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Broken, curling shingles spell trouble for any homeowner. There may or may not be actual leaks present in the actual roof at the time, but there are sure to be in the future if repairs aren’t made. Roof repair and replacement both start with one major step  –  removing roof shingles.

Those that are really looking to take on this project themselves should first get a detailed set of instructions from the roofing manufacturers. This set of instructions is strictly to get an idea of the process. We are not responsible for any accidents, warranty voids or mishandling. We highly recommend allowing professionals, like ourselves, to replacing your roofs. We offer the best warranties and coverage, aside from manufacturers, for replacement roofs that are available to homeowners in the New England area.

This is one method of removing two layers of shingles from a simple, gabled low-pitched roof measuring about 14 feet by 42 feet on each plane, or just about 1200 square feet. It’s worth noting, though, that projects of this magnitude are beyond the skill level of many homeowners, so it is a good idea to consult with professional contractors before undertaking any roof removal project.

Tools and Materials Needed:001-resized-600

– Flat-Blade Shovel

– Hammer

– Nails

– Pitchfork

– Pry Bar

– Shingle Removal Scraper

– Utility Trailer, Tarps

First, a tool called a shingle scraper will be needed. This is similar to a flat-blade shovel, except it has some very big teeth. A triangular “heel” is welded to the bottom, and this acts as a ramp to pivot the scraper, which then pushes under the shingles and lifts them from the roof. The shingle scraper can also be used to pry up the roofing nails.

Some older roofs will have a strip of sheet metal along the lower edge. Most roofing professionals today recommend that this be taken off. The roof shingle scraper is able to get under the sheet metal’s edge and pry it up.

In the absence of a shingle scraper, a flat-blade garden shovel may also be used to remove roof shingles. A common garden pitchfork may also be useful for removing the top layer of shingles, but it cannot easily be used to take off the bottom layer.

It generally takes four people working all together about two hours to completely remove the shingles off a roof about 1200 square feet in size.

Once the roof shingles come off, they have to somehow be disposed of, and this is one of the most difficult parts of the shingle removing process. Asphalt shingles are heavy. Even the cheapest shingle grades weigh around 225 pounds per 100 square feet. It is helpful to have a large dumpster at the ready to make the roof shingle disposal easier.

Even after the main roof shingles come off, there will be bits of shingle stuck to the wood. There will also be numerous roofing nails that will either need to be removed or pounded down. A rip-claw hammer is a great tool for this task. It can easily remove any remaining roofing debris and pull out nails that are still in the wood. This usually takes about an hour for the whole roof.

It should not be surprising to see many boards that sheathed loose nails. Be sure to hammer down all these nails. Older roofs, especially, will be composed mostly of 1×10 wooden planks. This was common before the widespread use of plywood for roof and floor sheathing.

Follow the roof boards down to where the rafters are. There should be many rusty nails visible at this point.

As a final step, drive in eight-penny nails for securing the roof sheathing boards to the rafters. This will help prepare the roof for the next steps in the repair process. It is recommended that one or two nails be used for each ten-inch-wide board on each rafter.

It would be wise to keep in mind that this is not a project for the inexperienced do-it-yourselfer, or even for someone more experienced without any outside help. Mistakes happen often when nonprofessionals try to do a job like this, and installation mistakes result in voided warranties, making for an incredibly costly error. Homeowners should consult with the professionals at United Home Experts before undertaking any project of this magnitude to get free estimates on home roof repair.

The problem with re-roofing a house is not just the expense.  It is also the time and inconvenience, as well as the durability of the materials.

Therefore, when a home needs a new roof, several factors must be weighed.  Cost is one factor.  Another is how quickly the job can SAMSUNG DIGITAL CAMERAbe completed.  The third, and possibly the most important consideration, is durability.  In other words, how long will the new roof last?

Roofs in the Northeast, for example, must be able to withstand extremely harsh weather—everything from intense heat to extreme cold, high winds, and pounding rain.

Homeowners have many choices when it comes to the composition of a new roof.  Three of the most common are wood shingles, tile, and fiberglass asphalt shingles.

For homes which are subject to the extremes in weather that the Northeast is famous for, only one style of roofing meets all three homeowner requirements: fair price, speed of installation, and long-lasting durability. That choice is fiberglass asphalt shingles.

Wood shingles warp and crack under the extreme temperature variations of the Northeast.  To a somewhat lesser extent, the same is true of tile shingles. Fiberglass asphalt shingles, which come in a number of pleasing colors and patterns, are clearly the best choice when it comes to protecting a home, especially in the harsh conditions of the Northeast.

Roof shingles made from fiberglass asphalt expand and contract with temperature rather than crack, and roofing shingles professionally installed by a quality company such as United Home Experts are 100% guaranteed. Other companies may offer a slightly more attractive price, but when it comes to top-notch, skilled craftsmanship there is nothing more solid than a company such as United Home Experts, which has almost 8,000 happy customers and an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau.

Start with a free quote.  It is important to deal with a company that will provide an actual quote and not an estimate – estimates have a way of vanishing into thin air when the work actually begins.  It is also important that the quote not be part of a high-pressure sales pitch.

Choice is another important consideration.  The color and pattern of the roof must complement the home it protects.  Many companies offer only a limited number of choices when it comes to roofing material, but a reliable company such as United Home Experts offers the homeowner a wide range of choices when it comes to its durable, long-lasting, guaranteed roof shingles.

Choosing a roofing material that is guaranteed to last and hiring a rock-solid locally based company that treats each and every customer with respect is of vital importance.  After all, a house is more than just a long-term investment – a house is also a home.

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When you buy asphalt shingles for your home it is very important that you know exactly what you are paying for. It’s a large investment, and at times there can be some confusion as to what exactly is included in your asphalt shingle warranty.

Be aware that when you purchase “30-year shingles” it doesn’t necessarily mean that your roof will be fully covered for a full 30 years. Many companies will offer a limited warranty, but there are often many caveats to be aware of.

Most limited warranties won’t Asphalt Shinglescover any type of damage that is not deemed to have been a defect of your asphalt shingles from day one. This means that damage during installation, fire or emergency damage, and even weather damage may not be covered. If your shingles were not installed by exact specifications, that too, may void your warranty.

Luckily there are reputable companies out there which will give you a better and fair asphalt shingle warranty, though you may have to be diligent in making sure that you find one of these companies and get yourself a very good deal.

It’s important to be sure of exactly what you’re getting yourself into with any investment as important as the roof of your home, and if you do keep your wits about it there should be no trouble at all finding a certifie

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d and trustworthy company willing to give you a fair estimate and, importantly, be upfront with you on the details.

At United Home Experts we offer a full coverage warranty that covers materials, labor, and workmanship for the life of the roof. Please request our full warranty for full details. For more information about our roofing services, visit out main roofing page!

Click here for another article that details roof warranties.

**Call us today for a free estimate at 888-724-6865.

By: Doug Partridge: Doug Partridge has worked in the home improvement industry for  over thirty years in the areas of project design, estimation, project management, sales and sales management.

Part 2 : Signs of a Bad Roofer : Professionalism

Read Part 1 Here

  1. No personal presentation.    Roofing projects can be complicated. Customer questions and concerns should be patiently and fully answered.  Dropping an estimate in the mailbox gets the contractor “off-the-hook” for critical details and leaves the customer “in-the-dark”.
  2. “Get your own permit”.   DANGER!   If a “contractor” wants the homeowner to pull the permit, he probably is un-licensed, and almost always un-insured.  If the homeowner pulls the permit, he is completely responsible for the job; legally, financially and insurance-wise (both liability and workman’s comp.).  The contractor then becomes the homeowner’s employee.  If the contractor gets hurt, botches the estimate, causes damage, or wastes materials, etc., the responsibility, costs and liability fall totally on the homeowner.  This is how people lose their homes!
  3. No attic inspection. describe the image  Inspection of the underside of the roof (if possible) is critical for a complete and accurate evaluation and estimate.  (The exceptions  are cathedral ceilings and similar structures where access is not available).  This can prevent un-expected, huge, add-on expenses during the installation. (example: complete plywood re-deck, often building-code required)  It can also reveal potentially dangerous health issues such as mold, mildew, and animal infestations (commonly bats, squirrels and birds).
  4. No proof of licenses, insurances or permit.   A professional contractor will carry and provide copies of required licenses and an “Acord” insurance certificate which documents liability and workman’s comp. insurance.  This is required before a permit can be granted.  A copy of the permit should be available, preferably on-site, before works begins.
  5. Through-roof fixtures.    All through-roof fixtures, such as stack pipes, box vents, skylights, chimneys, etc. should be noted, evaluated and discussed.  Some are replaced with new units during installation.  Skylights rarely last longer than 20 years and when they leak, can create costly collateral damages (ceilings, cabinets, flooring, etc.).  Preventive maintenance is wise.
  6. Installation duration and schedule.    Most residential roofs can be installed in a day or two by a normal-sized crew.  Lengthy installs can often lead to many costly problems and often indicate inadequate staffing.  Long wait times in scheduling the install can be a sign of low priority.  If the contractor low-bid the job, he may put more profitable work in front of yours.
  7. Debris disposal and permit.   Many towns require disposal permits, dumpster permits, or written notice of the licensed waste disposal location.  Most roofing shingles are “hazardous waste” and must be disposed of properly.

Andy Engdahl is Roofing Specialist for United Home Experts and works hard to educate his customers about a proper roof installation process, good quality products, and how to receive the best warranties in the roofing industry.

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A long lasting, high performance roof in Massachusetts is much more intricate and involved than what is in plain sight.  It is very easy and common to see a roof as basically a bunch of shingles covering your house.  To have a roof that will work and stand the extreme weather conditions in Massachusetts, it is very important to hire a roofing company that uses a proven roofing system.

A proper roof system will help prevent many of the problems associated with roofs in Massachusetts, such as ice dams. A roofing system is made up of many components that essentially work in unison.  The components that are part of a roof system include;

    • shingles
    • ventilation
    • underlayment

A strong roof system should always begin with removing the existing layers of roofing and inspecting the entire deck surface.  Sheathing that is has rot needs to be replaced. Next, ice and water shield should be applied six feet from all lower edges, eaves, dormers, in valleys and around skylights.  The ice and water shield provides protection from ice dams and prevents leaks from wind driven rain.  After the ice and water, a high performance fiber glass reinforced felt paper needs to be positioned on the remaining decking.  The fiber glass reinforced felt paper provides an extra layer of protection between the shingles and the roof deck.  Following the felt paper is a layer of starter shingles around the perimeter of the roof.   After the starter shingles are applied, high quality, strong warranty shingles should be placed on the roof.  The final step to a high performing roof system in Massachusetts is proper ventilation. There are various options for ventilating ones roof depending on the design of the roof.  A typical vent for a roof is a ridge vent.  The ridge vent works very well to prevent excessive heat and moisture. It is absolutely vital that a roofing company in Massachusetts follow a very similar roofing system as outlined above. The aforementioned roofing system should provide for a worry free durable roof for many years to come.

By: Doug Partridge: Doug Partridge has worked in the home improvement industry for  over thirty years in the areas of project design, estimation, project management, sales and sales management.

Part 1: Signs of a Bad Roofer: Financial

  1. The lowest price.  A  sub-standard roof job can be done for ½ to 1/3 ofRoofing Contractor the price of a thorough, properly installed and warranted roofing system.  Corner-cutting is very profitable!
  2. Large deposits.  No more than 1/3 deposit.  The contractor should be willing to be financially upside-down, never the homeowner.  Contractors often disappear completely, take too much time, or demand huge surprise add-ons, if the financial leverage is in their hands, at any point in the process.
  3. Payment by cash only.  Any reputable business will be able to take payment by credit cards and should be able to offer financing through a nationally known financial institution. “Cash only” is often an indication of intent to commit tax fraud and a dying business.
  4. Payments to an individual.  Writing checks or paying cash to an individual is dangerous and an unnecessary risk.  Payments should be made to a business, not to (example: John Smith, dba. Trustworthy Roofers).
  5. Omissions.  A.)  The costs of removing and disposing of extra layers of the existing roof.  B.)  The installed costs of replacing rotted or damaged decking and structure (example; joists). C.)  The costs of any add-on work to be agreed-upon by the customer before the work is performed.
  6. Old  and/or poorly –maintained vehicles.  Any well-run business will have pride in the professional images they portray.  (example:  vehicles, clothing, paperwork and tools).

 

Stay tuned for Doug’s next post Part 2 : Signs of a bad roofer: Professionalism

Many homeowners are interested in finding out how much does a new roof cost. You may also find our free roofing guide helpful.

We’ve been getting a lot of inquiries about whether or not there are any asphalt roof shingles that qualify for the Federal tax credit for energy efficient improvements.  The answer is YES!  For specifics on your territory consult a local roofing contractor.

We recommend Certainteed® roofing materials over any other roofing products on the market.  Certainteed® has a proven track record for quality, and they have the best warranty program available to homeowners.  Not all Certainteed roofing products are available in New England, but there are a few that do qualify for the tax credit.

Certainteed® has recently developed Landmark Solaris® shingles which all meet the standards for the federal tax credit.  These are high quality shingles and therefore come at a premium cost so it may not make sense to have them installed just for the sake of getting money back with the Federal Tax Credit.  However, Certainteed® also has a few roofing shingle colors within the Landmark® architectural line of shingles that qualify for the tax credit.  These colors are Silver Birch, Mist White, and Star White.  What this means is, you can get 30% back of the cost of materials when you file your taxes for 2009.

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Certainteed Landmark Silver Birch (color on screen may not be accurate)

As of September 1st  2009, Silver Birch is the only shingle color that we know of available in Massachusetts, Rhode Island,and New Hampshire that qualifies for the tax credit.

Asphalt shingles are predominantly used for Massachusetts residential roofing.

However,  Massachusetts has a higher concentration of slate shingles and cedar shingles than most regions of the U.S.  The reason is that there are far more traditional homes and a higher concentration of older homes than in other parts of the country.  As we learned in 5th grade History Class, Massachusetts was one of the earliest settlements in the states.  Some houses actually date back 150-200 years or more in some cases.  This can not be said of areas West of the Appalachian Mountains.

What roofing products are available that mimic traditional slate and cedar shingles?

Slate:  Many of the newest asphalt shingles are designed to look like slate shingles.

If you desire a slate-like shingle that’s even more authentic in appearance consider:

Certainteed Symphany,            or Lamarite by Tamko.

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Cedar Shingles:  When it comes to the look of cedar shingles, there aren’t really any roofing products so real looking they’ll fool you.  But there are some asphalt shingles that are attractive and rustic looking enough to do the job.  Consider Certainteed:

Landmark TL      or Presidential TL

We can help you navigate the abundance of roofing products and choose what’s right for your home.  Roofing Estimate

Find out how much does a new roof cost.