Beyond “how much will it cost?” and “when can you get started?” one of the most common questions I get asked when providing customers with roof replacement estimates is “can we pay cash?” I can certainly appreciate a customer asking this. (the implication of course is paying cash = no tax on the price for the service) After all, the cost difference in Ontario between a cash job and a properly invoiced job is an astounding 13%. There are, however, a number of risks associated with cash job transactions. Today’s article will attempt to bring these risks to the forefront and help homeowners make informed decisions when considering a cash deal for their roofing project.
February 13, 2020
Beyond “how much will it cost?” and “when can you get started?” one of the most common questions I get asked when providing customers with roof replacement estimates is “can we pay cash?” I...Read More
February 13, 2020
The arrival of winter means colder temperatures and relying on your furnace to keep your house warm and comfortable. To keep your furnace running smoothly all winter long, it is important to perform some...Read More
June 25, 2019
From my experience, shingle warranties have caused more disappointments and mis-trust between contractors, manufacturers and homeowners than any other aspect of this industry. Many homeowners hear terms like “25 Year Shingle” or “Lifetime Warranty”...Read More
April 6, 2019
Wind damaged roofs are one of the most frequently used insurance claim categories for homeowners in Southern Ontario. The cost to repair these damages are typically thousands of dollars. Unresponsive roofing contractors and repair...Read More
March 2, 2019
As you gather estimates for your upcoming roof replacement project, many items should appear similar from quote to quote (laminate shingles, replace vents, install ice shield, etc…) However, one item in particular has...Read More
February 5, 2019
One of the most overlooked aspects of a quality roof system is the proper material selection for the hip and ridge caps. Beyond valleys, hips and ridges face some of the harshest conditions on...Read More
The arrival of winter means colder temperatures and relying on your furnace to keep your house warm and comfortable. To keep your furnace running smoothly all winter long, it is important to perform some essential maintenance before winter fully arrives.
From my experience, shingle warranties have caused more disappointments and mis-trust between contractors, manufacturers and homeowners than any other aspect of this industry. Many homeowners hear terms like “25 Year Shingle” or “Lifetime Warranty” and conclude that they will have that roof thing covered for a long, long time. Maybe not quite 25 years, but it should be pretty close…right? Not necessarily. When you start reading the fine print on shingle warranties, you will discover that there a lot of conditions and criteria that need to be met before your shingle warranty is actually valid. Furthermore, you may be quite surprised as to what you are entitled to regarding compensation. Today’s read will cover the gist of shingle manufacturerer’s warranties and what the expectations should be if you need to make a claim.
Wind damaged roofs are one of the most frequently used insurance claim categories for homeowners in Southern Ontario. The cost to repair these damages are typically thousands of dollars. Unresponsive roofing contractors and repair lead times after a major storm can cause a great deal of stress and anxiety for homeowners who experience substantial wind damage. Many homeowners are left wondering if they could have done something different to avoid this stress.
As you gather estimates for your upcoming roof replacement project, many items should appear similar from quote to quote (laminate shingles, replace vents, install ice shield, etc…) However, one item in particular has caused debate for years. Which valley technique should I go with? One reputable company says closed cut valleys are best. Another reputable company claims open metal valleys perform better. With valley sections often being the most vulnerable area on your roof and the most likely area to fail, this can be confusing and frustrating for homeowners. This article will attempt to offer insight into the pros and cons of both systems and hopefully help you make a confident choice.
One of the most overlooked aspects of a quality roof system is the proper material selection for the hip and ridge caps. Beyond valleys, hips and ridges face some of the harshest conditions on your roof. Cap shingles typically face more UV exposure and wind than any other area. They are also one of the only areas on your roof where shingles are not laid flat (The other is in a closed valley application) They are bent to form and fit the contour of the hip or ridge line. The stress from this forming along with the extra wind and sun exposure make cap shingles one of the first failure points on your roof system. Today I’d like to take a look at the options for cap shingles. Specifically, which options will enhance your roof assembly and which ones will undoubtedly cause premature failure.
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Benefits Of A Cash Job
A Homeowners’ main benefit of a cash job is obvious. You can get a rather substantial discount by avoiding the tax on services like roofing projects. Considering the average cost of a roof replacement in The Durham Region, the savings could add up to well over $1000.
Contractors who take on cash jobs will increase their overall business. On average, we turn down 25 jobs per year because we chose not to offer cash job options. These 25 jobs would equate to approximately a 10% increase in sales for us.
Risks And Problems With Cash Jobs
Contractor’s risks involved with cash jobs include stiff penalties and possible jail time for any tax fraudulent convictions. These penalties and/or jail time do not include paying back the unreported tax with interest. While these risks have always been present for contractors who take on cash jobs, the CRA and Ministry of Labour have become less tolerant of offenders and have implemented more sophisticated means of catching contractors who engage in cash jobs or unreported tax. These measures have turned cash job proposals for many roofing companies into proposals with too much risk and not enough reward
Contractors also run the risk of facing lawsuits from injured workers who have no WSIB coverage on cash jobs.
There are other risks. However, these are two of the bigger risks that most contractors consider when a cash job option is proposed.
Risks Homeowners Should Consider
With this said, this article is intended to show the risks associated with cash jobs from a homeowner’s perspective. Some of the bigger risks include:
No Warranty Or Recourse Available Paper documentation, such as an invoice, is often the only proof you have that the work done on your home was done as per the written agreement. This invoice can serve as your workmanship warranty and proof of the agreed upon work for an agreed upon price. With out this document, you have little to no chance of winning, should you attempt to take any disagreements regarding the work expectations to the courts.
No Option To Voice Public Opinion On Review Sites Many homeowners are using review sites such as Homestars and Google to gain perspective on the experience other homeowners had from contractors they may be considering. Contractors who mostly offer cash jobs and have no paper trails can easily manipulate these review sites.
For Google, they can simply choose not to use a service called “Google My Business” If you do not use this service, Google Reviews will not be available for your company.
For Homestars, every post requires an invoice. If you do not have an invoice, your review post can be taken down, if the contractor wishes.
These two principles give contractors who take on cash jobs a pretty good advantage in manipulating reviews posted. They can choose not to use Google (you do not need an invoice to post a Google review so shady contractors tend to avoid them), and they can chose to only leave up positive Homestars reviews, while the less than stellar reviews get removed for lack of an invoice.
Workers Are Not Covered By WSIB Or Labour Rights On Cash Jobs The roofing industry has one of the highest premium rates for WSIB. That’s because we have one of the highest accident rates among the trades. If anyone should have WSIB coverage, it’s a roofer! Injuries resulting from roof accidents can cause long term lay-offs. Without proper coverage, persons in this trade can be left with no financial compensation and no ability to earn a living with their skill set. Furthermore, cash jobs do not protect employee’s rights without a paper trail. If a worker wanted to make a claim with the Ministry Of Labour regarding the Employment Standards Act, they will have a hard time proving any claims if the incident took place on a cash job. In extreme conditions, the workers are either legal or illegal immigrants who are working for pay that borders on slave like conditions.
Cash Jobs Can Open The Door For Lawsuits An injured worker with no compensation entitlement or ability to earn money with their skillset can be put into a desperate situation. It’s not uncommon for workers who are put in this situation to attempt to sue either the contractor or the homeowner. If you think this is over dramatic, look into the rights of “invitees” on a property and the obligations a homeowner needs to provide to “invitees” You might be surprised.
Manufacturer’s Certification Means Nothing In a Cash Job One of the advantages of using a certified contractor is that the manufacturer will have a record of the installation. In a worse case scenario where the contractor goes out of business and an issue arises, you will still have the backing from the manufacturer if the contractor was certified. If you do a cash job with the same certified contractor, however, you will not get the support from the manufacturer without a paper trail.
Most Reputable Contractors Do Not Engage In Cash Jobs A lot of cash jobs are the result of newer companies who are desperate to gather as much work as they can. These contractors often lack the knowledge and experience to perform the work at a high quality level. To make up for these short-comings, they are willing to take on cash jobs to gain an edge.
More reputable companies understand these risks are usually foolish and not worth engaging in. They also have a business plan in motion that assures they generate enough interest so they can avoid cash jobs. As a result, the trend is that better quality companies with good reputations tend to avoid cash jobs while, newer, less reputable companies take them on.
Cash job agreements in the roofing industry have been going for decades and they will probably continue for decades to come. What has changed is the sophistication with which the CRA investigates and monitors these agreements. Most, if not all, contractors who engage in cash agreements will eventually get caught. At Logik Roofing, we feel these risks do not add up to good business practices. For that reason, we respectfully decline all cash job proposals.
If you have any questions on this article, please contact our office.
Change the Air Filter.
You want to make sure the air filter on your furnace is clean. Depending on the model, you could have a filter next to the blower and another on the return air vent. Make sure to change both. It is also a good idea to inspect the filter every month and change it when it looks dirty. A dirty filter causes the furnace to run longer and harder, which increases heating bills.
Schedule a Furnace Tune-Up
Contact your local home heating technician to have them give your furnace a detailed inspection. Finding out if there are potential problems and fixing them now, will avoid an emergency breakdown and service call later, like on the coldest day of the year.
Upgrade to a Smart Thermostat
Another way to control heating costs is to upgrade to a smart thermostat. You can create different heating schedules so that temperatures can be set lower on days no one is home. You can even program it so temperatures are increased in the morning before getting up or arriving home from work.
Test Your Humidifier
If you haven’t used your humidifier since last winter, now is the time to test it to make sure it still works. Keeping the right humidity level indoors during the winter, makes it feel warmer, so you can turn your thermostat down a few degrees.
Reverse the Direction on Ceiling Fans
Make sure to switch all ceiling fans into winter-mode. Doing so will help better circulate the heated, warm air from your furnace throughout the home. Using ceiling fans can also make rooms feel warmer, so you can turn down the thermostat a few degrees and save on heating costs.
Increase Your Attic Insulation
Another way to keep your home warmer is to have your attic insulation topped-up to an R-value rating of R-60. An R-60 rating provides the maximum attic insulation to keep warm air indoors and cold air from the attic in the attic.
Seal Air Leaks Around Windows and Doors
If you notice cold air drafts around doors and windows, this means heated air is exiting the home. If it is too cold to re-caulk around windows, you have other options, like using temporary plastic insulation and thicker curtains to block out cold air. For doors, there is weather-stripping you can apply to fully seal the door.
By using these tips, you are sure to remain warm and comfortable all winter long. To learn more about increasing your attic insulation in your Greater Toronto Area home, please feel free to call Logik Roofing at (905) 424-7469 today! We also offer basement insulation to keep your basement warmer too!
A limited shingle warranty is the warranty that the shingle manufacturer offers any homeowner who has had their product correctly installed on the customer’s home. Outside of extended warranties, this is shingle warranty that most homeowners have in place.
The first point that needs clarification is that the term written on the package is the full duration of the LIMITED warranty. It is not the length of the term where you are fully covered from performance issues. As an example, if I purchase 30 year shingles, I am receiving a product that has a warranty with the potential to last, in one form or another, 30 years. It does not mean I have a 30 year warranty where I am fully covered from defects or performance failures. The “fully covered” term is what is often referred to as the non-prorated period of your warranty. The non-prorated period is the period where you are best covered, and entitled to the greatest compensation. This non-prorated period is typically 10-15 years, depending on the shingle. The remaining balance or prorated portion of the warranty is considerably less in coverage compared to the non-prorated portion of the warranty. This is how shingle manufacturers are able to offer 40 Year, 50 Year and Lifetime warranties on a product that will never last that long without performance issues.
Now that we’ve clarified how shingle warranties generally work, let’s look at the best part of your warranty, the non-prorated portion. Many homeowners who do their research discover that shingles have a non-prorated and a prorated portion in their warranties. They realize the best part will be in the first 10-15 years where the shingle is non-prorated. What they do not realize is that even in the non-prorated warranty period, coverage can be limited to less than they think.
Most shingle manufacturers have names for the non-prorated portion of their warranties (CertainTeed Sure Start, GAF Smart Choice, Owens Corning Tru Protection etc…) This is where you need to look to see what is covered and what your compensation entitlement is. You will discover that most (if not all) manufacturer warranties will cover material and labour ONLY when offering compensation. They will not cover other costs such as vents, flashings, tear-off costs or disposal fees. This can reduce the expected compensation from 100% to as low as 25%. Furthermore, there is one popular manufacturer who has in their non-prorated warranty that the manufacturer’s maximum monetary compensation is $40 per square, while the average cost to replace a roof in Southern Ontario is $250 per square*. That’s on average, only 18% of the cost to have the roof replaced!
*There are too many variables to be able to accurately state what the true average cost would be (region, product roof layout) The $250/square figure is based on our average cost and that of our most common competitors.
You will also discover when reading the non-prorated portions that the manufacturer has the final say in how the deficient roof is corrected. They can either award you monetary compensation based on industry pricing for the service required to fix the roof or they could just hire a contractor themselves to fix the roof as they deem required. Using wind damage as an example, most manufacturers have the option to only reseal broken sealant strips as opposed to replacing the failed shingles. This is also true in some of the premium extended warranties that are available.
Wind Resistance Portion Of Warranties
The recent increase in wind storms have lead many homeowners in Southern Ontario to look at better wind resistance shingles and warranties. Just like with the limited warranty term written on the shingle package, wind warranty terms can be misleading if you look at the rating by wind speed only. The five top brands in Southern Ontario have wind ratings between 110-135 MPH. What’s often overlooked is what is required to get these wind warranties. Some manufacturers such as CertainTeed with their Landmark shingle will offer 110 MPH wind rating “out of the box” with no need for special application instructions or supplemental products. Other manufacturers require 6 nails per shingle with each roof edge sealed down in roofing cement and/or the application of synthetic underlayment, even on steep pitches to achieve the same warranted rating.
Some shingle warranties will not cover wind damage if the sealant strips have not had ample time and proper conditions to activate. In other words, the will not honour wind warranties for winter or cold weather installs. There are also some stipulations on certain brands where the installer has to ensure the environment during the installation is free of dust and debris or the wind warranty may be voided due to the sealant strip being compromised. The shingle brands used at Logik Roofing have no such stipulations.
GAF has an interesting approach to their wind warranty for the Timberline HD shingle. While the sealant strip not activating could void the wind aspect of the warranty, you will receive an additional “Failure To Seal” warranty. This bridge approach to the wind warranty protects homeowners from sealant strips that do not seal for the first 5 years. If you put in a claim in the first 5 years and it is deemed that the sealant strip did not activate, GAF will replace damaged shingles as required and cover the labour cost to hand seal any non activated shingles.
CeretainTeed will honour their wind warranty on the Landmark shingle, regardless if the sealant strip had activated or not.
Outside of a few extended warranty options, the workmanship warranty is what the installer offers a homeowner as a warranty against installation deficiencies. This warranty is independent and not supported by the shingle manufacturer (again, there are a few extended warranties that will cover workmanship but generally the contractor is responsible for workmanship)
Most contractors offer homeowners a 5-10 year workmanship warranty. There are a few companies that offer 15 years as well. The value of a workmanship warranty and the extent of it’s coverage will largely depend on the contractor or company you are dealing with. A company with a good reputation and a proven track record with years of service are generally going to offer the best workmanship warranties. Unlike manufacturer warranties, workmanship warranties are not normally laid out in a legal “black and white” format. They are typically not documented and more at the discretion of the contractor.
All five of the top shingle brands used in Southern Ontario offer extended manufacturer warranties. They all require specific installation practices from certified contractors and the use of specific products in order to qualify for extended warranties. Once those measures are in place, there is typically a registration fee required from the manufacturer. While I can appreciate the peace of mind that comes with some of these extended warranties, I think it’s important to know that extended warranties are very profitable for shingle manufacturers. The often specify additional components within their product line be part of the roof system and charge you a registration fee. I also think it’s important to understand that, if you have a claim, even with the extended warranties, the manufacturer is still likely going to repair or replace the affected area in the most cost effective means possible. Much like insurance companies, shingle manufacturers are looking for max profits to sell a warranty, and optimal cost management when paying out compensation.
Shingle manufacturers will also require adequate attic ventilation for both extended warranties and limited warranties. The rule of thumb for building code standards and also for most shingle manufacturers is to have:
- A balanced venting system where an equal amount of air enters the lower roof area (intake) and an equal amount exits the upper roof (exhaust)
- An adequate amount of air flow is achieved. The adequate amount is 1 sq ft of venting for every 300 sq ft of attic space.
Most homes under 30 years old have both of these elements in place, and therefore, have no concern with compromising shingle warranties. In older homes without adequate ventilation, your entire warranty could be reduced to ten (10) years with no non-prorated coverage in place.
Ice dams normally occur when the attic temperature is warmer than freezing, while the outside temperature is below freezing. The air inside the attic warms the underside of the roof deck, causing snow and ice to melt. The melted snow and ice then runs over the roof’s soffit over- hang section, where it re-freezes. This becomes an accumulative effect and ice will begin to build up at the roof’s edge. If it builds up enough, it will create a level plane on your roof, which can direct water back towards and under your shingles, causing leaks.
Ice dams are considered an Act Of God and are not warranted by any shingle manufacturers or contractors. While there are many articles on the internet that claim techniques or products that will prevent or at least mitigate ice dams, the most effective measure from my experience is upgrading the attic insulation. Even newer homes can be affected if the winter season brings consistently cold days. For best results in preventing ice dams, ensure your attic insulation is topped up to R60.
In closing, I’d like to offer some advice for homeowners regarding shingle warranties:
- Avoid winter installations. You may be noticing a pattern here if you’ve read some of the earlier articles. Winter installations can compromise the quality of the finished roof assembly. If you install shingles during winter months, you run the risk of delaying the sealant strips from activating, which can increase the chance of a shingle blow off and void your wind warranty with some shingle brands. Some shingles, such as CertainTeed’s Landmark, have no stipulations regarding sealant strip activation and their wind warranty. However, most brands do.
- Use a certified installer. All manufacturers will require installation from a certified contractor in order to be eligible for extended warranties. For basic warranty protection, manufacturers also require the product be installed in accordance with their installation instructions. Homeowners can best assure this happens by hiring a certified installer. From my experience, manufacturers also seem to give priority to warranty claims where a certified contractor was used.
- Read the fine print. I often hear customers tell me that they received a 50 year warranty from a company. I usually tell them they need to ask for the specific details and read it carefully so they understand what exactly is covered and what compensation entitlement is available.
- Find a reputable contractor. When it comes to workmanship warranties, the companies with the best reputations typically have the best coverage. Rather than assume a company who offers 15 years workmanship has better coverage, check the reviews from past customers to see if they were happy with the company’s efforts to make the roof right again.
- A shingle upgrade can be a cost effective way to enhance your warranty. As mentioned earlier, most base-line architectural shingles have a 10-15 year non-prorated period in the warranty. This non-prorated period often covers material and labour costs but does not include tear-off and disposal costs. In some brands, the coverage is even less. A shingle upgrade can often improve this coverage. As an example, upgrading from Landmark to Landmark Pro, will give you a full 10 year non-prorated warranty period that fully covers material, labour, tear-off and disposal.
For more information on shingle warranties or other aspects of roofing, please contact our office.
At Logik Roofing, we believe there are a few choices a homeowner can make before hiring a contractor to replace your roof which can greatly reduce the chance of premature wind damage. Today’s topic will offer some guidance in making these choices.
A Brief History Of Shingles Over The Last 35 Years
Before we get into any advice which could prevent premature wind damage. I thought it might be a good idea to have a brief look at the history of changes that have taken place in shingle design and composition over the last 35 years.
Up to the late seventies and early eighties, traditional 3 tab shingles with organic reinforcing matts were the conventional choice. Due to their construction, these shingles had both very high nail pull resistance and quality asphalt in the sealant strips. As a result, wind blow offs were not that common, at least in our region.
As changes to the quality of asphalt available were made (a topic we can get into on another day) manufacturers began noticing that shingle lifespans were lowering. This resulted in a revamp of shingle composition. The most notable change was organic reinforcing matts were replaced with fiber-glass matts. While these matts resulted in improvements in lifespan, the wind resistance, particularly in 3 tab shingles, was another story. Fiberglass matts had a much lower nail pull resistance than shingles with organic matts and as a result, the shingle’s ability to resist wind blow offs had been compromised.
By the early nineties, most manufacturers had a laminate or architectural shingle alternative available. This gave homeowners another choice beyond the traditional 3 tab shingle. Many manufacturers would boast about the improved aesthetics of these shingles and make that the selling point of the new, higher priced shingles. What was often overlooked in the early years was the superior wind resistance these shingles provided. Because these shingles had no keys or slots, there was no easy entry point for wind to begin forcing against the sealed tabs. The new laminates (installed properly of course) were creating a more monolithic roof assembly with no weak point for wind to force open.
As these shingles became more popular and easy to produce, the price became more in line with 3 tab pricing. Today, laminate or architectural shingles have become the conventional choice. With further improvements in shingle composition, many manufacturers were able to improve nail pull resistance and overall wind rating. Unfortunately, there are still a high number of recorded premature wind damage claims in this region. Next, we will look at a couple things to consider which should help reduce premature wind damage.
Selecting a quality shingle is likely the most important aspect of a quality, wind resistant assembly. Most brands have comparable wind ratings written on packaging or in their promotional literature. However, our experience has been that a couple of brands seem to outperform the others. We believe this is due to two main attributes:
- Nail Pull Resistance
- Ample amount of quality asphalt used for sealant strips
Nail Pull Resistance is the force in pounds required to pull a nail head completely through a shingle. This is typically lab tested at 0 degrees celsius. This testing offers a direct measure of an unsealed shingle’s ability withstand blow offs during cold weather. ASTM International requires all shingles resist at least 23 lbs of force. CertainTeed (one of the best wind resistant shingle brands in our opinion) requires all their products resist a minimum of 30 lbs. This higher quality control standard has, in our opinion, resulted in a product that leads the industry in wind resistance.
Another brand with high nail pull resistance is the Owens Corning Duration. The introduction of their SureNail Technology strip has put them at the top of nail pull resistance category. The SureNail strip also provides a nice substrate for the adhesion of the sealant line on the shingle installed above.
Ample amount of quality asphalt used for sealant strips This can be a little trickier to spot, as the size of sealant strips appear very similar between brands. Feeling these strips, however, can reveal more. CertainTeed Landmark and other quality brands tend to be soft and tacky to the touch. Less quality brands tend to feel hard and brittle.
Owens Corning Duration with SureNail Technology. These shingles are fastened directly through the SureNail Strip, which greatly increases the nail pull resistance of the shingle as well as provide a great substrate for the above shingle sealant strip to adhere to.
At a glance, the sealant lines appear similar between brands. Feeling these sealant lines, however, you will notice quality shingles have a soft tacky feel, where less quality brands feel hard and brittle.
In auto racing, having the fastest car does not ensure you will win the race. Having a highly skilled driver is also necessary. Similarly, having a high quality shingle is only part of the equation. You also need to choose an experienced installer, preferably one who is manufacturer certified. “High Nailing” or placing fasteners outside of the manufacturer’s nail area is one of the most common deficiencies in the labour component of a new roof install. It is also one of the most common issues that result in wind damage. Not only does poor nail placement cause more shingle exposure from the butt to the nail, it also increases the chance that the fastener will be high enough to miss the shingle below the one being installed. Missing the underlying shingles means each shingle will held down with half as many nails as it was designed to have.
Improper nailing is the leading cause of wind damage resulting from faulty workmanship. Note the upper nail on the left is fastened in the nail zone, which also fastens the upper portion of the underlying shingle. The shingle on the right is fastened above the nail zone and misses the underlying shingle. High nail placement like this is one of the leading causes of wind damage from faulty workmanship.
Additional Advice For Homeowners
Now that we’ve covered the two most critical aspects of achieving a high wind resistant roof system, I’d like to list a few other important factors:
- Avoid Winter Installations Installing roofs in cold weather can delay the activation of sealant strips, as they typically need around 5-10 Degrees Celsius to adhere properly. If your roof is installed during a consistently cold time of the year, your shingles only savior will be their nail pull resistance until mild weather comes and activates the sealant strips. If you are in an emergency situation and need to get a winter install, we recommend either CertainTeed Landmark or Owens Corning Duration be used.
- Don’t Just Trust What You Read On A Shingle Package Or Brochure At a glance, all shingles appear very close in wind ratings, ranging from 110 to 135 MPH. What often gets overlooked is what is required to get these ratings. There is one manufacturer who boasts having the highest wind rating at 135 MPH. What is not mentioned is that 6 nails per shingle is required for this rating, while other brands only require 4 nails per shingle. Furthermore, if this shingle is applied with only 4 nails, it’s wind rating is reduced to one of the lowest due to this shingle’s relatively poor nail pull resistance. There is another popular brand with a high wind rating that has one of the smallest nail patterns in the industry. In a practical sense, it is near impossible to ensure all nails are installed in this small nail pattern, which means it is near impossible for installers to ensure the finished assembly is rated as it should be.
- Laminate Shingles Generally Have Superior Wind Resistance To Traditional 3 Tabs With respect to wind resistance, laminate shingles have one fundamental advantage over 3 tab shingles in that there are no keys or slots. The absence of these slots gives the roof system a more monolithic character, which results in better wind resistance. The wind rating difference is typically 110 MPH for laminate shingles and 60-75 MPH for 3 tabs.
- Ask For Manufacturer Designed Hip And Ridge Shingles These accessory shingles have better wind resistance than 3 tab shingles used as caps. They are designed to match the wind rating of the laminate shingles they compliment.
The shingle on the right is the CertainTeed Landmark with its 1 1/2 “ nail zone. Another leading brand on the left has only a ⅜” wide nail zone. It can be near impossible to hit a ⅜” wide nail zone with every nail on every shingle. However, not hitting these nail zones could void your wind warranty.
In closing, you may have noticed we seemed to be partial to the CertainTeed Landmark. I will state that this has nothing to do with any paid incentives or endorsements from the manufacturer. It simply comes down to one fact. Prior to the May 4, 2018 wind storm in Durham, we had installed nearly 1100 Landmark roofs in the previous 6 years. Of those nearly 1100 roofs, we had zero (0) claims or call backs to due to wind damage. These shingles not only offer peace of mind to homeowners, they allow roofing contractors a peaceful night’s sleep as well.
If you have any further questions regarding shingle wind ratings, please contact our office.
Closed Cut Valleys
Closed cut valleys start with a row of ice shield installed through the center to serve as a water proof liner. The “gasket” effect of the ice shield sealing around any and all nail holes that puncture the membrane is effectively the last line of defence in your valley. This liner is very important for maintaining a trouble free valley. Shingles are then installed on the lower slope (or the slope with the lowest water volume rate). These shingles will overlap the valley. Next, shingles are installed on the higher slope through the valley center. Finally, the shingles on the higher slope are cut by following a chalk line 2” off center.
Open Metal Valleys
For the same reasons closed cut valleys use ice shield, open metal valleys also start with a row of ice and water shield serving as a water proof liner. Next, a prefabricated metal valley flashing is installed over the liner. (There are several options for flashing metal. Logik Roofing recommends and uses a pre-painted 26 ga steel for valley material. Thinner steel or inferior metals can compromise the quality of the valley system.) Finally, shingles are installed over the valley flashings with the center line remaining uncovered by shingles. The exposed metal should gradually widen to handle the increased volume of water at the lower parts of the roof.
Pros And Cons For Each
Each system has its own advantages and disadvantages. Some of the more industry agreed pros for closed valleys are:
Aesthetically pleasing final product, quicker install and typically more cost effective price, acceptable by most manufacturers.
The cons include:
Higher fail rates in Ontario, requires more skill and attention to detail despite quicker install time, technique seems to fail before the rest of the entire roof assembly.
The advantages of the Open Valleys include:
Less skill required to make a leak free system, longer life span, able to handle heavy rain and snow on roofs between 3/12 and 6/12
The disadvantages often include:
Higher cost due to material cost and install time, some consider these systems less attractive from the ground, not always the best choice when the two converging roof planes have very different roof pitches.
So which one is actually better?
The debate on this topic has been going on for years, not only between contractors, but even between shingle manufacturers. The manufacturers that Logik Roofing prefers will accept both techniques without compromise to your shingle warranty. However, we do have our preferred method. From our experience, open metal valleys seem to perform better for 2 main reasons:
- With less friction on steel than on a shingle, snow, ice and heavy rain will shed quicker out of an open metal valley, leaving less chance of a leak. This is particularly important on lower sloped roofs (6/12 and less)
- Metal seems more durable than shingles in a valley. The abuse a valley faces from collecting water off of two converging roof planes and lingering snow causes the shingle granules of a closed cut valley to debond prematurely. This causes the shingles to wear quicker in valleys. The result is a beat up and withered looking valley near the end of the roof’s life, while the rest of the roof looks much better. Open metal valleys, however, seem to stay in much better condition over the roof’s life span.
In closing, I think it’s important to note that both techniques require an experienced and trained installer to ensure the valleys will perform adequately over the roof’s lifespan. If the installer is not trained to know things like a closed cut valley must be cut two inches off center to work properly, or that an open metal valley cannot have shingles coming into the valley that are cut to a point (they must be chamfered), then problems will most likely ensue.
If you have any questions on valleys or any other aspect of your roof assembly, please contact our office.
A Quick History Of Cap Shingles
Prior to laminate shingles becoming the industry standard, most roof replacements were done using traditional 3 tab shingles. The common practice was to use the same shingles for caps. They were simply cut at each tab length and installed at all hip and ridge lines. This practice is still acceptable by the industry, as the cap shingles being used are of the same material, wind rating and expected life span as the shingles being used in the field. The introduction of
laminate shingles, however, has changed this thinking.
Quality shingle manufacturers, such as CertainTeed and Owens Corning, quickly realized that 3 tab shingles being cut to serve as caps were not meeting the performance levels of the shingles they were installed with. These newer laminate shingles had superior wind resistance at over 100 MPH, while the 3 tab cap shingle counterpart was only rated at 75 MPH. Furthermore, these newer laminate shingles were proving to be more durable than the 3 tab option, which meant 3 tab caps were not really up to the task. Also, the 3 tabs cut as caps were lacking aesthetically with some of these newer shingles.
Some contractors started using laminate shingles as caps. They would cut them to a similar size of a tab width and install along the hip and ridge lines. While one could argue these caps at least looked to match the shingles better, this method proved to be a performance failure. When bending these caps to fit hip and ridge lines, the additional laminate sections on these shingles would typically crack through the shingle from the stress of being bent. This greatly reduced the cap shingles’ lifespan and wind rating. The net result was a lot of prematurely failed roofs and
3 tab cap shingles often lack the aesthetics to match laminate shingles. They are also a compromise in durability and wind resistance of the roof
Never use laminate shingles cut to serve as cap shingles. Bending these shingles to form at the hip and ridge lines can cause stress cracks in the shingles, which result in a greater likelihood of wind damage and premature failure.
The Development And Introduction Of Hip And Ridge Shingles.
Once leading manufacturers realized 3 tab shingles were not up to the task, the development and introduction of specifically designed hip and ridge shingles quickly followed. These newer shingles were not only thicker, which enhanced the aesthetics and wind rating, the additional, softer asphalt in these shingles was able to bend and yield to the hip and ridge line contours without cracking due to stress. The results were so positive that some manufacturers were able to increase their wind rating and warranty durations, simply by using the specifically designed cap shingles. These shingles were considerably higher in cost, so many contractors were skeptical to use them at first. Once the shingles proved themselves in the field, however, many contractors warmed up to using them. They saw that happier customers and less call backs for wind damage made the extra money on these cap shingles well worth it.
Today, there are many options for cap shingles. Most leading manufacturers have options for cap shingles that are designed not only their luxury shingle lines, but also on more cost effective options.
For all CertainTeed Landmark and Landmark Pro installations, Logik Roofing recommends and uses CertainTeed Shadow Ridge Caps.
For a higher profile and more accentuated roof line, we recommend CertainTeed Cedar Crest caps. These cap shingles are compatible with Landmark shingles as well as Highland Slate.
Advice For Homeowners
In closing, I’d like to offer some tips for homeowners regarding shingle caps:
- Avoid winter installations. Even with softer asphalt in better cap shingles, cold weather installs can put a lot of stress on cap shingles. This can cause cracks during the installation, which can cause premature failure.
- Ask your contractor what he is using for cap shingles. A lot of contractors like to cut corners in order to present you with a competitive price. Not using the designed or recommended cap shingle is one of the most common cost cutting measures with contractors. All manufacturers now make a cap shingle, so insist that your contractor uses them.
- Never let a contractor use laminate shingles for caps. Due to the thicker laminated sections, laminate shingles react poorly to bending. Attempting to use these shingles as caps will undoubtedly result in stress cracks, which will result in wind damage or premature failure.
If you have any questions regarding cap shingle options or other aspects of roofing, please contact or office.