I am in the hurricane Katrina effected area and need to have my roof
replaced. Yes I am doing my homework while waiting for the roofing
contractors to have time to be able to give me quotes for a new roof.
I would like some thoughts on what to ask for.
I have been told that I should have the roofer use 30# felt,
architectural shingles, and use 6 nails per shingle.
If you were in areas that are prone to hurricanes, and tornados,
what would you ask for on your family's homes??
I have never had to replace a roof before, I know its gonna cost money.
As an HVAC contractor, I also know that folks are in business to make
a profit. I don't have a problem with paying folks for what they do,
I want good and not just "cheap". I am just wanting to get some insite
on what to look for as far as a quality product and quality work.
Steve @ Noon-Air Heating & A/C
The really key word in the above statement is make sure they NAIL. Air guns
are acceptable if they are using nails. Some of the quick fix guys like to
use staples. In the real world they just don't hold as well.
Two other areas that it is easy to get cheated on are:
All areas where a wall or brick chimney meet the roof on a slope must be
"step flashed" and overflashed. The wall may not need the overflashing if
new siding is going on.
The second big rip off is the work up the roof and don't take the time to
raise the tabs and put the last nail under the tab. This is why you see a
slight ridge running up a roof every so often on houses that were roofed
about 5-8 years ago.
"NRCA and others who have assessed the hurricanes' damage believe most
systems that were designed and installed according to current applicable
codes performed adequately during the hurricanes. In most instances, the
systems NRCA knows to have sustained considerable damage were those that
not comply with current buildings codes, which contain much more
high-wind provisions than the codes' previous editions. In many
damaged buildings and roof systems of which NRCA is aware were
before the current codes were adopted. It is unreasonable to expect
roof systems to perform to the level of current building codes if the
buildings were designed and constructed based on previous, less
stringent code editions."
I agree w/ Rico which also reflects FEMA updated guidelines after 2004
Basically, look into updated codes in FL and get the roofer to follow
those if those in your area have not been updated to those standards.
How much to do depends on how close you really are to the high-wind risk
areas or whether you're farther inland and have only, say, 100-mph
category winds rather than 200-mph. In the latter, making sure you have
adequate tie-downs, etc., to try to keep the roof on is absolutely
critical before you even get to the roofing itself.
This is Turtle.
1] Get the pound Felt that is recommended by the shingle manufactor. Some say
30# and some say 15 # .
2] The Good , Better , and Best is devided up by how may year shingles they
are. They go 20 / 30 / 40 year types and are difference in grades as the number
3] If you do choose the cheaper type shingles do have the Zinc strip put at
the pike of your roof to keep the roof rot stuff away. The cheap shingles will
not have these Zinc strips in the tab of the shingles and your roof will rot.
This stuff takes over on a roof , you can see it real good and looks like a oil
that has bleed through the shingle from the inside or the felt. This is Not oil
bleeding through but Roof Rot eating the shingles up. If you have the Zinc stuff
in the shingles you don't have roof rot.
4] My rent House is 1,200 sq. ft. and I got price to roof it with the cheap 20
year shingles with the zinc strip installed at $1,900.00 and 45 years uppey to
do shingles with zinc built into them was $2,300.00.
5] I researched the best brands as warranty and material which I found Elk
brand was the top of the line but there was others that were with them close but
still behind them. I had a problem with the zinc stripping in the Shingles on my
own house and they bought my shingle and paid to have it reshingled totally .
6] Steve E-mail me and I have some bid sheets and cost to look over when they
bid out my house last year and have the bid sheets for Elk Shingles.
We discovered, because of a fairly bad roofing job, that Elk Prestique
Plus do not go well on steep roofs. We had them put on the mansards on
our condo roof in 1997. Many of them fell off, not requiring much wind
to do so. My hubby was building manager at the time, and we researched
a lot before we figured out what was wrong. Most, if not all, that fell
off were not nailed properly. The contractor was good about callbacks,
and after two or three, came back for a major re-do that included
putting adhesive under all the tabs. The city also changed their
installation requirements for steep rooofs, requiring the adhesive under
the tabs. I was not happy when that was proposed, because I felt the
condo board should have gone after the contractor to do the whole thing
over. It basically looks like crap, because of the way shingles were
cut and placed, but stayed on through last year's storms. Our highest
wind was 70 mph, I believe, when Ivan or Frances flew by.....we lost a
skylight from atrium that is roofed but open that had rotten wood around
it but only a couple of shingles. The condo across the street lost a
ton, and there were few houses that didn't lose at least a few.
I read an article just yesterday.....most Florida newspapers carry some
good ones.....about tips for hurricane repair. This one said use 5/8"
ply, not OSB, and screws at opposing angles, not straight in. Don't
recall whether that was only for side sheath or for roof decks, but
makes sense to me either place.
A Florida website ... probably Dade County .... has a database of all
kinds of technical info and ratings, by type and brand, for building
products. I discovered it while looking for info about high impact
windows. We have hurricane shutters, and would not be without them. We
did plywood once; enough.
Whatever kind of roofing you select, read up on install instructions and
watch that it is done right .. right number of nails, right place, not
protruding and not too deep.
This is Turtle.
so you say that when a shady contractor uses Elk Shingles and screws up the job
and comes back and screws it up again. It is the Shingle manufactor's fault that
the shingles blew off. If your contractor could read , he could read about the
angle they allow to install them at and how to install them with the sticker
strip attached like it should have been in the beginning.
Nope. I didn't suggest it was the mfg. fault. My long story was to
illustrate that 1) this particular shingle not the greatest for a steep
roof, 2) be aware of what bad installers can do so's to look out for it
in the future, 3) gluing down the darn tabs might be worth thinking
about (but there is probably a good reason I am not aware of for NOT
doing so). The sticker strip was still attached. They are laminated
shingles, and nailing on the nailing line leaves only 1/2" remaining of
the bottom layer. Nailing off the line allowed them to tear away and
fall off. The contractor used regular shingles to do the ridges, which
looked awful. They redid that part, too. I am not on the condo board
and didn't live here when the roofing was done.
The sheathing is not an issue... I already have 2 x 8 tongue and groove
planking on the entire roof. I was just inquiring about the felt, shingles,
and method of fastening. I am going by the current code on the Gulf Coast.
What I was looking for is if there is anything that I need to look for to
insure a quality installation.
Steve @ Noon-Air Heating & A/C
In Florida that is minimum code. While the roof is off try to inspect
your truss clips. You will probably be bad wood so that is usually
easy.If you have a poured tie beam and straps embedded in the
concrete, over the truss you are close to code. It is worth the extra
money to have them shoot screws in next to the nails on the decking.
That will hold the plywood down. DO NOT cover up any bad wood. They
should also cement the leading edge of the shingles to the drip edge
when they set the starter strip.
As you know, you can get the best of the best for material. But, if there's
shortcuts and poor installation, the quality of products mean zilch.
I was always anal on proper prep work, it doesn't take a whole lot of time,
and so what if it did. The contractor should be charging enough to do it
I would only be guessing at what your codes are, but I would expect the
outlined below, to be very minimum for the job. Being from up north, I do
know certain materials like the soil boots we use up here, won't take the
heat down your way, and lead is preferred. I'll attempt to address areas of
All bushes/shrubs etc. to be covered, especially if it's a steep pitch roof.
But, excessive heat build up from _plastic_ tarps will burn up
bushes/shrubs. Also, shingle debris left on lawns in high heat, will scorch
the lawn within minutes. Tarps can almost be eliminated on a steep pitch, if
jacks & boards are used along the bottom of the roof, to keep debris from
sliding off. On lower pitched roofs, very little to no debris should fall
on the ground. Debris can be walked across the roof to a dumpster/truck or
protected staging area.
Complete tear-off. This means complete, none of this "we'll leave some felt
on, it won't hurt anything". If you run into a contractor that tells you
something to that effect, show them the door.
The entire decking to be gone over, pulling all existing roof covering
fasteners. This is quick work with a tear-off shovels, the majority of nails
will come up with the shingles, if they use the shovels correctly. I've
seen guys ripping off shingles with their bare hands, I know those nails
weren't pulled, because days later you can drive by and see nail humps where
the shingles conformed around them.
The decking fasteners to be gone over by hammering down, and installing new
fasteners as needed. Tear off shovels will grab decking fasteners, and some
do pull out. It's important the integrity of the sheathing is not left
Once the deck is secured & all questionable sheathing has been replaced,
it's time to cut out for ridge vent. A tape measure, and chalk line assures
not too big of cut, and also a straight cut. The deck should be broom swept,
and some even use a leaf blower afterwards. Do not let them cover up
granules, shingle pieces, loose nails and such.
Drip edge should be installed on the eave edge first, then the water shield
over it. If I was in a hurricane location, I would do what Rico suggests,
and cover the entire surface with water shield. After all underlayment is
installed, then the rake drip edge gets installed.
Shingles should overhang the eave drip by at least 1/2", I like to see 3/4"
overhang along the entire perimeter. Do not let them install flush with the
drip edge. A few seconds of time, several chalk lines can be marked off for
reference points. They are also tricks of the trade like running a 7" wide
shingle piece up the rakes, with tar line up & out, they can cut the
shingles individually, or let overhang and chalk a line back to the piece
hanging over 3/4". Make sure use the proper length fasteners, some use 1",
they must use at least 1-1/4" length or what the manufacturer or your
building code recommends. I would also have them run a bead of adhesive like
gfretwell suggests on the starter strip. Do not let them flip a shingle
upside down for the starter. The starter should be a 7" piece (if standard
and not metric), with the tar line up and out. If they put the starter down
incorrect, there's nothing holding the first course of shingle down from
flapping in the wind. I would also have them run a bead down the rake drip
edge, to assure wind will not lift the edges.
Around penetrations, there should be sealant under the shingles which go
over the flashing. Same goes for step flashing.
There's a ton of stuff I could add, but it already looks like I'm writing a
book. I better call it quits for now.
Oh, one more thing. If using a dimensional/architectural shingle, I believe
every manufacturer sells the accessory cap, some like to cut corners and buy
a regular shingle and cut for cap. You can always tell those that do.
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