Roofing truth, do i need this stuff? - Posted by tony b, columbus ohio

Posted by Darin on September 25, 2003 at 11:00:12:


Roofing truth, do i need this stuff? - Posted by tony b, columbus ohio

Posted by tony b, columbus ohio on September 24, 2003 at 14:09:50:

I need a roof on a property. One roofer is telling me that i reduce my risk for water damage by installing drip edge, water barrier, and heavy felt. I am also encouraged to install ridgeventing. I do want a low maintenance roof.

This extra stuff will add 2k to my roof cost. Is it worth the money?


Re: Roofing truth, do i need this stuff? - Posted by Erin (detroit)

Posted by Erin (detroit) on September 26, 2003 at 13:15:54:

Just to chime in, I have a friend that does all of my roofs. If you are in it for the long haul, have a tear-off done as I was told (roofers correct me if I am wrong), but each time you do a roof over an existing roof, you cut the life of the shingle in half (i.e. if you buy 25 year shingles and put them over 1 existing layer, you will only get apx. 12.5 years (give or take) on the new roof). Whenever I have a long term rental, I have a tear off done and architecual (spelling?) shingles installed (usually 4 nails per shingle and have not had any problems).

my 2 coins.


Re: Roofing truth, do i need this stuff? - Posted by Frank Chin

Posted by Frank Chin on September 26, 2003 at 10:07:16:


I had SFH rentals that I had for 20 years. I also had some roofs done.

I had problems with water backing up into the roof with ice dams, as well as clogged leaders, where water can back up under the roof tiles during short and heavy rainstorms. I’ll find leaves, balls, and other junk, sitting in the gutters afterwards.

The drip edge would cut down on the water backing up tremendously.

We had heavy rains recently in NYC, and tenants had reported to me that water’s been rolling off the sides of the gutters. As I’ve been busy, had a bad back, I going to have someone clean the gutters again, and place a screen over it to prevent leaves and junk falling in as I had planned for a while.

Sometimes when I get reports about this, and don’t get on it promptly, I’ll find the interior walls starting to get wet from water backing in later on.

Also, make sure they install flashing underneath areas where you have a lower garage roof meeting the side wall of the house. I had problems there after heavy storm storms, and water melting underneath all that snow seeps into the house.

If its a long term rental, and you’re not in a position to inspect often, I would put the drip edge in in.

Once the water gets into the house, it may cost more than $2,000 to repair, particularly if the tenants does not advise you on a timely bases.

Frank Chin

Re: Roofing truth, do i need this stuff? - Posted by Ken (NJ)

Posted by Ken (NJ) on September 24, 2003 at 14:24:57:

You have not given us a whole lot of information here, but I will try to help anyway. In general, drip edge, ice and water shield, felt and ridge venting are all parts of a properly done roof. I am not sure what he means by “heavy felt,” but standard 15 pound felt works fine for the field of a roof. He may mean 30 pound felt, but the price difference between the two is minimal and does not yield greater function to the roof. If you are talking about those materials, we can assume it is either a new roof or a tear-off. A recover would not require new felt. In my area, ice and water shield are required by code, and some towns also require ridge venting. (Ice and water shield is a sticky membrane used at the bottom of the roof where it meets the gutter. One roll width is laid out around the entire perimeter of the roof, and then felt is used above that.) I would be wary of a roofer who did not use the materials listed above, and his “additional” price to install them seems high. You have not told us how big the roof is, but it would have to be HUGE to merit an additional 2k for the drip edge, ice and water shield and ridge venting.

Ken (NJ)

Re: Roofing truth, do i need this stuff? - Posted by Ray_CO

Posted by Ray_CO on September 24, 2003 at 17:28:52:

As an old roofer I agree with Ken (NJ). I have seen where felt was used on a re-roof to help smooth everything out. However, if the roof is that bad your better off doing a tear-off (removing the old roof first). The venting will help the roof last longer and also help with cooling on the summer time.

Re: Roofing truth, do i need this stuff? - Posted by Cal

Posted by Cal on September 24, 2003 at 19:34:31:

Get several bids. Ask for references on recently completed jobs and CHECK THEM OUT.

A new pickup truck isn’t necessarily a good sign. I know one fellow who was an absolute rip-off artist who drove a Dodge diesel. Another fellow drives beaters but does very good quality (concrete) work.

Re: Roofing truth, do i need this stuff? - Posted by Del-Ohio

Posted by Del-Ohio on September 24, 2003 at 20:54:31:

This is funny but very true.

I was impressed with the new diesel 4x4 and professional graphics on doors of a new contractor pickup I hired a couple weeks ago. After two projects I wont have him do a third one.

Our best general contractor drives a somewhat beat up van. Our best trim carpenter drove an old VW pickup until a couple weeks ago, now he drives a nice Izuzu Trooper. The best painter (the one who now does all our properties) drives an old van as well, previous one drove a new pickup.

I would have to agree, if you are a new REI don’t make any assumptions that quality of vehichle will equal quality of work.

My Viewpoints


Re: Roofing truth, do i need this stuff? - Posted by tony b, columbus ohio

Posted by tony b, columbus ohio on September 24, 2003 at 20:49:58:

thanks for the comments. I follow a process for roofing. I get a roof inspection. I write a statement of work and bid it. I think review the replies and require my inspector to review the work before making final payment. This works well for me.

only problem is getting a straight answer. i know roofers want me to spend more money on drip edge, ridge caps, fans, premium flet, tear offs, and leak barrier on ridges, edges, eves, etc. You roofers, do you put this stuff on your own homes? on your investment property?


Re: Roofing truth, do i need this stuff? - Posted by Brenda Whittaker

Posted by Brenda Whittaker on September 26, 2003 at 13:27:22:

My best painter drives a beat up van. Really though, the only thing I’ve found to work is experience - I’ve hired a lot of crew - some highly recommended that did disasters to my buildings - I’ve just had to weed them out as I went along. On the advice of a good Landlord Tenant Law attorney, however, I’ve paid attention to the condition of prospective tenant’s vehicles - the way they treat their vehicle is the way they’ll probably treat their home - worked like a charm, every time. The worst tenant I had drove a bicycle - Ok, I should have known he lost his license for drunk driving…

Re: Roofing truth, do i need this stuff? - Posted by Ken (NJ)

Posted by Ken (NJ) on September 24, 2003 at 21:31:05:

I was a roofer in a former life, so I know a bit about shingle roofs. To answer your questions:

Drip edge - This is cheap aluminum put at the edge of the roof. It is cheap to buy and easy to install. It costs about $5 for a 10’ length. In my mind, any new roof should have new drip edge.
Ridge caps - Every shingle roof has ridge caps. They are not an upgrade. Roofs with architectural grade shingles can use “enhanced” ridge caps, which are a little bit thicker. Enhanced ridges may be a little more in materials buy no more labor.
Fans - They ventilate the attic, which is a good thing. It increases the life of the roof, and also helps on cooling bills. This upgrade would cost money, as the fans cost money, and they need to be hooked up to an electric service. A ridge vent is an easier way to accomplish this ventilation of the attic.
Premium felt- 30 pound felt may be what you are talking about, as opposed to 15 pound. The cost difference in materials is minimal, and it does not effect labor enough to make a huge difference in price.
Tear Offs - Generally, required if there are 2 roofs present, or if there is an old shake roof and a shingle roof over that. Some roofs with a single layer might be torn off if they have deteriorated such that they cannot be covered.
Leak barrier- I think you mean ice and water shield. It is sticky membrane normally used around the edges of the roof. In my area, code requires it. I think it is a good idea to use it even if code does not require it, especially on low-slope roofs.

When I had my roof done, I had a single roof layer re-covered with heavy weight architectural shingles. I had a ridge vent installed, as well as a new drip edge.

Another simple question to ask a roofer is how may nails they use per shingle. The minimum is 4, but 5 or 6 are better. With pneumatic nailers, it is very easy to put more nails per shingle. Putting the minimum of 4 may show a lazy roofer, more concerned with time than a good job.

Ken (NJ)