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mtngigi
Roofing Advice

Hoping this is the best place to ask these questions. I'm asking for a friend of mine who still has dial-up and can't deal with how long things take to research with dial-up.

She'll be getting a new roof (compliments of hail and her insurance company) and wants to be able to ask the right questions of the roofing contractors and make the most of this opportunity.

So here goes:

1-Traditional shingles vs architectural shingles? She wants to know about the durability and the cost between the two.

2-Frost shield between house and 3-season porch, yes or no?

3-Ridge cap vs. wind turbines? Just pros and cons, I guess. She is getting different info from what I've researched for her and the roofing contractors she has talked to.

4-Is it easy for roofers to recycle old shingles all over the country? Do they recyle and if so, into what?

5-Solar panels in shingles? Is this the wave of the future and to be considered for a replacement now?

6-Price difference of a steel roof vs. shingle? Any down sides to steel replacement on a low pitched roof?

So, thanks in advance for what I know will be great advice and input, that I will pass on to her. I need a new roof too, but that ain't gonna happen until I get baseball-size hail, too! ;)

A. Spruce
Re: Roofing Advice

Let me start with a question, where is the house located? It makes a difference in the products and methods used.

mtngigi wrote:

Hoping this is the best place to ask these questions. I'm asking for a friend of mine who still has dial-up and can't deal with how long things take to research with dial-up.

She'll be getting a new roof (compliments of hail and her insurance company) and wants to be able to ask the right questions of the roofing contractors and make the most of this opportunity.

So here goes:

1-Traditional shingles vs architectural shingles? She wants to know about the durability and the cost between the two.
I assume you're referring to 3-tab shingles as "traditional". Many municipalities have banned their use for reroofing purposes - repairs yes. The preference is to use architectural that mimics the look of a shake roof, which is far more aesthetic. As for durability, the architectural wins, hands down. They're essentially twice as thick, making them heavier duty. I believe you can get up to a 50 year warranty on architectural shingles.

2-Frost shield between house and 3-season porch, yes or no?
Depends on your climate zone.

3-Ridge cap vs. wind turbines? Just pros and cons, I guess. She is getting different info from what I've researched for her and the roofing contractors she has talked to.
Again, depends on your climate zone. Ridge vents are more aesthetic, but if you're prone to snow loads, then go with turbines that can be covered in the winter to keep out thawing snow and ice.

4-Is it easy for roofers to recycle old shingles all over the country? Do they recyle and if so, into what?
Roofing materials can be recycled, but it still seems kind of hit and miss where it's being done. The last roof I did, the drop point did not have a reclamation area for asphalt shingles, only wood. I do not know what kinds of things are made from recycled asphalt roofing.

5-Solar panels in shingles? Is this the wave of the future and to be considered for a replacement now?
I would recommend caution with these products, do plenty of research, and make sure that your application is ideally suited for such a thing. I'm all for solar, but am extremely leery of incorporating it into the roofing itself due to durability and longevity issues. I'm not saying these products are bad, just do your homework and make sure it's will work for you - they're also expensive.

6-Price difference of a steel roof vs. shingle? Any down sides to steel replacement on a low pitched roof?
How low of pitch? Asphalt shingles can be installed to as low as a 2/12 pitch, though not recommended in snow load conditions. Steel would be the better choice from what I know of it. Steel is expensive, but has little to no maintenance issues when properly installed.

So, thanks in advance for what I know will be great advice and input, that I will pass on to her. I need a new roof too, but that ain't gonna happen until I get baseball-size hail, too! ;)

mtngigi
Re: Roofing Advice

***, thanks for all that.

Actually, it's pretty much due south of St. Louis ...

She's in Missouri - little town southeast of St. Louis. I'm going to send her all your answers in an email.

Thanks again for taking the time. :)

canuk
Re: Roofing Advice

To add to Sprucey's excellent responce ( as usual ) ---
turbine vents will require maintenance at some time since there is a * bearing* ( of sort ) that can wear out.
Personally, a ridge vent is a better choice and there is no maintenance.

HoustonRemodeler
Re: Roofing Advice

What they said plus;

3- ridge venting with continuous soffit venting works best with no maintenance issues

A. Spruce
Re: Roofing Advice
canuk wrote:

To add to Sprucey's excellent responce ( as usual ) ---
turbine vents will require maintenance at some time since there is a * bearing* ( of sort ) that can wear out.
Personally, a ridge vent is a better choice and there is no maintenance.

HoustonRemodeler wrote:

What they said plus;

3- ridge venting with continuous soffit venting works best with no maintenance issues

Thank you for the vote of confidence, my only concern with a ridge vent in a snow situation (doesn't St Louis get snow? ) is that during melt it will allow water in through the ridge venting. Now, I will stipulate that I've never lived in a snow load region, so this is a guess on my part, but an educated one based on my knowledge of typical ridge venting systems, particularly those obscured by ridge shingling.

Heck, I never worried about condensation in bathroom venting until meeting you crazy folks! :D:p:cool:

canuk
Re: Roofing Advice
A. Spruce wrote:

Thank you for the vote of confidence, my only concern with a ridge vent in a snow situation (doesn't St Louis get snow? ) is that during melt it will allow water in through the ridge venting. Now, I will stipulate that I've never lived in a snow load region, so this is a guess on my part, but an educated one based on my knowledge of typical ridge venting systems, particularly those obscured by ridge shingling.

Heck, I never worried about condensation in bathroom venting until meeting you crazy folks! :D:p:cool:

There really isn't a concern with melt water entering a ridge vent. The ridge vent is at the highest point of the roof --- the peak --- gravity dictates the water flows down the slope of the roof away from the ridge vent. ;)
Besides , the amount of snow they would get is a mere pittance of what we get here and we don't have issues with ridge vents.

HoustonRemodeler
Re: Roofing Advice

Its not just snow melt but rain, and wind driven rain, all of which ridge vents are designed to handle.

If in doubt, check the attics of several homes with ridge vents. You'll see perfectly dry plywood. I have it on my home and we have had several direct hurricanes with 100mph winds.

A. Spruce
Re: Roofing Advice

Then I shall defer to you fine furry folks that live in the white stuff. :D

That's one of the advantages of being a flat lander, we don't have to worry about such things. :p

mtngigi
Re: Roofing Advice

Thanks everyone for your all your input, and I've passed it along to my friend. She made this comment to me about pitch:

"Well, pitch # is info I just don't know about. But this house is 45+ years old, and has had shingles since it was first built, that's all the info I can offer. I'm beginning to think the architectural shingles may be the way to go."

I think a big concern she has is making sure she ends up with a reputable/reliable roofer who will do a good job and not rip her off or take advantage, which we all know can happen.

Is there any way to get recommendations from this community as to local contractors in a specific area ... other than obvious things like the BBB?

A. Spruce
Re: Roofing Advice

Forget about the BBB, all that is is false advertising to the highest bidder, i.e., contractors willing to pay the membership fees. Beyond that, there is no regulation, screening, or oversight provided by the BBB that in any way protects consumers.

Your better bet is to talk with trusted friends and family who've used tradesmen that they've been pleased with. Once you do find someone, not only do you get a bid and personal sense of who they are, follow up with a check of their status with the local governing body to see if there are any violations or red flags that should be heeded.

Always, always, ALWAYS! Get three or more bids of identical work and materials. Compare the bids for thoroughness and who you feel will be the most competent and the one you can work with the best. Always trust your gut. NEVER choose bids based on price, the lowest is not necessarily the best, neither is the most expensive.

Ask questions, lots of questions. In the case of a reroof those would be:
1 - Will permits be pulled?
2 - Will the existing roof be stripped (recommended ) or overlayed (acceptable, but not preferred ).
3 - Work schedule, when can they start, when will it be finished.
4 - Job site cleanliness - protection of plantings around the house, cleanup of debris, etc.
5 - Payment schedule - In most places this is strictly regulated as to how much deposit can be demanded, your local governing body can tell you.
6 - Does the price include gutters and/or new roof metals?
7 - If damage is found under the existing roof or trim, who takes care of it and how will it affect the price. Change orders are very common, however, do not just give free rein to do the repair and then bill you later. A change order should be provided and signed by you before work continues so that you know what's going on and the additional costs.

There are probably other things that will come to mind as you're interviewing the potential contractor, if you have any questions ask.

As I said earlier, it's important that the bids be for the same scope of work, so ask that it be priced in whatever break-down that will make this easier for you. When I was doing roofing, I provided a bid that included materials, removal of the old, and installation of the new as the base the list was detailed down to the type and color of shingle, new roof metals, etc. An additional price would be listed for any visible dryrot damage found at the time of inspection. From there most other things were options, such as shingle types and grades, new gutters, gutter guards, decorative edging and ridge, and anything else that wasn't covered under my "basic" price.

Once you have the bids and assess them, if you have any questions about the content, call the contractors for verification. The winning bidder should provide a contract with exact details of what you're getting for the price you're paying, again, if you've got questions ask. If you see something that is NOT in writing that you feel should be, make sure that it gets included and signed by both parties before work begins.

All this may sound scary, and it's not meant to be. A reputable contractor isn't going to have a problem giving you extreme details about what is covered or not covered by their bids. If they are unwilling to be straight forward, then choose a different contractor. Notice that I've never once mentioned requesting pricing structure or break-down of labor/materials. IMHO, it's not relevant what the expenses are, only that you know that you're getting top quality materials and craftsmanship for the price you're agreeing to.

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