Questions about Replacing Roof and Gutters

jcrowley99June 13, 2009

Hi. Our roof was damaged during a storm last month. Our Insurance adjuster was just out yesterday and he said that we had hail damage to the roof in several spots. Normally they would say to repair the damaged spots, but the shingles are brittle so they are going to replace the whole roof. However, by that he meant that we need to find and hire a contractor and they will pay for the work (within reason of course). They will pay for three tab shingle, three static vents, ice sheild (we don't have this, but it is now required by code so they pay for it), and any damage found to wood. I should have his estimate by Wed., and if the roofers estimates are different, then he will look into that. We can pay for any upgrades we want, and he suggested adding one or two more static vents.

So, I want to upgrade the shingles to the laminated shingles, add one or two more static vents, and, while everything is being stripped off, I would like to replace the gutters (they sag even though they have had extra brackets added). We had planned to replace the roof and gutters in the next few years. So, I did some research, on this sight and a number of other sites, and I am just as confused as when I started. How do I know if I have enough vents, and more importantly, how do I know if my soffit vents are taking in enough air or if they are blocked? The attic does get quite hot in the summer. Will a roofer check the soffit vents to be sure that they are not blocked? How high on the roof should the static vents be placed? The ones I have now are about 2/3 of the way to the top of the roof. How long can a run of gutters be before I need to add a second downspout? Is there a good place on the web to find a checklist of what info I need to get from the contractor for this type of project?

Sorry if this sounds confused, but I am confused! I have never had to replace a roof before. Having read numerous stories here and other places about what can go wrong with this type of project, I want to do what I can to make my roof replacement go smoothly, and hopefully last a long time.

Thank you for any help you can offer.

Joanne

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jcrowley99

I forgot to ask about the color of the tiles. Would a lighter color be more friendly to the environment than a dark color, or would it help with keeping the attic cooler, or does color not really matter?

Thanks again

Joanne

    Bookmark   June 13, 2009 at 10:36PM
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HandyMac

Lighter colors are more energy efficient than dark.

Replacing the gutters may also involve repairing/replacing the fascia---the wood pieces to which the gutters are mounted. If those fascias are damaged(rot/etc.) that could be the reason the gutters are sagging.

Replacing the fascias should be done after the old shingles are removed and before the new ones are installed. That allows the installerds to also check the framing to which the fascia trim is installed.

As far as checking to make sure the soffit vents are unblocked, unless the sheathing is removed, you have top go into the attic to be able to check.

I am going to add another possible solution to the venting problem---depending on the design of your roof. Adding vents that only vent the bottom 2/3 of the attic means the top 1/3 is not vented. If your attic/roof is a gable end design---the ends of the attic are flat extensions of the walls and the roof is shaped like the letter A(called a gable roof)---then a ridge vent is the better option. That allows physics to vent the attic---hot air rises to the top of the attic---and that is where the ridge vent is installed. Good open soffit vents are the other requirement. One soffit vent every other rafter bay is usually sufficient.

However, if your roof design is a hip roof type---four angled sections, a ridge vent will not be sufficient. Adding the turbines will help.

The limits of length for gutters is basically determined by the width of the fascia. The gutters need to be slanted slightly towards the downspouts. As a general rule, most single family design houses are not to long to require multiple downspouts ulless there is one on each end of the gutter run. (My house has down spouts on each end)

Ask the insurer if they have any recommended installers. Ask neighbors and look at proposed contracts---you will be safer with a contract that details exactly what will be done----repairing/thickness of sheathing, inspecting /repairing fascia, adding/type of vents, inspecting/clearing soffit openings, type/brand/color of new shingles, 15 or 30 pound roofing felt, ice dam type/installation, installation of drip edge, disposal of old materials. You need to know if an installer has insurance, is licencsed/bonded, and how l;ong they have been in business. There are a lot of 'new' roofing companies that may do a job that looks good but did not do the basics that have to be done for a long term job.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2009 at 11:21AM
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jcrowley99

Thank you Handymac! I did some research at local home store yesterday, and that, with my previous research online, and your very helpful post, make me feel like I have an idea of what I need to know to get this done properly. I printed out you post and I will use that, along with other tips from people I spoke with, to make up a list of questions for the contractors. The first roofer is coming out this evening, he was reccomended by my neighbor.

I do have a gable roof, but my husband is not keen on the idea of a ridge vent, so we will probably see about adding more "mushroom" vents, and making sure they are properly located. We also have gable vents. When my neighbor had his roof replaced, the roofer he reccomended was happy to check his soffit vents when he asked, so I will do the same.

Thanks again for the help!

Joanne

    Bookmark   June 15, 2009 at 1:05PM
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HandyMac

There are a lot of misconceptions about ridge vents---the myth they allow insects/weather into the attic being the chief one. Second is some folks think they are ugly.

A properly installed ridge vent will not allow any more intrusion than any other vent---and less than some wind turbines. The profile is unusual, which upsets some folks, But the benefits far outweigh that for me.

The fact that system works without any further additions/maintenance/replacements and vents the entire attic space is a huge savings in energy costs.

    Bookmark   June 15, 2009 at 4:02PM
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