what to ask Roofing guy/company

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Hi Today one roofing company/guy came to see my roof. He said you have 1 layer and he can put the new shingles on top of it or he can remove the existing one and put a new one but for double price. He also said he would put ridg e vent on the top edge like letter V (upside down). He quoted me for new in stallation $4500 and for adding on top of the existing one is $2500. I call ed another 2 roofing companies and they will come later for an estimate.
My questions, what should I ask in general. What I mean by that after this guy left I felt i should have asked him for a written quote so i can unders tand what he will try to do, I should have asked him about material he will use/cost of the material. I should asked him to draw me a diagram to see h ow the ridge vent will look like. Are these valid/good questions or they wi ll not do it and run away? Do you have any other questions to ask? The roof is really small but I was surprised with the 4500?
Should I keep the existing one and put on top new shingles or should I ask for new clean installation which involved removing the current one.
Thanks a lot.
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On 07/11/2013 07:19 PM, leza wang wrote:

How many squares did he estimate? want to make sure everyone's measuring correctly. Also, did he go into the attic and look to make sure the decking was in good shape? If not, have you? (and does it look like any plywood needs to be replaced?)
Also, when you're looking at the roof from the street, do you notice any waviness, or does it look dead straight? (that can also be a tell that you may need some decking work if you can see any dips in it)
nate
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On Thursday, July 11, 2013 7:57:59 PM UTC-4, Nate Nagel wrote:



Thanks a lot Nate for the reply. Actually he did not measure anything! he d id not go to attic, he just looked and said it will cost you 4500 for new a nd 2500 to put on top of it!
I have some shingles are removed and some are coming off and their edges ar e higher (hard to describe.. i will take pictures). If all shingles are lay ing down then I can see they will look "dead straight" . when he was on the roof, he said he saw the hole that water use to go inside the attic!
thanks a lot
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On Thu, 11 Jul 2013 17:13:01 -0700 (PDT), leza wang

Curled up? BTW, the shingles on the south side of a pitched roof age much more than those on the north side. At least if roof is pitched north and south.

If you do get a new roof, save or at least copy the wrapping paper from the shingles, so you'll know who made the shingles, what model they were, what their warranty is (You'll need the receipt from the roofer too to enforce the guarantee, to show when you put the shingles on.
AFAIK, very few things, by major manufacturers, including roofs, fail to last as long as they are warranted. Maybe it's just when there is a bad batch. But bad batches happen. (I had a brick house made with a bad batch of brick.) and the warranty is no good if you don't have enough paperwork to enforce it.
Also, you can't expect to find the same color shingle in 5, 10, 15 years, so if you can see the roof from the ground, you might want to save the last partly used package of shingles, and even another unopened one, for patches if necessary. So the patches will match. However, I'm not sure how often patches are needed. By the time I needed one, i really needed a whole new roof.
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wrote:

Maybe we need to explain to her that the decking IS the plywood.
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leza wang wrote:

Hi, If you don't have neighbor or friend who can recommend a good reliable and trustworthy roofer, at least you should look up the local BBB to see who you are dealing with.
If I were you I won't even think about leaving old shingles and reroof on top of it. Do you know how heavv shingles are?
Also shingles come in many different material, quality grade, color and style. Good proper venting is always good(a must).
Others will add their comments in addition to mine.
My house has European ceramic coated metal tiles. Will last up to 100 years(German product) installed by experienced Ukrainian crew.
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leza wang wrote:

What you can or should do depends on
a) how long do you intend to live in that house? b) how much money do you really want to spend? c) how much coordination are you capable and willing to do?
If the house is valuable, in a good neighborhood, if the dollars you spend are captured well by increasing the home's value, if you're willing to do some research and learn and stick-handle the coordination of the job (ie - if you're willing and able to be the "general contractor" for the job), then you can
a) save lots of money b) end up with a quality job with no cut corners
If you are not capable of
a) some minor physical work - climbing your roof, using a tape measure, making diagrams on paper,
b) have the time to make phone calls, order materials, contract for some labor
Then you are really at the mercy of the local roofer's racket in Toronto and you're going to pay the "rack rate" and get a typical job. There's not much sense in asking here what you should do.
Now, if you are willing to take this bull by the horns and drive the process, then you can:
a) get a handle on how big your roof is (square feet), b) special features (valleys, coves, etc) c) know how many bundles of shingles you're going to need, b) know how many rolls of tar paper, ice/water shield, edge trim, flashing, nails, replacement deck sheeting, etc
You can order all that stuff yourself, from:
http://www.roofmart.ca/
Because anyone you hire will order if from the SAME PLACE, and they will take the bill for materials and DOUBLE IT when they quote you for the job.
You can order from roofmart and they will deliver TO THE ROOF. You just have to coordinate:
a) labor to take off old shingles b) arrange for a garbage bin to be there ready for them to throw out old shingles c) install new stuff
There are plenty of "men with trucks" or handy-men willing to work under the table (cash on the barrel) that know how to put up shingles, and if you have all the materials coordinated, garbage bin, etc, then they come with ladders and do the job. Roofing isin't rocket science.
You have an endless supply of Tim Horton coffee/donuts for them, lunch, etc, and they can do the job in 2 or 3 days.
However, because of the torrential rain of historic proportions that Toronto has had recently, there will be MANY roof jobs being contracted for the next few months, so don't plan on getting this done until maybe September or October. Doing it at that time is best anyways - it's easier working on the roof in the fall vs summer, they will do a better job.
- Yes, you should remove the old shingles. - Plan on replacing some of the wood decking. - Go with asphalt shingles - not fiberglass. - use a LOT of ice/water shield membrane - it's good stuff. - use heavy tar paper for the rest of the roof. - simple (cheap) 3-tab shingles, or more expensive/heavier architectual shingles is your choice. - IKO is the brand most commonly used in Ontario. - beef up attic ventilation. Buy vents and make sure they're delivered to the site. - Ridge vents are only ok if you have a long ridge. If your roof is pyramid shaped, you must use conventional vents. consider power vent (vent with fan). I don't like ridge vents because I like power vents, and they don't work well together. - your soffit will need to be considered. Is it vented properly into the attic, is attic insulation in the way, etc. you can deal with the soffit / attic situation later if necessary. - light-colored shingles will last longer, not make the attic so hot in the summer. - your gutters and face-boards might also need work.
As you can see, a roof job can quickly expand into correcting problems with soffits and gutters and chimneys, and some of that stuff must be corrected as the same time as completing the shingle job, but other stuff can wait. You usually only discover the other problems when the old shingles are removed and/or when you have a crew up there doing stuff, getting a good look at everything.
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On Thu, 11 Jul 2013 16:19:28 -0700 (PDT), leza wang

Generally speaking, the old roof should ALWAYS be stripped and you should ALWAYS get a written detailed quote. Removing first is more expensive due to more labour and disposal fees.
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On Thu, 11 Jul 2013 16:19:28 -0700 (PDT), leza wang

You will get a better job if you tear off the old roof. It is ok to put a second roof if the first one is in good condition and flat and you are sure the wood under it is also in good condition.
If you plan to sell in just a few years, may be OK to go cheap. If you are going to stay for many years, get it done right now and you will be good for 30 years.
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On Thu, 11 Jul 2013 16:19:28 -0700 (PDT), leza wang

BTW, do you need a whole new roof or do you just have a leak that can be fixed? If you know where the water is coming from when you're inside, that would help a lot.
I bought this house when it was 4 years old, in May. Thanksgiving morning I woke up to find water dripping from my bedroom ceiling.
In the attic I saw where the previous owner had tried to stop leaks around the two chimneys (fireplace and furnace) which have round, metal chimneys. He had used silicone from a caulking gun, but he had to get it way up in the cone that surrounds the chimney just above the roof. From the inside. Idont' think he wanted to go on the roof. He did surprisingly well I guess since it lasted from May and probably earlier to November. (Maybe I should have mentioned this when you asked about patching from the inside. All I rememembered then was that it didn't work, and that it's hard to patch anything from the other side. , I didn't remember that it worked for at least 6 months. )
BTW, the dripping in my bedroom ceiling was about 3 feet from the chimney. I didn't check how it got 3 feet over, because the leak was clear when I was in the attic. Plus his attempts to fix it. This means you have to be up there while it is raining, with a good light (better than a flashlight might be to run an extension cord with a lamp, if there is no electricity in the attic. But at least a bright flashlight.
Anyhow I got on the roof and saw that one chimney was mssing a rain collar** and both needed caulking at the top of the cone. I didn't get the collar for another 15 years, but I caulked a lot with roof caulk and I stopped the leaks for good. Even when I replaced the roof because the sun had made one half curl up a lot and start to leak, the chimneys never leaked again.
**I'm in a townhouse and I could see that most houses had rain collars on both chimneys, but a couple others were missing too. They made few mistakes in this house, but that was one of them, caused by rushing I guess.
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On Thursday, July 11, 2013 6:19:28 PM UTC-5, leza wang wrote:

layer and he can put the new shingles on top of it or he can remove the exi sting one and put a new one but for double price. He also said he would put ridge vent on the top edge like letter V (upside down). He quoted me for n ew installation $4500 and for adding on top of the existing one is $2500. I called another 2 roofing companies and they will come later for an estimat e. My questions, what should I ask in general. What I mean by that after th is guy left I felt i should have asked him for a written quote so i can und erstand what he will try to do, I should have asked him about material he w ill use/cost of the material. I should asked him to draw me a diagram to se e how the ridge vent will look like. Are these valid/good questions or they will not do it and run away? Do you have any other questions to ask? The r oof is really small but I was surprised with the 4500? Should I keep the ex isting one and put on top new shingles or should I ask for new clean instal lation which involved removing the current one. Thanks a lot.
Leza, It sounds like some of the shingles are curled up around the edges, a nd if they are, you must have the old shingles removed or the new shingles will not lay flat. It would be good for you to show us some pictures of th e house and include the roof, from several angles so we can see if it is a simple roof, with just one long peak running the length or width of the hou se, or if there are a lot of angles to the roof and causing many different peaks and valleys which make putting down the shingles more complicated. A Lso, you haven't told us anything about the attic ventilation which had a m ajor effect on the ligfe of shingles. You want the best possible ventilati on if you are putting down a whole new roof.
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Lisa:
If your shingles are curling:
[image:
http://www.countrysideroofinginc.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/02/roof3.jpg ]
Then you need to remove the old shingles before putting new shingles down. When the asphalt that the old shingles are made of deteriorates, they curl up like you see in the photo and you really can't put new shingles down on top of them because the new shingles won't lay flat.
It's important that the new shingles lay flat because each shingle has a asphalt strip on it's underside that, with the summer heat, causes it to glue itself down to the shingle under it. That prevents water from being blown under the shingles by a strong wind, or even the shingles being blown off the roof by a strong enough wind. If the new shingles are nailed down over curling shingles, the new shingles won't be glued down by that asphalt strip to the old shingles, and your roof is susceptible to water leakage cuz water can be blown up under the shingles by the wind. If the old shingles lay flat, then the new shingles will glue themselves down to the old ones, and wind driven water penetration into the roof won't be a problem.
What you should be asking your roofing contractors:
1. What kind of shingles are you going to be putting down. Just in the same way that there are good, better and best quality carpets, there are various quality shingles available. Everyone makes their shingles much the same way, but some shingles are thicker than others, and that determines how long they last. They used to rate shingles according to their anticipated lifespan, so you'd hear people talking about 15, 20, 25 and 30 year shingles, but each company makes their shingles in different thicknesses, and so pinning an anticipated lifespan on a shingle that's thicker than someone else's 15 year shingle but thinner than yet another manufacturer's 20 year shingle becomes entirely subjective. To resolve this problem, nowadays, if I recall correctly, shingle manufacturers simply state the weight of each shingle they manufacture per 100 square feet of installed shingles. And, the more those 100 square feet of installed shingles weighs, the more stuff you have between your house and the Sun and the rain clouds, and the longer your shingled roof will be expected to last.
It's gonna cost the same in labour to install 30 year shingles as it is 15 year shingles, so it would be best if YOU bought the shingles, and paid your contractor only for his labour to install them.
Or, choose a long lasting shingle that goes well with your colour house, and ask them to give you quotes on using that particular shingle to redo your roof.
What you're doing now is like asking for quotes to replace the carpeting in your living room without recognizing that every company is going to install the cheapest carpeting it can so that it can quote the lowest possible price and stand the best chance of getting the job. That's not necessarily in your best interest because the best overall economy is had by paying once to have the longest lasting shingles installed, not reroofing often with cheap shingles.
2. If you've had a problem with ice damming on your roof, ask whether he'll be installing one width of Ice & Water shield or two widths. Ice and water shield is a waterproof membrate that goes down after the old shingles are torn off but before the first coarse of new shingles goes on. The wider the Ice and Water Shield you put down on your roof, the better your house is protected from ice damming. Normally, one width (and I think the rolls come in 40 inch widths) is enough, but if you've had a problem with ice damming in the past, then it's best to go with two widths. If you haven't had a problem with ice damming in the past, I think they can just leave the old Ice and Water Shield in place and shingle over it, but I'm not sure on that point, so maybe check.
3. A "drip cap" is a metal flashing that gets nailed down to the roof before the ice and water shield goes down. Basically, it protects the facia board behind the evestrough from water dripping on it and causing the paint to peel on it or causing it to rot. If you can afford the small extra cost, and you don't have a drip cap now, then I'd have a drip cap installed.
4. What is he going to do in the valleys where two sloping roof meet. The two most common valley treatments are to use a galvanized metal flashing in the valleys or to overlap the shingles from both roofs in the valleys to get twice the protection there. If he's going to use galvanized metal flashing in the valleys, then that flashing gets nailed down first before they start installing shingles. The other is by overlapping the shingles from each roof surface in the valley. Both methods are popular, but if you already have galvanized flashings in your valleys, they you can assume they are almost certainly in good shape. (You almost never have to replace galvanized valley flashings.) So, in that case, it would be better if he were to leave the galvanized flashings in place and cut the shingles in the valleys instead of overlapping them across the valley. If your existing shingles are overlapped in the valleys, then installing galvanized valley flashings now will cost a bit more, but will save you money on the next re-roofing job.
5. Clean up. Make sure that the contractor is responsible for cleaning up all the old shingles and shingle nails around your house after the job. Otherwise, there's going to be thousands of nails in the grass around your house and you won't be able to walk around in your yard barefoot without concern about getting a nail stuck in your foot or mow your grass without having a shingle nail flying out of your lawn mower. Shingles are heavy, and cleaning up and removing the old shingles is a major chore. Make sure that you and your contractor discuss that issue before you tell him to go ahead with the job, and make sure that clean-up is included in your contract. Lots of roofing contractors will use subcontractors to clean up the old shingles they leave behind, and if that subcontractor doesn't bother coming to clean up those old shingles and nails, and your contract is ambiguous on the issue, you might end up doing that major chore yourself, even though the price you've agreed to includes the cost to have your contractor pay his subcontrator to do that clean up.
6. Normally, any company that sells shingles will have a conveyor truck that will deliver the shingles to your roof top for a small extra charge (like $100 or so). It's well worth it to pay to have the new shingles delivered because a bundle of shingles can be quite heavy and carrying them up a ladder can result in lots of damaged shingles by the end of the job if the odd bundle gets dropped. Spend the extra $100 to have your shingles delivered to your roof top to ensure that you get the best possible job cuz your contractor won't be forced to use broken or otherwise damaged shingles. Your contractor will be stripping the shingles off your roof from the bottom up, and the new shingles will be put right on the ridge at the top of the roof so they won't be in the way when your contractor is using them to shingle the roof.
I'm no expert on shingle roofs, but my family basically put me in charge when it came to reshingling my sister's house, and so I had to learn a little about shingling then. Also, I helped a guy shingle my sister's garage roof, and learned a little bit about shingling from that, too. So, I'm no expert, but I had to come up with the right, or at least "good" answers to exactly the same decisions you're going to have to decide now.
Basically, the more stuff you put up on your roof, the better the roof will be. More ice and water shield won't cause a problem, but it might be a waste of money too. Having a drip cap and valley flashings is better than not having them, but you might not really need them. The thicker and heavier your shingles, the longer they'll last. Your job is to learn what each item does, decide if you need it, and then find the guy that will install all that stuff for you at the lowest cost.
Hope this helps.
--
nestork


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On 7/12/2013 1:10 AM, snipped-for-privacy@sbcglobal.net wrote:

top new shingles or should I ask for new clean installation which involved removing the current one. Thanks a lot.

When I got new shingles years ago there was curling in the old shingles and contractor suggested using a more expensive textured type shingle to hide any defects. Think it has been over 25 years and roof still looks good. I would not re-shingle over old curled shingles with cheap flat shingles.
I avoided roof vent because of adequate side vents and an added passive vent.
As far as rough estimate, I've heard some contractors will just look at Google earth and your house roof to give estimate.
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On Thursday, July 11, 2013 7:19:28 PM UTC-4, leza wang wrote:

That alone should tell you that something is wrong. It does cost more to do a tear-off, but no way it should double the price. They rip off relatively easily. The older the roof, usually the easier they come off. You do have the additional cost of disposal, which will vary by location. But, impossible that it should double the cost of the job. This guy just sounds lazy.
I would definitely do the tear off. It's the only way the roof decking can be fully inspected to see if any needs to be replaced. It's the only way to see what is happening in any transition areas, like where the roof meets another roof section, or where it may meet a chimney, vertical wall of the house, etc.
He also said he would put ridge vent on the top edge like letter V (upside down).
Most experts agree ridge vents are the way to go. I would use one of the ridge types, like Shingle Vent II, not the cheaper roll type material. It's a small difference in price, SV II is like $12 for 4 ft. You also need to verify that there is adequate air intake opening in the soffits under the eaves. The hot air goes out the ridge, it needs soffit vents for cool fresh air to get in.
He quoted me for new installation $4500 and for adding on top of the existing one is $2500.
I called another 2 roofing companies and they will come later for an estimate.

Any decent roofer would have given you a written quote without you even asking.
I should have asked him about material he will use/cost of the material.
You should go look at shingles online, at HD, Lowes, etc. You want to pic a style and color that you like. I'd do that first. Look at Owens Corning, GAF, CertainTeed, etc. Then when you talk to the roofers you can ask them for addresses where they put up the shingles you are interested in, so you can see how they look. That's a good time to ask the other homeowner how satisfied they are with the roofer.
The most basic shingle is the 3 tab. They are just flat, have been used forever. Next up is the architectural/dimensional shingle. Those shingles are twice as thick in parts to give it a radom, raised look, kind of the effect you get with wood shakes or slate. They add color variation into the mix as well. These shingles are the preferred choice on all but the cheapest construction here in NJ today. They only cost about 30% more, and that is the cost of the shingles, labor, other materials involved is the same, so net cost difference is maybe 15%. They also have a higher wind speed rating, longer expected life, warranty, etc.
Some roofers will want to use their favorite brand of shingle, but any roofer you want to do business with should be willing to use any of the major manufacturer's product.
I should asked him to draw me a diagram to see how the ridge vent will look like.
Pics and datasheets are available online.
Are these valid/good questions or they will not do it and run away?
Any that won't answer questions and put it all in writing you want to run away from them too.
Do you have any other questions to ask? The roof is really small but I was surprised with the 4500?
Measure the roof. The going rate here in NJ is about $250- $280 per square, which is 100 sq ft. That is for a tear-off and an architectural shingle like GAF Timberline or Owens True Definition.
Also in the quote should be:
Replace all step flashing, plumbing vent flashing, etc with new
Install water/ice shield at eaves and valleys(if any)
Price for replacing any sheathing, here it's $50 a sheet. Sheathing should be CDX plywood, not OSB, which is cheaper. Unless the existing is OSB, then I guess it doesn't matter.
Shingles used of course
Felt 15 or 30lb.
Permit? required? who pays for it?
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On Thu, 11 Jul 2013 16:19:28 -0700 (PDT), leza wang
IIRC this questions and my answer were controversial the last itme this came up. Maybe you can look into it some more and get back to us with whatever you learn.
Color of the shingles. White and light-colored shingles let less solar heat into the attic. Dark shingles let in more.
The more insulation you have between the attic and the top floor of your house, the less this matters -- though I'm not sure it ever gets to zero -- and I may not have enough insulation, so it matters to me.
When I changed from dark to medium light, my second floor stopped getting so hot. I rarely use AC -- I prefer to have the windows open -- and not at all since it broke last summer, so I can tell the difference clearly,
That's good in the summer but it's not good in the winter, or even maybe the spring and fall. I also have a roof fan, to blow hot air out of the attic. I keep the roof fan off until the middle spring and turn it off after the middle fall, and use the heat from he attic to heat my house. Since I got the new colored roof, this doesn't work as well. Not enough heat.
OTOH, it keeps the house cooler in the summer and to the extent I use AC, it keeps the AC bill lower.
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micky wrote:

Lighter-colored shingles last longer (age slower).

Total bullshit.
The heat-contribution effect of a warm or hot attic in the winter to help heat the interior of a house is total bullshit, at least in the northern part of US and all of Canada.
The further north you go, you have:
a) increase probability that the roof will be snow-covered in winter, and you won't get any roof-heating on a clear day if the roof is covered in white snow.
b) sun angle is reduced (sun is lower on the horizon) in winter, with the angle being reduced the further north you go. Shorter day-light in winter, more possibility of cloudy days during the heating season in general.
The further south you go, the less you need heat in the winter, and the more you need to BLOCK attic heat from getting into your house.
If you want your house to be able to capture attic heat (if it exists at all during the heating season) then you can't avoid having your house soak up the unwanted heat from the attic in the summer.
Cooling your house by x degrees takes FAR MORE ENERGY than heating it by x degrees, so it's a fools game to want to capture the practically non-existant attic heat during the winter if it means also letting in the VERY REAL attic heat soak into your house in the summer.
In actuality, you WANT your attic to be COLD in the winter, to avoid mold and mildew from forming due to lack of ventilation. Why lack of ventilation? Because the only way you're going to be able to capture any heat in the attic in the winter is to stop or block the normal attic ventilation paths.
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micky wrote:

Hmmm, Solar powered thermostat controlled attic vent fan, Eh? Way to go!
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On Friday, July 12, 2013 9:03:55 AM UTC-4, micky wrote:

While true, the difference in practical terms is insignificant. I saw a study where they instrumented identical houses in Florida with a variety of roofing materials. This was during summer and they measured the cost to cool the house with the temp set to a constant. Between black shingles and white the energy cost to cool the house was, I think less than 10%. And that was an unoccupied house. When occupied, the cost difference for energy dropped to just a few percent. And that is for FL in the summer, with white vs black. You can draw your own conclusions for other climates and colors.
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snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:

Hi, IMO, one thing is sure black ones life is shorter. Keeping home comfort regarding indoor temperature, ceiling insulation, attic vent is very important than anything else. Particularly most houses don't have proper attic vent starting from soffit....
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On Friday, July 12, 2013 11:40:34 PM UTC-4, Tony Hwang wrote:

I don't buy that. I'm replacing mine that had black 3 tab right now. They lasted 31 years. I doubt white ones would last any longer. And looking at houses that have lighter ones, they sure look like hell from discoloration long before the shingles fail to shield water.
Keeping home comfort

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