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Questions & Answers


Can a Roofing Installation Increase My Home’s Value?

If you’re interested in understanding how to increase the value of your home, you may want to focus in on a new roofing installation project.Here at R.M. Banning, we’ve earned CertainTeed’s highest credential level as a SELECT Shingle Roofer, a distinction held by less than 1 percent of roofing companies worldwide. We’re the Northern VA roofing company you can rely on for a new roofing installation. Allow us to explain how a new roofing installation can increase the value of your Virginia home.

A New Roofing Installation Improves Curb Appeal

When you’re wondering how to increase the value of your home, any realtor will tell you that you need to focus on improving your home’s curb appeal. A new roof adds curb appeal because it looks nice, and it helps your house potentially stand out from other homes in the neighborhood. Additionally, a new roofing installation can send a positive signal to prospective homebuyers about the condition of the rest of your home. It is estimated that a new roof can add between 15 percent and 40 percent value to the value of your home.

A New Roofing Installation Improves Home Efficiency

A new roofing installation can add further value to your home by improving its energy-efficiency. A new roof made from efficient materials prevents hot air from escaping as it rises to the attic, reducing your need for home heating and saving you money on heating fuel. Additionally, you may be eligible for a federal tax credit if you add an asphalt roof to your home. R.M. Banning specializes in Northern VA asphalt roof installations.

A New Roofing Installation Provides Other Forms of Value

A home with a newly installed roof is likely to sell much faster than one with an outdated roof. If and when you decide to sell your Arlington or Northern Virginia home, you’ll save money on marketing and real estate agent feels. A new roof also eliminates constant maintenance costs that you may be saddled with if you have an old roof.

Choose R.M. Banning For a New Roofing Installation

At R.M. Banning, we’ve completed over 5 million square feet of new roofing and replacement. We have expertise in a wide range of roofing materials:

  • Asphalt Roofing
  • Cedar Shake Roofing
  • Metal Roofing
  • Slate Roofing
  • Synthetic Roofing

If you want to know how to increase the value of your home, one answer is by completing a new roofing installation for your Virginia home. Contact us today to schedule a no-obligation, free estimate today!

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Which is better – fiberglass or organic shingles?

In the end, it must be said that either fiberglass or organic shingles can be manufactured to withstand extreme performance standards. Clearly, fiber glass-based shingles have the edge in warm weather areas. Both types of shingles can be made to perform excellently in cold weather. But fiber glass shingles must be manufactured to the most stringent performance standards to perform reliably in the far north. Not all fiber glass shingles meet these standards. So, buyer beware.

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What is a composite shingle?

The same thing as an asphalt shingle; basically any shingle constructed with a fiberglass or organic base is considered to be a composite shingle.

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What are algae-resistant shingles?

A portion of the granules contain leachable copper ceramically coated, designed to protect against discoloration from algae on the roof. This does not protect from moss growth but does slow the growth. Moss likes to feed on algae and any other debris on the roof. Most manufactures offer a 5- to 10-year warranty against algae growth; 3M (scotchgard TM) offers a 20-year warranty.

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What is an asphalt shingle?

Two types of asphalt shingles are used: organic and fiberglass or glass fiber. Organic shingles are generally paper (waste paper) saturated with asphalt to make it waterproof, then a top coating of adhesive asphalt is applied and ceramic granules are then embedded.

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My house has a roof with 2 1/2:12 (11 degree) slopes. The manufacture says its OK to use asphalt shingles, but my contractor says it isn’t. Who is right?

There are some manufacturer (and even building codes) that will allow the application of asphalt shingle roof having the slope; however the National Roofing Contractors Association (NCRA) does not recommend shingles on slopes less than 4:12 (18 degrees). Asphalt shingle roof systems are watershedding and rely on gravity and roof slopes to effectively drain water off of the roof.

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My house has a flat roof. What is the best roof system for a flat roof?

There is not one roof system that is best for all applications. Keep in mind that even if you are using the best materials, your roof system still can be installed improperly and you could end up with a leaky roof. Good workmanship, solid referrals and proper attention to detail (e. g. flashing and drainage issues) are just as important as material selection. also, maintenance plays an important role in roof system integrity and service life.

Also keep in mind low-slope roofing material manufacturers may not offer material warranties to homeowners. The only warranties you most likely will be able to obtain is from the contractor. So, it is critical you work with a professional roofing contractor and get a detailed proposal.

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My contractor suggested installing a ridge vent on my roof and I already have two single static vents. Do I really need a ridge vent?

The National Roofing Contractors Association (NCRA) suggests the amount of attic ventilation be balanced between the eaves and ridge. The intent of a balanced ventilation system is to provide nearly equivalent amounts of ventilation area at the eave/soffit and at or near the ridge. For a balanced ventilation system to function properly, approximately one-half of the ventilation area must be at or near the ridge. It might be a good idea.

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Are two layers of No. 15 underlayment the same as one layer of No. 30 underlayment?

No. Two layers of underlayment are referred to as a double-layer of underlayment and there is a 19 inch overlap between layers. One layer of underlayment is called a single layer of underlayment and there is a two inches of overlap between the layers. NRCA recommends a double layer for roof decks having slopes of 3:12 (14 degrees) up to 4:12 (18 degrees)

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One contractor’s bid includes No. 15 underlayment and another contractor says he only uses No. 30 because its the best. Who is right?

For asphalt shingles, National Roofing Contractors Association (NRCA) recommends a single layer of No. 15 asphalt-saturated underlayment be used with roofs having slopes of 4:12 (18 degrees) or greater. For roof slopes between 3:12 (14 degrees) to 4:12 (18 degrees), NRCA recommends a minimum of two layers of No. 15 underlayment. If you are installing a heavier-weight shingle with a projected long service life, using No. 30 underlayment instead of No. 15 would be appropriate.

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What is the best asphalt shingle to use on my roof?

Asphalt shingle material performance depends on the quality, quantity, and compatibility of asphalt fillers, reinforcements and surface granules. There are two kinds of asphalt shingles (based on the type of reinforcement mat used); fiberglass and organic. Fiberglass shingles are more fire-and moisture resistant than organic shingles. Organic shingles have good wind resistance, high tear strength and can be installed in colder temperatures.

Asphalt shingles should be in compliance with American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) standards and applicable building codes. Fiberglass shingles should meet ASTM D 3562, “Standard Specification for Asphalt Shingles Made from Glass Felt and Surfaced with Mineral Granules,” and organic shingles should meet ASTM D 255, “Standard Specification for Asphalt Shingles (Organic Felt) and Surfaced with Mineral Granules.”

Consumer also should keep in mind a roofing warranty’s length should not be the primary criterion in the selection of a roofing product or roof system because the warranty does not necessarily provide assurance of satisfactory roof system performance. See National Roofing Contractors Association’s (NRCA) consumer advisory bulletin addressing roofing warranties for more information.

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What type of roof do I put on my house?

Whatever you think will look good on your home. Putting a roof on your home is not only an important financial decision, but is has an important aesthetic value for your home too. When you drive up to your home, your should say to yourself, “That is a nice looking roof.”

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Can I repair or replace my roof myself?

Most roofing work should not be a do-it-yourself project. Professional roofing contractors are trained to safely and efficiently repair or replace a roof. Do-it-yourself people can harm a roof with improper roofing techniques and harm themselves by falling through the roof or even falling off the roof. Call a professional.

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When should I replace my roof or does my roof need to be replaced?

With Shake Roofs, most roofs start ‘telling’ you they need to be replaced when the shakes start to crumble under your feet or when you start finding them in your yard after a windstorm. With composition shingles, they usually wear in a more discreet way. Granules start coming off leaving black patches showing and shingles start to curl at the ends. In general, some people think if a roof leaks they need to replace it. Unless it is an older roof, leaks can usually be repaired. With leaking in older roofs and/or if your roof has leaking in more than a few areas, this can mean trouble.

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How do I clean algae and moss from my asphalt shingle roof?

Use a mild solution of chlorine bleach and water or mild detergent. Gently apply with sponges or hand-held sprayers and rinse thoroughly. Do not use a power washer or high concentrations of bleach and do not scrub the shingle surface.

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Is a metal roof hotter in the summer and colder in the winter?

No. many customers report a reduction in energy costs during summer and winter months. Metal roofs can be installed over an existing roof, which creates even more insulation from temperature extremes.

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Is metal roofing expensive?

Over the life of your home, metal roofing is the most economical roofing materials available. Traditional roofing materials have a limited life expectancy that will eventually require re-roofing. Re-roofing may be even more costly in highly prone areas where hail storms are frequent. However, before making the decision between asphalt and metal roofing materials, make sure you have reviewed the design aspects and the overall look of the final product before making a financial decision.

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Will I be able to walk on a steel roof once it is installed?

Absolutely. Metal roofs are designed to withstand the weight of people walking on them and are capable of withstanding a great deal of force.

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Is a metal roof hot?

Metal reflects 70% of the sun’s energy. This minimizes heat retention and as a result less heat is transferred into the building’s structure. Further, 1985 research by the Florida Solar Energy Center showed that metal experienced a 34% less heat gain than asphalt shingles.

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During the re-roofing of my house, the contractor left one side of the roof unprotected and when it rained, water entered the house and my ceiling and walls are damaged. Who is responsible for repairing the interior of my house?

Before signing a contract, make sure that it contains language addressing who is responsible for any damage that occurs as a result of the roofing work. All items of concern and work to be done should be included in the contract.

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My contractor installed the felt covering (underlayment) two weeks ago and hasn’t installed the shingles yet. How long can you leave underlayment exposed?

Time is not the critical issue; the condition of the underlayment is what’s important. Wrinkled or buckled underlayment should be replaced so the shingles lay flat.

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Only the underlayment has been installed on my roof and it rained last night. Now, the underlayment is wrinkled. Does it have to be replaced?

If the wrinkling isn’t severe enough to affect the shingle installation (i.e., the wrinkling won’t telegraph through the shingles and they won’t appear buckled or wavy once installed), the underlayment probably can remain in place. The effects of wrinkling also will be minimized by using heavier weight shingles.

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At what temperature is it too cold to install asphalt shingles?

There are no specific temperature guidelines regarding when it is too cold to install asphalt shingles. Asphalt shingles do become brittle in cold temperatures, with fiberglass shingles more likely to break than organic shingles. Breakage can be minimized or eliminated if the shingles are stored in a warm area and loaded onto the roof a few bundles at a time. Another concern is that the self-sealing strips will not seal or bond sufficiently in cold temperatures. Hand-tabbing (the application of quarter-size dabs of adhesive to the underside of shingles) is recommended if the building is located in an area prone to high winds. This will help prevent the shingles from blowing off the roof until warmer weather arrives and the sealing strips can set properly.

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Can ice damming and backup occur without gutters?

Yes, and it is more probable for roofs with lower slopes, especially in valleys and upslope from curbs, chimneys and penetrations.

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I want to use melting pellets to melt the snow on my roof. Will it harm the asphalt shingles?

Generally, chemical melting compounds do not reduce the overall expected service life span of asphalt shingles. Staining may occur until all the residue is washed away. Calcium or magnesium chloride pellets are less harsh and stain less than sodium chloride.

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How can ice dams be reduced or removed?

Remove as much snow as possible, but call a professional roofing contractor if your roof is steep, the snow is deep or the ice is thick. It is not recommended to use ice picks or shovels (or any tool with sharp edges) because there is a chance of damaging roof coverings and flashings. In addition, it is not recommended to hose down a roof with water or use of a hot air gun. Electric heat cables generally have limited effectiveness. Qualified professionals are the best choice to hire to remove ice dams in bad weather.

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What are some of the impacts if ice dams are not removed?

If ice dams are not removed within a short period of time damage to soffits, gutters and the roof and house structure could occur. It is highly recommended that the ice dams are removed quickly to prevent these types of damages. Call a professional to perform this task is the safest way to go.

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When to Have Gutter Replacement?

You know how important it is to maintain your gutters. Without them, water can run directly into your foundation and cause leaks and flooding. You probably clean your gutters at least once a year like you should, but are you sure your gutters are working as effectively as they can? A malfunctioning gutter can be just as ineffective as having no gutters at all! In order to protect your home from water damage, you need to keep an eye on your gutters and get gutter replacement when it’s needed. But how do you know when it’s time for a gutter replacement? Let R.M. Banning tell you what to look for when your gutters need replacing!

Signs You Need Gutter Replacement

Basement Flooding

If you have water coming into your basement during a rainstorm, and it’s not pooling around a poorly sealed storm door or window, be sure to check your gutters – they could be failing. Your gutters’ job is to direct rainwater away from your home’s foundation. If they’re not performing properly, that rainwater can seep into the cracks, not only flooding your basement but also causing some potentially serious structural damage. So if your basement is flooding, check your gutters first!


If you see any signs of leakage from your gutter system, you should consider gutter replacement. A leaking gutter cannot effectively direct water away from your home and won’t give you the best protection from water damage. Signs of leaks include mold, peeling paint and wood rot on the outside of your home around the gutter system.


If your gutters are developing any visible rust, you need to think about gutter replacement. Rust means your gutters are starting to wear out, and will probably develop leaks in the near future. Replacing your gutters before there is a problem is a proactive step towards protecting your home.

Uneven Gutters

If your gutters are not in line with your roof and seem uneven, a gutter replacement might be a good idea. Uneven gutters mean your gutter system is not properly attached your roof anymore, and can’t work as effectively as possible. Gutters need to be in line with your roof to properly direct water away from your home, so uneven gutters can mean big problems!

Gutter Replacement from R.M. Banning

If your gutters are giving you any of these signs, call R.M. Banning for gutter replacement. We’ve been around since 1982 meeting the gutter replacement needs of people in Northern Virginia. All of our employees are highly trained professionals ready to help you choose the best gutter system for your home. We make all of our gutter replacements on site so you can rest assured your gutters will work perfectly with your home. We offer different size of gutters, seamless gutters, hidden fasteners and more so you will have a great selection to choose from during your gutter replacement. We want to help you get the home of your dreams, and this includes replacing old, broken gutters with new ones that will protect your home. Let us ensure your home is safe from unnecessary damage caused by malfunctioning gutters. Contact us for a free gutter replacement estimate today!

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What Are The Benefits of Installing of Kitchen Garden Windows?

If you’re looking into replacement windows for your Virginia home, you may want to consider installing kitchen garden windows. These windows mimic the shape of a greenhouse, and they are designed for beauty and functionality. Kitchen garden windows extend outward from the house and have four sides. They have a jutted out space that allows homeowners to display their plants and flowers. As one of the top service providers of replacement windows VA has to offer, R.M. Banning can explain the major benefits of installing kitchen garden windows.

Kitchen Garden Windows Are Gorgeous

By installing kitchen garden windows, you can instantly add a touch of class and elegance to your Virginia home. These windows feature a special place for showcasing your plants, flowers or decorative items. These replacement windows can provide your kitchen with an instant facelift. You’ll enjoy being able to watch your plants grow above your kitchen sink, and you’ll love the beautiful view of your back, side or front yard. Also, with glass on the top, two sides and the middle, kitchen garden windows allow more light to enter your home and kitchen.

Kitchen Garden Windows Are a Smart Investment

Replacement windows, particularly kitchen garden windows, help make your home more energy-efficient. They capture more warmth from sunlight on colder days, which can reduce your winter heating costs. The wintertime here in Northern Virginia can be rough, making kitchen garden windows a smart buy for the winter. Additionally, kitchen garden windows can potentially increase your home’s resale value by improving your home’s curb appeal, assuming that you can see the kitchen from the street. These windows will make your kitchen appear bigger.

Plants Thrive in Kitchen Garden Windows

If you’re an avid gardener, you may be disappointed by the harsh elements your plants are exposed to during Northern Virginia’s rough winter season. With kitchen garden windows, your plants can enjoy sunlight all year round without having to be exposed to harsh seasonal elements. Plants situated in kitchen garden windows thrive, regardless of weather or season.

Kitchen garden windows can significantly enhance the appearance of your Virginia home. Contact us today to schedule a no-obligation, window replacement estimate.

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