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Wednesday, March 30, 2011

The Top Ten Most Important Parts of a Roof

You might be wondering what are the most important aspects of a roof and the roof replacement process.

The first step in the reroof process is selecting a roofing contractor, a roofing manufacturer, and a system. This will determine the longevity of the roof, the serviceable time of a roofing material, your utility costs, influences overall family respiratory health, related home maintenance issues like carpentry, painting, and HVAC repairs. 

Numero dos for roofs is right where the roof begins, the soffit vent. These little intake vents, working in conjunction with their siblings on the outtake, make everything last longer: the roof itself, the paint (the original reason for soffit venting was to keep paint on the home. The paint companies up north invented ventilation in the 1920's), the insulation, the decking, your life (better health).

Third comes the nexus of the deck protection or felt and the metal edge and starter. I mention these three items as one because they are like a mini system within the bigger system. You don't mesh these three correctly and your paint and eave lumber and siding rot away. 

The forth is the flashing and valley material. This is composed of a flashing and accompanying leak protector enhancements that keep the roof penetrations from leaking.

Fifth is nail selection and placement. This issue has grown so much that the manufacturers have even put a pretty line for the roofer to follow for nail placement. Most have never even noticed. Some even think it is a maximum exposure line, which if used as such, makes for a failed roof. Some have gone so far as to state that pneumatic nails are better than staples and that is flat wrong. Don't get me wrong here because I believe staples are terrible. It's just that nail guns are worse. Some believe that regulators fix the problem of over driving the nail but with these thin fiberglass shingles of today, it makes almost no difference. The driver of a nail gun is the same size as the nail head allowing for countersinking of the nail. The difference of a shingles consistency varies with just a few seconds of exposure to the sun and the density of the deck and presence of gaps in the wood or support lumber under the deck cannot be detected by a nail gunner. The roofing hatchet is larger than the nail, preventing over-nailing, and the nailer is in direct cosmic connection to the harmony of the nail to the roofing and the wood it is driven into. He can feel if the nail achieved nirvana.

Sixth comes the associated trades and products. The masonry of the chimney, the HVAC guys and their pipes, the plumbers and their pipes, and the carpenters who built the structure and the materials they use all effect the roof that lies on top of this stuff or integrates with them. Remember that your teeth may be fine but bleeding gums lead to bad breath.

Seven, well I should have made notes because winging it can back one into a corner, is the ridge, which keeps the roof from blowing off, and to some degree, from leaking. The ridge can make the difference between a bad haircut and a Senator John (the jerk off) Edwards mamma jamma styling doo.

Color comes in at eight. Aesthetics comes in late on the list because function supersedes looks. Again, don't get me wrong because "pretty" makes the minimum expectations list for homeowners here in the Dallas Fort Worth area.

Surprising the ninth on the list is the homeowner, the one who selected the roofer and materials. He is part of the first one but is re-listed because he has a continual job to do. He must walk around his home looking for peeling paint, damaged wood, high nails on the roof, stains, and huge piles of leaves in the valleys and behind the chimney. An occasional attic stroll might also save his family's life by preventing carbon monoxide poisoning or electrical fires. Death sucks.

And the drum rolls... Think back to number two. The long lost sibling to the soffit vent, the exhaust vent. The ying to the yang, the making whole by complimenting opposites, the in and the out. What goes in must come out. Together they make a functional balanced ventilation system.

Sometimes homeowners ask for our best crew. All roofing contractors have heard this. The truth is all roofers rise to the expectations of their check provides. Plus it is up to the contractor to find any flaws and have them fixed. For this reason I list the roofing crew with the roofing contractor. The wholesaler falls into this category as well. When the driveway gets cracked or the carport smashed by a forklift, the buck stops here. And frankly, my dear will never do that for a buck again.

The roofing material itself is just part of a total system and if their are any weak links in the chain, the roof will break.

Jon Alan Wright
Jon Wright Roofing, Siding, and Windows
1915 Peters Rd., Suite 310
Irving, TX 75061
972.251.1818 Office
214.718.3748 Cell
972.554.8090 Fax
Master Elite Roofer: (Scroll to the bottom)

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