Home>Discussions>EXTERIORS>The roofers messed up! I need to strip my house!
7 posts / 0 new
Last post
The roofers messed up! I need to strip my house!

Dear All,

Let me first thank you for taking the time to answer these questions. I have been through a lot in the last few years and want to do this job CORRECTLY!

I am about to strip my home for the second time in less than 5 years. The first contractor didn't flash, trim the windows well, or even lay the shingles correctly. I'm facing significant interior damage, likely structural damage and possibly all new windows thanks to their faulty attempts at making the then-new vinyl windows watertight.

A few facts to consider...
I have an 80-100 year old, colonial-style, single-family, ATTACHED home. We call it a "Twin" in the Philadelphia area or you can think of a set of two town homes. My main roof has a significant slope and I have smaller roofs that are considered flat. Under the main roof's decking (where I'll be finishing the attic), you can still see the nail strips from the original cedar roof...this may be critical for venting. The attic is stripped down to the framing and will be finished into an additional bedroom and bathroom. The interior will be gutted room by room, as the original plaster is paper-thin in some areas and there is no insulation to speak of. I think it is balloon construction. I'm sensitive to noise and want as much dampening as possible. I'm also "over" this whole remodel process and want long-lasting and maintenance-free products whenever possible.

Metal? I like its durability, but is there a way to deaden the sound of rain? Triple-laminate asphalt shingles (e.g., Certainteed's Presidential Shingles) are very nice looking, but are they worth the price? Will they really last? Regular dimensional shingles?

A ridge vent was installed with the rest of the mess and will have to be closed/repaired, as it is a fire-jump between the two homes. What do I do then? Box vents? How do I insulate the attic ceiling and still allow for breathability? Does it even matter if I use closed-cell foam insulation?

When I insulate, the walls will be completely exposed. I like the idea of closed-cell foam, but I'm worried about wood rot that I'll never see. I'm also worried about the newness of the product. I like the tried and true fiberglass batt, but there are so many opportunities for air leaks and heat loss. e-Shield worries me all on its own because I can't seem to find an R-value. It is also hard to get a straight answer about whether or not it should be applied in addition to fiberglass. I don't want to lose any ceiling height and my joists are only 6 inches deep. Help!

What are the differences between Crane Board and pre-painted Hardie Board other than the actual material and fire rating? Is there a large difference in R-value after rigid foam insulation is applied to the sheathing? Do they look significantly different after installation? Are there maintenance issues with either one?

Sorry for all the questions. I've found that starting from square one has its own set of challenges. Again, I want to do everything once and I want to do it right. After all the money I've spent, I'll have this place forever, even if only as a rental/investment property.

Thank you for your time!

Re: The roofers messed up! I need to strip my house!

roofing, yes metal roofing will be louder when there is heavy rain however as long as your windows are closed and hte attic is properly insulated its shouldt be that big a deal. adding 5/8 drywall on the ceiling will help as well

triple laminated shingles are proven, 3 tabs are slowly on their way out because they arent as durable

roof vent where the fire stop is... simply keep the ridge vent back, theres no point in running it right over this point of the roof, simply stop it and have it restart on the other side

insulation: yes closed cell foam does provide a higher r-value even when sprayed, if your worried about the framing rotting. skp the vapor barrier just as a precation. so that any moisture that gets into the framing can slowly make its way out through the drywall.

you can still do fibreglass instead but use a proper vapor barrier and combine spray foam up in the hard to seal spots like the floor system and around vent outlets

as for siding, im not familiar with crane board, but i do a fair amount of harti installs. the pre painted harti has a much better warrenty than that of field painted siding. its painted in a controlled setting so it shouldnt be an issue. proper installation of a rain screen is also critical.

by installing rigid foam on the outside your going to reduce thermal briding through studs which reduces heat loss. just keep in mind not to tape the foam seams and leave overlaps of the house wrap untaped so that any moisture that acculumates at the foam level can run down and out. by adding 1" of foam all your windows and doors will need furring for the trim to go on

Re: The roofers messed up! I need to strip my house!


Thank you very much for your reply. I have a few questions, though...

I am installing a suite in the attic. With 5/8 drywall and good insulation (whatever that would be), would it be enough to want to sleep up there in a storm? Also, will I be annoying my neighbors for decades to come, as our homes are very close?

Unfortunately, the high point of my roof meets my neighbor's roof at every point. There is no way to have a ridge vent and not have a fire hazard. Since I'm installing a suite in the attic, gables are not an option. Is my only choice box vents? How many would i need? How high should they be along the pitch?

Is there a rigid form of closed cell insulation? Let me ask it this way...what would you put in your attic and how would you install it? I want the most bang for my buck in terms of R-value and noise reduction so that it would be comfortable as a bedroom.

Crane Board is the foam-backed vinyl that is supposed to be much more rigid, have a higher R-value, and a nicer look. Do you know how that compares to Hardie Board?

What is a rain screen???
Why would I not want to tape the seams???
If there is Tyvec over the foam, it shouldn't get wet, right?
I don't get it. Sorry :(

Re: The roofers messed up! I need to strip my house!

You mentioned that the previous contractor messed things up by trying to make the windows watertight. Chances are they sealed up any place that intrusive moisture would have escaped.

Remember this: you cannot seal out the elements, but you can seal them in. It's important to properly flash and caulk those areas where water is likely to enter, but it's equally important to provide a means of escape for any water that DOES manage to enter.

Re: The roofers messed up! I need to strip my house!

The noise of a metal roof is going to depend on how it is installed. If it is over full sheeting it will be negligible.If it is installed as a cool roof it would be a little noisier in heavy rain but would allow a ridge vent and insulation and dry wall on the inside will deaden almost all the noise.

Vinyl siding is cosmetic not weather proof.

Re: The roofers messed up! I need to strip my house!

my father has an aluminum roof and noise doesnt seem to be a issue. the only prob hes had with it is snow sliding when hes below shovelling. the snow slides and covers him:D pretty funny too see

as for insulating between the rafters, i would install roof baffles and use spray foam, rigid foam is good but combining with baffles doesnt fill the space.

as for ridge vent check with teh local building authority to see what they say, venting is mandatory how it works with fire code isnt my area of expertise i just know you need to vent the space

as for siding, i personally hate vinyl no matter what shape or form its a 1 dimensional product trying to be 3 dimensional, it leaks like a bastard and looks like hell. i install siding on average 6 homes a year 2/3 of which are harti. if your worried about fire rating harti is a better product. it looks 100x better than vinyl, then you add the trim detail for harti it looks so much more finished.

as for rain screen, its vertical strapping installed to create an airspace which creates equal air pressure behind the siding as to outside. this allows water that gets behind the siding to run down the wall and get out. vinyl creates its own air space.
harti gets nailed to the strapping. if harti is nailed directly to the sheathing water will sit and slowly deteriate the siding

about not taping foam. the framing has to be able to breathe. by not taping the seams on closed cell rigid foam it will allow any moisture to breathe through the seams. closed cell doesnt breath. then you add house wrap on top of that which give more water proofing but breathes. tape the top edge of the house wrap then leave the overlap untaped, condensation that forms on top of the foam will run down the wall over teh tape then out onto the face of the house wrap

Re: The roofers messed up! I need to strip my house!

It is also a good idea to review your home owner's insurance policy to see if it covers injuries or damages that may occur during the roofing work.

Sponsored Stories

TV Listings

Find TV listings for This Old House and Ask This Old House in your area.