Guest Blog: Choosing the right components for your new roofing system
Hello from beautiful Washington State. Chase Construction North West, Inc is privileged to share some helpful information that will help you select your roofing system components.
What should I include in my new roof system?
A new roofing system is a serious investment for any home owner. Special care and consideration should be taken when selecting the type of roofing system you install on your home. Many things can determine the system type you should use such as regional temperature, roof pitch, wind ratings and frequency of hail storms. Roofing manufacturers produce regional components to best protect your home from the type of weather in your geographic area.
One of the first components of a roofing system is the sheathing or roof deck. This is usually CDX plywood, OSB, skip sheathing or ship lap. It is imperative that the roof deck is a smooth surface. Irregularities in elevation or sudden pitch transitions can telegraph through the underlayment and shingles. This can affect the aesthetic appearance of the shingle and potentially crack or damage the shingle. If you are re-roofing a proper inspection of the roof deck should be made prior to installing the new roof system. Most roofing contractors will include a provision in the estimate/contract that gives a price (most commonly $45.00 per sheet) to replace rotted sheathing. The amount of rot can only be determined once the roofing has been torn-off.
The next components of your roofing system are roof flashings. Roof flashings are commonly 26 gauge painted steel and come in brown, black or white. Custom colors are available to color match your roof. Perimeter edge metal or eave and rake starter metal is critical to keep wind driven rain from rotting out the sheathing along the edge of your roof. Without these flashings rain pushed by a strong wind can wick back up under the shingle and get trapped between the shingles and sheathing. This will eventually lead to the deterioration of the sheathing. The rake or gable flashing comes with a drip edge flange that propels water away from the fascia board to prevent premature rot. Other important flashings that should be included in your roof system are step metal, back pan metal and roof to wall. These flashings are inserted into critical areas where the roof deck meets a wall, chimney skylight or other penetrations. Without proper flashing your rood will not be water tight and meet warranty standards.
Underlayment is another key component to your new roofing system. The most commonly used underlayments are 15 and 30 pound felt. Felt underlayment’s acts as a vapor barrier protecting the roof deck from harmful heat. Felt is an asphaltic based material and is the most economical of roof deck protection options. Other options for underlayments would be the new synthetic brands such as GAF Tigerpaw. These synthetics are designed to seal around penetrations. They are also breathable aiding in attic ventilation.
Leak barrier or ice and water shield is a rubberized or SBS modified asphalt sheet designed to be installed in the most critical leak areas of your home. Best practice places ice and water shield in all valleys, and around skylights and chimneys. It’s also very common to have leak barrier installed on all roof to wall/side wall, & pipe boot penetrations. In cold zones where temperatures commonly reach 25 degrees F leak barrier is required by building codes to be installed along the entire perimeter edge and 24” inside the warm wall. This helps to prevent ice damming or a build up of snow and ice around the perimeter edge.
The last component of your roofing system is the shingles. Due to technological advancement shingles are now very aesthetic and can add great architectural curb appeal and monetary value to your home. There are several manufacturers such as GAF, Owens Corning, and CertainTeed that produce great quality roofing shingles. Roofing shingles are broken down into 3 categories: Field shingles, starter shingles and hip and ridge shingles. Using factory made pre-cut shingles can add more character and definition to your roofing system. The most commonly used roofing shingles are known as architectural laminates or composition shingles. These shingles are multi-layered with a fiberglass matt, asphalt and special UV resistant granules. If you live in a hail zone region consider using an SBS rubberized shingle such as the Armourshield II which is designed to take the beating of the hail and keep your home protected.
The best way to find out what roofing system is best for your region is to consult with a licensed, bonded and insured roofing contractor from your area. You can find credentialed contractors by checking your local or other agencies like Angies List. Best wishes choosing your new roofing system.
This guest blog was written by Joshua Wilson of Chase Construction North West, Inc. We are certified as 1 of 15 GAF Master Elite Contractors in Washington State. We have been providing quality services as a roofing contractor in Renton, Washington for over 10 years.