Flashing...the legal kind!

I know, I know... when you hear the term "flashing", your mind doesn't immediately jump to roofing! Though you may not know what it is, it is a very important part of the roofing process. Basically, the short answer to describe flashing is it's the material that help prevents leaks and water damage. That alone would seal the deal for me (no pun intended)!

Let me tell you a little more in depth answer to the question, What is Flashing? Flashing is usually an aluminum or galvanized steel material. For flashing to be effective, it must be durable, low-maintenance, weather resistant, and can accommodate movement (due to ever-changing contraction and expansion of roofing materials). It is used to cover joints on the roof and wall construction to prevent water from getting in and causing damage. You may think, well I have flashing but I've also noticed water damage lately. If this is the case, then your flashing has either come loose or is old and deteriorating and needs to be replaced. Now though flashing will last many years, it will not last forever. Over time, extreme weather conditions (freezes, snow, storms, etc) can cause it to be more prone to failure, which is why extreme caution during the installation process is so important.

Flashing is used around dormer windows, skylights, hood vents, pipe vents, chimney, and just anywhere that there is a possibility of water getting in on your roof. So as you have hopefully learned throughout today's blog, flashing serves a pretty important job. Make sure you hire someone who knows what he's doing when it comes to flashing. Flashing is pretty much our last line of defense in protecting our homes from water penetration, so don't skimp on it!

As always, if you have ANY questions on flashing or anything else roofing related, I'd love to talk with you. Now go on and make sure if you have flashing, that it's still functioning as it should; and if you don't have flashing, well you better go hire someone to install it so you don't end up with a leaky roof anytime soon!

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More felt paper!!

So last week I gave y'all an introduction into felt paper. If you're new to learning about roofing and felt paper, you probably think there's only one type of felt paper. Well if you've been around the roofing block a little while, you know there are multiple options to choose from when it comes to felt paper. I'm going to tell you about these different types today to give you a little better understanding of what you're dealing with when you're putting on your new roof.

The thing that makes one felt paper different from the next is it's composition. The different materials used are fiberglass, cellulose, or polyester. These are then covered with asphalt or another substance. If you're pretty into being eco-friendly or organic in nature, you will lean towards the cellulose one. The downside to this one is it's not as durable and typically doesn't last as long. You can do some extra coatings to help it last longer, but it's still slightly inferior to the other two. Fiberglass and polyester are stronger against rips and harder weather conditions. If it were me, I'd go with the fiberglass or polyester, but that's my personal preference.

You also will encounter different thicknesses of the felt paper. It comes in two different options, 15 pound and 30 pound. Obviously, the 30 lb felt paper is going to be sturdier and provide extra protection against harsh weather and the installation process. The upside to the 15 pound underlayment is it provides some airflow and it's not as heavy on the house. The type of metal or shingle roof you are having installed will give recommendations on the type of underlayment you need, so you will have guidance in this area from that.

So those are your different types of felt paper! It may sound boring and obsolete, but it really is important to look at all aspects of what's going on your roof when you're having a new roof installed. Not only will it help you to know what's going on, but it will effect the quality and longevity of your roof.

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Felt Paper

It's a beautiful day here today, so what better time to talk about roofing, right?! We are going to talk about felt paper, but before we get into it, I'm sure you've missed hearing about my daughter's home craziness, right? Well, weather has been horrible lately... terrible storms, tons of rain, etc. The good (and bad) part about rain is it sometimes will help to reveal a problem you didn't know you had. For one, her gutters were clogged, causing a downpour from her roof (has she not learned anything from me?!). Right at the location of the downpour, she saw a drip coming from the underneath side of her front porch. Now... that leak could've been caused from the clogged gutters, which could've caused a back-up of water somewhere. It also could be from the obvious... a leak in the roof. Her roof is not too old, so they're going to have to get it inspected and hopefully claim it under warranty. So for now, the saga is To Be Continued....

Ok, onto felt paper! If you read my last blog, you know I touched a little on felt paper. Felt paper is basically a barrier for your roof. It provides added protection to the wood on your roof. For example, as you know, warm air rises. In the warm months, you have warm, moist air. Well as this moist air rises through your sheetrock ceiling and up through your attic, the felt paper on your roof lets the moist air pass through. At times, that moisture can condense on the underneath side of your shingles. The felt paper prevents that condensation from touching the wood. Moisture and wood is a bad combination, and over time that combination leads to rotted wood among other problems. Felt paper is the barrier that prevents those further problems.

Another good thing about the felt paper is it provides a barrier between the wood roof and the asphalt shingles. The sap from the wood is not good for the asphalt, so it keeps the two from touching. Felt  paper is not something that wears out. It's completely protected on both sides from materials that take the brunt of any wear and tear.

All in all, felt paper is not an absolute requirement when installing a brand new roof, but it's an added form of security that everyone should want on their roof. It keeps the roof dry if there's rain during the roofing installation. If a shingle blows of your roof, the felt paper will protect your roof from a leak. Basically, felt paper is your secondary line of defense!

 I hope this gave you a brief introduction to felt paper and you strongly consider it when installing your next roof!

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Butyl Rubber Matting

So you may have read the title of today's blog and didn't want to read any further because it sounded pretty boring. Well I'm hoping it had the opposite affect on you, as I'm guessing it did because you're still reading along. Well, if you haven't heard of butyl rubber matting, maybe you've heard of ice and water shield? That's a more common term used, but it's the same product. Ok, onto what it is!

Butyl rubber matting is basically added protection for your roof. Obviously, this is a pretty important job, so you have to make sure you have a high quality matting. Here are some things the butyl rubber matting will provide for you and your home:

   - Protection from harsh weather conditions

   - Roof leak protection

   - Watertight roofing installation so you don't have to give any special treatment to the laps

   - Ease of waterproofing detail areas such as your chimney, valleys, and roof to wall transitions

   - Helps to prevent heavy rain, melting ice, or snow from leaking through the roof vent

As you can see, the butyl rubber matting has a pretty important job and is such a great helper to the other components of a roof. If you're familiar with felt paper, you know that it has some issues. It's still a good product, but it's inferior to the quality of the rubber matting. Butyl rubber matting is made of a rubbery asphalt mixture, which takes care of the problems you may find with felt paper (such as, it overlaps the sheet below, which can in turn allow water to creep in through the nail holes if there's a backup. The actual hole where the nail enters the felt paper is not sealed, which can eventually lead to leaks in your roof.) This butyl rubber matting is a very sticky substance and adheres extremely well to the wood on the roof. Leaks simply do not happen with this material because a gasket effect is created on the nail due to this rubberized nature of the matting.

This upgrade to your new roof may not be as necessary if you live in a pretty mild climate, without too much crazy weather. If you have a climate that is prone to tornadoes, heavy downpours, melting ice, snow... you get the drift... then you should definitely look into adding this to your next new roof. It will extend the life of your roof by keeping out the water and leaks!

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Drip Edge

Before we get too far into talking about the importance of drip edge, let me tell you a little bit about it in case you don't already know. Basically, drip edge is the metal flashing at the edge of the roof. It's a non-corrosive, non-staining material that allows the water run-off to drip clear of underlying construction. Drip edge is important because it will lengthen the lifespan of your roof (by preventing splits or cracks that can come from water damage).

Ok, onto the good stuff! Here are some good facts about the importance of drip edge:

   1. Protects from "sideways" (windy) rain

   2. Supports the roofing products and promotes longevity of the roof

   3. Guards against possibly movements between the deck and fascia boards

   4. Helps keep insects and pests from entering between the deck and fascia boards  (can you tell yet this area needs protection?)

   5. Protects the underlying wood by improving the efficiency of water-shedding

As you can see, all parts of the roof and counterparts work together to make sure it is working and lasting as long as possible. Without some of these "pieces of the puzzle" (like drip edge), your roof is not going to perform as well as it should or as long. It's also just as important to make sure the drip edge is installed properly to avoid a host of potential problems.

Here are some points to remember with proper installation of drip edge):

   - Roof overhang beyond the fascia board

   - Must be corrosion resistant

   - Should be nailed to roof decking

   - Roofing cement can be used at times when extra protection is needed

If the drip edge is improperly installed, it can cause more damage than you want to think about. For example, if the roof overhang is too short, water can leak behind the gutters, causing possible rot, stained siding, soil corrosion, or basement flooding! So take it from me.... do your research, know who you're hiring, and get it done right the first time. I've fixed botched jobs in the past, and let me tell you.... It's not fun having to tell the homeowner the extent of the damage that's been done due to guys not knowing what they're doing.

I hope you've learned a couple things through this post today! Let me know how I can help!

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