Can a new roof lower my energy bills?
A properly insulated attic and a well-ventilated roof will help you reduce heat loss and moisture condensation in the winter and heat retention in the summer enabling you to conserve energy. Adequate ventilation and insulation in your attic will also help reduce the possibility of ice dams from occurring caused by uneven roof temperatures and melting snow.
Do I need extra ventilation?
A contractor should be able to measure your home properly to determine and recommend the type and amount of ventilation your home needs.
Do my gutters have to be removed?
In most cases the gutters do not need to be removed. With the proper precautions a roof can be replaced without damaging the gutters.
How long is my warranty on workmanship and materials?
Each contractor should specify warranty terms in the proposal. Most labor warranties cover five years. Most contractors provide five year material warranties in addition to the warranties provided by the material manufacturer. Manufacturer’s warranties range from twenty years to limited lifetime warranties. The most important component of the workmanship warranty rests in the contractor still being in business should you have a claim.
What is the best roof for me?
There are many different roof types. Choosing the right one for you depends on many factors:
- What type of roof do you have now?
- How much do I have to spend?
- Where do I live?
- Do I need an insulating factor?
This is best addressed with your roofing contractor. You should be sure to ask questions:
- What types can I put on?
- What’s the difference between them? How long will it last?
- Does it have an insulation value and if it does what is it?
- How long is my warranty?
- What does it cover? Is it Your Warranty?
- Is it a manufactures warranty?
- Is a roof maintenance program included?
- Who will cover my warranty if you go out of business?
Is it OK to install shingle roofing in the winter?
In the hands of an experienced professional, and with a few exceptions, it is acceptable to install shingle roofing during the winter months. The primary exception is coastal high wind area.
Why do shingles crack?
Asphalt shingles, both organic and fiberglass, are subjected to considerable stress from extreme temperature variations and roof deck movement once they are applied. It is this stress that may cause a shingle to crack, tear, ‘fish mouth’ or split. Poor installation also has a hand in shingles cracking.
How do asphalt shingles work?
Slate is the perfect shingle. Its biggest problems are expense, weight, and the rusting of nails over time. In the late 1800’s an industrious inventor experimented by soaking felt paper with tar and sprinkling crushed slate particles on top. Asphalt shingles had arrived. They were lighter, cheaper, and they worked, although life expectancy was cut by 70 to 80 percent.
Weather was the enemy. The tar dried and cracked with expansion and contraction. Then the crushed slate particles fell off and the roof began to leak. Over time the technology improved, making asphalt shingles a cost effective means of protecting your roof.
Does the weight of the shingle matter?
Yes. More stones and more asphalt mean a greater life expectancy for the shingle.
Why do roofing estimates vary so widely?
Roofing costs are heavily weighted to labor and insurance. Generally insurance is the difference. Contractors who don’t have insurance or who have restricted insurance will be less expensive. (For you, this savings may be no savings at all if something goes wrong.)
Legal disposal of old asphalt shingles is important and a growing cost. The Massachusetts DEP has taken the position in court that the property owner, not the contractor they employ, is responsible for the debris removed from their property. Make sure your contractor is disposing properly of your materials.
Should I install a ridge vent on my roof when I install my new roof?
If possible, yes. However there are some circumstances that you must consider:
- Are your soffits currently vented? If not, the ridge vent will not work
- Do you have enough soffits area to vent? Some homes do not.
- Is the insulation in your home installed over the venting area of the soffits? If so, you have to move it.
- Do you have gable end or roof vents? If so, they must be closed or rendered useless
- If you have insulation in your attic, is the vapor barrier facing the heated side of the installation? This problem must be corrected whether or not you install a ridge vent. Terrible mold conditions can result.
To be effective, ridge vents rely on a flow of air from the lowest section of the roof rising to the vented peak or ridge. The benefit is keeping the roof deck as close to the outside temperature as possible, a condition which extends the life of the shingle.
Certain homes can benefit significantly from adding a radiant barrier assembly. The assembly will direct the vented air flow properly and reflect the suns summer radiant heat away from the living space. The result is a well vented, solar controlled attic that makes a home cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter.