as we know them today. This includes the likes of galvanized, Galvalume, and weathering steel (Corten).

  • Galvanized Steel ─ This is the most common steel roofing material. It is created using a Zinc layer that protects the inner steel layer from corrosion damage. The coating extends the life expectancy of the steel panel and slows down the corrosion process.
  • Galvalume Steel ─ Like Galvanized steel, Galvalume steel uses a combination of Aluminum and Zinc for its primary coating. Aluminum improves the material's durability against corrosion in specific environments. It also gives a smaller, smoother spangle that looks more uniform. Galvalume has better surface protection than the other steel roof types with its Aluminum qualities, but it can be vulnerable to cut edges or visible scratches.
  • Weathering Steel ─ Lastly, weathering steel was initially designed for heavy steel industries such as bridge construction. It has an external steel layer that intentionally rusts to protect the inner layer of steel. Keep in mind that it is not designed as a structural solution for steel roofing.

Compared to other metal roofing types, steel material is considered the most cost-efficient choice. It is commonly priced at a lower rate than Aluminum, Copper, or Zinc.

5 Types of Metal Roofs: By Systems

Aside from metal roofing material, you may also choose from different metal roof systems such as Standing Seam, Shake-Inspired, Tile-Inspired, Slate-Inspired, and Corrugated. A standing seam metal roof remains the best choice for residential use, but let's look at the other options you may want to consider.

Standing Seam Metal Roofs

Thanks to its sleek appearance, longevity, and weather-proof construction, standing seam metal roofing is a crowd-favorite choice. It is considered a premium roofing option, so you will need to spend more, but it gives you several benefits you can't get with other metal roofing systems. Lastly, it's also customizable to match your unique preferences.

Shake-inspired Metal Roofs

Fortunately, you can now achieve the traditional appeal of wooden shakes with the many benefits of metal roofs with shake-inspired metal roofing panels. It offers a more classic aesthetic than the modern appearance of a standing seam metal roof.

Tile-inspired Metal Roofs

Tile roofs were previously composed only of natural materials such as clay or concrete. But today, you can have metal roofs that are inspired by the look of tile roofing, is considerably more durable, and has easier maintenance. Tile-inspired metal roofing is also notably more cost-effective than other metal roof types.

Slate-inspired Metal Roofs

Slate-inspired metal roofs allow you to achieve natural slate material's high-end, luxurious appearance. The best part? It won't add more weight that may only strain your home's structure.

Corrugated Metal Roofs

Corrugated metal roofs are known to be both aesthetically pleasant and durable. It is made from hot-dipped galvanized steel, cold-rolled afterward to achieve a grooved pattern on the panels. The process makes the material more durable and rust-resistant.

Ultimately, every metal roofing type (either by material or systems) presents its fair share of pros and cons. To ensure you choose the best metal material to use for your roofing needs, consider your situation and conditions, the location of your property, and your budget.

Although, it would still be best to contact local, experienced roofing contractors to ensure your project will be a success!

Frequently Asked Questions

Does a metal roof affect my homeowners insurance?

Metal is among the few roofing materials that may be purchased at a discounted price, thanks to its enhanced resistance to fire, termites, and other harmful insects. However, your premium is determined by a variety of variables.

Does the color of a metal roof fade with time?

High-performance polymers with excellent weathering properties are used to paint metal roofs. The settling of airborne contaminants may cause a slight change in color over time, but occasional rain or cleaning the roof with a garden hose (from the ground) should keep it looking new.

How long will my metal shingles last?

Metal roofs are well-known for their durability and longevity. Whether it's zinc, copper, aluminum, or steel, all significant types of metallic roofing materials may easily endure for decades. Most metal shingles come with a lifetime warranty. However, the duration of the coverage varies on the contractor. The overall value you can get out of a home metal roof is remarkable compared to asphalt shingles, which only last roughly two decades. Metallic rooftops can also be easily repaired for just ⅓  of the price of replacing them altogether.

Are metallic roofs environmentally friendly?

When metal roofs are for sale, they are partially recycled material. When you replace your metal roof, all of it is recyclable. Not only that, but metallic roofs retain their quality even after being recycled multiple times. Because of their unique structure, metal roofs are extremely valuable in significantly reducing annual household energy expenses. A four-inch strapping system is installed between the metal and the plywood on metallic roofs, providing excellent insulation against adverse weather conditions.

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