Moss Resistant Asphalt Shingles?

Is there such a thing as moss resistant asphalt shingles? The Pacific Northwest is home to some of the mossiest roofs in the nation. Moss is the true green roof, or is it?

Many asphalt composition shingles are now made to control the algae and lichens that eventually attach to your roof. These micro organisms will also promote the growth of moss. Controlling the growth of these micro organisms will help greatly reduce the growth of moss. The moss will not be eliminated but the growth will be less than if your asphalt shingles did not have the algae resistance.

Seattle is the cheaper roofer always the better roofer?

I think the mentality of a good portion of all homeowners feel that as long as the roof keeps them dry why not use the contractor that has the cheapest price, roofing is roofing right? It is kind of funny to know that when that same person goes shopping for a car that the same mentality they use to purchase a roof does not apply. They will look for how safe a care will keep them, how well the car handles, how nice it looks and how well it performs overall. The average homeowner will pay more for their car then they will for their roof. Here is the funny part, the car will depreciate over time whereas the roof will help protect your home so it can appreciate in value. So why should your new roof be any different from an automobile?

We were recently contacted by a homeowner that had his new roof installed a couple of years ago. He was beginning to experience troubles with his newer roof. He told us that he had the roofer who installed the roof come out to address the troubles. The roofer told him he didn’t see any problems with the roof. The homeowner was still having problems and the roofer refused to come out to address any problems saying that the workmanship warranty had expired. The homeowner decided to quit dealing with that roofer and contact others to help. I inspected the roof to find it was installed incorrectly and told him he would have to replace it to fix all the problems he was experiencing. I asked the homeowner if he had others bid the roof when he replaced the roof last. He told me that he had about five other roofers give him bids and the roofer who installed his roof had the cheapest price. I provided him with our price to replace his new roof and his response to me was my bid was too high. As it turned out we were amongst five other bidders and our price was in the middle of the pack. Yes you guessed it, he was going with cheap once again. We run into this situation quite a bit.

Do you know of a roofer who works for a contractor but is willing to install the roof on your home for what you believe is a better deal then having a licensed roofing contractor do the work? Think again before you allow this to happen. In the industry this practice is called a “side job”. On average the roofer who installs the roof wants to make more then he makes at his normal job to make the extra time worth his while. Think of it like getting paid nothing less then time and a half tax free. You, the homeowner, goes and purchases the materials and the roofer you hired installs the roof and you pay him cash. First of all the licensed contractor does get a break in material pricing whereas the homeowner has to pay retail price. Second the labor you are paying to have that roof installed is over inflated so that the roofer doing the work makes his overtime pay. This all may seam like you have saved money but in fact it may have cost you more. The most important thing that most don’t realize here is that if anything were to happen to your home and any person working on your home you would bear all the liabilities. So for instance if your house burns down while the roofer was installing your roof you would have no recourse to re cooperate your losses. Another instance would be if that roofer fell off your home while installing your roof and got injured that roofer could come back and sue you for time loss and medical. All this still sound like a good deal? I would think again. The licensed legitimate contractor has insurance to assume all the liabilities while working on your home.

So when you want to hire a roofing contractor you shouldn’t be thinking in terms of the cheapest to do the job but rather who is going to provide you with the piece of mind knowing your investment and lively hood is well protected. Always check the labor and industries website to make sure you are hiring a legitimate licensed roofing contractor.

Legitimate Roofing Contractors Pay Taxes

Just recently I was asked by a potential customer if I would do a cash job. Doing a job for cash is a means for avoiding paying the sales tax. The customer told me that he liked my bid but if I had to charge him sales tax that I would be too high and he would have to go with another contractor. He said the other two contractors were willing to do the job for cash. Roofing slows down during the winter and it becomes necessary to drop your profit margins enough just to keep your employees working. When you need work those offers for cash are tempting but not tempting enough to tarnish your reputation as a legitimate contractor.

A licensed contractor that participates in doing cash jobs is breaking the law and could lose his business. Moreover the customer who thinks he is getting a good deal is actually taking a big risk. You might be thinking how can saving money be a risk? The following are two main reasons why it is a risk:

1) What if you have a problem with your new roof a year after it was installed? You call the guy that put the roof on and he may come and look at it and tell you it’s not his problem or he may just ignore you. Since you did the job as a cash job there is no written agreement therefore you have no legal rights to pursue him to correct the problem. You then have to hire another contractor to fix the problem and now that cheap job did not become so cheap.

2) What would happen if one of the guys that are working on your roof falls off or becomes seriously injured? Because you hired a contractor for cash you will become responsible for that injured person. The person that got injured can potentially sue you for damages and you would be 100% responsible. You could lose your home, your savings and even your sanity. By hiring someone to do work on your property that is not licensed, bonded and insured you are basically accepting sole responsibility for all liabilities. That meas that if something happens to someone or something, you the customer will end up paying.

Just those two reasons are very big risks. Doing business with a licensed legitimate contractor will keep you safe from any liabilities and gives you recourse in the event something goes wrong. Doing business with that legitimate contractor could even end up saving you money. There is no job that is cheap unless it is done honestly and correctly!

Protect yourself and only do business with the licensed legitimate contractor. Verify his status with the various governing agencies such as the Department of Labor & Industries and the Department of Revenue.

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Shoreline Roofing Contractor – Internal gutter vs external gutter

Many homes in the Seattle area were built with an internal gutter system otherwise known as an internal gutter system. The internal gutter system is made up of a gutter lining material, a metal drop scupper and a fascia board that has been installed more than two inches above the roof deck. The common gutter lining is either a hot mop built up roofing, a torch down membrane or a PVC/TPO single ply. The built-up and torch down roofing will last about as long as the average twenty year steep slope roof and the PVC/TPO liners, if installed correctly, could last as long as the thirty year steep slope roof. If you have a roof that is expected to last between twenty and thirty years you can then expect to replace the gutters when you have the roof changed.

What about for those who installed a roof that is expected to last forty years or more? If your roofing contractor was really looking out for you then he would have suggested installing a continuous external gutter system. Those roofs that are expected to last more than forty years will out live the internal gutters leaving you to a very expensive gutter replacement bill or worse yet, replacing the roof before the it’s time, which defeats the purpose of why you chose the roof that will last a lifetime.

There are many reasons why a continuous external gutter makes sense. 1) External gutters are made of aluminum or steel and with proper maintenance these gutters can last as long as the high life expectant roof you choose. 2) When an internal gutter fails it will usually cause damage to the structure of your home leaving you with an expensive repair bill. 3) External gutters are separate from your roof and don’t need to be changed when you change your roof, or vise versa. 4) External gutters cost less to install especially if you compare the cost over time against the internal gutter. 5) If an external gutter gets full of debris and clogs in many cases it will not cause a leak into your home whereas an internal gutter can.

The next time you choose a roof that is expected to last more then twenty years and you have an internal gutter system you might want to consider switching to an external gutter system. The cost will be slightly higher than just going back to the internal gutters but the outcome will pay for itself over time.

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Asphalt Shingles Installed On A Slope Below The Recommended Roof Pitch

Asphalt composition shingles are designed to be installed on roof slopes greater than a 4 in 12 pitch. Therefore the asphalt manufactures base their warranties around the minimum recommended pitch of 4 in 12. For those who don’t understand the roof pitch number here is a way to envision it. For every 12 inches you travel on your ceiling the roof will rise 4 inches in height. Your standard 4 in 12 roof pitch works out to an incline of 18.43 degrees for those of you into geometry.

The asphalt shingle manufactures recommend that you install asphalt shingles on a recommended minimum of 4 in 12 or greater however most manufactures will warrant their shingles down to a 2 in 12 pitch if the recommended installation method is used. Installation on roof slopes below a 2 in 12 pitch is not recommended at all. What is the recommended installation requirements for the installation of a shingle below a 4 in 12 pitch? Well every manufacture will vary just a bit but all require the same underlayment procedure and that’s what we are going to discuss.

What is the correct underlayment for the application method for roofs below the 4 in 12 pitch? You have really two choices. The first recommended choice is installing 2 layers of 15 pound asphalt saturated roofing felt with the lap seams offset from one another and all lap seams embedded in an asphalt cement. The other recommended choice is installing an ice & water membrane throughout the entire roof.

The two plies of 15 pound asphalt saturated roofing felt has been the recommended application before the invention of the ice & water membrane. However the two ply roofing felt procedure is rarely installed correctly. Most roofing contractors ignore the application of the asphalt cement at all lap seams in order to keep the cost down. It would be labor intensive to follow the correct application of the 15 pound felt. Installing the ice & water membrane is more expensive if the 15 pound felt is installed without the lap cement. A contract who bids the 15 pound felt method in his bid is trying to win the bid by being cheaper than the next contractor but in reality he is not looking out for his customer.

Ice & water membrane is a self adhering membrane that is made with a modified asphalt. The modified asphalt keeps it very pliable during the cold months of the year and does not become brittle. Because of the modified asphalt any penetration, such as nails, will be sealed from water being able to bypass the underlayment. Since the membrane is self adhering there is no need to apply any lap cement to the membrane. Ice & water membrane can cost more than two times the amount of just 15 pound felt. However if your roofing contractor installed the 15 pound felt as required by the asphalt shingle manufactures then the labor cost alone would drive the cost up to more than the ice & water membrane. In my opinion the benefits of installing the ice & water membrane out weigh the alternative. As a contractor I want to provide my customers with a cost effective solution without sacrificing the integrity of the roofing system.

When you have to re-roof that home that has a 3 in 12 roof pitch and you want asphalt shingles installed, be sure that the contractor you hire installs the ice & water membrane. If he recommends the two ply’s of 15 pound felt be sure that he will follow the required procedure of the shingle manufacture. If he does follow that procedure then you might be paying more than you should.

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Roofing Contractor Federal Way – Fastening Your New Asphalt Composition Roof

I’ve been in the residential roofing trade for over 30 years and the most common question I’ve been asked is about nails verses staples. What fastener is the best at keeping your roof in place during the forces of nature?

The head of a nail has more surface area then that of the crown of a staple. As for the asphalt composition shingles the larger surface area will help to keep the shingle from ripping through the shingle. The biggest problem with staples is more of an installer issue. I’ve seen staples over-driven which cuts through the material and never has a true hold on the shingle. An under-driven staple will not only not secure the asphalt shingle properly but will also damage the next shingle that covers the staple. On a warm day asphalt shingles are soft and the head of a staple can easily slice through the shingle. Think of it like a cheese slicer as a thin wire can cut easily through cheese and a blunt object takes much more force. Yes nails can be over-driven and under-driven but are much more forgiving than a staple. If the installer slows down and pays attention to what his fasteners are doing then a staple can hold almost as good as a nail. If both fasteners are driven correctly the nail would still hold better just because of the size of the nail head. It is true the staple corrodes faster than a nail but they can both still corrode enough to rot away.

Most manufactures of the asphalt composition shingle do not recommend that the shingles be installed with a staple just because of the installer error issue. In fact, in most cases, if staples are used to install their product then the material warranty will be void. Be sure that you ask your contractor what he fastens the roof with and if he states he uses staples then you might want to verify with the manufacture of your shingles that you will be covered.

My company uses nails to install the asphalt shingles we install. We also use a ring-shank nail to install all of our plywood sheathing. In my opinion the nail is the best when used to install asphalt composition shingles. Be sure that your next roof gets installed with nails and you won’t have to wonder if your roofing material is covered by a manufacture warranty or even worse the worry of blowing off in a storm.

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Mill Creek Roofing Contractor – Finding a Roofing Contractor

When it is time to replace your roof you will want to hire a roofing contractor with the skill and knowledge to install whatever roof you have selected for your home. Finding that roofing contractor can be a daunting task if you don’t know of one. Asking your family or friends for the name of a good roofing contractor is a good source for finding one. After all, your family and friends would not refer you to anyone they had a bad experience with. Checking with the Better Business Bureau, Angie’s List, roofing material manufactures and the Roofing Contractors Association are also good tools in the aid of finding a good roofing contractor. You could go to the web and search for a roofing contractor in your area but you will need to do your research to verify the contractors credibility.

The cost to do business as a roofing contractor is not as cheap as one might think. Contractors liability insurance, state industrial insurance, business and operating taxes, licenses and equipment all add up. The one man operation, often referred to as “Chuck in the Truck”, thinks he’s immune to all this overhead but in reality he is avoiding the real cost of doing business and will eventually go out of business. This is not the contractor you want to hire as he more than likely will not be around if there ever is a problem with the roof he installed for you. The legitimate contractor is the one who employes a competent work force and pays all the associated costs to do business. This is the type of contractor that will be around for many years to come.

Regal Roofing & Contracting is a legitimate contractor with the skill and the knowledge to perform the job right the first time. Regal Roofing & Contracting employes a skilled workforce with management that has over 30 years in the roofing industry and construction trades. Contact Regal Roofing & Contracting for your next roofing or skylight project.

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Roofing Contractor Seattle – Starter Flashing

Prior to the use of starter flashing, most roofs did not have a flashing installed. Without this flashing the sheathing along the eave edge would deteriorate over the years of exposure. Most of the time the sheathing would become so deteriorated that it would need to be replaced and usually before the roof needed replaced. A costly repair that could be avoided with the installation of a flashing.

What is a starter flashing? The term was coined from a roofer which describes the flashing that is installed under the starter course thus the name starter flashing. There are many different types of starter flashing but the type we are speaking of for the Seattle market has the dimensions of 1″x3″. A one inch hemmed leg and a three inch apron. What is the purpose of starter flashing? Well it does have two main purposes the first of which protects the sheathing edge from deterioration and the second function supports the underlayment and asphalt shingles from drooping into the gutter. A quality roof job should consist of this flashing to assure the roof structure will keep it’s integrity over the years.

The next time you re-roof be sure that the contractor you hire specifies and installs the starter flashing. The added cost is cheaper than making structure repairs later.

Roofing Contractor Federal Way – Insurance Claim

I was asked by and insurance adjuster to inspect a 20 year old cedar shake roof in Federal Way that had some wind damage. Typically, if installed correctly, a cedar shake roof will only suffer wind damage when it is worn out which should be a sign to the homeowner that you should replace your roof. I tend to find that the cedar ridge cap will be the first to blow off or get damaged in a wind storm. The staples that hold the two pieces of cedar together to form a ridge cap will deteriorate and allow the ridge cap to be vulnerable to wind damage. The cedar shakes themselves don’t tend to blow off unless they were not installed correctly in the first place.

Most insurance companies define wind damage to the roof as any missing or loose shingles caused by the wind. It does not matter if you maintain your roof or not at this point as there is no stipulation to how you maintain your roof. In other words if you don’t replace your roof when it should be replaced and a wind storm came and blew your roof off chances are your roof will be replaced for free, less your deductible. Technically not for free since you pay your insurance premiums.

After I inspected the roof I concluded, by definition of the insurance company, that the roof did indeed have wind damage. However since the roof was worn out repair would not be possible without destroying the roof just by walking on it.

No matter what type of roof you have there are limits to how long your roof will last. Replacing a roof before it is susceptible to damages from the forces of nature is the responsibility of the homeowner not the insurance company. When you make a claim on your insurance you premiums increase so in reality you are paying probably more than you would for your new roof if you would’ve just replaced it before it could become damaged. The next time the wind blows pick up the phone to call Regal Roofing & Contracting not your insurance company.

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Roofing Contractor Seattle – Solar Power

With today’s rising cost of energy we are always on the lookout for a way to help combat these costs. What if you could freeze the price of electricity? How is this possible you might think? Well the answer is solar power. With today’s technology solar cells and the equipment to convert the power hove become more efficient and cost effective. Now you are thinking since we live in the great Pacific Northwest and see a lot of rain and clouds that solar power couldn’t be of much use. Heat does not make solar power, daylight makes the power. While it is true the direct rays of the sun will produce the most energy the cloudy days will still produce enough energy to help freeze the cost of your power bill.

If your home has a southerly orientation you have the potential to generate 1.2 kilowatts of power per 100 square feet of roof area in a day. That is enough power to light a 100 watt light bulb for 12 hours. The average home in the state of Washington uses approximately 32 kilowatts of power in a day. The average rate per kilowatt hour is around 8-1/2 cents which amounts to $2.81 per day. The power companies are trying to get a 12% rate increase which would result in an increase of $0.34 per day. Solar power has the potential to absorb these rate hikes, essentially freezing your rate.

With the incentives that the federal government and local power companies are offering for alternative energy, the cost to install a solar powered system over time will prove to be worth the initial investment. The average home could install a 4.8 kilowatt system, approximately 400 square feet of solar cells. This could save you approximately $0.41 per day in your electric bill, which would more than offset the proposed rate increase.

Re-roofing is the perfect time to think about retrofitting your home with solar power. Certainteed, a leading roofing products manufacture, offers the Apollo Solar Roofing System that is designed to integrate with asphalt shingles. The Apollo Solar Roofing System can be installed for about $5 to $6 per watt. The Apollo System has a system warranty of 10 years and a power warranty of 25 years.

Regal Roofing & Contracting is a certified installer of Certainteed’s Apollo Solar Roofing System. If you are considering an alternative source to power your home and solar makes sense as the answer then contact Regal Roofing & Contracting to consult with you about your solar options. Regal Roofing can visit your home and perform a site analysis to let you know what solar power can do for you.