Ask the Expert

I have opened up this section for customers who are looking for expert advise. It is a work in progress.  I ask you to email me your roofing question and I will respond to you as soon as possible.

Every winter we deal with homeowners who have had the misfortune of having a less then  adequate roofing job done. Usually it is by someone who saved them a bit of money but in the end have cost them so much more. All of our jobs have Ice and Water Shield installed and entire base sheet coverage. These products add dollars to the job but are worth far more then what they cost. Remember out of the lifespan of your roof one bad winter can cost you thousands of dollars. Because we have the experience to back us up we know that it might be next winter or ten years down the road. We prepare for that winter and do our best to protect your investment. That is why we will not do your roof without these products installed.  We are willing to give up the job because we care  about protecting you . These cannot be installed after so don’t make the mistake so many have. Check to make sure that these are being installed. In the end you will be happy that you did.

Getting estimates can be very frustrating as there are so many variables. That is why we have created a list of questions to help in this process.

Questions like what shingles do I want and from what manufacturer? Is this the most important question. I would say that this is probably one of  the least important questions to ask.   Why? It does sound absurd that I would say this, but if you think about it,  you can have what you think is the best shingle, but, if it is not installed correctly the quality of the shingle becomes irrelevant.  I’m not saying that it isn’t important but qualify the roofing company first. Every legit company can install any shingle on the market.

My least favorite question of all. Warranty. Why? Because most shingles will last longer then the best part of the warranty . I am not saying that they are not important but there is a lot of restrictions and fine print.  They need to be transferred after sale of property within 60 days. They cannot be transferred after a certain time frame. Varies depending upon manufacturer . They mostly state that it has to leak from a manufacturing defect. It can look like it is about to fall apart but if it isn’t leaking they are performing properly. Who wants to wait for their roof to leak before they renew their shingles. Certainteed is the only company who will warranty esthetics’s and that is why it is one of our shingles of choice.  But you probably can see where I am going with this. Please don’t get hung up on the warranty as there are far more important things. If shingles lasted as long as the warranties say all of these companies would be out of business.

Most important question- Who is installing your roof? Put everything aside and the installation becomes the most important aspect of any roof. There isn’t a warranty or manufacturer who will stand behind poor workmanship. With some of the manufacturers they say that they will warranty workmanship. But  they need to inspect the roof after installation for a premium price.

Use this handy check list to help you compare contractors. 

Years in business? – This one can be hard to determine as it is hard to check. Rouse Roofing (33 years and we can back it up)

WSIB and Liability insurance?- Get them to show you documentation. Very important!

Are men paid hourly or by piecework? Piecework can very easily lead to a rushed job.

Do they have references? Not one or two but multiples. Ask to see something in the area .

Cost of extras. This one is huge as an attractive bid could become very expensive once the job is completed.  Because we are experts at what we do, if you have majors problems we can usually spot them when we are doing the estimate.

And whatever you do don’t go with a company because you like their shingles. Pick the company and if you don’t like the shingles they are offering ask about what else he has to offer. Rouse Roofing will use all major manufacturers.

As you have probably gathered from our  questionnaire we are not your typical roofing company. We don’t candy-coat anything. We are upfront and honest. I wish I could tell you that the shingles we are putting on will last forever but that is not the case. I would say that most of  the newer fiberglass shingles should pass the 22 year mark . If they go further consider it a bonus. It is a far cry from the shingles of yesterday that if you were lucky lasted between 12 and 15 years. No one can predict the lifespan and that even includes the shingle manufacturers. Mother nature throws so many things at your roof and that can have a huge impact on the lifespan of your shingles. I just know that at Rouse Roofing we will do our best to give you the best. That is our promise to you and that is why we can say that for 26 years customers have trusted Putting Rouse on Their House.

Ventilation– This topic has been ongoing for so many years and changes seem to be made time and time again. What does ventilation mean? It is all about exchanging the air in your attic. How do you do that? Well because warm air rises vents are installed in the higher regions of your attic. These are called either static, ridge , power or gable vents. These are called exhaust vents. There are problems when you use combinations of these but that is why you higher an expert.  For these to perform properly you need an intake. The intake is located at the lower portion of your attic and is usually found in the soffit area. As warm air rises it needs to pull air from somewhere. If your soffit is blocked it may just pull this air from another roof vent. Pulling from another roof vent will only move a small amount of air from your attic or possiby none at all. Also in the winter time it can suck snow into your attic through your roof vents.  The rule of thumb is one square ft. of ventilation for every 300 sq. ft. of attic floor space. Divide this between soffit and roof vents.  The trouble with this is there are obstacles that can upset the balance of your airflow. These include insulation to possibly too much snow on your roof.  Soffit vents need to be clear and to do that you need what is called a rafter channel.  I wish we had more regulation on contractors as if one of the three (insulation, siding or roofer) messes up the whole system can be out of balance.

Just like insulation can block a soffit, snow can block a roof vent. One heavy snowfall can be a major factor in why you had so much ice one year but other years you did not. Moderate snow fall will allow the vents to clear before the next snowfall. A heavy dose of snow can block your vents for a number of days or weeks. This combined with cold weather can be the right recipe for Ice Buildup.  The year 2010-2011 saw this happen.  A good rule of thumb is to look up at your roof. If you see icicles you might want to have the snow removed off of your roof.  Rouse Roofing offers this service. The removal of snow should always be done by a roofing professional.

Be Prepared.  The nice thing about using a reputable company like us is that we prepare for winters like this. Our roofs have the best protection possible and came through with flying colours that winter. We take quality very serious and our weather beater system is years of knowledge in the making. Sure we might not have another winter like this in 5 to 10 years but it only takes one to cause major damage. We foresee this and never stray from the importance of it. Ice and water shield is our best weapon of choice when it comes to  protecting your investment . We know what areas need it the most. Installing Ice and Water Shield on the eaves is great but what about the wall areas and valleys where the water always seems to head to. How about around the plumbers stacks,  fan caps and skylights where warm air is always causing ice to form.  These are years of experience and one of the reasons why we are one of London’s best.

Insulation can also cause blockages and that is why it is important to have rafter channels installed at the eave area. These are installed inside your attic at the eave area and are usually made of Styrofoam or cardboard.

Your soffit area can be deceiving. You have perforated aluminum and vinyl soffit vents but if your house was built before the 90’s there is a good chance that you have wood soffit under this also. So many times I have seen perforated soffit but the wood soffit above it is not cut out. This is a because the siding installer did not take the time to open up the soffit. This is the same as putting a roof vent on your roof without cutting the plywood out below it. Makes no sense to me but you would be surprised at how many homes out there have no opening cut.