New Roof Advice.

Old 06-12-05, 11:35 AM
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Question New Roof Advice.

My question is do I need a ridge vent or not. I have had 5 estimates for a new roof, 3 want to install ridge vents and 2 don't. 1 says I don't really need one. The roof is about 1,550 sq ft. It has a gable vents on both ends which are about 1 1/2 ft by 2 ft, and at least 2 in in width screened vents slits that run the entire length under the eave for the length of house both in front and back. The does not appear to be any significant heating up problems up in the attic which is not used for anything that I can see.

The shingles have reached their end of life days - they are deteriorating. There are no leaks that I can find. It's single layer and the roof is two side at about a 6 or 7 pitch - a simple roof on a split level home that is 20 to 25 years old.

We have boiled it down to 2 contractors who are reputable - prices are comparable at about 5K, one with a vent and one with the option to not have it installed. The one with the vent wants to install the GAF plastic Cobra vent saying the GAF architectural shingles won't be garanteed without it. The other one will install the vent if we want it - made out of the brillo pad looking material for a little less money and will install ELK architectural shingles and it doesn't matter in the garantee. We are looking to get this done for the best bang for the buck. Can you offer any advice ??
Old 06-13-05, 04:04 AM
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Do whatever you want to do. The deciding factor in who to chose at this point should be based soley on who you believe will be, or is, the most competent and HONEST. GAF does push as many of its products as possible, just as all manufacturers do. GAF shingles are not a wit better than Elk, or Owens Corning, or Certainteed, or "other" in my opinion. Nor are they of less quality. The warrantee of GAF shingles being presented to you sounds like a longer one than the standard one offered with all GAF shingles, as well as all the other brands. In my opinion it's more based on GAF selling more materials and is more of a marketing tool, gimmick, whatever, than any real super duper extra protection for you.
Think of it as being similar to spending thousands of additional dollars on "extended warrantees" on new vehicles". One decides to go with a particular vehicle, based in part on one's faith in the product, then gets badgered with scare tactics by the "closer" on the numerous ways that vehicle can fall apart. In the end it's about someone making more money on the sale. You have to decide for yourself whether you want to pay up front for stuff that might go wrong.

Roof ventilation has its place, you currently have roof ventilation in place. I would not feel compelled to spend a chunk more on something that purports to make the roof last longer. If you're into that kind of thing, I bet I could recommend a roof system that would cost you $10,000 , and "last longer".
Old 06-13-05, 06:53 AM
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Thanks for your advice - but I didn't fall off the pumpkin truck yesterday. Just wanted to know if the ventilation I currently have would be adequate... in your professional opinion. And, by the way, the other contractor we are considering is the only one who actually climbed up on the roof and inspected it. He gave us the option to put in a ridge vent. I guess he will get my money.
Old 06-13-05, 10:54 AM
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If someone gave you an estimate for a new roof AND DIDNT EVEN GET ON THE ROOF...throw it away.

Most codes require a 1:300 ratio for attic ventilation.
That's 1 sq. ft. of ventilation for every 300 sq. ft of attic floor space.
Ventilation consists of the intake (soffit vents) and exhaust (gable vents) combined.
Do the math to find out if it is adequate. A quality contractor would include this as part of his evaluation and estimating process.

As far as the shingles go..I agree with Dodge in that they are virtually all the same; however, I do beleive that ELK has a far superior wind up-lift sealant.

Good Luck!
Old 06-13-05, 01:37 PM
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If they didn't get on the roof for an estimate, they sure wouldn't get on the roof for the job. You need some kind of roof venting, just eliminating it is a bad idea.

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