How I fix
Home Improvements and Remodeling Tips


In this article I will deal with the importance of a good roofing job along with the quality of shingles, proper flashing techniques installation of Ice Sheild, ventilation, felt paper, proper nailing and a wide variety of tips on finding and repairing that leak.

How much of your roof can be seen from the street should have an affect in how you choose the style and color of the shingles you will have on your home.

I love to see a house with a nicely colored architectural roof. One that will match the color of your siding or brick. Most of the roofing products out there today have 40 to 50 year warranties.

I have a bias towards Certainteed products, I need to be upfront with that, being in the building trades for almost 30 years I have installed more Certainteed products than any other brand out there. I have never had a call back for a blown off shingle.

Certainteed has a great page where you can choose a color and style of shingle to match your home. I don't think they would mind if I directed you to their page. Go create and change the styles and colors to match your home..

A properly installed roof needs to have proper ventilation too. Years ago venting wasn't wasn't an issue in building new homes. A house needs to have positive air flow from the soffit thru the top of the roof or Ridge. Insulation should be properly installed in the attic so there is little or no heat loss into the attic area. Insulation with a good R-value, check with your building code or heating contractor to see what you need in your area.

Most older homes do not have soffit vents and they are an expensive process to install after the fact. Some new products are on the market that can help with this like the one below. The roofer can cut back the plywood decking and the facia if need be and install this type vent behind the gutter.

This can be done on a re-roofing job as well as a tear-off. It is much less expensive than building soffits. You can check out this and other products at DCI Products.
The ridge vent is crucial to the air flowing out the top of the roof. Air works it's way up the rafters from the soffit and exits through the ridge vent.

This job can also  be done on re-roofing jobs and may be required in your area according to code, but I would reccomend you make sure the contractor installs continuous ridge venting.

Re-roofing or adding another layer can be done on homes when there is only one layer. Do not put a third layer on and there are many reasons not to, adding to the weight is only one. The codes were changed a few years ago and I would never reccomend it anyway.

This is where archecturial shingles come in nicely. You can improve the look of your house for a few dollars a bundle more. Certainteed make a great product that I have installed and reccomended for years are are great when you are counting your dollars and cents. New Horizon Shangle is an improved look for just a few dollars more.

There are tell tale signs to look
for when you need to know if
your roof needs to be replaced  
or needs to be re-roofed.

Curling of the tabs, cracking,
bald spots, blisters, loss of
tabs, etc..

You will want to do it before
things get to bad and moisture
gets under the shingles and
starts to rot the decking.

Replacing the plywood, or what
ever type of decking can get
costly. Also wait to long and
mold can grow and that can be
a health hazard.

Have someone that you know
and trust evaluate your roof
for you if you have any doubt.

If you are going to tackle a re-roofing job yourself there are some tricks
that I can show you on how to do it and make it as painless a project as
possible. Simple things I have learned over the years. One is the switch
to the New Horizon Shangle verses the standard 3 tab shingle.

With the 3 tab design you have to be precise with cutting the starters to
make sure all the little tabs or grooves line up. So cutting every 6, 12, 18
inches has to be on the money, with the New Horizon there are no tabs to
line up, you can simply cut approximately with them. If you don't think that is a big deal, trust me when you are off and you look up after the job is done and all the tabs are off, it looks terrible and is the first thing people notice.

Continued on next page...........


Working on any roof can be dangerous. You should take every safety precaution possible, and always use extreme care while working on the roof. Use common sense: let someone know you are up there -- better yet, work with a helper.

  * Use a ladder that is high enough and strong enough for the job you are doing. Secure the ladder at the top and bottom before climbing it.
  * Use extreme caution when working near power lines, conduits or TV antennas. Never touch them or allow a metal ladder to come in contact with them.
  * Never start a roofing job in cold or wet weather. Also, allow early morning dew to disappear before beginning your work.
  * Wear heavy, rubber-soled shoes with a non-skid tread to prevent slips, and avoid wearing loose clothing.
  * If the roof slopes more than a 6" rise for every 12" horizontally, use roof brackets and boards to provide extra footing support. Place all tools and shingles within easy reach and where they will not slide off the roof.
  * Keep the roof surface clean and free from loose nails and shingles. These can cause you to slip and fall.
  * Keep people away from below the area where you will be working.