Q. Does ridge vent alone provide adequate ventilation for my home?
A. No. According to manufacturer specifications and most city building codes, effective ventilation must include both intake (soffit vent) and exhaust (ridge vent) air movement. Good contractors will be happy to advise you of the proper air flow calculation for your home. Also, improper ventilation may void manufacturer warranties to your new roof.
Q. Why do you need access to my attic or crawl space during the estimate?
A. Contractors need to access the attic during the estimate for two reasons. The first is to check the wood decking from the underneath side to ensure there is no mold or algae growth in the attic. The second is to determine if the home ventilation system is working properly or if it needs to be corrected during the job process. Common issues include obstructions by insulation, uncut soffits, architectural protrusions that compromise airflow.
Q. Will ice guard prevent ice backup? Where should it be installed?
A. The technical term for ice guard is “waterproofing shingle underlayment.” Alone, it is usually not enough to prevent ice backup. It needs to be accompanied by proper home ventilation to ensure the elimination of ice backup problems. In fact, ice guard which is incorrectly installed can make the problem worse. At a minimum, it should be installed along the bottom of the roof up to 24″ inside of the home’s heated walls. It also needs to be installed underneath any valleys in the roof. For complete protection, manufacturers recommend installing ice guard along the rake edges and any roof penetrations such as skylights, pipes, and chimneys. In some cases ice guard may need to be installed onto the side walls as well.
Q. How do you know if the roof’s existing wood deck is still good?
A. The only true way to know is to tear off the existing roof and inspect the deck. This is the main reason why it is not recommended to add a second layer of shingles on top of the old one. Reputable contractors will specify the cost to replace bad wood in the contract; should any be discovered during the job process. Quality contractors will also document and let homeowners know of deck problems as soon as they are discovered, not at the end of the job.
Q. Are there benefits to upgrading beyond basic shingles?
A. Yes. Upgraded styles enhance the look of your home and make it stand out as unique in your neighborhood. They also add value to your home because of the longer warranty life. In some cases, upgraded shingles may be required to handle specific environmental conditions such as living in extremely wet or hot areas, or living in an area which the roof is often exposed to high winds.
Q. How can the pricing between contractors be so different?
A. There are many reasons. They include, but are not limited to: the types and brands of materials used, the warranty coverage provided, the experience of the workers, insurance rates, Worker’s Compensation rates, and gas/oil prices. As with many products and services, homeowners find they usually get what they pay for. The lowest price is rarely the BEST price and in fact, will usually cost the homeowner more in the long run due to low quality materials and inexperienced installation.