a child looking through a Velux skylights window

As a homeowner, you may tend to take “having a roof over your head” for granted. As you return from work each day, you probably notice when the lawn needs mowing, a crack in the sidewalk, and the faded paint on the front door, but how often do you really look up at the roof?

You may be surprised to learn that in addition to keeping you safe and comfortable, new roof upgrades are available that can improve energy efficiency, improve curb appeal, and even boost your home’s value.

Take a look at some of the exciting ways you can make your roof more attractive, functional, durable, and valuable:

Ventilation Upgrade

roof-vent

If you’ve ever been in your attic in the summer, you know that it can get pretty hot up there. This is caused from too little ventilation in the roof and directly affects the comfort level in the rooms below.

Installing ridge vents across the top of your roof will allow air to move freely underneath the ridge cap shingles. Soffit vents, under the eaves, will draw cool air into the attic while the hot air exits out the top. Add gable vents near the roof peak to add even more ventilation to cool your attic and make a more comfortable home.

Decking Enhancement

If your roof is more than 15 years old, the decking (or plywood sheathing under the shingles) may start to sag or rot. Leaks may occur and compromise the structural integrity of your home. A roofing contractor can inspect your roof for weak areas and recommend whether a partial or full deck enhancement/replacement is needed.

Better Shingles

replacing-shingles

While your current roof may have traditional three-tab shingles that have adequately protected your home for years, upgrading to thicker, more attractive architectural shingles will increase energy efficiency, performance, and aesthetics. New reflective shingles are the perfect answer on how to save energy at home. They come in a variety of colours and reflect much of the heat from the sun, saving between 7 and 15-percent on cooling costs.

Lifetime warranties are available on many architectural shingle styles and provide significant impact and wind resistance that could help reduce your homeowner’s insurance premiums. New designs offer great curb appeal that will have potential buyers stopping to take notice.

Ice and Water Protection

If you live in a northern region of Canadian that endures long, harsh winters, you can benefit from the addition of ice and water protection. Your local building department can tell you if ice dams are required by code in your area, but even if they’re not, adding self-adhering eave protection membranes can help shed excess water off the roof and prevent ice from building up and damaging the structure of your home. You’ll also eliminate all those dangerous icicles that hang precariously from your roof in winter.

Low-Maintenance Gutters

When your roof shingles are being replaced, you’ll also want to ditch the old gutters and install new low-maintenance ones. Add a gutter guard system to stop leaves and debris build-up that prevent clogs and overflow too. One-piece, seamless systems are available in various colours to match your home’s decor. Not only will your new gutters look great from the street, you won’t need to risk your safety by climbing a ladder to clean out the gutters ever again.

Skylights

skylights

Image Credit: Velux Canada

Skylights are making a huge comeback and new advances by top manufacturers like Velux mean you can trust they’ll provide highly efficient, durable products. Look for specially designed solar-powered venting skylights that capture sunlight that runs the operator—no need for electrical wiring. Daylighting is taken to another level with electric and manual venting skylights that open to let fresh air in while helping to balance the moisture level inside.

Roof Windows

roof-windows

Image Credit: Velux Canada

Want to know how to increase natural light and ventilation without compromising easy operation? Check out a top-hinged or centre-pivoting roof window from Velux. These offer convenient, easy access to the outdoors while increasing energy efficiency. You can even place furniture beneath the roof window and still open and close it with ease. They work perfect for high-humidity rooms like kitchens and bathrooms and look great too.

Sun Tunnels

sun tunnel

Image Credit: Velux Canada

Don’t have direct roof access but want to bring natural light into a dark space? Consider installing a Velux sun tunnel. Both rigid and flexible, highly reflective tunnel styles can be installed with no structural changes to the home with up to 20′ runs. Sun tunnels can change the feel of the room by making it more bright and open.

Airtight Chimney Cap

Traditional woodburning fireplaces are not terribly energy efficient. Even with the damper closed, when your fireplace isn’t being used, the warm air inside your house escapes through the chimney. Install an airtight chimney cap to save on energy bills. Open the spring-activated unit with a steel cable installed inside your fireplace and close it once your fire is completely out.

The Final Word on Roof Upgrades

Don’t overlook the many opportunities roof upgrades can do to boost your home’s value. Hire a professional roofing contractor in Calgary AB to evaluate your current roof and ask about adding vents, enhancing the decking, installing architectural shingles, protecting your home from water and ice damage, putting in low-maintenance gutters, increase daylighting with skylights, roof windows or sun tunnels, or create an airtight seal with a new chimney cap.

By taking the time to update your roof now, you’ll enjoy the benefits of lower energy bills, improved comfort, better curb appeal, and you might even get a higher selling price when you put your home on the market.

Serge Bojinski

He writes about real estate, home improvement and a healthy lifestyle. Editor and partner at RenoHood. His contributions appear on home improvement and real estate sites across Canada. He loves outdoors and adventure. Supports his calisthenics community and lives by the motto, “We rise by lifting others”.
@SBojinski | RenoHood