FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s) about your roof . Please click on the question below for more details.

Do I need a new roof?
Sooner or later, every roof needs to be replaced. If it is old and worn, limited repairs won’t help. A roof tends to wear uniformly, and even the best roofing materials will eventually succumb to weathering.

The biggest enemies of roofing are the sun, wind, rain, hail (freeze thaw cycles) and seasonal temperature changes. Signs of a weathered roof are excessive loss of protective mineral granules and cracked, curled or missing shingles. Inspect the attic with a flashlight for signs of leaks. Check downspouts for signs of excessive granule loss. If a roof of standard shingles is more than 20 years old, it is a prime candidate for re-roofing.

Use binoculars to inspect the roof from the ground. Walking on the roof is not only dangerous, it may also damage the shingles.

How long should my roof last?
Most of today’s asphalt shingles are designed to provide satisfactory service for a period ranging from 20 to 30 years or longer. Asphalt shingles are typically referred to as a 20 year, 30 year, 40 year, etc. shingle. The number of years serves as more a general grade rating than a definite shingle lifetime.

Particularly in Canada and similar areas with high heat/humidity and cold/ice weather patterns, shingle life will most definitely be lower than the given rating. On the whole, though, a 30 year shingle will outlast a 20 year, as a 40 year would a 30 year, despite the region.

Poor ventilation also adversely affects shingle life, even to the point of some shingle manufacturers voiding the shingle warranty. Proper ventilation, both intake and exhaust, can help your roof more closely approach the rated life. Types of intake ventilation used in a roof include soffits and gable vents. Exhaust ventilation would include ridge vent, turbines, air hocks, and electric turtle vents. We can provide you with more information as well personalized recommendations concerning your home’s ventilation systems.

What maintenance does my roof require?
If you have chosen your new roof carefully, it should require only minimal maintenance. Nevertheless, here are a few suggestions:

  • Keep gutters, downspouts, and roof surfaces clear of fallen leaves, twigs and other litter so that water will drain freely and not back up.
  • Never allow water from a downspout to pour directly onto the roof below; keep trees trimmed to prevent scuffing of the roof by branches or damage by falling limbs. Keep climbing roses and vines trimmed back.
  • Don’t walk on roofing. It’s dangerous and can damage the shingles. When it is necessary for workmen to go on the roof, they should use ladders, scaffolding or other suitable protection.
  • When removing debris from the valley or roof area, be careful not to damage the roof with whatever tools are used.
  • The roof should be inspected once a year and any damage should be repaired as soon as possible.
What type of roof coverings are available for my roof?
A basic list of roof coverings available today includes asphalt shingles, roll roofing, concrete and ceramic tiles, slate, terne, wood shingles and shakes, aluminum shingles, built-up roofing, and single-ply systems.

Asphalt shingles are the most widely used roof covering for new home construction and remodeling. Used on four out of five U.S. homes, they are economical, durable and attractive.

The “standard” asphalt shingle is the square butt strip shingle, elongated in shape and available with one or three tabs. This product is made of a base mat of organic material (cellulose fibers) or inorganic material (glass fibers). Organic mat is saturated and coated with asphalt and then surfaced with ceramic-coated opaque mineral granules. The saturating process is not necessary for fiber glass-based asphalt shingles, which require only a coating asphalt. The coating asphalt provides for weatherproofing qualities. The mineral granules protect the shingles from the sun’s ultra-violet rays, and give the shingles color and added protection against fire.

A new generation of premier products three-dimensional, multi-layered asphalt shingles is particularly desirable for creating long-lasting roofs with dramatic bold textures and a distinctive appearance.

What colour shingle do I need?
The roof is the part of your home that most visitors see first. It can be the key to successful exterior design and appearance.

Asphalt shingles are available in a range of traditional and modern colors and styles, including the popular earthtone hues and the top-of-the-line three-dimensional designs.

In addition to making a home more attractive, a roof’s color can be used to create various visual effects. A white roof, for example, may be used on a contemporary house to create a sense of airiness or on a low-slung ranch home for a taller appearance. Dark colors help make an unusually tall or steep-roofed building seem less towering.

You also want to ensure that whatever color of shingle you choose matches your exterior color scheme. Contrasting colors can be used to accentuate your roof or complementary colors can be chosen to blend your roof into your home’s siding or brick.

To see a sampling of available shingle colors and styles, you can head over to our Shingle Guide.

How can I protect my roof?
Ice dams and strong winds can sometimes force water behind or underneath shingles. An ice dam can form quite easily on almost any roof which is subjected to snowfall. As heat from a home’s attic causes snow on the roof to melt, it runs down onto the eaves, which are much cooler since they are not affected by the attic’s heat. Water on the eaves re-freezes and builds up, forming an ice dam. Melted snow then pulls behind the ice dam, where it can seep beneath the shingles, through the roof deck and into the internal structure of the home, causing potentially serious damage. Of greater importance to residents in the Houston area, strong winds can lift sloped roof coverings such as shingles, allowing wind-driven rain to move in and penetrate an unprotected roof deck.

All-climate underlayment (also known as ice and water shield) creates a watertight seal that keeps water out of the most vulnerable, leak-prone areas of the roof at the eaves, in valleys, around chimneys and skylights, etc. and also seals around roofing nails to ensure a watertight surface. Think of it as a second roof. In fact, it could be the roof, though by itself it’s not very attractive.