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FAQs

Roofing                                                                          Back to Main FAQs


How many layers of shingles can I have on my roof?

As a general rule, two layers of asphalt or fiberglass shingles is the maximum  number of layers although some circumstances, building codes or warranty requirements for new covering might require no underlying layers beneath a new roof.  It is best to always check with the manufacturer, the code authority and the professional providing and warranting the installation.  Don’t forget how important proper ventilation is in a new roof as well. 

Do metal roofs cost more?

Economy grade metal roofs can be done relatively inexpensively but better quality metal applications will run many times what a good quality asphalt or fiberglass roof might cost.  Another factor that plays into the overall equation is the market price of raw steel.  There seems to be great volatility in all roofing products and steel is no exception.  Another issue that greatly affects the installed price is the complexity of the roof.  Complicated or highly detailed roofs done in metal can get quite pricey.   On the other hand, metal roofing looks great and has a good lifespan with higher quality panels.  All roofs demand some maintenance and metal is no exception but overall maintenance expectations should be reasonable. The quality of paint finishes limit corrosion and fading has improved significantly lately and good looking, long lasting metal roofs are now the norm more than the exception. If your budget doesn’t allow for an all metal roof, maybe consider an accent metal roof at the entry, breezeway or porch area to highlight the overall aesthetic of the home.

How do I know if my roof needs replacing?

Most people are fortunate to realize they have roof issues well ahead of a leak.  Tell-tail signs are often wind-blown, missing shingles or curling leading edges.  On roof that are easy to view from the ground, shaky shingles are usually easy to detect. Higher roofs, especially on flatter slopes can be more difficult to assess.  Remodelers and their roofing contractors can easily evaluate roofs by a site inspection and can often spot areas that need attention well ahead of that issue manifesting itself with a leak.  Most problem roofs have very localized problems ahead of a systemic failure, often in areas of transitions like valleys or at flashing locations like chimneys or other roof penetrations.  Another problem area is where a wall intersects a lower roof and the step flashing and/or siding has been compromised for whatever reason.  Again, the eyes of a pro can yield great insight into what might be an issue, what might become an issue or what necessitates a full replacement.  A word of caution, watch the storm chasers and the fly by night replacement companies.  Work with a local, reputable firm with some roots and history.  Your new roof warranty is only as strong as the company who installed it. Do your homework and work with the local talent on this important component of your home.

What are options for low slope roofs?

These critters deserve some special attention as low slope roofs can be a bit problematic.  Don’t let anyone talk you into shingling a flatter roof.  Roof slope is measured in rise versus run; that is, for every foot of horizontal distance, how much does the roof gain in height. Example: a 4/12 roof means that for every 12” of horizontal run the roof gains 4” in height.  An 8/12 roof gains 8” in height for every 12 “ of horizontal run.  Low slope roofs are important considerations at anything less than 4/12.  Here you must use tighter shingle coursing, continuously adhered underlayments or what’s known as single ply roofing.  Examples of single ply is either EPDM rubber with fully rubber cured seams or perhaps single ply asphalt, fully bonded seams. In the old days, standing seam or soldered seams were the norm but no longer. Few really good choices exist but there are options that your pro remodeler and roof expert can walk you through.  It is important that the right choice be made as lower slope roofs tend to be less forgiving than their steeper slope cousins.

Should I replace my gutters when I re-roof?

Not necessarily but it’s a good time to assess just how tuned up they are in regards to overall performance.  Many gutters are almost applied as an afterthought on some homes. That is, they aren’t installed as part of the roof system and this can really detract from the true performance and lead to bigger issues like clogging and ice dams.  A pro can assess the condition as well as the substrate to which the gutters are attached.  You want gutters and downspouts to be in topnotch condition to keep water under control that might otherwise find its way into the living space below.

What is ice-guard, is it worth the money?

Ice-guard is a self-adhering roof underlayment membrane that provides a very good barrier in potentially problematic areas of shingled and other types of roofing.  It seems like it wasn’t that long ago that ice guard was just coming into the marketplace and few remodelers and builders were actually using the product much.  Now it is an integral part of any decent roof system, at least at the leading edge or eave of the roof.  Most pros also like to see ice guard used to line valleys and perhaps other transition areas on the roof.  It is really money well spent since it directly adheres to the roof deck, is impervious and seals itself around nail penetrations.

How easily are skylights installed?

Skylights are a great way to bring natural light into a room.  Creating the opening and framing a shaft for your skylight are the interior components of a new installation.  Depending on your ceiling and attic structure, the required framing may be somewhat intrusive or relatively easy.  There will be interior drywall work as well.  Up on the roof, a professional roofer can have the actual skylight installed in no time with minimal disruption to your existing roof.  The only possible concern on the roof could be that older roofs sometimes have more difficulty in allowing the new skylight to properly flashed in. All issues can and should be addressed prior to finalizing the scope of work.  Another option to bring light into your space through the roof is by using a tubular skylight.  They are an energy efficient, economical way to bring daylight into your home.  Check out the Velux Sun-Tunnel site for more information:  http://suntunnelskylights.veluxusa.com/consumer/why_sun_tunnel

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