When replacing a roof, most people believe that the only thing that really matters is the shingles installed on top. However, a lifetime roof is much more than just shingles. There are many components of your roof that work together to keep the rain out. If just one of the parts in the system fails, water can start draining into your home instead of off the roof where it belongs.
Because the roof on your home is so important, having just one layer of protection is not a good way to guarantee you won’t have water in your home in the future. Each part needs a system of redundancy that will act as back-up protection just in case the top layer fails.
Here’s a few examples…
When reroofing a home, first an underlayment is installed on the wood decking of your roof. Then the shingles are installed over the top. If the underlayment is damaged and won’t keep water out on it’s own, then the only thing protecting your home is the shingles. If one shingle were to blow off you will have water running into your attic the next time it rains. Since old-fashioned organic felt paper is vulnerable to wrinkling and tearing, we use synthetic felt paper to ensure the shingles have adequate back up protection should something happen.
Another extremely vulnerable area on a roof is the flashings around walls, chimneys, & skylights. Since water can flow right along flashings, if one gets damaged all that water will flow right into the home. As a back up, a high quality ice & water shield should be installed behind each piece of flashing. So if one fails, the water still can’t get in.
Ventilation is a key part of a lifetime roof system as well. If a roof is under-ventilated or not ventilated at all (as I’ve seen before) it will eventually destroy the plywood used in the roof deck. Shingles will also age quicker due to the intense heat trapped in an un-ventilated attic. Plus you’ll end up paying more to cool your home if the attic is storing all that heat in the summer time.
Because of all these variables, it’s very important to make sure every part of the roof system is there and installed right. If anything is missing or done wrong, you’re almost guaranteed to have problems later on down the road. The only thing worse than having to replace your roof once, is being forced to replace it again if something was missed or fails prematurely.
To see our process and what should be in every roof bid you get, check out our guide on how to avoid hidden costs when getting your roof replaced.