FAQ

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Roofing FAQ

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A. Certainly written suggestions that are detailed and broken down into separate line items are a good hint that the contractor is being methodical and has prepared an exact approximation. The following is a partial list of items your estimate or proposal should comprise:
The type of roof covering, maker and color
Materials to be included in the work, e.g., underlayment, ice dam protection membrane
Extent of work to be done
Removal or replacement of existing roof
Flashing work, e.g., present flashings to be replaced or re used, adding new flashing, flashing metal type
Ventilation work, e.g., adding new vents
Who is in charge of fixing/replacing exterior landscape or interior finishes which are damaged during the course of the work
Setup process
Approximate beginning and end dates
Payment processes
Length of warranty and what’s covered, e.g., workmanship, water leakage
Additionally, make sure to read the endorsements listed in Buying a new roof and getting your money’s worth and Selecting An NRCA Professional Roofing Contractor (Steep-slope Residential) for more info.

Q. I received several estimates to replace my asphalt shingle roof system as well as the costs fluctuate greatly.

A. If one estimate seems considerably lower in relation to the others and it sounds too good to be true, it likely is. Many fly by night contractors’ below-cost bids look alluring, but these contractors often are uninsured and perform substandard work. When an approximation is perplexing, ask the contractor to break down the estimate into items/terms you’ll be able to understand.

Q. My contractor is offering a one-year guarantee on my asphalt shingle roof system-is that the industry standard?

A. Before answering the inquiry, a clarification needs to be done about the different warranties you will come across during your roofing project. First, there will likely be the asphalt shingle manufacturer’s guarantee. Generally, this warranty covers defects in the manufacture of the shingle. The span of coverage can range from 20 years to a lifetime. Please read NRCA’s consumer advisory bulletin addressing roofing guarantees to find out more. Once the job is complete, be sure the contractor offers you a certificate for your records.

Second, the roofing contractor will provide you with a guarantee on his workmanship. Usually, this may cover setup and related matters. The guarantee should comprise what items are covered and what’s going to invalidate them. Many contractors offer one year or a couple of years of coverage; however, there isn’t any industry standard.

Roofing Questions (We Got Ya Covered, Literally)

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Job problems

Q. My contractor just started working on my roof and it is the middle of winter! At what temperature is it too cold to put in asphalt shingles?

A. There aren’t any particular temperature guidelines regarding when it’s too chilly to put in asphalt shingles. Asphalt shingles do become brittle in cold temperatures, with fiberglass shingles more likely to break than organic shingles. Breakage could be minimized or removed in case the shingles are kept in a warm place and loaded onto the roof several bundles at a time. Another concern is the fact that the self sealing strips will not seal or bond enough in chilly temperatures. Hand-tabbing (the application of quarter-size dabs of adhesive to the bottom of shingles) is advocated in the event the building is located in an area prone to high winds. This will definitely assist in preventing the shingles from blowing off the roof until warmer weather arrives and the sealing strips can set properly.

Q. Only the underlayment has been installed on my roof and it rained last night. Now, the underlayment is wrinkled. Does it have to be replaced?

A. In case the wrinkling is not serious enough to affect the shingle setup (i.e., the wrinkling won’t telegraph through the shingles and they won’t appear buckled or wavy once installed), the underlayment likely can stay in place. The impacts of wrinkling additionally will be minimized by using heavier weight shingles.

Q. My contractor installed the felt covering (underlayment) two weeks ago and hasn’t installed the shingles yet. How long can you make underlayment exposed?

A. Time is not the critical issue; the state of the underlayment is what’s important. Wrinkled or buckled underlayment should be replaced so the shingles lay flat.

Q. During the reroofing of my house, the contractor left one side of the roof unguarded and when it rained, water entered the house and my ceiling and walls are damaged. Who is accountable for repairing the inside of my house?

A. Before signing a contract, be sure that it contains language addressing who is responsible for any damage that occurs as an effect of the roofing work. All items of concern and work to be done ought to be included in the contract.

Q. My contractor reused the present flashings on my roof and after he finished installing the new shingles, he left! I’ve left several messages with the business and no one will come back to install new flashings. Should not that be included in the work?

A. In the event the contract didn’t specify the installation of new flashings, it was not included in the original scope of work. Be sure that all items of work to be done are included in the contract before signing it.

Technical questions

Q. What’s the best asphalt shingle to utilize on my roof?

A. Asphalt shingle material performance depends of the quality, quantity and compatibility of asphalt fillers, supports and surface granules. There are just two types of asphalt shingles (based on the kind of reinforcement mat used); fiberglass and organic. Fiberglass shingles are more fire- and moisture-repellent than organic shingles. Organic shingles have good wind resistance, high tear strength and may be installed in colder temperatures.

Asphalt shingles should be in compliance with American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) standards and applicable building codes. Fiberglass shingles should satisfy ASTM D 3462, “Standard Specification for Asphalt Shingles Generated from Glass Felt and Surfaced with Mineral Granules,” and organic shingles should meet ASTM D 225, “Standard Specification for Asphalt Shingles (Organic Felt) and Surfaced with Mineral Granules.”

Consumers also should keep in mind a roofing warranty’s length shouldn’t be the principal criterion in the choice of a roofing product or roof system because the warranty will not absolutely provide assurance of adequate roof system performance. See NRCA’s consumer advisory bulletin addressing roofing guarantees to find out more.

Q. One contractor’s bid contains No. 15 underlayment and another contractor says he merely uses No. 30 because it’s the finest. Who’s right?

A. For asphalt shingles, NRCA recommends an individual layer of No. 15 asphalt-saturated underlayment be used with roofs having slopes of 4:12 (18 degrees) or greater. For roof slopes between 3:12 (14 degrees) to 4:12 (18 degrees), NRCA recommends a minimum of two layers of No. 15 underlayment. Should you be installing a heavier-weight shingle with a projected long service life, using No. 30 underlayment instead of No. 15 would be proper.

Q. Are two layers of No. 15 underlayment the same as one layer of No. 30 underlayment?

A. No. Two layers of underlayment are referred to as a “double-layer of underlayment” and there is a 19-inch overlap between layers. One layer of underlayment is called a “single-layer of underlayment” and there’s 2 inches of overlap between layers. NRCA recommends a double-layer of underlayment for roof decks having slopes of 3:12 (14 degrees) up to 4:12 (18 degrees).

Q. My contractor needs to use staples instead of nails to install my asphalt shingles. Is that ok?

A. NRCA recommends galvanized steel or the equivalent corrosion-resistant roofing nails for asphalt shingle installation. Additionally, verify the governing building code requirements and what the shingle maker recommends.

Job problems

Q. My contractor just started working on my roof and it is the middle of winter! At what temperature is it too cold to put in asphalt shingles?

A. There aren’t any particular temperature guidelines regarding when it’s too chilly to put in asphalt shingles. Asphalt shingles do become brittle in cold temperatures, with fiberglass shingles more likely to break than organic shingles. Breakage could be minimized or removed in case the shingles are kept in a warm place and loaded onto the roof several bundles at a time. Another concern is the fact that the self sealing strips will not seal or bond enough in chilly temperatures. Hand-tabbing (the application of quarter-size dabs of adhesive to the bottom of shingles) is advocated in the event the building is located in an area prone to high winds. This will definitely assist in preventing the shingles from blowing off the roof until warmer weather arrives and the sealing strips can set properly.

Q. Only the underlayment has been installed on my roof and it rained last night. Now, the underlayment is wrinkled. Does it have to be replaced?

A. In case the wrinkling is not serious enough to affect the shingle setup (i.e., the wrinkling won’t telegraph through the shingles and they won’t appear buckled or wavy once installed), the underlayment likely can stay in place. The impacts of wrinkling additionally will be minimized by using heavier weight shingles.

Q. My contractor installed the felt covering (underlayment) two weeks ago and hasn’t installed the shingles yet. How long can you make underlayment exposed?

A. Time is not the critical issue; the state of the underlayment is what’s important. Wrinkled or buckled underlayment should be replaced so the shingles lay flat.

Q. My contractor implied installing a ridge vent on my roof and I already have two single static ports. Do I really desire a ridge vent?

A. NRCA suggests the amount of attic ventilation be balanced between the eaves and ridge. The intent of a balanced ventilation system is always to provide almost equivalent amounts of venting area in the eave/soffit and at or near the ridge. For a balanced ventilation system to function properly, approximately one-half of the ventilation area has to be at or close to the ridge.

Proper attic ventilation is among the least understood concepts in residential roofing. To learn more, read “Principles of Attic Ventilation” an article by Mark Graham, NRCA Associate Executive Director of Technical Services, that appeared in NRCA’s magazine, Professional Roofing or see Technical Bulletin 98-2.

Q. My house has a roof with a 2 1/2:12 (11 degrees) slope. Producer says it’s okay to use asphalt shingles, but my contractor says it isn’t. Who’s right?

A. There are some makers (and even model building codes) that will permit the application of asphalt shingle roof having that incline; nonetheless, NRCA will not recommend shingles on slopes less than 4:12 (18 degrees). Asphalt shingle roof systems are water-shedding and rely on gravitation and roof pitch to effectively drain water off the roof.

Q. My house has a flat roof. What’s the finest roof system for a flat roof?

A. There is no one roof system that is best for all applications. Keep in mind that even should you be using the most effective stuff, your roof system still may be set up improperly and also you might get a leaky roof. Good workmanship and proper attention to detail (e.g., flashing and drainage issues) are just as significant as material choice. Additionally, maintenance plays an essential role in roof system integrity and service life.

To assist you in your decision making, homeowners ought to be notified of what is available. Please refer to the Roof System Kinds page to learn about the various low-slope roof systems.

Additionally, keep in mind low-slope roofing materials manufacturers might not offer material guarantees to homeowners. The only warranty you most likely will have the ability to obtain is from the contractor. So it is crucial you work with a professional roofing contractor and get a detailed, methodical suggestion. Be sure to read the recommendations recorded in Purchasing a new roof and getting your money’s worth.

Care questions

Q. How can ice dams be reduced or removed?

A. Remove as much snow as possible, but call a professional roofing contractor if your roof is steep, the snow is deep or the ice is thick. NRCA does not advocate using ice picks or spades (or any tool with sharp edges) because there’s an opportunity of damaging roof coverings and flashings. NRCA also doesn’t advocate hosing down a roof with water or use of a hot air gun. Electrical heat cables normally have limited effectiveness.

Q. Can ice damming and copy occur without gutters?

A. Yes, and it’s more probable for roofs with lower slopes, especially in valleys and upslope from curbs, chimneys and penetrations.

Q. I want to use melting pellets to melt the snow on my roof. Will it harm the asphalt shingles?

A. Typically, chemical melt compounds don’t reduce the total expected service life span of asphalt shingles. Staining may occur until each of the deposit is washed away. Calcium or magnesium chloride pellets are less unpleasant and stain less than sodium chloride.

Q. How do I clean algae and moss from my asphalt shingle roof?

A. Use a mild solution of chlorine bleach and water or mild detergent gently applied with a sponge or hand-held sprayer and rinse completely. Don’t utilize a power washer or high concentrations of bleach, nor scrub the shingle surface. The Asphalt Roofing Manufacturers Association also offers cleaning recommendations.