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It makes sense for a state as susceptible to such devastating weather impacts as North Carolina is to have its roofers well-organized. Carolinas Roofing and Sheet Metal Contractors Association Inc. has been around for more than 65 years, and includes not only roofing contractors themselves but suppliers of both products and services.
Typical Climate In North Carolina
Classified as a humid, subtropical climate, North Carolina sees four distinctive seasons. Though winters are short and mild, they are definitive. Snowfall accumulates in the mountains of the state, but coastal areas--such as the beaches and Outer Banks--see only trace amounts annually. Summers can be muggy, depending where you are in the state, while spring and fall are moderate and transitional. Hurricanes are probably considered more of a norm in North Carolina than is actually true, though when they do strike they do so with notable force. But rain itself is a real day-to-day concern, in particular in the state's southwest section near the Blue Ridge Mountains. Moist winds from the south rise over the mountains to drop more than 80 inches of rain a year, making the region the wettest in the eastern United States. On average, January temperatures range from the mid-30s to the upper-40s, while July temperatures range from the upper-60s to the mid-80s.
Common Roofing Issues In North Carolina
To call it common is perhaps an overstatement, but homeowners in the state--particularly near the Atlantic coast--live with the cloud of hurricane season hanging over their collective heads. Hurricanes ranging from Gloria in 1986 to Alex in 2004 have cost the state tens of millions in damages. Such potential for damage makes tile roofing more prevalent in North Carolina than other places because of its proven wind resistance. The general abundance of rainfall makes leaks a regular concern for homeowners in the state. Contractors in the state recommend pre-storm checks of drainage and loose debris or flashings to minimize the risk. Wind also poses a problem, particularly for a low-slope roof system. Roof edges take the brunt of this and are the site of most roof failures. Faced with a constant barrage of wind and rain, roof edges are often where low-slope roof systems take the worst beating. Humidity and organic matter combine to make the staining of roofing from algae, lichens and moss a presence in much of the state.
Licensing In North Carolina
To work as a general contractor on projects costing more than $30,000 in North Carolina, you must get a license from the North Carolina Licensing Board for General Contractors. Roofing is considered a specialty license under the general contracting banner. The roofing classification covers the installation and repair of roofs and decks on residential, commercial, industrial, and institutional structures, requiring materials that form a watertight and weather-resistant surface. For the purposes of this definition "material" includes cedar, cement, asbestos, clay tile, composition shingles, all types of metal coverings, wood shakes, single ply and built-up roofing, protective and reflective roof and deck coatings, sheet metal valleys, flashings, gravel stops, gutters and downspouts, and bituminous waterproofing among other things.
Energy Efficient Roofs In North Carolina
ENERGY STAR lists three roofing partners in North Carolina: ALDO Products Co., Coastal Metal Service and Sunlife Systems. ALDO makes a series of reflective roof coatings based primarily in the company's ALDOCOAT 374 acrylic coating product, which the company says is a high solids, fire retardant, thixotropic acrylic elastomer that can be used over metal substrates, polyurethane foam and asphalt systems. Greensboro-based Coastal Metal Service (CMS) offers eight ENERGY STAR-classified Cool Color options, meeting Environmental Protection Agency criteria. These metal roofs are shown in studies to save as much as 40 percent in energy costs, and according to CMS stand up to wind, hail, fire and earthquakes. Charlotte-based Sunlife handles a host of roofing products, including single-ply, metal and wet-roofing systems that meet the ENERGY STAR standards.
Unusual Roofs In North Carolina
Erect since the Civil War, the neoclassically designed North Carolina State Capitol's rooftop dome is flanked by a glass skylight overlooking the rotunda, an advanced structure given its period of construction. Famously, Second Lt. George Carr Round of the U.S. Army Signal Corps was sent to man a signal station atop the dome during the war. But upon sliding over the top, he crashed through the skylight, saved only by hanging from wire mesh netting beneath the skylight nearly 100 feet over the rotunda. Perhaps the state's most famous building is the Biltmore Estate. The building's intricately designed roof was designed with no wood. Rather, the building is fireproof with an iron framework, slate tiles, and copper sculpted flashing and ornamentation.