Metal Roofing vs Shingles – Which is Right for You?

The year 2017 was a rough year for the Upper Midwest, according to the NOAA annual weather report. With extreme weather and freezing temperatures in Wisconsin and Minnesota, you may be realizing it’s time to replace your home’s roof. Which is better, a metal roof or shingles? The answer may depend on your situation.

Asphalt Shingles: Pros and Cons

Asphalt shingles, laid in an overlapping pattern that encourages moisture to run off the roof without entering the home, are the most common option. However, these shingles aren’t always the best choice. Here are some shingle roof pros and cons.

Pros

  • Affordable: The cost of shingles makes this type of roof extremely attractive, as it only costs a few thousand dollars to install shingles.
  • Easy to install: Installing asphalt shingles is easier and requires less expertise than metal roofs.
  • Traditional appearance: Asphalt shingles offer a more home-like, less commercial appearance.

Cons

  • Shorter lifespan: The warranties on asphalt shingles are typically around 20 years, although they often don’t last that long because of their vulnerability to extreme weather.
  • Poor economy in summer: In summer asphalt shingles absorb heat, and your air conditioning will have to work considerably harder to cool your home.
  • Heavy: Traditional asphalt shingles are heavy once installed, especially higher-end shingles.

Metal Roofs: Pros and Cons

Metal roofs used to be used primarily on rural buildings such as barns, but not any longer. Attractive metal shingles and metal roofs have become an option for both older homes and newer, custom homes. Here are some of the metal roof pros and cons.

Pros

  • Durable and long-lasting: Metal roofs are expected to last as much as 60 years, two or three times as long as traditional asphalt shingles.
  • Weather resistant: Metal roofs are better equipped to withstand the extreme weather of the Upper Midwest. Even hail won’t do much to a durable steel roof.
  • Economical: Smooth metal roofs reflect the sunlight in summer, helping your home stay cooler, and helping the snow melt in the winter.

Cons

  • Expensive: The cost of a metal roof is a big deterrent for many homeowners. A house that would cost a few thousand to put an asphalt shingle roof on could easily cost over $10,000 for a metal roof.
  • Difficult to repair: While metal roofs are largely maintenance-free, repairs are more difficult to do if just one section is damaged.
  • Industrial-looking: While some homeowners appreciate the unique look of a metal roof, many others still prefer the traditional look of asphalt.

Want help comparing metal roofing vs. shingles? Contact All Exteriors today, and we will help you decide which roofing option best suits your home! Whether you are in need of a new roof, a re-roof, or roofing repairs, we have the knowledge and the expertise to get the job done right the first time.

Feature image: Spok83/Shutterstock

Protecting Your Gutters For the Winter in New Richmond

Winter is here and if you live in New Richmond, Wisconsin or the surrounding area that means plenty of snow and cold weather. Have you prepared your gutters for winter? A little ice, snow, and wind can wreak havoc on your gutters as they function as the first line of defense for your home. Without proper winterization, your gutters can clog, sag and crack creating problems inside your home when the ice begins to melt in the spring. Here are some tips to help you winterize your home and protect your gutters from ice damage.

When twigs and leaves clog gutters during winter, rainwater and melting snow can overflow, entering your attic and freezing on the ground. The water creates a slipping hazard and water damage to your home. Before winter begins, remove all of the debris from your gutters. To clean your gutters first remove large objects with a spade or wear gloves and remove them by hand. Next, check the slope of your gutter system. Make sure it is correctly positioned to move water toward your downspouts. Finally, make sure downspouts are directed away from your home’s foundation to ensure water does not enter your basement.

Leaves can continue to fall into your gutters even after the winter begins. Reduce risk by trimming back any tree branches near your roof. Snow and ice can also cause weakened limbs to snap and damage your home’s roof and gutters. Removing overhanging limbs can reduce risk.

In winter, water can freeze in your gutters creating ice dams. The dams can cause ice and snow to accumulate and can result in severe water damage to your home in spring. Have a professional install heat tape or an electric heating cable to your gutters. These cables produce a lot of heat and if not installed properly can cause significant damage.That is why it’s a job best left to professionals.

If you have an area where more ice and snow accumulates, create a de-icing barrier. Simply fill an old pair of pantyhose with calcium chloride and lay them across the roof. The chemicals will melt snow and ice, and the water will flow away, preventing sagging gutters and broken hinges.

Proper gutter cleaning and winterization can protect your home from damage all winter long. The best course of action is to call a professional to winterize your home. If you live in New Richmond, Wisconsin and the surrounding communities give All Exteriors LLC a call. Let us help you prepare your home for winter, quickly and affordably!

How to Remove Ice Dams on Your Roof

If you live in a climate that experiences long, cold winters like Wisconsin and Minnesota, ice dams can be a problem. While we all love the beauty of icicles hanging down from the eaves of our home creating that picture-perfect winter landscape, the fact is ice can wreak havoc if not addressed.

Ice dams are thick mounds of ice that build up along your home’s eaves. They can loosen shingles, tear off gutters, and cause water to back up and enter your home. This can result in serious damage that can be expensive to repair.

How Ice Dams Form

Ice dams form when heat from the roof melts the base of the snow on the roof. The water travels between the snow and your roof shingles until it reaches your gutters, which are cold because they extend beyond the exterior walls of your home. There, the water re-freezes, gradually growing into a mound of ice.

The flatter your roof, the easier it is for an ice dam to form and grow. If the snow and ice build up in your gutters, it can cause an ice dam to form.

How To Remove Ice Dams From Your Roof

Removing an ice dam is best accomplished by breaking it free in small pieces. It is best to have them steamed off of the home to prevent damage to your roof. This is slow and dangerous work, and is best done by an experienced professional like the experts at All Exteriors Home Improvement & Outdoor Living. Then it is suggested to get an estimate from All Exteriors for proper insulation and ventilation to help prevent the ice dams from forming again.

Prevention

Of course, the ideal situation is to prevent ice dams from forming in the first place. This is best accomplished by addressing your home’s roofing system.

A professional roofer can seal all points where warm air enters from your living space immediately below the roof sheathing. Keeping your living space well-insulated can prevent conduction and convection of heat through the ceiling. Venting the roof to remove any heat that does leak is the final step.

Taking these steps will not only prevent ice dams, it will eliminate a significant loss of heat from your home. Truly a win-win solution!