A storm cloud approaches on the horizon. Bearing down on your house with waves of rain, lightning, and hail it strikes again and again, looking for any way through your home’s defense system. It threatens to bring the force of the elements to bear on everything you own, which is protected at the top only by a thin layer of asphalt, fiberglass, and a roll of paper. Aren’t you glad it was installed correctly?
A roofing install is a science, not an art. A contractor who does the job right will take the time to understand the unique requirements of your home and then follow industry best practices to make sure their work is good for decades.
Here are a few practices that can make an roof installation go right instead of wrong:
1)Installing proper ventilation. Without ventilation, attics trap warm, moist air and cause a host of problems. This air can cause wood to rot or warp and it can mean that on a hot day, even as the air conditioning blasts, the attic is working against it to keep hot air in. At the same time, too much ventilation, or ventilation in the wrong places, will allow too much air to leave the house, making the air conditioning and heating systems far less efficient. A good roofer should know how to properly ventilate a roof.
2) Selecting the right kind of shingles. When that storm approaches it’s going to put the roof to the test.
Whether it passes will depend on the stuff it’s made of. The most popular residential roof shingle is the 3 tab shingle. The 3 tab shingle is a thin sheet made primarily of asphalt and fiberglass that are relatively lightweight and affordable. It’s a basic roof covering that looks good and is an okay investment in places without extreme winds. However, for homeowners in hurricane alley, the upgrade to an architectural shingle, which is designed to last longer and stand up to heavier winds than a 3 tab, should be an easy choice. An experienced roofer will be able to help you make informed decisions on how to best equip your home for the challenges that mother nature presents.
Following manufacturer guidelines. It’s a great idea to buy shingles that come with a manufacturer’s guarantee. These can cover you for years and provide great protection in case your house somehow ends up on the receiving end of a defective shingle batch. The catch with a manufacturer’s warranty is that the shingles must be installed properly. A poorly trained roofer can engage in any number of practices that your shingles are not designed for and end up voiding the guarantee.
4) Properly installing sub surface layers. Roofs and icebergs have a lot in common. They are both blue, they float, and polar bears live on them. They are also only partly visible on the surface. As the roofing job progresses, a conscientious roofer will repair damaged wood, apply a layer of felt paper, and in cold climates they will add an ice and water guard to bottom edge of the roof. Problematically for the home owner, once the shingles go on, there is no way to make sure that the lower layers were done properly. Maintain communication with your roofing contractor and watch their progress to ensure that quality and care are put into the entire project. Even the hidden parts.