More homeowner questions!

I have owned my current home in the Seattle area for almost 15 years (and the previous one for nearly 3 more), but this is my first new roof. I have a ~20 yo 30-year composite, no leaks, but the shingles are starting to break here and there. Originally a simple 4:12 gable roof, I also have a 20’ wide extension on part of the house, which has a 3:12 slope and meets at the ridgeline. It’s been there 7 years, hasn’t leaked, but I was told by the roofers who came out that it doesn’t look like it ever completely sealed.

I’ve been trying to do my research, but I still have questions, and your unbiased expertise/opinion (at least, YOU’RE not trying to make a sale) will be highly valuable in my decision.

(1) I’m getting about 5 bids, all established, reputable companies according to bbb and angie’s list, and so far everyone is proposing a different single manufacturer. :slight_smile:

(2) I have gable vents and sufficient soffit vents, as well as a powered attic fan (thermostat controlled). Would I be better off with a ridge vent? If so, would I want to ditch the attic fan (and replace the sheathing, I assume)? How about closing off the gable vents in that case, which I’ve read in some places is a good idea with ridge vents? Granted, the roof lived its first ~15 years with neither ridge vents nor attic fan…

(3) One roofer told me that the 3:12 section should really have an ice and water barrier installed. The others that I asked about that afterwards said I could have that if I wanted, but it wasn’t necessary. Was the one roofer really knowledgeable and right, or just trying to sell me something extra? It is true that I had an ice damn condition once during some really extreme weather in 1996, and actually it was on a 4:12 section, but I also had nearly non-existent attic insulation (circa 1968) at the time. It has since been re-insulated to modern specs.

Again, thank you in advance for your insights!

Good evening, thought I would stop in and try to help answer a few questions from neighboring Oregon…

  1. Shingle manufacturers are very similar, and most 30-40 yr shingles are very much the same. Some you can’t even tell the difference. For the upcharge, I wouldn’t do it. If I were to pay extra, it would be to go to the 50-yr, or lifetime, where the shingles are DEFINITELY thicker, regardless of manufacturer.

  2. Keep your venting just the same as it has been for it’s life so far. The only reason to switch over to ridgevent is for cosmetic reasons. If the can vents are unsightly, cover the holes and go with the ridgevent. No need to go to the trouble for all the extra work, sounds like you have plenty of venting.

  3. Ice and Water Shield is a VERY good idea, especially on the 3/12 section. 3 in 12 is the MINIMUM slope for a shingle, so every bit of extra protection helps. Seattle DOES get snow and ice every so often, and a little extra insurance on the flatter section will go a long way for peace of mind. Your roofer is correct.

Good luck!

i need to change my shingles what should i do?

Thank you! I appreciate your input here.

  1. As for 30, 40, 50 yr shingles, make your choice based on how you want your roof to look.
    Pick either a 30 yr or a 50 yr.
    There is no real difference between a 30 yr Landmark and a 40 yr Landmark, for me it is a $30/ sq difference.
    A 50 yr Landmark will look thicker and more textured and it will be more wind resistant ( which I really doubt you need )
    Expect 30, 40, and 50 yr shingles to last for 25 - 30 yrs.
    Don’t buy them for the longer warranty buy them for the looks.
    As we speak my men and I are replacing a 40 yr roof (today it would be a 50 yr roof ), it is 16 yrs old and shot…

  2. Ridgevents tend to work better than can style vents on most homes.
    No type of exhaust vent will work properly if the intake is blocked.
    If your intake ventilation is up to snuff add a ridgevent along the entire length of the ridge, remove the can vents and sheet over the holes.
    As for covering the gable vents, it would probably be best but I haven’t seen a case yet where gable vents effect the function of the ridgevents.

  3. A 3/12 pitch is right on the edge of what will work with shingles.
    The manufacturers recommend double coverage with 15# felt, minimum.
    Most professional roofers will recommend complete ice & water shield over a 3/12, I am one of them.
    For this area you should use the good stuff, Grace Ice & water shield.
    Grace costs 2x as much as the others, but Grace works where others fail…
    If you really want to do a good job on this 3/12 portion, use non-corrosive fasteners.
    By this I mean copper, stainless, or at the very least hot dipped galvanized nails.
    What happens with these low pitched roofs is that water gets trapped under the shingle and the fasteners corrode.
    When this happens there is no longer a nail plugging the hole, then it leaks.
    This will happen with Grace also, it is the fasteners that are the weak link here.
    Electro-galvanized coil nails do rust, relatively quickly…
    You really don’t want to use Owens Corning Durations on this roof.