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Ways to Choose a Roofer / Roofing Specialist?

What should I look for when selecting a roofing contractor?  Since the roof you install is only as good as the contractor who installs it, choosing a qualified roofing contractor is essential to having a healthy roof that lasts a long time. Skilled workers will determine the outcome of a roof replacement project. The best contractors have many years of experience in installing multiple kinds of roofing systems.

shingle roof cost

So you need a new roof and are trying to decide whether or not to try and save some money by having the new roof installed over an existing layer of roofing. This technique is quite common in many areas and many roofing contractors don’t see any problem with this method and have no problem trying to sell homeowners on a lay-over or go-over as this technique is called. They are wrong.

roof repair

Roofing is an essential part of any housing. If the roofing is done improperly then there is a good chance of leakage or any other damage to the house. Hence, seeking a professional’s help is always advisable.

Roofing Supplies - What Supplies Are Needed For a Roof?

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Imagine, you're standing on the sidewalk, looking at an average house. You see the siding, the windows, the front door, and way up above, you see the roof. Does the roof have asphalt shingles? Wood shakes perhaps? Maybe it's made of metal or rubber tiles? What you see is where the focus goes, but it's what you don't see that really matters. There's more to roofing than meets the eye. So let's talk about what goes on, under the shingles.

The Roof Deck

We learn to crawl before we walk, so when talking about roofing let's start with square one, the surface area of your roof which is made of wood. Your wood roof deck is comparable to an automobiles metal body. It is installed on top of the basic house frame to give a surface area on which to install Shingles. Without a roof deck installed on your house, there would be nowhere to install your Shingles. And of course without the shingles, your roof deck would rot away due to exposure to the sun, rain, snow and ice and etc...not a comfortable home at all!

On Newer Houses, sheets of plywood or OSB boards are fastened on top of wooden trusses in your attic to form the roof deck. Plywood or OSB boards are installed in a staggered formation with small spaces between them to allow wood to expand and contract as the wood heats in the summer and cools in the winter. Older homes often have lengths of 2" x 6" installed instead of plywood or OSB board. When the time comes for you to replace your Roof System, remember to have your Calgary Roofing Contractor replace any and all damaged wood.

Remember, if your roof deck is rotting or damaged in any way, people walking on your roof could potentially crack or break through the wood, causing further damage to the roof system, such as to the shingles...and to the person who walked on it! However, most roof decks can withstand a little bit of exposure to water or ice before it needs to be replaced.

Metal: Drip Edge and Rake Edge

Drip edge and Rake edge is the first part of the Roof System to be installed. It is a long and narrow piece of metal which is installed along each end of your Roof Deck, ie: along the eaves trough and along the gable ends.

Some area local building codes require the installation of Drip Edge and Rake Edge and other building codes do not. Check with your local city building offices to find out. In Alberta for example, the Building Code does not require the installation of Drip edge or Rake edge. Therefore many new homes and/or low budget roof systems do not have drip edge installed in order to allow for more affordable roof prices. We recommend however that Drip edge and Rake edge be installed on every Roof System, no exceptions.

Choosing an appropriate Leak Barrier and installing it properly is an important step in every Roof System. Speak with your Roofing Contractor to learn more about leak barriers, how to choose the right one and how to choose a Professional Roofing Contractor to install it.

Roof Deck Protection

Roof Deck Protection is very similar to a Leak Barrier. The difference is that Roof Deck Protection is installed on the entire Roof Deck area instead of only on "special areas" as we mention in the Leak Barrier section.

Typically, Roof Deck Protection is a step lower in quality than a Leak Barrier. As with Leak Barriers however, there are many different types of Roof Deck Protection available to choose from ranging from basic felt/tar paper to advanced plastic woven sheets of rip and wrinkle proof material. Choosing a reliable Roof Deck Protection is an important part of a quality Roof System.

A word of caution; most roofing companies use felt paper as Roof Deck Protection. Although using felt paper is a standard and acceptable practice, some issues can arise if the felt paper becomes wet during or after the installation. Ever notice how paper tends to curl when it dries after it was wet? In a similar way, felt paper can curl if water or excess moisture touches it. For this reason, and because the cost is quite small, we recommend installing a higher quality Roof Deck Protection such as a GAF/ELK Deck Armour. For a relatively small additional cost, you'll be rewarded with a much more reliable Roof Deck Protection.

Ask your local trusted Roofing Contractor about which under-layer would be best for your Roof System any why.

Conclusion

So there it is, life beneath the shingles. See how much goes on behind the scenes? Professional roofing contractors know this stuff inside and out and can help immensely in ensuring a roof system is reliable for many years. Product suppliers such as GAF/Elk and IKO can help answer specific questions about products as well.

All the best with your roofing project, and remember, be proactive, make educated decisions.