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Roofing/roofing estimate eval


         I have a roof in need of shingle replacements and possibly a few sheets of deck boards because we had about 10-12 shingles that went flying off the roof recently because of high wind. That being said, I had the 2 biggest home improvement companies give me a quote on the work and although they both promised to do the work in similar ways I need some help understanding the better choice by sifting thru the details.
Both will remove existing shingles; inspect roof deck replace as necessary at additional charge, (5 included FREE), Cut and install Ridge vent package.

However, (though some of these might mean the same thing to a knowledgeable person) hereís the breakdown of the remaining items
Company 1          
Install drip edge flashing around perimeter of roof.       
Install new brown aluminum flashing around any chimneys.
Company 2
Install at all eaves areas

Company 1   
Install new boot flanges around vent pipes.
Company 2
Replace one pipe flange   (not sure of the difference between boot flange & a flange)

Company 1   
Install 6 ft of ice and water shield up from all eves and 3 feet at rakes, around chimney, at junction where roof meets siding.
Company 2
Install Wheatherloc Ice and water barrier 6ft from all eaves

Company 1   
Install 30lb felt paper to cover remaining exposed decking.
Company 2
Deck Defense synthetic underlayment on all non-ice shielded areas (which I believe is the equivalent of 30lb or better according to the rep!.. )

Company 1   
Install Pro-starter strip around perimeter of roof line.
Company 2
Starter shingles as needed at eave      
(Iím concerned as to what should be the proper approach here ! please advise)

Company 1   
Install architectural roofing shingles with 6 nails per.
Company 2
Special Owens Corning system where the nails has a flat washer around it which is supposed to be better and prevent incorrect nailing and therefore requires 4 nails vs 6.

Company 1   
Install Hip & Ridge shingles.
Company 2
Owen Corning True Definition Duration shingles

Iím also concerned about the warranty difference and am hoping you can provide a quick evaluation based on the info Iíve provided because of course we my luck itís now spring and itís going to rain all week.

There's a lot here. One major thing to remember. You can have the greatest list of things they are going to do but if they are not done right you're in trouble. Most all leaks are due to poor workmanship.

Also, when you hire the big guys like Home Depot and Lowes you will pay a much higher price for the job. They have all levels of people involved in the job. You can charge it on your card. You pay for all this. They will stand behind the job but you should have to worry about the leaks. If the job is done right they shouldn't have to come back in the first place. Having Home Depot or Lowes promise to return 10 times if necessary is not a good start. They also sub it out to contractors.

Wood does not rot that fast just because you had some shingles blow off. The entire wood frame of a building is exposed to weather for up to 3 moths while they build the house.

A lot of stuff is written up as fluff just to make it look like they're doing a lot. Some of the items may be done anyway whether they write it down or not.

Flashing around the chimneys:
This is a complicated item to do. Just because they list it does not mean you get some special protection. Can they do it right. A lot of leak happen here.

New boot flanges around vent pipes:
Get them in aluminum. Steel rusts and will leave a big satin on the roof. Plastic deteriorates over time. They should not charge you extra for this. MOST of the time these flanges are installed incorrectly.

Ice and Water Shield should be on the lower end of the roof going up-slolpe until it gets over the interior of the house. It will not do anything around the chimney or pipes. The steeper the slope the less you need it. If the roof is a low slope then it should be on the entire roof.

30# paper:
Most roofers use 15# or 30# because it is cheap but it is not meant for shingle roofs. They do sell special underlayment for shingles that is better. If they temp cover roof with 15# or 30# and it gets rained on it will get all lumpy and has to be replaced before shingling. The special underlayment will not do that. The Deck Defense synthetic underlayment is that special underlayment.

Install Pro-starter strip around perimeter of roof line:
This sounds like a trick. What is this one. I never heard of this. I think you're being had on this one.

Starter shingles at eaves:
There is no other way to do it but most roofers do this incorrectly. This should not be listed as some advantage as it is integral to every roof unless they are just trying to brag that they know how to do it right.

Shingles get 4 nails per shingle unless you get into steep slopes in which case it gets double nailed. High wind shingles might call for extra nails.

Special Owens Corning system where the nails has a flat washer around it which is supposed to be better and prevent incorrect nailing and therefore requires 4 nails vs 6.
Never heard of this and can't find any mention of it on Ownes Corning site. Are you being tricked again?

A guarantee is only someone's promise that they'll come back. If they won't come back there is little you can do. Manufacturers do not back up the roof. They will only back up the shingles if something goes bad on the shingles but that is rare for that to happen. Again, most all leaks are due to improper installation and the manufacturer isn't going to back up what someone else did incorrectly when there is nothing wrong with the shingle itself.



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Brad Zacharia


All aspects of residential Roofing. This includes shingles and flat (low slope) roofs. I have knowledge in the installation as well as the design of roofs from an engineering standpoint.


I have been doing roofing for 40 years. This was my father's business and I took it over in 1980.

I have written responses to artcles that I felt needed a response to and those responses have been published in roofing trade magazines.

BSEE Drexel University

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