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Roofing - Common FAQ Sheet
Springtime storms can bring a lot of rain, which can reveal roof leaks. What should you do when an April shower finds its way into your living room?
First, control the interior damage as quickly as possible.
Move any items that have not yet become soaked. If furniture or other items cannot be moved, cover them with plastic sheets to protect them from the water. Collect dripping water in a leak proof container and make sure the container is on a solid surface.
Remove the water.
Begin to dry up water that has soaked into carpet and furniture. For carpeting that has become wet, you may need to pull the carpet away from the padding. Expose the backing to air and allow it to dry. This will also give the padding underneath a chance to dry, and reduce the chance that mold will grow. Circulate as much fresh air as possible around the affected areas.
Call your insurance agent.
If your living space has sustained a considerable amount of damage, call your insurance agent. Your policy may or may not cover damage to the interior from a roof leak. Do not wait to call the agent. They can usually inspect the damage within hours of your call and help you get started on the process of cleaning up or replacing your damaged contents.
Inspect the roof, inside and out.
As soon as possible, check the roof for obvious sources of standing or pooling water. Make sure the valleys, gutters and downspouts are clear of debris and allow the water to move freely off the roof and away from the house. Inspect the roofing materials. Make sure all parts of the underlying roof are covered with shingles, and that the water barrier is not exposed in any way. Keep in mind that the water's point of entry into the living space may not be directly below the roof leak. Roof leaks can "travel" so inspect the entire region of the leak carefully. You may also find it useful to inspect the roof from the attic space above the living quarters. That may provide a better indication of how the water is entering the structure.
Clear the gutters and downspouts.
Remove any obvious blockages and clear the downspouts if they are clogged. You can often do this with a garden hose. If the downspout is clogged, and it cannot be cleared with a hose, you may have to remove the downspout from the gutter and clear it by inverting the downspout or using a broom handle or other long object to push the debris out of the pipe. When it is clear, reattach it to the gutter and direct the water away from the foundation.
Inspect the flashing.
Some roof leaks are not the result of clogged gutters or downspouts. Instead, leaks occur where the roofing material is worn or damaged. In other cases, the flashing around chimneys, vents, or roof projections is damaged and allows water into the structure below. Inspect the flashing, where chimneys, dormers, vents and other attachments abut the roof. If the flashing is in poor condition, it may need to be replaced. If the sealing around the flashing is damaged, a generous application of roof tar may plug the leak.
Look for hidden damage.
Roof leaks often develop over time, so water may collect unnoticed for some time before it enters the living space. When you inspect the attic, check for any hidden damage that the leak may have caused. Look for wet spots on the roof planks or panels, discolored wood, damaged OSB panels, strange odors and dirt on the insulation. Check the interior for bulges in the ceilings and walls, peeling paint, and badly cracked plaster or wallboard. All of these are signs that something may not be right in your attic or walls.
Check for pests.
Ants and other water-loving pests will find wet wood a very attractive place to build a nest. If you experience a sudden invasion of ants, powder post beetles, pill bugs, sow bugs, earwigs or other water-loving pests, immediately look for wet wood. An exterminator can rid your house of these pests, but the only way to make sure they stay away is to remove the wet wood and remediate the problem.
Call a licensed roofing contractor.
If your inspection reveals a lot of water damage, or an old roof that simply needs replacement, and if you aren't up to replacing it yourself, call a licensed roofing contractor to repair or replace your roof. Simply re-shingling the roof will not repair most roof leaks. If the roof is leaking, the most likely cause is a breakdown of the waterproofing layer underneath the shingles. In that case, all old shingles should be torn off, and the water proofing layer, along with the shingles, should be replaced.
Re-roofing can be expensive, so be sure to get several estimates from different contractors before selecting someone to do the work. Verify that the contractor you choose is licensed, has insurance and will apply for the proper municipal permits to do the work. Do not allow the contractor to begin work on the house if permits have not been issued and make sure the contractor replaces all of the damaged wood prior to re-roofing the house. After the roof work is complete, ask the contractor to go over proper roof maintenance with you, and be sure to get a final inspection from your municipal housing authority.
The Difference Between Asphalt Shingles and a Composition Roof
Back in 1989 when I installed my first asphalt shingle there was many changes in the roofing manufacture sector. The end result was down-sizing the weight to accommodate a more flexible shingle. The old shingles in the USA were known as Asphalt roofing shingles or a standard strip 3-tab shingles. At that time there were other shingles on the market known as Standard strip asphalt composition shingles or Architectural shingles called Timberline or heavy weight shingles known as random tab, and three tabs or standard were becoming composition shingles.
The older organic shingles were just simply called asphalt shingles made with number five crude oil with the advent of the fiberglass standard strip composition shingle was born. Owens Corning helped innovate this process. Since they are the largest fiberglass manufacture in America today.
Many of the other shingles manufactures by fiberglass mats from Owens Corning. This was told to me directly from Owens Corning as a result of a factory tour on the anatomy of the shingle required by Owens Corning Certification. Most of the old asphalt shingles have been torn off and they are in land fills now in the US.
The new fiberglass composition shingles are the norm in today's society. I know this because I am a Professional Contractor, not somebody hoping I am right in marketing, although marketing takes precedence more than any other thing for any business model.
Referrals are Always the Best just to let you know my feelings on the subject. I have personally installed many shingles in my life and I have always know the newer shingle to be considered composition because of the composite make up of the materials that have been blended by the various manufacturers today in the US.
If you find true asphalt shingles today chances are they manufactured in a third world country where the resources are limited, the standard strip shingle was the first of this innovation followed by a multitude of several shingle brands. Any and all fiberglass shingles are considered composition shingles by most roofing professionals.
These composition asphalt shingles have fire ratings, wind resistance warranties and failure warranty's based on the fiber glass mat and asphalt fiberglass thickness, granules and algae resistant ratios. The asphalt composition shingle is made to last longer than the old asphalt shingles not to put more weight than the asphalt roof structure can hold according to ICC specification on weight load limitations of roof framing and spans. The asphalt composition is lighter, more flexible and durable than the old asphalt shingle in1989 and previous years.
GAF Elk happens to be largest asphalt roofing manufacturer in the USA and has any brands in the asphalt roofing shingle world. Owens Corning and CertainTeed have a multitude of designer, architectural and standard strip roofing products. The same can hold true with Atlas and Tamco of which all manufacture asphalt composition roofing shingles in the United States today.
GAF/Elk carries the strongest warranties on their roofing materials for their Certified and Master Elite Roofing Contractors. I welcome any and all comments from CARE (Center for Advancement for Roofing Excellence) and the Asphalt Roofing Manufacturers Association of America (ARMA)as well as any National Roofing Contractors Association of America (NRCA), members of affiliates to correct my definition on the difference between asphalt roofing shingles and asphalt composition roofing shingles.
There are roofing shingles that I have seen come and go, such as the masonite shingle, which is a composite material that requires flashing between each joint to seal it off. There are also concrete tiles which I would consider composite since it does not have the slate or clay tile attributes, known as concrete tiles. There is also another material called Mira Vista of which was a fake slate the Owens Corning made that would fall under the composite material that was made of a plastic or a plasticiser type composite material.
At any rate it is up to you to decide what type of roof you would like to put on your home. Every shingle manufacturer in the USA is an asphalt composition roofing shingle. All Asphalt fiberglass composition shingles come with a 20 year to lifetime warranty and anything in between.
Roofing is one of the most important investments you can make. Improper, aged or substandard roofing can lead to a host of other more expensive problems. If you are selling your property, a well-chosen roof can yield a solid return on your investment. Whatever your budget or design desires, whether you want architectural shingles, tile roof installation or something in between, a Roof Master consultant will work with you to make it a reality.
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