Why Your Roof is More Than Just Shingles

GAF Lifetime Roofing SystemIf you have ever replaced your home’s roof, you know how much quotes can vary.  Company A can do it for 40% of the price of Company B and you begin to wonder, why would I ever pay Company B’s price?  How can the same roof vary so much company to company?  The answer really depends on what you are looking for.  Any old roofing company can come in and add a layer of shingles over whatever is there.  But, is that what you really want?    

Homeowners need to realize that there is more to their roof than just shingles.  Your home’s roof is a system of components that work together to protect your home against whatever Mother Nature brings your way, which in New England can be snow, hail, rain, wind, sun, and maybe even a hurricane.

Roofing shingles
are much more durable and attractive than they were even 10 years ago.  So, it is easy to get fooled when looking at the product only.  The real difference in price lies in the quality of workmanship and the correct balance of roofing components used to create your home’s roofing system.

Let’s take a look at what makes up your home’s roofing system:

  • Deck Protection:  This is the layer of underlayment that goes over your home’s wooden deck to protect it from moisture.  It also allows your roof to lay flatter, reducing blow off in the future.  This is one area that the contractors can really cut corners.  Don’t let any contractor tell you that they can reuse your existing deck protection.  Take a look at the material they want to put down.  It should be tough yet breathable.
  • Ice and Water Barrier:  This protects the most vulnerable areas of your roof- valleys, eaves and overhangs and other problem areas (skylights, dormers, vent pipes, chimneys, etc).  Many of us have had family members or friends that have the ceiling stains from water damage cause by ice dams or wind driven rain.  The ice and water barrier helps protect against this costly damage.  Some contractors skip this step all together.  With the kind of weather we get in New England, the ice and water barrier really is a critical component.
  • Shingles:  Shingles are the one part of a roof that people pay the most attention to.  Over the last decade, shingles have come a long way.  The focus currently is on designer shingles.  Not only do they look great but they are more durable than the shingles of the past.  We will go into more detail on the shingles in next week’s blog.
  • Hip and Ridge Shingles:  These really finish off the look of your roof and give it a clean look.  But, these shingles are not just superficial; they make your roof weather tight by bringing the two slopes of the roof together.  These shingles are different from the shingles that make up the majority of the roof and are designed specifically for this purpose.   Contractors looking to cut corners may try to convince you otherwise.
  • Ventilation:  This is THE most important part of your roofing system.  If your home is not well ventilated, it can cause heat and moisture to build up in your attic.  This heat and moisture not only can cause you to spend more on your heating and cooling bills but it can also cause further damage to your home’s walls and ceilings by creating conditions for ice dams to form. Many roofing manufacturers will not warranty a roof that is not properly ventilated.

Moonworks is a Master Elite InstallerA new roofing system is not protects your home from Mother Nature but it also can improve the function of your home through ventilation.  This is one home improvement project that you don’t want to cut corners on.  The quality of installation on your new roofing system is really the key factor to getting an effective and efficient lifetime roof.  Moonworks is a GAF certified Master Elite installer, a designation earned by only 3% of all roofing contractors.  This means that you can be confident that the roof on your home is impeccably installed.    

Don’t wait for your roof to start leaking before you replace it.  Be proactive and replace your roof before it fails.  This will save you money in the long run and allow you to really go over all of your options rather than having to make a rash decision.

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