Most people are not aware of what is going on under their shingles and honestly some of us couldn’t even choose what we have. Most roofs haven’t had a proper system installed causing their roofs to deteriorate prematurely and so many other related issues, so it’s time for you to get well inform and to make that big investment worth it.
We will share with you….
Having a layer of underlayment provides extra protection between your shingles and your roof deck (wood), which is why choosing the right one is very important and believe us, it makes a big difference.
Typically in most roofs you will find a 15 lb. or 30 lb. black felt, an asphalt-saturated sheet, this product is basically a thick paper felt, that usually absorb moisture that leads to wrinkling, becomes brittle and could leach oils.
This felt you can easily torn or wrinkle with your own hands with out taken his original state completely back, if something like that happens during your installation you will end up with a bumpy roof, since the waves in the felt will transfer to your shingles ending up in a non good looking roof.
A high quality roofing system uses a synthetic felt(called FeltBuster for GAF product / ProArmor for Owens Corning product)
Synthetic products are manufactured from polypropylene and polyethylene. Synthetic underlayments offer a variety of advantages over the roofing felt, such as tear resistance, UV resistance, and they don’t wrinkle when exposed to moisture like roofing felt does.
Other advantages of working with a synthetic felt are:
- Long lasting performance: This will last for years with out disintegrating under your shingles, like felts does. Your roof could be left with only the synthetic underlayment (and a few other products we will talk about later) with no shingles on for 90 days and you won’t have water coming in
- Its surface provides a more stable and a cooler walking area
- Resist tearing
- Avoids wrinkling that can be transfer to the finish look of your roof
- Felt stretching around nails or fasteners as called in the roofing industry are minimum, preventing possible water penetration to your roof deck
- It works great in high pitched roof
An other important component that your roof should have is a leak barrier.
In regions where snow and ice are pretty common during the winter months, having an ice and water shield in addition to roofing felt makes a watertight and energy efficient covering for the roof.
There is a mineral-surfaced leak barrier and a film surfaced leak barrier.
The mineral-surfaced is a fiberglass mat-reinforced membrane with mineral fines on the top surface and the film surface leak barrier is a fiberglass mat-reinforced but this one has a membrane with a polymeric film on the top.
Both membranes help prevent leaks caused by roof settling, wind-driven rain and ice dams on the most vulnerable areas of your roof which are your eaves, rakes, your valleys, around the chimney, sky windows, pluming vents among others.
Although both products have really good qualities protecting your roof like:
- Waterproof barrier
- Tear resistance
- Self-adhesive: it adheres to the deck and seal around fasteners to prevent water penetration
- Slip-resistance surface for traction and save installation
The film surface leak barrier also has:
- Resist UV degradation
- His slip-resistance is greater because of its polyester surface provides more traction
- And as we mention previously it could be left exposed for up to 90 days and you won’t have water coming in
Once you have your deck and vulnerable areas protected you must think that is time to shingle, but we still have some important steps to cover.
Drip edge: you must have them installed on your roof, it should go on your eves and rakes, this will prevent water to roll back to your deck, which will absorb the water and rod.
Starter Strip: back in time what roofers used to do at the edge of roofs was to turn a 3-tap shingle backwards; the problem is, this shingle wasn’t designed for this purpose and a lot of roofs were installed with them.
Starter Strip shingle is a long, usually made of asphaltic material strip that goes at the edge of the roof, it comes with a line of adhesivewhich bonds with the shingle placed above and seal them down protecting them from the elements, a 3-tap shingle doesn’t have this adhesive so with out a proper starter strip, a gust of wind could blow them off or wind blow rain could get beneath those shingles that aren’t sealed down.
Some roofers claim you don’t need a start strip shingle, but actually installing them provides you that crucial extra layer of protection.
Now, shingles, there is a huge variety out there, different shapes, materials, colors, thickness, quality, you name it, so which one to choose?
You will choose that beautiful color and shingle design that will make your house to stand out in your neighborhood and of course the one that best works for your specific needs, however there are a 2 other important things to look for in a shingle.
A standard roof installation requires 4 nails per shingle, however, in order to provide a high wind resistance roof an enhanced nailing pattern of 6 nails are used instead to allow enough hold against the elements and prevent shingles to blow off the roof.
A really good shingle is one that allows an efficient installation as well, many brands doesn’t show the workers where a nail should be in order to obtain the maximum benefic out of the product, but “they should know where, right?” lets think about it for a moment, 6 nails per shingle in a whole roof, that could mean thousands of nails so that means there could be a possibility that they don’t hit the target a 100% of the times and lets not take this lightly, if a shingle gets nail lower or above an specific area, that could jeopardize its integrity causing weak spots that could lead into leaking or even the shingle to blow off the roof.
Owens Corning a shingle manufacturer company has actually incorporated in their shingles a woven-fabric nailing stripthat enhance its performance by helping deliver a 130-MPH wind warranty and provides an easy to see, strong and durable nailing zone, so workers don’t have to guess.
Another important feature to look for in a shingle is thermal sealant on the back, this will help the shingles that are on top of each other to firmly bond together, covering the nails as well, protecting them from corrosion.
So, we just picket out the perfect shingle, what is the next step?
A good roof vents means a healthy home and is crucial in roof design since it will provide a proper attic ventilation which helps prevent early aging to your roofing materials, moderates the attic temperature and prevents moisture to grow in your attic.
There are different types of vents but which one works best?
- Box vents: work better when used with soffit ventilation, they are designed to work with open attics, they are placed on the sides of your roof and you will usually need more than one to remove all the hot air from your attic.
- Soffit vents: these are installed in the soffits and allow air to flow up under the roof and into the attic.
- Turbine vents: These vents use the wind and air pressure to spin and vent out stale air.
- Eyebrow vent: They provide curved openings on roof slopes and they are used in pairs on each side of the roof to provide air movement.
- All the vents mentioned above are placed on the sides of the roof not at the very top and this could mean that all the hot air trapped at the highest point of your roof is not been vent out properly.
- There is the Ridge vent: The advantage of this type of vent over traditional rectangular vents (mention before) is the coverage over the entire upper portion of the attic instead of a few isolated locations, allowing continuous air flow along the entire ridge, where hot air and moist typically builds up. You will mostly see 2 types: Metal and Shingle over ridge
- Metal ridge vents are susceptible to more condensation with temperature changes, leading to moss growing around metal roof vents and it also mean that the metal will start to corrode and rust leading to leaking because of all the exposed nail (they go right through the surface of the vent and into the roof)
- Shingle over shingle:Most of these vents are now made of a tough polypropylene blend and generally are better designed than older aluminum models giving them a long lasting durability. This are designed with an interior baffle that allows air to flow out and also protects your attic from the elements. Once the ridge vent is nailed into place, shingles are place over top covering the nails.
Again, most roofers use a 3-tap shingle to cover the ridge vent and once again this shingles weren’t designed for this purpose, which is why GAF and Owens Corning have a specialized Hip & Ridge Cap Shingle, this product is much thicker that a regular shingle and it was made to bend according to the pitch of your roof with out cracking as a 3-tap shingle would do, the cap shingle will also have a thermal sealant so they will bond together and this will insure you that your nails won’t be exposed and your cap shingle won’t be tear off your roof.
Last but not least, Pipe jacks. When a homeowner contacts a roofing company for leak problems 7 out of 10 times the leak is happening around the pipe boot. Whether is it that a new roof it’s going to be installed or just replacing a pipe jack you need to know that what goes on your roof it’s a high quality product.
Lets talk about standard pipe jacks shall we?
- You, as a consumer can find them anywhere, at any local supplier store actually.
- These pipe jacks are made of plastic and contains a multi-size elastomer collar that accommodates different vent pipe sizes, one product fits them all, the problem is in order to fit your specific size of boot they have to cut the collar manually forcing who ever is making the installation to use caulk around it to seal it, this may last a couple of years however the caulk deteriorates and eventually water will come in.
- The collar doesn’t have any flexibility to give on the slope of your roof leaving a gap between the boot and the pipe, another reason why they caulk it.
- In most of these products the installation required to nail the plastic vent pipe flashing on specific areas leaving expose nails that will corrode exposing your home to water.
- An other important fact, did you know that the roof moves? Yes, it does! The roof will expand during summer time because of high temperatures and will contract during winter because of low temperatures so you need a product that does it too other wise the nails will damage that plastic flashing making a big hole and once again… water will come in.
Now, lets talk about an Ultimate Pipe Flashing the name says it all but lets elaborate:
- This product is not available at your local home improvement stores, only a few supplier distributers carry them.
· This pipe jacks has a Kynar PVDF coated 24 gauge galvanized sheet metal plate. PVDF is a a specialty plastic used in applications requiring the highest purity, and because of its purity, it also offer resistance to abrasion, impact resistance, thermal stability, making it the ideal choice for the development of highly durable and substantially lighter materials.
- Its collar is made of ultra-pure silicone, which provides UV/Ozone stability and it also contours to the slope of your roof, so, no gap between your pipe and your boot.
- Its custom fit, that means no cuts to fit your boot and no caulking to seal it, there is one for your specific boot size.
- Its nailing slots are specially designed so your pipe jack can move with your roof as seasons change and to guaranty you that no nails will be exposed.
All this features will give you a lifetime tool, so which one would you rather have on your roof?
So, now that you know what should be on your roof, don’t hesitate to demand the best products out there and we at Daniel Hood Roofing Systems will provide you the highest quality in service you can experience on any home project.
By Deborah Ogle
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