5 Signs You May Need a Shingle Roof Replacement in Maryland

5 Signs You May Need a Shingle Roof Replacement 

Your roof is crucial to the integrity of your home, but it can go unnoticed simply because if its location. Out of sight, out of mind, right? However, leaving a roof unattended for too long may result in disaster: a full shingle roof replacement in Maryland. Don’t let that be your roof’s story. Properly caring for your home’s roof greatly increases the lifespan of your roof and decreases the risk of damage to your home. It is important to inspect your roof at least twice a year, once in the spring and once in the fall, to avoid needing a full roof replacement in Maryland.  

With this past year’s harsh winter conditions bringing heavy snow and ice, it is especially crucial for homeowners to properly clean and inspect their roof for damage. Eventually, there will come a time when your roof has reached the end of its road, even with routine maintenance and care. Here are the five major signs to look for when determining if you need a shingle roof replacement:   

1. Cracked or Damaged Shingles 

When examining your roof you first want to start with the shingles, keeping an eye out for cracked, damaged, or buckling pieces. If your shingles are not laying flat on your roof, that is a major sign something isn’t right. Shingles that are damaged and cracked are a main way water gets into the roof and leaks into your home. If you find small asphalt pieces in your gutters and drainage pipes, that is another indicator your roof is breaking down. The quality and condition of your shingles matter because they are the first line of defense on your roof. If you notice damaged shingles, it may be time for a shingle roof replacement.         

1. Sagging or Caved-In Spots 

One of the more obvious signs you need a full roof replacement is if you see parts of the roof that are sagging or caving in. Normally, this is the result of continued moisture in this area that has weakened the roof’s support. A sagging roof can pose many problems for a homeowner, ranging from regular leaks to structural damage to your home. This is one problem that can’t wait. If your roof is sagging you will want to have it professionally inspected to understand the full extent of the damage.  

2. Damaged Flashing

Flashing is a type of roofing material that makes a water-tight seal around vents, skylights, and chimneys. Aluminum or steel is usually used for flashing, however, in older homes flashing was originally made from roof cement or tar. If your roof’s flashing is cracked or rusted, this is one major way water can enter your home and cause damage. This type of problem may not cause major damage at first but over time continued water entering your home can cause the growth of mold and mildew and affect your home’s structural integrity. If you notice many cracks in your roof’s flashing it may mean there is unseen damage to your home and that it may be time for a full shingle roof replacement in Maryland. 

 3. The Growth of Moss, Mold, or Mildew

When examining your roof, you will want to check for any plants attached to the surface. Plants on your roof are never a good sign and may mean you need a full roof replacement. If you see moss, mold, or mildew on your roof and gutters it means there is an excess of moisture trapped in your roof. This constant moisture allows for plants and fungi to grow, which is not good for the overall integrity of your roof, as this weakens the structure and roofing materials. Take extra care when inspecting your roof for water damage. Under normal circumstances a deep clean can take care of this problem. However, if gone too far the extent of the water damage may be past repair and you may need to start thinking of doing a shingle roof replacement. 

4. Your Roof is At Least 20 Years Old

The lifespan of your roof greatly depends on the material your roof is made of. A shingle roof can last anywhere from 20 to 30 years, depending greatly on weather conditions and routine maintenance. If your roof is approaching the 20-year mark and is exhibiting multiple signs of damage, it might be time for a complete roof replacement. However, with proper care and repairs your shingle roof could last you 30+ years.  

Deciding if you need a shingle roof replacement is not something to take lightly. Replacing your roof is a major investment and there are many signs that can indicate it’s time for a roof placement. When cleaning your roof this spring in preparation for summer, be sure to inspect the entire roof for damage focusing specifically on the condition of the shingles, sagging and caving in areas, flashing damage, the presence of mold or moss, and taking into account the age of the roof.      

For more information on roofing maintenance and health, contact Four Twelve Roofing today.   




Why It’s Smart to Get a Spring Roof Inspection

It comes as no surprise that in Maryland, the winter months can bring about the harshest weather conditions of the year. From heavy snows to rapidly fluctuating temperatures, the structural integrity of roofs can quickly be put in jeopardy. While the roofs are covered in snow, it is nearly impossible to properly assess the deteriorating conditions caused by the winter weather. This is why it’s ideal to get a spring roof inspection, when temperatures rise and snow melts. It is highly recommended that a professional inspection is conducted and ensuing repairs are made in order to tackle the abundance of potential problems caused during winter. 

Common Problems Caused by Winter Weather


Regardless of the main material used in your roof’s construction, metal is used in the flashing that seals the vulnerable areas that have the most potential to create a leak in the roof’s structure. Rust, being metal’s primary adversary, puts these flashings at high risk of failure. When snow builds up against these flashings, and does not melt for some time, rust can inevitably occur. When the snow does finally melt, a visual inspection should be performed. If any rust is spotted, it is crucial to have a professional conduct an inspection as the majority of the damage is usually hidden from ground view. A leak in flashing can lead to many other complications and compromise the rest of the roof’s durability. 

Moisture and Condensation

During the frigid winter months, residents tend to enjoy a cozy and properly heated home. While this is a welcome comfort, it can lead to moisture build up when heat rises from the climate controlled living areas up to the snow on the roof, thus melting a layer of snow. This can create a pocket of trapped moisture that wreaks havoc on the roof’s infrastructure. Condensation produced by this affects areas in the attic and if left untreated, amasses into a necessity for major repairs. The damage caused by this can be tricky to spot and requires a thorough spring roof inspection to properly assess possible deteriorations. 

Structural Damage / Leaks and Rot

Being one of the more difficult degenerations to notice, structural damage caused by rot can rapidly build up and threaten the entire roofing structure. Stemming from a multitude of possible failures within a roof’s construction, leaks that allow moisture to make continuous contact with wooden segments cause rot that eats away at the wood. This can spell disaster as rot spreads fast and leads to dangerous structural damage. It is common for most buildings to utilize wood as the main material in the framing. If this framing is threatened, other major components of the building can be in danger of abrupt degradation. Repairs needed for this type of damage are extremely time sensitive and require hasty action. If left untreated, the repercussions are immense. Sealants used to protect against leaks are subject to cracking and warping when trapped moisture freezes and expands. This can be impossible to spot by the untrained eye and requires a professional to properly assess. 

Shingle Damage

Shingles are typically the first layer of protection in a slanted roof’s construction, leaving them at a high risk of damage from the brutality of winter weather. Thankfully, missing or deformed shingles are easy to spot. While the problem may only appear to be on the surface level, damaged shingles can be a sign of further complications. Cracked shingles, caused by hail or falling branches, can be an indicator of leaks while curling shingles suggest water damage and rot. Once noticed, further inspections are vital in order to take proper precautions and prevent further issues.

A Spring Roof Inspection Can Save Headaches Down the Line

Once the destructive elements of winter have passed and the comforting warmth of spring arrives, it is crucial to properly evaluate the toll taken on your roof. Potential damage caused can be severe and require immediate repairs in order to avoid detrimental malfunctions. It is in the spring season that we strongly recommend home and business owners to reach out to us for essential bi-annual inspections. Taking this precaution can prove to be pivotal in circumventing roof replacements and saving money on future repairs. Not only does regular maintenance extend the overall lifespan of a roof but it also assists in lowering air conditioning costs in the upcoming summer heat by patching up leaks and strengthening insulation. 

Here at Four Twelve Roofing we are dedicated to preserving an honest and transparent roofing service for our clients. If you would like to schedule a free spring roof inspection today, contact the Four Twelve Team. 


The Layers of Your Roof

When you are considering a roof replacement in Maryland, you may wonder what goes into the process. What does a roof replacement actually entail? Your roofing system is a complex piece of your home, built to protect, insulate, and stand up to the elements. To accomplish these jobs, it is put together from several important layers that each fulfill an important role. As roofers in Maryland, we want to dive into the complex layers of your roof. 

The Basic Layers of Roofs

While the specifics may fluctuate depending on the type of roof (shingle, flat, or metal), there are some basic elements typically present in most roofs.


insulation installation

A fundamental element to any roof, insulation begins in your attic. Insulation is installed to ensure heat or cold air isn’t lost, and that the home isn’t energy efficient. 

 Insulation is placed between the rafters that support your roofing system. Proper insulation should help regulate heat transfer at the top of your home, providing a house that stays cool in summer and warm in winter. Damaged insulation can negate these benefits and cause energy bills to rise.  


While reducing heat transfer is a good thing, an improperly vented home can lead to problems with temperature regulation and can contribute to the creation of ice dams (damaging ice build-ups) in the winter. As heat rises, a common problem of an improperly ventilated attic is that it will retain too much heat. 

As such, proper ventilation is required to ensure moisture doesn’t build up in your attic. Intake and exhaust vents will help ensure your attic is established to ensure ventilation is proper, and your attic doesn’t trap too much heat. 


Roof decking, also called sheathing, is a foundation element in the build of your roof. Decking is typically built from plywood boards that will fill out the structure the rest of the roofing materials will be built on top of. Decking is typically what’s visible to you when standing in an attic and looking up at your roof. 


Ice and Water Shield

An ice or water shield is a protective membrane that is applied to the decking to help weatherproof it. When a leak occurs in your roofing system, the goal is to prevent it from penetrating the decking and down into your attic space. 


Underlayment is another protective layer of weatherizing meant to help protect moisture from penetrating down to your roof decking. Traditional underlayment was made from a thin material called “roofer’s felt,” which was essentially a layer of specialized felt paper. Reliable roofers in Maryland, such as Four Twelve, have moved to an asphalt-based synthetic underlayment material that is more durable and better at sealing out moisture. 

Drip Edge

The drip edge is a type of flashing that helps prevent water from leaking down to more sensitive areas of the roof. Because water build up is one of the most detrimental threats to a roof, many elements like drip edges are built to protect your roof from water damage. 

Roofing Materials

The roofing materials installed on your roof depend on the project. They can range from shingles to slate shingles to metal to flat roofing materials. Different types of roofing materials fit different roof types, and can also come at different price points depending on your preference. 


Flashing refers to the pieces of metal used to seal potential problem spots on the roof. These are typically areas where water would have a higher chance of entering, such as around the chimney or along vent pipes. 

Vent Pipe Caps

Your roofing system serves as the primary destination for a lot of the venting throughout the house. To ensure water doesn’t find its way into vent pipes, specialized caps (sometimes called roof boots) are installed. 

Specialized Components

Different types of roofs come with specialized components to help them function properly. We’ll look at a few here. 

Shingle and Slanted Roofs

Unlike flat roofs we see as roofers in Baltimore, many of the surrounding counties have homes with primarily shingle or slanted roofs. There are some extra considerations taken for roofs of these types.

Starter Strip

This is a sturdy layer of starter shingles installed at the roofs edge. It is used to help secure the shingle system from high speed winds and storm rains that may tear at the edges of the shingle system. 

Ridge Caps

When your home has lots of ridges, typical shingles may not work to cover them. As such, specialized ridge caps are utilized to protect the sharp angles of ridges and allow for optimum defense against moisture entry. 

Metal Roofing

Metal roofing is becoming a more popular option for homeowners that want a durable product that brings an attractive, modern aesthetic. 

High-Temp Underlayment

Because metal conducts heat more than asphalt shingles, a specialized high-temperature underlayment is utilized so the material does not melt when in contact with the metal panels.

Metal Panels

These are the key elements of metal roofing. Each metal roof is made of panels. They come in two options. Standing seam metal panels have a click-lock system that is great at keeping water out. However, they come at a higher price tag. Exposed-fastener metal panels are more affordable, but make water entry easier because the fasteners are exposed to the elements. 

Flat Roofs

A flat roof with a pyramid skylight

Flat roofing systems are a common sight for us as roofers in Maryland. Primarily found on townhomes and rowhomes, flat roofs need extra protection to stop moisture from building. Typically, they come in three types: Modified Bitumen (modbit), TPO, or EPDM. Check out our flat roofs page to learn about the specifics of each material.

Silicone Coating

To provide enhanced durability, a silicone coating can be applied to a flat roofing system. This helps seal any cracks that may be present and provides extra durability from the elements.

Your roof is a complex, interconnected system. Having expert roofers in Maryland perform a repair or replacement means they’ll take care of each specific element that goes into the project. At Four Twelve Roofing, we pride ourselves on the care we take with each layer of your roof, from careful installation to best-in-class product selection. If you’re ready to get started on your next roofing project, contact us today.


How to Detect and Seal a Window Air Leak

Have you ever been surprised by your energy bill at the end of the month? Sometimes, colder or hotter weather can lead to spikes in our bills. Other times, your home may have areas where it’s losing efficiency, leading to higher energy costs. One possible culprit is window air leaks, where windows or doorways are not properly sealed against the outside. Not only can this have a negative effect on your home’s energy efficiency, it can also present an area for liquid and moisture to enter your home, leading to the possibility of mold, wood rot, and other adverse effects. Today, let’s look at how you can detect and seal a window air leak.

Inspect Windows 

The easiest way to identify a window air leak is to check for light and drafts. To check for light, darken the room during the daytime, and see if any additional light is coming in where you wouldn’t expect it to. Next, head outside and inspect the state of your windows from this perspective. Take note of any obvious crack, damaged wood, or gaps in the seal. Next, head back inside, and feel around each window. If there is a gap in your window, you should be able to feel the air entry.  If you can’t detect leaks simply by feel or looking proceed to the next step.

The Candle Test

First, ensure all airflow in the area you’re testing is off. Air conditioning, heat, fans, etc. Next, light a candle. Take the lit candle, and move it around the frame of each window in question. When a leak is present, the smoke from the candle will drift towards the gap. This simple test can help you identify leaks you otherwise may not have, and can help you address issues before they become more serious. 

Check the Locks

Windows that aren’t able to properly lock may be a sign that the window has an issue with sealing. Sometimes, locks can be inhibited by paint. Other times, your window may have swollen in the window frame, making it difficult for the window to properly seal. Other times, damage to the frame can cause the window to not be able to properly latch.

Inspect Doors

Next, take a look at your doors. Doors typically present more obvious signs of inefficiency and can usually be identified by visually. First, look for any noticeable cracks or other damage that may allow for air to enter. Next, inspect the weather stripping that seals the gaps all around the door. If it is flimsy, or coming off, it may be time to replace the weather stripping altogether. 

Identifying Other Problem Areas

The US Department of Energy identifies other areas that present the opportunity for air leaks into your home. They include:

  • Electrical outlets
  • Switch plates
  • Door and window frames
  • Electrical and gas service entrances
  • Baseboards
  • Weather stripping around doors
  • Fireplace dampers
  • Attic hatches
  • Wall- or window-mounted air conditioners.
  • Cable TV and phone lines
  • Where dryer vents pass through walls
  • Vents and fans.

Identifying problem areas throughout your house will allow you to more successfully diagnose and deal with air leak problems. 

The Risks of Air Leaks

Air leaks are typically felt in your energy bill, as they put a dent in your home’s inefficiency by lessening its ability to keep hot or cold air in. However, there are other problems they can pose. Exposure to moist air can damage the wooden window frame, compounding leak problems and leading it to need a replacement. Similarly, if a leak is large enough, water can find an entry point to your home, which can lead to additional rotting, as well as the formation of mold and mildew. Mold and mildew are harmful to the health of those living in your home, so you should take every possible step to prevent their formation. 


Air leaks can be resolved rather simply, or require more complicated solutions with professional help. Caulk can help temporarily resolve many leaks that your window frames are experiencing. Replacing window framing altogether may be the best option to secure your windows from air intrusion. However, if you’re unsure how best to proceed, it may be wise to enlist professional help. As a Maryland exterior remodeling company, Four Twelve Roofing has worked with numerous clients to address areas of moisture entry to their homes. We can tell you whether you’re in need of a simple patch job, or a full window replacement base on the scale of the problem. With over 300+ reviews on Google averaging 4.8 stars, we’re proud to have earned the trust of our clients by providing professional, friendly service delivered by honest estimators and contractors. If you want to protect your home and energy bill, reach out to the team at Four Twelve today.


How Much Does a Roof Replacement Cost in Maryland?

At some point during your tenure as a homeowner, it will happen. A leak will be noticed in the attic, you’ll spot shingles peeling off, or notice water pooling on part of your roof. Time and nature work their hardest against your roof to wear it down over time. When this happens, a full roof replacement may be your only option. You probably have heard that roof replacements in Maryland are expensive. When you speak to some contractors, it may feel like pulling teeth to get accurate pricing upfront. So, here’s what you should know about a roof replacement cost in Maryland.

Cut to the Chase: What’s the Cost?

Like any remodeling project, the cost varies project by project, quite substantially at times. Generally in MD, a roof replacement can range from $5,000 to $30,000+. There are tons of variables that can change this which we’ll discuss in a moment. As we’re all aware, Maryland isn’t the cheapest state to live in, and services are accordingly priced based on the region. According to a 2020 cost vs. value report by, an expected price for the replacement of a typical Baltimore 25-year shingle roof is $24,700. To truly understand this price tag, we need to explore what factors go into estimating a roof replacement cost in Maryland. 

What Goes Into the Price?

When calculating the cost, there are variables to be considered that will affect the price. Some you may have options to lower costs, while others will remain the same regardless. Let’s take a look at them.

The Size of Your Roof

A key factor, and one clearly out of your control, is the size of your roof. Most roofs are priced by their square footage. The larger the roof, the more you’ll have to pay to replace it. Larger roofs also cause other prices to rise accordingly, such as labor costs.


One area where you may have some leeway to lower costs is in the material selection. Whether you have a shingle roof, flat roof, or any of the other roofing types, your contractor most likely offers a selection of materials that range in price. What’s for you to consider is if you’re willing to pay less for products that may not last as long.


Four Twelve laborer looking over damaged flat roof

For any remodeling project, labor is a cost you’ll have to account for. However, by working with an effective and efficient roofing contractor that’s capable of completing projects in a reasonable amount of time, you should be able to maximize your labor budget. 


A steeper roof can make it more difficult to maneuver across the roof, which can slow down the labor process. It also may require extra equipment to be utilized to successfully complete the project. Steeper roofs are also more dangerous for roofers, so contractors may charge more to cover potential insurance costs. 

Unforeseen Damage

Four Twelve roofer shoveling debris

In certain circumstances, you can end up paying more than the quoted price. This typically happens when your old roof is removed, and additional damage is discovered beneath the surface layer of your roof. Damaged plywood, the water damage that spreads to the attic, and more issues can arise, necessitating more work. Unforeseen damage can quickly affect your roof replacement cost in Maryland. 

Extra Features on the Roof

Does your roof feature skylights? A chimney? Additional features on the roof like these may require extra work and materials to replace damaged flashing and properly seal the roof during the replacement process. Alternatively, they may need to be replaced entirely if they can not successfully be mended during the roof replacement. 

Ventilation Replacements

Four Twelve roofers install a standing seam metal roof.

Your roof is home to a lot of your home’s ventilation systems. Roof vents can become damaged just like other aspects of your roof, and oftentimes during the roofing process, they’ll need to be replaced. Additionally, some building codes require that old ventilation systems be replaced. 

Gutter Replacement

Oftentimes, damaged gutters can be the culprit that leads to roof damage over time. Many homeowners will opt to replace their gutter systems at the same time to help save on additional labor costs that may arise from a standalone gutter replacement in the future. 

Waste Removal

When your old roof is torn up, the materials have to be disposed of. Dumpsters have to be brought on-site and time has to be dedicated to disposing of the materials from your old roof. 

These are just some of the elements that go into the process of a full MD roof replacement. By working with a qualified contractor, you’ll be able to have each piece of the estimate broken down to you. Even better, you can choose a contractor like Four Twelve Roofing. We offer free estimates to all of our clients. Don’t pay simply to have your roof replacement cost in Maryland broken down for you. As the fastest growing roofing company in the country, we understand clients’ need for qualified, professional roofing services. Contact the team at Four Twelve Roofing to get started today, 


Understanding Roofing Terminology for Your Roof Replacement in Maryland

When you schedule an estimate for a roof replacement in Maryland, your estimator may be throwing a lot of terminology at you about the roof. When they talk about damaged eaves, or replacing the underlayment, you may feel like they’re speaking a different language. To ensure that the estimation process feels transparent and effective, it’s important for you to be brought up to speed on the language roofers use to discuss your MD roof replacement. 

Types of Roofs

Before we break down the individual terms for your roof, let’s first look at the different structures that make up roofs, and specific materials that go along with these structures. 

Gable Roof:

Sometimes called a peaked or pitched roof, gable roofs are defined by steep surfaces that meet in a triangular shape. They’re one of the most common types of roofs in suburban areas across the country. The A-shape prominent on the roof can help divert snow, rain, and debris from the roof thanks to its steep surface. 

Hip Roof:

A hip roof has slopes of equal lengths on all four sides, meeting in the middle of the roof. Hip roofs are sturdier than gable roofs, and are especially popular in areas that suffer from high wind or high snowfall. 

Flat Roof:

Silicone coating for a flat roof.

It seems that many roofing companies forget about flat roofs, but as a Baltimore-born and bred business, we are very familiar with flat roof systems. Flat roofs are common on classic Baltimore rowhomes, and utilize their own specific roofing technologies to protect your home. This is a very common candidate for roof replacement in Maryland. 

Roofing Materials:

Different types of roofing materials have their own draws, from function to cost to aesthetic appearance. Here are the most common roofing materials we work with. 


Large shingle roof completed in Towson.

Shingles are one of the most common roofing materials used in MD roof replacements. Shingles are typically made from composite materials like asphalt and fiberglass. They help protect the structural elements of your roof from the elements.


Slate roofs are roofing systems made from stone slaps. They’re similar in appearance to shingle roofs, but some homeowners prefer the smooth aesthetic offered by slate.

Synthetic Slate:

Synthetic slate is a cost-effective alternative to traditional slate roofing. Synthetic slates are also more eco-friendly, while still maintaining the attractive aesthetic of traditional slate. 


Metal roofing in Maryland has grown in popularity, especially for modern home designs. They come in two options, standing seam, and exposed fastener. Standing seam is more secured and waterproofed than exposed fastener, but more expensive of the two options. 

Modified Bitumen:

Modified bitumen, or ModBit as the roofers refer to it, a type of flat roofing. ModBit is a high-density fiberboard cover board, base sheet, and asphalt cap sheet. It is white in color.


White in color, TPO is another flat roofing option. Single-ply membranes are glued to the roof deck overtop of the insulation board with heat-welded seams. It is commonly used in multifamily and commercial installations or in instances where the roof is “walkable.” 


EPDM is also commonly used in multifamily and commercial projects, but it is black in color. The single-ply membranes are glued to the roof deck over top of the insulation board with taped seams. 


This option comes a in a standard color package, and features an upgraded cool-step technology package. You’ll most commonly find DecTec used for walkout roof decks and condo buildings.

Silicone Coatings

Silicone coatings are utilized to increase the lifespan of your flat roof, helping seal cracks and increase the strength and structural durability of the roof over a longer period of time. 


The Pieces of Each Roof

Here are some of the individual pieces that go into your roof replacement in Maryland.

Decking: Sometimes called sheathing, decking refers to pieces of plywood that run the length of the roof over the rafters to add extra support to the layers of underlayment and exterior roofing materials above. 

Eaves: Eaves are the edge of a roofing system that typically extend a little bit over the house. 

Fascia: Fascia boards are found underneath the chosen roofing material (shingles, slate, etc.) and used an extra layer to keep moisture from entering into the roofing system. They are also commonly the piece of material that your gutter system is attached to. 

Flashing: Flashing refers to strips of metal used across your roofing system to seal areas at greater risk of moisture entry. They come in several varieties. Base flashing is used around the base of your roof. Cap flashing is utilized to seal off the areas around chimneys or walls. Drip edge flashing can be found at the edge, where the gutters meet the roof. And lastly, valley flashing is common for roofs with steep valleys. 

Underlayment: This refers to a layer of “roofers felt,” that is attached to the deck board. While underlayment used to consist of felt paper, it now is commonly replaced with a thicker synthetic alternative. Underlayment helps provide another barrier for moisture protection. 

Valleys: These are the bottom sections where inclines on your roof meet flatter areas. Valleys are known for being one of the places most susceptible to water entry, as the water flows down the inclined surfaces and converges in the valley. 

Vents: Your roof utilizes several different ventilation systems. For instance, pipe vents that protrude from the roof, are actually utilized to move wastewater into the sewer via pressure in the pipe. Ridge vents can be found at your roof’s apex, and allow how air to escape from your attic area. Soffit vents also help with air in your attic, but are located at a lower point of the roof, on the underside of your eaves.

There you have it. The must-know terms that will help you get the most out of any estimation for a roof replacement in Maryland. The estimation is only one step of the process, and it won’t do you much good if you’re not working with a qualified roofing company. At Four Twelve Roofing, our almost 300 five-star reviews from clients on Google say more about us than we ever could. If you’re ready to get started on your MD roof replacement, look no further than Four Twelve