Why You Should Replace Your Roof In The Fall

With winter in Nashville just around the corner, you may be noticing some issues with your current roofing system. From missing shingles to ceiling leaks, you might just now be realizing that you need to replace that roof.

But can you replace a roof in the fall or winter? This is a great question that we get every year from Tennessee homeowners. The fact is that you yes, you CAN replace your roof, but it’s important to use proper technique from start to finish. This way you can ensure that your roof performs at peak condition at every season.

These are the best techniques that professional roofing contractors use for winter roof installation:

What’s the Best Temperature for Roof Installation?

In an ideal world, asphalt roof shingles should be installed between 40 degrees and 85 degrees Fahrenheit. Even high quality asphalt shingles can crack when hammered, and installing in the wrong temperature can promote breakage. This is one of the biggest problems when you install asphalt shingles when it’s under 40 degrees.

With that said, winter is often a great time to get a good deal on a new roof, however we will need to wait until the temperature is in the right range before scheduling an installation date.

Top Troubles of Roofing Installation in the Winter

 

Aside from asphalt shingles becoming brittle in the winter, there is another important reason as to why it’s important to wait for the right temperature.  Any ideas? It’s all about adhesive! When the temperature drops below 40 degrees, some self-adhesive shingles have a hard time sticking. The sealing strips typically have no trouble bonding in the spring and summer, but in the winter we need to wait until the temperature is higher.

If you choose another type of roofing aside from asphalt, you’re not necessarily out of the woods. Fiberglass shingles are very susceptible to fracturing in the winter, and shakes can also break apart as temperatures approach the freezing mark.

If I Waited Till Winter, Can I Still Replace My Roof?

Despite a handful of obstacles that come along with winter roofing installation, winter is still a perfectly acceptable time to replace your roof, and as mentioned before, the best deals are often offered as the roofing business slows down.

In addition, we use numerous techniques to ensure that your new roof isn’t impacted by cold temperatures.

Keeping Your Roofing Shingles Warm

One of the first steps is to make sure the roofing shingles are warm before they’re installed. This is as simple as storing them in a heated garage or warehouse before delivering to the homeowner.

Properly Sealing the Shingles

In addition to keeping the shingles warm, it’s also important to use proper technique for sealing shingles in the winter. Most roofing shingles are designed with thermally-activated asphalt sealant. This bonds the shingles to the roof using sunlight, and it can take up to a couple weeks for the shingles to completely stick.

The approach is a bit different in the winter, where sunlight can sometimes be a bit scarce. In the winter time, a professional roofing contractor may choose to hand-seal the shingles with an approved asphalt roofing cement or other adhesive that’s provided by the manufacturer. Every tab should be sealed with one or two dabs (roughly 1-inch in diameter) of asphalt roofing cement. The cement should be near the shingle’s edges, but never exposed.

Rakes and eaves are two of the most susceptible areas for wind blowing shingles off the roof. Use a lot of care in this area and be sure that each shingle has the proper amount of sealant for best results.

What About Winter Roof Maintenance?

Even if you don’t intend to replace your entire roof this winter, your roof still may require maintenance. Be very careful about walking over shingles when it’s cold, since they can easily break under the weight of your foot—especially if the shingles are located on an uneven surface or they’re slightly curved.

Activity on your roof may also break the sealant bond on the shingles, so be prepared to hand-seal shingles that are peeling away from your roof.

If you have any questions regarding a new roof replacment, now is the time, feel free to initiate a chat with us online or give us a call at (615) 794-4001.

Most Common Places For Roof Leaks

Roof leaks are a common annoyance for homeowners. As soon as you see the signs of one (like discolored or damp walls and ceilings), the first step to take is to try to find the source of the leak. If it turns out to be something easy to fix, you can sometimes tackle the repair yourself.

  1. Around the chimney. The flashing around the chimney is a prime source of leaks. Flashing covers up a fairly large gap between the chimney and the roof, and it tends to pull away from the brick over time or rust. This is generally pretty easy to spot, so you’ll be able tell quickly if that’s where your leak originates.
  2. Problem shingles. The shingles on your roof can get damaged when they’re very old or when there’s been a big storm. When water gets past the shingles, it can seep into the underlayment and sheathing, which can then cause leaks inside the home. Look for signs like loose granules, curling or buckling shingles, or obvious missing spots.
  3. Gutters. Has it been a while since you’ve cleaned out the gutters? When they’re clogged or damaged, standing water can back up and cause leaks. The water can also freeze in the gutter and cause a multitude of other problems, so it’s very important to clean out your gutters regularly even if you don’t suspect leaks.
  4. Valleys. When two planes of your roof intersect, the line where they meet is called a valley. Depending on where you live, this could be covered with flashing, rolled roofing, or something else. Water collects in these lows spots, so any problem with the covering will often allow water into the house.
  5. Around ice dams. Even if your roof is great shape, ice dams can cause leaking. These ridges of ice that form at the edge of roofs catches melted snow and doesn’t allow it to run off like it should. This backed-up water can cause major leaks.
  6. Vents, pipes, and other roof penetrations. Anywhere there’s an object that protrudes above your roof, there’s a potential for leaks. Check the flashing around these objects for rust or loose spots.

If you go through the most common spots for roof leaks and can’t find anything, but you’re sure you have a leak, then it’s time to call in a professional. Don’t wait—even a small delay can make a leak worse and a fix much more complicated.

Common Roofing Terms You Should Know

Like any technical profession, roofing has a language all its own, and that language involves words unfamiliar to most people. It’s important for homeowners to familiarize themselves with some common roofing terms if they’re considering roof repair or replacement. This way they can communicate effectively with roofing professionals and express concerns when they have them.

Basic Parts of a Roof

Sheathing: Boards made from wood or another material that are secured to the rafters and used as a base for the rest of the roof covering. Also called a deck.

Felt: A fibrous material that’s used as a layer underneath the outermost surface of the roof. Also called underlayment.

Flashing: Pieces of durable metal used for weatherproofing. Flashing is applied around projections and in places where there’s an intersection between two sections to funnel water toward the gutters.

Covering: This refers to the felt plus the outer layer (which may be shingles, metal, slate, or tile).

Drainage: These are the features that allow water to drain off and can include the roof’s shape, its slope, and the way it’s laid out.

Structural Features

Ridge: The angle at the top of a sloped roof, where the two sides meet to form a peak.

Valley: The angle that’s formed when two downward sloping roof sections meet. Valleys can be tricky in terms of placing shingles and flashing, but experienced contractors know how to get this done properly.

Eaves: The bottom edges of the roof that hang over the exterior walls.

Fascia: Boards mounted on an exposed rafter end or at the top of an exterior wall to protect from the elements.

Repair/Replacement Terminology

Bond: The method that’s used to secure the shingles or other covering to each other. There are many different types of bonds, including cross, broken, and staggered.

Nesting: A method of re-roofing that involves laying new shingles over the top of the old shingles in a specific pattern.

Normal Slope Application: This is when shingles are applied to a roof with an average degree of incline (the slope or pitch). Pitch is generally expressed with two numbers which indicate the number of inches the roof rises vertically for every 12 horizontal inches.

As with any situation when you hire contractors, don’t be afraid to ask questions if your roofer starts talking about things you don’t understand. You might feel awkward for a moment or two, but that’s a small price to pay for being on the same page.

What Is Flashing And Why Is It Important?

Your roof is one of the first barriers of defense against the elements when it comes to your home or business.  Flashing is an essential part of your roof system.

When installed correctly, it is essential in preventing water intrusion at various locations on your roof.

What is flashing?

The protective seal that prevents water intrusion at areas such as skylights, chimneys, dormers and vents is called flashing.  Flashing is a critical preventive measure for moisture damage when water is most prone to penetrate a roof’s surface.

Where is flashing important?

Flashing is important at all roof penetrations, including edges, valleys, joints and any grooves, gaps, intersections and projections on the roof of any structure.

How can improper flashing damage my roof?

Poor or improper flashing can lead to premature deterioration at roof joints, so it is imperative to have flashing installed correctly when a new roof is installed.  Having it done right the first time is one of the best things you can do to preserve your investment.

Some Good Roofing Questions

We get asked questions by curious homeowners all the time. Should I go with a different contractor for a significantly lower price?  Can I save money by buying my own materials?  Should I try to repair the roof on my own?

With any investment, such as your home, you really should weigh your options before making major decisions on how to maintain it.  Avoid these pitfalls when making decisions on how to preserve your roof.

  1. Starting a major roof repair or replacement by yourself (if you are inexperienced).

Unless you have extensive roofing knowledge, it’s probably best to leave the roof work to the professionals.  Tearing off a roof is dangerous and difficult work.  We have often been called in to “rescue” homeowner from a project that they began but soon realized they were in over their heads.  The mistake is often made in an effort to save a few dollars, however, this can cause more damage and cost more in the long run.  With the proper safety equipment, knowledge and skill level, a certified roofing contractor is the way to go.

  1. Buying your own materials.

Shopping around for the best deal is a good thing, but when it comes to having a roof system installed, it pays to allow a qualified contractor with a competitive price to purchase the materials for you.  Not only do you avoid having incorrect quantities or products, the contractor may also have access to better, more competitive pricing due to established relationships with regular suppliers.  A roof installation tends to be a package deal and a good contractor will be able to provide a workmanship and manufacturer’s warranty with your system.

  1. Installing a product that does more damage than good over time.

Not all products are good products for your roof.  Contrary to popular belief, rain diverters can actually cause more damage than good, forcing water to back up under shingles, resulting in costly damage.  Another product that can ultimately cause problems are flush mounted skylights.  They typically don’t have a very wide flange and therefore tend to be unable to support high volumes of water.  Under heavy rain, water can go beyond the flange and penetrate beneath the roof, resulting in leaks.  Rely on a qualified contractor to help you decide what products will perform best for your roof.

  1. Not hiring a solid contractor.

Make sure that you do your homework.  Find a reputable contractor to perform work on your home. Sometimes price isn’t the only factor to consider when it comes to the service you are receiving.  Talk to friends, family and co-workers about a roofing company in your area that has a good name in the community, competitive pricing and a track record of quality work.   Check the Better Business Bureau, online reviews, and see if there is a company website for a feel and feedback on the contractor’s work history.  You want a company with integrity and a great finished product – it is absolutely worth the extra time.

Give us a call here at Five Points Roofing if you have questions, we’ll be happy to answer them.

Asphalt Architectural Shingles

A short post today, we’ll just discuss asphalt architectural shingles and what they are compared to standard 3 tab shingles. Most of us know what an asphalt shingle roof is. It is an asphalt steep slope residential and commercial roof covering. You see them on most homes and on many commercial buildings. They have always been popular because they are cost effective, perform well, and they last 20 plus years. Because of these reasons they are right now the steep slope roof work horse. In other words, they are driving the market.

We’re talking about architectural or “dimensional ” asphalt shingles. The price gap has closed much between them and 3 – tab shingles , which are a lesser product in every way so architectural shingles are really coming on strong. The bottom line is, the architectural shingle looks better, performs better, lasts longer, is heavier, and has a much higher wind warranty.

 

4 Questions To Ask When Replacing A Roof

Don’t let all the different roofing options available go over your head.

Don’t put off thinking about a new roof until it’s too late and there’s water dripping into the living room. With so many roofing options available, it can be easy to feel like you’re in over your head and overwhelmed with choice. Read more

Roof Designs and Styles

Sometimes we like to link over to other websites because we believe the content is rich and engaging and has lots of good information regarding a specific roofing topic. In this case we like this slideshow over at Better Homes and Gardens magazine. Check it out below to see some cool examples of roof design and different roofing styles.

http://www.bhg.com/home-improvement/exteriors/roofs/roof-designs-styles/#page=1

 

Measuring A Roof

Do you know how it’s done?

Measuring a roof from the ground can be a much safer way to get the information you need to do a roof. This week I was asked to teach a new solar estimator how to measure a roof from the ground. The basic idea of measuring a roof from the ground may sound ridiculous but it can be done, and done very accurately. I think everyone should measure at least the perimeters of the roof from the ground because the risk of a fall walking along the eaves of the roof can be avoided. If you are a professional and you are up and down ladders, crawling around steep, wet, damp and slippery roofs year in and year out, the odds are against you. These tips can reduce the risk of a fall. This web page is to show how the whole roof can be measured from the ground and a order for materials be placed.

So, What tools do I need to measure a roof?

1, Tape Measure. a 25 foot or longer works good. I use a laser for speed and it is very accurate. There a measuring wheels that work well also.

2, Graph Paper, some basic graph paper will help keep straight lines and scale your roof drawing. I use a two-foot scale drawing and most sizes homes will fit on a 8.5 x 11 sheet of paper.

3, Calculator, is a important tool since it will help you with complex math with less or no errors.

4, Pitch Gage, will be needed to find the pitch of a roof. There are pitch gage Apps for smart phone free to download.
Familiarize your self with the names of the parts of a roof, like the Gable, Hip, Valley, Eave and Ridge. Take a minute before you measure and Google your roof then highlight these parts of the roof like seen here to the left. It will help with your drawing later. Start from the left corner and start taking measurement from the eave to eaves all around the home. Using the graph sheet you should end up right where you started. If you don’t, then you made an error some where.

Once the site drawing is done look at the drawing and in a red marker draw out squares like seen in this drawing. {drawing has been cropped}

A, Is { 48′ x 24′ } B, { 16′ x 24′ } C, { 12′ x 24′ } and D, { 6′ x6′ } Do you see the squares? Add these four totals and you have the foot-print of the roof which is 1860 sq. ft. Now we need to add the pitch factor which is the rise of the roof. Most homes have about a 4:12 pitch or 18.5 degrees. This is as low a pitch as you want when installing asphalt shingles. This roof we are measuring today is a 6:12 pitch or 26.5 degrees. The pitch factor I use for this is 1.12. This factor should be times the house foot print, 1860 sq. feet and your roof size equals 2084 or 20.84 sqs. Lets call it 21 sqs. Determine the waste factor and you have the total roofing sqs. you need to complete this roof.

Now to determine the length of the valleys and hips needs to be calculated using the hip factor of 1.50 for a 6:12 pitch. So here in the front right side is a hip roof and the width being 24 feet. x 1.50= 36 feet, divided by 2 for each side which equals 18 feet for the hip length. The valleys are the same formula as the hips. For this short valley on the right being 6 foot equals 6 x 1.50 = 9 ft.
The eave should be looked at by a ladder to see how many layers of shingles there are on the roof. With a good roof flashing count, you can place a materials order to the supply house. Here are the pitch factors rounded up for calculating the sqs. of a roof.

Degrees converted to roof pitch

9.5° = 2:12,  14° = 3:12,  18.5° = 4:12,  22.5° = 5:12,

26.5° = 6:12,  30° = 7:12,   33.5° = 8:12,   37° = 9:12,

40° = 10:12,    42.5° = 11:12,   45° = 12:12

Why We Don’t Do Layovers

While laying a new roof over an old roof may be faster, cheaper, and it happens frequently, we refuse to do it. Check out this article we recently read from ProRemodeler.com: Read more