Spring Roofing FAQ’s

Q: Can I repair my old roof or does it need to be replaced?
A: A leaking roof should be addressed immediately but does not always call for a complete replacement. Repairs can be performed to stop leaks, but multiple leaks, blow offs and widespread issues will almost certainly require replacement.

Q: Should I have my old roof removed before installing a new roof?
A: If your home only has one layer of shingles, a reroof may be possible. If you have more than one existing layer of roofing or cedar shake shingles then a tear off is required to adhere to local building codes and warranty standards. Problems with roof decking and roof flashings will not be addressed with a reroof and could lead to future problems or premature failure of your new roof. Roofing experts estimate that the life of your new roof can be reduce by up to 20% if installed over a pre existing roof.

Q: What is the best roofing material to use on my house?
A: There are so many high quality residential roofing products available from asphalt roofing shingles to stone coated steel shingles. While each carry their own advantages over the other both are capable of increase your home’s curb appeal and providing long term durability if installed properly. Consumers should also keep in mind the strength of the product warranty when choosing a roofing material.

Q: Why did my roofing contractor tell me my porch is too flat for shingles?
A: Roofing manufacturers and municipal building codes will allow for the installation of asphalt shingles on roofs with a pitch as low as 2  1/2: 12( 11 degrees) of slope. However, a qualified roofer with your best interests in mind will not recommend shingles for any area with a slope less than 4: 12( 18 degrees). Asphalt roofing systems are only effective at shedding water,they are not effective  at withstanding ” pooling” water. Gravity and roof slope are essential for shingles to work properly.

Q:I have several roofing estimates, why do they vary so much in price?
A: There are several factors that will determine what price your contractor presents you with. Everything from the materials they use, the insurance they do or don’t carry, whether they use sub contractors and have commissioned salesman. If you have one estimate that seems to good to be true, it probably is. Most low bid roofers are uninsured and follow substandard installation practices.

Q: My roof was installed this winter, was it too cold for them to due a good job?
A: Asphalt roofing manufacturers have no predetermined standards regulating what temperature is too cold to install a new roof. To ensure a better installation as your contractor to store the materials in a heated area and only bring enough to complete each day’s work. Also request that they hand nail the fasteners when applying the shingles and use 6 nails per shingle. This technique is known as ” storm” nailing and will protect against blow offs until warmer weather can activate the sealing strips.

Do you have a question about your roof? Ron Ferris and Son Roofing has been helping homeowners protect their homes in the Greater Rochester Area since 1979! Call us today @ (585)288-0895 and see how easy getting a new roof can be.

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Roofing Rochester NY after the winter storm of 2017

Our last winter storm saw wind gusts reaching over 80 miles an hour and several days of heavy, sustained winds leaving many Rochester area homeowners with damage to their roofs. We have seen everything from minor shingle blow offs to entire sections of asphalt roofing shingles and underlayment blown off. Local roofing contractors have been working diligently to help homeowners secure their homes and prevent further damage from occurring. When considering a roofing company be sure to select a longstanding company who is properly insured and has a history of quality workmanship in your community.

Above all else, make sure you have a written contract in place before any work is to commence on your roof replacement. This should never be overlooked as it is the only protecting both you and your roofer. The days of informal contractor dealings are long gone. A contract should never be looked at as a trust issue by either party but rather a clear, written scope of :

  • The work to be performed
  • The materials to be used
  • The shingle/ workmanship warranty
  • The terms of payment

What if you verbally agree upon a certain price with your roofing company with no contract and they tell you after beginning the removal of the old roof, that there is more layers then they thought. They tell you it is going to be an extra 2,000.00!  They are demanding more money for an extra layer but you already agreed verbally upon a price. Or what if they agree to use a specific roofing product, but does not. Having a detailed agreement in place would have saved a lot of headaches and possibly money.

As you can see, having a clear, written contract in place is the only way to hire a roofing professional. Make sure the names of both parties involved as well as the physical site of work to be performed are clearly listed. The scope of all roofing work including products used, layers of roofing removed, job site clean up, etc should also be included. All warranties for both workmanship and roofing shingles should be in writing and a copy of the contractor’s liability and workman’s comp insurance should be obtained. How the roof is being paid for and when the payment is due need to be very clear as well.

A lot more goes into a deal than a handshake when you are installing a new roof. If all the details are itemized, the job will continue to move ahead smoothly should  a problem arise. Since 1979, Ron Ferris and Son Roofing has helped thousands of homeowners repair and replace their roofs! Call us today at (585)288-0895 to find out how easy getting a new roof can be.

D.I.Y. Roof Repair vs Professional Roof Repair

The cost of a roof replacement can be overwhelming. It can be very tempting to try and tackle your roof repairs yourself, but trust me roofing is one home improvement best left to a trained professional. Roofing is a very dangerous job and proper knowledge of product installation is necessary to ensure long term durability. Your best course of action is to contact a local roofing contractor.

What if you overlook steps in the installation that are necessary to the performance of your new roof, thereby sacrificing it’s durability and exposing your home’s roof decking and interior to water damage. The decision to re-roof your home yourself could prove to be more expensive in the long run than hiring a qualified roofer. If you are still considering tackling this project yourself, take these DIY factors into consideration so you know what’s involved with installing a new roof:

  • Tarping siding and landscaping to protect work zone
  • Tear off of existing asphalt roofing shingles
  • Replacement of any roof decking if necessary
  • Removal of all job related debris( which is often thousand of pounds)
  • Carrying all roofing materials up on the roof for installation
  • Proper installation of waterproofing underlayments
  • Proper installation of new roofing shingles to adhere to manufacturers warranty
  • Adequate roofing and soffit ventilation to ensure a long life for your new roof deck and shingles

Roofing is not as simple as painting walls or replacing a kitchen. It is a grueling, labor intensive job that if performed improperly will ultimately lead to more damage and even more costs. While there are several home improvements you can do yourself, roofing is not one of them. Call a factory trained and certified roofing professional to ensure long term protection.

The professionals at Ron Ferris and Son Roofing have been helping Rochester homeowners replace their roofs since 1979! Call us today @ (585)288 -0895 and see how easy getting a new roof can be.

Roofing Ventilation and FAQ’s Rochester NY

When it comes time for a roof replacement in Rochester NY, roofing ventilation may not always be a the forefront of your priority list; with more emphasis on details like shingle color choice, drip edge metal, roof decking and roof flashings- adequate roofing ventilation is all too often overlooked. What good is a new lifetime roofing system if the shingles and roof decking fail prematurely from a lack of a properly balanced attic ventilation system. Most ice dams and winter roof leaks can also be associated with improper roofing ventilation and attic insulation, not improper roofing installations. When we discuss roofing ventilation with our clients there are 5 frequently asked questions that seem to be common inquiries.

1- Why do I need attic and roof ventilation?  A properly balanced roofing ventilation system will reduce heat build up in your attic and roof decking in the summer, moisture during the winter and help prevent ice damming during heavy Rochester NY snow storms. All of these processes help prolong the life of your new roof, roof decking and rafters; as well as increasing the comfort levels in your home and decreasing utility bills. While it may appear that the removal of summer time heat is the biggest advantage, it is actually the control of water vapor in the winter months that will prevent mold, rot and a decreased r value in attic insulation.

2- how much roofing ventilation do I need?  The starting point for any proper roofing ventilation system is to measure the length and width of the attic floor and figure the square footage of the floor. The code minimum for adequate roofing ventilation is: 1 sq ft of net free area of venting for every 150 sq ft of floor space. In the opinion of Ron Ferris and Son Roofing this formula is acceptable unless you have a roof with a greater pitch that may cause the volume of attic air that needs to be ventilated.

3- what is the proper way to ventilate a roof? A properly flowing roof ventilation system should have an Intake and Exhaust. What this means is that an equal amount of net free area should be installed in the soffits/ overhangs at the roofs lowest bottom edge as an intake and again at the roofs peak with roofing vents. This allows dry, cool air to enter the attic space at its lowest point and push any warm, moist air out through the roof vents. A truly proper system will have a balance of 50% intake and 50% exhaust.

4- The more roof vents I install is better, right? While it is okay to exceed the recommended amounts of net free area of ventilation, it is never okay to use or mix more than one type of roof vent. This can cause a short circuit of sorts in your ventilation system. Airflow is meant to follow the path of least resistance from the bottom of the roof edge to the roof peak and out. When you combine different types of  exhaust venting and place them at various heights on the roof line they will actually work against each other and exhaust vents can begin to function as intake vents pulling in hot air from the roof line and trapping warm, moist air in your home. Intake vents however are okay to combine various forms of venting.

5- How do I vent my house if it has different height peaks everywhere? While it is okay to vent multiple peaks that run parallel or at angles with each other, the rule for peaks of different heights is; any peaks or ridges more than 3 feet apart, than only the highest peak is to be vented. The reason for this is the same as installing multiple types of roof vents at different heights. The higher elevated vents will begin to pull air in through the lower vents instead of exhausting it. It is best to seperate attic spaces with plywood or plastic sheeting to create different distinct areas to be vented.

If you have any additional questions about incorporating proper roofing ventilation in your new roof in Monroe County or Wayne County, contact our owner today. He will personally meet with you and discuss a plan that will meet your individual needs and budget. Call us today @ 585-288-0895 and schedule your free roofing estimate!

Roofing Rochester NY and Low Slope Roofing Services

roofing rochester nyIf you currently have or plan on installing a flat roof or low slope roof in Rochester NY you may require various roofing services and maintenance during it’s lifetime that a pitch roof will not. The importance of first finding a roofing contractor that is experienced and certified in low slope installations is above all else. The highest quality flat roofing materials are meaningless if improperly installed. Make sure the roofing company you choose can provide you with referrals of other flat roof owners they have helped.

Do not be fooled by a less qualified roofer who may try to convince you that it is okay to install roofing shingles on a low slope roof if you apply an ice and water barrier underneath the shingles. This is wrong!  Roofing shingles and underlayments are designed and manufactured to “shed” water which requires some pitch. They are not designed to hold out “pooling” water. In a situation with little to no slope(flat) water will pond and seep back under the shingles and cause damage to your home’s interior. This problem will only be amplified when winter sets in and ice damming occurs.

To properly shed water from a flat or low slope roof a top sheet needs to be applied with some form of adhesive or hot tar rather than fasteners so that “ponding” water can be directed to a roof drain or rain gutters and not get under the top sheet of roofing material. A proper base or mid ply must be adhered directly to an acceptable roof deck in order to provide REAL long term protection and comply with warranty standards.

Maintenance is of the up most importance when it comes to flat or low slope roofs. Keeping drains and gutters free of debris like sticks and leaves could mean the difference between years of headache free protection and a serious leak that could have easily been avoided. Most roofing companies offer roof maintenance programs which include cleaning roof drains and inspecting any roof flashing, caulking or seams in the flat roofing material. A well maintained low slope roof will last years longer than a neglected one.

It may be possible to repair your existing flat roof but that will depend greatly upon the age of the roof and the specific materials that were used in the original installation.  If your flat roof is aging but still have some life to go, a flat roof restoration may be possible. An elastomeric, fiberized aluminum coating is applied to the entire roof surface to restore your flat roof to a newer state. Tis option is faster, easier and cheaper than a full roof replacement but fails to uncover potential leaks or damage in roof decking and flashing.

All low slope roofs from residential to commercial will eventually require roofing service to either repair or replace the roof. Performing small repairs and regular maintenance are the key to making a quality low slope roofing system stand the test of time. Above all else is the importance of hiring a reputable roofing company that specializing in flat roofing, is properly insured to perform roofing and has a longstanding record of quality roofing installations backed by superior customer service should any problem or defect ever arise.

Give our owner a call today to learn more about roofing in Rochester NY @ 585-288-0895 or request your roof replacement estimate online!

Roofing Wayne County-Why Is My Insurance Company Making Me Replace My Roof

Roofing rochester ny

We have noticed a disturbing trend the last few roofing seasons at Ron Ferris and Son Roofing. More and more each year we receive calls for roofing estimates from homeowners who’s insurance companies have demanded they replace their roof. If they don’t they are informed that any further claims against their roof will be denied or that their policy will be terminated completely. Reasons can range from shingle condition, algae and moss formation on roofing shingles and even the type of (or amount of layers of) roofing on your home. Today we will discuss a type of roofing that seems to be the latest target; cedar shake roofing!

Cedar shake roof‘s are beautiful, they have a look that can give your home a character unparalleled by asphalt roofing shingles. A cedar shake roof not only looks great but will also allow your home to breathe and help insulate your attic. Despite these attributes, cedar shake roofs have many issues; these issues have become so large and commonplace across the insurance marketplace as a whole that many homeowners insurance companies  require the replacement of these roofs in Wayne County. This definitely puts homeowners in a jam as replacing a cedar shake roof with a new asphalt roof will also require the removal of the cedar so an acceptable roofing deck can be installed. This will significantly increase the cost of your roof replacement.

The main issue that we have found with most insurance carriers is that they perceive the maintenance of your roof as an issue. It is a homeowner’ s responsibility to care for and maintain a roof so that it does not cause damage to your home’s interior; resulting in damages that the insurance will have to pay for. They believe that it is not possible for a homeowner to maintain a cedar shake due to the following adherent issues:
– cracking and warping
– shrinkage and brittleness
– fire hazard (cedar shake is extremely flammable upon aging)
– holds moisture causing rot and mold
– insects love cedar

The extent of the wear and the level of protection still left in your cedar shake roof can vary greatly based upon your roof pitch, roof ventilation and the grade of cedar used to make the shake shingles. Roofs that face a southward direction get more direct solar radiation and consequently the wood will degrade quicker. The most serious and dangerous issue associated with cedar shingles; is that they are manufactured without being rated by fire safety codes. Most manufacturers use wipe on or spray on fire retardants which offer little to no protection from the start and none if not re applied periodically. Embers traveling from a house fire down the street can ignite a fire on a cedar shake roof a good distance away.

Installing a new roof over an existing cedar shake will void your shingle manufacturers warranty and will not comply with local building and fire codes. If your roofing contractor in Wayne County says you can install a new roof without tearing the cedar off he either doesn’t know any better or doesn’t have your best interest in mind.  A roof replacement is a major investment, do it right the first time! The pros at Ron Ferris and Son Roofing have been roofing Wayne County for over three decades and we are cedar shake tear off specialists. Give us a call today and our owner will work with you directly, to form a plan that fits your family’s budget, schedule and style. Call Ron @ 315-524-8924 or visit our roofing services page at www.ronferrisandsonroofing.com

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Roofing Rochester NY with Synthetic Underlayments VS Asphalt Felt

There are many factors to consider about roofing Rochester NY; from shingles, waterproofing barriers, shingle accessories, roof ventilation, pipe boots and roof flashing. Each of these factors play a crucial part in protecting your home or business from the worst of Rochester weather. When installed properly, a new roof in Rochester NY should be able to withstand heat, wind and water from damaging your property. For decades roofers in Monroe county have been installing felt paper as a water resistant(not water proof) underlayment for their asphalt roofing shingles. Today we will discuss the differences and advantages of both asphalt felt paper and synthetic felt underlayments.

Roofing underlayment is installed in between your roofing deck and shingles for several reasons:
– as an external water vapor and rain protection
– prevents parts of the asphalt shingle’s chemical mixtures from damaging your roof decking
– prevents resins in your roof decking from damaging your new roof shingle replacement in Rochester NY
– provides temporary protection against storms during a roof installation
– acts as an ambient barrier to reinforce proper attic insulation

When choosing your roofing underlayment a lot of factors can come into play such as roof pitch, budget and overall personal preference. Not every roof requires the best underlayments available. For instance a standard shingle roof does not require the same level of vapor barrier protection as a new metal roof would. If you are on a tight budget a 30lb asphalt felt will be an adequate vapor barrier for asphalt shingles. Remember felt(asphalt or synthetic) is water resistant not waterproof which means neither will hold out water long term as they are not self sealing- our long term goal is vapor barrier protection.

With that in mind what are the distinct advantages of both shingle underlayments:
Synthetic Felt- incredibly lightweight(6x less than traditional felt for a comparable coverage area)
– safer for roofers to walk and install shingles on
– stands up to high winds in case of shingle blow off
– water and vapor barrier protection lays flatter than asphalt felt to prevent telescoping through shingles
– works great as a vapor barrier for metal roofing
– comes in 250 feet long x 48inch tall rolls(1000 sq ft)

Asphalt Felt- much cheaper than synthetic felt
– comes in 15lb and 30lb saturation weights.
– water and vapor barrier protection

As you can see the advantages of synthetic felt far outweigh traditional felt paper. Felt is essentially asphalt saturated paper; the amount of asphalt used determines the water resistance of the felt paper. Synthetic felts are artificially manufactured materials like polypropylene, fiberglass, polyethylene and polyester, they make a much more efficient water barrier that  will last longer than traditional felt because the chemical compositions for synthetic materials are more stable against weathering. This same efficiency in preventing water and vapor damage can cost more to manufacture and refine and generally costs more which is why most roofing contractors in Rochester NY will charge you to “upgrade” to a synthetic underlayment.

Every roof we install has synthetic underlayments used as a standard procedure. We believe in providing our customers with a roofing system that will surpass building and warranty standards and keep you protected for decades to come. Give your home the superior protection of a roofing system that will last, call us today for a free roofing estimate @ 585-288-0895 or check out our customer testimonials www.ronferrisandsonroofing.com