Your roof is one of the most expensive and important components of your home. Hiring a roofing contractor in the GTA is not something to be taken lightly. As a homeowner, you want to make sure you do your due diligence when hiring a roofing contractor to make sure you get the best quality workmanship, material, and price. It can be easy to fall prey to an unqualified, unlicensed, low-quality roofer, and fixing a poorly installed roof can be much more expensive than doing it right the first time.
The first step to getting your roof in good working order is to get multiple quotes from local contractors. As we discussed in a previous article, (Link to article here) getting a detailed quote is key but since many homeowners aren’t familiar with roofing materials and brands they are sometimes not sure what to look for in a quote.
In this article, we’ll look at what materials should be used in most roof replacements, why they are important, and what to look for when inspecting your roof.
- Drip Edge
A drip edge is a piece of metal roofing trim or “flashing” that covers the gap between the roof deck and fascia board. It not only directs water to the gutters and away from the fascia, it also supports the overhanging shingles along the eaves of your roof. It ensures that wind-driven rain won’t get up and under your roof. Additionally, it helps prevent squirrels and raccoons from breaking into the attic.
Drip edge also prevents your fascia board from rotting. If your fascia board gets rotten, your eaves trough could fall off. If this happens, you will then have to replace your eaves troughs, fascia flashing, and fascia board.
Since many homeowners don’t know what drip edge is or understand its importance, some lower quality contractors try and skip out on installing it in an attempt to save themselves the expense. Our expert roofers make sure it is installed right in the first place.
- Starter Shingles
Another integral part of an asphalt shingle roof system is starter shingles. Starter shingles help the roof’s water-shedding function. Starter sections are not like regular shingles, they adhere and seal the first row of shingles and joints along the eave that makes up the overhang on your roof. Without starter shingles, water can make its way onto the roof deck and can cause water damage.
It is important to ensure the attic is properly ventilated. If the attic is not properly ventilated your plywood can warp, shingles can curl and the moisture can cause mold.
How many vents are needed in a roof? There should be 1 vent for every 10 bundles of shingles (approx. 33 sq ft) installed on attic space as a general rule. If you are reusing old vents that already have nail holes through it, you are asking for the risk of a leak. It is very important to make sure the proper types of vents are installed.
Attic vents are different than bathroom fan vents and kitchen exhaust vents. These special vents have a built-in damper whereas the attic vent is free a free flow hole.
PICTURE HEREOF AN ATTIC VENT
- Shingle design
There are two basic types of shingles that are available to homeowners.
An Architectural Shingle
The architectural shingle is the newer style of shingle. It is composed of two layers of asphalt.
Three-tab singles are an older style of shingle. Using this style of shingle for new installations could be a mistake in the long run. There is really no reason to use a three-tab shingle because it is usually only about $1 more per bundle for the contractor to buy architectural shingles that last much longer.
- Nail Placement
One of the most common problems in roofing is incorrectly positioned nails. The nail should go through the two layers of the architectural shingle. Each shingle has a line where the nail needs to be installed.
A nail installed too high or too low will increase the risk of wind blow off. The same stands true for not installing enough nails on each shingle. It is optimal to use 6 nails per shingle. If nail heads are exposed to the elements, they can corrode which leads to holes in your shingles over time.
Some contractors will use tiny nails in an effort to save on their costs. We would recommend using a 1 ¼ inch nail.
- Ice and Water shield
Ice and water shield is a 3’ membrane. It is installed along eaves, up gables, and underneath the metal, valley flashing. Ice and water shield is important because it sticks directly to the plywood or deck board and it prevents water from getting underneath.
Ice and water shield is important during the winter months because if not used, there is a high risk of ice damming.
In closing, it is important to understand how your roof is being installed and that by not cutting corners you can prevent a potential roofing disaster.