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12988 CR#4, Brighton, CO 80603

What makes a roof MODERN? Tips for upgrading

What makes a roof MODERN? Tips for upgrading

Modern roofs offer more resilience to extreme weather

Here are some things to know about “modern” roofs and how roofing practices have changed over the years. Thank you to for a great article, and to Betsy Kosowski of Kosowski Roofing in Chicago for the great information to pass on to our customers! 

Read article below…

If you haven’t put a new roof on a house in many years, you will be surprised by the changes. For instance, almost no one puts a new roof over an existing roof anymore. Tearing off the existing roof is always preferable so that the wood underneath can be checked and replaced, if necessary, and so that the new shingles can be applied correctly, according to Betsy [Kosowski of Kosowski Roofing in Chicago]. A few towns even require tear-offs.

In addition, the old three-tab shingles have been almost completely replaced by architectural shingles which give a home more character and architectural interest.

These new shingles also offer increased longevity, wind resistance and some increase in hail resistance, thanks to their extra mass and the way they are layered on a roof.  Typically, architectural shingles are tested to withstand a minimum of 70 mph winds, with many being tested to hold up to 80 and 90 mph winds. The standard three-tab shingle is tested to only 60 mph winds.

“Architectural shingles have much more curb appeal than traditional shingles,” Betsy explained. “Traditional shingles were installed to look like bricks with vertical slots. Architectural shingles have no vertical slots so they look much more interesting.”

Modern shingles have also been treated with a chemical that resists staining and algae, which have become common problems in the area. Big streaks on aging roofs, interestingly, are generally caused by algae growth on the limestone in the shingles, she stated.

Municipal codes also now require that ice and water shields be installed either three or six feet up from the gutters, all around the roof. These shields are used to protect sloped roofs from water penetration due to wind-driven rain and water backup resulting from ice dams. They also offer leak protection in trouble-prone spots like valleys, skylights, protrusions and other flashing areas.

When it comes to color choices, it is still a personal preference, Betsy said. Most people choose something in an earth tone or weathered wood color likes tans, browns and grays. Black roofs are still popular on colonial-style homes, but that color attracts more heat in the summer, so some shy away from it for energy conservation reasons.

Green and red are also occasionally chosen, but they have to fit the style of the particular home.

Kosowski does not install wood shake roofs, but they do tear them off occasionally, Betsy said.

“People don’t realize that, besides being very expensive, wood shake roofs become breeding grounds for hornets and termites. We tore one off last year and it was loaded with hornets,” she recalled. “They also have to be resealed every two to three years at a very high cost. If you don’t reseal them, they will rot and won’t hold up to our extremes of hot and cold in Chicago.”

“If it is installed correctly, the average shingle roof in Chicago should last 21 to 25 years. People may say, ‘I have a shingle with a 30-year warranty,’ but what they don’t realize is all of the variables that affect a roof, like ventilation, weather and even tree branches rubbing on the roof,” Betsy explained.


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A & H Roofing, LLC
Over 30 Years Experience
12988 County Road 4
Brighton, CO 80603
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A & H Roofing has been in business since February 1998, and we are proud to say we have over 30 years of experience in the roofing and gutter industry.

A & H Roofing has a no money down policy that means you pay upon completion, and only after you are 100% satisfied. We treat your home as if it were our own. We believe in doing things right and thus all replacements are backed by our 5 Year Workmanship Guarantee.