Here are the most common roofing questions we get and the answers to those questions:


How many years do I have left on my old roof?

This is a question we get asked a lot but there is no standard answer that is always correct. Like many things in life there are variables. The best we can do is provide some guidelines to equip you with reasonable expectations.

Just to give you an idea of why this question can be tricky to answer, we’ve seen 11 year old roofs curling up like tortilla chips and leaking like a spaghetti strainer; and, we’ve seen roofs installed by the 80 year old homeowner 30 years ago that keep the home drier than saltine crackers. Obviously, every roof and situation is different.

Read the rest here..

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How soon can you start?

Although it would be unrealistic to publish a standard answer to this question, it’s one every homeowner naturally wants to know, so we can publish some general guidelines to give you the best answer possible before you call us. We will say up front that you will have an exact answer to that question when you get a proposal from us.

Find out more about what to expect for an answer based on the season..

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Which shingles do you recommend?

Since the picture above provides a spoiler for our answer, allow me to share my experience and reasons for the recommendations we make. Besides, there is no one size fits all answer. We definitely use Atlas more than any other shingle, but it’s not always that simple.

The fact is, we install many types of shingles from various manufacturers and our hands-on experience with these products is extensive to say the least. When we answer this question upon evaluating your roof, we’ll be able to make a recommendation specifically suited to your needs, budget, and home structure.

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What about building permits?

The two most common questions we get about permits for a roofing project are:

      1. Will I need a building permit for a new roof?
      2. If so, who will be pulling the permit?

Let’s proceed to answer those questions..

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What should be done prior to the roofing installation?

We make this as easy as possible for you by requiring very little on your part.

We do recommend that you remove or secure any fragile or irreplaceable items on the walls or ceilings inside your home. During the installation of your roof, there will be some vibration on your walls and ceilings and we will not be responsible for any damage to unsecured items that are disturbed or fall.

Your roofing installation will begin between 7:00 and 7:30 in the morning on the scheduled day and we ask that you move your vehicles out of the garage and onto the street the night before. This way we will not intrude on your morning routine.

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How do you protect my home from damage during the roofing installation?

If you’ll permit us one little boast, protecting your home during a roofing installation is on our list of things we are most proud of and where we make extra effort to outshine the other roofing companies. Every home is different when it comes to setting up for a new roof so we don’t have a one size fits all answer to this question.

What we can tell you is that our material haulers we use to transport the materials are loaded up for every job with an arsenal of protective materials: 4×8 sheets of wood, lumber, tarps, and any other materials deemed necessary that we determine during the original inspection of your roof. Extra care is given to the setup before the first crew member ever climbs a ladder to begin your roofing project.

Get the rest of the answer here..

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Are you licensed and insured?

We are often asked about our license and insurance which shows that many homeowners are both informed and concerned. You should be. Both are very important and you should ask for proof. A legitimate roofing contractor will not be the least bit offended.

This is not just a matter of compliance with Michigan law, but your own personal protection.

State law in Michigan requires that if you’re working on any roof other than your own, you are required to be licensed; both personal and business license are required.

Find out more about why this is so important and why we are both licensed and insured..

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How many nails are used per shingle?

Most shingle manufacturers recommend at least four nails per shingle and six in high wind areas such as Florida and Oklahoma. That answers the question about the minimum number of nails and we’re sure you realize that the minimum will be good enough for fast buck roofing companies, plus they’ll use the cheapest roofing nail they can find.

Answering the question about how many nails we use per shingle is a bit different and we’ll go light on the technical details yet not so light that we end up being vague. We use 4-6 nails per shingle, depending on the area and steepness of the roof.  Let us explain a bit more.

More explanation of our nailing answered here..

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Should I be concerned about nails?

To answer both yes and no is appropriate. Are we going to leave your property without conscientious cleanup like some roofing companies would? Absolutely not! Are we going to guarantee we find every last stray nail during the cleanup? That would be unrealistic.

We do however use meticulous methods to assure your yard and driveway are free of loose nails.

Get more details about that process here..

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Are my gutters going to be left clean after the job?

Absolutely, we actually clean your gutters twice! Your gutters are cleaned by hand after your old roofing material has been torn off, followed by a leaf blower to remove fine debris. After installation of the new roofing material, another cleaning is performed and your gutters are cleaned a second time.

Get an additional appreciation for our attention to detail here..

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What is synthetic underlayment and why is it better then felt paper?

Synthetic underlayment is a high tech, high performance layer of material installed prior to the shingles on areas of the roof decking not covered by ice and water shield (the importance of ice and water shield covered in another post). The purpose of underlayment is to absorb asphalt from the shingle and provide an extra level of water resistance.

Until more recent years, felt paper was the standard. However, advancements in roofing technology have brought about the synthetic underlayments which consistently outperform and out test traditional felt paper.

Get the rest of the answer here..

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What about ventilation?

This question is among the most important you could ask or wonder about. Proper ventilation has numerous benefits and solves multiple problems. It saves you money on your heating and cooling bills, extends the life of your roofing, and even protects your health by preventing mold that would otherwise form in your attic and under your shingles.

Let’s start with the heat factor. A 90° summer day does not equal a 90° attic but a 140° attic without proper ventilation. This doesn’t just escalate your cooling bills, imagine the stress placed on your asphalt roofing shingles which will buckle and fail prematurely. Proper ventilation is your solution to this problem.

Get the rest of the answer here..

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Which are better, ridge vents or box vents?

It’s not so much a question of which is better, but a question of which is better for particular types of roofs. For example, if your home has cathedral ceilings, the ridge vent is the only viable solution. On a roof where four slopes converge to a single ridge as shown above, box vents are the best choice.

Many homes are designed where either a ridge vent or box vent will work equally well. Considering the fact that ridge vents are more aesthetically pleasing, our recommendation would be the ridge vents.

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What about the weather?

In theory, roofing shingles can be installed in any weather. Considering the variety of weather in Southeast Michigan and the fact that not every day is the ideal temperature, that’s good news. There’s no denying that warm temperatures are best, so extra care and precautions must be taken in much of our Michigan weather.

On the balmy warm and sunny days common in spring, fall, and parts of our summers, shingles seal to each other right away. As the temperatures climb higher with intense sun and humidity, extra care is required to avoid scarring during the installation. When the temperatures drop, the shingles become stiff and extra careful nail placement is required.

Get the rest of the answer here..

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What are ice dams?

The condensed answer is roof leaks aggressively in the process of happening, and beavers have nothing to do with it. Next comes the what, how, where, and why.

It begins with the interaction between warm and freezing cold air. Heat always seeks cold. In the summertime, understanding that principle helps you realize it’s the heat coming in rather than the cool getting out. In the wintertime, most people think the cold air is getting in when it is really the heat going out.

Continue finding out about the what, how, where, and why of ice damming..

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3-tab VS Architectural Shingles/3-tab VS Laminated

3-tab shingles and architectural shingles are the most commons shingles installed in the the America. 3-tab shingles are often referred to as strip shingles as they are cut out of one continues strip at the factory. A 3-tab shingle has tabs that often cut in 12 inch increments. Architectural shingles are also known as laminated shingles. An architectural shingle is laminated of 2 strips of shingles to create a cedar shake look that gives the home better curb appeal. Architectural shingles due offer a higher wind resistance than 3-tab shingles. While life expectancy is depended on the brand and quality of the shingle, most see architectural shingles as more appealing then 3-tabs due to the curb appeal.

Find out more about 3-tab VS Architectural Shingles, & 3-tab VS Laminated..

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What is ice and water barrier and why do I need it?

Ice and water barrier is a self adhering rubberized membrane that protects your roof from leaking due to excessive water conditions. These conditions occur during wind driven rain and even more so during water back from ice dams.

There are several areas of your roof especially susceptible to the water penetration that ice and water barrier will serve to prevent. The entire perimeter of your roof near the eaves is the most obvious during the winter when you can sometimes see the ice dams from the ground. Other areas you may not think about skylights, chimneys, and all the “channels” where roof lines merge.

Find out more about ice and water barrier..
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What is the 3-tab shingle wind rating?

 The wind rating on a 3-tab shingle is 60 mph with proper 4 nail per shingle nailing pattern. This is lower than the rating of 130mph found on architectural shingles. The rating of 60 mph is due to the exposed portion of the shingle being split into 3 individual tabs and therefore more susceptible to wind blow offs in high wind.

Learn more about 3-tab singles

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Do architectural shingles add home value?

 Short answer is yes. Architectural shingles offer more curb appeal to a home due to the desired look of a high end cedar shake roof along with higher definition colors. Along with the curb appeal, the architectural shingles offer a higher wind resistance than standard architectural shingles and offer better protection in rough weather.

Find out more about the benefits of architectural shingles

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How old is my roof?

 The age of the roof is sometimes determined by the amount of granules left on top of the shingle. The granules on top of the shingle are there to protect the waterproofing asphalt from UV rays. Once the shingle experiences major granule loss, the serviceable life of the roof is done. It’s very tough to tell the age of the roof. A properly installed roof using high quality materials can look great even at 20 years of age, while a relatively new roof at 9 years can look bad due to low quality materials.

Is it time for a roof replacement?

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How do seamless gutters compare to regular gutters?

 Seamless gutters are one piece runs that can be made up to 100 ft in length and only have joints at the corners. Regular gutters are often made in 10 ft pieces that have to be stacked together to make a long run of gutter. Seamless gutters offer better protection and are much less prone to leaks that cause damage to the foundation of the home.

Read on for more benefits of seamless gutters

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Are seamless gutters worth it?

 Seamless gutters offer a longer life and need less maintenance than sectional gutters. Sectional gutters have a lot more joints that rely on gutter sealant to keep the gutters leak free. Seamless gutters only have joints at the corners and have less possible leak points. The look of a seamless gutters also offers better curb appeal with higher return on investment.

Check out some seamless gutter styles

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How does your pricing work and what is the cost?

Cost is dependent on the house, such as how many stories you have. The higher the house is the more labor there is involved in getting up to the roof. Pitch is also a factor. How safe is it to walk on, is it on a big angle? How many layers needing to be removed factors into how long the job will take. Cost per square foot also includes the material chosen. Shingles have a different cost than tile or metal. Removing and replacing bad decking is also included in the cost of replacing a roof. Additionally, the square footage of your roof is very different than that of your home. A ranch style home will have more roof square footage than that of a two-story house.

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What is the best residential roofing shingle?

We highly recommend Atlas StormMaster Shingles. These are modified asphalt shingles with a rubberized compound to make it more flexible and have greater impact resistance. The modified asphalt shingle is able to withstand expansion and contraction during summer and winter months so the shingles don’t crack. StormMaster shingles also have wonderful granule retention to help make the shingles last longer as the granules protect the shingles from UV ray damage. Last but not least, Atlas shingles have 3M ScotchGard built into them. This means 10% of the surface granules are copper. These copper minerals rinse the roof every time it rains. Atlas shingles won’t streak, making for great curb appeal for the 20-30 years.

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