Roofing Questions (New England)

Old 01-22-07, 11:57 AM
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Roofing Questions (New England)


Live in New England.

Looks like we need a new roof.

Know nothing about roofs.

What type of roof shingle should we be interested in ?
Brands that are good ? Any to avoid.

I guess these things come in different thicknesses (weights ?).
What would be typical for a New England climate.

New roof would probably be going on over existing shingles.
Is there an intermediate layer that is put between them ?

I know they sometimes use a metal "ice protection sheet" (not sure of the exact terminology)
that goes a foot or so up from the edges. Is this a good thing to have ?

What should we be asking the contractor, or what should we be specifying ?

Any and all thoughts on would be appreciated.

Old 01-22-07, 04:05 PM
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Bob - The most common roof material in New England is probably a 3 tab composite shingle. They come in various shades and a couple of styles. They are used on sloped, not flat, roofs. The two most common styles are flat and high profile ( the installed roof looks more like a traditional shingle roof).
They also come with different warranties and commensurate costs. Typical shingle warranties run from 20 -40 years. Visit a big box store and look at their shingle displays although your roofer will probably be able to provide a lot more options.

If your budget allows, you should have the roofer remove any existing shingles. The new roof will lie flatter and it will give you an opportunity to replace any damaged roof sheathing.

If you Google on "asphalt shingle" you can find a ton of info.

The metal you describe is called flashing. It provides a waterproof transition around chimneys, dormers etc. You should also get drip edge installed along the eaves and gables and an adhesive membrane usually called water and ice that will help protect the roof if ice dams form.

If you are getting your roof replaced it's a good time to correct any attic ventilation deficiencies. If your attic is not properly ventilated it will reduce the life expectancy of your new roof.
Old 01-22-07, 04:16 PM
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Might look into the cost for a new Metal roof and be done with it .
Old 01-22-07, 04:47 PM
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I agree with Wayne that the old shingles should be removed. Going over old shingles also reduces the life of your new roof and some roofers take less precautions when they are doing a "roof over".

But speaking personally, I would not even consider using a 3-tab shingle. Almost everyone in our area has switched over to using laminated asphalt shingles (except for homeowners who select 3-tabs because of price, or who insist on the look of 3-tabs.) So in our area, 3-tabs are perceived as cheap looking compared with the newer roofs in the nicer parts of town. And on an average 20 sq. roof, you're talking about roughly a $600 upgrade to go with the better looking shingles... not a hard decision to make, IMO. There are also Luxury and Premium types of shingles that more closely resemble slate or shakes. They're pretty cool.

Laminated asphalt shingles have no "tabs", and have a random double-laminated design that in some ways resembles the random look of shake shingles. Since they have no tabs there is less leak potential. Tamko (Heritage) is a well respected brand, and Certainteed (New Horizon, Landmark, etc.) is another. They are available with various warranties- 25/30/40/50, but IMO it doesn't make sense to use anything but 30. Most big box stores offer various lesser known brands that resemble the above.

I would also suggest that "gutter apron" be used above gutters, and that d-style drip edge be used on rake edges (gable ends) only. Ice and water shield is a wise option- it is usually installed along the first 3 to 6 feet above the gutter, down the valleys and sometimes along rake edges.

I also agree with Wayne's suggestion about venting. In our area, we usually switch people over to continuous ridge venting, which provides superior ventilation when compared to the square Lomanco roof vents.

You can also consider whether to go with open (metal) valleys or closed (woven or California) valleys. Some also use a metal w-pan valley, but cut it tight to the ^ so that it appears closed. All depends on the look you want. Metal valleys are usually galvanized, but another option is to get them in a particular color that more closely resembles the shingle color, such as bronze or tan.
Old 01-22-07, 04:50 PM
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Not a roofer, but:

I have heard that a second course of shingles does not last as long as a single layer, so I would not shell out for the top of the line [40 year?].

I got a new roof 5 years ago, so here are a few thoughts:

I got three quotes; the highest was three times the price of the lowest. [Didn't use him, and I still paid more than my parents did for their last house.]

Ask the roofer to check out your chimney whiles s/he's up there; s/he is not a mason, but has seen lots of them, and will probably know if it needs to be re-pointed.

If you have a high efficiency furnace, an un-lined brick chimney, and the roofer needs to use scaffolding, ask if a licensed sweep can install a liner while the scaffolding is in place.

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