Q. How much does a new roof cost?
A. There is no definitive answer. Before an estimate can be made, considerations include type of materials, measurements, and the pitch of the roof. You may only need a repair to your existing roof.
Q. How do I know if I need a new roof?
A. Roofs usually last 20 to 30 years, unless special materials and installation techniques were used. Replacement is usually indicated if shingles are blistered, torn missing and/or splitting. If the roof is leaking, it may only need a repair to a specific area of the roof.
Q. I just had construction done and want to install the roof underlayment. What if it rains on this material?
A. This won’t matter as long as you install shingles in the very near future. If you are using standard tar paper and it gets rained on, you will notice some buckle.
Q. What is gravel stop and metal edge strip? What is its function?
A. The primary function of gravel stops and metal roof edge strips is to close off the edges of the roof to prevent wind damage or blow-offs. Another important function of gravel stops is to prevent the loss of aggregate surfacing near the edge of the roof.
The principal problems with gravel stops and metal edge strips are leakage through open or broken joints between metal pieces, and splitting of the stripping felts at metal edges. For these reasons, gravel stops and metals edge strips should be raised out the water line whenever possible by using raised wood nailers and tapered edge strips. The use of interior drainage is preferred. However, where water must drain over the metal edge, scupper cutouts are preferable to continuous edge drainage.
Q. What is the best type of roof? Which is longer lasting?
A. The best type of roof is dependent on your home or building and your needs. Please see the information on our roofing materials page.
Q. I would like to change the color of the roof. Will changing the color to a brown have any difference for heat absorbency?
A. This depends on how well the roof is vented. Darker shingles help keep the house warmer in the winter (but are warmer in summer). The white/gray are called frost, the light tan are called autumn. There is not very much difference in the absorbency rate between the two. For more information on energy efficient roofs, see our Saving Energy/Saving Money page.
Q. What are the problems with rooftop equipment, signs, braces and supports?
A. The rooftop is used as a platform for all types of mechanical equipment, ladder struts, antennas, flag poles, signs, bracing, etc. These items should not be placed on the rooftop except when absolutely necessary. They should never be mounted or placed directly to the top of the roof membrane, as leaks beneath or adjacent to the supports for this equipment are impossible to repair. They should be mounted to a support structure or to raised curb-type supports. Flat flange or curb flashings can then be used to keep the roof watertight, and roof replacement and recovering can be done without disturbing or removing the equipment. Pitch pans should not be used to keep supports watertight, and should be avoided where possible.
YOUR ROOF AND THE WEATHER
Q. How does the weather affect my roof?
A. All roofing materials deteriorate from exposure at rates determined largely by the kind of material and the conditions of exposure. Inorganic roofing materials tend to deteriorate less rapidly from exposure than organic roofing materials. All types of roofing materials may be damaged by hail. Exposure to air pollutants and industrial or salt-laden atmospheres may accelerate the deterioration process of some roofing materials. The sun’s light and heat also contribute to your roof’s deterioration.
Q. What about wind damage?
A. Roofing materials are subject to damage from strong winds and flying debris. Most roofs are not designed to withstand winds of high intensity. Roofs may also be damaged by winds of moderate strength, with gusts that reach 50 to 75 miles per hour. The primary cause of wind damage is from the partial vacuum created by wind blowing over the edge of the roof. Nature tries to neutralize the low-pressure area by bringing in air from a higher pressure area, possibly from inside the building. This air pushes up on the bottom side of a roof and loosens fasteners and breaks the adhesion, making the roof susceptible to damage from the next moderate or strong wind. To counteract these effects, roofing and insulation should be adequately fastened to the roof deck and a secured perimeter detail should be provided.
Q. I have not done any maintenance on my roof. When should this be done?
A. The failure to find and correct minor roof deterioration in the earliest stages is probably the greatest cause of premature roof problems. This is particularly true of roofing materials applied on relatively low-sloped roofs. Roofs should be inspected annually and maintained or repaired as soon as issues are identified.
Q. I noticed a bulge in my roof, what is the cause of this?
A. It is possible the decking was not nailed off during construction. Call GARVEY ROOFING INC. at (626) 358-9208 for a FREE INSPECTION.
Q. My drains are not functioning properly. What could be the problem?
A. A roof’s drainage system includes the gutters, leaders, drain openings and scuppers, as well as the slope provided by the structural deck, tapered insulation crickets and sumps. The primary function of the drainage systems is to prevent the retention of water on the roof by removing water from the roof as quickly as possible. Every roof, including so-called “dead-level” roofs, must have some provision for drainage. It is important that the drainage system be kept free from debris that might interfere with the proper flow of surface water.
Many roof problems can be traced directly to inadequately designed or improperly installed drainage systems. This problem could be the result of use of only one drain; the failure to install overflow scuppers in parapet walls; the placement of drains next to support columns instead of at points of maximum deflection; loose or missing drain clamping rings. Ponded water is the principal indication of inadequate drainage, and may indicate the presence of structural defects.
FAULTY ROOF DESIGN
Q. I have been told I have a faulty roof design. What do I do to fix it?
A. This may be costly to correct, usually this requires a roof replacement. Troublesome and costly roofing problems are often the result of a faulty initial design of the roof system. Some causes of a faulty roof design are:
• A weak roof structures that deflects excessively under load, causing splitting of the roof membrane.
• Inadequate roof slope, sagging roof structure, insufficient number drains or poor drain location resulting in ponding water.
• Inadequate provision for expansion and contraction at changes in roof deck material or direction, causing membrane splits.
• Incompatible roof materials. As an example, the use of asphalt to adhere a torch-on material.
Q. What is an emergency repair?
A. Emergency repairs may be required after severe weather because leakage into a home or building usually becomes obvious at that time. It is not advisable to attempt roof repairs until the severe weather has passed, or when there is suspect damage to the roofing assembly, because storm damage may have left the roof in a hazardous condition.
These repairs should be considered temporary. Permanent repairs should be made by a professional roofing contractor as soon as weather permits.
Q. What is a leak repair procedure until the roofing professional arrives?
• Protect the interior: Control the spread of water in the interior by collecting the water in containers or by using plastic sheeting to protect the building (in order to avoid further damage, do not cover roof vents!).
• Remove excess water from the roof: Check roof drains and scuppers to be certain that they are open and functional. A frequent cause of roof leakage and roof collapse is ponding on the roof surface due to clogged drains and/or scuppers. Be careful of significant suction forces which could occur by draining water, which can suck tools, hands or other placed things within these vortices into the drain.
• Locate the source of a leak: In trying to determine the source of a leak, locate the point on the roof surface above the area of leakage in the building interior. Check the condition of the rooftop mechanical equipment, and then check flashings at the terminations and penetrations. If the system is ballasted, remove ballast from the immediate leak area, then check the membrane surface for cuts, splits or punctures. Also, check the seams in the roofing membrane.
• Perform emergency repairs: Once the leak is located, the materials and procedures which will cause the least amount of damage to the roof should be chosen.
Q. What are some types of emergency/temporary roofing repairs?
• Plastic roof cement: This is trowel-grade product. It is available in “rain patch” or “wet patch” grades. This is used after removing all the gravel or granules from the roofing surface. Do not use liquid or pourable repair products. They do not work as well and often only hinder roofing contractors attempt to locate the leak.
• Sealant and roof tape: This method of repair can be used on smooth surfaces. This sealant is done by cleaning the roof with alcohol or household cleaner. The next step is to apply a sealant.
• Duct Tape: This is only recommended for PVC systems and is temporary only.
Q. Why use flashing?
A. The function of flashing is to provide a watertight junction between roofing materials and roof projections or other parts of the structure as well as between roof sections. Flashings should be designed to furnish service for at least as long as the materials used in the field of the roof. Flashings are the most vulnerable part of any roof. The importance of maintaining them properly cannot be overemphasized.
Q. The flashing around my chimney was rusting and left a rust stain on my roof. How do I remove the stain without damaging the shingles?
A. Hide the discoloration with sparsely applied spray paint.
Q. How do I know if I have a flashing problem or roofing problem?
A. Many early roof problems are actually flashing problems. Repairing the flashings or providing new flashings is all that is needed to make the roof watertight again. Most flashing issues result from inadequate flashing design or faulty construction. Many flashing problems can be eliminated by careful examination by competent inspectors during roof installation.
Q. There is a leak around the flashing.
A. At times, leaks occur around flashings where there are no flashing defects. These leaks may be the result of open joints in a masonry wall or copping cap, which permit water to enter behind the flashings and into the building.
Q. What is base-flashing and what problems could develop?
A. Base flashing is the portion of flashing attached to or resting on the roof deck to direct the flow of water onto the roof covering.
Some common causes of problems are:
• Insufficient number of base-flashing plies
• Improper base-flashing height
• Insufficient protective coating, resulting in accelerated weather and deterioration
• Lapse of slanted strips, making the base flashing more susceptible to damage
• Open vertical end laps or seams caused by insufficient sealing
• Insufficient adhesion or movement between vertical surfaces and the roof deck, resulting in separation of base flashings from vertical surfaces
• Loose insulation, causing base flashings to separate from vertical surfaces
• Improper fastening of base flashings to walls or curbs, resulting in sagging or separation of the flashing from the vertical surface
• Deteriorating substrates, causing base flashings to separate from the surface, or permitting water to enter behind base flashings
Q. What is metal counter flashing and what are some of the problems that could develop?
A. Metal counter flashings protect the top of bituminous base flashings from water entry. The most common metal counter flashings problems are:
• Counter flashings located too high above the base flashing
• Metal deterioration caused by a lack or loss of protective coating
• Cracks and open joints between metal pieces
• The separation of counter flashings from vertical surfaces
• Reglets not being sealed
• Counter flashings not tightly fit to base flashings
Q. What is penetration flashing and what are the problems using it?
A. Penetrations through the built-up roof membrane are usually flashed in one of two ways. Individual pipes and small vents usually use flat, metal flange flashings that are placed directly on the last ply of roofing material and are stripped in with felts and mastic or felts and bitumen.
Larger penetrations and groups of smaller penetrations usually use curbs constructed of wood, metal or concrete, flashed with bituminous base flashing and metal counter flashings.
Common penetration flashing problems are:
• The failure to properly design the flashing for the penetration
• Open or broken seams in metal curbs caused by expansion and contraction
• Standing water behind penetration curbs caused by the problem of cricket
• Sagging or separating base flashings caused by omission of top wood nailers
• Missing or deteriorated counter flashing
• Splitting or separation of the felt stripping over the edge of metal flanges
• Improper priming and stripping of metal surfaces
• Fastener back out and separation of the metal flashing flange from the roof around penetration flashings
• Movement between stack vents or pipes and the flashing