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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
Roof maintenance does not have to be difficult, disheartening, or impossible without shelling out tons of money to cover unwanted costs. In fact, quite the contrary, regular maintenance, and a quality roof setup are more than likely to last you at least 15 to 25 years on average. And, if you’ve just purchased a new home, then, one of your first major steps should be having either someone knowledgeable you trust, or a licensed professional come out and inspect it, to prevent any future excessive costs.
Regular inspections and basic roof maintenance like cleaning out the gutters or keeping an eye on things up there can make all the difference between making or breaking your roof.
On average, a roof will cost anywhere from $10,000 – $20,000 or more, depending on the type of roof you decide to go with, and the size of your home’s roof. For starters, an excellent routine to get into is checking the condition of your roof before and after every major season change. Also, inspect the condition of your roof tiles, gutters, and look out for any anomalies right before, and after any major storm or weather change. Often, you will be able to notice things like peeling, shattered tiles, missing tiles, cracks, or granules on your own – as you’ll know your roof better than anyone else. Although, ultimately, regular roof maintenance should include you putting special precautions in places, such as gutter screens, regular cleaning, and the unclogging of any irrigation systems tied to your roof.
Other common and effective roof maintenance are regularly inspecting your ceilings and roof for any unusual or unsafe wear and tears, such as mold – or breaking and cracks which could be serious cause for concern. Often, loose bolts or flashings are the culprit and can be easily fixed or replaced for just a few dollars – as opposed to the thousands of dollars it could cost you later on.
As far as cleaning and roof maintenance goes, you may be surprised to learn that there are several Do It Yourself (DIY) methods available using simply a broom and hose to clean up. Also, moss and mold removing cleaning agents can be helpful, and, in most cases, the majority of this type of regular cleaning and maintenance can be done for a fraction of the cost of a professional. Although, for those with less experience or a lack of tools and “know-how”, results can be poor, and it may very well be more affordable to have a professional come out and do it for the sake of preventing any accidents.
Speaking of assistance, always ensure you have a partner, or a “spotter” when using a ladder, and don’t ever rest your ladder on the gutters themselves. That is, as they are typically made of a thin metal which can bend (damaging your irrigation system), and can cause you to fall off your ladder.
Picture Credit: 3dman_eu
We all love tile roofs. They’re not only attractive, but efficient, and for many a way to be nostalgic with the home’s general appearance. Tile roofing requires certain responsibilities however. There are several ways for a tile roof’s structural integrity to become compromised, and there are steps to both prevent such damage as well as repair it.
This is all done on a gradient level. Let’s realize that although there are things you can do, hiring a professional in the tile roofing industry is always a wise choice.
First of all, tile roofing is tough, but it can get damaged by weather, accidents, debris, and even animals. You don’t want objects smashing into the tiles because in some key areas of the roof, just one compromised or damaged tile can cause a cascade calling for major roofing repair. Make sure that there aren’t any overhanging trees that allow for debris from the trees to fall or allowing animals access to your roof. Believe it or not, even animals as small as squirrels can damage a tile roof by prying around and weakening the seals. Animals are curious and might find your tile roofing something worth investigating and also a means of play. Opossums, cats, squirrels and other arboreal creatures might store food or objects under the uplifted tiles. This could allow water and more debris inside. Birds can be a menace too if you live in an area where the birds get big. They can land on your roof and actually break tiles. Shooing them away often helps as they realize rest won’t be easy on your roof. Watch out also for kids and adults playing around. Some flying toys or yard toys can fall on your tile roof and cause enough damage requiring repair. If possible, keep the playful family and friends at a good distance and ask them to take special care regarding the roof.
Once you’re comfortable with the preventative measures, you now should be concerned with what to do should damage occur. Don’t try to fix things yourself if you’re not experienced. The reason being is tile roofing is specialized roofing. Installed or repaired incorrectly and it can turn into a major headache to repair. If your roofing is properly waterproofed then it calls for a professional to look at any damage that has occurred. This will ensure that if repairs are done correctly, your home or business won’t suffer from the ravages of leaks. Leaks not only damage the structure but can invite a robust environment for molds to grow which can damage the structure or compromise the health of the occupants.
So the bottom line is, a tile roof is a specialized roof. It isn’t something that anybody can just construct and repair. Knowing your responsibilities in regard to them will make for better home ownership and equity all around.
Image credit: welcomia