Are Asphalt Shingles Fireproof?

When it comes to investing in your home, your number one priority should always be safety. Because of this, you should consider what kind of safety and protection your new roof is going to provide. For example, are those asphalt shingles that you’re thinking about installing fireproof? Installing fireproof shingles versus shingles that are not fireproof can make the difference between life and death in severe cases, after all. Fortunately, you can identify if a type of asphalt shingle is fireproof by its fire rating.

Roof Fire Protection Ratings

There are three different classes of fire ratings given to asphalt shingles – A, B and C. In order to be given one of these fire ratings, the shingles must have certain fire rating properties. First of all, their fire rating is in regards to fires originating from outside of the building. Secondly, when exposed to fire the shingles must not blow or fall off the deck, they must not slide off, they must not crack or break, they must help prevent the roof deck from falling away and they must help prevent flaming on the roof deck’s underside.

If the shingles do not meet these properties, then they will not obtain a fire rating. Installing shingles without a fire rating is typically not a good idea since it will leave your roof vulnerable to fire – thereby leaving your home vulnerable as well. Once they meet all of these properties, they will be classified as one of the following classes:

  • Class A Fire Rating – Shingles with the highest fire resistance are classified as Class A. These shingles will be effective against moderate fire exposures, are not readily flammable and will not cause fires to spread.
  • Class B Fire Rating – Shingles that offer moderate fire resistance are classified as Class B. These shingles are also not readily flammable, will not readily contribute to the spread of fire and are relatively effective against moderate fire exposure. The main difference is that the testing process is conducted on a smaller configuration.
  • Class C Fire Rating – Shingles that offer light fire resistance are classified as Class C. These shingles aren’t readily flammable, won’t readily spread fire and are effective against lighter fire exposures.

Obviously Class A shingles are your best bet as they provide the strongest protection against fire. Just keep in mind that if the fire starts within the home, then the fire resistance of your shingles won’t really matter. However, when it comes to protecting your home against fires that have started outside of your house, you’ll definitely want to make sure you choose shingles with some kind of fire rating.

If you have more questions about your roofing options or the fire safety of the various materials available, be sure to contact us at Park Heights Roofing today. Not only do we use the highest quality roofing materials available in Baltimore, but our contractors are trained to install them properly so that your roof will be as safe as possible.

Spring Roof Inspection

Your roof takes a beating from the elements all year round, but it generally experiences the most wear and tear during the winter season after withstanding everything from rain and wind to snow and ice. Once winter finally melts away, it’s a good idea to get a spring roof inspection to see how your roof is holding up. This will allow you to get your roof patched up or replaced if needed before the rains of spring begin their onslaught.

Although you can attempt to do a visual inspection of your roof on your own, it’s a better idea to get a professional roof inspection to ensure that you don’t miss any problem areas. The following are some of the things that we will inspect here at Park Heights Roofing in Baltimore:

  • The gutters – The gutters should be cleaned on a semi-regular basis to avoid any clogs from occurring. If your gutters get clogged up, water will rise up during rain, which can not only result in leaks near your roof, but can also weigh down the gutters, causing them to loosen from the side of the roof. Not only will we check to make sure the gutters are clear, we will make sure that they are intact and not damaged so that they can do their job properly during the spring season.
  • The interior of the roof – We will take a look in your attic to make sure that there aren’t any leaks or potential leaks in your roof. We’ll look for light coming through any cracks, sagging in the roof, ventilation issues and cracked roof sheathing. Doing so can help prevent bad leaks from developing that can cause water damage to not only your roof but the entire attic area.
  • The metal flashings and caulk sealers – Flashings and caulk sealers help to prevent water from leaking into openings around your roof, such as around skylights or chimneys. If you experienced snowfall or ice during the winter, there’s a chance that these features could be damaged. This is because expanding ice can cause metal flashings to become displaced and can break open caulk joints. We will examine the flashings along skylights, chimneys and walls as well as inspect the rubber gaskets around the vent pipes and other roof penetrations that help seal water out. While we’re up there, we’ll also look for nails that have become exposed due to failed sealants.
  • The shingles – Ice can cause all sorts of damage to your roof’s shingles. It can cause them to lift, tear and break. In fact, just the cold temperatures can make shingles stiff and brittle, making them more vulnerable to damage caused by high winds. We will inspect your roof for damaged shingles that need to be replaced.

Professional Roof Inspection

With our professional roof inspection, we will be able to determine if you are in need of repairs or roof replacement for the upcoming spring season. Contact us at Park Heights Roofing to schedule a spring roof inspection today.

 

Can Hail Damage My Roof?

Hail is basically frozen rain, so when it hails, a lot of damage can occur. Just imagine tiny ice cubes falling from the sky – it’s hard not to imagine that they wouldn’t do some damage. This is why if it hails near your Baltimore area home, you should rightfully be worried about any damage that it may have caused to your roof.

Tips to Follow After Experiencing Hail

The following are some of the tips you should follow if you’ve experienced hail in your area.

  • Don’t ignore your roof – Don’t assume that your roof is fine just because it hasn’t caved in. Hail can cause small damage that can have a big impact on your home. For example, hail can crack shingles, which can lead to leaks over time. Any damage that hail has done to your roof should be examined and repaired if needed.
  • How you can tell if you’ve experienced hail damage – One of the easiest ways to determine if hail may have damaged your roof is by looking at some of the other features on your property. For example, if you notice dents in your gutters, downspouts or gutter screens or on your outdoor A/C unit or wooden deck, then there’s a pretty good chance that your roof has experienced some of this type of damage as well.
  • Get a professional inspection – Don’t just circle around the exterior of your home in order to do a visual inspection of the roof. You’re going to need a professional to get up on your roof and do a thorough examination for potential damage. This is not something you will want to do on your own unless you have experience and training – otherwise, it’s most likely too dangerous to attempt on your own.

Types of Hail Damage

The following are the types of hail damage that a professional roof inspector will look for when examining your roof:

  • Visible damage – Certain types of damage can be spotted instantly, such as cracked or split wooden shingles or dents in asphalt shingles. This type of damage can leave the shingles more vulnerable to leaks as well as to high winds. Visible damage can also be identified by the black marks that hail often leaves.
  • Soft spots – Some shingles may not look to be damaged because they absorbed the contact without splitting or breaking. However, this can leave soft spots in the shingles that make them more vulnerable to potential damage in the future.
  • Loss of granules – The granules on the shingles help to protect the roof felt. Hail can cause the shingles to lose their granules, which will often collect in the gutters. It generally means that the shingles will need to be replaced.

If your home has experienced hail, then there’s a chance your roof may have been damaged. You should have a professional come inspect your roof so that you can make any needed repairs. To schedule a roof inspection following potential hail damage, contact us at Park Heights Roofing today.

Roofing in Cold Weather

Posted on: February 5th, 2017

If you need roof work done, whether it’s roof repair work or complete roof replacement, then one of the things you might be concerned with is whether getting this done in the winter is a good idea or not. After all, there are a number of challenges involved with roofing in the winter. The following are a few things you should know about roofing in the winter:

  • Snow and rain can interrupt the process – Roofing contractors won’t be able to get up on your roof and do any work if it’s snowing or raining. This means that your roofing project can be delayed. You can try to schedule around the weather forecast, but doing so isn’t fool-proof.
  • The preparation time will be longer – Because of the fact that snow will collect on your roof and because ice can gather as well, roofing contractors will have to spend some time removing the snow and ice so that they can not only begin work on your roof, but ensure that the roof is safe for them to walk on. Your project can end up taking a day or two longer just because snow and ice need to be cleared every day, which could take an hour or so to do properly.
  • There’s more of a safety risk – Work will also take longer during winter because contractors will take their time to ensure that they don’t take any safety risks.
  • There’s a human element to consider – Another reason why you should always go with a reputable contractor instead of a cheap contractor is that some poor quality contractors may end up cutting corners because they don’t want to work in the cold any longer than they have to. This, however, shouldn’t be a problem with reputable contractors.
  • The temperature can affect the installation – Flat rubber roofs cannot be installed if the temperature is below 40 degrees. The adhesives that seal the rubber roof will freeze and won’t bond. If you want to install a flat roof in the winter, you’ll only be able to install PVC or TOP roof systems. For sloped roofs, asphalt shingles can be installed during the winter, but they are more vulnerable to bending and cracking during installation, which means contractors have to be more careful. They can also have problems sealing properly if done during the winter. However, if you choose to install metal roofing, you’ll have no such issues.

Roofing Company in Baltimore

It may not seem ideal to replace or repair a roof in the winter. There are, as you can see, a lot of challenges associated with doing so. However, in some cases you simply have no control over when you need repairs or replacement – you can’t always put things like that off. Here at Park Heights Roofing, our roofing contractors have the training, skills and experience to do any roofing work you need regardless of the time of the year. If you need roofing work done, be sure to contact us at Park Heights Roofing today.