The First Line of Defense

Protect your home with quality roofing from Advance Remodeling

Roofing Shapes | Choosing a Roof | Roofing Materials | Roofing Vocabulary

When it comes to the safety and comfort of your family, nothing is more important than the roof over your head. Damaged roofing can compromise the structural integrity of your home, and can cause a costly loss of energy efficiency.

Find out how to determine when it is time for a new roof and learn factors to consider before making your final decision. Also, visit our glossary of roofing terms you should know and learn about the different roofing shapes available.

Advance Remodeling does nearly all types of roofing including composite shingles, wood shakes, clay tile, concrete tile, metal roofs and torch down roofing.

If you have damaged or worn roofing, our roofing professionals can evaluate the structure and let you know what can be done.

Take a look below at just a few of the roofing projects that Advance Remodeling has completed in Maryland. And when you’re ready, contact Advance Remodeling for your free, no obligation roofing estimate.

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When thinking of your home, you probably rarely consider what goes on top of it. However, few realize that roofing serves many important functions, including controlling heat and air flow, water diffusion, and most importantly it serves as the structural support of your home. The roof material can save you from a windstorm or even protect you from a fire.

Choosing a material and style for your roof is no small task and requires much thought. For example, certain roofing materials may be very costly and the initial cost of replacing a roof with a high-end material can turn out to be significant. However, these materials are more durable than other less expensive materials and will more than likely end up saving you money in the long run.

When is it Time for a New Roof?

Most roofs need to be replaced, or at least repaired, every 10 years. However, a roof with the correct shape, materials and maintenance can last 20 to 50 years.

When inspecting your roof, the following guidelines can be used to indicate the degree to which your roof needs repair or replacement:

  • Materially sound—not currently in need of repair or maintenance work.

  • In need of minor repair, such as patchwork and coating.

  • Requires resurfacing with a new membrane.

  • Deteriorated to the extent that it requires total removal and replacement.

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Choosing a Type and Shape for Your Roof: Factors that Matter

Climate (sun, rain, snow, wind, etc.)

  • A light-colored surface material doesn’t absorb heat from the sun, which reduces your home’s cooling needs.

  • Choosing the right roof type and material can help your roof to withstand severe wind and snow.


  • Certain roof types can be initially expensive, but are more durable and save you money in the long run.

  • Local building codes.

  • A roof made from asphalt may be banned from certain urban areas due to its potential harm to the environment and population.


  • Some roofing materials give you more options when it comes to the type of look you want to create.


  • Roofing materials have different levels of fire protection.

  • Some roofing types can easily blow off in heavy wind, leaving your home vulnerable to dangerous weather elements.

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Pros and Cons of Roofing Materials: Weighing the Options

Considering the many choices, each with its own pros and cons, it can be a daunting task to decide on the type of roofing for your home. When choosing a roofing style, make sure to pay attention to a few key factors: home design, structural strength, cost, local building ordinances and personal preferences. It is also a good idea to consider the long term effects of your choice and what it will mean for your home in years to come.

Below is a quick look at a number of roofing types, accompanied by their main advantages and disadvantages.

Composition Shingles
Pros: At a very affordable price, these roofs are offered in a variety of colors and styles. Composition shingles made from asphalt and fiberglass are of a high quality and very durable. They are easy to install compared with other roofing types, require little maintenance and usually have Class A fire protection.

Cons: These types of roofs do not perform well in high winds, and under certain conditions there is a chance that they might blow off. The materials also scar easily if hot, which damages the appearance and durability of the roof.

Wood Shakes
Pros: Available in a variety of colors, widths, thicknesses, cuts of wood, etc. – these roofs allow for flexibility in style. Wood helps to insulate your attic, which allows air to circulate easily.

Cons: Wood shakes are unrated by fire safety codes and often require wipe or spray-on fire retardants, which are usually less effective in fire resistance than other roofing materials. These roofs require much maintenance and repair due to damage from mold, rot and insects. Old shakes are not recyclable and have a more complicated installation process than other roofing types.

Clay Tile
Pros: Provides a unique look, especially for homes with a Spanish, Italian or South-Western look. A wide variety of colors and styles are available. Tiles are long-lasting, don’t rot or burn and cannot be damaged by insects. This roofing material requires little maintenance.

Cons: Tiles are heavy, which can cause a roof to require extra support. Also, if color is only added to the surface of the tiles, it can fade over time. Tiles are fragile, which makes it more difficult to repair the roof or walk on it to repair gutters or fireplaces. Clay tiles are one of the most expensive roofing materials, and installation can be quite complicated.

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Concrete Tile
Pros: This roof type is very durable and is available in a variety of colors and styles. Most concrete roofing is long-lasting and requires little maintenance. Tiles are resistant to rot and insect damage and provide good fire protection. Concrete tile can be made to mimic other types of roofing.

Cons: This roofing style is on the expensive side and because it is relatively new on the market, there are still problems with breaking and color changing that must be resolved.

Metal Roofs
Pros: Regaining its popularity, metal roofs are now most popular in standing-seam steel (Standing-seam steel describes the upturned edge of one metal panel that connects it to adjacent sections, creating distinctive vertical lines and a historical look). These roofs can also be created to mimic other roofing types such as wood shakes, clay tiles, shingles, etc. Metal roofs are durable, fire retardant and require very little maintenance. Metal roofs are energy efficient and consist of many recyclable materials. They are light weight, which means they can be installed over existing roofs.

Cons: Installation of metal roofs can be difficult and the cost is higher than most other roofing types. The life-long cost of the roof should be considered to determine if the initial cost is worth it.

Torch Down Roofing
Pros: For flat roofs or those with a slope of less than 1 degree, this method is better than the conventional method of applying hot tar with a mop and topping it with gravel because it can be installed with more consistency. Torch down roofing material is single-ply rolled roofing that has a mineral base that reduces energy costs by reflecting heat from the sun’s rays.

Cons: This type of roofing is not suitable for regions which experience heavy rain or snowfall due to the overlapping material strips on a flat or low sloped roof. Many safety precautions and carefully structured working conditions must be set due to a fire hazard from heating the adhesive material with a torch.

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Roofing Shapes

Gable A traditional triangular roof with symmetrical sides.
Cross Gable Same as a gable roof but is has two parts that cross.
Flat A flat roof is nearly horizontal with only a slight inclination that lets the water run off.
Mansard A four-sided roof with double slopes on all sides. The lower slope is much steeper than the upper.
Hipped A low-pitched roof that allows for large eaves on a building.
Cross Hipped Same as a hipped roof but it has two parts that cross.
Pyramidal A hipped roof that forms a pyramid shape.
Shed Same as a gable roof but with only one slope.
Saltbox Same as a gable roof other the fact that the two sides of it are not symmetrical.
Gambrel When viewed from the side, this roof looks bell-like.

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Roofing Vocabulary You Should Know

Barge Board A board that conceals roof timbers that project over gables.
Beam The main piece of wood (or steel) that supports the roof.
Cornice The part of the roof that sticks out past the walls of a house.
Eave The edge of the roof.
Fascia The edge of the cornice.
Rafter A beam that supports the roof of a building.
Soffit The underside of the eave.
Truss A framework of beams, usually triangular, that support the roof of a building.

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Don’t forget that you can have fun when choosing a roof for your home. Several colors, styles, shapes and materials are offered today, allowing you to create your own personalized look for your home.

Advance Remodeling can provide financing for your roofing project too. You can apply for financing regardless of your credit history, and finally have the peace of mind of knowing that you have safe and secure roofing.

Contact Advance Remodeling today for your free roofing installation estimate at 410-532-5400, or click here to send us an e-mail request.

Advance Remodeling Company, Baltimore, Maryland


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