SHS Insights


Roof Replacement vs. Roof Repair: 3 Ways to Tell Which One Do You Need

It is common for your roof to contract serious damage overtime. This damage could be due to the weather conditions, malfunctioning of the roofing material or simply wear-n-tear disintegration. Many of these situations and roof conditions can be handled with roof repair and without needing a replacement. However, there are also conditions where repairs won’t do and you will find yourself needing a new roof altogether.

It may not always be easy to tell whether you need a replacement or a repair. Here you will find three ways to determine when you should go for roof replacement vs. roof repair.

1. Keep a check on your home’s interior
The very initial signs of roof damage can be seen in the interior of the buildings. If you are witnessing flaking paint, stains of ceiling, paint discoloration and wall paper that is peeling off, be wary about the condition of your roof. These may be caused by small holes or by cracking shingles. The former and the likes will need only patch up or small repair, while the latter will not be corrected by merely repair. The key is to nip it in the bud. Do not keep waiting until the damage becomes significant. Hire a consultant to draw up an estimate on repairs vs. replacement. Compare the cost of the separate estimates with the expected life of the roof after the treatment. Having compared everything, take an action accordingly. 

2. Know about the life and durability of your roofing material
Different roofing materials need different maintenance and care levels. For example, you need to inspect and treat shingles annually and bi-annually, while PVC doesn’t need almost any maintenance at all. Knowing out your roofing material will let you be in a better position to decide whether an d when it needs a roof repair vs. roof replacement.

3. Age of your current roof
A factor that will be prime in all your decisions regarding roof treatment is the age of your roof. Such as a damaged roof with shingles which is over 20 years old, should rather be replaced vs. a similar roof with an age of less than 15 years. However, do check your roof once to twice every year whether or not it is a certain age.


How Do I Prevent Roofing Hail Storm Damage?

Hail can be a threat to infrastructure anywhere. It can wreak havoc when it hits by tearing off roof coverings, damage ceilings, floors, walls as well as appliances and vehicles. This is a especial matter of concern for those who live in area with a high probability of hail storm. In order to prevent roofing hail storm damage, you need to take a number of measures, which will save immense cost and trouble later on.

  1. Know which type of roofing  can tolerate the impact of a hail storm well
  2. When selecting a roof covering for your hose, make sure the shingles hold a class 4 rating under UL standard. This rating means that an identical product sample was checked under harsh conditions and did not crack up when it was hit twice by a 2 inch steel ball in the same place. However, keep in mind that this is not a perfect criterion for all types of roof coverings. Roofing made of metal may bear the impact well but still get deeply dented.
  3. Keep a watchful eye on any earlier, smaller damage to the roofing. While the damage may not seem significant enough at the time but during a hail storm, it may be dangerous. For example blocked gutter may not seem so important as far as there is no leakage or seepage, but during a storm coupled with rain, it can prevent the water from going out of the house and instead route it backwards towards the ceiling. If this keeps happening for some time, it will be very dangerous for the roof.
  4. Some people may be sold on doing their roofing job themselves. But beware, since most of these roofing or re-roofing jobs are not simple. They need a professional to do them for you. So to install your roofing properly and without any problems, hire a professional. Professional installation will keep you safe from any roofing hail storm damage resulting from incorrect installation.


4 Simple Tips for Your Homes Roof Maintenance

Replacing or even repairing a roof is not a piece of cake. That is why most of us shy away from it. However, you can delay this time, effort and money consuming task by far through taking proper care of your roof and providing it with great roof maintenance.

This article discusses some really simple tips to enable you to take good care of your roof and thus delay the need for roof replacement.

1. Conduct Regular Inspection
Take a careful, good look at the inside as well the outside of your roof at least bi-annually. This way you will catch any potential damage at its onset. Get into your attic and look for any holes, wear and tear or leakages. A set of binoculars will come in really handy for inspecting the interior of your roof. You can also use them to take a good look at the exterior roof. Look at the chimney flashings and scan the gutters for any debris or missing sections.

2. Keep an eye on growing vegetation
Gutters can sometimes be raided by vegetation like moss, which can create real havoc on your roof maintenance. Keep a watchful eye on any vegetation on the roof or inside the guttering. If you find any, clear them up or else they will clog the water flow. During winter specially, moss can cause damage to the covering of the roof as they retain moisture and induce damage. It will be better if you keep a check on it during summer to prevent such growth to avoid any problems in winter.

3. Don’t delay required action
When and if you find a problem with your roof, it is imperative to act as quickly as possible. The more you delay, the bigger the problem will get, thus requiring more expenses. Whether it’s a leakage issue or missing shingles, act quickly and get it resolved. It is always easier and less costly to do roof repair than carrying out a complete replacement.

4. Take professional help
Not everyone is an expert at everything. If you are in doubt, it is always better to take professional help.

5. Get at least 3 quotes
In order to gauge your options and compare prices, always get more than one quotes for whichever roof maintenance or repair task you are going to hire of.

Home Remodeling

Spring Maintenance To Do List #1

It is hard to believe that Spring will soon be upon us (at least here in Charlotte, NC)! Who wants to spend time working on the house every weekend, when you could be out enjoying a warm, Charlotte day doing something you like to do? This is the first in a 10 part series of suggested maintenance tips for your home. Take the steps now to save money on energy bills this summer and ward off big-ticket repairs down the road.

TO DO LIST ITEM #1: Inspect the AC

For between $75 & $200, you can typically find a technician to tune up your cooling system to manufacturer-rated efficiency – and you won’t sweat the first hot weekend with an out-of-commission air conditioner. Call your electric utility company to see whether it offers incentives. Some contractors may offer discounts early in the season for inspections or for annual maintenance contracts.

Note: Dirty filters make air conditioning work harder, increasing energy costs & possibly damaging your equipment. Contractors will put in new filters during a tune-up, buy you should check monthly to see if they need replacing. High performance filters, which cost $10 to $22 a piece at Home Depot or Lowe’s may need changing less frequently.

Air conditioners draw moisture from interior air, called condensate, which must run off outside. If sediment & algae clog the drains, water may back up, making your home more humid or creating water damage. Technicians will check the drains during a tune-up; if they clean t hem out, it could cost up to $100 or more. If you live in a humid climate like we do here in the southeast, you may want to check & clean them yourself periodically. Odd, but intriguing, this video clip shows as the guide suctions algae from the drain with a wet vac.

If you don’t have an A/C contractor that you currently use, we recommend the contractors that belong to Charlotte Home Team: vetted, proven & local to Charlotte home contractors. Also, check Angie’s List for other consumer rated, trustworthy contractors.

Stay tuned for our next Spring Home Mainteance Tip coming soon!


Roofing Terminology: 101

When it comes to the terminology involved with replacing the roof on your Charlotte home, it can be quite confusing. We’ve compiled a list of the most common terms that a roofing contractor in Charlotte may use when they come to your home for a free estimate or consultation.



Roofing Terminology Diagram

  1. CHIMNEY BASE FLASHING: A corrosion-resistant sheet metal installed at the base of a chimney to prevent leaks.
  2. EAVES: The lower border of a roof that overhangs the wall.
  3. FASCIA: The vertical board at the eaves, oftentimes covered with vinyl or aluminum.
  4. HORIZONTAL SIDING: Provides style and functionality.  Available in various materials, colors, textures and designs.
  5. HOUSE WRAP: Material designed to allow moisture to escape and to prevent air from coming in.
  6. LOOKOUT: A horizontally positioned board used to brace the trusses of a roof
    (see 13.)
  7. RAKE: The outer edge of a roof from the eave to the ridge.
  8. RIDGE BEAM: The top support beam between opposite slopes or sides of a roof.
  9. RIDGE SHINGLES: Shingles used to cover the horizontal external angle formed by the intersection of two sloping roof planes.
  10. DRIP EDGE: A narrow strip of non-corrosive, non-staining, finishing material installed along the eaves and rakes to allow water run-off to drip clear of underlying construction.  On eaves where gutters are present, this material is commonly called gutter apron.
  11. ROOF SHEATHING (boards): The structural base of a roof.  Also called the roof deck, or decking.
  12. ROOF SHEATHING (plywood): The structural base of a roof.  Also called the roof deck, or decking.
  13. ROOF TRUSS (rafters): The framework that supports a roof.
  14. SHINGLE SIDING: A siding option typically manufactured from red cedar, which weathers to a silvery gray or medium brown, depending on local climate; and white cedar, which weathers to a silvery gray.
  15. SHINGLES: The outermost covering of a roof.  Composition shingles are manufactured from materials “composed” of fiberglass, modified asphalt and mineral granules.  Wood shingles and shakes (shakes are split rather than sawn) are made from western red cedar.  Other roofing options include clay and concrete tiles, slate, metal, mineral roll roofing, and tar and gravel.
  16. SOFFIT: The finished underside of the eaves.  Soffit panels are available in wood, vinyl and aluminum.
  17. STEP FLASHING: A corrosion-resistant sheet metal used to waterproof the angle between a chimney, skylight, dormer, etc. and a sloping roof.
  18. UNDERLAYMENT: An asphalt-impregnated felt laid under most roofing materials as a secondary water barrier.  Felt is classified by weight per “square,” (100 sq. ft.) usually 15 or 30-pound.  Underlayment is also called tar paper or felt.
  19. VALLEY: The intersection of two sloping roofs joining at an angle to provide water runoff.
  20. VALLEY FLASHING: Made from aluminum or galvanized steel, this additional water barrier is installed after the roof and valley have been covered with underlayment.
  21. VENT FLASHING: A flat piece of pre-cut sheet metal installed on top of the underlayment to prevent leaks from occurring where roof vents are present.
  22. VERTICAL PANEL SIDING: Plain, patterned, or grooved panels of plywood or hardboard that provide style and functionality.
  23. WALL SHEATHING: The first covering of boards on the outside wall of a frame house.
  24. WALL STUD: An upright piece of wood used to frame a house and support the walls of the structure.


Replacing Your Siding: What is the best investment – vinyl or fiber cement?

For 5 years in a row, Remodeling magazine has ranked residing your home with fiber cement siding the #1 return on investment for jobs >$1200. The magazine has conducted the study since 1988 & compares construction costs for remodeling projects with the value they add to a home at resale in the current real estate market.  2005 was the first year they evaluated fiber cement siding replacement, and maintaining it’s position at the top of the list is a clear marker of the value it provides to homeowners.

For Charlotte siding replacement, Southern Home Services is a proven choice. Experienced in replacing both vinyl siding & fiber cement siding (also known as hard board siding,  hardie/hardy board  and fiber cement siding) there are new products on the market that can keep your home’s exterior low maintenance, while also decreasing your energy costs with the proper underlayment. As a Charlotte siding contractor that strives for customer satisfaction & repeat business due to referrals, we don’t cut corners on the details, such as what goes under the siding!

Did you know?

• Residing with fiber cement gives a 31% better return than adding a bathroom and costs $61k less to complete

• Minor kitchen remodel gives you a 10% less return on investment than re-siding with fiber cement

• Adding a second story addition nets you 23% less return on investment than fiber cement re-siding