Top 4 Reasons a Roof Fails

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Let’s face it, roofs do not last forever. In fact, many roofs fail prematurely. First, the problem could seem small and if not taken care of in a timely manner, the problems get worse fast. When this happens, the costs can add up quite quickly. Here we will go over some of the main reasons a roof can fail.

1. Poor Workmanship

Not hiring a qualified contractor is the worst mistake that can be made. You can spend all the money you have on the best materials in the world, but poor workmanship will just end up nullifying everything. Qualified contractors strictly adhere to the manufacturer’s recommended installation procedures. This maintains the full factory warranty.

2. Cutting Corners

This is just the opposite of the above. You can have the best crew working on your roof, but if the materials are cheap, they probably won’t last long. There is a reason why some materials are cheap. It all relates to the old adage, you get what you pay for. Chances are that those low bids you get from certain contractors mean that they are using the cheapest materials available. Always ask about the factory warranty and if they are certified to carry out the warranty.


3. Improper Ventilation

Basically said, roofs need to breathe. It doesn’t matter if you live where it is cold or warm year-round. Ventilation plays a key factor in the lifespan of your roof. This factor is often overlooked by many roofing contractors.

In the winter, one of the most important things to factor in is the ventilation. Ice dams can form fast and damage can seem to happen even faster. When the roof has ice dams, it becomes brittle, cracks and then can leak as the ice defrosts.

In the summer it is just the opposite. Humidity builds up in the attic and then the chances of mold developing are highly increased. This is not only bad for the structure of the roof but can also cause health problems.

4. Flashing

Many people think that the flashing is just ornamental. This is nowhere near true. The flashing is also one of the key elements in the healthiness of a roof. The flashing protects all of the areas that a venerable to seepage. It directs the water away from the interior of the structure. Everything that protrudes through the roof uses flashing. Chimneys, skylights, vents, and valleys are all venerable to leaks.

There are still more factors in why a roof can leak. These are just some of the prime examples of how a roof can fail. Always make sure you hire a qualified contractor. Even small repairs can end up extremely costly in the end. Davis Roofing and Construction can help you with all of your roofing needs. Contact us and we can help guide you through any decisions that you may have when you need roof work.

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How Your Roof Affects Curb Appeal

How Your Roof Affects Curb Appeal

The roof of your home definitively affects the curb appeal. Most homeowners choose to conform to what other neighbors have chosen as their option for a roof covering.

Different Types of Roof Coverings

There are many different types of roof coverings to choose from. Some might right for you, some might not go just well with the rest of the neighborhood (or your HOA).

Asphalt Shingles

There are many different types of roof coverings. Asphalt shingles is one of the most common styles. There are a variety of different colors to choose from. The color you choose usually depends on the color of the exterior of your home.

Clay and Concrete Tiles

The same goes with clay and concrete tiles. The difference with these is there are also different textures to choose from.

Barrel is what is most commonly associated with clay and concrete tiles. There are other options like a flat tile.


One of the major benefits of these types of coverings is there is a wide variety of colors to choose from. The most common is a terracotta color.

Terracotta has been in use since the 14th century. This is why it is one of the most chosen to go with. It will always remain a timeless option to go with.

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Which Type Of Roof Vent Is Best For Your Home?

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Proper ventilation at the roof is important to a complete attic ventilation system as well as to the structural integrity of the roof.  There are two basic categories of roof vents including passive and powered.  A roofing contractor can install four different kinds of roof vents that all fall into one of the two categories.

All roof vents work by allowing outside air that enters the attic through the soffits to escape out the top of the roof, creating attic ventilation that carries away moisture and condensation before it has any chance to damage the structure of the roof, the insulation or the home. In wintertime, without proper ventilation, ice dams can occur.

Below are the four different types of roof vents along with some pros and cons. Your roofing contractor can help you decide which type of vent will work best for your roof and why installing the proper roof vent system can impact the structural integrity of your home over time.

Passive Roof Vents
Low Profile Roof Vents

Low Profile Roof Vents
Low-Profile or Louvered Roof Vent

The most common type of roof vent is probably the low profile roof vent.  Also referred to as “louvered vents” these vents have a low profile and feature a slant-back design to guard against weather infiltration especially in steep-slope applications.  They are often available in either aluminum or galvanized steel and can provide between 50 and 60 square inches of net free area (NFA) per vent. Installation is relatively easy as most include pre-drilled holes for nailing.

Multiple low profile roof vents must be installed on the roof according to the square foot size of the attic. Under 1,000 square feet of attic space requires only 4 vents while a 3000 square foot attic can require as many as 12.

The low profile vent is usually installed on the back roof to minimize any unsightly appearance they may cause. The color of the vent can often be matched to the color of the roof depending on the manufacturer that is chosen.

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Preventing Ice Dams

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Preventing ice dams in winter is important for us here in Chicago. There are a few things you need to make sure you do so that your roof does not get damaged. Here we are going to run over some of the things you need to check so that it doesn’t happen to you.

How Ice Dams Are Formed

Ice dams happen when the roof has different temperatures under the roof. Generally, the top parts of the roof tend to get warmer than the edges. Snow on top of the roof starts to melt and then flows down to the edges. Because the edges are colder normally, the water tends to refreeze as the temperature drops. Little by little the water gets under the ice and starts to run under the shingles and into the inside of the roof.

When water gets inside the roof it can and will cause a lot of expensive damage. Black mold can form inside the insulation and walls, but it can also damage plaster and drywall. The cost to repair this type of damage can be expansive.

Improper Circulation

Temperatures can vary throughout the roof for various reasons. One of the main ones is because of improper circulation of the air. There are vents in the soffits and some houses also have ridge vents. It is more likely that the soffit vents can become blocked. These vents should be checked regularly to ensure that the temperatures remain equal throughout the attic.


Many houses have chimneys and they are usually the culprit of the warm air inside the house to leak into the attic. Have the chimney inspected for leaks. You can also insulate the chimney with non-flammable insulation. Leaks can also occur in other places in the roof. If you can see light seeping up from the ceiling, you can have an air leak there.

Exhaust Systems

There could be many different types of exhausts in any given house. Lots of kitchens have exhausts. Normally there could be one (or two) for the oven and stove, possibly for the microwave also. Bathrooms can have exhausts that extend through the roof to the outside also.

Ways to Prevent Ice Dams

One of the ways is one of the most logical, remove the snow from the roof. You must exercise caution when doing this. Being on top of the roof carries its own risks (snow and ice can be very slippery). There are “roof rakes” and you can also use a push broom, but be careful not to damage the roofing materials. You also need to watch out for falling snow.

Roof heaters placed near the soffits and also help out. Pay attention to the manufactures instructions when using these. Improper installation could cause more damage than prevent it.

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Preparing Your Roof for Winter

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Preparing Your Roof for Winter

Preparing your roof for winter is something everyone should do, especially for us here in the Chicago area. The leaves are changing colors and the temperature is dropping, it is time to protect your roof before and after winter. We have some steps that we recommend to everyone to get ready for the wintertime.

Winterizing Your Roof

1. Get Your Roof Inspected

Have your roof inspected by a licensed roofing contractor. They not only have the eye for roofing, but they also know what problems are likely to occur and the problem areas. Another reason, if your roof has a steep incline, it could cause a slip accident. Your contractor will advise on what repairs might need to be made so that you can save money in the long run and avoid costly repairs after the winter months.

2. Clean Out the Gutters

Gutters should be cleaned throughout the year regularly. It is even more important during the winter months. Gutters clogged with leaves and other debris could cause improper drainage. This can lead to cracks in the roof because of the expansion and contraction of water as it freezes and melts.

3. Check for Proper Ventilation

Now that we know why it is important to keep the gutters clean, we also need to protect the surrounding areas. The Chicago winds are fierce and having branches rub and cut into the roof is a bad thing. Nearby branches should be trimmed to a couple of feet away and all of the clippings removed from the roof and your property.

4. Clear the Surrounding Area

Attics need proper ventilation in order to function in the right way. If there is not adequate ventilation, the hot air from the sun might cause additional problems. If the hot air cannot escape, the attic can cause some rooms to overheat. This can also lead to the ice and snow on the roof to not melt the way it should. This is what we mean by the water/ice not freezing and melting correctly and causing expansion problems.

At Davis Roofing and Contractors, we are more than happy to come out and give a free estimate to take care of your roof before the winter problems arise. Give us a call and let us worry about your roof during the winter time so that you can enjoy it like you should.

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Three of the Most Common Types of Roofing Material

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The Three Most Common Types of Roofing Material

There are many types of roofing materials. Everything from asphalt based materials, stone to metal. We are only going to cover the four most common types here.

Many of the roofing materials depend on the pitch (the slope of the roof) of your roof. Some cannot be used depending on the pitch, so make sure you select the proper type for your roof if you plan on doing it yourself. A professional contractor, like Davis Roofing and Construction, can help you make the right choice and also make sure the job is done right.

1. Rolled Roofing Material

Rolled roofing (also known as MSR) is one of the most common types for low sloped roofs and shops and sheds. There are several ways to apply this material, which is what makes it an almost universal material.

This material comes in 100 sqft rolls. This makes it easy to handle compared to shingles or other ceramic/stone. The reason being is the roll usually weighs around 75 pounds.

a. Nail Down

Roofing Nail

Nail down is one of the methods you can choose because it requires a small amount of tools (hammer, cutting knife and tape measure). The only materials you will need are nails, roofing cement and the MSR. It is a fairly simple process, but we will get into that in another blog.

b. Adhesive

A Bitumen adhesive is more common than peel and stick. There is a precise manner that the adhesive needs to be applied. The process is not difficult but can be very messy if not done right. That can also lead to blistering of the material, meaning it will need to be replaced sooner.

c. Torch Down

Torch down still requires nails around the edges to protect from wind damage. The material is still applied in the same fashion. The thing that differentiates from the other methods is that a torch is used to heat the material to activate the adhesive. This causes the material to melt and bond to the roof.

2. Asphalt or Composite Shingles

This is the most popular type of roofing material. Most brands offer 20 to 30-year warranty on its products. It is also easy and inexpensive to repair if you happen to have a shingle break or torn off due to weather damage. Composite shingles also allow for the contraction and expansion of a roof.

3. Standing Seam Metal

Metal roofing was, and still is, one of the most popular for warehouses. Now, with the new processes and coatings, they have been more popular for regular households. There is now a variety of colors to make it easy to match your color scheme for your home. There are two main things that make these roofs stand apart. Flameproof and insect resistant, this leads to a longer lifespan.

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Flat Roof Drainage

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Flat roofs are more common than most people think, especially when you are talking about commercial buildings. Flat roof drainage is the most important part of the construction and repair process in order to prevent water from pooling (or ponding).

Flat roofs are not necessarily flat in the sense that they usually slope towards one edge or may run to the center if the structure uses an internal drainage system.

Gutters and Downspouts

Gutters and downspouts are one of the most common types used in both commercial and residential structures. One of the reasons for this is that they can be retrofitted or even rerouting to a different drainage area. They come in a variety of colors and natural metal. Having this you can seamlessly blend gutters into the curb appeal of your home or business.

Flat Roof Interior Drainage

Flat roof drainage using an interior consists of several drainage pipes placed at different levels towards the center of the roof. Then the water is transferred within the roof (usually just beneath) to the outer edges of the structure.

The biggest benefit of this type of system is that a very minor amount of the flat roof drainage system is visible to public leaving something that has a very aesthetic appeal. The downside to this is that it is a costly system compared to others, but sometimes this is the only option for large flat roofs.


Most people do not know what scuppers are until they see them. These are the types of flat roof drainage that shoots the water off and past the side of the structure. They are designed so that the water cannot cause structure damage to the foundation. These are ineffective in areas, like ours, due to the snow. The snow takes long to melt and therefore lets the melting snow just drip around the foundation.

When you are looking for a flat roof repair contractor, you should find a contractor that not only do you trust, but is knowledgeable. Davis Roofing & Construction has qualified teams to get the job done right. Call for a free estimate and let us show you why you should choose the right team for your job.

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Why We Care About Job Site Safety

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Here at Davis Roofing, we are certain that other companies that do the exact same thing we do, are particularly driven to keep their workers safe at any job site. That is excellent and we are very proud of them for doing so. The importance of keeping everyone on the job safe by applying the proper precautions, extends far beyond the legality of the situation. At Davis Roofing we think of all our team members as an extension of our family. No doubt we would like our family members to have the appropriate tools and safety precautions, and for that reason it is extremely important that we share with you the importance of job site safety.

Aside from keeping our client’s property in mint condition, the well-being of all our team members is a top priority. The first step to job site safety is to understand the things what are a hazard and to be ready for all of the conditions that may result in injury. A roof more than likely will put one of our team members at high altitudes and this evidently is a very dangerous aspect of this industry all of its own. Ladders can lose stability and grip, heat can cause one of our team mates to lose balance and consequently fall. Aside from becoming aware of all the things that can go wrong in a job site, the second step to assuring a person’s security is to enforce the safety measures established by the organization. There should always be a person supervising all of the conditions of the site, providing the right materials to perform the tasks, and to grant enough resting time and hydration.

Enforcing these rules, and understanding how important they are, will not only create a positive impact to the customers about your company, but it will also place your team mates in a position in which they truly feel that the company cares for their safety and that they are a very important asset to the organization. Taking care of your employees will reflect greatly on the business, and at the end of the day your employees will take care of the business as well.

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5 Ways to Prevent Roof Damage from Weather

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Even with our modern advances, weather causes billions of dollars of damage from coast to coast. Because roofs help repel that weather, they take a big and costly portion of the damage.

And if you didn’t know, roof damage is insanely expensive to repair.

If you’re looking to spend your money on something other than roof repairs, it’s important you prepare long before the pesky rainy or winter seasons.

To help out we’ve pulled together five tips to prevent seasonal weather taking a toll on your roof. Read on to learn how to save money with a bit of good ol’ prudence, courtesy of the professionals.

Remove Debris From the Roof

Anything lingering on the roof poses a threat. Are there any limbs–big or small–hanging out in a corner or other hard-to-reach place? Leaves, twigs, and moss can spread mold as they decay and, worse, can cause a drainage block.

Water that’s plugged up will pool around these drainage blocks and potentially seep down between the shingles or grooves into your roof. And once water damage happens, you can start pulling out the credit cards.

Remove Dead or Dying Tree Limbs Near the House

How near are we talking? Well, are there any leaning tree limbs hanging over the house? Are there any close enough that could be torn down and tossed through a window during a storm?

Take a walk around your property or take a look up into all the trees around your house. Research how to detect dead or dying trees–looking for signs such as missing bark, lack of leaves in a time of growth, and fungus.

Clean the Gutters

Prepare ahead of storms by cleaning out the gutters (something you should do on occasion anyway). Remove any leaves, twigs, and debris to prevent the stopping up of drains and water seeping into the roof.

Moisture and rot are potential problems for your roof when the gutters are backed up. And consider if there’s rain before suddenly colder weather: all that backed up water will freeze and expand, causing further roof damage.

Fix Damaged Shingles

To avoid having to fix the whole roof, if you see a cracked, bent or broken shingle fix it right away. The roof soaks up a lot of the hot sun rays and can dry out or become damaged by plenty of factors other than storms.

Don’t underestimate the general wear and tear of individual singles, and don’t think that the whole roof will need to be replaced at once. Sometimes just spot treatment is needed for upkeep.

Keep Attic Space Insulated

You’ll want to keep up the insulation under the roof to further prevent any water from seeping in. Also, the insulation is an especially beneficial tool for winter homes that see a large buildup of snow.

If snow isn’t removed or doesn’t naturally blow away, uninsulated attics move hot air upwards and will melt snow, causing more potential leakage.

Prevent Roof Damage with Routine Maintenance

You probably haven’t considered the detriment it would be to lose or have to replace your roof. Apart from being costly and annoying, roof damage is extremely dangerous for anyone beneath it.

You should maintain your roof with consistent upkeep year-round, regardless of the season or threat of a storm.

Check out more beneficial tips and tricks from the experts at Davis Roofing and Construction here on our blog!

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5 Things to Know Before Re-roofing Your House

Are you thinking that it’s time to replace your roof? If so, you might be feeling a bit overwhelmed or stressed. After all, it can be as critical as it is costly.

Fortunately, there are several helpful hints to know before reroofing your house. We’re here to break them down for you.

Find the Right Roofer

Some roofers neglect the customer service part of replacing a roof. Since it may only happen once every few decades, they may not see the point in building a strong rapport and trusting relationship.

Furthermore, many roofers undercut their customers by trying to be “the cheapest.” Often, this is a translation for shoddy work!

A reputable roofer will answer all your questions about reroofing. He will be patient and considerate of your needs.

Even if it’s not the lowest price in town, reputable roofers know their market value, and they know how to also work with their customer’s needs. And that’s something worth paying for.

Read all Paperwork

There can be a lot of money and liability that goes into a reroofing job. Save yourself the stress and hassle by checking the following documents:

  • Building permit (if your city requires it)
  • Insurance and liability form
  • Written contract with collaborated details and costs

Make sure that you ask your roofer if you have any questions before signing.

Learn the Materials

Just like with other home remodeling projects, new roofing materials emerge all the time.

There are traditional, asphalt shingles, but there are many other options such as metal, wood, and slate.

Each type comes with its pros and cons. Costs can also vary wildly depending on the material.

Think about the Color

You already know that color is essential for emotions and temperaments. Color also applies to home remodels as well. Shingles come in a large assortment of colors, and it’s crucial for you to think about what will look best for your home.

Ideally, you want the colors to complement your stone, brick, or stucco siding on your home.

As a general rule of thumb: beige or brown homes look great with driftwood or weathered gray shingles. White houses, on the other hand, do well with gray, charcoal, or even black shingles.

Prepare for Noise

There’s no easy way around this: replacing a roof can be very loud. The noise comes from all the scraping off old shingles and hammering and installing new ones.

You may need to temporarily stay at someone else’s home or make accommodations if you’re sensitive to loud sounds.

Final Thoughts on Reroofing

While you may not necessarily be excited about getting a new roof, it’s often essential for the value and safety of your home.

If you’re in the Arlington Heights surrounding area and you’re interested in finding the right pro for your job, be sure to contact us today! We provide free estimates for all our customers.

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