The More You Know About Your Roof, the Better We Look!

Camelot_II_Shakewood_HouseDaBella Exteriors® is committed to educating our customers about their roofs so they can make more informed decisions. Here are the questions we answer most often.

Q: What are the major components of a roofing system?
A: A roof is not one piece, but consists of many parts that must work together to protect your home.

  • Roof Deck – This is the flat panels (usually construction-grade plywood) that are attached to the rafters of your home and form the base layer of the roof itself.
  • Underlayment – Specially made felt paper or rubber membrane is installed on all exposed roof decking. There have been technological advances that have upgraded this component resulting in greater strength and breathability, which prolongs the service life of the plywood decking.
  • Ice and water shield – This component is critical for watertight integrity in critical roofing areas, usually along the roof’s edge. The leak barrier is installed a minimum of 6 feet up your roofline from the edge of the roof at gutter/eaves (which is code), down valleys (where two roofing planes intersect), around the chimney, at the intersection of a roof plane and a vertical wall, and around any penetration through the roofline (soil stacks, vents, fans, skylights, etc).
  • Starter strips – The starter strip is installed along all edges of your roofline to prevent wind and water intrusion under shingles.
  • Shingles – These can be asphalt (the most popular choice), fiberglass, tile, wood or slate. They are arrayed in overlapping rows that cause water and snowmelt to flow off them due to the roof’s slope.
  • Flashing – Flashing is metal or copper that is placed around vent pipes, chimneys or other protrusions to prevent water from leaking through a gap between the object and the roof. Flashing is also used in high volume flow areas like valleys and joints.
  • Ventilation – A critical element of a roofing system, proper ventilation provides longevity to your wood decking and every other roofing component. When properly designed, placed, and installed, ventilation also helps to prevent ice dams from forming by balancing the temperature of the roof’s interior and exterior surfaces.
  • Shingle cap – This special shingle is manufactured specifically to cover the peaks of your roof, enhancing the roof’s look and preventing leaks at the peak.

Q: How long should a roof last?
A: That depends on the type of material used and how well the roof is installed. Some slate roofs have been known to still be in use after centuries! Asphalt shingles, the most popular roofing material, can last anywhere from 15 to 50 years, depending on the thickness and quality of the shingle. In general you can expect to replace your roof every 30 years.

Q: My roof is steeply peaked. Does that pose a problem?
A: Not for an experienced professional roofing company. In Portland many roofs are peaked to allow then to shed snow and ice. A steep slope requires more care during installation, and the pattern of shingles must be adjusted. Otherwise, no problem!

Q: Does my new roof come with a warranty?
A: That depends on who installed the roof and the materials used. Almost every legitimate roofing materials manufacturer will provide a product warranty against manufacturing defects. But most will only honor the warranty if the roof is installed by a licensed contractor that has been certified by the manufacturer. They want to be sure the installation process is done correctly and does not damage the shingles. No certification? No warranty! Be sure you get written assurances of any warrant protection before signing a contract for your new roof.

Q: Does a roofing company have to carry special insurance?
A: A great question! Every roofing contractor should carry both liability insurance and workers’ compensation coverage. You should ask to see current “proof of insurance” documentation before allowing a roofer to work on your home. Don’t rely on photocopies that may or may not be out-of-date. If an uninsured (or under-insured) roofer causes damage to your home, or if one of the workers is injured, you may be held liable under your homeowners policy.

Q: Aren’t all shingles more or less the same? Why pay extra for a name brand?
A: Shingles are definitely not the same. They can vary widely in the quality of the materials used, thickness and depth, number of granules per square inch, and consistency from one shingle to the next. Paying a little extra now can earn you much more reliable protection and many more years of service from your roof.

Q: Do I need gutters?
A: Gutters and downspouts are essential parts of a complete roofing system. Gutters capture rainwater and snow melt, then direct it away from your home’s foundation. Without gutters water will puddle along the sides of your home, seeping down into the ground to weaken the foundation.

Q: All roofing contractors look and sound alike to me. What’s the best way to tell which one will do the best job?
A: You are probably going to spend a significant amount of money on your roof, so do your homework! Check credentials, ask about insurance coverage, make sure the roofer is certified by the manufacturers they install, get a written estimate and schedule. Most important: Ask for references and check them out. Call previous customers to ask about their experience with the roofing contractor. Most people are happy to truthfully share their knowledge.

Get a Free Written Estimate for a New Roof in Portland.

Contact us today for more information and a free in-home consultation and written estimate on repairing or replacing your roof in Portland or Beaverton.