Asphalt Architectural Shingles / Why They Are The Roofing Industry “Work Horse”

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Most of us know what an asphalt shingle roof is. It is an asphalt steep slope residential and commercial roof covering. You see them on most homes and on many commercial buildings. They have always been popular because they are cost effective, perform well, and they last 20 plus years. Because of these reasons they are right now the steep slope roof work horse. In other words, they are driving the market in Hampton Roads and The Outer Banks of North Carolina.

I am talking about architectural or “dimensional ” asphalt shingles. The price gap has closed much between them and 3 – tab shingles , which are a lesser product in every way so architectural shingles are really coming on strong. In fact , we don’t do nearly as many 3 – tab shingle roofs as we used to. The architectural shingle looks better, performs better, lasts longer, is heavier, and has a much higher wind warranty.

We prefer CertainTeed Landmark architectural shingles. They have a limited life time warranty.See photo. Andrews Roofing is a Certainteed “Select Shingle Master” contactor which is their highest designation. Because we install these shingles as per CertainTeed specifications and building code, they come with a 130 mile per hour wind warranty from CertainTeed! They honor it too. In Hurricane Irene in 2011, we lost 2 shingles off a house in Rodanthe , North Carolina and CT paid us to fix it. We had installed the roof 2 years earlier. I have the CertainTeed Landmark architectural shingle on my home and I own a roofing company!

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Please contact me with questions or comments.
Thanks, Robert Andrews

Quality Roof Installation and Roof Repairs: Picking the Right Roofer or Roofing Contractor

There are all types of roofing and several manufacturers make them. The different main types of roofs are flat roofs, low slope roofs, and steep roofs.

An example to use here is steep roofing material. Asphalt shingles are a practical and cost effective way to roof a building, house, business or church that has a 4/12 pitch and goes up to almost a vertical slope. Asphalt shingles are made by 4 or 5 major manufacturers that I am familiar with. We like CertainTeed the best because of many reasons, but the other 3 or 4 guys’ products are at least acceptable as well. The point is that you do not have many manufacturers of asphalt shingles to choose from, but you do have MANY roofing contractors or roofers or roofing companies to choose from just in your local area. These roofers are all over the chart as far as quality installation is concerned. One can install a shingle roof incorrectly that has to be replaced because of roof leaks or other problems in as little a time as a month. Yes, this is true. We are expert witnesses in cases like this. But the big surprise is that a roof can be installed “good enough” and perform for 10 years or be installed very well and last 30 plus years. This is for real.

A good roofer has been doing it for a while of course, but he also must know what the manufacturer says about installing their product.  Conventional roofing industry wisdom is good but we must follow manufacturer specifications to make the roof its best and to make warranties count. A manufacturer in most cases is not responsible for the quality of the installation. They won’t stand behind it if it is not on right.

You do not want to be stuck with no warranty left after a few years because your roof wasn’t installed just right. The shingle makers spend big $ on engineering designs and testing to make sure their product stands up to elements such as wind, rain, and beating sun.

Think about it – that roof is the building’s first defense against these forces and it must do well for a long time. If they build that shingle, they know how to put it on for best performance and duration of service. Ex. Put the proper # of roofing nails in the proper spots. Use the right galvanized roofing nail and it must be the designated length. Do not drive the nail crooked or too deep and damage the shingle. These are just a few items to know about just the nails. This is the “tip of the iceberg.”

Trust me and take time to pick the roofer who will install a roof SYSTEM – not just a roof. The roofing crew needs real  roof mechanics, quality supervision, and a thorough post job inspection. The inspection should be done by a manager of some sort, preferably one who doesn’t work on the crew. He must get on the roof and look it over closely before you pay. Here are pointers for getting the right man for the job. He must be….

1. licensed and insured
2. certified by the manufacturer
3. in business [same entity] for a while
4. able to provide references of people with roofs like yours
5. able to give you addresses of buildings he has installed roofs on like yours
6. not the lowest price by too much,especially REALLY low
7. not financially challenged , if he is he may not be able to finish
the job or honor the labor warranty down the road
8. in possession of good equipment [ride by an ongoing job to see]

I could continue but I have probably said enough for now .  I am very
grateful that you read this.
Please contact me for guidance if you need it.
I really like this roofing stuff.

Robert Andrews, II, President                                                        robert@andrewsroofing.com/757-286-7400

Your Home Is Not A Submarine

I have said it before; Your home is not a submarine…and even subs leak!

Fiberglass – asphalt and other types of roof shingles, such as tiles, shakes, slate, are not water proof. They are designed to shed water on a pitched or sloped surface. The steeper the better. Steeper surfaces shed water faster and dry faster.

You can’t put shingles on a pitch lower than 2 in 12″[roof rises 2″ in 12″] . We do not recommend it on slopes below a 4-12 pitch without special conditions. Roofs lower than a 2-12 need a roof system designed for “low slope roofs.” These are single – ply membrane roofs such as TPO , E.P.D.M. , P.V.C. , or modified bitumen . And just because shingles are on it now does not mean you should replace that roof area with the same thing. Even if it doesn’t leak now , it may in the future.

No responsible roofer would use the wrong type of material. A good roofer looks at every roof on a case by case basis. For example: A low pitch or low slope roof in a heavily populated suburban area not near large open spaces of land or water is not the same as one facing north on the river in Hampton Roads, Virginia cities such as Portsmouth, Norfolk, Virginia Beach, Chesapeake, Suffolk, Smithfield, York Town ,Hampton, or Newport News.

I might nail a shingle roof on a 3-12 pitch on the first roof described above, but not on the second. On the second I might recommend a low slope roof system or maybe install ice and water shield under the shingles in case wind driven rain forces itself in. And I might even use stainless steel roof nails so they won’t rust out by being wet too often for too long. #15 or #30 lb double layer asphalt saturated felt paper or “tar paper” roof underlayment might be an option as well.

Our roofers have been doing at this for a while so we have the ability to consult with you in these matters. We have seen all kinds of roof leaks and all kinds of roofs leak! We also listen to what the manufacturers say about how and where to install their roofing products . We are always sure to meet building codes.

We recommend the use of CertainTeed Landmark and other models of shingles made by CT because of their #1 rank on consumer reports and because of our experience over the years using all name brands. We took years to pick the horse we would race so you don’t have to worry about it!

So please remember: No matter how good the roofing material is, it must be installed in the right place and in the right manner to perform and do so for a long time. Ask the roofer and find out how much he knows before you hire him. The right decision in picking a roofing contractor or company is very important.

Thanks for reading!

Robert Andrews ll, President Andrews Roofing                                                                           757 Mount Vernon Ave, Portsmouth, VA 23707                                                                     757-286-7400  I  robert@andrewsroofing.com