Roof Replacement And Considerations

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Are you getting ready for a roof replacement?  Don't know where to start asking questions?  This article will help you think about important issues when replacing your roof.  This information will focus on asphalt roof systems.  Here is a simplistic breakdown of what you need to consider:

  1.  Choose the type of roof shingle that fits your roof replacement needs.  If you are in a high wind area or have wind exposure consistently, you will want to consider at least an architectural shingle for the wind rating.  If you are in a windy area and have an economy 3-tab shingle you will want to upgrade.  
  2. Specify a roof underlayment that will last on your roof replacement and not create problems in the future.  There are a variety of organic and synthetic underlayments to choose from.  Organic underlayments are the 15 and 30 lb felts that have been around for years.  The synthetic underlayments are made of polymers and range in quality.  Ask the detailed questions about the underlayment so you know what you are getting.  
  3. Ask about the ridge caps and the warranty on them.  A regular architectural asphalt shingle is 30+ year warranty and a standard asphalt shingle ridge cap is a 25 year warranty.  You can upgrade the ridge caps to meet and exceed the regular asphalt shingle warranty and get a better look in the process.
  4. Ask about a drip edge for the perimeter for your roof replacement.  The city of Austin requires drip edge on the house on a roof replacement.  The drip edge is an L shaped piece of metal placed on the perimeter under the shingles to help prevent wood rot.  Specify that you get a pre-painted drip edge to compliment the shingle color for good aesthetics.
  5. Specify ice and water shield in the valleys with a metal tip for drainage purposes.  Typical valley metal is 20 inches wide.  Ice and water shield is 36 inches wide for better protection.  
  6. Request a chimney cricket if you do not have one.  The city of Austin requires a chimney cricket to divert water if the chimney is 30 inches wide or greater.
  7. Request inspection of the chimney cap because this can be a source of roof leaks.  Rusted and unpainted chimney caps can be prepped and painted for longer life and better aesthetics.
  8. Request that the wall flashings be thoroughly inspected and replaced if needed.  
  9. Request an assessment of the attic ventilation.  This can reduce your energy bill.  The attic ventilation design needs to be discussed in a separate article.  The jest of attic ventilation is to assess the intake (soffit vents) and exhaust (roof vents) to make sure both are working properly.  "Oh, we'll add some ridge vent to fix that" is not an attic ventilation assessment.  Isolated attics and intake (soffit vent) positioning will need to be taken into consideration to start the design assessment.
  10. Request a cost upcharge amount for heat barrier underlayment if you do not have radiant barrier roof decking currently installed.  This can greatly reduce your energy bill and give you a 1 1/2 to 4 year payback depending on a number of factors.  Calculate the energy savings potential versus the payback and see if it is feasible.

Barton Roofing