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Friday, August 5, 2011

Thinner and Lighter Everything in Roofing

Kids hate it when we geezers say "when I was a boy..." But more often than not what we spew is truth, as filtered through an aged brain with prejudices for the way it was. But I'm going to say it and I'm going to say it about all basic roofing commodities.

When I was a boy the lightest of the shingles, a fifteen year three tab, weighed more that current lifetime roofing. 240 lb square butts went down to 235's and eventually to less than 200. The 340 lb timberline has undulkated and danced between 320 down to less than 240 today. So do all the other laminates except for the wamma jammas. today.

But it's not just the shingles, which can be explained away with better technology. The metal edge used to be so strong you could twirl it like a girl twirling her baton in a marching band. Now you need to have three or four together and hold them with two hands.

30 lb. felt is now #30 and 15lb. is #15.

the nails used to be hot dipped galvanized and now the standard is a shiny electroplated nail made by political prisoners in the country that owns our debt. 

The galvanized valley is a joke. The step flashing will cut like paper and you won't know it until the wild dogs come after you. The 90 lb is not that at all. Metal stacks are not soldered but caulked. Lead can't even be close to 2.5 or 4 lb. as it once was.

From the felt, the roofing nail (ha ha they shot your roof on with a gun, ha ha), the accessories, and the roofing itself, we have seen a great disappearing act.

All aside, technology has improved the shingle from UV degradation, the sun's rays, the greatest shingle killer over time. But the short and fast roof assassins, wind and hail, have been granted a license to kill unless you take a few evasive maneuvers. The Birds of Prey are de-cloaking Captain.

Flat laying felt (costs more) helps keep wind from finding something to grab hold of. (darn preposition)
Starter shingles keep the first row from lifting off.
Hand nailing, well, a no brainer.
Heavier roofing is just heavier.
Class IV  impact resistant rated shingles that can take more of a beating before failure and save you some mula if you have Met Life or Metropolitan Insurance, State Farm, or USAA.

Thin shingle syndrome isn't going away. The answer to better quality is better products than the base line stuff that your roofer offers you to keep price down. That's why he is cheaper. That's why it'll cost you more in the long run to buy the cheaper products. Six or seven hundred dollars should fix the problem if you front load the roof. After the fact it will be many thousands of dollars.

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
    Follow jwrightroofing on Twitter

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