Roofing can be complicated if you do not know parts of the roof or the good vs bad of your options.
Below are some quick tidbits of information to help you understand the structure and function of a roof.
Southern Texas is known for its hurricanes, allowing for easy opportunities for scammers to move in and take money from those who are just trying to get their home back together. There are some simple things you can do to help prevent yourself from getting scammed.
1. Always make sure the roofer has active/valid insurance
2. Do not hesitate to ask for references
3. Search the company on the internet
4. Do not sign a contract until you have had time to thoroughly read through it
5. Make sure to check them out before handing over a deposit
Most importantly, if a roof contractor offers to cover your deductible, know that this is illegal and punishable with fines and jail time.
Your roof has been damaged and your homeowner’s insurance is paying to replace it. When searching for a roofing contractor, beware of any that offer to “cover” or “waive” your deductible.
In September of 2019, Texas House Bill 2102 was signed into effect. The law makes it a criminal offense for a contractor to pay for, waive, absorb, rebate, etc. an insurance deductible.
An insured policyholder also violates the law if they knowingly submit or allow a claim with a waived or reduced deductible.
This law creates a Class B misdemeanor offence of 180 days in county jail and a fine of up to $2,000 for violating contractor and insured policy holder.
To protect yourself, Homeowners should speak to their insurance provider about a lower or fixed-dollar deductible that you are comfortable paying out of your pocket should anything happen to your home.
Shingles may be an important part of your roof, but the structure under the shingles is just as much of an important component of your roof.
If your structure is failing or damaged, it can compromise your entire roof.
Roofing structures consist of ridge boards, rafters, joists, purlins and more.
If you think you have structure issues, feel free to give us a call.
A roof consists of many parts, that when properly installed, will prevent water, wind and other elements from getting into your home.
Knowing the parts of a roof is half the battle when trying to determine why and where damage exists.
Above is a simple photo that notates some of the important items
Roof pitch plays a critical role in determining not only the size of the roof, but also the type of material that can or can not be used on a roof.
It is also important information for designing an addition, adding skylights and other roof structure modifications.
The safest way to determine the pitch is by getting in the attic, but it can be done from the roof as well.
To determine the pitch of a roof, you would measure how many inches it rises over a 12 inch run.
For example, a 4-in-12 pitch, for every 12 inches horizontal run, the roof rises 4 inches vertically.
While rafters are the traditional roof structure, trusses are becoming more common. So, what is right and what is wrong, the answer is neither. It is all about the structure that the roof is being built on.
So here is a quick break down of the two.
- Rafters and trusses are similar in the fact that they are both triangular shaped, rafters have two main outer beams & trusses consist of multiple beams.
- Trusses are typically pre-assembled in a factory while rafters are built on site.
- Trusses can be cheaper in the long run then rafters, they can also limit design.
For example, if you have the plan to build out an attic space later, trusses will prevent you from doing so.
Asphalt shingles are the most common residential roofing due to their reliability, price point and length of life, there are other types out there.
Metal Roofing – metal roofing usually runs at least twice the price of an asphalt shingle but has a much longer life
Slate Roofing – slate roofing is created by splitting sedimentary rock into thin sheets. But being a natural stone, if not properly cared for, it will break down and flake
Wood Shake Shingles – just as they are named, they are shingles made of wood. They give a home a rustic look but require more maintenance then an asphalt shingle. Wood shake shingles are no longer allowed in most areas due to the extreme fire risk.
Clay Tile – one of the most expensive roofing materials as well as one of the longest lasting materials.
There are multiple types of shingles from slate and flagstone to metal and plastic.
The most commonly used is composite asphalt shingles.
Asphalt shingles are made up of a heavy fiberglass mat with ceramic coated mineral granules that are embedded in water-resistant asphalt.
Their design helps to make them weather resistant and lower maintenance, as well as able to take impact better than most other types of roofing.
All asphalt shingles are made up of a heavy fiberglass mat and ceramic coated mineral granules that are embedded in water-resistant asphalt. There are 2 main types of shingles, Architectural and 3-Tab.
3 tab shingles have only 1 size of shingle while architectural shingles have multiple sizes of shingles giving them a more dimensional look
Architectural shingles weigh more per square then a 3 tab shingle. The heavier weight of the architectural shingle allows for it to have a higher wind and impact rating.
Architectural shingles have a minimum of 30 year manufacture defect warranty while 3 tab typically has a 20-25 year guarantee
3 tab shingles are lower in cost then architectural
So when you talk about the size of a roof, it is always talked about in squares and bundles. But what does this mean? Well, it is actually quite simple.
Shingles are sold by the bundle, a bundle contains approximately 33 square feet of shingles.
A square of shingles consists of 3 bundles, which is approximately 100 square feet of shingles.
So if a roof is 50 squares, then that means the area of the roof is approximately 5,000 square feet.
Roofing underlayment is a critical part to a roof doing it’s job. It is a water resistant or waterproofing barrier that is installed under the main roofing material (asphalt shingles, metal roofing, tile roofing, etc.).
There are multiple different types of underlayment. The three most commonly used are asphalt felt, rubberized asphalt and synthetic.
Asphalt Felt – Felt used to be the most commonly used underlayment. But with time, it expands and collapses creating waves in the material which leads to failure. It also breaks down over time.
Rubberized Asphalt– Most expensive option, but it holds up very well in harsh environments. It is also a self sealing material, reducing the chance of leaks at nail and staple heads.
Synthetic – Synthetic is the most commonly used material today. It is light weight and high strength. It is also resistant to fungal growth and UV resistant. It is an additional layer of weather protection.
Drip edge, also known as eave drip, is a flashing applied to the edge of a roof prior to underlayment and shingles.
It helps protect water from coming in along the fascia. It allows water to drip off the roof rather than run up the underside.
While there are a couple different types of drip edge, the most commonly used is Style D Long, also known as DL Drip Edge. It is available in steel, aluminum and vinyl, as well as painted to match your shingles or fascia.
Damaged drip edge can lead to sheathing and fascia damage and if left unrepaired, can lead to even further damage.
Flashing is a piece of thin material that is used to prevent water penetration at joints, such as where the vertical side of a chimney meets the horizontal of a roof, around skylights or in valleys where two roof lines meet.
Typically, flashing is made of galvanized steel and acts as a sealer over joints.
You will see it around not only chimneys, but also around vents, skylights, dormers, valleys and such.
There is also a synthetic flashing. This type of flashing is an adhesive backed synthetic material that you install in any place that traditional metal flashing would be used.
No different than a valley in the mountains, a valley on your roof is where two different slopes of the roof meet. This is a critical area as it creates a natural flow for water shed. It is very important that a valley is properly installed, as water flows in the valleys at a much larger amount than other areas of the roof.
There are 3 methods of installing a valley
1. Woven Valley – this method is done by laying shingles in the valley and weaving them together, but if not woven properly, the shingles will not lay down into the valley, this can make the shingles look wavy – not recommended for architectural shingles
2. Closed Cut – with closed cut, one side of shingles is laid over the other, a chalk line is snapped along the valley and the 2nd layer of shingles is cut off
3. Open Valley – with open valley, metal flashing is installed in the valley, shingles are overlapped onto the valley and then cut, leaving the metal flashing visible
All 3 methods are approved by shingle manufactures.
Ridges, as described by the National Roofing Contractors Association, is the “highest point on a roof, represented by a horizontal line where to roof areas intersect, running the length of the area”.
So, simply said, it is the top line of the roof.
The ridge needs to be properly installed, as it is the top covering that holds the rest of the shingles down. It takes the brunt of the wind, sun and rain pounding.
Along the ridge is where ridge vent would be installed for your homes ventilation.
There are two main types of ventilation for your home and both are part of your roofing system.
Ridge Vent is installed along the top peak of a roof. It acts like a screen that allows hot air to escape out of the attic. But, ridge vent only works well when there is adequate “in take”, such as soffit vents.
Turbines, also known as whirlybirds, are installed on top of the roof. As wind passes through the turbine it causes it to spin which then sucks the hot air out.
So why is proper venting a necessity to your home? Proper ventilation is key to maintaining temperature and humidity inside the home, as well as circulating in fresh air. Proper ventilation also helps your heating and cooling system to operate properly and efficiently.
Inspecting your roof annually (at a minimum), can help prevent problem areas before they become a major issue.
1. Debris – remove any debris, such as leaves, pine needles & cones, etc., from your roof
2. Shingles – inspect the shingles for loose, missing or damaged shingles
3. Flashing – make sure all flashing and drip edge is in good condition, nothing is torn, rusted or missing
4. Sealants – check that sealants around vent pipe, air hawks, skylights, chimneys, etc. is in good condition, no holes, missing or cracked out sealant
5. Gutters – gutters should be properly attached and not pulling away from home, make sure they are routinely cleaned
6. Inside – inspect the underside of your roof in the attic or on the ceiling (for vaulted and such ceilings), make sure nothing is wet, has yellow/orange stains, or is black
If you see issues or would like a professional inspection, contact a roofer!
While most roofing is mildew and mold resistant, over time, it can still get build up when regular maintenance is not performed.
Trees and vines that hang over or onto the roof does not only increase the chances of mildew and mold growth, it can cause rot to the roof structure causing failure of your roof.
It also gives easy access to bugs, such as termites and squirrels, that can eat into and cause damage to your roof and framing.
So, to extend the life of your roof, make sure to trim back your trees, cut vines away and remove leaves, pine needles, branches, etc. from your roof.
If you see signs of mildew or mold growth, you can wash your roof with a manufacturer approved cleaner that will not fade or damage your roofing.
Hail can do damage to many things around your property, from windows, to cars, to your roof. None of the damage is fun to deal with and all of it can cause other complications if not addressed.
Hail can vary in size from as tiny as a pea and up to a large as a softball. And since hail does not have smooth edges, but rather jagged and sharp edges, it is important that after a hailstorm, you inspect your roof.
Hail damage on your roof will allow water to penetrate down to your decking and overtime, seep its way into your home, potentially causing sheetrock and other damage.
The signs of hail damage on an asphalt shingle roof will be random, with no discernable pattern. Some visual signs of damage can vary from black “spots” on shingles, shiny “spots” and granular loss.
The impact marks can feel squishy, like a bruise on an apple. So, if a hailstorm comes your way, please make sure to inspect your roof thoroughly after the storm has passed.
High winds can do damage to shingles. While manufacturers have designed them to withstand heavy winds, mother nature is still in charge.
There are multiple signs to look for when you suspect damage may have occurred. While the obvious would be shingles that have been completely blown off, other less obvious signs may also exist.
In order to properly determine if you have wind damage, you or your roofer will need to get on the roof and inspect it. Shingles may be still attached but lifted or creasing on the top edge of the shingles.
Regardless, wind damaged shingles can lead to water damage if not addressed timely.
When a roof has a “bowl” in an area that should be flat, serious problems could exist and further damage to the roof will take place.
The most common causes are by damaged or rotted decking or broken or warped rafters.
When your decking is damaged or rotted, it can lead to a whole in your roof, which will allow water and critters to come in, creating a chain effect of damage to your home.
A damaged rafter can cause a roof to collapse if it is not addressed and repaired.
Warped rafters can eventually break or cause water to hold in the “bowl” area of the roof leading to not only the need to replace the rafter but also the need to repair decking.
If you see a “bowl” or sag in your roof, it is best to have it inspected by a professional.
A leaking roof is not anything anyone wants to deal with, but the longer it goes the more damage it will cause. It can lead to not only damage of the roof structure, but also damage to the interior of your home.
Some signs of damage are dripping water from the ceiling, orange stains on the ceiling or walls, sheetrock seam tape peeling, etc. As soon as you see a leak, you should address it.
There are many reasons that a roof can leak, but the most common are:
1. Leaking roof jacks – leaks could be caused by caulking around the jacks that has gone bad over time, cracking and rotting
2. Damaged roof flashing – over time flashing can be damaged from harsh weather conditions, such as heat, hail and wind.
3. Damaged or missing shingles – this most commonly happens due to severe weather like hurricanes and high winds.
4. Skylight leaks – leaking skylights are usually due to sealant that has deteriorated or flashing that has been damaged.
Most important is that a roof leak is addressed as soon as it is found. The longer it is left alone, the worse the damage will get.