Roofing in Cold Climates

Roofing looks to be so basic

Did you know that the roofing manufactures will not warranty their products if the shingles are installed improperly?

The warranty does not warrant that your roof shall not leak. But instead they warrant that their product “shall not fall apart over normal weather conditions”.
The contractor is responsible for the rest.

1. To make sure that the roof decking is structurally sound, solid and uniform (no damage, loosening, lifting or sagging), for a better roof deck plywood sheathing is better than Norboard/oriented Strandboard.

Moisture inside of the attic freezes on to the roofing nail on the attic side of the roof sheathing.
This moisture works on the Norboard sheathing.

In time the sheathing breaks down much quicker than using plywood sheathing.

What does this mean?

In about 6-10 years down the road when a high-wind storm comes your shingles are no longer fasted tightly to the roof deck and portion of your roof will blow off.

You say “No problem – insurance will pay for it.” and you pay a higher premium for that privilege and keep paying for years to come.
2. The code requires Ice & Water Shield to be installed 2′ beyond the inside surface of exterior roofs at the eve line.

The material is designed to keep water from getting to the roof decking.

The problem is the water sits between the shingles you see and the Ice & Water Shield.

Moisture on backside of the shingles makes the shingle break down and crumble leaving you with exposed Ice & Water Shield and gutter flashing.

Now the water is no longer going into the gutter in this area and instead is going between the gutter and fascia board and getting into your overhang.

Easy solution – install 15# tarpaper above Ice & Water Shield. It wicks water away from an area to a place it can evaporate.
3. The best way to make a roof last the longest is to keep the attic air temperature and out side air within 2° degrees of each other.

  1. This keeps the shingles from baking in the summer or creating ice dams in the winter.

    To achieve this, have a well ventilated roof.

    Continuous Venting in the soffits, and/or roof venting – as in ridge vents or metal roof vents. Gable end vents are great if you can in corporate them in the design of the building.

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