Here's the top five frequently asked roofing questions!:
1.Do I need to tear my existing roof off to install a new one?
We would love to tear off every roof we cover to inspect the sheeting, nails and flashing but we understand that all customers don't need nor do they want to go to this extent to have a new roof installed.
The truth is that if you have only one layer of roofing (shingles) on your roof with no leaks that you do not need to tear off the existing layer to cover it with new shingled or metal.
If you however have more than one layer of roofing and/or have leaks that the roof needs to be tore off to, 1) inspect the sheeting to be sure the new roofing you apply has something to properly adhere to and 2) the weight of the roof is not designed to hold the weight of more than 1 layer of roofing, snow and ice on it at a time.
2.Is metal roofing more expensive than shingles?
If you compare apples to apples you usually end up with pretty close to the same thing. Most folks think that metal roofing is a much higher cost than shingle roofing. If you compare a 50 year Architect shingle to a 5 v rib metal roof, the answer is NO. They are almost the same price when installed. If you are a "Do It Yourself"er than YES the material is a little bit more expensive when purchasing 5 v rib metal roofing and installing it yourself but when a Professional roofing company comes to install the metal you save a little bit compared to shingled in labor cost because the metal is much faster. This evens the "installed price" out a pretty good it.
3.Do you always add 1x stripping under metal roofing?
The metal roofing is designed to be installed on top of 1x wooden strips to allow for air flow to come up from the eves and escape through the ridge for the metal to heat and cool properly. The problem we have ran into in the past is that when the metal roofing in installed on the wooden strips, a void is created between the metal and the sheeting of the roof. This is no issue at all while the metal is being installed by a trained roofing professional. The problem occurs when a satellite guy, gutter cleaner, handy man walks on the roof later without knowing where to step. If pressure is applied to the area of metal above a void this will without a doubt cause a large dent and possibly a tear in the metal. The 5 V rib metal roofing can be applied directly to the sheeting (with a vapor barrier in between) without the 1x wooden strip and still breath properly.
4.If I apply metal roofing over my existing shingle roof should I add another vapor barrier (Ti-felt or felt paper) between the shingles and metal?
Simply put, NO. If multiple layers of vapor barriers are stacked this will cause condensation (Coke can effect, sweating). As the structure heats and cools the layers will take time individually to heat and cool causing moisture to build in between each layer. This can cause the roofing materials life span to quickly decrease, rot of wood/fasteners and even mold/mildew to build up.
5.Should I add snow/Ice dams to my roof?
This is a very trick question for us. Snow damn/guards definitely do serve their purpose to save you gutter and reduce accidents of pedestrians below the roof line in the event that a large sheet of snow or ice were to slide off the home at one time. Like anything though with pros come cons. Do we think that the possible benefits of Snow/Ice damn outweigh the cons, no. Ideally you want water, snow and ice to continue moving off the surface and to the ground as quickly as possible. What snow damn does is it hold the snow or ice in its place until it melts and then runs off the roof. What we have seen (in many cases) is that the snow damn hold water in a flat area, allowing water to build up and find its way into an area it otherwise would have not been able to make it into causing a leak. For this reason we typically lean toward a NO. In some cases we do see the benefits and will advise it but very rarely do these times come up.