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Elon Musk, the head honcho of Tesla Inc. that pioneered the large-scale use of plug-in electric cars and also specializing in energy storage solutions and solar panels, declared at a conclave that solar energy could power the entire US. At the National Governors Association Summer Conference held in July, he elaborated on how all the homes throughout US can be powered up solely with solar roof tiles. He elucidated that it would require a reasonably small area in Utah, Texas or California for installing 100 sq. miles of solar panels in order to accomplish the task.
Last year in October, Tesla released its up-to-the-minute products-an advanced Powerpack 2 and Powerwall 2, energy storage solutions and a versatile solar roof. In that year, Musk bought out SolarCity, a frontline photovoltaic cell manufacturing firm shelling out US$2.6 billion, synergizing its operations with those of Tesla. The merger enabled the innovative entrepreneur to promote the entire product line of Tesla, including solar roofs capable of fully replacing fossil fuels for meeting a home’s overall energy needs.
The energy that Tesla’s solar roofing taps from the rays of the sun is preserved in the Powerwall 2 which is technically speaking a battery for use in residences with a 14kWh rating. At daytime, the rows of solar shingles or tiles produce electricity as well as charge up the battery packs which thereafter lights up homes at night and also runs sundry appliances. Subsequently, the homeowner is relieved from the necessity of subscribing to a conventional utility service for fulfilling his electricity requirements.
Does it imply that solar roofs of Tesla will give utility and energy companies, a run for their money and eventually compel them to go out of business? As of now, that is still just a remote possibility and hence the idea may seem a little farfetched presently. Coming back to basics, each and every unit of Powerwall is sufficiently capable of supplying electrical power for a whole day.
To be precise, a typical Powerwall battery can be restructured and adapted to deliver the combined power of 9 such packs from a single unit. Alternatively, Powerpack2 which has been exclusively designed for heavy-duty commercial use is scalable to an unlimited extent. The solar roof is made up of photovoltaic cell units that are layered with glass tiles and colored optical louver films.
Tesla right now is offering four different types of solar tiles that have been designed with painstaking care which makes them appear like traditional terracotta, slate, wooden, asbestos, and metallic roofing shingles. Elon has taken advantage of a hydrographic printing technique for making his solar panels look nearly identical to conventional rooftop materials. Musk’s company started taking orders shortly after the conclave in which he outlined the benefits of the solar tiles.
And Tesla began processing the orders and rolling out the roofs from August. Melon is confident that the homeowner will be able to recoup his or her solar roof investment over a 30-year period and accordingly offering a warranty for a similar time period.
Image credit: Tesla
When it comes to understanding your current (or future) roofing system, there is no “wrong” question. As a homeowner, it is essential that you ensure the integrity of your roof at all times, properly care for and maintain the shingles, and protect it from outside elements that could lead to damage that could have otherwise been avoided.
Let’s review the Top 5 Frequently Asked Questions about residential roofing – which in some cases also apply to business or industrial roofing setups.
1. How do I know when it’s time to purchase a new roof?
Typically, roofing shingles or wooden shakes will last between 15 to 30 years, depending on the weather and environment you live in, as well as any obstructions or damage from surrounding elements – such as branches. Another common trouble with worn or broken tiles is inadequate water irrigation systems, and flooding on your roof which may eat away at your current roofing system at a higher rate than anticipated.
Some signs of a broken or beyond repair roofing system needing a total replacement are: curling shingles, decayed or missing shingles, visible cracks, missing or rusted flashings, wind damage, missing shingles, and cracked or discolored interior drywall.
In such instances, investing in a professional roof replacement by a trusted roofer would likely make the most sense.
2. How much will a new roof cost?
Depending on the type of roofing system you choose, as well as the roofing professional you hire, prices can vary significantly. Also, take into consideration the grade, brand, and type of roofing systems you’re going to go with, as well as the size of your roof and if it has a sloping roofline.
Starting with an expert roofing professional is the way to go, and often you can receive a free quote in doing so. Don’t settle for cheaper materials or labor, as this can be more costly in the long-run for repairs, or an otherwise improperly installed roofing system.
3. If I’ve received three various offers for repairs or roof replacement, how do I know which one to go with?
Depending on the scope of work to be done, whether it’s removing entirely or fixing your current roofing system you should take into full account the necessary work. In many cases, flashing work, ventilation or adding new vents, and removal-costs might be included in the quoted price – or additional. Also, the installation method, as well as proposed deadline should play significant roles in determining which professional to go with – and why.
Other variables to take into consideration are payment procedures, and of course length or type of warranty, such as what is covered in the instance of poor installation, improper workmanship, or even water leakage later on.
4. Why has my professional roofer only offered one year warranty on my asphalt shingle roofing system?
It is important to create a distinction between a manufacturer’s warranty and a contractor’s warranty – which is typically one based solely on his or her workmanship. However, a contractor’s warranty will likely offer much less coverage and typically remains relevant only to installation issues. Therefore, carefully review the contract and warranty details to see what’s covered or isn’t before starting the work. Always ensure you also receive the necessary certificates, documents, and warranty or guarantee contracts for your new roofing system.
5. Can I replace or repair my current roof on my own?
Speaking frankly, attempting to change or repair a roof on your own can be very dangerous, or even more costly in the long run. Typically, professional roofers have years of experience, and certain qualifications, licensing and insurance that the average home owner will either not be familiar with or possess. Worse, an everyday homeowner might damage the roofing system further, accumulating even more unwanted costs.
Also, the professional equipment – including safety equipment – necessary for most roofing system jobs and installations are very costly, and may not be something considered by the average DIYer.
Ultimately, depending on the style, materials, and type of home you have, roofing experience, and installation can vary greatly. This is why it’s so important to go with a reputable, trusted, and licensed roofer.
If in doubt, continue to research online the various types of roofing systems available to you, and what might make the most sense given the climate and environment you live in.
Image credit: Projekt_Kaffeebart
Shingle roofs are gaining significant popularity in today’s modern homes, as well as those looking to upgrade their roofing systems without spending too much or losing out on long-term benefits of a stable, practical roof.
Below you’ll find the top 10 reasons why shingle roofing makes the most sense for your home and is in fact quite comparable to other, leading materials and roofing setups that easily cost up to four times or more of the price of shingle roofs.
1. Shingle roofs provide the perfect solution for a more aesthetic appeal, yet cost a fraction of the price of more sophisticated or costly premium material roofing like slate, clay tiles, metal, and cedar shakes. Shingle roofs require the lowest upfront costs, and because it is the most affordable short-term solution is becoming more popular. In fact, asphalt shingle roofs, for example, have an expected lifespan of at least 12 to 17 years, which is pretty fair considering the costs paid and overall quality.
2. Going with a shingle roofing setup means you’ll be able to choose from not only a comparably similar variety of colors and styles but also between organic and fiberglass tiling options.
3. A shingle roof setup will still hold up to rain and other common weather elements, and typically either include a unique mineral ‘filler’ or asphalt layer that protects and reflects both sun and rain.
4. Organic shingles are more durable than other fiberglass shingle roofing systems, yet cost much less. Customers can also invest in not only 3-Tab shingle tiles but also Laminated and Premium designs as well – making them the perfect match for both contemporary and traditional styled homes.
3-Tab shingles are practical and often come with 20-30 years of limited warranty – and can also withstand up to 60mph-70mph wind uplift which is pretty impressive. At approximately just $25-$30 per bundle, this is a very cost effective way of both protecting and giving your home the stylish appearance you desire.
5. Any average roofing contractor can install shingle roofing, which means less out of pocket costs as opposed to requiring a specialist to install your roofing system.
6. Shingle roofing systems are much lighter, which means they are not only easier to install as mentioned above, but will also cost less money, and be more flexible when it comes to windy days, which is a major plus.
7. For matching a broad range of angled roofs, shingle roofs are the perfect, versatile solution.
8. You may choose from a variety of premium grades or types of shingle roofing, such as laminated or premium. Outside of these two, you may also elect to go with a “matt design” which means both more reflection of light, as well as a more durable build that will provide an excellent cost to value for weather resistant design. Assembling shingle roofs also require no accessories or specialized labor like wall terminations, chimney, or vent flashings which mean you again save money on installation.
9. Installing a shingle roof will still give the same, desirable “3D” effect for your house without the extra costs of a more specialized, costly, and expensive to maintain roofing system.
10. Shingle roofs are designed with a Class 1 Fire Rating which means they’ll hold up very well in normal hot temperatures – within reason – although would not be an ideal choice for consistently humid and hot climates, in places such as Arizona or Florida for example.
Shingle roofs come in various, stunning color palettes, and even protect against external noise – so your home stays both safe and peaceful. Popular choices for tile roofing are Crowne Salte and Cambridge. Many shingle roofing systems also come with impact resistance (IR) and are available in at least 12 colors.
A shingle roofing setup is also perfect for steep-sloped structures, which is not as common with more premium materials like clay tiles or cedar shakes.
Best of all, tile roofs require less maintenance, and it is nowhere near as costly as competing for roofing systems. You can even walk across your tile roofing and not have to worry about breaking or caving in your roof!
So, the bigger question is, why shouldn’t you get a tile roof?
Picture Credit: Darryl Brooks
Kidder Roofing, an accredited roofing contractor successfully completes the roof repair project in Clearwater FL.