Know the answers to these questions before you accept a proposal

Roofing Questions

Cedar Shake Roofing

  • Construction: Your existing roof structure was designed to handle a specific type and weight of roofing. Careful consideration by a competent roofing contractor needs to be given if you are choosing between removal and overlay of an existing roof system.
  • Old roof removal: If you are replacing an existing roof, you need to decide whether to put the new roof over your existing roof or start new. The roof structure and local building codes determine how much weight your roof can stand. A second roof over the first may save the cost and time of removing an old roof. Of course, the old roof must be compatible with the new roofing system.
  • Climate and weather: Consider our climate. We are in an area with a longer wet climate. This means we need to consider algae/fungus and ventilation. We also have wide temperature ranges. We sometimes have strong storms that require extra wind blow-off protection. Sun is always a factor and is the main cause of roof deterioration. The south side of your home with exposure to more direct sunlight is a factor for aging.
  • Algae resistant shingles: AR Shingles are designed to be a deterrent against algae growth. They look like normal shingles and to the naked eye seem to be the same but they are manufactured a little differently. The most effective shingles now have copper granules embedded in the asphalt shingle along with the normal granules. These copper granules are strategically embedded within each shingle itself to ensure that the entire shingle roof is protected against algae growth and so that the roof keeps its uniform color and look.
  • Ventilation: Consider attic ventilation as well. Humidity and heat from the attic are enemies of your roof. You may want us to improve ventilation before new roofing is applied.
    Your roof must be able to allow humidity and heat to escape. Proper ventilation will add years to your roof’s life and even help your house cool itself in summer. Continuous ridge ventilation, coupled with continuous soffit (at the eave) ventilation is the best system.
  • Fire ratings: The higher the fire rating, the more fire resistant your roof will be. A Class A rated roof will resist catching fire far longer than a Class C rated roof. Oddly, a metal roof is poor fire protection because it transfers heat directly to the wood below, which may cause the wood to ignite. Even the best wood shakes or shingle roofs offer only a Class B fire rating. You may want to discuss wood roofs with your insurance company before you make a decision.
  • Underlayment: Underlayment is asphalt-saturated felt sheet that comes in rolls and is placed over the roof deck and under the roofing material. This waterproofing step enhances the value of any roofing material choice. The right underlayment will be very important over the life of the roof. Underlayment validates most roof fire ratings.
  • Fasteners: Nails, staples, adhesives and interlocking designs are all variations used in different roofing materials to secure the materials selected to the deck. Asphalt shingles require that roofing nails be used to apply the product.
  • Flashing: Flashing is the metal stripping, or other material, that when carefully and professionally installed, will prevent leaking at joints where roofing materials meet roof protrusions (valleys, chimneys, stacks, etc.).Major Roof Material Types
  • Asphalt shingle/shake: Asphalt shingles are the most common and therefore the most easily installed and guaranteed type of roofing material. They are relatively light in weight. Higher quality shingle and shake designs offer superior weatherproofing for a relatively low cost and offer a great variety of styles and colors. Laminates are dual thickness asphalt shingles that offer increased protection from the elements and enhanced appearance. Some come with algae/fungus resistant copper granules. Fire ratings of Class A, the highest and best, are common.
  • Tile: Tile is made of concrete or clay. Barrel and flat styles are most common and come in a variety of colors. They can be texture treated to give different appearances. Tiles require costly reinforced rafter bracing to hold their weight and require upgraded asphalt underlayment to do the real weatherproofing. They can break easily and discolor. Premium tile roofs can be very expensive.
  • Slate: Slate is a dense durable rock material and is nonabsorbent. Slate can be smooth or textured, rough or uneven depending on the type and where it is mined. Nature provides us with fascinating colors. Weathering changes its color. Slate is heavy and, like tile, requires reinforced rafters. Slate roofs are very expensive.
  • Metal: Both architectural and structural types are available. The architectural style requires underlayment and is used on steep roofs utilizing an interlocking securing method. The structural type resists moisture on low slope roofs and does not require underlayment. There is high heat transfer and therefore a low fire rating is a problem with both styles. Metal roofs can be noisy during rain or hail.
  • Wood: Wood comes in various styles of shingles or shakes. It is attractive, giving a rich look with a custom appearance. It requires routine maintenance due to weathering. However, wood is wood, and it can easily catch fire. Check with your insurance company.
  • Composite: Composites shingles are man-made materials (like fiber cement or plastic) configured to look like shakes or other shingle styles but with different properties. The materials offer unlimited shape and color options, and vary widely in weatherproofing and fire rating.