The Roofing Process

Your professional roofing contractor should be skilled and trained to properly install your homes new roofing system per the manufacturers specifications. This is critical to long term performance. The contractor should be trained in installation techniques that cover the following areas:

  • Proper re-roofing techniques
  • Overall inspection
  • Deck preparation
  • Usage and application of underlayment
  • Secure attachment with the proper amount and location of nails
  • Metal drip edge installation
  • Shingle application and the proper offset
  • Valley construction, which product to use, and the proper application
  • Proper flashing installation around pipes and vents
  • Proper counter flashing techniques and application
  • Proper ventilation installation
  • Hip and ridge installation and the special techniques that finish the job properly

The Importance of Proper Ventilation

When a house has been properly ventilated, a positive airflow is created. This allows the house to breathe and helps prevent moisture buildup. That’s why proper attic ventilation is a serious issue that should always be considered when re-­roofing your home.Normal household activities can wreak havoc on an attic and ultimately, a roof. Showers, laundry, dishwashing and cooking all generate moisture that can damage insulation, rafters, wood deck, underlayment and shingles during winter. Summer heat buildup in the attic promotes premature aging and cracking of wood and roofing materials. All of which could reduce a roofs expected service life. For maximum roof protection, a well­ ventilated attic is the key.

In warm weather, proper ventilation prevents the attic from becoming a hot box that spills unwanted heat down through the ceiling into the living area (even if the attic is insulated).

In cold weather, proper ventilation helps prevent moisture from condensing on the insulation, structural wood, shingles or roof deck. Moisture­ soaked insulation becomes ineffective, thereby causing excess energy usage. Condensation on wood leads to rotting and expensive repairs. While those are the most important reasons for proper ventilation, they aren’t the only ones.

Excess attic heat causes premature shingle failure and can invalidate the shingle warranty. Excess moisture in the home cause’s mildew and drywall damage. Moisture problems can cause paint to peel and siding to warp.

Balanced airflow keeps attic temperatures from reaching extremes. Vents allow outside air to move through the attic. The result is a cooler, drier attic, which means a longer lasting roof.

General Roofing FAQ

Unfortunately, there is no magic answer in the roofing industry that solves all roofing problems. What the roofing industry does offer is a wide variety of waterproofing and water­shedding products from numerous manufacturers, each having attributes and faults. The key to selecting a proper roofing system is identifying the specific roof design needs of your building, and how each roofing system meets those needs.

Roofs leak from a break in the waterproofing layer. High winds, hail damage, and deterioration or defects in the roofing material are considered to be functional damage. Other causes may include mechanical damage (ie, tree falls on roof). The key to roof management is leak avoidance. Find and correct defects before they leak because once they do the damage will only spread compromising the entire roofing systems integrity (wood rot and mold).

Yes. If damage is minor, a reputable roofing contractor can remove individual roofing shingles and replace them with new shingles.

Like any building component, roofs degrade at different rates depending on a large number of factors: the quality of original construction, the level of abuse, the level of maintenance, appropriateness of design, etc. So how long should a roof last? We have seen poorly designed and installed roofs go as few as six or seven years before they failed. GB Contractor is extremely hard on shingles on one side of your roof, the snow side. New shingles are available now with a 50 year warranty.

Installing a roof over the top of an existing roof is generally acceptable under these guidelines:

  • The International Building Code (IBC) allows one recover (over wood or asphalt shingles only)
  • No wet insulation can be left in place
  • The roof structure must be able to handle the additional roof load. The new roof must be attached to the roof deck to meet wind loads (it is not generally acceptable to adhere the new roof to the old roof).
  • The most commonly used technique for installing the second layer of asphalt shingles over the first only applies when covering three tab shingles with laminate style shingles.
  • Most insurance companies will not recognize the installation of a second layer of roofing products over the existing roof as a good practice. Policy holders may want to contact your carrier prior to making these repairs.
  • Wind resistance is nearly always compromised.

The optimum time to install an asphalt shingled roof is when the temperatures are between 40­-80 degrees Fahrenheit and the wind and rain are at the lowest intensity and frequency. This allows the roofer the best conditions for installation, with the fewest interruptions, lowest risk of leaking, and an ideal time to minimize any unintentional damage to the roofing system (i.e., scuff marks from foot traffic).

Once a shingled roof is installed, the sun with “cook it down”. You may notice the shingles lay a bit flatter after a couple of days, this is normal. The heat also sets the glue between shingles.

  • Different roof types fail at differing rates and with different failure modes. Several general clues include:
  • Does the roof leak in numerous locations?
  • Do leaks continue, despite repeated repair attempts?
  • Do repairs seem to make leaks worse, or do new leaks develop after repairs?
  • Are there signs of missing, cracked or curling shingles?
  • Are there stains on interior walls or ceilings? It is generally better to re-roof at the appropriate juncture, rather than pouring money and time into ill-­advised repairs.

How much is a new car? Well, the answer to both questions is, “That depends.”

Every re-roofing projects cost is going to be dependent on some of these factors:

  • How large is the area of the roof?
  • How steep is the roof (pitch)?
  • How many stories tall is the building?
  • How many layers of existing material need to be removed?
  • What brand and style of roofing products will be reinstalled ?

The final price to install a new roofing system can range from $3.50 per sq ft of the structure to $12.00 per sq ft.

Look for an established, licensed, or bonded roofer and request references. Ask to see certificates of insurance for liability and workers compensation insurance coverage. Insist on a detailed, written estimate, showing material needed, labor charges, and approximate starting and completion dates. As self-­serving as this sounds, a knowledgeable roof consultant can steer you through the many pitfalls of buying a new roof. With their help, you can pick the right roof system to meet both your design expectations and budget limitations. The good contractors appreciate opportunities to bid roofing projects like yours.

Hail Damage FAQ

A hail hit on a shingle looks like a “bruise” or a dark spot where the granules on the shingle have been knocked of and the asphalt underlayment and sometimes the fiberglass mat is exposed and indented. New hail hits will have a shiny appearance because the asphalt has been freshly exposed and has not had time to weather to a dull dark color.

Roofs leak from a break in the waterproofing layer. High winds, hail damage, and deterioration or defects in the roofing material are considered to be functional damage. Other causes may include mechanical damage (ie, tree falls on roof). The key to roof management is leak avoidance. Find and correct defects before they leak because once they do the damage will only spread compromising the entire roofing systems integrity (wood rot and mold).

If you’ve recently had hail in your area and you would like to determine if the shingles have been damaged, a close inspection of the shingles has to be made from the roof. In most cases you cannot visually see damage from the ground.

Granule loss is a part of the normal weathering process of composition roofing. Small hail impacting a roof often displaces some of the granules as does rain, wind, snow, ice, and foot traffic.

Call your insurance carriers claims department and ask for an adjuster to come inspect your roof for hail damage. Call a reputable roofing company and ask for the same inspection. If there are any discrepancies between the adjuster’s findings and the contractors assessments you may call for a “RE-­INSPECTION” where an adjuster assigned to your claim meets with the roofing contractor to inspect the roof together. Re-­inspections are very common. The insurance company must determine two things when assessing your roof to determine the amount of your loss:

  1. Was there sufficient damage to the roof system to reduce water shedding capabilities?
  2. Was there sufficient damage to cause a reduction in the long-­term service life of the material?

Shingles are designed so that the granules block the UV of the sun and protect the asphalt underlayment. As the shingles age the granules fall of over time. When the asphalt is exposed to sunlight it dries out and the shingle becomes compromised losing its waterproofing capabilities, discolors, and the corners will start to curl up. A shingle at the extreme end of its life is bubbled in appearance and is brittle to the touch. A 30 ­year shingle is warranted by the manufacturer to have a useful life, under optimal ventilation conditions, of 30 years. Hail does several things:

  • Accelerates granule loss.
  • Causes defects in the mat where water can pool.
  • Accelerates shingle aging.
  • Voids manufacturer’s warranties.
  • Leads to other associated problems.
  • Most hail damage poses no immediate threat to the structural integrity of the roof. However, many insurance companies have a “statute of limitations” of how long a hail claim is viable (usually 180 days from the date of loss). If you have experienced a loss such as hail damage it is prudent to take care of the problem in a timely manner before it leads to other associated problems. In some instances large hail will cause leaks within the roofing system immediately following the storm. Repairs will need to be made promptly to insure the property within the home sustains minimal damage. The insurance adjusters will only assess the damage caused by the primary storm. Additional damage will be viewed separately on claims if the insured has not made ef orts to protect property immediately following a loss.


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