Residential Roofing Experts

Frequently Asked Questions

When should I replace my roof?

A few good indicators that your roof may need replacing include:

The age of the roof – If your roof is 20 or more years old, it is time for an inspection. A roof may last up to 30 years, however, weather, trees over the roof, excessive sun and ventilation can all affect the life of your shingles.

The look of your shingles – If you see buckled or warped shingles, or are missing shingles, it is time to have your roof inspected, and is a strong indicator that it is time for a replacement, or it may lead to:

If I do need a roof, does my old roof need to be torn off, or can a new roof be placed on top of the old?

It is possible; however, the answer will depend on several factors – city code, condition of the original roof, type of original shingle. If your roof is only one layer, in decent condition, we may be able to put your new roof on top of your old one. Your Second To None representative will know your city's code and will inspect the condition of your shingles when discussing the best option for your new roof.

However, it is important to point out that manufacturers' warranties are based on the roof being adhered to a clean, flat and smooth surface. That does not include putting a new roof over an old one. In addition, it is important to note that when a new roof is put on top of an existing shingle, we are unable to inspect the roof deck for any damage that may have occurred. By not removing the old roof, we may be simply putting a band aid on an existing, underlying problem.

How do you put a new roof on my house?

If we are putting a new roof over an existing one, the new shingles are put right on top of the old ones and the flashing (areas around any stacks, roof vents, or chimney structures) are replaced.

If the current roof requires a tear-off, the following is typical:

  1. Remove roofing down to the roof deck (boards). If any damage from water, ice, or mold has been done to the plywood, we will discuss replacement with you.
  2. An asphalt-fiberglass 30# felt is nailed to the roof deck. This material is designed to fit between the roof deck and your shingles.
  3. A metal edging is then fitted to the edges around the roof line.
  4. Your shingles are custom fitted to your roof.
  5. Flashing is placed around vent stacks and chimney structures and sealed to prevent water penetration in these areas not covered by shingles.

What kind of shingle options are available?

There are many new “looks” for roofs that include various colors and patterns, architectural styles, and even the ability to look like other materials, like slate, or cedar shakes. Your Second To None/J&B Home Improvement representative will bring samples of the latest styles and options for you. In addition, we can give you addresses in your neighborhood, or community where you can actually see the roof look and color on a home near you. This may give you more of an idea of how your new shingles will look on your home.

Can you install shingles on all roof types?

It depends. The pitch on your roof needs to be pitched enough to support shingles. Shingles are designed so that water runs off of them and toward a gutter, or downspout. If water sits on shingles, it can cause a water back up. We do offer additional roofing material types for flat, or slightly sloped roofs including metal and rubber.

A lot of contractors talk to me about a ridge vent. Do I need this?

It depends on the slope of your roof, the size of your attic space and the soffit you have. Ridge venting is a great way to allow air to escape from the entire length of your attic, however it is not the only effective option – static, or power vents may be a better option for your home. It is important to remember that proper ventilation of your roof is the key. The roof itself needs to have enough openings to let both air in and out. Changing weather and homes themselves can cause the excessive humidity that, without proper ventilation, can cause roof problems. So more than the type of vent, proper ventilation will help to keep your roof and your home free from mold, and keep from shortening the life of your shingles, and rotting your roof deck.

Can you put a new roof on a home in the winter?

The answer is yes, but it is important to consider the weather any time you are working with a contractor on your home. Training, keeping an eye on the weather, and using materials suitable for cold applications should all be taken into account when contracting a roofing project in the winter.

What will my yard look like during and after my new roof is put on?

Like any construction project, things can become a mess. Ladders will need to be placed, and materials will come off of the roof. We do as much as we can to protect landscape and other structures close to the roof while we complete the project. In addition, we make sure that the job is completed to your satisfaction – and a big part of that includes clean up once your new roof is on. Any construction material is hauled away as a part of the clean up process.

Should I power/pressure wash my roof to keep it looking new?

No! Pressure washing a roof removes granules from the shingle. Granules are an important component to the makeup of the shingle itself. By pressure washing, you will likely remove granules, thus shortening your roof's effective life. If you are concerned about keeping your roof looking new, we do offer treatment packages to homeowners.

Do you offer a guarantee?

Yes, Second To None guarantees our workmanship for 10 years on eligible new work. This covers our labor. In addition, you would receive the manufacturer's warranty on the installed shingles, the length of which depends on the shingle and is subject to the manufacturer's criteria.

Is Second To None insured?

Yes, and this is a key point. Having insurance on our crews keeps you protected, our workers protected and our company protected. Many contractors do not have insurance because of the expense and difficulty in obtaining it, so it is important for you, the homeowner, to ask for proof of insurance before you start a project with a contractor.

What is a seamless gutter?

Our gutters are made on site by using a machine that molds them out of flat aluminum coil. The gutters are made to fit your home without seams.

How are they installed?

Gutters are typically attached to a wood overhang on a house, called a fascia board. A hanger and a screw attach to the board, keeping your gutters secure. If your home does not have fascia, roof hangers may be attached over the shingles on the roof to keep the gutters in place and secure.

Can I get an accent color for my gutters, or am I stuck with standard white or brown?

Absolutely. We offer a wide variety of colors to compliment your roof and home's color scheme. Your Second To None representative can supply you with a color palette from which you can choose your gutter color.

Is your gutter work guaranteed?

We do guarantee that the gutters we install will be attached properly and will be leak free after install. However, it is important to note that in Northeast Ohio, we do have many freeze/thaw cycles during the winter months. This ice build up can do damage to gutters and we cannot guarantee against this.

Will you slope my gutters toward a downspout?

Standing water is not a problem in aluminum gutters like it once was when steel was used as a gutter material. However, we do try and make sure that if it makes sense aesthetically, that we do slope gutters toward a downspout.

Isn't gutter aluminum valuable? Do you just dispose of it?

The value of the gutter aluminum is nominal. As a part of the job, we do haul old gutters to scrap yards around the area to recycle the aluminum as much as we can. If you would like to scrap this aluminum on your own, please let us know and we will put your gutters aside for you to scrap.

What causes ice buildup on the edges of my roof?

Typically, snow is melted by heat escaping through the roof. The water refreezes at the overhang at the bottom of the roof because it is colder than the rest of the roof.

What weather conditions create ice buildup?

First of all, there must be snow on the roof. Secondly, the outside temperature must be below freezing. The longer snow is on the roof and the longer the temperature remains below freezing, the more likely it is that ice buildup and leakage will occur.

Why does my roof leak?

Shingle roofs are designed to shed water, not hold water. Whenever waterflow off the roof is obstructed, water will flow under the shingles and over flashings (the joints where the roof meets vertical walls) to create leaks.

Why do some roofs have problems and others don't?

Heat loss through the roof is the biggest variable. Some houses have extremely effective insulation and ventilation. Other houses, due to their design, are more difficult to insulate and ventilate. The complexity of the roof geometry is another variable. Unheated unattached garages typically never have ice backup problems because there is no heat escaping to melt the snow and the roof geometry is usually pretty simple.

If I have ice backup leaks, was my roof improperly installed?

No! The leaks are caused by water trapped by ice, not by improper installation. Shingles are simply designed to shed water, not stop trapped water from entering your home.

I installed ice backup protection under my shingles. Why does my roof still leak?

There are many reasons. Ice backup protection is typically installed from the roof edge extending 3 to 6 feet up from the edge. It is possible in some cases that water could be trapped above the protection. In addition, the roof flashings, where vertical walls meet the roof, extend only a few inches above the roof. Trapped water can be forced to enter the house through and above these flashings. Also, trapped water can enter the house through the woodwork below the roof edge. Ice backup protection can reduce the possibility of leaks but cannot eliminate leaks.

What can I do to stop the leaks?

Call a roofing professional to free the trapped water. This can be very dangerous work. If you cannot find a professional to do the work, here are some suggestions if you want to try to do it yourself:

Are channels in the ice a permanent solution?

No! Weather conditions can cause the channels to refreeze. More snow can fall; the weather can remain below freezing. You may need to have the channels recut several days later if leaks reoccur.

Why don't my gutters stop the problem?

Pure and simply, gutters do not work in the winter. As soon as the gutters or the downspouts freeze, gutters stop working.

Do gutters make ice backup worse?

Yes! That is possible. Frozen gutters provide another obstacle to make it harder for water to get off the roof. This is a “catch 22”. Gutters may cause a slight increase in the potential for backup problems, but not having gutters can cause serious basement water problems in the summer. Our recommendation is to keep your gutters. Just make sure they are installed securely enough to take the ice load.

Is the cost to stop the leaks and repair the damage covered by insurance?

This is a question for your homeowners insurance company. Typically, this expense is covered but you need to contact your insurance carrier for the details.

What are more permanent solutions to reduce ice backup leaks?

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