A Roof Needs to Breathe – Proper Roofing Ventilation

Knowing Your Roof

Whether you are considering a new roof or have been living under the same one for a decade, understanding what goes into your roof is important. It does more than just keep off the rain, snow, and all the rest: it also regulates temperature, and protects the house from the nastier sides of the elements. There is a lot that goes into making a roof reliable, but fortunately, it all has a logic to it. While every part of the structure is important, there are a couple aspects that stand above the rest.

anatomy of a roof

One such aspect of roof durability is ventilation. Just like any other part of your home, you want to make sure that nothing (aside from memorabilia) is building up in your attic. Everyone has seen what happens to a forgotten Tupperware of leftovers in the back of the fridge, no one wants the same thing to happen to their house. Therefore, proper insulation and airflow are key to making a roof effective at dealing with moisture and temperature. As an added bonus, the temperature-regulating properties of a well-made roof will also reduce energy consumption.

diagram of air circulation and ventilation in a roof

Alongside ventilation is a more visible aspect of the roof: the shingles. There are many options available, but the right material for you will depend on your location and personal taste. Although cedar shingles may accentuate the rest of the house perfectly, the climate of your area may be the deciding factor that turns you towards metal. Some types of shingling are more expensive than others, some are more heavy, but a good contractor will be able to help you narrow it down. If indecision is playing a role in getting your house reroofed, remember: asphalt shingles are just as good as anything else. There is a reason why they are the most popular type on the market.

 

Even the most enduring roof will break down eventually. After all, part of its job is to take a beating. A strong roof can typically be relied upon for around ten years, but as with anything else, it is good to check up on it regularly. Just because there are not any wet spots on the bedroom ceiling does not mean that something might be compromised. Fortunately, though, a damaged roof is easily noted. Shingles that are buckling, lacking the roughness lent by their built-in granules, or that are missing altogether are some common indications that a roof needs attention. Rotted or curling sections of roofing are also reliable signs. When in doubt, get a professional examination. It is better to be sure than to worry about a leaking roof every time rain rolls through.

Exterior Siding Has a Tough Job to do in Minnesota’s Tough Climate

Considering how much surface area of your home it covers, exterior siding can be considered just as important, if not more important, than roofing for keeping water out. Especially in the harsh range of weather conditions we see here in Minnesota. There’s quite a bit of overlap between roofing and exterior siding’s purposes and in terms of function and in terms of maintenance. Luckily, just like with a roof, it is generally pretty clear when siding needs to be addressed.

Most signs of degraded siding can be noticed at a glance. Fading, rotting boards, and frequently chipping, cracking, or bubbling paint are two such examples. However, other indicators are not quite as obvious and require closer forms of examination. For instance, the paint job might be staying intact, but a quick poke around with a screwdriver or a finger might reveal that the material underneath is going soft and that rot or mold is present.

diagram of how much moisture it takes to rot or mold housing substrate
Diagram of how much moisture it takes to rot or mold housing substrate.

It is also important to understand that siding, just like roofing, helps insulate your house, and regulate its temperature. If you notice that heating or cooling the house is becoming more difficult, or that your energy bills are increasing for no apparent reason, you may want to have an exterior siding contractor checked out your home.

exterior siding ventilation diagram
Exterior siding ventilation diagram.

When getting your siding replaced, there will be a range of materials available with which to do so. Wood, which may be what you have already depending on the age of the structure, will give a good look to your house. However, just like your roofing, your siding is intended to take a beating from the elements. As such, wood siding requires considerable maintenance, so you may want to opt for a more durable material. Two popular materials that fit the bill are vinyl and aluminum. Each is much more durable than wood, and vinyl in particular is on the more affordable end, but each has its own caveats. Aluminum can experience oxidation, resulting in fading and colored runoff, while vinyl is vulnerable to cracking in the bitter conditions of winter. However, treatments and textures are available for both that can help to mitigate these issues to help keep the water barrier intact.

diagram of exterior siding repelling rain
Diagram of exterior siding repelling rain.

If none of those seem appealing, there is another popular option available: cement siding. While on the more expensive side of siding, it earns its price point. As the name would suggest, it is highly durable, but it imitates the appearance of wood siding, and is produced from recycled materials. To top that all off, it is also low maintenance, so if it fits your budget, it should certainly be considered. The material you choose to run with will ultimately come down to your preferences, but a good contractor will be able to help you consider your options thoroughly.

The Top Three Siding Materials Used on MN Homes

Here’s some advice from a siding contractor to help you determine what is best for you and your home.

One of the most dramatic ways to make a lasting change to the exterior of your home is to replace the siding. While the change will be immediate and refreshing, the benefits can be equally as impressive.

When vinyl siding first became widely available in the 1950’s, there were very few choices and even fewer colors. Today, siding is available in a number of materials and every imaginable color and texture. From bargain basement thin white vinyl siding to durable and intricately textured premium metal siding that will last a lifetime. Siding can fit any style, any climate, and any budget.

All Son’s Exteriors has over 30 years of experience as professional siding contractors. We know the siding industry inside and out! We can help you find the best material for you at a price that complements your home. What’s more, our quality installation services are unmatched in the Twin Cities and greater MN.

Here is a quick list of some of the most popular siding materials available today. They will all sound very familiar, yet the benefits and applications may surprise you.

Vinyl

Vinyl siding became the first competitor to the more traditional wood siding. This space-age material was originally thin, brittle, was prone to discoloration, and had a lifespan of around 10 years. On the other hand, it was a very economical way to reside your home and give it a brand new look.

That was then, this is today. Your options for vinel siding are now vastly improved. It is available in heavier thicknesses, comes in many colors that can withstand the heat of the sun, and are much more durable than ever before. Also, you can get it “textured” to look like wood, for example. Vinyl is still the cost leader when it comes to dollar per installed foot.

Example of Vinyl siding in MN
Example of Vinyl siding in MN

Aluminum

Aluminum siding has technically been available longer than vinyl siding. The cost of vinyl siding is what created the entire industry and made it popular among homeowners. Aluminum has many advantages over vinyl. Like vinyl, aluminum is available in various thicknesses. It is resistant to cracking. It comes in many colors and textures and can be easily painted. In high traffic areas, aluminum can be prone to denting and damage. These areas can be easily maintained with procedures as simple as touch-up paint, to replacing siding panels. There is a lot of flexibility with aluminum at a higher price providing greater value.

Example of MN exterior siding contractor aluminum siding
Example of MN exterior siding contractor aluminum siding

Steel siding is most certainly the premium material out of these three. It provides the ease of installation, the flexibility of shapes and textures and can be easily painted. It is the most durable of the three. Able to withstand not only the heat and the sun, high traffic areas, and also the extreme weather we often find here in Minnesota.

Example of MN exterior siding contractor steel siding
Example of MN exterior siding contractor steel siding

All Son’s Exteriors has decades of professional installation and services experience with all kinds of siding in Lakeville MN. Call us today at  952-469-5221 or email us at allsonsexteriors@gmail.com and speak with one of our installation experts. Let us help you decide on the best material for your family, for your home, and for you.

Factors Affecting Hail Damage to Roofs in Minnesota

The damaging power of hail on on asphalt shingles

Hail damage to shingles of home in mn
Hail damage to a roof in MN.

Minnesota summers bring storms! While it can be fun for some to watch the lightening and feel the thunder from big cumulonimbus clouds clouds, hail often accompanies these natural displays energy. Hail damage to roofs affects thousands of homes each year all over Minnesota. Hail damage can affect all types of roofing materials and is particularly damaging to asphalt shingles.

hailstones from storm in minnesota
Hail stones can get as big as a golf ball.

Hail Physics

Several components affect how much damaging force hail has. Hail size, weight, density, and speed are all factors that combine to deliver a certain amount of potential energy. We will discuss in greater detail these factors.

The size of hail may be as small as a pebble to larger than a baseball. It doesn’t take a degree in physics to know that the baseball sized hail is going to do more damage than the pea sized hail stone, but if you have to hail stones of equal diameter, the other factors come into place. Shape, for example, can have an impact on the impact force. While round is the most common shape, hail can also develop into an oval or elongated shape, which can achieve a greater speed, will have greater weight per diameter, and will usually hit with more force and result in more damage.

hail impact force increases with velocity

Density plays a huge role in the energy transmission potential of a hailstone. Counterintuitively, in colder air temperature conditions the hailstone will develop softer and usually smaller compared to warm weather hail storms.

diagram of hail force

In the Clouds

Hail forms in thunderstorm clouds that have strong updrafts, often over 100 mph, high liquid water content, and where a good portion of the cloud layer is below freezing. Hail begins as water droplets, like rain in any large cloud. As the droplets rise and the temperature goes below freezing, they freeze on contact with other water droplets.

green hail producing cloud in Minnesota
Green hail producing cloud in Minnesota

If you looked at a cross-section of a large hailstone it looks like an onion. Because the stone increases in size as it moves vertically through a cloud, the higher altitude collisions yield a colder denser layer. So, the density of these stone scan vary from 0.5 to 0.9 grams per cubic centimeter. As a reference point, water is a 1 gram per cubic centimeter in liquid form, and as we know, ice is less dense than liquid, at about 92% the density of water. Air bubbles trapped in the water yield a less dense hailstone that has less impact force.

Example of layers in a hailstone
Example of layers in a hailstone

The hailstone will keep rising in the thunderstorm until its mass can no longer be supported by the updraft. This may take at a half-hour depending upon on the force of the updrafts and the top vertical height of the clouds, whose tops may be greater that usually greater than 6 miles high!

a hail shaft from storm cloud in minnesota
A hail shaft from storm cloud in Minnesota

Eventually the weight of the stone is greater than the force of the updrafts and it falls out of the cloud, gaining speed until terminal velocity is reached. The terminal velocity of a hailstone is the speed of falling (gravity vs wind resistance) plus the speed of the wind. In a windless condition a hail stone will hit at, say, 72mph. Add in a forty mile per hour gust and that hailstone is going over 80mph. The impact force with the wind vs no wind is 30% greater.

Then there is the impact angle of the hail. If a stone is falling straight down on an angled roof, the impact is less than if a falling onto a flat roof. The same is true if a hailstone falls sideways into an angled roof, resulting in a direct perpendicular impact.

diagram of hail impact angle on a roof

Roof age has an effect too. An older roof tends to be more brittle. The shingles will crack or puncture more easily than a newer roof. Furthermore, a south facing roof will sustain more damage because the shingles will tend to be more weathered from the heat and UV damage of the sun. And speaking of temperature, a roof that is colder rather than warmer will sustain more damage, because the cold will make the shingles more brittle.

Exterior Siding Too

Exterior siding can also get destroyed by hail. If your home looks like this, we can help!

hail damage to exterior siding of home in minnesota
Hail damage to the exterior siding of a home in MN.

Wrapping up

As you can see, there are a lot of factors that govern how much damage a residential roof will receive in a hail storm. The size of hail, the density of the hail, the velocity and angle angle of impact, age of materials, type of roofing materials, and temperature all combine into a cocktail of physics. Math equations aside, if your roof is victim in the next hail storm to sweep through minnesota, call All Sons Exteriors for a free hail damage inspection.  952-469-5221

Emergency Roof Tarp After Storm

Your home usually is your most valuable asset, not to mention where you live. When good old Minnesota nature rears it’s ugly head and damages your roof or exterior, creating a penetration into the structure, you need to act immediately to protect your home from further damage.

The need to secure you roof is not limited to  storm damage. We’ve dealt with the aftermath of vandalism, fire, and other accidents in which a roof was compromised.

The most common culprits are trees, high winds and tornadoes, or hail and lightening. The damage may be severe and obvious or the damage may be elusive and take days or months to manifest in a leak. If you see or suspect damage, you really should error on the side of caution and get an inspection.

Regardless how it comes, the main objective is to protect your home as soon as possible. That’s why we offer our emergency services. As with all repair work, if the job’s not done correctly you will have wasted the money you spent and more than likely added more damage to your home. You can do the work yourself, just be extremely careful. Make sure you cover the entire area using proper installation methods to keep the temporary roofing from being damaged from high winds or other weather events. And please always keep safety in mind.

Emergency roof tarp in Minnesota
Emergency roof tarp in Lakeville, Minnesota

Can you do this yourself?

Maybe. Working on roofs is never a “safe” environment, and when damage and trees are involved it gets even trickier. This is a good reason to let the experts with years of experience do this. We will make sure it’s done safe and you roof is safe from further damage.

How Fast Can You Get to My House?

All Sons Exteriors will get your roof and house protected within 24 hours from contacting us. If a tree is part of the equation, as is often the case, we can assist or advise on the best removal options. Depending upon the size and orientation of the tree, it may need to be removed quite carefully to avoid further unnecessary damage.

Call us at 952-469-5221 to get emergency tarps on your roof.

What is involved?

During emergency roof tarping, boarding, or repairing operations, our experienced roofers will  create a temporary barrier and make a plan to get the roof repaired as soon as possible.

What About Insurance?

All Sons Exteriors is a fully licensed and insured Minnesota company. We are very familiar with the insurance claim process and can guide you through the process.

Crew installing tarp on damaged roof in Minnesota
Installing tarp on damaged roof in Lakeville, Minnesota

Priority One: Protection

Contact All Sons Exteriors for an immediate roof inspection. We will triage the damage and secure the structure as needed right away.

Next Step: Estimate and Insurance

We will estimate the proper repairs and coordinate with your insurance to make sure you are properly covered for repairs.

Final Goal: Total Repair

All Sons Exteriors wants to get your home back into perfect condition. In fact, we like to leave it in better condition that it was before your damage situation. You can trust in us to take treat your property as though it was our own.

We are a Minnesota company and are invested in our community. We are you partner for protecting your home over the long haul.

Call Kathy at 952-469-5221 to get your project rolling.

Roof Damage from Windstorms in MN

Summer in Minnesota brings wind storms that result in thousands of homes with a damaged roof or damage to siding. If you home or neighborhood is hit by winds from tornadoes or straight line winds, you may be asking what should you look for and how fast should you act? We will cover these questions below.

Roof and Siding Windstorm Damage

Both tornadoes and straight-line winds can wreak havoc the integrity of your home. After a windstorm your roof should be checked for missing shingles. The inspection should also look for loose soffits or siding, and even gutters that have shaken loose. Damage to any of these can be a problem. Missing shingles are the most obvious from wind damage and also the most problematic.

Top Priority: Avoiding Leaks!

A leaky roof will quickly create a bunch of other expensive and potentially health-hazardous conditions. Wind can also loosen siding, which may not be obvious to the eye, especially when looking up a wall that goes two or three stories. Leaks from shingles or siding damage needs only a tiny space for water to get in, creating a recipe for mold and rot under the siding and in the interior of your home. What is worse, it sometimes takes a long time to realize a problem. Leaks from windstorm damage may take weeks or months to show inside your home.

Looking for Interior Water Damage

If you see and colored spots or paint blisters on the ceiling or walls it is probably water damage.  Sheetrock and water do not mix, so once sheetrock is exposed to water you tend to know quickly about a problem. The tricky part is then determining where the water is coming from. We have seen leaks in a roof manifest in water damage many horizontal feet away, and even on floors below, skipping upper floors.

Water from a wind damaged roof (or wind damaged siding) can travel along many paths inside your home. For example, we have seen water run along roof stringers and rafters, inside framing, along plumbing and wiring, and a combination of all of this to create an internal water damage problem far removed from the source! It can be a bit of investigative work to find the lead, then immediate action to fix all the water damage in the path.

After a Windstorm

If you suspect that your home may have been damaged, and especially if you see other damage in the neighborhood,  you should have a professional inspection. Safely assessing the condition of a roof is not a good do-it-yourself project. Safety harnesses should be used on steeper roof pitches, and a professional will have long ladders to inspect the siding, soffits, and gutters on upper floors.

Free Windstorm Damage Inspection

As storm damage experts, All Sons Exteriors specialize in the replacement of roofing, siding, windows, gutters and more. As a Lakeville, MN based company, with crews spread throughout southern and central Minnesota, we can serve a radius of up to 100 miles from our Lakeville, MN, base of operations.

Windstorm Insurance Claims

If we find damage to any part of your home, our estimators will work for you in conjunction with your insurance company. Having an experienced specialists deal with the insurance company can be very beneficial in the claims process, saving you time, stress – and money. You can trust in All Sons Exteriors to take care of everything. and most importantly make sure your home is watertight!

The Top 3 Roofing Materials for Homes in Lakeville, MN and the Twin Cities

Here’s how a roofing contractor can help you determine what is best for you and your home.

Find out the top 3 roofing materials for homes in the Twin Cities and greater Minnesota

A new roof is not only a major investment in your house, it can completely transform your home. Old roofing materials are now new again. There are now more choices than ever before. Each choice comes with some benefits and some considerations. The plain black asphalt tiles of the past may be available, and there is so much more to choose from including several other materials.

All Sons Exteriors only partners with leading manufacturers to give your home the presence it deserves. The materials are only as good as the people who install them. All Sons Exteriors has the over 30 years of experience so you can trust the durability of your roof for the next 30 years.

Since roofing technology has changed so much over the years, here are the top 3 roofing materials people are using today in Lakeville MN. We can help you choose which roofing solution makes the most sense for your home and for your family.

Wood

wood shingles aged by weather
Wood shingles look great but are harder to maintain

Wood has been available as a roofing material for as long as there have been roofs. While many people prefer the look of wood shingles, there are an equal number of homes that require the classic look of cedar shingles. Unfortunately, new local codes often times prohibit the installation of wood materials for new roofs. This can create issues for the homeowner who is looking for a more traditional look. Our roofing material partner Certainteed has an entire line of composite roofing materials inspired by the classic look of cedar shingles. Like many other composites, these are available in a wide variety of colors to give your home a roof that looks new, yet very familiar.

Metal

metal shingle example from mn roofing contractor
Metal shingles can look like tile and other materials.

Metal roofing products are becoming more and more popular. Not only do they enhance contemporary, modern and the newest home styles, they can also be used with more traditional homes. No matter your house style, metal roofing has a style and finish to make your home at home in any neighborhood. Metal roofing has three big advantages over other roofing materials.

The first is it is the most durable against natural disasters. It is also fireproof. The second advantage is that it is low maintenance meaning there are fewer costs associated with maintaining this material in the long run. And the third advantage is that metal roofs last the longest. Some manufacturers offer a 50-year warranty for metal roofs. That is not to say that steel is indestructible. Severe hail can even damage a steel roof.

Metal roof damaged by hail
Metal roofing cand be damaged by large hail. No roof is damage proof.

Asphalt Shingles

Your parents probably had only one choice when it came to roofing shingles and that was asphalt. Now, homeowners have a diverse choice when it comes to asphalt shingles. Our partner GAF has a premium line of shingles that combine the elegance of a wood or composite shingle, the durability of a metal roofing material, that comes with a lifetime warranty. There are a wide variety of textures, colors, and technology built into every asphalt shingle to maximize both the style and the function of your investment.

Why not call All Sons Exteriors to schedule an appointment and get an estimate by calling  952-469-5221 or email us at allsonsexteriors@gmail.com. We can show you how you can effectively change the entire feel of your house yet still maintain the charm of your home in your neighborhood.