Buffalo NY Roofing Questions & Answers

As the number #1 website for Buffalo NY roofing, we offer all the answers to your roofing questions right here.

Q. Do I have to remove asphalt layers on my house prior to installing a new roof?

A. An affordable solution to your Buffalo roof repair issue is to apply a new shingle layer right over the existing asphalt unless the sheathing is already compromised. You’ll save money, and the re-roofing project will last as long and look just as good as a complete roof removal without the high expense. Standard roof pitches typically have two layers of asphalt shingles, organic or fiberglass, and steep pitches often have up to 3 layers in some areas.  Always verify town codes before starting a new project.


Q. How much roofing ventilation is needed?

A. To ensure energy efficiency for the home, roof and attic ventilation is a must. Adequate ventilation reduces ice damage, which in turn, extends roof life. Calculating the amount of ventilation is a simple process. In the Buffalo roofing industry, the standard is one square foot of intake and exhaust ventilation per 300 square feet of attic space. By running intake soffit ventilation continuously with exhaust ridge, roofers manage to provide the best amount of venting necessary to protect the home.


Q. What causes icicles on my home’s eaves, and how can they be prevented?

A. Icicles are caused by ice damming, which is a common problem for Buffalo NY roofing. Attic heat causes snow to thaw so that water runs down the eaves and then refreezes. As snow melts, it forms a dam of ice along the edge of a building’s roof. As winter conditions persist, this continued melt-freeze cycle creates large icicles that hang from roofing eaves. If not prevented, ice will potentially build up under roofing shingles and create leaks. If severe enough, the icicles may also damage gutters so that they fall from the building. When water enters under the roofing shingles, moisture may accumulate and reduce the insulation’s efficiency. This, in turn, has the potential to raise energy and roofing repair bills. Once water enters the wall cavities, peeling paint or rusting nails are common. Ice dams and the damage it causes can be prevented by:

  • Proper ventilation – venting the roof ensures ambient air temperatures remain steady so that snow on the roof does not thaw.
  • Strong insulation – installing high R-factor insulation helps to block heat from entering the attic.
  • Snow guards – using guards on the roof eaves and valleys protects the roof from ice and water damage.


Q. Does shingle color make a difference on air conditioning costs? I’m considering an asphalt shingle color change and recently learned that brown possibly absorbs more heat than white shingles. 

A. Energy efficiency as it relates to air conditioning costs involves more than just shingle color. Many homeowners believe dark shingles help maintain heat in the winter; however, heat absorbency does not vary for light or dark shingles. The more important consideration for keeping air conditioning and heating costs lower is to provide adequate roof ventilation.


Q. If I install my own roof underlayment, does it matter if the material gets wet from rain? Should I install shingles quickly to prevent water damage? 

A. In most situations, if you plan on installing roofing shingles fairly soon after installing underlayment, it will not matter. Many people believe that rain will potential damage sheeting. Over time, the potential does exist so you should always try to install shingles as soon after placing underlayment as possible. For instance, if using standard roofing tar paper, you may see wrinkling or buckling after a rainstorm so it may be best to wait on installing tar paper until ready to place shingles.


Q. If my roof is damaged from a hail storm, is it necessary to repair it right away?

A. Most roofs are built to withstand hailstorms so as long as it isn’t leaking, you should not have any problems. However, if the roof is leaking, you must get it repaired right away so as to avoid any warranty issues. Once leaks begin, the roof will deteriorate rather rapidly so getting the repairs as soon as possible is a must.


Q. What can I do to prevent woodpeckers from pecking holes in my roof?

A. Birds like woodpeckers and pigeons can cause quite a mess on roofs. To prevent damage from birds, mount magnifying mirrors in places on the roof where you see damage. Some homeowners install special molded plastic figurines formed to look like hawks or owls. When affixed to the rooftop, other birds are frightened from what they see as a potential predator. Pinwheels, aluminum tins or balloons attached to the side of the home’s eaves can also be helpful in keeping woodpeckers at bay.


Q. When should roofs be completely replaced?

A. Most roofs are constructed to last between 20 and 30 years. Some Buffalo roofers use special roofing materials or techniques to extend roofing life. It is important to have a periodic roofing inspection to fully understand the condition of your rooftop. Most Buffalo roofing professionals offer evaluations so that homeowners will understand if they need minor roofing repair, a partial re-roof or a completely new roof.


Q. What are simple actions I can take for roof leaks until my roofer arrives?

A. When a roof begins leaking, the first step you should take is to protect your home from water damage. Use containers or plastic sheeting to collect water from a leaky roof. When placing plastic sheeting down, be sure to never cover roof venting systems. Next, you will want to remove any excess water. Make sure drains are open and functioning properly. A common leaking issues results from water pooling on top of the roof due to clogged drains. Try to find the main source of any leaking so that you can direct the roofing professional to the most likely place where repair is needed.


Q.  In a roofing emergency, what can I use as a temporary fix?

A. When Buffalo roofers are not available or are delayed, you can visit your local hardware store to obtain plastic roofing cement. Different grades of product are available to help with rain or wet patches. Be sure to remove any debris from the area you are trying to patch before applying. You may also try roof tape and sealant on smooth roof surfaces. As a last and temporary resort, duct tape may be used to cover PVC roofing systems. It is important to not do anything to the roof that might further damage it or hinder roofing professionals from locating the leak.


Q. What purpose does roof flashing serve?

A. In order to create a watertight surface between roofing materials and the home’s structure, roof flashing is used. Flashing is made from sheet metal. It is installed at rooflines and around vents and fluepipes to prevent leaking. Because flashing can be easily damaged, maintaining it is vital to keeping your roof protected from water or other damaging conditions.


Q. How can I remove rust stains caused by flashing around my chimney without damaging my roof?

A. The easiest and most effective way of hiding any rust discoloration is with spray paint. Be sure to obtain color charts to get a close match to your roof color. Also, test a small area first to ensure the color match, and then allow it to dry before applying to the entire discoloration area.


Q. What are key indications of problems with roofing vs. flashing?

A. Roofing problems often start with the flashing. By regularly checking your roof, you can catch flashing issues early. Repairing or replacing flashing when you find damage can extend your roof’s life and prevent water damage. Make a plan to hire competent roofing inspectors every few years in order to prevent small issues that could potentially lead to larger repair bills.


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