Roofing Concepts and Issues
Decking. Decking, which is
the sheathing under the roof, is commonly made of plywood. Water leaking through a roof may cause the decking
to rot. Because nails hammered into rotted decking will not hold,
rotted decking must be replaced before a new roof can be installed.
However, it is difficult to know how much decking, if any, must be
replaced before the old roof is torn off. Therefore, a common industry
practice is to give a firm estimate on the tear-off/replacement roof
and a firm estimate per unit of decking that must be replaced. To
prevent unnecessary replacement, homeowners should ask the company to
set aside damaged decking for their inspection.
ventilation is extremely important. In the summer, attic temperatures
rise dramatically. Moving air minimizes the temperature rise, lowering
air conditioning requirements and associated electric bills. Excessive
heat in attics can also cause shingles to get overly hot, which
severely lowers their lifespan. In the winter, moving air helps prevent
mold and mildew growth by removing attic humidity. If the roof is not
properly ventilated or properly installed, most shingle warranties are
The best ventilation systems are those that move the most air for
the least cost. The ridge-and-soffit vent system is one of the best
systems available. As does a chimney, this system employs the natural
rise of hot air to generate airflow. Cooler air enters the attic
through the soffit vents in the eaves. This air is heated in the attic,
rises, and exits through the ridge vents at the highest point in the
Leaks. Leaks can be caused
by a number of factors. Ice dams can form during cold winters. These
icy barriers keep water from being able to run off, leading to leaks.
Most roofing leaks are caused by problems with flashing (metal placed
in trouble spots, such as sharp angles in the roof). To prevent this
problem, homeowners should hire high-qualified professionals to install
or repair their roof. Roofers need to know the specifications of the
roof and the flashing detail. Some roofers will use caulk to fix a
leak, but this type of repair is rarely the correct way to fix a leak.
It is usually a temporary solution, and the leak can return and cause
even bigger roofing issues. Homeowners should ask roofers to explain
how they are going to fix the leak. Most of the time, the flashing will
need to be repaired in order to prevent future leaking.
Waves in the roof. If a roof
has a dip or a hump, it may be caused by cracked or rotted decking.
When looking at the roof from the ground, a slight wave or waves may be
apparent. If decking is rotted, nails can easily back out, causing
boards to rise up and create a hump. In cases such as these, re-roofing
over existing roofing is not a good option. Rather, it is imperative to
replace the damaged or rotted decking before putting a new roof on the
Cleanup issues. Many
residents have reported hiring roofers who left a great deal of debris,
such as nails, in the yard after completing the job. Typically, roofing
companies put a dump truck or a dumpster in the driveway, which they
use to dispose of debris. When the work is complete, the roofing
company should walk a large magnet on wheels around the yard to pick up
any stray nails. Debris from roofing jobs can easily fall into gutters,
so homeowners should ask roofers to check their gutters and downspouts
for any hidden debris. A good roofing company will do a final
inspection in order to catch anything that was missed by the
Gambling with rain. Some
jobs involve tearing off the old roof before installing the new roof.
If a heavy rain occurs while the house has no roof, severe damage can
result. While some roofers take chances by tearing off the entire roof
at once, professional roofers either tear off and replace a section at
a time or use large tarps to cover the work area. Professional roofers
do not take chances with rain.