This is the time of year where is all begins. Whoever had problems with their roof during this strange winter in Ottawa, Ontario should start to shop around and get different ideas from different roofing contractors.
If you’ve experienced a bad winter where the ice dams caused water damage to your home or office repairing the problem is always a quick fix and it can happen again. Right thing to do is to solving the problem from the root cause. If ice dams were an issue, that tells you there isn’t enough ice and water shield on your roof deck to protect your home or office from potential water damage, mold, rotten plywood or even worst. Repairs are easy to do and its a fast cash that’s how i see it. If the customer insists on repairing the problem instead, i will not disagree but i would confront the customer about the similar issues that may occur in the near future.
Age of the roof can be an issue also, after repairing the problem way too many times, even the repairs don’t work after a certain point. Make sure the company that is providing you the estimate gets on the roof and inspects the roof, measures the actual square footage. Anybody can “quesstimate” by looking at it from the ground. Make sure you get all the details in writing with all the product and warranty information. Ask questions if it is not clear. Always get 3 estimates and compare. Cheap does not mean quality. Expensive does not mean quality either. Look for the reasonable/fare price.
Last time i was here i blabbed about how to get on the roof safely and now we’ll talk about how to remove the existing roof and prep for the new roof that requires smooth and nail free deck.
When installing a new roof, capping the ridges are the last thing to do but since we are installing a new roof, we start removing the capping first. Pry all the roofing nails with RED ripper and remove all the caps. Hold on a second; did you tie yourself down? Gravity and height are very dangerous to mess with. Hook your lanyard to the rope-grab or some call it choker and adjust your rope length as you work. Normally i would rip 2 sheets at a time and make myself a pile to grab with my ripper and launch it in the trailer if trailer is just there. If not the wheel barrow has to make few trips. Once all the shingles are cleared off the roof, broom the dirt and dust of the deck as much as possible. Its time to check for any nails left behind and pry it all out. Check for any lose, bowed, spongy and rotten plywood and if any replace. Now we have a solid and clean roof deck to prep for the new roof.
Depending on the pitch of the roof we will determine how many feet of ice and water shield is needed. Are there any metal valleys? If there is any, i would install 3 feet of ice folded in to 1.5 from bottom of the valley to the top before the valley. Once the metal valleys are in and chalked lined 4 inches at the bottom and 2 inches at the top we will install 3 feet of ice and water shield on both sides of the valley to sandwich the metal for a life lasting seal. I always sandwich my valleys doesn’t matter what the pitch is. If this is a typical one story bungalow with 3/12 pitch, we need 9 feet of ice and water shield. If it was 6/12 slope six feet of ice and water shield would be more than enough but 3 or 4 twelve pitch needs to be sealed very carefully. Ice dams are more likely to back in to the house if this is a low slope home and there is not enough ice and water shield. It’s very easy to install. Overlap lines are printed on the roll. Drive 3 roofing nails and unroll the length you need and cut with a straight blade. Hook knife works too but you have to be quick. Align the ice&water with the drip-edge if there is any, if not install drip-edge. Peel the bottom film and stick, peel the top film and stick. Re-align if needed and nail the top line with hand nails. Repeat the same step any times as you like 3, 6 and 9 feet. Cover the rest of the exposed deck with #15 or #30 felt paper with hand nails or staples but i personally hand nail it. Once the entire roof is prepped it should be water tight.
Installing the shingles does take time but not as much as removal and prepping. I only install step at a time. I’ll build myself a staircase along the edge or a valley and work myself up. Some like to install it straight up but that would be incorrect. Manufacturer will void your warranty if it is not installed according to manufacturer guidelines. Every bundle has the installation details printed on the wrapper. If using an air gun be sure to adjust the debt of the nail. If nails are going thru the shingle, adjust the compressor and the gun for a smooth landing. Once nails are flush with the shingle than we are in business. 4 nails per shingle if it’s a 25 years 3-tap shingle, 5 to 6 nails per architectural high wind shingles.
When capping the ridges, use chalk line for a straight finish. Minimum 2 nails per cap. Caulk any exposed finishing nails, around the vents and plumber boots. Good clean up around the house will complete the projects.
There are many different ways of doing things but there is always and do’s and don’ts. When it comes to replacing a pitched roof there are many factors to take into consideration. Safety is always the number one issue when it comes to heights.
Before i walk you thru this there must be a check list for anyone who is willing do attempt a DIY project. First of all there are many hand tools that you’ll need to have prior to starting things like; a long extension ladder, rippers, roof jacks, planks, tool pouch, hook blade and knife, hammer, hatched, harness, rope, rope grab, 3 inch spikes/nails, measuring tape, knee pads, gloves, broom, tin snips, rake and a cooler full of drink. If using a air gun will need a compressor and long air hoses.
Lets get up there and secure ourselves. Extend the ladder 3 feet higher than the actual contact point where the ladder meets the roof. Be sure to place the ladder where its flat and grass is always preferred by me personally. If you ask why; i like to use the teeth on the ladders base and drive it right into the grass for a more stable ground so that the ladder will never move or shift. Once the needed height is reached, tie the ladder rope so that it will be the permanent setting. Always use 3 point contact when climbing a ladder. We made it on to the roof and now we must anchor ourselves. Use 3 inch spikes/nails and hammer your roof anchor to the peek of the roof on to the roof trusses. If nails are not catching anything solid, relocate your anchor. Be sure to drive at least two nails on each sides of the anchor. Hook your rope to your anchor, attach your rope grab to the rope (be sure to look at the proper direction on the rope grab), connect your lanyard to your harness and then connect the other end of your lanyard to the rope grab. Test the rope grab and make sure it locks when the needed weight is applied. We are safe and secure on the roof, its time to start working.
Horsing around on a high roof can be very dangerous for yourself and the others. If this is your first time roofing be sure to get someone experienced to help you.
It’s not the shingles that go bad every so often, it’s the improper intake and exhaust system that is not performing like it supposed to. If the temperature in your attic is much different from outside, that is a perfect sign.
An attic that is not venting properly could cause many problems during summer and winter to your roof and to your pocket if you ask me. Lack of ventilation causes ice damming and condensation during winter months and it can get ugly. During summer months your attic will act like a furnace cooking the certain areas of your home. Your roof shingles are always under the sun and it is designed to expand and shrink depending on the temperature. When there is lack of ventilation that can be caused by improper intake system which is referred to your soffit that is designed to allow the fresh air to enter your attic and balance the temperature.
Anyone can replace a roof but not everyone is willing to make your roofing system to perform like it should. Many times the homeowners would think that we are trying to up sell the product. Some homeowners they actually do their own research and agree with the report that we reported to correct the existing issues. Other homeowners keep experiencing the same problem few years in a row after spending a ton of money on ice and snow removal, drywall, painting, new roof etc…… Once they come to their senses, it is already too late but never to late to fix a simple problem to save money in the long run.
Listen to our advice, it is free. do a little research, don’t get 10 quotes and confuse yourself. Pick up the phone and call us about your concern and we will be more than happy to answer any questions you may have. We offer free quotes and estimates for roofing, siding, soffit, fascia, gutters, foundations repairs and snow removal services.
There are lots of older homes in OttawaOntario that does not have significant ventilated soffit installed to increase the fresh air flow into the attic. Majority of the older homes did not come with that feature and those homeowners replace the roof way more often than they should.
Roof vents are designed to help all the fumes, hot air from your attic to escape so that the temperature of your attic is same or similar to outside. In order for the roof vents to work properly it requires fresh air to enter from the soffit. When there is no intake/fresh air entering the attic ventilation process is very slow maybe even non. You can install as many vents as you like but it requires fresh air to create a force to complete a cycle.
During winter months it is very easy to point out which house does not have proper air circulation just by looking at the ice dams. When the snow covers the vents on your roof it suffocates your attic and that causes condensation, forces the hot air to exit from the soffit instead of the roof vent itself. Hot fumes exiting from the soffit creates a thaw action daytime and allows it to freeze overnight. After few weeks of that will give you a massive ice dam that will form along the eavestrough and it will work its way along the metal valley. It can get messy once this ice starts to melt and cause major water damage to the houses.
It is not a very big job to do but there are only certain roofing companies who will be able address that issue. Many roofing companies would want to get paid for removing ice dams instead of fixing the lack of air balance. We offer residential and commercial soffit and fascia sales, installations, repairs and services in greater Ottawa region. We also do offer free quotes and estimates to potential customers who is experiencing that types of problems.