Attention to Detail: Roofing Layers

In continuation of our “Paying attention to the details” series, we want to discuss how many layers of shingles or shake (or both) are on the roof surface. Historically, it was thought that the more layers of roofing the better. WRONG.

Roofs are part of a water shedding system

Key thing is, shingles are water shedding, not water tight. The performance of a roof system is contingent on the quality of both components of a water shedding system - the shingles and the underlayment. Some municipalities will still allow more than one layer of roofing, but many are shifting toward a single layer. Please check with your local code enforcement to see what is allowed in your area.

What is the best approach to roofing layers?

What is the best roof replacement setup? A solidly sheathed roof with new underlayment, new flashings, and new shingles. The end. So why are we talking about this?

Paying attention to layers in roofing estimates

When you are getting estimates, be sure to look at the differences in cost and how many layers are included. If you don’t account for all layers on the roof, it can make a huge difference in the estimate’s pricing.

For example, as of July 2017, the average removal/disposal charge is $42/square per layer, with an average roof size of 27 squares. So if you miss even a single layer, this can result in a $1,134 difference between estimates. This is why you want the multiple layers identified and included in the up-front estimate.

Warranties and the various layers of a roof

Shingles are only warrantied against the product, not specifically for leaks. For example, if your shingles have a limited warranty of 30 years, this does not mean that your entire roof system is going to last that long. With this in mind, why would you ever want to nail over an existing worn out or damaged roof knowing it becomes the substrate for the new roof? Sounds like a potential leak happening pretty quickly, doesn’t it? In fact, in this situation, you would be facing limited possibilities to properly correct future leaks.

What is the right way to approach a roof replacement?

Remove all layers of shingles down to the decking and install new underlayment with every roof replacement in addition to replacing all flashings, vents, caps, and drip edges. Just because shingles have limited warranties of 30-50 years does not mean that all other components of roof systems are designed to last that long, which is why everything should be replaced (and nothing reused). Anything that is reused may require replacement sometime within the life expectancy of the roof.

Looking for a new roof or need a roof inspection in the Wichita, KS Area?

If you are seeking a roof replacement and would like a free inspection of your existing roof system (some exclusions apply), please do not hesitate to reach us at (316) 665-4882 or request a quote online.

Otherwise, if you have any questions about new roofs in the Wichita, KS area, please consider S&A Roofing, and contact us any time.