Roof Replacements: Frequently Asked Questions

Should I get a shingle layover?

A roof layover, or shingling on top of your existing roof, is not the best option in general. It shortens the life of the new roof and it limits the warranty on the shingles given by the manufacturer, CertainTeed. When you put shingles on top of the older shingles, any hidden roof rot will remain hidden. It will not be fixed like it would be when the whole roof is replaced. Two layers of roof can cause problems with ventilation. Because of these issues, many roofing manufacturers cannot warranty their shingle material on layovers as long as they would on a tear-off.

Do I have storm damage / should I submit this to insurance? 

Ultimately your insurance company decides if you have storm damage but it’s always a good idea to have a local roofing contractor come take a look before you call your insurance. Some roof repairs will be less than or close to your deductible and will not be worth filing a claim with your insurance.

What’s the difference between the Landmark and Landmark Pro Shingle? 

There are two big differences between these shingles lines. The first is the Landmark has a 10 year warranty against algae and the Landmark Pro has a 15 year warranty against algae. If you have mature trees around your home; it might be a good idea to select the Landmark Pro as your shingle for your roof replacement. The second difference is physical weight. Landmark Pro is a slightly heavier shingle than the Landmark.

Are my shingles 50 year shingles?

All shingles are now labeled as limited lifetime shingles as opposed to 20 year, 30 year, or 50 year shingles. Most asphalt shingle roofs will last between 20 to 25 years.

Why are you switching my box vents to ridge vent? 

Box vents are being replaced with ridge vent because ridge vent gives a more effective ventilation for the overall roof. The ridge vent gives a cleaner look for the overall appearance of the roof.

Is ridge vent included in my roof estimate?

Yes – almost every roof replacement estimate Carlson Exteriors provides will include ridge vent. Take a look at your roof estimate and if it states “shingle over ridge vent” that means ridge vent. If your home does not have enough ridge line, box vents will be used and will be listed on your estimate.

New ridge and ridge vent was installed on a house that had damaged ridge vent

Will you put starter in the rakes and eaves? 

Carlson Exteriors puts starter in the rakes and eaves of all roof replacements per shingle manufacturer requirements.

Why are you using synthetic felt instead of real felt? 

Synthetic felt is stronger and more durable than 15 lb or 30 lb asphalt saturated felt. It doesn’t tear as easily and will withstand all elements better if it’s exposed.

What if I have bad sheeting? 

If you have buckled or rotted sheeting, it will need replaced during the roof replacement. It’s impossible to tell the exact amount of wood that will need to be replaced until the shingles have been removed.

How far up do you install ice and water barrier? 

Per city code, ice and water barrier is required to be applied two feet inside living space. If you have larger overhangs, you will have more ice and water than if you have standard over hangs.

Roof installation in progress showing proper installation and placement of ice and water barrier, synthtic felt, and architectural shingles
Roof installation in progress showing proper installation and placement of ice and water barrier, synthtic felt, and architectural shingles

Do you offer financing plans or payment plans? 

Carlson Exteriors does not offer financing or payment plans. It is best to call your bank and talk loan options with them.

How do I see roof colors for my new roof?

There are few options to look at roof colors. We have sample shingle boards (1′ x1′ size) we can drop off at your home. You can compare how different roof colors look with your siding, brick or stone. We can give you addresses of roofs in certain colors for you to drive by and look at. You can give us addresses of roofs you like the color of and we can let you know what color that is. You can explore online through our website or Certainteed’s website. If you explore CertainTeed’s website be sure to enter your zip code so you can see colors available in your region.

Are light color roofs better for heating and cooling? 

The difference between light and dark colors roofs are very minimal when it comes to heating and cooling. We recommend picking a roof color that coordinates with your home because there will be no noticeable difference in your utility bills.

What is included in my roof warranty? 

CertainTeed 4 star warranty is a 50 year non pro-rated warranty that protects you agains shingle defects or premature aging (excessive granule loss, cracking, splitting, or curling shingles). Carlson Exteriors provides a 3 year labor warranty with every roof replacement. If you want to upgrade to the 5 star warranty with provides a 25 year warranty on workmanship or protects you against installer error.

Need Design Ideas?

If you are building new or remodeling your current house, it can be a daunting task to pick out the selections. The small samples can make it hard to envision the final product. While not exact, we have a few different programs we can offer as a service to you. If you are happy with our current stock of prints or houses we can use that to generate a rendering of your home. If you wish to see your exact home we can upload that.

See More here about our Hover Design Service with your own home.

The Importance of Kick-out Flashing

Spring showers bring leaky gutters- Wait no, that’s not right! We’ve recently had a fair amount of homeowners call because they are tired of leaking gutters. It’s usually the lack of kick out flashing which gives the appearance of a leaky gutter but often has hidden disasters associated with it.

 

What is a kickout flashing?

A Kick out flashing is a tiny but valuable piece of metal that diverts water into the gutter. It’s installed along the wall that the gutter end terminates into. The image below shows a correct kickoff flashing. It’s important to make sure the kickout overhangs a decent amount into the gutter to ensure no water runs along the side wall behind the gutter endcap.

kickout-flashing
Proper Kickout Flashing

Why is a kickout flashing necessary?

Kick out flashings are needed to direct water into the gutter- in these specific areas, siding is often times notched to fit around the roof section and has the possibility of letting water slip behind the siding and run down the interior wall. Beyond the obvious trouble of improper water control, if your house doesn’t have any housewrap or housewrap failure, the sheeting underneath will often be moldy or rotting without a proper kickout flashing.

Bad Kickout Flashing
Kickout flashing is too short- Water is still likely to run against wall

The images below are of a home in Bloomington, IL that had a powerful combo of the housewrap installed incorrectly and no kickout flashing. Every place the gutter butted up against a side wall, the OSB underneath was completely rotted- our Carlson Exteriors guy was able to push his hand through the OSB easily.

 

Watch this video of to see how easily a kickoff flashing is installed!

 

EnviroDri vs. House Wrap

Enviro Dri water barrier

You may or may not have noticed a few new construction homes in your city that get this black coating instead of any house wrap paper products. The black coating is an exciting, newer product called EnviroDri; we believe EnviroDri is more efficient in function and cost savings than any other type of house wrap. This product streamlines the construction process and eliminates any worry a potential homeowner might have about any leaks or energy efficiency.

Enviro Dri water barrier
Enviro Dri water barrier

Homes need to have some sort of water resistive barrier over the sheeting to prevent water from entering the house from the outside but breathable for moisture to escape from the inside of the home. Typically, house wrap was been used as this water-resistive barrier; it is taped onto the home in large paper sheets. Any place the house sheeting meets another piece of sheeting the seam should be taped then the wrapping should be layered to provide protection as the house settles with age. Since the wrapping is put up in large sections, it’s common practice to add staples through each section to prevent the wind catching the paper and ripping it before the siding can be installed over it. As you can imagine already there are a few possibilities where this form of house wrap can fail. Any place the paper has been mechanically fastened (stapled) on to the home is at risk for a leak since the barrier has been penetrated. This is a very low risk, but, still a possibility. Depending on how fast your home is built, there could be a good span of time where your house sits with only house wrap on it while it waits for the siding or brick install; strong winds or storms can pull this house wrapping off or tamper the seals if not installed properly. While it is in the manufacturer’s installation instructions to overlap over sheeting seams, the installer might not follow this in efforts to cut their own material costs. Let’s say everything was installed properly and you been living in your home for a few years without any leaks or problems but a storm comes and blows off some siding. Your house wrap in that section is now exposed and if the storms or strong winds continue, the house wrap could become shredded in the exposure.

EnviroDri is a water resistant membrane that is sprayed onto your home after it’s been sheeted. The membrane and the wooden underlayment function as one unit once the membrane is cured. All seams have a water resistive “mesh” applied over and then sprayed again by the EnviroDri membrane. The mesh flexes with the seams the house settles, effectively protecting it throughout the shifting. Since EnviroDri is sprayed on there won’t be any mechanical fasteners piercing the barrier, so absolutely no risk of leaks due to that. Since the membrane is adhered to the sheeting, if your siding blows off your house is still protected from any storms or high winds.

EnviroDri is more energy efficient than any other form of house wrap. It’s more efficient because it’s a tighter protection than any form of house wrap because there is no space between the sheeting and the barrier. This allows you to go from a a 2×6 wall with R-19 insulation to a 2×4 wall with a R-13 insulation and still see energy improvements. The attic insulation can also go from a R-50 to an R-30. All of this saves money on materials and energy in the long run.

Learn More Here

Why wouldn’t you want your house EnviroDri’d?

Fall Home-Exterior Maintenance Checklist

Fall is right around the corner! Before you get swept away in fall festivities it’s good to make sure your home is ready for fall/winter. The following is a list of maintenance tasks and to-do’s for your home while it’s still nice outside.

Get In The Attic

  • Look for any leaks, wet spots, or watermarks. Catching any problems before winter hits helps avoid any serious damage and helps keep utility costs down

Get On Your Roof

  • Sweep debris and leaves off your roof
  • Look for any missing, loose, and damaged shingles
  • Inspect flashing and caulking to make sure everything is watertight

Garage Door

  • Wash your garage door and windows, inside and out
  • Brush out debris in overhead garage door tracks
  • Lightly lube hinges, springs with engine oil, run door up and down a few times to evenly disperse oil

Siding

  • Powerwash all dirt and grime off your siding
  • Inspect for any damage or loose panels

Gutters

  • Clean gutters and make sure the water flow is still pitched accurately
  • Make sure all spouts are free of blockage

Dryvit- Friend or Foe?

What is Dryvit? Dryvit is most frequently referred to as stucco looking material by homeowners but is actually a composite material that was designed to be insulated and water resistant, while maintaining a “beautiful” exterior appearance. The use of this material in the U.S. started in the 1960’s but boomed in the 70’s. The promise of a water resistant decorative insulation made it a popular exterior choice. Why wouldn’t it?

Like most specialized products, Dryvit only works if installed properly. Dryvit is similar to brick’s installation where there needs to be a gap between your sheeting (underlayment) and the Dryvit to allow the moisture to dry without being up against the wood. Knowledgeable installers could not keep up with the high demand of Dryvit in the 70’s , so unqualified installers stepped in. The majority of those jobs were installed wrong, the Dryvit soaks up the water and retains it against the wooden underlayment, allowing it to rot and get moldy. There is no way to tell the condition of the underlayment without removing the Dryvit- many homeowners are living with severe rot and damage without being aware of it.

We were recently hired on to replace a homeowner’s dryvit exterior with a vinyl product because the homeowner was tired of the “dated look” the dryvit gave their home. When we tore off the Dryvit we found out it was not installed properly and a majority of the underlayment had to be replaced. In the photos, you can see all the black mold on the wood and in some cases the wood no longer exists from years of rotting away.

Dryvit Rotted Wood Dryvit Rotted Wood Dryvit Rotted Wood Dryvit Rotted Wood Dryvit Rotted Wood Dryvit Rotted Wood Dryvit Rotted Wood

Leaking Roof? Could Be an Easy Fix

Have you noticed a wet or tea-stained ceiling? It could be from a bad or old pipe flashings. The usual life span of a pipe flashing is 10-15 years but depends on your region’s weather conditions. If you keep an eye on all of your pipe flashings it could save you hundreds of dollars repairing any interior damage that can occur from a leak. Look for any signs of extreme age, deterioration, or cracking. Watch the video to see how easy it is to replace your own pipe flashing!

 

Should I Be My Own General Contractor? Part 1

Before and after

With the DIY spirit trending, many homeowners looking to build their own home ask themselves this question, “Can I be my own General Contractor?” The following blog is the first part of a blog series that answers this question, gives advice on the next steps once you’ve decided, and what to expect along the way.

Do you have what it takes? A General Contractor (GC) is well organized, pays attention to details, and can swing with the punches. These core traits make up what it takes to be a GC; a homeowner does not have to be well versed in the construction industry (although that helps) to feel capable of being your own GC. It no longer becomes a question of, “Can I?” but “Should I?”

What motivates homeowners to want to be their own general contractor? Most people are attracted to the cost savings, but other reasons are the satisfaction (and bragging rights) of building your own home and feeling like you are in control during each stage. Although most people want to be GC just for the cost savings, in the end, homeowners usually spend as much as if they hired one because of unforeseen issues. If you are one of the lucky few that actually saved money by being the general contractor, you have to factor in all the time you spent. If you want to be your own GC solely to save the 10-20% cost, it might not be a good idea. Remember time= money.

A lot of people don’t realize how extensive the whole process is; it’s a full time job finding multiple, quality subs to give estimates on everything from the plumbing to the gutters. General Contractors who have been doing this for many years already know who they like to subcontract work out to and can often receive a quicker turn around on estimates than homeowners can; this is because GCs already have a standing relationship with these subs.

General Contractors are also in charge of pulling all the permits and scheduling inspections. As a homeowner you might not be familiar with the “red tape hang-ups” or get pushed to the back of the line since others aren’t used to working with you. Don’t be offended, this is just part of being your own GC in the construction realm; people like to expedite who they already know can do the job successfully and punctually.

It’s a good rule of thumb to not be a first time General Contractor if you have not orchestrated a smaller scale remodel. Completely restructuring a kitchen (moving plumbing, redoing cabinets, new lighting, etc.) is a good sample of what it ‘s like being a GC. You will get a taste of applying for permits, getting and picking estimates, scheduling your subcontractors, and the inspection process. Once you have done this, and are still eager to be your own GC, do it! If you feel overwhelmed and exhausted, hire a professional General Contractor.

Part 2: Advice on being your own General Contractor.