Common Roofing Questions
Question: I did some repairs to my roof and noticed there is no roofing felt under them. Is this the correct way to install shingles?
Answer: No, it is not. Unless it’s an overlay (recover), there should be felt underlayment separating the roofing materials and the deck. Many home builders install roofs this way so that they can save money. It is frowned upon by the National Roofing Contractor’s Association, the Asphalt Roofing Manufacturer’s Assocation, and any roofer with integrity.
Underlayment provides a vapor barrier between the roof deck and the shingles, is a secondary waterproofing element of the roof, and prevents the wood deck from leaching oils from the asphalt shingles.
If you want some installation instructions proving that it’s required, visit the following pages of three popular material manufacturers. You need Adobe Acrobat Viewer to view the files.
Question: How much longer will a metal roof last than common roofing like asphalt or wood shingle?
Answer: You can expect a metal roof to last at least 2 to 3 times longer than a regular roof. In general terms, count on a metal roof lasting 40 to 60 years and beyond.
To put it in context, the average life span of an asphalt roof is 12 to 20 years. That lifespan can be shorter depending on the pitch of your roof and the climate in your area. Made of oil impregnated paper or fiberglass, asphalt begins to deteriorate as soon as you expose it to normal weather. A metal roof, however, will never decompose.
Other roofing materials like wood shingle, shake and tile have varying degrees of weather-related problems that lead to breakdown. Wood shingle and shake roofs often need replacement before twenty years. Concrete tile roofs can crack and warp in the freeze/thaw cycle of more northern climates.
All of the above roofing materials are well-outlasted by metal roofing, which retains its good looks and durability decade after decade after decade.
Question: How often should I have my gutters cleaned?
Answer: You should clean them at least twice a year. If you have many trees in the area of your home you should clean them 3 to 4 times a year.
Question: Why does a roof need ventilation?
Answer: Ventilation helps remove the heat that builds up during the summer months and helps reduce moisture buildup under your roof. This helps your roof and shingles last longer by preventing the rooting of the wood and curling or distortion of your shingles.