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Thatched roofing could be set for a comeback

PEOPLE DON’T NORMALLY worry too much about how the roof of their house looks.

Modern roof tiles keep out water and require sparse maintenance, ensuring they go unnoticed for the most part.

Thatched roofing offers a more aesthetically pleasing alternative. However, how hard is it to maintain? And does it keep the water out and the heat in?

To find out more about it, TheJournal.ie spoke to Kyran O’Grady, a thatcher with more than 30 years experience, about how you could make it a part of your home.

So what are main benefits of having a thatched roof?

Aesthetic beauty and thermal insulation.

And does it match up to modern building standards? How does it fare in terms of BER ratings?

It would be the warmest roof you could get. You know the saying – ‘cool in summer and warm in winter’. That is what good insulation means in any house, the heat from outside or the cold from outside doesn’t affect you. And it applies to a thatched house as well – cool in summer and warm in winter.

Is it difficult to maintain?

It is not difficult, but they do have to be maintained. Normally they would have a new ridge every eight to ten years and then if they were surrounded by a lot of trees or if they were prone to moss you would spray them to try and keep the moss at bay.

And is it something people are interested in do you think?

Prior to the crash it had definitely grown in popularlity. At the moment there is a slow resurgence in building generally and in thatch along with it.

An example of O'Grady's work.Source: Kyran O'Grady

So if someone is living in a semi-detached house – could they get their half of the roof thatched?

Well it would be unlikely. There are semi-detached houses that are thatched but it is normally the two halves. There are certain criteria that the roof has to meet – besides from the fact that it is a adjoining another property.

It would be possible – maybe. It would very difficult. Unless your neighbour wanted to join you in the process.

Does it take long to thatch a roof?

It is slow yeah – you might slate a roof in three or four days and it would take you a month to thatch it.

Source: Cineprojectorman

Is thatching a dying skill?

No no, it’s holding its own.

Is it a particularly Irish skill?

It is all over northern Europe. You know, Hungary, Poland, France, Germany, Austria.

Then there is quite a bit of it in South Africa – that is from the Dutch and people who went to live there. They brought a finer type of thatching than the type that they had down there. There are quite a few thatched houses in South Africa.

How much does it cost to get a house thatched?

It depends how big it is. It could be anything from maybe €12,000 up. The sky is the limit really depending on the house.

What kind of materials do you use?

Most of the roofs that I do would be done in reed. Traditionally there are three basic types. There is long straw, which would of been predominant on the east coast, and then there is combed-wheat reed, which is straw as well.

Where the long straw is just cut and put through the threshing mill and it comes out sort of topsy-turvy so it looks like it’s kind of poured on – where a combed-wheat reed roof, only the heads of the straw are threshed, so you’re left with all the butts together – you would have found that more so in England and a little bit up the North.

After that there is reed thatching. There is tie-down thatching in Donegal and the Aran Islands. But in the main, most houses that are being thatched today would be reed.

Are there places where it was more practised traditionally?

Traditionally, it was everywhere. Now I would say that it is predominantly coastal counties.

Would rain ever get through thatching?

No, it wouldn’t get through a good roof.

Find original: http://www.thejournal.ie/thatching-roof-crowd-stand-out-master-thatcher-kyran-2036154-Apr2015/

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U.S. roofing maker GAF to acquire Denmark’s Icopal

GAF, the largest roofing manufacturer in North America, has agreed to acquire Danish peer Icopal A/S for about 1 billion euros ($1.08 billion), in a deal that will dramatically expand the privately held company's presence in Europe.

The deal provides GAF with new markets for its products. North America represented about 25 percent of the global roofing industry in 2013, while Europe accounted for close to 14 percent, according to market research firm Freedonia Group.

GAF, a subsidiary of Standard Industries Inc, which was formerly known as Building Materials Corporation of America, will buy Icopal from Bahrain-based investment firm Investcorp Ltd, the companies said on Monday.

"The enhanced scale and financial strength of our combined company positions us to lead the roofing industry on both sides of the Atlantic and beyond," David Millstone, co-chief executive officer of Standard Industries, said in a statement.

Founded in 1876 and based in Herlev, Denmark, Icopal sells to the residential roofing, building membranes, waterproofing and civil engineering markets. It has annual revenue of about 1 billion euros.

Investcorp had acquired Icopal in 2007 for 850 million euros from Axcel, Denmark's largest private equity fund, Carlisle Companies Inc (CSL.N), a U.S. diversified manufacturing company, Kirkbi, another Danish private equity fund, and FIH, a Danish corporate bank, according to a statement at the time.

Founded in 1886 and based in Parsippany, New Jersey, GAF has about 3,000 employees and 29 manufacturing plants. Together with Icopal, the combined company will have nearly $4 billion in sales across more than 80 countries.

"This is a transformative first step for our company in its vision to be a leading global industrial manufacturer," David Winter, the other co-chief executive of Standard Industries, said in the statement. Millstone and Winter are also chief investment officers of 40 North Management, a privately held investment affiliate of Standard Industries.

Trusts for the benefit of the heirs of Ronnie Heyman, the widow of Samuel Heyman, the former chairman of GAF, are the beneficial owners of Standard Industries, according to credit ratings agency Moody's Investors Service Inc.

Read more: http://www.reuters.com/article/icopal-m-a-gaf-idUSKCN0V30D1

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Roofing material comes in plenty of options

Don’t underestimate the significance of choosing the right roof for your home.

A roof is the primary defence a home has against the elements. It provides protection against wind, rain and snow, as well as shields the interior from the heat. In addition to its function, it is also a key part of the curb appeal of your home.

Depending on the material composition, roofs can last anywhere from 10 to 50 years. Homeowners usually know it’s time to replace a roof without even venturing outside, due to the appearance of ceiling leaks or discolouration. Wet or darkened wood or rusty nails in the attic can also be a sign.

Water can run along a rafter often appearing on a ceiling rooms away from the location of the leak. This can make it a challenge to find a leak, but it’s best to do a thorough check anytime wetness or discolouration is evident anywhere in the home. Water leaks only escalate and cause more damage over time.

If you are choosing the roofing material for your new home or re-roofing an existing home, here’s a handy overview of the various types of materials available on the market.

Asphalt shingles: The three-tab asphalt shingle is available in a myriad of colours and is the most commonly used roofing material due to its reasonable price.

Architectural shingles: Similar to an asphalt shingle, it is thicker and the layers are staggered to give the roof a more architectural look. These shingles are only slightly more expensive than asphalt shingles, which still makes them a good value.

Cedar shakes and shingles: Manufactured from either cedar or pine, they give an upscale appearance. Life spans differ depending on the availability of old growth cedar. They can be expensive to install, require periodic cleaning to remove mildew or moss, and may need re-oiling for preservation.

Metal roofs: An ideal choice for industrial or agricultural structures or country homes where snow is frequent. They can range from relatively inexpensive galvanized steel and light-weight aluminum to pricey copper. With life spans varying from 40 to 50 years, they can provide good value.

Slate: This hard stone material is very strong and sheds snow and ice very well. However, the weight of slate requires a more substantial roof structure, and the cost makes it less popular among today’s homeowners.

Ceramic: Tile roofs are among the most expensive due to specialized skills needed for installation of the heavy tiles as well as the roof structure required to hold the tile weight. Even with a life expectancy of 60 to 80 years, it is not normally a practical choice for most homeowners.

Concrete tiles are attractive, available in a variety of colours and can be custom-colour manufactured for an additional cost. They come with a 50-year warranty but have not gained the same popularity as they enjoy in Europe due to their more substantive appearance.

Synthetic composites offer the benefit of looking like a natural material with the added benefits of performance, durability and longevity; won’t rot, blister or crack; they are resistant to insects, mould and mildew; fire retardant and basically are maintenance free. As you would expect, they cost due to their durability.

Rubber/synthetic: Available in Canada for the last 10 years, these are growing in popularity due to their environmental value (manufactured from recycled tires and plastics), their similar look to slate or cedar shakes and durability that justifies a 50-year warranty.

Read more: http://www.lfpress.com/2016/04/07/bang-on-roofing-material-comes-in-plenty-of-options

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Tesla’s Solar Roof Almost Ready for Distribution, How Much Will It Cost?

Consumers and industry players are anticipating the price range of the new Tesla solar roofs.

(Photo : Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Billionaire and Tesla CEO Elon Musk recently launched the new Tesla Solar Roofs using a 'Desperate Housewives' set as a model house. The new Tesla roofs are equipped with solar panels are not just designed to harness solar power and store them in Power Wall, but the new solar roof is also designed to replace existing roofs.

The innovative solar roofs are said to be stronger than traditional roofing system. The solar panels are built in within the roofing panels so that the roofing itself will serve as the solar panels and vice versa. During the launch, Powerwall 2 and Powerpack 2 were also unveiled. The solar roofs will directly work with Tesla's home-based Powerwall.

Although it is not available on the market yet, it is looking good for Tesla as a lot of manufacturers and industry players are praising the new building-integrated photovoltaic (BIPV) solar roofs. This is the reason why a lot of industry players and the consumers as well are looking out for the would-be price point of Tesla's innovative solar roofs.

Typical solar shingles are already expensive, to begin with like CertainTeed, Suntegra and Atlanis. This is due to the high cost of materials and installation cost. But Musk argued during the launch that in the long run, installing solar roofs would be beneficial environmentally and economically.

The solar roofs are composed of a 6-inch solar cell. The economical advantage can be calculated depending on how powerful the solar cells and the kilowatt-generating power or solar cells on the roof combined.

Tesla's solar roofs are also designed to replace the typical type of roofing materials. On the onset, it will be of course, a bit more expensive than the regular ones especially if the home owner will choose to replace the whole roofing system with its solar counterpart. But Musk had also given that a thought. The Tesla CEO said anyone could choose only parts of their roofs to be replaced with the ones with solar cells and still keep some of the typical roofing materials. This is in respect to existing homes and the owner's aesthetic preferences.

In an educated guess, Brian Cinnamon of Green Tech Media expects that the Tesla solar roof to cost about $15,000 for a set that is capable of producing 9,000 kilowatt-hours per year.

But until the solar roofs roll out in the market, no one can tell for sure how much will the solar roof cost. Tesla's acquision of SolarCity paved the way for the production of Solar Roofs that is considered an integral part of Musk's environmental agenda mentioned in his 'Tesla Master Plan Part 2'.

Read more: http://www.natureworldnews.com/articles/31589/20161110/tesla-solar-roof-ready-distribution-much-will-cost.htm

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Helotes couple waiting for money back after incomplete roofing job

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Helotes couple waiting for money back after incomplete roofing job. SAN ANTONIO – Since January, The Better Business Bureau has received more than 200 complaints on roofing companies for San Antonio and surrounding areas. News 4 also learned, since the April Hail storms, some people also claim money was taken from them but little to […]

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The post 5 QUESTIONS YOU SHOULD HAVE ABOUT ELON MUSK’S NEW SOLAR ROOFS was first seen on Elevate Roofing - Limerick Blog

Tesla Motors Slate Tile These ‘slate’ roofing tiles are actually glass tiles that contain solar cells. Last week, on the set of Desperate Housewives, SolarCity and Tesla announced the development of solar roofs, or fully functional roofs that are also happy to generate solar power. We know a few things about them already. The aesthetics […]

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Here Comes The Sun: Elon Musk Wants to Raze The Roofing Industry

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The U.S. has more than 70 million single-family homes and nearly all have something in common: They are covered by some kind of roof. If Elon Musk has his way, those rooftops will all be generating solar power using technology provided by a combined Tesla and SolarCity. He showed off his new vision at an event yesterday, with prototypes […]

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Roofing companies still making repairs one year after windstorm

SPOKANE, Wash. – It has been a year since Spokane’s historic November windstorm and the City is still recovering, especially when it comes to roof repairs.

KREM 2 On Your side reached out to dozens of local roofing companies to see the extent of damage they are still repairing. Most of them said they are still booked with clients affected by the vicious blow from the storm.

Alpine Construction said 60-70 percent of their clients have damages as a result of the windstorm. They are booked with clients through February.

Workers from Spokane Roofing Company said they have 45 clients that are still dealing with windstorm damage. They have also repaired 400 roofs and re-roofed around 200 homes.

In October, FEMA reimbursed Spokane County $9.5 million to help cover the cost of the windstorm. The funding will be repaid in increments over several months.

Read More: http://www.krem.com/weather/roofing-companies-still-making-repairs-one-year-after-windstorm/353359841

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