Frequently Asked Questions

Are there signs of wear I can look for myself?

Yes, you can safely make some preliminary checks of your own. (Hint: prior to getting the ladder out, use binoculars or a zoom-lens camera to check the general condition of the roof.) Look for the obvious; warped, cracked or missing shingles. If these conditions exist, surface repairs may be in order or, it may mean that more serious undetectable damage could exist beneath these areas. Indoors, examine walls and ceilings in the general areas of the damaged shingles.

Look for flaking plaster or peeling paint. If you suspect trouble, call in a roofer to look it over. It’s too risky to leave it to your own judgment once you think you’ve found preliminary signs of damage.

When should a roof be replaced?

A roof should be replaced before serious damage occurs. If you suspect there may be a problem have it inspected right away. Some problems are only obvious in very bad weather. Don’t ignore these signs just because the weather has turned nice and the problem has seemed to go away. Unseen damage can bring on serious structural and health issues (such as black mold).

Why is there two different prices for wood replacement?

There is a price per sheet for plywood replacement and a price per linear foot for board replacement.  The cost of wood replacement will be an additional cost.

Are you installing Ice & Water Shield? How Much? What type?

Yes, we always install Ice & Water Shield.  We will install 3 Ft. in the valleys and 6 Ft. at the gutter edges (unless stated otherwise).  We use “Grace” Ice & Water Shield – it is the best Ice & Water Shield on the market today.  With the harsh Chicago winters, it is very important to not only install Ice & Water Shield, but to use a quality product as well.

You quoted to install a 15# felt and another contractor is suggesting 30#, why?

15# felt is used on walkable roof applications and 30# felt is used on steep roof applications.  There is no added value of installing a 30# felt on a walkable roof.  It is an added cost without any added protection.  The reason the heavier 30# is used for steep roofs is because it is thicker and less likely to tear while our installers walk on it.

What are starter shingles?

Starter shingles are used while installing the first course of shingles (at the gutter edge).  It is an additional layer of shingles that give added protection to that first course.  All the shingles in the body of the roof overlap, therefore they have added protection underneath.  However, the first course ends at the gutter edge and does not overlap an additional shingle.  The starter shingles ensure that water does not seep through the seam on the shingle and penetrate to the deck or underlayment.

Why are you suggesting to add more roof vents?

Based on the size of your roof, our recommendation will give you the proper amount of exhaust ventilation.

What are the upgraded shingle options?

The basic roof cost is for standard 3-tab shingles (25-year warranty) which lay flat on the roof.  The upgraded options are for architectural/dimensional shingles (Lifetime warranties).

What are architectural ridge caps?

Architectural ridge caps are special shingles that are installed on all hips and ridges of your roof if you decide to go with an architectural shingle.  If you get a bid that does not state they are using architectural ridge caps, or if you decide not to have them installed, you will instead end up with a 3-tab shingle (matched to color as close as possible) that will be cut, bent and installed.  You will then have a 25-year ridge cap on your lifetime roof.  The architectural ridge caps really finish off the architectural look by adding the dimensional feel to your hips and ridges.  We have a great example of the difference in our showroon.

What is ridge vent and do I need it?

Ridge vent is the most efficient form of exhaust ventilation on the market today.  It is installed at the ridge (peek) of the roof.  A ½” will be cut on either side of the ridge, the vent will be installed and shingled over.  If you choose this option, all roof vents will be removed and the holes covered with plywood.  Also, if you decide t go with ridge vent, it is unnecessary to get an attic fan.

What are soffit vents and why do I need them?

The soffit area of the home is the overhang.  You may notice that if you look up you will see vents in the aluminum part of the soffit.  That is great, but occasionally when we pull the plywood during the tear-off, we look down into the soffit area and realize that the wood (which the aluminum is covering) was never cut.  This means that the air is not getting to the attic.  So, essentially you would have no intake ventilation.  By initialing this item, you are giving us the ok to cut the holes needed in the wood.

Do I need an attic fan?

If you decide to go with ridge vent, an attic fan is not needed.  If you decide not to go with ridge vent, an attic fan may be installed.  An attic fan will help to circulate air in the attic.

Why is it important to cut my chimney flashing into the brick?

The chimney is the most common area for leaks on your roof.  By cutting the flashing into the brick, you are ensuring that you have the most protection in this area.  If you don’t do this, a bead of caulk will be what is protecting your interior from water getting in and caulk tends to deteriorate over time.

Why should I re-nail the deck?

Re-nailing the deck is important because it will ensure that all the wood decking is nailed properly which will make sure you don’t end up with buckled plywood down the road which could require additional repairs.  If this item is not clearlt stated on your contract, it most likely is not being done.