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What should I use for my new roof?

Post in 'DIY and General non-hearth advice' started by MrGriz, Aug 19, 2007.

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  1. MrGriz

    MrGriz New Member

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    This may sound like a silly question, but I have to replace my roof and I'm wondering if there is a better alternative to asphalt shingles.

    I am in southeastern Wisconsin, so we get hit with all the elements and I want something that will stand up to Mother Nature well. My house is a tri-level, with a roof pitch that is not too steep. On 1/2 of the house the ridge runs one way and it's perpendicular on the other 1/2 (hope that makes sense). There is currently one layer of asphalt shingles on the roof. Whatever material goes on, I am planning to do a tear off of the existing roofing and I know I need to add some venting.

    I was planning to use a dimensional shingle, but I started thinking that there might be some better products out there. I know metal roofs are very popular in some areas, but I'm not sure what the trade off is in additional cost and if it is worth it or not.

    Any suggestions would be appreciated.

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  2. Gooserider

    Gooserider Mod Emeritus

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    No personal experience, but almost everything I've heard about metal roofs has been positive in terms of their durability and weather resistance. They are also supposed to be good in terms of fire resistance - they aren't prone to getting lit off by embers from nearby fires. FWIW I noticed that they seemed to be the overwhelmingly popular choice when we went up to VT on a trip last summer, as they are good for snow shedding. I also like the idea of a roof that supposedly is good for the life of the house...

    About the only downsides I've heard is that they are a bit more slick to work on, which might matter to the folks that sweep from the roof, and that they are a bit more of a challenge to deal with if you have to add or change anything that needs a hole in the roof once it's been installed.

    Bottom line is that I'd be looking real hard at a metal roof the next time we need one.

    Gooserider
  3. elkimmeg

    elkimmeg Guest

    Standard shingles are 20 to 24 5 year warranty up from the common non fiberglass based of the past 15 warranty then ther iare heavier duty shingles 30 to 35 year warranty periods

    some are like shake designed. there are even 50 year shingles depends upon you budget alotment

    Metal roofing in lightening areas may not be a good idea unless porperly grounded. I'd think twice if you have frequent thunderstorms

    ever hear one during a heavy downpour or worse hail Personally Asplalt roofing is proven quite predictable and can be easilly repaired

    I admit to never using a metal roofing system or installing or working on one. I would be real leary walking on it to clean a chimney without safety harness and ropes
  4. MrGriz

    MrGriz New Member

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    Good points about the metal roofing. I hadn't thought of the lightning issue and we do get our share of thunder boomers here every year.

    I'll probably go with a good quality asphalt shingle again. As stated, they are proven, predictable and easy to deal with. I also like the dimensional look of some of them.
  5. Hogwildz

    Hogwildz Minister of Fire

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  6. Hogwildz

    Hogwildz Minister of Fire

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    Regarding lightning issues: Metal roofs have been used for many, many years, I don't know the statistics, but I bet as many shingled homes have been hit by it as metal roofed homes. Of course there is many more shingled homes. If you are in a lightning prone area, whether you go shingle or metal roof. You can install a lightning rod set up.
    Which is basically metal rods about 12" high by 1/2" to 3/4" thick that mount to bases fastened to the roof ridge every so many feet, or at each end and the middle. They are all connected with a thick gauge woven wire, copper, aluminum, steel etc, that runs in series from one end of house to connecting to each rod, then down to ground and to a grounding rod driven in the ground. I have some old copper wire in the garage used for that. If you thinking of going that route I can post a couple photos.
    If you have any taller trees around the house, chances are you won't need it, as lighting usually strikes the taller object. Which would be the tree if next to the house.
  7. TMonter

    TMonter Minister of Fire

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    Found the following:

    Two direct quotes are from MCA Technical Bulletin 1040

    "the probabilities of a strike to a metal roofed structure are no more or less than any other kind of structure, as these probabilities have to do with height and size of the structure and its surroundings, rather than its construction materials."

    "Because metal roofing is both an electrical conductor, and a noncombustible material, the risks associated with its use and behavior during a lightning event make it the most desirable construction material available." The closing paragraph of the technical bulletin states that, "it may, in some cases, be prudent to consider lightning protection. A lightning protection system provides for a continuous conductor from earth to sky (and visa versa) so that the electrical charge is furnished an obvious path through which to flow, thereby reducing the risk to (electrically) resistive construction materials and human life."

    Sounds like height is the primary driver as to whether an object is struck or not.
  8. MrGriz

    MrGriz New Member

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    Thanks for the replies. Hogwildz, that was some great insight.

    I believe the current roof is the original, which would put it at 28 years. When you look at it that way, why mess with something that performed that well. Besides, I'm sure the dimensional shingles that are made today are even an improvement over what's up there now.

    I do have soffit vents, but I don't think there is adequate ventilation. I would like to put a ridge vent in just to "complete" the loop of venting hot air out the top and bringing cooler air in through the soffits. This just seems to make sense.

    As far as the tear off is concerned, by code I can go up to two layers but I'm not convinced that it's a good idea. I can call in a few favors and do the tear off myself (I've had plenty of practice on friends houses already). So that brings the cost of the tear off down to the dumpster rental and some beer and steaks for after the work is done. With the tear off done, I can give the decking a good inspection and install ice and water shield. Besides, even though we plan to stay here for a good long time, when we do sell I think a single layer roof will be more attractive to a buyer than two.

    TMoniter, that was interesting information you found. I do have a number of trees in close proximity that are taller than the house, which should take care of that potential problem.

    Now all I have to do is find the time to get this done before the snow comes. I'm thinking that the cooler weather in late September or early October is prime roofing time...
  9. Highbeam

    Highbeam Minister of Fire

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    I pulled the metal off of our newly bought but well used house and replaced it with asphalt shingles this last winter. I thought I would like the metal but it ended up being very noisy and leaky. The old style metal with the exposed screw heads and neoprene gaskets were leaky.

    New metal was 3X the cost of shingles here in the NW.
  10. jtp10181

    jtp10181 Minister of Fire

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    I helped my dad shingle a shed with those architectural shingles (I think that's what you are calling dimensional). They were extemely easy to put down.
  11. TMonter

    TMonter Minister of Fire

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    Metal is great if you plan to stay in your house for the rest of your life. If not, often times asphalt can be the better choice.

    However, the new metal roofs don't have the leaking problem of the old ones.
  12. Robbie

    Robbie Minister of Fire

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    I heard a lot of biulders in my area are shying away from vent caps and using some sort electric fan caps located on top of roofs.

    We just had new 50 year dimensional shingles put on a few months back and they look great.

    We were told they are slightly thicker and will stand up to stronger winds etc.

    We sure like the looks of them.



    Robbie
  13. Hogwildz

    Hogwildz Minister of Fire

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    Don't wait too long, last thing u want is the roof opened up and rain or snow hitting. Do a side or section at a time, keep a new large enough tarp & some 1" x 3" laths along with some long say 12penny mails around, just in case!!! If you do get caught in rain, TAKE YOUR TIME!!! grab tarp cover ripped off section, nail the laths over the tarp along the preimeter and spread out over the middle, naile right through the lath & tarp. run all the lathe but the top vertical, and the bottom ones run diagonal. this will keep you dry and shouldn't blow off. But TAKE your time!!! YDon't get all freaked and at that point unsafe, it takes much longer than you thing for rain to get into the house & do any serious damage. The small amount you get while covering is nominal. Better safe than sorry. Wet things can dry or be replaced, you might not be.
  14. Hogwildz

    Hogwildz Minister of Fire

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    One other remark towards metal roofing.
    If a metal roof was fabricated and installed correctly, it will outlast us. Keep in mind they MUST be maintained!
    Think of it as a wood stove compared to a oil furnace. The metal roof needs periodic inspection & maintenance, the shingle roof is pretty much set & forget.
    Although I highly recommend getting on that roof every other year of so, maybe more, clean out gutters, check detail & flashings and just overall inspect condition of shingles. That way you can avoid leaks & keep track of how they are weathering.
    Metal roofs, need periodic solder touch ups very rarely (old type), keep clean of debris, and painting when paint fades or starts cracking or peeling. Surface prep is the key when repainting, no prep= paint not lasting long. Newer metal roofs are less maintenance, finish is baked on and usually warranted from 20 - 50 yrs.
    Unless insulated underneath they can be loud in rain storms, Some folks like it, some dont.
    Everyone has a preference of roof, both among others are good, durable long lasting roofs, when upkept.
    Metal, slate & cedar roofing is expensive for several reason, material cost, labor intensive, durability play key roles.
    Over the course of its life though, it is relatively normal cost when factoring life vs. cost over many years.
    Shingles ARE much thicker these days, the longer the warranted life span, the thicker they are. And heavier.
    Pick up a 20 yr bundle of shingles, then pick up a 40 or 50 yr bundle, you will immediately notice the difference in weight.
  15. MrGriz

    MrGriz New Member

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    Thanks for all the great advice and how to Hogwildz! It's great stuff and is much appreciated.
  16. Hogwildz

    Hogwildz Minister of Fire

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    Anytime. Glad to be of help & apologize for the winded explanations.
    Just figure more details makes easier to understand. Maybe making it harder though LOL.
    As a side note, if anyone is having moss/mold on roof surface problems. By some zinc strips and install under the ridge caps, let about 2" hang out exposed from under the ridge caps, and no more moss problems. Copper also works, but may leave stains running down roof.
  17. elkimmeg

    elkimmeg Guest

    Hog most asphalt shingles today are made to be mold resistant much less of an issue now.

    70 lbs 3 tab shingle 90 on the designer wood shake types per bundle on you shoulder up a ladder that 20 lbs is noticable.

    What i do is setup a platform with pipe staging and have the shingles delivered with a lift boom truck and stacked as high as possible to lessen any lifting and ladder climbing

    If it can be rerached stack the ridge a lot easier to pull them down than lifting.

    I call the designer shingle idiot proof shingles, almost impossible to install them wrong Practically self aglining. I use full and half shingles to keep joint separation to the maxium
  18. Hogwildz

    Hogwildz Minister of Fire

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    Again agreed on idiot proof, but I do as instructed by the manufacturer, which is usually run diagonal with 4 step sizes then keep working diagonally. I have run them as you described which is basically much the same as running 3 tabs.
  19. rowerwet

    rowerwet Minister of Fire

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    I have both types of roofing on my house, I had 30 year + old shingles on my house and half of my garage, they weren't leaking only because I have a new englander and the roof pitch is very steep. the kitchen which is between the house and garage and half of the garage had ongolean (?) , like corogated tar paper. the kitchen roof went first, ripped off the ongelean in sheets and installed steel pro panel from HD in one day with the wife. I needed something like this as the roof pitch is 1:12 and it has a 16' run on the back. I used 8' and 12' panels overlapped 4 feet and have never had a leak since. (except every 2 years or so I have to go up and tighten screws)
    The house roof was done by a contractor as I wasn't going to go up on the roof without some serious equipment, I wanted steel but the cost of material was at least a grand more. I have archetechtural shingles on that roof, they actualy help hide the sag in my 100+ year old roof.
    I did the garage two years ago, It took me three days to put steel over the shingles on one side ( they were tearing off just from steping on them) with strapping the other side was on bare wood once the ongolean was off. I did that roof all my self.
    the steel from HD has a 25 or 35 year rust through garauntee. I did the kitchen roof 7 years ago and the only damage was from the contractor who did my shingles as some of his crew used steel shovels to clean up.
    If you can do it yourself, have a lot of snow, or a very flat roof, go steel.
  20. Gamalot

    Gamalot New Member

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    I did 2 new garages with the metal roofing. Got it from a local supplier and it is a bit heavier then what HD sells and was a bit cheaper for me with my contractors discount.

    I love the metal but mostly because of how simple it is to install and how fast I can rip through the job. A simple garage takes less then half the time of shingles.

    I would not worry at all about the lightning but if I was putting it on my own home I would deffinitly want to use some type of sound barrier between the metal and the wood. We get pounding rains and hail here often and it is noisy in my buddies garage when it rains very hard.

    My supplier is able to order the metal panels up to 20 or 24 feet long or actually pre cut to about any length in between so if you have a simple roof such as a garage you can order it exactly the size you want and almost no cutting will be necessary.

    I think if I had a choice of either stripping a couple layers of old roofing down to bare wood or going over it with metal I would go the metal for sure.

    One draw back and I am not sure how this effects efficiency, snow tends to slide right off the metal roofs and this can be pretty dangerous if an entire section over an entrance decides to let loose while you are under it.
    I also believe that the snow acts like an insulating blanket and could actually be a good thing as long as it isn't too deep or too heavy.

    I guess you have to go looking for homes with metal and see if the look appeals to you and will not stick out like a sore thumb in your neighborhood. The ones I did have 50 year rust through warranties and have been on for 5 - 7 years so far with zero problems. If your home is in a shaded or very damp location and the roof gets moss or moldy then metal would work great. If you are in a very windy location as we are and shingles tend to get torn off or lifted by the winds then metal might be a better option. I also like the metal if you have a wood stove and are concerned about hot embers or the area is prone to forest fires that get close.

    Gary
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