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Frequently Asked Questions
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Below are some questions that keep recurring. We will be adding to this section as needed. Also, after we add a few more, we'll start organizing the questions.

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Can I roof over the top of my existing roof?

Yes, you can. But there are some things you need to know. Go here to get some needed information.

I hate the color of my shingles. Can I paint them?

Yes, you can but it's not advisable. Shingles lose their granules over time. What you can easily wind up with is a splotchy looking roof. Keep them painted every few years, though and you'll be okay. Another thing, shingles are made so that there are variations in coloring. With a painted roof, there will be no variations. It will be all one color.

Some people are telling me to use organic shingles, and others are telling me fiber glass shingles. What's the difference and which do I use?

To find out a bit more about organic and fiber glass shingles, click here. What you choose to use is up to you. Most roofers in the northern parts of the country prefer the organic shingles, while the southern parts prefer the fiber glass shingles. The fiber glass shingles are easier to work with and the organic shingles have more asphalt and are heavier and more expensive to manufacture.

The roofer didn't remove the little plastic strip from the back of my shingles. Should this have been removed?

No, it does not need to be removed. That particular brand of shingle is designed so that the sealant seals right through the strip. The strip is there to help keep the shingles from sticking together before the're installed.

My shingles got beat up in the last hail storm we had and I'm tired of replacing them. What type of roof should I use?

If the hail is big enough, then it won't matter what you use, the material will still get destroyed. There are some shingles that can take quite a hit and remain in good shape. They are SBS Modified asphalt shingles made by Malarkey Roofing. These shingles have a class IV hail rating which is the highest hail rating available. You can also look into metal, but be careful. We've all seen the hoods of cars after quarter-sized hail storms.

I did some repairs to my roof and noticed there is no roofing felt under them. Is this the correct way to install shingles?

No, it is not. Unless it's an overlay (recover), there should be felt underlayment separating the roofing materials and the deck. Many home builders install roofs this way so that they can save money. It is frowned upon by the National Roofing Contractor's Association, the Asphalt Roofing Manufacturer's Assocation, and any roofer with integrity.

Underlayment provides a vapor barrier between the roof deck and the shingles, is a secondary waterproofing element of the roof, and prevents the wood deck from leaching oils from the asphalt shingles.

If you want some installation instructions proving that it's required, visit the following pages of three popular material manufacturers. You need Adobe Acrobat Viewer to view the files.

What's the minimum slope I need to install asphalt shingles?

Don't go lower than 2:12 which means two inches of vertical rise for every twelve inches of horizontal run. Anything between 2:12 and 4:12, you should consider installing two layers of #15 felt underlayment, reducing the exposure of the shingle - the exposure being the part of the shingle that remains visible after installation, or both. In lieu of both of these, you may want to install a self-adhering ice and water underlayment over the entire deck surface.

What kind of felt underlayment should I use?

Felt paper is a vapor barrier plus keeps the oils in the shingles from leaching out and into the wood substrate (i.e. plywood or OSB roof deck), so #15, 20, or 30 will work for any shingle roof. The type I recommend depends on roof slope.

For slopes less than 4/12, I recommend 2 layers of #15. Helps reduce the possibility of leaks. The felt overlaps in "shingle fashion". Go here: Felt Underlayment Page

Slopes 4/12 to 6/12 I recommend one layer of #15 or #20. Visit above site.

Slopes greater than 6/12 I recommend one layer of #30. The steeper the slope, the easier it is to slip and tear the felt. #30 is heavier so on steeper slopes, you don't slip and tear it as easily.

Where do I go for information on roof framing?

This author's favorite source on the web for information about roof framing can be found here: Be sure to make a donation to him if you use his information.

Or you can buy a book on Roof Framing at Just simply enter search keywords "roof framing".






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