Spokane Home Builders

Roofing in Spokane

One of the least understood and most important components of your house is your roof.  A quality roof will help to ensure decades of comfortable living.  There are four main parts to roofing in Spokane:  drip edge, felt, ice guard and tiles.  Because of varying weather conditions roofing needs are different throughout the world.  In this article we will explain Spokane roofing best methods. 

The starting point for any new roof is the drip edge.  This is normally a metal trim piece that is installed at all roof edges.  Drip edge provides important benefits such as holding shingles up, adds water proofing, guards against movement of fascia boards from roof deck and adds a professional finished look to your roof.  To achieve proper water drainage your roof shingles should extend roughly 2 inches past the fascia.  In this way the water correctly drains into your rain gutters.  Drip edge when installed correctly extends past the fascia and holds up the shingles.  This prevents the shingles from eventually bending over and allowing water to seep into the fascia and roof deck causing mold and rot.  At roof eves drip edge is installed first and then felt is installed on top thus forcing water to drain past the fascia edge.  Conversely on roof rakes, like gable ends, felt is laid first and then drip edge on top thus preventing wind driven rain from penetrating the roof.
Ice guard is used in place of felt for roof edges in cold environments like Spokane‚Äôs.  It is similar in appearance to felt, but is more durable and has an adhesive bottom side.  The adhesive sticks to the roof deck creating a seal so that water cannot creep up the roof.  Additional, the adhesive seals the holes made when nailing it to the roof deck.  Often times during winter an ice dam is created at the roof eves from water that melts above the heated areas of the roof.  The water then flows down to the eves and refreezes creating an ice dam.  When this happens water can accumulate in the valley made by the ice dam.  Without ice guard water can seep up behind the shingles and through the felt nail holes not only causing mold and rot, but also leaking inside your home.
Next is roof felt.  The purpose of roof felt is far different than most people realize.  Warm moist air inside your home rises and slowly passes through the ceiling, insulation and planned spaces in the roof decking.  It then also passes through the felt, but some of the moisture condenses on the underside of the shingles.  The felt serves as a barrier protecting the wood roof decking from condensed moisture on the underside of the roof shingles.  In addition, it protects the shingles from the corrosive effects of the sap that seeps from wood decking.

Now we come to the shingles.  They come in a wide array of materials, prices, weight and sizes.  The most common is asphalt shingles, but other types are slate, clay, tile, metal, concrete and wood shakes.  

Slate, clay, metal, concrete, tile and wood shakes are generally considered upgraded roof shingles.  They have several advantages such as durability, low maintenance and longer life spans.   Just as importantly they are also considered greener because of superior thermal barrier properties that prevent heat absorption.   This keeps the attic cooler in hot climates reducing the need for air conditioning.  Lastly, with the exception of wood shakes, they also provide superior fire protection. 

On the negative side, with the exception of metal and wood shakes, a reinforced roof is required to support the extra weight.
As mentioned before, asphalt shingles are by far the most common roofing material in the USA.  This is because of low cost and ease of installation of asphalt shingles.  Most asphalt shingles are rated for 20, 30 or 40 years of life span.  Generally the longer the shingle life span the heavier and stiffer the shingle which adds another benefit, higher wind rating.  Most 20 year rated shingles are rated for 70 mph winds or less.  When installing a new roof always verify you are buying a compatible shingle for your unique weather conditions.
One last point concerning asphalt shingle roofs is proper roof ventilation.  High heat will reduce the life span of your asphalt roof.  To prevent this roofs are designed to self-ventilate with a combination of eve and ridge venting keeping attic temperatures lower thus preventing damage to shingles.

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