Roofing FAQ

Residential Roofing FAQ

How much does a new roof cost?

When one of our roofing consultants visits your home to give you an estimate for your roof, they will take into consideration about five basic factors to determine the cost of your new roof.

1. They will look at the accessibility to your home. In other words, can our crews maneuver around the home easily without being hindered by fences, extensive flower beds, pools, decks or other structures not related to the job, etc.

2. They will check to see how many layers of shingles already exist on the home. Multiple layers will mean more labor in tearing the old material off as well as more in dumping fees to haul the trash away to the local landfill.

3. They will note the degree of angle or pitch factor of your roof. An increase in pitch is an increase in price, due to the danger involved while working on a steep roof.

4. The size of the roof; obviously larger roofs will require more labor and materials.

5. The quality of shingles that you, as the customer, choose to be used on your home.

What is the best shingle to use on my roof?

We like to give our customers an onsite estimate with three shingle options; sort of a good, better, best approach.

First is a 20-year, 3-tab non-AR standard shingle. It is important to know several things about this type of shingle. It is considered now-a-days to be a builder grade shingle, meaning it is the thinnest grade shingle that you can purchase. Also, it is a non-AR shingle, meaning it is not algae resistant.

Algae resistance is a combination of two elements: copper and zinc. When these two elements are present in the make-up of the shingle, it will then ward off about 70% of all molds, mildews and algaes that cause the black streaking on the roof for a period of about 10 years. Again, the 20-yr shingle is a non-AR shingle, and for that reason, we do not recommend this type of shingle for a residential application.

Second is the 25-year 3-tab AR shingle. This shingle has the same appearance as the 20-year shingle with these exceptions: it is thicker and it does have the AR ingredient formulated into its makeup.
It is important to note why a shingle is made thicker. The thicker the shingle, the higher the wind resistance.

Third is the 30-year AR dimensional (architectural) shingle. It is a laminated shingle, meaning it is made slightly different than the standard 3-tab shingle giving it a cottage or cedar shake appearance. This shingle is quickly becoming the most popular.
Note that the dimensional shingles are also available in 40-year and 50-year.

Why is attic ventilation important?

Diagram of heat gain and heat loss

During the summer months, without proper venting, the attic space can heat up enough to actually bake the shingle from the underside, causing the adhesive strip (the tar strip that allows the shingles to lay down and stick to one another) to deteriorate, which will kill the life of the roof. This is probably what started the old adage that: “It doesn’t matter if you get a 20- or 25-year shingle, you’ll be lucky if you get 14 or 15 years out of it.” Again, venting is key!

During the winter months, venting is just as important. The concern now is moisture. In winter, because the home is closed up tight to keep the cold outside, moisture from day-to-day activities such as cooking, showering and perspiring are now trapped in the home and will usually collect in the attic. This can cause mold and mildew to form in walls and dark corners of closets.

So if you see where someone has put a plastic bag over their turbine vent to keep it from spinning in the winter…wrong!

Now that brings us to what types of vents are available and which one(s) should be used for your particular situation.

There are basically four types of vents presently being used: static vents, turbine vents (whirly-bird), power vents and ridge vents.

  • "Static Vent" (an exhaust vent) - This vent is best described as being a hole with a lid over the top allowing for ventilation while keeping the rain from getting in. To install it, you must first cut a hole in the deck of the roof and then position the vent in, weaving the shingles around it so that it is properly flashed. This vent is not aesthetically appealing and is always put on the back of the home so that it is not seen from the front.
  • "Turbine Vent" or whirly-bird (an exhaust vent) - This vent is applied in the same manner as the static vent. It is a mechanical vent because it uses the wind to spin its top for the purpose of drawing out the air from inside the attic. This vent is also placed on the back of the home for the same reasons as the static vent; although, in order for it to work properly, it must stick up over the ridge enough to collect wind from all directions, thus making it visible from the front.
  • "Power Vent' (an exhaust vent) - Again, it is applied in the same manner as the two previous vents and also on the back of the home. It is a mechanical/electrical vent. A good one will be equipped with not only the standard thermostatic control but also a humistatic control. These vents are usually set to turn themselves on at 90 degrees in the summer using its thermostat and again in the winter when the humistat detects moisture. These vents are designed for various drawing capabilities based on the square footage of the area to be vented, so choose a size that best suits your needs.
  • "Ridge vent" (an exhaust vent) - This vent gets its name because of the location to which it is installed. It is applied by first cutting about 1-1/2 inches of decking away from either side of the main horizontal ridge beam, leaving one continuous opening at the very top of the roof. It is then closed over with the ridge vent system and then camouflaged with the capping shingles to finish the job.

Ventilation is the key to the longevity of your roof.

It is important to note several things about the ridge vent:

It is aesthetically appealing because it can barely be seen from either the front or the back of the home and it also provides more ventilation per square inch than either the static vent or the turbine vent while comparatively costing less. Because it works on the premise that hot air rises, it sits in the best possible location of the roof…the very top. It is also designed to work in harmony with the intake vents located underneath the overhang of the roof.

What is valley flashing?

The valley on a roof is where one roof adjoins another, creating a trench.

There have been, in the past, several ways to flash a valley, all of which are now obsolete. The one recommended by the manufacturers and most widely used is an ice/water shield underlayment. It may have several different names depending on which manufacturer is used, but the product is basically the same. It was created for the northern regions of the country where they have a lot of ice and snow dams that build up on roofs for weeks at a time. If you’ve ever watched shows like “This Old House” and “HGTV”, you will see them use a lot of this product.

It is a rubber type product about 36 inches wide and about 1/8th inch thick. One side is made with an adhesive so that the product can be rolled out and glued directly onto the wood before the felt paper is applied. Because it is rubber, it will conform to whatever valley angle is being made by the wood. Because it is 36 inches wide, it will go up the valley wall 18 inches on either side as opposed to 9 inches like the old metal flashing method. Because it is rubber, when a nail penetrates it, it will form a gasket, becoming virtually self sealing. It has been found that a nail penetrating the old metal flashing method can cause leaks.

Jewell Roofing & Exteriors will not do a job without using valley flashing where needed. We automatically install this product in all valleys, around chimneys and skylights.

What is counter flashing?

Counter flashing is the method of flashing used at the brick wall or brick chimney of a home. The proper way of applying this flashing is:

Using a diamond saw, cut a one-inch slice into the mortar joint between the bricks and several inches above the base.
Bend the flashing metal at a 90 degree angle and fit it into the joint while covering over the step flashed metal at the base of the brick. Then use caulk to seal the edges closed.

Can I do roofing work myself?

Repairing or replacing a roof isn't an easy job. Without the right tools, safety equipment and training, you can actually cause more damage to your roof. There are several steps to a roofing job, and our professional contractors are trained and experienced to handle the entire process from start to finish:

  • Tear off all roofing material from the structure.
  • Remove or reset nails to smooth the deck.
  • Inspect roof deck: replace any rotten or broken roof decking to ensure solid structure.
  • Install ice/water shield in all valleys chimneys and around skylights.
  • Install roofing felt over the entire roof area.
  • Install new shingles or roofing material.
  • Replace the plumbing stack covers (pipe boots) with new.
  • Paint all plumbing stacks with Rustoleum paint.
  • Replace and/or install new vents.
  • Counter flash walls and chimneys with new metal flashing.
  • Clean up and remove all debris using magnets to retrieve as many nails as possible.
  • Obtain all necessary permits for job.
  • Provide the manufacturer’s warranty on materials.
  • Provide our own workmanship warranty.

Is there anything I need to do before the work on my roof begins?

Try to prepare your home. Remove any lawn furniture or other obstacles that my get in the way. Take any loose articles or collectibles off of shelves, pictures off walls, cover important things in the attic with an old sheet. There will be some movement due to foot traffic, loading and hammering. No one wants anything broken.

It is a good idea to work from the top down, so don’t plan on new landscaping, new gutters, painting or siding until the roof has been completed.

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Our Locations:

Jewell Roofing & Exteriors
1063 Louisville Hwy
Goodlettsville, TN 37072