Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Watch Those Roofers!

Not a good photo here but this is a roofing re-do across the field from us. They seem OK but I started to notice a few things that irritated me. First, I was taught to hand-nail all my shingles, since those air-gun staples are worthless in a storm. Don't believe folks who say they have new "space age" staples that work just as good, because that's a lie. I've been in the business and have heard all the stories.

Second, the drip edge should be replaced if it is metal; I like the heavy-duty ones that won't rust as fast or even plastic. This house didn't have drip edge molding but cheap wood so I guess they didn't need it.

Third, valley metal should be at least 2 feet wide if not more - these are the troughs where two gables meet and water must flow along the roof pitch. Um, there's no valley metal in this picture, just a strip of tar paper.

Fourth, once the tar paper (asphalt felt) is applied, the first row of shingles is turned upside down, allowing the glue strip to hold the outer edge of the shingles down. This is definitely worth a few shingles. This row is nailed quite close to the drip edge.

Fifth, where's a bucket of roofing cement for the penetrations like the plumbing vents and difficult areas? We always had a gallon or two of Bulldog for those situations.

Frankly, I'm shocked that the town building code allows the use of staple guns and such shoddy business practices - roof staples are illegal in Florida and have been ever since Hurricane Andrew. Oh, the "heffe" just showed up in his dually crew truck. His crew is smashing down a case of empty beer cans with a cinder block while the "vatos" work on the roof. Nice work if you can get it, I suppose.


Anonymous said...

Sam, so good to hear you made it through the storm. It must have been nearve wrecking to be away and not know what, if anything, had happened to the house. Were thrilled you all made it out with no damage. As to the Yahoos on the roof, probably roof gypsies from oklahoma, I would never allow anything but a hand nailed roof on my home. With the amount of work in the Valley the next few months I can only guess this is the only type of roof anyone can get. Building Codes are out the window when it comes to disaster recovery....Too bad...If you had the chance, which you really dont down there, I wouldn't put a roof on til the temp was below 70 degrees to avoid foot prints and other scaring on the asphalt. A good tile or metal roof would look great on that house. Glad your home. Chris and Deb

Sam said...

Thanks Chris and Deb - need us to go check your unit? Hope to see y'all soon after these skeeters get knocked down a bit - they're thick as I've ever seen on the island right now, solid clouds of 'em.

On that roof, yeah, I'd have spent the money on a nice standing seam metal job and save 10% on the home insurance - they say that's a great way to go. Best,

Everett said...

Glad to see you're back on line again. I just redid my roof last year and though it is only a hip roof if it had had valleys they would have been three foot wide and made of copper! Expensive as hell right now but well worth it when the wind is howling at about 80-90 knots as it does here in the winter quite often. The guys up here use the the nail guns but they have the regular roofing nails with the big heads. You can get and use the plain steel ones but they will rust out in about three years. So most guys opt for the regular galvanized ones. We used the same thing on my sons hardi-board siding on his new house.

Rob Nixon said...

OK Mr. Roofer!

So I need to put up some new shingles to replace the few missing and damage, what is your suggestioed method?

I am completely serious. Of all the projects I have done, I have never patched a roof!

Sam said...

Hey Everett, Ole Man Rose would be proud of your roof, sounds like a good job.

Rob - you should have somebody look at your roof. If the shingles bent up with the wind, that glue seal will be broken. If there's no obvious "curling" then you're probably OK. But often they'll recommend a total re-roof job and if the insurance works, I'd do it.

You can patch single shingle carefully by removing the old one by lifting surrounding shingles. Slip the new on in and nail it being careful not to gig the surrounding ones. Now use a little bit of black roofing cement way under so the surrounding shingles will glue back down - the stuff in caulking tubes works best for this. Gently walk on the patch and don't get any black pooh on your sneakers. Presto, done!

Hehe, use old sneakers with good tread and take them off before going in the house, your wife will love ya!

Ridge shingles are three to a shingle cut down from those slots. I usually cut these at a little angle so no black shows. Nail the black part, starting from the bottom and working up or from one end. Not difficult but does require several heavy-duty box-cutter blades for cutting the shingles. Four nails for each piece.

Stay away from any airports when doing this, as box cutters are on the terrorist watch list!

Hope this helps some and call me for a free beer consultation. -sam

Everett said...

Old Man Rose huh? He would be the guy who actually taught me all I know about carpentering!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing this, Sam. It is a fact that roofers have their own special way of doing things. But nothing beats the skilled expertise of a contractor who uses quality materials and teams up with skilled people who are the best in this field.
Terence Watthens

Johney smith said...

I would never allow anything but a hand nailed roof on my home. thank you so much for sharing.

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