Yes, I've become a roof stalker. The only thing I haven't done is stop and knock on doors. I haven't had the guts to do that. Not yet anyway. There's still time, though. (Or maybe I can get my husband to do that...)
In my last post, I shared our roofing woes with you all. To recap, our 8 year old roof is failing. We did not have it installed, it was already here when we purchased our home in 2010.
The existing roof was installed incorrectly, on a slope that is too low for shingles (a little less than 2:12), and we need to do something. There are 3 basic problems that we can figure out:
1. Ice and water shield was not used over the entire roof, only at the edges of the roof.
2. The shingles were "cheated" in the installation; i.e. they were not overlapped properly so some of the nails are not completely covered by the higher shingle. During heavy rain storms, water can actually wick uphill and get under the shingles through the nailholes.
3. Flashing is failing--probably poor installation here as well if it was replaced at all.
I have met with 5 different roofers and received 9 quotes of varying materials, opinions and price levels. In addition, I had an architect come out and do a roof consultation. This was money well spent--I highly recommend it if you are in a similar situation. I felt like I had an honest broker's opinion to compare to the roofing companies. And the first words out of his mouth when he came here for our consult were, "Is this a Don Hershey home?" Bingo...I found the right guy.
I selected roofers to come and look at the roof based on several criteria. Most of the roofers I selected did both residential and commercial roofs. I tried to get a commercial-only roofer to come out but they declined saying they only do commercial roofs and won't look at residential. So I didn't try that again. I only looked at roofers that had decent reviews in Angie's List. This is the first time I've used Angie's List and I found it quite helpful.
Our roof is 50 squares...that is really, really big. Quotes ranged significantly--surprisingly, actually. And the range didn't correlate with my perceptions of the quality of the work. I should note that one roofer came out, measured the roof, and then never submitted a quote.
Here are the choices that we investigated and the collective opinions. (There may be others...but in here's what people have to choose from based on my experience in upstate New York):
1. Shingles: Two of the roofers said that we could do shingles on this roof if we used an ice and water shield over the entire roof. I should also note that two roofers said they wouldn''t put shingles on this roof at all and wouldn't do it if we wanted to. The architect said that the only way this would work is if you used a higher grade ice and water shield over the entire roof--he recommended a product called WIP 300 made by Carlisle. The other roofers recommended a product made by Grace. The idea is that conventional ice and water shield expands and contracts in our weather. Eventually (as in 10 years down the line), the material would not expand and contract the same way and it would leave small gaps around the nailholes. At this point, we could get leaks. The higher end ice and water shield (like the Carlisle WIP 300 product), has material properties that prevent the expansion and contraction problems that the lower grade one has due to a higher melting point.
2. Standing Seam Metal: This is the most expensive option but it will basically last 100 years or more. Essentially, long sheets of metal are mechanically welded on site to provide a seamless roof. There are products made just for low slope roofs all the way down to a 1/4 pitch. The architect recommended using a full ice and water shield underneath as well. This is the option that the architect recommended. It was also the most aesthetically desirable.
|Standing Seam Metal Roof on low slope|
3. Rolled asphalt roofing: I would simply describe this as rolled shingles. It is less expensive than metal, but the look isn't as great. It is only warrantied for 12-15 years as well. Usually used on porches, not on an entire house, although I have seen it on an entire house.
4. EPDM. Black rubber. It's not as expensive as other options, and its water proof, but you basically have an inner tube covering your roof. It has a good warranty--20+ years. It's glued down so you don't have any nails. But it's not a great look if your roof is visible, like ours.
5. TPO. This is another synthetic roof membrane. Comes in a few colors. Heat welded onsite. Warranty of 30-40 years. Used a lot in commercial applications. I've never seen this in a residential application although I did find this picture on the internet.
6. Torch-down. Not recommended--insurance won't cover your house if it burns down. I think my neighbor has this, however, and it's coated with a silver paint.
In my next post, I'll tell you what we picked. We are deciding this week! We are also addressing some insulation issues and lack of bathroom fan issues as well. So stay tuned!