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Rockford Roof Installation Buying Guide
Installing a new roof on your home is a very involved process. There are many decisions to make about the roofing materials you will use to construct your new roof and who you will hire to complete the project. The factors influencing these decisions are not only the unique characteristics of your home, your budget, and your own personal preferences but also your home’s location in Rockford, Illinois.
As the third largest city in the State of Illinois, Rockford is working to encourage residents to make energy efficient improvements to their homes. Chicago has set a strong example by implementing strict energy initiatives over the last several years. Their efforts have paid off — in 2015, Rockford was award the Green in 2015 award after qualify as one of the top 10 energy efficient cities in Illinois.
Before you begin your roof replacement project, it is important to consider the climate in Rockford as well as the permit and licensing requirements that have been set in place by the local government. In this Rockford Roof Buying Guide, you will find information outlining how you can choose the most energy efficient roofing products for your home as well the what you need to know about applying for a permit and hiring a contractor to complete the project.
Knowing When to Replace Your Roof in Rockford
In general, roofs are built with high quality materials so that they will last well beyond 15 years. One of the first indicators that it is time to replace a roof is its age—if your roof is 25 years old or older, it is definitely time to begin planning for a full replacement of your roof. Age isn’t the only clue that it is time for a roof replacement. Leaks, missing or curling shingles, and even buckling in the roof can be repaired but they can also be serious enough to require the installation of a new roof.
Buying Roofing for the Climate in Rockford
Rockford is located in the Northern Climate Zone as indicated by the ENERGY STAR® criteria. Rockford itself experiences temperatures on both ends of the spectrum, with the average high reaching 85 degrees in July and the average low reaching 13 degrees in January. Homes located in this region rely heavily on their heating units but also use their air conditioner during warmer months of the year.
While many areas of the country are making efforts to encourage owners of residential and commercial buildings to use cool roofing products when replacing their roofs, there is much debate about the benefit of these roofs for homes located further north, where the warm seasons are shorter and the winters are cold and long. Cool roofs use materials that reflect an estimated 80 percent of the solar radiation that hits the roof, compared to conventional roofing products that reflect an estimated 20 percent of solar radiation.
This results in a lowering of the surface temperature of the roof by as much as 50 percent and the temperature inside of the home by several degrees. According to the Journal of Industrial Ecology, these roof are highly energy efficient in warm climates but actually increase energy consumption in cool climates by reflecting solar heat that normally plays a role in heating homes during cold, winter months.
At this time, it appears that the best roofing options for homes in the Northern Climate Zone are made of materials that withstand the wear and tear of winter weather. Metal roofs are becoming increasingly popular in cold climates because of the durability against snow. And when it comes to color choices, it is best to select a color known for absorbing solar radiation instead of reflecting it, like brown, red, or dark grey. It is also important to properly insulate beneath your roof, as insulation will further your home’s ability to remain warm during the coldest months and lower heating bills.
Rockford Permit and Licensing Requirements
The Rockford local government is in charge of approving or denying any plans for making major improvements to commercial or residential buildings. Before purchasing any roofing products or beginning work on your home, you must apply for a building permit through the Rockford Community & Economic Development Department.
In general, the city of Rockford has very few requirements outside of applying for a building permit. Homeowners may make major improvements or repairs to their homes themselves, or they can hire a contractor to complete the project. In Rockford, contractors who are performing general building projects, like a roof replacement, are not required to carry a license. However, you will want to be sure the contractor you hire has workers’ compensation insurance that covers the cost of medical bills or missed work time if one of their employees is hurt while working on your home.
Moving Forward: Caring for Your Roof in Rockford, IL
Once your new roof is installed, the hard work is not finished. Moving forward, it is important to properly care for your roof if you truly want it to last for 15 years or more. Regular roof inspections will allow you to catch any problems with your roof and repair them quickly before they cause more expensive problems.
By investing in a roof constructed from materials that are design for the cold climate in Rockford, you can expect your heating and cooling costs to decrease. The value of your home will also increase, and you can expect to recoup as much as 80 percent of your initial installation costs if you choose to sell your home in the future.