10 Things you should know about getting a new roof and shingles

10 Things you should know about getting a new roof and shingles

1. Why is ventilation so important?

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2. What does the workmanship warranty cover?

Workmanship warranty should cover problems with your roof that are a direct result of poor workmanship. Some examples of poor workmanship would be:

  • Insufficient amount of nails used to secure the shingles
  • Poor alignment of shingles
  • Overexposure of shingles
  • Vents and flashings that are improperly installed

What problems would not be covered under my workmanship warranty?

Your workmanship warranty does not cover problems due to pre existing conditions or problems that are not the direct result of poor workmanship. Some examples would be:

  • Condensation
  • Wind damage
  • Hail damage
  • Ice dams (even if ice & water shield is used)
  • Material defects (which are handled directly by the manufacturer)
  • Structural problems (sagging overhangs, wavy rafters and trusses which cause dips)
  • Cracks to stucco or interior damage that may occur during the shingling process

3. What are ice dams? How can they be avoided?

Ice dams are formed by continual thawing and refreezing of melting snow. Large masses of ice develop as snow on the upper part of the roof melts. The water runs under the snow and refreezes at the edge of the roof. Additional snow melts and forms pools against the dam gradually causing water to back up the roof often getting under the shingles and eventually leaking into the house.

  • Poor or non existent vapour barrier which allows heat to escape into the attic.
  • Air leakage through light fixtures, plumbing stacks, attic access hatches and fan vents etc.
  • Insufficient attic insulation allowing warm air into the attic and melting the snow.
  • Inadequate attic ventilation.
  • Bright sunshine melting the snow;
  • Naturally occurring ice accumulation due to various weather conditions.

How to avoid ice dams:

  • Eliminate or reduce air leakage into the attic by installing a vapour barrier or sealing air leaks
  • Improve attic insulation keeping the attic space cool, thereby reducing the amount of melting snow
  • Lower the humidity level in the living space

Are there solutions to my ice dam problems?

Yes there are but it is usually very expensive to solve. Ice dam and condensation problems occur because warm moist air is leaking into the attic from the living space. You must eliminate these air leaks to eliminate the problem. The only way to do this is by installing a proper vapour barrier. We can do this by cleaning out the cavities and spraying in a polyurethane insulation. This will seal the air leaks and insulate the attic. You could expect to pay anywhere from $5000.00 to $20,000.00. You can do a less thorough job by sealing up light fixtures, attic access hatches and other sources of air leaks. You could also try lowering the humidity level in the living space.

4. Will my roof be maintenance free once the new shingles are installed?

All roofs require some maintenance to prolong its life expectancy. Your roof is exposed to extreme weather conditions 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Eavestroughs should be cleaned at least 3 to 4 times a year. Any tree branches that come into contact with the shingles, especially during windy periods, should be cut back. Any build up of debris in the valleys or behind chimneys should be cleaned so as to not produce a blockage. Dormers, chimneys, plumbing stacks and vents may require periodic maintenance and resealing, especially on homes that have been reshingled once already. Shifting or movement of the structure may cause problems to develop that would require some maintenance as well.

5. What can I expect during the process of getting my roof done?

First and foremost your yard will be a construction site. A typical job will generate 5000 to 10,000 pounds of garbage. The process of roofing is quite messy and noisy. A crew of men will be on site for approximately 1 to 3 days or longer for larger jobs. We will require access to hydro and an outdoor water source. During the roofing process your house will vibrate and shake so if you want to secure any loose objects such as chandeliers or other valuables please do so. We are not responsible for any damage that occurs during the normal process of us completing the roofing job. Please be patient during this process and allow the crew to complete their work in an efficient manner.

6. What happens if it rains during the job?

Every effort will be taken to protect your home from the elements. Most crews are fully equipped with tarps in the event of bad weather. If the weather is overcast with a chance of rain we would only open up portions of your roof that could be easily closed off in the event of rain. We follow the weather through radar on a regular basis and we are in contact with our crews at all times.

7. Am I protected if one of your workers gets injured on my property?

Make sure that the company you hire is covered by Workers Compensation Insurance. Many companies that use sub contractors have little to no control as to whether their men are covered or not. If a worker gets injured on your property and he is not properly covered you could be liable for the damages.

8. Will there be any additional charges to the contract I signed?

There can be additional charges. Any board replacement or structural repairs would be at an extra charge. Any unforeseen problems such as poor or non existent flashings that require replacement, plumbing stack repairs and chimney repairs would be at an extra charge. Any work that is required that was not specifically stated on the contract would be at an extra charge.

9. What’s the difference between Organic and Fiberglass shingles?

According to CASMA:

Organic shingles are made on a thick felt made of wood and other cellulose fibers. Fiberglass shingles are made on a mat of glass fibers. Both shingle types contain asphalt and are covered with mineral granules.

Organic shingles:

  • Are softer and easier to work with in cold temperature applications.
  • Contain more asphalt.
  • Absorb roof deck stresses better and are more tear-resistant than glass shingles.
  • Are typically thicker than glass shingles and therefore hide minor imperfections in the roof deck.

Glass shingles:

  • Are more resistant to heat, which may cause blisters to form on softer organic shingles on extremely hot roofs.
  • Typically requires the installation of an asphalt felt underlayment.
  • Costs less to produce

10. How will I know when it is time to contact a roofing company to get my shingles replaced?

Don’t wait until your roof leaks before replacing your shingles. Your shingles are like tires on a car. They wear out gradually over time and at some point they become unable to perform they way they were designed to. If you leave it too long not only will you be replacing the shingles but you will also have interior repairs to deal with, possible deck rot to replace and wet insulation in the attic.

You should consider having your roof inspected or your shingles replaced if you have:

  • worn valleys
  • roof leaks (waited too long)
  • missing or damaged shingles
  • shingles that are 15 to 20 years old
  • severe curling (some curling is natural in the aging process)
  • excessive granule loss (some granule loss is normal especially with new shingles)
  • a desire to upgrade and change the appearance of your home with architectural shingles
  • severe ice dam or condensation problems that require extensive repairs to rectify the problems


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