Q- Are there any differences between GAF shingles and Atlas shingles? If so, what are they?

A- Yes. The main difference between GAF shingles and Atlas shingles is in the matting. GAF shingles have a thinner fiberglass matting that offers advanced protection. Whereas Atlas shingles have conventional asphalt matting. That said, both types are excellent shingles. The other main differences between the two shingles are appearance and product warranty, as GAF shingles come with a non pro-rated warranty that typically lasts longer than an Atlas non pro-rated warranty. For homeowners, the warranty for GAF shingles is a lifetime non pro-rated warranty that can be transferred one time in the first 20 years at no additional charge and remain effective. For landlords with rental property, the warranty for GAF shingles is a 20 year non pro-rated warranty. Atlas shingles come with a 15 year non pro-rated system warranty that can be transferred twice at a cost of $100.00 per transfer. The warranty for Atlas shingles also doesn’t differentiate between residential or commercial properties as it’s a straight 15 year non pro-rated warranty. In terms of appearance, Atlas shingles have a more prominent shadow line than GAF shingles do. While the appearance doesn’t affect their function, many people prefer the look of GAF shingles as they say the shingles have a sleeker, more natural-looking shadow line. Without professional installation service, both types of shingles come with a standard 10 year warranty instead.

Q- What is the difference between non pro-rated and pro-rated as it applies to warranties and what is there effect with regards to warranties.

A- Each manufacturer has a 10 year standard warranty with extended warranties given to system installed jobs.Warranty information is based on the material and labor. The non pro-rated warranty period covers 100% on the labor and materials used by each manufacture. Each manufacturer has a 10 year standard warranty that can be extended when a system installed job is performed. System installed jobs can only be performed by certified system installers that meet each separate manufactures criteria’s.After the non pro-rated warranty period is over the roof becomes pro-rated and the owner loses all labor rights and each year the shingles get older the roof is worth less money.

Q- What’s the differences between #15 and #30 Saturated felt and Synthetic felts?

A- Standard “dry felt” sheet used as the basis for Saturated Felt is made mostly of cellulose fibers, re-claimed from post-consumer recycling of paper and cardboard packaging materials. The minimum cellulose fiber content of the sheet of “dry felt”, by weight, of all asphalt saturated roofing felt, is at least 50% of the finished weight of the product. Because 50% of the product is basically wood fibers, it can readily absorb moisture. The asphalt saturation process does in fact coat most of these wood fibers, but not all are fully encapsulated and are still susceptible to moisture absorption. Saturated Felt, which has gotten wet and remained wet for a few days, may not return to the original degree of flatness it had when initially installed. This can actually create high spots under shingles if the wetting was severe and sustained for several days. Even after a lengthy drying period saturated felt can retain some of the unevenness from the moisture absorption period.Synthetic felt is made of light weight, extremely strong, woven polypropylene fabric, with UV and water resistive coatings. Synthetic felt is unaffected by exposure to water and sunlight for at least 6 months. It can be used with Asphalt and Fiberglass shingles, Clay, Tile, Slate, Concrete, Wood shingles and Wood shake shingles. It offers water-shedding redundancy within the roof system while protecting the structure from water damage.
If installing a systems roof the proper felt must be used to meet guidelines set forth for extended warranties.

Q- Is Ice and Water shield barrier underlayment important and how much should we use along the eves and in the valleys on our roof?
A- The NRCA (National Roofing Contractors Association) recommends the use of underlayment. Ice and Water shield barrier underlayment is required to meet manufacturer warranty requirements when implementing a system install job. I &W shield barrier underlayment serves as a secondary weather proofing barrier should moisture infiltrate the shingles. Areas where moisture most commonly tries to infiltrate are the eves, penetrations, elevation changes, valleys, tin walls, chimney flashing and skylight flashing. On most applications a single row 36” will suffice. However, in colder climates “like Wisconsin” where you have ice dams and freeze-thaw cycles, a second row is required on roofs with a slope of 4:12 or less, if not the entire section. It is also recommended to install the ice and water shield barrier from the eve (Process should start just below the eve on the fascia, this will eliminate the gap between your fascia board and first roof board.) up-slope a minimum of 24” past the warm wall (Exterior wall line of building.). In some cases this will require more than a 3’ row be installed. In addition, any valley area that may hold ice dams and large amounts of snow will require 6’ (2 rows.) ice and water shield barrier protection.
Q- Why is venting my home so important?
A- Venting your home is important in order to eliminate heat and moisture from your home year-round. Attics that are improperly ventilated can build up so much extra heat that temperatures can easily exceed 150 degrees Fahrenheit.  This kind of heat buildup damages shingles, roof sheathing, and can make your living area uncomfortably warm. Without proper venting, moisture can accumulate and cause rot, mold and mildew, paint blisters, and makes insulation inefficient. Proper ventilation cuts down on energy bills, prevents winter ice build up and keeps unsightly mold or mildew from forming. Proper ventilation will make your home’s shingles last longer, keep insulation effective, and prolong the overall life of your home. Also, mold/mildew filled attics can lead to health issues if left untreated.
Q- How can I tell if we need more attic insulation and why is it important?
A- First you will need to find a way into your attic, most homes have a scuttle hatch or some other type of opening located on the ceiling somewhere inside the home. In some cases, if the house is attached to the garage, it will be inside the garage on the side facing the house. Once you are in the attic look around, if you can see the ceiling joists you are in need of insulation. If you have a tape measure, check the thickness by placing the tape against the top side of the ceiling and measure up (To the average height of the insulation) to the top of the insulation. Universal building code is R-19 which is 6.5 to 8.2 inches of insulation; this average thickness will vary depending on the insulation manufacture. The U.S. environmental protection agency, which has Wisconsin as Zone 6, recommends R-49 to R-60 which is between 16.5” to 22.75”. So, as you can see most homes in Wisconsin are incorrectly insulated. An under-insulated home means you are paying higher heating and cooling bills year round. The average home will save 20% on their heating and cooling bills by adding proper attic insulation.
Q- What is the difference between the various types of thicknesses in vinyl siding?
A- Vinyl siding can be observed in a wide range of product quality realized in a substantial differences in thickness and lasting durability. Thickness can vary from .035″ in cheaper grade siding products up to .052″ in the highest grade products which vary from manufacturer to manufacturer. Today, the thinnest vinyl siding commonly used is .040″, and is known as “builder’s grade”. Vinyl product can vary in thickness even within one manufacturer up to .010″ of thickness through varying product lines offered that range from basic to premium-grade products. Thicker vinyl products, usually realized in higher cost, are more rigid which can add to the aesthetic appeal and look of the installed, inherently flexible product and also add to durability and life expectancy.
Q- What thickness of vinyl siding do you recommend for my residential home?
A- Our siding professionals don’t recommend using any vinyl siding less than .042” thick on a residential home. With the settling and shifting issues older homes are susceptible to, a higher grade “thicker” siding is required to help hide these issues. We recommend at least using a .044 grade siding.

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