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First class roofing system cools your attic and provides a guaranteed long life. All Asphalt shingles age by drying out and eventually cracking. Quality shingles will generally take longer to dry out. When working the field this in one way to know when a cheap roof was put on.

Manufacturers recommend good ventilation to prevent over heating of shingles – the building code also requires a flow of air in the attic. Proper ventilation, as determined by the sq footage of the attic, honors the shingle warrantee and should keep premature aging from happening. Two gable end vents was acceptable, standard construction; however, over the years test have shown there are other ways. Test is foggers showed that gable vents are not good for catching a breeze and don’t cool the center of the roof. Ventilation on the ridge and soffit are now standards for construction they catch a breeze better and cool the roof deck more evenly.

At some point, you may want to consider sealing drafty airways in your attic (sizable drafts are the biggest way to loose conditioned air) and upgrading your attic to new building codes. R38 will soon be replaced with R49 and that will make fiberglass insulation 15.5 inches thick. Insulation blocking the rafter bay at the eves happens often and is counter productive. One inch of space is need for proper air flow.

A cold attic is the main way to prevent the formation of ice on the roof. A race for who can melt the snow the fastest is costly; well insulated attics keep snow on the roof longer. Some times people vent their bathroom to the attic. Warm moist air has no place in the attic. If extreme moisture is in the attic long enough, mold and rotting can occur.

There have been advances in underlayment over the years that can’t be properly used unless the roof is stripped. A first class roof removes all the roofing material to the wooden deck and starts over. There are two grades of underlayment that are new to the industry. {Inspection of the roofing deck will determine if any rotted wood needs attention. Older home using boards rather then plywood may have to have to be re-nailed. }

Self sticking asphalt underlayment, also known as weather guard, protects the roof by having one piece 3 feet wide covering valleys, eves and in some parts of the country even the rake side of the roof. Some customers may want to consider having the whole roof covered. This extra protection is shielded from the sun keeping it soft and water proof. At eves it prevents ice dams from entering the house – due to it not having open seams just like a rubber roof.

Tarp like, high grade underlayment also is also now available. This is a lower cost underlayment upgrade, over the self sticking, and when installed properly can keep the roof leak free itself for up to 6 mo.

Roof staining is becoming more of a problem here in Maryland. The bluegreen algae that gets a black crust is more popular in places like Florida but here in our climate it does quite well. If you want the shingles to look new for the life of the roof, upgrade to Zink or copper strips along the roof. This metal deposits oxidation after rain events that the algae can’t tolerate. Some suggest that this will also work with Liken (the green blotches, we can’t guarantee such claims).

Green mosses can eat way at the roof; removal can leave unfixable damage. Part of a good healthy roof is one covered in the colored granules we see these are there for beauty but also to protect the delicate asphalt from the aging properties of the sun. When these granules are removed, the asphalt below will dry out and not be water proof any more. This is why pressure washing a roof is not recommended by the American Roofing Society or Shingle manufactures. Some companies take care with low pressure but crews can get careless and unless you inspect your roof afterwards, you have no way to know if your pretty clean roof is actually damaged -- Blue green algae doesn’t hurt the life of the roof.

Hail storms also can do the same thing to roofing. The impact on a mid life roof can cause graduals to pop off, exposing the delicate asphalt below. Insurance companies will replace the roof if enough of these impact spots can be found in an area. Impact resistant shingles are also something to be talked about over your singles selection.

Second class roofing system provides a leak free, new roof that uses current insulation and ventilation.

Ease your mind over ‘when will my roof will leak?’ Second class roofing may not include every protection but it won’t leak.

At times when three tab singles are flat enough, installing a roof over the existing one is acceptable. Nesting is allowed by manufactures in these cases. We always install new flashing no mater what roof system you choose. {Careful selection of products can let you reroof an existing architectural single but due to the uneven surface and sealing of the tabs this is a summer time job.}

When should you replace your roof over repairs? A new roof can cost $5,000 to $10,000 thousand dollars. The yearly cost of a new roof comes to $200 – $400 dollars. If we determine that your roof hasn’t over aged there maybe a practical reason to fix your current roofing problems. Roofing repairs can generally be expected to run $300-$400.

Common to all roofing systems

Good nailing has more to it then getting the nail into the decking. For the best wind protection, nails should be straight in and just tight enough. Nailing in the wrong place is responsible for much of the wind damage in Baltimore. Lets examine the only part of the installation keeping the new roof on your home.

Nailing too high causes the nails to miss the shingle underneath – a storm nailed roof will have 12 nails per shingle, in this case. Storm nailing represents 6 nails in the nailing strip and 6 from the next shingle passing though the top inch of the last. This application is a must for full wind protection often over 80 mph and for Manor and other Steep slopped roof applications.

Nailing too low leaves little material to hold three tab roofing against high wind. The tabs will not have the strength needed to protect against lift off should the tabs fail to adhere to one another.

Nailing too tight is another easy to prevent problem seen in the roofs we repair. Shingles that have had nails put in extremely tightly will be damaged. The fiberglass mat will be torn and the granules around the nail will be blown off. All of this leads to shingles that have a much lower wind rating.

Unless you have deck boards, nails must go though plywood or OSB at least the point of the nail.

A way to prevent the loss of the shingles on the rake of the home is to double nail, that simple. All the repairs you have seen with the colors not matching the existing materials could be prevented with double nailing.

Valleys are the place where two roofs come together. There are three methods to water proof these intersections.

Cut back

Shingles on the side shedding the least about of water are cut back two inches from the intersection line.


Alternating singles are weaved over each other. Often this look is only accomplished well with certain roof slopes; otherwise, a sloppy intersection occurs.

Open Valley

Both sides of the shingles are installed over a 36 inch pan of metal – often having self sticking underlayment underneath. To expose the metal, two inches is cut back on either side of the center line.

International building code suggests that when singles are cut back in valleys there should be 12 inch overlap and nails should be 6 inches from the edge. Even with that said, shingle should have sealant under the cut edge to prevent driving rain or other conditions causing water to back up. A lot of water collects here during a heavy rain and water will start to travel sideways instead of straight down. When not sealed, we have found that even nails 6 inches back from the valley will be rusty in 10 years. Most of our roofs are done with the cut back valleys.

Flashing comes in two forms Calking and Metal. Good practice uses metal because it last the life of the roof.

A good roofer will take time to install step flashing and counter flashing. Step flashing with metal offers a L shaped pan that acts like a 5 inch gutter for each shingle, letting all the water flow down the dormer edges of the roof. Calking is quick and fails like it does in other places around your home. Counter flashing covers the step flashing around chimneys. This style is keyed in to the chimney and is expansion, shifting, and time resistant.

Finishing a roof well with drip edge seems like a small step and many roofers leave it off. There is a good reason to put this on the rake and eve edge. Water travels around edges with surface tension getting the wood damp often enough to rot. A good use of custom drip edging is to make it long enough to not only go up the roof but also into the gutter.

Roofing Pitch is all about deciding what type of materials can be used for long term leak prevention.

Low slopped shingle roofs are easy to call, unless you are looking to take a gamble. International building code clearly states that any shingle roof installed on a 2 – 4 inch rise over 12 inches will have to have a water tight roofing membrane under it – a 4 inch rise can have double felt installed. Singles may look good on these arias but as the slope gets lower your chances of wind driven rain, puddling, and backups from ice dams increase. There isn’t enough slop on these roofs and the backing up water rust nails often leading to leaks.

Rubber roofing for low slopes, though not as attractive and only coming in white or black, is an affordable solution. It is not punctured in any place and has seams sealed with 4 inch tape. EPDM Roofing holds even pooling water well over many years, offering up to 40 years of protection.

Wind is a weather condition we get here in Maryland occasionally. Most shingle repairs due to wind are on shingles with cutouts ex. Three tab.

Flash thunder storms and hurricanes can stress out some roofs that are almost installed well. 60 mph wind rating is the lowest rateing these days but you can get higher then that by using storm nailing just like they do in high wind states. This performance is standard for Busy Bee and can earn you a 80 mph rating. Underlayment overlapped 12-24 inches is a good way to protect your home from driving rain or winter ice dams.

Safety is not only for your plants, in the case of a tear off application, workers are often taking unneeded risk installing roofs. It is illegal and not good for long term business. Just as tarps protect your siding and plywood protect your plants there are common sense things to be done on the job for workers. Fall protection is mandated by OSHA on all roofing over 6-12 pitch. 12 inch toe boards and secured harnesses are easy to install. We can even leave stainless steel connections on your roof for future safe access.

Problems you shouldn’t have to endure.

Noticeable patterns in color variations and design

Wavy lines running horizontally or vertically

Plant and shrub damage

Awnings damaged by falling material – mostly from stripping the roof

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