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New roof shingles - what to ask 4? Chim.flash'g, ridge vent?

PostPosted: Sun Nov 19, 2006 9:29 am
Update: see 11/28/'06 post for $ estimate.

I know there are some knowledgeable people here when it comes to roofing and chimneys, so maybe they can help again with some advice and answers:

My roof is ~ 18 1/2 years old.
One chimney repair man said one year ago that it looked in good shape.
I told him that someone had said 10 months earlier it might have a year or two more.
The chimney guy said it might have as much as 4 years.

The roof is not composed of the newer GAF 30 years tiles and the attic does NOT have a ridge vent.
I don't want to wait it out and take any chances of bigger (invisible) damage to the roof structure (wood under shingles) itself, which would be far more costly.

The other day, during a short bout of heavy rain (3/4 inch in an hour or two), I actually had my first ever leak indoors, albeit pretty minor.
It was dripping from ONE small spot (enough for a drop at a time, albeit a drop every second) by the bay window and probably was not due to the shingles; I think the gutters may have become overfilled with water (due to leaves in the corner perhaps) and backed into the bay window, especially since the window projects to the edge of the soffit, literally up against the gutter.
However, over the summer we once had heavy rain and the gutters couldn't keep up and there was no apprent leak? Strange!
I went into the attic and didn't see any signs of a leak, but since it was at the very edge and my flashlight battery was weak, I didn't have a chance to feel the underside of the roof in that spot), or to see it too well.
I am not sure what to think about the cause.
Doe anyone have any ideas as to the cause?
The leak stopped pretty much as soon as the rain stopped.
I checked the gutter structure and it was sound; the roof shingles also look intact in that section (however they are old as stated earlier).
Despite cleaning the gutter that very morning, they had a fair amount of leaves in them again, thanks to a neighbor's (oak) tree.

In any case, I am going to have some roofing contractors give me estimates for the following work to be performed:
- getting a new layer of asphalt shingles installed
- getting chimney flashing installed
- anything else?

1) When I ask the contractors for the chimney flashing work, what do I need to specify?
Do I need both flashing and 'counter flashing'?

2) Can a ridge vent be added to a roof that doesn't have one?

3) I only have one layer of shingles, so I should be able to have them put new ones on top.
However, I did notice, while inspecting my roof from a ladder after the leak, that two shingles (not near the leak area) looked like the actually had fresh (i.e. not dead) worms embedded in (dug into) them (we had a ton of rain the past few weeks - ~5 or 6 inches).
There was also, for the first time, moss on a number of shingles on that side of the roof (doesn't get much sun). The backside had no moss (it gets plenty of sun).

I assume the contractors will, when I mention the worms, simply replace those shingles and put two layers there to keep it level (in terms of shingle height) with the rest of the roof?

Any tips would be greatly appreciated!

I have gotten some excellent feedback from the kind members here in the past and always appreciate it.
Thanks again!

PS: The chimney has not leaked once since I had the more comprehensive job done last year, so I am very happy about that.

PS2: Sorry for the lenghty post, but I thought describing the situation in detail would help people make recommendations.

PostPosted: Sun Nov 19, 2006 1:51 pm
by CowboySlim

The minute I saw the title of the post, I knew that it was you! :D

Anyway, my house is now about 40 years old.
It was originally roofed with cedar shake.

I had it replaced 15 years ago with aluminum panels.
The panels look like shake and they are stamped out in a semi-random pattern and look real good.
It's painted a dark brown so it looks like real wood shake.
This type may not be available in your area.
It was the most of the expensive of the options.
It will last another 15 years.
I do not regret the choice.

I just let them do what they did and don't know much about your other questions.

What they did when they sold me was show me pictures of the houses they did, including one in my neighborhood.
Let them walk you around and show you one that they did and tell you about the flashing and stuff.

Good luck,


PostPosted: Sun Nov 19, 2006 8:48 pm
by burninfool
3.Putting new shingles over old ones is ok but you will not see all the possible damage.Your roof is old and the proper thing to do is rip it all off and repair any damaged wood.
Wood shake costs more than composition and will not last as long. ... rouble.asp ... mining.asp

Good luck

PostPosted: Sun Nov 19, 2006 11:35 pm
by Dartman
You can do up to 3 layers of shingles then its supposed to be torn off and started fresh. IF you shingles now are level and you don't have any dry rott underneath you can do another layer unless you all ready have 3 now. It will cost more for a total tear off but like's been said you get a better job and be sure you don't have any bad plywood up there.
If the roofer is carefull he can lift up the flashing and put the roof flashing underneath but most times it gets pretty bent up, your is almnost new so maybe it will be OK. If they dont want to do it or you dont trust them just have them do the roof part and have that contracter who did a nice job come back and redo it again or at least makes sure they didn't mess it up for you.
And yes if the gutter plugs it can back up and find a spot to leak but maybe it just ran down the window so hard it found a spot to come in, water leaks are hard to figure out sometimes #-o
Maybe in other areas the amount od old roofs is less but as far as I know thats the rule here in Oregon.

PostPosted: Mon Nov 20, 2006 12:25 pm
Thanks guys!
I figured you would know it was me! :)

I don't have a lot of time to reply, since today is my first day back at work after a week off.

Some quick points to address your comments / questions:

a) I only have one layer of asphalt shingles on the roof now, so a new layer is possible assuming they don't find any flaws.
Some individual shingles are not lying completely flat (i.e. slightly warped, for lack of a better term), but the roof itself is (level).
I have not detected any leaks in the attic, but want to be proactive and not wait till something does happen, considering the age of the shingles (18 1/2 years).

b) The chimney does not have flashing right now; there was only roof tar.
However, when they re-did the chimney thoroughly last year, with mesh all the way down to the roof, any and all leaking stopped.
I was waiting for the roof to be redone - i.e. now - to get proper chimney flashing installed, rather than have to do it twice.

New question:
4) A few of the roof wooden roof boards / planks have those natural (somewhat oval) holes in them; is that an issue? I assume not since the shingles are supposed to protect the roof and one shouldn't rely on the wood underneath for protection anyway, right?

In any case, I am going to call some contractors today.
If any of you knows of good companies in Northern NJ, feel free to post
any recommendations

Thanks again!
I'll update more this afternoon or evening.

Re: New roof shingles - what to ask 4? Chim.flash'g, ridge v

PostPosted: Mon Nov 20, 2006 12:47 pm
by LoneWolf
VEFF wrote:2) Can a ridge vent be added to a roof that doesn't have one?

Yes, and everyone has recommended to me that it's a good thing to do if you need to re-roof anyways, as it will lessen the chance of ice dams in winter.

We have not had any leaks (thank heaven) in our house. One advantage is that our front yard is sloped down towards our street, so water runoff there goes away from the house. We have two layers of shingles, but our home inspector said we should have at least ten years before being forced to reroof (they're in good shape). On the other hand, the garage has three layers, and is in real need. I've been putting it off since I think we'll probably bite the bullet and do both roofs at once, to save cost, and have a ridge vent installed at the same time. I'm told any worthwhile roofer can do a ridge vent. One of our staff members is a former roofer, and has taught a crew of fellow staff members; they use the revenue to finance their annual flyfishing trip together. I'll probably use them, it'll save quite a bit of money.

If you have leaks, I wouldn't slap on a second layer of shingles unless you're absolutely sure it's not coming in there. A tear-off costs more, but I'd use this opportunity to find the leaks and get them stopped. If it's more of a leak around basement windows, I was advised that using lava rock in my window gutters might help, since it absorbs water and lets it drain/evaporate more slowly.

that's all I can tell you with my limited knowledge.

EDIT: It may be necessary to do a tear-off to add the ridge vent; I'm not sure you can do one when adding a second layer of shingles.

PostPosted: Mon Nov 20, 2006 2:04 pm
- I don't think the leak (which, as an aside, has never occurred before) was coming from the roof, especially since it was exactly in the middle of the inside top (frame) of the bay window which projects outward far and is flush with the gutter!!
It was essentially drops falling at a time from one very specific (i.e. small) spot, as opposed to a larger area.
There were quite a few leaves in the gutters, despite my having cleaned it that very morning with my Gutter Sense Tool, which may have contributed to the leak (i.e. overfilled gutters from quick heavy rain);
That part of the gutter actually had less leaves than the side where the other bay window is which didn't show a leak - the latter doesn't have a seam in the inner bay window frame; however, the downspout did have leaves at the top.
I could have sworn the entire gutters filled up once (during the World Cup)
during a heavy rainstorm and there was no leak, but other factors (wind) may have contributed to the problem that occurred this time.

I checked the attic right as the rain stopped and everything seemed dry, despite heavy rainfall having occurred in a short time frame (7/10 inch in an hour or two).

My house has extra wide soffits, which is great, but the two bay windows are large and project almost all the way out to the inner edge of the gutter...
The one that leaked has a seam in the wood, which fortunately allowed the
problem to be seen inside the house.

One way of another, I am getting roof estimates done this week.
I just called one company that came highly recommended and they will call me back to schedule an estimate.

This is one of the last projects that I wanted to get done, in addition to painting the garden shed and replacing the garage doors with something more modern to match the rest of the house which has new siding etc...

Thanks again!

PostPosted: Tue Nov 21, 2006 3:37 pm
by LoneWolf
Hope any advice helped.

I had our garage door replaced when we bought the house. It was a wood door, and since the garage had an opener, it had warped in the middle, and the door was rotting from the inside out. Had Overhead Door come out and install a basic, noninsulated steel door (our garage isn't attached; if yours is, spend extra on an insulated door to save on heating costs) with no windows. It cost us in the neighborhood of $800 a year ago, including installation, hooking up our garage-door opener, and hauling our old door away.

P.S. If your shed is wood, DON'T power-wash it before painting unless you have a gentle way of doing it. The dummy who owned our house did this to the wood garage to clean it, and stripped tons of cellulose from the wood. The paint job hides it some, but the scarring is obvious if you get closer. I'd have the garage sided, but it just isn't worth the cost.

PostPosted: Sun Nov 26, 2006 9:44 pm
Thanks again.
I'll edit this post with more details.

I have a local roofer coming tomorrow to give an estimate on a new layer of shingles and chimney flashing.

In the meantime we had a fair amount of rain between Wednesday night and Thanksgiving day.
This time there was no leakage at all in that same spot, making me wonder if the previous time it was indeed, as I had thought previously, due to the quick heavy rainfall and / or wind potentially overfilling the gutters a bit due to some leaves that had fallen that day.

PostPosted: Tue Nov 28, 2006 12:13 pm
The roofer came by.
They do not subcontract and have been in business for 40 odd years.

The first estimate was $2,850 (this is in northern NJ) for the following:
- installing new 30 Year GAF Timberline shingles on entire roof (front and back) over existing shingles (they will flatten out shingles nails that have some pops)
- install Cobra ridge vent, all capping done with GAF Timbertex cap shingles
- Aluminum step flashing around the chimney,
including cement if necessary
- 10 year workmanship warranty
- New pipe collars (I already have new ones, but it is included in the job cost).

They bring their own truck and use magnetic sweepers to ensure no nails are missed during the clean up.

This is a typical size bi-level house without any fancy roof angles.

They are a GAF-authorized. I am not sure how much that means.

Has anyone here had roofwork done not too long ago?