Understanding the components of a quality roof is crucial for homeowners, especially when considering repairs or replacements. In this discussion, we delve into the elements that constitute a quality roof and the practices that ensure customers receive a solid manufacturer warranty.
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The Foundation: OSB Decking
The foundation of any quality roof begins with the decking, specifically OSB (Oriented Strand Board) decking, which is 7/16th inch thick. A crucial step in roof replacement involves removing all existing shingles, old felts, valley metal, and replacing any damaged decking to ensure a solid base for the new roof.
Upgraded Underlayment: Synthetic vs. Traditional Felt
Traditionally, 15-pound felt (paper with tar) was used as underlayment, but it easily tears and becomes ineffective once wet. Modern roofing employs synthetic underlayment, which is far more durable and remains functional even when wet. This material not only extends the life of the roof but also provides safer footing for installers, particularly on steep roofs.
Ice and Water Shield: Preventing Leaks
Replacing old valley metal, the ice and water shield is a rubber, self-sealing membrane installed on the decking. It extends further than traditional materials (about 18 inches on each side of the valley) and seals around nails when heated, effectively preventing leaks around roof penetrations like chimneys or vents.
Drip Edge and Gutter Apron: Protecting from Water Damage
Code requirements now include the installation of drip edge and gutter apron. The drip edge is installed on all rakes (ascending and descending fascia) of the house, while the gutter apron is used at the eaves to close the builder’s gap. This distinction is crucial for effective water management and protection.
Starter Shingles: The First Line of Defense
A quality roof installation begins with a starter shingle, which is laid down before the main field shingles. Using true starter shingles, as opposed to cut and turned three-tab shingles, provides an additional bond and contributes to the roof’s wind rating.
Field Shingles: Durability and Efficiency
For the main shingles, products like Owens Corning Duration are recommended for their durability and efficiency. These shingles feature a patented SureNail strip, providing a visual guide for nail placement and ensuring the nails go through two layers of the shingle for maximum hold and longevity.
Ventilation: Balancing Air Flow
Proper ventilation is a key component of a quality roof. Roofing Done Right suggests replacing box vents with ridge vents for optimal air flow, using products like OC VentSure and Owens Corning Pro Edge for hips and ridges. This ensures balanced ventilation and prevents voiding manufacturer warranties.
Final Touches: High Temp Paint and UV Collars
Attention to detail includes using high-temperature paint on HVAC stacks to prevent rust and adding UV collars to pipe jack boots to prevent dry rot. These collars last 8-12 years and are designed to replace the boot without disturbing the shingles.
Nail Head Coverage: Ensuring Longevity
A unique practice in quality roofing involves covering exposed nail heads at the ridge or corner strips with cut shingle pieces instead of using caulk. This method extends the roof’s lifespan by protecting these vulnerable points.
A quality roof comprises several critical components, from the foundational OSB decking to the final touches of nail head coverage. Each element plays a vital role in ensuring the roof’s durability, efficiency, and longevity. As emphasized by Roofing Done Right, these practices not only meet but exceed industry standards, providing homeowners with peace of mind and roofs that stand the test of time.