Why Upgrade to Class 4 Shingles in Colorado?

Colorado Home with Class 4 Hail Resistant Roofing

Why Upgrade to Class 4 Shingles in Colorado

If you’re a homeowner in Colorado, you’re aware of the unpredictable and often extreme weather conditions that can impact your property. From heavy snowfalls to hailstorms and intense UV radiation, your roof is constantly exposed to various elements that can deteriorate its integrity over time. That’s why investing in quality is paramount when it comes to roofing materials. One option gaining popularity in Colorado is Class 4 shingles.

What is a Class 4 shingle?

Class 4 shingles, often referred to as impact-resistant shingles, are designed to withstand extreme weather conditions better than traditional roofing materials. These shingles are subjected to rigorous testing, including impact tests that simulate the effects of hailstones, and they are rated based on their ability to resist damage. The ratings are typically Class 1 through Class 4, with Class 4 being the highest grade and offering the most robust protection.

Roof Impact (Hail) Testing Diagram Class 1 through 4

The Benefits of Class 4 Shingles in Colorado

Hail Protection: One of the primary advantages of Class 4 shingles is their exceptional resistance to hail damage. Colorado experiences some of the most severe hailstorms in the U.S., causing significant damage to roofs. By upgrading to Class 4 shingles, you’re investing in a material that can better withstand the impact of hailstones, reducing the need for frequent repairs and replacements.

Extended Lifespan: Class 4 shingles are constructed using durable materials and innovative manufacturing processes. This results in a longer lifespan compared to traditional shingles. Considering the harsh weather conditions that Colorado roofs endure, the longevity of Class 4 shingles becomes a compelling reason to upgrade.

Insurance Benefits: Many insurance companies recognize the superior durability of Class 4 shingles and offer premium discounts to homeowners who install them. By making this upgrade, you not only enhance your home’s protection but also potentially save money on insurance premiums in the long run.

When it comes to protecting your home and ensuring its longevity in Colorado’s challenging climate, upgrading to Class 4 shingles is a proactive step that offers numerous benefits. From hail protection and extended lifespan to potential insurance discounts and increased home value, the advantages of these impact-resistant shingles are hard to ignore. So, if you’re a homeowner in Colorado looking to safeguard your investment and enjoy peace of mind, seriously consider making the switch to Class 4 shingles. Your roof and your pocketbook will thank you in the years to come.



Insurance Discounts With Impact Resistant Roofing

class 4 impact resistant roof homeowners insurance discount

How does your roof affect your insurance premiums? You probably never think about your roof, but your insurance company certainly does.

For many, home insurance may seem like just another expensive box to check to satisfy your mortgage lender. 

Did you know that the average annual cost of home insurance in Colorado is $1,813? So why aren’t more homebuyers taking this protection against the unexpected more seriously?

class 4 impact resistant roof homeowners insurance discount

In the last 10 years, hailstorms have caused more than $3 billion in property damage in Colorado and Wyoming, mainly to roofs. As a result, 30% of a home’s insurance cost is reserved for a new roof.

As a result of the huge losses, insurance companies are demanding more and more impact-resistant roofing materials on the market. To incentivize consumers, some insurers are offering discounts of up 25% on a homeowner’s insurance premium with impact resistant roofing.

“Insurance companies love to see their policy holders install hail-resistant roofing, “said Jackie Lanier, insurance consultant. “It saves money for the homeowner and it also keeps insurance premiums manageable – it is a win-win proposition.

As a responsible homeowner, knowing your options and doing your research can benefit you in the long-term. Don’t choose your home insurance blindly and spend some time to review resources such as this homeowners insurance article from money.com on the best companies for homeowner insurance, which also explains why they are ranked in that specific order.

How Long Have Impact Resistant Roofing Materials Given Insurance Discounts?

In 1998, Texas was the first state to make it mandatory for insurance companies to offer discounts to homeowners with hail-resistant roofing. A homeowner with the lowest resistant rated roof (Class 1) in a part of the state with the least hail would only get a 1% discount. But for a homeowner using Class 4 materials in that portion of the state that regularly gets pelted with hail at least 6 times a year, the discount was a whopping 35% annually.

While it has yet to become mandatory in other states, a number of insurers including State Farm have voluntarily decided to offer insurance discounts in other states like Colorado and Wyoming where hail and high winds tend to be a problem.

If you’re planning to get new asphalt shingles and you live in a high-wind zone, ask the installer to use six nails per shingle (Excel Roofing always does this). You may get a discount by using six nails per shingle instead of four, which increases the wind-resistance rating of your roof. Make sure to check with your agent about any discounts before signing a roofing contract.

Impact-resistant roofing materials are tested and given a rating of Class 1 to 4, with Class 4 being the highest rating. The test, called UL 2218, was developed for the purpose of testing roofing materials. Most Class 4 roofing material also has a limited lifetime warranty to cover manufacturer’s defects. When Excel Roofing installs a hail-resistant roof, we always provide the necessary documentation to the homeowner so they may qualify for the discount. If you need a free roof inspection or have any questions about hail-resistant roofing, contact Excel Roofing!

Storm Drainage System

heavily clogged gutter

Storm Drainage System

Having the right type of storm drainage system is crucial to preserving the foundation of your home. Proper storm drainage protects your home from soil erosion, basement flooding, water stains and paint damage. It also helps to prevent mold and mildew growth. 

There are many options when it comes to your storm drainage system. There are also many types of material, shapes and sizes available. This is why it is important to have an expert roofing company that can educate you on the right kind of drainage system for your home. 

At Excel, our roofing experts care about protecting your home just as much as you do. This is why we make sure that our water systems always drain away from your home, our downspouts always extend at least 4 feet away from your home and our underground drains always direct water away from your home. This prevents water drainage from causing issues like soil erosion, basement flooding and much more. 

Gutter Materials

There are many available options when it comes to gutter material, shapes and sizes.  The 4 main choices when it comes to gutter material are; aluminum, copper, steel and vinyl/ plastic.

Aluminum gutters are the most commonly used type of gutters. Aluminum is corrosion resistant, lightweight and easy to work with. It is also less expensive than many of its alternatives.

Copper gutters are much more expensive than aluminum gutters. However they are slightly stronger than aluminum gutters, don’t need to be painted and don’t mildew like painted gutters. 

Steel gutters are stronger but will rust. These types of gutters should also be inspected frequently to prevent clogging and premature rusting.

Plastic gutters can be easily broken.  Excel Roofing does not recommend plastic gutters nor do we install plastic gutters, as they typically fail.

Both aluminum and steel gutters can be fabricated on site.  

Excel Roofing recommends seamless aluminum gutters over steel because they hold up well, melt the snow and ice faster than steel and will never rust.

Excel Roofing Seamless Rain Gutter Services

Excel Roofing provides Denver’s best rain gutter installation, replacement and gutter cleaning services. Clogged, leaking, and improperly draining gutters can cause damage to your home and its foundation.

Overflowing gutters and downspouts can cause your basement to flood. When a basement floods because of outside water, insurance typically will not cover this disaster.

Excel Roofing installs seamless 5 & 6 inch rain gutters. Our seamless gutter machine creates custom seamless gutters, specifically for your home, at your home!

Why seamless gutters? Fewer seams mean fewer leak and failure points.

Clogged Gutters

heavily clogged gutter

Plant material such as seeds, cones, twigs and leaves can build up over time and lead to clogs in your drainage system. Buildup of these materials can also lead to animals like rodents and wasps nesting in your gutters. Buildup can also prevent water from moving through, and the added weight can lead to warped or sagging gutters. Winter can also bring challenges like snow buildup or ice dams, which can also lead to leaks, damages or warped gutters. 

Here are a few options to prevent storm drain backups:

  • Have your storm drainage system installed by an experienced expert like Excel Roofing
  • Have your gutters cleaned at least once a year (this is the best solution to gutter clutter)
  • Gutter covers are an option but they are very debatable because they can cause rain to overshoot the gutters and can contribute to clogging problems on top of gutters
  • Gutter screens are another option to protect you gutters, however these screens can become blocked and cause water to over shoot gutters
  • If you notice ice buildup, address it before it becomes worse

Leaking Gutters

Leaking gutters should receive immediate attention. If not fixed in a timely fashion, gutter leaks can lead to other issues with your home such as, damage to exterior walls, soil erosion, flooding, and damage to roofing material.

If you have leaking gutters here are some steps you should take to prevent further damage:

  • Get water 4 feet away from the house, otherwise you could have issues like basement flooding or damage to your foundation
  • Check to see if your downspouts are clogged (clogged downspouts can make it seem like you have a leak)
  • Check the slope of your gutters to make sure they aren’t sloped incorrectly, causing water to drain outside of them
  • Check to see if water is draining towards the downspouts
  • Check the corners of the gutters where they connect (sometimes gutters need to be resealed)

Recycled Asphalt Shingles

asphalt shingle roof

Recycled Asphalt Shingles

recycled asphalt shingle roof

Old Asphalt shingles are easily recycled, and have proven to be a win win for the municipalities’ who have accepted their use in asphalt roads.  When the old roof is being torn off, the workers must separate the asphalt shingles from the other debris, and only load the shingles into the dump truck.  This requires the individual contractors to train their personnel how to separate the material so it is ready to be recycled.  Then, the dump truck then delivers this “clean load” of asphalt shingles to the recycle facility.  After it is dumped, the load of shingles will be will be chopped and ground into small pieces.  The chopped shingles are passed over a magnet to remove any nails.  The finished product, commonly referred to as RAS, is then ready to be used in Hot Mixed Asphalt.

The use of RAS in Hot Mix Asphalt (HMA) pavement has shown to have a number of benefits.

Benefits Of Hot Mix Asphalt Pavement

Benefits shown from many studies include:

•Recycling thousands of tons of usable material

•Reducing the amount of asphalt shingles being put into landfills.

•Reducing the amount of miles traveled by dump trucks traveling to outlying landfills.

•Increased stiffness of asphalt roads

•Decreased road cracking

•No effect on moisture sensitivity

•Decreased susceptibility to rutting

•Decreased optimum content of virgin asphalt cement.

Studies have been conducted in which portions of highways and roads have been paved with asphalt containing recycled shingles and have been monitored over time. Many laboratory studies have been conducted and may be found on the Technical Reports and Articles pages at Shinglerecycling.org.

Because of the benefits shown by using recycled asphalt shingles in HMA pavement, a number of states allow a certain percentage of RAS to be used in HMA pavements. These states include: Florida,  Georgia, Indiana, Maryland, Michigan, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Oregon, Minnesota, Illinois, Texas, and Alabama.

What Are The Costs?

The costs associated with recycling asphalt shingles are: debris segregation, which costs between $4-$8 per ton and grinding, which costs between $14-$22 per ton, depending largely on whether you contract out the grinding or do it yourself.

What Is The Value Of RAS?

RAS is worth the percent asphalt in it x price per ton asphalt.  Old Asphalt shingles typically have 20-25% asphalt content.  Price of asphalt varies widely.  The value is off-set by the cost of the hot-mix producer having to potentially put in place new bins to add the RAS, the cost of new mix designs with the RAS (which may include need for different recipe of rocks and sand that can be more costly), and the potential cost of using softer asphalt to off-set stiffness of RAS asphalt at higher concentrations of RAS.  HMA producers should consider recycled asphalt shingle as a new recycled material because of its relatively high Asphalt content. RAS becomes a partial replacement of the virgin Asphalt. In the past, HMA producers have reported savings of approximately $1 to $3 per ton of finished HMA product with the use of 5 percent RAS. The total, average cost per ton for HMA production and sale varies with the grade of pavement and geographic location. Studies have indicated a savings of up to $3 per ton of final HMA.

What Are Typical Design Specifications For Road Asphalt Using RAS?

25-40% total recycle content (replacement of asphalt which could include RAS and/or RAP) may include the use (or may require by state spec) of softer asphalt.  Soft asphalts (depending on market) may not cost more or only 10-20/ton more, but typically cost $35-55/ton more (Some markets higher than that; like in the North West).  Soft asphalts may also be difficult to come by in a market too if there isn’t demand, or given current refinery operating strategies.  There are “rejuvenators” that are sold that are supposed to revitalize the stiff / old asphalt in RAP & RAS; I can’t say that these are widespread.  These are typically hi-flash hydrocarbons.

What If The Shingles Contain Asbestos?

In reality, while asbestos was commonly used in many asphalt roofing materials, asbestos was rarely used in the shingles themselves. It is acknowledged by the asphalt shingle manufacturers that between 1963 and the mid 1970s, some manufacturers did use asbestos in the fiber mat of shingles. Manufacturer information on how many asbestos-containing shingles were sold is not available, but the amount of asbestos used in shingles was typically less than 1% [NESHAP defines ACM as any material containing more than 1% asbestos] and it was only in a small portion of the manufacturers’ production. Unfortunately, less is known about the possible presence of asbestos in imported roofing coatings.

Because of concerns raised over the possible presence of asbestos in asphalt shingles, several shingle recyclers have done extensive testing to confirm that asbestos is not a concern. The Construction & Demolition Recycling Association (CDRA) has compiled (and continues to compile) a database of test results for asbestos in asphalt shingles. These test results come from facilities that recycle asphalt shingles and from exploratory testing. Individuals interested in the raw data should contact the CDRA. In addition, individuals with additional sampling data are greatly encouraged to share the results with the CDRA so the information can be posted on the Shinglerecycling.org website.

If asbestos testing is mandatory it is possible to test each load.  The loads would be segregated as they arrive at the facility and have a test facility set up on site and test each load before they are ground-up.

The 4 Components Of The Roofing System

roof with an ice dam

The roofing system consists of four vital components:

  1. The Roof cover material
  2. Attic ventilation
  3. Attic Insulation
  4. Rain gutters & Proper roof drainage

All of these components need to be chosen for the best look for the home and also value for the customer.  Then the components need to be correctly installed to obtain maximum performance for the homeowner.

Asphalt Roofs

The first part of the system is the Roofing material.  The type of material, color, and how the Roof is applied will impact may things such as;

  1. What will the roof look like?
  2. How easily is the roof damage by hail?
  3. How much heat will the roof absorb and transfers into the home.  
  4. How fast snow slide off the roof
  5. How much will it cost to insure the roof

When deciding on a new roof for a home, all of these factors should be considered when making the decision about the roof material.  Keep in mind all roofs all have pros and cons.

The most common roofing material in America is Asphalt Shingles.  Asphalt Shingles have dramatically transformed since the early 1990’s.  They have changed from a low-end roof covering to multiple designs, thicknesses, and price points from low to high.  Asphalt shingles are generally guaranteed from 25 years to the lifetime a Homeowner owns the home. Asphalt shingles do absorb and transfer a considerable amount of heat into the home.  Inexpensive Asphalt Shingles are easily damaged by hail. The more expensive Asphalt shingles are made with a rubber like core and the hails tends to bounce off these shingles. Most insurance companies will give the Homeowner a discount for having a Class 4 Impact resistant roof. 

Pros:  The most options of any roof covering  * The least expensive $ roofing

Available  * Many types of Class 4, Impact Resistant Asphalt Shingles available

Cons:  Cheap shingles are easily damaged by hail  * Asphalt shingles have a short life

    Expectancy  * Some Asphalt shingles can be expensive  $$

When deciding on a new roof for a home, all of these factors should be considered when making the decision about the roof material.  Keep in mind all roofs all have pros and cons.

Concrete Tile Roofs

Concrete Tile roofs are supposed to last 50 years.  It is important to understand that a high-quality underlayment system is critical to getting 50 years of service from a tile roof.  Excel has replaced many tile roofs that were not installed to the quality standards, and this has caused problems for the homeowners well before 50 years.  Excel installs Tile roofs designed to last the 50 years. The Tile is installed on an elevated batten system, so the tile are not in direct contact with the roof deck, the heat absorbed by the tiles does not pass directly to the roof deck and into the home.  Tile roofs are long-lasting and great choice especially when replacing a Cedar Shake Roof.

Pros:  High end roof covering that adds value to home

Long lasting  * Hail resistant  * low maintenance Roof  * Easy to Repair 

Cons: Heavy Weight, A structural engineer needs to evaluate the home and sometimes additional bracing is necessary to reinforce the home’s framing

 Moderately expensive $$$ *  Tiles can be broken by foot traffic

Metal Roofs

Residential metal roofing is divided into 2 types of styles.  The First is vertical panels that are screwed on through the top or have the fasteners hidden.  The second type is horizontal panels that try to mimic Shake or Tile roofs. These panels are referred to as stone coated steel. Metal roofing is lightweight and can have a thick look. Stone Coated Steel panels have granules glued on top for color.  These are the same granules used on Asphalt shingles. Stone Coated Steel panels can be dented when walked on. The granules can be knocked off by hail, which may not be covered by insurance. Most Steel roofs are Class 4 Impact resistant, and qualify for insurance discounts.  

Pros:  Lightweight  * Long Life Span  * Stone coated steel roofs look thick and have a high end curb appeal  * Vertical panels are moderately priced $$

Cons:  Snow sliding off the vertical panels and can be dangerous  *  Exposed panel screws need to be re-tightened about every 5 years  * Stone coated Steel panels can be dented by foot traffic  * Stone coated steel roofs are expensive $$$$

Synthetic Roofs

There are two main manufacturers of synthetic residential roofing material, Da Vinci and F-Wave. Da Vinci Roofing products have been around for over 20 years. They are durable and have a thick Cedar Shake or Slate-like appearance.  F-Wave roofing material is relatively new. Their patented manufacturing process produces granule free, plastic synthetic shingles that are durable, resistant to cracking and fading and have an asphalt shingle appearance. The cost of this shingle is about double the price of asphalt shingles.

Pros: Extremely Hail resistant, the most hail resistant product on the market today  *Qualifies for Class 4 insurance discounts * Wide variety of profiles, can look like Asphalt shingle, Cedar Shakes, or Slate  

Cons:  Expensive $$$$ 

Cedar Shake & Shingle Roofs

Shake roofs are like Bell bottom pants.  In the 1970’s it was the thing to have. Now a shake roof will get you an insurance surcharge, and when the home is sold most buyers will demand a new roof.   Despite the fact that insurance companies don’t like Cedar Shake roofs they do have some good attributes. Cedar Shake roofs are the greenest roof possible; they are naturally grown.  The Cedar wood absorbs minimal heat, and because they are a natural insulator, they transfer very little heat into the home. Shakes are made of Cedar Wood which is naturally bug resistant, and resists rot.  These days Excel usually only installs Cedar Shake roof on historical structures where it is required to match original roof materials.

Pros:  Green Roof  * Natural insulator does not Transfer Heat  * Bug and Rot Resistant

Cons:  Many Insurance Companies will not insure this type of roof  * Easily damaged   by hail * Expensive $$$

Attic Ventilation

Attic ventilation is the second component of the roofing system.  It is the most important factor in keeping the attic cool.  The best attic ventilation is when air flow is balanced, 50% entering the lower area, 50% exiting the top.  The heat in an under-ventilated attic can actually damage the asphalt shingles on your roof, causing them to “cook” and blister in the intense heat. This can void manufacturers’ warranties.

The coolness of the attic will affect the overall temperature of the house and can greatly affect the efficiency of the cooling system.  In the summer when the temperature is 95 degrees an attic can reach 160 degrees if it’s not properly ventilated.  This is going to cause the house to be hot, and stay hot. It also causes the air conditioner to work overtime. Proper attic ventilation is a key component of the roof system.

Attic Insulation

Attic insulation is the third component in the roofing system.  Most homes built in the 70s and before had about 3.5 inches of attic insulation.  This was because of lax building codes and the fact that energy was cheaper than insulation.  Insulation is measured in R-value, e.g. the resistance to heat flow through a given thickness of material. The higher the R-value, the greater the resistance.  Today’s Standard for our area is R-49, or about 20 inches of insulation.

roof with an ice dam

An under insulated attic floor can cause up to 40% of the homes heated air to be lost through the ceiling.  In the winter this escaping heat from your home will rise and gather in the top of the attic. This heat will then permeate through the roof in the absence of proper ventilation.  If the home is in a snow region this will cause the snow to prematurely melt which in turn causes ice dams at the eaves. An overly heated attic can also cause water vapor to condense.  If this moisture cannot escape (proper ventilation) there is a chance of water accumulation in the attic of the home. In these cases homeowners think they have a roof leak, only to find out that there is excessive moisture in the attic leaking down through the ceiling.

Insulation will keep the warm air in your home and should reduce heating costs.

Rain Gutters & Proper roof drainage

Rain Gutters & proper roof drainage are the fourth component of the roofing system.  In areas with expansive soil such as Colorado & Wyoming proper water drainage away from the home is critical.  If the water is allowed to accumulate next to the base of the home damage to the foundation can occur. The best practice is to direct all water at least 4 feet away from the home. Clogged gutters are one of the most common gutter problems Excel sees.   Clogged gutters causes water to overflow the gutters next to the home, this can flood a basement, which is not covered by insurance. Excel has not seen a gutter protection system that work effectively.

Because of this Excel recommends cleaning the gutter at least once a year, late October after the leaves fall is the best time to do this.  If the home is has lots of trees around it cleaning the gutters in both Fall & Spring is a good idea.


Each component of the roofing system is important. They must designed, and installed correctly for the system to function as a whole. At Excel, we specialize in entire roofing systems from choosing the right roofing material, making sure the attic ventilation is correct, we can help evaluate the insulation, and make sure the gutter system works properly. We make sure every element of your roofing system is installed correctly and works effectively.  Whatever your roofing needs are Excel Roofing can help you. Whether you need a leak repaired or a complete roof replacement contact Excel Roofing today! 

What is a Cool Roof?

diagram of a cool roof

What is a Cool Roof?

A cool roof is a roof that absorbs less of the sun’s heat, and transfers less heat into the building.

Summer heat can make a house hot! Certain roofs will make the house hotter, and some “cool roofs” can make it cooler.  The most important factor for how much heat the roof absorbs is the color of the roofing material. A dark roof absorbs more heat than a light colored roof.  

The heat the roof absorbs is transferred into the building, this has a big impact on the inside temperature of a home. Having a cool roof can result in summer monthly power savings between 7%-15% to air condition a home.

Different types of roofing installations transfer the heat into the building differently. 

Asphalt and Steel roofs absorb and transfer the most heat to a structure because they are installed directly to the roof deck (plywood).  Steel roofs get so hot they require a special underlayment that will not melt and ooze out from under the metal! Elevated roofs such as concrete tile or stone coated steel will not transfer as much heat to the structure.  This is because they are typically installed on an elevated wood batten system creating a dead air space between the roofing and the plywood deck. This in turn transfers less heat into the building.

What Are Cool Roofs?

diagram of a cool roof

The Cool Roof Council rates roofing materials for solar reflectance and thermal emittance. New roofing technology has made cool roofs a new, cost effective way to combat heat from the sun’s rays.  The scale for reflectance and thermal emittance is from 0 to 1–with 1 being optimal. Cool roofs are made from materials that reflect the sun’s rays up to four times more than standard roofing materials.  Cool roofing materials will reflect parts of the light spectrum that are invisible to the human eye but carry a lot of heat.

Asphalt shingle Cool Roofs are a great option for a residential roof replacement

Asphalt Shingle cool roofs have a lot of benefits in terms of initial cost effectiveness, these types of roofs also last longer than traditional roofs.  During excessive heat, traditional asphalt shingles become more brittle, making them more susceptible to wind and hail damage. The durability, and lowered chances of a roof insurance claim with these roofs during summer months is another advantage of using a cool roof.

It’s not just a roof, it’s the Roof System

It’s not just the color of the Roof material, it’s an entire system.  The 3 system components are: 

The roof covering -a cool, hail resistant material is best

Attic ventilation -1 to 150 ventilation ratio, utilizing a mechanical fan to exhaust hot air is best

The Attic insulation -R49, 20 inches of attic insulation is best 

Theses 3 components need to be designed and installed correctly in order to optimize the energy efficiency of the system. 

Top roofing companies know the best replacement roof systems

If you have an insurance claim and are getting a new roof, you should contact an A+ rated BBB company like Excel Roofing.  We know the best cool, hail resistant, energy saving roof system for you. Important tip, never pay a roofing contractor any money up front, at Denver’s best roofing company, “You Don’t Pay A Cent Until You’re Content”!  If you have any questions, or need an estimate schedule an inspection with the cool roofing experts at Excel Roofing!  

What Is Roof Flashing?

roof flashing on an opening

What is Roof Flashing?

If your roof has been inspected or replaced, you may have heard the word flashing used to describe certain parts of your roof.  Maybe the flashing needs to be replaced or water is getting under the flashing and causing a roof leak.  Just what is flashing and why is it important?

Roof Flashing Materials

roof flashing on an opening

Flashing can be made from many different materials like plastic, tin, or galvanized metal.  Flashing is used as a transition from the roofing material to something that is not a roof. Flashing is installed at intersecting roofs and parapets and walls. It typically consists of angled strips of corrosion- resistant metal that overlap in such a way as to stop water from reaching your roof decking.

Where Does Flashing Go?

For example, you need flashing where a skylight, chimney, dormer, plumbing vent or air vent extends through a roof. The roofing material stops where these elements go through the roof, and something must connect them to the roof so there is no leak. That’s the job of a flashing.  Flashing protects your roof in the areas where it is most vulnerable to leaks.

Shingles on a roof play a similar role as do feathers on duck.  The feather pattern and layering keep the water from ever reaching the skin of a duck.  The duck stays dry.  Flashing keeps this “feathered” pattern in tact on your roof and keeps the rain from ever reaching the roof decking.  Without proper flashing, your roof would leak where something was extending through your roof.

Flashing has been an essential piece to proper roof construction for hundreds of years.  Its design hasn’t changed much in that time period either.  It is very important for the flashing to be properly installed.  If you think your roof flashing is old or worn, call Excel Roofing and we will perform a free inspection to your roof.

Cedar Shakes vs Cedar Shingles

cedar shakes vs shingles

Cedar Shakes vs Cedar Shingles

cedar shakes vs shingles

Cedar shakes and shingles are quite popular in the western U.S.  The look of cedar on a roof gives an old, rustic appeal not seen in other roofing materials like asphalt and tile.

In Colorado, these cedar shakes and shingles can take a beating and may require more maintenance and upkeep compared to their asphalt counterparts.

Two types of roofing materials that share a similar name, cedar shingles and cedar shakes are really quite different from one another.


Simply put, cedar shingles are milled more precisely than shake and create a more uniform appearance on the roof. Cedar shingles are sawn on both sides and are much more uniform in appearance.  They have a tailored appearance and are cut tapered.

Cedar shingles are more precise and can lay flat.  They also do not require a layer of felt paper.  Since they are not as thick as cedar shakes, the cedar shingles can be layered three shingles thick.  This thickness provides an excellent weatherproof barrier to the roof. Cedar shingles are more precise and can lay flat.  They also do not require a layer of felt paper.  Since they are not as thick as cedar shakes, the cedar shingles can be layered three shingles thick.  This thickness provides an excellent weatherproof barrier to the roof.


Cedar shakes are a bit thicker and more irregular giving the roof a more rustic appearance. Cedar shakes are sawn on one side with the split side outward facing.  This is what gives the cedar shakes the rustic appearance.   They are typically sawed at an angle so one end is thicker than the other.

Since cedar shakes are more irregular in shape, they don’t lay flat when installed.  This creates gaps between the shakes which can be caught up in wind gusts or penetrated by rain.  Due to this, a layer of felt paper is required during the installation.  The paper helps block the wind and precipitation.   This layer of felt paper combined with a proper cedar shake installation provides a secondary barrier of protection for the roof.

If you are interested or have any other questions about cedar roofing materials, or other types of shingles, don’t hesitate to contact us.


Although we did just lay out a few disadvantages, cedar shakes and shingles do have advantages beyond the rustic appeal other roofing options don’t offer.

Cedar roofing provides superior performance for those in areas that experience harsh weather conditions, such as extreme wind and hail. Homeowners in the Denver, CO area would benefit from installing cedar roofing for their protection against weather elements alone.

cedar shingles on a roof


Those of you looking for a green roofing option, consider cedar shakes or shingles as your material. Cedar is a wood material that’s biodegradable and a renewable source. There are very few materials that are considered a fully renewable building material such as wood. Additionally, cedar provides better insulation for your home which in turn lowers your energy costs. So if you’re planning on going green, cedar roofing is an environmentally friendly choice for you.


Wait, there’s even more good news about cedar roofing in Denver! It’s possible to replace and repair parts of your cedar roof without concern over the new shakes or shingles looking significantly different in composition from your original cedar shakes or shingles. When cedar ages, it’s expected that some pieces will require replacement. With cedar roofing, individual shake or shingle repairs are possible. In fact, if you are proactive about your cedar roof, you can extend the life of your cedar roof.

Cedar shakes or shingles will provide your home with an aesthetically appealing look as well as provide long-term durability, sustainability and superior performance against harsh weather elements.

A Flat Roof Case Study

finished gaco roof coating

A Flat Roof Case Study

A long-time local business owner, and previous customer of Excel Roofing, was in need of a roof estimate for his commercial property in Denver. He received bids from two other roofing companies, but wanted another opinion. He started working with Glenn Summerlin, Excel Roofing’s flat roof expert, who inspected the roof and provided the customer with 3 options: 2 estimates for full reroofing projects and 1 estimate for a GACO Silicone Coating.

The customer had not been advised of this third option by either of the other companies, so Glenn explained that it was an alternative to replacing the roof. Instead of tearing off and replacing the flat roof, the roof would undergo a process of being thoroughly cleaned and resealed with the durable and seamless GACO Silicone Coating.


  • The GACO Silicone Coating extends the life of the roof, instead of having to do a full roof replacement.
  • The reroofing options would have cost the customer about $25,000. The GACO option only cost $12,900, almost a 50% savings.
  • Applying the roof coating saves time and waste. This project only took three days to complete, and with no tear off, there’s very little waste to this job.
  • 10-year leak guarantee 
gaco roof coating finished product


Because Excel Roofing is a certified GACO applicator, we were able to offer the customer a 10-year leak guarantee for a nominal fee.

A 50-year manufacturer material defect warranty also came with this installation, meaning that in the next 50 years (if any of us are still around) the manufacturer will provide prorated compensation if the material fails.


It’s important to note that this customer’s roof was a perfect candidate for a GACO coating. GACO roof coatings can only be applied to TPO (plastic), EPDM (rubber), modified roofs, and metal roofs.  As has happened in the past, the other companies didn’t offer a roof coating option to the customer; an option that gives customers almost 50% savings over the reroofing option.

We’re glad we were able to provide this customer with a different solution to his roofing needs.

In addition to the savings, the installation of the coating system only takes about three days to complete; about half of the time of a full roof replacement. This time savings means less disruption to the owner and his business.


Applying a roof coating isn’t as easy as going to Home Depot, buying a bucket of coating and slapping it on.

gaco roof coating in progress

In order for the coating to be properly installed, the old roof needs to be thoroughly cleaned, and all the seams need to be thoroughly checked. If any seams are found that aren’t 100% bonded, they need to be re-bonded before the GACO coating is applied.

After this is done, the entire roof area needs to be primed. Only then is the final roof coating ready to be applied. If these steps aren’t carefully followed, the system can fail.

To learn more about roof coatings and flat roof options, call Excel Roofing today.

Click here to read more about flat roofs.

Insider Roofing Tips: Hail & Gutters

q&a with j from excel roofing

Insider Roofing Tips: Hail and Gutters


I’ve been in the roofing business for almost 30 years, and I would like to share some insider information with you about hailstorms and roofers.

Pick a local company you can trust.  How do you know who to trust?  Ask these questions:

  • How long has the company been in business?
  • How many jobs have they done?
  • What is their BBB rating?

Trust: You can trust Excel Roofing. I founded Excel in 1993. We have performed over 32,000 jobs and have always maintained an A+ rating with the BBB.

Cancellation fees: Most roofers charge a 15% cancellation fee to cancel 

Local Company: We don’t door knock, and we don’t telemarket; however, this doesn’t mean we’re not interested in your business.  We’re just not storm chasers. Excel Roofing are the local guys who were here before the storm and will be here long after the storm chasers are gone.

Repairs: Storm chasers don’t do small repairs. Excel has a full service repair department.  This is important because

1) you want the company that installs your roof to be around if there’s ever a problem, and

2) you want them to be good a fixing roofs.

Money Up-Front: Don’t ever pay a roofer/storm chaser money up-front; you’re just asking for problems. If a roofer says they need money for material, it means they have a cash flow problem.  The dirty little secret is the salesman wants money up-front so he can get an advance payment on your deal.  The other reason they want money up-front is that it makes it almost impossible for you to get out of the deal if you change your mind.

Never pay any money until the job is 100% complete!  Don’t give in on this one.  No matter how sincere they sound, don’t pay anything until the job is complete.

Q & A: Hail


A: Hail resistant roofing material is typically 5% – 15% more expensive than standard roofing. The good news is over the past 10 years, the cost to upgrade has dropped from a 30% price difference. The average price for a new standard asphalt shingle roof is $8125. To upgrade to hail resistant shingles would be $8325.


A: I think so. The savings on a homeowners insurance premium will cover the cost. If a homeowner saves $250 a year on the premium, the hail resistant roofing material pays for itself within a few years.


A: Yes. They definitely sustain less damage from hail. The manufacturers of hail resistant roofing have done their homework and developed a stronger roofing material. The independent tests that Underwriters Laboratories developed has proven the strength of these materials. And the insurance companies are willing to offer discounts to those homeowners that do have them installed.

Q & A: Gutters


A: The best gutter screens can be purchased at your local hardware stores like Home Depot and Lowe’s. If you are not a DIY’er (do-it-yourself’er), Excel Roofing can install them for $4 per linear foot.


A: This is a tough question to answer. It really depends on the clog and the design of the underground drain. Because French drains cannot be roto-rootered, often the entire drain will have to be replaced.

A correctly installed underground drain is usually about 15 feet long, the drainpipe needs to be sloped away from the house and completely surrounded by rock.

The average price to remove and replace an underground drain is $500.


A: Heat cable should be installed to prevent future freezing. Heat cable can be found at your local hardware store for about $70 per 100 feet and obviously needs a power outlet near the install.

The cable needs to be strung into the gutter, down the downspout and several feet on to the ground. If the heat cable is going into an underground drain, the cable needs to be strung as far as possible.

Excel Roofing can install most 100 foot plug and play heat cable systems for $299.

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