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Need a new roof? Thinking about tackling your roof replacement yourself? Think again! There are major reasons–from safety to roof performance–to leave installing new shingles to the pros.

Roof shingles are just one of those things that eventually need to be replaced. Even with today’s highly engineered roofing materials, you’ll find the average life span of an asphalt roof is typically only about 35 years. When the time comes to replace your roof, many avid do-it-yourselfers tend to take the “how hard can it be” approach and tackle their own roof replacement. But if you’re considering that route, make sure you think it all the way through before grabbing the nail gun–roofing installation/replacement gone wrong can have some serious repercussions for your health and the safety of your home.

The National Center for Health Statistics reports that between 2008 and 2009 (the last year for which statistics are available), some 890,000 people went to the emergency room for fall-related injuries. The simple truth is that getting up on the roof to replace your shingles is dangerous. Especially if you have a multi-story home or a steep roof, you’re putting yourself at risk for a major fall if you try to handle your own roof installation. Professional roofing contractors are both trained and experienced, and they have the know-how to handle the heights safely. If you’re still not worried about the safety risks, remember, that you’ll be doing a lot more than just walking around on the roof: tearing off the old shingles, rolling out new felt, handling the new shingles and nail gun, etc., are all hard jobs that can easily throw your balance off. And just a momentary shift in balance can mean you’re headed to the ER with a broken leg or worse!

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Beyond the safety aspects, it’s also important to keep quality in mind. Your roof is what protects your whole house from the adverse effects of water damage caused by precipitation, so it’s particularly critical that this project be done right. Roofing installation has many steps, from putting down the felt underlayment to actually nailing down the shingles themselves. Add in ridge vents and installing flashing around chimneys and vent stacks, and it’s easy to get overwhelmed fast. Each step has to be done correctly and at the right point in the process or you risk making a mistake that could lead to water penetrating your home.

With do-it-yourself projects like painting or gardening, typically the worst side effect of a mistake or incorrect approach is aesthetic (dripped paint or dead bushes, for example). However, when roof installation isn’t done right, it can mean water leaking into your home. And with water comes possible structural concerns as well as mold and its related health issues.

So it’s just not worth it. Instead of trying to be a weekend warrior with your roof, call in the pros instead. You’ll reap the benefit of safety for your home as well as yourself by letting professional roofers handle the project. Roofing contractors have the training and tools to get the job done right, so don’t hesitate to call them in for your roof replacement today.

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Roofing Repair: Tips for Choosing the Right Contractor

In the past, we here in Virginia would just throw things away without much concern as to how it affected the environment. Construction debris became one of the main problems facing landfills over the years. To solve this problem more and more communities are creating recycling programs, and a roof recycling program alone helps a lot.

Many old roofs are being recycled all over the world. Some types of roofing materials are even being recycled and reused on other buildings.

Old tile roofs are typically recycled and reused in the Richmond area. Old Spanish tile shingles can be salvaged and reused on other buildings as a way to save money. These tiles are removed from old buildings and taken to another site where they are inspected and sorted. Tiles that can be reused are then cleaned and treated. After that they are repackaged and resold for use on other buildings.

It is not just Spanish tiles that are used in a roof recycling program. Just about all other types of roofing materials can be recycled as well.

Asphalt roofing materials are used on over 80% of all homes in Virginia, and these shingles make up the majority of most of the nations landfill problems. With an asphalt roof recycling program these shingles are hauled off and reused for things like asphalt pavement, aggregate base and sub-base, and even fuel oil.

It is estimated that the U.S. generates over 11 million tons on asphalt shingle waste per year. Of that waste 10 million tons of this waste is from homes that have been re-roofed.

Anyone considering a re-roofing project should check to see what type of a roof recycling program is available in their area.

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