Roofing Shingles Installation. 

Step by step instructions on installing a shingle roof... 

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   Roofing shingles installation.

                                                                                                                     

Asphalt shingles are currently the most popular type of residential roof material for a variety of reasons. They are relatively inexpensive, starting at around $0.80 per square foot installed and go up from there. Things that determine cost are geographical location, slope of the roof, height of the building, ease of access to the premises, complexity of the project, the particular type of shingle and numerous other factors. Asphalt shingles are very simple to install enabling many homeowners to do the work themselves. They come in a variety of colors and styles, are fairly durable (some have been tested and have achieved a class IV hail rating - the highest available!), and can be easily repaired and maintained.

 

Asphalt shingles come in two basic types: fiber glass and organic. Organic shingles consist of an organic felt material which is generally paper saturated with asphalt to make it waterproof. A top coating of adhesive asphalt is then applied and the ceramic granules are then embedded. Organic shingles contain around 40% more asphalt per square (100 sq. ft.) than their glass fiber counterpart which makes them weigh more and gives them excellent durability and blow-off resistance.

 

 

 

Glass fiber shingles have a glass fiber reinforcing mat manufactured to the shape of the shingle. This mat is then coated with asphalt which contains mineral fillers. The glass fiber mat is not waterproof by itself. It's purpose is for reinforcement. What makes the glass fiber shingle waterproof is the asphalt. However, the asphalt itself will not stick to the mat. For this reason, "fillers" are used. The fillers in the asphalt cling to the glass fibers in the mat. The asphalt then encapsulates the glass fibers, fills all of the little holes and voids in the mat rendering it waterproof. After this cools a bit, an adhesive asphalt is used to cover the mat and the ceramic granules are then embedded.

The ceramic granules are there for two reasons. The primary reason is to protect the shingles from the sun. The sun's UV rays are very damaging to asphalt and cause it to deteriorate prematurely. This is one of the same reasons that gravel is used on built-up roofs. The second and more obvious reason for the granules is aesthetics. Asphalt shingles are available in a wide variety of colors to match almost any facade or landscape.

So which type is better? By far, the more popular shingles are the glass fiber ones. This may be attributed to the fact that they are cheaper and easier to manufacturer than organic shingles making them more cost effective to the homeowner, or it may be that they are easier to work with, or they may simply be a personal preference of the roofing contractor.

 

 

 

 

HOW LONG DO Roofing Shingles THEY LAST?

The lifespan of asphalt shingles depends highly upon the environment. Shingles in cooler climates such as the northern United States seem to last longer than those installed in the warmer climates. Studies have shown that the average lifespan for a 20 year shingle in Phoenix, Arizona is around 14 years. In Minneapolis, Minnesota the lifespan was 19.5 years. And in Reading, Pennsylvania, the lifespan was 20.8 years. From this data it seems obvious that the hotter the environment is, the shorter the service life of the shingles. One thing that's very damaging to shingles is Thermal Shock. Thermal Shock is what roofing materials experience when the ambient temperature changes dramatically within a very short period of time - usually 24 hours. For example, in Yreka, California, the temperatures during a summer day can often reach 100 degrees and at night, they'll often drop below 50, sometimes as low as 40. Roofing materials are unable to expand and contract to accommodate such a dramatic temperature change in such a short period of time so cracks and splits in the materials start occurring. Water can then enter the materials and damage them further in two ways. One is the damage water does to asphalt materials in general. It's not that water hurts asphalt, but algae and fungus do and the continuous presence of water will permit algae and fungus to grow on asphalt materials. Another way water damages is the freeze-thaw cycle. In the cold months, water will get into the cracks and then freeze at night. Water expands as it freezes so the more this occurs, the bigger the cracks or splits become. This is why most roofing contractors and consultants are such big advocates of sloped roofs. The better the roof sheds water, the less problems it will usually experience.

Still another factor affecting asphalt shingle roofs is attic ventilation. Proper roof ventilation has been known to extend the service life of a roof. Whether it is because it has a direct effect on the shingle themselves or on the other components such as the roof deck is uncertain.

 

 

 

 

WHAT ABOUT ROOFING SHINGLE WARRANTIES?

  Shingle manufacturers provide product warranties against manufacturing defects ranging from twenty (20) to forty (50) years and beyond. The warranties will cover defects such as thermal splitting, some cases of granule loss, cupping, and curling. It is very important that you ask for and receive a copy of the manufacturer's written material warranty before making a decision on whose material you'd like to use. Warranties are generally for materials only. Labor is rarely included so if your roof materials fail, you'll have to pay a roofer to install the new shingles. Warranties rarely, if ever, cover what are known as "incidental and consequential" damages resulting from material failure. "Incidental and consequential" damage as are those that occur to the interior of the building. If anything on the inside of the building gets damaged, you or your insurance company will have to pay for it. Warranties are also commonly prorated and non-transferable. This means that if you have twenty year shingles and they fail after ten years, you'll be reimbursed for half the cost of the materials. Non-transferable means that if you sell your house, the warranty will be voided.

Some shingle manufacturers are offering NDL (No Dollar Limit) warranties for added costs of around 4.5 cents to 6.5 cents per square foot. These warranties may or may not cover all damages and labor costs.

Shingle manufacturers will not warrant their products against "Acts of God or Nature" such as hurricanes, hail storms, severe winds usually in excess of 50 mph, tornadoes, earthquakes, etc. Nor will shingle manufacturers honor their material warranty if the products are improperly installed, if there is improper roof ventilation, if there is equipment installation or structural changes after roof completion, or if there is heavy foot traffic on or over the roof.

For specific warranty information, ask your contractor to provide a sample warranty of the materials he installs.

 

 

 HOW TO LOOK FOR LEAKS ON FLAT / LOW-SLOPE AND STEEP ROOFING SHINGLES .

There can be many reasons for a leak. Leaks can be the result of poor roof system installation, mechanical damage such as dropped screwdrivers or knives, plugged roof drains, roofing material failure, HVAC problems; the list goes on. The source of a leak can be quite distant from where it actually shows up.

Let’s look at an example. Say there’s a hole in your asphalt shingles. The water gets in this hole, and then has to run along the top of the underlayment until it finds a hole there. Then it runs along the top of the decking until it reaches either a hole in the decking or a seam. Then it drops down in the attic and will run along the top of the ceiling until it reaches a hole or seam in the drywall, plaster, etc. The distance can be lengthened even further if you have more than one layer of roofing on your building or if you have a vapor retarder at the ceiling level.

Chasing a leak isn’t always as easy as it would appear to be. When trying to locate a leak, use the following guidelines to assist you. NOTE: whenever you see the words "the leak area," it refers to an area within a 10 foot (3 meter) diameter of the leak.

 

Flat or Low-Slope Roof Shingles

Inspect any roof drains near the leak area. If they are plugged or draining slowly, then there is a strong chance that they are the reason for the leaks. Drains are rarely waterproof if they are plugged. They are generally designed and constructed for water to flow in one direction only...down. Inspect any material seams in the area of the leak. Just because you see "tar" or adhesive sticking out under a lap, it doesn’t mean that the material is adhered properly. Take a flat blade about 2 inches (5 cm) long (like a pocketknife blade), and gently run it along under the lap. If it slides in more than 1 inch (2.5 cm), then the seam should be sealed. If it slides in for the length of the 2 inch blade, it’s a good suspect for a leak. Look carefully at all penetrations for signs of problems. Problems include holes in the metal flashings, shrunken pitch pan filler, deteriorated caulking, curled flashing flanges that are sticking up through the roof membrane, or any other visible defects. Look for blisters that have been punctured. Look closely at expansion joint seams. These are often faulty. Check for splits in the area. Do this by walking the area with your feet close together and taking many small steps, turning in all directions. If there is a split, you’ll see the roof separate between your feet. If the leak occurs near the edge of the building, check the edge metal. It can separate at the seams and tear the roof membrane in the process. Check under debris. A lot times, if debris has been sitting on a roof for a long period of time, then it can hold water which will expedite roof deterioration. Bird, rodent, and other vermin nests have been found under piles of debris on roofs. If you get a freak rain storm that dumps horrendous amounts of water on your roof in a short period of time, and all of a sudden you have half a dozen leaks where before there were none, don’t get overly excited. Most roofs are not designed or constructed to handle that much water all at once. If you look carefully, and find nothing on the roof, then check your attic or ceiling space. What is mistaken for a roof leak can sometimes be a problem with the plumbing, especially with commercial buildings because fire sprinkler lines usually run along the attic space. This is often identified by a leak occurring when it isn’t raining. Another problem that is frequently mistaken for a roof leak is a poorly designed roof-mounted HVAC unit. HVAC units can have faulty pans in them which will permit water to enter the building during a rain storm.

 

Steep Slope Shingles Roofs

Look at all roof penetrations in the leak area closely for holes and / or damage. Look for "shiners." Shiners are nails that were not covered by the following course of roofing material. If left exposed too long, many nails will rust, leaving a hole and causing leaks. Look at the mortar on chimneys and parapet walls. It’s rare, but damaged mortar can cause leaks. If your building has a stucco facade, then cracks in the stucco, especially along the tops of walls, can be the source of leaks. Check to make sure that all drain details are functioning and that your gutter is not full of debris. If your edge details and gutter details are not done correctly, water can back up over the top of the fascia, run along the soffit, and down the inside of the wall where it enters your building. If you look carefully, and find nothing on the roof, then check your attic or ceiling space. What looks like a roof leak can be a problem with the plumbing, especially with commercial buildings because fire sprinkler lines usually run along the attic space. This is often identified by a leak occurring when it isn’t raining. Another problem frequently mistaken for a roof leak is a poorly designed roof-mounted HVAC unit. HVAC units can have faulty pans in them which can permit water to enter the building during a rain storm. Look for areas where there is a lot of debris such as leaves and branches that have gathered. Piles of debris can block water flow which can cause the water to back up under the roofing. This commonly occured behind chimneys and in valleys.

If you are calling a contractor to take care of your leaks. Here are some questions that he may want to ask you.

Q: Has anyone been on your roof doing work? An electrical contractor, HVAC mechanic, someone installing a heat pump or evaporative unit? And if so, were they anywhere near the leak area?

This question is important because people can often drop tools which can penetrate the roof and cause a leak.

Q: Does it leak only when there’s a wind-driven rain? Only when it snows?

A lot of times wind will drive rain up under overhangs where it can get into the building where it normally couldn’t. Or if there is a turbine vent that is frozen in place, the wind will drive the rain into it and cause a leak. Snow is tricky because it can cause ice dams which will allow water to back up under shingles, or it can be deep enough to go over the tops of curbs. When it starts melting, it starts leaking.

Q: How long after precipitation starts does the leaking begin? How long after the precipitation quits does the leak quit?

This will give the contractor an idea of how far the water has to travel before it actually shows up.

Q: Has anyone been up in your attic recently?

A lot of times when plumbers, electricians, HVAC mechanics, etc. are working in attics, they can knock a flashing loose, break a seam along a condensation line, or even accidentally put a hole in the roof system by puncturing it in the spaces between decking. None of this is purposefully done, it’s just something that happens because attic spaces are usually very cramped and difficult to work in.

 

Roofing Shingles Installation

 

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