Up on the Housetop

Up on the Housetop

Although newer roofing technologies currently captivate many homeowners, it’s OK to go back to asphalt shingles. It is, after all, what most Americans, do.

Joan Crowe, director of technical services at the National Roofing Contractors Association (NRCA), points out that laminate shingles, which usually are two or three layers (as opposed to a three-tab, which is a strip shingle) have gained in popularity, especially as they offer “more of an architectural flavor.”

“Here’s the thing about roofing,” Crowe says. “Roofing is a lot of money. You really want to pick something that is going to perform well, and that’s why asphalt shingles are the predominant steep-slope roof covering. For the price that you’re getting and the service life, it’s the biggest bang for your buck. So that’s why they pretty much why they dictate the market share.”

The National Roofing Contractor’s Association has a consumer website, EverybodyNeedsARoof.com, that suggest the following things to look for when deciding whether you need to replace your roof:

• Look for shingles that are buckling, curling or blistering. This indicates the end of the shingles’ life expectancy.

• Look for loose material or wear around chimneys and pipes.

• Look for excessive amounts of shingle granules in your gutters. Granules protect shingles from ultraviolet rays.

• Crowe says it’s imperative to ask for multiple estimates from various contractors. She says to rely on referrals and on ratings from reputable agencies like Angie’s List and the Better Business Bureau.

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