Advice and Updates

Roofing, Siding and Exterior Renovation News and Advice from Tony William

Answers to Common Roofing Questions

At Tony William Roofing & Exteriors, we get a lot of questions about roofing repairs, materials, and the replacement process. Here are five common questions that might help to understand the issues involved in Calgary roof replacement.

Roofing Questions and Answers

When Do Asphalt Shingles Need Replacing?

While high-quality materials like metal roofing, rubber and some high-performance laminated architectural shingles can last decades or more, most older style asphalt shingles have a useful life of less than 20 years. If your shingles are more than two decades old, they most likely need to be replaced. With Calgary’s harsh winters and strong sun exposure in the summer, many lower quality roofing shingles will need replacing sooner than that.

There are many signs of roof deterioration to keep a look out for. Missing, curling, cracked or worn out shingles definitely need to be replaced. Asphalt granules in your downspout after a rain is another sign that your shingles are wearing out. There may be isolated damage from falling debris or there could be wider spread deterioration over the entire roof. In general, south facing slopes or sections with heavy wind exposure will deteriorate faster. We don’t recommend climbing on your roof, so inspect from ground level. You can even use binoculars for more detail.

Another way to check the quality of your roof is to climb into your attic to look for water stains or other signs of leakage. If water is penetrating beneath the wooden roof sheathing, your roof will need to be repaired or replaced.

Roofing Flashig

What is Roof Flashing?

Flashing is a metal material, typically made of galvanized steel or aluminum, that is used to protect joints in your roof from water penetration. You’ll typically see flashing around the chimney, skylights, pipes, dormer windows and where two sections of your roof butt up against each other. Flashing is generally very durable so problems will likely involve heavy wind damage that has pulled it away from your roof, or damage from ice dams caused by water getting under the flashing and freezing.

Roofing Tar Paper

What is Tar Paper?

Tar paper, also known as felt paper or asphalt paper, is a material placed on top of the wooden roof sheathing and under shingles as an extra layer of protection. It is called tar paper because of the black, asphalt coating that helps it form a strong bond between your shingles and the wood sheathing. There are now synthetic materials known as roofing underlayment that serve the same purpose. All provide a separation from the chemicals in shingles penetrating into the wood sheathing and protect against water, heat and even sound.

Do Old Shingles Need to be Removed?

While it might seem that adding an extra layer of shingles on your home will offer added protection, it is highly advisable to remove the old shingles. At Tony William we always remove old shingles on every roof replacement. That is the only way to inspect and repair damage to the roof sheathing and structure of your home. Most shingle manufacturers require old shingles to be removed for their product warranties to be valid. Also, extra layers of shingles add more weight that can tax the structure of your home. This is an especially important consideration in a high snowfall city like Calgary. Of course, one layer of shingles will also look much better.

Icicles are a sign of a roofing problem

Why Do Icicles Form on My Eavestroughs?

Icicles on your gutters are often a sign of a poorly functioning roofing system. Your roof needs to be adequately vented and properly insulated to ensure that the heat from your home is not melting snow on your roof. Melting snow leads to frozen water in your eavestroughs, icicle formations, and ice dams. All of which can damage your shingles and roof. Your roof will last longer with proper ventilation and insulation.

Check Out Our Calgary Roofing Guide

We have a very thorough roofing guide that is a great overview of key roofing terminology, roofing materials, the roof replacement process and more. If you are considering a roof replacement, it is a great start to understanding all the options and issues. Of course, our roofing experts at Tony William are always a phone call or email away if you have any more questions. Feel free to contact us at any time. 

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