Emco Building Products Corp.

June 08, 2007 13:00 ET

Emco Building Products Corp.: Your Roofing Questions Answered

MONTREAL, QUEBEC--(Marketwire - June 8, 2007) - All across Canada, home improvement season is underway. Gardens, decks, painting and other projects abound, but homeowners must also make sure not to neglect their roofs. Regular inspections of shingles are key to determine whether or not repairs or a new roof is necessary. For homeowners interested in knowing more about roofing, Mr. Dreamroofs-a 20-year veteran of the industry-answers several common questions on the subject.

Q: How does having proper ventilation in the attic affect my roof?

A: Ventilation is a crucial factor in the life of a roof. Heat build-up in the hot summer months, as well as the cold weather of winter will accelerate the aging process of your asphalt shingles. Proper air circulation in the attic, regardless of the weather outside, will greatly reduce the chances of leaking, blistering, distortion, curling, rotting of wood structure, wet insulation and other potential problems. To tell if a home's ventilation is inadequate, several signs appear in the attic, including hot, stuffy air in comparison with the rest of the house, stagnant air, unbroken darkness indicating blocked or non-existent openings and water stains or mold on the underside of the roof decking

Q: Why are there black streaks on my roof?

A: Sometimes mistaken for dirt, moss, or granule loss, these streaks are actually caused by algae growing in areas that receive less direct sunlight, thereby retaining higher levels of moisture. This discolouration in an aesthetic problem only, and will in no way harm the shingles or shorten the life of the roof. Algae will affect all asphalt shingles, but may be more visible in lighter colour roofs. It is difficult to remove, but may be lightened using a chemical solution applied very carefully.

Q: What is eave protection and why is it important?

A: Eave protection is a layer of felt or plastic placed under the shingles on eaves, in valleys, along ridges, at roof perimeters and at joint flashings. Eave protection is important for the performance of a roof, acting as both a waterproofing membrane and as extra protection against-ice damming. It protects the roof against ice that builds up during winter freeze/thaw cycles.

Q: Do I need to install felt under my shingles?

A: Installation of felt is mandatory for certain roof slopes and with certain types of shingles, but Mr. Dreamroofs highly recommends it be used in the majority of roofing applications. Felt underlayments typically reduce the risk of water infiltration due to wind-driven rain or if shingles are torn or cracked, and acts as a buffer area between the shingles and the roof deck below.

Q: Why are there granules in my gutters?

A: Granule loss is a normal process in the weathering and aging of any asphalt shingle. Common causes of additional granule loss include foot traffic on the roof or shingles applied on very slight roof slopes, which are prone to increased granule loss due to poor drainage capabilities of the roof. A certain amount of granule loss is to be expected, and shingles are actually made with excess granules on the surface called 'hitchhikers.'

Q: Why do different types of shingles carry different types of warranties?

A: In today's market, there are many types and styles of shingles available. The various types of shingles come with warranties representative of their life expectancy. Generally speaking, the heavier the shingle, the longer the warranty. All other things being equal, the weight differences come from the amount of waterproofing material, namely asphalt, used during manufacture.

A 20-year veteran of the roofing industry, Mr. Dreamroofs is the official spokesperson for Dreamroofs.com, the free, online roofing resource for homeowners. For additional information, other roofing tips or to email a question to Mr. Dreamroofs directly, please visit www.dreamroofs.com.

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